Friday, September 28, 2012

Pinterest Challenge Results!

I'm back with a quick post for Dog Mom's Pinterest Challenge before I leave for a nice long vacation TOMORROW MORNING!

My inspiration (as seen in this post) involved laser printing a picture onto regular paper and then transferring it onto canvas.

So I printed out a picture from the Bourbon Trail we took last year - Maker's Mark was our favorite distillery and I love this picture I took with my digital camera:

So I converted it to black and white and did a little cropping and went to work. This was after letting the picture and gel stuff sit over night:

The super annoying part of the deal was scraping off all the paper without taking up too much of the picture.

The final product:

I just rotated, saved, resaved, and renamed this picture and it would. not. upload. the right way.

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty well, considering this was attempt #1. I am not thrilled wilth how much of the picture rubbed off (that line through the middle bugs me), but I definitely want to try this again!  Thanks to Dog Mom for the inspiration to get my butt moving on this project!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another Niece or Nephew

I knew it was a matter of time, but we got the call today. My sister in law is pregnant with #2.

Her husband called Champ at work today and just blurted it out. I appreciate that. It wasn't a big announcement, it was over the phone, and I didn't have to hear it with my own ears to try and fumble out and appropriate response. You know, one that didn't involve me bursting into tears or making a comment like "must be real effin' nice."

When I got home, Champ was waiting for me with an uneasy look on his face. "I got some news today... got a call from Andy...."

I said it before he could get it out. "She's pregnant." What else could it be?

After confirming that yes, she's 8 1/2 weeks pregnant, Champ kept searching my eyes - waiting for me to lose it. But I didn't lose it, proof positive that therapy works. This news three months ago would have shattered me. But I am getting stronger. I'm learning that another woman's pregnancy doesn't take anything away from me.

Am I jealous? Um, yeah. Am I happy for them? I'm trying. I love my niece to pieces and I know I'll love this new baby as well. And they're wonderful parents. Good people. I'm sure they agonized over how and when to tell us the news (we are the first people they've told).

But man. There is something about hearing a pregnancy announcement, especially from someone close to me, that leaves me feeling pretty freaken sorry for myself. It's a "Why not me?" "What did she do to deserve two babies??" and "fuck everything and everyone!" reaction. How nice it must be to decide to try for a baby and then actually get pregnant.

It's actually good timing at least. Leaving for Mexico in two days is definitely easing the pain a little bit!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Dream About a Boy

I had the most vivid, lovely tear-inducing dream last night. It was one of those dreams that doesn't have a plot line or crazy twists and turns. It wasn't even very long or involved. But it is sticking with me today. I can't stop thinking about it.

Champ and I were at the beach on vacation. We were playing with a little boy - presumably our son - in the sand. He was probably two years old, but I could only see the back of his head, as he was facing Champ. It started to rain, so we picked up our stuff and started heading inside, the boy toddling in front of us, leading the way. Champ and I held hands until the boy, unsteady on the sand, lost his footing. He didn't fall, but Champ scooped him up and carried him the last few steps to the concrete. It was so natural, such an easy, normal situation. I felt blissfully happy.

As the alarm clock went off at 6:30 this morning, I realized right away it was a dream. I hit snooze and tried to bury myself back in it, to recreate that feeling of contentment. Instead I just felt sad. Not only is that little guy from my dream very much not my son, but he's also very much an improbability. I may never meet him. And the overwhelming feeling of regret and sorrow that takes over when I think about it is almost worth not having dreams like that. Almost.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Manly Monday #3

Time for another Manly Monday, a la Stupid Stork!

Let me preface this post with the fact that I love almost everything about my husband. Almost.

But of course, there are a few irritating quirks that I am forced to put up with. Like, for example, the external temperature of his toes (below freezing, probably?) and his unnerving habit of wiggling them all over my body all the time. Wear socks for once in your life, Champ, how bout it? Or his tendency to brace himself like he's going to die every time I'm driving us around. Or his grumpiness every morning before 10 am (luckily I leave before him during the week).

These quirks are just that: quirks. By and large, we live a very peaceful existence together. The nag or nitpick is a rare occasion. We don't really fight. I don't even remember the last time we yelled at each other in a serious way (aside from "STOP POKING ME!" or something like that). But there is one thing in our lives that causes more tension between us than anything else.

Not sex. Not money. Not even infertility.

It's this adorable face right here:

When I look at this face, I see a sweet, cuddly furball of love, while Champ sees a living, breathing bundle of poopy annoyance. Champ really hates our cat. I thought for a while he was just putting up a stink about sharing our home with an animal. I just knew that he would come to love this little guy. Who wouldn't? Henry is practically a dog in a cat's body. He follows me around, he comes when I calls, he's playful and purry and perfect. And seriously! That face! I mean, come on!

But Champ has not been won over. He's just not an animal person. He's especially not a cat person. Especially our cat. So we've been known to get into an argument or two about how the cat should be treated.

For example:
Champ: The cat's not allowed on the furniture or the bed or the kitchen counters.
Me: I'm with you on the kitchen counters, but these new couches we got don't collect fur at all! And he's so snuggly in bed.

For example:
Champ: The cat's being annoying. I'm going to lock him the garage all night even though it's barely above freezing and he sleeps in the basement anyway.

So yeah. It's a point of contention. Next week (er, the week after... next week I'll be on the beach) I'll have to tell ya'll something else good about Champ. I'm not making him out to be the best husband on the planet (as he is, truly! I love this guy more than anything!) with my stories of his cat hating and weird toes and drunken debauchery. Oops. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Three Promises

Here's a promise:

If I ever am fortunate and blessed enough to get pregnant, I will never complain about said pregnancy to someone I know to be infertile. 

And another one:

If that pregnancy should lead to my being a mother to an actual baby, I will never bitch to someone I know to be infertile about how I want my life and body back and how when I get home from work I just want said baby to go to bed so I can relax.

One more: 

I will remain capable of holding a conversation on topics other than pregnancy and motherhood. 

I can guess that pregnancy and motherhood are difficult and there would probably be times when I might feel like venting (though I have no experience with pregnancy nor motherhood). But having been infertile, I know that these types of complaints are painful to hear when you would do anything to be in that position. 

What I can't figure out is how my friend who tried to conceive for two years and went through several failed IUIs and a failed IVF before finally getting pregnant and having her adorable 13 month old girl has forgotten that. She's been where I am. She knows it's impossibly hard to hear... so I just. don't. get it. 

So what is it? Does being a mother completely erase one's ability to think about another person's perspective? 

I know that's not true for everyone because I have met many mothers in the blog world who remain sensitive to those of us still in the trenches. I hope if/when my fertility situation is ever resolved that I never forget what it took to get there. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


Welcome ICLW peeps! You can read about my story in brief on the right sidebar or the whole shebang in my timeline. I just had my first IUI (natural cycle) a couple weeks ago that resulted in a big fat negative this week.

I need to talk about my boobs for a minute. I figure the two-a-day 200 mg of progesterone I took for two weeks has something to do with their current state of enormity, but when can I expect the ladies to deflate to a normal, more manageable size? Not to say I'm not enjoying the extra attention from Champ, but seriously, my boobs are the largest they have ever been, including junior year in college when I put on 25 pounds of alcohol and fried food. That weight is long gone, but the boobs... they're out of control. They're also sore.

I took my last progesterone pill on Monday night. It's Friday now. How long does it stay in the system with a natural cycle? Also, what about a period? I knew the progesterone would prevent a period for a while, but ovulation happened 17 days ago and I'd really like to eke out a period before my trip to Mexico next week!

Speaking of my trip, I think Champ is starting to feel very bummed that he was not able to go (he doesn't have the vacation time and I have it oozing out of my ears). I'm sure it doesn't help that I will be gone during our three-year anniversary. Before you get all righteous on me, know that Champ assured me a hundred times that he didn't mind and it's just a day and we can celebrate on another day. He practically forced me to make the reservation after I had declared that I wouldn't go unless we found a new week (there really were no other weeks... I'm going with two girlfriends and one works in high-stress Finance in DC and the other works at a hospital. Weeks off are hard to come by). So I made the reservation.

I want to do something for him while I'm gone. I was thinking about leaving him a couple bottles of nice whiskey or having something delivered to his work one day. Any ideas?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A fun surprise

Just the pick-me-up I needed today:

Came back from teaching my class, and my office looked like this! Turns out, my students have been planning this surprise for a few weeks. They got half the student center to help blow up balloons, just because. It's hard not to smile when you're surrounded by this much color!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Handling the BFN (and Manly Monday #2)

Firs of all, thanks for all the support over my first failed IUI. I have been teetering on a very thin line between "handling it in a positive way" and "about to slip into an abyss of depression."

Another test this morning confirmed no pregnancy. Which shouldn't have been a punch in the face because I knew it would be negative. I got a negative two days ago. But it still felt like a punch in the face.

Then I got a call today at work from the NIH Study in Baltimore. This study - all about Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (as they politically correctly call it... failure is such a downer), would have me stay for three nights at a hospital in Baltimore, where I would get a bone density scan, karyotyping, alllll kinds of blood work, etc. FOR FREE to try to figure out a) why I have this condition and b) the factors that impact the chances of women with the condition getting pregnant.

I would just have to pay for the flight to Baltimore. I have been so excited about this study ever since I heard about it in the Spring. It would be a way to get some answers. And a plan. And I already pre-qualified and was just waiting until September because they were undergoing some "protocol changes."

I learned on the phone today that "protocol changes" means they've done away with the whole effing study. It's turned into a series of phone consults in which they tell me about the condition and how to live with it and manage it in a healthy way. No tests. No Baltimore. No doctors. No answers.

It was just the second punch in the face I needed today to totally lose my shit. At work. In the middle of the day. I managed to grab my gym bag and mumble "going for a workout" to my student worker before high-tailing it out of the office to have a good cry.

The cry helped. The workout helped too. You guys helped. Having a trip to Mexico on the horizon (um, next Saturday! How did that happen?!?) also helped. Having a couple of beers tonight will probably help. I'll be okay.

I also need to update a smidge late on Stupid Stork's Manly Monday. Here's some more info on my beloved Champ.

  • When he gets drunk, he grows equally large amounts of disorientation and confidence. This leads to some rather hilarious situations, such as him providing wildly incorrect driving directions (that you have no choice but to follow because he sounds so daggone confident!) and explaining complex directions that make no sense. There was one time that he had each member of my family simultaneously calling the cell phone of a different family member (all at the same time, in the same room). No rhyme or reason to that. He cannot recall the purpose of this experiment. 

Champ is pretty tall (6'1") and pretty skinny (155 lbs) and he has the longest, weirdest toes ever. He has long limbs all around, but his second toe is as long or longer than my pinky finger. Look at your pinky finger now. My husband's toe is probably longer than it. I submit the following picture into evidence. Please note the toes in the background.: 

That's all I have for today. Thanks again for the support!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Test Day

One lonely line. A BFN today.

Well. That sucks.

I must have looked at the stick at least a dozen times. I pulled it out of the trash can to observe it again. Is that a smudge or could it be a second line?

Spoiler alert: it was a smudge.

I came out of the bathroom and told Champ. He tried to play it off like he expected a negative test, but then pulled me into his lap and his eyes were shiny with tears. I tried to be optimistic and we outlined a plan of getting on some stims maybe in November after my next "fake" period. I was proud of myself for handling the news so well.

Then a couple hours later we were out to dinner and I saw a pregnant woman. She looked about 6 months along and was laughing at something a friend or sister had said.

Cue flushed faced. Cue tears welling up. Cue lump rising in throat. It struck me... the unjustness of it all. Why does that lady get to be pregnant? Why her and not me? What kind of fucked up cruel trick is this?

I'm glad I tested today. I have therapy tomorrow night (I'm only going once a month now) and I think it will be quite timely to discuss how pissed and frustrated I am. And I just got a good cry out in Champ's arms and I'd much rather have an evening to process this and get my head on straight rather than test in the morning and go to work a mess.

I really didn't think I had my hopes up. But I feel pretty crushed right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peeing and Fitness Pal

I'm holding out for the pee sticking until Sunday, which will be 12 days post IUI. I decided I definitely want to POAS before my therapy appointment on Monday night. And I definitely don't want to POAS and go straight to work Monday morning feeling all bummed about a BFN. So Sunday it is.

I'm not very hopeful that this is going to be it. My temperatures are all kinds of wonky and I'm convinced that my egg quality is low. I just want to either be pregnant or done inserting progesterone pills into my vajay. I am so over the leakage. And feeling generally wet and disgusting in my lady parts.

In my non-fertility related world, I have good news and bad news.

Good news:
I downloaded the free MyFitnessPal app on my ipad and am mildly obsessed with it. Why didn't you guys tell me how awesome this app is?!?!? I. Love. It. And it's been extremely motivating to exercise because that earns more calories and I have realized my key to eating whatever I want is, unfortunately, exercising my butt off.

Bad news:

Clearly, it hasn't stopped me from eating four cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ice cream for lunch and cookies and cheesecake for dessert after dinner. Also, saying I only had "one cup" of Graeter's ice cream is being extremely generous.

Entering my totals for Sunday was not a proud moment.

Overall, though, I've been much better than that. I think I'm "under" my calorie goal about 3/4 the time.  The app has really opened my eyes to how much sugar I eat (and not just in the above example). I'm "over" on sugar almost every day. And sodium is usually a problem, too.

Has anyone else used this app? Do you love it as much as I do? Has it helped? I love how so much stuff is programmed in there already!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weird little glimpse into my marriage

Aw. Aren't we cute?
Before I get started on Stupid Stork's proposition to provide a weird little glimpse into my marriage, I decided I need a new name for Hubs on the blog. Hubs is fine, and I actually do call him Hubs in real life on a semi-regular basis, but it's too common in the blog world.

So we're calling him Champ from now on. It makes sense as "Bum Ovaries" that he would be "Champion Swimmers" so he'll be Champ for short.

I feel like I've been teasing this "little glimpse" forever now so I better get on with it.

I've never been attracted to guys who aren't nice. I never saw the "bad boy" appeal. If a guy didn't treat me with respect and kindness, I dropped him like a hot tamale. I didn't want to change somebody or wait for somebody to change for me, and so by and large, I dated nice guys who treated me well.

Champ makes "nice guys" look like child pornographers (to borrow a phrase from Saturday Night Live's "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton and Charles Nelson Reilly, played by Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin... in a word, hilarious!). He takes nice to a whole new level. He's so genuinely kind-hearted and selfless, I have given up the idea of ever feeling like I deserve to be with him. I will happily admit that I hit the husband jackpot. Because I really did.

We met in college. We had the same freshman Honors English Rhetoric class. He remembers me more than I remember him. He liked my sweaters and high pony tails and he asked for my number (my four digit dorm phone number, pre-cell phone era) and called one day for me to "review his paper." He left a message on my answering machine and I blew him off.

Three and a half years later, I met him again at a bar near campus. I was drunk, fresh off a breakup, and out to make friends. I was wearing one of those silky lingerie looking tops that was all the rage back in '05 and he asked me if I was wearing a real shirt. Ha! I ran into him again a couple days later on campus and asked him if he would be at the bar that night... he seemed surprised and said, "the bar?! It's Sunday!" I was a bit of a lush back then and explained that yes, my girlfriends and I were going to the bar every night until graduation. Guess who showed up at the bar that night?

We never looked back.

Besides being generally wonderful:

  • Champ is a boobs man. And thank goodness for that, because my butt and legs are nothing to write home about. Every time I get out of the shower and am bare-chested for a second before I get a bra or t-shirt on, Champ is sneaking a peek or trying to cop a feel. I act annoyed but I'm secretly glad he's a fan. I keep wondering if it will get old, but it's like he's seeing the girls for the first time, every time. 
  • He laughs hysterically during movies and shows at stuff that no one else catches. You won't see him laughing when the crowd laughs, but he'll die at a funny look in the background or a quiet side comment. When he's feeling down, he watches Boom Goes the Dynamite to the 22 second mark and completely erupts into giggles. 
  • We have a policy of not turning down invitations unless we have to. We never want to be the kind of couple that people don't bother asking to hang out. My brother and his wife have become that couple. We rarely ask them to hang because they are always too tired or my brother is busy playing video games. Lame. And if we're stuck being infertile, dammit we're still gonna be a fun couple while we wait!
I could say a lot more but I want to hold back a bit if this will be a weekly thing. Thanks to Stupid Stork for the inspiration! Stop by her blog and let her know if you'd like to participate!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Late blooming shift? ???

Before I provide a glimpse into my marriage (per Stupid Stork's request), I am having a freak out moment and need your help.

It's about my chart.

I've been temping since CD1. All temps have hovered around 97.2 - 97.5. Including the day before, the day of, and the two days after my IUI on Tuesday. I got a shift today to 98.1.

I'm sure the shift today has something to do with the 200 mg. of progesterone I'm shoving up my vagina twice a day and probably not indicative of ovulating in the past 24 hours. BUT - did I not get a temperature shift for ovulation this time? Does the Ovidrel preclude a shift? Did I not ovulate? Was the IUI a huge waste of time and money and a torturous two week wait?

So I need to know - other charters who have used Ovidrel... is there supposed to be a shift? Should I lower my expectations about this IUI? Does the "temperature shift" credibility fly out the window when fertility meds enter the picture? HELP!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pill Popping Vagina

Let's talk about vaginal progesterone. 

After two capsules, I can definitely say I am not a fan of the vag pills (aside from the instructions on the bottle. "Take one capsule twice daily per vagina." HAHAHAHA!!!! I couldn't stop laughing about that last night.). 

I will say first I was quite impressed with my vagina's ability to... swallow the pill. Is that too much information? I was kind of nervous about sticking the pill up there because I definitely need an applicator for tampons. I could never figure out the non-applicator kind. But that pill went right up there and I swear I almost heard some lip smacking and a swallow! I don't think I could get it out even if I tried! Which I didn't. Obviously.  

But after my initial "'Atta Girl"s, I changed my tune pretty quick. 

Are they suppose to leak so much? And be so ... yellow?  And make me feel so gross? And force me to type in italics excessively? 

Gross! Not to mention, how much progesterone am I losing with said leakage? Is that even okay? Don't I need that stuff to stay up in there? I am not excited for another 58 times of vagina-popping those suckers. Although I will happily pill pop 58 times over getting cut off with a very unwelcome period in two weeks. 

Has it really only been two days since my IUI? Ya'll aren't kidding about the two week wait. This blows. Today I looked at the time at work and when it only said "1:15" I was sure it meant AM and not PM. Time doesn't normally go this slow, right? 

After conferring with Belle's post today and taking into consideration your input from my last post, I am going to pee on the 15th instead of the 18th. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'll pee on a pretty regular basis between now and then, but I meant pee on a stick. Of the pregnancy test variety. That will be 11 days post IUI. Otherwise known as one eternity from now. 

Distractions are good. Has everyone signed up for DogMom's Pinterest Challenge? I'm so excited about this and it's just the kick in the rear I need to actually make something from Pinterest besides made cake batter truffles and cake batter brownies (oh. my. god.). The first "official" month category is ART. And I've chosen my inspiration piece! And it's amazing!

Image from here, which seems to be a really cool blog that I think I'm going to add to my reader.
I'm in the process of deciding which of my own photos I'm going to use. Stay tuned!

Check back tomorrow or Saturday for a post spurred by Stupid Stork's request for a weird little glimpse into my marriage (and all marriages). I'm going to work something up tonight or tomorrow. 

Also, I'm serious about the vagina pill popping. Are those things normal? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An IUI for the nerd

The IUI went well this morning. 

Hubs went in at 7:30 am to "do his business" in the porno room (requiring him to wake up at 6 am). He was a real trooper to do this, because he usually doesn't like to open his eyes / talk to people until at least 8:30 am. My husband is many things, but a morning person is not one of them. 

I came in an hour later to pick up the "specimen," which was neatly tucked into a green gift bag, complete with tissue paper. I wrote down his numbers because I figured I would never remember them. The doctor said everything looked great.

Volume: 9.2 ML
Count post wash: 213 mil
Motility: 60%
Grade: 2

I think the only thing that isn't stellar is the Grade, but it's by no means problematic. 

You all were right about how the IUI would feel - just a little uncomfortable with some "period-like" cramping for a few minutes. I relaxed for an easy 15 minutes, then I was out of there.

I went ahead and took the day off, just to try and keep a "zen" feeling for as long as possible and work has been super stressing me out lately. I remained horizontal all day. I caught up on Bachelor Pad from last night, took a nap, played Scrambled and Words with Friends, and practiced the Rubik's Cube. 

Yes. The Rubik's Cube. In a supreme indication of my nerdiness, I have been diligently learning how to complete the old "magic cube" from the 70s. I'm to the point that I can get the bottom white face, and the bottom two rows of each side with no help from the instructions. 

But to complete the cube, I have to cheat and look it up. But not for long! I will master that cube and impress all the cool people at parties with my mad skillz.


Anyway. The doc said that everything looked perfect and that I shouldn't get my hopes up too high because it's never a guarantee, but that everything has gone about as well as it could have with this cycle. 

They said I could test two weeks from today (the 18th) and not before because the Ovidrel can sometimes cause a false positive. Thoughts? I want to test as soon as humanly possible, but Hubs wants to wait two weeks. How early can I get away with it? Should I just suck it up and wait? 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Follie Update

First of all, thanks everyone SO MUCH for all of the support and positive thoughts over the past week. You guys are the best cheerleaders for my little follicle!

This weekend I was trying very hard to keep my expectations about the follicle growth low. Nothing seems to ever go our way when it comes to fertility, but it's tough not to get my hopes up anyway. So I went back to the doctor this morning thinking I'd really be at least "okay" if this cycle busted.

The ultrasound showed a lining of 7.8 (they wanted it above 7)
And follie went from 13.3 to 19 mm!!!!

We talked with the doctor about our options of IUI vs. timed intercourse and we decided to move forward with an IUI on Tuesday! I'm triggering tonight with the Ovidrel I never got to use from my previous failed cycles.


I know the odds are still not "in our favor" because of likely egg quality issues, but even to get this far, to be in a position where I have an active, perfectly sized follicle with a perfectly lined uterine wall... I mean, this is huge for us. I really thought we'd never get to even try!

My question for any of you who have had IUIs - um... what's it feel like? Is it like the wand or different? Any advice for the next few days or the day of the IUI?

* * * 
Also, now that the really important update is out of the way, I also ran another half-marathon yesterday! And if you'll remember, I had not trained adequately for this one. As in, my longest run was 8 miles on the treadmill 5 weeks ago.  And since then, I haven't run more than 5 or 6 miles at once. So I expected to have to walk-run this thing (which I was fine with) at the very least. Also it was 91% humidity and a hot morning. However, I totally stuck with my friend and we ran the whole thing in 10:15 mins/mile splits! It's almost a full minute per mile slower than my half marathon in April, but it's also way faster and better than I expected or trained for!
The medal
It's been a good weekend. Let's hope the good luck continues!