Sunday, July 24, 2011

Living IRL

I know. I've been a little low profile in bloglandia and the Twitterverse. I'm not going to apologize though. I've been making a concerted effort to get out of my own head and engage with the world around me. Major excitement (can you sense the sarcasm there?) that has kept me busy IRL for the last few days include:
  • Yardwork. Prof and I got out there together for a while just before the sun went down Friday. That was about the only time it got cool enough to be functional outdoors. Normally I do the yardwork by myself, but he joined me by special request and it was kinda nice!
  • Salon time for Slackie. I got waxed and then had a lovely spa pedicure, foot massage and all. I even broke out of my mold and tried a new color - and I love it. You should all be very proud!
  • Business gathering with the Professor. I usually skip out on business socializing with Prof's colleagues, but I put on my big girl pants and went to the party with him. I even talked to nearly every person in attendance. Trust me, that is a big deal for ME.
  • Met BFF(B) for coffee. Girl chat, catching up, a little cooperative bitching and moaning and I think we both felt better.
  • Housecleaning. Above and beyond the usual weekend laundry and dishes. We are planning to have dinner out with friends and there is a chance they will drop by our house afterwards. So a little extra TLC in the public spaces.
  • I am heading to Seattle this week for a conference. I will have a small amount of free time to myself, so I'm meeting up with BFF(3) and I'm so excited about that! I wonder if she's up for the aquarium?
  • The day after I get back home, I have my first appointment with the new fertility acupuncturist. I'm really looking forward to it, though I'm also a little nervous. I hope he's lower pressure than my previous practitioner with the herb situation.
I will be even more out of touch for a little while, but I promise we'll catch up when I get back. Pinky-swear!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hi-ho, Hi-ho... Ho-hum

Sorry to drop off the face of the internetz there. I feel like I owe y'all a post, but I still don't have anything to report. No news, no progress, no travel or interesting IRL adventures. I've just been slogging through my Monday-Friday and zoning out on the weekends. Work has continued to be unusually busy. Summer is normally our major down-time, and a to be honest, a little boring. Not so this year. We are still going flat out, but unfortunately, have all of our less critical, large projects that we put off till summer when we expected to have more time to work on them. Ugh.

We had intended to be traveling for a wedding out of country this weekend, but IVF and its cancellation have kinda bitched our finances. For those of you who don't have to deal with the All-American ordeal that is health insurance: We had to pay the clinic cash up front because IVF isn't covered by our insurance. I contribute pre-tax money from my paycheck to a savings account (FSA) at my insurance company that will then reimburse me for expenses that the insurance doesn't cover (up to the total amount that I contribute). The benefit is that the government can't tax me on that income. Since we got cancelled, the claim hasn't been submitted to insurance to be denied, so the FSA hasn't paid out a reimbursement. We could have had a refund, but it seemed more prudent to leave the payment as credit with the clinic so we wouldn't be tempted to frivol the cash away in our sorrow. Sometimes being responsible sucks.

I'm still mulling over my career as well. Or perhaps I should say "a career" because I don't feel like I have one right now. I really need to earn more money. Which is how I got where I am. Being an artist is the thing I'm best at, the only thing I'm actually educated for. But I wasn't making a living at it, I was just keeping afloat. I wanted to make more money, so I shifted my focus to my current field and got an entry level job making more than I had been. I expected to see at least some advancement after a couple of years, but am realizing now that isn't likely. All I can see are the negative aspects of the next level positions, the many ways a promotion would add stress and impinge on my home life. So I've been contemplating my strengths and skills and trying to imagine what other field I could explore that would give me another salary boost without dramatically increasing my stress levels. The problem is finding something I'm good at and mentally suited for that actually pays but doesn't put me to sleep.

First world problems.

We did see HP7TheEnd last night. It was pretty good, but I never felt the urge to cry that so many others have mentioned. Perhaps because I know the books so well and did my crying over them (and did I ever). Perhaps because it's hard for me to get past the inconsistencies and discrepancies in the storytelling. I spent too much time in the movie thinking, "But... that never happened!" I don't know, but I can say without a doubt that Alan Rickman once again acted circles around everyone else in the movie. Gary Oldman didn't have enough screen time to give him any competition in this one. Seriously love those two. And Helena Bonham-Carter does a great Hermione-pretending-to-be-Bellatrix - you can really believe it's Emma Watson in a Bellatrix suit. Hilarious moment!

Now I need to go figure out something creative to do with last night's leftover stir fry chicken and veg. I think I'll do a faux-pho... (heehee. I kill me)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Without A Doubt

I've been taking my DHEA for over a week now. The warnings on the bottle are a little alarming. There is even one that warns against use by women of childbearing age... which was, as I'm sure you can imagine, a little confusing. I had a persistent headache for the first five days or so, but that has abated now, thank goodness. I have also had VERY vivid dreams, just before waking, every day since I started taking the DHEA. Not nightmares or sexy dreams, just weird nonsense dreams that I remember clearly after waking (which is unusual for me).

I did a little online research and read some promising things about this treatment. Things that actually gave me hope. I almost wish I hadn't. Because as much as DHEA appears to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy in circumstances like mine, we all know there are NEVER any guarantees are there? There will always be someone for whom things just don't work out. If that's going to be me, it would be so much easier to go into it without much hope. I'd rather not have to deal with the crash. I wish there was some way to know in advance if I will be one of the lucky women for whom DHEA is the answer.

Our local S*bux has a Magic Eight-Ball on the pick-up counter. We stopped in on our way home this evening, and of course I just had to go there. The answer:

Without a doubt.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

IVF Update (WTF)

Sorry to be absent, both here and on Twitter, but we have out of town guests and I'm focusing on them right now. Since they are all sleeping in this morning, I thought I'd do a quick update.

We did have our IVF follow up consultation last Wednesday. Basically, no real answers. The IVF team was baffled by my lack of response. All of my pre-testing and my previous injectible cycles were good and gave no indication that something like this might happen. Apparently, sometimes you just have an off cycle (I did have ONE injectible round where my response was slightly lackluster). My RE feels like it was probably a fluke, but rather than waste another shot, he is tweaking the protocol just a bit.

  • I started DHEA on Wednesday (75mg/day)
  • Lupron is back on the menu (microdose flare)
  • BCP are optional*
  • I will continue to drink my wheatgrass and minimize my caffeine/alcohol consumption.

The major disappointment is in the timing of the do-over. The clinic closes for the second half of August, so that their employees can take vacation. So I would either need to start right away (not ideal with upcoming travel this month) or wait until September (not ideal as that begins our busiest season at work).

The RE is pushing for September because of the DHEA, which is starting to be used more often as a means of increasing ovarian response. Apparently all of the literature shows that its effectiveness is optimized at three months use. So we wouldn't be likely to see any benefits until September, making an immediate cycle more of a gamble in terms of "WTF was with that poor response?"

So September it is.

*The BCP are only being used to time the start of the cycle to coordinate with the clinic's IVF rotation. If it looks like my CD1 should be in the right range anyways, I won't have to take them, though this still involves a bit of a gamble. If I don't use the BCP and we miss the right timing, I have to wait till my CD1 falls into the correct window. SO... I'll probably end up using the BCP at least briefly.