December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Posted in Life tagged , , at 3:06 pm by lifebytheday

Just taking a break from my cooking and cleaning to write a quick post.  So far I’ve made baked ziti and stuffed mushrooms for tonight, and am halfway through a 5-layer gelatin dessert for tomorrow.  Still have to get dressed, vacuum and do a quick tidy before my family arrives here at 5!  We’re having appetizers and then heading off to mass, and coming back for baked ziti, salad, and fresh bread.  I’m just glad that all I’m contributing to tomorrow’s meal is carrots – whiskey coated of course!

I’m so looking forward to some downtime with my family tomorrow, and can’t wait to celebrate Christmas morning with S (and our animals of course!).  In fact, S is off at the mall buying my present as we speak. 😉  I also am looking forward to mass tonight – this year has been harder than most for me to stay in the true spirit of Christmas, but tonight will be a great way to remember what’s truly important (and wish baby Jesus a happy birthday!).

I hope that Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year bring everybody health, peace and joy.  May all our wishes come true in 2010!

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December 23, 2009

Some winter miscellanea

Posted in Life at 11:08 am by lifebytheday

Work is finally winding down – I spent an hour yesterday finishing up my Christmas cards (and didn’t even feel badly about it, this place owed me at least an hour of personal time! ;-)).  Today is my last day of work until January 4th, and I am SO excited.  Hopefully I’ve done enough that my projects will keep moving along without me next week…  Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house, cooking for dinner tomorrow night, and baking a dessert for Christmas (any suggestions?  I’d like to try something new!  And no JT, I will not make Julia’s crazy almond cake, lol!). 

S has his projects planned down to the hour and right now should be finishing on time tomorrow at 12:00 noon.  Fingers crossed!  I am SO looking forward to spending time with him over the next week and a half.  In fact, we just last night booked two nights away at a ski resort in NH!  Check out this place!  We’re going to ski, ice skate, tube, snowmobile, and maybe even horseback ride!  All things that I won’t be able to do once I’m pregnant, so I’m going to live it up.  Oh, and we’re DEFINITELY getting a massage. 😉  This is the company’s (much needed!) present to us…for keeping S so busy and stressed for the past two months.  And we plan to enjoy every minute!

Oh, and an unrelated story.  I’m sure many of you know about (or experienced) the huge snow storm from last week/weekend.  In the Boston ‘burbs, we got well over a foot.  S was a little over-excited to have his snowblower back from the shop, and decided to clear a little track in the backyard for Bailey to run around.  Look at the pics below and tell me whether the shape of the snow in the middle reminds you of anything…

LOL!!

Oh, and in other news, I finally have stopped feeling sick from the Metformin, although I still mostly crave plain food (hello, mashed potatoes much?).  It’s a good thing my Irish hubby supports those cravings! 

 

December 21, 2009

Oh, hello hormones! (UPDATED)

Posted in Infertility tagged , , , at 10:44 am by lifebytheday

S asked me to remove some of the more personal details from this post, so here goes. 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Man, did I NOT miss you!  (And P.S. yes, I realize what a Debby Downer I, and my blog, have been these past few weeks – sorry friends!)  Let’s just say that last night – after what was actually a perfectly lovely day – I remembered what it’s like to be on birth control.  S had to work most of the weekend, but we woke up yesterday to a huge snow storm, so I spent the day cooking, wrapping, and doing laundry, and then we had a nice relaxing movie night once he got home.  Then, when we finally went to bed, S made the mistake of asking me “how I was feeling”…cue meltdown.  And I mean MELTDOWN – hysterical sobbing, nose dripping, choking for breath, and every time I calmed down I would say something or think of something that would set me back off.

I’m so sick of “feeling tired and depressed”, and then feeling guilty about it, and of feeling like it’s my psycho hormones that are causing it.  Like, c’mon PCOS, isn’t it bad enough that you’ve made me INFERTILE?  Do you have to ruin my “real” life as well???

Then poor S made the mistake of saying that I shouldn’t worry, that I wouldn’t be on meds for much longer, that the third IVF was going to be the charm…and I LOST IT.  That’s my biggest fear at this point – what if the third time ISN’T the charm?  Then what?!?  The previous two negatives were hard, but both times I kind of knew…I honestly don’t know how I will survive if this one doesn’t work.

Anyways, I guess that’s enough misery for a Monday morning…hopefully I can find my Christmas spirit before the holiday is past!

December 16, 2009

Distress

Posted in Infertility, Life, Work tagged at 1:43 pm by lifebytheday

Just a quick note to say two things:

  1. I hate Metformin.  On Monday night I tried again to up my dose to the prescribed two tabs – and spent the wee hours of Tuesday morning on the toilet, and the subsequent hours on the couch.  I’ve decided to just suck it up and be miserable for a few days, because this yo-yo-ing is NOT pleasant.  I think that the “issues” should go away in a few days, and until then I just have to be careful what I eat. (The only thing I felt like eating for lunch today was turkey and mashed potatoes, so I just ordered – and polished off! – a complete turkey dinner from the diner down the street from work.)  And nope, haven’t done a single couch-to-5k workout since the “rah-rah” first one I blogged about…so all that yummy turkey gravy is just sitting there on my love handles. ;-P
  2. I am sick of work.  I need a new job, or at least a vacation, and CAN NOT WAIT for some time off around Christmas.  Today I sent my boss an email detailing the work I was planning to get done by the end of the week, and explaining how busy and overwhelmed I was…and this is the response I got  – “Okay. We can catch up on all these things this afternoon. There’s a few things on my “to do” list we need to go over.”

Ugh.

December 14, 2009

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Posted in Furbabies, Life tagged at 1:39 pm by lifebytheday

So Christmas has finally arrived in our household!  We decorated the house on Saturday and the tree yesterday…and had a wonderful weekend all in all. 

Killian checking out the star before it went on the tree

Our decorated tree!

The furbabies cuddling.  P.S. this was totally posed.  I think they were too relaxed to care what we did to them, lol!

And last but not least…our Christmas card photo!  S was having way too much fun posing the animals 😉 

I know, we need a child…and a hobby probably, LOL!

December 11, 2009

When there’s nothing left to give

Posted in Life at 3:48 pm by lifebytheday

Lately, life has been rough in the LifeByTheDay household.  Not that rough (I don’t want to jinx ourselves), but definitely rough enough.  (Do you hear me universe??  We don’t need ANY more, thank you very much.)  This happens every year around this time – people want their furniture done before their holiday parties (Thanksgiving and Christmas), so S’s business gets insanely busy.  Don’t get me wrong – we absolutely appreciate this, especially in this economy, but it’s kind of a drag that he is SO stressed out and working such long (10-15 hour) days during what should be a festive holiday season.  And I’m sure you all know what happens when hubby is stressed… 😉 

This year, on top of all that, I’M insanely busy, overwhelmed, and burnt out at work, so where I would usually pick up the slack at home (and ignore his attempts to pick a fight), I’m jumping right into the ring.  I don’t know if this is true for others, but I really rely on at least one of us being sane at any one time.  (One of my favorite IVF memories is when S told me “I know that’s just the hormones talking”…LOL!)  It’s a real problem when we’re both so tired and stressed that we have no more energy left to give each other by the end of the day.  (I find this is true with my friends as well – it’s not a good scene when any two of us are having a bad day at the same time…)

Last night was a perfect example.  I made plans to go to a special advent healing mass with my mom (MUCH needed), and S was working late and was upset that I wasn’t going to have dinner waiting for him at home.  Add to that, the fact that on Wednesday, I worked from home all day (had an appt in the morning, and timed it well cuz there was a major snow storm that day) but didn’t shovel or salt the driveway while I was home – and he was NOT HAPPY.  In my defense, S loves to shovel/snowblow so I don’t usually have to help (yes, I realize that I’m a bit spoiled ;-)), and I really WAS working all day.  Yes, I realize I should have helped – and I apologized, don’t worry – but it turned into a MAJOR argument where he was bringing up random, old issues (my pet peeve – we’ve already discussed this, move on!) and being totally unreasonable.  I refused to fight back, so he went to bed early (in the guest room, which he has never done) and we still weren’t talking this morning.

Then, around 11:30, I got a call from the reception desk that I had a “package.” 

Beautiful flowers, with a note that said “I love you, S.”  I called him to thank him and jokingly said, “I know that was a non-apology apology, so thank you.”  And he was like “No, those were ‘just because,’ not an apology…just kidding, I know I was a little hard on you, and I figured this was the only way I’d get some @$$.”  And that, ladies and gentleman, is my husband.  Aren’t you jealous? 😉

December 10, 2009

What to do with unused embryos…?

Posted in Infertility tagged , , , at 2:00 pm by lifebytheday

A good friend of mine (one of best internet researchers I know ;-), thanks lady!) recently sent me the link to this article – “The Maybe-Baby Dilemma” – a discussion of the options fertility patients have when dealing with “extra” or “leftover” embryos.  This is an extremely emotion-filled discussion, so I’m not going to try to make any grand claims, but just want to share some of what I think are the more interesting points of the article (and of course, my opinions on the matter). 😉 

As most of you know, embryos that are fertilized and developed through the IVF process (but not used) are frozen.  People use these frozen embryos in the event of a negative IVF cycle, or to add to their family later on.  The question becomes when people have more embryos “left over” than they can feasibly afford to turn into children (due to health issues, finances, family planning, etc.).

I am a Catholic, and I would NEVER consider getting an abortion, but I am pro-choice, in that I think only a woman and her doctor have the right to make decisions about a potential pregnancy.  (I would rather someone have an abortion than drink and do drugs throughout her pregnancy and physically or mentally damage their child.)  With that said though, if S and I are ever lucky enough to get pregnant, I don’t know what we’d do with any “left over” embryos. 

Right now, we have chosen to donate them to research.  I liken this to organ donation – if someone else can benefit from some of the misery I have been through, all the better.  The other option – donating the embryo to another couple – I just don’t think I could ever let them go.  I would have trouble knowing there was a child created by me and S walking around in the world, without us.  But like the folks referenced in the article, I know that I could never “discard” my embryos.  Here’s one of the quotes from the article, and one that truly resonates with my feelings on the matter:

“There had been this presumption that if you care about an embryo, if you think it is deserving of moral respect and concern, it is unacceptable to destroy it,” says Lyerly. Instead, she says, she heard from patients who care about and respect their embryos without seeing them as children — an attitude that may be particularly true among patients who had many embryos not “take” and learned firsthand that not every embryo is capable of becoming a baby. Research, for some, allows them to feel as if something positive comes from the cells they’d undergone invasive, difficult medical procedures to create, and gives them a sense of resolution.

Another option that was discussed was something called a “compassionate transfer” – an embryo transfer procedure that would/could not result in a pregnancy (transferring the embryos into the vagina rather than the uterus, waiting until menopause to transfer, or not taking the hormone supplements needed to maintain a pregnancy).  I guess this is new-ish, and not really supported by the medical community, but it’s definitely an option for women who feel like they can’t “throw away” their embryos.

I know about the role of embryos in the debate over stem-cells, but I didn’t know the possible extension of treating embryos as life.  One of the article’s more thought-provoking quotes:

Since the process that creates embryos is inherently risky, doctors may fear that they would face criminal charges simply for performing an in vitro procedure. After all, many fertilized eggs simply cease cell division — and are no longer viable — before freezing or transfer. Others aren’t viable after they have been thawed. Still others fail to implant in the uterus. Collura’s organization imagines a number of bizarre legal scenarios: Could a doctor face a murder charge if an embryo didn’t survive the petri dish? Would a woman with a history of miscarriages be denied fertility treatments on the grounds that she posed a threat to her own embryos?

SO interesting, and yet another example of the pain and hardship IF patients have to go through, not only through the invasiveness and the cost of the procedures, but also because of the decisions that we have to make that NO ONE else has to worry about.  That phrase “ignorance is bliss” has never rung so true…

December 9, 2009

Week in review

Posted in Infertility, Life, Work tagged , at 4:05 pm by lifebytheday

Wow, it’s been almost ten days since my last post…sorry friends!  In a nutshell, work has been INSANE…and it’s rubbing off on my personal life.  Last week I hosted two focus groups, helped run a half-day team meeting, and had two days worth of a company-wide retreat, complete with breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks with our out-of-town employees.  Everything went well, but it was exhausting being on-duty for that long…so most nights I just came home and crashed, much to S’s dismay.

Besides feeling uber-overwhelmed, I’m annoyed that the stress of work is preventing me from getting in the Christmas spirit.  I’m actually so wound up that I’m planning to do ALL of my shopping online, because I don’t want to interact with people in any way, shape, or form!  That says it all, huh? 

I’m trying to do everything I can think of to get myself in a better frame of mind…went to early morning mass with my Mom today, and am planning to go to a special healing mass tomorrow night.  I’ve also been spending what time I can just cuddling with S and our fur-babies, and trying not to care too much about having a “perfect” Christmas (decorations, gifts, etc.) this year.  I just want to try to connect with the reason for the season, and take care of myself, my family (and of course my friends!).

In other news, I got my period yesterday (yay!) and officially started my meds protocol for our upcoming IVF!!  The first step is 5-6 weeks of birth control pills (I know, BC pills to help get pregnant, crazy huh??), to help bring my hormones levels back to normal.  Then we start Lupron in mid-January, followed by Gonal F and Repronex on the 23rd.  Right now, the estimated date for the egg retrieval is February 3rd, and February 9th-ish for the (hopefully 5-day) transfer. 

I also found out that I’ll be taking baby As.pirin and Medrol (a low-dose steroid) from ER, through and past ET.  Apparently there are some new studies that say these things help with implantation, so my clinic has been doing that for all IVF patients for the past six months or so.  Has anybody else done this (Ashley – I think you did?)?  Also, in addition to the progesterone shots after ER, I’ll also be using Vivelle patches from the ET through the 2WW – does anyone know what that is for? 

It’s weird…I know that I’ve said that I wanted to do things differently this time around (because the previous protocol obviously didn’t work), but now that I’m being forced out of my “comfort zone,” I’m nervous!  The specifics about my protocol were mailed to me on a calendar and then discussed over the phone with a nurse, so I think I just feel a little blind-sided.  I could call the RE, but I’m not even sure what I’d ask him…so I guess I’m just asking for help from YOU!  Has anybody used both Gonal F/Repronex and Follistim – how do they differ (response, side effects, etc.)?  What about the As.pirin/Medrol therapy – success stories?  Side effects?  Basically, is there anything I’m missing, or should ask about??