Friday, June 29, 2007

Another 'Stuck-In-A' Episode

A truck backed into the loading dock across the street. A forklift went in the back. It did not come out. Turns out the suspension was a bit soft and the ramp a bit high, so the forklift couldn't roll back over it. They have driven the truck away now, presumably to find a dock with a lower ramp.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Retrieval & Collection Recap And Transfer Day

Okay, it's been three days since the retrieval and the chosen embryos were transferred back in today. I never wrote further about the retrieval, so I'll start with that.


Wow. It was only three days ago, but it seems like forever. Let's see what I remember.

We went in Friday morning. From what we had heard of other people's experiences we were expecting they would send me to collect my sperm sample while they were prepping my wife for the retrieval. As it turns out, they had me wait and didn't send me off until after she was done. I snapped the pic and wrote the previous blogget while I was waiting. When she came back after about an hour the doctor told us they had gotten nine good eggs out of twenty. The others were mostly not yet mature, but several had been fragile and had ruptured before or during the retrieval. (We think now they were most likely from the earliest appearing follicles and were just a bit "overripe".)

Well, my wife was still out of it from the anesthesia and her mind latched onto the part about some being fragile and wouldn't let go of it. I and the nurses had to tell her several several times that there were nine good ones - one nurse even wrote it on her hand - until she had recovered enough from the anesthesia to focus and remember it. She cried a lot during that time, of course, and the nurse also explained that that was common - pumped full of hormones, perceptions made strange by the anesthesia, the release of finally getting the eggs out all adds up. Finally, she calmed down and said she was okay and happy that we had gotten nine good ones.


Then the sent me down the hall to do my "collection". The room they sent me to was a corner room, with big nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in both the "lounge" section and the bathroom section. Fortunately there were blinds, which I adjusted to block the view from the parking lot below. I could still see the bright blue sky. I could also see the various nude and semi-nude women in the art hanging on the bathroom wall. Maybe I'll post a pic later.

I had been given a scrub kit to wash up with. Based on my experience at the backup collection I stripped down completely to better facilitate the washing. (Rinse water tends to run down the legs, so no shoes or socks. Shirts will hang down and brush against the clean junk so off that comes too.) I also took off my ring for good measure. The nurse had made a point of impressing upon me the importance of thoroughly rinsing - the antibiotic soap (with betadine in it, I think) kills sperm, so gotta get it all off - so I did. The floor got a little wet, so I laid the first sterile towel on the floor after I had finished with it.

The cleaning finished, I moved into the lounge to get down to business. My wife had been joking in the days before that she was going to call out to me as I headed off for the collection: "Skip the Penthouse and go right to the Hustler!" If you recall from my earlier entry we had found that while Penthouse has lots of "socially redeeming" articles, many of them include photos not exactly conducive to the task at hand. Hustler, on the other hand, as very little such extraneous filler. Well, lo and behold, there are a few copies of Penthouse, but no Hustler. I decided to make the best of things and started thumbing through a Penthouse. Some of the girls are nice, but a bit too glamorous for my taste. Seems Penthouse has abandoned the peeing I heard they had begun to feature a few years back to return to a more Playboy-esque style. After looking through a couple I decided to take a look at the copies of the other title in the rack: Black Tail. Good move. While it didn't have the full couples sex spreads of Hustler, it did have much more explicit material than penthouse, and the black women gave it what was for me an exotic touch. I found a couple nice, uh... friendly looking girls without any tattoos showing and completed my task.

I dropped off the sample at the lab and off we went. My wife got a ride down in a wheelchair and I picked her up at the curb.

The next day the doctor called to tell us we had five fertilize, and we'd know after three days how many we'd have to put back. In the subsequent days we worried about having none to transfer, and fantasized about having them all grow well and maybe even have one or two split into possible twins. (Would we put back in both embryos from a twin pair, or go for a more diverse group to hedge against genetic problems?) In the end we decided to go in with the expectation that since they hadn't called to tell us not to bother coming in there must be at least one to transfer, but that at our age we wouldn't expect more than maybe two.

Transfer Day!

That brings us to today - Transfer Day. We worked this morning, shorthanded but catching up on lost days as well as we can, and closed early to head for the clinic. The nurse had called us to tell us that there had been a schedule change and we were to be there a half hour sooner than we had been scheduled. We had planned on closing up at 1:00, so we ate early and headed out soon after.

We got there on time, with my wife's bladder full to bursting. They had asked that it be full to reduce the angle of the uterus and make positioning the transfer catheter easier. Well, she just couldn't hold it and she had a bottle of water handy, so she went a little in the lobby restroom and started drinking while we waited in our room. The doctor was in surgery elsewhere, as it turns out, and ended up being late. In fact he was late for our original time. My wife ended up going again and drinking some more before he arrived, with the nurse's blessing. She filled up again just in time.

The doctor came in with something for us - a picture of the embryos that would be transferred. There were three, all graded average (3) or above. (5 is perfect.) We smiled ear to ear and marveled at the picture. That's it above, with the patient info removed of course.

She was prepped and the bed raised into position. While the nurse operated the ultrasound to guide the catheter positioning, I held my wife's hand. In hindsight I should have taken off my ring then too. Apparently, they had difficulty getting a satisfactory visualization of the catheter's position. First the nurse tried. Then the doctor draped a sterile drape over the ultrasound paddle and tried himself. Then they swapped on the vaginal probe and poked at her abdomen with that. Finally they used it via her vagina - right in there with the speculum and the catheter. It was during all that that my wife crushed my fingers against my ring. I didn't complain. I just took the opportunity, once it came my way, to adjust my ring a bit to a more comfortable position and let her squeeze as much as she needed. I wish she could have made some adjustments for her comfort too.

After the embryologist checked the catheter and declared that all the embryos had been transferred they removed the equipment and helped my wife into a more comfortable position. After a mandatory half-hour rest, and a talk with the embryologist about my sperm count (up a good deal again, but still low motility) we headed home, with a brief stop at Secret Headquarters to pick up a couple things we had left behind in our hasty departure. My wife spent the rest of the evening in the recliner watching an Office DVD and being waited on (and yelling to me where things were that she wanted.) She'll be taking it easy for a while - only light exercise and keeping cool.

Next stop: the pregnancy test in a week and a half or so.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Retrieval & Collection Time!

My wife is in the procedure room now. After she's done & back here in recovery it's my turn. The art is on the door of our room & is by another husband.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today and Tomorrow

Today was almost a normal day. We went in to work at Secret Headquarters. My wife had no injections. Other than my ongoing computer problems it was all pretty much a regular day.

I spent much of the day alternating between filling in a few gaps due to a bit of understaffing to help catch up on work time lost to our appointments up to now, and working on my still-glitchy computer. Moving it to the cool side of the desk, while a good move I plan to stick with, did not solve the problem. So, after a quick consult with Answers I did a final system config backup and ran a reinstall from the Win2000 CD. I went with the less radical option of doing an upgrade install. Hopefully that will serve to repair the system. I had to run update downloads & installs for a good hour or more. After that I only had time to reinstall the Comodo firewall (which I had uninstalled as a suspect during my long period of diagnosis) and tweak its configuration a bit before we left.

Overshadowing everything today, though, was anticipation of tomorrow's egg retrieval. My wife is a little trepidatious about the procedure. She'll be sedated for it and we're told that because of the number of follicles to be aspirated it'll take about an hour. I believe they'll be sending me off to do my part while they prep her. I'm trying to keep a light and confident attitude about it all, both to ease her stress and so that I can be sure to be able to "do my part" well enough.

Back before the first progress check, she and I made a "funsies" bet on how many eggs we'd get. She said 10 to 15. I said 15 to 20. That was back before we learned that a half-dozen was good for someone her age, but also before we learned what a large number she would ultimately produce.

If you haven't read it yet, I believe I noted in a previous entry that the Dr. measured 12 good sized follicles Wednesday, and noted on the report that there were about 20 present altogether. They will be aspirating all of them and collecting everything she's got to give.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things Are Better Than Expected

We went in for a final follicle check. The doctor measured twelve of them, and noted that there were about twenty total to be aspirated. Tonight we do the trigger shot - my big moment, and Friday we go in for the retrieval and the primary semen collection - my official big moment. I believe Sunday we'll hear about how many fertilize. Then Monday it's the implantation.

After the nurse went over the schedule with us I asked her how well we stacked up among women my wife's age as far as the follicles. She said it's one of the best they've seen at that age. Woohoo!

We were so giddy on the way out. It's a bit of an anticlimax to write such a short post about it, but there it is.

Anyway, now that my wife has done so well it's my turn to step up to the plate. My sperm count for the backup collection was significantly better than the one a month before, and the quality was a bit better too. I hope it's a trend. We'll find out Friday.

Keep wishing us luck! :)

A Quickie Update Before Bed

Today was long.

We started out with a check on my wife's progress. Since the last check two days ago she's gone from about half a dozen sizable follicles to about a dozen. She's really jazzed about that. Her estrogen was still a little low, so she's done one more day of stimulation. Tomorrow we go in for what will likely be our last check before giving the trigger shot. If that's the case - well - I'm too tired to do the math but i believe we'd be doing the embryo transfer early next week. I'm on ejaculation restriction now, saving up for the egg retrieval.

Since this was an extra day of stimulation, we didn't have enough medication. We anticipated that and the clinic put in an order from a mail-order pharmacy that has good prices. It was to arrive today FedEx express, but since we were driving in for the checkup in the morning we wouldn't be there to sign for it. We told the nurse and she specified afternoon delivery when she placed the order. Of course, FedEx got the package to their local depot in time to send out for morning delivery, and did just that. We got to Secret Headquarters and found a note saying they would try to deliver it in the evening. Try. My wife called FedEx and had the operator relay to the local depot that we needed it delivered by 5. The driver said he would do it. 5:30 rolled around and we got a bit anxious. I headed around the building to see if he was picking up from the drop-off box and half-way there I heard my wife yell to me. I ran back and there he was. Big relief.

So now we need to go in again - another day lost at HQ, but this time we arranged to give an employee a key so they can do some work while we're out. This is all so disruptive - it better be worth it.

Gotta get up in like five hours. Good night!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Progress Check - And Winged Ants

Another progress check this morning. On our way out we found these winged ants (a few dozen at least) trapped in the dew on the car, their legs & bodies wriggling.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Busy At HQ

Backing up my pc @ Secret Headquarters so I can reinstall it fresh. Meanwhile, enjoy these ducklings & goslings we saw Saturday by Outback.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Follicle Check

We went in for another check on my wife's progress. So far so good. She had one enlarged follicle, but it seems to most likely be a leftover cyst that's not affecting the others' growth. She had one more sizable follicle than she did a couple days ago, and a handful of smaller ones. The doctor says she's on track but moving a little slow, so we're going to give them another couple days to grow. Next check is Tuesday. He's estimating collecting Saturday or so.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Gratifying Sale

I always liked this one, and its related t-shirt designs, but figured it was too niche to sell. It took a while, but I finally sold one - a bumper sticker.

Smut Picture Racketeer

Inspired by the Ed Wood movie The Sinister Urge.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yesterday At The Fertility Clinic

I would have blogged this sooner, but my PC's been having fits.

So anyway, it was an up and down and up and down kind of day. We went in to have my wife tested and ultrasounded to see how she's progressing. It looks like she's got six or so follicles. One is bigger than the rest, but they're all of decent size for this stage of the game. For our age that's a real good number, but she's been reading message boards and hearing about people with a dozen to twenty of the things and was greatly disappointed when she heard she had six. Also her estrogen level was lower than she was expecting, and that all put her in a funk.

Since then she's learned, as mentioned above, that six is a really good number of follicles for a woman her age, and also that the estrogen level is actually right in the zone of where it should be at this stage of things. It will get higher later. So she's feeling better now, but for a while she was an emotional yo-yo (as was I, though I made sure to be "up" around her.) I'm guessing that's probably normal too.

We go in for another check Sunday morning. The retrieval will likely be early too, so I guess it's no more late nights for me until after the transfer. We're in the stretch now. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Brief "Stuck-In-A" Episode

While we've been waiting out the storm the fire department paid a little visit. We met them in the lobby of Secret Headquarters (we're on the 1st floor of a building with other tenants) and were asked if we had called about people being stuck in the elevator. We told them we weren't aware of it but if there were it was likely them who called. They tried the elevator button and it was in fact stuck. After trying a few keys they got the door open. The car was stuck between the 2nd & 3rd floors, mostly on the 2nd. There were two people in it who said they were okay. (Other than being stuck in the elevator.)

I showed them the stairs and they headed up but the 2nd floor door was locked to the stairwell. I called the property manager and he said he was forty minutes away but on his way with the key. The firemen decided they couldn't wait that long - they were getting other calls. I called the manager again and let a fireman talk to him. They got his permission to do whatever they had to to open the door. In the end, they managed to get it open without breaking it. I let them use the phone again to tell the manager that the people were out and the elevator was still stuck, and off they went to their next call.

All in all it was more exciting to live through than to read about, I suppose, particularly for the people who were stuck.

Along the way I took this pic of the open elevator shaft. The orange thing is a wedge the firemen stuck in the door to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the storm is passing. Looks like another five minutes or so, so I better post this and shut down.


And Another Storm

No pic this time.

We're at Secret Headquarters this time. We were getting ready to go - I was beginning my shut down routine - when we started hearing rumbles outside. I looked up just in time to see the door blow open. I checked the radar and there's a line coming through, from the northeast oddly. Most storms come through here from the west if there's a line of them.

Anyway, lots of thunder right now as the big blob of radar-red approaches. We're waiting it out, but the lights have flickered out once already. Good thing we have battery backups on all the computers and the DSL modem & router. I'm keeping the flashlight at the ready.

The heavy rain's just hitting now. Hopefully this won't take too long. From the looks of its speed on the radar I'm expecting a half-hour to 45 minutes.

Battery is flicking on and off now. Better post this now.

See y'all later!

Friday, June 8, 2007


There's a thunderstorm passing by. I shut down my PC when it started hailing. (I'm blogging from my phone.) The pic is of lightning lighting up the sky as seen through our skylight. Took three tries.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

So Far So Good

We're back from the fertility clinic, by way of Outback.

My wife seems to be on track, with everything as it should be. She still has a couple cysts on one ovary, but her estrogen is low so they are apparently hormonally inactive. The doctor says we could wait them out, but that could take months, or aspirate them, which could impact growth of the good follicles later (presumably from the ovary being poked with a needle, though he didn't actually say). Overall, he and my wife are both comfortable with ignoring them and moving forward with the cycle, so that's what we're doing. He didn't count, but said there seemed to be the beginnings of a decent number of eggs showing. I hope it's on the upper end of "not too many" in case we have to do another cycle. That way we can freeze what we don't use this time and maybe skip doing the retrieval the second time.

I really hope we get pregnant the first try so we won't have to deal with any more cycles at all. Of course then we'll have to decide what to do with the leftover embryos: dispose of them, donate for research, donate for other couples, or keep them for ourselves. We've talked a bit and I think the way we'll likely go is keep them frozen for us, at least for a couple years. We're realistic about it - my wife won't likely be up to carrying another child after this first. We're just a bit too old for that. But within a couple years if we think we're up for a second (privided we don't get twins this time) we may see if my younger sister in law will carry one for us. She herself mentioned the possibility a few years ago, so maybe she'll still be game.

If we don't feel up for going for another kid, my selfish genes are telling me to donate for other couples, but I worry a little bit about who might be raising a child who is, though not legally, genetically ours. At least we know whoever they might be they're not likely to be complete technological Luddites.

My sperm is doing better. The motile count was 0.8M. If you're just joining this blog that's an improvement over my previous count of 0.3M. That's a 166% increase. Still in the range of random fluctuation, but at least I know I'm not likely to have some deteriorating condition. I think I'll stick with the boxers now. I'm getting used to them anyway. Now I have to work on getting more sleep.

IVF pre-stim check

Waiting room. More later.