Wednesday, October 31, 2007

unhappy halloween

well...i suppose i should be thrilled it's THE BIG DAY considering the effort we put into decorating our house and the time invested in creating world-class costumes and buying enough candy to feed a third world country.

but it was supposed to be THE BIG DAY for
other reasons...and i laid in bed this morning while the sun streamed in through the blinds...and felt numb.

and it was at that moment that i pulled the plug on wednesday morning women's bible study. forever. i just can't do it anymore. my husband used a disappointed tone in his voice when he noticed i wasn't getting dressed. i'm even a little disappointed in myself.
yet, call me a failure. i'm too numb to care. failure, after all, is becoming a pretty constant emotion these days anyways. so what's one more notch against your psyche...

it's just...too...painful.
the "small" group is too big. it feels too impersonal for what i withstand as i walk through the doors. fine, if it were truly a small group with 10 or less women in it, who could really GET to know me and me get to know them, then i'd possibly be able to calculate and accept the cost-benefit of being there. and the stakes are so high when i walk into those doors. and as of this morning, i decided the stakes just weren't paying off.

not that you go to bible study for a pay-off.
but i can't even focus while i'm there.
there are boobs flying around for public breast-feeding marathons....
there are car seats.
there are newborns.
there are diaper bags stationed between EVERY SINGLE folding chair.
then there are the prayer requests. and the conversation pieces.
and the SECOND the last "amen" is said, it's a race to pick up the children from the nursery upstairs. it's LUNCHTIME! playdate TIME! feeding time! NAPTIME!

and i'm literally left standing in an empty room....with a lump in my throat....and with my arms feeling exceptionally empty....

i really tried.
i really really tried.
but i just sit there, fighting back tears the entire time....and the LAST THING I WANT is to make "the confession" to 20 ladies....and never have the one-on-one time to really make the confession worth it. THIS IS MY PRIVATE HELL. this is my SEX LIFE. this is me laying spread eagle on a cold table twice a week and me having my VEINS blown out from the countless blood-drawings and me SPENDING EVERY LAST PENNY.... this is my suffering intensified to a degree i didn't know could be sustained for so long.... and i'm just NOT that thrilled to burst into tears about it in such a public setting, when, that particular time slot doesn't allow for it, and would PROBABLY only serve to make all the nursing mothers uncomfortable. wide-eyed and awkward. (if you're a young mother out there -- please tell me if i haven't given you enough of a benefit of a doubt. what would your initial response be?)

at first thought, even a stranger's shoulder to cry on for 5 minutes would feel nice. but then, i'd go home....and recognize my situation hasn't changed, and then there'd be one more person out there in this world who is going to avoid certain subjects with me, skim over the precious details in their lives in an effort to protect me, cross me off the dinner-party list of couples who all have children, and feel flustered by the overall subject in general.

there is a tuesday night small group i go to well. and by's 5 girls. it's not so....
corporate. and one of the girls is a nurse and has already offered to do my "biggie" injections on a nightly basis if/when i ever take the inevitable leap into IVF-territory. i have NO PROBLEM breaking it down and getting vulnerable in a living room, over hot tea, when two hours has been allotted. huge difference. there are relationships there. the kids are at HOME. (actually, none of these 5 girls has kids, though one is 15 weeks pregnant...and i hesitate to make my revelation out of the desire to NOT have her feel uncomfortable.)

and i'm slowly getting into a pattern of doing coffee/tea with women one-on-one. that is the best spiritual bang for your buck out there. in my life anyways. truly hearing one person at a time...and being heard in the same manner. and that works for me very well.

so there ya go.
only time will tell as to whether it was a mistake or not.
i'm just not that strong. and whatever strength i do have is carefully allocated to face the things in life i CANNOT change. this bible study issue...i can change.
but bumping into double strollers....
and having baby magazines accidentally delivered to my house....
and photographing a shotgun wedding where the bride is 7mths pregnant and her mother has her non-stop rants about her OUTRAGE regarding this pregnancy on the phone to me countless times...
and getting my blood drawn at the fertility clinic while the girl next to you tells her nurse she got her POSITIVE BETA TEST LAST FRIDAY...(woohoo!)...
and attending the string of baby showers...
those are the moments i cannot change.
...and you just
cannot be that strong....all the time...

i'm emailing the pastor's wife who runs it let her know. and i plan on fully explaining it. and i anticipate she'll be so loving and sweet and understanding. i really do. and bailing on it does make me feel a little bit better.

and that's the scariest part of all.
always peace when you stop fighting.
the fight is so hard.
no matter what the sin-battle in your life is...there is such reprieve from the mental war when you simply give in and indulge yourself in sin. (is this sinful? I DONT KNOW)
when you've made your decision to give up. the struggle seems to be over...and you've laid down your sword...and forfeited your conscience and decided to quit. of course you're going to feel better. ....right before you feel worse. sin wouldn't be so attractive if there wasn't a very pleasurable element attached to it.

where is the line between self-preservation/boundaries and alienating/isolating yourself.
at what point do you stop feeling like a martyr for your cause...and...withdraw.
at what point do you stop torturing yourself and pull back to lick your wounds...

i don't know.
i really don't know.
i do know there is nothing about our flesh
worth preserving.
these trials are proof of His effort to purify us...
of ourselves.
why do we strain so hard to protect our hearts from the pain, when we recognize the power behind it.
why do we recoil at the notion that others us suffer.
there is nothing in my sinful head that is of any eternal value.
"self-preservation" certainly wasn't in Jesus' vocabulary.
He gave. and gave. and gave. and gave.
He preserved nothing but His dependency on the Father.
not even His own life.

even so... i just can't do the Bible study today.
the strength escapes me...
and for the record...
...i don't feel sorry.

Monday, October 29, 2007




Function: noun
1: a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning

incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result

: an event or result marked by such incongruity

ie: after being informed that your baby-maker is busted for the better part of a calendar year, sitting in the doctors office and watching his mouth move as he tells you to NOT have unprotected sex until your next period, after spending roughly $2,000 this month to assure the medical arena that i SHOULD in fact have all the unprotected sex my bitter heart desires. ...and then some more.


it's 1233PM on monday afternoon and i'm just back in my seat after my THIRD day in the infertility clinic's office. i'm halfway through a glass of wine and i'll probably rip your head off if you make one comment about it.


you know....nobody ever tells you it will get exponentially MORE difficult before it gets easier. you put in your time, "to give it time...just try on your own for a few more months....try to relax and be patient...let TIME take it's god-awful course."

so by the time you come to the point of enlisting a professional at the're pretty much brain-dead from beating your head against the wall. the desk. the keyboard. you're desperate. you're scared. you're hopeless. which is JUST where they want you, because then they can guiltlessly charge you thousands of dollars a month, because you're absolutely at the end of your rope. they are, after all, the saviors of the world by this point. can't have babies, if the mother otherwise decided to jump off a cliff in a moment of complete devastation. and so you beg them for their supernatural powers and assume they'll snap their fingers and the world will start spinning again and they'll stop the not-so-
merry-go-round, allowing you to FREAKING GET OFF ALREADY.

that, dear infertile, would be too, too easy.

diagnosis: she doesn't ovulate.

remedy: give her pills to enduce black rage. what?! it failed to work. give her MORE pills to enduce black rage. YOURE JOKING?! it failed again. give her MOOOOORE pills to make her failed to work.....again.

come back to the drawing board.
INJECTIONS! that's the answer.
shoot her up with hormones for 7 days....
lo' and behold.....
twelve eggs show up to the party.

to put that into average ole girl ovulates ONE. and stands a 20% chance any given month of getting pregnant in her 20's.
now i'm no situation as of saturday left me with a 200% chance of having twins OR MORE.
so....the infertility wizards decided to bring me back in on monitor all 12 to see if maybe some would shrink and dissolve and if the dominant eggs would progress (there were 3 dominant ones).
well....the news sunday was positive.
three eggs got bigger.
9 eggs got smaller.
movement in the right direction.
that was when hope entered into the picture, again.....stupid me.

as of this morning.....the 3 dominant eggs are monsters. massive. ready to blow.
and the rest....grew again as well.

essentially, i'm left with an astronomical chance of having quads or....more.
if they triggered ovulation today, i'd drop 12 eggs with a 20% chance of each one fertilizing.

and so.....the gavel game crashing down and the ruling is:
no insemination.
no sex.
no possibility of a due date of july 28, 2008.
no room left in my heart for forgiveness. do not ask me who i'd be withholding forgiveness from.

reasons i should be grateful. i will say them now, so you don't feel AT ALL obligated to shuffle forward with your niceties and "silver linings." save it. i do not...and i not want to hear it today.

1) the injections work. too well. my body GETS IT, when injected with the potion. next month, i won't have to take NEARLY as much and still have better results. though hope knocks at the door of my heart, i've currently got it barricaded shut and refuse to accept it's comfort.

2) i go to an office where the doctors and nurses genuinely care more for my health than their end of the year statistics. what you may not understand is, infertility clinics LIVE for stats. since everybody basically pays dearly out of pocket, women spend ALOT OF TIME comparing stats with hopes for the best bang for their buck. if stats were the driving force behind my clinic's protocol -- i'd be undergoing the insemination tomorrow. because i'd be a slam dunk for a pregnancy, despite the fact that they'd then force me to undergo embryo reduction (aka., aborting over half the embryo's with hope of offering 2 the best shot at 40 weeks in-utero.) and they'd fail to tell me that the average women carrying quads miscarries at 19 weeks. a total loss of 4 babies. or that the average girl carrying triplets delivers at 30 weeks. or even the average girl carrying twins, delivers 6 full weeks shy of full development. "though this is a loss of one month, allison, consider the exponential loss in 6 months when you deliver quints 20 weeks early." i'm fortunate enough to have a
panel of world-class doctors deciding what's best for my future. and though this is an utter financial loss of a doctors are still considered aggressive and if nothing pans out in 2 months....they will send me straight to IVF. shady grove does not consider triplets to be a success story. i don't think i would either. i weigh 105 pounds. i doubt i'd be able to carry to anything REMOTELY close to full term. i can recognize THAT stress to be MORE intense than what i'm currently experiencing, which feels like a million daggers to my heart.

reasons those reasons don't alleviate my distress today:

1) i am tired. i am so, so, so tired.
i am thinking thoughts i ever imagined thinking.
i am doubting things i never imagined doubting.
i am believing things i never imagined believing.
i am questioning things i never imagined questioning.
i am becoming somebody i never imagined becoming.
holding onto hope feels like....catching feathers.
hope drifted so close this month...and you run in circles grasping to catch it...and in a moment it flitters away and leaves you empty. in agony. grasping for your next breath. it happens just like that. in a matter of moments.
and another part of you dies.

"allison, you've lost 10 can start fresh next my medical opinion, i simply cannot sleep at night allowing you to move forward with this insemination. you're too young. you're too healthy. if you were 40, i wouldn't think's only been a 10 day loss.....we'll try again next month....."

10 day loss?!!!
i cleaned my ears out to make sure i was hearing correctly.
no, doctor, it's NOT a 10 day loss. it's a THIRTY day loss if you want to get TECHNICAL about it. but furthermore, each of those ten days has twenty four hours in it. each hour with sixty minutes. each minute with countless seconds....
have you ever COUNTED to 777,000??
well, i have.
i have lived through all 777,000 seconds since the start of this cycle.
i don't even escape it when i sleep.
i wake up and it's there. on the front burner. stealing me away.
770,000 thoughts of the future.
770,000 thoughts of joy.
770,000 thoughts of WHAT IF.....
or thoughts of....what if NOT....
or thoughts of....WHAT IF NEVER....
or thoughts of....HOW WILL I HANDLE IT.....
or thoughts of....HOW SHOULD I PRAY TODAY....
or thoughts of....WHAT WILL I DO NEXT.....

only for the feather to slip outside of my reach.....and flutter away.....
no it's NOT just 10 days.
it's a FREAKING ETERNITY that you will never, EVER, in your power understand unless you've walked in my shoes.

he kept his hand on my knee and his eyes softened while i sat on the table with my paper skirt...and wept. again. he did not try to say anything else other than voicing his sympathies. the nurse handed me a tissue and they walked out of the room so i could get dressed.

no, they never tell you it gets worse before it gets better.
...but why should they.
it isn't as if you have
any alternatives.
there is no Plan B for people like me.
you do it.
.....or you don't.

"i could NEVER give myself those shots....HOW DO YOU DO IT!? i cannot BELIEVE you have to do that!!! that is ON EARTH...."

i do it the same way you would.
there is no strength to spare for bucking the system. for denial.
and even when you would come to the absolute end of your resolve...when the very words would escape you as you attempt to reconcile this in your brain...and though you would feel as though your very soul can't be crushed'd still have no choice.
...and neither do i.
because walking away just isn't an option. it's just not.
there is only one avenue between me....and what i want.
this is it.

take it.
...or leave it.

but it changes you forever.
each day i wake up to a person i find more and more unrecognizable.
senses a little more deadened.
highs a little less high.
lows a little bit lower.
hope a little bit more lofty.
time a little bit slower. yet faster. yet slower....

and my faith....being tried by fire....feels as though it could snap under the weight....

.....under the weight....of a feather....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

insemination = cancelled

"...I have redeemed you... are mine...
...when you pass through the waters, I will be with you...
...and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you... you walk through the fire, the flames will not consume you...
...for I AM...Lord....your God....

...your Savior."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Oracle


estrogen blood test results are in.
i've over-responded to the meds and my E2 result is: 720
target E2 results: 300-400
POA: decrease serum injection by 50% in hopes of slowing down ovarian progress (who would have EVER thought i'd be saying that...)
Outcome: if E2 exceeds 3000 at any point, the insemination is cancelled.
my thoughts: this is excellent!!! no really. we're learning here...and fortunately, my body is very sensitive to this medication which is a GOOD THING and we'll eventually find the perfect dose!! the heavens have smiled down on me and i get to see the oracle again at 815 on saturday morning!!! :) too bad the vampires will be there too.

************************************************************************* has already been a very informative day.
and it's only 1130am.

i'd like to first announce a "cyber-sorry" to puffy for dissing his injections skillz, because let me tell you, Lara shot me up last night and it hurt like a B*$#%.

ahem. so. word to the wise. do NOT shoot the same place twice, and don't bite the hand that feeds you.

speaking of food (gosh, i've already hit two rabbit trails en route to my MAIN story of the day...stick with me), i'm starving. literally. wasting away. wanna lose five pounds in five days? i found the secret combo:

1) crack, root canal, then extract a molar (which is necessary for CHEWING), then undergo bone graft surgery which employs lots of stitches.
2) clear liquid diet for three FULL, LONG, ENDLESS days.
3) then start a medication called Metformin (blood sugar issue, lest we forget!), which rapidly induces rabid diahrea and full-on nausea, and total loss of appetite (blessing in disguise when you aren't allowed to eat anyways)
4) all this while supplimenting the clear liquids with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and straight up narcotics.
5) proceed to throw up.
6)....tempted to complain more about the shots, but....they haven't induced weight loss.....but they're more painful BECAUSE of the weight i've lost....

all the sudden you realize, you'd rather keep those five pounds, wouldn't you? (truthfully, i'm shocked it hasn't been more.)
yyyyyeah. thought so. i attempted sushi last night and if ANY of you know me -- you'll understand that my obsession of 2007 has been asian cuisine, PREFERABLY, sushi. 7 california rolls into my dinner, i started having the hot flashes....mouth watering....burping.....all the signs of an impending hurl-fest. was avoided. but it wasn't really the best entre into the injection portion of our evening entertainment. MAIN point of today's blog is my appt this morning. i never freaking imagined that i would LOVE the vaggie-cam as much as i have started to. and by love...i mean ALL OUT WORSHIP. i briefly crossed my mind that i would ABSOLUTELY buy one myself if i could, but then i realized how 'tom-cruise' of me that sounded even though i instantly felt a connection with him. on the table. buck nekkid.

i squint across the room at my file pulled up on the computer screen, wondering if i had enough time to jump down, run across the room, scroll through it and not get caught red-handed in just my socks and sweater with my white bum glowing for the nurse to see when she walked in. i willed myself to stay seated.

i was STOKED for the vaggie-cam oracle reading because it was about to enlighten us all on the success of my nightly injections. i mean, this is the happy place you send your mind off to as you hand the needle over to your husband every night. this is the great revealing.

sadly it was a great revealing to the doctor, the nurse, myself...and freaking med students!!? what is this...a casting call for the new season of ER?! my wahoo is hangin' out to be used as a tutorial on ultrasound readings. awesome. miss doctor-i've-never-seen goes to town with her oracle speaking vaggie cam....and ruthlessly attempts to find my ovaries, which, frankly, were a bit difficult to find, which is strange because they FEEL like they are about to blow up. shots must be doing something.

"...i can't...seem to locate....your left ovary....."

me blankly staring at the ceiling. WHERE ELSE CAN I LOOK!? i have absolutely no desire to make eye contact with the horrified, wide-eyed med students in the corner. my brain is telling my heart to NOT BURST INTO TEARS that this reading would be incomplete because the left ovary is playing marco-polo.

still digging...
still digging...
holding my breath....ORACLE!!! SPEAK TO US....!!!
weak, feeble smiles from med-student gallery....

obviously she finally found it and ladies and gents, on Cycle Day 8 we have:
L-ovary = 18 freaking follicles. but two which are leading the charge at 12mm and 10mm!
R-ovary = only 8 follicles (shocker, considering the R ovary was asleep at the wheel for our last insemination) with one at 10mm.
Endo lining = 6mm!

in order to induce ovulation via trigger shot, to proceed with the insemination, i need at least ONE 18mm follicle and i need the lining to be at 8+mm.
but we have till Oct 31st to get there!!! follicles typically grow 1-2mm a day, so we're totally going to have time!!! (ask me again why we don't feel haunted by the bad omen of potentially conceiving our firstborn on HALLOWEEN...? how fitting of a payback considering the torture we inflict on the toddlers-round-town with our halloween festivities...)

the vampires in the back took more blood from the arm least bruised, and i find out this afternoon what my E2 levels are (estrogen). that's the scary part. sister has ALOT of follicles in there. the bigger they get, the higher the E2 numbers. if ALL of them start to progress and grow.....our cycle is cancelled for fear of a potentially lethal complication called OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome, brought on by excessively elavated E2) from TOO MANY follicles growing at once. (which causes fluid retention in the lungs, organs, blah-dee-blah).
OR, if more than 4 grow to be 18mm or higher, the cycle is cancelled because let's face it....ain't nobody out there who wants four puppies growin' in their belly, by accident. not even the desperate, sick freaks like me.

so we're still riding this coaster very cautiously...but it WOULD appear that....nevermind. i'm not even going to say it. bad luck. (involving a little trip next weekend we're supposed to be taking....)

i'm tired.
....can't imagine why....

the oracle will be enlightening us again in a day or two....stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

spoke too soon.

k, keep it under wraps...but...puffy's batting average is dropping quickly.
the first two days of shots, he was scoring home runs (no. not that kind of home run...i have stitches in my mouth and am drugged. get your mind out of the gutter.)
evening number three....he plunged the injection in at too much of an angle...and hit that vein. remember?

last night...i have NO IDEA what happened...but the needle WOULD NOT GO IN.
"allison, i'm experiencing some....resistance....i think....i've hit muscle or ...something."

i should have been thrilled that my husband even thinks to default to a problem having to do with my abs. i do not have abs. score.

BUT i was overwhelmed by the BURNING ...and still pretty concerned about the air bubble, so it wasn't really funny. i gave him an F- for the night. which is pretty darn sad because i told him EXACTLY where to inject, given the CONTROL FREAK side of me comes out, even though i'm in the MOST vulnerable situation available. "ok....let's see....we stuck here last night...and here before that....and here the first how abouuuuuut HERE!" apparently it was too high and apparently not eating for a week thins out the pudge a bit....and my skin just felt WAY too thin and it hurt :(

not his fault really. but. somebody's gotta pay.
TONIGHTS injection will be done by Lara because puff has a business dinner.
should be interesting....i think she'll be fine....but we'll find out quickly who is better....

in other house is overwhelming me. having been on bedrest from friday - monday and incapable of clearing out the BLUR in my brain from vicoden....things have gone downhill. my laundry is OUT OF CONTROL, the bathrooms make me dry-heave, the kitchen sink is SCARY. and for the first time in my life...i've grown an aversion to my closet.'s AWFUL. but. it's just now starting to get under my skin. dang....this is turning into one of those blogs that you probably come to, to make yourself feel better about your life. "wow, feeling bad...down in the dumps...nothing like reading about HER to make me feel so much better...." heh. heh. heh.

i'm getting rid of ALOT OF CLOTHES.
free for all at the morgans.
i'll let you know when, but.....we're talking bags and bags of stuff.

i just cannot live like THIS any longer:

puff's gone from snide pleading for me to give him some space back in the closet that "we share."
but i'm convinced he wants it cleaned out because he's hiding a straight jacket in his trunk and wants to pad the walls in there for his wife....

in FINAL news of the day....i had a wedding on saturday and i'm wishing for that kind of weather today. it's gross out...but it does however give me NO EXCUSE to not clean, now that i'm sitting here in sweats, transferring files, stuck in the house.

alright....bleach is soaking in the it's time.
and i'm starving.
peace out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

fine until you hit a vein...

well...since it's an evening affair and the show must go on regardless...why not DOCUMENT it for your viewing pleasure with your morning coffee and croissant. enjoy it. the croissant. cuz i can't eat right now and it sounds like heaven.

at any rate...looking at these pictures makes it seem TEN TIMES worse than it actually's NOT that bad!!!
ok...where do we start...

here is my kit, it's the medicine pen with little disposable needles, looks so clean and innocent:

you take it out of the fridge one hour before injection time, so the medicine can become room temperature. below is the dial for your to set the dose. my dose is 75 IUs a day. so line the arrow up with the 75!

i get my gear rollin:

i take the pen cap off....and it's a screw top.
you'll note the air bubble in the syringe ...and yes, it gives me nightmares too. do you realize that if you inject an air bubble into your vein, you'll die.... it's true. it's called an embolism to the heart die. i have tried and TRIED to get the air bubble out. it's not budging. which is fine...for two reasons. A) we're not inserting an IV here. there SHOULD not be any veins involved...hello....only pudge. no arteries. only belly pudge. and B) i've wasted a HALF A DAYS medication trying to flick the air bubble out and squirt a smidge of meds out to clear the vial of all air. it ain't movin'. and the meds in this vial go for $90/day on the street. (so if i happened to live in san diego right now, and my house caught can imagine the very FIRST thing i'd save before jumping out the window).....and i'd rather risk death, with my husband holding the smoking gun, than to WASTE ANY MORE OF MY PRECIOUS POTION....

exhibit A: air bubble

clean it with an alcohol swab, air bubble is daunting me. i've contemplated injecting the meds ICE COLD out of the fridge because then it's like...clear...sludge. the air bubble is paralyzed in the thick cold potion. but puffy took too long walking rudy tonight and it was warm too quickly by the time he got home. i asked the nurse today if the air bubble was legitimately lethal and got dead air on the other end of the phone line.....

" big IS the air bubble?"

OMG...are you JOKING!? we're going to hang my life in the balance based on THE MOST subjective question on earth!!?

"....uhm...don't worry should be fine."

(it's sorta their standard protocol script they feed me now...'hold lemme pull up your file.." and i KNOW in bold, RED, blinking letters on the computer screen once my file is open, it reads, "TELL HER NOT TO WORRY, SHE WILL BE FINE.")

moving on....take one of the little disposable needles and tear the top off:

it screws onto the pen....

once it's secure...pull it off!!
(RUN FOR's slowly taking on the shape of an INJECTION. omg. i think i JUST figured out what i want to be for halloween. not JUST came to me....)

now swab down the injection site...and the living room instantly transforms to a hospital room the MOMENT that scent of STERILE ALCOHOL takes flight.

puffy about to STAB ME. he insisted i crop his face out of this picture for fear of child protective services showing up and cuffing him. he seems so oppressive in this stance.
hullo...not to self = when trying to GET pregnant, it's not cool to already LOOK pregnant.....

oh my gah, allison....WHERE IS THAT SELF-TANNER.....

aaaand...the worst is over! even though...i was supposed to let go of my tummy once the needle's in and i forgot too. hope that doesn't screw things up....

note the death grip, white knuckles in my hand. you can hardly see it, but puffy's got his other hand behind my knees, to steady them because i shake really bad at this point. adrenaline? nerves? fear? .....a flicker of heartbreak....?

aaaaand we take a 24 hour vacation until the next episode.
i take the little disposable needle cap and twist it back on...and it pulls the entire needle out. (getting MORE excited about halloween the longer i think on it....)

no, i do NOT inject all 300 IUs of medicine at once. that's what those little numbers are on the dial at the beginning. the PEN comes pre-filled with 300 IUs. so you set the dose and CLICK once the needle's been injected and it only allows 75 IUs to insert at once. so i get 6 doses out of each pen. chase air bubbles and subsequently only have FIVE AND A HALF DAYS of meds.

the alternative to the pen, is actually playing a REAL nurse and tipping back a vial, pulling the syringe full of fluid....adding a water based soluble mixture...and taking the chance of ROYALLY screwing it up. and if you saw me in the kitchen -- you'd recognize those odds as pretty darn high.

taking needle off.
and NOT placing it in the RED PLASTIC "BIO-TOXIC" needle bin they suggested. nope. these needles go straight into the trash. bite me. don't go off using my needles and you got nuthin' to worry about. k?

put the pen cap back on and clean up!
this is the happy phase of the injection seminar.

and the kit goes back in the fridge till tomorrow!

never in a MILLION YEARS did i expect this would be my daily routine, but i have puffy to do it with me....and think of the end result!! if not this month...then the next....or the next....

sadly, we (and by WE.....i mean....HE. clearly i didn't draw my belly map very well today) did hit a vein tonight that Dubs hit 2 months it burned going in tonight worse than the 2 previous nights....sigh. (high fives to my steady camera skills despite a hot poker severing a vein)
i go in to the clinic on thursday to see if it's working!! cross your fingers!!!

fortunately, the air bubble is still with us, snug in the i won't hyperventilate tonight over impending death.

y'all owe me if you read this....leave a little love so this documentary was worth my time....

now i'm off to lick my wounds, snuggle with puffy, ....and eat ice cream.

i am amazing.

i've come to understand that when given the option to back's undeniable. i'll back out.

but when there are no options...and pressing forward is the only acceptable option...i sometimes impress even myself.

y'all...i know i've been sayin' this alot...but this last weekend really REALLY was one of the worst weekends in recent history for me. my last post feels like ancient history, when in reality it's only been 48-72 hours. that vicodin creates this black hole in the universe that i had fallen into and i'm just now emerging from the abyss.

now...i've had vicoden before. but this was an ENTIRELY different breed of it. apparently that itty-bitty "ES" next to it stands for EXTRA STRENGTH and within moments of swallowing it you either become warm and weightless and happy....OR....your insides feel as though acid has dripped down into it and you vomit incessantly. flip a coin. you never know with this "ES" vicoden which one you'll get.

have you ever tried to go on CLEAR LIQUIDS for 72 hours? WHILE taking the rabid vicoden? my advice = INTERROGATE THE DOCTOR WHO ADVISES YOU TO DO THIS.

so let's start with friday.
or did we cover friday pretty well in my last post?
infected root canal.
no sleep for 2 nights from agony.
trip to fertility clinic.
trip to dentist.
trip to oral surgeons office.
and the rest is a painful blur.

SATURDAY was my LUCKY DAY!!! heh heh.
i had to shoot a wedding under these strained conditions. FORTUNATELY, though my life is full of bad luck...everything else for the most part went PERFECTLY. the weather! the driver! (thanks juju for driving) the simplicity of the day! and the meds held me over pretty well. again. a blur. all i really remember was starving the entire time. and the random electric volt that went through my jaw. the end.

lucky for meeeee....i made it home in one piece. i had taken SO MUCH MEDICATION throughout the day, that i cannot believe i wasn't dead by midnight. the second i sat down in the car.....i could have happily driven off the road into a tree to simply give my droopy eyes a break. but at 1am, me and hubbster had a date. an injection date. we were both too tired to get all freaked out over it....though we had a moment of pause after we watched the DVD....primed the needle....cleaned off the injection site....and stared at each other....

i slowly handed him the injection....and stopped him at least 4 times as he was about to proceed. "w-w-w-wwaaait....wait have to make sure the needle goes HERE....and not here..."

he nods.
i turn my head....

"www-w-w-w-wwaaait wait wait have to tell me when it's ALL the way in so i can relax...just tell me when the needle is ALL the way in and the worst is over...."

he nods.
and the cycle repeats itself until finally i realize i'm prolonging the inevitable and.....STAB. he does it. he injects. we stare at each other......and then we die laughing.....

WE DID IT! i was really proud of HIM....and i'm certain he was proud of me and frankly, i think this helps him in his empathy for my situation. sometimes he feels soo...detached from it all because it's my body and not his. but this keeps us both on the same page....and i like that alot.

i woke up at 3pm.
not from the shot...but the meds....the pain....MY HUNGER.
i threw caution to the wind and ate some yogurt and pudding and 3 cans of chicken broth and felt a million times better.

last night's shot went a little bit better.
i only stopped him once.
to ensure he didn't get me in the same spot as the night before....
but since i had taken a SHARPIE marker and marked my stomach where the injection from the night before had been, he'd have to be legally blind to miss it.

last night was my 4th night on the couch to keep my head elevated.
i've grown rather fond of falling asleep to the TV.
but my back is BEGGING for my ole bed tonight will be back to normal.

oh heavens....slap me again if i ever hold onto hope that anything in my life......will ever be normal....

back to catching up on laundry and the photog-projects.....but first i need to eat some mac and cheese.....i'm DROOLING over here....and it's time!

Friday, October 19, 2007

tooth #31...your days are over.

at approx 130PM today -- my lower, bottom right molar was taken from my body -- and the weight of THE WORLD HAS BEEN LIFTED!!!!

am i in pain at the moment -- uh -- yeah.
but will i EVER SPEND ANOTHER DIME root canaling this sucker, capping, crowning, xraying....? never ever again. AND they gave me IV sedation which was obviously the hightlight of my day.

worst day i've had in a LONNNNNG time.
up all night on the couch with mouth agony.
woke up and carried bags around with me in case the vicoden won the war in my stomach and had me throw up EVERYWHERE.....
contemplated taking the metro, my car, or a cab to the infertility clinic.....choices were made according to which would be easiest to hurl in.

i chose cab.
i drank half a bottle of anti-nausea meds...and braved the world.
815am: infertility clinic. check. all systems are a go. my first gonal-F pen injection tomorrow.
930am: emergency dentist visit.
1030am: emergency oral surgeon visit. (have i mentioned yet that my husband is out of town AND that i've had to walk to each of these appointments across downtown K ST? the rain)
1130am: waiting for them to fit me in...walking to the closest CVS to fill NEW painkillers i'll use once they extract the tooth. discuss with surgeon my options for the next day...SINCE I HAVE TO SHOOT A WEDDING...
100pm: insert IV....undergo procedure.
145pm: in recovery...thrilled to be alive. lemme tell ya.
200pm: neighbor comes to pick my drunk ars up and drive me ...home? oh no....we have ERRANDS TO RUN.
300pm: i have to to SHOW ID and sign off for my gonal-f injections sitting on ice for me at fedex.
345pm: still there.....they can't find them. and my ICE PACK IS HOT by this point and i'm about to smash my face into the counter because i can no longer stand up....
400pm: CVS again for juice (only clear liquids for THREE DAYS PEOPLE....try taking VICODEN only on clear liquids.), since they did a BONE GRAFT if my jaw that i didn't know going into this i was definitely going to need.
430pm: home. exhausted. stressed beyond ALL WORDS b/c of tomorrow's wedding. juju -- you're gonna have to do alot of the driving since i'll be drugged.
1100pm: just stood up for the first time. need to charge all batteries, clean all lenses....and.....omg......MY CAMERA IS AT THE CAMERA SHOP GETTING CLEANED AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO PICK IT UP!!!!! yeah. that was a fun moment. i scramble to beg chad to pick it up for me tomorrow, only to find out his FLIGHT HAS BEEN REDIRECTED to richmond and he's not coming home tonight.

SOMEBODY is picking my camera up tomorrow morning. SOMEHOW he will get home to help me. he said he can. HE MUST!!!

jaw throbbing.
off to put more ice on it and off to pop more pills and drink chicken broth.
PLEASE say a prayer for simply cannot make this stuff up....

Thursday, October 18, 2007 was fun while it lasted...

those of you who are fortunate enough to have NO CLUE what that chart means...well...enjoy your freedom. and for those of you who are well-acquainted with this chart, you'll understand that it represents a failed cycle.

well, that's not true.
FAIL is relative.
there's alot to celebrate with this month's chart.
A) i ovulated on my own.
B) i have a wonderful luteal phase to my cycle.
C) my thermal shift is substantial, proving i did in fact ovulate.

none of that matters much when you don't get pregnant.

the best part of this STORY IS -- the clinic has decided to SHIFT GEARS for lil' ole me, and we're kicking this ride into HIGH GEAR! i'm terrified, and elated. funny how often those two emotions surface simultaneously.

clomid pills are OFFICIALLY a medication of the past. (which is sad, because they were really affordable) it's too unreliable with my system, it gives me raging migraines, it causes hot sweats like you wouldn't believe and ...oh right...The Black Rage rears her ugly head.

clomid + insemination on a PERFECT cycle = 20% odds of getting pregnant.

20% sucks. even though if you think about it -- they say that's what the odds are for any random joe-schmoe tryin' to get pregnant the conventional way. heh. of SATURDAY i start with my Gonal-F injections for 8-10 consecutive days. (that's not my's just a picture i found of the Gonal-F kit, my kit arrives tomorrow via fedex ON ICE....youre sad you never get packages delivered on ice, aren't you :)

my odds are about to sky-rocket.

if all goes well - we'll have insemination #2 in a few weeks. riiiiight around the NY marathon. say a prayer for us!

i go in tomorrow for a little doctor tutorial and a shots video.
maybe i'll even take pictures of myself shooting myself up. would you like that? that would be a little hard to do....

back to the bad news.
my root canal from monday is NOT GOING WELL.
i didn't sleep at ALL last night....the throbbing agony in my face was TOO i had an emergency visit with the endodontist who SENT ME HOME with ADVIL and told me to come back on monday.

you have GOT to be kidding me.
so i'm calling back in a few minutes for some real drugs.....and for the number of an oral surgeon to just have the damn tooth pulled. this is all just too much to deal with right now.
PLEASE pray for me as i have a wedding on saturday, and an inflammed, infected, RIDICULOUS tooth situation festering.... :(

that's all for now.
off to the fake endocrinologist....i almost forgot why i was going....

oh right....
...i might be diabetic soon.

Dear Jesus....please make it all stop!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

infertility anonymous

i'd be lying if i said i didn't love going to the infertility clinic.
it's probably a little bit sick of me, given it represents everything i NEVER thought my life would include.
but, it's the only place in this big massive abyss of a city -- where i feel wholly understood.
where i'm surrounded my strangers, yet, strangers who can sympathize like no other woman quite can.

i can't even bear to tally the amount of money we've spent on this aspect of our lives -- yet -- the sanity i feel when i'm on the inside of fertility clinic's four walls, makes every penny feel so easy to spend.

typically, i swallow the lump in my throat during each baby announcement and shower...
typically, i grid each day of the month and analyze it in ways you can't even imagine.
typically, i watch other people laugh...and wonder when the last time was that i laughed that hard...
typically, though we're friends...i feel separated from humanity by an endless canyon.
....each day is simply a number, a pill, a shot, a doctor's visit...a fragile dream handled with kid gloves.

but at the clinic, i even love the not-so-nice lady at the front desk....
i love that they always have the morning news on the widescreen in the waiting room.
i love that the nurses smile when they see me.
i love that another girl that bears my name happens to always be there on the days that i am. and when our name is called, we say, "...which allison?"
i love how the really early morning appointments are held before business hours each day, and i love how it's hard to find a seat in the waiting room, during this time. it's the only time during this entire struggle when there's hardly room for me, when i'm reminded that i'm not the only one on earth enduring this.
i love being reminded, that although a businesswoman looks otherwise perfect, sophisticated, strong, polished, put-together, bearing no outward signs of her excruciating pain -- she cries the same tears i do.
i love the feeling of being surrounded by people who have made the same financial sacrifice i have. who probably sit at the dinner table at night and wonder if they should buy a house or continue to funnel money into making a family. who probably wring their hands wondering if the shots are going to hurt more because they're $400 a vial.
i love how these women probably have to put their makeup on 10 times on the mornings their inseminations are cancelled.
i love how i can meet eyes with a girl across the room and instantly hear her thoughts...or know she can hear mine.
i love how these women endure the same terrifying three minutes i do, of waiting for that second pink line to show up and minute #4 feeling as though the world has come crashing down on us.
like we all accidentally met at bootcamp or something, except, we never signed on any dotted lines voluntarily.
there is comfort in numbers, people....and i don't care how sick that's a lifeline for me.

you can't put a pricetag on finding 20 minutes every week that offers you the opportunity to not feel guilty for crying.

we're all assigned to a nurse coordinator who calls all of her patients on the afternoon of blood tests with the results and she's probably got the hardest job in the world. but she never needs to ask why you haven't responded, because she fully understands the weight of the news she bears and how it has kicked the wind out of you. she sweetly waits for you to find a composed (or not) response even though she anticipates she won't understand your sobs. it takes her two hours each afternoon to return all of her test results to the patients. is it weird that when i hang the phone up and dissolve into a puddle of tears....there is solace in knowing another girl in this city is about to get the same call....and another girl....and another girl.....

it's the summer when everybody is in short-sleeves....amidst the bustle of K Street downtown, even chad can recognize all the women in my shoes scurrying along the busy street by the white cotton swab taped to the inside of her elbow where they drew the blood...holding her breath for the next six hours awaiting the nurses call. least i get to take my phone call from the privacy of my of the biggest blessings to date.

...along with the weekly reminder that i'm not alone...

how can you put a pricetag on that?

Monday, October 15, 2007

monday morning = root canal.
tuesday morning = infertility clinic.
wednesday morning = fake endocrinologist appt.
friday morning = crown for root canal.

throw into the mix of this week = bible study, surprise birthday party, photographing a wedding, becoming a wizard in low GI diet cooking and a possible appt with a nutritionist....ah, yes....and the rest of the stuff i do to actually make money....

not much sleep this week for little ole me.
BUT i come bearing PICTURES of my weekend :)

for starters, as most of you are aware -- we decorated our house this weekend. i CANNOT believe this was my THIRD year in a row doing this....but it's pretty hysterical and actually miraculous that nobody died. chad and i are ridiculously afraid of heights, but fortunately for ME....i'm short. so nobody really employs me to do much. chad on the other hand is the one that has to climb onto the roof and risk his life. it took us all weekend and i feel exhausted....but here ya go:

it was REALLY windy on saturday, and it's unreal that lara hung over the edge of the house the way she did

please take note of my husband's head...hardly peering over the edge. he REFUSED to even stand up. i laughed the entire time. he looked over the edge while laying on his belly...and i can't say that i blame him!

again, lara taking it a bit too far....

i fully expected that rudy was going to jump. it would be in his nature to do so. he refrained.

hammer in the sweatpants.

and that's that :) we're not done....oh no....
i am personally done...but chad and lara still have alot of work ahead!!!

starving and wondering what i can eat now that the feeling is coming back to my face. isn't that first bite after dental work terrifying to you? i'm always afraid that when i bite down, my face is going to light up with pain. i may put off eating until tomorrow. or the next day.

so i did a family portrait session with a toddler on saturday morning -- shifting gears a little bit here -- and it's official. they're harder to do than weddings. the parents are great...and the kids that are 5+ years old are great....but those toddlers (15mths old) are TOUGH to photograph. they don't smile on command. they're hard to keep still.....and it really requires a FAST SHUTTER SPEED to capture them because they're always in motion!!! i'll place more on my other photog-blog, but i couldn't help but throw down a few of my favorites.

i've seen kids with blue eyes before.
but these blue eyes hit it out of the ball park. they don't even look REAL....the second i walked into her house and saw her baby Dean....i knew he was going to make it too easy. blonde with flourescent blue eyes -- how can you go WRONG!?

i LOVE this one for some reason....the family in the living room, playing on the floor.

he was adorable on the slide, but this episode did end with him accidentally doing a somersault on the slide and...concluding that part of our shoot....

and then, and i don't have any photographs of it, the 2nd half of yesterday was spent at a memorial service for our neighbor that died. which was really lovely and actually fun. very upbeat, lots of laughter....which was how it was meant to be. it actually makes me that much more reluctant to leave our neighbhorhood because we love our block so so so much. the people add such value to our living conditions here and it'll be a downer day when we have to eventually say goodbye.

not much else to report, really...i can hardly see out of my office window b/c of the SPIDER WEBS everywhere! off to fedex to ship some wedding stuff and to CVS to pick up some advil for my face. :(


Friday, October 12, 2007

aahhh....has fall really arrived??

wow, it's GOOOORGEOUS outside today!!! chad is bouncing off the walls about how if EVERYDAY could be like today -- life would be amazing. it's windy, with massive white and grey clouds in the sky...and there is definitely a chill in the air....

it smells like halloween :)

but it certainly feels like fall has descended upon us.....
ASK ME how stoked i am for an OUTDOOR FALL WEDDING i have next weekend out in the burbs at a bed and breakfast. i mean, i like all my weddings for different reasons, but this summer's heat just REALLY beat me down and so therefore, i'm VERY excited about the peaceful, serenity of this bride and the unbelievable conditions i'll be shooting with. oh...and that julie's back in the saddle and we get to spend the day together!! whenever we shoot weddings it doesn't even feel like work....well....scratch that. it doesn't feel like work until we do the family portraits. that part can get hairy, but the rest is a BLAST!!!!

last night chad and i took rudy on a long city walk....and i pulled out one of my favorite SCARVES and it was amazing. outside of the 3 boys walking ahead of us who were smoking weed...that would be the exception. oh...and the black lab that lunged at rudy and i thought there was gonna be blood on the sidewalk. and the fact that chad lured me out by telling me we'd swing by baskin robins on 8th street, if i walked with him.....only to tell me halfway there that he doesnt want ice cream anymore....but all the rest of it was fun.... :)

this weekend is going to be fun!!!
my dorky husband wants to head to a matinee movie at 430 = Michael Clayton. :) any takers? who wants to come with us?? chinatown theater -- be there! uhm....we've never been to that theater before but figured we'll metro over there and check it out because afterward we're meeting some friends for dinner in chinatown by 730, so we'll already be there to check in on our reservations and walk around if we have time!!!!

bright and early tomorrow morning i have a FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT -- again -- fall weather -- to die for!!! i'm not gonna lie though, my computer is about to blow up. when i bought my new mac pro computer i thought it had so much memory that i could NEVER fill it in a million years. previous laptop only held 80 GB and that was just...impossible. so the mac pro holds 235 GB -- and the heavens opened in song!!!! until today. when my little "memory size" widget informed me that i've already used 227 GBs....

it's time to get some stuff OFF my computer for buy more memory for my desktop.
i have 8 weddings on my hard drive. (about to add another one next saturday)
i have 3 family shoots on my hard drive.
i have 1 engagement shoot on my hard drive.
i have 2 sets of headshots

my brain feels like it's out of memory too.
a bride handed me a check the other day for $740.00 and i had NO IDEA why she was paying me. "well, remember how you added another shooter to our package? said we could pay you for that in our next installment...?"

i TOTALLY remember saying that.'s a bit fuzzy.

i bought a new external hard drive (my 2nd) to start using for 2008, but.....looks like it's gonna have an early birthday. that puppy may get whipped out today.

enough said.
enough said.

ok, so i did another shoot for Le Village Marche and this place only succeeds in promoting my love of ALL THINGS FALL!!!!

enjoy and have a fab weekend!