Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Your cervix looks like it's been in a knife fight"

Seriously, this makes me laugh every time I think of it.  Direct quote from Dr A.  Hahahha.

So it seems I have some scarring from that cervical cryosurgery from back in the day.  He said it wasn't a big deal.  (Oddly enough, he said "When it's a ten pound baby up against some scarring, we know who'll win that battle".  I don't think I quite get that.)

All in all, the physical was pretty good (I mean the prognosis - not the part where everyone looks at my hoohaa, and the doc is all up in my lady business).  Dr A was pretty jovial, and not mean to the techs, so that was good.   He said my ovaries look good ("This woman has some nice ovaries").  My follicles are continuing to look good. 

He said my follicles are going to vote conservative in the election.  It is my right ovary that will likely go this month.  hahahhah!  He also named a follicle "Jack" after Jack Layton.  hahahha.  Too funny!  [This is Canadian political joking - we've an election coming up].

He said my pelvis is a good size - good enough for an 8 pounder (haha - um, aren't we getting ahead of ourselves?).

I do have a fibroid which is hanging off the outside of my uterus, but he said it isn't a big deal.

All in all, nothing really amiss.  Which I am somewhat wary of, since I am worried we'll meander over towards MF only... but I don't really believe that to be true at this point.  It was only one bad sample from DH.  But who knows - maybe all that acupuncture and being really good this month will do the trick.  That's what I'm betting on.

Even though it is NIAW, I have still chickened out on telling my friend.  DH has been brave and told two of his friends recently ... he even told them he's having surgery.  So probably I should buck up.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Prayer buddy reveal!!

So I was praying for Hebrews 11:1!!  :)  FUN!  She's like a super star of Catholic IF bloggers.  And things are looking up for her!  :)

On the flip side, My Heart Exults was praying for me!  She is like a professional lenten prayer buddy - excellent!  I'm so grateful to her for all her prayers this lent!  :)

I've another wanding scheduled for tomorrow.  My follicles and levels looked "great" yesterday (CD8). So...uh...all that gel they use for wanding... is that spermie-safe?  Should I bring some prese.ed and ask them to use that?  Is that ridonculous?  Ok, I am being too hyper.  It will only be CD10.  I will probably ovulate CD15-16, that will be too long for spermies to last anyway.

I also have a physical with Dr A scheduled.  I'm sort of intimidated.  I think he was training a new wander on Sunday, so he was there as well - and he was kind of mean and short tempered with her.  Like a smart guy that has no patience for slow people.  Yikes.  Well.... I suppose it is good to have a smart guy on your team, it's not like I have to go out for coffee with him.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hoppy Easter!

Hoppy Easter, as my Aunt always says! (And then she'll shake your hand, and you'll come away with a little chocolate egg.  Love it!)

So, my dear DH is scheduled for his surgery May 10th.  So soon!  He got someone's cancellation - so it's either do it May 10 or in the fall.  I think after surgery it will be like 3-6months before we can expect good spermies.

So I am thinking it is like this cycle or bust.  (Well, by 'bust' I mean wait 6 months - which seems like a long time at this point).  I have a physical with Dr A on Tuesday, so I'll talk it over with him.  But basically the surgery is before we could do an IUI - I will be at the end of my monitoring cycle.  So I guess I will pull out all the 'stops' this month!  No more wine for me - until we're in spermy re-creation time (post surgery), then I can have a glass here or there again.

I am slightly worried we're rushing into this surgery.  It feels so fast!  One minute, everything is amazing on the male side, next minute we have severe MF and he's going in for surgery!  Yikes yikes yikes.

On a more positive IF note, a friend of ours who got pg after they had been trying a "long time" (I was skeptical - "long time" can be like four months for some people) - well, it actually turns out they had been trying for  2.5 years.  And she finally caught after she quit her job.  A few months later - preggo!  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


So I had my first wanding/blood test on Tuesday, guess when my next is scheduled for??  Easter Sunday!!  I don't know why this seems so shocking to me, but it does.

I guess I don't really have anything new to report.  I am now at the TEBB stage of things (Tail End Bleeding...B?  What does the B stand for?).  It was weird, I felt oddly cramp-y this afternoon, even though that shouldn't be the case at this stage in the cycle.

They keep saying everything looks excellent.  I suspect I will have an excellent cycle (Murphy's law or the acupuncture kicking in?), and they will blame everything on my poor DH.  DH may be having surgery to help correct his issue, I want to ask Dr Awesome his opinion.  I will be seeing him Tuesday for my physical, so they tell me.  I'm sort of impressed they go to the trouble of a physical.  Although I don't expect he'll find anything amiss (other than these weird pressure headaches I've been getting, but I don't think those are related to fertility).

I have decided to try and go gluten free for 60 days, and see if anything seems different.  I have been reading lately about how gluten sensitivity can be sub-clinical... in which case, waiting to go to a doc and take a test isn't really going to work so well.

In flour mill news, you CAN mill popcorn and get corn flour, which can then be turned into tasty cornbread.  :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Smooth, CS.

The baby party today was awful.  A 4 week old, 5 month old and 4 month old in attendance, plus a 3 day old who didn't come but new Dad did.  These are all my friends!  They have too many babies!!!  Besides us, the only people that didn't have a baby or toddler was two single guy friends.

I think at least a couple of people have sort of seen the writing on the wall - I am super interested in babies, we've been married for well over a year, I'm not super career oriented, no baby has appeared... maybe a good time to stop asking.

So I only got told once that I should have a baby.  It was by Tansly, of a previous post.  I made some sort of negative weird reply, then left the table, to go talk with another table.  Smoooooth.  The subject didn't come up again, and I didn't raise it.  They did come by our house for a visit, but I chickened out - I didn't tell them of our trouble.  Maybe through email?

Anyhoo, I am staying in tonight, skipping dinner with the in-laws.  I feel like I need to de-tox after all those babies, and all that smiling and acting nice.

Oh, but I do see that JBTC got a BFP!  Yay! Excellent news when an IF lady catches.  I had just decided to start following her (since she organizes the lenten prayer buddy circle), and whammo! I see a post with two lines in a picture!  :)

A tip from your Aunt Flo!

"Hi Sweetie!  I'm back for a visit!"

"Hey Aunt Flo."

"Here's a tip for all your blog sisters for when I'm visiting - if you're uncomfortable when I'm around, put a hot water bottle between the thighs, not on your bad or abdomen.  That way blood flows away from the troubled area, instead of more blood pooling there."

"Thanks Aunt Flo.  That does work - 10 minutes of hot water bottle on the thighs and I usually feel better.  So... I thought we talked about you waiting longer in between visits?"

"Yeah, I wasn't really feeling that, sweetie.  I got a bit mixed up with you switching time zones and all."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Greek Celeriac Avgolomeno

Here is the recipe for my absolutely favourite soup.  JB put a call out for fav vegetarian recipes, and this is mine!  I got this recipe from a wonderful greek vegetarian cookbook, but have modified it slightly to be more of a meal (added lentils).

the juice of 4-5 lemons
1 egg
2 med celeriac
1/3c olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 med carrots
4 med potatoes
5 (plum) tomatoes
~1.5 cup dry red lentils (more if you like)
black olives (we usually put maybe 10-20, depends on your taste - this is where the salt is coming from, so use your judgement)

Pour about 1T oil in pot and heat.  Add celeriac cubes and "steam" the celeriac in oil for 4 min.  [This step seems weird to me, but I always do it, soup always turns out marvelous].  Add garlic, carrots, potatoes, olives and tomatoes.  Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 min.

Add very thoroughly washed dry red lentils (no need to pre-soak) [VERY WASHED - rinse and change water like 5+ times, or you'll end up with crazy starch problems], simmer and additional 15 min. 

Add lemon juice.  Beat egg in a separate bowl, and drizzle slowly into the soup as you're stirring.  This is the magic - the egg makes the soup creamy and delicious (and adds a wee bit more protein to boot!), without any butter or cream.  The lemon and egg are what make this an avgolomeno.  Add the rest of the olive oil (greeks are not shy with the oil, eh?), and serve!  Goes well served with bread, if you're of the type to eat bread.

YUM!  And before this - what on earth would I have done with celeriac?  Passed it by at the supermarket is what!  (Truth be told, they are dirty and a bit scary looking.)  Now celeriac and I are good friends.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A shocking turn of events

DH's sperm count was low.

<This is the part of the movie where the music rips to a stop and everyone stops dancing and looks around>

Very low.

Dr Awesome moved us from "unexplained" to "explained".

He seemed to think that whatever was up with me would be relatively easy to overcome.  But as for my poor DH... Dr A even threw the "IVF" word out there, if sperm count stays so low.

So this is super unexpected.  Last sperm test (Nov), DH was a rock star.  This new (Feb) test was done at a different and supposedly better clinic (a good hospital in town vs a commercial clinic).  So for sure DH needs another test at this new clinic, to compare apples to apples.  I'm kind of not buying it.  Such a huge change!

All along we've been focusing on what's wrong with me and improving me with diet and acupuncture and such things.   Oh man.  Our strategy has been wrong - with low sperm count, BD every day around ovulation isn't the way to go.

DH has committed to stepping up exercise (he gets really slack in the winter, since his major sport is a summer sport), and being better about diet (breakfast/dinner are usually pretty good healthy-wise, since I make those, but lunch he often goes out with friends, and sometimes for...horrors...fast food).  And maybe we'll send DH to Dr T for some acu - from a TCM point of view, men are supposed to be easier to fix.

They are going to cycle monitor me next cycle to see if everything is hunky dorry with me, or if I have any timing issues.  They took 20 blood vials from me yesterday (13 from DH!), and they did an ultrasound on me.  (Is ultrasound the right word?  A wand up the hoo-haa).  They called me a few hours later (impressive) and said everything was ok but progesterone was a little low.  I am a little surprised they can process all the 20 vials in such a short time - it was like 2 hours later.  Maybe they only checked the sex hormones, and the fancier tests will take longer?  Don't lab tests normally take 2 weeks?

A side note - the office is very swanky.  It is in an old mansion downtown converted to officies, and the ultrasound is upstairs in a room (with a very fancy rotating chair).  And this really did it for me - there is a little screen to change behind.  Since the ultrasound tech normally stays around and it gets akward - why not just have a screen?  The last place I went I ended up glaring at her since she didn't leave and come back.

Yesterday was sad.  It was one of those sad IF days for me.  I didn't want to have to do this.  Against my wishes, I did leak a few tears in the doc's office.  And I think I don't really like Dr Awesome.  He's probably a very good doc, so I am not thinking of changing at all, but... well, for whatever reason, he did make me cry.  Probably his attitude that "this isn't a big deal", "stop trying", "stop taking your temp", blah blah blah.

So I am to call them on the first day of spotting to set up my appt for Day 3 monitoring.

But here is where things stay interesting <roll of eyes> - I am spotting today.  It is CD23!  WTIF!  And we know I don't usually have mid-cycle bleeding.  Last Jan cycle (I also had a fever - suspicious?), I had spotting CD22 and it was a 23 day cycle.  This is a whacky cycle, I think, prob exasperated by the 12 hour time change, but not unprecedented.  Talk about short luteal phase!  Boobs are still sore.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So, after about a million phone calls yesterday (if I heard my phone ring I would dash rudely away from whoever I was talking to, then walk away with my phone lest anyone overhear any IF language), both DH's and my records are sorted, and should be at Doc Awesome's now.  I will just do one more follow up phone call this morning to confirm.   Phew!

Thanks for the tip Teresa - we totally have that cough syrup, although we call it 'Nin Jiom' (in my badass non-Chinese accent).  I actually bought some Nim Jiom cough drops in Hong Kong, and they helped with the sore-throat part of the sickness.

I actually tried the hydrogen peroxide in the ear tip I got off the Internet last night... I'm feeling slightly better this morning (yet it is still 3am...fail on that jet lag aspect!) we'll see if that keeps up!  :)

So, something else on my IF mind is an upcoming '1 month' party on Sunday for a friend.

This friend and I (will call her... Tansly...) have sort of a long and complicated relationship.  We are technically part of a wonder trio from University which includes my Maid of Honour (hereinafter to as MOH).

Tansly moved away (about 3 hour drive) to do a pHd, and over the years I've really felt like I've been putting a lot more effort into keeping in touch than her, she'd often not-return phone calls or ignore Skype messages... which I was not too hung up about, she was busy in school after all.

But then there was this period of a few months when there was total radio silence from Tansly.  No one heard from her.  There were only a few morose  comments on facebook now and then - everyone was worried.  And I did my darnest to contact her - phone, Skype, I even sent a card with supportive sayings - we were on the edge of just showing up in her town to find out what the heck is UP (some logistical trouble was holding us back).

She finally did emerge from radio silence to say she had been having a lot of drama at school (kicked out of pHd after 4 years in, but then was allowed to finish in the next 8 months)... then a week later, the announcement - engaged and - complete shocker to me - preggo.  Part of the radio silence they'd been deciding whether or not to keep the baby.

We were already trying so hard at this point.  I was so jealous. I am still so jealous.  This is a good example of 'life's not fair'.  Her and her boyfriend to my knowledge (although we weren't in close touch) weren't super super solid, she had her pHd to finish up with a definite timeline - and she's just not that maternal in my estimation.  No playing with other people's babies and talking about baby stuff... that was me. 

Her wedding was awful for me.  There were like 4 preggos there (and a pg announcement - yes, they got pg their 1st month of trying), and another good friend of ours kept saying, "Oh, just go off birth control for 4 months, you'll be pg in no time" over and over (not that I asked, she was encouraging MOH to get pg - which will skewer me if it happens).  Needless to say, I ended up crying on MOH's shoulder in the parking lot for a while.

I am sure Tansly is doing a wonderful job (the baby is actually like maybe 6 months old), but... I don't know, I just can't take any of it.  I pulled myself together to be part of a shower gift, but I asked someone else to get it, I just sent my portion of the gift in cash to the lady that got it.  And all her cute baby facebook posting I can't bring myself to 'like'.  For some reason (probably cuz she is close to me and it was an accident), I really can't take this one.  Now it is me ignoring Tansly's IM/emails....

So on Sunday we will go.  But I am being rude.  sigh.  IF.  Well, maybe actually writing all this up has made me feel better.  Maybe I can not be such a drama queen on Sunday.

Anyhoo, doc Awesome today!  Very excited!  Like a nerd, I've decided to take notes and have a list of questions and take action items if there are any.  I figure, IF is so important to me, why am I running meetings at work (that are less important) with much more professionalism than my own life??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Records, records, where art thou?

Hello Ladies! 
I'm home!  :)  I got home Sunday - I am still jet lagged (thus I am writing this at 3:30am), but dealing with it ok so far.

I got sick in Taipei, so I spent our last day in Taipei pretty much in the hotel bedroom with a slight fever (thankfully it had the fluffiest bed of our 8 hotel journey, so my achy skin could rest easy).  That means I still have a gross chest cough - yuck.

This morning I bit the bullet and have finally figured out what cycle day I'm on - today is CD21.  And my boobs are SORE (have to be careful when hugging DH).  And this is without any Chinese herbs - which I think is good, that means I'm boob-sore-ing on my own, which I take to be a good sign.  (Not a pg sign, I am no longer so naive, but still, I think it means progesterone is rising...?)

During my vacation, I didn't really check my tongue (since I was on an IF vaca), but towards the end of my trip I did check it - and it was MARVELOUS!  I'm pretty sure it was perfect.  Even though I was sick, it was still smooth and pink.

After first day of work - tongue was awful and red at the tip and all gross.  Sigh.

So - first the good work news.  Bosslady's twins are ok!  Yay!  Turns out Bosslady had a mild stroke or seizure, possibly due to extra blood volume due to pg/+twins, so her doc ordered bed rest until the twins come.  Good for her, I think.  She was in the hospital for I think like 3 days or more - yikes.

But, with Bosslady gone, they will be relying on me more.  They are hiring someone new to help, and a manager will rotate in to cover us... but essentially it will be me leading the show from a technical standpoint.  Ugh.  Much more work and responsibility than I am looking for right now.  And Director mentioned I may be promoted in 2012... to me this seems rather far off, and a lot of work (STRESS) between now and then....

I mentioned to Director that I am worried about the stress, and I don't deal with stress very well.  And she seemed to understand... but offered no real solutions.  At least I've raised it with her.  Depending on how the next few weeks go, I may have to raise it with her again, and potentially put quitting on the table...

Who our new manager will be is still a mystery that should be revealed this week.  So... I guess I will wait it out to see who that person is before making any drastic changes???

Today IF drama is that my records still haven't been received by Dr Care, so she obviously can't have forwarded them on to Dr Awesome yet.  My doc Awesome appt is Wednesday!  Augh!  Turns out I had a voicemail from my old family doc's office on Apr 6th saying they were going to mail my records until I called and told them I wanted them treated differently.  Well, I was of course abroad and didn't get that message, but I WANTED THEM TREATED DIFFERENTLY.  Yikes.  I am really cutting it close to the wire here.  Without those records the appointment will be pointless.  I am going to try and call old doc's office today, and see if they still have a copy of the records and could they fax them.  There is a chance Dr Care may get them today... really, the mail should only take about 2 days, the clinics are on the same street (my street, actually!  hah!) for goodness sake!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

IF in the family

We're still in Taiwan!  [Update: We're actually in HK now - home tomorrow!] We spent a few days in Kenting, a couple of days in Taitung, then to Hualien for the wedding of DH's cousin - the whole reason for the trip in the first place.

The wedding banquet was fun - we were at the English table.  Which I loved.  Yay for the groom's American cousins who speak English!  (I'm getting a bit Chinese'd out)

Last night DH was out with the gang at the night market in Hualien, to get some barbequed chicken butt to eat.  I begged off, since I was not feeling super well (something disagreed with me?) and I was tired, and no way I was eating chicken butt.  I have my limits.  ;)

DH had already prepped me - get ready for a preggo announcement from his cousin.  She's about thirty, and her and her DH have been dating for many years, and she wants kids... so he wanted me to get ready to hear an annoucement in the upcoming months.

But then when he came home from the night market, he told me she asked if I was pg since I was feeling sick.  He told her no, and when they were alone he told her about our IF (which I am totally fine with, they are very close cousins).  But then it turns out she's IF too!  I am so shocked.  Poor girl - she is really really sweet and nice, and of course would make a great mum.  :(  I guess they have been tring about 6 months (in the States you can go to the doc earlier than in Canada) - they wanted a baby so much they were willing to have one before the wedding.  But both of her tubes are blocked - she's going to have IVF.  We were just talking about it today, she's going to come back to Taiwan for IVF, it is much cheaper here. (About a third the price, it seems, even with the flight cost.)

DH is really bummed.  He wants his Grandma to be a Great-Grandma - she's about 92, so... best if a great-grand baby comes soon, I am thinking.  More fun that way.  So we're in a race.  :)  That's sort of fun.  And I will be happy for them if they catch first.  It would be SO great if we both catch at the same time - my kids arn't likely to have cousins (I have one step-sister that isn't maternal at all, he has one barren sister and one maiden much older sister), so it would be great if they had second cousins of the same age from this couple!  They live in New Jersey - close enough to visit at least a couple times a year.  :)

So that is my IF news.  It feels so neat to just be able to talk about it so openly.  I think maybe I will ask DH
if we should gift them "Making Babies" - she really hadn't thought about doing acupuncture during IVF.
DH's cousin will actually be quitting when she goes back to the States.  The stress of working certainly won't help IVF success, and her DH's family has enough money that she doesn't need to work, so her DH asked her to quit.  Jealous!  :)  Then she can also spend some time back here in Taiwan with her family.

I am really really really not looking forward to going back to work, after three weeks away.  Oh man. 
During our massage yesterday (70 min full body acupressure!  Fun!), I was thinking at some point I should buck up and seriously think about quitting.  I think when I get home I will research potential other careers.  One of the problems with quitting now with no babies, is that - well, what would I do with myself all day?  And the sad fact that DH's salary is just a wee bit too little to run the household with - we need a topper.  Currently my salary is quite a bit more than his, so we're gravy, but if I suddently quit, things won't be as smooth financially.  But if I have a new career, even with a couple years off to study we'll be ok... even though they one I am thinking of won't be as financially rewarding.  That's ok, we only need a little money extra, not a lot.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hello from Taiwan!

I am taking a total vaca from IF for this trip. I am playing I am like a normal person - I can drink coffee, a glass of wine, eat whatever seafood I want (I have been absconding from Tuna for years now, due to high mercury). Some days we have lots of walking and excersise, other days not - meh, whatever! I don't even know what CD I am on! AHAHHA - shocker!

I even went in the hot springs at the hotel! [We were in a super ghetto hotel at the last city we stayed in - hengChung. Now we are in a super nice hotel in Taitung. Phew! No mildew smell - that was really creeping me out!] Ok, ok - I was super careful not to get too hot, and I didn't go in the super hot pool for more than 1 min. And I was watching DH like a hawk such that his man bits didn't get overheated. Hope they didn't!

JB - Yoga retreat sounds AWESOME! Vegan food and hiking and yoga sounds super chill. A pause! Excellent! Sounds like just what you need. And can I urge you not to spend adoption money on a house? [Update:  I've been thinking about this comment all day - it is too nosey-pants.  Sorry.  Do want you want.]   I keep thinking about what you said earlier...do I want to be pregnant or be a Mom..? Interesting...
(haha - see, I may be trying to take an "IF vacation", but clearly it is still in my thoughts...I'm just toning down to 20% from 80%...and a secret part of me thinks maybe it is all just stress, and if I just chillax and do whatever I will magically get pg....which is silly, but it is just so EASY for so many people!)

Hugs ladies!

Appleseed grows

Lilypie Maternity tickers