July 31, 2006

Nearly There

Not having to do shots right now is great.

With great satisfaction I chugged my last needle into the orange container on Friday, grinning that I wouldn't have to use needles again (and then I modified that to: At least until my next IVF cycle. Let's be practical here, babe.)

I started the ass bullets yesterday, and am happy to report that I already feel tired and crampy, as they make one feel. It's also doing wonders for my colon (the drugs are suspended by solidified vegetable oil which the body lates rejects), but that's maybe TMI (note to any constipators out there: Go pop the top of the Crisco and lube up, man.)

Tomorrow all 5 of the remaining Vanessa-Aidan Poster Children For Cheese embryos get thawed. We're doing this because it did our head in to think of how to do it otherwise-thaw 2? Then 3 if needed? Thaw 3, and get left with lousy 2? Buy low sell high? Pre-heat oven first? It was too much, so we took the RE's advice to thaw all 5 and pick the best two.

So we will, because Lemmings is What Vanessas Do Best.

Just as all 5 of the only combined genetic material in the world that we have is thawing, I get to make my way across the country to Upper Buttfuck, where I have a full day meeting. I didn't want to go for various reasons: 1) I wanted to take it easy, less because I am trying to rest up for the transfer and more because these days I am an unmotivated sloth, 2) I hate going to Upper Buttfuck and make it a general rule to immediately reject any meeting invites for there straight out of the Outlook barrel and 3) my nose bleeds if I go north of the M25. But this was an important enough business meeting, so to Upper Buttfuck I go.

We should get a call tomorrow letting us know how the frozen ones are doing in their defrost, as well as a time for transfer on Wednesday. I have taken the day off work on Wednesday, less because of wanting to have bed rest on day of transfer and more because of the aforementioned Option 1. I think I'm going to spend it watching 80's films on DVD.

So close and yet so far.

Posted by Vanessa at 10:18 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

Don't Squeeze My Charmin

We went to the clinic yesterday for the final scan before the Chilly Willy tag team get transferred next week. I headed for the bathroom and got my usual fabulous Gucci outfit the clinic supplies (known in regular terminology as "nasty blue paper sheet") and realized my outfit choice that morning was a bad idea-I'd worn a dress. All I could do was whip my knickers off, trundle the sheet around my middle (plastic side in) and tug the dress up.

The RE lubed up the wand with ultrasound gel and then smacked the little condom on top. She went to insert the wand and, smiling at me, said: "This'll feel a little cold."

Then I felt a horrible burning.

The lip of my clitoris got caught on it.

I got wand-burn.

When it finally released with a sound not unlike a cork popping, we all breathed a sigh of relief (except Aidan, who maybe saw his chances at some action last night dwindling.)

The uterus, she needed to be at least 8mm thick. Mine weighed in at 13mm thick, and still has 6 more days of thickening before the transfer. My Charmin, she is nice and thick.

Transfer set now-the embryos get removed from the freezer and popped in the microwave next Tuesday (no not really. They get removed from cryostorage and washed several times with a solution designed to wash off the cryo-liquid). They will have 24 hours to see how they do, and the best two will be transferred next Wednesday.

Next Wednesday is the big day, then.

And strangely, I'm feeling pretty positive.

Posted by Vanessa at 10:33 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

One Week

Scan tomorrow, and then hopefully transfer next Tuesday.

I'm so ready for the transfer. I've never been more ready for anything in my life, not even the first time I had sex (I was way late for that, it took 5 seconds, and I was there on his mother's living room rug going "Hmmm....I fancy a popsicle."), not even the first time I moved in with someone, nothing compares to being this ready. I'm at the stage now, 30 days into the cycle, where if I see another needle and it's not filled with some kind of medication that either: A) Makes me thin or B) helps me to communicate with Care Bears while eating Doritos then I may have to cry.

Since my next shot is in two hours and there's no hallucinogens in it, I'm guessing tears are on the menu.

Luckily the shots all come to an end on Friday. I believe I also cut off on the progynova then and head for the ass bullets. I'll take the ass bullets over the shots-even though the ass bullets suck, they have the benefit of acting like The Big Colon Clean Out (the fact that the key ingredient in the pessaries is vegetable oil, which holds the medication in that nice smooth bullet-shaped ass form, is what does it) is a perk-after all, IVF meds cause bloating and constipation, so any little help will be good.

I wobble between positive, "meh", and negative.

We'll see. The waiting game starts next week from today.

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July 23, 2006

And Going

I'm ten days away from all of this reaching some kind of action plan-like Action Man, we all need a something.

I've seen on other sites what women have given up while dong IVF. I confess that last time I ate pretty healthily and, although I have given up yoga for now (the idea of doing downward facing dog while my abdomen is swollen and covered with needle bruises just doesn't appeal) I was still trying out poses from time to time.

This time, I have given up nothing-while I was never a smoker anyway, that would've been the only thing I'd give up. My RE said pre-implantation it's ok to drink, so I do. I have gained 5 pounds but am mindful that progynova causes excessive water weight, and due to the Buserelin I chuga lot of water to stave off the killer migraines.

Last time I felt way more zen about my cycle.

This time I feel like it's taking a fucking long time to get there, and I'm not even there yet.

Our odds are slim. I know that, Aidan knows that. I think I'll want to do another cycle right away-we can fit one in before that time frame known as the holidays. We do have a wedding to go to in the States the first week of November though, which throws in a bit of a monkey wrench. We'll see about the scheduling-I'm keen to avoid the exact days of Christmas/New Year, because that's the time frame where it succeeded then failed all those years ago.

Last night I dreamt I was begging pregnant women to stop taking thalidomide.


Posted by Vanessa at 07:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Still on the Countdown

Less than two weeks to go until transfer now.

I've upped the Progynova now, to three tablets per day. The side effects are showing a bit-I'm pretty tired, I get to enjoy the Great Joy of Wind, and I have water weight (although that could be due to all the water I'm actually drinking due to the fucking heat wave we're experiencing here). I don't have the side effect that the label specifically warns me against: Warning! Alert your doctor immediately if you develop venous thrombosis!

Then again, my home testing kit for blood clots in the veins is buried somewhere under half-full bottles of Philosophy shower gels, so I've no way to know if I've got it or not.

Last night I dreamt I saw two lines on the stick.

It doesn't mean that it'll happen this time.

But it does mean that for the first time ever, I can at least visualize two lines on a stick, and that's comforting enough.

Posted by Vanessa at 10:29 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 18, 2006

Keeps On Trucking

Drug taking is ongoing-the Buserelin shots have been reduced but I get to take pills called Progenova now, which are used to increase my uterine lining to Charmin-like qualities.

So far, the side effects from the whole process are less than before-I only cried a few times and at moments that weren't that inappropriate. I have some water weight, but the only other real sign of things going on are some pretty creamy knickers (if I got some chips and dip, I'd be having a par-tay in the pants right about now.)

It's strange to think that in two weeks the entire chunk of our frozen embryo foray will be defrosted-all 5 of them-and we will be putting back the best two. This took much internal debate-they're frozen in a stick of 3 and a stick of 2. The stick of 3 are all only 4-cell but good quality, while the stick of 2 is 5-cell and quality is more of the Schlitz-drinking, Roseanne-loving variety. The RE recommended we defrost them all, so here we go.

I don't really know if I am optimistic, pessimistic, or craptastic about the whole thing. Aidan, for one, is completely convinced it won't work. I'm kind of ambivalent about it-maybe it will, maybe it won't. Maybe the sky will fall, maybe it won't. Maybe people will realize that Paris Hilton is an antibiotic worthy hag, maybe they won't.

But I'm here. I'm pretty relaxed, and we even are evaluating our options-should this fail we'll likely go ahead with another fresh round. We have a long weekend in November where we have to attend a wedding in the States which, while I'm keeping it in mind, I'm not letting the whole schedule for our lives be run by IVF right now.

Strangely, this FET cycle seems to be taking forevvvvver.

That's the price to pay for Charmin thickness, I guess.

Posted by Vanessa at 11:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 14, 2006


My scan went fine. They smacked a condom on that wand (I love that they did that-it was like high school all over again) and lubed it up. In it went, and presto, Bob's your uncle.

(I don't really have an uncle named Bob.)

( don't even like the name.)

Turns out that the sweet mystery of life that is my uterus is all set. I am nice and thin (at least my uterus is, anyway.)

*Does the Chicken Dance.*

*Stops, because it's embarassng.*

*Figures the nurse, who just had a wand up my bloody hooch, has seen worse. Commences Chicken Dance again.*

Bizarrely, after the first day of my period (aka The Day She Hosed It Down), my period has basically stopped. Me. Ms. Five Days of Full On. My period is basically over. Can I get some props from the synthetic hamster Buserelin shots over here?

I started the progynova tablets and reduced the Buserelin shots.

We're home stretching it now. Two weeks to go.

Posted by Vanessa at 04:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006


Dear Baby Jesus,

Thank you for making my period arrive just as I arrived at Waterloo Station yesterday.

I'm not even pissed off that I am going through a tampon an hour just now (and not just any tampon, I mean the Supersized Bichon Frise versions.)

Vanessa (aka The Great Uterus Squeeze Out)

Posted by Vanessa at 07:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006


My period still hasn't started.

I rang the hospital, who told me that they still want me to come in for a scan in a few days. This because either my period will start by then, which will extend the whole treatment a few days while we wait for the meds to kick in, or else because they will need to investigate why I haven't had my period.

The biggest suspicion, she said, is that I could have developed ovarian cysts, a potential side effect of the medication.



Posted by Vanessa at 05:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 10, 2006

I'm Late, I'm Late, For a Very Important Date

My fucking period is late. Me, Miss My Period Is Always Early Frequently Insensitive and Incredibly Long (it's a long title. Friends call me MMMPIAEFIAIL. You should see my Amex card.) And as anyone going through infertility treatment can tell you, a late period does not equal girly screams and the frantic unwrapping of home pregnancy tests. When going through treatment, a late period equals "FUCK this is going to impact the treatment schedule."

My period is late.

Depression is beginning to set in and I don't know why. I've looked at a few sites about adoption-Aidan has been against it as he refuses to pay the high fees as he feels they're "buying a baby" (which I understand). From the start, he also said he will only go through one route-either IVF or adoption, and as IVF was his preference, then that's the route we took. I personally am beginning to think that if life still looks this bleak after my FET, or one more fresh, then maybe it's time to break out the solicitor.

Agreeing that with him is another matter.

I got an email from Caltech Girl about talking it through with him, and he and I did just that. I'm not sure he understands my position-he, after all, is a father. But at least we are trying. Talking about fertility treatment is a difficult subject in our house-in the past it has gone horribly wrong. It's important for us both to keep avenues open, to not have "forbidden" subjects.

As Caltech Girl said-so what if I am obsessed? As Aidan said-you are obsessed. Slowly, I am wondering if I do have a mild obsession, kind of like a Diet Cherry Coke addiction, in which the caffeine is needed. Maybe being a mother is my caffeine.

Ah, well. It's raining and there's a little stepson (why do I not feel like a legit stepmother? Mostly because we're not married, and this sometimes makes me feel like Aidan's family are aware of this. Might be paranoia. No seriously, stop looking at me like that.) who wants to both fire up the Sims on this pc and play with his new remote control airplane. Me and my choked up anti-bleeding uterus need to go cheer the fuck up and crash a remote airplane a few times.

Posted by Vanessa at 12:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006


The medicine goes on. I still have few side effects. My first scan is next week, and I feel neither positive nor negative about that.

I haven't been reading many blogs lately, IVF-related or otherwise. I haven't been to bulletin boards, and I haven't told a single soul in our lives that we are going through the next round. I suppose in some ways I just feel like I need to go through this myself. One site I do try to read is Thalia's, and she recently had a post about chances. It lays claim to something that is rapidly becoming a huge fear for me-what if it never happens.

I have had two fresh cycles. The first one was positive, but only just. The second never did. I had one frozen transfer in Sweden with one egg transferred-I never for one moment thought that one would work, and it didn't. I'm heading towards my second FET, and although I know that it is being done properly and correctly and I'm hoping to fuck it works, I'm mindful of the lowered success rates.

I know I should view our recent failed IVF round as my first one and in general I do, but a corner of my mind nags at me that I haven't been successful so far. And when I think of the failure I just had, it is indeed tempered with a gobbling sound that is my voice-"Yeah but, but, but we only transferred ONE because of Aidan's insistence!" and "Yeah, but, but, but we spent almost the entire 2ww SCREAMING at each other, which can't be good!"

Maybe those are excuses.

Maybe the truth is, it's just not going to happen.

Maybe, maybe not.

It doesn't happen for some people. Perhaps your first urge is to say "It WILL happen, I just know it!" But it doesn't always happen, and it doesn't happen to lots of perfectly deserving couples.

Aidan said yesterday that he thinks IVF and babies are all I think of, but that's actually not the case. My life is full of daily observations and thoughts about everything, from babies to gardens to shoes. IVF is not something I am obsessed with, the shots are just a part of my day, not unlike the first glass of juice I drink or the dog walks I take. He also told me yesterday that he doesn't want to go through this IVF business much longer, but I can see that I have two fresh cycles and the frozens that go with them in me.

When those are done and if there are no cradles in the house, it may be time to confront The Future.

The Future.

The Future of always being just a person. Just a person. Just a sort of stepmom (I'm not even a legitimate one of those). Just someone who someday is sort of a step-grandma (still, not legitimate). Just someone who will spend her end years alone, because the man she loves dearly is 12 years older than her, because she has no family left, because she has few friends.

I think if Aidan knew what it felt like to be just a sort of stepmom for the rest of my life, maybe he'd understand how completely and utterly terrifying The Future really is.

I don't think about The Future.

It's much too hard to think about a childless future without one single image coming to mind-that of the mother that Alison Janney played in American Beauty. She sat in a spotless dinging room, staring at the wall, out of it.

When I think of The Future, if The Future is childless, that's how I feel.

So I do have my sense of humor about me. I approach IVF as just a part of my day, as the want to be a mother is just a part of me, much like my wants to be Wonder Woman and to lose 20 lbs. I will keep going through this process as it doesn't own me, but it does help me try to get to where I am.

And I am mindful that we can't keep trying forever.

I am mindful that adoption is likely not going to work for us for various reasons.

I am mindful that The Future is a possibility, but I will remain positive and hopeful, for my sake, for our sake, for the sake of a thick lining and prayers to various gods.

It is supposed to be so easy.


Posted by Vanessa at 08:58 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 05, 2006

I Get Parenthetical

The Buserelin shots go on. I continue to have no real side effects this time-I am not crying, nor do I have hot flashes. I do have some bloating and swelling, but then PMS is lined up for next week's period (known in Buserelin Land as The Soaked Sponge Squeeze Out). I get a bit annoyed every now and then, but that too is most likely PMS-linked. I'm tired, but it could be because it's so damn hot out, or perhaps because I have switched from the injectible form of heroin to the sniffing kind (I'm always being conscious of the effects all of these injectibles will have on Junior, which is the name for my pet uterus.)

(I'm just kidding, I don't do drugs.)

(No really, I don't.)

(OK, strictly speaking I guess I do, but they come from the IVF clinic, and I do everything they say, even if they told me that Junior, my pet uterus, required ritual cleansing.)

(Then I'd ask what ritual cleansing really meant, and if it went along the lines of those ads that start off: "Mom? I just don't feel fresh anymore.")

(Enough parenthesis. Maybe those are another side effect of Buserelin.)

So no side effects.

Maybe the drugs just aren't working.

UPDATE-Oh yeah, I was wrong. A Dog's Trust commercial just reduced me to quivering sobbing bits on the couch (which I had my butt parked on while I was supposed to be writing a technical document for work.) The German, perhaps, is beginning to take her leave.

Posted by Vanessa at 12:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 03, 2006

Is This Thing On?

So I'm on Day 4 on the Buserelin shots now and I am happy to say that I have no side-effects. None. Nope. Not a side effect here. The first IVF cycles I had when I lived in Sweden involved Synarel nasal spray, and when on those I became Psycho Bitch From Hell. I was unrecognizable as a sane and normal human being, let alone a woman on fertility treatment. I was the kind of woman you'd expect to be covered in prison tattoos and threatening unobliging Coke machines with the gutteral menace: "If you don't give me my Diet Coke I WILL CUT YOU."

The shots I had in April did not affect me the same way. I was not an escaped mental patient. I did not behave as though "Girls Gone Mad" was my motto. What I did have was a constant and never ending supply of tears. Bad 80's films? Check. Train running late? Phone book commercials? Check. I cried at all of these. I was a virtual Chinese proverb of tears. I also had the hot flashes-I'd be standing there talking to someone and suddenly it felt like I'd had a blow torch turned on in my face. Sweat would pour down the forehead and between my breasts, and all I can say is I'm thankful I didn't have to have any lie detector tests during that time as the needle would've exploded off the machine, and I would've been arrested for threatening bodily harm on Coke machines all those years back (the Swedes are so unforgiving when it comes to violence.) Between the tears and the hot flashes, I was a mess.

This time? A-OK here. I'm pretty hungry but that could be the on-coming period talking (it's only 1 pm here and I've already taken down a bowl of yogurt, an apple and a flour tortilla filled with low-fat cream cheese. Oh, and a handful ofnacho cheese crisps. I am a huge walking pig, dude.) So shots will continue. No side effects here. No hot flashes (or maybe I do have them, I just don't know-it's currently hotter than the fucking sun in England, and in a land of no air conditioning we all are walking around with permanent hot flashes.)

Of course, I haven't seen a phone book commercial on TV yet either, so all bets are off until then.

Posted by Vanessa at 11:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack