10 Days…

There are 10 calendar days to kill until our FET. At my check on Friday morning, the labs were exactly where they should be, my ovaries were quiet, and my uterine lining was 6.something with the triple stripe they like to see. We’ll check everything one last time this coming Friday. I am trying my absolute hardest to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, but—well, it’s hard.

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We spent the weekend camping at El Capitan State Beach, which is probably one of my all-time favorite places to go camping. It’s notoriously difficult to get a reservation—you have to plan many months in advance—but if you enjoy ocean scenery, it’s totally worth the wait.

sunrise

This year, we camped at site #4. I had no idea what to expect because I’ve never stayed in this particular part of the campground before, and I don’t know that I’ll camp in that area again. We were right next to a dry ravine where a family of skunks have made themselves at home, and they didn’t think twice about strolling through our campsite. Once the sun set, we had to be on guard for every rustle of leaves. No way was I going to end up with two skunked dogs. Fortunately, we managed to avoid being sprayed, but it didn’t make for particularly relaxing evenings.

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We weren’t as prepared for this trip as we usually are. Somehow we managed to forget the “camping box,” which is the precious container that holds all of the crucial elements—can opener, corkscrew, lighters, utensils, spices, etc. We also forgot dog food. Whoops. Once I sorted that out with a trip to the store, we thought we were done with surprises. And we were—for a few hours. Until we woke up Saturday morning and tried to put the water on the stove to make coffee and learned that our stove was broken. Propane was shooting straight out of the part that connects it to the stove. Fun.

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Of course, as long as you have fire, you don’t NEED a stove, but we planned our meals around that damn stove, so things were a bit complicated. It’s hard to cook pancakes on an open fire. Oh well. We managed!

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Complications aside, it was a nice weekend. The fresh air, sunsets, and stars were positively medicinal. I’m trying my hardest to hold on to that peace as we roll into another week.

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Happy Monday, all.

Puppy Love

When Catch got home yesterday, Twix greeted her at the door with TWO apples in her mouth.  She had pulled a bag of apples off of the counter, and there were apples scattered all over the house and the yard.

When I got home yesterday, Twix greeted me at the door with an empty bag that once contained a full loaf of whole grain bread.  Her belly was so full it looked like a balloon about to pop.  That was a fun mess to deal with.

This, my friends, is life with basset hounds. Nothing is safe from the nose of a hound. Over the years, Twix has consumed:

  1. A bottle of red Nyquil – on the bed
  2. A box of chocolate cupcakes
  3. A bowl of Halloween candy
  4. The dinners of unsuspecting house guests
  5. At least 2 pounds of butter
  6. Enough platters of appetizers to cater a gathering of football players
  7. Vegan Thai curry AND tom yum gai soup
  8. A 3-lb roast
  9. A bag of Twix bars (in her defense, it did have her name on it)
  10. 3 squirrels
  11. Cat poop
  12. A baggie of pot followed by an entire pan of cornbread (it wasn’t ours!)
  13. An entire bag of dog food—in one sitting
  14. ANYTHING wrapped in tin foil
  15. The entire non-plastic contents of the trash can (x100000)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We have funded our veterinarian’s retirement over the years with these two hounds.

Regardless, they are my favorite brand of trouble. No matter what Twix gets herself into, she will always curl up with me in bed at the end of the day, scooting herself as close to me as she can possibly get. I can actually feel my heart rate decrease the moment she drapes her head over my legs. They are little monsters by day, and my saviors by night.  They give so much more than they take.

It’s hard not to love these two goofballs.

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Hysteroscopy / Polypectomy

The hysteroscopy/polypectomy went well. Spot was removed along with another small lump that was popping up alongside Spot. I was pretty paranoid about taking the Cytotec the night before, but the cramping/pain ended up being very mild.  I took the Cytotec plus 600 mg of ibuprofen as directed and went to bed. I did wake up once in the night feeling pretty uncomfortable, but I was able to go right back to sleep.

Unfortunately, my body is protesting its second round of anesthesia in two weeks. Did you know that redheads require up to 20% more anesthesia than the average patient? The anesthesiologist was all too excited to be working on a redhead after a day filled with boring-haired people. She got a bit too happy as her eyebrows raised and she asked, “Is that red hair I see beneath your cap?”

Anyway, the anesthesia has left me feeling very tired and weak with a pounding headache. I ended up on my knees in the bathroom around 4 am on Sunday, which was positively lovely. There are few things I hate more than throwing up. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I was sick before this.

I managed to drag myself to work this morning, but I’m deeply regretting it. This is the longest I’ve been upright since Friday morning. I would have loved another day in bed with my Harry Potter audiobook and my puppies.

Speaking of the pups, Catch snapped this photo yesterday while I was asleep in my mom’s guest room. We spent Saturday night over there because it’s been well over 100 degrees and we don’t have central air conditioning. We decided that if I’m going to be stuck in bed, it may as well be a properly air conditioned bed. I’m not sure if Twix & Rolo spent the weekend in bed with me because they were worried about me, or if they just did it to remind me that the bed is OURS and not MINE. The Golden Retriever on the floor is my mom’s dog, Goose, trying her hardest not to be left out of anything, even if it is just marathon napping.

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This was the two of them as I was leaving for work this morning, reminding me why a) I rarely make the bed in the morning, and b) I would like to be reincarnated as one of my dogs.

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Sunshine & Rainbows (& Sarcasm)

I allowed myself to have a cup of coffee every morning while we were camping. I also allowed myself to have a couple of drinks. Cut me some slack. We were floating on a river in 109 degree heat. Sometimes, you just need a cold beer.

I have not had coffee or alcohol since Sunday.

Having said that, the combination of no coffee + no alcohol + birth control pills is making me possibly the most miserable human being on the planet. You do not want to be within a 1-mile radius of me. I will either a) fall asleep on you or b) completely overreact to something totally minor, and do it with so much drama that everyone in the vicinity of us will think you are abusing me.

I bet you really want to be Catch right now, huh?

Although it may not seem like it, this is actually an improvement over Monday and Tuesday. Now I’m just tired and grouchy and don’t feel good, but I’m not feeling as stressed and anxious as I was on top of the present trifecta. Win!

Actually, today is the first day all week that I haven’t had a headache and needed to crawl under my desk and close my eyes at 2pm, so maybe the progress is better than I thought? I’d still love to take a nap, but I am at least physically capable of sitting upright at my desk, which is definitely an improvement over yesterday when I tucked myself into the fetal position and used the walking shoes I keep under my desk as a headrest.

I have not yet taken the time to listen to any of the Circle + Bloom sessions. I really want to, but last night I was asleep before I could even think about it, and the night before I just plain forgot. I think tonight will be the night. I’ll let you know.

My nurse called this morning to say that they weren’t thrilled with my latest glucose test and they want me to start on Glucophage XR instead of Metformin. Something about the Glucophage taking less time to build up in my system than Metformin. I start taking it tonight. One pill a day for a week, and then two pills a day after that. Fun times.

Other than that, I have now scheduled all of the schedule-able IVF appointments. Tuesday will be my last dose of birth control (HALLELUJAH!!!!) and I’ll go in for an ultrasound, mock transfer, and endometrial activation. 5 days later, I start Follistim and Menopur. Ironically, Labor Day (Sept 1) is on the calendar as a possible transfer day. Am I the only one who finds that amusing?

I am going to leave you with an adorable picture of my little hound girl Twix on our camping trip. She was perfectly content to curl up in an inner tube and take a nap.

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She also liked stealing our chairs.

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I kind of want her life.

Distractions

Since I’ve been a sullen, miserable human being in this space the last few days, I thought I’d share some snippets of daily life that help make all of this stress bearable.

1) My Garden

Everything is growing so beautifully.  Our carrots are small, but they are lovely. 

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I walked out to the back yard on Sunday evening and pulled all of this together.  Heirloom tomatoes, miniature red sweet peppers, kale, jalapenos, green onion, lemon cucumbers, chives, basil and thyme.  I made a salad dressing with the herbs, green onion and a jalapeno, and then made the kale, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and the carrots above into a salad for my lunch at work.

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2) Friends

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On Saturday night, we went to the Hollywood Bowl with one of our best friends and my mom.  Jack Black was hosting Dreamworks’ 20th Anniversary, and the show was as fantastic as the company.  We packed a wonderful picnic and had such a great time.  It was a reminder that we need to do things like that more often.

3) My hound babies

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They don’t know why my emotions have been so freaking insane, but they sure recognize that something’s not quite right.  On Monday after the clinic confirmed our BFN and Catch had to leave for her softball game, this little guy sat with me outside like this for ages.  He was so sweet just lying on the grass with his chin resting on my lounge chair.  He didn’t know what was wrong, but he let me know that he was there and that he loves me. 

He was rewarded with chin scratches–his all time favorite.

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My uterus may be empty, but my life is full and I am grateful for every moment of it. 

 

Wedding Bells

Some friends of ours are getting married tonight and I realized that this is the first gay wedding Catch and I will have attended together.  I mean obviously we were at our own wedding, but not a single one of our gay friends has had a wedding until now.  That’s just crazy to me.  People need to start getting hitched, already! 

Anyway, the wedding is in Santa Barbara, so we’re spending the night at the beach.  I’m hoping that in the morning we can have a leisurely breakfast and spend some time on the sand.  Afterward, we’re meeting up with my family in Santa Monica to see my little cousin who’s visiting from Oregon and to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  It’s a very beachy weekend, and the weather is perfect for it.  Something about blue skies, palm trees and cool ocean makes all of the L.A. traffic seem worth it.  Temporarily, anyway.

It’s going to be a whirlwind of a weekend, and that’s just how I like it. Keeping busy during the tww.

Have I mentioned that if we conceive this cycle, our due date will be April 1st?  I have a friend with an April Fool’s Day birthday.  Her name is April.  Creative, eh?

My parents are watching the dogs while we’re gone tonight, and my mom decided to take them to work with her today.  Office dogs.  Are they cute or what?  IMG_0035

Rolo is curled up in his big bed, and Twix is sitting on the blanket being a pain in the ass. I asked mom if they’re working hard or hardly working and she replied, “Roly is on break.  Twix is reading to me from the words inside her head.”  Hounds, man.  They like to talk.

Monday? No Thanks.

Today is HSG day. As if Monday wasn’t bad enough all on its own! I know that many of you have had this test and several have said that it’s no big deal, but I am dreading it. I just want to get the damn thing over with.

I had a great weekend, and it was pretty painful to wake up this morning and get back to business. I’m really not feeling it. 8 hours of work does not trump the 8 (+) hours of Orange is the New Black that I have waiting for me at home. (Does anyone watch OITNB? Am I the only one who’s heartbroken that Alex is only in 4 episodes this season? They took my eye candy away!)

My mom and I had such a nice time at A Prairie Home Companion on Friday night. Well, except for the guy sitting next to me who was smacking his gum in my ear for the first half of the show. By the time intermission rolled around, I was seeing red. He was over 60 years old… did his mother not teach him to chew with his mouth closed? Major pet peeve. I can’t stand that smacking sound.

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We had a picnic outside the theater before the show. We were sitting there with lots of other people on a blanket on the grass, and this coyote was just hanging out pacing from blanket to blanket hoping someone would spare some of their roast beef sandwich. It was insane. We see coyotes often because we’re in a valley and they live in the hills all around, but I’ve NEVER seen one so tame. I was torn between being sad that he was so desperate for food that he was looking for handouts and being totally awestruck.

coyote

On Saturday, we took the dogs to the Basset Hound Rescue of SoCal’s Spring Games. It’s so silly, but we had a great time. Despite telling her that if she’s not first, she’s last, Twix won third place in the synchronized swimming contest. I told her I still love her, but that she’d better get her act together for next year. We thought Rolo would do well in the treat toss, but he didn’t make it past the second round. Other events for the day included a howling contest, kissing contest, drooling contest and napping contest. All of the things that hound dogs do best. Twix & Rolo were totally exhausted by the end of the day.

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My little third place swimmer

Selfie with my best girl!

Selfie with my best girl!

Rolo gets comfy?

Rolo gets comfy?

Sunday, I spent the afternoon at my mom’s pool. The water is already 79 degrees, which is pretty unheard of for June. It was the perfect day to float in the sun and nap in the shade. I’d love to find a way to bottle that kind of relaxation.

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Away

Guarddog

So, we skipped town last weekend for a quick 2-night trip to El Capitan State Beach.  Right next to our tent, there was a little flat spot with room for our chairs and a dog bed and a direct view of this:

Sunset1

Sunset2

We spent quite a bit of time in that spot.  The pups thought it was a great place to nap.  And beg for treats.  Twix does a mean high five with the right motivation.

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Highfive

We also spent some time at Arroyo Burro dog beach, which is only a 20 minute drive from the campground.  Dogs aren’t allowed on state beaches, so we took them to the dog beach at low tide on Saturday.

Beach

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Playtime

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The added bonus of low tide at the dog beach? Tidepools!

Rocks

Starfish

Tidepools

Shell

Ocean

Naturally, we made it back to camp in time for sunset. I wouldn’t want to miss this.

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Sunset4

We were up early Sunday morning, and made our way quietly to the beach with the dogs to catch the sunrise.  It was quick enough not to get caught by anyone who would yell at us about dogs on the beach, but long enough for the dogs to find a dead lobster to roll on.  Good times.  Beautiful sunrise.

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Not a bad way to spend a weekend.  I hope we can do it again soon!

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The Dog Beach
El Capitan

(Lacking) Motivation

There are always terrific reasons as to why I should do the things I have trouble making myself do, but let’s face it—earning a living and keeping a roof over our heads is just not enough motivation to get my ass out of bed in the morning most days. That’s why Catch saved me the last Starbucks Holiday Blend k-cup this morning. Thank you, baby. 

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In Southern California, we don’t see much rain.  For that reason, I LOVE me a rainy day.  Everyone else bitches and complains, but I adore the gloom.  It makes me want to curl up in pajamas with a hot cup of something or a glass of red wine and watch movies all day.  Precisely the reason why it’s a good thing that we hardly ever have rainy days here.  I’d never get anything done.  I’ve learned over the years that no matter how much I complain about the lack of grey, I need the sunshine.  There’s something energizing about the sunrise, and I am always grateful when I get to catch the spectacular snippets of them in my rear view mirror like I did this morning. When I walked into my office, I opened the blinds completely for the first time in months.  Hello, sunshine.

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Then, there’s exercise.  Why is this so hard for me?  I truly don’t understand it.  30 minutes a day feels like pure torture.  I find myself counting every dang second.  No matter how I entertain myself while working out—new playlists, audiobooks, TV—I get so bored.  AT the 20 minute mark last night, I was bargaining with myself: Just get to the 25-minute mark and then you can stop.  You’ll do the full 30 tomorrow.  It’ll be fine. Fortunately, I added some motivation to the treadmill.  Meet sperm & egg:

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Apparently, they were all I needed to push myself past the 25 minute mark. 

Now if I could just find something to motivate me to do the laundry and wash the dishes.  Someday I'll figure out how to put this lazy, adorable little shit to work.  I want her life.

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Merry Christmas

Oh, Christmas… you have kicked my ass this year.  You really have.  I can't even remember the last time I was so physically and emotionally exhausted.  I'm sure it's been years.  

First, let me just say that my company holiday party was phenomenal.  So beautiful.  We checked in to the Four Seasons and they upgraded my already comped room to a suite, which was about as decadent as it gets.  Living room, bar, guest bathroom, separate bedroom with a bathroom bigger than my living room.  There was an espresso machine, gorgeous hardwood floors and the best part–remote controls for the curtains.  An hour after we checked in, we were greeted with a cheese platter and a bottle of wine.  I could get used to that life.  Unfortunately, we had to check out and return home the next morning.  Not before I enjoyed some room service eggs benedict, though.  (Weight Watchers what?)

I made this all happen:

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How gorgeous are these flowers?

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The living room area of our hotel room:

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All those lovely things aside, we were simultaneously dealing with the death of Catch's grandfather while my Nana was hospitalized for two weeks with a systemic infection.  Nana was released from the hospital temporarily on Christmas Eve, but is back today having exploratory surgery to see if they can determine the cause of the infection.  

The funeral for Catch's grandfather was yesterday.  The day started with a rosary and mass at 9 am, followed by burial at a veterans cemetery 90 minutes away and a reception with the family at the home of one of her aunts.  It was a long day following several previous long days. With both emotions and exhaustion running high, all I can say is that it didn't end well.  I wish more than anything that I could have a do-over, but I can't.  

My cousin went into labor last night, which added more fuel to my emotional fire.  I want so badly to be happy and excited for her, but it's so hard when I am already run down and insanely jealous.  I'm trying, though. I really am.  

I also got word last night that my grandmother's best friend passed away, so I have another funeral to attend on Sunday.  

When it rains, it pours.  

I hope all of you had a lovely holiday.  Since this post was such a downer, allow me to leave you with our holiday card…

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Here's another gratuitous shot of the hounds enjoying their Christmas present (ok, it was Catch's present, but we all know it was really for them…)  This wagon is the greatest thing ever.  It even has a canopy on it, and it folds up SO easily.  LOVE IT.

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