Lining 9.3

I believe that’s the highest it’s ever been. Nicely trilaminar, too. I thought with all the extra estrogen (patches + 2mg Estrace pills twice/day) it’d get up to the teens, but hey, I’ll take it! (Anything above 8 is considered good.)

Everything on track so far. Today is a good day.

No Omens

For the years we’ve been at this, I’m always searching for hints, clues, cosmic signs that This Is It. Or even This Is Meant To Be. Obviously, so far every time I’ve stumbled onto one, it slipped straight through my fingers into nothingness.

So I’m over it. No more looking for auspicious dates, unlikely ethnicities, particularly beautiful moons. From now on, just business. One foot in front of the other, and only one way to find out which way it will go, and that’s to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I’ve been taking patches and pills like they’re vitamins. I got on the plane like I was just going to visit my sister (which I am, among other friends). I’ll go to the clinic like I’m just getting a yearly exam. Whatever happens will happen, and all my sentimental voodoo won’t change it. So why bother when it just makes losses that much harder?

So now I’m kind of a zombie when it comes to this stuff — in a good way. As much as I can manage.

I guess this is my version of “Let go and let God”?

In Sacramento now. Lining check tomorrow. Last time it was a bit thin, so this time they put me on estrogen pills as well as patches, and for two extra days. Visiting two friends on Saturday in Berkeley and SF, another friend on Sunday in Los Altos (hopefully), another friend near Half Moon Bay on Monday, a day with friends in Palo Alto, a day trip to Monterey with my sister on Wednesday, and hopefully not too long afterwards it’ll be time to head back up to Sacramento.

Fingers not crossed. Just enjoying one day at a time.

UPDATE: Egg donor is apparently doing great with a scheduled retrieval on Sunday. My transfer — if all continues to go well — will be on Friday, July 7. Already bought my plane ticket home on Saturday for only 20k miles (plus a $75 fee since it’s less than 21 days until departure — didn’t realize that was a thing).

You know… I had a hope at one point that I’d have a baby on 7/7/17. Seemed auspicious somehow, with 17 being my lucky number since I was a kid.

Not that that means anything. Just a funny coincidence.

Extracurriculars

(It’s funny how anything not directly connected to either making a baby or making money to pay medical bills seems like “extracurriculars” these days…)

As the next embryo transfer (hopefully) looms, I ramped up my fun stuff for a while to make hay while the sun shines. Last week I had an hour and a half of ballet in a hot studio on Wednesday, an hour of co-ed competitive soccer in the 95 degree sun on Thursday, and at least an hour of pick-up soccer on Friday when the heat index was 103. Miraculously, none of my estrogen patches fell off. But I was glad for a rest over the weekend.

This week I’m just doing ballet today (last ballet class for a while… my $100 for 10 classes card ran out, and there’s no sense re-upping again) and co-ed soccer on Thursday. (I didn’t pay and join the summer squad, I’m just sneaking in as a sub for a couple of games when other women can’t make it.)

And that’ll probably be it. I may play soccer again on Sunday if it’s really beautiful, but otherwise I’m just sticking to my morning calisthenics and ab workout, push-ups and resistance band rows and “pull-ups”, and nightly walks by the river from now on. (My favorite yoga workout recently disappeared from Youtube, and it’s not easy finding new ones — you basically have to do them to find out if they’re any good, and if they’re not, you just wasted half an hour. So that’s a bummer.)

What I haven’t been good about is meditating and writing in my journal. They always seem to get lost first, and they’re so important to my well-being. But lately I’ve been snowed under with editing jobs, which means my own writing is also getting lost in the shuffle.

Apparently it’s insanely hot in Sacramento, too, and I’m going to try to avoid outside editing work while I’m there, so maybe I can spend some good time on my book. And also find some space for meditating and journal writing. At least it won’t be the cold, rainy dead of winter.

In other news, my husband just found out he needs some expensive dental work done. It’s definitely not a simple thing to pile onto our cash-strapped reality, but on the other hand it does kind of feel nice for once not to be the one who’s costing us a bunch of medical money. 😛

I’m trying not to think too much about the potential kids, and definitely not writing to them or talking to them or visualizing them as I’ve done in the past. It’s just too painful every time it doesn’t work. It makes the loss that much harder. I’m just living in the now, and if and when the kids finally, actually come, believe me, they’ll get plenty of attention.

Heading to Sacramento on the 29th for the lining check, and I’ll probably be stuck there a couple of weeks while the egg donor completes her cycle and the embryos develop. (I had to eat the cost of my earlier United ticket from the original cycle. A United representative told me I could get a refund, but after I canceled the flight, bought another ticket on another airline, and applied for a refund, they refused me. I’m appealing but don’t anticipate getting anywhere. Grr.) (UPDATE: It took some time and doing, but I’m getting a refund after all. Whew.)

Oh, and I’m fundraising for my friend Rania in Palestine again. She’s an amazing women who does fantastic work in her community, including counseling, after school programs, summer camps, and programs for the disabled. I raise money every year to pay her a small “salary” of $300 per month for her work, which is otherwise unfunded. If you can chip in five bucks, it’s always appreciated. ❤

Que Sera Sera

“Hopefully I can just smooth-sail through something for once.”

I really shouldn’t tempt fate that way.

All we wanted was one Mediterranean donor. But we went with the profile we were offered in large part because the egg donor was part Turkish (and we liked their personalities). I loved watching my husband’s face light up when he found out. He has so little to contribute physically to this process — at least his ethnicity could be represented. And I was happy she was part Egyptian, since my favorite place in the world is in Egypt and I speak some Arabic and would love to teach my kids and keep learning.

Now we have one Mexican donor and one from India, and it just seems completely random. When they get older and people start asking, “So, where are you from?” they won’t have a remotely simple answer.

“Well, I’m half Mexican and half Indian, and my mom is white and my dad is Turkish.”

Say what?

It’s hard to know what ethnicity even means these days when people are scattered all over the world, including as shuffled egg and sperm combinations. It’s hard to know how to think about it. After all, why should I be more inclined to teach a child Arabic just because he or she has certain DNA?

They’ll probably have that ambiguously ethnic look that will fit in just about anywhere, from Brazil to Uzbekistan. They’ll fit in everywhere, but also not really anywhere. In a way they’ll have a clean slate. They can define themselves. Citizens of planet Earth. It won’t be all perfectly “normal,” and there will be challenges, but hopefully we can all face them and grow together.

For sure we’ll try to teach them Turkish, and maybe we can find a way to all learn Spanish together, too. (Ahmed and I have tried before, but we didn’t like Rosetta Stone.) Advanced Arabic (and Punjabi) may be beyond us, at least for a while, but I can teach them what Arabic I know.

Oh yeah, and I don’t know to what extent she was serious, but the new egg donor said her dream as a teenager was to be a professional soccer player and play in the Women’s World Cup. I don’t know if that was a daydream or something approaching a possibility, but it’s a nice touch. She also says she was good at math.

Anyway, long story short, my husband wants to go for it. Other than, ya know, ethnicity and personality (and age), the two egg donors really aren’t that different. And the donor coordinator said the new one has a similar facial structure to mine, and my coordinator says she feels good about it. As far as her family’s history of obesity and type II diabetes, if we eat healthy foods and keep active it should probably be OK.

Hell, like everyone says (including me), it’s such a crap shoot either way. There’s just no way to know in advance what the right choice is. Might as well take the path of least resistance, eh?

I just hope this is the last jarring shock. But no, I’m not going to hope that. I’m not going to hope anything. I’m just going to keep taking it one step at a time, and try to dispense with expectations as much as I can. They seem to cause a lot of psychological distress.

EDIT: One interesting thing is that there were two other recipients signed up to our original profile, and both of them accepted the new egg donor as well. I wonder what other kind of people don’t mind whether their child is half Arab/Turkish or half Mexican. They apparently aren’t signed up in any of the usual forums or groups, so I haven’t been able to get in touch with them. Maybe they don’t want to be in touch.

But I admit, I’m intrigued, and I’ve always hoped to be in touch with any genetic siblings out there, in case that kind of thing ends up being important to our kids. I really hope we can find a way to connect.

In a Handbasket

It’s almost comedic at this point how everything that can possibly go wrong does go wrong.

Our perfect egg donor backed out completely after forcing the people assigned to her profile to delay for 9 days. Now she needs to “get some things together” before deciding whether to donate, and the clinic probably won’t let her donate at all due to her being unreliable.

By coincidence, another egg donor was donating on the same timeline for another (non-time-sensitive) program, and they’re trying to switch her in as our new egg donor. Two other recipients were assigned to my profile, and if we and the other two recipients agree, we’ll continue as scheduled with a different egg donor, same sperm donor.

The new egg donor is older (31), shorter (5’0″), and heavier (BMI 28). She’s Hispanic, which is fine in and of itself — it’s just not remotely Turkish, which I had really hoped for. I feel like the children I envisioned and imagined all these weeks just evaporated in front of my eyes.

Getting thrown back into the waiting pool feels awful (it could be months before we’re offered another decent profile), but this profile isn’t what I signed up for. (I know, I know — things happen, you have to be flexible. Still sucks every time the rug gets pulled out from under you.)

Sigh. What can we do? We’ll have to make a tough decision and then keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Seriously. Does this ever end?

We Literally Flipped a Coin

Of course, we didn’t have to listen to the coin.

But when the coin’s in the air, you suddenly know which side of the coin you’re rooting for.

And we were both relieved when it came up tails. Twice in a row.

Tails was fresh.

*Deep breath*

Here’s hoping.

Frozen? Or let it go?

So my coordinator gave me the option to switch to a frozen cycle (same embryo profile), but it wouldn’t be until August.

A part of me is so resistant to that — I so badly want to get this show on the road — and the doctor thinks it’s just fine to be on Lupron for an extra week (in stasis, basically — the nurse says no one ever ovulates through it), and the egg donor is still scheduled (even though she was also scheduled at the earlier dates, and look how that turned out). Plus the nurse said no embryos would be guaranteed. They wouldn’t be guaranteed on a fresh cycle, either, but somehow I think I’ll get a worse deal if I’m the one with the leftovers instead of one of the fresh cyclers.

But — and I know this is totally silly — I got a silver snowflake charm in my Christmas cracker last year, which I took as some kind of sign that I’d end up with a frozen cycle. It’s just a silly cheap little ornament, and my writer’s mind is always trying to find meaning everywhere, even where none exists.

And I’m coming around to the idea that hopefully the med change will be fine and everything will work out and let’s just get this over with.

But I’ve rushed into things before, and nothing has ever worked out, so I’m feeling kind of paralyzed but also like I’m just being paranoid based on the past…

Ugh, every part of this is always so exhausting.