Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little (Baby got) Back-story

I love this time of year. Besides the manic rush to fill everyone's stocking with things they don't need-I blog, and dream, and get lots of comments. I treasure every comment someone takes the time to leave behind as I do believe they fill me with some superpower juice. (Perhaps it's just the meds).

The Bear does not understand my fascination with blogging (something, by the way, I thought I would NEVER do). G-d forbid he catches me tweeting. I tell him it's kind of like his unbridled obsession with football, or with sugary breakfast cereal. "You know when you paint your belly blue and you go out there in the freezing cold and have a tailgate party at Gillette Stadium? " I explain "All that (dare I say) brotherhood and bonding over pony kegs??? Well, that feeling you get is what blogging gives me (without the hangover)." 

A little hooyah for all my sisters on the "Visiting" team. Our stats might be questionable, but we are here to kick some @ss!!!!! 

Random strangers

And we don't have to paint our bellies blue to do so!
For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, I wanted to give you a little backstory. I am a 41 year old newlywed. That might sound rather "golden aged" but I still get carded and have wonderful skin. I feel 28 on the inside when I am not pumped up on meds.

I always aspired to be a high powered career girl with many lovers and pool boys who would fan me with palm fronds. The career developed beyond my expectation, but the lovers were duds and no pool boys materialized. One day I read this ridiculous article in O Magazine where the writer suggested that if you put your INTENTIONS into the would, you would reap a bountiful harvest. She said you had to write a list of 100 things you hoped to find in a partner, to fully actualize your hope in your mind. I had nothing to loose, as I found the love-over-30's dating scene to be somewhat lackluster, so I gave it a try. I got stuck around #64 I remember, but I mustered on. I remember asking that he "had a job", "had nice hands", "was devoted to his family" and "cracked me up" among more direct and personal hopes. (These hopes might seem simple and shallow but you would be AMAZED at some of singletons out there!) Writing this list made me feel somehow empowered. But as most "life changing" resolutions go, I quickly forgot about it.

About six months later, I met this crazy guy after a string of horrid internet dates. On our second date, he insisted on cooking dinner for me in my tiny condo. I noticed his big hands. As he passed me a glass of wine, I thought about my penchant for pool boys. Was this somewhat better?

After a few dates we began sharing our history. I told him things in the hope of scaring him away, so that I could resume my independent life. I mentioned that I had pursued adoption through foster care (then on hold), and had explored being a single mother by choice (unfortunate miscarriage). Surprisingly, he did not run screaming from my life. Instead, he somehow understood and expressed his desire to one-day become the father he always wanted to have. He was a keeper.

We were married five months later.

After we were married, I stumbled on that journal of "man-traits" as I was cleaning out the office. I was surprised to see that it felt as if I was describing him! The only pitfall- the "# 72.stylish dresser" is sometimes questionable, but hey, he still ROCKS in those nylon wind pants and that shade of acid washed jean will one day come back again!

So that's our story. Fifteen months into our marriage and we have endured extensive prodding and poking (and not in the good way,) several losses and many bumps and cheers on the road to baby hood. We have also experienced countless tears and laughter. I would never want to do it with anyone else.

Write your list. Then throw it away. It probably won't bring you additional luck, but it's nice to put your hope and intention into the universe.

(Thanks Elizabeth)

Wishing you joy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Article about Motherhood, Adoption and Love

My family c.1972

This is one of my favorite articles on motherhood. The Bear read it to me a few weeks ago when we were at a little cafe before puppy shopping. (No puppy, but the day was wonderful....) Enjoy!

Baby, what a difference

A decade later, a lot has changed in the world of motherhood

By Louise Kennedy, Globe Staff  |  December 5, 2009
Babies don’t change much from one era to the next, but babyhood sure does.

At least that’s how it feels as I compare the arrivals of my two children, more than a decade apart. I gave birth to our son 12 years ago, and this summer my husband and I met our daughter in China, one week after her first birthday.

OK, so technically that makes her a toddler, not a baby, and certainly there are plenty of differences between preparing for a newborn and bringing home a 1-year-old. But the two of them are so startlingly similar in temperament and habits - both alert, curious, and cheerful (or, as I say in my grumpier moods, lousy sleepers, into everything, and loud) - that it makes it easier to see that, even with only 11 years between their births, they’ve landed in two surprisingly different worlds.

I started noticing the changes even before we flew to China in July. When I was pregnant with C.J., I read a few books, talked to a few friends, and made a list of the items we’d need. A friend supplied the crib, my mother bought a deluxe stroller, and for the car seat we went to Babies R Us, checked out the five or six models on the shelf, and picked the one that looked sturdiest and easiest to clean. Diapers, onesies, board books, done.
For T.T., on the other hand, things seemed much more complex. That was partly because the slowdown in adoptions from China meant that I had more than three years to make my lists. But the real difficulty, I think, was simply that there was so much more information available than before - and instantly, addictively available, too, via our new friend the Internet.

The trouble became most apparent once we’d actually received some basic information about our daughter, so that I finally knew (roughly) how big she was and what kind of car seat she’d need. But why schlep to the store, I thought, if I can just shop from the comfort of home?

And thus began my three days of Car-Seat Craziness. I quickly discovered not just the shopping sites, but also the online reviews and arguments about every imaginable style and brand of car seat. Issues I had never even considered - matching seat precisely to vehicle type, fretting about the compression factor of winter coats, locating an inspection site - soon flooded my brain.

Finally, sated with data and dizzy with ratings, I pointed and clicked on the model that I’d liked at first sight - and then found it for $100 off because I was willing to choose a less popular fabric.

Which brings me to another oddity about Planet Baby 2009: the new obsession with style, not just in all those adorable little outfits (now far cheaper and more accessible than in the dark ages of 1997) but in every accoutrement of infant life. Designer diaper bags? For 200 bucks or even more? When I knew that, no matter how stylish, in a year the thing would sit, beat-up and becrumbed, next to the sippy cups and snack holders in a box headed for Goodwill?

On the other hand, sippy-cup design and snack-holder technology have really come a long way in the past 12 years. That, plus all the cute, cheap clothing, is my happiest discovery in this brave new world. Oh, and baby sign language - something I’d dismissed as a yuppie trend back then, but now fully embrace as a remarkable way to soothe the frustrations of a young person who has plenty to communicate, but just can’t do it with her vocal cords quite yet.

Significant advances, all. They almost make up for the baffling, and dismaying, rise of electronic technology aimed at infants. If there’s one way I’d turn back the clock, it’s by eliminating all the toys that produce nasty flashes and beeps. Of course, that might take us back to 1897, not 1997, so never mind.

So many changes - it’s almost enough to blog about. Except that that remains the single most incomprehensible difference of all between babyhood then and now. I am just as tired, just as busy, and just as besotted with this baby as I was with the last, and I assume that all the other new mothers are, too. So where, how, and when do they find the time to blog?

It’s a mystery, and one I’d be happy to contemplate at length, except that the baby just woke up from her nap.
Some things never change.
Louise Kennedy can be reached at, but not very often until her maternity leave ends next month.  

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sending LOVE

Hello all you gorgeous women out there.
I just wanted to send you some good energy!!!!

Listen, I spoke with the Bear last night, and we decided that whatever we hear later today regarding (our pregnancy test )will have to be kept between us until after Christmas. As much as I would like to share our results with you sisters, we feel it best to have a face to face with out families first-and we won't see my side until we fly out for Xmas day.
Plus my mother, sister and sister in law are following this blog from time to time, and I wouldn't want them to get their news (good OR bad) through the blog.

Also, I know that things change and the beginning is so fragile. So if the news is good, I'd just like to sit with it for a little while before putting it out on the blogosphere. If it's not good, I'll definitely need some processing time!

Deep breath!!!

I will say however that I am thinking of all of you. Everyone who has read this blog or has left a comment, and I have you all in my heart : )

We did the reverse the curse rituals last night and I have to say that it did fill me with a lot of girl power and happiness before the PT. I must say that sleeping on the opposite side of the bed was super fun, and having an "afternoon delight" first thing in the morning really started the day off right! So no matter the outcome I am covered in good luck charms today and feel full of good energy. I highly recommend making your own rituals to get through the Pregnancy test!
Wishing you well!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Willing the G-ds of Fate : Part 2

Happy Hanukkah to all you Jewbies out there!

For those of you that don't know the story of Hanukkah, it's really about faith. I was not raised very religously, so let me give you the Brooklyn skinny. Long, long ago there was this group of Jewish folk who were being persecuted. They took refuge in a temple. They had only one lamp, with oil for one night in it. Somehow, the lamp burned for eight days instead of one, and that's how they knew G-d was with them, and G-d had their backs.
Last night my Italian-American husband and I lit our menorah to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Being married to a Jewish princess, my dear one is getting accustomed to all of these "unusual rituals". Last year he walked uphill in the snow to surprise me with candles for our menorah. This year he made us a feast (of roast beast and mashed potatoes) and got me a glow in the dark dredel

So we lit our menorah to celebrate to first night of hanukkah. We said a prayer. We put the small photo we have of our little embies next to the candles in a makeshift alter

Hopeful, our G-d has our back. Hopefully She/He knows how very much we hope to add on to our family.

I know that everything happens in its own time. I do not know if our children will be born through our bodies, but I am assured in my heart that they WILL come in to our lives when the time is right.

As far as willing the G-ds of fate into reversing the cycle of devastating news after our past IUI's andIVF's I have decided to simplify my action plan, so I am not overwhelmed by ritual. The following is my abridged action plant for blood test day:

1. The Bear and I will sleep on opposite sides of the bed. That way I will truly be starting the day on the right foot.
2.I have been soliciting "good luck" charms from a few friends. I will bring these tolkens with me to the test. You can't have too many wishes from friends.
3. I might still eat ice cream for breakfast.
4. I just surprised the Bear with two skybox tickets to this Sunday's Patriot's game (a gift from a dear friend) so I hope the great sex the night before the test is still a possibility....
5. Possibly flowers and words of affirmation left among post it notes by my desk...

Easy enough....
Any comments you leave for us will be added to our GOOD LUCK treasure trove!!!!!!

Whatever your faith, I wish you the BEST and I hope G-d had your back!!!!
Love, Shell

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Willing the G-ds of Fate

I’m still at the tail end of the two week wait. We are trying to decide if it’s best to have the nurses give me the news of my blood test, or have them call the Bear. I want to be IN CONTROL and hear it, but I don’t want to be stuck between meetings weeping in the bathroom stall (as before….).
Sometimes it feels like the movie“Goundhog’s Day” where we remain in a cycle of horrific repetition. We get the same news every time. I am always told I am pregnant, but the numbers are too low. They make me do other bloodtests and wait till the number is zero before they leave me alone. It makes me feel like my soul is holding on to a faint heartbeat that is getting slower and slower until it stops. It’s been terribly painful for both my husband and me.

Obviously I cannot control fate, but if I can break out of the cycle of repetition, perhaps I am doing something in my small way to WILL the g-ds of fate to give us a new solution. What if I do everything differently on the day of our blood test? Here are some of my ideas so far. I'd love additional feedback and other ideas. Even silly or outlandish ones....

1. I will wear something very bright, even though it's winter in New England. That way the g-ds of fate may take notice and I will proclaim "This is the day!"
Maybe I'll wear a lucky necklace or something I haven't worn before...

2. I will get my blood drawn at another location.

3.I will have massive sex the night before. That's not something I would normally do before the test.

4. I will begin the day eating something unconventional- like ICE cream for BREAKFAST.

5. I will leave myself little notes of affirmation at work, so no matter what the news, I will see these little wise and supportive thoughts.

6. I will go to temple a few days before. It will be Hanukkah no less! (If I am not feeling particularly Jewish, I will create my own little temple and say a prayer somewhere...)

7. I will send myself flowers...(????)I have not done that- so no matter what the outcome I will get a little present of love.

8. I will leave a little WISH note in the third stocking we have hanging on the mantle. That way our wish is out in the universe. 

Any other ideas???????? Any favorites.

Please say a little prayer for us and our embies! Every little bit helps....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poem: Starlings in Winter

This poem was on NPR Writer's Almanac today. I loved it and wanted to share it with you...
Wishing you joy...
Dec. 8, 2009 
Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers, 
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots 
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings. 
"Starlings in Winter" by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2003

Starlings in Flight: Watch Video 

European Starling eggs

Nesting: For more information on these beautiful birds. Click here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A hen atop eggs

I feel as if I have run a marathon in my mind. Acknowledging I was going to take on the challenge of infertility was one thing. Yet another was getting up and over that first hill. But we did it! We had 18 egglets which developed into 8 embies, 5 of which were plump and beautiful. I said a little prayer for the remaining 3 as they were not able to be saved or put back into my womb.
It’s so hard. This process. The questions about when life truly begins. Still, I cannot help but feel immeasurably blessed to have the benefit of science and the support of loved ones through this journey.
When I was younger- still a sassy single lass- I considered becoming a single mother by choice. I also explored adoption through foster care. I have so much respect for men and women who follow their heart and take on convention. The only thing holding me back, was that I was not ready at the time. But I am proud I explored it, and I went as far as I could go with it. Sometimes, pulling out of the race takes as much courage as staying in it.
So now I sit here, like a plump hen atop a handful of eggs. I am in such gratitude it is inexpressible. That is my way of coping and surviving through this trying time. To sit in grace, if even for a moment.
Everything happens in its own time. I would not be the woman I am today if I had reached the finish line any earlier. I would not have been with my husband, whom I discovered later in my life. I would not have this strength within me, this smile on my face, or this appreciation for this phenomenal, although imperfect body.
I would not appreciate the gifts we hope to receive nearly as much if they were given to me easily.I have been lucky to be successful in life, but I have worked hard for all I have achieved. And as much as a “career girl” as I may be , I am happy to feel like a hen atop eggs today.
Whatever happens, I welcome it with grace.
Thank you g-d for giving me the opportunity to run this race, and to do so with such beautiful wonderful women whom I have met on this marathon…
My best to all of you

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Birthday of Sorts

It’s one of those days outside where you can’t tell if it’s 10am or 4pm. This transitional haze seems to coat everything. Still I feel like it’s a BIRTHday of sorts! Today is the day of our IVF transfer.
This will be our 3rd and I am cautiously hopeful that the day will go well. Our first transfer was a bit of a debacle. The attending RE was cruel and insensitive and kept yelling at me not to talk or move through the procedure. I felt like a chained animal. So primal and frightened. I heard later from the nurses that he’s been known to lock ladies out of the bathroom so they keep a full bladder for the procedure. He might be a brilliant Dr., but I hope someone pees on him one day!
So Crazy MD recommended that I be “knocked out” for transfer #2 so I wouldn’t cause any more havoc in the Operating room. I couldn’t agree more with the concept of sleeping through a very vulnerable experience and waking up slightly high and happy. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell me to have some water before I arrived, and when they tried to administer the IV they had to stick me 14 times before I made them stop. There was blood all over the floor and my husband was turning blue.
I opted for valium.
MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm! Valium. Now I know what they mean my the term mother’s little helper!
Luckily the IVF Dr. #2 had soft and gentle eyes and was wonderful. He kept me distracted and I was able to get through it. I also realized after round 1 that I can’t have my husband in the OR with me. I just feel too vulnerable and get very self conscious.
I really liked the Dr. who did the retrieval this week. Everyone at BWH Boston was awesome and I felt very well cared for. At times I tried to pretend I was at the spa (wishful thinking ) and they were working on my energy from the inside out. I hope the transfer Dr. will be equally kind and ease me through this.
At this point of the IVF journey, you have had so many people in your “business”. You don’t think twice when you are prodded and poked in your naughty bits. But that transfer is the hardest part for me. It’s like a reunion with hope and these little bits of life that I love so much! Fate is back in your hands, and even though much of it is out of your sphere of influence, a bit of life is re-deposited inside you. 
Each time you have to go through another doorway on this journey- sex for fun to sex for baby making, talking to a specialist, testing, clomid, IUI,IVF, etc….you find this immeasurable strength that you didn’t know you had before. Two years ago, I never imagined that I would choose to do IVF. Now I am on my 3rd try and I thank g-d for the gift of modern science. 
Women are strong, we keep on going. I love that.

Wishing you the very best….

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three Little Stockings

18 follicles at time of retrieval. 8 developing embies as of yesterday. I hope hope hope the numbers stay good and we have some strong little ones for the transfer tomorrow.
I’ve been so restless today. I can’t sit still. It’s a gorgeous day in Boston and I had to take off and get lost in TJ Maxx, only to buy a ton of stuff I don’t really need. I felt a little twinge as I walked past the children’s christmas pajamas. Even through I will NEVER dress my future child in sparkly gingham and lace,  it felt a bit like a them vs. us moment.
I did do something unexpected. I bought 3 Christmas stockings. Quite remarkable for several reasons:
1. I am  Jewish!
2. We already have some tacky holiday stocking somewhere in the basement.
3. There are only two of us, right now…..
I just couldn’t help it. They were surprisingly lovely. Heavy gauge sweater knit and crocheted in  beautiful patterns. For The Bear- a cream colored stocking of gorgeous cable knit with gold trim. For me, a funky stripe of red, pink, lime green and white. And for XXXXX, a sweet little red fairisle with red pom poms.
I thought it might be interesting to mount all three on the mantle. To fill the little one up with wishes and notes that we could save until there’s a new person in our family to read them to. Notes of love and wishes that they come into our lives soon.
On a different note, I have discovered a “cycle buddy” all the way in New Zealand. We write to each other and send some good energy across the pond. It’s Egghunt! Check out her blog. And if you are cycling with us, drop us a line. It’s been nice to stay connected.
I wish everyone reading this peace, love and good fortune.
Shell & The Bear

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sexy Drawers and Egglets

17 egglets as of Wednesday. Pretty exciting news. The nurse on the phone was so sweet, filling us in on the details and telling us about our 2am HCG shot. I even wore cute underwear for the shot. I know it’s stressful for both of us, and I figured having sassy-pants on would at least make us feel a little more like US ! So I got out of my frumpy pajamas when the Bear was setting up the shot, and put on my cutest pair of drawers that he hadn’t seen before. I bent over the pillows and “assumed the position”— for the intramuscular injection that is! The needle looked HUGE. It usually helps me if I sing or try to laugh or cough while it’s going in. (I learned that from my acupuncturist). For some reason, I just started saying “Ho,ho,ho,ho,hoooow!”. I sounded like an S&M Santa !
I don’t know if it was the relief that the shot was over, my new lacy drawers, or my sexy Santa impersonation, but the Bear started getting a little amorous. Of course, then we start laughing hysterically because we CAN’T do anything about it, since we have a pact with the RE to go 3 days before the transfer without any lovin. We are just cracking up because of the irony of all this. Me saying, “what’s another few hours, they’ll never know! I’ll only need 17 of your guys on friday!” The Bear saying he wants “optimal results and we have to wait.” Obviously he’s “driving the car” on this one and who am I to mess with the laws of science? It’s just silly that you have to NOT have sex in order to make a baby through IVF, but I know he takes his numbers VERY seriously. Funny nonetheless. I think I won’t forget that soon!
The first time we ever tried to do the HCG trigger shot (for IVF#1) we were in a skybox at the Boston Garden. My friend had given us 2 tickets to see the Celtics Playoffs on the Bear’s birthday. It was a great night, surrounded by friends and drinking free beer in the skybox. We went in the bathroom at 8:30pm, and my friend kept watch at the door. It turned in to a nightmare! The HCG vial had somehow broken in its paper box and the powder and glass were everywhere! We rushed to the hospital hoping the Center for Infertility would have a spare vial in the Hospital pharmacy. For 3 hours, the physicians in the ER called everywhere, trying to procure a tiny replacement. I thought I was going to loose all my eggs. Then, around 11:30 pm, the pharmacist from a Village Pharmacyhad unlocked his lab and hand delivered another vial. I can’t tell you how I cried! The next day I sent him and his staff 2 dozen cookies and became a fan forever!
So this time was obviously better than HCG#1, although the Celtics game WAS fun! I think this experience, as daunting as it is, has brought me and the Bear closer together. I am glad to have him here with me through this process.
So instead of writing about how I am scared and anxious about today, I will say that I am THANKFUL for the opportunity to try to add on to our family. I am THANKFUL for our dear friends and family who have supported us through this journey. And I am THANKFUL for love, and for fate, which has brought me to this moment.
Fingers, crossed, chest, out, tail-feathers high!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Make it a Dozen!

I have 10 egglets so far! Just little seedlings of things to come but the RE said it’s very promising. They lowered my stim meds because my estrodial level was soaring too quickly. They called me a high responder? Sounds like the nerdy kid at the front of the classroom with her eager  hand up in the air  (yes that WAS me! Nerdy girl).
I just wish that the quality of my old eggs matches my body’s enthusiasm.
To have found love at 40 and be trying to conceive at 41. It’s kinda crazy. I have colleagues at work with pre-teens with body hair. But hey, I always imagined I’d be successful and unattached, travel the world and have many lovers. I was lucky in the regard that I DID get to live the life I longed for. I checked off many of the boxes on my life-list and eventually I decided to rewrite my list. I remember telling a friend, who was struggling in an unhealthy relationship, to figure out where he wanted to be on the day he died, and work backwards. I realized I needed to heed my own advice and decide what stories I wanted to have at the end of my life. 
That story led me to where I am today. 
If I am indeed “working backwards” than I know intuitively what I hope lies ahead. I don’t know how I will get there yet, but I am happy to be on this journey toward a deeper truth.
So my 10 little egglets are making their way in the world. The Bear came with me to the ultrasound today but I couldn’t stop laughing when it was time for the dildocam. There’s something about your lover seeing you with your legs in the air and a plastic probe under your gown that really makes you self-conscious (you THINK!!!!). And the gown- Jeezus- that’s the first thing I’d like to redesign! How bout something RED and fabulous for all of us strong, mighty bitches out there!
(I mean bitches in the nicest way- if you are on meds I am sure you know that!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Golden Goose

On the way to the Hospital to get a bloodtest, I watched a flock of geese navigate the busy highway. One would expect them to fly across, ascending the swiftly moving cars that were in their way. Maybe they were lazy, but they chose to walk across. All twenty of them! Chests out, beaks pointing upward.
Obviously if you had to pit a goose -even twenty geese- up against a swerving, angry car, the geese would, in all probability, get creamed. What goose in their right mind would CHOOSE to waddle across a Boston thoroughfare at rush hour! But here they were, sachaying proudly toward their destination, the last patch of green grass in the city square.

I feel like one of those geese today. Chest out, walking briskly towards the hospital. Sachaying towards ....what? Perhaps the odds are not in my favor. Maybe the machine of fate and infertility is bigger than me. But still I'm walking!!! Confronting it head on.  And now I have sisters.I have lifelong girlfriends and my own sister as well as new partners I've made on this journey. We're all golden geese crossing the highway together. Prancing around with our RubyFeathered tails.

There is strength in numbers.
Faith trumps Fear.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Child's Play!

Good news!
blog a wonder_woman
We had our first girl-power mixer for the RubyFeather Social Club last night and it was AWESOME. I never met so many  women who I would totally love to be friends with. It was wonderful to hear the stories of others and share strengths and support. I believe that everyone left energized and hopeful, really feeling this if they had sisters on the journey toward motherhood.

In addition to that I can proudly say I DID IT!  I gave myself the menopur shot this morning. Yes, I was still sweating and a little nervous, but I played some Joss Stone tunes and did a little power dance before I plunged the needle in my belly. Hooyah! I can't believe it, but I felt EMPOWERED! I had control over something for once. I think I am going to take the syringe away from my husband, and do it myself more often.

On a funny note, the Bear left me the HCG needle instead of my teenie 30 gauge one. I was mixing the solution and getting ready to add the needle when I thought- Cruel joke! What was he trying to do? Kill me???? Once I found an appropriate sharp (a wee dwarf of the HCG needle,) it seemed like child's play.

A big thank you and cyber hug to everyone who has left me a comment. IT'S HELPING!!!!!
Go ladies go! Let's make some cute babies around here!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sleepy Hollow

I have so much to do today, but I need to “get this out”. I am not sure what words or patterns will form here, but I need to open the padlock to my hope chest and set a few butterflies free.
I tried to call my RE to postpone this IVF cycle. With the passing of my Uncle and the stresses at home and work, I just felt like it was all too much right now. I went over timing with the nurse and it’s pretty impossible to just push it out a month because their lab closes for the holidays and they have cutoff dates in November. If we wait until January we have to get approved again from our insurance, and our deductible will be HUGE.
blog woman_cryingMy body and mind need TIME, but there is now way to barter for time right now.
So we began the basline tests yesterday. I went to the Ultrasound lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and tried to send a little good energy to the ladies who sat near me in the waiting room. I need to reach out with a smile and a whisper of “good luck” to my sisters on this journey, because I know how desperately I flourish under the support and kindness of others.
We started the Gonal F last night and now do menopur in the am. That sh!# burns! Tomorrow I may have to give myself the injection (and it scares me). Me, in my seemingly professional power-suit, sweating and shaking over the kitchen sink with a needle in my belly. The image makes me want to cry…
Breathe, kiddo. That’s about all you can do right now.
Gosh, I could use a hug (or a valium : ) )!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A View from the Ceiling

Still in Florida. My Uncle is still in a coma. Yesterday, the Doctor in the ICU described his condition as a "catastrophe". He said Uncle might remain in a "vegetative state" and that he had bleeding on both sides of his brain. He said we had to be prepared, and that they were doing more CAT scans to confirm their assumptions. If we took him off of the ventilator he would not breathe on his own. If we waited, and the tests confirmed there was no brain function, we could keep him alive, attached to machines and feeding tubes for the rest of his existence. "Or".....I dare not go in to the or as it is a decision I hope no one in the world ever has to make. At least the "Or " would provide an end to his suffering. That long elusive word, "dignity" hung around his neck like  an invisible rosary.
There were more than a few moments when I felt as if I had left my body and was floating above the conversation, hearing everything through a muffled blankets.

I spent half the day floating around the ceiling. I stroked his hair and caressed his arm while I told him stories of my baby niece and my new husband. My dad was grieving in a silent, tormented way. He was telling his brother to wake up or he would sell his new television.

We met with his social worker to understand (and help translate) all that we heard. I was supposed to be in charge of the meeting so my dad could breathe and absorb it all, but I couldn't hold back my emotions. My Uncle'scase worker told us that if he did not improve, we should decide if my Uncle would wish to stay on life support or pass on. She said no one would rush us to make that decision. Then she told us about a thing called Hospice.

It was difficult to sleep last night. Dad and I tried to take joy in simple things- We spotted a pair of iguanas in an empty lot by the beach. We ate an abundance of Jewish pastries. It brought the term " carbo loading" to a whole new level.

We went back to the hotel to extend our lodging and push out our flights. I spent a few hours trying to get my husband a ticket to join us. I have been married a year and it is still hard for me to accept support from those that love me. The Bear will be a welcome addition to ourcoterie in the coma ward. He is steady and loving, and he's studying medicine (a plus in this case). He has a certain distance to the situation, and hisunwavering care and concern will help steady me through this.

On the computer in the hotel room, struggling for a signal. Then it's "ooooooooh, ooooh, eeeeeeeewwwwwwoooohhh" through the walls as a couple started to bump de bump for what seemed like HOURS. Mind you, I am sharing a hotel room with MY FATHER and this woman is SCRRRRREEEEAMING at the top of her lungs.

Talk about awkward.

I wanted to bang on the wall and say "Get a ROOM!" But isn't that what they did???? Could I blame them?

Impossible to sleep. Worry kept me awake. And then the 2am redoubt of the opera of moaning next door. It sounded like they were killing chickens in there! Dad snoring, lady coming and all I could think of was GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!!!

But the sun comes out in sunny florida and today was a different story. Yes, they were still at it at 6am, but we left quickly for more carbo loading and a trip to the ICU. Uncle's new CAT scan revealed that his brain was doing better than expected, but he was experiencing seizures every time they tried to pull him out of his coma. The Doctor said there was a glimmer of hope. I asked her what she recommended and she said, let's give him time. "Time is all we have right now," I replied.

Let's give him some time.

This is one of the most important times of my life. This is something that changes you and once you pass that doorway and experience something like this, you cannot go back.

It just makes me realize how precious family is. I hope my Uncle knows how much I love him.

That's enough for tonight....
Sweet dreams and love to you, dear reader. Thank you for listening.