Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cells, Cells, Cells

I just love cells. "That's an odd thing to love" you might be asking yourself. Why do I love cells?

Because I, myself, only exist because the millions of cells in my body are busy taking care of the business that is me. Granted, some of those little cells are not putting forth their best effort and yes, cells of my ovaries and uterus...I'm talking at you. At any rate...I love those little guys. All of my friends are made of cells too - my human friends as well as Adam's off kilter cat Brick and our house plants. When I say "our" house plants what I really mean is "Adam's" house plants...they are my friends. No, I do not talk to them.

I'm pretty sure everyone over the age of maybe 8 knows that living things are made of cells. I think it is taught as a mantra. "Living things are made of cells. Living things are made of cells. What are living things made of? Cells." Everyone knows this. But do people really understand this? There is a difference!

I do think people understand what it means that living things are made of cells, but no one really thinks about it all that often. It's hard to believe, though, that not long ago, people didn't know life was made of cells. Before there were microscopes capable of looking at life on a small scale, no one had seen them. Before we knew about cells, living things were viewed as a whole, not the sum of a million moving parts.

Because no one knew about cells, it was particularly difficult to describe what was happening if the body wasn't working quite right. If you were sick, it was diagnosed as a problem with your "vapors" or "humors" or "elements." The human body was seen as a sum of the elements, Captain Planet style...Wind, Water, Fire, Earth, Heart! (Heart?)

What I like best about cells is that they are tiny little beings. They can live on their own, in some cases, or they can live as a group and make something as small as an ant or as big as a blue whale. They are talented little building blocks that are incredibly versatile. They make very different forms of life, and within a single organism, they come in a wide variety of types.

I have brain cells (only a few of mine are off kilter...okay, maybe more than a few), skin cells, muscle cells, liver cells - oh goodness, I'm already tired of listing. They all have specific jobs, and they do them without complaint. I should send them a million tiny thank you cards, really. I mean, I have their address.

For a moment, try to feel the millions of cells that are working tirelessly to keep you going through your day. The cells of your heart contracting to a beat; the cells in your intestines, working your peanut butter and jelly sandwich through your body; the blood cells rushing through your vessels; the brain cells sparking and talking to one another. You are a very complex pile of cells! Doesn't it feel great?

Now if only I could get those cells to work together and make a baby!





Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chop, Chop

I have an admission to make or perhaps I mean a confession...

I'm eat very quickly and this often ends in causing me some form of embarrassment. I believe I can trace my "quick" eating habits to my childhood. You see...I grew up with three brothers (no, it doesn't matter that one is 19 years younger than I am). If I wanted seconds I had to eat faster than my brothers. If they finished first, they had seconds and I was out of luck but if I ate faster than the boys...I enjoyed seconds and the boys were out of luck.

After some thinking on how to slow my eating, I have come up with the solution for all the fast eaters out there. It isn't complicated. It's a fairly simple solution, actually.

Chopsticks. Yes , you heard me. Chopsticks.


I do not give a flying fat rat how good you think you are with chopsticks - you aren't good enough. Unless you grew up in a cool country where they actually use them - where forks and spoons are not the norm - where the culture is older than two measly centuries - you are not a chopstick guru.

So I say - give all the fast eaters chopsticks.

If we had to struggle with our food at every meal, we would eat slower.

And imagine all the people (all the people who really understand chopsticks) who could sit back and watch us all struggle.

Imagine it for a second.

Imagine that for everything you ate (including chicken alfredo, and hot dogs, jello, and cake, Timbits, and 2 for 4 Mama Burgers) you had to sit down at a table and try to get two long pointy sticks to guide that food into your mouth. And you couldn't use your hands, either, no matter how tempting. You'd be ostracized from the community if you ate with your hands, or your face. It's either sticks or starve.

It's quite an image, eh?

Simply put: I think the world would be downright better off if forks and spoons were outlawed.

I just might try it. You should try it too - you should try it for a week and see how long it takes you to finish a meal. Go ahead. I dare you.

Wooden Chopsticks by Gifts Go Green via Etsy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Those Were The Days

Breakfast for me has never been about toasting, spreading or frying anything. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker or a fan of bacon and eggs. My name is Janet, and I’m addicted to crunchy, puffy and colourful breakfast cereal.

Consuming these sugary treats formed a core ritual for the average kid growing up in America during the ’80s and ’90s. Whether I was watching Muppet Babies or DuckTales while savoring my favorite milk drenched goodies, the combo of cartoons and cereal never failed to brighten my day and make the ensuing trip to school somewhat bearable. Without the cute mascots, crunchy treats and early morning sugar buzz, I daresay my development as a human being may have been stunted.

The trend towards healthy eating has seen many cereals boasting of "puffs" and "treats" replaced with those gravely presenting their quotients of "whole grains" and "fiber", while whole milk apparently no longer "does a body good". Soy milk, almond milk, skim milk, and even water have replaced the white gold that once comprised the soul of each saccharine bowl.

Look... I'm not saying we should be unhealthy in the face of the widespread nutritional facts and information we have at our disposal these days. However, the classic breakfast cereal experience is endangered, and I think that deserves some acknowledgment. I, for one, intend to pay homage directly...if not everyday, then at least with the Saturday morning cartoons.

In a nostalgic effort to revisit the glory days of breakfast cereal, here are just a few of my top breakfast cereal brands from yesteryear ~ I still eat the top two with more regularity than I'm sure is acceptable for a 37 year old but meh...they make me happy so I say...why not?





What are your favourites?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That Couple

This morning we took another step in our long arduous journey.

We also discovered that Adam and I are "That Couple". The couple that everyone at our clinic knows about but have never met. That unnamed mysterious couple. I'd like to think that Adam and I are a little like secret spies, sneaking around the clinic making our mark but slipping away before anyone sees or hears us. I wonder what our spy names would be? Good thing the internets are all knowing. I kid you not...there's a site for that.

My International Spy Name is Lady Supernova.
Code Name: The Pharmacist
Resides in: Venice
Why You're a Good Spy: You're a good lover


Adam's International Spy Name is Shock Deathbird.
Code Name: The Butcher
Resides in: Rome
Why You're a Good Spy: You are a master at disguise


For the record - I think I'd make a terrible spy but a girl can dream.

We met with another Dr. at our fertility clinic and instantly fell in love with her. Dr. K. was witty, funny and took the time to go over everything and answered each and every question that we threw at her (and there were a lot). As we sat down and she started to go through our file she stumbled upon the report on our lost embryos...and sat up a little straighter. "Oh, oh...you guys are That Couple". Apparently we're famous. Our case was a first for almost everyone there and we've come up in just about every meeting since then and likely will for some time.  It will be used as a good teaching/learning tool so I guess there is a little good that came from our situation. I must stress that Dr. K. then told us how sorry she and the entire staff were for us...that was nice.  

What are our next steps? Well...we are going to stay the course and re-test at Day 3 and Day 5 with my next two cycles. I am also booked in for surgery on November 1st to take a good look at my tubes and to see if we can repair them. Dr. K's gave us 80-85% chance that this will be a success but if I've learned anything over the last year plus...I've learned that we never, never fall on the good side of the numbers but I will do my best to stay positive. We have a new plan and having any kind of a plan at all feels pretty good. 

To be continued...

Secret Agent Spy Glass by Southern Belles Charms via Etsy


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Whispers

Last week we met with our RE to discuss my Day 3 results as well as my AFC and AMH and the steps needed to start our next IVF cycle. I'm not going to lie...I was a mess the night before. I had a pretty good idea about what he was going to say and to be honest, I didn't even really want to hear him say any of it. As I sat there in his office, staring at his tie (which was a pretty epic awesomely tie I might add) I thought about leaning over to Adam and whispering in his ear..."Adam, can you earmuff for me?". If you've seen Old School you will know what I mean. If you haven't seen Old School...you must. Anyway...

I wasn't disappointed.

In a nutshell....IVF 2.1 is going to be delayed by a couple of months. Why the delay? Well my Anti-Müllerian hormone came back at 0.5. I know...pretty craptacular right! That combined with my high FSH (17.91) and low antral follicle count (4), made him suggest that it's best to start me on DHEA, which we did that day, and then repeat my Day 3 blood work (adding in my DHEA level) and Day 5 ultrasound with my next two cycles to see if it was going to have any effect. Not the news I wanted to hear but the news I knew I was going to hear.

What I did not expect to hear is that he does believe that surgery to repair my tubes "might"  - and I use the word "might" loosely - be an option and at this point we really have nothing to lose by taking another look at this. We meet tomorrow morning with another doctor in the practice that specializes in tubal microsurgery to hear her thoughts and opinions. 

So here I stand, on the brink of yet another appointment. I am petrified, terrified beyond belief. It’s like walking into the lion’s den, after you’ve already been mauled, nearly to death, yet in you go again, knowing the danger. I have to do this, the alternative, giving up, is something I can’t and won’t contemplate.

Who knows what the future will bring. All I can do is carry on trying and hoping. 

That is what we are going to do.

Hope Whispers by Hairbrained Schemes via Etsy



Monday, August 20, 2012

What's The Occasion?

Sitting in the corner at the top of the stairs are a set of three small tables. These could be referred to as 'occasional tables'.

My question is this: If they’re occasional tables, what are they the rest of the time? Furthermore, if I have a set of three occasional tables, should I be using them for different occasions or should I be tremendously extravagant and use them all for one big event?
I almost feel that those cute little occasional tables are not achieving their full potential; tucked away in the corner upstairs where no one can see them. Perhaps, with these furniture items being a part-time rest place for discarded items, on special occasions, they could engage in more exciting activities the rest of the time? The smallest occasional table, for example, could be a part time shelter for a homeless mongoose. The largest occasional table could be a life raft for a very small colony of dwarf rabbits ~ to be used in case they get stuck in a boat in rough weather. 
The definition for an 'occasional table' is "a table that is small enough that it does not have a very practical use. It is used mostly for decoration or display."
I think the definition should be changed to: 
An occasional table is an extraordinary piece of furniture that, when not used as a rest place for items during significant occasions, can be used to save the lives of dwarf rabbits all over the world from certain peril on the high seas.
So, next time you see an occasional table sitting somewhere, looking unused, just remember that it’s only having a rest from its regular, important jobs. It’s waiting for the moment to fulfil its potential.
Vintage Nesting Occasional Tables by ReRun Room via Etsy

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tagged

I received an email notification that someone had tagged a photo of me.

I typically avoid cameras, because my face does not translate well in 2D. I have that disorder where I look okay in person, but for some reason when captured in a photograph, my appearance is altered to show 5 extra pounds and a logging route road map of wrinkles.

And that’s just my face.

I asked once what that disorder was called. Apparently it’s commonly referred to as “being female.”

You know how some orthodox Amish believe the camera steals your soul? It’s kind of true. Except for me, it’s not so much the “soul” as “the will to live.”

This explains my hesitation about clicking the “You’ve been tagged!” link.

Life is all about living...right? So I lived a little and clicked the button. I've also declared that from here on out, every Friday will now be called "Funny Face Friday".

Here's my Friday submission...


And yes...in case you were wondering...I have been avoiding a re-cap of our RE appointment but I promise...you shall have it soon.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Becoming

I hope baby zebra is right about lions not eating unicorns... from what I know that claim does not have scientific research to back it up.

Zebra Becomes A Unicorn by Sebastien Millon's Shop via Etsy


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nightmare or Reality?

In the two hours I managed to sleep last night, I had the most upsetting nightmare. I woke up drenched with sweat and in tears and could not go back to sleep.

It was all my heartache and losses rolled into one.

I dreamt I went for an ultrasound and was told that it looked like my uterus was gone. Gone? As in missing, not there. No uterus to carry a baby. No hope. The u/s technician told me so casually, as if it didn’t matter. I was hysterical, running around, begging someone to give me a definitive answer, to do another ultrasound, but all they could do was say ‘we will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether it comes back or not.


And then you leave the clinic or rooms, and you go outside and the world just carries on around you. People scurry on by, having conversations, laughing, doing shopping and your world has smashed into a thousand pieces. How can the world just carry on?

All these horrible memories and feelings came back to me last night, but the most overwhelming feeling was one of total terror, of feeling so out of control. I was so scared that this would break my heart forever, that it would never mend. The wave of terror, pain, anguish was rushing towards me so quickly that I didn’t have time to harden my heart again, to gather my strength and find some resolve. It was too enormous, too overwhelming, I was going to drown. I couldn’t breath.

And then thankfully my alarm went off. It was such a disturbing dream. And it scared me because I don’t know if I can do this again. I am tired, my fragile heart and soul are pieced together with bits of tape, string and old glue. One more blow and it will shatter forever. I don’t think I will be able to fight that wave again. I fear I will drown.

It feels as if it has taken every thing I have to get to this point, I have borrowed up to my limit on my strength and resolve. I don’t think there's any left.

What a horrible dream.


I think I dreamt this in light of my upcoming appointment with our RE tomorrow morning. Will he have good news? Bad news? Part of me almost doesn't even want to hear what he has to say. All of the optimism has been beaten out of me over this last year plus. It's been disappointment after disappointment and as as result I expect nothing other than disappointment. 

I hope that I am wrong. I hope this is a good positive sign...

It would appear based on this ovulation test I took this afternoon that my old and less than stellar eggs are in fact ovulating every month as they should. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

There I Was

Laying in bed reading (at 3 am because I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep) minding my own business, reading away...when out of the corner of my eye I saw this humongous black thing run down the wall and across the floor. Eughh! I don’t mind spiders (usually) but I do mind them being in my house and in MY room! I don’t particularly want to sleep with one!

So, I got out of bed - I say got out...I more jumped upwards and then stood there looking down at this spider from my bed, and had one of those moments where you are looking at it and thinking just how creepy and scary it looks while it stares back at you. In the rational part of my brain (yes, there is a rational part hidden deep in there...somewhere) I know I'm about 100 times bigger than the average spider, but this one seemed only just half my size- it really was that big!

After getting the courage to finally peer over the side of my bed, I took a closer look at it on the ground, where it preceded to run under my bed, which made me cringe even more. It was one of those confused spiders that doesn't really know if it is a spider or a crab, because it ran sideways and with it’s legs all hunched up.


Remember...this was at like 3 am so Adam was asleep and I was trying desperately not to make a lot of noise and wake the sleeping monster (aka Adam) so there I stood on my bed staring at the floor where the spider disappeared...and stood...and stood and then stood some more.

I'm not sure how long I stood there for. Two minutes? Five minutes? After a time and with no encore appearance by the hairy beast...I laid back down, covered myself up and tried to go back to sleep but I couldn't do it.

I'm convinced that spider spent all night under my bed plotting with his creepy spider buddies to kill me off in my sleep. They know what they're doing! But so do I...I just won't sleep!




Saturday, August 11, 2012

My City

I live in Canada's Capital city but I have to admit that I don't often head downtown to see the sights which is a shame really because the sights are very lovely indeed...


Parliament Hill  (this is looking at the back of Parliament Hill)

After a much needed sleep-in some yummy french toast, Adam and I headed downtown to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada . All I can say is wow. It was amazing to be standing just a few feet away from dozens of Van Gogh originals (even if he's not your favorite). Apparently so did hundreds of others. 

National Gallery of Canada

Just across the street...

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Ottawa

The Sanctuary
Just a quick walk up the street and around the corner...

Rideau Canal

I think I shall make a point of taking the time to explore the treasures of my city...Ottawa is pretty amazing and I'm happy to call her home.  

What do you love most about your city?


Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm A Snob

A book snob that is. 

I've come to notice quite a few bookish habits that aren't necessarily good ones...
  • All the books in a series must be in the same format. I own "Matched" by Ally Condie in hard cover so I must own book two "Crossed" in hard cover. I'm weird like that. They also have to sit in order on the bookshelf.
  • I'm a cover snob. I will sometimes overlook books if they have a terrible cover. I'm pretty certain that I am missing out on some great reads by doing this.
  • I spend too much time looking at how far along I am in a book, and how much I have left to read. I should just enjoy the ride and quit worrying about whether or not the book is too long or too short.
  • I buy more books, even though I have stacks of unread ones. I need to read what I have first. This is a problem!
  • Sometimes I read too fast and don't take the time to savour a book. This happens with books I have been anticipating for a long time. 
  • I can't take a break from a book until I'm at a chapter break. That sucks if I'm exhausted and in the middle of a really long chapter. I end up not even remembering some things because of this.
  • I absolutely must to read a book's back cover summary before reading it (even if I read it before I bought it) because I can't stand going into a book blind, with no idea about what's going to happen.
  • I don't give myself enough time to reflect on a book before I start a new one.
  • Sometimes I judge a book too quickly, and it taints my opinion of the book before I've given it a chance.
  • If I don't like a book, I still make myself finish it. I need to learn that it's okay to abandon a book for good. Reading is not a job, and I can quit anytime I want to without penalty.
  • If I really want to read a book, but don't know what, I'll go to my shelves and look for something. As I try to decide, sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the many choices I have, that I give up and watch a movie instead.
Books for Sale along the Seine by Rebecca Plotnick via Etsy

What about you? Do you have any bad bookish habits?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Yesterday was a tough day. On the drive home from work I had a little cry. I pulled into the driveway got out of the car and saw this...


Now matter the troubles of my day or the sadness I feel...life marches on and I just need to march right along with it. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Before...

Disclaimer - Do not read on if you do not enjoy a good old "I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself Eeyore-type sob post" and do not read on if you want to be uplifted or feel positive and optimistic about infertility or life in general. But please do read on if you feel like crap and subscribe to the belief that misery enjoys company.

Like anyone, I love a good laugh! But It dawned on me recently, that my life has had a significant LACK of laughter lately. Before I started bombarding my body with strange drugs and hormones, and experiencing constant disappointments, and losing a young and amazing family member...I was a much happier person.

I was a much happier person a week ago before my Day 3 ultrasound that showed a miserable Antral Follicle count of 4 and I was much happier before yesterday's email giving me the results of my likewise miserable Day 3 blood work.

Eighty eight - E2
Seventeen point nine one - FSH
Six point nine six - LH

You are kidding me right? 17.91! A few months ago it was 14 and a year ago it was 6.

Three - is number of times after reading said email that I had to sneak off to the bathroom and have a little cry while at work and One - is the number of times that I cried myself to sleep last night. Four - is the number of times that I woke up in the middle of the night to cry a little more.

I am not in a good place.

But...

In an attempt to prevent my spiralling mind from circling into the depths of insanity, I will try to conjure up the rational part of my brain that has been temporarily rendered inactive and remember that I am a fortunate woman who has been blessed with a wonderful life and who has many things to be thankful for.

But I'm worried...

I'm worried that the me that existed before my first IVF is pretty much non-existent now and I have no idea how to get her back. I fear she's gone forever.

 Irish Worry Stone by Selkie Crochet via Etsy 



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear...

Dear My New On line Friends,

Thank you so much for getting in touch with me. Although we don’t know each other that well, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to email me notifying me of my inheritance. I have to say – about freakin’ time! I have been busting a gut working my arse off for too long...now I can finally tell my boss where he can shove his job...and then I will give him a wedgie ‘cause I have always wanted to do that. But I digress…Wow!...$50 million dollars!

I have no idea where to begin on spending my new found wealth…by the way money will not change me. I will not go crazy and buy a house made purely out of gold or pay a scientist to discover a potion for invisibility and then to drink that potion to stand secretly behind strangers and whisper strange things in their ears.


Now all you need to do is rush that money right into my account.

Sincerely,
Janet


Friday, August 3, 2012

Thirty Seven

Today is my birthday. I’m 37.

Wow, 37 sounds sort of old, but then again, if my 37th year is the one in which I'm living a wonderful life, how can I not love that? 


I love birthdays because it’s like my own personal New Year’s day. I like to look ahead at the upcoming year and make some plans for how I want to live this year like no other before it. It’s a fun time to reflect on all of the blessings I have in my life...and I do live a blessed life. 


Happy Birthday to me!





Thursday, August 2, 2012

Heartfelt

Sending all of you lovely ladies that offered me such wonderful thoughts and support on my "One Plus Three" post...a giant heartfelt...Thank You!
Mr & Mrs Make Me Pearl Shimmer Thank You Cards by Little Spark Creations via Etsy 

Double Trouble

Getting dressed in the morning doesn’t require a college degree (good thing cause I don't have one of those)...but somehow this morning my underpants confused me.

I take it for granted that when I grab those undergarments from my drawer that they are the right side out and that I am not already wearing a pair (granted, I was wearing a thong but that's no excuse). Then they are on – the rest of my clothes get themselves on. I feel like I have the world at my feet – my underpants are on nothing else matters…bring that bus on my friend, cause I have clean underpants on!

Then....

There I am half way through the day (insert suspense music here) when I go to the wash room and I look down...and in an instant my whole world is changed. Not only are my underpants inside out but I somehow managed to not notice that at some point before getting dressed and pulling on my, what I thought were singular underpants, I had already covered my lady parts with a thong. How could I get it so wrong? I tell myself "All I need to do is check before I put them on"...but I like to live on the edge. 

Remember, if you haven’t got your underpants the right side out as well as wearing not one one pair but two, then you risk getting hit by a bus and having the paramedics pointing fingers and laughing at you when said underpant(s) are discovered. 

Venice Pants by Armener Art via Etsy

I'm now walking around with an extra pair of underpants in my purse...classy Janet...very classy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Plus Three

My thoughts....
  • August 3 - In two days I turn 37. I was excited about my birthday, especially since it was going to fall on a Friday and we had a weekend at Bon Echo planned. Was...is the most important word of that sentence. 
  • We have healed and are ready to start IVF 2.0
  • Today is Cycle Day 3 - This morning I had my Day 3 blood work drawn as well as AMA (did you also have to pay for this?) as well as my baseline ultrasound to measure my antral follicle count. All this in preparation for starting our cycle late this month.
  • Four - This is my abysmal antral follicle count. Four. One on the left, three on the right. 
  • 4 - You are no longer my favourite number.
  • Two - The number of people that no longer find what I say to be interesting, witty or worthy enough of tuning in. I get it. 
  • 14.4 - This was my FSH on my last round of day 3 blood work.
  • Old - I didn't feel this way this morning. This morning I felt young. 
  • Laughable - Feeling young this morning.
  • "You may feel young, but your eggs are old" - Words once spoken to me. Words once laughed off as being untrue.
  • Old eggs - The truth.
  • August 16th - Our appointment with our RE to discuss the results of today's testing and my AMA.
  • AMA - I don't have very high hopes for you my friend.
  • My spirit - Broken.



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