Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #32: Boo!

These are the "Boo Buckets" that we left on a couple of neighbors' doorsteps on Sunday. (Plus some leftover decorations from our party.)

Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hello? Hello?

Sunday evening, we got ready to go out to dinner, and I couldn't find my cell phone.

After looking around the house, I remembered that I'd worn sweat pants while walking the dogs that afternoon, and realized that it must have fallen off of my waistband somewhere along the way.

There was nothing to do but retrace our steps and look for it.

That afternoon, we'd taken a different route than usual, and we started our search by heading across the field that was the last part of our route before getting back into our neighborhood.

As we got there, I remembered that when were there earlier, BigGaloot had spotted a bunny and taken off running after it, yanking the leash right out of Shrike's hand.

She started to run after him, but I saw that he'd stopped, when it went under a fence and got away from him. (There was a shed blocking Shrike's view, but I could see him.)

I told her to stop, and just called him. He came running right back to her.

We were both so excited that he'd actually come back - even when tempted by a bunny - that I ran over to where they were and we jumped around and gave him all kinds of petting and praise and hoopla.

I figured that the phone must have fallen off when I was running, so it must be somewhere in that area.

It was getting dark, and the sad little flashlight that Shrike had brought wasn't doing the job.

My phone was set on vibrate, so I knew we wouldn't hear it, but it lights up when it rings, so Shrike went back home, grabbed her phone and met me back in the field.

After calling my phone several times, to no avail, we decided we'd better check the rest of our route.

As we walked, I repeatedly dialed my phone, as we looked for the blue lights. No luck.

Eventually, we were back in the field, and decided to give it another look before giving up. This time, we walked a little farther along, trying to remember where I was when I ran, and where PerfectPup and I had met up with Shrike and Galoot.

Just then - I saw a faint blue glow in the grass.

I walked over, and sure enough, there was my phone.

With sixty-two missed calls from Shrike.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Manic Monday #12

  1. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?
    To be honest, if you'd asked me this question, oh, twenty-five years ago, I probably would have given you a whole list of things. Now, not so much. Turns out my parents were a lot smarter than I thought.
  2. Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?
    I'd like to think it will be better off, but I think that depends a lot on the outcome of the next few elections
  3. At the beginning of a relationship, do you trust your new partner unless there is something specific to make you do otherwise, or do you withhold your trust until he/she has earned it
    In all types of relationships, I generally trust people until proven otherwise. Sometimes even afer that.

Learn more about Manic Monday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What Color Are You?

I stole this from Toni. These kinds of quizzes are usually kind of dumb, but this is based on choosing which words best describe you, so it sort of makes sense. I think mine is quite accurate, and Shrike's fairly accurate.


You Are Aqua
Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

You Are Steel Blue
Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You're conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn't even suspect.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Now Taking Requests

LadyKay commented on my previous post that she wished I'd gotten a close-up of the rice crispy bats that LiPA brought to the party last night.

Luckily for her, there were a few left over!

Happy Halloween!

Here are some photos from our party last night:

The Food
Punch (orange sherbert, orange juice, ginger ale - served in a witch's cauldron), cheese dip & chips, rice crispy bats (from LiPA & family), sugar cookies, cheese & olives, peanut butter cookies (from K, across the street), sausage wantons (from D & B), brownies, cheesey pigs in blankets, candy corn, Anonymama's cheese ball, crackers

Sugar cookies, rice crisy bats, candy corn, cheesey pigs in blankets, Anonymama's cheese ball (with olive jack-o-lantern face), crackers, more crackers, brownies, cheese & olives

The Hostesses


Shrike & Whozat

I knew I shouldn't have mentioned the Christmas party so soon

How did that happen?!?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Photo Hunter #31: Pink

This is for my honey. She looooves Pink.

Disclaimer: All images above are stolen from

Saturday Special #28: Ghostly Tall Tales

  1. Do you believe in ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural?
    No, not really.

  2. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
    Can't say as I have.

  3. What is your favorite horror film?
    None. I don't like scary movies.

  4. Finish this line: Dark is the night . . .
    . . .
    because the sun isn't out?

Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm a Huge Dork

We're having a Halloween party tomorrow evening (no, that's not the dorky part - at least I hope it won't be!) so I stopped at the grocery store on my way home this evening, because people at parties? They like to be fed.

Of course, we needed a few other things besides party food, so I ended up with a cartful.

It's rainy and coldish and nasty out, so by the time I had all my groceries in the car, I was more than ready to throw the cart in the corral and get the hell home.

As I started to put the cart away, I noticed the jumbo-pack of toilet paper on the bottom.

"Aw crap," I thought. "Now I have to open the car back up, put the toilet paper in . . . ."

Then I realized, "Oh shit! I forgot it was there when I was checking out, too! I didn't pay for it!"

I considered it for a moment, then I put it in the car, got in and started the engine, while the proverbial little devil and little angel on my shoulders fought it out.

"It's cold, it's raining and it's just toilet paper."

"You didn't pay for it!"

"Nobody will know."

"Karma will know. And you need all the good karma you can get."


So, I drove closer to the door, parked again, took it back into the store and paid for it.

Because, you never know, the universe might have rules against giving babies to toilet paper thieves.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Super Wonder Woman

There you go hon, I've retitled it, just for you. :-)
Now, on to the post. . . .

Today, we took the first steps toward getting Shrike checked out to possibly use her eggs for IVF, if I'm not able to get pregnant after six medicated IUIs.

Step one is to take a "Day 3" look at her hormone levels and antral follicle count, to determine her ovarian reserve.

It was a bit complicated, in that we had to go "on my way" to work, but the clinic is an hour from home, and an hour out of my way. We started out in two cars, left mine in a parking lot near the intersection of the two interstates, where you turn to go to OldWorkTown instead of NewWorkTown, and then rode the rest of the way together in Shrike's car.

When we got to the clinic, we had to wait quite a while - pretty much until they were finished with all the other monitoring, since we didn't actually have an appointment, and Dr E was doing the antral follicle scan on the down-low, for no charge.

We did eventually get in, though, and Shrike finally got the chance to get up close and personal with my buddy, the dildo-cam.

The first thing they told us is that her uterus looks "good and normal," but that she has a number of small (marble-sized) uterine fibroids, as well as a larger (but still fairly small) one. The larger one is low in the uterus, which Dr E said can cause more trouble than other locations. (I'm not sure why.)

This is probably the reason for the heavy and painful periods that she's been having, which is why she's been on the pill for a few months.

Other than that, they aren't a problem, given that she's got no plans for her uterus.

Getting her pregnant has never been one of our options, and as Dr E said, that's probably just as well.

Then they moved on to look at her ovaries. Dr E said right off, "Wow, you've got a lot of antral follicles!"

Dr E suggested that she might have more than me, so I pointed out that I'd had twenty-four this cycle. Dr E laughed at me and said, "Uh oh, this could get ugly. I know how competitive women can be!"

It turns out that Shrike's ovaries totally kicked my ovary's asses.

Thirty-freakin-six antral follicles.

None of which will get a chance to even mature because she's on the pill!

But, if we do need to get some from her in a few months, it's great to know that she's still making so many!

Everyone (me, Shrike, Dr E and the dildo-cam tech) was quite impressed, and at one point Dr E (who is just a couple of months younger than me, I believe) even said something along the lines of, ". . . and Doctor is jealous, because you've both got more than me!"

Which we found intriguing, since she's already overshared with us that she's single. So, we're wondering if she's trying on her own, or if she's just keeping an eye on such things.

Not that it's our business, but she's the one who brought it up!

When we finished there, we went over to the center where I used to work to drop off / pick up some stuff. Shrike got to meet ED1, PhoneGirl and Director, and they all got to check her out.

Then Shrike took me back to my car and I headed in to work, while she came back here, went to the lab to get her blood drawn, came home long enough to have a short nap, then went to work.

We should have the lab work back in a few days. We still need to see that to know how her hormone levels look, but the antral follicle count was very promising.

Dr E says that, as soon as she has the lab results, she will "present us" to the shared risk committee to see if we can get approved for that, even though Shrike will be 38.5 on Saturday.

She also said that, for now, she'll put Shrike's dildo-cam photos in my chart, but after the committee is done with them, she'll give them to us, so Shrike can show the fibroid to Dr B, our regular ob/gyn.

I asked Dr E when we would need to make a committment to IVF, if we were to go that route. She said "soon," which kind of worried me, but then clarified that "soon" means "within a few months."

So, our contingency plan is to continue the medicated IUIs, while working on approval (financial and medical) to do IVF using Shrike's eggs, if that doesn't work out within six cycles.

Of course, Plan A is for that to all be moot in ten days, because that's when we'll find out that the Peanuts have stuck!

Thursday Thirteen #34

Speaking of fertility symbols, here are thirteen more that I've come across in my research . . .

  1. Goddesses / Venuses (veni?) of many sorts
  2. Kokopelli
  3. Frogs
  4. Turtles
  5. Cowrie Shells
  6. Rose Quartz
  7. Pine trees / needles / cones
  8. Oak trees / acorns
  9. Elephants
  10. Mangos
  11. Rabbits
  12. Eggs (duh!)
  13. Pomegranates

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Thursday Thirteen Blog Roll

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Three Words

My Three Words

Other people's Three Words.

Ten on Tuesday ??

I'm kind of confused. (But that's nothing new.)

The Ten on Tuesday site is currently showing October 16 with the list of Ten Things That Worry Me, which I thought was for October 9.

It says Ten Useful Internet Sites is for "next week" (today) but there's a note saying "I apologize for those of you who had posted the "Favorite Internet Sites" - that's for next week...Feel free to post again."

She was on vacation for a while, so maybe she skipped a week?

At any rate, there doesn't seem to be a new topic for today, so I guess I'll be back with another Ten next Tuesday!

Learn More About Ten on Tuesday

Monday, October 22, 2007

Three Words - Coming Tomorrow

This started with a piece on Good Morning America, where they asked people to describe their week, or their feelings for the week, in three words.

Some bloggers have picked up the idea and are asking other bloggers to post their "three words" tomorrow, Tuesday October 23, then sign the Mr. Linky at Blogmommas.

Here's the original piece from Good Morning America. Very moving.

Manic Monday #11

  1. Would you be able to serve on a jury and sentence the defendant to the death penalty if he/she were found guilty of a crime that the court felt warranted the death penalty?
  2. Have you ever faked being ill to avoid doing something you didn’t want to do?
    Oh, I'm sure that I have.
  3. Would you state you were guilty of a crime you didn't commit to free a loved one?
    That would depend. Did the loved one do it, or is s/he being falsely accused? What is the crime? What is the punishment?

Learn more about Manic Monday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Financial Aid

On Friday, I mentioned that my work is reimbursing me for mileage when I stop by the OldWorkTown center while I'm in town for my doctor's appointments.

I also mentioned that Dr E has offered to do an antral follicle count on Shrike for free (so we can see if her eggs will work, if we need to move on to IVF).

Both of those things will be very helpful, financially, and we really appreciate them, but I've not yet mentioned some even bigger help that we've recently received.

As you know, some of my family members read this blog, including my mom (Anonymama).

A couple of weeks ago, around the time of my last negative beta, I'd not talked to my family directly, but had been blogging about my conversation with Dr E and her recommendation to do two IUIs this cycle. As you may remember, I was also fretting about the additional cost.

That Saturday, while we were at the beach, I received an email from my mom, saying:

Go ahead and order 2 vials of donor sperm. Daddy and I want to treat you to one. I will put a $500 check in the mail by Monday. Did not want to tell you this on the blog, but wanted to tell you before you ordered. Have a really good time at the beach. Mama

Wow. That was totally unexpected.

The money, of course, will make a huge difference and totally eliminates any downside to doing the second IUI.

Even more important, though, is the gesture itself.

It's one thing for them to be excited about our plans, and to be anxiously awaiting an announcement from us, but to actually help financially to make it possible is really above and beyond the call of parental duty.

We are very, very lucky.

Sperminator 4.2: The Pumpkins

We did our second IUI today, and it went pretty smoothly.

No problems calling in for the thaw & wash this time, because they'd given me the "back number" yesterday.

We stopped at the pharmacy first, to sell back a box of Bravelle, that I bought from my insurance company's specialty pharmacy, with pre-authorization, for $175.

This is the extra box that we got, to replace the one that I bought last cycle from the pharmacy that's associated with the doctor's office - for $300. So, that's good.

I believe I was remiss on Friday, in not mentioning the way-too-cute-for-words little girl who was in the waiting room when I went for my ultrasound. (And her Mama wasn't bad either!)

This girl is 3.5, and was talking to me and another woman, like she's a grown-up.

She started just talking to her mom, narrating the magazine that she was reading, "Look, Mommy, this is my new house!" and then she showed us her "brand new shoes" and it was non-stop until I left.

At one point, she got up and came over to sit between me and the other woman. She talked to us both for awhile, then she suddenly reached over and grabbed the other woman's necklace and said, "I love it!"

(Sidenote - While I was getting my blood drawn, I told the phlebotomist about that. She said, "Oh, that must have been what's-her-name-, with the green necklace. It was pretty.")

Later, my new little friend leaned over to me and said, "I love you."

I told her, "And it's very nice to meet you, as well!"

So, the point being, that I don't know exactly what her mommy is doing there, but I'm suspecting that we're on the same schedule, because she was in the waiting room with us again today.

She didn't have the girl with her (she told me, "I didn't bring the entertainment today) but she did show Shrike a picture of her at the pumpkin patch (on her cell phone).

So the wait went pretty quickly again, as we spent most of it chatting with her about her cute kid.

Oh yeah, the pumpkins . . . .

The clinic employees are having a pumpkin decorating contest (which the patients are judging). I got such a kick out of them yesterday (and I'm such a huge dork) that I brought my camera today and took photos!

A few were just kind of typical and boring, but the ones I photographed were all "fertility-themed."


The Embryologist

Notice the clinic's logo on the name tag. I like it because the parents are very gender ambiguous.

This is the specimen jar full of sperm that she's holding. They are some sort of advertisement from California Cryobank. Note the shades and green hair. Crazy California sperm. (Not where ours came from.)

Mrs. Pumpkin Pin Cushion

This is an actual lab order sheet, reduced to scale. Mrs. P. is having her blood drawn for a beta today. Good luck, Mrs. P!
IVF Mommy Pumpkin

Her scrapbook page. We do think they missed an opportunity, though, by not including a photo of a bunch of pumpkin seeds in a Petri dish.
It's a boy! And a girl!
Mrs. Spermy - I think this is our favorite!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sperminator 4.1: The Peanuts!

That's our nom di utero for this cycle. We're going with the plural for the moment, given the two - or possibly three - eggs that should be dropping right about now, but we'll be plenty happy to end up with just one little Peanut.

We had a bit of stress on the way to our appointment, but it all worked out okay.

Shrike's parents had invited us to stop by and visit with them and her grandparents on our way, so we figured we'd leave here around 10 am.

At 10 til 10, her mom called to check in with us - and woke us up. Oops.

We got over there around 11 am, and it turned out that the grandparents had gone somewhere with friends, so we just visited with her parents, while they worked on installing a rail on the front steps.

At 11:30, the alarm on my phone buzzed, telling me that it was time to call the andrology lab at the doctor's office, to tell them we're on the way and it's time to thaw and wash the sperm.

It being Saturday, though, I kept getting voice mail. Around noon, I decided to select the "medical emergency, doctor's answering service" menu option and finally got to talk to a human.

Now, I understand that the answering service has a list of questions to ask any patient that calls, but they really ought to tell them that when someone says "I've got an IUI scheduled today, and I'm calling for a thaw and wash," they really don't have to ask, "Are you pregnant?"

"Um, no. That would be the whole point."

When we got there, I asked what to do tomorrow, and they gave me the "back number" so I can skip past the voicemail system.

The insemination itself went fine, not even any crampiness when the catheter when through my cervix (sometimes that part's not so fun).

We had yet another different doctor this time; a woman that we'd not met before. I think tomorrow is still another one - a man this time.

On the way home, we were going to stop off at Oktoberfest in OldWorkTown, but that just wasn't meant to be. We exited, followed some signs, and found ourselves back on the interstate.

Shrike said, "Well, nevermind, let's just go home."

About five minutes later, we spotted a sign that indicated we were headed away from home!

We took that as a sign to try again, but I think we misinterpretted it.

On the way back, to OldWorkTown, I dozed off, and when we got there, we tried again, but we couldn't find the place we were looking for.

Well, Shrike couldn't find it and I was being ever so useful - by snoozing away in the passenger seat - so we blew that off and came home.

Now we're home, I'm semi-rested, we've walked the doggies and we're trying to decide where to go for dinner.

I don't know what the plan is for the rest of the evening, but it seems like we ought to do something special. We'll start with dinner and see where it goes from there.

Photo Hunter #30: Practical

These are my fancy, dress-up shoes. Very practical.
Learn More About Photo Hunters
Photo Hunters Blog Roll
More Photos

Saturday Special #27: Words Ending in "OWL"

I say, you answer:

  1. Screeching Owl: Hoo!
  2. Night To Howl: Woo!
  3. Evening Prowl: Ooo!
  4. Nasty Scowl: Boo!
Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dildo-Cam Report

Another visit to the dildo-cam this morning, with promising results.

I've got three mature follicles, two of which are ready to drop (20 mm and 19 mm, I think) and another which is a bit behind (15 mm) and will probably arrive at the party after all the fellas have left.

My uterine lining is "gorgeous" (why, thank you, ma'am!) and my hormone levels are all right on target.

I just gave myself the Ovidrel (HCG trigger) shot, which will make me ovulate within the next 12 - 36 hours.

Have I mentioned how blase' I've gotten about self-administered injections in my belly?

So far (and I hope this was the last one!) I've had nine injections, eight of which I've done myself: Ovidrel (by Shrike); Ovidrel, 3 FSH & Ovidrel; 2 FSH & Ovidrel.

By the time I was ready to trigger last cycle, I'd gotten to the point of just swabbing and stabbing; I don't even have to steel myself or work up the nerve.

I really barely feel them at all, and if it does hurt, it's not much at all.

Also, I think a little perspective is in order.

I was talking to a friend earlier this evening, and telling her about the ultrasounds. She was asking if it hurts, or if it's uncomfortable.

I said, "Well, it's not fun, but I've gotten used to it and really, it's nothing compared to what I've got waiting for me on the other end of this whole project. It's not like that's the worst thing that's going to happen down there."

After all, I suspect that when I'm in labor, a dildo-cam in my twinkie will sound pretty damn good compare to, oh, an entire human!

While Dr E was camming me (that was a first, it's usually a tech and a nurse; for day 3 of this cycle she was there but the nurse did the scan; this time she wielded the cam herself) she answered a few more questions that I have about the whole IVF possibility.

She said that we should start now with getting Shrike checked out, to see if it's even possible to use her eggs. She wrote her lab orders for day 3 blood work and said that she'll also need a visit to the dildo-cam for an antral follicle count. (And, yes, she's just thrilled about that.)

Since she's not actually a patient there, Dr E said she'll just sort of sneak her in for the ultrasound, wihout an actual appointment, and she won't put it in the computer or bill us or anything.

Very cool, considering that's a $70 procedure with my insurance, and they bill it at $295.

She said to just call Nurse E to set it up and don't tell the girls up front.

But wait, here's the part where I realize I'm a total dumbass. . .

I was telling Shrike about all that, and asked her where she is in her cycle (I was feeling dumb enough for not knowing that. Half the world knows every excruciating detail about my cycle, but I've got no clue what week she's even in!) .

She said "Well, it should be next week; I start the pink pills on Sunday."


I had completely forgotten that she's been on the pill for a few months. (She was just having pretty bad cramps; no actual problems or anything.)

It's not like I knew she was on it and forgot that she'd need to get off to give me eggs (which would be even dumber) but I had totally blanked about her being on it!

She's ok with going off of it for a while (said she'll just live with the cramps) so I guess we'll go ahead and do that, as soon as she finishes this package.

Now, I'm waiting to hear back from Nurse E about how long she needs to be off the pill before the day 3 labs and follicle count will be worth doing. I don't know if we can do those next week, or if we need to let her get back to a natural cycle first.

I think the plan at the moment is that we can go ahead and start checking her out and trying to get approved for the shared risk program while continuing to do IUIs.

By the time we used up the six medicated cycles that Dr E is willing to try (we're on #2 now) we would most likely have our ivf ducks in a row, if we needed them.

Of course, what we'd really prefer is to just get lucky this time around, and in a few weeks we'll all be having a big laugh over thinking all that would be necessary.

Speaking of getting lucky, we're scheduled for IUIs at 1 pm Saturday and 11 am Sunday.

Perfect timing - no missing work, and - bonus - Shrike is off all weekend!

On more thing - Last weekend, I did a seminar at a college near WorkTown with ED2 (the sister of the ivf mom) and she was reminding me to turn in an expense report for my mileage to get there.

Then she said, "And you can get reimbursed for mileage when you make a trip over to the OldWorkTown center (the main office)."

I said, "Well, I usually do that when I'm going to be right down the road at the doctor's office, anyway."

She told me, "That doesn't matter. You're doing company business, and saving me a trip to NewWorkTown. You were talking about how much all this is costing you. The mileage isn't a lot, but maybe it will help a bit."

Going to OldWorkTown "on the way" to NewWorkTown takes me 60 miles out of my way. At 40 cents/mile, they are basically offering to pay me $24 pretty much each time I go in to the RE's OldWorkTown office for monitoring, as long as I pop in at the center and drop off tuition or pick up toilet paper or whatever.

How cool is that?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #33

13 Recent Google searches that have brought readers to my blog

  1. "thursday thirteen" blog october 18 2007 (how very meta!)
  2. antibiotics before conception
  3. soulmates recognize
  4. panda theme baby
  5. baby panda nursery themes
  6. clomid 150 side effects
  7. ovidrel cd 11 and cd18
  8. mardi gras murder mystery party
  9. dollar tree hpt
  10. Democrats (lord of the flie)
  11. pink spotting 4 dpo
  12. black and white themed nursery
  13. clomid 3-7 cd23

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Thursday Thirteen Blog Roll

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ten on Tuesday #7

10 Useful Internet Sites

  1. - To find anything
  2. - To find your way
  3. - To debunk urban legends
  4. - To plan your day
  5. - To keep up with your blog reading
  6. - To get (or get rid of) free stuff
  7. - To get in shape
  8. - To catch up on missed episodes
  9. Google Product Search (formerly - To buy anything
  10. - To save money
Learn More About Ten on Tuesday

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blogging for Mother Earth

Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers everywhere are encouraged to write about one topic - this year, the environment.

I know that we're nowhere near as "green" as we ought to be, but we do try.

A few months ago, we converted to compact flourescent lightbulbs.

We recycle, to the extent that it's available in our area - plastic, glass, aluminum and tin cans.

We try to avoid chemicals and other scary stuff in the yard and around the house.

We generally keep the temperature in the house a bit on the cool side in winter, and try to open windows when the weather is nice instead of running the air conditioner all the time.

There's a great list of other relatively simple things that we could should do, but haven't quite managed yet, at Check it out.


As promised, here's a summary of what I learned from Dr E during our phone consultation last Friday.

Our current protocol (5 days Clomid, 2 injections of FSH, an HCG trigger and two IUIs) is pretty much as aggressive as we can go, short of IVF.

We could do all FSH injections, but as long as my uterine lining is good (Clomid can make it not-so-good, but it was great last cycle) the combination is as effective, and much less expensive.

She said that, with either IUI or IVF, once you get past 3 - 4 eggs (or embryos, in the case of IVF), the odds of pregnancy don't really get any higher, but the odds of higher-order multiples (triplets or more) do.

Speaking of, she confirmed that she's comfortable inseminating me with as many as 3-4 mature follicles. If I had more than that, we'd most likely cancel the cycle. We'll find out about that on Friday.

She's okay with doing up to six medicated cycles (this is #2). The statistics show (I've read this elsewhere, as well) that if you're not pregnant after six cycles of medications, you're not going to get pregnant with medications alone.

We talked a bit about our options, down the road, if we don't get pregnant after six medicated cycles.

IVF is God-awful expensive, of course, but they do have something called the "shared-risk" plan, which means that you pay a set (God-awful) amount, and for that, you get six cycles (plus transfer of any additional frozen embryos from those cycles). At the end of that, if you don't have a baby (actual, alive, coming-home-from-the-hospital baby, not just a positive pregnancy test) you get your money back.

The amount that you pay is equal to about two cycles, and includes medications and everything.

It's still incredibly expensive that way, but you have that guarantee that, if it doesn't work, you're not out the money. That's the only way we could even consider it, and that would still require taking a home equity loan.

But . . . (and there's alway a big but) . . . to qualify for the shared-risk plan using your own eggs, you must be able to complete the six cycles before you turn thirty-nine.

Yep, that pretty much rules out me and my ancient eggs.

I asked about the possibility of using Shrike's eggs, as she's about a year younger than me.

She said that we might get approved for that, but that there are a lot of hoops to jump through for approval of a known donor.

She totally got that we'd prefer to use Shrike's eggs if mine aren't going to work, but she also talked to me about the possibility of IVF with anonymous donor eggs.

The advantages there would be that the donor would be much younger than either of us, so the odds of success are higher, and the odds of chromosomal abnormalities are lower.

The odds she was quoting were a pretty big difference:
What we're doing now: 15% - 17% per cycle
IVF with my eggs or Shrike's: 35% - 40% per cycle
IVF with donor eggs: 65% - 70% per cycle

Those odds sound great, but my first gut reaction is that I don't want to use some stranger's eggs. (Especially given that we're already using some stranger's sperm.)

Of course, that's only logical if using mine or Shrike's is an option.

After all, if it's not an option, what would our next move be? Adoption?

We are open to that, if we can't get me pregnant, but if we're chosing between adoption and IVF with donor eggs, there are a lot of advantages to going for the IFV.

I'd still have the experience of pregnancy and breastfeeding, along with all the bonding that brings. We would also probably know more about the genetic background of the donor and would be able to pick and choose who we want and, of course, we would have control over the prenatal environment.

And, with the shared-risk program, if it didn't work, we'd get the money back and could use it to persue adoption.

I'm certainly not ready to give up on my eggs yet, so at this point we plan to stick to what we're doing for as many as six cycles.

After that, I'm not sure what's next. I'd really prefer to try IVF with Shrike's eggs before moving to an anonymous donor, but I need to ask Dr E a few follow-up questions about that.

She said it could take as long as four months from the time we decide to do it until we're ready for an attempt, so maybe we'd should go ahead and get started now with testing Shrike, just in case. I also want to find out what our timeline would be - when we'd have to start to get her in under the 39 deadline, if that's even possible.

Or, I could just get pregnant this cycle, and make the whole discussion moot.

Yeah, let's go with that option!

Manic Monday #10

  1. If you could have a romance with any fictional character, who would it be?
    Xena. Or Gabrielle. Or Xena & Gabrielle. Actually, if I had to pick one, I'd go with Gabby. She's a bit less intimidating.
  2. If you could be invisible for one hour, where would you go and what would you do?
    Spy on people and hear what they say behind my back.
  3. If you could ask God any single question, what would it be?

Learn more about Manic Monday.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Just a couple of quick stories, to follow up on our beach trip last weekend.

Babes in Arms
While at Target earlier this week, we spotted another inappropriately old girl carrying around a realistic babydoll. We realized that both she and the girl at the beach are probably doing those "what it's like to take care of a baby" school projects!

Out of the Mouths of Babes
I don't remember exactly what Shrike said to our 7-year-old niece, but it was something smart-ass and untrue, I'm sure, and it prompted the following conversation:
Niece: Is Aunt Shrike kidding?
Whozat: Yes, she's kidding. She's always kidding. Don't believe anything she says.
Niece (stricken): So, then it's not true when she says she loves me?
Shrike: Oh, no honey, you can take that one to the bank.
Niece (with evil grin): I knew that'd getcha!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Special #26: Creative Adventure VI

Time again to use your imagination ;-} Fill in the blanks.

  1. While driving home from work you stop in front of the city's huge library building to pick up 2 books titled Creative Adventures and More Creative Adventures.
  2. Upon entering the library through the front door you notice shelf upon shelf of Creative Adventures books.
  3. Walking through the many aisles of books you hear someone say, "I'm glad Whozat's checking out these books, because her 'Creative Aventures' are always so lame!"
  4. You check out your books, smile to yourself and think, "Just you wait til the next one!"
Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Photo Hunter #29: Smelly

Our cats are a bit spatially challenged.
Learn More About Photo Hunters
Photo Hunters Blog Roll
More Photos

Friday, October 12, 2007

Checking In

Yesterday, the dildo cam showed that I have a zillion antral follicles, but Dr E promises me that won't mean a zillion babies.

I had a nice long chat with Dr E about our plans, our odds and our options and I fully intend to blog about all that soon, but Shrike is off work this evening, so it's date night, and that will have to wait.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #32

In Honor of National Coming Out Day:

Nine Benefits of Coming Out . . .

  1. Living an open and whole life.
  2. Developing closer, more genuine relationships.
  3. Building self-esteem from being known and loved for who we really are.
  4. Reducing the stress of hiding our identity.
  5. Connecting with others who are GLBT.
  6. Being part of a strong and vibrant community.
  7. Helping to dispel myths and stereotypes about who GLBT people are and what our lives are like.
  8. Becoming a role model for others.
  9. Making it easier for younger GLBT people who will follow in our footsteps.

. . . and Four Tips for Coming Out

  1. Get a sense for the other person's attitude about GLBT individuals, based on their reactions to movies, tv characters or news events.
  2. Educate yourself on GLBT issues, so you can dispel misinformation,
  3. Decide what you want to say, and the best time to say it.
  4. If it doesn't go as you'd hoped, be patient; some people take time to adjust to your news.

Borrowed without permission from the Human Rights Campaign.

More coming out resources and information about National Coming Out Day, from HRC.

Read my coming out story here.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Thursday Thirteen Blog Roll

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bitter and Resentful

It think that it really is a bit early in our whole journey for me to be bitter and resentful of women who are pregnant or have babies, so I am trying to restrict it to the immediately post-negative-beta days.

That would have been this past weekend.

Friday, after picking up my "you are officially not pregnant" papers, I met Shrike at Taco Bell for dinner.

Afterward, we were standing by our cars talking, when we saw a group of kids leave the restaurant.

Two girls, two guys, none of whom could have been a day over eighteen, and a teeny baby.

Granted, they may have been babysitting (I know I used to get quite indignant when people assumed that my sister's kiddos were mine - especially #1, when I was 16) but that possibility really didn't make me feel any better about it.

But, here's an even better story:

During our beach trip, the whole family was at dinner Saturday night when Shrike said to me, "I know it may be rubbing salt in the wound, but look . . . " and gestured to a girl outside (waiting for a table), who was holding a teeny-tiny baby, all in pink.

A little salty, yeah, but she was precious.

The girl holding her was of indeterminate age. She was kind of maturely shaped, but looked awful young - and was about fifty feet away, and in the dark. It was really hard to tell.

Twelve? Sixteen? Eighteen? Not a "real grown-up,"for sure.

But there was another woman near her; were they together? Maybe she was actually the baby's mom? On the other hand, she seemed kind of old to have one that small.

(Says the woman who will be at least forty when she gives birth.)

I said something to Shrike along the lines of, "Please tell me that's her big sister or her aunt, holding her, not her mother!"

Shrike's sister said, "Who? Oh, that little baby girl outside? She was cute!"

All of which is to so that there were three of us who'd seen this baby, and commented on her cuteness.

As I was going to the restroom, the family was finally being seated.

I got a closer look at the girl as she walked in the door.

Carrying her doll.

Drug Woes

So, once again, I spent ten minutes on the phone with Nurse E, speculating as to when I should schedule by monitoring ultrasound, based on when I might start the cycle, then got off the phone, went to the bathroom and . . . oh . . . ok. Now.

I will have the ultrasound on Thursday morning, and start Clomid that evening. Just like last cycle, I'll do five days of Clomid (days 3 - 7), followed by FSH injections on days 7 and 9. The next ultrasound will be day 11, Friday October 12.

I'm hoping I'll be ready to trigger that evening, for IUIs on Saturday and Sunday. It would be nice to not miss any work, and Shrike is off all weekend.

The phone call to Nurse E wasn't all about scheduling, though, it was mostly about insurance.

You know it's bad when your nurse coordinator, who deals with insurance and pre-authorization and pharmacies and the such on a regular basis, sends you an email that says, "Your insurance company is the DEVIL!"

She's trying to get my pre-authorization for the FSH, and get the prescription to the "specialty pharmacy" that has to dispense it, in order for it to be covered.

I believe I've already discussed the run-around that they've been giving me about this, and how, when the pharmacy that's connected to the doctor's office submitted the claim for the Bravelle (FSH), the insurance company just told them that it wasn't covered, so they charged me $300, when what they should have told them was, "Go get preauthorization, then get it filled at our very special pharmacy, and we'll only charge her $50."

We're trying to make that happen this time around. And, Dr E has written this prescription for an extra box, because the regular pharmacy has agreed to buy a box back from me, for the $300 that I never should have paid them.

So, poor Nurse E talked to the insurance people, and the pharmacy and the insurance and I don't know who else. At one point one of them asked her, "So, your office is going to be providing this medication?"

"Um, no, that's why I'm getting pre-authorization to order it from the pharmacy!"

She's going to check tomorrow and see if they've gotten it straightened out yet. Luckily, I don't actually need that until next Monday.

In the meantime, on Sunday, she called in the prescription for Clomid to my local pharmacy.

I called them yesterday to check, and they'd never heard of such a thing. So, I emailed Nurse E and asked her to call them again, which she did.

I called back today, and asked if the prescription had been called in. "No, we haven't gotten it."

I said, "Well, my doctor's office says they left you a message on Sunday, and they called again today."

"Oh, well let me check on that." (. . . bad Muzak . . . ) "Oh, yeah, we have it. It just hasn't been filled."

So, why didn't you go "check on that" in the first place, instead of just telling me that you didn't have it?

And I'm one of the lucky ones, because I have health insurance.

Ten on Tuesday #6

10 Things That Worry Me

  1. Will I be able to get pregnant?

  2. How long will it take?
  3. How much will it cost?
  4. Will the baby be ok?
  5. What if there's more than one?
  6. Being pregnant, in and of itself.

  7. Giving birth.
  8. Can we afford for me to work part-time or from home?
  9. Can we afford childcare for me to work fulltime?
  10. How badly, and it which ways, will we screw the kid up?
Obsessed much?

Learn More About Ten on Tuesday

Monday, October 8, 2007

Manic Monday #9

  1. Which month of the year do you think best describes your personality?
    I guess I'd have to say May, because that's when I was born, and it's the main month of the zodiac sign "Taurus," and although I don't buy any of that astrology stuff, the typical Taurus traits certainly do fit me.
  2. If you could have had the starring role in an existing movie, which movie would you pick?
    Knocked Up. Ok, I haven't actually seen the movie, but it was the first think that came to mind. For obvious reasons.
  3. Are you attracted to people whose personalities are very similar to your personality or very different?
    I'm definitely attracted (including as friends) to people with whom I share beliefs and attitudes, but that's not really the same as personality. I often seem to be attracted to people who are more outspoken and more out-there than I am. On the other hand, Shrike is much less so, and I'm certainly attracted to her. I think it was some of the ways in which we are alike that attracted me to her - the smart-ass attitude, for example.

Learn more about Manic Monday.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Beach

Whew, we're home!

We had a nice time at the beach, for the most part, except that Shrike's sick and I'm about half-way there, and it was hot (80s, in October, in Delaware) - except after dark, when it was cold - and I'm hormonal and fresh off a negative beta and every damn person in the town except me had a baby with them, and we drove five hours each way, to spend less than twenty-four hours there, and the one thing I was looking for when we were shopping today, I couldn't find.

But, other than that, it was great.

Seriously. Those parts did suck, and I was a big poopy-head for a while last night, but for the most part, we actually did have a pretty good time.

We had Mexican food for dinner last night, which is always a plus in my book, and we shared a suite with Shrike's sister and her kids.

Our niece slept with us - well, actually with me, since Shrike got up and went to the couch in the middle of the night, because she couldn't breathe lying down. She's a bit of a flopper, but she spent most of the night stuck to me like a leech, which was pretty sweet.

We haven't spent a lot of time with them, or Shrike's parents and grandparents, in a while, so it was nice to all be together.

But, now, we're glad to be home.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Photo Hunter #28: Curvy

Maybe it's because I'm a woman, or maybe it's because I'm a dyke, but when I hear the word "curvy," only one thing two things come to mind.

So, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I'd do my part to make everyone else as aware of them it as we are here at our house.

Please visit and click on the button to help provide mammograms for women in need.

Then, look around the rest of the site, to learn how you can help fight breast cancer and . . .

Note: I did not take any of these photos; I stole them all from Google Images. If one is yours and you're pissed about it, let me know and I'll remove it from the collage.

Learn More About Photo Hunters
Photo Hunters Blog Roll
More Photos

Saturday Special #25: Words Ending in "AKE"

I say, you answer:

  1. Earthquake: Eek!
  2. Peaceful Lake: Ahhh!
  3. Chocolate Cake: Yummm!
  4. Snowflake: Brrr!
Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Friday, October 5, 2007


After a couple of frantic phone calls when I realized my RE's office had closed for the weekend, and I'd not yet heard from Nurse E, followed by a trip back to the lap to present myself in person, I finally got the results of this morning's blood test.

And, no surprise, it was negative.

I knew it would be, but that doesn't make it any more fun to get the official news.

So, now I stop taking the prometrium and wait to bleed, then we start all over again.

On Monday, Nurse E will be ordering my meds for the next cycle, and I'll order up some sperm - two vials this time.

In the meantime, we're headed to the beach tomorrow with Shrike's family.

This particular beach town is something of a gay mecca, and also very popular with the young het'ro families as well.

Shrike's parents have been vacationing there since before they (knew that they) had two gay daughters, and now it just makes it all the more perfect a location for a family trip.

We do the family thing all day, but in an environment in which we can hold hands walking down the sidewalk without raising any eyebrows. Then, at night, we leave the little ones with the grandparents, while we hit a dyke bar. Works perfectly.

Shrike and I aren't really about the beach itself, but we'll hang out there for a while, if everyone else is, if only to watch the kids play.

Then, we generally take off on our own to do some shopping. Or, more accurately, some looking, as we usually can't afford the really cool stuff that we see.

We're looking forward to it, but would be looking forward more if we were spending more than one night - it's quite a drive (about 4 hours) for such a short stay, and if if we weren't both trying desperately to not let the tickles in our throats and aches in our bones develop into actual colds.


Yesterday, I had to be at work at 10:30 am.

Today, I am supposed to be there at 8:30 am - but first I have to go to the lab (thirty minutes out of the way, plus at least a thirty minute wait) and have my blood drawn to confirm that I am, indeed, not pregnant.

And? So?

Last night, I did not reset my alarm clock before going to bed.

I woke up before it went off and got up around 7:45 am - the time I'd need to leave to get there at 8:30.

But, I did work about and hour and a half over on Tuesday, and I have some errands to run anyway (my teachers are getting testy because there's no candy in the back room), so I called up there a few minutes ago and left a voicemail for the part-time guy who works in the mornings.

"Hi, this is Whozat. I just wanted to let you know that I've got to make a few stops on my way in, and I should get there around, oh, 10 or so. If you need to leave before I get in, that's fine."

Sometimes, it's good to be the boss.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #31

In anticipation of another negative pregnancy test tomorrow . . .

Thirteen Rationalizations Reasons that "You know, it would probably be better for the baby to be due in July than in June, anyway."
  1. Could be more than a couple weeks early and still have short-term disability coverage for maternity leave (not covered if I deliver before June 1).

  2. Ditto for ICU additional coverage (including NICU).

  3. Gets the kid's birthday awy from the week-long string of June birthdays in both of our families.

  4. LadyKay's college graduation (Aug 16) would be near the end my maternity leave - a perfect time to take the baby down visit my family in Texas.

  5. Um . . . .

  6. Yeah . . .

  7. Well,

  8. that's

  9. pretty

  10. much

  11. all

  12. I've

  13. got.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Thursday Thirteen Blog Roll

Looking Forward

No news so far from the pee sticks, which, at this point (13 days post ovulation) is probably an indication that there's not going to be any good news this cycle.


I know, I know, I know this is only our third attempt, and if we were straight and in our twenties and doing this the old fashioned way, we wouldn't even be beginning to fret yet (although we might still be getting frustrated).

But I'm damn near forty and my eggs are fast approaching their "best if used by" date.

(Technically, I guess we've past that.)

And we're paying a pretty penny for every sperm, and for someone to stick them in me, so the money is quickly dwindling.

So, yeah, we are kind of beginning to fret.

Or, at least, I am.

I'm not expecting to get any big, wonderful surprises from a pee stick or the beta, so we're looking at next cycle.

(Of course, that's why they call it a "surprise," isn't it?)

If my beta is negative (as we expect it will be), Dr E wants to do the same medication protocol next cycle (Clomid days 3 - 7, followed by injectible FSH on days 7 and 9) but is strongly encouraging us to do two IUIs instead of just one.

We've resisted that so far, because of the additional cost (most likely $480 more for the second vial, even shipping the two together), but she says that it will "greatly increase" our chances.

Since the frozen sperm only has a lifespan of about 6 - 12 hours after thawing, doing IUIs at 12 and 36 hours after the trigger shot will definitely expand our window of opportunity for getting egg and sperm in the same place at the same time.

So, I think that will be the plan.

If the timing goes like this past cycle, at least one, possibly both, IUIs could end up on a weekend, which would be great. I really hate the idea of having to miss two days of work in a row.

Well, technically, I don't mind missing work, but I do mind having to get someone to cover for me.

Especially since "someone" is generally one of my supervisors!

So, two more pee sticks and a beta before we're sure, but for now, I'm going on the assumption that I'll be hitting the bar when we're at the beach this weekend.

Wordless Wednesday #29: Dog-Tied

This is what Shrike refers to as PerfectPup "lying there with all her feet in the same place."

Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ten on Tuesday #5

10 Television Shows I'd Like to Have (or Have Already) on DVD

  1. The L Word (have Season 1)

  2. Mad About You (have)

  3. Xena: Warrior Princess

  4. thirtysomething (this seems to be coming out soon but isn't yet available at

  5. The Office (We got this from Netflix. Now we're hooked.)

  6. ER

  7. The West Wing

  8. Ellen

  9. M*A*S*H

  10. Saturday Night Live (the early years)

Learn More About Ten on Tuesday

Monday, October 1, 2007

Manic Monday #8

  1. If technology was sufficiently advanced, would you be willing to clone yourself?
    No, in fact some of our sperm criteria were all about counteracting my genes. Now, if the technology were available to make a baby using both Shrike's DNA and mine (assuming that by "available" you mean well-tested and safe) I would do that.
  2. At the local grocery store you see an elderly woman shoplift a chicken. Do you tell the management?
    Ew, that's a tough one. To by honest, I probably wouldn't, because I'd feel weird about it. It's likely that I wouldn't report anyone, for the same reason.
  3. If you could be 8 years old again for an entire day, knowing what you know now, how would you spend it?
    Knowing what I know now? I'd hang out with people who were going to grow up to be rich, and make 20- or 30-year bets with them about the outcome of future events.

Learn more about Manic Monday.