sort of in chronological order

Y’all. I just had a four day weekend. Four. It was so great. Those personal days I’ve earned (?) don’t roll over, so I figured I’d use one. So there are only like 5 that I wasted.  Oops. Next year!

Anyway. You know, and I know you know, you want to know what I did.

How about a list?

Ok, if you insist.

  • went erranding on the bus to the old-skool strip mall on what used to be the north end of town but is now the middle, sort of. I got a new dish-rack and it has made my life better.
  • went strawberry picking with Elsie, who had also taken a day off, and my new-ish housemate, who is great. I saw this really nice lady who I used to see at the market all the time and she remembered me and gave me a hug! And asked me to pass on a message to another vendor at the market, so I felt very much in with the in-crowd from the market. Also, we got a fuck-ton of strawberries, which my housemate and I got washed and hulled and sugared by 9 pm. Maybe there is a picture? There is!

IMG_2770

  • went to the market with LB and S and made out like a fucking bandit: in addition to the usual haul from my CSA, I also got my neighbors’ CSA because they are out of town; a bunch of meat, because summer paychecks will be thin so I want to stock the freezer; the best bulgolgi, ever, plus a Korean melon kimchi that the nice lady from Wolf Creek said was “very expensive”; 9 pounds of rhubarb to make jam; goat’s milk from Elsie, because we like to have our own little market at the market. Hooray the market!
  • made jam with most of those strawberries and froze the rest, excepting probably 3 pounds that have been on the counter and are now almost all eaten.
  • had S and D over for bulgolgi and then went out (out?!) and had drinks with them.
  • cleaned the house and did laundry because it was perfect laundry weather.
  • had dinner with LB, S and D again, at S’s this time.
  • went grocery shopping with S and got more jars, because the strawberry jam used up all the little ones I had.
  • made more jam with the rhubarb.
  • made a pork but in the crock pot.
  • took not one but two naps in the hammock. Pictured is Sunday’s nap. Monday’s nap was less sunny, if still fair of face.

IMG_2776

  • contemplated that there are only two days of school left.  Well, 1 and 1/2, really.

There were also Chicken Adventures, involving a mass escape this morning when I went to refill their water bowl and an entire day of freedom for Kate Olsen, while the Kardashians, who are wilder but a little more gullible, or possibly just less scared of me, were rounded up with promises of food and confined for the day as usual. They were pissed, or else they were squawking their normal amount and I read meaning into it. Kate, make no mistake, seemed a little taken aback by her full day of free-ranging solo and stuck close to the house, for which I am glad. Can’t have her digging up the neighbor’s plants again.


clever metaphor of your choice for “decision making” here

Oh, hi.

So I had a Saline Sonogram on Friday. I took the entire day off for it, which was a great plan, not because the procedure was bad, but because – woo! – day off! Dr. Hot wanted to get a look-see at my ute to be sure everything looked normal post the miscarriages.

She was as cute as ever and it was easy and everything looked normal. Yay, right?  And all my new and re-done bloodwork looked normal, too! Yay! Right?

Sort of. Everything normal means that there is still no known reason for my infertility. No easy fix to something that got overlooked before. No clear “you will never carry a pregnancy past 10 weeks, so don’t even try”. Honestly, I was really hoping for one or the other.

There is one test for which I have not yet received results. Dr. Hot seems as into genetics as Dr. E (nice old RE) was into auto-immune. She ordered a karotype test that will be back in a few weeks and will, to quote the paper for from the cheater RE’s, be “expensive”. Oh, yay. There is a 5% incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in cases where there have been at least two miscarriages. Heck, I hit that number three summers ago! Anyway, Dr. Hot is interested in my genetics, it seems. If I do IVF again, and, wow, is that ever a big if, she strongly recommends PGD (yes, that’s a wikipedia link – it looks legit). She even gave me the name of a guy in New Jersey so I could look him up – which I should do, at some point – because he is at the forefront of genetic testing. Which sort of gives me hives, because that sort of thing is a slippery slope, I fear. But. But.

But it’s so highly unlikely that I’d do IVF again. It’s just so damn expensive. And I am barely holding my financial head above water from the transfers I did, all willy-nilly, over the past two three (Jesus.) years.

Let’s break it down:

  • basic IVF package price is $8,400 – that’s $5000 for the clinic portion and $3400 for the  Laboratory
  • the average cost of meds is $2,500 – ouch. Last time I got these for free from the ever generous IVP
  • cryopreservation of bonus embryos is $470 and then storage is $150/quarter and $470/year. If memory serves, storage at the Richmond RE was cheaper, but maybe prices have gone up everywhere.

You do the math. Don’t forget to add something huge for PGD.  Although, wow, I feel sketchy about that. And not just because of the (unknown amount of) money.

If I had a million dollars, I’d do it in a minute. I respond well to the meds; I make a shit ton of eggs; it was unpleasant but not terribly so (and it might be better if I wasn’t unknowingly at the beginning of the end of a relationship). But I don’t have a million dollars. The cheater RE has some sort of payment plan (pay some amount at the time and then pay monthly for a year), so I guess I will call to see the ins and outs of that.

Then there’s the option of making this the summer of IUIs. Dr. Hot wants, if I do any more IUIs, to throw my old friend femara as well as gonadatropins (with whom I has a short fling back in 2009, thanks again to the ever generous IVP) into the mix. More targets, as Dr. E, the nice old RE, would say.  I can’t find the price list for any of that, but let’s guess around $600 with the meds? Damn. I wish I could find that page on the cheater RE’s website. I swear it was there.

ANYway.

Then there’s buying sperm.  So factor that in. Let’s call that – wait, I can look that one up – let’s average it and call that $700. That’s without shipping.

Then there’s throwing the towel in.

I’ve decided on one option or the other about 50 bathousand times in the past two days. Heck, I’ve decided on one option and then another forty-eleven times writing this. Each ones seems equally valid and perfect and equally wrong. Ugh.

My wise friend Susie said to think about how I would feel if I tried and failed. Which is good to remember. And why it’s so hard to decide. If trying again was a sure thing, then that would be the obvious answer.

I’d love to farm this decision out. Can’t somebody decide for me? Dr. Hot has refused, for the record.


public v private

Y’all, the cheater RE is a private hospital. My old RE was in an endocrinology clinic in the public hospital. I knew all this. I’d compared and contrasted public and private medical establishments when I went to the Richmond RE for IVF. It was fancy pants. The button to call the elevator was normal elevator-call-button sized, but the marble (!) inset around it was bigger than my head. The elevator call button at my nice old RE’s sometimes had a piece of paper with an up arrow drawn on with ballpoint pen. (For years – yes, I was there for years – it was forbidden to take said elevator to the 3rd and final floor there. So it was mysterious! One of the nurses told me it was just full of old chairs, but it was still full of mystery to me.)

I went for lab work Friday. So, yay me, right? Right. But, wow, did it make me miss my old lab people.

At the old RE’s, the lab was clearly a Lab. Not just because Amir and Michelle and the other nice lady whose name I wish I could remember wore white coats. But because there were Science Things in there. Not just a red bio-hazard sharps container and boxes of gloves, either. There were those racks where you stick everybody’s blood vials, and important looking notes stuck to the walls, and millions of drawers that were filled with More Science Stuff, and stacks of papers around the computer where they sent out orders for pick up and processing like “STAT”. (For real.  Remember that? No. Because everybody who read my blog then is dead because I’ve been doing this for so damn long.) There was something of a partition so two people could get stuck at once, and there was a random hard chair by the door in addition to the chairs with the giant funny arms for the stick-ees to rest their arms on. Sometimes you’d even get to see the courier people come in to pick up all the bloods! So exciting! It was all Science! and Medicine! and Lab! But also they were so nice there, Amir and Michelle and that other nice lady. They always remembered me, even when it had been over a year since I’d seen them. And Amir once sat me down and gave me a very serious pep talk, drawing parallels between football and ttc, saying things like “you just have to stay in the game” and “you might be tired and feel like you are loosing, but keep playing – stay in the game.” Those are not direct quote, but you get the idea. Anyway. My lab people. Winners.

Now, if you’ll consult back to the top of this (already rather long) post, you’ll see that the new cheater RE is at a private hospital. This was pretty apparent at my first visit with Dr. Hot (whom I saw two weekends ago at the farmer’s market with her husband, whom I mistook for an adorable, tiny butch lesbian at first): fancy water cooler, matchy-matchy upholstered chairs, etc, etc.  But it was this recent trip for blood work that really hammered the difference home. Y’all, the walls in the little “room” where I actually got stuck (by a nice blonde 12 year old – really, she was 12) were painted not one but two colors and the upholstered chair in the corner matched both of those colors. All the Science was hidden away somewhere else, but there was a chair that matched the walls. Who was supposed to sit in that matchy chair, I don’t know.  I certainly didn’t get stuck in it – no blood on the goods! As we used to say in the costume shop. Maybe it’s for if you bring company into the lab? But it’s too far away from the chair where the business gets done for any hand-holding to take place, if you were the sort who needs hand-holding. Weird. And matchy. For all the (obvious?) care taken in the decoration of the little “room” it was strangely devoid of feeling. Or, rather, it’s feeling was empty. There were other little “rooms” off of the tastefully painted hallway from the (second) waiting room, so I guess the idea was confidentiality and comfort? But it was really not very comforting in there. And I could hear the chatty lady in the next “room” perfectly well.  So really, I don’t know what they were trying to achieve.

It was fine, of course. I’m a bloodwork rockstar. The 12 year old who stuck me laughed at my jokes.  She was good – it didn’t hurt at all. I got paper tape and gauze rather than a big itchy wrap bandage. But, wow, I missed my old lab people a lot.


a list

This weekend I

  • wrote an entire entertaining post about what I did over the weekend and and accidentally deleted it.
  • was sad about the above.

Crap.


incipiencey

CD 1.  I wasn’t sure I’d ever write that in relation to myself, but I am.  Bloodwork within the next couple days.  I hear the lab guy at the cheater RE is nice.  But I did love my old lab people so much. I wonder if this new guy will be willing to give me gauze and paper tape rather than a big stupid wrap?


Look. I survived mother’s day.It was pretty great,

Look. I survived mother’s day.

It was pretty great, in fact.  Several friends sent nice messages, which was nice.  Nice and nice.  I had early coffee and visiting with a friend who’d come up from North Carolina. Then a nice brunch with my folks, which boasted the loan of my dad’s truck so I could haul brush away from my house.  Plus a nap in the hammock and a short visit with D and then dinner with a friend.  And I finally got around to delivering some manicotti to my neighbor who’s going in for surgery this week.  Generosity for the win, y’all.

Happy middle of May to you.


world of dairy

Y’all, I am making yogurt from goat milk. I am so excited by the goat milk. The goat in question is so cute. So cute.  That’s her on the left, having her chin scratched.  She lives in paradise, which is only a short bus ride away from me.
IMG_2413
Also, my cup overfloweth with cow’s milk, as I only finished about half of last week’s half gallon and this week’s is waiting for me to pick up. I’ve made a half-assed (lots of halves in this paragraph) version of cottage cheese where the milk just sits out on the counter overnight and then I salt it, but it tasted about like you’d expect for the amount of effort put in. So this time, I’ll try a recipe.  My thermometer is one battery short – and there’s only one battery in the damn thing – so I will have to find a battery to fit it before I start.  And some cheese cloth.  I seem to be out.

Look!  It’s a post without a list!  You’re welcome.