Wednesday, 27 June 2012

RE visit

Well the RE appointment wasn't too bad, but it's not everything that I hoped for either.  Here's the basics...

  • Apparently I've shrunk or something - I think the nurse was just too short to properly measure me, because I am definitely not less than 6 feet.  I haven't been below 6 feet since highschool, I've definitely not shrunk 2 inches in the last 6 months.  

  • We waited a long time, but at least there were comfy couches and the room was private - nobody else in there which is good because it's also the maternity waiting room.... that's awkward!

  • We met with the resident who did a history - she led me to believe that we weren't looking at a favourable response from the RE - and then left us in the meeting room while she consulted with the RE.

  • The RE came in and talked with us for a while.  She was naturally concerned about the hyperplasia and suggested again that a hysterectomy is the typical treatment.  I made it clear that we've heard that before and I'm not interested until we have a child.  She agreed and said that there are more conservative treatments and I'm on one of them, so that's the best move right now.  She said that as soon as we get a clear biopsy, we should do IVF right away.

  • The discussion of IVF led to a discussion about weight.  I shouldn't be surprised - I expected it.  Nearly every time I see a new doctor, the discussion goes to weight.  First of all, let me say that I"m more than aware that I'm fat - I've been fat since I was a kid.  This is not a surprise - often I want to get a shocked look on my face and say "what???  I'm fat???? when did that happen???", but given that I want this doctor to help me, I figured I should just shut the fuck up!  

  • The RE said that to do IVF, she would prefer the BMI to be below 35, but in the very least below 40.  She said 40 is only if there are no other health issues (blood pressure, blood sugar, etc) and that if she can visualise the ovaries well.  She went on to explain that when you are overweight, the ovaries don't stimulate properly (well no, actually mine grew a nice egg on just 50 mg of Clomid), the lining doesn't cooperate (well mine would probably be uncooperative without extra weight too - it just hates me), the body doesn't stand up well to pregnancy (well, I've known a lot of women who are overweight who have had perfectly healthy pregnancies).  Anyway, she said that BMI below 40 is a must and she wants it below 35.

  • I've lost 33 lbs and brought my BMI down nearly 5 pts since the beginning of May, so that's good... but I just walked away feeling like it just wasn't enough.  How about credit for what I've already done... doesn't that mean anything?  She said that I should keep doing what I"m doing, and keep working on losing while I'm on the cancer treatments.  To bring my BMI to the level she wants, I need to lose another 80 lbs!!  That's a lot.

  • She did a trans-vag ultrasound and Mr. Wand-erful saw my left ovary no problems.  It was perfectly healthy and had about 10 follicles on it.  She said that was great given that I"m on meds that should be suppressing the ovaries.  So they are in good shape if my hormones would cooperate.  She also said that she could easily see it to do retrieval so that was good.  She could not find the right ovary though.  She wanted to know if anyone had ever seen it.  I said that I'd never had a scan where they couldnt' find it.  She said sometimes it's a fluke and it hides a bit, so she wasn't too worried.  She said that if the left one was developing follicles, then the right probably was too and that she thought my numbers were good.

  • The good news is that she measured my lining and it's down to 15 mm.  I know that sounds bad and she said "oh, it's still quite thick"... but in November it measured 28 mm and in March, the ob/gyn estimated it to be around 35 mm, so 15 is great!  Hopefully it shrinks more by August.

So the end result was that we are looking at an appointment in September after the August biopsy results.  Hopefully the biopsy is clear and we can start some major planning at that time.  She couldnt' do any blood tests because I"m on these high dose progresterones and on CD 110.  I asked about doing Clomid and IUI for a couple of cycles first and she said if we wanted to we probably could rather than jumping right into IVF.  She even said that it's possible that if we could get the lining to cooperate, stimulating ovulation might be all we need.  Plus the cost of IUI is much much cheaper.

So, that's where we're at.  I felt like shit all day yesterday because I was feeling pissed about not losing enough weight, etc.

At least we're in to her now and the fall appointment should be easy to book - so that's a good thing.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first appointment with an RE.  It takes a lot to get into one of them in this province.  There are only about three in the province and in order to get in to one you have to be referred by another specialist.  In this province, an Ob/gyn is considered a specialist. Most people just go to their GPs for pregnancy and woman related issues.  For me, it was a double referral.  The ob/gyn  and the oncologist both referred me to the clinic saying that this recurrence of the hyperplasia was not normal and that I should be ovulating given all of my blood tests.  I should have waited until September/October to get in as there is a long waiting list, but thankfully there was a cancellation and I got it.  I'm choosing to believe that someone cancelled because they had a successful pregnancy, not for other, less happy, reasons.

So, tomorrow we're off to the RE.  Hubby is a bit nervous about giving his "sample".  It has to be better than when he had to give one for the ob/gyn's records and he was given a cup in the hospital and told to fill it.  Where you might ask?  Find a bathroom he was told.  So that was fun for him - people walking by, standing outside waiting, etc.  Hopefully this is a bit more discrete given that it's an actual fertility clinic... hopefully.  Although I'm not holding out hope.

So I'm worried that the RE will discover something new and inhibiting to the conception.  Like there isn't enough already!  I am worried about what they are going to say about my weight.  All I have to come back with is that I know I have to lose weight and that the grand total since May 10th is 33 lbs.  That's a good start - they have to be happy with that ... right?  I know it's not enough, but it's a start.  Another 40 lbs will put me within their BMI suggestions (I was told it was only a suggestion and they are willing to work with women over the BMI as long as everything else is healthy - and lord knows every other test I have shows I'm healthy).

I don't know what to expect at all from this appointment - I don't know what to expect from them regarding tests, etc.  My biggest fear at this point is that they do an ultrasound and my lining is still really messed up.  I've been on the drugs for six weeks and I'm hoping that it's starting to improve - although I"m not sure how it can when I haven't bled at all - not even a spot - so I would guess that the lining is still there.

No, wait, my biggest fear is that they will want to repeat the HSG since it was about a year ago.  I can't handle another one of those.  Worst. Pain. Ever.  Seriously!  I've never experienced pain so bad that I wanted to just die and I"ve broken an ankle and had a boil growing on my eardrum (yes, you read that right... good times, good times)... not to mention the 10 bouts of pneumonia that I've dealt with.  Nothing compares to the HSG.  I'm terrified they will want to repeat it.  This time I know what to expect and I'm not doing it without some serious drugs... It's not fair that women in the states are offered drugs for simple biopsies and we are told to take ibuprofen (I'm allergic by the way and aceteminophen does nothing for that area).

Who know what will happen.  Hubby has his appointment at 10:30 and mine is at 2:00.

My hope is that we can come up with a plan that will work for us and we can plan out what our TTC future looks like.  I know with the hyperplasia it's tough to come up with a plan.  I just need something to focus on. I'm one of the lucky ones who ovulated on 50 mg of Clomid with a 5000 trigger, so at least I don't have to stair step or take a stupid amount of drugs - or injectibles... at least not yet.  The one month that I was on Clomid I had a beautiful follicle on CD 11, triggered on 12, and ovulated on 13.  Perfect timing, but nothing caught.  The ob/gyn thought that it was likely because my lining was messed up - she compared it to the ceiling of a  cave - said that nothing could grab on there because it was too uneven.  *sigh*

I just need something to go right.  I hope the RE has good news for us... at least something to keep us hopeful, because right now, nothing much seems hopeful. :(

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Holy Freaking Week!!

So, it's June which means that school is winding down.  I purposely took Friday off of work - booked an EDO and everything - to work on report cards.  Sidenote... well more like a side rant...  Yes, I am a teacher and I have to take an earned day off in order to complete my report cards.  We don't work 9-3!  I don't have time to catch my breath during the day, nevermind doing marking and planning.  I work long hours to create great lessons and keep the kids interested and when report cards come around, I'm behind.  Every round of report cards I find it necessary to take a day off in order to get them complete.  But hey, keep telling yourself that your kids teacher has easy hours, long holidays (btw, I'll be back in the classroom at the beginning of August planning for a new year, so no, I don't have the whole summer off), and an easy job.

Sorry, after last year's contract crap that happened, I still feel attacked thanks to the government ads trashing us (using OUR tax money to do it too).  

Moving on.  

So I took Friday off to finish my report cards.  However, on Thursday, all my grade 7s were gone on a camping trip and I had them for three classes, so that meant three prep periods for me.  Guess what??  I got the report cards done.. which meant long weekend for me!  At the end of June!!  I spent my morning playing video games with the puppy sleeping on my feet, and my afternoon doing the same.  I needed the day off after the week I'd had.

On Tuesday I started getting sick and by Wednesday I had the head cold to kill all other head colds!  And then the worst happened!  Hubby got a phone call from HR about some backpay that they owed him... not a bad thing.  But he asked them about the position that he currently holds.  A bit of backstory on this.  He's been covering a medical leave for two years.  They repost the position every four months and each time he's gotten the job, no problem.  This time they repost it, and he applied as usual.  When he asked the guy if they had a decision on it, he was told they gave the position to someone else!  They didn't even interview him for the position that he's had for two years.  He has had flawless reviews in that time and the principal even tried to get HR to offer him the position as a permanent, and they didn't even bother interviewing him for it!  I'm so fucking mad!  He's furious!!  And we're screwed!

I don't know how we're going to pay bills come September.  He's got a hatred against the division, so I'm not even sure that he will be willing to sub in the division.  He wants to sub in the cities, but they are both a fairly long drive away - meaning that we'll lose $50 of his pay on gas each day he subs - but he doesn't care. He's letting his ego get in the way of it all.  I can understand being mad!  I really can.  It pisses me off that I will now have to drive to work all that way alone every day and spend all that gas money for me to drive as well.  It pisses me off that with everything else going on with us, now we have to deal with that too!

He did apply for a couple of other jobs yesterday and hopefully one of them pans out - but it will mean that he'll have to find a place to stay for the weekdays because it's too far to drive everyday - that's going to suck... a LOT!!  We did that while I interned and it wasn't good, but it's four years later and maybe we'll be better at it!  I don't know.  At least it would be a job.

What pisses me off the most is that I love MY job.  And I'm good at it.  And if he doesn't get something close by, then I will have to move eventually because we can't keep going with it with us living apart.  This all just sucks.

To top it off, my grandmother gave us a hefty cheque a couple of weeks ago and we were going to use it for adoption, but now we might have to use it to live.... and we can't go ahead with adoption while he's unemployed... we'd never get approved!  On top if it, I have an RE appointment on Tuesday and anything that they tell us will surely mean more money which we won't have either.

So to cap it off...

  • I'm sicker than a dog.
  • Hubby has no job
  • can't do adoption when he's unemployed
  • can't do fertility treatments when he's unemployed
  • still dealing with cancerous bullshit.

Yeah, it's a great time to be me.  FML!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day... again

Well here we are... another Father's Day.  This is the fourth one since we started trying.  Granted the first one we were in our second month of trying and figured (like most couples) that by the next one we'd have a baby.  The second one, we'd been trying over a year and I was pretty upset and worried.  Hubby was still ok - figuring (in his rose-coloured glasses way) that it was going to happen soon.  Last year was horrible for me.  I cried a good part of the day. I  felt horrible about the fact that I was the reason that my husband wasn't a father yet... that if he had married someone else, he'd be a father, possibly twice by now.  He was a bit upset, but still not doing to bad.

This year is different.  I still have that guilt, but it's not so horribly debilitating.  I asked hubby how he's doing and he said that he's fine.  How is that possible.  On Mother's Day I wanted to curl up and die!  I asked him how he does it.  He said that if we were still stuck in limbo he'd probably be upset, but we're not.  He sees us moving forward with a plan that will get us a child.

His theory is this....  We've started the international adoption process.  The process to adopt from United States is quite short, so there is a good possibility that by this time next year we are just waiting for the baby to be born, or have already brought our baby home.  Our friends were told it was (due to a short waiting list right now) probably less than six months for a match.  The other thing that hubby said was that he's still really optimistic about the appointment with the RE next week.  He said that he figures that if we make it clear that I don't want to keep my uterus, I just want one child from it, that the RE might be willing to push ahead with fertility treatments as soon as I have a clear biopsy... which hopefully will be in August.

I love that he's able to be optimistic.  I want to be optimistic, but I'm pretty guarded about the whole thing.  I worry about letting my hopes be crushed again.  I'm trying to realistic, but I don't want to push hope away completely.  It's a fine balance.

As usual, I logged onto FB this morning and felt horrible... all these Father's Day messages.... and my email had a message from my sister-in-law about what they did for my brother - yes the same brother who is a complete asshole.  We stopped at my parents' place today and my mother had to tell me all about the morning my brother had.  Way to rub salt in the wounds.  I know that Father's Day will never be for me, but I still feel horrible about depriving my husband of the day, and of being a father in general.

The last straw was the picture that my cousin's kid posted on FB... his girlfriend had their baby this morning. So, yes, the generation below me has started having kids.  He's not the first in the generation to have a kid, but he is the first to have one since we've been trying.  It made me angry - they weren't even trying... the baby was an "accident".  Meanwhile, we keep trudging along trying to make one ourselves and without any luck.

I really hope that next year I don't have to write a similar post - last year I know that I said the same thing, and I'm no further along this year.... where did the year go. :(

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Our new fur baby.... Loki

We picked him up from the humane society in a city about three hours away - it was quite the trip.  We went and picked him up yesterday.  After all the lack of communication with the other rescue organization, and the fact that the fee was so huge, we decided to look around for other options.  We went on petfinder and this little guy jumped out at us. He was abandoned at the gates of the humane society on May 26th.  He was incredibly malnourished, very skinny, and most of his hair was falling out.  They tried to nurse him back to health, and he's coming along nicely.  You can't see it in the picture, but his coat is really thin.  Some of it is still falling out, and some of it is bald - there isn't anything for an undercoat there right now.    He's been to the vet a few times and there is nothing wrong with his skin - no bacteria, virus, infection, etc.  Just the malnutrition.  The vet suggested getting the best food that we could afford.  I went to a pet speciality store and asked their opinion.  These guys really know their stuff.  They suggested the Blue Buff.alo Fish blend. Because it is full of all sorts of fish oils and omega-3s it is supposed to be really good for his coat and skin.  He likes it so far.

I might be biased, but he's pretty smart too.  We picked him up yesterday at 2 and he could walk on a leash, but didn't know any commands.  By this morning, he was consistently sitting on command.  By this evening, he nearly had the lay down command figured out.  He gets it sometimes. When someone walks into the room, he raises a paw and does a waving motion - it's very cute.

He's only had one accident - in my grandmother's apartment... we had only had him about an hour and didn't know his cues, so he left a pile on her floor.  She wasn't upset... said "that's what puppies do".

Our cats have differing opinions on him.  You can see the younger cat in the back of the picture laying in Loki's crate.  He wants to play, but isn't sure about it yet.  He's been spending his time laying next to wherever the puppy is... just not sure about the playing yet.  The older cat however has hidden and isn't coming out any time soon apparently.  She went into the basement and hasn't been seen since.  She'll get over it.  She did the same thing when we brought the younger cat home.

Anyway, we're having fun with him.  We've been wanting a puppy for a long time, and finally decided to just do it.  It was a quick decision, but I think that it was a good one!  Besides, he's super cute!!!

The Dreams

I've been having dreams... dreams about my future baby.

The dreams started shortly before we made the decision to adopt from Florida.  They are really vivid too.

In the dreams I see my baby... I see the baby's face.  I see his hands... yes, did I mention that it is very clear to me that the baby is boy, although I have seen nothing in my dreams to indicate that, it's just something that I know in my dreams.

The baby is also African American.  This, of course, does not bother me.  It worries me a bit because where we live has an disproportional number of bigots.  Am I ready for the challenge... absolutely.  Race has never been an issue for me.  I've never seen it as a barrier for anything and it has never made me uncomfortable.

I remember one New Year's Eve when I was about 22.  My best friend's mother used to invite her children's friends over for a huge feast.  My best friend was East Indian and her mother made the BEST food ever!!  Most of her brother's friends were from places like China, Africa, and India... all students studying in our province, but not able to go home for the holidays.  So my friend's mother would make the feast and invite everyone over to have a holiday time together.  It was awesome and it was nice to see everyone enjoying themselves... and did I mention that the food was awesome?

Anyway, this particular night, we sat for about three hours after supper just joking and having a good time.  Then, I looked around and it hit me... I realised that I was the only white person in the house!  I had not even realised it because I was simply enjoying the company so much.  Did I feel uncomfortable at that point... no.  It was a strange feeling of "wow, this is so bizarre".  As a white person in North America, that is not something that happens to us.  We are raised to know that anywhere we look we're going to see someone who looks "like us".  The comfort is inherent.  At that particular moment I had a very brief glimpse into what life would be like for someone of a different skin colour.  I don't claim to know how it feels to be a minority - I can never know that.  I have been raised with the white privilege that all white people have... it's not something that makes us bad, and we can't control it, but we need to be aware of it.

So what does this all mean for my future son.  It means, I think, that at least I have an awareness.  My child is not going to be able to look around and see someone who looks like him.  He is not going to be able to look around his own home and see someone who looks like him.  He is not going to have strong black men in his personal life as role models.  I have read where certain people claim that if you are adopting a black child, you should make friends with black couples.  That seems disingenuous to me.  Would I be friends with a black couple, of course.  But something about walking up and saying "hey, I'm adopting a black child, be my friend?  just seems wrong.

What I do know is this...  My son will be loved more than he could ever be loved by anyone else.  He will be raised to be a good person, a strong man, and man who loves animals and knows how to treat women properly.  He will be raised to understand and respect the views of all people in all races.  He will be raised to understand (unfortunately) that racism exists and that it is small-minded, unintelligent people who think that way... that he can't change how they think, but can only be the best person he can be and show them that they are wrong.  He is going to be raised to be proud of his race and not be ashamed that he looks different from his friends and family.  He is going to be raised to recognize his talents and abilities and develop those.  He is going to be raised to understand that people (including him) make mistakes and that it is ok to try and fail, as long as you put in your best effort.  He is going to know that he can be anything he wants to be, and that no matter what he does, his father and I will love him unconditionally.

So, no, I can't offer my future son a strong black male role model, but I'm confident that I can offer him a great start and the male role models that he will have (my husband, father, and father-in-law) will teach him what it means to be a man... regardless of race.

Oh and did I mention, in my dreams he is the most adorable baby you've ever seen?  But that goes without saying... right?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Puppy Update

So, still haven't heard from the rescue organization.  Two days ago I sent an email playing stupid, claiming that I wanted to know if they got it.  I thought that was the perfect way to get them to tell us whether we were approved or not.  The response I got was "We got it, thanks".  That's it.  I haven't heard anything since.  I started to look closer at their website and realised that the cost of the puppy ($200) does not include spay/neuter and that that comes out of your own pocket.  I emailed our vet and asked how much it would cost and they got back to me with a total of $275.  So, let's do the addition... that's about $475... for a mutt.  I'm sorry but I could nearly buy a purebreed for that... what is the incentive for getting a rescue dog?  Apparently from these guys... nothing!

So based on their lack of communication, the fact that the puppies are available in a week and nobody has contacted me, and their outrageous pricing... we started to look around.

We found a 3 month old black lab from a shelter in one city, and a brown 9 week old husky at another.  We really like the husky and are leaning toward it.  I have a feeling that we're going to end up with a second dog at some point... and maybe then we'll find a lab X which we both kinda want... but 3 months seems a bit old, we really want a really young pup, and we both think the husky is adorable.

So, I emailed the shelter about the husky - hopefully they will respond quickly, it is a reputable shelter, so I'm sure they will.  By the time I got home, I was too late to call them... but if I haven't heard by tomorrow at lunch I'm going to call.

We are willing to drive the three hours to pick him up this weekend if he's ready to go... so who knows, maybe we'll have a pup by Saturday afternoon!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Waiting Sucks

So I told hubby yesterday that I don't know how I'm going to survive the adoption process for a child.  We put in our adoption form for a puppy on Saturday and sent in photos of our house on Sunday.  As of last night I'd heard nothing back.  From a group who wants to get rid of their puppies fast, they don't move very fast.  I know it's only been a couple of days, but I've dealt with rescue organizations before and it's been a pretty quick approval.  We decided on the little yellow lab cross that I showed you in my last post.   She's going to be 8 weeks old on the 15th, so we want to pick her up on the 16th.  We're both really excited and have been cleaning, organizing, and planning for her to show up.

Last night I sent an email to the organization asking if they got my emails - I played stupid... acting like I couldn't tell if the emails went through because they were so big.  I got a quick email back last night saying "yes, we got it".  That's it.  No comment on what the status was, no idea given as to whether we're getting the dog.  I don't know how long to wait.  It just makes me worry that we're not going to get her.

Seriously, how am I going to survive a child adoption!  eek.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A New Way of Thinking?

So I saw the therapist the other night.  Part of me liked her and part of me was thinking "what the hell are you on?"  She was acting for part of it like I should just give up my life to a higher power and should just be positive about it all.  Yeah, right, I'm not naturally positive, so that's not going to happen.  I eventually said that my husband is the eternal optimist, but I"m not.  She was quick to say that she didn't want me to think that she meant that I had to be PollyAnna, just that if I was going to get through this, to be willing to challenge the thoughts and patterns in my head.  She said it was fine to cry and scream and get mad, but if I put all my energy into being mad and sad, etc, then I'm not putting any energy into fixing the problem.  I need to focus the majority of energy into "finding my baby".  She said that my baby is out there somewhere and I have to actively look for it.

I went home to tell my husband about this and he, of course, took to it right away.  The next time we were out and there were babies everywhere I mentioned it to him.  His response... "well, they just found their babies earlier than we did, we'll find ours".  I'm still struggling with the idea and the whole process is going to be hard to transform my brain and thinking in that way.  She says that anger, fear, and sorrow are primitive brain functions and we need to override them with higher brain functions... so thought and challenge.

I'm trying, I really am.

We made a final decision on the adoption.  We are putting in the domestic application - which I remind you could take up to 13 years for a newborn.  We're going to put it in and see how it plays out.  Next week I'm contacting the Ministry of Social Services to get started on international adoption.  We have to first get approved by the ministry, and then can start up with an agency in another country.  It shouldn't take long to get approved here - the homestudy process will take about 3 months when you're paying for it, then you do up your dossier and then go live with the agency.  We're looking at adoption from Florida.  We have a friend who just adopted from there, and another friend who has just had his profile go live... both using the same agency, so that's the one we decided to go through.  The great thing about a Florida adoption is that it is still international but it's doable in terms of travel, accomodations, etc.  The cost is still 25,000-40,000, but you get to leave the hospital with your newborn baby and only have to stay in the state for a week after you take guardianship.   All of those seemed like big pros to us.  The other big thing was that after your profile goes live (about 4-6 months from the start of the process), it is from 6-18 months until you're matched.  They said it's really rare for people to stay on the list for more than 18 months... particularly white, married couples, with good income and their own homes.  The agency said that the majority of their mothers average in age around 25 years old and most want a home in a spacious area (hello, rural Saskatchewan) and a couple who can provide for the child... and anyone with a combined income over $30,000 is considered wealthy by their standards... we well surpass that.

So that gives me hope.  The idea that within two years we could have our baby in our arms... it seems unreal, but I really hope it's true.

In the meantime....

We're going to add another fur-baby to our brood.  This time, it's a dog!

We went today to look at some puppies, but we would have had to take them today and we're not set up for a dog right now... we were hoping to wait until closer to the end of the month.  There is another litter of pups available on the 15th of June, so we're looking at those ones.

Here are the pics of the dogs that we're considering... what do you think?? All three are from the same litter and all three are female...