Saturday, 28 December 2013

Start your engines

A belated Merry Christmas to you, blog friends!  I hope you all had wonderful holidays with turkey and eggnog and presents and awesomeness.  Sorry to leave you hanging with the drama of my last post.  Our power stayed out for just over two days after the ice storm last Saturday.  We kept popping into the house on our way to and from work to make sure things were still OK, and to deal with minor issues like water seeping out of our freezer as things defrosted.  Full power was restored Christmas Eve morning, just in time for us to pack everything up and head to the in-laws' place for the holidays.  We ate a lot, lounged around in pyjamas, and in general had a wonderful relaxing time.  Unlike many of you, there are no other kids in M's immediate family so we didn't have to deal with constant reminders of our infertility, although Skyping with my sister and niece on Christmas morning was a little hard.  Seeing some of the pictures of her little face while opening her presents...well, let's just say that it made me wish more than ever that we had our own child to spoil.

It seems like it's been a while since I've updated on actual ladyparts stuff.  Well, after a full two months of absolutely nothing happening down below, I think I would have had to have been in a coma not to notice the engines revving again.  First the hot flashes started dissipating, and somewhere around the second week of December I finally stopped having any hot flashes or night sweats at all.  Then, much to my amazement, I started getting cervical mucous.  And oh, the cervical mucous!  This shizz was beautiful.  Calling it "EWCM" doesn't do it justice, my friends.  Copious in amount, slick and slippery in was like gold.  Snotty, slimy, mutantly stretchy gold!  Never one to look a gift horse in the cervix, M and I humped like rabbits every second day until it went away.

Something else that happened this cycle that normally doesn't was ovulation pain.  In the past I might have gotten a twinge or two, but this month I was downright uncomfortable.  At one point on the day that I think I ovulated, I was walking the dog and my ovaries felt like two bowling balls jostling around in my abdomen.  It was almost like how I felt post-egg retrieval.  I have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing, or if it means nothing and it was just more noticeable because my system was restarting itself after two months of inertia.  Either way, I am as confident as I can be without charting or using OPKs (because I gave up on those a long time ago) that I ovulated on December 18th.

So now I'm in a two week wait.  It's something that I haven't experienced for a while, and I'd kind of forgotten how much I hate it.  I mean, let's face it, I'm not pregnant.  It would take a bloody Christmas miracle.  Not even Dr. Google can find me a single story of someone getting pregnant their first cycle off Lupron Depot.  And before you start asking, the answer is no, I'm not having any symptoms.  At least, none that aren't totally imaginary and/or explainable by a million other things.  You know, the usual.

The real concern that I have is how long my luteal phase is going to last.  This is important because my clinic is currently closed for the holidays.  It reopens on January 2nd, so if I get a period any time before New Years' Eve I can't go in for Day 3 monitoring...meaning that a January FET is not going to happen.  I'll have to wait a whole extra month to get some closure on this whole "own eggs" thing.  My normal luteal phase is long, at 17 days, which would put me safely into the new year with a period on January 4th.  Even a standard 14-day LP has my period arriving on January 1st, which is in the clear.  But as we all know, my uterus is an asshole so for the first time in the history of ever I'll probably have a 12 day LP, putting me just outside the Day 3 monitoring window.  The suspense, it never ends around here.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Shelter from the storm

As I write this, we are refugees.  We're currently at M's folks' place, where they have amazing luxuries like heat and electricity that are sadly lacking in our neck of the woods.  Last night Toronto got hit by a nasty freezing rain storm that coated everything in a thick layer of ice, ultimately causing severe power outages as ice-heavy tree limbs gave up the ghost and took out power lines as they came crashing down. 

We initially thought that we weren't getting hit as badly as meteorologists predicted, but as we were watching Saturday Night Live last night we started hearing crazy noises outside.  At first we thought it was just our garbage and recycling bins blowing around, but then we figured out that it was a combination of the BOOM of power transformers exploding and the C-C-R-A-A-C-K of tree branches tumbling into our yard.  The power flickered on and off all night, making sleep all but impossible (why oh why must smoke detectors make that shrieking beep every time they lose/gain electricity?) and we eventually lost it completely around 5am.  M and I took turns getting out of bed to see what had made the latest noise, hoping that our car wasn't being destroyed by branches falling from the large birch in our front yard.  Fortunately most of the damage seems to have been confined to the yard-side of the tree rather than the part that overhangs the driveway (as well as the power line connecting our house to the main electrical line).
 The view from our bedroom window this morning.  Poor birchy.

About 4am we both happened to be out of bed looking into our backyard when a gigantic limb fell off our neighbour's tree, which overhangs our yard.  It ended up crashing onto our shed, taking out a wire of some kind that runs from the back of the house to a main line above our back fence.  Strangely, this didn't end up resulting in a loss of power, so I have no idea if it's an electrical line or something else.  We've been avoiding it just to make sure, and wouldn't let Buddy out into the backyard on his own.  Unfortunately the Toronto Hydro phone line that you can call to report downed wires is totally out of commission due to call volume, so we still haven't been able to report it some 14 hours later.

Backyard view.  Cleanup's gonna be fun!

We hunkered down at home for the morning, hoping that we'd be one of the lucky ones to get our power restored relatively quickly.  Right now Toronto Hydro is saying that it could be up to 72 hours before full service is restored.  We wimped out somewhere around 3pm, when the temperature in the house hit 18 degrees (65 F) and we started fantasizing about hot food and coffee.  Although I was initially hesitant to head out on the roads for the 1.5 hour drive to M's parents' house, my cold feet eventually won out and we abandoned ship.  We had to re-route around a couple of huge tree limbs blocking the roads in our neighbourhood, but the main thoroughfares were actually pretty good travel-wise.  And of course, as much as this storm has made a hell of a mess, it's ironically very pretty as well.

View from the car as we got the hell out of Dodge.

Despite being displaced from our house, we're actually quite lucky in that we were planning on spending Christmas with M's parents at their place anyway so it's not like we have to reorganize some gigantic family get-together as I'm sure many Torontonians are doing right now.  And our municipal representatives are pretty on the ball, so I'm sure that things will be back up and running efficiently in no time.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mayor Rob Ford!

Scratch that.  We're fucked.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Open letter to idiots at the supermarket

Happy weekend, fellow infertility goddesses!  It's a snowy Saturday here in Toronto, which means that people are driving like numbskulls and heading to grocery stores in droves since who knows when we'll see fresh food delivery again.  I mean, this could be it.  Society as we know it could very well be on the verge of breaking down.  I kind of almost hope it is, because that's about all I can think of that would explain the behaviour of people at the supermarket this morning.  Warning:  rant ahead.

One of the things that sucks about having a regular 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday job (apart from the fact that I have to, you know, go to it) is that it means that a lot of my chores and errands, like grocery shopping, get done on the weekends.  I'd love to have the luxury of doing it on a Thursday morning like my mom used to, but it's just not going to happen.  My preferred time for groceries is Saturday morning.  There's lots of selection since the shelves are freshly stocked, and I get it done and out of the way so I can go on about the rest of my weekend.  Apparently a lot of people think like this, since the store always seems to be super busy around this time.  Which means it's even more important that people observe the basic etiquette rules of grocery shopping, as I shall enumerate below:

1.  Dear old people:  I understand that grocery shopping has changed a lot since your day.  Milk is no longer delivered to your doorstep in glass bottles by nice men in white coats, and you're not on a first name basis with your butcher.  I understand that some of these changes might be confusing to you.  Why are there so many kinds of mustard?  Does yogurt only come in tubes now?  Where did they put the foot ointment?  What exactly is INSIDE a Hot Pocket?  (Answer: No one knows.  Don't eat it.)  I understand that it might be difficult for you to read all the tiny print on the wall of soup cans, and that it might take you a while to choose which one of the 65 kinds of soup you actually want.  No one blames you for this.  You're old and it's loud in here.  But while you're spending an hour studying the wall of Campbell's, do me a favour and pull your cart over to the side and please get out of my way.

2.  Dear grocery store employees:  I'm sure it's no fun being paid 11 bucks an hour to put up with idiots who can't figure out that you put the coconut milk in the baking section instead of the Asian section (side note: why do you do this?).  And yeah, fuck that guy who decided he didn't want those chicken breasts and put them on the shelf with the cake mix.  Last night.  That guy's a jerk.  You're just trying to do your job.  You have to stock shelves.  The peanut butter isn't going to walk itself onto the display (and if it does, we have larger problems).  But please, instead of parking your stocking cart on a 45-degree angle in the middle of the aisle as you work, be considerate and pull it over to the side and get out of my way.

3.  Dear men:  I know, you never come here.  Your wife always does this.  But for some reason she couldn't make it here today so she gave you a list and quite possibly a small child to lug around while getting the items on said list.  But just so you know, the list is not a test.  Perhaps it's not as specific as you like (she wrote milk!  Did she mean 2%?  Skim?  Almond?  What size?  OhgodI'mgoingtofail!) but chances are she's relying on you to actually be able to remember what you haul out of the fridge and put on your cereal every day.  If you can't, just do your best.  If you bring home 2% instead of skim she's probably not going to divorce you.  And if she is, your marriage is in worse shape than you thought.  But while you're panicking and having your existential crisis about milk/your marriage, be a dear and move your goddamn cart over to the side and get the hell out of my way.

4.  Dear moms:  I'm sorry that your husband is a complete idiot and brought home 2% milk last time when you always buy skim.  I have no idea what got into him.  He should know better.  I'm sure it's no fun to have to come here week after week, screeching toddler in tow, while your husband sits on the couch playing Xbox.  You're just trying to do your best and buy healthy food for your family while simultaneously preventing your child from spilling the box of goldfish crackers you just gave him/her to stop them from crying/running away/climbing the shelves/eating dog treats.  Oh, now they want to push the cart!  How cute, they want to push the cart just like mom!  DO NOT LET THEM PUSH THE CART.  They're like tiny drunks on a power trip.  Great, now they're crying because you won't let them push the cart.  As you try to console them and/or threaten them into silence by telling them that Santa is watching, for the love of all that is good and holy move your cart to the side and get out of my motherfucking way.

As you can see, the rules of supermarket etiquette basically boil down to one thing.  Can't figure out what you're doing?  Pull over to the side so others can get by while you figure it out.  Is that really so hard?  Is it?  Really?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hot mess

I'm here, friends!  Don't send out the search party just yet!

I've been a bit of an absent blogger/commenter lately.  I'm blaming it on the fact that I've just gotten over my third cold in the last month.  You'd swear I was out licking subway poles or something, rather than enjoying the otherwise healthiest year of my life.  I had a smallish head cold at the start of November that went away pretty quickly, then another one two weeks later that was a bit worse but still survivable.  No time off work required, and I even managed to keep up with my workout schedule.

Then my body said FUCK YOU.  It started last Wednesday when I just could not clear my throat.  I felt that annoying post-nasal drip tickle where you can feel mucous in your throat, but no matter how much I coughed it wouldn't go away.  By Wednesday evening I had a headache, and Thursday I woke up with a fever.  Great, I thought, my colds have morphed into pneumonia.  I ended up going in to work regardless because Thursday and Friday were training days on a new piece of software that is going to be very important for my job and I didn't want to miss it.  Plus my doctor is near my office so I managed to squeeze in an appointment.  I'm not normally one to go to the doctor for a little sneeze and cough, but a whole month of it plus a fever had me a little worried and a lot annoyed.

The good news is that it was just another cold.  The bad news is that it was a lot worse than the other ones, and I ended up flat on my back on the couch until Sunday.  I may have missed my second day of training at work, but I still managed to learn a few things.

a.  When people say animals know when you are feeling bad, they are lying.  Buddy didn't give a royal crap that I felt like shit.  Instead of cuddling on the couch with me he stayed upstairs most of the time on his giant new dog bed that we got at a beagle rescue fundraiser a few weeks ago.  Giant dog bed > sniffling feverish lady.  Dog math.

b.  I am a terrible housekeeper.  It's easy to convince myself otherwise when I get home after dark every weekday (gotta love those short winter days), but when lying on the couch in full daylight my slacking in the area of dusting/sweeping was patently obvious.  I don't know how normal people keep their houses clean.  I would have to dust and sweep every day.  Are there people out there who actually do this? 

c.  Daytime TV sucks.  Hard.  Seriously, is Dr. Oz a quack?  He seems like a quack.  QUACK!!

Anyway, you'll all be pleased to know that I'm now recovered and seriously hoping my husband doesn't come down with it, because we all know what giant babies men are when they're sick.

In ladyparts news, this week marks 7 weeks since my last Lupron shot.  I had been starting to despair that my cycles would return on their own, since up until I got sick I was still having the occasional hot flash/night sweat.  After I got sick my fever made me feel like I was in a constant state of hot flash, so that both sucked and made it hard to know what was going on.  But this week I've now gone three days with no heat waves.  AND this morning I had...gasp!...actual cervical mucous!!  It's been drier than the Sahara down there since Lupron, so I really hoped that once my estrogen levels started rising I'd notice something that would let me know what was going on.  Soooo...I'm thinking this means the engines are revving again.  Of course this still means a period is a couple of weeks away, but at least things may be happening.  The biggest issue now is that M is going to be gone on a business trip for the middle two weeks of January, which could be exactly when my FET is scheduled depending on what happens with my period.  Figures, right?  I haven't decided what I'll do at that point, whether we'll wait another month so he can be here or just do it and get it over with.  But it'll be hard to get my bed rest with a dog to walk and no one home to feed me, so that may dictate.  Typical AF, right?  That bitch has the worst timing.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

1st Blogiversary / 100th post

Yeah, I may have tweaked my posting schedule a little bit when I realized I was close to having my 100th post fall on my one-year blog anniversary.  So sue me.  I like the symmetry of it.

When I started my blog, we were gearing up for IVF #2 after our first was cancelled due to poor response.  I was beginning to realize that we were probably going to be in this for the long haul, and that getting through it was going to take a lot more support than I'd anticipated.  My endless infertility-related Googling had already led me to a couple of blogs where I'd been lurking, and I started to think that maybe I should just drop the pretense and admit that, since I was apparently already a member of this crappy club anyway, I wanted to be friends with the cool kids.  To do that, I'd need a blog of my own.  So on a chilly Saturday morning I hunkered down with my laptop, found a pretty background, and wrote my first post.

I also think I had a bit of a ridiculous notion that if I started my own blog, I'd get pregnant.  After all, it certainly seemed to me like I came across an awful lot of older blogs that had gone defunct after the blogger had a baby.  Perhaps it worked a bit like reverse psychology?  Start a blog to connect with other infertiles, and that would be the exact time that my body would decide to cooperate by making a baby.  If only it worked that way.

And yet, as I was flipping through my blog reader the other day, I realized that fully 40% of the infertility blogs that I subscribe to are either now pregnant or parenting (yeah, I did math!).  It's something I hadn't thought about when I started making blog-friends and getting so invested in others' stories.  That eventually they would move on, and I might not.  Some days, when I read about yet another BFP, I feel like a kid who's been left behind in school, with all of my classmates graduating to bigger and better things while I sit here, doomed to repeat the year all over again.

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm definitely happy for those of you who have had your babies or are on your way to that, and I hope nothing but good things for your pregnancies.  But it's an odd irony of infertility blogging that you eventually end up reading/hearing/knowing more pregnant people than you ever would in real life!  And yes, it's different...except when it's not.  Some days I'm feeling good and it's easy for me to chime in and comment on a pregnancy-related post.  Then there's the others, when I'm feeling low or I'm reading a post that's asking for advice on diaper genies or cracked nipples, and I find that I just have nothing to say.  That's not my world.  My world is still follicles and stims, blastocysts and CD1s.  I know no one blames me when I don't have it in me to comment on pregnancy stuff...but I at least wanted you all to know that I wish I could.

When I look back at my first blog post, what I'm struck by the most is my first comment.  The lovely Tutti, who no longer blogs, wrote the following:

I am *so* glad you are here! We've all lurked. All wondered if we should join the club. All been afraid to make the plunge. I don't make promises often (like you said, no crystal ball) but I PROMISE you that you will never regret having this blog. The support and love you will receive and give is something that you cannot get anywhere else. Welcome m'dear.

How right she was.  Thank you all.