Coming to an end...

...of my journey with injectable cycles.  This will be my last one in the foreseeable future.  Studies show not much benefit for women my age anyway.  More success has been seen with natural cycles or, I think, even Femara.  I really hope to catch the "bump" cycle following this one (assuming this one doesn't work!) with an IUI this time.  If you remember, we missed our IUI on the last "bump" cycle due to our DC travel plans.

My temperatures have been gradually dropping the last couple mornings, so I'm assuming AF will arrive today or tomorrow.  Fertility Friend indicates I'm at 13dpo, but in my opinion I could also be at 12dpo.  I usually start my cycle on 13dpo.  Once it starts, I will go in for my first monitoring appointment the following day, and the ride will begin!

In our Tuesday phone consult, which confirmed we will be using the same protocol as the last injectable cycle, I asked the doctor about embryo donation sites and will probably begin checking those out.  S and I have had a couple of preliminary conversations about this, and we both seem open to it.  I feel good about the way things are going lately with us.  Trip to Oregon planned for the weekend of September 14th.  More to share on that later.


New Fun Things

I have seen other bloggers do regular posts like "Small Good Things," etc., and I thought I would jump on the bandwagon.  I'm going to try a post every month or so on things that have just started or are about to start and feel "fun" to me.  Here is the first installation:

  • S and I are trying out a new progressive church tomorrow.  Finding a church has been something I've wanted for myself and for us ever since we started dating.  More spiritual foundation and community will hopefully be grounding and supportive for us. 
  • NorCal Transition and Permaculture Conference.  I think I blogged about the regional Transition Town conference last year.  I'm on the planning committee again this year, we're combining with Permaculture folks, and it's going to be way bigger!  Entertainment, dancing, a world market, and tons of great keynote speakers - including Rob Hopkins, Richard Heinberg and Julia Butterfly Hill - and workshops.  It's will take place the second weekend in October in the beautiful town of Hopland up North.  Dog friendly hotel here we come!
  • A book called, "Attached."  Not everyone would find this one fun!  S and I are getting a lot out of it's description of attachment styles and how to work toward having more "Secure" attachment behaviors with one another.  It's so interesting - I also feel some chagrin! -  to see myself so accurately described in the "Avoidant" attachment style section.  The patterns include "Phantom Lover"s, or idealizing your exes, and focusing on the negative aspects of your partner and forgetting the good. 
  • Meno.pur has been purchased and have an appointment on Tuesday with my San Francisco RE to talk about the upcoming injectable IUI cycle.  Wondering if he could throw any more into the protocol that "won't hurt but could help."  If nothing comes of that, then we will do a similar protocol with three vials/day of Meno.pur, since my response was good last time.  Currently on 7dpo of a natural cycle.  I didn't ovulate until Cycle Day 15, which is several days later than I have been ovulating recently and seems like a good thing.  No signs to speak of yet, but the past few days, I've been sick with a throat/congestion-type virus.  Didn't I hear that being sick can actually increase your chances?  Maybe I'm dreaming that up.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.  I had a blast at our barbeque last Sunday - the perfect combination of sun, beer, bbq, and good conversation.  Gave me that needed dose of summer fun...


Summer Cessation and Seeking Meaning

Though the weather is still sunny and warm here, I'm definitely getting the feeling that fall is fast approaching.  Students return to my college next week, bringing, thankfully, my full-time schedule with them.  People seem a bit more energized and productive, letting go of the more relaxed summer mode.

I did some great things this summer, including trips to Tahoe and DC... but - whine alert - I haven't had nearly enough "chill" summer activities, like barbeques and outdoor parties, and long hikes.  Well, I guess hikes aren't exactly "chill," but to me they're fun and summery.  We have a barbeque on the calendar for this Sunday, though - yay!  And I think I'll try to cram a few more fun and outdoorsy things in to the next couple weeks.  What special summery things have you been up to?  Are you ready for summer to end?

As mentioned, I'm returning to "full-time" at the college next week, which for us is a bit less than half time.  There is a possibility our allotted hours may increase in the future, but at this point I'm still wanting another income stream, ideally another part-time college gig or something to do with career counseling and/or teaching.  From the experiences I've had here and there, I like teaching adults.  They are very cooperative.  lol  You do need to allow more room for them to share their wisdom and relate learning to their lives, but I think that's fun.  A college self/career development course would be great or something through a career center.  Anyway, I'm beginning to put more focus on looking, as well as on my new clients....

And by the way, I have new clients!  I'm just a wee bit excited.  One woman was a referral from a friend - she's interesting and so far we really click - and then I'm also working with the daughter and son of another friend.  One other acquaintance also called this week, and I'll be talking to her tomorrow about her goals.  So I guess the marketing I've done so far, which is not much really, is paying off.  Very encouraging and motivates me to want to do more.  My housemate fixed up the back studio last year and now we are both finally using it to see clients.  I want to decorate it and make it more cozy, but at least it's got a pretty wood floor, nicely finished walls and is functional.  There is that part of me that never feels "good enough," but I'm working through that and just continuing to move forward.

On another note, it's funny how taking a month off from ttc creates a void that wants to be filled.  I have realized that ttc takes a lot of my energy and focus, and, not only that, it actually gives me a sense of meaning.  What's more meaningful than pursuing parenthood?  Not a lot, at least for me.  So when that piece is on the back burner, I'm aware that I don't have enough going on in my life to meet my needs for contribution, meaning, and creativity.  I have little burst of these needs being met, like with our activism and doing this "Cantastoria" or "Singing Story" educational presentation out at demonstrations and community events.  I use my acting skills, singing and movement, and it's a lot of fun doing it collaboratively with others in my group.  But now that we've rehearsed and got it up and running, it's just a matter of showing up and doing it here and there, every few weeks.  If I land more career counseling clients, I think that could meet some of this need... but I'd also like an ongoing project that I can really sink my teeth into.  I'm open to inspiration!

I will say that, even though we're not technically ttc'ing this month, I'm aware of my cycle timing.  I should be ovulating any day, and I think we will at least give any egg that might show up a sliver of a chance...


DC Trip, Relationship, and TTC Plans

I'm still here!  Washington DC was amazing, visiting all the memorials - Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, MLK, and more - and the museums.  The American Indian museum was very cool - both the building and the art/artifacts!  The heat wasn't too bad, though we definitely got our "true summer" time in.  Northern California summer is nothing like the heavier, immersive heat of the East Coast.  We stayed in a great little hotel, very near his daughter.  I love hotel evenings and morning, chilling out and watching TV, etc., I'm weird that way.

The connection with his daughter couldn't have gone better.  She's so sweet, smart, and easy to get along with, and we all had some great conversations.  He hasn't had a lot of "normal" time with his daughter since he and his ex-wife's divorce when she was in her teens, so it was fun and special to stay the last night at her place and talk over a couple of beers on the rooftop.  We got to meet her boyfriend - smart and politically up and coming young guy - and spent the day together wandering around Gettysburg and the museum, learning a lot about the Civil War and the significance of that battle.

S and I got along fairly well - only a couple small rough patches - but the process of me working through my doubts about us is sort of hanging over our relationship right now.  I've spend some time reflecting, writing, talking to S, and plan to spend some more time over the next couple of days.  I love him a lot, of course, but I need to release the fears and judgments around whether our chemistry is "good enough" for me.

I'm really taking a look at the comparisons I have been making between him and our connection, and the guys I was with in my 20's and the greater passion and abandon I felt at that time.  I'm realizing that it's not fair to compare the two, and if I can't let that ago and accept all the wonderful things S and I have, including a good (if more controlled) love life, then the long-term future would be miserable for both of us.  And it's not just accepting the wonderful things, but the challenging parts too - recognizing they all make up who he and "we" are, and the more I can be present with everything, the more peace and happiness I can experience.  Please wish me luck, as it's a difficult emotional journey right now.

With regard to ttc, as you might imagine, this cycle ended with disappointment.  It wasn't too surprising, as we were unable to get an IUI in.  I ovulated quite early this month for some reason, perhaps the ongoing effects of last months medicated cycle.  So I just missed seeing the surge on my OPKs.  Oddly, my breasts were sore from ovulation through the entire luteal phase, which is never the case for me.  Any idea what was going on with that?  I did do an HCG shot, post ovulation.

I feel like my body is failing me.  We're taking this month off, during which I'll try to procure some (unopened) leftover Menopur from the great, underground fertility black market.  Then, the idea is to do a medicated cycle the following month, do just an IUI in the "bump" month after that, and if all that doesn't work, go in for fibroid surgery in late October or November.  I can't help but think that this huge object, which is distorting my cervix, might be affecting uterine receptivity (though it appeared outside the uterus on the MRI).  Plus it affects my health and comfort to some degree.