Saturday, March 27, 2010


OK, this is IT. The last of the "answers" posts. I'm supposed to be studying (when am I not?) but instead I wanted to get these answers out there because they're hanging over my head (I'm a nerd like that). And then I will get back to my regularly scheduled blogging activities. NOT that I haven't enjoyed this--I have, immensely--I just tend to get so wordy with my answers that these posts are marathon ones.

But first--the last post I wrote about my beef with the term "blessed." It's because of this Webster definition:

divinely or supremely favored;

It's that 'favored' part that gets me. So that's probably why I don't like the term, but I understand others' comments about their beliefs/use of the term. Just a difference of opinions, no big whoop.

QUESTION 1: I accidentally skipped Melissa's question about writing a book. Yes, I do want to write a book. I enjoy writing. I always wanted to be a writer first...when I was little. Incredibly, my parents always pushed and encouraged me regarding creative writing (I mean, what parents dream their children will be in a field fraught with rejection?) Somehow I wound up in healthcare, which I also enjoy. But I do hope to one day get it all out there, maybe juxtaposing my IF journey with my previous life as a teacher of teenage mothers (because there are stories there that just couldn't be made up). So ummmm, yeah. When I finish prepping for the boards my next thing is to start writing. And keep on doing it until I get somewhere.

QUESTION 2: Meg asks about using a gestational carrier. Well, as I mentioned in the last post, I was never super concerned about my uterus until the last couple of cycles, when I started wondering why everyone who ever looked at it made a comment about it's 'fluffy' appearance (don't you love the medical terms?). Fluffy sounds so nice and hospitable, but alas, not so much. At any rate, I think my eggs are the bigger problem and so no, we never really thought much beyond just trying to make some nice looking embryos. And we all know how that story went.

And Meg--yes, I want to know when we will meet too!

Rebecca, a fellow baker, wants to know what is the best thing I've ever baked. I'd have to say homemade bread. I love it, I could eat an entire loaf in one sitting, and the smell of homemade bread baking is just divine. The recipe I use has a starter, that you feed, and then you make the dough, let it rise, punch it down, let it rise again--all in all a 2-3 day process. But it is so worth it. I'll have to post the recipe another day, it's long and wordy.

Comes from the lovely Ellie, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person just by chance (so lucky!). I think I answered the book question above, as far as my own book.

She also asks what books I love: far too many to list here. I love to read and a good book is a pleasure that is hard to beat. I definitely love memoirs, probably the best. There is something about knowing what you're reading is true, and that the author persevered to get to a place to write about it and have their story just resonates with me.

Ellie also asks why did I never drink alcohol? It's true. I'm a non-drinker and have been all my life. I think I've finished 2-3 alcoholic drinks TOTAL in my entire life. Initially it was a control thing--everyone I saw that drank was out of control (teenage years) and there was Then when I tasted it I didn't like tongue gets numb... My parents never drank either, so maybe growing in a family that didn't drink made it more 'normal' for me not to either? Mr. LC doesn't drink any alcohol at all anymore either so I guess we're oddballs together.

Ellie's last question: do you feel betrayed when women who have been in the IF trenches and then find success blog like they've never been there at all? Well, yes and no. Usually, if someone crossed over and becomes a standard "Mommy blogger" I'm not going to keep reading. So I guess I just no longer pay attention as much. I'm sure it's impossible not to want to just gush and gush about your new life on the other side, but aside from knowing that you made it there (and probably digging into details of HOW) I probably won't check in quite as often anymore.

Claudia: Email me and I'll tell you how to get the mister's CD. It's available nationwide, at a major online retailer, but since I'm still trying to keep this sort of anonymous I won't get more detailed than that.

Anonymous asks about my lipid/medical expertise and how that plays into this--specifically, inflammatory markers. OK guys--I have a confession. I haven't had my own labs done in years. Well, aside from all the ridiculous ones required by CCRM, and a very thorough adrenal work up that I ordered on myself (perk) I have elected not to know my current lipid/inflammatory marker status. Clearly I don't think that's my issue. I know I have high cholesterol (thanks Mom and Dad!)--it's been crazy high in the past. Since I couldn't treat it with meds due to TTC I just worked on diet (vegetarian) and exercise and try to stay as healthy as possible. I know. I need to get some labwork done. Clinicians make the worst patients.

Anonymous 2 asks
Does it bother you when people who have adopted tell you they couldn't love the child more if it was biologically related to them?
I don't think it really bothers me. I have bristled for years at the suggestion of adoption because you really have to be in the right frame of mind and process a lot of grief related to IF before those suggestions don't bother you. I guess I'm glad to hear someone say they love their child, but I wish there wasn't a comparison ever.

2. Do you and your DH ever consider living child free?
All.the.time. Because, aside from IF, our lives are pretty good. We have jobs we both enjoy, we have hobbies we both enjoy, we have volunteer experiences that we both enjoy, we love the city in which we live, we love our lifestyle. We are very lucky in all of these areas. But at the end of the day, we always fast forward 10-15 years and can't really imagine ourselves without children.

3. What are your next steps re: getting a child? I don't think you've said yet on here.
I haven't said on here yet because I'm just not there yet.

SmittenKitten asks ideally how many kids we'd have, if we had a choice.
Two most definitely. I had one sibling, Mr. LC had one sibling, two kids just seems natural and right for us. As far as thinking about the second before having the first...not really...except when we were really naive with our first IVF and thought if we had some frozens (which of course we knew we'd get!) then wham, bam, there would be our siblings and we'd never have to do IVF again. Are you laughing? It's ok, go ahead and laugh.

Penny..I put my sad meal plan up on last post. This week we're having homemade empanadas, those naan pizzas again, polenta with black beans, spaghetti squash with fresh tomatoes and homemade bread, and a vegetable plate: sweet potatoes, broccoli, and green beans. Yes, I have already planned the week. We went grocery shopping today, so what can I say?

Rambler asks a few:
1. Would you be willing to share any more cool videos with us? Yes indeedio. Stay tuned.
2. If you could have any career in the world, regardless of degree or salary, what would it be? Some type of performer--most likely a dancer on Broadway.
3. What made you finally go to CCRM? I think I've answered this--but in a word, desperation.
4. Do you have anyone else in either family that has had to deal with IF at this level? Do you have anyone you can share with IRL, besides DH? No one in my family has IF. My sister had two easy conceptions/pregnancies. All my cousins (and there are a LOT of them) had easy conceptions--one was 41 when she conceived her daughter and I have one cousin with a chronic, fatal illness who was told NOT to get pregnant and yup--two children (who both have a milder form of the same disease, but that's a whole other post). I do have some good friends who I share with, but I have definitely shared the most right here on the web.
5. If you could join any reality TV show, would you? And which one? No thanks.

Brenda asks when we will meet.
You see, folks, Brenda is my IF twin. We really are two IF peas in a pod. And I would love to meet her. So as soon as we can, we need to make it happen.

Tishi asks about our next steps and where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don't have any firm answers for next steps, but in five years I definitely see myself as a mother. Some way, some how, it will happen.


I am exhausted.

Thank you for all your lovely questions and also for hanging in as I blabbed on and on about me, so selfishly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More answers? I know...I know.

OK so these answer posts end up being a lot of words...but I must answer all questions. I must.

So here goes part III.

QUESTION 1:Anon. asks how I feel about readers who have children who haven't experienced infertility.

I love having readers of any type. I read Mommy blogs, regular blogs, weight loss blogs, adoption blogs, etc. etc. I think we can all learn from each other. And I'm really sorry for your loss--it's traumatic and significant, regardless of whether or not you already had children or were planning on having more. To have a choice taken away from you, that's what truly hurts.

Libby--thank you for saying that IF hasn't sucked all the life out of me. One thing I know for sure: I am not the same woman I was five-plus years ago. There is no way to go through this and not be. But I try very hard to continue to live life--in the end, what choice do we have? And honestly, I just want to be a good person and feel good about the life I have lived. Many days I'm bitter and mired in the muck of IF and I don't like that person. I don't apologize for it, but it doesn't sit well with me. It's not who I want to be so I have to find ways to dig out from under the weight of it all.

Now on to your questions. I think I answered the CCRM one in the first post. I don't have unexplained--I have endometriosis stage IV, less than stellar egg quality, uterine lining issues, and we have male factor as well. It's like we hit the IF lotto!

Yes, I'm always tempted to fund one more IVF. Then, as I mentioned before, I think about the emotional trauma of an IVF cycle and I'm not sure my heart and soul could do it again. Yes, it's tempting to think that the sixth one might be THE one. Then I laugh out loud thinking about a sixth cycle. I guess if tomorrow I found one million dollars I'd do a cycle. But every day I check my mailbox for that one million dollar check and every day it's just bills and junk mail. Damn.

No one has ever asked me why we waited. I guess that's one of the insensitive comments I haven't received. But there's always some clueless person out there just waiting to pounce with a stupid comment, so I'm sure I'll get it eventually.

And I do love to bake and I do love to eat. I also like (not love) to exercise. Maybe that's kept my weight gain somewhat in control, but I know exactly what I need to do to lose those eight pounds.

R asks if I could do my whole infertility journey over, what would I do and why?

One thing I would do is pay more attention to my uterine lining. In reading over my medical records (a fascinating read!) my local RE's partner made a notation of my abnormally thick uterine lining when he did an IUI for us. He wrote, in black and white, to get it checked out. I don't recall being told that, I only recall the comment on the thick lining. Nevertheless I mentioned the thick lining time and time again but was mostly met with "yay! it's thick!" It was only on the fifth IVF that I insisted that the CCRM doctor actually look at my films and she sat up and took notice. We decided on a frozen transfer to get stims out of my system (high E2 stimulates uterine hyperplasia) and also to do the biopsies to disrupt the lining a little. That was our only cycle with any implantation at all. I always wonder if some of those earlier on-target embryos were transferred into a bad lining. So I would have insisted on that from the beginning.

I also would have gone to IVF sooner. We wasted time and money on IUIs. Mostly we wasted emotional reserve..I thought for sure they'd work. Joke was on me!

I'd also be easier on myself during those cycles. When I look back on the totality of our journey I'm overwhelmed. I'm not trying to be a 'poor me' here but seriously? Five IVFs? Two out of state IVFs? Biopsies? Surgeries? Sitting around looking at finances trying to find money to fund it all? All the emotional crap? It's a lot on anyone. I thought I had to be so strong (except after the BFNs, when I fell apart on Mr. LC). Why did I have to be strong? Why couldn't I cry with my friends? Why couldn't I invite my girlfriends over to sit with me and hold my hand and eat chocolate? Why did I have to go through so much alone?

SillyHille asks about my faith and how it has affected IF or vice versa.

This is a complicated question but maybe it has a simple answer. Simply put, I basically still have the same faith I had before. My faith in science is shaken, but not God. Sure, I've been angry, I've raised my fist in the air and asked "why us?" but I have also listened to the very wise words of my very dear friend Gail. After the horrible, devastating loss of her twin girls she told me she had to 'renegotiate' her relationship with God in order to keep loving him (forgive me Gail if I'm mis-paraphrasing here). I agree. I don't think God is controlling the cells of my embryos or the lining of my uterus. I don't think God is intentionally putting me through this pain, intentionally choosing for Mr. LC and I NOT to be parents. Because if I think that's the case, then I would have to believe the converse: that God is choosing for that Dad to be a father, you know the one who microwaved his tiny baby to death. Or choosing for that couple to be parents--you know the ones who beat their child to death and then put her in a box and set her out to sea in Galveston.

That doesn't make any sense to me.

I think science and biology are what dictated my inability to have a child, nothing more and nothing less.

While I strongly dislike the pat answer that everything happens for a reason, I think that each of us have challenges to face and that it is up to us to use those as learning opportunities, to find the reason. I am learning to rethink my ideas of family, and to rethink my purpose here on this earth. It is clearly not to pass on DNA. It is clearly not to be fruitful and multiply in the traditional sense. But I do believe I have purpose.

And since I'm talking about faith here and God-ly stuff can I just add that still, to this day, one of the word choices that makes me bristle all over is the term "I'm so blessed with children" or "my children are a blessing from God." Okaaaaaay, so that must mean I'm cursed because I can't have children? It just irks me. I have said it before but the term I prefer to hear is "lucky." As in "I am so lucky to have my children." Because that makes the converse true (I'm all about the opposites folks!)--Mr and Mrs. LC are unlucky in that they can't have biological children. I would never say to my single friend who longs for a life partner "I am so blessed to have Mr. LC!" because that implies favor from God (in my mind, but maybe someone can correct me on this?). I will say "I am lucky to have Mr. LC." Because God, I am.

A haiku that sums up my entire life? Not gonna do it.

Quinoa? I got nothin'. I wish I did. I do like to say it, now that I finally know how to pronounce it.

OK, I swore this would be the last answers post but alas I'm still not finished. And this is too long already....

I'll leave you, instead, with a pic of some freshly baked jalapeno cheddar bread. Oh man. Yet another reason why I need to lose 8 pounds. EDITED TO ADD: I'm a bread by hand from scratch kind of girl. I did have a bread maker a long time ago but I really enjoy making it all the way from scratch.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Answers...Part II

Doesn't the post title sound ominous? Or else so final? Ha. I wish I had the real 'answers.'

So I skipped Transplant's question about donor eggs when I went out of order, so that's where I'll start today.
Question #1: Why not donor eggs?

Ahhh, so tricky to answer this. DEs is something we certainly considered. Mr. LC didn't have a problem with donor gametes of either kind, as donor sperm has been suggested as well as donor eggs. I could never get my mind around it. I think it's a great choice for a lot of people, and obviously--this being my blog--these are just my opinions on this, silly as they may be, uninformed as they may be, etc. etc.

Some of it boils down to some very simple (and again, probably somewhat misguided) thoughts about: if we can't both be related to the child, then neither of us will be. I have this idea about the future and people making comments about a child of donor origin resembling one of us--and me cringing because I know they're wrong. I know that sounds shallow. And I know you get used to those comments, and learn how to deal with them, etc. But this is probably why the adoption we're most open to is international--I have this idea that if it's just 'out there' from the beginning it will be easier. Easier on who? I guess me. But this is a very complicated and emotional process, the whole giving up a genetic connection. I could never imagine the talks I would have with a child conceived from donor gametes, so I probably explored the idea only very superficially, got scared, and then moved on from those ideas.

And the other big 'if' with donor--it doesn't always work. Initially I was lured in by the seemingly magic cure-all of donor eggs. But I have seen too many failures--sometimes multiple--with donor eggs to know that it is not a magic bullet. Honestly I just couldn't put myself out there for that possibility of failure, not to mention the massive expense.

QUESTION #2:'re too funny. I recently started using Finesse shampoo. I don't know why, it was probably on sale.
Chocolate or vanilla? Most definitely chocolate. I'm not opposed to vanilla, but usually only if it has chocolate incorporated in it too.
What song makes me cry? Many songs make me cry. Too many songs make me cry. The other day at work someone was listening to the radio and "Unforgettable" with Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole came on and I immediately teared up because that was the song we danced to at our wedding. Old school gospel songs being sung with my Dad...really old church hymns where I can totally 'hear' my Mamaw's off-key tenor voice singing along... Mr. LC's song "Chalice" (not a kids song) when the lyrics say: "Bare feet burn, and empty bellies churn. It's hand to mouth, not enough to go 'round." I don't think there's enough room in this post to list all the songs that make me cry.

What do I want to be when I grow up? Still growing up I guess, so who knows!

Mrs. Hope asks for a meal plan for a week.
I'll just give you last week's for simplicity sake:
Monday: 'fake chicken' enchilada casserole, black beans, and Basmati rice with avocado slices on the side. Don't knock the fake chicken products until you try them.
Tuesday: egg white omelets with red and green bell peppers, red onions, organic cheese, salsa, avocado slices (must have been on sale!), with soy sausage on the side (again, don't knock it until you try it). We love breakfast for dinner.
Wednesday: little individual pizzas made on garlic naan, with red peppers, green peppers, pesto, red onions, fresh tomatoes and a small amount of organic cheese.
Thursday: leftovers from Monday
Friday: sweet potatoes with black beans, salsa, and MORE avocado slices.

Honestly, that was a pretty basic week. We eat a lot of black beans, a lot of bell peppers, and not enough other vegetables. We also make a lot of paninis, polenta, vegetarian chili and soups, veggie burgers, edamamme salad, spaghetti squash spaghetti (delish!), butternut squash enchiladas (delish!)...

Jezzafuji, so many thoughtful questions. Here goes...

Overall, I'd say my Mom is holding up fairly well given all she's been through. She buried her father two weeks before my Dad--her husband of 43 years--had his massive stroke. She is adjusting to her new life and sometimes I get so caught up in my Dad's health I forget about my Mom's. I need to work on that.

As far as our treatments--she knew about them all except our last chance IVF. I did that cycle two months after my Dad's stroke and kept it a secret. Some days I am not sure how I managed that... My mom's heart broke in ways that I obviously cannot imagine every time our hearts broke through infertility. I had not even told her we were TTC for the whole first year, the theory being that it would be such a great surprise when we finally got to tell her good news. When I decided to have a laparoscopy I felt it was only fair to let her in. I will never forget her response when I told her we'd been trying and failing for over a year: "But all those months I could have been consoling you!" She cried a lot of tears.

I was strangely disconnected from her during our actual IVF was too hard for me to hear about her pain when I was in so much myself. I'm glad I kept the last cycle a secret--if she had heard the joy in my voice the morning I had the positive HPT and then had it ripped away the next day she might have well suffered a stroke herself. But then there were days when I felt like I was literally coming apart myself trying to deal with our lastchance failure plus my Dad's stroke and all I really wanted was my mother, but I couldn't share everything nor make emotional demands on someone who was emotionally drained. It's so hard trying to balance it all. That's when I leaned so heavily on you guys, and you didn't let me down.

How does DH cope with the failures? The first IVF failure blew him apart in ways he never could have anticipated--we're talking a serious crisis of many things--faith in God, faith in science, etc. After that, he says he just never had any more expectations. Sure, he got somewhat excited about future cycles but never expected anything. Sad, isn't it?

He does not blog.

I think he's grateful I share things online because it encourages me to write and it has afforded me support that has been invaluable.

As far as having friends of his own for support--not really, not of the male variety. Our mutual female friends have said they're sorry, and he's been included in cards expressing such sentiment, but no one has ever put their hand on his shoulder and told them they're sorry for all he's been through. His own brother went through IVF (once, flawless cycle ending with success) and has yet to even say two words to him about our struggles (however, they're not really close). He chalks it up to males being males--ie not really sharing things of this sort, but I know he's felt isolated and alone. I'm sure he would have welcomed a mention, an acknowledgment of the suckitude--even a hug--at any time through this.

I think I put myself through this for the both of us. Never just for him, and maybe more for me. Although he was always supportive of cycling, he probably would have stopped two cycles back if he hadn't still seen his wife still in a place of quiet desperation and needing to continue to try treatments.

Favorite memory of my Dad that still makes me cry: My wedding day. I was standing at the back of the church and suddenly, it was just my Dad and I. All my bridesmaids had gone down the aisle before us, my Mom was already seated. There was no one left, just Dad and I, in the narthex of my childhood church. Time seemed to be standing still. I was literally shaking with nerves--my enormous bouquet (again, it was 1994 people) was quivering. My Dad grabbed on to my hand and squeezed it. He said "If you don't want to do this, you don't have to, even right now--it's not too late." Now--before you think that sounds strange, it wasn't. My Dad loved Mr. LC. He had no doubt Mr. LC loved me. But my Dad was just making sure, and making sure I knew that even though we were there, the money had all been spent, the church was full of people literally on their feet waiting for my arrival, that if I wasn't sure I didn't have to do it. He just wanted me to be happy. Obviously, we know how it turned out. I made my way down that aisle, to Mr. LC nearly sixteen years ago and said "I do."

The other day I called home and my Mom put my Dad on the phone. He immediately said "Hi Pumpkin!" in his regular Dad voice. It caught me so off-guard (he has been slipping so much lately and not really talking or sounding like himself) that I had to control my tears to be able to talk. Oh to be called Pumpkin by your Dad when you're a 35 year old woman....

Signing off now. Thanks for hanging in.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The answers....part I

Wow--thanks for all your thoughtful questions and some funny ones, too. At first I thought I'd just make my next post all the answers but I think it would get too wordy and then you'd fall asleep reading and so I'll just take them one by one, in the order in which they were received, and see how far I get.

And um, yeah, I'm supposed to be studying right now. And seeing patients. So in between the two, I'm answering you.

Dawn: How I got to CCRM? I'm assuming you don't literally mean how--but just in case, we flew and stayed in a hotel for a long two weeks :) As far as what you really mean...there's a small backstory. When we first started down the road of IVF, we naturally and stupidly and blissfully amateurishly thought it would be the answer to our problems. After the first failure, I remember my mother telling me about a friend of a friend who saw our local RE and after five failures, he sent them to CCRM and it worked! At the time I nearly fell apart thinking "Who in hell does five IVFs and still puts themselves through more?" Ha ha. I also thought: how could one clinic do something that much better than another? So we had heard of the infamous CCRM early on.

After our third failure with the local guy I will never forget sitting in his office, for the big WTF appointment. My body was so tense, I knew he was going to say it was over for us. I was 33 years old. He basically gave us crappy break-up line in reverse: "it's not us it's YOU." We asked about a second opinion and he said we were welcome to it. He didn't specifically recommend CCRM but we mentioned it and he said they were certainly good. I cried the whole way home.

After much discussion and review of our finances we reverted to blissful fools again and thought CCRM would be the answer to our problems. It didn't hurt that they gave us good odds on our phone consult and seemed confident they could help us. I started following threads on a support site that was just for CCRM and lo and behold, it sure seemed like everyone who went there wound up successful.

It is almost impossible to answer the second part of your CCRM question: knowing what we know now would we go back? Obviously no, because we sunk 40K into two more futile attempts. However, it's not even that simple, because I watched women all around me with similar histories go there and succeed. So who the heck knows. I do know this: they're not miracle workers. They're good, but you have to stay on top of them--I advocated more for myself there than locally (but some of that was just sheer desperation and reaching the end of my rope and needing to feel like I was controlling something--anything). They're very busy and they have increased their number of cycles without increasing their number of REs so I think there can be things that fall through the cracks. But they do help lots of people, there's no disputing that.

Just not us.

And no, I've never read "Sweet Grapes." I'm so behind on all reading right now, but I'll add it to my list.

StrongWoman asks about CCRM (answered above) and also how I cope with other IVF bloggers' successes.

Hmmmmm, very delicately. I will not lie and say that it's easy. I usually cry. Sometimes many times. I think "why them and not me" every single time. They've been through a lot, I've been through a lot. If it was about deserving most of the women I've met in the blogworld would have succeeded long ago. I guess I just want to keep showing support through their happy times because they've shown support for me through my crappy times. I think the one of the things that annoys me the most in the blogworld is when successful folks just fade away and stop blogging or stop supporting. I get it that you might not know what to say to those of still stuck in the trenches but to be forgotten...that sucks worse than anything.

Me asks if we had an infinite amount of money would we keep going until it worked.

Oh boy.

This one is so complicated so I'm just going to speak from the heart.

Initially I always said I that if money were no object I would just do IVF until it worked, no ifs ands or buts. That I could handle the physical and the emotional stuff, just give me the monetary resources to go go go.

Some days I still think I could.

But then I think about all those phone calls. You know the ones. The ones where your world comes crashing around you when you hear about the crappy fertilization report, or the poorly developing embryos. No one really gets what IVF is unless they've done it, and multiple times. I tried to capture it in my video but even there, we chose to portray the mostly lighthearted and silly parts. But remember that BFN phone call we captured on video?

That was us--the mister and I-- getting our hearts shattered once again, in live action full color.

We turned the camera off before the true sobbing began, before I became comatose on the couch and felt like I was dying.

Throughout IVF there are so many opportunities to have your heart shatter.

So I don't know if I have the emotional reserve to keep doing that to myself. It hurts. It hurts so much sometimes, when I think back on the totality of the failures and the number of those phone calls I've been subjected to, I am surprised I kept going back for more.

Not to mention I am scared of the long-term effects of all the artificial hormones despite what the studies say. I work in medicine, I read studies, I know how one year one study says something positive and the next year the data is conflicting. I know women who did 5 IVFs and are getting prophylactic hysterectomies and oopherectomies so they don't have the cancer fear looming.

And the money. Even if I had unlimited funds, I have to say there has been a lot of guilt suffered in our household over the money spent on this extremely selfish pursuit. *I am calling myself selfish here, I am not judging anyone else*. Why did we need to see our own DNA passed on so desperately that we could spend so much money? I don't know and it makes me uncomfortable with myself to this very day. Maybe that's why I try to volunteer a lot, to give back, to try to balance the scales. If I had unlimited funds and wanted to keep trying until it worked maybe I'd have to donate twice as much as I spent to charities...three times as much? Four times as much?

Me also asks: What scares us the most about adopting?

I can say honestly that being a party to a process that ends in empty arms for one mother scares me. Regardless of the reason the birth parents cannot parent there is sadness. I am scared of being resented by my child one day. I ache for the pain that goes with adoption for all parties, and anyone who thinks its painless is fooling themselves. I think the only way I wouldn't be scared is if I truly had an orphan--a child literally with no parents or other family to speak of, but that doesn't happen often. In international adoption, poverty is often the driving force for birth parents not being able to parent their children. The 25K it costs to adopt internationally could lift 25 families out of that poverty so they could parent their own children. But that would still leave me with empty arms.

That's what scares me. There are many other things that delight and thrill me regarding the idea of adoption. But that's not what you asked so I'll stop typing now.

Anonymous 1 said thank you. Thank you back. It's good to hear.

I'm going to skip the donor eggs question for this post, but will get to it in the next one. This post is already getting very lengthy and that one might be a lengthy answer....

Kris: As I said above, there's always a poor-me moment and some sadness watching others succeed while I don't. But I like to hear updates on my blog friends, I like to see pictures, I like to see that others made it through the inferno. Sometimes I'm quieter than other times, but it usually doesn't mean anything.

Anonymous: I have to be honest here. I have not yet bought a lottery ticket. Don't hate me. I have plans to start soon, I promise. As far as what else to do for me, I don't think there is anything. I think we're fairly un-fixable.

I am not a doctor and I do not have a PhD. I do have two Master's degrees and one of those is an MSN (nursing) and I'm a clinical nurse specialist in endocrinology and see my own patients.

I did five total IVFs. I've been told to do donor eggs, donor sperm, try again, or stop...all from different REs.

I've been lucky that my DH and I have basically been on the same page for most of this journey. And yes, we're open to adoption despite the fears I expressed above.

I was married in 1994 in Texas. I had big hair and an even bigger train. Oh the humanity. I graduated high school in 1992, so yes, I was a child bride. College: BS: 1995, first MS: 1997, second MS: 2005. I like school. I don't like lipid board exams.

How can I run that long? I don't. That was a projected cumulative minutes over the weekend. I usually max out at 75 minutes of trail running at a time and that's pushing it. I really only enjoy running on trails--pretty much hate it on the street.

Our NY trip will involve a music conference for DH, two performances by him, and of course vacationing. Plus a meet up with one of my favorite authors and greatest encouragers of all time :) I'm also planning on spending some time with Gail, one of my first online IF friends. Her baby girl is almost one! And most definitely: there will be pictures.

And now before you die from boredom, I'll stop and resume this tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is a Q&A pompous?

So I have a few topics swirling around in my little lipid factoid addled brain but none are bubbling to the surface and writing themselves into lucid posts.

I wondered if it would be fun (?) to have readers, or lurkers, or whoever, ask questions. I mean, not that anyone is sitting around just dying to know things about me, but every now and again someone does pose a question in a comment and I realize I never go back and revisit maybe here's your chance? Your chance to question LastChance?

I imagine the questions will be about infertility, child-free stuff, adoption, etc. etc. but I guess I'm open to other stuff too...

And if this is an epic fail of a post, well, I'm used to dealing with failure so no biggie.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stealing a post about numbers...

Saw this on Penney's blog and couldn't resist stealing.

1,213-number of random facts I have memorized about lipid metabolism.

2,567- number still to learn.

200-estimated number of said facts that are actually useful to me in my practice.

3.5-number of weeks until the test.

180-estimated number of planned minutes of trail running to do this weekend (the weather is divine).

75-minutes of yoga to do on Sunday.

0-number of abs exercises I have done lately...and boy is it showing.

2-number of homeless men who flirted with me last night at the shelter. Hey, when you've got it, you've got it....

1-number of rabbits offered to me randomly at a gas station yesterday. Very weird indeed.

4-number of pounds of chihuahua that can absolutely crowd you out of your own bed. Seriously.

1-upcoming mission trip to Mexico to possibly plan/coordinate, although I fear I am crazy to take on yet another responsibility like this...

48-number of days until we fly to NYC.

7-number of days we will be there.

2-number of OKGo shows for which I have purchased tickets.

8-number of pounds I would like to lose.

17-number of pages I have read in my current book club book, "The Help." (anyone read it?)

449-total number of pages in said book. I need to get busy.

1,440-total number of minutes in a day.

60-number of minutes we will lose tonight to Daylight Savings. Sniff sniff.

2-number of deer I can see right this minute in my yard nibbling the grass.

1-beautiful blue lake I can see from my front yard if I crane my neck just so....

76-number of degrees Fahrenheit it will be today. Aaaaah, springtime in Central Texas.

17-number of minutes I have spent dwaddling while writing this post, despite all the things listed above that I need to do.

2-number of babies I will have in a perfect world.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A vent.

You know, I've been trying to be cheerful in my last posts. And it's not fake, I have been more cheerful in my real life, not just in the blogworld.

So why, why, why, why did my last patient annoy me so much?

Oh wait. I'll tell you why.

Because she's 40. And just had her third baby. And she has complicated type 1 diabetes which makes pregnancy dangerous and difficult. And she brought one of her little hellions with her to the appointment, and he rocketed all around my office the whole time being disrespectful.

He grabbed on to my tiny Curious George doll--given to me during the middle of IVF #2 by a dear coworker who was one of the only ones who ever asked how things were going so it is special to me--and drooled on it. And this kid is around 4-5 so he shouldn't be chewing on my stuffed animals (I deliberately move it if there is a toddler around as they can't help but want my Curious George doll, he's so adorable!).

And I remained patient and focused on the patient, trying to make small talk with the little boy to keep him occupied as well.

I needed to start on her statin therapy and so I had to utter the words: "But you cannot conceive while on this medication."

Her response: "Oh puleeze. I have three. I am so done it's not even funny!"

Of course you are.

On the way out, her: "Do you have kids?"

"No," I said boldly. "I had five failed in vitro cycles though."

To her credit she said "My God, I'm so sorry" and looked appropriately sad for me.

And then...wait for it...

"Maybe if you adopt you'll get pregnant."

And she's a nurse practitioner for God's sake.

Then her little boy slammed my office door so hard my diploma nearly fell off the wall.

Good. I wanted to slam it myself.

PS To those of you reading this who have children....please do not take them to your doctor appointments. I realize this is a huge inconvenience for you but it is really one of the things we all (all of us doctors and other providers) consistently complain about...people dragging their kids in for important medical visits and then they're half-focused on things and the kids are bored and irritable and so if you do it, just know we're going to talk about you in the lunchroom. Unless your kids are well behaved angels.

PPS You guys are really making too much about our sad little volunteer work. It just helps me keep perspective.

PPSS And speaking of perspective, I went sky diving ten years ago and am DYING to go again. Only Mr. LC doesn't want to go again. I think my friends with kids would say no to that because of the risk, but I don't want to go alone. Anyone coming my way want to go with me?

Monday, March 8, 2010

I need a weekend from my weekend

Do you ever feel that way? Like you just go go go all weekend with very little rest periods and now how the heck is it Monday again and work again and all I really want to do is take a nice long nap.

And watch movies, because I did manage to watch some of the Oscars last night and it actually served to make me want to see some of the movies mentioned/honored. Any recommendations? I'm very picky about movies in general.

I am trying to keep a grateful heart. Here I am complaining about being so busy but here are two of the things that kept me busy: on Saturday night we worked at our church, which becomes a temporary homeless shelter for families working very hard to secure transitional housing. So yeah, they sleep at different churches every.single.week.for.months. On cots or other temporary bedding. And pack up all their wordly belongings every Sunday and move on to the next church, children in tow. And I got to go home Saturday night and lay my head on my very own pillow in my very own bed in my very own bedroom inside my very own home.

Yesterday afternoon we participated in CROP Walk to end world hunger. The walk itself wasn't anything grueling, we kind of sucked at raising money (it is so hard for me to ask people to support those things, which is lame, I know) and honestly we were complaining about the stops along the walk to learn about the world hunger issues. We wanted to just turn in our money and walk and be done! Horrible, I know. And then we went home, fixed a delicious meal, ate until we were very full, and certainly know where our next 1,000 meals are coming from.... and yet so much of the world goes hungry every single day. I can barely wrap my brain around that since we are a nation of abundance.

In between some of these projects I was studying. Studying studying studying. I have a gazillion index cards with notes on them and the Mister is awesome at quizzing and helping me come up with little ways to keep the details all straight. And it is so much on the details. My head feels like it is going to explode. So I'm trying to be grateful that I have educational opportunities... I am approved to sit for the board exam in about one month. ONE MONTH. Sheesh.

Anyway, I guess I am just craving a completely do-nothing kind of a weekend but I don't see one coming for a very long time.

How about you? How was your weekend?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Things that make me smile.

Eek I re-read that last post part about other awesome news and realized that most definitely sounded baby-related.

Sorry to disappoint. I didn't magically come up pregnant. We haven't fixed our problems, we didn't win some "cycle until you succeed contest" (oh my, can you imagine if such a contest/program existed?). But, I think when there are major things in your life that are in disarray sometimes when other, less significant things fall into place you get overly excited about them, and that's probably what I did.

The mister booked a couple of very big shows in a very good location that make our upcoming trip much, much easier to afford/do. So yes, we are very excited!

And isn't is kismet that OKGo is playing in Brooklyn the night we arrive? And that I got tickets? And that now it's a sold out show (sold out in a few hours). And that they are also coming to our town here and yeah, I got tickets to that show too. I know I'm a shameless fangirl, I will make no apologies. If you haven't seen their latest video, please do take a look (4.7 million already have, so if you haven't you're a little behind). And I don't know why this matters but I loved them long before they were YouTube phenoms with their amazing videos. They had me at the first live show I saw, when they were relatively unknown but just amazing performers. Anyway, I digress.

So yes, things are falling into place that are small in the grand scheme of things, but they do indeed make me happy. And if elevating some of those things to an out of scale status helps keep me sane, then so be it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


So we bought a used car. It's a Subaru wagon, and it's silver, and I'd like to name it The Silver Bullet but since we have always called each other Scoobie or Scoob we are betting it'll end up being called Scoob's Sube. Or the SCUBARU. Or something like that. At any rate, the mister is driving it now because, come on, he has been driving around the old overheating mess for forever now and he deserves a smooth commute.

Yesterday when we were driving home with the car, following each other, making plans to go to dinner to celebrate (some other things happened yesterday that were pretty awesome too but we're not quite talking about them yet) I just felt so overcome with luck.

We are wealthy beyond measure.

I was reading a book yesterday on living a more disciplined life. The author pointed out that just the fact that I could buy the book and have the luxury of time to read it meant I'm wealthy by the world's standard.

And there we were yesterday--driving off in a new used car, going out to dinner, then home to exercise, then probably to watch some television and then maybe to study (me) or play music (him) with our leisure time.

We have no idea of our wealth.

Just owning a car and a home places us as wealthier than 95% of the world's population. It's enough to make me cry.

All around me people struggle to make ends meet, who never get a relaxing evening out as they work themselves to the bone with one low paying job and then move on to the next. Did anyone read "Nickeled and Dimed?" Powerful, powerful stuff.

There is no such thing as ownership. Everything--the Silver Bullet, our house, even our children--do not belong to us. They come to us and they pass through us, but we do not own them.

And the most beautiful things in life are still very much free. Free free free. And they cannot be owned either.

I have griped endlessly on here about money. About spending $80K for a chance at a pregnancy. I know I am lucky to have even had the chance. Do I wish it had worked out differently? Of course. I'm human and I'm not stupid and I know that money in the bank is a luxurious thing and honestly I wish that $80K was in the bank. But it was never mine to begin with, right? It passed through me, it fueled my quest, my hope. It served its purpose I suppose.

Oh guys, I have been so lucky.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blogger WTF?

I'll admit it, and it's probably no surprise.

I heart comments.

Sometimes when things aren't great I'll re-read old comments and they warm me right up, like my electric blanket throw but much more cheaply. Seriously, I love my electric blanket throw but it is a serious electricity hog and that makes me feel guilty.

Anyway, today I was just looking back at my 'edit posts' section and noticed that for a considerable section of my posts there are no comments. They're all gone.

I know they were there before. Where for art thou comments?

Is anyone else having these issues? They'd better come back....

On another note, can I say that I loathe car shopping?

It is neither fun nor exciting. I hate talking to car salespeople, I hate feeling like I'm automatically getting the screwgie, I hate thinking about car payments, and I hate thinking that as soon as we buy one something better will come along. I barely even wanted to test drive one today because I was convinced I'd have a wreck and having the salesman in the back seat made me all nervousy and I was driving like a granny.

And also, we're getting a wagon of some type.

I'll let you read into that whatever you will.

But seriously, are we cool or what?