All Hallows’ Eve (Updated)

Many Evangelical Christians do not let their children celebrate Halloween because they believe that it is akin to Satanic worship.

You know why I don’t let my children celebrate Halloween?

BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ANY CHILDREN.

51 12 minutes until I can call about beta #2.

Update:

The OPK I took this AM is very, very dark so I optimistically did my Lovenox and my HCG injections even before getting beta results back. Mixing the water and powder was the hardest part for the HCG; the shot itself was nothing. The nurse told me that they can recalibrate any future results (she was sure they would do another draw on Friday) because they know how much HCG I injected myself with. She was also not at all alarmed by my 15.5 level on Monday and reassured me that Dr. SBS is not concerned with absolutes, only the rate of change.

Update, Part II:

I called back at 11:03. Guess who is working today? THE EVIL, PAINFULLY SLOW LAB TECH. I am to call back at 11:30.

Update, Part III:

I HATE my RE’s lab. H.A.T.E. I know it is a strong word, but “dislike” is not nearly powerful enough. I called back at 11:30. They don’t have the results because THEY NOW HAVE TO RECALIBRATE THE MACHINE THAT DOES THE HCG TEST. THEY HAVE TO DO THIS NOW. IT MAY HAVE BEEN GIVING INNACURATE RESULTS. Yes, I am glad they caught it but FUCK did it have to be this week? Today? I have to call back at 2:00, which is right before I teach. I am going to take a shower and try for another several hours not to think about it.

Update, Part IV:

HCG: 60 (more than doubled since Monday — still looks low to me but it did quadruple if it was 15 two days ago, right?)  I am between 13-14dpo.

Progesterone: 25

Repeat beta on Friday.

Deep exhale for first time since Monday.

October 31, 2007. Other Links, Pregnancy #3. 15 comments.

Shooting Up

I am very pasty deathly sickly-anemic white fair complected. I also bruise very easily. I have been taking baby aspirin since the last miscarriage and even this makes me bruise severely from acupuncture needles. Pathetic, I know.

The Lovenox shots are an even more powerful blood thinner, and you stab gently administer the pre-filled syringe into your abdomen. The main short-term side effect is bruising at the stab injection point. You can imagine how I might look after a few weeks of this; it is pretty ugly even after one day.

Hope is here and it comes in the form of a cheap blue icepack. Per my nurse’s recommendation, I iced the injection site this morning, then injected myself (without pinching the skin this time) and then immediately put the ice pack back on it. Et voila! No hideous bruise! Less pain! No residual stinging!

I was up until 3AM grading papers (it took me a long time because, uh, it was really hard to concentrate on poorly written undergraduate papers when you, uh, have something else on your mind) and then I feel into a deep sleep almost instantly. I woke up feeling … emotionally good. I even reminded myself that my first beta was kind of sucky, but I still felt good (a few recitations of the mantra helped, too).

I tempted fate and POAS. The line is darker than yesterday. Not a huge difference, but definitely darker. My levels, therefore, are at least not going down. This afternoon I peed on an OPK and the second line is now very dark (almost positive) and is considerably darker than yesterday. This all means a whole lot of nothing, but it isn’t bad news.

I have not freaked out. I have not fallen apart. I have not crumpled from the stress.

I am now, however, going to take a nap.

And my boobs are KILLING me.

October 30, 2007. Pregnancy #3. 5 comments.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat Mantra

Dr. Google is a bastard. A BASTARD, I tell you.

Some doctors in his group say a beta of 25 is needed to confirm pregnancy; others say 10. Some say the “average” for 12 dpo is 50; others say only the rate of increase matters.

Here is what I am doing: trying not to think about it.

My new mantra:

I have no control over the ultimate outcome of this pregnancy.

This is happening at a cellular level and is not yet even visible to the naked eye.

I am doing absolutely everything I can do, which in the scheme of things is not much, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

I had to test early, in order to know when to start the RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) protocols. I was not a masochist on purpose.

I was actually getting hopeful, because I had a wave of nausea and increased boob soreness. Then I remembered that I am on progesterone. Rats.

I can’t take the HCG injections until after Wednesday (beta #2 is scheduled for 8:45AM), because, obviously, it will negate the beta. If the beta is good, I start the HCG injections (twice a week) and that will forever end my POAS obsession.

I have taken 12 pregnancy tests and several OPKs.

I am not doing a good job of not thinking about it, am I?

(MANTRA. Lather, rinse, REPEAT.)

October 29, 2007. Pregnancy #3. 7 comments.

Bizznazz

Dr. Short-but-Sweet does not mess around. He means bizznazz.

I showed up at 9:01 today (they are open at 7AM for procedures but do not answer the phones until 9:00) and told them that while I was aware that I was supposed to call in advance for an appointment, it wasn’t going to happen this morning. I am here. You will see me. Okay? They were okay.

I knew about the baby aspirin, progesterone, prenatal vitamins (duh!? when trying to get pregnant? really?), and the Lovenox ($125 a month WITH my insurance) but I didn’t know they would also put me on HCG injections ($90 a month WITH my insurance) for the first ten weeks. My poor stomach almost retched just looking at the box of injections, because HCG and my stomach are sworn enemies.

They also drew the blood for the beta. The nurse told me to call back at 11:00 for the results. I patiently waited until 11:03 (because I was stuck in two different pharmacies trying to get the medications, not because I am patient) and then she told me that the lab had not “run” my blood yet so I should call back at 11:30. I have 13 minutes to kill.

In the meanwhile, I am going to shove another progesterone suppository up my bajingo and then read through my “RECURRENT PREGNANCY LOSS MEDICATION PROTOCOL” one more time.

UPDATE:

I patiently waited until 11:37 and then called back. Still no results yet. Apparently the lab technician this morning is “a little slow.” What I said: “When can I call back, then?” What I thought: “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND RIGHT IN THIS WORLD PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE HIRE A FUCKING EFFICIENT LAB TECH.” I can call back at 12:30PM.

UPDATE, II:

HCG = 15.5 (11 or 12dpo)

Progesterone = 22

TSH = 2.58

HCG sounds low to me; last pregnancy I was 35 at 11dpo. Dr. Google says anything above 100 on 14dpo is good. FUCK. Mine does not sound so promising. Please, please, please let it shoot through the roof in the next two days.

I am not going to freak out. Instead, I am going to give myself what I hope will be the first of many Lovenox injections. Repeat beta on Wednesday.

UPDATE, III:

DAMN that hurt!!! I did it all by myself. It only bled a little, but it still smarts. DAMN!!

October 29, 2007. Pregnancy #3. 9 comments.

Commence Freak-Out

I POAS tonight and it was positive, but just barely.  Granted, it is a different brand and I was not using first-morning urine, but it will still disconcerting.

Then, to make myself feel better, I peed on an OPK.  In theory, if you are pregnant, and OPK should be positive, too.  Mine was negative.

And the cramping is getting worse.

I have a horrible fear that I my beta is going to be very low, or non-existent.  I know the progesterone will stop any flow, but good golly this is stressful.

So I am off to sleep to lay in bed and close my eyes.

This gesture is only so I can POAS in the morning with more concentrated pee and then start obsessing over everything all over again.

October 29, 2007. Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

Marching Orders

I must be a brand-name snob because once the “First Response” pregnancy test turned positive this morning, it felt real. Not “I am going to have a baby” real, but “I now have HCG in my system” real.

I called my RE per his orders (“Call me AS SOON as you get a positive pregnancy test”). I assumed since he is an RE with a God-complex (a prerequisite of the job, I am quite sure) that he worked on Sunday. I got through to the nurse-on-call, who told me to double the progesterone dose (200 mg twice a day instead of once a day) and call “first thing tomorrow” for an initial beta and a prescription and lessons for my Lovenox injections.

I am surprisingly calm, all things considered. I am sure the freaking-out will ensure in the next few days. Either that or I will start bleeding and completely fall apart.

Here is what you are not allowed to say:

1) “The third time’s the charm.” Please, please, please don’t say that or I will hate you forever.

2) “I just know everything is going to work out this time.” You don’t know. You think you may know, you may want to believe it will work out, but you don’t know. If you perhaps do really know, you should be doing bigger things with your omnipotent power than reading miscarriage blogs.

3) “Just keep thinking positive.” Yeah, that doesn’t work. Biology works in mysterious ways. If thinking positively could change the outcome of things, there would be no miscarriage/infant loss blogs.

October 28, 2007. Pregnancy #3. 7 comments.

MIND F#CK, Part Trois

I just POAS again.

It is a faaaaaaint positive.

Or an evaporation line.

FUCK.

I am off to buy more tests and force myself to pee.

UPDATE:

Testing at 8PM with (obviously) non-first morning urine:

Babyhopes.com HPT = faaaint positive

Dollarstore HPT = faaaint positive

First Response Early Response HPT = negative

I am only 10dpo, so I will retest in the morning.

October 27, 2007. Trying Again. 3 comments.

Mind F#CK, Part Deux

I stopped spotting a few hours after I started. That was Thursday night.

My temperature shot up this morning into what I call “the pregnancy range” (i.e. it only goes this high when I am pregnant).

I have taken seven HPTs since Wednesday (yes, that is indeed more than one per day) and all are negative.

I HATE this.

October 27, 2007. Trying Again. Leave a comment.

Mind F#CK

I was wearing nice pants and thong underwear (in order to avoid the dreaded VPL) today. I was on campus all day (it is 9:30PM and I just got home) and just realized that I am spotting. Thank goodness it just started, because it didn’t make a huge mess. However, it is still pretty alarming to spot red in the middle of your cycle a week before your period is due.

I plugged the “spotting” into my fertility software and here is what it told me:

Spotting at this time of your cycle may indicate (and let’s face it, MC, you are not all that lucky as far as fertility-related things go so you really should pretty much just ignore this) that you are pregnant. This is referred to as ‘implantation spotting’ and can occur when the fertilized egg burrows into the uterine wall (endometrium). You are in the post-ovulatory infertile phase of your cycle.”

Holy message. Holy uterine cramps. Holy mind fuck.

p.s. I am trying not to be upset that only two people want cool stuff from me. Come on people!! FREE STUFF!?!?

October 25, 2007. Trying Again. 9 comments.

Pay It Forward

I was a winner of Niobe’s give-away so it is now my turn to pay it forward.

GET A SNAIL-MAIL SURPRISE FROM MC!!

The only rule is that if you “win” you need to make the same offer available on your own blog.  (Oh, and if you win, you also need to give me your snail-mail address.  I will e-mail you for it if you are a winner.)  (Wait, YOU ARE ALL WINNERS.  What I meant was if you are a winner of this particular contest.)  

The first five people who self-nominate themselves in the comments section win!

Here is what I will not mail you:

1) The negative pregnancy test I impulsively took today at 7dpo.

2) Any negative pregnancy tests for that matter.

3) Anything that you pee on.

4) Anything that will remind you of miscarriage, dead babies, or other sad things.

5) Dental floss.

October 24, 2007. Meme-y Goodness. 8 comments.

Joyeux anniversaire à moi

I am 6dpo into the 2ww.   Why, it is just freakin’ wonderful, thank you for asking.

Guess what is due on November 1st?  Uh, huh.

Guess what November 1st is? (hint: look at the title of the post)  Yup.  I’m turning 33.

Happy birthday to meeeeeeeee

I’m soon thirty-threeeeeeeee

I’ve been pregnant twiiiiiiiiice

And still no babyyyyyyyyy

October 23, 2007. Trying Again. 5 comments.

8 Things About Me

As it was Fertility Eve, I was grading my midterms (26 all-essay undergraduate exams) in order to prepare for our week o’lovin and, as luck would have it, Ms. Planner also nominated me for the “8 Things About Me” meme. I am done with all my grading, we are lovin’ed out, and now I finally have time to post this.

Thing #1: I applied to and almost went to the U.S. Naval Academy. I did get a congressional nomination, but, alas, I did not get in because I wear glasses and did not qualify for a vision waver. In hindsight, it would have been an awful fit. At the time, I was devastated. Now, people that know me think this is hilarious because it was obviously such a spectacularly bad idea.

Thing #2: I was raised Episcopalian. My husband is Jewish. We will raise any future children (should we ever get to that point) as secular humanists.

Thing #3: I have an unhealthy obsession with office supplies. Seriously. Not the computer kind, but the real kind: pens, sticky notes, folders, notebooks, etc…. I could easily drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars in an office supply score and spend the rest of the day giggling gleefully over my purchases.

Thing #4: I am 5’9″. I have been this height since I was 12 and no, junior high was not fun. Now, I wish I were taller by just a few more inches. I think 5’11” sounds like a lovely height — tall enough to be tall but not quite 6′ tall. In the meanwhile, I am 5’11” in my “power boots.”

Things #5: I do not regularly wear shoes that cost less than $100. My favorite brands are Dansko, Paul Green, and Cole Haan. I really want to wear high heels as I appreciate their aesthetic, but I have very little tolerance for discomfort.

Thing #6: My husband and I were married by a female judge. Neither one of us cared where we got married and we did not want a religious ceremony (although the same can not be said for my uber-WASPy parents). I also do not believe in engagement rings, but if I tell you why, you will think that I sound like a raving crazy because I will use words like “patriarchal,” “commodity” and “superficial expression of emotion.” Not wanting a huge diamond apparently makes me a bad WASP. Instead we spent money on a 10-day honeymoon in Paris.

Thing #7: I once watched “That 70’s Show” so often that I regularly had dreams I was a cast member. I was always Hyde’s girlfriend, but I also got along really well with Donna.

Thing #8: I am a complete slob and an utter perfectionist. An unlikely combination, I know, but I think that I so completely anal-retentively obsess over some things that I have no time or energy to care about others. In my public life I think I come across as very organized; my living room, bookshelves, and bedroom are, however, a complete cluttered mess. The kitchen is only clean because Mr. MC keeps it that way.

I now nominate Babystep for the “8 Things About Me” meme. Babystep, you’re IT!!

October 20, 2007. Little Known Facts, Meme-y Goodness. 8 comments.

Bajingo Dentata

I went to the dentist yesterday. The dentist as in the person who cleans and cares for your teeth. I thought I was safe from miscarriage/pregnancy/fertility talk. I was wrong.

I have one cavity, gingivitis and one cracked filling. “Golly jeepers,” I said to the hygienist, “how does one crack a filling?“You,” she replied sternly, “are a clencher and a grinder.” This, in case you are wondering, is not a good thing to be. And for those of you with a dirty mind, she means my jaw.

I got the lecture about flossing (okay!), using Listerine twice a day (okay!), wearing a night guard (ew, but okay!), and getting my cavity filled (fuck! okay!). After the “YOU ARE A HORRIBLE PERSON FOR LETTING YOUR MOUTH ROT LIKE THIS” lecture, she asked what happened to my previous mouthguard. I explained that I had lost it when we moved and last year I didn’t get another one made because I was pregnant and very, very gaggy. It just slipped out, I swear. “That’s okay, they now make new ones that only go over your front four teeth to cut down on the gagging,” she explained without missing a beat. I was relieved, not about the size of the stupid mouth guard, but that she didn’t ask about the pregnancy.

I thought I was done, that I would be able to get through a fucking dental appointment without being reminded that both my pregnancies have miserably failed, and then she did it. She smiled that smile that people smile when they are going to say something sentimental and sweet. “The nausea is all worth it, though, isn’t it? How old is your baby now?”

Fuck.

The hygienist, who knows my saga, quietly explained to the dentist that my uterus is a hospice for embryos (in that they only go there to die). It was obvious that they both felt awful. Well, good, because so did I.

I can’t schedule my filling appointment until I know if I am pregnant or not this cycle, because the procedure can be “risky” during the first trimester. Given my past, I do not need to add anything risky to the formula. Although I am tempting to get a t-shirt printed that says “MY DENTAL FILLINGS KILLED MY FETUS.” Either that or “BAJINGO DENTATA.”*

*If you are not fortunate enough to know what a bajingo dentata is, please click here for the non-MC version of the term.

October 18, 2007. Other Sucky Things, Trying Again. 5 comments.

This Time, For Real

Okay, today I got an unmistakably positive OPK, so yesterday was just a false-alarm of sorts.

We still did the deed, of course. This isn’t just sex; this is sex with someone who just had the entire upper-half of his right lung scraped about a month ago in a procedure known as a pleurectomy. As you can imagine, the operation and recovery were a wee bit painful. Last night he had to take some painkillers, because damn!!! if I am not just that good!!! because he was not very comfortable. Poor guy. Mr. MC is a real trooper, especially considering my demands needs wants polite requests for sex-on-demand.

I am over the purse. I like it, I really do, but after seeing one of my students carrying it today (a sure-fire way to ruin anything for a professor), I realized that it is a little to bohemian for my super-uptight anal retentive taste.

Instead, I have moved onto this necklace: necklace.jpg

October 16, 2007. Fashionista-itis, Trying Again. 18 comments.

Oui ou Non

I think I got a positive OPK (it is well established that I am awful at reading the bloody things); if it isn’t positive, it is pretty darn close. Yes, I should have other things on my mind.

Instead, I am obsessive over a handbag.

bag.jpg

Thoughts? [I tried to post a poll, but WordPress only wants me to use their poll, which, of course, costs money.]

While you are pondering the necessity of this obvious non-necessity, Mr. MC and I will be, well, you know (cue 70s porn music).

October 15, 2007. Fashionista-itis, Trying Again. 7 comments.

Fertility Eve

Christmas Eve.

New Year’s Eve.

Here at my house it is Fertility Eve.

I am on CD11. Let the games begin.

I refreshed my stock of OPKs, so I have plenty o’ pee sticks for the near future. I am all stocked up on Preseed. I have been religiously taking my 7AM temperature for the past seven days, and I am actively not worrying about the fact that it looks like Zorro’s signature instead of a nice, subtle decline into the low 97.somethings.

The colitis flare is — for the moment — under control. I came off of a 6-day steroid taper Friday and so far, so good.

Perhaps the most important part of the equation is breathing on his own, out of the hospital, and back to work.

October 14, 2007. Colitis is Fun (Not), Trying Again. 4 comments.

Decadent Fantasy

I would really, really, really like an overpriced Fourbucks drink right now. Something iced, caffeinated, milky, and filled with lots and lots of sugar. It is 10PM and I still have 8 papers left to grade for tomorrow.

Iced drinks are bad for colitis.

Caffeine is bad for colitis.

Milk is bad for colitis.

Sugar is bad for my immune system, which is ultimately bad for colitis.

Instead I am having hot organic herbal ginger tea.

This is what I have been reduced to at 32 years of age: I now sit around at night, sip unsweetened herbal tea while mumbling a feigned “mmmm” with every sip, (pretend to) grade undergraduate papers, fantasize about overpriced coffee drinks from a chain coffee shop, and write on my miscarriage blog to avoid having to actually grade said papers.

October 10, 2007. Ramblings. 5 comments.

Merde

I thought my ulcerative colitis was getting better, but now it is undeniably getting worse.

I have been taking the full retinue of my colitis medicine for two weeks, and usually it has started working by now. I even took 15mg of prednisone (the dreaded steroid) this evening — desperate times.

I am torn because I was having colitis issues right before my first pregnancy, and as soon as I was 2 weeks along, it threw me right into remission. Most doctors, however, do not recommend trying to conceive while actively in a flare because there is a chance that pregnancy can make it worse. It was only one month ago that my poop doctor actually advised me to get pregnant as soon as possible because my blood chemistry was so good.

I am on cycle day 3 so I have about a week to get this flare under control. Stress is not good for colitis, so I can not stress about getting this flare under control.

Merde.

I am completely off of caffeine for the short-term, though. It is bad for colitis and bad for fertility.

Part deux:

The absolute worst way to try and not to worry about something is to tell yourself that worrying about it will only make it worse. I feel quite awful, and I have so much work to do. This was supposed to be one of those productive weekends; instead I laid around in bed, except, of course, when I was in the bathroom.

The thought of having to wait another month before trying again makes me frantic and depressed. I feel like all I have done is wait. If it is grammatically possible to even say this, I am all waited out. I got my period after miscarriage #2 on July 10. It is now October 7th and for one reason or another, we only “tried” in August. It’s not that our excuses weren’t good — waiting for the thyroid medicine to kick in, hospitalization for a collapsed lung, etc… — but I just can not wait any longer. This is not even waiting for a healthy baby. This is waiting for the opportunity to try for something that has only a 1/5 chance of actually working, then waiting to see if it worked, then waiting to see if it sticks, then waiting to see if everything is okay so far — and that is only the first 6 weeks.

My therapist says that I believe in “magical thinking.” I feel that if I worry/obsess over something enough, I can effect the outcome; if I don’t, bad things will happen due to my lack of attention. It sounded weird when she said it, but I guess it is true. When I let my guard down, when I dare to be happy for a pregnancy or a long period of remission, bad things do happen, it seems. Perhaps it is more comforting to think that I did something to cause it instead of the reality that bad things just happen. Perhaps it gives me fleeting sense of control?

October 7, 2007. Other Sucky Things, Waiting Around is Not For Sissies. 8 comments.

Open Wound; Cue Salt Pour

I have been playing phone tag with my allergist’s office for days. I have not been in to their office since this time last year, when I was a few weeks pregnant with pregnancy #1. I finally spoke with them today to find out why they are not refilling my vial of immunotherapy drops. Apparently, it is because they want me to redo all of my skin testing.

Me: “Why do you need to redo all of my skin testing?

Office Lady: “Well, we just want to make sure that what is being put in your allergy vial is still what you are allergic to.”

Me: “Why would it have changed?”

Office Lady: “After the baby is born, sometimes the mother’s allergies change — new things can pop up and other things can disappear? Pregnancy is a very powerful thing!!”

Me: “So I hear. Don’t worry, I had a miscarriage. And then another one a few months later. I am quite sure I was not far along enough either time to change anything.”

Office Lady: “Oh, er, uh, oh, ummmmm, I am so sorry. (Dramatic pause; quite sure I am able to hear a pin drop in background.) Ummmm, can you stop by tomorrow to pick everything up and just meet quickly with the nurse practitioner? We obviously need to update your records.”

Obviously.

October 4, 2007. Miscarriage #1. 6 comments.