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Some Days You Just Want to Eat a Sheep

Wednesday September 7, 2011

That isn’t strictly true (at least for me – Yogi clearly has other impulses), but this picture has been the bright spot in my day.  A day that hasn’t been bright.

First there is the fact that my father FINALLY went to the doctor this AM after running a fever (it was 105 yesterday) since last Saturday and they admitted him to the hospital.  He has spent the first week of each month since April undergoing four days of chemo and last week was one of those weeks.  Usually it takes a few days, but he bounces back and feels alright for the rest of the month.

This time it didn’t happen that way.  According to my Mom, he hasn’t gotten out of bed in four days.  That’s what really got me.  I’ve never known my Dad to spend daylight hours in bed.  Certainly not for days in a row.  And now he’s in the hospital and they are running tests.  Not good news.  Not at all.

Then there is the fact that my wife is leaving tmw for a workshop and she won’t be back until late Saturday night.  That is three days of single Mom-ness during which I am sure to be completely preoccupied with thoughts (alternately optimistic and pessimistic) about whether or not we’re pregnant and now anxiety and fear about what is going on with my Dad.

Also today Jen posted sad news about the struggle that her family has been dealing with and it has just broken my heart.  I’ve been reading their blog since I started my own and I feel like I know them in some small way.  If you read Adventures of Jen, Tiff and Chunk, head over there and let her know that she’s not alone.

Tomorrow is another day…..

The Real Thing

Tuesday September 6, 2011

Today was a big day.  Yogi embarked on his first day of school!!!  Everyone keeps reminding me that it’s not actually school (it’s Mother’s Day Out), but I’m stubborn.  And I like school.

Whatever it’s called it means that the little guy will be spending each Tuesday and Thursday from 9-2 with two teachers and a handful of other 1 year olds.  My wife and I are excited about this school and his teachers and this opportunity for him to gain a little independence, have new experiences and enjoy himself.

Last Tuesday the three of us went in for a Visiting Day during which we spoke with the teachers and the other parents and Yogi investigated the toys and the classroom and the other kids.  In spite of the fact that most of the other kids were walking AND we found out that he needed to wear shoes to school (What??!!  The kid doesn’t walk, what does he need with shoes?), it was a good morning.

This morning was the real thing.  I packed up all of his required gear (diapers, change of clothes, lovey, lunch in approved container) and we walked through the cold rain (is it winter all of a sudden?) to his classroom.  I had decided that for Yogi’s sake I would take the calm and confident approach to my departure.  No dragging it out and save the tears for the car.  Of course, nothing ever unfolds in quite the way you plan.  After putting his bag in the Yogi cubby and his lunch in the fridge, I sat him down in front of the mailbox that he seemed to like on Visiting Day and my work was done.  A little girl crawled over immediately and they started opening and closing the mailbox like it was the greatest game ever.  They were so engaged that I decided not to insert myself and instead just slipped quietly out of the room.

I do admit to hanging around the door for a few minutes listening for tears, but none came.  He didn’t cry!  And what’s even more surprising it that I didn’t cry.  Not then and not in the car afterwards.  I did think about him non-stop between drop-off and pick-up, but it was excited/optimistic thinking not crazy worry thinking.

When I picked him up one of the teachers was holding him and he had a passie in his mouth.  We are only doing passie in the crib these days so I braced myself.  In spite of the passie, the teacher said he had had a good morning.  He caught about a 45 minute snooze mid-morning while everyone else played and some kid ate most of his strawberries at lunch, but all else was smooth sailing.  Well, he also refused milk from a sippy, but that is hardly a shocker.  From what I could gather the kids played and ate lunch and do whatever it is kids do during these kinds of programs.

The rest of the afternoon seemed pretty much like any other afternoon so I guess the boy was no worse for wear.  Yay Yogi!!!!

Eight More Days

Monday September 5, 2011

Waiting is hard.  Thinking about the fact that were it not for work related travel we would have only five more days is harder.  We have agreed (and we WILL.NOT give into the urges that I know will come) not to POAS before the blood test.  Incomplete information is such a curse and the potential for getting a faint line or not having a line isn’t worth the risk.

And so….. we wait.

And while we wait we have a delightfully busy Yogi to keep us distracted.  The boy is wowing us each day with new surprises.  Here are a few of his new tricks:

  • Moving his hand towards the moon in his book On the Night You Were Born when asked “Yogi, show me the moon.”
  • Lighting up and crawling at top speed towards the ball to pick it up and bring it to Mommy when asked “Do you see the ball?  Bring Mommy the ball?”
  • Occasionally taking an actual sip of cold milk from his sippy cup.  Progress!! (Dr. Wonderful said that his No Bottle goal would be 15 months so we’re going with that for now)
  • Sitting on the floor reading himself a book in a distinct voice that we’ve started calling his “book voice”
  • Crawling eagerly towards his high chair when handed his spoon

Having a 1 year old changes the feel of the wait, but I’m not sure it makes it any easier.  It’s still going to be a VERY long eight days.

A Good Day

Thursday September 1, 2011

image

In spite of our initial early surprise, we have managed to have quite a good day.  What you see in the picture above is Yogi enjoying a celebratory lunch of peaches and tofu at one of my favorite pizza joints.  The beer and pizza slice are mine.  My wife had water thank.you.very.much because………

ALL THREE EMBRYOS SURVIVED THE THAW!!!!!!!

Never in my wildest throes of optimism would I have imagined that.  As the doctor was showing us each one and describing their qualities it sounded like technically we have 3, but practically we have more like two and a very small amount of change.  These 3 were frozen in the same straw on Day 6 so they were not the best (which get frozen on Day 5) but someone deemed them good enough to freeze, right?

She recommended, based on the quality of the embryos and our previous history (it took three tries to get a singleton the first time), that we transfer all three.  Her exact words were “I think this would be likely to produce a singleton.”  When pressed she said that although possible it would be very unlikely to result in triplets and pretty unlikely to result in twins.

And that is what we did.  We transferred three embryos.  I never thought I would be typing that.

All three of us went to the office and everyone was so excited to see Yogi.  In fact he was even invited to tour the lab with the embryologist, but he declined.  Bummer.  I would have LOVED to go on that tour.  He was also a little unhappy about the fact that Mommy couldn’t hold him whenever he wanted, but he was a good sport.

We are staying with good friends and so we spent the rest of the day relaxing and visiting with them.  They even planned a little dinner party for us in which we got to meet the 3 week old son of an old friend.  I hadn’t heard them arrive and so when I came downstairs to find my wife holding a tiny, tiny baby it felt like quite a good day to me.

Thank you guys for your prayers, thoughts and kind words.  The last few days have reminded me how very lucky I am to be a part of this community.

It Begins

Thursday September 1, 2011

This morning at the hour of VERY EARLY my wife made an unfortunate discovery.  The box of progesterone that we packed for the trip contained not the hormone that plays a vital role in the implantation and general sticking around process for the embryo but a surprisingly thick (not to mention weighty) pamphlet describing it.  OH NO!!!!!

This discovery was made after spending the entirety of the day before in the car with a 1 year old.  I should pause in the dramatics to mention that Yogi was a travel star.  Of course he was.  After dreading this car time for weeks, we actually had a pretty good time.  It took us a bit longer than usual as we had to stop for lunch and a diaper change, but when Yogi wasn’t napping we spent the time singing, reading books, playing peek-a-bo with the monkey nursing blanket and doing high fives.  There was almost zero fussiness.  I think we’ll keep the kid after all.

But…. back to this morning.

Upon realizing this very bad oversight, my wife got on the phone and called the answering service to page our doctor.  The call was returned in minutes (oh how I love this practice) and she was reassured that we could get vaginal progesterone in the office.  The doctor went on to talk about several studies that show the differences between delivery methods at this stage in the game being negligible.   Oh how I love data in a crisis.  Not even the time discrepancy (we usually inject at 6:30AM) will be a problem.  Deep cleansing breath.

So……. as of this moment we’re still in it.  Yogi is napping in the other room, the lab has yet to call and say that any of the embryos haven’t survived the thaw and we are scheduled for a transfer at 11 EST.

Good thoughts, prayers, vibrations, general good cheer.  Send whatever you’ve got our way.

Hope

Saturday August 27, 2011

Gearing up for the needle ceremony (the 1st day of P during TTC #2) this morning felt brand new.  There was still the drawing in the progesterone with the big needle and switching to the smaller one for the injection.  Rolling the syringe around in my palms to warm it up while my wife arranged herself tail up on the bed.  The alcohol pad beforehand and the massage into the muscle afterward.  But in the moment between stretching her skin taut and pushing in, there was the sound of this guy chattering on the monitor from the room next door.  In the 40-60 times I have moved through these very same steps, they’ve never felt quite the way they did this morning.

A Funny Thing is Happening at my House

Wednesday August 24, 2011

We are actively trying to have another baby, but we’re not really talking about it.

Let me back up.  We have been talking about it for months, we’re just not really talking about it right now.  The discussion around baby #2 started practically before my wife’s maternity leave ended.  Questions of when and where and how and with what.  All the relevant lesbian baby-making questions.  We were sure that we wanted a sibling for Yogi.  There have been moments when we weren’t entirely sure that we wanted to have another baby for ourselves, but the pendulum has always swung back enthusiastically towards yes.

By the time we got pregnant with Yogi we had burned through all but three of our frozen embroys.  For those of you who are new around here, we moved pretty quickly from IUI to IVF (great insurance – at the time) and were pregnant with Yogi aftter 1 fresh transfer with 1 embryo and 1 frozen transfer with 1 embryo.  He was frozen transfer #2 which we did with 2 embryos.

As of this moment, a few important things are true:

  • We have 3 frozen embryos from our initial egg retrieval and fertilization
  • We are out of sperm
  • Our donor is no longer available

For the last two months my wife has been on estrogen (both pills and patch) and tomorrow she will be going in for a screening ultrasound.  If everything looks good, we will be traveling to our old city and our old (fabulous!!!) doctor and lab for a transfer next week.  Based on the results of the ultrasound it is entirely possibility that I will be shooting my wife in the tail with progesterone as early as Thursday morning.

The embryo thawing process is a tricky one and it is entirely possible (although I hope not likely) that none of our embryos will make it.  If one makes it, we will transfer it.  If two make it, we will transfer both.  If all three make it I have no idea what we will do.  Literally.  If no one makes it, we’ll go home.  That process won’t begin until the morning of the transfer, so we’ll deal with the news as it comes.

I think we’ve both been struck dumb with how very much we want this to work and how very much of a long shot we know it is.  It’s a funny thing for a woman who shares ZERO genetic material with her son to want, but I desperately want Yogi to have a full genetic sibling.  It doesn’t matter to me, but what if it matters to him?  What if he struggles with the not-knowingness and it makes him feel alone or separate?  It seems to me that there might be some comfort in having a sibling that is in precisely the same boat.  Someone with whom he is entirely related.  I want this for him so much that it’s impossible for me to even say out loud.

I hope these genetic relationships don’t matter to him.  I hope he feels as close to me as he does to my wife.  I hope he feels like my extended family is his family.  But if he doesn’t I want to be able to give him this and we only have this one shot.  I’m not sure that even makes sense, but it is precisely how I feel.

I guess what I’m saying is this:

  • If you pray, please pray for us.
  • If you send good vibes, please send good vibes.
  • If you think fertile thoughts, please think some on our behalf.

Thank you.