Drive by post - Green Light! Here we go!

We finally got the go-ahead yesterday to start estrogen and lovenox for our FET cycle. Whoopee!!! Cyst had shrunk again to 1.7cm, and I guess that was small enough.

The doctor directed us to start meds immediately, as in last night, so we jumped on the train in lightning-quick time. The lovenox shot was not too bad, but it definitely involves injecting a lot more liquid than the lupron, so I felt a little soreness as it was going in. It faded pretty quickly, though.

Our new calendar says lining check on the 21st and transfer on the 29th, so we're still in January! As a bonus, I get to start my new Circle @nd Bloom meditations for the stim part of the cycle. Just in time, as I was growing quite weary of the suppression sessions. Feeling very excited and hopeful!


FET Update #2 - a speed bump

A speed bump, or more accurately, a most-unwelcome cyst. When I went for my baseline ultrasound a week and a half ago, there it was: a 3.6cm ugly ol' cyst on my left ovary.

Sooo, they gave me a choice to delay the cycle to go ahead and start on my Lupron that next Saturday. I chose the Lupron, then tested again last Thursday. The cyst had shrunk to 2.8cm, and I was initially elated, but later found out that wasn't enough for the doctor. Doing some research online, I think that under 2.5cm becomes "clinically insignificant," so I was close, but no cigar.

Thus, per doctor's orders, I am continuing to take Lupron at 10 units (hello crotchety mood) until this Thursday when I test again and, God willing, the pesky little cyst shrinks further or disappears. Everything crossed! Once that happens, I can start my estrogen and get this ball rolling. As of now, the transfer is now delayed at least until January 31st, but likely the beginning of February.

In other news... RC proposed on NYE!!! I am very excited and, since we are going for a March 9th wedding, I am immediately entering planning mode. We already know our reception venue, my family's downtown athletic club ballroom, and we think we found our ceremony venue, a Unity Church we attended yesterday and liked a lot. Waiting to hear back on availability.

Here is a picture of what, for now, I'm referring to as "my precious" because I love it so much and don't want to take it off. ❤️


FET Update #1 (finally!) and holiday events

Okaaaay, I just did the awesome thing where I type the whole post almost, then hit the wrong button and it's deleted. Argh! Okay, I will try a bulleted post to capture main points...

Significant and thrilling developments towards my FET cycle:
  • Started my period last Saturday!
  • With my period starting, I was able to resume my supplements, including pre-natals and Pentoxifylline (blood flow related). Yay for pills!
  • Began taking birth control pills on Monday.
  • Received my FET schedule yesterday... baseline ultrasound on the calendar for next week, likely after Christmas, and my embryo transfer scheduled for January 24th!!! Woo hoo!
Check in about my birthday:
  • I'm 50 now and would never have guessed when I was young that I would be trying to have a baby now. Life is surely unpredictable.
  • RC planned awesome activities for Saturday starting with brunch and moving into a scavenger hunt/amazing race type activity in our new hometown downtown area. Even having grown up here, I learned some things (i.e. Senator Morse! Cool guy!). 
  • Then we went to a UO basketball game that evening, and he had arranged a super sweet message to appear on the reader board at halftime. ❤️
  • Sunday evening with family was okay. Mostly the same chaotic, everyone talking, loud family dynamic that often happens when we all get together. Not so fun for an introvert. But I received some great presents, including double-date night dinner/concert tickets with my brother and sis-in-law to see Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a band popular in Colorado when I went to school there. Awesome! Then we just opened Xmas presents from/for my sister and her family, since they're going out of town, and ended the evening eating some cake. 
  • No karaoke. :( But I did practice the Molly Shannon monologue from SNL, "I'm 50!" and shared it with people several times. You're welcome, family. "...And I can KICK, streeeeetch, and KICK!" lol
Monday was a downer after all the intensity, but I feel good now and am moving into what feels like "Christmas-time Phase 2." We took my older niece and nephew out to sing carols, drink hot chocolate, and look at Christmas lights last night, and this afternoon, my brother will bring my little nieces over to make Christmas cookies. Oh, and I got my first career counseling client in Eugene, y'all! First session tomorrow, and he paid already!

Having the dates to look forward to on the calendar for this cycle definitely adds to my holiday cheer. We are having conversations about one embryo or two again, after the discovery of my clotting mutation (heterozygous for prothrombin), but since I'll be on lovenox, I hope it's a minimal risk. More on that later.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

p.s. RC and I have had some productive conversations, since I wrote the post on feeling challenged with some of his moods/behaviors. We solved our financial crunch for now, and have moved forward with ring design/selection. :) We are also reading a great book together about how to handle emotions/anger in ways that align with your values and goals. It's about the ACT process. Very helpful and hopeful.


#Microblog Monday - Turning 50

So my birthday is coming up, next Sunday the 16th. It's a big, scary one: 50. I do not feel 50, and I like to think I don't look or act 50 either. But 50 I will be, like it or not.

If I had to say how old I feel, I think it would be around 43 to 45. I'm sure the fact that I am in the process of donor egg IVF/FET and hoping to become a mom soon contributes to my not feeling like 50 is my appropriate age. Also, I've never been married and will likely be doing so next year, which is a life event that often occurs (at least the first time) at a significantly younger age. Thirdly, my sister and brother are 7.5 and 9 years younger than me, respectively, and they both are married with two children - the youngest being 4-years-old. My partner, RC, is 10 years older than me, so that should help me feel older, but it really doesn't. He's excited to have a child together, and says he doesn't feel his age at all, either.

My sister wrote me today and asked if I would like to have a family Xmas/birthday gathering on my birthday, since they will be in California with her husband family over the holiday. I have mixed feelings about this. It was always a big deal when I was growing up to keep Christmas and my birthday separate. My parents wouldn't get a tree until after my birthday, usually, and made an effort to focus just on birthday celebrations at my special time of year. So, maybe subconsciously that plays a role, although I'm all about starting Christmas early at this point, and we got our tree the first weekend of December.

I did want to do something a little "different" if we gathered for my birthday this year, maybe a karaoke machine or dancing and/or sharing memories. Something memorable. RC said he was going to try and plan something, but he hadn't really taken any action on that prior to my sister contacting me. I'm sure he'd be happy to have it off his plate.

Part of me would like to skip it and ignore I'm turning 50, and part of me wants to feel special and celebrate it in a memorable way. What you would do if you were me? Have you had any big birthdays which brought up mixed feelings?


Relationship Frustrations

I am having one of those moments in my life, in my relationship, in which I am necessarily reminding myself that I know who my partner is - have know who he is from the beginning - and should not be surprised when he is acting true to character. At this moment, I admit, I wish his character were a little different in certain ways.

Specifically, there are two ways in which my partner behaves that I'm struggling with right now...

One, when he is stressed and overwhelmed, he can become depressed and withdrawn. I generally do not do this, and I'm trying, but I don't really understand it. I know that we just went through a HUGE life change in moving to Eugene, and that this change is even bigger for him because he lived on the Central Coast for multiple decades longer than me. He said himself that he did not feel rooted there and that he was open to moving, but when it came down to it, it was very challenging for him.

What I would LIKE him to do when he is stressed and overwhelmed is to communicate about it and ask for what he needs or let me help him figure out what he needs. In general, I would like us to turn to one another and work as a team through life's challenges and adversities. Is this unrealistic? Perhaps, again, considering his nature. He has depression and it seems to flare up when he is feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Can he shift his thinking and reactions at these times? I don't know.

The second aspect with which I'm struggling perhaps relates to the first, as I think about it. He doesn't have the initiative and sense of agency that I would like him to have when it comes to problem solving, especially right now when it has to deal with money. This affects me big-time in the area of engagement and marriage.

I have never been married. I am excited and looking forward to being married. RC and I have talked about marriage many times over the last year plus that we have been together (as mentioned, we were friends for several years, as well, when I lived on the Central Coast a decade ago). Before we left, we had several discussions about getting married before the end of the year for tax purposes - I know, how romantic! - and then, when it quickly became clear that it would be too much to plan a real wedding by the end of the year, we talked about perhaps doing a justice of the peace court wedding in December, then a real wedding in February. We have looked at rings down there and once up here in Oregon, as well.

Fast-forward to yesterday, three weeks after we arrived in Oregon, I asked what his thoughts were now on the subject, and he totally withdrew and said he didn't know what to say - that I know our finance situation, and he wants to get me a ring but doesn't know where the money would come from. ARGH! In a past conversation, I asked him to reflect and consider where the money might be found. Is it unreasonable that I want him to take the lead on this endeavor? I'm willing to help or talk through finances, but I DON'T WANT TO BE IN CHARGE OF COMING UP WITH THE MONEY FOR MY OWN RING!

Obviously, I have some energy around this. As mentioned, I've never been married. He's been married twice before. The proposal and ring mean a lot to me, and there is romance involved, at least for me. It's so frustrating to me that it seems he hasn't even been thinking about this situation and how we might move forward. In this moment, right now, I can brainstorm two or three ways that he/we could come up with some money. Why can't he do that and take the lead? In addition to frustrated, it makes me feel sad and insecure.

Thanks for listening to my venting on this. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.


Arrived! Settling in. Cycle news!

We are here! Our little caravan arrived in Oregon last Saturday night. We took it slow due to RC towing my car behind the Uhaul. It was frustrating for me at times tailing behind, since he was often driving a little below the speed limit and had to slow down when we came up on (lots of) truckers, but we broke up the trip staying overnight in Redding, so it wasn't too bad.

Since then, we have been unloading the Uhaul and the Pod, which was delivered on Sunday morning with all my stuff in it, and unpacking the mountain of boxes in our dining room. We have made significant progress, though, and it's starting to feel a little like a home.

We have the kitchen functional, and I enjoy cooking so much more than at RC's old apartment! Our upstairs bedroom is lovely, with a large window looking out into open space in the back with a hedge and tall trees beyond that. Our townhouse borders a Country Club golf course, so that is very lucky! The hedges block a golf course view, but there are no other buildings or houses in sight when we are looking out the back.

We talked about getting involved and hopefully, eventually, buying in to a cohousing community currently under construction in town, but honestly, my heart is not in it right now. RC says he feels the same way. I like our new place and the thought of moving again in a year or two sounds awful, especially if we (God willing) have a little one. So, we may let that go for now.

Regarding our IVF efforts...so, my beta numbers continued to drop from 24 and were only 13 at the next blood test. The doctor said we didn't need to do further beta testing. Yay! My body has definitely continued it's return to normal, and, due in part to my attempt to eat a more low-carb diet, I feel thinner than I've been in many months.

The big news is that I did complete a doctor-ordered RPL (Repeat Pregnancy Loss) test panel, and not only was my tsh/thyroid level way up at 4.3, but my Protein C result was low at 64, with a normal range of 78 - 205. The doctor said that my recent early pregnancy loss may still be impacting these numbers and ordered repeat testing in four weeks (around December 7th).

So, even though it's a big drag to have further delay, if it means greater chance of success in our next cycle, we are okay with that. I guess if the Protein C is still out of range, they may put me on Lovenox (anti-coagulant) for the next cycle. Have any of you heard of or experienced this?

With regard to the tsh, I recently learned that estrogen can impact your tsh levels: WTF?! I had no idea. Needless to say, I requested we test my tsh level prior to our next transfer, following the weeks of taking estrogen to build my lining, and the doctor concurred.

I have more to share about our time with my family since arriving (taking my older niece and nephew to The Grinch was a highlight!), plus reflections about how RC and I deal with stress and are working out the true combining of our lives, but I'll stop here today. Holidays suddenly feel like they're right around the bend, and I'm excited for our first holiday season living in Oregon!


Updates from Limbo-land

Update on beta hell: The week following was, again, exactly the same as the prior week, around 45.

Cue getting more serious and investigating possibility of getting a D&C, which I would have to get locally, since my several-hours-away clinic isn't covered by my insurance. We talked to a local doctor, RC's friend who works out of a local medical center, who agreed to do the procedure.

I talked to the doctor at the clinic again and he explained again why he was against using methotrex@te, the timeline of recovery for that or a D&C, and how he has come to believe in the wisdom of letting things resolve naturally when possible. This makes sense, but it's sooo hard being in limbo and waiting, waiting, then waiting some more.

But... guess what? In the midst of these considerations, I had another beta this last Friday and... Halle-frickin-lujah, the numbers *finally* started moving in the right direction. It came back at 24.6!! I felt incredibly relieved. I really don't want to get the surgery or take toxic medication if I can avoid it, even though I know many women (including myself) have gone through these and been fine. It's stressful and uncomfortable, and, if I can avoid it and also avoid further delays in starting the next cycle, then that would be much preferred.

Without going into too much detail, after calming and almost stopping, my body has picked up it's efforts of final healing. I had some increased old blood, then some new blood yesterday and today, along with very slight cramping/pulling feelings here and there. I'll go in for another beta next Friday, fingers crossed!

And happening in parallel: a little less than two weeks now until we caravan with all our stuff and animals up to Oregon. Wowza! More about that in another post, but needless to say, this is a huge commitment on both our parts and is bringing up some stuff to work through.