Thursday, June 28, 2007

Little sister in early labor - I hope

My sister started her 40th week today. Since the middle of the night she's been having contractions (it's about 1pm here now, so that's at least 9 hours). Her contractions are now 7 minutes apart and she's at my parent's house waiting to see what happens.

This is my only sister and this is her first :-)

I'll keep you posted...

***Edits***
5pm (local time): Contractions are getting longer and stronger - somewhere around 6 minutes apart. I am so excited that I periodically get all teary...

5:30pm: Contractions are 4 minutes apart and they're going to pick up Yaakov (the dad-to-be) and then to the hospital... I'm so excited I can't stop crying... I forgot to mention - they don't know if it's a boy or girl. I'm guessing girl...

8:55pm: At the hospital they said she was 2.5cm & 70% effaced. They kept her for a while and then sent her to take a walk for an hour. At 8, when she came back, she was at 4cm. Unfortunately, the hospital is swamped with women in labor, so they can't move her into a labor room until 2 more women give birth. She wants the epidural NOW!
Uh oh! 8:55... that means I have to go to a meeting (va'ad bayit - a meeting to do with the communal areas of our building)... yuck! At least I can take my cellphone & my mom can call to update in the middle.

11pm: About an hour ago she was at 5cm and in a lot of pain. She's still waiting for the epidural :-( Funny thing was I got to tell all my brothers that she's in labor...

at 11:55pm, Leah & Yaakov's princess was born :-)

Polarity Meme

Thank you, triL, for tagging me... (triL happens to be my sister - the same one who's likely in early labor now).

The Polarity Meme is 10 things you hate followed by 20 things you love. Here are mine (off the top of my head):

10 things I can't stand
  1. nasty, inconsiderate, disrespectful people
  2. cigarette or cigar smoke
  3. cats that try to steal food off the table (OK, one specific cat who will remain nameless)
  4. being really, really tired and not knowing when the next time I'll get a chance to sleep is
  5. dirty floors (in my house. If it's not my responsibility, I don't mind it.)
  6. extreme temperatures and wind (I think I have ultra-sensitive nerve endings)
  7. not being able to breathe through my nose when I have a cold
  8. cockroaches (in my house. Believe me, the one I saw this week was at least 2 inches long.)
  9. letters with court dates
  10. losing things

20 things I love:

  1. my family
  2. flowers
  3. rainbows
  4. butterflies (brightly colored, please)
  5. creative designs (architecture, industrial design, websites, whatever)
  6. reading a good book
  7. singing
  8. writing
  9. watching 24 (or CSI or whatever) with Ohad
  10. traveling to new places
  11. hearing good news
  12. being silly and being able to make people laugh
  13. providing encouragement to people going through a rough time
  14. people who see themselves as part of something bigger and therefore as responsible to do good
  15. criticizing anything
  16. country music (not all, but John Denver, Jim Croce, etc.)
  17. Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Bryan Adams
  18. going out for breakfast
  19. the smell of fresh bread
  20. when the house is quiet and everyone's sleeping…

I tag Bea, artblog, and Sarah

(I'm posting this sort of retroactively, so that the post about my sister's labor can be at the top...)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My first guide

I just put up the first guide on FertilityStories.com - it's a very basic guide for people going through their first IVF cycle.

I welcome any comments :-)

Rachel

p.s. This is still not the book I've been dreaming to have a chance to write, although I admit it makes me happy that doesn't include the words "default", "settings" or "menu"...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Diabetes Question

Today's been hectic. Ohad and I cleared out our office this morning so we'd be prepared when the air-conditioning guys showed up (until now, our office didn't have air conditioning). Clearing the office was a pain, but I preferred to do that than to run errands... Then, after they finished (which took them MUCH longer than they expected - it turned out that our wall is reinforced with iron rods that they had to drill through) I had the choice of going food shopping or putting the office back together. I chose the office. By the time Ohad got back from the supermarket, everything was done & the table was even set for dinner (that part, Matan did). After dinner, I washed the floor & then the dishes, which is why I haven't had a chance to write anything until now (it's 11pm here).

So, instead of attempting creativity after my mind has shut itself off for the night, I'll share this question I got, to which I don't know the answer: "I am a 27 yr old Insulin dependant diabetic, a few days ago I had my 4th miscarriage, and am now considering surrogacy, but can a diabetic undergo such intensive fertility treatment?" Can anyone help?

Thanks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If the baby fairy came...

And said you could have as many children as you want (all singletons...) how many would you choose to have?

On another note, I took Nomi to Jerusalem today to an allergy clinic. We knew she had tested positive for milk (split into 2 tests, both strong positives), egg (white & yolk), sesame seed (extremely allergic) and almond - but today she also tested positive for soy, banana, peanut and latex... She has been drinking soy milk for about a week, so it seems a bit strange that she's allergic. I hope the doctor will help explain this. Too bad I couldn't get another appointment until July 8th.

Edit: In answer to Sarah's question - the baby fairy would come with reasonable financial resources and disappear all TTC difficulties. It wouldn't eliminate normal pregnancy fears, but would eliminate chemical pregnancies and worrisome betas. Unfortunately, it couldn't bring back the lost time, but could ensure fertility until sometime in the early 40's. How's that?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dreams...

With the start of my battle with infertility more than 17 years behind me (yowks!) I have come to the conclusion that a large part of the pain of infertility is the loss of a dream (or of many dreams).

When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mommy. I got married at 20 because I wanted to be a mommy. The first months that I waited, when I was still in school, were hard for me, because I wanted to be a mommy. And I didn't want to have just one child. I wanted a lot of kids. A big family, at least 4.

Along the way, I had other dreams - to get pregnant with just 2 people aware of the moment of conception; to just 'find out' that I was pregnant, without gnawing my nails off during the 2ww; to wheel a baby in a stroller with my big, pregnant belly in front of me...

What dreams do you (or did you) have? Were they fulfilled?

Once again, thanks to Mel for giving me a reason to have to put up a new post every day this week :-)

Monday, June 18, 2007

How do you break the news?

As a frequenter of IF blogs and an "infertility graduate", I've seen so many people write how they were hurt by others announcing their pregnancies. Amazingly, since I went through many such announcements, I don't have any vivid memories of what it was like.

Since I was looking for something to post about in honor of the commentathon that Mel announced, I thought I'd post something that should be fairly easy to comment on.

Leah, in her post from today, talks about being the person that people are afraid to tell and about the ways in which her friends tried to tell her sensitively, but still says, "I had a particularly rough patch about 8 months ago. Three pregnancy announcements -- by very close friends -- in one week sent me over the edge. "
It seems like an unwritten rule that as an infertile, it's OK to break the news that your IUI or IVF succeeded, that your surrogate is finally carrying your twins or that you got the OK for adoption. But is there any good way in which someone who didn't need ART to conceive can break the news appropriately?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Searches...

As many others, I'll post a few of the searches through which people reached my blog. I was looking for the weird or freaky ones, but there really aren't any...

is it a good sign not to bleed the day of your ivf pregnancy test?
Actually, it's hard to say. Sometimes the progesterone and other hormones (that are given less frequently, like hCG) are strong enough to keep you from getting your period. On the other hand, you may bleed the day of your pregnancy test and still end up having a healthy pregnancy.

how soon do you get pregnancy symptoms after iui
You could start having symptoms as soon as 7-8 days after IUI, but the symptoms are so similar to other things that it's really hard to tell until a few days later. Generally if you have symptoms that surprise you (like running to pee very frequently, breast tenderness, feeling really tired) that get stronger and stronger, it's a good sign. Good luck!

positive ovulation test 2 weeks past ovulation
I was just reading on peeonastick.com that this could actually indicate pregnancy. On the other hand, a pregnancy test will be more accurate.

failed ivf cycle blog i feel like a failure
I am so sorry :-( Sometimes these things fail and no one really knows why. I hope your next one will be a success. In any case, I think we have very little to do with whether the cycles succeed or fail.

Lots of 2ww, two week wait, etc. I hope they end happily.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Egg Donation - Not an easy decision

I read this article in Elle (all 6 pages of it) that Jade mentioned and I could really feel the despair conveyed by it. The author, at 43, decides to have a second child with the help of an egg donor. After her long search to find just the right donor, without even knowing herself exactly what that means, she finally finds one.

What was clear to me from the article was that the end was what was right for HER and nothing more. I was missing a little disclaimer in the article, which seemed almost judgemental, saying say something like, "each couple is different and needs to make the choices that are right for them".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't Miss This Article

Natalie Angier wrote an article entitled "Sleek, Fast and Focused: The Cells That Make Dad Dad" that was published in today's New York Times. It's well-written, interesting, humorous and even informative.


Note: The results open in the same window (it's actually kind of cool :-))

Monday, June 11, 2007

Congratulations...

Congratulations to Brian and Jenny Masche, who became parents to 3 girls and 3 boys.

This article tries to say that artificial insemination raises the risk of high order multiples, but puts it like this:


The chances of spontaneously conceiving sextuplets is one in 4.7 billion, although the odds improve significantly when fertilization treatment is used...

"improve significantly"? It's a funny choice of words...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Testing Poll

I saw this great widget on the fring blog and decided I had to steal the idea. Fring, btw, is really cool & Ohad (my husband) and I were able to text chat when he was in Germany recently - me on the computer and him on his phone... Anyway. That wasn't the point.

Pretty much anyone who's reading this has been through the 2ww. I was wondering what your policy on testing is, so I put together this poll. It's anonymous :-)



Back to my homework that has to be in by midnight (it's almost 6pm)...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I've been tagged!

Thank you to Projgen for tagging me...

Here are 8 arbitrary things about me:

1. I hate going to the hairdresser. I consider it to be about the same, torture-wise, as going to the dentist. It usually takes me a few years to recover after having my hair cut, which is why it is usually pretty long.

2. I went to 12 different schools in just 11 years because my father was in the US Army. The longest I spent at any school was 2 years (1st & 2nd grade and 8th & 9th grade). In 6th grade I went to 2 different schools, each for just half a school year.

3. I graduated from high school shortly after my 16th birthday, moved to Israel on my own and studied nursing at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2 years into the degree, I dropped out because I realized that with the kind of nurse I wanted to be, it would be difficult to have a family. After that, I went to study graphic design and printing, which was much more fun).

4. I was frequently accused of being anorexic when I was a teenager. I was also told I looked like Brooke Shields many, many times. No one would say either of these things about me now (and no, I was never close to being anorexic and the feature I have in common with Brooke Shields is most likely my eyebrows...).

5. My childhood best friend got addicted to drugs, sat in jail and was unable to raise her son (he must be in his late teens by now). I still feel a loss at having lost her friendship and I always wonder if there is something that I could have done differently that would have prevented it from happening.

6. I have incredibly amazing stretch marks on my stomach. Most doctors gasp when they see them. It looks like my stomach was hit by a really violent earthquake. I am not sure any amount of airbrushing could fix it so that I could pose for Playboy…

7. I love logic problems and could spend hours doing them if I had the time. I also love organizing things, especially if I can find a place for everything. In theory, my house would be disgustingly neat. In practice, it isn't…

8. My husband and I worked in the same office for 4 years and did several projects together. We still consult with each other about almost every project either of us works on.

I tag:
Karen (who couldn't possibly have anything better to do with her time...)
Kirby
and anyone who's currently waiting for a test result of any kind.

22

A few 22's, just because I noticed...

22 - The number of years I've been in Israel, as of yesterday.

22 - The exact age I was when I discoved that what I was going through was really infertility (great birthday present, huh?)

22 - The combined age my (FET) twins will be tomorrow (happy birthday!)

22 - The number of children my 3 brothers and I have (my little sister started her 9th month today!)

22 - The number of school days left until vacation (I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing...)

Lastly, 22 - The number of minutes within which I will post a new blog entry to push this one down...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Guest Entry - A Letter from Lauren

I received the following letter in my inbox yesterday:


I'm writing this as I need someone to share this burden with, and to share my complete desperation. I have not had an easy life, but after many difficult years I am finally moving on and am happy for the first time in many years. Or so I thought.
I made many difficult sacrifices in the past and I know that I may not achieve in life all that I could have; I have settled for a simple life with a simple, minimum wage job. This has not bothered me up until now as I realised I never wanted a "career," I wanted a family.

Unlike many of my female peers, I look forward to the time I will be a family woman, bearing children and looking after home and husband. After all the difficulties I have been through in life, and I won't list them here, I finally felt a sense of purpose - to be a wife and to be a mother. I have finally met "the one" and he feels the same for me. We are not well-off financially, but we both treasure the free things in life more than we could ever appreciate the material. We re planning on becoming engaged in the next few months, marrying a year or so after and then finally having a family of our own.

Knowing this meant I could justify dropping-out of education, justify working at a job far below my capability, taking home minimum wage. But now I have come to the cold realisation that I am struggling with fertility. This feels like the ultimate blow, one final punch in the guts from life. I don't understand why I can't have this, the only thing I want when so many others fall pregnant accidentally or unintentionally, with such ease. I don't know how I can cope with this, knowing I've thrown everything else away so I have the only thing I really wanted - a family; but now it seems I won't be granted my wish.

I feel like a failure as a woman and as a girlfriend, I feel like my body is betraying me. I fight to control my emotions everytime I see a young child, baby or pregnant woman. It's even harder when it's people I know, and everyone is so happy for them. But I can't help but feel jealous and cheated. Most of all I feel grief like I've never known, almost like a family member has died. Of course every month when AF comes I'm mourning the loss of something that was never actually there. I don't know how to deal with this and survive this, I just don't know how I can come to terms with not having any children, I just don't know what will fill this massive void in my life. Please help me. I'm at my wits end I just want it so much I can't even comprehend this never happening for me.


I felt the need to answer Lauren and know there are many important things I've missed. Got any words of wisdom for Lauren? I'm sure she'll appreciate it. I'll put my answer in the comments, so it will be with the other responses.