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July 2005

2IVF.8

We are back in DC (well, actually, we are in Where-The-Hell-Is-This, Virginia- a distant suburb) after two delightful days wallowing like pygmy hippopotami in the Swarthmore pool with dear friends. There were cards, there was wine, there were naked children staying up late eating popsicles- like I said, absolutely delightful. AND I met her on the Internet although she is now the realest friend I have. What with the pool and the wine and the rescuing me from my family and the popsicles.

Anyway, I got a call this afternoon giving me a transfer time for tomorrow but no PGD embryo update. Thus the message went something like: IF you have any normal embryos we will see you tomorrow at 10:30. Bring a full bladder. IF NOT, um, well, take care. It's been swell.

A few hours later the PGD guy called to say that they had been able to biopsy all 15 embryos and...

are you sitting down?

Do you want to know how many embryos are testing as normal (although, you know and we know it isn't exactly a fool-proof test, now is it)?

9.

NINE.

Upside-down 6.

99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAYYY!

I will sneak back from bed-rest and give you the low-down on how many make it until tomorrow but I wanted to tell you that things are terrific, just at this very minute. NINE! HA!

We are going out for Italian soon. It is possible I may never need to dine out again; I am positively longing for my kitchen. Hope you are well. How 'bout this cool front, eh? 9! Hot damn!

PS An excellent question: how did we end up with a polyspermic embryo if they did ICSI? Was the embryologist drunk at the dish? No. Although I am no expert, heavens no, my understanding is that I misspoke. Or mistyped. Whatever. What we had was an embryo that was 3pn (3 pronuclei- is that right? something like that.) This happens when two sperm enter one egg but it can also happen when the egg is corrupt and fails to throw out its polar bodies. As I remember it. Bearing in mind I got a 'D', as in 'D' for Dumbass, in AP Bio. So for fuck's sake do not copy from me on this one. But I think that is what happened. Correct me if you like. I still heart ShadGrovYE. 


2IVF.7

Sorry for the abrupt silence, my bloggy friends, but I am not really free to talk.

Writing blog entries from my father-in-law's computer is a bit like climbing Everest- it can be done but not without risk of exposure. Also, don't forget to tip the sherpas.

Fortunately you did not miss much. Shots and outings, shots and outings... pretty much the IVF vacation in a nutshell. I had egg retrieval yesterday and things got a bit lively when I woke up from the anesthesia, groggy but less suicidal than last time. Last egg retrieval I was in enormous pain but this time I was merely "uncomfortable." So that was good. Then the nurse toodled over and told me that they had only gotten 17 eggs and I was all bummed. I know I should not build assumptions upon previous events but I did, therefore I was disappointed. In January, you see, they saw 21 follicles and retrieved 23 eggs. This time they saw 21 follicles and only got a lousy 17. Like I said, I was disappointed. Then Steve told me that the embryologist had told him that they would do ICSI. And I said, "What? Why?" And he said, "Because we are listed as having male infertility." So I sat up suddenly and the room spun around and I lunged at all six of him and shouted "And did you tell them that this so-called male infertility was a balanced translocation?" And he said, "No." Steve accuses me, frequently, of being a wee bit controlling but really, I ask you, if a girl cannot be unconscious for ten goddamned minutes without people failing to fully read charts and other people failing to rectify that failure then clearly it is good that someone more detail-oriented is usually directing things, am I right?

ICSI, my sweet normals, is when they eenie-meenie-minie-moe and catch a sperm by his toe and then drill a hole in the egg and cram the sperm in there and glue it shut. Or something. It has nothing to do with genetic issues and costs another $1500 and my RE specifically said it was not indicated for us.

So I rang for the RE who was there that day and she said any number of increasingly silly things and I felt all woogy and finally just decided oh to hell with it, go ahead and ICSI the damn things.

I have been really nervous all morning because last time 23 eggs became 15 embryos became two at transfer. I was afraid that 17 eggs would be fewer initial embryos etc. BUT, huzzah, the nurse just called and all 17 eggs fertilized. One was polyspermic (more than one sperm fertilized a single egg. the scientific term for this is "all kinds of fucked up" and last time we had a whopping 6 poly'd mutants) and another one keeled over right away, still leaving a very respectable 15 embryos, all doing very well so far.

I am very pleased. I am also, apparently, incredibly incoherent but every time I hear a car drive by I leap in the air like a gaffed salmon, expecting it to be Steve's dad. So I just wanted to give you an update and get the hell out of here.

Mission accomplished.

We move to a new location tomorrow and I will write again. Possibly something interesting. No promises. Hope you are all well.


2IVF.6

Ka-BLAM!

Lining up to 8.7 this morning- behold the powers of mighty estrogen. Apparently I worried myself for nothing, go figure. At my baseline it was 4.3, nine days of stims and it was 6.whatever and then overnight up it goes. I guess it happens. 19ish follicles with the big ones between 15 and 19mm. The nurse thought I might trigger tonight but I bet they hold me another day. Retrieval Saturday or Sunday in any event, tra-la-la.

Steve comes tonight, hooray, and Patrick and I move out of my mother's apartment, hiss. It has been very pleasant here and the boy and my mom have a love affair going to rival the ages. As she left for work this morning Patrick tried to get her to stay, reasonably pointing out that she has a computer here, too. When he was convinced that telecommuting was not an option he announced that he would go to work with her: "Mommy get me dressed! Hurry!" I hardly know how to tell him we are leaving to go to Steve's parents tonight. He'll be crushed.

I finished the Half-Blood Prince and ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I wish I could talk about it here. But I cannot. Nothing worse than having someone ruin a book or a movie or a reality tv show for you (me, I have never watched a reality show for some reason but I add this note for next season anyway: a few months back the people of Australia [I am certain she spoke for everyone] asked that I remind the blogging community that they do not get episodes of various and sundry programs as quickly as we do in the States. So everyone who wrote about the winners of, um, is there a show about travel or something? with prizes? ruined the finale for the southern hemisphere. I personally feel their pain as I went to check on a fellow blogger's pregnancy last year and was greeted with a Sopranos ruiner of biblical proportions. We at the Hippo prefer to watch things when they come out on DVD, so I have had plenty of time to reflect bitterly on the lack of warning. But I digress.) Anyway, Harry Potter... !!!!!!!!!!!!!! and !

Now on to either the Provincial Lady or Jonathan Strange, provided Steve remembers to pack them. We divided the luggage and I seem to have hauled all the useless stuff.

Gotta go, I am off to the Cathedral for a contemplative excursion with Finky. I wonder if he will use his library manners and streak through the church yelling, "People are praying! Be QUIET Patrick! People are PRAYING!"

And also with you.


2IVF.5

Rats. I feel so foolish. I completely neglected to worry about the possibility of a line of thunderstorms from Canada to St. Louis that could re-route our flight to DC. Which could cause them to delay departure by half an hour in order to take on more fuel. Which in turn might provide enough time for the storms to shift eastward, closing National airport (fairly early on in the process we turned onto the runaway and I said to Patrick, "Here we go! We are going to take off now! Wheeeee!" and Patrick looked at me skeptically and replied, "We are going re-aa-ll-y slowly." He was right, of course, we just taxied [fine. YOU spell it] on the runaway and then turned into a holding area for another hour.)

Total time spent on the airplane: four hours and change. I was expecting two hours and optimistically fed Patrick his dinner and read all of the books before we ever left the ground. Fortunately Patrick was as delightful as he could possibly have been and he was content to spend the flight making up stories with me about the incredible adventures of the numbers zero through one hundred ("And then what did the 59 do?"- if I had been the guy sitting next to us I would have hung (oh hanged, damn it) myself by my tie.)

But all good things eventually end in a parking lot and thus, in time, we did make it to my mom's apartment and now, voila, here we are. Baking like ziti, may I add. I forgot that DC is 600 feet below sea level and only 40 feet above Hell (hot and humid, my word.) I took Patrick to the zoo yesterday morning and on the return trek (uphill) he categorically refused to walk for the first time in his life. He didn't make a fuss about it, he just sat down, Ghandi-esque, on the floor of the elephant house and refused to move. Carrying 35 pounds of wet boy in 95 degrees uphill after seven days on gonadotropins is no joke, in case you were wondering. I thought about stealing a zebra and riding it home but then what? My mother's place is so small...

My lining is worrisome again. The SGro measured it even thinner than Minnesota two days ago. We'll see what the doctor says about it, if anything. There are roughly 19 follicles, though, most between 12 and 15mm, so that's good. Of course, if my womb is a barren rocky place where the seedlings can find no purchase, it sort of doesn't matter, does it? Ah well, hakuna matata. Speaking of which, the child is tiring of his Nana's video library so I should go take him to the playground before he trashes the place.

More later.

[Ed. 6.5. The lining was 6.5. or maybe 6.6. possibly 6.8 or 6.3. Something like that.]


2IVF.4

OK. I am feeling MUCH better. Granted I woke up at 5:30 and lay there for an hour and a half dreading the 7am alarm (how healthy is that) but at least I got to enjoy the golden exhalations of the dawn. Morning is quite pretty, actually. Who knew? As I drove to the clinic in its gentle light I was genuinely moved by corn fields wreathed in mist and a hawk on a hay bale enjoying her breakfast rabbit. Of course it was just too fucking early for civilized people to be anything other than face down in a puddle of wine-drool but... yes, quite lovely. I can see why Steve likes it.

My lining is thickening nicely (much to my relief) and the follicles are doing whatever it is follicles do best. So things are progressing. I decided that Shamhat is right (per her recent comment) and the local clinic has patients write down their own follicle measurements as a way of enabling them to become more active participants in their care. I am not basing this assessment upon any personal surge of empowerment and ownership from this morning's clipboard work (I get that jabbing needles into my skin) but I finally read their Policy Statement in the lobby and recognized the mark of a marketing consultant. And marketing consultants are all about empowering the end-user. Although a cost consultant might also have pointed out that one fewer employee needed per ultrasound quickly brings down labor costs.  But there! I am being cynical again! How unattractive. How nineties.

Apparently I was so productive last night I am actually killing time this morning. Patrick has asked to go on the airplane right now about a million times and I have finally just turned over the kitchen sink to him. Remind me of this fact when we have to replace the cabinetry because it has absorbed more water than the Titanic, but for the moment the soft sounds of Patrick pouring water all over place are quite soothing.

So, a few random answers to a few random questions:

1. Yes, I get my groceries delivered. We worked out that it costs us approximately $3.50 just to drive to the grocery store, thus the incremental cost of delivery is $1.50. Since I would willing pay $500 million thousand trillion (per annum) to avoid shopping with Patrick I think it is a bargain. I have learned to live with a reduced selection.

2. Yes, Custom of the Country is my favorite Edith Wharton novel, far and away. I find it the least sentimental of her works and I am unabashedly in love with Undine. Yeah, ok, she's a horrible person but MAN is she tenacious. Personally, I like tenacity (see 2IVF.infinity.)

3. I WILL post basement pictures as soon as Steve moves the carpentry clutterBath_1 away, but we wound up painting the main room a nice olive green (Benjamin Moore Olive Green, I think,) the guest bedroom is something something Cream (you were so right. creams look yellow without being YELLOW,) and the bathroom is a fabulous fabulous pumpkin color. I sort of wish we had gone with pumpkin all over but oh well, the green is nice and forgiving. Aw hell, clutter be damned: didn't Steve do a gorgeous job in the bathroom?


2IVF.3 (Sort Of)

Blargh.

Patrick and I fly tomorrow and I have a zillion little things still to do and I feel completely unable to focus long enough to write anything here. So forgive me.

Travel always makes me anxious, generally about weird little details like, "What will I do if all of the Smartcartes are gone at National and I have to try to carry the big bag, the backpack, the little bag, my purse, the car seat and negotiate the stroller, all with my two little hands?" or "What if the flight attendant tries to make me check the backpack that has all of the books and snacks and crayons and stickers and juice in it? What if she is mean about it and I cry?" I have never flown alone with Patrick before (Steve and I are devoted to one another and cannot bear to spend an afternoon apart, apparently) and as this unprecedented event looms closer I am coming to admire my husband's best qualities more and more: he carries all the heavy stuff and he enables us to bring the much-needed third carry-on bag. Impending separation brings emotional clarity, you know?    

The ultrasound on Friday was ok, I guess. When the DC nurse called to give me my blood test results (e2 134, or maybe it was 143) she also let me know that I have 17 follicles. Which is kinda funny because when *I* wrote it down I had 19. Evidently vaginal steno work has its perks. The ultrasound person dismally noted that my lining was "thin" and I have been troubled about it ever since (4.3? After 3 days of stims? Does that sound awful? And now that I think about it I have had some post marital congress spotting. Should I tell the RE? I suppose so. 

I need to do... stuff, so much stuff... but I will post again from Capital City. Packy and I are staying in my mother's charming shoebox of an apartment until Steve arrives on Thursday (at which point we return to my in-laws) and last I checked there was nothing to do there but write blog entries. Oh, and go to the zoo of course.

PS Oh yeah! Books! Just so you know I have already read and enjoyed a good chunk of the books you guys suggested (Laurie Colwin, Dickens, Barbara Pym, John Mortimer, Thackery, Booth Tarkington, AS Byatt, Dorothy Dunnett [yes yes YES!], Chabon, Cather, John Irving, all of the Wharton [I collect her], Tey, Ngaio Marsh, pretty much everything still in print written in English during the 19th century [well... SOME of most of it], etc. So I read those suggestions and thought, "Oooooh, yes, good one, how delightful." In fact, the only author that I really love but forgot and you did not mention was Sarah Caudwell. She wrote four mysteries, very very funny and wicked clever. You should try them. Next up on my reading list, since you asked: the new Harry Potter, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the four Provincial Lady books (HOW have I seen 33 summers and never heard of these books?) and a few by Nancy Mitford. I thank you.

PPS I know this is lame but sometimes I am just a big lame. And I am BUSY. I am FLYING tomorrow. With STUFF. Gah.


2IVF.2

Oh WOW. So much book-y goodness. Fabulous fabulous fabulous.

I got six books from your list and am hopping from foot to foot- I can't hardly wait (write you a letter tomorrow; tonight I can't hold a pen.) I had already ordered the new Harry Potter about a billion (or as Patrick likes to say, "A thousand billion. That's A LOT") years ago but I had utterly forgotten the owls are delivering Saturday until you nice folks reminded me (how did I forget THE publishing event of the year? I have no idea.) Anyway, it did not really affect my literary dilemme because I highly doubt the Half-Blood Prince will last until we travel. I mean, we do not fly until Monday. What are the odds? I am a speedy reader and, good heavens, the last I heard the magical world was going to war. Sure to be a barn-burner. Whatever that means.

So, thank you for all the suggestions and I hope you guys picked up some good ones too. Now that I have my reading choices clearly delineated I have nothing to do but enjoy this IVF to its fullest. Savor each moment. Suck the experience to its very marrow. Etc.

On Monday I went for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. I guess every clinic has their own little way of doing things. Different magazines, different tasteful prints... totally new manner of using the patient like an employee. Observe: at the old local clinic the tech does the monitoring ultrasounds and a nurse writes down the measurements. At La Grove, an RE mans (or womans) the machine and a medical assistant takes the notes. At my new local clinic the ultrasound person does the wand work and the patient writes down the follicle measurements herself. See, I started to giggle right there.

The wand monkey (did you know I coined the term "wand monkey"? it is true. over at chez miscarriage. in her comments. I wish I had thought to take a copyright, for now I would be rich... rich like a flan!) explained this policy to me while I sat half-dressed on the edge of the table and when she said, "So scoot your bottom down to the very end and grab this clipboard" I almost fell on the floor I laughed so hard. I mean, please. These are the people who charged me a superfluous $350 just to do the monitoring. $350 to receive a fax and send a fax (over and above the $400 per visit to do one (1) ultrasound and one (1) blood test.) And now they wanted me to act as my own vaginal stenographer. Have you seen my handwriting? It's terrible, I assure you, and writing flat on my back, skewered like a kabob in the dark, does nothing to improve it. Oh how I chortled. 

But I did it, of course. Because I am a sheep and I follow orders.

So, as you can tell from my notes: 94tgytegrd *%fuietr sihryt21++ (translation = ovaries quiet; lining thin; estrogen <20.)

I started stims on Tuesday and go for my Big Follow-up Ultrasound tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 7:40am. I am a little nervous about it. Partly because I am an erratic driver when I am sound asleep but mostly because I want to see lots and lots of little follicles. Otherwise this is all just an enormous waste of time. And money. And needles.

Speaking of injections, Steve and I have been a veritable comic tour de force thus far. Tuesday night we could not remember how we had mixed the gonal f and repronex to just get one shot and consequently wound up administering the two drugs in a total of not one, not two but THREE shots. Thank you very much. Then yesterday we used a big IM needle in my stomach instead of a dainty subcutaneous one. Also, for some reason, the Lupron came with the dullest needles ever made, such that Steve has had to actually lean on them to get them to puncture the skin. "Are these safety needles?" he inquired.

I cannot wait for tonight's shot. Perhaps it will wind up in my eye.

Back tomorrow for more simmering updates. Hope you are well. Thanks again for all the book suggestions (Steve asks: What do you mean you love the internet and all who dwell within the internet? What an odd thing to say. I stay silent but really, what's not to love about you? I just want to squoosh your cheeks, yes I do, you know I do.)         


Book Fair II

I am so glad that you collectively know everything because you are magnificent at solving all of my domestic woes, big and little. I would say thank you but I am too busy sobbing gratefully at your feet. The neurotic cat (excuse me, I should say the male neurotic cat- we have two. two crazy ones. four in total) has stopped using the basement like a subway station at 3am* AND I was able to completely eradicate all traces of his naughtiness** AND Patrick's scab is finally going away*** AND the basement, tastefully painted in an array of colors recommended exclusively by you****, is finally ready for furniture. I am beside myself with gratitude for all your excellent advice.

I am also a wee stressed about the upcoming trip to DC. Although I could write all of my travel/IVF related fears in small print on a piece of cash register tape and unroll it as far as the sun, the anxiety du jour seems to revolve around reading material. No, really. I woke up in the middle of the night and worried about what I should bring to read. Last IVF (and I am only confessing this to you so please don't tell anybody because I must protect my reputation, much deserved, as an intellectual,) last IVF I kept myself amused and stress-free by reading about 50 Regency romances. Now I am at a loss. If I re-read an old favorite I am afraid it will fail to distract me. If I try something new it might wind up being about serial killers and that would distress me.

So I thought maybe you could tell me about your absolute favorite books of all time and I could see if anything sounds good (your favorite books may very well be about sociopaths and that is totally fine and absolutely normal but if your taste does run toward the Powerful rather than the Frothy you might add a little note like: "I adore this book but you should know that the main character winds up dead from a botched embryo transfer"- that sort of thing.) I loved it when we all shared our favorite books from childhood, so same thing minus the juvenile slant (or not, I suppose.)

Mine (these are the books that always make me feel happy and I read and re-read and buy them again when they start to lose their covers) are:

Everything by PG Wodehouse but most specifically the school stories: The Pothunters, The White Feather, Tales of St. Austin's and The Prefect's Uncle.

Pride and Prejudice

The short stories of Kate Chopin. Pretty much everything except "The Awakening". That story bugged me.

Middlemarch by George Eliot.

The collected works of Dorothy Parker.

The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.       

The Mapp and Lucia series by EF Benson. This is from the 1930s and is such a delightful read. There are six books and I think I have read them all at least a dozen times.

Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. I love this book. Also The House of Mirth.

Everything Dorothy Sayers wrote.

"Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Most of the books Agatha Christie wrote in the 1920s and 1930s. Some from the 40s.

The short stories of John Cheever.

Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter.

Everything by Anthony Trollope, especially the Palliser novels.

OK. Now you tell me. Favorite book or books, please.

-----------------------------

* We already had six litter boxes in the basement (and one upstairs in the closet for the cat who lives in there) but we moved one closer to where Kelvin has been... expressing himself. We also put a food bowl there. Then we covered most of the area of horror with aluminum foil and plugged in a Feliaway for good measure. Finally we have been smothering the little fink in love and attention. It all seems to be working so far.

**Anti Icky Poo is the BOMB! If you have "pet odors" or "decomposing corpse smell" you owe it to yourself, your neighbors and the investigating officer to pick some up today! And by "pick some up" I mean "order online" as I was unable to find any local place that actually carries the stuff.

***You would have thought that I would have been clever enough to trim Patrick's nails extra-short, but no. I tried that and have been using Cortisone and Neosporin anti-pain and it is actually working. I liked the hemorrhoid (a word I do not know how to spell, nor do I wish to know) cream idea, too, but opted for what was in the closet first. Ditto that Bag Balm. Will pick up for later use, though.

****Basement photos pending. Also this week I am going to put up photos of our soon-to-be empty living room and ask for your help in decorating it. Simple stuff like: where should the chairs go and should we buy a grand piano if I PROMISE I will learn to play it and practice every day and... well, you'll see. I am baffled.


Unrelated To Anything

A young man interviewed recently for an entry-level position with a company I know. During the course of his day he met with several people, all of whom asked him some variation of this standard interview question: Please share with us a success you have had when dealing with a challenging situation in a previous job.

Everyone received the same reply, proud told.

"Well, for a couple of summers I worked at the concession stand of a movie theater. One night it was really busy and there were a lot of people waiting but the guy in front just couldn't make up his mind. He asked me a ton of really stupid questions and you could tell that everyone behind him in line was getting pissed. Finally the guy says he wants some popcorn with butter. So I get it for him as fast as I can and I hand it over. Then he says he DOESN'T want butter in it, like he wants me to make it all over again or something. Well, as you can imagine, I fucking, excuse me, I totally lost it and reached over the counter for him. I grabbed him by his shirt and said, 'This is the way you ordered it and this is the way you are going to eat it!' And sure enough he left with the popcorn and I was able to help the next person in line."

Shockingly, this candidate was not offered the customer service position for which he was applying. This struck me as a trifle exacting of the hiring company, don't you think? Sure, the man he assaulted was probably a little unhappy but think about all the people who had been waiting behind him. They must have been thrilled to finally get some Junior Mints. You can't please all of the people all of the time...   

More later, 'vators.


2IVF.1

I'll bet you've been wondering when I was going to get around to justifying those exorbitant fees I pay to the Infertility Blogging Cartel, haven't you? I have been so quiet on the subject of my pelvis you had probably forgotten it was even there. Am I right? Eh?

And yet no. Actually I was so tense about this very issue that I could not unlock my knees to sit down during the entire month of June. I walked around poking below my belly button and then anxiously counting days on my fingers. I started to write about it but every time I began to express my anxiety over the Uncontrollable my toenails would start bleeding. Timing, my chipmunks, I was being held hostage by an excruciatingly narrow wedge of open time.

You see, if I had failed to start my period by Zero Hour it would have ruined everything, pushing the IVF cycle off until JANUARY. January, you ask? Isn't that a little extreme? Well the good folks of the Grove had been nice enough to let me have a slot that opened up due to some woman canceling. That slot had me scheduled to start stims on July 12 (I'll get back to this concept because if I had understood it last time it would have saved a tremendous fuss over travel dates and it might help you, should you be planning a romantic out-of-town IVF-away anytime in the near future.) After that they did not have space until the very end of August and Steve (at the time, he later recanted and flung himself at my knees, tearfully declaring that having another child was of course the most important thing ever and he was with me 190%, baby) was being an unholy dick about it all and had refused to travel for IVF during the months of September, October and November. Because he has things to do. Soooooo, I needed the July 12th stim date to work. But before I could start stims I had to be on Lupron and before I could start Lupron I had to be on birth control pills and although there was some flexibility over how long I took the pill it was essential that I take them for at least 14 days. Pant pant. So the days ticked by and we got closer and closer and closer... which is when I discovered that I was briefly and shockingly a little pregnant (fine. sue me, Julie.)

I KNOW! As my cycle got longer I finally took a pregnancy test just to rule out the possibility and there was the absolute faintest line ever and then the next day there was the second faintest line ever only infinitesimally darker. I would have mentioned it to you but it was incredibly obvious it wasn't going anywhere (people can talk about the inability of home pregnancy tests to provide qualitative data, but to them I say, oh please.) I would have thought maybe we had lingering post D&C hcg again but I had a beta done weeks ago and it was less than 5 then. Anyway, a quickie chemical pregnancy (of the variety I consider to be a fuck-with-you pregnancy, nothing to get excited about but perfect for ruining other plans) postponed my period just long enough that I was breathing exclusively into a brown paper bag. It finally arrived on the very last possible day. Ta DA. You'll have to take my word for it- it was all very dramatic. You will also have to take my word for the fact that I have no idea how I could even have conceived at all. We were taking very deliberate steps to avoid such a contingency so... I don't know... maybe it was just four funky days of vaguely positive pregnancy tests wholly unrelated to a pregnancy. Or something.

Sorry. I got a bit rambly there. The point is that I was able to start the pill in time and I am now on day four of Lupron shots. So, knock wood, I will start stims on Tuesday and then we shall see what happens. Oh! Right! What I did not understand last time is that there is an anticipated time line with IVF that is not nearly as variable as I thought. Sure I have to wait for a new cycle, but the start date of the pill was set to mesh up to the predetermined date to start the Gonal F and Repronex. Since SG asks that the patient be in DC by stim day 8 it does not actually matter when my period shows up exactly. I needed to travel by July 18th regardless.

Also, I don't know if this is useful, but last time I was told to order 5 multi-doses of Gonal F and 10 vials of Repronex. So I did. And I used 3 of the one and 8 of the other. Which represented about $600 in ultimately unnecessary medication (oh and to the total stranger who emailed me when I was miscarrying in March and asked if I would give her my leftover meds because my IVF "didn't work" I forgot to write back to tell her to go fuck herself, the insensitive moron.) Where was I? Oh right. So this time they told me to order 5 and 10 again but I opted to only order what I actually used last time. And rather than order from the Gibraltar based ivfmedsdotcom which needs at least three days to ship (and actually took nine days last time even though I paid the extra $80 or whatever for express three day delivery- to their credit one of those nine days was Christmas and the drugs had to clear customs here and in the UK) I decided to go with the only slightly more expensive FreedomDrug who can guarantee overnight delivery. Should it be necessary. 

So there you go. The sum total of my vast one-shot experience at your disposal.

All in all, I am ambivalent about this IVF cycle. Everything that could have gone wrong the last time can still go wrong this time (canceled before stims, failure to respond to stims, not enough eggs retrieved, poor fertilization, suicidal embryos, no genetically normal embryos, normal embryos that fail to implant) so I am not even close to anticipating great happy things. On the other hand, I have no particular reason to feel all shrill and heave-y either. So, we'll see. I'm glad we are doing it. I hope it works.

Mostly I am just looking forward to doing something different for two weeks. Is that weird?