Friday, September 19, 2008


Growing up we never had much money. My parents were divorced – my dad a mailman and my mom a full-time student and bartender. We lived on quite a strict budget and saved wherever we could: I remember a school year when our household income qualified me for free cartons of milk at lunch – they were a nickel for the rest of my class.

For the lack of resources, however, we were never made to feel poor. Christmas was always a boisterous time with plentiful presents and birthdays were always greeted with large slumber parties. And each summer my mother would be sure that my brother and I had two vacations – she was always determined to provide experiences that would be the grounds for fond, lasting memories. We never went to Disneyland, never even left the state on our two trips. Rather we would spend a week each at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and River Bend, a posh campground to which a friend held a membership.

My brother and I do have wonderful, everlasting memories of those annual camping trips. We’d shop for piles of junk food in the days prior, stocking up on Olde Tyme sodas (grape, cherry, cream soda) and Little Debbies. We would pack the family’s Dodge Colt so full of camping gear that we (and our one friend each) would be forced to squeeze into any space remaining for the hour-long trip to Yogi Bear’s. On our arrival, after scouring the grounds for the best site (each of us having different priorities: my mom to be close to the bathrooms, me to be near the pool and activity center, my brother hoping to find a spot secluded from the other campers) we would set up our tents and exhale. Over the next week we would do much (swimming, hula hoop contests, and near-miss first kisses) and nothing at all (read books, eat crap, go to bed early and get up with the sun).

This past week has been much like that – the anticipation of the hurricane, stocking up on junk food and non-perishables. The excitement of the storm and the calm in the aftermath. We had days in the same clothes (with no water to wash them) and spent time helping neighbors. We’ve eaten much food of little nutritional value and all cooked over an open flame. I’ve read 4 books, so far, by the thin light of a flashlight. In many ways this week without power (still without power) has been a lot like camping. But in some ways not so much.

I had been instructed on Friday to begin the meds for IVF #2 on Tuesday. We were expecting the storm, but didn’t really comprehend what would be left behind. I thought we’d be out of power until Monday, maybe Tuesday, but never did I imagine the estimates of 2-4 weeks. Once the full news of the outages reached us (over the radio) I just assumed that we’d be canceling the cycle, refilling my BCPs and hurrying up and waiting for another month. You can’t imagine my shock when the message came through: start stims as planned on Tuesday.

It’s a strange position to be in, hearing of so much devastation just 50 miles away (while being thankful for our own good fortune) and still being concerned about advanced reproductive therapy. To sit on the floor in my dark house, mixing vials and giving injections, prepping my ovaries for an elective procedure while others worry about finding gas, ice, food. This is not how I expected this cycle to go – how could I have predicted this? – but I think it’s working in my favor.
Having rare access to the internet means I’ve been unable to obsess about dosing instructions and my E2. I’ve been unable to compare my progress to friends and fellow bloggers. My poor husband has been subjected to my ponderings as to how the cycle is going, unable to provide insight, knowing he is just a sounding board to replace my usual network of overly informed IVFers. But it’s meant that I’ve had to trust my doctor, go with the flow and wait and see. A good thing, no doubt.

But now that I sit with access to the web for a moment, I will no doubt be frantically searching for others with low E2 (92 after 3 days of stims and an estrogen patch) and pathetic follie scan (8, all measuring under 6mm). I will look for stories of girls who reacted more slowly to a higher dose of meds than a previous cycle and will scour for the truth behind the rumor that “a slow stim is always better”. But before I have time to collect enough tales of similar cycles to calm my frayed nerves I will be back home, in our warm, dark house, far from the community of women who understand.

I will take my increased dose of meds (150iu of Menopur and 300 of Gonal F), pick up the flashlight and curl into bed with another mindless book, my thoughts slipping away from my ovaries once again. Until Monday when I am again pulled from the relative primitive life of our “camp” and thrust back into the modern world – another date with the butterfly needle and the vag cam and another missed opportunity to obsess as I ordinarily would. Unless, of course, we have power by then. In which case I’ll be right back here, desperate for you all comfort me and assure me that this cycle is going just fine.


Lifeslurper said...

Oh my, Amber!

Best wishes to you there in Ikes-ville! Of course, these cycles never ever happen as we plan them, but it never ceases to amaze me - the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in the midst of when preparing for our IF treatments. I trust you and your entire neighbourhood (and beyond)will stay safe. You never know...perhaps your tussle Ike will blow new life into those ovaries of yours!? Take care, and please let us know you are okay, okay!!??

eggorchicken said...

I'm so glad you're ok, and that the storm didn't do you too much damage.

Wishing you all the best for this cycle and really hope This Is It.


MP1648 said...

Good luck! I had no electricity all last week from IKE - my DH had to hold the flashlight so I could measure my stims in the dark - I was just grateful that we were alive and that the worst thing going on was no power...

I only had 3 eggs retrieved my first IVF - I am triggering tonight for IVF#2 and I have 11!!!!! mature follicles. I am amazed with women with crazy follicles - my ovaries already feel like they are going to explode!

I only stimmed for 7 days - after 3 days my e2 was 873, after 5 it was 2041 - I cannot believe it. I started on 300 gonal f (150 in am, 150 in pm) and 75 menopur.

I really wish you luck and.

Pepper said...

I'm positive I've read that slower stimming is better. And being separated from "Dr. Google" may prove to be really, really helpful. It's not as if it ever gives you any definitive answers, after all.

Best of luck with this cycle! I'm always following, even if I'm not commenting. Promise. :o)

Echloe said...

I'm glad that you get to stick to your schedule. Enjoy your google free time. It will probably do wonders for your soul.

theworms said...

First of all I'm so happy you and your family are safe and second of all I'm so glad you got to continue with your cycle. Stay away from the google, it is evil. I learned that the hard way after seeing graphic (I wanted to vomit) pictures of DH's upcoming surgery, I was just trying to get some info about his recovery.

((((HUGS)))) and sticky baby dust coming your way.

Anniep said...

Glad to hear the cycle is still on. Update when you can. I hope the follies are all growing well.

We too have MFI (surprise!), so I can sympathize. BEST of luck w/ this cycle. And I hope you get electricity soon.

(from ICLW)

Jessatsea said...

I think it's PERFECTLY appropriate that your progeny be born out of all of this craziness. ;)

I hope you great success with your slow stim and am thinking of today and always!

Peeveme said...


I'm glad you guys are ok. Very strange circumstances to start IVF under. I am hoping it all goes very well. I'll be checking for updates when you can give them.

Mrs Woggie said...

It sounds like you had some wonderful camping adventures when you were younger.

I hope that this cycle is different to the others, best wishes.

Here from ICLW.

Kristin said...

Good luck with this cycle. I hope the storm didn't do too much damage to your property even though you still don't have power.


Aunt Becky said...

Wow, I'm wishing you all of the luck in the world for your cycle. I'm here from ICLW and I'm so pleased that you're okay and fairing well. I'll be back around to check on how things go. Good luck!

bendingbackwards said...

I wish you the best with your cycle.

Here from ICLW.

Photogrl said...

Stopping by from ICLW...

Best wishes for this cycle...good luck!

andbabybmakesthree said...

Good luck to you!


True Companions Plus One? said...

Hey there - I always love the way you write. And I love how you relate this time back to your childhood. Made me think about mine ;-)

I'm happy to hear you are safe and sound - good luck with "camp life" and I hope the power comes back on soon. Although I think some internet and google-free time could do us all some good! haha

Cara said...

What a lovely analogy. This is going to make quite a story for your future generations!


Martha said...

Sending my best to you. I'm glad you all are okay after Ike, but the area will take years to recover. Visiting from ILCW, thanks for sharing.