Test Results and Developing My Inner Director

I started my cycle on the bus trip back from San Luis Obis.po.  Woo hoo!  Not.  But actually I'm glad to get things going.  Even though I'm not cycling this month, I'm getting tests done and beginning to gear up for my appointment on the 15th.  It feels like the action is picking up.  I think my tests came out pretty good.  What do you think (see below)?  Anyone know why she wanted LH tested at the beginning of the cycle?

I've heard different opinions about whether having a lower FSH matters when you've had a higher one.  One school of thought says you're overall picture is only as good as your worst FSH result, or something like that.  Whereas, I've also read about a lower FSH result (relative to other results you've received) indicating that your reproductive system is functioning better or something, and it seems like I read about doctors looking for a relatively lower FSH to go forward with an IVF cycle.  Am I hallucinating?  In any case, I'm glad my FSH hasn't gone up (my highest FSH was around 10).

On another note, I've been feeling out of sorts and mentally disorganized since I got back.  Maybe in part because of the somewhat disturbing experience I mentioned in the last post, but also I think that even though the trip was quick, it was intense and I saw several old friends in a short time.  I hadn't been back to SLO since moving to the Bay A.rea about two and a quarter years ago, though I'd seen my friend M, who got married, a couple of times since then (some of you might remember when S and I met her and the lech at the Mont.erey Aquar.ium last year).  The time with friends felt warm and connected, and we reminisced about old times.  But I have to remember that the reality of living there day-to-day was not nearly as connected.  I lived alone and spent most days working and coming home to an empty house.

I actually think it's a good thing that I've been shaken out of my routine groove.  It's kind of spurring me to think about changes I'd like to make, such as limiting my TV watching to a couple shows a day (I've been watching three or four).  Not that there is anything wrong with TV watching; I just feel like maybe I'm using it as a safety blanket and it could be holding me back a bit.

My housemate is in Ireland for two weeks.  Lucky him, right?  And lucky me too, to a lesser extent, because I get the house to myself.  I want to really enjoy this last stretch of summer and also do some creative and fun activities.  This requires me to use the "Director" part of my brain to design some structure.  I want to block out time for work (my new part-time job and new career counseling client), creativity (choreography and/or gathering people to do social change theatre), play and exercise (yoga and maybe a partner dance class), and exploration (spirituality, family, community).  We'll see how it goes...

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A not so happy ending...

Just finished yet another long a** bus trip, this time from San Luis Obispo to San Jose on an Amtrak bus. I was thinking I had to miss my friend's wedding because of the car problems, but she wanted me there and generously offered to buy me a train ticket. It's nice to feel wanted. And I'm really glad I didn't miss this significant event in her life. I was able to catch up with several good friends before and after the wedding and ate bagels and chatted with the bride and groom this morning as we processed the happenings of the wedding. Super yummy Italian food, several sweet speeches, and some fun dancing. Not the highlight of the weekend: being partially grabbed on the butt when hugging the groom goodbye. :-/


I survived this long a** bus trip, and all I got was a drunken harmonica serenade.

Well, I survived two days of bus commuting to work.  The first day was chaotic trying to figure everything out (I took two buses and one rapid transit train to get there), but the timing went as well as it could have at about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half each way (It normally takes me 30-40 minutes in the car).   My "rookie bus rider" credentials, however, were definitely on fine display!  Running here, running there, trying to put my transfer in the dollar bill slot, hitting the side of the bus when it's just driving up five feet to the correct boarding area, etc.  Super cool.

The second day was okay getting there (though I did get on one wrong bus and had to get off, cross the street, and switch) but coming back, what a nightmare!  I think one of the buses didn't come for some reason so there were tons of people waiting at every stop and pretty soon the bus was crammed with people: professional commuters, teens, moms and little kids, elderly folks, drunk possibly homeless men playing the harmonica and singing, "Leave me alooone, why dontcha leave me alooone!" over and over.   Yes, the latter was in fact experienced by me and all the other lucky folks on Bus 57 in Oakland at 5 p.m.  Good stuff! ha!  That "special" commute took me almost two hours! 

I definitely learned a lot.  Bus drivers put up with tons of crap, and they really keep this city running.  A lot of people depend on them to get around, and they mean business in getting where they need to go.  I'm glad to know that I CAN commute to work on public transportation, even if I'd be fine if I never had to do it again.  And boy did it make me appreciate my car and realize how very much I, and most people, rely on cars to get around. 

After that marathon commute, I walked on over to the local auto mechanic to check on my car, which was ready.  The body work isn't done but, in addition to replacing the crushed-in radiator, he stretched out the hood, got new hinges (the whole hood had been shoved back, ruining the old hinges), and got the hood to passably close.  It still has little cracks on the sides but at least it's on there well and latched.  AND, he accepted partial payment, the rest to be paid in two weeks!  Can you believe it?  He's a total neighborhood mechanic, with good local relationships and a very neighborly attitude.  I will not forget this and will totally refer people to him.  What a great guy.

No ttc for me this coming cycle, though.  I'll be waiting until after my appointment on the 15th, then going on from there.  I have no idea when my period is going to start this month.  Ovulation is hard to predict just looking at my bbt chart.  I don't think Fertility Friend is right in saying I ovulated on Cycle Day 22, though.  My bet is on Day 18, which makes this 10 dpo versus 6 dpo.  I had that weird slow temp rise, like the egg was taking it's time releasing or got stuck.  My body had such a huge surge of HCG last month, I can see why it would be confused.  My temps are nice and high now though.

I started taking Myo-inositol and Melatonin, along with the DHEA, COQ10, Vitamin D and Prenatal.  I looked it up and it's part of the famed Denver CCRM recommended protocol, so it has to have some merit, right?  I don't think it will hurt, and maybe it will help.  You know, a lot of these supplements actually have anti-cancer and heart healthy benefits, which it kind of interesting to me.  The more conscious "fertility" (i.e. healthy) diet plus health supplements add up to me living more healthy than I would otherwise.  Maybe I'm just trying to find the silver lining in trying all these years and not succeeding. 

I'm very sad about two blogger friends' pregnancies ending.  I was optimistic about both of them, and it's a shock and just so unfair.  I'm thinking of them a lot.


Car Wreck

Unfortunately, it's true, I was in a car accident this afternoon.  Luckily no one was hurt.

It was my fault.  The traffic had started to flow forward, and I put on the gas, then the cars in front of me slammed on their brakes.  I was able to brake but hit the car well enough to jam in the hood of my car, likely trashing the radiator and causing fluids to leak all over.  Their car was an SUV-type and the bumper had barely a mark.

Now the part that's hard to admit:  I didn't have property damage coverage for my car.  I thought that I did.  I know at one time I didn't but thought I had changed it.  So, her car, which has hardly a scratch is covered but not a penny for mine.  It's gut-wrenching.  I'm soooo mad at myself.  There goes the chance to try this coming month.

Please send positive energy for the repair amount to be as low as possible.  I know it will be two hundred for the radiator plus labor.  Then, the body damage goes up from there.  Not sure if I can put some of that off or not.  I'm taking it in tomorrow for diagnoses.


Please help me decide!

I know, I know, it's my decision and no one can make it for me.  But I really need your opinions!

As I mentioned before, I currently have an appointment with a new doctor at Kai.ser Fremont on August 15th.  They told me I may be able to get in earlier if there were a cancellation, but that hasn't happened.  I do have some blood tests I'm doing on Day 2 of my next cycle, so as to not delay things further. 

But I'm feeling uncertain about waiting out another whole month.  The waiting this month was already challenging, though I have to admit that my body feels a lot better without all the hormonal jacking up!

One weird sidenote:  I think my ovulation was totally delayed this cycle.  It normally falls on Day 15 at the latest, but today is Day 21, and it's the first day above coverline.  The last two days were slightly raised (like from 97.6 to 97.73) so that it looks like a stairstep pattern.  We'll see when the next cycle actually starts, since the luteal phase is not supposed to vary much. 

Regardless, the big question I have for you is:  Should I try this coming cycle?

Reasons to try:  One, I have all the medications needed in my hot little hands, thanks in part to an awesomely generous donation from Kara - if you're reading, thank you, Kara!!!  Two, I am feeling excited about trying and this seems like a good sign.  Three, every month counts at this point, right?  And, even though I would have the same protocol, I did get three mature eggs, which is not bad.

Reasons not to try:  One, my savings is still somewhat depleted and it would be a stretch financially.  Once my teaching starts back up and my income starts coming in from the new job in a few weeks, I will be in a better place.  Two, I'm irritated with this doctor, which is why I'm switching to the new one.  Nothing will change in my protocol, and he'll still be Dr. Jaded Jim.

So, what do you think?


Summer Dating Diaries - Part 2

It's been a hit and miss (mostly miss) kind of week on the dating front....

The cute, single guy from my dance class turned out to be the transient, totally unavailable guy from my dance class.  :(  Also, he was actually pretty "out there," and I consider myself very open-minded!

He did come to my Interplay class, but when we hung out and went to dinner afterwards, several odd things unfolded.  After the class, which was pretty fun, we were in my car talking about where to go to eat, when this car drove up and stopped right next to my driver's side window.  It just sat there for a minute, then drove on and parked in the next block across from where his car was parked.  Then, a guy got out and started casing his car!  Shortly afterwards, a couple guys walked by close to my car and looked directly in at us.  It's a bit of a sketchy area to start with, and it just started to feel like something weird was going to happen.  So, I drove him to his car and we left.  During this whole experience, he continued to seem kind of spacey, and I oddly felt like I needed to take care of him.  I found out later that he hadn't eaten much all day, which I'm sure contributed to his spaciness.

Once we start driving, he calls to say he's out of gas.  So, we find a gas station and finally make it to the Indian restaurant nearby (which he'd specifically requested due to his dietary needs).  Whew!

At dinner, we talk a bit about our past histories, and I find out he has an 18-year-old son...and no interest in having any more kids.  Our potential has pretty much fizzled at this point, but the oddness doesn't stop...

I should mention that we did have some strong chemistry, which I think distracted me from the fact that I could tell in our first conversation that he was in transition and not really available.

Back to the end of our date... we walked over to where he'd parked in Trader Joe's and continued to talk, when he tells me that he's not feeling a good fit where he's living right now and may leave town the next day.  Just then, a concrete umbrella stand slips loose from the employee's dolly right next to us and slides into his hubcap, cracking part of it.  It could have been a lot worse if it had slid into his car, but isn't that random?

And, to top it off, as I'm leaving, he tells me that the people he's planning on traveling with to Vegas,  want him to come because he can intuitively pick the winners of horse races.  What!  He said he'd actually won a lot of money that way in the past and could consistently pick winners.  Bizarre!  At that point, I'm ready to say goodbye.

I went on date number two last night with another gentleman I'd met on Mat.ch.com.  I'm about done with the internet, I swear.  If it weren't so darn convenient!  So, you guessed it, he didn't look like his pictures.  I actually said, "Oh no," when I saw him from the balcony of the restaurant.  He was just really odd looking.  I felt sad because on paper he had a lot of interesting experiences and qualities, including a background working as a youth counselor and what sounded like a strong spiritual practice.  

Dessert and coffee were yummy, so the night wasn't a complete loss.  He kept making really corny jokes throughout the evening and doing that thing where people pause and wait or expect a response.  Kind of awkward, and I felt a bit inauthentic pretending to laugh politely.  Bottom line, the chemistry was just not there in the slightest.

As I'm telling these stories, I'm realizing that it was actually a mostly down week!  But it didn't feel as down as it sounds.  I feel good that I'm making some connections with people, even if I haven't found the right match yet.  And the experiences had their fun aspects.  I'm emphasizing the negative parts for dramatic effect. :)

Anyway, the final downer was that my brother's friend stood me up for the hike we'd agreed upon for today!  Well to clarify, he didn't call me back when I left him a message on Thursday.  We'd agreed last weekend that we would go on a hike today, and he suggested we touch base later in the week.  Thursday's later, right?  On reflection, it might be for the best, since I know myself, and I might have felt rejected.  Even though he's so much younger than me, and I totally understand why he's not interested in me romantically.  But I'm sad to not get the hike in and a little irritated that he sounded so positive about it on the phone and then bailed.

On a positive note, I actually had a great day today lying in the sun, reading, cooking, doing a couple of chores.  I'm about to head out for my evening walk.

A final thought:  I wish I could make myself be more social, so I could meet more people in-person.  I'm just not a super energetic, gregarious person.  I did talk to a friend about getting back into partner dancing.  I used to do swing dance when I lived in Seattle, and I've been missing it lately.


Article: "Our New Era of Heartbreak"

Please read this Salon article.  It is SO VERY INTERESTING to me, as a women wanting a family and wanting a partner.  The part about self-esteem is heartbreaking, but can be so true, I think.  What do YOU think?


The Summer Dating Diaries

Since it looks like I'll be putting some energy into dating, as well as ttc, this summer, I guess I'll be writing some posts on that topic, too.

The date I mentioned in the prior post was a little bit older guy I met on Mat.ch.com.  He looked cute in his pictures, but there were no close-ups of his face.  When we met, I was a bit disappointed.  We had a couple doozy phone calls, where the energy was crackling and it seemed we had tons of chemistry.  I was actually imagining a relationship, and he was saying things along those lines, as well.  But I think he was being overly accommodating and giving himself a bit too much credit in the personal growth/consciousness arena.

Have I mentioned that I feel I've truly limited my relationship prospects through all the self-awareness/counseling/communication stuff I've done?  In a way, I think it makes me a good partner because I can take more responsibility for my own issues, but on the other hand, I don't have a lot of tolerance if they don't meet me half way.

In any case, after I adjusted to his true appearance (vs. what I'd imagined - a risk of online dating), he gave me the flowers he brought and I handed over a bag of fresh apricots from our garden.  But the flowery romance ended there.  His expression was kind of intense and surly, where he didn't sound that way on the phone.  Also, he kind of had this flat affect, and, considering I'd had the super hard conversation with the doctor earlier that day, I was wanting a little more warmth and kindness.

So, I think I responded a bit harshly to a less than compassionate question he asked, and the situation spiraled down from there.  He got defensive, I felt sad, he shut down and scurried us out of the restaurant, I shut down, he overreacted to that and got more defensive... ach!  I guess in a broad stroke view, we just weren't a good in-person match!

Two odd things about it, though:  One, I normally don't connect that well with people on the phone at first; and two, we seemed to have that smell chemistry I've spoken about before, which made me really wish we were on the same wavelength in other areas!  Oh well, onward and upward....

In a rather odd turn of events, I'm going hiking next Saturday with my brother's friend, T.  When my brother, his wife, and T went out the other night for drinks/dinner prior to our family Ta.hoe trip, I may have gotten a little tipsy and asked T what he thought about the idea of being a donor/co-parent.  Ooops!!!  For God's sake, not appropriate, woman!  But, yes, I did it.

See, T and I have always had this "energy"... well, the few times I've hung out with my brother and him over the past few years.  We are both pretty liberal and open-minded and like to brainstorm and explore different "off the beaten path" topics.  My brother has even kind of hinted he thought we might get along, despite the fact I'm quite a bit older than him.

Also factoring in:  I was just coming off this Sky.pe relationship with a guy in Britain because - uh oh, here is is again - he didn't smell good.  I don't think I talked a lot about that on here.  In brief, it didn't feel real in a way because it was just Sky.pe, but we did talk every day for about three weeks.  He was talking about coming out to visit.  So, knowing myself, and how important chemistry is to me, I wanted to assure that we had some before he flew halfway 'round the world.  So, I asked him to wear a t-shirt and send it to me.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a match. :(  Bummer.

This had just happened before the evening with my brother and wife and T, and, in one of those weird slightly tipsy conversations about things, I ended up smelling T.  Guess what?  He smelled really good.  Not a great reason to ask someone to be a donor?  No, probably not.  I guess I wasn't thinking too clearly.

Anyway, he actually said he didn't think he could just be a donor and not be involved as a father, and so I briefly mentioned co-parenting.  At this point, we were talking privately, but then we were all seated for dinner and the conversation ended there.

After I got back from Tah.oe, we actually talked about it again on the phone.  Basically, he really wants to be a dad but wants the "whole package" of a wife and family and doesn't feel a strong sexual attraction to me.  I totally get that.  I am almost 10 years older than him, plus he hasn't had many relationships and his last one (about 10 years ago) was with someone several years younger than him.  He still has hope that he's going to experience that hit you over the head, love at first sight thing.  Who am I to burst his bubble?  I guess it does occasionally happen with someone who might be an appropriate partner.  *For those of you in partnership, did this happen to you when you met?

But the awesome thing is that we talked through things, and we're going hiking next weekend with his dog in tow.  I'm kind of excited just for the fun of it and getting out for a summer hike.  We'll see how it goes.

And on a final note to this long saga, I connected with a cute, single guy at my dance group on Sunday (cute, single guys never come to my dance group!) and we hung out after dance and got a little cuddly. He's coming to my Inter.Play class tomorrow night, and hopefully we'll hang out a bit after.  Wow, that almost sounds normal!  Well, one out of four isn't bad, right?


I'm back

Sorry for disappearing!

I was pretty down about the cycle not working for a while.  And the conversation with the doctor sure didn't help, in which he quoted statistics I've heard a million times.  The "worst case" statistics from the "42 and older" category.  At first he said even chances with IVF are low, but then seemed to remember I had responded fairly well to the stim drugs, and by the end of the conversation was pushing IVF like a used car salesman.  He thinks I should go to the free orientation sessions at local clinics and said there is no benefit to going to Kai.ser (they don't do IVF at his location in SF but offer it at the Fremont location) because everything is out of pocket.  I'm not sure I believe that, since it seems like some of the testing and medication would be partially covered, but maybe I could get those through Kai.ser anyway?  I don't even know why I'm debating it, since I can't afford it right now.  I thought about looking at the funding options again, but I'm not optimistic.

So, as of now, I'm still looking forward to connecting with another Kai.ser doctor in Fremont in mid-August and likely doing another injectable cycle before then or at that time.  As my friend reminded me:  at least one out of twenty eggs is still good, so there's still a chance!  A positive viewpoint!

My absence was also due to taking a trip to Lake Ta.hoe for a few days over the Fourth of July with the whole family.  It was really nice.  I hadn't been there in a long time.  We went out on the boat a few times, had a few drinks, laid out on the dock, ate good food, that sort of thing.  A rough life... ha!  AND I got to play a lot with my niece and nephew.  My niece and I had some really lovely drawing/project sessions - so fun to draw in parallel and consult one another on design choices, comment on what I liked about her drawing, etc.  Totally the way I imagine playing with my kid one day.  All three of us also played a lot of matchbox car games, where we enacted different imaginary scenarios and the cars were often humanized.  Pretty interesting.  They got very attached to their assigned cars, too, let me tell you!  My nephew actually carried around a ziploc bag full of cars and would take one out or put one back, then ask you to, "Close it."  Very cute.  Instead of a security blanket, he had a security "bag of cars"!

It's nice to be back now.  I had a date and also have a story to tell about an odd, yet in the end positive, exchange with a good friend of my brother, who lives in SF (we have plans to go on a hike next weekend), but I'll share more in the next couple days.  I'm going to chill out tonight and go to bed early.  I've been following along with blog posts but not commenting much, as I did not have internet reception at the lake (just iPh.one).  But I'll get back into commenting now.  I'm continuing to wish good things for people.