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Let me explain, no there’s too much, let me sum up.

A timeline:

February 22, 2017- Go in for consultation on Mini IVF with a specialist in women with low ovarian reserve.

February 22, 2017-present. Be told I need to lose weight for IVF so lose 62 pounds.

Several months ago, decide to have a party in the back yard to show off the new garden

January 27-March 4: Go through long ass stimulated cycle that seemed to fuck up my estrogen and didn’t develop any retrievable follicles but got me a cyst instead.

March 14, send 100 paperless post invitations to friends inviting to Spring Backyard Party at Celosa and Fusilli’s house on April 1.

March 21, surprise period starts after an 18 day cycle due to body thinking cyst was ovulation.

March 22, go to Dallas for initial scan. Go to Austin for work thing.

March 23, in Austin for work thing; start stimulating for IVF. Go to ranch afterwards

March 24-5, continue IVF stimulation at ranch

March 26-29, continue IVF stimulation at home.

March 30 (Friday morning) 8:00 am appointment in Dallas for day 7 scan and labs. Inform doctor that really would be inconvenient to come back this weekend due to family obligations. Get back to Houston by noon and go straight to work.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 1:11 Call from doctor that they really do need to see me on Saturday because of one of my lab levels.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 3:30. Bosses send us home early due to holiday. Breathe because that gives me two more hours to get ready for the party before I have to go to Dallas.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 3:45 Find husband in bed and not really responding to anything. Dr. Celosa says that Graham is very sick, and shows us where it hurts. She says we need to take him to the ER.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 4:08 Doctor calls me to the back at the ER to let me know they think it’s appendicitis, but we have to wait for the CAT scan.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 4:11 Call IVF doctor to ask if Graham can’t be part of the cycle is there a backup (there is a frozen sample just in case for situations like this). Discuss with Graham on whether to move forward or not. Decide to do it.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 5:39 Send 100 notices that the party has been cancelled.

March 30 (Friday afternoon) 6:00 Get the official diagnosis and the transfer initiated to a hospital to get on the schedule for surgery.

March 30 (Friday evening) 8:00ish I go home to get some stuff and Graham goes via ambulance to the hospital. At some point, I remember to give myself the IVF meds.

March 30 (Friday evening) 8:30 Graham texts me to let me know he’s in the hospital. I meet him 29 minutes later.

March 30 (Friday night) 9:00-10:00 Wait around for what’s happening next. Get conformation that surgery will be at 9:00 am tomorrow morning.

March 30 (Friday night) 10:30 I head home. 11:30, I’m in bed.

March 31 (buttass part of the Saturday morning) 4:00 am haul my ass out of bed and drive to Dallas. Talk to Graham at 6:30 whose pain has gotten worse and was interrupted a lot over the night.

March 31 (Saturday morning) 7:45 Go in for ultrasound and labs.

March 31 (Saturday morning) 8:15 Drive back to Houston.

March 31 (Saturday morning) 11:20 Get call from Hospital that Graham is out of surgery and doing ok. Will be recovering awhile.

March 31 (Saturday afternoon) 12:11 Walk into the hospital. Spend a few hours with a groggy but much happier Graham.

March 31 (Saturday afternoon) 2:30ish. Go home, promising to be back at 5 or 6 to shower and get a cat nap. See mess in house for party prep and start putting all of that away first. Manically clean kitchen and finish cooking the two items that needed to be finished before the debacle started yesterday. Have 2 dozen deviled eggs, 4 pounds of poached chicken in green sauce, and lots of basil mayonnaise. Jose and Liv (who drove in for the party) come over to help. I shower. Only one guest comes over having not gotten the “it’s cancelled” message.

March 31 (Saturday afternoon) 6:19 While deciding whether to visit Graham first or get crawfish first, Graham calls to say he’s ready for discharge. Jose, Liv and I go to get Graham.

March 31 (Saturday evening) 7:17 Talk to Graham’s dad on the way home. Drive to pharmacy for drugs and then go home. Liv and Jose get takeout crawfish.

March 31 (Saturday evening) 8:12 Crawfish is at the house, and Claudia and Matthew come over to help eat them. My siblings later help me walk the dogs. Graham recuperates on the couch. Somehow I remember to take my meds.

April 1 (Saturday night/Sunday morning) 12:21 Go to bed, sleep 8 hours and 22 minutes.

April 1 (Sunday morning) 11:00 Claudia comes over for brunch. Jose and Olivia follow shortly afterwards. We eat a lot of the food I made for the party and those who can drink (my siblings, but not me or Graham) drink sangria. Siblings linger until around 2:00. Liv goes back to Austin, and Jose goes to a party.

April 1 (Sunday afternoon) 2:20 Claudia and I get our nails done.

April 1 (Sunday afternoon) 5:23 I walk around the corner to the pub to attend a friend and colleague’s wedding reception.

April 1 (Sunday afternoon) 5:37 I get a call at the wedding reception that someone is in crisis and I need to help.

April 1 (Sunday afternoon) 6:34 I leave the reception and go home. Deal with crisis until around 9:30. Go to Walgreens for scripts. Am in bed by 11:40.

April 2 (Monday morning) 5:00 leave for Dallas for 9:00 appointment. Get scanned, find one follicle in a very hard to reach place. Decide to go forward. Egg retrieval scheduled for Wednesday. Need to be in Dallas tomorrow for scans.

April 2 (Monday afternoon.) 1:00 arrive home, go to work and try to figure out what the plan is.

April 3 (Tuesday morning) 6:00 am drive back to Dallas for lab work.

April 3 (Tuesday morning) 10:42   breezed right through a stop sign without seeing it, and got pulled over. Was fine when they took my licence and insurance card, but while they were doing whatever it is they do in the cruiser, the weight of everything that’s happened in the last five days hit me and I started sobbing uncontrollably. The poor cop was a bit flummoxed when she came back with just a warning. I apologized and said I’m not usually like this.

April 3 (Tuesday morning)  11:15 Find a Dennys, find a hotel.  Camp out at hotel and get some work done while waiting for Graham to fly to Dallas.

April 3 (Tuesday evening) 8:24 Go to airport to pick up Graham.  Wander around until he gets here.

April 3 (Tuesday evening) 10:05 Go back to Dennys because it’s the only place open.

April 4 (Wednesday morning) 7:20 Go to clinic, get ready for retrieval.  Under general anesthesia, they are able to retrieve one egg. The other, smaller follicle did not have an egg inside.  Drive back to Houston,

April 4 (Wednesday afternoon)  1:28 Go to work.

April 5 (Thursday morning)  9:20  Get call from the lab that the egg fertilized.  Exhale major breath that I’d been holding.

April 7 (Saturday morning) 9:33  Get call from the lab that the embryo has eight very good looking cells and has been frozen.  Jump for joy.

There are so many odds stacked against this kid from happening, that I kinda think it’s starting to reverse itself and get astronomically MORE likely that it’s going to happen. I mean, 4 years of trying, on top of the year of losing weight on top of this crazy ten days.

I keep on thinking of Jyn Erso’s speech: If we can make it to the ground, we’ll take the next chance, and the next, on and on until we win, or the chances are spent.

We’re still very early in the fight, but so far the chances have gone remarkably in our favor with very small odds. Here’s hoping we can deliver the plans of the Death Star.

40 Days Day 4–30

“So you’ll love her, she’s great,” Kevin said.

Helen snorted. “Not that great.”

“Don’t listen to her. She’s still pissed about the car thing.”

“She borrowed my car for a single errand, and it took six hours.  I was very clear about what I was lending it for, and she took it on a joy ride.  She even ferried passengers.”

Kevin rolled his eyes.  “You got it back. Unscathed even.”

“That’s not the point…” Helen started, but Kevin moved on.

“Eddie, she’s a dynamo.  She takes over a room when she walks into it.”

Helen rolled her eyes, and then sighed.  “Ok, I will admit, she does have a superpower of getting impossible things done. She’s amazingly persuasive, and her force of will is something to behold.  You find yourself agreeing to her crazy ideas without even questioning them. And later, you wonder how we all managed to pull it off.”

Kevin nodded. “It’s amazing. And it works even if you know her well.”

Eddie looked at them, not quite sure if this was a good person or a bad person that he was about to meet. “So, where does she live? What does she do?”

Kevin and Helen looked at each other and shrugged.  “It’s unclear.  She’s a bit of a gypsy.  I know at least a dozen people who have hosted her for an extended period of time.  She has a bunch of projects going.  Sometimes she seems flush with cash.  Other times she’s broke.”


I have an appointment next week with a reproductive endocrinologist with Baylor. It’s been nine months since I went to the OB/GYN and he gave me Clomid. I went through seven cycles of Clomid without any success. On the eighth, I noticed that I had a very light, very short period, and I decided to stop and let my body re-regulate. No luck there, either.

So we’re seeking professional help. I suspect that this will be a frustrating journey, since they’ll have to see what’s wrong first. Probably a lot of testing. Probably a lot of waiting on my body. Or on Graham’s. Or on both of us. And then some hard decisions about how far we want to take this, how far to go before we decide we waited too long, that we’re too old, that a baby may not be in the cards for us.

I’m not sure we’re there yet. Maybe I’m pregnant now, this last week of my cycle. Maybe I just need a nudge. Or Graham needs something. Or a catheter has better aim than we do on our own.

I’m a little scared, but there’s nothing to do but go to the appointment and see what the doctor says.

Peed on a stick

So since July, Graham and I have been trying to get pregnant.  We’d been sort of trying before July, but we weren’t all that organized about it.  I’d gone off the pill, and we’d have sex, and we’d wait, and I’d not be pregnant.  After Graham had his hernia surgery in June, we decided that we needed to get more organized.

So I started taking my temperature every morning.  And I’d keep track of my cervical mucous. And I’d take ovulation predictor tests. And we’d have timed sex.  And every month, we’d wait for my period.  Which inevitably came.  I’d read more about fertility, and I joined an online board and learned all the acronyms.

In early November, I went to an obgyn to get checked out.  He said that I probably wouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant, but when I showed him my temperature charts, he thought that maybe my luteal phase was a little short.  He gave me a prescription for Clomid for three months and sent me on my way.

I was bitterly disappointed the first month.  And then just sad on the second.  The third, I thought something was wrong with me.  When my period came at the end of  January, I called my obgyn, and he recommended a test to see whether any of my tubes were blocked. So on February 7, I went in and had my perfectly formed uterus and very open fallopian tubes x-rayed. Everything looked normal.

Next up was Graham.  He went in for a sperm analysis two weeks after I had my test. It seemed like it took forever to get the results back. And when they got back on March 7, they weren’t great.  I’d spent enough time on fertility boards to know that they weren’t insurmountable, but it was beginning to look more and more like we were going to need help getting pregnant.  Graham immediately stopped putting his laptop on his lap, and he started taking more supplements to get his numbers better. In the meantime, he made an appointment with a urologist, but that wouldn’t be until the end of April.

I decided that I’d take this two month break to work on my luteal phase. It’d improved considerably when I was on Clomid.  It’d been about 8 or 9 days before, with a 25ish day cycle.  On Clomid, it was a 12-13 day luteal phase with a 28 day cycle.  So I took Vitex every day and started to go to acupuncture once a week.  My acupuncturist told me that I had low kidney energy / yang.  I also added vitamins b12 and b6 and coq10 to my supplement intake. Plus some herbal medicine from my acupuncturist.  And it seemed to work. Though my cycle was still 25 days long, my luteal phase was 11 days. The previous month it had been 9 days.

On March 23, I started a new cycle. This cycle would be complete before Graham’s urology appointment, so it was another throwaway cycle as far as conventional medicine was concerned. In addition, I was going to Mexico for a wedding right around the time of ovulation, so we might miss our window.

The cycle was weird.  We got Fusilli towards the beginning of it, and sleep was interrupted considerably because he had to go out so often in the middle of the night.  My temps were pretty high early in the cycle.  Then they fell to very low.  My OPK was positive around the time my cervical mucous got egg white, and we had sex.  I flew to Mexico, and my temps started to rise. Five days later, they started to rise some more.  It was confusing, because I wasn’t sure if the second set of temps meant that I’d just then ovulated, or if it was one of those triphastic shifts I’d heard about.

So I waited.  And my temperatures never went down.  I peed on a stick on day 25, the day before my period was supposed to come. Nothing.  I peed on a stick on day 26, the day my period was supposed to come. Nothing.  I peed on a stick today, my period a day late.  HOLY FUCK! I think that’s a line!!!

Graham and I studied the stick.  It’s very faint. Very very faint.  And it could be a chemical pregnancy.  But I think I’m pregnant.  And I think that we were able to do this pretty much on our own.  Graham is still going to his appointment next week.

But if it is true, if I am pregnant, we’re going to have one of the best Christmas presents ever.

A new journal

Trying something new.  Back when I lost a ton of weight, I journalled the hell of my exercise.  It was a private journal, and only one other person could see it, but it was really great for me to keep track of what I was doing.  I think it also kept me honest about things.

So today, for the first time since my wedding nine months ago, I ran on a trail at the ranch.  I’d also run in October, but that was a one shot sort of thing.

Today’s was a pretty awesome run, as far as such things go.  I started with my mom, Liv and the pulik, and we stuck to the road and then the dam and then across the field.  Then everyone but Liv went back to the house. I paused for a second to use the rest room and then pushed on past the rhumpton house and then around the road back.

Depending on which device you ask, it was somewhere between three and three and a half miles and it took me about 40 minutes.

This is the route: