Tuesday, November 29, 2005

doctor, doctor, give me the news

Well, I had an appointment with my RE (Dr. W, though I need to come up with a better name for him) today -- and I'm not sure why. I'm not sure he was sure why, either, even though he is the one who told me to schedule it.

He asked me if I'd had my surgery yet. Umm, no. Your partner is doing it next month. He then talked to me for a while (more on results in a sec), told me that he didn't think I'd need to keep seeing him after the surgery ("unless of course you would have another miscarriage..." - thanks for keeping my confidence level up, Doc) and closed with "make sure that Dr. K monitors you the next time you get pregnant." Yeah, Dr. K -- that'd be my old doctor, the doctor I'm never going to see again. Hmm. And to think that I thought that this RE was Dr. Wonderful... apparently he's just as distracted at times as everyone else. Probably saw Dr. K's name on some old lab result in my chart and remembered that, rather than the fact that I distinctly told him I wasn't happy with their practice and was going to find another doctor.

But at least there was some good news -- normal karyotyping for both G and I, and my thyroid antibodies were also normal. He didn't see a problem with me going on baby aspirin after the surgery, although I could tell that he isn't sold on the link between MTHFR and miscarriages. (I wanted to say "well, hey what's another miscarriage among friends -- maybe even throw in pre-eclampsia or a stroke or heart attack!" but thought he probably wouldn't appreciate the sarcasm.)

So, aside from the fact that I'm having KILLER cramps right now, all is well, gynocologically speaking. Well, as well as can be with the septum and all. I am so ready to get that thing out -- this may sound crazy, but I swear that since I've known about it, my uterus has felt different. There's no logical reason I should be saying this, as there is no way that I could actually be feeling something, umm, up there. But I've had more weird pains and cramps and odd feelings since finding out about this than I ever remember.

Of course, I could just have a hypochondriac for a uterus. Better than a depressed vagina, I guess.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

only 29 shopping days...

Thanksgiving at our house was quite lovely. Aside from a minor piecrust incident the eve prior (there can only be one piecrust queen in my family and my mom holds the title right now) the dinner was wonderful, if I do say so myself. And my piecrust wasn't horrible, it just wasn't as good as mom's or her mom's before her.

Today we began the process of putting up decorations. We're planning on getting our tree next weekend, so that we can have it up and decorated before the surgery. But today we focused on outdoor lights and the downstairs mini-tree and the decorations for the mantle over the fireplace.

I tried not to think about the stocking holder I was planning to buy last year at this time, when I thought I'd have a first Christmas to plan.

Actually, to tell the truth, last year at this exact time I didn't know yet that I was pregnant. Since we'd had a huge fight the night before Thanksgiving, when I thought I was ovulating, I was sure that we'd missed our chance that month.

We found out on December 7 (yes, "a day that will live in infamy") that apparently we hadn't missed anything.

I think (judging by the way we jumped into the holiday decorating) that the plan around these parts is to pretend like everything's ok. I've been feeling so much better than I had previously that it shouldn't be too hard to pull off from my end; we'll do everything just like we would have last year, had I not been pregnant.

Except that it won't be like last year.

Get me through to December 31, and fast.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Sorry for the lack of posts -- I've been busily preparing for Thursday's feast, and haven't had a lot of time to blog.

But this morning, as I entered my temperature into my completely pointless chart, an entry came to mind.

I started out as a terrible offender -- a "babyduster" as I first heard mentioned over on Em's blog. I once told my cousin, who unbeknownst to me was mentally preparing for IVF, that I'd heard that "Robitussin can help you get pregnant." (Yikes.) I used cutesy abbreviations for fertility-related things in my normal conversations and then explained them at length to anyone who inquired what in the hell I was talking about.

Yep, I guess I was a Clueless Fertile.

Somehow, though, if the past year or so has taught me nothing else, I've learned that "Aunt Flow" isn't any less of a pain in the ass with a cutesy name. I've learned that "sticky vibes" do not, no matter how much someone wishes them for you, make one's pregnancy stick. I've learned that it hurts to watch others in your "buddy group" get pregnant, even when you don't want to be jealous.

I've learned that obsessing for a "BFP" can make you crazy and sad and more than just a little weird at times. (OK, maybe that last part only really applies to me.)

My reason for posting this? I'm thinking of stopping temping. It's doing absolutely nothing for me right now except to mark the days between periods and until we're ready to try again, and I'm not sure that hearing that little "beep" every morning is helping my mood.

I know some of you still have charts, although I'm not sure how many of you are still using them. What do you think? Should I give the thermometer a rest??

Sunday, November 20, 2005


After all my jaded talk in my last entry, I found that I was in the midst of a blissfully peaceful weekend.

The pager was remarkably quiet (although I may jinx myself by saying this, I'm willing to take that risk) and G and I had a nice, relaxing weekend. We rented movies -- some old (War Games), some new (Bewitched), and some that reminded me of Lorem's hubby, even though I've never met him (Mallrats, even though I fell asleep halfway through).

My mom, dad and brother came up to visit today, and although they only planned on staying about fifteen minutes, they ended up staying for a few hours and we had a wonderful visit.

I got all my Thanksgiving shopping done (I'm cooking for the abovementioned family plus my grandmother) and afterwards, we had a quiet evening tonight, just the two of us.

It feels so normal, and I haven't felt normal in a long, long time. I like it.

G's downstairs right now, playing his guitar, and I think I'm going to go join him. That's part of our history -- before we started dating, we made music together, which is a wonderful way to start a relationship -- and reliving it makes me feel like my old self again.

I will make a comeback, I'm now sure of it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jaded, petrified and weighted

Well I don't wanna get bitter
I don't wanna get cruel
I don't wanna get old before I have to

- Jill Sobule, "Bitter"

I've fought most of my life to avoid truly being bitter about things. I get angry, sure, and have a stubborn streak (I'm a Taurus) but overall, I've always been more pragmatic; after letting myself calm down about whatever it is I'm perturbed about, I can usually keep some perspective.

Even when G finally agreed to start trying to have a baby after five years of discussion, and after two miscarriages and annoying doctors and finding out that there were these correctible things that, while good news, still meant we'd have to wait even longer to have a baby, I never really resented anything or anyone. I would get sad when I saw pregnant women or heard people talking about pregnancy or newborns, but I never begrudged them their happiness just because I didn't have what they had.

Until I saw a recent article (and picture, pregnant as all get out) of Katie Holmes (also known as half of the relationship "TomKat," in case you weren't aware of that. Oh. My. God.).

I don't wish any harm on her or the baby, for certain, but I am more than just a little bitter when I read this article in People magazine, in which an unnamed friend of Ms. Holmes is quoted as saying "She's going to be a mother at 27. She has everything she wants."

And all this makes me want to say, undeserved or not, is "bitch"...

My mom was a mother at 27, to the day -- I was born on her 27th birthday -- and this is something that has always haunted me: my own quarterlife crisis, I guess. Mom always used to refer to herself as a "late bloomer" in that she hadn't dated much in high school and didn't meet my dad until she was 25, which was old for that time. I didn't meet G until I was 26, got engaged when I was 29, and got married at 30. Even though that's the trend in life these days, I always felt like I was behind in my life goals, despite being happy enough overall with the way things turned out.

The fact that this woman graduated from high school a year before I got my masters' degree (completed in 1998) is not lost on me.

I know, there are plenty of folks out there who would say "whah, whah, why didn't you defer college and grad school and get married right away and start having kids?" Yeah, yeah, I know. We 30-something women have all waited to have kids because we purposefully had other things to accomplish in life, and it has nothing to do with the fact that some of us didn't meet Mr. Right until later, and then Mr. Right had to make up his mind about whether he wanted kids in the first place.

I can feel the bitterness creeping in, and instead of pushing it away, I am embracing it like a warm blanket, allowing it to wrap over me.

Sometimes, it feels really good. Is that wrong?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Men are from Mars, and fish...

And now, I'd like to call your attention to two news items of note this afternoon:

"Are Men Necessary?"* (the title is a twist on E.B. White and James Thurber's 1929 work, "Is Sex Necessary?") starts with a question of genetics, [author Maureen] Dowd told CNN.

"There's a body of evidence now that the Y chromosome is rotting at such a fast rate that it will go out of business in about 100,000 years," she said on "American Morning."

"So now that women don't need men to reproduce and refinance, the question is, will we keep you around? And the answer is," she added puckishly, "you know we need you in the way we need ice cream, you'll be more ornamental." (A Times book reviewer has noted that other research indicates the Y chromosome has stabilized.)
more on this story

In other, technically-unrelated-but-still-oddly-similar news:

In the latest studies presented at Monday's Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Baltimore, scientists caught 82 male English sole and hornyhead turbot off Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Of those, 11 possessed ovary tissue in their testes, said Doris Vidal of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, who led one of the studies.

Scientists do not yet know how such sexual defects affect the overall fish population.
still more
*link and author's full name added to this blog entry

Monday, November 14, 2005

And the good news keeps on comin'...

Homocysteine level from last Wednesday was 6.3. Normal is <10.4. This is (theoretically) exceptionally good news, as it means I'm not at immediate risk for a thrombophilic event. The 2 mg folic acid doesn't seem too low any more -- I've read some things recently that suggest I should be on at least 5 mg, plus B6 and B12, but if my levels are within the normal range now, and stay that way, there's reason to think that I won't need heparin or baby aspirin next time I'm pregnant, either. Or might not, at least.

Hope has been seen circling around my neighborhood recently, and I'm trying to get up the nerve to invite her in.

Well, that, and trying my best not to sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

All is right with the world.

G and I made up, I made a terrific dinner (stuffed shells - yum!) for my brother-in-law's visit tonight, and the Steelers beat Cleveland. (Well, they almost have anyway. They probably will have by the time I'm finished typing this post.)

The only negative thing right now is that I have to go to work in less than eight hours, and I'm on call this week. Yuck.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The best laid plans...

Well, of course since I made grand declarations yesterday about how I was going to turn my life around and be a more positive person, G and I had a huge fight last night. I don't know why I expected otherwise; this year has progressed one step forward, two steps back practically from day one.

Particulars aside (since I've noticed from my stats that I've had a regular local visitor for a while now -- do I know you?), it was not pretty. There was yelling and defensiveness and bringing up past mistakes -- all the no-no's of "fair fighting" in relationships. I ended up sleeping in the family room. He left this morning to go to his last college football game of the season and didn't say goodbye.

It was, overall, just a stupid fight that turned ugly, but as our past history dictates, we tend to have one of these every six months or so. I hate them. All I want is to have the kind of marriage I always imagined marriage to be, and fights like this make me wonder "what are we doing wrong?"

My worst fear is that I'll never know.

Friday, November 11, 2005

acc-cent-u-ate the positive

There was an interesting story on NPR this morning: apparently, the Dalai Lama is going to speak at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience this weekend, which is causing a bit of a stir among said neuroscientists.  I found this profoundly interesting, given that the Buddhist leader's talk will focus on actually training the mind to be happier. 


There are probably thousands of self-help books on the subject of positive thinking and its power to make us happier, healthier individuals; given that I've been engaging in negative self-talk for years (not just in relation to my losses), and have had difficulty focusing on possible positive outcomes in recent months, this idea really makes me think.  Could I really train myself to be happier?


My first problem with this is that I have had a difficult time training myself to do anything that requires a habitual focus.  I do not take to new habits well; I tend to forget to do even the simplest things such as using moisturizer daily, or copying the grocery list we keep on the counter into my PDA before I go to the store.


One of my past jobs was a clerical position in a psychology department at a university, and while I am no psychology major (I don't have the head for statistics that I'd need, as proven by my lackluster performance in my lone graduate-level course), brain function has always intrigued me.  During that job, I would often participate as a control subject in research studies for extra money. Several of these were studies that used imaging technology (such as MRI or PET scans) to observe the portions of the brain that are active during certain cognitive responses like simple word or picture recognition, or memory.  I often wondered whether my "normal" brain actually worked in the way that other control subjects' would, due to my frequent forgetfulness.


While I don't necessarily believe that I'm the type to run out and start practicing Buddhist meditation, this idea of trying to develop my positive side definitely deserves further focus.


Of course, let's see how long I remember this.  *smirk*

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

coagulation obfuscation

Hematologist's appointment this morning was not very exciting.  The doctor (Dr. S) was very nice, though, and his office staff was EXTREMELY nice.  I assume this is because it's a hematology/oncology office, but I still appreciated the difference in the way the staff operated, given my past experiences with Dr. K's office.


Dr. S looked at my test results and asked why I'd had the tests done, and what stage my losses occurred.  He then explained the MTHFR variant to me (even though it was all old news) and said that he wanted to order a homocysteine level on me.  That was drawn at the end of the appointment.


Plan of attack right now is to put me on 2mg folic acid daily, and re-draw the homocysteine level in a month at my next appointment (12/21).  By then I'll have had my surgery, so if there were any need to start anticoagulant therapy, I'd be through that, at least.


Regarding that, though, he said whether I will need an anticoagulant is still up in the air.  Depending on my homocysteine levels both pre- and post-folic acid therapy, and consultation with a clotting specialist, and possibly additional homocysteine checks during pregnancy, it may or may not be required.  I don't have any of the other clotting factor genetic mutations such as Factor V Leiden or prothrombic gene variant, and while I have a slightly abnormal lupus anticoagulant level (1:40, when normal is <1:40), he isn't sure that will necessarily mean that I will need anything more than the folic acid.  I think that a lot will depend upon what my level was today.


I will probably be on high folic acid for life, though, and when he heard that my dad was a former smoker with CAD, and my younger brother is a current smoker, he recommended that they be tested as well (and that I try to get my brother to quit -- I've been trying that for years).   I will try to have my mom tested as well but it doesn't seem that she has as many risk factors, and since it's a genetic test it may or may not be covered by their insurance.  We'll see.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


First, our insurance dilemma: G agreed that in the long run, the $1100 for insurance that covers infertility treatments, even if we don't need them, is money better spent than not purchasing it and possibly needing it.  So, we're all signed up.  I'm quite relieved.
Plus, it will simplify matters *when* I am pregnant again (like that optimism, there?) such as whether I will work up to my due date and whether I'll return to work after delivery.  If I'm already on his insurance, those choices won't affect my work status.
Second, the nausea: thanks for all your concern.  I do think it's related to the medication, as I took it with food this morning and got a reduced amount of nausea (and no pain, thankfully).  I have a call in to the doctor to see whether I can split the dose up and take it morning and night, as opposed to all at once.
and last but not least: my hematologist's appointment is 8am tomorrow morning, so I'll update as soon as I can with the outcome there.  Now that I think about it more I'm hoping to get away without heparin/lovenox injections (looking at injection instructions with a diagram of "where to shoot" makes me a little green - eek!) but of course I will do whatever I must to ensure a successful pregnancy.   Since I was on birth control pills for twelve years without noticing any problems, I'm wondering if maybe my homocysteine levels have not really been a problem?  Although some of the things I've read have suggested that women can be a-ok when they're not pregnant but out of whack when they are.  We'll see, I guess -- no use overcomplicating things in my head since the appointment is tomorrow, right??  (Yeah, if only I could follow that logic!)

Monday, November 07, 2005


Well, here's a little update. This morning's nausea was most certainly not a migraine. (Although yesterday's was, so, WTF?? Anyway.) After my post it started getting really bad, and although I was getting ready to leave for work I was really thinking "there's no way in hell I want to start driving to work feeling like this."

I called work, told them I was feeling sick to my stomach (which by that point was an understatement; I was sure I'd be hurling any second) and was staying home, at least for the morning. I then called G just to let him know what was going on.

He had a thought: "didn't you just start tapering up your Zoloft?" Hmm. Yeah, this morning was my first dose of 150 mg, after five days at 100. I told him I'd call the pharmacy after they opened and check on side effects.

I thought that I'd put something in my stomach to see if that would help it, so I made some dry wheat toast. As I was eating it I wasn't sure if it would be back on the plate in a matter of minutes, but I managed to keep it down.

By this time, though, it was changing. It was no longer just nausea, it was starting to be painful. My stomach was feeling as though I'd swallowed something sharp and hot. I went into bed and laid down, curling my knees up into a ball and praying that it would go away.

Finally, it did. I fell asleep. I slept until just a little while ago, and now that I'm upright again I can tell that my stomach is still feeling odd; nowhere near as bad as before, but it's still unsettled. I never did call the pharmacy, but the new side effect theory really seems strange given that I didn't experience anything like it when I went from 50 to 100 mg. But I will still call them.

Now, I'm off to go make some tea and see if there's anything I can attempt to eat in the house.

Oh, why not!

Forgive me; I'm about to whine a bit.

I've been getting nauseous on and off for the past two days. Normally, if I were in the midst of a "TTC cycle" I would be analyzing the heck out of this peculiar feeling to see whether or not I could possibly be...

But it's only cd10, and we're into preventing mode now, and besides, I couldn't POSSIBLY be lucky enough to avoid the one thing it *actually* is:


I haven't had one for over a year. They stopped sometime before we started trying, but I can't recall exactly when. All I know is that I never bothered to get another prescription for the meds (Maxalt, which worked *wonderfully*) because, well, you can't take them when you're...

When I was getting them before, I never bothered to find out what my triggers are, but I would think that stress is probably a big factor in my case. Not reducing that any time soon. I haven't been to see any type of physician that didn't involve removing my pants for over a year, either, so I don't know that my primary care physician would even know who I was if I called.

So now I sit here in front of my computer, willing my stomach to calm down, and hoping that the pain won't kick in while I'm driving to work.

I so didn't need this right now. Waaaaaaaah.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

there's crap, and then there's sugary sweet crap...

Sorting through a stack of mail, I came upon a pretty dumb catalog that I've been receiving for a few years now.

On the cover, there is a Christmas ornament with the following verse:

I love you all dearly,
Now don't shed a tear,
I'm spending my Christmas
With Jesus this year.

Yeah, perfect. Happy holidays, my a$$.

Score: Universe 568, Us 0

Just when I think that 2005 cannot possibly suck any more than it has thus far, I hear the horrible news that Julie has suffered yet another miscarriage.

I'm so sorry, Julie. This is so unfair.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Happy anniversary

Five years ago today, G and were married. It was a bright, sunny fall day, much like this one will be, and our hopes for the future were high.

They still are. They're just a little more tentative.

Love you hon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

you couldn't POSSIBLY have ideas that good

From a recent promotional e-mail I received:
We have ideas to make you look forward to Christmas.

Umm, I don't think so.


Last night at my therapist's appointment we spent a good portion of time talking about anxiety.  She seems to think that my anxiety might be a bigger part of my problem right now than depression, and may actually be feeding into my depression.  I'm starting to think she's right. 
The main source of my trouble right now is that I'm worried, even though I know I shouldn't be.  Every time someone tells me "well at least now you have some answers" I can't seem to convince myself that there still isn't reason to worry.  I have trouble thinking positively even in the face of all these positive steps that are lined up in the coming months - the surgery, the treatment for the clotting factors, trying again -- essentially, I somehow cannot believe that we will come out of this unscathed and with a baby.  Everything I've been obsessing over for the past four months boils down to this worry, and it is constant.  It is the source of what's making my life a near-living-hell.
Shaking this fear, this worry will not be easy, I know.  I've gone down this road before with other fears, other worries and somehow something else in the equation has changed to take me out of the worry-state, rather than some sort of change in me.  In order to get my hope back, I must persist with the necessary work that I've managed to dodge in the past -- that of conquering my anxiety and fears and shutting down the negative self-talk that has wrecked my self-esteem over the past decade.
This work will not be easy, but then, I suppose it was never intended to be.

Testing, testing.

Doing a blog test...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

In other news...

First... had a minor breakdown yesterday. Luckily it was at the office of the new psychiatrist I was transferred to (the one who works in the women's hospital and studies antidepressant use in pregnancy). She asked what my Zoloft dose was and I thought she was going to laugh when I said 50. (Not really. Health professionals laughing at us would be a bad thing.) So... we're tapering up to 200 (100 for five days, 150 for five days, 200).

My aim with this blog was to TRY to add an entry every day, but with this depression flare up comes less ability to verbalize my feelings. I will try to make posts, but am not guaranteeing that they'll be spectacular or anything.

Oh, and... a complete aside, but I dreamed last night that I was on a trans-European train trip with the cast of Sex and the City (as their characters). Hmmm.