Saturday, February 26, 2011

On pins and needles...literally

Do you hear the Rocky Theme playing in the background? I do, because we're starting Round #2 of the IVF cycle and I've been in training in the off season. OK, so I didn't go to Philly and run up and down the library steps a jillion times, nor did I jump rope for hours on end daily, but I've been in training.

You see, as if I didn't already spend enough time with needles between botox and fertility meds, I've decided to spend even more time with them! Yes, I've been doing acupuncture since the middle of January. There's been some research in Europe that has shown that acupuncture can help with fertility treatments, increasing the number and quality of eggs produced. There's also research showing that it can increase the chances of implantation of the embryos once they are transferred, but there's not much I can do on that side of things. Thus, I've been focusing my efforts on this side of things. My acupuncturist is also a Chinese Herbologist. Thus I've been taking some wonderful herbs for the past 2 months also. At least, I'm assuming they are wonderful herbs. With a name like "Nourish Ren & Chong Formula-Jia Wei Gui Shao Di Huang Wan," and containing things like Dioscorea oppositifolia rhizome, Paeonia lactiflora root w/o bark and Rehmannia glutinosa cured root ruber I can't state for certain that they are indeed wonderful. All I can say is that they are supposed to help with fertility and egg quality. And since that's what we're going for, then in my book, they're wonderful!

To be honest though, I'm heading into this cycle with a lot more trepidation than last time. Believe me, I know that a positive outlook and state of mind can do wonders. Yet, I'm way more concerned than last time. I guess last time I was blessed with a certain naivete. We were expecting about 15 eggs of good quality. We had no reason to expect anything different. And I guess now my eyes are opened to what can happen. On the good side, although we didn't get many eggs last time, we still got some, and we were still able to transfer some. But it wasn't what any of us, our doctor, Aaron, or our surrogate were expecting. And so I'm nervous and anxious. Which, really, there's nothing to be nervous and anxious about. I've done everything possible I can do: vitamins, acupuncture, herbs. At this point, it's out of my hands and into the best hands possible, God's. There's nothing I can do. What is going to happen will happen, and worrying about it won't change the outcome. Yet, I suppose worrying is part of the human condition. I've been praying for peace about this, and I'm getting there, but it's not easy. I guess it never is.

So here's the outline. The retrieval should be sometime around the 10th of March depending on how my happy little ovaries produce. And, we are expecting they are going to produce abundantly! My first ultrasound that will show how they are doing is this coming Tuesday, so I will definitely try to post an update. For the next several weeks if you could pray for me, Aaron, our child to be, and our wonderful surrogate "Lisa" that would be fantastic.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Government Action Update

Forgot to mention, I heard from Representative Pedersen yesterday. He had the following to say,

The bill passed out of the House General Government Appropriations Committee last week and is now in the House Rules Committee. It will probably move to the floor for a vote next week – and then over to the Senate. The hearing in the Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 1:30pm.
Depending on our transfer day I don't know if Aaron and I will be able to make it to the Senate hearing, but since this is where things got stalled last time, we're hoping we'll be able to make it!

What's a little snow after all we've been through?

I've been waiting to announce it on the blog until I knew we were on for sure, but now I shall. I'm beginning my next round of stimulant medications on Saturday! If all goes well, on about March 10th we will have some lovely eggs to retrieve for our second round of IVF. We had to get to YFCF21C today for an ultrasound and blood draw to get the go ahead. This, however, proved to be a bit more difficult than a typical jaunt into the city.

You see, last night we got about 6" of snow. Now, my friends on the East coast and in the Midwest, I know that as you read this you are shaking your heads, scoffing at this. "Bah!" you think, "After what WE'VE been dealing with for the last month, what's a lousy 6" of snow? Especially when you want a baby!" Well, let's talk geographical differences. For example, when I went to Northwestern, back in Chicago, I asked someone during new student orientation week, "Where's the best place to go skiing around here?" And he answered, in all seriousness, "Colorado." Because about the only elevation you get around there is on freeway overpasses.

Now, let's look at the Seattle metropolitan area. You see, Aaron and I live at the bottom of a big hill. A really big hill. And, in fact, all over this area are really big hills. Some of these hills are so big that they make the Great Smokey Mountains and Appalachians look like pitcher's mounds. We could probably refer to them as mountains, but, a hill by any other name would rise as steep. And Seattle, until recent global warming trends have changed the climate somewhat, rarely experienced snow. So the whole city owns something like 20 plows. Needless to say, living at the bottom of a hill, after an evening where it snows like crazy, does not bode well for travel the next day. Remember, we're talking a place where school gets cancelled or let out early if they think there might be snow.

Fortunately, we were somewhat prepared. We parked the car at the TOP of the Very Big Hill the night before when it began snowing. Then, it was just a matter of fording the drifts to get to the top of the Very Big Hill the next morning. Aaron the Intrepid, in an act of gallantry, began the trek 10 minutes ahead of me, and had the car nearly dug out from beneath its snowy tomb before I even reached it. And then, he offered to drive us to the clinic! See, here's the thing, in our relationship, whenever possible, I tend to do the driving. Aaron hates driving, particularly in the city. Secondly, driving keeps me from getting car sick. The snow must have awakened some dormant cromagnon gene within him, "Me protect wife from weather!" And in an act of pure chivalry (or perhaps it was out of fear of how I might drive in the snow) he offered to drive.

Then we began what I thought might be the most harrowing part of our journey. Heading Into The City. Because the other thing about Seattlites is that, for the most part, they have no idea how to drive in the snow. When they start to slide, they hit the breaks. When they begin to lose traction, they gun their engines. When they begin to fishtail they turn, they turn their wheels away from the skid. Don't believe me? Check out these YouTube Videos for some amusement:

Here, a guy tries to go up a hill, and fails miserably:

Here, several people prove their ineptitude:

Here, is where I was pleasantly surprised. The streets had very light traffic, another one of endearing Seattlite traits is staying at home when it snows. Secondly, Seattle proper hadn't been hit very hard by the snow. The worst was right in our area! We made it to the appointment with plenty of time to spare. I spent some good time getting my blood drawn, having my ovaries checked out, and signing the omnipresent consent forms. Round 2, here we come!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"My experience with government is that when things are non-controversial and beautifully coordinated, there's not much going on." -JFK

I guess things are a lot more complicated in government than I thought. I've been in contact with Rep. Pedersen (the House Member who is really pushing for this bill) and he clarified where things will go from here with the bill. So here it is:

The next stop for the bill is probably the House General Government Appropriations Committee. (This is because the Administrative Office for the Courts has a one-time $80,000 cost to update the Judicial Information System to reflect the changes made to the parentage statute). That will likely happen next week. I sit on that committee and have already spoken with the chair, so that should be pretty straightforward. After that, the bill will go to the House Rules Committee and wait there until we are ready to consider it on the House floor. That would be the last week of February or the first week of March. Once it passes out of the House, the bill will go to the Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee (not Senate Judiciary). The bill passed out of that committee last year as well, made it out of Senate Rules, and then died on the floor of the Senate. I’m hoping we have all of that worked out.

So I guess last year it died on the floor of the Senate, not in committee. I'm going to do whatever it takes to stop that from happening again! Our surrogate is an amazing, wonderful woman, but all of this travel back and forth to Portland for her and for us is tiring and complicated. I'll keep you all postede on how things are going with the bill and what you can do, Washingtonians, to help encourage your representatives to vote for it.