Sunday, March 30, 2008

how to trick a baby

because I'm all about helping the masses.

I'm also assuming detailed notes of my life are being taken (ahem) so my other assumption is that you all know that Daniel was breastfed for seventeen months, and was exclusively so from the original source for the first six or so months of his life. Rough translation? Dude had never experienced the business end of a bottle being jammed in his nutritional receptacle. Then with work looming menacingly in my future, and with my mother (the judgmental wicked witch of the North who had transplanted herself almost permanently, god help me, South) getting all on me with the "he should be able to bottle feed" crap, I figured that maybe I'd better try him on something other than the Real Thing before I actually needed to be away from him for longer than three hour stretches.

So why not give the whole "here kid, have a fake boob" thing a go? Getting him to take the bottle AT ALL though, was a bit of a challenge, if "by a bit of a challenge" I mean "a total screamfest".

Apparently if you want your youngster to easily swap from one to the other, and you want to do it without wearing the contents of either all over yourself, your baby and your living room walls, you'd best get cracking with the bottle insertion before your personal little Sir (or madam) Shitfit hits three months old. Before twelve weeks? They'll take anything any old how, but after twelve weeks, they're all about "you want to put what WHERE??!".

Fortunately, it wasn't me with the Must Take A Bottle issues, so it also wasn't me inflicting The Fake into his discerning little mouth that very first time, but I was the one who was thrown the almost full bottle and one pissed off baby seconds after I walked back in the door.

By this point, one would imagine that NO ONE could get him to take the bottle, not with all the defiant screaming refusals he'd been getting on before I got there, and especially not with my giant, albeit clothed, ACTUAL REAL bazookas looming inches from his head, but what eventually worked for us was this: I got him started on the breast, and after a few minutes and when he was in that single minded blissed out and feeding state, I slipped the bottle's teat into his mouth alongside my own nipple (in much the same way you might slip your finger into your baby's mouth if you need to adjust the latch or whatnot)(also, internet pervies, yes, I said "NIPPLE") , and then, after making sure he was still spaced out and focussed on the process, not the weirdassed thing stuck in his suckhole, I slowly and gently eased my fine self out.......aaaaand, Voila!

Bottle feeding baby.

*bows to the standing ovation*

I'd say the key tips here are "slowly" and "gently", because had I'd jammed the rubber/plastic/latex/whateverinhelltheyare teat in too fast, or had I abruptly whipped my own hooter out of there, he would have snapped to attention and noticed the attempted ruse.

I get too, that maybe we were just plain lucky that it was such a simple and quick learning experience for both of us, but that was the only time I needed to be there to pull the old breast-to-bottle switcheroo on him. He wasn't often given a bottle after that anyway as my work schedule initially meant I could fill him to brim from the natural source immediately before dumping him in childcare, and then pick him up again straight after servicing (AHEM) my client so the whole exercise was mainly so his grandma, my nemesis, had something to crow about ("I fed the baby!" etc) but I guess some babies might need a little more practice to understand that bottles can give 'em all the breastmilk they need too. ;)

It's not a trick I ever read about in any parenting literature, so I'm not sure how universally spectacularly effective it might be, but it WAS spectacularly effective for us.

The end.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

negative

We walked to the gym the other day, and on the way it was like I was absorbing aromas rather than smelling them. There was the toast being somewhere over there, probably that house five miles in that direction, the roses in a garden some place east, the smell of cigarette smoke coming from that passing car in an road in another TOWN...and then this guy walked past us reeking like manwhore and I nearly threw up. I'm not pregnant, but obviously the Universe has it in for me in a "let's fuck with her" kind of way, what with the Spidey-like sense of smell it threw at me, along with the rapid onset nausea, and the friend exclaiming "I bet you ARE pregnant!!" (which, seriously, why? Because you are?) earlier in the day, all of which lead me to wonder, fuck, maybe I AM pregnant.

And then I went to the bathroom and found out I had my period. The end.

Fortunately I was at the gym at the time because I'm not as bullet proof as I like to think I am. Had I been at home, I think I would have sobbed my little disappointed heart out, despite feeling like an idiot while doing so because seriously, the odds of this hair brained scheme working? Well, actually, are a lot higher than the odds of conceiving Daniel.

ANYWAY, point being, I feel stupid for feeling so sad about this, but I am sad, but thankfully I was at the gym when the Universe laughed at me because there is NO WAY I was gonna break down and sob outside of the privacy of my own home. Hell, I don't even break down and sob inside the privacy of my own home, not unless I've been torn a new one by some bitch ho', but had I been there, I reckon I about would have. I did have to suck it up a few times though, and look at that wall over there so that no one could see the face scrunching while my eyes went suspiciously watery and red.

And therein lies my attempts at grieving. A few dry heaves while squatting forty kilos on the Smith machine.

But about that bitch ho'. Literally the same moment I was being introduced in a very special way to my next child's father, I looked over and saw my notes on a chair not three feet away. The pages were open so it was all rather surreal, lying there with my ass on a pillow and my legs in the air and reading all the SHIT that whorebitch had written about me, so as I was getting my special delivery, ahem, I was also pointing to my notes and stating that "this is a LIE".

The, uh, delivery nurse freaked out and told the other one to move the notes, then she told me to think happy thoughts and that she'd come back and talk with me after I'd marinated in the manjuice for a while.

Which she did and she was very nice, and now that conversation is also a part of my medical history, because she's had to note my side of the exchanges in question. And hopefully her impression of me, because as she said that she thought I was very reasonable and not at all as I was described.

On the day that I'd found out that, after going through the motions and expense of an IVF cycle, I only had two follicles, rather than giving me the benefit of the doubt and not attaching an emotion to my silence, she noted that I was "disgruntled", which according to dictionary.com, describes a displeased, discontented, sulky or peevish state.

Which is hardly an accurate description.

I was devastated, which is in no way any of those other things.

That day in January was recorded too. It was an awful day for me, and it wasn't the news so much as it was the exchange with the nurse involved, and I literally cried all day. Man, I NEVER do that. I even had to cancel a meeting, for crying out loud.

There had been two phone calls that day: the first was when I was advised a report from my endocrinologist had not yet been filed, call back in a month, goodbye, and the second was when I called back (HOURS later, because it took me that long to fortify myself against the chance I'd encounter the same nurse. Which I did. Good one, Universe) to let the unit know the report had been mailed on November 21, would that help locate its whereabouts? Both calls comprised of me mostly telling her (a number of times) that I wasn't angry, please, that I was upset, could she help me? But because SHE was SO angry, she kept at me like I was angry at HER.

Which is what she wrote in her notes. She took almost three quarters of a page to describe how angry and unreasonable I was, and then she topped it off by saying that I was verbally abusive.

God, I wish those calls were taped because people, of the maybe ten minutes TOTAL we talked, I spoke for around two. The rest of the time? When I think about it, I a) get upset all over again, and b) am reminded of any random Rocky movie when the weaker opponent is getting the shit kicked out of them and the stronger one keeps coming at them relentlessly, so to be described in that exceptionally negative way is again, very, very upsetting. Especially so when one considers that pretty much everyone I've met since then has been new to me, and they've all been crucial to my treatment, and those notes have been the basis for the first impression they've all made of me.

I've not imagined the coolness in their approach of me. I've not imagined the reticence to engage in conversation with me, regardless that the conversation I've tried to instigate has been about my inner workings and prospective future.

The only person I've spoken with in this time from whom I've felt a genuine warmth and compassion this entire time was a nurse who met me last year. Anyone else, even if they've seemed nice, I've sensed something that I've just pout down to my own insecurities. Now I wonder though, you know?

I've got an appointment to see my doctor next week, and he's the assistant director so should be the right person to issue a complaint with (extra points hopefully scored when I let slip that the nurse in question told me I should complain about HIM). I want copies of all my notes AS IS, and then I want the notes revised. Those pages and any pages referring to said need to be removed because there is NO WAY I'm continuing with this unit, and there is no way I want those notes to follow me back to the place with the waterfall in the foyer. I even called them the morning after I started Synarel, because I was freaking out from the negative the vibe I was getting from The House Of Shit, and I wanted to know if it was at all possible to transfer this cycle to their loving hands. Which it was not. Duh, because had it been this story might have ended differently.

And as an aside, I was transferred to the accountant and even she showed me great compassion and an extraordinary amount of reassurance despite the fact that I'd just commenced a cycle at a place NOT where she worked.

I swear, I am SO upset about this that if I wasn't sleeping The Lawyer, I'd be consulting with him to see what my legal options were. That one romp in the hay was the most expensive root in history though, as because of it, there goes all my free legal representation FOR EVER.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

when the lights go out

Once upon a time I put Daniel down for his nap wearing a blue t-shirt and a pair of red shorts. He was asleep when I left him, and all was quiet. Then when I went in to check on him....:

when toyboxes explode
Mr Bunny turns a blind eye to the all the shenanigans

Stuffed toy - rama, and most of them were in bed with him and his gender non-specific pretty pink stroller. He'd also turned the room upside down looking for his Thomas The Tank Engine pyjamas which, SCORE, and then he'd crammed both his legs into one of the shorts', and while he did a better job with the shirt, it too was being worn upside down.

He was so obviously hit with the Sleep Bat mid cahoot, and was all "this is GREAT!! I'm having so much..." *clunk* "...zzzzzzzzzzzz".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

potty mouth

About that peeing in the pool comment: Daniel doesn't do it.

What? Call Mr Ripley?

I'd be recommending you go for the Believe It option though because seriously, Daniel literally takes himself out of the pool mid whatever in heck he's doing to do his stuff, potty style. By my reckoning, he does this too often to also be sneaking a slash into the pool water.

So yes, potty training has been going really well, as in, it seems to be done, and no one is more amazed than I am because I don't feel like I've done ANYTHING. If anyone wants to know my methods, this is it: remove nappy, supply potty. The end.

There were a few bits in the middle that included the all day Thomas the Tank festivals, that saw Daniel seated on the potty for HOURS at a time, mindlessly evacuating whatever the hell he'd been keeping inn there, mostly, I think due to the suctioning effect the airtight seal of the potty around his toddler sized ass.

That evolved to what you see today. A little boy who has had only four accidents in as many big boy panted weeks. The accidents were more my fault too as was pretty tired each time, and I should been calculating the time between wees and plonking him on the potty regardless of his vehement "NO WEEWEE POTTY! NO!!". He mostly takes himself these days, but I've learned my lesson and if he's tired and it's been a while, I'm the boss and he's my little peeing minion.

Which is another of his party tricks. He can squeeze out a wee on command, even if it's just a drop or two. Which is a trick only ever brought out when tired, or if I want to minimise the possibility of him stripping from the waist down before telling THE WORLD that he needs to go weewee RIGHT NOW. Or if I'm leaving him at creche for an hour or so because creche doesn't allow potties as they'd rather a small sized toddler either fell in or whizzed all over the too big toilet.

Someone asked me about when am I going to teach Daniel to stand when he goes to the toilet. I was all, how about NEVER? Little boys grow in to adult men and in ALL those years, they NEVER learn to not pee all over everything BUT the toilet bowl, so my kid is going to grow up believing that real men sit down to pee.

Having said that, he does stand up sometimes, mostly when we're at McDonald's ("MACCA DACCA'S!!") because I do NOT want my kid anywhere near the festering mess of disgusting they call a public toilet. Oh, and if you live near me? I'm giving you fair warning: Daniel mostly utilises the relative cleanliness of the sink. You're welcome.

I've made it sound like we go to Macca's, like, ALL THE TIME. Well, okay, yes we do, - but criminy, not to eat. Hell no. I go for the shitty coffee and the newspaper, and Daniel goes for the play equipment and so he can beg for french fries from the people who do go there to eat. No shit, the kid is a freaking seagull. It's embarrassing, and even more so when he sneaks in behind the parents when they're leaving with their REAL kids, and acts cool so they won't notice him when he tries to follow them home.

*****

Internet history making event: I'm into the second week, aka The Week In Which Well Timed Pee Could Change Everything, of the two week wait and I've not done one single pregnancy test.

Am I weird, or is everyone else? Because I just don't get the whole freak-your-shit-out deal about it. You're either pregnant or you're not, and to my mind, it's a waste of energy to go nuts wondering which one you are.

But if anyone is on tenterhooks wondering which one I am, I'm not. I'm looking forward to my period arriving so I can let go of the vain hope that maybe maybe maybe I just might be pregnant, because I'm certain I'm not and I want to move past that bit of delirium. What I am is fully loaded on supplemental progesterone, and I'm SO not pregnant that even that isn't making me feel the teeniset bit bun in the oveny.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

*splash*

social outcast


So we went to the local pool the the last two days of the aformentioned record breaking heatwave, and as it turns out, I'm an idiot.

X three hundred and sixty five billion.

Because we had an absolute blast and did I mention? Last two days of heatwave? Also, last hot days AT ALL of this season?

Seriously, what a tool.

We could have been hanging out at the pool for the last FOUR months, dipping our entire selves in the water and meeting the other pool hounds hanging out there, except there I was, all "but the pool is a toxic zone of poisonous chemicals and the beach is so much better. I mean, it's natural" which was a sentence followed closely by "but it's so freakin' sandy that I think we'll just stay at home and dip our feet in this here two inch deep kiddy pool".

Id. Iot.

So yes. The pool. In which we spent way into Daniel's naptime last week marinating ourselves in all those atrocius chemicals, which totally aren't chloriney and stinky and which did not, in any way, fuck with our skin, hair, eyes, or life expectancy. I don't even care that some kid puked in the pool before we got there. Possibly because we'd been paddling around in the water for at least an hour before someone told us. "Hmm..." I said, "maybe that's why the wading pool was empty when we arrived.". Bah, that's what the non smelly chemicals are for, and the turbo charged filtering systems, because these are pools for babies, aka poop, puke and wee machines, and besides, fish shit in the ocean all the time and you don't get anyone rushing up to you and forcing you into a secretive huddle and pointing over yonder before whispering in your ear that it was that fish in this ocean.

ANYWAY, hung out a lot and once he'd got a lay of the land and the fact that the pool wasn't going to swallow him whole if he ventured away from my knee, Daniel took to following all the other kids around the wading pool and was totally oblivious to being absolutely ignored by them. He was splishyspashying his way after them, all "YAAAAAAY", and they were thoroughly enmeshed in their little enclave and were ignoring my kid. Meanwhile my heart was breaking and I was planning on how to get even with these little shits. Nah, not really, but I'm not kidding when I say I was watching all this societal heirarchy shit going on and the tears were threatening to explode from my face. My child, the social outcast! Woe!! Man, I'm going to be totally fucked if he comes home from school one day and tells me that So And So wouldn't talk to him all day because it's bound to happen and oh my heart. Big black sunglasses saved the day, I'm just saying. Gah. Then there was this one girl who kept paddling around on a kickboard and asking Daniel to chase here but he, the little freak, had no idea she even existed and just kept on trying to break it with the in crowd.

The lowlight of the day was when the turbo changed filtration system stole Daniel's Thomas The Tank Engine after he tossed it over the edge of the pool and into the....thing that the water gets sucked through, and there went that plucky little tank engine. My heart broke into a million pieces AGAIN when Daniel looked sadly at me and said "THOMAS GONE!! (the woe has no effect on his hundred and ten decibel minimum), to which I replied "Yes. Yes he is. Because you chucked him away." because broken hearts do not deter me from teaching the lessons from where you can grab them. Daniel has been asking me where Thomas is since then, never mind the fifty billion other identical Thomases we've got around here, and I did ask the lifeguard to look for the little fucking train in the HUGE filtration tank, and he did, but nothing has shown up yet s I think it's safe to say that little Thomas is gone for good.

The weather is meant to be around 29C tomorrow, which is likely to be Summer's last hurrah, especially since it's Autumn already, ahem, so this Easter, we're going to the pool to do ungodly things like pee in it (him) and continue to swim in it (me).

Happy Easter, y'all. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In other news

and because I need to sit for half an hour and not let things succumb to the forces of gravity.

It's Fall here, or as we antipodeans refer to it, Autumn. A stinkingly hot one too. Everyone's all "OH EM GEE, the heat, how are you handling it?!", and they ask me this while we're all standing around in the air conditioned supermarket checkout queue. Um, I'm doing fine thanks, maybe because EVERYTHING is AIRCONDITIONED. The only time anyone (apart from the stalwart pensioners who end up expiring from the heat in their unairconditioned apartments because back in the day, no one had airconditioning, so despite the technology available to sail through these blisteringly hot days, they do not) needs to be in the heat is that short disstance from the front door to the car, and again from the car to the front door of wherever the hell.

Point being, we've blown away all records vis a vis heatwaves. It's never been this hot for such a stretch of time since records began, which in techno talk means it's been over 35C, which in real terms means it's been Fucking Hotfor over ten days. In actual fact though, we've had fifteen days of over 38C temps, and we're looking at at least two more. The change is expected on Tuesday evening, so the next day's temp should drop to....34C.

So there it is. The weather report, coming to you live from MyTown.

If Daniel poops in the next half an hour, we're heading down to the local pool for a few hours before naptime hits. And if anyone is interested, spotlight is still chaffing my ass. We went to the beach last night at around 6pm, and it was beautiful. Daniel has totally integrated this vast Amount Of Sand + Water And Shit thing into his internal alarm system, so we spent about an hour in the shallow water being bounced around by little ripply waves that still packed enough punch to knock the little guy over and spat him headfirst into the water. AWESOME!

THOMAS!!

chasing seagulls

These were from another sunnier day. Still late in the day though, around 6pm.

shifting sand






We've not been to the pool before, but it should be a different kind of fun for Daniel, and a lot less sand to scoop out of buttcracks and cars afterwards for me, and we can go down earlier than Almost dark O Clock because of the shade cloth, and no doubt there'll be other kids hanging out at the toddler pool, so yes, a different kind of fun than the more organic kind one gets at the beach. And much less paraphenalia to pack because NO SAND. Thank god almighty. I swear, I love the beach, but I love it a lot less these days thanks to sand encrusted boy tagging along. Water bottles end up filled with sand, all the towels end up sopping wet and crusted with sand, changes of clothes are necessary so traveling light with a towel and a bikini is no longer a viable option, and stuffing wet and sandy baby speedos and rash vests into bags that are already lugging half the beach home in them is not as much fun as the standing up, changing the boy into some dry clothes, grabbing the one, single bag that's already holding the slightly damp and not at all sandy towel, action the pol provides, and my guess is that it's going to be HEAVEN.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

the morning after

After the trigger shot on Wednesday night, there was a lot of activity in my ovaries, particularly the right one, who is a lying whore because the follicles on that side pretty much sucked as much as they blew. The left ovary is the one with the good fallopian tube, and the one I'm hoping produced at least one good egg.

Having forfeited any good drugs by canceling my IVF cycle, I'm please to report that I was in very good spirits yesterday morning, and not only because instead of starving all night before arriving at 7.15am (which, seriously, can you imagine what time I would have had to get up?!), and instead of having a needle inserted up my business and into my ovaries via my business (my god) to extract some or no eggs from my burgeoning follicles, I sauntered in at 9.15, full to the brim with coffee (decaf) and fruit salad, and had a simple procedure that involved a lot of lying down and a little vial of donor #47's finest. The best part was where I got to remain on my back with my legs in the air for a good half hour (woot) afterwards, giving me some guilt free time to appreciate the pattern on the ceiling tiles and to read old magazines that, bugger their antiquity, can still dish up some good dirt on those whacky celebs.

The other best bit was that donor sperm is washed before being frozen and ultimately thawed for insemination. In layman's terms? It looks and behaves like nothing more than few cc's of saline, so I felt nothing going in and I absolutely felt nothing going out. THANK GOD.

The donor sperm is placed close to the cervix using a "gun". It's, like, 60cm long so its primary function must be to freak the sperm recipient right out as out of the entire length of the thing, only about 7cm is inserted anyway.

Obviously designed by a man with a small peepee.

ANYWAY

My ovaries hurt like a mofo for most of yesterday too. They settled down later in the evening and I can't feel them at all today, so hopefully there's an egg or two in there being swarmed by some very eager - and good quality -sperm. I went to the gym this morning too, which is the only place I weigh myself, and having been more than slightly freaked by the more than three kilo gain, I'm thrilled to bits that my weight is already back to normal. That'll probably change again over the next two weeks, as even if I'm not pregnant, I'll probably still bloat up and feel pregnant thanks to the How's Your Fathers I'm stashing up my clacker on a twice daily basis for the next ten days.

They're because I've been on Synarel for about three weeks, and its role is to effectively shut down the body's normal hormone production. Pregnancy requires progesterone though, great heaving piles of it, so until my own supply kicks in, that's why the supplemental stuff being delivered via my underbits.

Fun times.

And times where there's nothing more to do but wait.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

cancel that

So I shot up with a big old dose of Ovidrel last night so my not so impressive number of eggs should be ripening up like a couple of apricots in the sun.

Yes.

The shot itself was doable but weird. I mean, I wouldn't choose to stick a rather large gauge needle into my-ever-so-sexy-but-considering-the-needle-sticks-it's-borne-of-late-thank-god-it's there belly fat in order to inject a rather viscous fluid into my subcutaneous regions, but it wasn't that bad, you know? It itched a bit afterwards, and kind of left a big splodge of bloodless looking flesh around the injection site, but all in all, on a scale of one to ten, it was a meh.

I'm not sure if it was its hormonal effect taking place this morning though, or whether it;'s because I'm very, very tied today thank you eight am phone call on the ONLY day I get to sleep in, gah, or if it was my gut feeling making its voice truly heard, but I spent the morning feeling like I was holding back a whole mess sobbing in despair. I didn't break down into a weeping mass of goo though, because I'm just plain not good at responding to my feelings in a way that may suggest Weakness! Or Vulnerablity! Or, you know, Being Normal!

So I called the unit and the end result is that I've cancelled the cycle. Remember Tuesday when Eleanor advised me to continue with the IVF cycle? Yes, well, apparently Eleanor is a LIAR. Today's nurse, Jenni, I think, said some shit about "we'd normally recommend to cancel a cycle like yours, but when patient indicates they wish to continue bla bla BLA".

Seriously people, who the hell am I supposed to trust in that hinky joint? No one seems to be able to get the collective story right. One person says this, the other says something else entirely - and this Eleanor who I thought was so nice yesterday? In hindsight, really isn't. She's a boob staring drone, is what she is, and because I'd been told "Eleanor" was really nice and very compassionate, I saw something that didn't exist in the person I expected to see it in. "Eleanor", as it happens, was the doctor waving the coochie wand. I'd say it was my aching need to rely on someone other than myself during this fucking difficult time that led me to see compassion when all that existed was a brique, business like attitude in someone who really didn;t have it at all.

Anyway, the whole thing seemed so ridiculous, this forking out of exorbitant amounts of cash to chase a dream that, even with two healthy embryos, had the odds against it. Then only reason to go ahead would be for the drugs, man, but that's a helluva lot of money for a fifteen minute float on a cloud. Any fact finding from the retrieval - whether eggs exist and if so, how they responded to a swim in the petri dish with gaggle of enthusiastic sperm - would be ambiguous anyway as even the shittiest cycles can be explained away as being Just One Of Those Things, and as such, is not a diagnosis or a reliable indicator of how the next cycle(s) will proceed.

About the ridiculous: in a stimulated cycle, there's around a seventy percent chance of each follicle containing an egg. Of those eggs, around the same percentage will fertilise, and of those, around the same again will survive long enough to be transferred, and once transferred, have a less that ten percent chance of resulting in a live birth.

With those numbers, you can see that with only two follicles to work with, my odds would have been, well, as miniscule as the odds were of conceiving Daniel. Which, if you're a universe guided, flower child (which some might say I am), might suggest I should go ahead with it anyway because hello! history repeating itself, but even my inner hippy tells me I should cut and run. I've been so conflicted over Tuesday's decision to go ahead, and having actually and for real cancelled this whole shemozzle, I'm so not. I feel quite at peace with what happens next.

The two good sized follicles arent' going to waste though, and as I should be ovulating some time tomorrow, I'm going to effectively get drunk and get nailed by some total stranger in the morning. Or, if you like, be inseminated with donor sperm, hold the booze.

And in keeping with this unit's shenanigans, the nurse didn't suggest converting to an insemination after I cancelled the cycle. That was all my bright idea. She was all "...if you can access sperm..." (which amused me because she was essentially saying "if you can get laid"), and I was all "Uh, there's a whole wad of that shit in your fridge. It wants me and I don't even need to buy it a drink. ".

Chance of conception? Assuming two eggs spring forth, they're around five percent, which while it's half of the odds of an IVF cycle resulting in a pregnancy, is not as crazy as opting for the lesser odds if we were talking fifty percent versus twenty five.

While insemination is a less invasive procedure than IVF, for me, it's a whole lot more so because *squick alert* it's not like I'm not going to feel it when I stand up, you know?

Moving along and rapidly wiping that visual from all our minds....

If you're so inclined, please think of me and maybe even wish me some luck. It'd be much appreciated.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

two two be do

My second scan was yesterday morning and thank GOD, I got someone nice as my first point of call. The pity of this whole adventure has been that most of them are nice and understanding and empathetic, it's just been my luck that on the two occasions where I could have really done with someone who was all those things, I ended up being lumped with someone who was not.

It was the nurse coordinator for the unit that called my name yesterday, and she even took a good chunk of time out of her morning to veer from the usual routine of taking me from the big waiting room to the one that requires no underwear, and took me instead to a private room so she could ask I was.

I guess she could sense my mood.

This has been a really depressing couple of days. In fact, the entire time since January until now has been lacking a significant amount of the hope I had before then.

Anyway, we spent some time talking about stuff, and it helped, if only momentarily, me feel a greater connection to the unit, and allowed me to reconsider some of the angst that's been clouding this time.

She was more honest than Sunday's nurse too, possibly because the whole thing doesn't visibly bore her. On that day, at 1142 whatevers, my E2 level was lower than they'd like, but she reassured me that while two follicles wasn't great either, there may well be three four or five follicles growing on the right side, which would then be considered good.

She even apologised for bitchface too, saying she was sorry my experience had been clouded by her colleague's manner. I'd offered that I was possibly being oversensitive on the two occasions we'd met, but she said - and I quote - "No, Karen can be quite abrupt", which I was very grateful for because since that time, and again X2 since Sunday, I've been worrying about what I'd done to incur her disdain, because I'd hate to be the reason why someone so significant doesn't like me.

Not that I give a shit about her liking me on a personal level, because it's not like I want us to be friends or anything. It's that I'd hate to be so unlikable that it's enough to transcends someone's professional duty to be civil, and I'd hate more to be that person without knowing it.

The second scan produced some interesting maneuvers courtesy of the doctor operating the dildo cam, and also some even more depressing news. There are now have only notable two follicles on the left side, 17x14mm and 18x13mm, and while the right ovary was visualised (along with the contents of my bowel swirling around next to it which, while totally normal, is still strangely embarrassing), and while it had four follicles, none measured any more than 12mm.

The nurse with me this time was Eleanor, and while she's very business like and has a weird habit of talking to one's (essentially non existent) cleavage, she's also compassionate. She said that it's not a great result, and only mentioned my age in sorrowful agreement when I sighed about, wah, being too old. She also said though, that it's also how one reacts to the protocol that also determines the number of follicles, and that they've seen women in their twenties with no ovarian dysfunction who have gone on treatment and returned the same depressing number. Yay. Or not. Le sigh.

My first though was to cancel the cycle, thus saving me a fuckload of money for the next cycle, and opting instead for insemination. Their opinion? Not recommended, and not only because of the sky high squick factor. If I had only one follicle, then they'd convert the cycle and we'd all cross our fingers and hope for the miraculous less than five percent chance of conception to occur. But because I have two follicles that potentially hold two good eggs that can both potentially fertilise, continuing with the IVF with its around ten percent probability, is my best chance at conceiving.

The silver lining to this reproductive sadfest is that if I do get two embryos, I'm more certain about transferring them both. Not certain certain, mind, just less uncertain.

The techincal details are that my trigger shot (I totally typo'd "shit" on that one) is scheduled for 9pm tonight. Its job is to ripen my eggs in readiness for a retrieval on Friday, then any embryos will be transfered in a simple five minute procedure on Monday. The retrieval involves drugs which, wahoo! My good friend Enn (which almost rhymes) will be driving me there at 7.30am, and taking me home again at 11.30. Daniel will be in childcare for the day so luckily for him, I won't be floating around and feeding him catfood. I'm supposed to have an adult with me for twelve hours though, so I lied and said "sure!". Bah, I'll be fine. I've had a lot worse done to me with no one there afterwards. A whole lot, and that's not the worst of it. It'll all be fine. Daniel is going to be collected by Enn again in the evening, and I reckon I'll be halfway to being back to normal by then anyway.

*****

As I'm a squirrel snack for acquiring information that, while it may be about me, actually means nothing to me, I just called the unit to get yesterday's blood results. Annette, who I've never met before, is also a warm and fuzzy nurse, and in being told yet more shitty news, I'm certain now that the teller of the new's deivery plays a large part in how I process it. My E2 is only 2068 whatevers, which is consistent with two follicles (ie those other four haven't miraculously grown up as much as I'd hoped), which was news delivered without a bunch of bad attitude and with still a whole bunch of hope, so I'm okay with that. I'm still in there, she said, and if it takes me chasing down random bits of information to keep on top of things, then they're okay with that too.

I feel strangely hopeful.

And a little bit foolish that someone else's mood can so greatly affect mone. Then again, yesterday's wonderful nurse did say that of course it does as this is a time of great vulnerablity. I'm not used to be vulnerable, so I have a hard time accepting that it's okay to be so, and that at times like this it's okay to point at someone else and say that I feel like shit and it's not all my fault.

Monday, March 10, 2008

gender ambiguity

video
deceptively quiet

Confusion generously supplied by the pretty, pretty face, the long hair, the Thomas the Tank Engine in his hand, the pink (in need of repair) stroller, the red sunglasses (BAYSUNS!) which would be kind of girly, if not for the totally macho trains on the ear-holder-on thingies, and the blue clothes. Daniel was enjoying the supermarket immensely (YAAAAYBANGMUMMYMUMMYMUMMYTHOMASGOOOOO!!!!!), and our fellow consumers were all scratching their heads and wondering "It's loud, it's cute, but what is it?".


video
the frozen brussel sprouts in his stroller? Are "fuffell futs".

Sunday, March 09, 2008

dear ovaries, wtf?

This morning's scan went down like a lead balloon.

We saw two follicles on the left ovary. That's it, which explains why I feel fine. My right ovary is a complete mystery to everyone but god (who hates me) because it was completely and totally obscured by bowel. Dr IHaveNoIdea said air, but I suspect it's a little less gas and a little more, uh, not gas, because mornings are usually my time *coughcough*. I get up and hey presto, my day is underway. This morning though? OF COURSE. Then, when the doctor was late, I was all "shit (HA) do I have time to go or not?!" because you can be sure that the minute I left the waiting room, the nurse (who, in proving that god really hates me, was that fucking bitch from January) would have been stamping her bitchy foot while tapping her wristwatch and tutting at my inability to get on the table and into the stirrups in a timely fashion. And then she'd would have shoved me back to the end of the queue.

Next time, I swear I'm just going to take a dump RIGHT THERE ON THE TABLE and they can live with the consequences.

ANYWAY

Two and a bit follicles. One measuring I don't remember, 14x16mm? The other measuring 11mmx13, I think, while the last one snuck into the generic range of "under 10mm", which I think is IVF equivilant of a grim face and bad news.

In keeping with the god/hate theme, while my right ovary was obscured by my bowel (sex-ay!), my left was hiding behind my uterus, an organ which, thank that vengeful god for small mercies, was a possible high point of the morning. It has nice lining which has got to be coming from somewhere which, while they provide shit all information, I understand to mean is reflective of rising estrodial levels. Levels which *finger in air, hope on face*, according to Dr Google, rise relative to the developing follicles. Dr Google also told me that a mature follicle measures in at 18mm, so I'm not there yet.

I'm finally intere3sting to the unit though, so there's another scan booked for Tuesday morning at 7.45am, which I think will be the perfect time for another good look at the contents of my bowels.

In the meantime, I've got to find some way to deal with feeling of utter hopelessness. So far I've been tackling it by ignoring my beautiful son, but usually I best work through unbearable feelings by collating information, even if I can do squat with what I've learned. It's the process that helps me, not the knowledge. If feel like if I knew those estrodial levels, I'd be better equipped to wade through this personal quagmire of bleah, but I don't want call the unit to get them because that nurse is the kind of person who'd reassure a recent amputee by telling them they were lucky because they still had one leg. I'd like to hear that my estrodial levels are promising. Or not promising. I'd just like to know because then I'd at least be able to do something with this despair. Right now I'm caught in that no man's land of "Can I feel like shit? Or is feeling like shit being indulgent because things are actually going really well?".

What I need right now is to be able to see the bigger picture, which is something I'm not so great at finding for myself. If someone points is out though, I'm always "LE DUH" because once shown, it's so fucking obvious, and then I'm okay.

Friday, March 07, 2008

things

This IVF thing is actually happening. There's a scan booked for 8.35 on Sunday morning whichis a seriously dumbass time. Why not book it for 8.32 and really bring out the anal retentive in me? I'm also feeling a little nervous about the lack of monitoring throughout the last three weeks because by the time they do check the state of my ovaries, they might have exploded or something else equally as a) lethal and b) unlikely. In the event I survive the next few days, an egg retrieval will be scheduled for sometime next week, with the embryos being transfered two or three days after that.

And I said "embryoS", which is freaking my shit out as much as it's making you shake your head in disbelief.

Thing is, my age is a factor, as is the fact that there's a marginally higher chance of conceiving with more than one embryo being transferred. The numbers given to me, accompanied with a dismissive handwave and the over-my-head glance to see if anyone more interesting was standing behind me, were that there is an increase in pregnancy rates of around 5% to 10% with a double embryo transfer. Or these pregnancies, around 25% will be with twins. Obviously, I'm still undecided as to what the best option is. In thinking about the family I want, the chance of a twins is something to be excited about, but because I'm also a practical mofo, the chance of twins is an odd I'd want to dodge, which, what? What I mean is, in an ideal world, I'd love twins because it means I'd get at least partway to the five kids I always wanted. Of course, in an ideal world I'd have had those children already and wouldn't be here writing about my dreams, I'd be outside playing with them. And in the unideal world I'm living in, the one where I'm not an idiot, I know that raising twins and a toddler alone would amount a crapinksi deal for the kids, never mind that it would probably send me nuts.

So yes. Dilemma.

Not surprisingly, the unit has been about as useful as wet kleenex in helping me sort through this particular dilemma, so I'm really on my own in deciding which way to go. The best advice I've received to date - and I use that term loosely - is a shrug and the statement that my doctor thinks it's okay to transfer two, which it might well be if he meant "It's okay to transfer two because if you have twins, I'll give you a million dollars to help raise them".

I'm not sure it's worth the 25% increase in the chance of twins. And then I'm not sure if the risk is worth it because what if that extra embryo is the difference between having one new baby or none at all?

Most of all, I totally can't believe I'm doing this, probably because I don't feel like I'm doing this. It's nothing like I expected as it's way too easy to be the same thing so many other women literally battle through. I'm not feeling superior or like some kind of super hero though. I feel like I'm doing something wrong, like maybe I'm not inhaling deeply enough when I snort my Synarel, or I'm not injecting the Gonal F properly, or maybe I am but my body simply isn't responding to any of it. I was like that when I was pregnant with Daniel too. Rather than be proud of how I both emotionally and phycially accept a challenge, I worried that something was wrong, that maybe the heartbeat we'd all seen was gas, and that maybe the bump was a physical manifestation of my crazy mad mind, and despite ending up as big as a house, I didn't really feel pregnant because I thought pregnancy was supposed to be a whole lot more difficult than mine was.

Yesterday I had the brilliant thought of filming myself shooting up the Gonal F because how freaky would it be to watch myself doing that? Daniel was playing in another room, so I sat the camera on the desk, primed the pen, and was adequately distracted by the camera (Footage! Of me!) to be blissfully unaware of him emerging from out of nowhere to leap at me, hand fully prepped and ready for the ultimately successful slam dunk. He hit the pen pretty damn hard and slammed it right past my fatty midsection overlay, so I yelled at him to back off and then pushed him away. He ran away crying and stood sobbing on the other side of the room as I collected my freaked out shit and actually went ahead with the whole injection thing without passing out from the sheer awesomeness of the OMG factor involved.

Parenting tip: if you EVER want to feel like shit about the suckage that is your parenting skills, scream at your kid on video then watch it a thousand times.

Parental survival tip: delete the fucking video because it's not like you need any more reasons to feel like a shit parent.

Gonal F survival tip: tie the kid to a chair and lock him outside before you even think about shooting up.

Being unreasonable like that with Daniel pains me now more than ever because my main concern about having another child is that the Us we now are will no longer be. I hate feeling like I'm not valuing every single moment with my son. Being the sole parent of a single child affords a unique and very special bond, and while I don't like that he has no one but me, if I'm also honest about it, I'll admitto treasuring the very same thing. I'm all he has and he's all I have, and I'm insecure enough to not want that balance challenged, and I project enough of my insecurities to worry about how Daniel will feel to have his balance challenged. Will he feel at least as loved, or with another child in the mix, will he feel he's lost at least half of me? So it's important to me that I do treasure this time, which is why I feel that much like shit when I don't treasure even a minute slice of the present.

I realise too - and am grateful - that our aloneness is only a short term thing. Life will invariably add people to love and be loved by, and time will invariably lessen Daniel's single minded reliance on me. I fear the changes I'm forcing upon him, yes, but I also realise that nothing I do will change the inevitable, because even if I could preserve the bond of being each other's only, I wouldn't.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

more news

Funnily enough - and contrary to all the nightmarish stories I've heard about the crazy making IVF drugs - I feel awesome. And not even the "awesome in spite of the SHIT being injected and inhaled into my delicate system every day, sometimes TWICE" kind of awesome. I feel most awesome. Awesomer than usual, even- and I usually don't feel that great, thank you not related to motherhood fatigue issues. Thanks to them, I always feel like I'd like to sleep for a week, thank you very much, and would you mind lifting my arm for me? I'd like to scratch my nose but..I...just...can't....mooooovvvve...

Point being, I feel great right now and I have done since Monday. Or maybe even since Sunday. I'm also calm and patient and have been able to tolerate entire days' worth of retrieving small scale Thomas The Tank engines from the arch of my foot with little more than a "here you are, darling. I found the Gordon you were looking for". I'm still having trouble dealing with the emotional fallout from NEVER being able to either see my floor or take two consecutive steps without tripping over something, but at least the righteous amount of shit lying around isn't making me break down and cry.

I'm also wildly horny (I whispered that because that little factoid really is more than anyone needs to know), which is a side effect that I wouldn't have expected. Or maybe I'm just a total horndog, ridiculous amounts of crazy making drugs be damned? So it could be nature's way of saying "Whoa there, missy, we've got a MOTHERLODE of eggs going on in here. I know! Let's fertilise them ALL!", or it could be plain that my ovaries are party people.

Speaking of, the enormous ovaries I read about seem to be settling in too, but if I was paid a million bucks to describe what it feels like, I'd have to pass. It just feels....weird.

This blatant awareness of mah bits and all their glorious functions is in stark contrast to the previous weeks' drug enforced total lack of reproductive urges. Seriously, it was like being on Yasmin all over again. I was on that a few years ago, before I worked out that the pill is evil and that yasmin's main contraceptive effect lies not in preventing ovulation, but in making you hate the idea of sex SO much that you're NEVER going to have it EVER because, ew, ick, bleah, etc.

That being said, The Lawyer's hotness apparently trumps any and all libido killing drugs. I saw him twice last week (if by "saw" I mean "saw naked") and because we sometimes literally not figuratively catch up for coffee, I was all "ohpleasejustcoffee", which turned out to be a thought process that valiantly withstood his searing heat for approximately two minutes.

Which, while it sounds superfluous data, is actually a testament to the fact that you can live a normal life while on an IVF cycle. It's not, as I feared it would, going to totally fuck with your regular sense of being human.

This particular reproductive unit seems to be pretty laissez faire when it comes to monitoring all this weirdassed shit going on in there, and while most of the literature I read on the internet outlines at least one baseline scan, with regular blood tests throughout the cycle, I've had one blood test as an absolute baseline before commencing Synarel, and a second as a baseline before starting the fun part of the cycle. This has felt like such a cluster fuck already though, that nothing about this place either surprises or disappoints me anymore, and I'm just going along for the ride as they prescribe it, and hopefully I'm not either a) growing ovaries the size of Italy and with the potential to populate a new nation in there, or b) spending vast amounts of money and having ovaries the size of ovaries that do pretty much exactly what an ovary is expected to do. ie NOT expandify beyond all belief before spitting out way too many eggs to be considered normal.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

week 3

where every day is a Gonal F day.

By the time I woefully wrote that last entry (because things the path to progression is always paved wiht fuckups. Or something)(am typing one handed, what with the back of the other hand being all plastered to my forehead), a Plan was already in place.

It being: if my period arrived between Friday and Saturday morning, call to arrange bloods for Sunday morning, or if my period didn't arrive by then (which, OF COURSE), call Sunday to arrange bloods that morning.

Which was essentially the same plan but with added instructions.

and because the internet is way too interested in my reproductive organs, or maybe because I'm way too eager to share, my period arrived sometime around 1am this morning, and I was awake for it because sleep! Is for the weak! So I called in at 7.40am, and was presenting my veins to the nurse by 9.

Bloods were done while Daniel was all concerned and before being moved, trying to stop the blood letting action, then he was pushed further out the way while I had my Gonal F lesson and then stabbed myself in the belly fat (sexy!).

In the midst of all this drama involving injectypenthings and me turning green because I just INJECTED myself FAHFUXAKE, he perked up, slapped a huge smile on his face, pointed at some random something in the air that didn't actually exist, and said "baby!".

Well, uh, yes. Correctamundo. But, dude, how did you know?

Ha ha.

The last two weeks have gone well (although after tapping out yesterday's "I'm FINE!" missal, I kind of lost my shit because the mess around here is unbelievable. It's not even that big of mess either, but my place is small enough that five minutes after returning home yesterday afternoon, I couldn't take two clear steps. Each step involved dodging something big enough or small enough to re-break my damn toe, which I appear to have done thank you to the same amount of crap exploding all over the floor again this morning, and thanks to my not dissimilar to PMSy state rendering me as clumsy as all fuck. Am I the only moron who drops, burns, kicks and stumbles on shit in the week prior to their period, and who literally walks into walls the day prior? Fuck, if you had a bomb taped to you during some kind of work crisis, while I might be able to talk you down from your metaphorical ledge, you wouldn't want me ANYWHERE near you because I'd forget you were there and trip on you, and then it would be all over, red rover, yessiree. ANYWAY) despite my hormones literally being all whacked out and as far from normal as possible, so if the distinct lack of John Does surfacing in the river is anything to go by, I reckon I can expect the next phase to go just as well. And having said that, stand back and watch for the inevitable histrionics about whatever the hell because I think I just jinxed myself.

So to summarise, the Synarel has left me without any kind of hormonal stimulus so that my ovaries are as lifeless as some metaphor that I can't even think of (am FINE!), and now the Gonal F, in lieu of the body's usual secretion of just enough FSH to produce a few follicles and ultimately a single egg, is going to take my ovaries from naught to a billion and make them produce numerous follicles of which around 75% should produce eggs.

In graphic terms and for the sake of the explanation, if your body produced 10 units of FSH, the Gonal F is essentially supplying 300x that amount.

Usual side effects are being able to feel your ovaries because they get huge oh my heck.

I don't know about the other side effects because that first one has squicked me into a temporary Google black ban.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

ticking along

I've googled the search terms "Synarel + 'late period'" and while I've not looked enough to see if it is a common side effect of the drug, I have found some bulletin boards full of women having a hell of a time on this shit. now, I don't know if they're a bunch of pussies or if I'm a badass, but here I am, traipsing through it all and practically tossing rose petals in my wake. It's been almost two weeks by now and I really do feel fine. If you sat down with me and went through a list of things though, I'm sure I do have side effects though. Skin crawling? Check. Feeling like I'm carrying a (jiggly) diver's weight belt around my middle and that my ass needs its own coordinates on a map? Check? Weight gain? Sure! And I'm a teesney bit erratic on the emotional front.

I'm not sure that's because the Synarel has given me the Irritable Hobag tendencies though, or whether it's merely giving me license to let loose the inner irritable ho' I already am. I mean, I certainly feel PMSy, but nothing that's unmanageable and nothing more than I'd normally feel, though there are probably many around me who would disagree.

Thing is too, I don't know if what I'm feeling are side effects or PMS anyway, because my period is late.

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

By almost a week, and I know when I ovulated so it's not like I miscalculated so I don't know what the fuck.

Seriously.




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