Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Bad, I'm Bad, You Know It, Shamon

Is there a fancy award for Shittiest Blogger? I would like to self-nominate!

So, I have my first freelance project that kicked off last week. Which means I'm working. Meh. I try to visualize a fat check in the mail (within 60 days from my invoice, anyway) and I feel better. I'm managing to keep it to 3 days this week, and so far so good. The other 2 days are filled with doctor's appointments and errands, so lucky me. I'm always working; at least now I get paid sometimes.

And the boy? He may be getting a second tooth. GAH. We're locked into a wakeful nighttime routine that is almost cry-it-out proof. I say almost because I don't really know. I can't really stand to hear him cry, even if it's to get himself back to sleep, when I know (or at least suspect) he has real growing pains. Poor little gummy bear. Poor haggard mama.

And he's going through some interesting digestive changes. More solid food will do that to you. He had SEVEN shits today, y'all. SEVEN SHITS. Not skidmark shits, but full-on turdles. Good lord.

And he's crying right now. Off to stand outside his door for 5 minutes and then go nurse him for the first of many times tonight. It's a glamorous life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

38w4d

As of today, Jackson has been in my arms for as many weeks and days as he was growing in my belly. (We'll just gloss over the fact that 2 weeks of gestation time are actually bogus, since he was an immature, unfertilized antral follicle during those first couple of weeks; and that he spent his first 3 days of life as a freshly fertilized zygote living in a plastic tissue culture dish feasting on liquid culture medium and 5% CO2 in a sterile incubator. Details.)

And even though The Teething resulted in every-1.5-hour awakenings last night, and I am running on coffee and fumes this morning, and I am prepared to buy serious stock in infant Motrin and Orajel...this kid is the shit. When he falls asleep in my arms after nursing, I could hold him like that forever. When we play on a blanket in the yard and he curls up to cuddle, I can't help but smile (and choke back tears, sometimes). He is the best part of me and of KB, all wrapped up in one perfect little bundle. I'll take a million sleepless nights and growing pains so long as I have one of him.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This, That, and The Other Thing

This: Pre-pregnancy pants!
I rummaged through my closet last night to find interview* clothes and tried these on, tags still dangling, expecting to weep from a sausage-casing-like fit but instead discovered surprising comfort. Hells, yeah. I have a few more pounds to go to reach pre-pregnancy weight, and then a few more to get back to pre-IVF weight, but I'm getting close. And then I can try to wreck it all over again.**

*That: Oh, THAT! I had an interview today for a freelance writing job working with a university hospital department that needs a little help getting clinical papers finished (or in some cases, started) and submitted for publication. It would be a part-time contracting, sort-of-consulting, gig with occasional commutes into Ann Arbor. And I had a phone interview last week for a freelancing job at a pharmaceutical company near DC. That one, I got hired over the phone and have already started the paperwork. I'm excited to bring sexy back (okay, a second income, at any rate) since it will get us out of this house and into a new one sooner (we figure in just under 2 years is doable) but I'm also nervous about The Return of The Anxiety. That, we do not need. So I'm taking it one step at a time. My goal is to take on enough projects to work about 20 hours per week. I'm incredibly fortunate to have solid contacts in my field and for these opportunities to have fallen from the sky when they did, and I hope I can avoid being my own worst enemy and finding a way to fuck it up. It's a talent, y'all. Freelance writing can be quite lucrative if you keep at it, but I am most interested in the fact that I can earn that helpful second income, do something (working, being a scientist, writing) that defines part of who I am in a big way, and still preserve a big chunk of my week to devote to my family. And I can give myself a vacation (even if unpaid) whenever I want. Holla.

**The Other Thing: Or I can take time off to go back to my RE and try to get impregnated a second time. Yeah, so. That. KB and I have talked about this in general terms, most generally agreeing to revisit it after Jackson's 1st birthday. And that's a few months away now. *gulp* The plan in my head (where all good plans live) is to keep working out and eating rabbit food until I am back to my pre-infertility self (physically, at least, because emotionally and psychologically -- well, that's impossible) and establish my little freelancing thingy and then have a sit-down with our RE to discuss plans to start back at square one. See, remember, we of the poor-quality-embryo-making-guild have nothing on ice to transfer, so we have to start fresh. And that never went very well, either, oh we of the shitty-sperm-and-ovary-club. But we did hit one out of the park on cycle 3, aka Jackson, for which we added megadose vitamin C for him and her and Clomid plus Proxeed for him. We saw teensy weensy improvements in sperm and eggs, so perhaps we could do it again. Maybe it's possible to get pregnant in less than 3 cycles. Or maybe not. There's really only one way to find out. So, in my head there will be a consultation appointment in the late fall or early winter to arrange for new blood tests (yay!), another HSG (kickass!), and another semen analysis (woot!). And then we'll see what happens from there. Because who wouldn't want a little helper monkey to hang with this guy?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

IF from A to Z

A. Age when you started trying to conceive*: 30


B. Baby dancing** or sexytime:  Once we started IVF, and then got pregnant and had a behbeh, sexytime became both recreational and rare  


C. Children wanted: We always said we wanted to have 2


D. Dogs/Cats/Fill-in children: 1 a-hole dog


E. Essential oils/Vitamins/Snake oils: Flintstones chewable -- you read that right; for my third (successful) IVF cycle, I downed shit-tons of vitamin C


F. Fertility meds I’ve taken: Clomid, Estrace, Crinone, Ovidrel, Ganirelex, Menopur, Follistim, and Progesterone in oil (both olive and sesame!)


G. Gain: On the verge of pre-pregnancy weight, and then must lose the IVF weight that preceded it


H. HSG (Hystosalpingogram): Performed by (I assume) a myopic radiology resident I will call Dr. Butterfingers -- ouch -- but all clear up in the ute and shoots


I. Infertile pet peeves: Being asked when we're going to have another one (as if we can just roll over in bed one evening and decide to bump uglies and make a baby)


J. Job title: Full-time mama and (perhaps) (maybe) (possibly) soon-to-be part-time freelance writer


K. Kid’s names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: Nacho bidness


L. Length of time trying to conceive: 18 months


M. Miscarriages: Thankfully, none


N. Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs: I changed my OB/GYN after spending over 6 pointless months on Clomid, Estrace, and Crinone while doing IUIs for which I had to send KB to the RE clinic near our house and then go pick up his centrifuge full of defective-ass sperms ('fuge o' spooge) and transport it in my cleavage (yes, this is how they instruct you to keep it warm) to drive it across town so I could sit in my OB/GYN's waiting room full to the brim of pregnant bellies and shoot daggers at anyone curiously eyeballing the protrusion in the top of my bra and shirt and then after waiting for at least 45 minutes, get put in a room to wear the paper shirt and no pants and then wait 30 more minutes to have what I assume were 100% dead-ass sperms shot like a pointless cannon of despair into my awaiting and soon-to-be-disappointed ute*** -- after that, we self-referred to the RE and got a second RE opinion after our second failed IVF cycle (and chose to stay with original RE since opinions were the same and our insurance covers medical procedures at her clinic)


O. Ovarian quality: All good on paper (with the occasionally borderline-high FSH -- ruh-roh), but poor response to mega-doses of gonadotropins a la IVF stimulation (probably a hormone receptor polymorphism, resulting in a lower number of available receptors that can respond to a sub-occupation physiological level of gonadotropins, but causing a blunted ceiling effect when you flood the system with hormone)****


P. POAS or wait for ye ole period: Golden showers make May flowers...er, something


Q. Quote from an obnoxious fertile: "At least you don't need birth control"


S. Sperm: Rock star (if that rock star is Keith Richards) (severe male factor infertility characterized by markedly low motility and 0% normal morphology, improved to a whopping 1% normal after 3 months on 50 mg/day Clomid and Proxeed)


T. Time you tried naturally: 6 months with charting and ovulation predictor kits, and off and on between Clomid/IUI cycles for 6 more months


U. Uterus quality: Bee-you-tee-ful 


V. Vagina: Present?


W. What baby stuff do you already have?: Thanks to Jackson, we have every baby gizmo and gadget known to humankind (but his favorite toy is still my iPhone case)


X. X-tra X-tra hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy trying-to-conceive journey? Most of our immediate family, some extended family (details offered on request), and most friends


Y. Yearly exam (do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?): Back to annuals now (between the OB/GYN and RE, I didn't need a general practitioner for over two years)


Z. Zits: I'm a picker, I'm a grinner


* I'm no fan of the conception-related lexicon of shorthand and acronyms (no offense intended if you are)
** Lordy, do I despise this term -- let's see how stupid it sounds used in a sentence by a grown-up: we baby danced our goddamned brains out until it almost wasn't fun anymore and still didn't get knocked up
*** So, I have some mixed feelings about my original OB/GYN's ability to diagnose infertility and manage treatment; does it come through? 

**** For all you science nerds