Thursday, May 31

Tempered Optimism

Holy shit I passed.

I started writing this whiny "oh I don't know about this" "man I'm scared" kind of post at 10 or so this morning and put it to the side.  I cried driving to the clinic.  I've done next to nothing at work, just moping along, thinking of all the bad things that the clinic could say in calling today.  Would it be an HCG number of 8 where yes, I'm technically pregnant but we all know this isn't going anywhere.  Or flat out nothing happened and every change in my breasts is just from the prometrium?  That happend the first cycle, IVF/FET do not have success rates of 100%, so this is always possible.

111.  One hundred and freaking eleven.

So let's get some perspective on 111.
  • Most of my chemical pregnancies are under 20
  • One that lasted a little longer started at 54 and was at 34 two days later
  • My first miscarriage with the clinc was 71
  • Home tests are sensitive to 25
There is an article here on the probability of outcome based on HCG levels 12 days after transfer on day 3 embryos  from 2002 by P. Poikkeus, V. Hiilesmaa and A. Tiitinen.  This chart is of particular help in seeing the potential outcomes.  No one more than I knows that passing a pregnancy test does not mean you get a baby.  I am also a little different from their test subjects in that I had a day 5 embryo and thus tested on day 10.  From a cycle perspective, it's the same, but day 5 embryos do show a better success rate because some of the weaker ones would not make it to day 5.  Still, this is good guidelines on what 111 means.

http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/7/1901/F2.large.jpg

111 puts me in the 107-131 range with what looks to be about a 68% chance of a live singleton, 22% of miscarriage.  I am the kind a girl that drives that 22%, but you can see what 111 means in a relative sense.  It's good, not so good to expect twins, but good.  Also interesting about this research:  "Male factor infertility and ICSI are associated with relatively low HCG values in viable pregnancies."  We get a tick in both boxes.

Next steps?  Pregnancy test again on Saturday at 9am, if that goes well I'm scheduled for another round of intralipids on Monday morning.  HCG levels should double every 48-72 hours, if it's not going up at that rate, then odds are things will not progress to that mythical live singleton.  I'd want to see 200 or so on Saturday.  This is also why I did not mention my longest pregnancy, it was natural so we didn't find out I was pregnant until I was well over 600.  It's not a fair comparison if you don't hold the cycle day constant.

I will not be able to post the results on Saturday because we should be out and about in Toronto.  Mr. Lina has friends from university who presently live in Vancouver visiting for the weekend.  We've promised spending the day with them and Mr Lina's ex and her husband.  As soon as I can get myself near a computer, I will upate you all because that means more to me than today.  I've been here before. 

But it feels damn good right now. 

Tuesday, May 29

Duckies!

Prometrium continues to kick my ass.  I spend the day yawning, uncoordinated with heavy limbs, misspelling words and horrible typos.  Not exactly great for a productive work day.  But I'm here and I'm doing my best.  Yesterday was a zoo for me but it was all face-to-face work, a lot of mentoring people on different things and a quick, casual presentation.  I can usually draw up a little more energy around people although those who know me well have commented on me looking tired.  All for a good cause.

I am still enjoying hanging out with my embryos.  We give rubs good morning and good night, we talk about the like it's real and they are there.  I like that.  In past cycles, I've rarely been surprised by a pregnancy test result.  Between my breasts and some internal awareness, if I'm not sure then I might pass but with really low numbers.  Things are starting to feel promising.  My breasts are not the same size, it's not so much to be noticable in clothing but if you knew to look, it might be now as I think the right side is getting bigger still.  My nipples are getting bigger, also a good sign, but there are a few other changes I usually see that aren't there.  It's early still, but when I see that, I'll feel more secure.

So Sunday in between boughts of sleepiness, I worked on that night gown.  It's now at a point where I can (and did) wear it.  I will get Mr. Lina to take some pictures because it's not too revealing and he seems to want to play around with a new lense he bought.  I just have to shorten one strap first.  I did not pay attention to where I was sewing in the straps and it's quite hilarious right now as the right side is a good 2" higher than the left.  There are aspects of it that I'm embarassed to say I sewed and if this was not nightwear, it would never leave the house, but I got to a fuck-it point.  I don't care about the parts I had to zig zag over to close the raw edges because it's wearable and done and I like the quirkiness of it.

And just so there are some pictures...  Not too far away from us is a park following a creek.  There are 3 sets of ducklings this year so we've been going for walks in the evening to see them grow.  Mr. Lina took the camera with him and this is the family he got to see that day.




Friday, May 25

The nightgown that does not want to be

When I was in my pj craze, I bought a small piece of striped seersucka (you know that's just stuck for me now).  It was just over a metre and what was left on the bolt.  I figured I just wanted pj's, how much would I really need?  So I took it.



Far right fabric.  Was I ever in a pink/red mood that day.

I decided instead of doing a top and bottom, I'd do a short nightie, again, how much fabric could that take?

Let's say more than 1m of 45" fabric.

I didn't figure that out until I cut the front out.

Oops.

So yesterday I thought I'd pick it up and see what I could fake about it.  Maybe the back would be pieced or two fabrics, there is always something.  I ended up cutting the back in two pieces instead of on the fold, one piece with the stripes up and down like the front, the other with the stripes horizontal.

I don't regret this, I actually like the way that looks and started thinking that would have made a nicer front than back.  I was feeling pretty smart when it went together.

The pattern calls for facings but I figured I'd go all Sorbetto on it and just do bias tape around the edges.  I made the bias tape and while I could have paid more attention to the direction of the bias stripes at some seams, it folded and creased easily.  Prior to attaching, I realized it was together enough to see how it looked.

So I tried it on.

My poor (tender and expanding) breasts are squished.  You will not see pictures of it on me as it because my nipples show through it's so tight. 

When cutting the back, I forgot that it was suppose to be on the fold and didn't add the extra seam allowance.  Thus, I did not sew with much of a seam allowance to make up for that mistake.  I could maybe gain a half inch in total letting out the side seams and using an overlock stitch to have a minimal seam allowance.  That might let me breathe but it isn't enough.

So, now the project is sitting waiting for me to have another brainstorm on how I can cut it open and make another "design feature" with the very tiny scraps of fabric I have left (the big scrap went into bias tape).  Maybe an insert at the front?  An extra V at the side seam?  A little chevron V a the middle front?  At least I'd have two places where the stripes were doing odd things and maybe look intentional.  It's okay around the hips (good because I do not have enough for a full side panel) it's really just a bust issue.

Past that, I really like it.  Enough that it's worth saving.

Again.

Thursday, May 24

72 hours

I do look forward to the time post transfer.  With IVF cycles, my body goes through a lot.  My ovaries get full to the point where I can feel them when I walk in heels, it's WAY more appointments so more driving, more days late for work, all those freaking needles between 3 injectable medications and blood drawn at each monitoring appointment.  Extraction itself hurts and the drugs leave me with a swiss cheese memory, but it still know it sucks.  The three days of rest are just good for me at that point.  FET, it is a bit of a mental roller coaster but not as overwhelming.  The 72 hours is kind of boring.

I planned ahead.  I had multiple books to read (finally finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King, good drama not scary), being away for the weekend there were lots of blogs to catch up on, Mr. Lina put a few games on the PlayBook so I could switch depending on my level of concentration.  I did nap a lot, yesterday I napped twice (work is going to suck tomorrow).  Still, I spend a lot of time alone on the couch.  Mr. Lina is around, but he is working from home so he pops up between meetings to fetch me drinks, lunch, whatever else I need.  I don't think it needs to be quite this restrictive, I mean the clinic lets you walk up two flights of stairs for blood work then around the building to the parking lot, but whatever puts his mind at ease works for me.  Once I got a drink for myself and a piece of fruit while I was up to pee and got the stink eye about walking.  So I sit.

But my 72 hours are ending as I type.  Technically, I can go back to work, I can take a bath or go swimming.  I still cannot:
  • lift heavy things
  • no sex for a week (pout, sad how often sex is not allowed when the whole point is having a baby)
  • no "jogging, aerobics, tennis, skiing, mountain climbing or any new physical activity" (you know mountain climbing has to be on the list because someone asked, I think it would be covered by no jogging myself)
  • "anything that you will find blame in" which is why I will continue to be careful and respect any limitations that Mr. Lina suggests
  • "anything that you will find blame in" for my mental well being is more about food than activity, no fake sugars, no sushi, limit caffeine, good fruits and vegetables, that kind of thing
I did get two hives yesterday.  This is good and bad.  I do not believe they were food related, I did not eat anything new or questionable, environmental allergies don't give me hives and outside of the hives, I feel fine.  No sinus issues, wheezing/asthma (always happens with my food allergies) or itchy ears/lips which often come with reactions to celery and carrots.  This single hive issue has happened with one past cycle.  Potentially good news that things are going on in my uterus, not so good that my immune system is doing weird things.  Last time this happened the clinic switched the form of progesterone I was taking (vaginal cream, let's say ick together), I don't think prometrium is the problem.  I see why they think it is most likely, it is a peanut oil based product and peanuts are a common allergy, but I'm not allergic to nuts or legumes.  I also feel it would be more than one or two hives that go away because I am continuing to ingest it.  When I first reacted to carrots, I unknowingly ate them every day as a healthy snack and had 3-5 hives every day, not enough to cause a panic but pretty annoying and I suspect if it was the prometrium, my body would behave like that. I am trying to see the positive that maybe one or two embryos are finding a home, Mr. Lina, well, he's worried.  I suspect I will not hear back from the clinic until later today, the nurses will likely want to run it by my doctor prior to calling me back.  There really isn't anything they can do at this point to change the outcome.  In my mind, the phone call is more of an "FYI this happened" than a "fix this now" because I know they can't.  I'll update when I hear from them.
Update: It is as expected, nothing else they can do but it has been added to my file.
I used a little time this morning to try crochet again.  A few years ago I bought The Happy Hooker.  Honestly, mostly because the title amused me, secondary because I have always figured I'd get the itch for knitting/crochet at some point and the projects looked cute.  I think because past attempts have not been because of a real itch to do it, I give it up when I got stuck at the second row.  Well today I found a video on youtube and made it to row three and it made sense.  I could see the stitches I was suppose to pick up which was generally my problem in the past.  Maybe something is clicking.

So what to do with my new found freedom this afternoon?  I think I will venture to my sewing room.  On Tuesday, I wore my pj bottoms with a tshirt all day.  I intended on changing to real clothing but that would involve going back upstairs and I was comfortable and not expecting company.  But I really should make the matching Sorbetto.  I'll need Mr. Lina to move a few things out of the way, I'm pretty sure there is a box of fabric out on my cutting table.  The sleepy pills will probably limit what I accomplish, but it's good to see something other than the couch.

Tuesday, May 22

Guess what I've got?

Two little blastocycsts are hanging out in my uterus at the moment.  Just me and my multi-celled babies.  Well, and Mr. Lina, he's around taking care of pretty much everything.  I just sit.  And read.  And play games on the Playbook.  And nap.  Lots of naps. 

The clinic actually told me the wrong day for transfer.  I got a panicked email on Friday, following up the voice mail they left that I needed to be in on Monday at 11:20.  They just caught me before I left work.  I would have checked for messages at some point over the weekend, sometimes they adjust appointment times to accommodate the more time sensitive egg retrievals, but it was close.  So we camped until Sunday night and headed home.

The transfer is seriously so easy and quick.  The hard part I suppose is getting your bladder to the right level of full.  We got to the clinic at 11:20 and I thought I could pee, but I wasn't quite sure how full my bladder was.  When I was sent to get blood drawn first, I thought this was good, they were likely behind schedule and this would buy my bladder time.  I knew I had drank enough fluids.  Then noon comes.  We were called to the basement and I'm starting to feel... uncomfortable.  I was given a gown to change into, hair cover and booties (Mr. Lina gets that too, it really is treated like a surgery) and I went to the washroom to change.  Wow, when my bladder realized there was a toilet in the room and I wasn't peeing, things went from uncomfortable to painful.  And yes, it was too full.  Ultrasound sent me back to pee out 4 styrofoam cups worth.  Oops.

As mentioned, two blasts were transferred, both look very good according to my doctor.  We get to see them on a computer screen, but I'm no embryologist it's just cool to see them.  It's the tiniest little catheter that holds them so no discomfort there at all.  I had to rest 20 minutes at the clinic and then I was free to go.  Well, to go home and rest on a different couch.

Prometrium really is throwing me for a loop.  I needed a nap every day we were camping.  With a very tiny amount of rum and juice on Friday I actually needed assistance getting back to the tent.  Sigh.  I think my total drinking for the weekend summed up to about 5 mixed drinks.  Not that I mind, but it was pretty evident to anyone around me I just wasn't myself between 4-7pm.  I'm not sure how that's going to work when I get back to work.  I remember being tired with past cycles, but not stupid and believe you me, my brain just is not fuctioning for parts of the day.

And for anyone going through this, my suggestions are..
  • Take an extra tshirt, my clinic is a bit chilly in the basement so a shirt under the hospital gown is nice but ultrasound goo is going to get on it. 
  • Socks, I take the fuzzy slipper socks types
  • Something to read for the pre-wait and post-wait.
That's about it.  Transfer is just a happy day of hope.  Now to catch up on all of your blogs...

Friday, May 18

Long Weekend Ahead

Happy Victoria Day, May 2-4 (prounounced two-four, like a case of beer), May long, whatever you want to call it, happy-happy.  Victoria Day is to celebrate Queen Victoria and is the Monday prior to the 25th which is her birthday. 

But what does it mean to me?  Oh, time for a list...
  • A good time to plant annuals, frost risk is very low here after May long
  • My portulaca can finally find a home in the front garden
  • Camping!  We've camped this weekend every year we could (weddings and IVF have caused problems in the past)
  • Fireworks!  I don't generally seek out fireworks, but the camp ground we go to does if the weather allows.
  • Last weekend of drinking prior to transfer, no I won't go too crazy but I get to savour a last rum & coke for a while.
  • Pray for no rain.  Or snow.  I have seen it snow twice while camping, but it didn't stick around either time.  This year looks awesome, no rain until late Monday, highs over 20C every day.
  • Sleep - a very good thing because this prometrium is seriously beyond drowsy. 
    • At the end of my workday yesterday, I sent a short power point deck and associated data, didn't put a title on the first page.
    • At least I noticed, albeit after hitting send.
    • I decided I needed a nap prior to driving home, went up to the sick room where they have a reclining chair
    • I set my cell alarm to go off in 20 minutes but didn't actually turn it on
    • Slept for 45 min and only woke up because I heard cleaners in the hallway
    • Left my sweater at work
    • Got home and forgot to lock my car
    • Mr. Lina suggested dinner at a nearby pub and get camping groceries together in the same plaza
    • He told me at the restaurant I looked high
    • He said that with his "don't you look so cute" smirk on his face
    • Got to work this morning and I see I also left my power cord here.
  • Comfort camping - this is group camping at it's finest, last year we had about 35 people, many are kids, friends of friends I only see camping.  Our main camp site will have:
    • 40' by 40' walled tent that acts as the "compound"
    • dish washing station, a couple of coleman stoves in the cooking station, two picnic tables for eating, gaming etc
    • a smoker
    • a BBQ
    • last year we had another small tent off the main compound specifically for poker/cards
    • One attendee usually brings a flat screen tv and his satallite dish so he can watch UK soccer
    • Pretty sure he had solar panels on his truck to power those last year
    • On a cold year the tv person also brought a propane heater like they have on patios at restaurants
    • MMM  and camping do not go together very well.  So much of what I make for myself is work appropriate or I'd cry if an ember from the fire hit it and caused a hole.  Even my me made panties are too pretty.  Best I can do this weekend if maybe my bra and if we count the bags I made for gear as me-made.  So potential gap to fill, or, as time goes by, maybe I'll end up with shorts that are good for camping and as shirts age I won't feel so protective.
So it is unlike the rest of the summer camping where it's generally Mr. Lina and I.  This is a lot of people and a lot of food will be coming out of that smoker.  So tasty...  The tricky part will be keeping track of the medication I have to take (and this is still better than injectable, I'm not complaining, just planning).  Generally camping is an eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired (daily naps here I come!) type thing, but...  I take:
  • Metformin - 3 times a day with food, odds are we'll eat a late breakfast and dinner, so somewhere I have to remember the third dose
  • Baby aspirin and vitamin E are single pills that aren't dependent on time, I usually take them with breakfast so it's done for the day
  • Prenatal vitamin - 2 pills twice a day preferably with food, usually breakfast and dinner
  • Estrace - twice a day, preferably 12 hours apart
  • Prometrium - 2 pills 3 times a day, preferably spaced out to keep my hormone levels even, so right now, 7am, 3pm, 11pm.  I'm not planning on being awake at 7am this weekend so we'll see how it shifts or if I just set an alarm to swallow those pills and fall back asleep, I know I will
This year the forget me nots have decided to take over the lawn.  They are suppose to stay in the flower bed but they think they can take on my lilac bush.  I have to say they look pretty.  They are just starting to go to seed, I'll have to take steps to curb their enthusiasm, but aren't they pretty?

Wednesday, May 16

Patience

When you decide you are going to go ahead with infertility treatments, there are things you expect to suck and others you just don't anticipate.  You know there will be lots of blood drawn, internal ultrasounds, bad news, painful procedures and crappy side effects.  And some of this you get used to (blood drawn from my right arm doesn't hurt anymore) and others, well, you find coping techniques to varying success levels (bad news I'm looking at you).  But who expects waiting to be on that list?  Dealing with the clinic (and I imagine most specialists) is a lot of waiting for them to call.  I call them and leave a message, then wait.  I go in for blood work, then wait to hear the outcome.

Today is one of the days I'm waiting for a phone call that may not come.  I was into the clinic on Monday and today for the usual ultrasounds and blood work.  The nurse said all seems to be on schedule for my estrogen levels and the lining of my uterus, but until the blood work comes back, she can't guess at anything.  And I do appreciate that, I want to know not guess.  If they do call, it means that I start Prometrium (progesterone that makes me sleepy, not crazy) tomorrow and the transfer is in 6 days so Monday (as I guessed from the outset).  If they do not call, then I go in on Friday morning and we see how things are looking then.

It's like the playoffs.  You beat your best of 7 opponent in 4 games but you still have to see the results for your next opponent to know exactly when it's game day.  Sure it's exciting, I'm a happy camper here, but there is anticipation that is hard to describe.  Particularly for phone calls that may not come and aren't bad news either way.

I am afraid no sewing going on this week.  Monday was sorting through our camping gear to get ready for the weekend and Thursday will be taken up by camping prep too.  Last night we went for a walk and spent time together.  Mr. Lina is struggling a little, he has big feelings going on and I can see them swirling around him.  But the words are hard to find so we just spend time together and when the words are ready I'll be there.  Until then, just going for a walk together, snuggling on the couch, holding hands, well, it eases some of it.

And just as I was about to hit publish on this whiny post about waiting the clinic has called.  We are a go for the FET.  I start my sleepy time Prometrium tomorrow, Estrace (estrogen) starts to drop tomorrow.  And we will be at the clinic with my full bladder for my 8:00 am transfer on Tuesday morning.  The full bladder is because the catheter with the tiny little embryos on it are guided by an external ultrasound.  Happy dance, happy dance...  everyone do the office appropriate chair dance with me. 

Tuesday, May 15

Happy Tuesday

I have survived Mother's Day remarkably well.  I was too busy to over think it, too tired to care, my favourite radio station did not do a big contest and read sappy letters.  All in all, it was okay.  The house concert made Saturday just a zoo.  The artists showed up around 1 for lunch, guests at 2, most guests left around 5:30, those that travelled farther and close friends stayed later.  My parents and brother were the last to leave around 11. 

HOTCHA! were great.  We ended up with 19 adults and 11 kids.  Kids break down into 3 two year olds, 3 four year olds, 2 five/sixish, and then the 3 seven/eight year olds, 8 girls and 3 boys.  Can you say crazy?  It was wonderful.  The kids paid attention to various degrees, some ended up in the backyard looking through the open window behind HOTCHA!, snapping their fingers, dancing, it was hilarious and put new meaning into the peanut gallery.  There were a few 4 year old tears when it was time for people to leave.  A good time was had by all.

The 4 year old who did not want to leave is a snuggle-monster.  When we are at their house (which isn't all that often as it's nearly 2 hours away) she often curls up in my lap as it gets later into the evening.  Well...  she decided to sit between Mr. Lina and I during the second set.  Then she started leaning on me.  Then she had her head pretty much in my lap, so my arm when around her.  Next thing I know, I've got a little girl all snuggled up in my lap tapping along to the music.  It sure felt good.  And it had me thinking about that lap of mine as Mother's Day was approaching.  It is a damn fine lap for holding little people.  And yeah, a single little tear may have escaped, but it felt pretty happy looking forward to sharing that lap rather than looking back at what didn't work. 

And looking backward is usually what drives me crazy in May.  Something in the media reminds me that it's approaching while I'm driving and my mind can wander.  I start thinking back to a year ago and what was going on, and then further and further back until I'm just a mess of tears.   My first miscarriage, if that was a full term baby would have been about 4-6 months younger than the little girl in my lap.  When I'm already sad, that is what I focus on - the should have and could haves.  It was good to be living in the moment.

It has me realizing that the sadness and numbness I've written about, it's not there.  Oh I know I have a bruised and battered heart, I'm not saying it's gone.  But today, today I'm good. 

And Avengers, well worth the time.  I do recommend seeing the movies leading up to it (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America) if you care about character development.  Moments like Thor pausing before reaching for his hammer will mean more, the growth of Tony Stark isn't apparent if you don't know where he came from.  That said, it is a superhero movie, if you didn't see the others, you'll catch on to the plot just fine.  And hello Hawkeye.  You can just drop by any ol' time at all. 

Friday, May 11

Cheers for Friday!

The end of the week is nearly here.  I have again been done in by the tasty mochaccinos and feel a little flighty and headachy.  I should know the second one is just not as good (physically) as the first.  So time for a list...
  • HOTCHA! are coming tomorrow
  • Attendance is looking promising, somewhere around 14-16 adults and I think 9 kids
  • Even with fewer adults than ideal, it's going to feel like a full house with 9 kids running around.
  • No clue what I'm feeding anyone yet.  I need to plan out lunch for the 4 of us and snacks for the bigger group and a "just in case we need it" dinner
  • Grocery shopping is in order to feed people something other than pickles.
  • House cleaning is also required, Mr. Lina gets full credit for cleaning a lot already, I have been a slacker and the kitchen is a mess.
  • I finally got to chat with the person with CAS today.  First step is attending an information night that is hosted monthly.  Mr. Lina will be on a training course during the June session, they don't offer one in July, so... my choices were Wednesday or possibly August.
  • August seemed a long ways away, so we're going next week.
  • Mother's Day is usually a really hard time for me, I feel a lot of should have-could haves and I hate all the sentimental radio contests and commercials about how wonderful mothers are. 
  • I'm pretty wonderful and I'm not a mom (not to knock all you moms out there, but in my warped mind, it starts to feel like I can't be wonderful if I am not a mom based on their phrasing).
  • YET.
  • Maybe it's being midway through this FET or being too busy to notice it's nearly here, but it's not hurting as much as past years.
  • Of course, Sunday isn't here yet so I'm not exactly out of the woods.
  • I really should see if my parents are expecting us to see them Sunday.  They will be at the house concert and I am planning on sending her home with the fuchsia hanging basket.
  • Maybe that's enough.
  • My mom used to buy my Nana a fuchsia plant every year, so I always buy her one now.  This year is white with a purple interior, it is very tempting to keep it myself.
  • Archer is a very funny, very adult content cartoon.  Think... Arrested Development (much of the voice work is from that cast) meets Johnny Quest/Venture Brothers (similar art) in a James Bond/Get Smart/Austin Powers type spy world.
  • And it's on NetFlix
  • And Stephen King, bah, it's his fault I'm drinking so many tasty mochaccinos.  Mr Lina didn't come to bed until quite late and I didn't realize what time it was because I was reading.  I should not stay up until midnight on Thursdays.
  • Just realized I have two Sencha blouses that I have not been wearing since last summer.
  • One needs new buttons, the fabric on the covered buttons came off in New Orleans.
  • I have a feeling there is a reason I stopped wearing the other one too.
And some music for your weekend.  New Years Eve we hosted Dave McEathron and Bryan Butler.  Dave put 3 clips of the show at our house on YouTube, this is "I Will".  You can see Mr. Lina very briefly near the end in the right corner.  Welcome to my basement...

Thursday, May 10

Fantasy Orange Sewing

So... it seems proof reading was not one of my strengths last night.  I updated the title so it's not Fantasty but just Fantasy Orange Sewing.  As tasty as oranges are, I don't plan on eating zippers or bias tape.

What a week.  I am still tap dancing a bit at work and I really should be doing some of it now but I need me-time too.  There have been some long days this week, a few stressful tears on Wednesday, but I see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  By the time the FET gets here, I'll be ready for a couple of days off.

In April, I debated about doing Me Made May.  It seems like a lot of fun and I can see how there is learning if your challenge is appropriate to your current wardrobe.  I think I can wear something self made every day, even if some days it's just my bra and panties.  But I opted not to officially join because with the FET (and Mother's Day is typically not good for my mental health), it seemed like too much.  To participate, I would need to set the bar so low it really wasn't a challenge which defeats the purpose.  I have, however, been trying to pay attention to what  I have been wearing, picking more me-made items and seeing if I'm up to it.  So far so good.  8 days I've worn external me-made clothing, 2 days it was only my own bra and panties, but still, I'm wearing something I made every day.  I would have found it impossible to document.  I appreciate all the pictures participants put together, the weekly collages, and I am so not able to take daily pictures right now.

And in the spirit of fantasy sewing...  I won a pile of orange.  I thought I'd see if there was anything that would match/contrast well with the lovely assortment of orange.  And you know what I bought last month?



Indoor lighting sure changes the colours in pictures.  The picture on the right is a daylight picture from when I bought the fabric, left I took tonight with some of the orange assortment.  It sure is a vibrant print.  I bought 2m (45" wide) of cotton sateen, a lovely weight for a skirt or fitted dress.  It is soft to touch, but too heavy for anything with pleats, blousing or bulk, it wouldn't drape well and I don't need additional bulk.  Now to find the right pattern that requires an orange zipper (or three).  I have a RTW A-line skirt in a similar weight fabric that I wear a lot in summer, something similar would be nice.  I could use the same pattern I used for the grey corouroy skirt, I like the shape of it (although the waist could use a little tweaking).
Or maybe B5147, they say I'd need 2.2m of 115cm wide fabric for that black dress on the bottom.  I have 2m and whatever little extra I got on the cutting table, but I'm short.  I would likely lose 10cm or so in length so maybe I could eek it out.  I like the idea of a dress because I'd need to make a top to go with a skirt, my black t's would be fine on the weekend but not for work.  A dress would need some black accents to just tone it down a bit.

Also in my list of fantasy sewing is a Sorbetto top to go with my pj bottoms.  I am finding that I like wearing the shorts around the house.  They are quite comfortable and the right mix of ease to be both comfortable and not feeling bulky.  Honestly I have only slept in them once, but they are finding a spot in my wardrobe and washed up to bubbly seersucka goodness.

Fantasy sewing #3 is more funtional.  I could actually use more Renfrews, but without the cowl so they aren't so distinctive.  I wore the purple one today with a black skirt and felt really good, but it's getting a shade too warm for them.  Three quarter sleeve in a more breathable knit would be handy.  Also, bottoms.  I have a lot of dresses and tops, one skirt, and no pants.  So either I'm head to toe in a dress I made or it's a top.  More skirts or pants would give me more versatility for a Me Made Month.

And reminders to myself for the next FET:
  • Biore face cloth are actually keeping the hormone acne at a reasonable level.  Break outs have been an issue in some cycles but not all.  It's pretty bad this time with pimples popping up in non-typical spots like beside my eyes at the side of my face and between my nose and lips.  I don't like using chemicals but salicylic acid in those cloths are keeping the teenage look at bay.
  • Day after intralipids I felt awake and amazing, it was a very productive day.
  • Insomnia is a side effect of Lupron.  I was rereading a personal journal from a few years ago and I noted restless nights and that Lupron may be to blame.  I am sleeping, but it is taking me longer to fall asleep (which I was attributing to work stress and Mr. Lina snoring, I usually sleep through it if I fall asleep first and nose strips made a huge difference) and I'm restless at night - hot, cold, dreaming, etc.  Mr. Lina and I were actually talking to each other at 3am last night.  
Although work is a little crazy, there are some good things.  The presentation I gave on Monday?  I thought it went well, but you never know when you leave the room if the audience was saying one thing to your face and another to each other (and I was still a bit tired from that gravol).  It seems the coworker who sold in that project was at the client site on Tuesday and one of the attendees crossed the room to specifically give positive feedback on the value of my presentation.  My coworker wrote up a summary of that conversation and sent it to me, my manager, my former manager (she probably didn't know my reporting changed) and up her food chain too.  We're actually going to submit for formal feedback that will count to my performance review for next year.  It was quite nice to get recognition and a little ego boost in the midst of craziness.  Honestly it was a really small amount of work to run the data, but they hadn't seen something like that before so they just needed a little hand holding on how to read it.  It was not the most difficult or complicated work I've done even this week, but it was of value to them so that's what matters.

Monday, May 7

Treading Water

Monday evening is here and well, I survived, although I'm still just treading water work-wise.  I got a bit of an extention on two projects, I will be robbing Peter to pay Paul tomorrow to get it done.  I did make it out to present today and outside of two wrong turns and walking into the wrong meeting room, it all went well.  At least I left early enough I could spend half an hour making mistakes and still be on time.

I often find with infertility treatments that I forget the details.  At the time, it feels like I couldn't possibly forget, but then I get to the next cycle and think... what did I pack?  Did I eat breakfast?  Should I bring a snack?  Was I nauseated?  (yes, most of my issues are about food, I like to know when my next meal is coming and I get grumpy and indecisive when I'm hungry).  It's good for me to write some of this out at the time so I can refer to it next time.  With this being a public blog, I hope it's of some help to someone going through it and wondering what to expect.  I'm afraid this post is going to be all infertility, I'll balance out some sewing next post. 

First, I forgot how much endobiopsies hurt.  I had a scratch done today (Day 5), not a biopsy, but that's essentially the same thing they just aren't keeping the tissue they scratch.  It is quick and the pain does not last long which is why I forget the pain but wow that freaking hurt.  I really wanted to scooch up the table.  I didn't take pain killers because I wasn't sure how it would react to the intralipids and I think that was okay.  Yeah, it hurt, but in half an hour all cramping had stopped.  Advil would not have taken away the really brief sharp pain anyhow. 

They booked me at 7:45 for the endo scratch, 9am for the intralipids.  This was about right, they did the scratch late so I only had half an hour to wait for the intralipids.  I was in the parking lot at 11:20 and I think they took me downstairs right at 9.  So good to have a book and the Playbook to keep me entertained, but there wasn't so much time to leave and come back.

At my clinic, there are three stories.  Upstairs, they do blood work, ultrasounds and the monitoring conversations with the nurses.  On the main floor, my doctor has his office and they have a few treatment rooms like a regular doctor office.  In the basement, they have all the serious treatment rooms and the, ah... men's room with assorted reading/viewing material.  For extraction of eggs and the transfer of embryos, they have an anteroom with 4 leather lazy boy chairs, each having a standard chair for partners.  Then they have the room where the do the transfers etc which feels more like a surgery room.  The ratio of 4:1 keeps things moving well because you do spend a fair bit of time resting after both transfer of embryos and extraction of eggs.  They do the intralipids in the comfy lazy boy chairs.  There were 3 of us this morning, I gather one of the ladies has passed her first pregnancy test so this was her second round.  They do it again when you see a heartbeat at the 6 week ultrasound.

They start by giving me gravol through the IV, this would be why "most" women sleep through treatment.  That stuff made me pretty loopy and my limbs felt oddly numb at times.  One arm has the IV and heart beat monitor clipped to my index finger, the other a blood pressure cuff.  Doing anything more than holding a book is awkward.  They recommend bringing a blanket and a pillow and I used the pillow in my lap to support the book so I could do it one handed.  Thank heavens I left the hard cover Stephen King at home.  I did sleep through parts of it, they took my blood pressure every 15 minutes for the first 45 I'd say, then it was every 45 minutes and the nurse pokes in now and again to take my temperature.  So it really is dozing more than sleeping because something is always waking me up.  I'd try to read and end up nodding off again.

I have fairly low blood pressure.  If I'm cracking 100/70, it's a good day.  Now that I have an idea of what is normal for me, I like seeing my readings because it means something to me.  Today I started at 104/70, dropped as low as 93/65 but I was back up to 100/65 on the last reading. 

I did not make Mr. Lina go, it just seemed like it was going to be a long time of him just sitting there.  They had said I did not need a driver although I was welcome to bring him.  I think I made the right call, I didn't need him while it was happening and I just drove slow going home because I did still feel tired but not out of it.  Although this means he missed seeing me all sleepy.  He seems to think I look cute like this.


Hmm, perhaps that is actually a good reason not to bring him along...  Can't trust a man with a blackberry.

Things for next time... I would arrange to work from home afterwards, I wouldn't want to do that wearing work appropriate clothes.  I would pack the blanket and pillow again.  I'd bring water, maybe with a little flavouring.  I found I had a tinny taste in my mouth about 45 minutes in and I'd like to have water at hand rather than asking for it.  I'd also eat a better breakfast, I was hungry about half way through (thankfully I brought a granola bar, but that was difficult to unwrap).  Socks would be a good call too.  I wore capri yoga pants and ballet flats, the blanket kept my feet warm but cozy socks would have been good.  I always pack a pair for treatments.  It's fairly cool in the basement and more noticable because for 2 hours I'm not moving to keep blood flowing.  I'm sure it is fine for the nurses who are walking up and down the stairs.  Oh and short sleeves, I accidentally did that right.  It's obvious I'd need my arm available for IV but it's amazing what I can forget when leaving the house about the time I usually wake up.

With Lupron-Depot stopping my body from creating hormones, I have to replicate everything with medication.  Saturday I started taking Estrace which is an estrogen pill.  One a day until tomorrow when I take two, then two for a few days before stepping up to 3 pills a day.  Just like you would normally increase your estrogen levels leading up to ovulation.  Next appointment is Day 12 (Monday - a whole week without appointments) for the usual ultrasound and blood work, we'll see how thick the lining of my uterus is. 

So here is a crazy thing with due dates and pregnancy.  When I say 6 week ultrasound, that's starting to count from last week. Yes indeed, my embryos are still frozen but my weeks of pregnancy started with Day 1.  That nearly broke my brain the first time we went through this, I didn't realize how soon the 6 week ultrasound was going to be.  It sounded like forever, but really, by the time I pass a pregnancy test we're already at 4 weeks.  It's not that much longer until the ultrasound.  Good times, good times.

Friday, May 4

Spoiled

I was lucky enough to win the lovely assortment of orange from ElleC.  I will say I'm not often drawn to orange, it's one of those warm colours I like on others but not often myself.  I figured the orange mix of zippers, bias tape and lace would be good for me because I would never reach out and buy it myself.  That doesn't mean it wouldn't match a print or as a contrast to what did catch my eye, or that I shouldn't stretch myself to other colours from time to time.

Mr. Lina is the mail checker in my house, he's the one that is more likely to be ordering from eBay and the like.  He put that envelope on the stairs so the minute I got home from bowling, it would be the first thing I saw.  I started giggling because I *knew* it was my orange winnings, but ElleC, she put a little bonus in there for me.  An additional vintage pattern.  Now if I was smart, I would have taken a picture myself, but you can see it on sale on eBay.  It has lovely optional collar, looks like enough ease and few pieces that grading up from a 32 bust isn't impossible, just a lot of math.  I LOVE it.  Thanks!  (Side note, the eBay seller says it has princess seams... um... no... not so much.  Side bust darts and it needs a belt to cinch in the waist, that's not a princess seam).
As mentioned, work has been busy.  Monday has become the perfect storm where everyone seems to want everything.  We offered to present an ad hoc project that I worked on, my manager would be tagging along and I'd be presenting.  I like presenting, never been to this client before (although a past manager works there now so there may be a familiar face), but... they need this prior to the 8th, so it was booked for the 7th.  Two other ad hoc projects kind of need to be done for Monday too.  It's insane.  Still, I was thinking I could work on it this weekend, wrap stuff up Monday morning... but no, the clinic has also decided they want me on Monday too.  Day 1 arrived, I'll be in tomorrow for my standard Day 3 baseline and Monday will be the endometrial scratch (think pap test with an additional scratch) and intralipid IV.  Roughly two hours of an IV line limiting my movement, they recommend napping through it, relaxing - not working.  Add a little wait time and the other procedure, I'll be there for about 3 hours starting at 7:45am.  So there goes Monday morning.  And after working until my brain felt wrung out Mon-Wed, I really can't care about this client and I feel overwhelmed.  Also, Day 1 is only exciting until the cramps arrive.  This may have something to do with yesterday not being a good work day (even if I was happy).  You know, just writing that out feels good.  I just have to start somewhere, it all has to be done or I'll be standing at the front of a room with nothing to present at 3pm Monday.

Mentally, things are... mixed.  Mr. Lina is sending me lots of pictures and videos of lambies and sometimes goats.  The FET feels a bit surreal.  Like I know that odds are we will trigger me to ovulate on day 14, transfer the embryos on day 19 (May 21) or so, but... I saw a "how to adopt" seminar for May 22nd and my first thought was that it would be good to go to.  Even though:
  •  I will not be walking farther than the couch/bathroom/bedroom.  I am physically able to walk after the transfer, there is nothing painful about a transfer, but the clinic doesn't want me going farther than I have to.  I take them quite literally because by that point, 3 days of doing very little are just good for me.  You all better blog a lot on those days, I'll be looking for something to read. 
  • I will believe myself to be pregnant that day and absolutely basking in it.  It is my favourite part of this whole process.  There is a multicelled blastocyst in my uterus at that point, it's maybe not attached to my uterus lining, but it's dividing as I sit there.  So in my mind, I'm pregnant until told otherwise. 
It doesn't really seem like the best time to listen to someone talk about adoption.  We aren't going to go, but I'll keep an eye on the schedule for other dates.  It has me firmly believing that I have made the right choice in only educating myself about adoption up until now.  When people ask me about adoption, they ask if the wait for a newborn is so long, why not get on the list now?  The thing is it doesn't really work that way, it's not a matter of taking a number at the deli counter.  Birth moms generally pick where their babies get placed, so there is a lot of work going through the Home Study and PRIDE training and then marketing yourself out on top of that.  I know in my heart, I'm done after this.  Talking about adoption, getting more specific contacts and information, it feels right, but it's still surreal while booking my Day 3 appointment.

Last weekend, I got to see the lambies that Mr. Lina drives past.  They are associated with a garden centre next door and they encourage you to see the animals (two birds, one stone, I bought my perennials and a hanging basket for my Mom for Mother's Day AND I got to pet the donkey).  Donkeys and llamas are often kept with sheep as protectors from coyotes etc, that is my something new for the week.  We did take pictures, I should see if Mr. Lina took them off the good camera yet or not.

Anyhoo, time to start one of the projects, I'll be good once the panic of being overwhelmed eases.  Here is my favourite from the lamb-sheep-goat-donkey-llama video extravaganza that Mr. Lina sent me yesterday.  Two day old kids and a very patient llama.



And this just in... Mr. Lina's movie The Post-Lifers has been accepted into The Other Venice Film Festival in October, his film is even listed on the main page.  Also, there was a very positive review from the London Shock Stock viewing.  I have a very happy husband today. 

Wednesday, May 2

Oh so busy

Work is getting in the way of blogging.   And sewing.  Bah.

Mr Lina teases that he got a Playbook and it disappeared.  At the same time I found a portable Plants vs. Zombies device.  Today I'm testing blogging with it.  Forgive the lack of pictures, etc, I'm still figuring it out.

The insanity of Provera didn't come.  I have only cried once, haven't felt zombie-like, certainly forgetful at times and thinking is taxing, but that's awesome relatively speaking.  I am spotting so the worst is over AND transfer will likely be May 21.  We can camp until the Sunday, transfer my frozen embryos on the holiday Monday, sit on the couch until Wednesday, win win.

Bowling ended on Tuesday. I ended on a good note, it's a long season but the end still sneaks up on me.  Looks like I will be running the side pools again. It should feel less stressful next year now that I have done it already.

Last update is that I finally heard back from children's aid. We will see where that conversation goes. It feels good and it's making Mr Lina think in greater detail of what would be a good fit for us.  Sometimes I forget that just because I am thinking about things doesn't mean he is reading my mind.

I will keep checking in on blogs, I would like to revisit my pj's in greater detail, but not tonight.