Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Today's lesson is brought to you by X, Y, and the number two.

When I first found out about III's chromosome inversion, but before we saw the doctor, I went to goo.gle to try to find either information or others who had discussed in their blogs a similar situation. It's such a technical thing... so it was hard to find anything, or when I did I didn't understand it. So, one of the things I've been wanting to do is to give some more technical information about our inversion as I understand it so that if there are others who have a similar situation, they are able to get some info from our situation.

My disclaimer is that I am not a scientist; I am not a doctor. What I have posted here is a combination of what I remember the geneticist sharing with us, what she sent in her letter to my RE, and what I've found myself on goo.gle based on what she told us. Don't take my information as "the word". All I can tell you is what is true, based on my own elementary understanding, in our situation.

My first goo.gle search, before our genetic counseling session, resulted in this find. It is written for the layperson, so I found it helpful and informative:

PGD for patients that are carriers of chromosomal translocations

This is another rare situation in which a couple knows that one of them has a chromosomal arrangement called a balanced translocation. When someone (the husband or the wife) has a balanced chromosomal translocation they are normal - until they try to have a child. When their chromosomes join with those of their partner in the fertilized egg they make a high percentage of chromosomally abnormal embryos.

These embryos are at very high risk for miscarriage or could result in the birth of a child with birth defects. This is another situation where PGD can help. By having IVF and PGD, they can have chromosomally normal embryos transferred (if there are any) - greatly reducing their risk for miscarriage and birth defects.

PGD for aneuploidy screening (PGS) - checking the chromosomes (because they are having IVF and the wife is 38 or older, or because of multiple previous IVF failures)

Background: Human eggs are often chromosomally abnormal - and the percentage of eggs with a chromosomal abnormality increases with increasing female age. In general, it seems that about 25-40% of human embryos have some type of chromosomal abnormality. This increases to about 50% and higher as women approach or exceed age 40.

Theory: By testing the chromosomes of the embryos available for transfer, we can discard all embryos with abnormal chromosomal arrangements and pick the embryo(s) for transfer to the wife's uterus from those demonstrating normal chromosomes. This is fascinating technology, and the theory is logical as well. However, the data from studies on pregnancy outcomes after PGD testing of chromosomal normality does not appear to show any clear benefit at this time.PGD for aneuploidy is often referred to as preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS (instead of diagnosis).

http://www.advancedfertility.com/preimplantation_genetic_diagnosis.htm

III has an inversion, also called a "chromosomal translocation"*, of his chromosome 2. It is at the spot p23,q23. I don't really understand what that means- just that it's the location on the chromosome. It is a "pericentric inversion" which means it includes the center part of the chromosome (our geneticist called it the "waist"). So basically what that means is that part of the chromosome is flipped over.

During "meiosis" (the process which creates the sperm), each chromosome pair actually lines up and exchanges genes from one to the other. (So one half of the ch.2 exchanges genes with it's matching half.) Then they separate and one goes to one sperm, and the other goes to another sperm. When they line up, if there is an inversion, the chromosomes can loop around allowing the crossover to be balanced. There is also the possibility of an unbalanced crossover if they do not line up correctly.

The geneticist showed us a very basic picture of what that means. The first is what a normal person's chromosomes would look like- except I've drawn in red lines where the inversion might occur. The second picture is with the inversion. The last two are examples of what could result during meiosis.
Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Through the process of conception, a potential fetus gets one chromosome from each pair from each parents. (The s.ex chromosomes are an easy explanation of this- a baby gets one of the mother's two x chromosomes, and then either the father's x chromosome or his y chromosome, determining what gender the baby will be.) III's translocation only affects one of the chromosomes in the 2nd pair.

Some good things:
  • Of III's pair of chromosome 2, one is normal. The process by which the pair is distributed to his sperm (each sperm carries one of each pair of each chromosome) is totally random. So it is possible to have sperm that are unaffected by the inversion.
  • Our geneticist told us III's is "rather large" inversion. The larger the section that is inverted, the more able it is to correct itself during conception.
  • Through the non-inverted ch.2 and through an inverted ch.2 that corrects itself during alignment (I don't know if that's the correct term), we could have a totally normal embryo.

Some negatives:
  • If an embryo is affected by the inversion, it could result in a miscarriage, in a baby with birth defects (though the severity is unpredictable), or it may not implant at all.
  • With "natural fertilization" there may be a lower incidence of having an embryo affected by the inversion since the sperm would likely be slower/less efficient swimmers. Since we have fertilization issues (possibly caused by the inversion), we have to do ICSI, increasing the chances of an embryo being affected.

Below is more information I found through Dr. Goo.gle. It's pretty technical, but explains the occurrence of the chromosome "fixing" itself and has a pretty good picture of that.
Inversions involve two chromosomal breaks and rejoining, with the broken piece reincorporated in the opposite orientation from which it naturally occurs. When they include the centromere, they are called pericentric inversions... inversions arise in mitotic cells. If they arise in precursors of the gametes, they may produce abnormal genomes as they progress through meiosis. Recombination between homologous chromosomes is a necessary part of every normal meiosis. The probability for nondisjunction is greatly increased if there is no recombination. However, recombination between a chromosome with an inversion and its normal homolog may result in two abnormal chromosomes being produced. ...four different gametic products are produced, one normal, one has the inversion, and two have duplicated portions and deleted portions. The effect on the phenotype is almost always deleterious, but the magnitude of the effect depends upon the size of the duplications and deletions, and where they occur.
http://www.uic.edu/classes/bms/bms655/lesson10.html

This picture from the above link shows the meiosis process and the different ways the pairs can crossover.

Another, more technical, picture.

I hope this information is useful, or at least interesting, to someone. We have decided to use PGD, and feel our clinic is experienced in this process. Clearly, I'll keep you all updated about how it goes. ;)

*ETA: After reading Julia's post on balanced translocation and then doing a little goo.gle research myself, I wanted to clarify. While the geneticist used the term "chromosomal translocation", much of what is on the internet describes something different than what has happened with us. III's inversion only involves one chromosome, as opposed to a "reciprocal translocation" or a "Robertsonian translocations". In each of those, there are 2 different chromosomes involved. III's translocation is within only one chromosome.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"But that's a good thing, right?"

I have two friends who have really made an effort to keep up with where we are in this whole IVF process. Both of them called me after yesterday's doctor's appt.

After explaining, basically, what I explained here in yesterday's post to each of them, both of their responses were essentially "...those are good things!"

Yeah. I guess it is. Dr. Z seems pretty sure we're going to have a baby at the end of all of this. We have good enough insurance that it allows us these invasive and expensive treatments and we live in a state that requires insurance to pay for these treatments. We have not been told that our problems are too large to be overcome. We live in a time when science and medicine allows us, despite whatever crazy issues we have, to have (what our doctor assures us can be) a healthy baby.

So why am I not more excited? All I feel is the impatience of having to wait for my next period, and then through the necessary weeks of BCP. The anticipation of the shots and the bloating. The anxiety of scheduling all the appointments and procedures and the worry that it will all coincide with our vacation in February. The possibility of yet another failure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

No more dolls.

Dr. Z is optimistic.

He not only has Dr. N's report, but he contacted another geneticist who is the head of some program yada-yada who said that an inversion of the 2nd chromosome like ours can contribute to both miscarriage and infertility.

An interesting note- apparently PGD has come leaps and bounds in the last five years. In the past, FISH was the only method that was being used. The downside was that it really limited what they could look at. Now, at least in the labs my clinic is associated with, PCR is used. My limited understanding of this, based on our fifteen minute appointment with Dr. Z, is that with FISH they might be able to determine an issue in 3-8 chromosomes, but with PCR, they should be able to test all 23 chromosomes.

III told Dr. Z, "We feel like we're those Russian dolls. You open one, and you just find another." Dr. Z assured him that he's pretty sure we're on the smallest doll. He said not only does he feel like this could be the cause of all of our problems, but that it's possible we could learn more from the information we get through PGD. III asked "If there is another doll, what would it be?" and Dr. Z told us "This is pretty much as specific as it gets. And at this point, we've put so much time into you, we better near guarantee you a healthy baby!"

CD1 is likely going to be mid-January. That probably means a retrieval around the middle to end of February.

For my information...

From http://cnyfertility.com/resources/newsletters/septemberoctober-2007-newsletter

What is PGD?
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a technology used to screen embryos created from IVF with ICSI for genetic diseases, before they are transferred back to the female’s uterus. PGD is used to screen embryos for single gene defects such as Tay-Sachs, Huntington Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia and Cystic Fibrosis. It can also test embryos for chromosomal disorders such as Down’s Syndrome and for X-linked diseases like Hemophilia. Additionally, PGD may be used for women who suffer recurrent pregnancy loss from chromosomal abnormalities and advanced maternal age. Screening and transferring only unaffected embryos reduces the rate of miscarriage and may help to alleviate the decision to terminate a pregnancy due to a genetic defect.

What happens during the PGD process?
In this process embryos are created by using ICSI for insemination. The embryos that fertilize and begin to divide are cultured to Day 3 where they are 8-10 blastomeres (cells) in size. At this point a hole is made in the zona pellucida of the embryo, very similar to embryo hatching, but it is used for a different purpose. Once the hole has been made in the zona pellucida a biopsy micro tool is used to gently remove one or two blastomeres from the embryo. This does not harm the embryo because at this point the cells have not begun to differentiate. Differentiation means that certain cells will develop into certain tissues of the fetus. The 8-10 blastomeres are composed of identical genetic material, and will continue to divide and grow properly even if one or two cells are biopsied. The incident of embryo damage during this process is very low, but does exist as in any other micromanipulation. Once the blastomeres are biopsied, they are processed according to the testing to be performed, and sent to a laboratory specializing in PGD analyses for definitive results.

How are the results determined?
Results from the PGD are obtained, and the laboratory is able to determine which embryos are not affected by the genetic disease being screened for. At that point, generally on Day 5, the healthy embryos are transferred back to the patient in anticipation of creating a viable pregnancy. An HCG beta is drawn 2 weeks from the date of egg retrieval to determine if a pregnancy has been initiated.

What else do I need to know?
As with any diagnostic procedure, PGD is not 100% accurate. Some embryos have mosaicism which means that not all the blastomeres are comprised of identical genetic material. In this event embryos which have been determined healthy may in fact be affected by the genetic disease. Patients may undergo an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to confirm that the fetus is negative for the genetic disease.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Appt with Dr. Z today at 3pm...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy birthday to me.

It's been an awful year, and so, in kind, it's been a hectic, tiring day so far.

I can't believe I will likely reach my mid-thirties without a baby.

However... while my dad and I don't always get along, and we aren't as close as some daughters and fathers are, this message from him made me feel warm and fuzzy:

All I wish for you is that all your dreams come
true and that you are truly happy.

LOVE DAD
Thanks, Daddy. Me too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A little lost.

I'm starting to think maybe I don't want to do this job anymore.

I don't know how much of it is being overwhelmed by everything else that is going on in my life. But I'm just too tired. I don't care enough right now. And that's bad in any job, but especially this one.

Last week I wrote the following to KB:
"I hate that I have to think about work and other people's children every day. Your kid doesn't like his seat in my class? She needs extra help but you don't want to bring her early for my set help times? He doesn't think the class is challenging enough?

Guess what.

I don't fucking care. "
Hmmm... Not a very good attitude. Not one you'd want your kid's teacher to have, right?

Don't get me wrong- it's not that I like nothing about my job. There are things I love. And parts that I'm really good at. It's just that the parts I like are lately outweighed by the parts that are crushing me under their weight.

I keep thinking of other jobs I might do. I have looked into training for a number of them. But really? I just feel like I need some time off. But I'm not even sure I could justify that to myself, not to mention my husband.

We have parent conferences today after school. And then tomorrow during the last two hours of the school day (which means I need to leave sub plans for the classes I'm missing). I'm dreading it. There is no major heavy hitters coming- I just can't imagine sitting down and having to be on for the parents for two and a half straight hours (not even a bathroom break).

Today is also our holiday party. Which I should be excited about. But really? I just want to go home, curl up with my Peanut and take a nap. But I paid $20, and III arranged to come home a little early to take care of the dogs so I can go. So I'll go. But a party shouldn't feel like something else I have to do, should it?

I'm just so damn tired.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Retail Therapy: Part 2

Oh my. I can't believe I forgot the best one!

I bought myself a birthday present.

Going on my own the weekend of my birthday. :) So excited!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missing my B every day.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."

~Anatole France

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seeking PGD experience

I'd love to hear from/read about others who have experience with PGD- especially around chromosomal issues. If you'd like to share, or if you have a blog where you documented your experience, you can comment below or email me at the address on my profile.

Thanks. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rundown

I'd really like to share a lot of what we learned yesterday in more detail to potentially help anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation (while keeping in mind that I am not a medical professional and am relying on my perception and memory after talking to the doctor). However, I want to wait until we get the letter from her before getting into the technical nitty gritty.

But here's a rundown of what we talked about:

  • III has an inverted chromosome. The inverted section is fairly large, which is apparently good- it allows for more of a possibility that, in a conception, the chromosome would fix itself.
  • There is a possibility that the miscarriage was a result of the chromosome. But not necessarily.
  • There is a possibility that the chromosome inversion is hereditary. But not necessarily.
  • The chromosome inversion is unrelated to our fertilization problems.
  • There is no way to tell how much or little this could affect any potential fetus- no statistical numbers like we often get at the RE office. As I said to Dr. N- "It's kind of a crap shoot."
  • Doing ICSI may actually be increasing our chance of the embryo being affected by the inversion since in a natural conception there's the whole "survival of the fittest" thing going on. (Unfortunately, without ICSI we have no fertilization...)
Our options?
  • Donor sperm- certainly not ready to go there yet.
  • Keep doing what we're doing and hope for the best. (With a potential for more miscarriages or even a child with birth defects... though the latter is the smallest possibility of all of them. We could have a "normal" child without the inversion or even a "normal" child who may have the inversion and, like III, not be affected at all.)
  • Do IVF with PGD. (Meaning testing the embryos once they reach 8 cells for the chromosomal inversion)
I'm feeling very overwhelmed. I'm going to be thirty-four in a few weeks, and I feel like we've been doing this for so long and have done so much. And not only are we still here, but another wrench has been thrown in the mix. (Um... I think I'm mixing metaphors, but whatever...)

I'm just really, really sad and frustrated. :(

Monday, December 7, 2009

We didn't really learn anything new today at the geneticist's.

I want to go into more detail eventually, especially since I had trouble finding any info or others' stories on the internet when we first heard.

But right now I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

For the moment...

...I am content.

Fire in the fireplace.

Snow in the yard.

Wine in my glass.

Dog in my lap.

Perfect for a December evening.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Appointments made

Yesterday at 11am I called Dr. N's office again. When C answered, I said "Look, I don't want to be a pest..." she apologized that it was taking so long, told me that Dr. N had looked at my file and put it on C's chair, but had not left instructions about what to do. ARGH. She promised me a call back by the end of the day.

On which she followed through. I have an appointment for Monday afternoon. Now that it's set up, I'm really scared about what she will tell us....

I then called Dr. Z's office. When we were given the referral, Dr. Z's nurse told me that when we had an appointment set up with Dr. N, to call and make an appointment to see Dr. Z and that it could even be on the same day. When I called to talk to Dr. Z's AA, she told me that he's in Asia for another week. *sigh* So I have an appointment with him on the tenth.

What that means in the immediacy is that, regardless of what we are told on Monday, it is unlikely we will be cycling until January. I anticipate CD1 to fall on or around the sixth. (Which I'm hoping is contributing to my dark mood... Yay PMS.) If we have to do a fresh cycle, we will probably be too far into the cycle to start BCP when we see Dr. Z. Since I don't know how the timing works for a frozen cycle, I don't know if we will be within an appropriate amount of time to do that, but I'm feeling it is very unlikely that they are going to tell us we are "all set" and can just keep going like we've been going.

I probably should feel positive about the fact that Dr. Z ordered this testing after my first m/c, instead of waiting to see if it was going to end up being an ongoing problem. But I'm having a hard time feeling positive about anything lately.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stop this ride....

We found out last night that my FIL's cardiac doctor is recommending that he have a heart transplant.

I don't know how much more we can take....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

seeking more input...

Thanks for your suggestions yesterday. Much of that is the same as what I do. The hard thing is that there is usually an 8-9 hour work day to get through before I can do any of those things!!! I guess it's a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other time for me right now.

I'm interested in hearing your take on our current situation around our next step in our process. III is pissed off. I'm frustrated and nervous, but feel like it just goes with the territory.

Here's the run down:

8/09- positive beta after IVF#2 (though ICSI #1)
9/09- m/c at 8w
11/9/09- 3 day bloodwork + recurrent m/c bloodwork (though I've only had one)
11/11/09- sonohystogram: all clear
11/24/09- Attend appt with Dr. Z who hands us copies of our blood work results, which show normal for me and an inverted chromosome 2 for III. Tells us that we have to see a genetic specialist before we can proceed. Hands us the card for the specialist, who is in a different office, though right around the corner.
11/25/09- 10:15am- call specialist, am told I need to talk to the dr's secretary, C, who is on the phone and she'll call me back. 1:10pm- still haven't gotten a call and am leaving to go out of town for the holiday, so I call again. C's on the phone again, so the person I speak to takes a basic history and says I'll get a call back. 2:15pm- C calls to tell me they need all of the bloodwork results faxed to then from my RE, and then the dr has to look at it to "see if she can help" us and then C will call me to set up an appointment. 2:20pm- I call Dr. Z's nurse, who tells me she'll immediately print it out and send it to them.
11/26-29/09- Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone is closed.
11/30/09- I call and miraculously get to talk directly to C. I ask if they received my paperwork. She says "What's your name again... um, I think we did... um... yeah, I'm pretty sure we did. Yes, I gave it to Dr. N. She'll look it over and then I'll be calling you to set up an appointment."
12/1/09- no call. Pissed off III.
12/2/09- no call. Frustrated me.

What do you think? Is this reasonable? Could Dr. Z's office have done things differently? (<---III's opinion=yes) What should I expect from Dr. N's office? How long should this take-how long should I wait? When should I call again? This is the first time III has really reacted to any situation we've encountered, which is interesting. I'm definitely in a blue place, which lowers my expectations and hope. I'm just trying to get some perspective... lay it on me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ISO blue day remedies...

Walking up the stairs to my classroom this morning, I thought "I'm having a cranky day." (already!)

Then I thought "Geez, I'm perpetually down lately, so if, at 7am, I can already identify this as a 'blue day' that's not a very good thing..."

I'm a doer. I want to be able to control what's going on with me. (That's part of what makes this IF stuff so hard.) I thought "What can I do to put myself in a better mood?"

So I'm here to ask my blog buddies: What do you do to cheer yourself up and help a bad mood improve? I need suggestions!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hodge Podge

I spent the holiday weekend with other people's babies. My sister's son, who is adorable. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about being with him (my sister and I have very different viewpoints on many things, including child rearing) but it was lots of fun. I loved being the auntie who could spoil him and play with him and then hand him off to his mom. :)

I also visited with one of my very closest friends from high school. He and I have a complicated history, but we have kept in touch and are still important to each other. III and I spent an afternoon with him, his wife, and their 2 kids. His two year old son LOVED III. It was fun to watch them play together. I left with mixed feelings. I loved seeing III with the little boy and so it made me ache (once again) for one of our own. I also miss my friend, though at the same time our relationship continues to be... hmmm. It's not really something I can put into words. Maybe another time.

Before we left on Wednesday, I called the office of the genetic counselor. III and I are both frustrated by this process already. We had to make an appointment to go in on Tuesday and be told there was a problem with which my RE can't help us and be handed a card. I called on Wednesday to be told by her office that my RE needed to fax all the bloodwork over so that she could look at it and determine whether she could help us. (Whether??? If she can't, then what??) So I called my RE and they faxed it right over, but then Thursday was Thanksgiving and they weren't open on Friday... I haven't heard from them today. I am contemplating being a pest and calling again today. I just want to get this taken care of. I tried to do a little Dr. Goo.gle research, but it is hard because this is so specific to the chromosome that is affected. I found something that said the inversion of chromosome 2 can cause miscarriage in 30% of the cases, but 1) I don't know if that's when the man has that inversion or just the woman and 2) I don't know if it makes a difference where the inversion is. Whatever happens, I'll definitely post more on it so others who find themselves in the same boat can possible find it in their own goo.gle searches.

Finally... I apologize because I haven't been reading blogs as diligently as I used to. I started this to find women who could sympathize with my situation because of their own experiences, but now I'm finding two things... either I'm so overwhelmed with my own situation that I have nothing left for others' trials with this beast, or others' successes leave me feeling discouraged and hopeless. :( I'm definitely at a point in this process where I no longer know what to do to even help myself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back.

I'm so tired.

I can see why people decide to give up trying to have a baby.

Another step back. III has a reversal on chromosome 2. It may be a problem. It may not. We won't know until we see the genetic counselor.

Today I want to give up. I know this feeling won't stick- I want a baby more.

But right now... I'm so fucking sick of this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oink


I woke up this morning with the beginnings of a sore throat.

Awwww shit.

I am very prone to colds and throat infections... I'm pretty sure I had strep for a year straight. (Lots of misdiagnosis.) So it is likely that.

But wouldn't it be just my luck this year? I should have gotten the H1.N1 vaccine if I was still pregnant. But I'm not. So no vaccine for me until at least December. So watch me go and get it when I'm supposed to be flying for Thanksgiving in two days! :(

I took my temp before I left today and it was normal, and then throughout the day I was worried that it had risen... so I went to the nurse. (Benefit of working in a school!) 98.1. Phew.

Looks like it's just a cold. (Knock on wood!) I'd hate to have to cancel my trip. Plus, tomorrow is my follow up to our blood tests with Dr. Z. Wish me no surprises!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Knife to the heart

I have a friend from HS- we were very close our senior year and for a number of years afterwards. She is one of two HS friends I have kept in touch with (outside of FB) over the past fifteen years. She is not married, but in a long term committed relationship and they have a four year old who was "not planned but not prevented". A few weeks ago, I read on her blog that she was pregnant again. Today, she posted on FB about hearing the heartbeat. When people asked her when she was due, she revealed her due date.

May 1.

One day after I would have been due.

My mind started racing with all the reasons this is unfair. But it just comes down to my own jealousy and despair. It has literally ruined my day.

I hate what infertility has done to me when I can't even be happy for an old friend.

Damn it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Longest week ever

Seriously. The shit hit the fan at school with some systemic issues and I've spent hours reading/sending emails from/to parents. Peanut has been a nightmare this week and I'm really tired of dog poop. I'm exhausted and my eyes hurt and if it wasn't Friday, I might lose my mind.

That's all I've got.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flower power

I'm always shocked at how much it costs to send someone flowers.

It always seems like such a nice gesture. It's always very exciting at my school when someone get flowers- everyone wants to know: "who are they from?" "what's the occasion?"

I've been 'sent' flowers four times in my life. For my eleventh birthday from my aunt and uncle who lived in NY. For my fifth dating anniversary from my college boyfriend. (There was no sixth anniversary...) For my second anniversary (sent to school- exciting!) from my husband. (He was out of town for an optional training he really wanted to do. Flowers were the consolation prize for me- though still appreciated.) For a "cheer-up" this summer. I'm always excited to get them. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I try not to think of the expense.

My mom's birthday was yesterday. She lives 1500 miles away and while we talk weekly, we don't see each other all that much. My mom loves her birthday. I meant to buy her a card- I'm seeing her in a week and bringing some presents so I didn't buy a specific gift- but didn't do it in time. So I thought to send her flowers.

I went on the F.TD website... many of the "favorites" were... just not my mom...(roses, carnations, mums...) Then I searched for 'lilies' She loves calalilies. They had some colored ones- super pretty. I looked at the price.

$50.

Really? For 18 stems? And a basic glass vase? (Plus another $15 for shipping. Not even delivery from a florist. Fe.dEx in a box.) I almost didn't do it... but I decided what-the-hell. My mom is 62. Young in one sense, but you never know for sure how many birthdays are left.

I sent them to her work. I thought that would be more fun for her. When I called her yesterday afternoon she was literally breathless. So excited and surprised. The front office at her work called her to pick up "a box for you". She thought it was a box for her office and was so surprised it was for her. And the box? She loved it. She said it was packaged so decadently with gold fabric. And she reminded me "I love lilies."

So the $64.99? Totally worth it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad day

I'm kind of having a bad day.

I'm exhausted. I don't know why. I went to bed at 9:30. Peanut practically slept through the night (until 4am). I brought lunch today. I got coffee this morning.

But I'm feeling cranky and tired and blue. I dreamed about B-dog last night. It wasn't a bad dream, but wasn't anything special. It's odd, because I've been hoping I'd dream about her just to see her and touch her... but I woke up feeling unsettled.

I'm a little concerned that my blog has been discovered by someone I know. (Other than the someone I already know found it.) I base this on the two "where are you?" widgits I have and the towns that have popped up. Clearly, tons of people live in any town. I guess it's the chance I take by having a public blog, even if I do my best to be anon. Maybe I should change the name to something boring... but I like the name. And, actually, doesn't it match? My concern is that someone I know will find my blog and be upset/pissed/offended by the bitchiness I occasionally spew. *sigh* I don't know. Does it even matter? It's not like everyone is always saying nice things about me anyway. And usually, if they are saying it, it's to someone who knows me. (A mutual friend, a spouse, etc.) I guess it's not very golden-rulish. Clearly, I'm definitely feeling bitchy today.

I feel like I need something but I don't know what. A vacation? A hug? A nap?

Don't you all get tired of my crankiness??? I'm pretty tired of my crankiness...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We don't need no stinkin' baby!*

Who needs a baby to be sleep deprived?

Peanut spent Thursday night gagging like there was something lodged in her throat. I tried water, bread, massaging her trachea... nothing worked. She gagged and spit up until about 3am. Then whatever was irritating her seemed to subside. Awesome since I had to wake up at 5.

She woke up Friday feeling fine. Figured I would get some great Friday night sleep, and sleep in on Saturday morning.

Nope.

2am- Peanut has to pee.
3:30am- Peanut has to poop.
5:30am- Peanut wants to eat.
5:40am- Peanut has to poop again.
6:00am- Peanut is awake and wants to play. Challenges M-dog to a wrestling match in our bedroom.

At this point I got out of bed. Figured there was no reason for both me and III to be kept awake. Led the dogs downstairs, and set myself up on the couch. M-dog eventually decided he'd rather cuddle with me than wrestle with Peanut, so she had to resign herself to hanging out on the couch for a while.

And I can't remember the last time III and I had sex, but I'm pretty sure it's only been once since Peanut came to live with us.

*I just thought this title was funny. Of course, I still want a baby- stinkin' or otherwise.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hamster on a wheel

I have a pile of papers to grade and am just not motivated. And I'm giving a test in 2 classes tomorrow, which will just add to the pile!!!

I woke up today feeling less dark. I put on a sweater that III bought me last year for my birthday and am wearing my favorite bracelet. I got a new wool coat which I really like, and the weather was perfect to wear it today, too.

I talked to KB on the phone on the way in, got here in time to get a parking space, and used my early morning time productively planning and making copies for the next few days.

Then there was a team meeting.

Then there was a parent meeting.

Then there was more copying and filing of originals so they don't get lost.

Then I finally had a class to teach... and they needed major redirection.

So now I'm tired again. And I still have three more classes. All I want is a nap. Tonight is puppy school too. I just want the weekend to get here.

I just can't catch up!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I think I suck. **update**

No school today. Phew! I needed a day.

So I spent the morning with KB and her cutie M. M just makes me smile. She's almost three and she acts it! But she's so smart and spunky and I love spending time with her.

I feel like I'm such a lump lately, though. I am sure I was not a very entertaining friend. I'm not very positive or optimistic. I'm actually feeling very "dark and twisty". As much as I loved seeing M and as much as I cherish the time I spend with KB, it wasn't really "fun". And I'm sure it wasn't for KB either.

I'm not worried about it causing an issue in our friendship right now. I know KB loves me and that she understands why I am the way I am right now. I just wish I wasn't.

I had therapy this week and my therapist told me that nothing I am feeling or doing right now is unwarranted. Nothing is over the top. I am feeling and acting appropriately for how my life has been. She gave me permission to be unproductive and to grieve, as long as I'm not wallowing (as that could make me feel worse). (Those are my words, not hers, but was the general gist of things.)

To continue our shitty fall, III's dad is back in the hospital. After his cardiac arrest two months ago, they put in an internal de.fibrillator. It shocked him four times in twelve hours. That's bad. It means either his heart isn't working properly or his IDB isn't working properly. I haven't spoken to III- he's at work and didn't want to talk- just sent me a text. We just really need a break.

Not getting one in the next hour or so, though. I'm off to see Dr. Z for my hystosonogram or whatever it's called. Keep your fingers crossed for me that things are clear enough to progress without any necessary procedures or surgeries first. :(

**update

I guess it's called a "Sonohystogram". Whatever it was, it's clear. The fibroid that has been there since the beginning does not "infringe" upon my uterine cavity, according to Dr. Z. He said everything looks good. :) My nurse, Donna, even said that I had a "beautiful endometrial lining". LOL. So now we wait for the blood tests to come back, which hopefully will happen before 11/24 which is when we sit down with Dr. Z to decide where to go next. Let's hope it's directly to FET which hopefully will lead directly to a 9 month pregnancy... *sigh*

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Q&A

I have a question for you ladies.

Many people have posted about being assaulted by Face.book statuses (statii? LOL) announcing pregnancies. I know from personal experience what a punch in the gut that can be. :(

When I was (briefly) pregnant, one of the things I thought quite a bit about was how I was going to announce my pregnancy to various people. Some people clearly would warrant a phone call, others an email... but there are plenty of 'friends' on Face.book with whom my only contact is FB.

So I started thinking... it is painful when one discovers yet another FB friend who is expecting- especially one who you wouldn't expect to be expecting.

So here's my question: What do you think the easiest way for you to find out these pregnancies (from people with whom you don't necessarily have regular contact) would be? Would you prefer a FB "note" to a status update? A status update to a u/s photo? Something else?

Just curious. :)

In exchange for your answers... I thought I'd do a personal Q&A as well. I've seen others do it and haven't yet. Anything you want to ask about me? TTC related or otherwise? If anyone does, I'll post answers Wed and/or Thurs.

:)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vampire food

I had to have blood work done today. I usually go in for my blood appointments at the earliest time, around 7am. They told me I couldn't have a 7am appointment (at first I thought she didn't know what she was talking about, but it turns out they won't do day 3 b/w until after 8). It usually takes me 13 minutes to get to my RE from my work, and then MAYBE 10 minutes total waiting to be called and getting my blood drawn. Since I couldn't go in before school, I made my appointment for 9:30. I didn't teach 2nd period, so I figured if I left right after 1st period, I'd get there a little early, and since it's sign in first-come-first-served for b/w they might take me early. I figured I'd have plenty of time to get back for 3rd period and I was even hoping I might be able to stop for coffee.

13 minutes turned into 25. Apparently, all the old ladies are on the town roads at 9am. Then I get stopped for a train on the way there. I finally got there, right at 9:30 and had a few minutes wait. Then I get the stupidest phlebotomist in the whole place. (Okay. She wasn't stupid. Just old and slow and I think not a regular in that office.) It took her fifteen minutes just to get the paperwork set up, as she had lots of questions for the other phlebotomist and had to keep checking some chart. At that point, it was 13 minutes until my class started, so clearly I wasn't going to make it back. I asked to use her phone (to call my team mates and let them know so that someone could tell my kids what to start on (and make sure they weren't killing each other). She gave me a funny look but said yes.

It turns out, part of the reason it was taking so long and apparently the reason they wouldn't let me come in early, is that she had to take fifteen vials of blood. Definitely a record for me. (Nine was my top before.) As I'm about to jump out of my skin afterwards, because my class is starting in just three minutes, she had to write my name on every vial.

I got in my car at the exact time the bell was ringing for my period 3 to start. The old ladies were still on the road, but I would guess I did some speeding because I made it back in about 14.5 minutes.

Moral of the story: I should just take a sick day when I have appointments. I have close to 100 of them, and it would certainly be less stressful. Oh, and I'm going to have to buy my team members some nice Christmas presents this year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And so it begins...again...

As foretold by the past week of crankiness and weepiness, I got my period yesterday afternoon. Six and a half weeks post D&C, so that's pretty much on schedule. Day 3 b/w tomorrow and I have to call tomorrow to make an appointment for my saline sonogram.

So here we go again.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Developing my heart.

Clearly needing some Kula lately...

Despite my recent and pervasive sadness and anger, I am grateful...

...that my parents are alive and well. (A friend of a friend recently lost both of her 50 yr old parents in the span of 3 weeks. My heart aches for her.)
...that my FIL is doing well and able to golf again. :-)
...that our decision to travel to see our ILs in their winter home in SC for our week-long winter vacation has thrilled them.
...for our house cleaners. They come every other week and yesterday was the day. It's so nice to walk into a freshly cleaned house!
...that Peanut has become very attached to me and is the biggest cuddle bug!
...that I am feeling well in the midst of the H1.N1 outbreak in my school.
...for the seasonal flu shot, which I will get for free today thanks to my school system.
...for my awesome students this year. There are a lot of things that are wrong with my school right now, but the kids I have this year are thoughtful, diligent, and sweet!
...for my weekends!!!! Looking forward to sleeping in, knitting, and relaxing!
...for III. I am constantly grateful that we found each other.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm so tired of being sad

I miss B so much it actually is a physical pain. I was just looking at pictures of her and watching a few videos I had... it just feels unfathomable to me that she is gone forever. I want her back with me. I want to hug her and have her lean against my side. I want to watch tv while she sits on my feet. I want to take her in the car and let her smell the air rushing by. I can't put into words how much I miss her. I feel like the feeling will never go away. And I hate that there is nothing I can do about it.

Yesterday, I also had a former student on my mind. He died about a year and a half ago from a flu that turned into pneumonia that was then complicated by MR.SA. A sweet, amazing (if dorky) kid who was smart, super talented, and just so positive and happy. I'm sure he got picked on... he had a 'rat tail' for years and such a goofy laugh. But he didn't care- he was always nice to other kids and was completely happy with who he was. When he died, kids said things about him that I wish they would have told him while he was alive. He amazed and touched people during his short time here. I know he would have done amazing things with his life. His seventeenth birthday would have been next week.

I'm having a hard time not thinking about the fact that I would have been pregnant. That I would have been starting to tell people. I want to do something right now about it, but I have to wait for my period, and then all the tests and appointments.

I feel like I should be feeling better by now. I feel like I should be snapping out of this funk. But I'm not. I want to do something to make it stop... but I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Giving thanks...

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you for the comments you leave me on my posts. As shitty as I've been feeling, I always get a little thrill when I see I have a comment on a post I've written, and often your thoughts and wishes make me smile, even if only for a moment. I really appreciate all of you. It makes a very lonely, isolating situation seem a little less so.

Thank YOU!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I may need to rethink this...

What I did today
Walk the dogs
Feed the dogs
Shower, dress, eat, make lunch
... all before 6:30am.
Drive
Morning extra math help for 8 students
Homeroom
Team meeting
Parent meeting
(Parent informs me that her child needs every step for every topic written out in order to be successful... uh-huh.)
Math meeting with administrator about curriculum, NC.LB and A.YP
... all before 9:30am.
Teach a class
Photo copy for tomorrow
Brief meeting with administrator about NC.LB and A.YP
Crunch state testing numbers for parent from previous meeting
Teach a class
Email parent from previous meeting (while eating my PB&J lunch)
... all before noon.
Teach a class
Teach a class
Faculty meeting
Crunch state testing numbers for other students doing poorly
... all before 4pm.
Drive home
Crunch more numbers while sitting outside with the dogs while they burn off energy...

What I didn't do today (that I should have)
Grade my stack of tests
Grade quiz corrections
Return 2 parent emails
Write weekly mass parent email
Photocopy quizzes

I don't know if I can keep doing this job. I feel like there is more and more asked and not enough time in the day or money in the budget to get done what we need to get done. I love working with my kids, but the other parts of the job... I just can't keep up.

But I don't know what else I would do... :(

Monday, November 2, 2009

It feels like a list day.

  • Today I'm feeling sad that I'm not pregnant.
  • I opened up to III this weekend and told him I had this feeling of sadness and despair that seems to lie under the surface, even on happy days and times when I'm enjoying myself.
  • I think III has a bit of that too, but I think he doesn't even realize it. He blames it on Peanut or on work, but I think he is more sensitive to the negative things there because of the shitty things that have gone down with us lately.
  • Peanut is doing so much better. But she's still having accidents in the house, which I suspect now has to do with lack of consistency in her bathroom schedule. There was a lack of consistency because of how much she had to go after the deworming. Now that that's getting better, I'm hoping she'll fall into more of a routine and stop pooping on the floor.
  • Speaking of pooping on the floor, I started my morning yesterday at 6 o'clock by stepping toes first into a pile of dog shit. Nice.
  • I'm excited because KB found out she is having a boy.
  • I'm depressed because these were milestones we were supposed to be going through together.
  • I'm frustrated because I am waiting for my period to start so we can do something.
  • Mondays always make the week seem like it is stretching endlessly out before me, with too much to do.
  • I have too much to do, but I'm blogging instead of doing it.
  • When I go home, I have too much to do but I'm knitting instead of doing it. I finished the back of a sweater for III and am worried I'll spend all this time on it and he won't want to wear it or it won't fit. I'm also working on a hat for me and the Bi.g B.ad Ba.by Blan.ket. I'm not sure who that's for... I had initially planned it to be for myself. I think I'm going to make one for KB, but I think I want to use more 'boy colors'.
  • The test I posted on Thursday is here. I also took an interesting relationship test here. I took a general stress test too, but it claimed it was going to email me the results and never did. Oh, and I took a procrastination test that said I'm a moderate procrastinator who is in danger of becoming a bigger procrastinator.
  • I'm having some bowel issues today. I think the apple I ate upset my colon. Why does that happen? I have such a sensitive digestive system...
  • Halfway through Monday... I'll get there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stress test

I found this on a site as I was perusing infertility groups...

Infertility Stress Test Results

Your total score is: 28

Generally you feel in control of your emotions but your experience with infertility is starting to wear on you. If you are starting to feel isolated by infertility you should consider reaching out to the support network you already have available to you including your partner, family, friends and the medical professionals who are working with you. While it can be difficult to share feelings of fear, frustration or disappointment, maintaining strong, open and honest relationships will help you fend off distress during this difficult period in your life.

If you feel you cannot share your feelings with loved ones, we recommend that you look into other avenues for emotional support. Left unchecked, feelings of isolation and depression usually increase but you can take steps to improve your mood, your outlook on fertility treatment and the outcome of treatment too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Family secrets

I got the strangest piece of information this weekend (and when I say piece, I mean piece as in 'un-whole'...) and I'm not sure what to do with it- if anything.

What leads up to it is a very, very long complicated story involving my dad's brother (who is now his 'sister'- lets call her Y) and possible mental illness with not only Y (totally separate from the gender stuff) but possibly my grandmother, as well as discontent and senility in my grandfather.

Y recently told my dad and their other brother that she no longer would be attending any family events, holidays, functions, dinners... anything. I am very close with Y's daughter, and she has stopped attending family functions because she is also estranged from Y due to Y's behavior and selfishness. With this new development, I thought this might change for my cousin, so, I asked my dad for more information about Y's reasons for her decision.

It turns out, Y wrote my dad a four page letter expressing why she no longer wanted to associate with the family. (Part of the very long, complicated story.) In the letter, she was expressing to him that clearly she has shown her love for my dad, but he has not shown his to her in return. (Again... to go into this would be too long, but let's just say that this alleged attitude from my dad has been brought on by Y's behavior.)

Anyway... to get to the point, in the email to which the letter was attached, my dad said "this is for you to read and not to share ...Let me know if you have any questions." The letter was lots of accusations and excuses, but one of the sentences in the letter said: "I am the same person who... when (my grandfather), very inappropriately and most offensively questioned your lineage, immediately cut him off in anger and said you were who I grew up with and I would always love you."

Whoa. What?

I read it to III and III had no comment. My family can be a little too crazy for his tastes.

I IMed with my dad after I read the letter, but we only discussed Y and many of the issues surrounding her and her children. I did not bring up that sentence.

What it implies to me is that at some point my grandfather questioned my father's patronage... I do know that before she met my grandfather my grandmother was married to an abusive man. I don't know if that is part of the issue or whether he thought she had an affair. I don't know whether this was an accusation that was made before or after my grandmother's illness and death, or whether it was when my grandfather was lucid or later in his life when he was miserable and possibly senile.

Physically, my dad has always had some differences compared to his brothers. He is significantly taller than both of them. They both have a very stereotypical "Jewish" nose, and he doesn't. They have very narrow frames and slender body types, even as they age, and my dad has aged.... not slender. At all. That said, they have similarities. They all have dark hair, medium complexions, and my dad and his youngest brother have brown eyes. They are all very stubborn with very set opinions. And when it comes down to it... does it matter? To me at least? Not really... but it's very curious.

I told KB about it this morning, and she thinks I should bring it up with my dad. That he "opened the door" on the subject. I'm not sure for a number of reasons. The first is that my mom was the one who suggested that he send me the letter to explain Y's reasoning. (Though, it was a typed letter in word sent through email, so he could have easily edited it and didn't.) So, since I don't know if my dad wants to talk about it, I feel like I don't want to bring it up- what if it's painful for him to talk about? If it isn't, he could bring it up himself. Second, we've only talked about the letter on IM... not exactly the place to discuss whether your father was "illegitimate" or "the product of infidelity" or whatever.

And third... well, I just don't really like to have those conversations with my parents. I'm very open with my close friends. In fact, I crave connection. But for some reason, I've always been very private with my immediate family. I was close mouthed about (non-major) health related things (as well as our IF); I was quiet about boyfriends (when I called and told my sister that I was engaged, she looked at her husband and mouthed "To who???"); I try to moderate my emotions around them. I don't know why. Maybe because my family is so... dramatic. There are quite a few attention seekers in my family. (Y is one of them. My sister is another.) Don't get me wrong, I have my share of drama. But it's all relative. (Hah. No pun intended.) Compared to my husband's family, I'm probably pretty dramatic. But in my family? I'm the "conservative" one. I'm the "prude". So I don't like to add to the drama. And I don't want to draw the drama that would come from others if I did.

So I guess it's a habit. I am not all that interested in discussing this with my family, because ... that's just not what I do. It's such an awkward position too... clearly, my dad doesn't want others to know. He specified he'd only shown my mom... meaning he doesn't want me to share it with Y's daughter, who is one of my very good friends as well as my cousin, nor my sister.

So I don't know if this will go any further. I don't know if my dad will bring it up. I don't know if he's expecting me to bring it up. I don't know if he even wants us to bring it up... I guess only time will tell. I'll be seeing him in person over Thanksgiving, so I guess we'll just see what happens....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cranky is as cranky does...

After such a lovely weekend away for our anniversary two weeks ago, III has been ... let's say unpleasant to be around.

For a while, I thought he was upset with me about something- he doesn't always share. Turns out it was partially work, and partially Peanut.

Saturday, he ended up having to work from 2pm-4:30am. So he took yesterday off. I thought it would be good- a chance for a break for him on his own. Everyone needs their alone time, right?

He was a little better. A little. Finally, last night I asked him how he was feeling about Peanut. He said "okay". He thinks she's a spaz but she's getting better. Then I said "What about me? You just don't seem to like me very much lately." He said "It's just hard because work has been hard and then I come home and with Peanut now it doesn't feel like a haven." I agree with him that for the first week, it was stressful, but now? She's still tough but not for him. He does none of the work with her. It's all me. So I said "I think she's much better," and he says "Yeah, she's just so much work."

Um. Huh. If you think a 7 month old dog is a lot of work, what do you think is going to happen when we have an infant??? You better buck up, buddy.

I feel like all I do lately is waver between being irritated with him and trying not to upset him. Last night, I took Peanut after her 1am poopie trip and slept in the spare room. So I don't know what he's complaining about.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Something a little lighter

Thanks to ICLW, I saw this on "babybaker"'s page.

Here’s how it works: you have to mention (and link) to the blog where you saw it. Then use Google images to explain your answers for each category listed below. Join the fun!

(Babybaker listed the phrase she searched for, but I chose to only post the photo... )

1. Favorite beverage

2. Your hometown

3. Favorite TV show

4. Your occupation

5. Your first car

6. Your favorite dish

7. Celebrity you’ve been told you most resemble (this one was hard... there is no "most often" so I just chose two I have been told at one time or another...)

8. Celebrity crush

9. Favorite childhood toy

10. Any random photo