Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Read Across America

Have you heard of Read Across America?  Well it's tomorrow!  Read Across America was created by the National Education Association to promote reading and it occurs on a very special day...

Dr. Seuss' Birthday!

Here's a nice quote to start us off:

My class is performing Daisy Head Maizie.  If you haven't read it, you should!  It's adorable.

This is my first year participating in RAA and I'm pretty excited!

I've loved Dr. Seuss since I first learned to read.  My all-time favorite is How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I have vivid memories of checking out The Grinch at our neighborhood library when I was little.

There are some fantastic Seuss quotes out there.  I'll leave you with a few.

And finally,

Thank you Dr. Seuss : )

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Going Through the Motions

I don't expect this month to work.  At this point I don't even really expect IVF to work.  (Not in a totally depressing way, but in a different way that's hard to describe.)

So I'm just going through the motions. 

We are BDing every other day (until DH goes out of town Wed and Thurs).  It would be very nice to O before that.

I'm taking my vitamins and my temperature.

But there's not real emotions involved at this point.

We are getting our ducks in a row for IVF.  What a bitch it is!  I have an email in to my regular doctor to see if she'll order the new round of Day 3 tests, STD tests, and Anti-Mullerian hormone test that I need prior to IVF.  Also, the "success guarantee plan" has a form that you have to fax in to say you want to apply, but it also says it'll take up to 2 weeks from the completion of any testing to complete the process.  So I'm stressed that we won't be able to get everything done and will get pushed back a month.

Mr. GG says I should just go to a Quest and pay for the tests, because what is $200 or so in the grand scheme of things.  So I guess I should schedule that, but does anyone else have the problem that you know you need to do things, but then time just keeps passing and you just don't do them (or forget).  There's just so much else going on like the papers I need to grade and the classes to plan and the house to clean that refilling prescriptions and getting blood tests just seems too overwhelming.

I even forgot my acupuncture appointment on Friday.  Last night at 3 in the morning I suddenly remembered that I forgot to go.  FML.  Now my lining will probably suck again.

So I'm doing everything (or almost doing everything) I need to be doing, but I really don't expect a BFP at the end of it.  I guess I've just been burned too many times.  I'm sure this will all change when I near 10 dpo, but it's how it is right now.

Which reminds me of a race horse my friend owns a part of.  His name is "Uncomfortably Numb" (based on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" if you are of my generation and do not have an older husband to teach you about things like Pink Floyd).  That's kind of explains my lack of emotion right now, uncomfortably numb. 

Well, and kinda bitchy and annoyed too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Money Game aka IVF

Grab a cup of tea and settle in...this will probably be a long one!

We had our RE consult today and he went over all of the next possible steps.

1. Continue with Clomid.  I respond well to a very low dose (50mg) which is not always the case and is definitely a good thing.
2. Move to Injectibles.  His concern with them is first, that they cost way more than Clomid and second, that there is less control over the amount of follies produced.  It could be tons, a la Kate Gosselin or it could be none at all if I'm a poor responder.

3. IVF.  He said that if money was not an issue, that as a scientist (and doctor) he would want the greater amount of control and information that IVF offers.  

Our individual issues and concerns:
  • Morphology - Mr. RE said that a normal couple fertilizes 70% of the time. (What!?)  We have fertilized 1/19 times, so closer to 5% (or maybe more if implantation is the issue).  This took Mr. GG back a bit because last time the doctor was very reassuring that we could conceive with his 4% morphology.  Either way, IVF solves the fertilization issue although it's possible that we would have fewer follies embies fertilize normally I guess (my own take, not RE).
  • Lining - My lining was a 6 pre-Clomid and 6, 5, 7 during Clomid (and acupuncture).  This may be our biggest culprint, i.e. poor implantation.  And/or my issue and Mr. GG's issue are working against each other to make our overall success even lower.  Probably the case.
We were pretty set on moving to IVF before the appointment so that's basically what we said and were then given the IVF spiel.


I'm a teacher.  You could look up my pay online if you knew my school district, but I make teacher-pay.  With my Master's and other units I am at the high end of the pay scale for my year, but I still just make a little over $50k.  Mr. GG is the president of his company and does pretty well.  So we are extremely lucky to be able to afford IVF.  But even so, we don't have money just lying around.  Much of it is tied up in our mortgage payment as well as a condo Mr. GG owns where renters cover mortgage only (no taxes).  So I would call us comfortable, but by no means rich.  And I can think of a lot of things that I would rather spend money on than creating a baby...like paying for baby's college.

Anyway, here are the options we have to decide between and I would really like some advice and help.  Decisions are not my forte.  I second-guess everything!

I left all of the specific info at home, but I want to post today, so I'll do my best off the top of my head.

Options 1, 2, 3 consist of 1, 2 or 3 fresh IVF cycles including associated monitoring.  Option 4 is the "Success Guarantee" plan which means they keep going until you have a take home baby, sort-of.

We are pretty sure we are going to only pay for 1 fresh IVF cycle.  This is tricky, but I think it's what I want.  Only one round of injections, retreival, etc.  Since I ovulate on my own, I probably have decent quality eggs and therefore have a good chance to retrieve a decent amount of eggs.  But what if I don't?

So that leaves Options 1 and 4.

First, every single cycle, fresh and FET (frozen) each cost $1,500 for the hatching and whatever fancy stuff they do at the lab to conceive for us.  So add $1,500 to everything below for each cycle.

Option 1 is $10,000 for one fresh cycle. Any additional FET cycles are the same $1,500 fee plus $3,500.

Option 4 is $17,000.  (Wow...it seemed really big when I just typed it.)  But all FETs are free under this option.  Basically you get to keep going for free until you have no frozen embryos left.  Well, except for the $1,500 each time.

Don't forget the meds though!  Meds run from $4-8,000.  Less if you respond well to lower doses, more if they have to keep adding and tinkering.  Plus anesthesia which I think was $400 as well as some additional testing (which I am hoping insurance will cover).

So wow, we are about to shell out a ton of money no matter what option we choose.

The big questions are:

  • Is one fresh cycle a good bet, or do I need to plan for 2?
  • Should we do the "Success Guarantee" or should we pay for each additional FET?
OH WAIT! I forgot to mention that you get ALL of your money back if you do the guarantee and are not pregnant at the end of all of your frozen embryos.  That would pay for adoption (ish) or a wonderful trip to Europe for like a month.

Mr. GG is definitely leaning towards that option and I think I am too...

PLEASE tell me what you think!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm Bringing Sexy Back....Well, Trying To

I mentioned yesterday that Mr. GG and I are trading off nights to initiate BD time in order to keep it fun. 

It's been 3 months since we've had to go full force and we've enjoyed the break.  We are NOT a BD every other day type of couple.  We are a BD a few times a month type of couple.  So...

How should I bring the sexy back?  I need your help!

Mr. GG has a slight foot fetish and always compliments my "pretty feet" so I made sure to paint my fingers and toes last night.  Although I didn't get waxed like I should have to really bring on the sexy, I will make sure to be nicely shaved this evening.  I bought a new nightie from Target awhile ago that I think I'll bust out tonight.  Mr. GG is not a lingerie guy.  It's off before he's really looked at it, but I've realized that wearing sexier clothes around the house sets the mood a little bit earlier.

Unlike this scene from "Extract."

If I chose the right trailer (sorry, first time embedding video) then it starts at the 30 second mark.

So I need some ideas of easy romantic man-centric things to do on weekdays to set the mood. 

I think we'll also have one weekend thrown in, so a couple of more elaborate ideas won't hurt either.

What should I do??

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Good Day.

I'm in a the mood for an upbeat post.  I've got one of the questioning, what is life going to give me kind of posts ready to go, but it just doesn't feel right today.

Because it's beautiful outside.  I'm on the last day of a 4 day weekend.  And my mood is not searching and restless, it's happy/calm.

Maybe it's because I've had a great weekend.  On Friday I took the girl I mentor out for breakfast.  She switched schools so I haven't seen her in awhile.  She is doing great at her new school and it was good to take her out and spoil her a bit.

On Saturday my Dad and Grandpa came down.  My sister made a full turkey dinner and we had a late (delicious!) Thanksgiving in February to celebrate Grandpa's 91st birthday.  In the morning I made breakfast at my house.  Eggs with peppers and onions, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit. Yum.

And then last night I had a girls' wine tasting party at my house.  I used 15 champagne glasses and poured an ounce of each wine and we took notes and rated them and discussed.  Very professional! : )  Then we watched The Holiday while drinking our favorites.  Oh and had delicious Artichoke pizza and baked Turtle brownies.  

I took a break from writing to take Stella out for a walk.  She's getting so big already!  But everyone loves her.  She is beautiful and so lovey when she's tired.  (I know she looks big in this pic, but she's actually only about 11 pounds!)

I'm a little bit excited about this cycle.  I feel like it's our one last shot to conceive this baby naturally.  We start trying on Tuesday or Wednesday and are going to really stick to an every other day schedule.  I don't know when I will ovulate this month since it was 12 and 14 on Clomid and 17-22 without Clomid.  I'm feeling like it'll be on the earlier side.

Mr. GG and I agreed to switch off doing something special on each of the BD days to make it more fun and exciting.  I've got a couple of new outfits to try out for him.  I really should have used that waxing gift certificate he gave me ages ago, but I guess he'll have to deal with shaving...

And our re-evaluation appointment with RE is on Wednesday.  I'm very anxious/excited about it.  I want to know what next is and what he still thinks our chances are.  It would be awesome if he'd throw in a free ultrasound to see how everything is progressing this month, but I won't hold my breath for that.

Happy President's Day!  I hope you are enjoying yourself.

I think I'll go schedule a massage now...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blogging is my sanity.

I can't even imagine where I would be emotionally without blogging.  This blog has become a part of me and therefore all you have too.  You have kept me sane.

Writing down and sharing my day to day obsessions and thoughts allows them not to fester (too much).

I feel and know that I am not alone.  No "Am I normal?" brochure needed here.  Although I'm not "average" normal because if I was, I'd obviously not be here, I'd be posting a hundred pictures a day of my baby girl in every cute little pose imaginable.

I feel validated.  I do have a problem (conceiving).  It's not in my head.  And your comments and blogs validate my experience.

I have wanted to blog for a long time, but didn't have something that I was passionate enough about.  Well, want it or not, I found my passion.

At least there is a product that comes out of the countless hours I spend on the internet.

I am feeling further and further removed from many of the forums I am involved with because of the ever-changing faces and I'm dealing with it by adding to my blogroll and finding a community that I more closely identify with. 

Thank you for being this for me! 

You keep me sane.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Unapologetically Love Valentine's Day : )

Today seems like a good day to write a happy post on a holiday (made up or not) that makes me happy.
I actually baked last night.  I did have to throw away one batch of brownies.  I used old vegetable oil in the one batch.  Anyone else ever done that?  And they were disgusting!  But still, I baked.

And I spent two hours putting together tiny little Winnie the Pooh and Glee Valentine's for 60 of my students.

I have loved Valentine's Day for as long as I remember.

  • Making a huge construction paper heart envelope and putting it on the back of my little chair in elementary school and then anxiously waiting to see what everyone said...

  • Making personalized Valentine's for my BFFs in Junior High and even one for the guy I liked (which I still have because I never gave it to him - I actually had a dream about him last night!  He was a cutie and I loved him for years...).

  • Getting a cheesy, cheap ring with a red heart-shaped stone from my boyfriend.

  • Getting a care package from my mom with cute little stuffed bee bear with heart antenna in my dorm mailbox in college.

  • Having my face turn bright red when my boyfriend (Mr. GG) shows up during 2nd period with flowers. (3 years ago)

  • Having Mr. GG, now husband show up with lunch from Panera (my favorite) and alcohol free sparkling wine and little plastic champagne glasses! (that was last year)

  • And yesterday a huge vase of roses showed up for me : ).  Yes, a day early. 
Maybe I've just had good experiences with V-Day, but I also bring them upon myself.  I might always remind Mr. GG about V-Day to make sure he hasn't forgotten...

But I also take care of my single friends.  One in particular is quite depressed about being 32 and single.  I got her a card (from my dog) and coffee before school today, then sent her other cheesy Valentines at other points throughout the day.  And since Mr. GG is not home until 7:30 tonight, we'll go get some nice red wine at happy hour this evening.

So even if you hate today, and if you do I bet you didn't read this post anyway, I want to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day.  I love you!!  (I really do.)

-Mrs. Green Grass

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What if i'm not supposed to have kids?

What if I'm not supposed to have kids?  I'm not religious, but I do kinda of believe that what will be will happen and that often it is what "should" happen.

Like how Mr. GG and I are 11 years apart.  And he's divorced.  We weren't really supposed to meet (although I was actually in attendance at his college graduation - I was 11).  But we did and he's my match.  Thank goodness because he has been so wonderful during this whole ordeal!

So I seriously wonder what I should do, where I should go in this process.  I know that I will probably just keep chugging along until I really can't and will do IVF and maybe adopt, but I don't know how much energy I have to keep fighting against reality.  It's sad, but true.

What if I'm supposed to be the cool aunt?  Or I'm supposed to be the "mom" to some of my most down and out students.  Maybe Mr. GG and I would actually be better off without kids even though that is different than how I pictured my life.

I hope I won't get to the place where I have to make the choice to stop because it would be a gut-wrenching choice to make.  (And I'm a horrible decision maker and second-guess everything.)  But I see it off in the future.  Off towards the end of this year.

When I hit the year mark last August, I said I wouldn't completely freak out and lose it until the next August.  Well, I'm sure I have an IVF or 2 between here and there, but it's on the horizon. 

Look out world.

Oh, and if the tone didn't already inform you, I'm not pregnant.  On to month 20.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Damned Spotting!

I've complained about the first 2 weeks of the cycle (or the 1st 3 as they were for me before Clomid).  And I've complained about the stress during O time.  But I've come to the conclusion that my current part of the cycle is worse than that.

I planned for today.  I figured it was probably coming, while hoping against it.  I even saved my black underwear because I knew it might be soon.

I'm 13 dpo and spotting. 

By all odds, and my previous history, AF will be here on Sunday.  I pretty much know that today, but I can do nothing about it.  I can't drink because I'm at the very end of the cycle and I can't do anything to make me get pregnant.  All I can do it wait.  But in a more negative state of mind than I was waiting in yesterday.

This is my L.A. trip weekend.  I'm meeting two friends from college and we are going out to dinner on Saturday night.  Friend #1 (as you might remember) is SUPER pregnant with boy #2.  She sent me an email about our plans during the day tomorrow that was entirely about nap times and pregnancy brain.  I haven't talked to her much since my wedding (and the birth of boy #1) so I doubt she has any clue that we are struggling. 

I was so hoping that I could go up there knowing that I was pregnant which would allow me to listen to all of her stories more closely and not compare them to my own sad situation.

But alas, I still don't know.  So I will be thinking about my spotting and wondering if it has turned into AF while she is catching me up about baby's first year.  Oh well.

Not to belabor the spotting issue, but what are your personal stories about spotting?  Do you have friends who have spotted right before getting a BFP?  I've definitely seen it happen, but you have to search really hard.  Also, many people report a BFP but do not come back to report on chemical pregnancy or miscarriage so I would imagine the numbers are even lower than the cases I can find on the internet.

So if you want to give me some spotting hope, please leave a comment.  But feel free to tell me the honest truth too...I'm prepared.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just a Quick Update....

Today is 12 dpiui and I think 11 dpo.  I'm pretty positive that I O'd the day after the IUI which is fine.

I caved and took a test yesterday morning even though I wanted to hold out until Saturday.

When I asked Mr. GG the night before whether I should test tomorrow, he said to wait until Friday.  I replied, You can't just tell me to wait until Friday without even thinking about it when I've been obsessing about it for days!  Men.

Anyway, it was a BFN and it definitely made me unhappy.  But like always, I still held out about 10% hope yesterday.  I just feel something this month.  It's really small, but I just think maybe.  But whatever.  I've kind of thought this before.  Also, the test was a digital...just fyi.

Today I thought I'd just use an OPK instead, one of the cheapies, since I don't want to use them as OPKs anymore anyway.  I thought that the line was pretty dark.  Not as dark as the control line, but definitely not light.  That made me happy.  Now I can just keep using those and see if they get darker.

In case you didn't already know, OPKs can read HCG but pregnancy tests cannot read LH.  It has to do with the shape of the molecules.  Their very similar, but according to some sites I've read, HCG has "a little hat." 

So that is where I am at.  I REALLY want this month to work.  I'm starting to despair.  Like having a baby is hopeless kind of despair (not depression despair).  Either way, it sucks.  I feel broken.  And I want it to work already.

Next month is the re-evaluation month (no meds).  Then IVF?  We shall see...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Sorry...I posted a post draft with just a title for about an hour this morning.  @ehomaha - No BFP.  I actually tested a little earlier than I planned and got a BFN.  I thought "maybe" I was feeling some action down there, but apparently not.  We'll see...

The incomplete post was titled "Getting successfully pregnant doesn't make you an expert on getting pregnant" designed as a bit of a rant on how quick everyone is to give advice after it happens for them. 

If you have you have any experiences getting stupid advice (albeit well-intentioned) from successful moms or moms to be post it in a comment and I'll try to include it in the post!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Ode to my Underwear

Today my laundry is done.  Dozens of pairs of underwear hang from my drying rack.  I retrieved two pairs from my lawn where my puppy had taken them.  I am excited to get dressed today and put on a great pair of underwear! 

Am I alone in my excitement here?  You see I don't do laundry very often (like once a month or slightly less than that often) and so the last week before laundry is when I break out all of the old too loose or too tight undies.  And my day never seems to go as smoothly when I'm wearing an ill-fitting old pair of underwear.

And by undies, I mean thongs.  I only wear "granny panties" when I work out or play soccer.

My favorite thongs are the Hanky Panky style lace thongs (low rise).

I bought my first Hanky Panky Low Rise thong a couple of years ago.  I was shocked paying $20 for one pair of underwear, but I figured a splurge makes sense every now and then.  My wedding undies were also Hanky Panky with tiny little blue bows in the back.

I buy most of my undies at Victoria's Secret so when I saw their lace thongs, I immediately bought 3 or 5 or whatever amount they made me buy that day in order to not pay full price.

And then I happened to need to go to Frederick's of Hollywood to return a bridal shower gift and saw more lace thong panties.  I definitely bought 5 there. 

My reviews: 
  • Hanky Panky - B+ - the only detractor is the price
  • Victoria's Secret - C - they get loose and literally almost fall down
  • Frederick's - A+ - nice and stretchy (therefore perfectly fitted), lots of bright pretty colors, cheap!
I know that I could just do my laundry more often.  Or buy all lace thong underwear, but I don't see this character trait changing anytime soon.

So for at least the next two weeks, you can be assured that I will be perfectly comfy!

**Just had to chase Stella down in the backyard with the very same blank pair pictured above in her mouth.  Guess I better go put the laundry away now...**

(9 dpiui today...hoping for twinges and cramping, but not quite feeling anything...jury still out)

Friday, February 3, 2012


I always wonder about my slightly older female married co-workers who are childless.  I wonder they are childless by choice.  But I'll probably never know because I can't ask because I don't want to bring up that is potentially painful. 

This morning an older teacher came in to my room to get something and asked me why I wasn't at happy hour last night.  I said that I had an acupuncture appointment.  She asked what for and I briefly thought about whether to tell her or not, but then told her the truth, for fertility. 
Then she came over and told me her story.  She tried for 4 years, took fertility meds, then had a miscarriage at 8 weeks after she was finally able to get pregnant.  Her marriage ended a year later (for many reasons).  Then I actually told her about my chemical pregnancy and how it happened on the day of department meetings and open house and how terrible that day was.  She mentioned something able always counting dates and anniversaries.  (Luckily I don't do that.  I promptly forgot when my EDD was and will not look it up.) 

When she got remarried (after having fibroids removed) she got pregnant after 6 weeks!  She had her sons at 33 and 35 years old.

She kept saying "it'll happen for you" and I kept saying "I know" but I unexpectedly kinda teared up.  I feel uncomfortable being vulnerable in front of others and receiving their sympathy.  I just want to say it's ok and move on.  I don't know why it's so hard. I want the support of others, but I don't want them to feel bad for me.