Friday, October 31, 2008

and, cramps

While on a walk with Cooper, she was taken by intense cramps, which caused her to run for home ASAP. Then, the cramps went away and she felt completely normal. Weird. By cramps I mean period-like cramps. She's over 8 days away from any such activity ... weird. No spotting. Just cramps. And sore nipples. And sore lower back.

An update on myself (unrelated to infertility): Sitting in our office in Zurich, Switzerland as I write this. Snow on the ground. The Alps are out there somewhere beyond the fog. It has been a very intense week including 16+ hour days, and one night, a soggy vending machine sandwich with turkey, curry sauce and CORN! (what is WRONG with Germans? Corn on a sandwich?!?!?) Overall it's been a good experience so far (aside from being so far away from my wife, who I miss terribly - and my dog who is the best person in the world) It's cool to get to see so many parts of Europe. On deck for next weekend? I'm leaning towards Paris. My company has a social function for the guys in the Zurich office this evening - expecting to have some fun, wading through an evening of second-hand smoke, German and Swiss German (one of which is "high" German, not sure which, but no matter, as they all sound the same to me - like gibberish - maybe with enough Pils, I'll begin to comprehend) Tomorrow I'll take a tour of the city, then relax on my own - hopefully a Skype video call with my wife (who looks beautiful even over a low-resolution, low frame rate webcam)

Enjoy the weekend. If you're in Zurich, I'll be the American with the big nose - please feel free to say hello.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back Soreness

Why is that every physical malady seems to offer a glimmer of hope that pregnancy might be upon us, but we still scramble to find non-pregnancy related causes to justify the symptoms?
  • Sore nipples? - Must be from the new bra (... but, could be from implantation ...)

  • Overly hungry? - Must be from the trauma of an unbalanced work-life balance (... but, could be demand from another hungry cluster of cells inside her uterus, as asinine as that is ...)

  • No appetite? - See last bullet (... or, pre-morning sickness?)
My wife's back has been hurting her for the past several days. Naturally I've attributed this to implantation. What else could it be?

She had similar back pain a few months ago, and we have a feeling it's from the Progesterone. It's worse this time though. Nipple soreness? Yes - she has that too, and it's not from me getting all handsy (as my hands are 4,000+ miles away from her) Clearly, it's way too early to attribute any of these symptoms to pregnancy (as even if she were pregnant, implantation could only have occurred some time in the last 3-4 days) Still, something interesting to note. We have to remember this was a medicated cycle, and all of these symptoms can be attributed to said mediation.

So, it's more wait and see, but the back soreness is definitely from implantation (or, from moving the fall decoration bins from the basement)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IUI - Done!

We had our IUI this morning. Counts were ~86 million sperm, ~46 million motile ... that's a lot of sperm. Porn selection included Oui, Hustler, Barely Legal and Playboy.

One follicle was detected during ultrasound yesterday, and blood worked detected that my wife had already "surged" - thus the scheduling of our procedure this morning. We were a little concerned that only one follicle was present - isn't the point of a medicated cycle to encourage the growth of multiple follicles? Well, turns out our office starts all of its women out on a standardized dose. Some respond better than others - next time (if there is a next time) they will start my wife out on a higher dose right from the start. She took her first progesterone shot last night (what we thought was the "trigger" shot - turns out, there is no trigger during a medicated cycle!) We obviously need to be more educated on what we're doing, and what we're paying for ... but there is, and should be an inherent level of trust in Doctors. We're hopeful that the elimination of endometriosis will prove to be the last hurdle, and that the single, lonely follicle will mingle with one of my 86 million, and become our baby. We'll see though ...

I'll try to post some more details as they roll in, not that they're that exciting. As it stands now, I will "send reinforcements" into my wife, in wave, after wave, after wave, after wave - will be like the beaches of Normandy, only instead of dead soldiers there will be retarded sperm, flailing around at the cervical entrance.

Back to Germany next week, for three weeks this time ... hoping for positive news while I'm out of town, which I can celebrate with some hefeweizen and cold cuts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Update on Medicated Cycle

We're getting close to T-day (T for trigger)

My wife was told to increase her dose of Folistim due to her levels being low ... she has since increased her dose, and a blood test confirmed that the change brought her levels into the appropriate range. She had an ultrasound this morning that revealed a mature follicle. They also took blood, and will call us later in the day to describe next steps. We're thinking she'll do the trigger shot tomorrow, then we'll do the IUI on Thursday. That should be just about right as I leave the country again on Sunday ... I'll be away for three weeks this time *ouch*

I'll keep you posted.

Other than that, it has been really nice being home, but there's always that thought in the back of my head that it's temporary, and I need to leave again in just under one week. The time will pass quickly, but painfully. This experience, only 25% complete, has given me a very healthy appreciation for what I really value in life - it has put my priorities in perspective. I will never take for granted an evening with my wife. It is my favorite way to spend time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In my absence, my wife is having to do her shots by herself. A brief note from her e-mail this morning:
"I hate doing my shots. It took three times before I got it right. The first time I went too slow and just made a little puncture in my leg and the second time I started to do it and then I stopped quickly and left another puncture. Finally I got it on the third try. I shake so bad it's hard to do. It sucks. It doesn't even hurt. It's just the thought."

Overall she's doing pretty well, but she said she feels a little nauseous the past few days ... not sure if the shots have anything to do with it or not. I just hope her ovaries are cranking out a whole shitload of eggs. I've been taking my vitamins, and have added one called ArginMax, from GNC ... not sure if it exactly the supplement I should be taking, but it has all the standard antioxidants, and other sperm-producing facilitators.

I'm going home in two days, and I can't wait to see my wife, and my dog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another bummer

One of the highlights of my three month assignment in Europe was to be the opportunity for my wife to come over for a week - we were planning to spend a weekend in Paris, and some other nice European cities. It was to be a very nice time, and all at the expense of my company. All for naught though, as our bad luck has struck again. Turns out when you're on follicle-stimulating drugs, you are advised not to travel internationally. Yes, that's right - our great good luck has struck again, and on no finer day than my wife's birthday.

I can't even begin to describe how bad I feel for her, and how utterly disappointed I am that the oasis that was to be this visit in the middle of our three month stretch, has now gone dry ... I hate this phrase, but I'll use it - it's not fair.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday

It's my wife's birthday today - she's 28! Let me tell you a bit about her:
  • She is the most beautiful woman in Southeast Michigan, and in the world (way too pretty for me)
  • She has a great heart
  • I miss her terribly
  • She is turning 28 ... not very old at all.
  • She has made me the happier than I ever thought I could be
  • I love her more and more every day
So if you see her, tell her happy birthday.

The Appointment

My wife was at the Doctor's office for over two hours - she was there so long that I started to get worried about her. Here's what she did, and what she learned:
  • Her uterine lining is perfectly fine (recall they took a piece of it while they were in there with their laser beams, and cameras)
  • She is starting a medicated cycle ... not sure which follicle-inducing medication brand she is taking, but it comes in a little pen just like the one we had during IVF - only this time, she only has to take one shot per day, and given my absence, she'll have to do it herself (I'm so sorry sweetheart!)
  • She will take these shots for 7 - 10 days before taking a trigger shot (which I'm told requires a much smaller needle than the 2.5 incher we used during IVF) Her eggs will be dropped into her fallopian tubes, en route to a few million swimming, dual-headed monsters
  • Via ultrasound, her follicular development will be monitored, allowing the doctor to precisely identify when the eggs are ripe, and the trigger shot should be administered(7 - 10 days, as mentioned a few bullets ago)
  • Once trigger is given, we conduct an IVF 12 (or 24?) hours later
  • She had blood drawn, to check that everything's within spec
  • I have to alter my travel plans so I can be home to make a deposit into a sterile cup ... 4,000 miles of flying, to get my member precisely inside of the plastic cup that is probably already in the doctor's office (think of the marvelous machines we have that can allow such things to happen!) I'm just hoping my project manager will approve ...
  • She will take progesterone following the procedure, and will likely join me in Europe for some sight-seeing, and touring
That's all for now ... I hope the post was informative enough.

Ich Bin Allein

I woke up to the German version of "All By Myself" this morning - how fitting.

I'm sitting in the Berlin airport awaiting my flight that is indefinitely delayed. Great start to the week.

My wife will meet with Dr. M this morning to discuss our next cycle in more detail. I'll post an update later in the day with the results.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Only in dreams

Had a dream last night ... a little corny, but nice.

We were with my wife's family - all of her Italian cousins were huddled in a living room, gossiping (naturally) My wife was sort of laying on her side on the floor, and the topic of her trying to get pregnant came up. There were some questions from a few of her women cousins like "So .... do you have any news for us?" I was watching from the opposite side of the room, thinking "Come on ... do you have to ask that? - you know what the answer will be." Then, my wife responded, smiling "Well ... I don't know ... maybe ... " As the word "maybe" left her lips, I took on a puzzled expression ... got up, moved cautiously across the room, suppressing the unavoidable surge of hope as I awaited the rest of her response ... could it be? Why didn't she tell me? No, cant be ... she's playing.

As I got closer to her you could feel the tension rising in the brief pause before she exclaimed "I'm pregnant!" and the whole room erupted into cheer, me included. There was a big embrace, and every happy emotion possible all at once. I even think there was confetti and a marching band playing some sort of fight song.

Wow ... it was only a dream, but what a feeling.

If, and when ... if, and when.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's going on ...

Locked in a room with 11 Germans and Swiss. Very little English is being spoken - mostly German, which makes it easy to tune out (as I hardly know any), but is sort of isolating. They all smoke, and old cigarettes aren't my favorite aroma (although I smoked in college)

New projects are exciting and unnerving at the same time. Setting goals, expectations, responsibilities, work plans, financial calculations, etc., etc. in a short period of time while minimizing overlaps and working 80+ hours is brutal --- but, it's also educational. Working with people that don't speak your language every day, have been working with the client for 3 months already, on their turf is equally brutal, but also, educational.

I will spend the next two weekends here in Europe by myself. I have a few friends in Germany, but am unsure if I will see them. I will definitely take advantage of this opportunity and do some sightseeing ... just not sure where I'm going to go yet.

After that, I'll go home for a week, and engage in baby-making with my wife. Then, I come back to Germany with my wife, who will stay with me for a week. One week after she leaves, I will once again return to the U.S. for a week, then, back to Germany for the final 3-week stretch, leading up to the holidays, at which point I will take 2 weeks off (and maybe more)

Whew! Going to be a crazy couple of months ... spending this much time apart is far from our first choice, but it's a hell of an opportunity for me professionally, and for us to tour Europe. We're definitely going to make the best of it.

You know how they say not thinking about getting pregnant can help you get pregnant? Maybe this project is just what the Doctor ordered ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Checking in, from far away

I'm in Germany, and I miss my wife.


A little under three weeks until I see her again - she will ovulate sometime during that week ...

She will have an appointment with Dr. M to discuss our next steps on 10/13. Until then, I'm toiling away in Germany, missing my wife and dog.