Fertility Musings, Questions & Answers and News

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back from the amnio

I was still ready to turn around and go home, even 5 minutes before the test. It wasn't that I minded having it done, I just didn't mind not having it done either.

The doc was a bit of a joker, first telling Ohad it would take 30 minutes (yeah, right) and then telling me that they needed to use 2 needles - one to make sure they were in the right place and the other to extract the fluid. This might be helpful for someone who has never had amnio before, is stupid, or is so terrified that she'll believe anything. For me, it was somewhat annoying, because I wondered what other things he might find humorous... It was over in about 5 minutes and they took me to sit on a recliner for 20 minutes and fed me cookies. The doctor claimed that sugar helps prevent contractions. Sounded weird, but I took a cookie anyway... After about 1/2 an hour, we made sure to leave instructions to omit the gender from the report and then drove home, stopping on the way in Jaffa to get sandwiches (the test was in Tel Aviv). My parents surprised me by dropping by and bringing a chocolate mousse cake and flowers :-)

I spent most of the afternoon & evening on my back trying to be comfortable, but I'm used to laying on my side and my whole body started to ache, so I finally gave up and just lay on my side. It was much more comfortable.

This morning I feel fine. 3 weeks until we get the results.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Too much going on

So basically the court thing went well. My lawyer was happy. I'm a little annoyed by the fact that I have to go to 'communication lessons'. If 13 years of marriage, including about 3 years of therapy weren't able to teach him that communication isn't supposed to involve threats, swearing and going on and on unintelligibly (believe me, I'm NOT exaggerating), then I wonder what kind of magic they think they can work when I'm totally unmotivated...

A good mom should be motivated, right? But I guess there's a limit to the amount of abuse I want to subject myself to, even if (theoretically) it is 'for the good of the children'. I think registered letters, for example, is a much better form of communication. He really is one of the few people I find I just can't communicate with. Fortunately, his current mental state is so bad that he can't keep himself together for any period of time, so other people are able to see why. I hope this happens quickly - otherwise, it will mean a lot of driving and a lot of wasted days.

So, although no custody suit is looming over me anymore, I'm still really angry that the social worker chose to knowingly lie about things. Even the fact that the judge didn't buy it (she totally didn't) doesn't make me feel any better about it. And I have another question for the social worker: even if the fact that my kids were born through IVF is relevant (I don't know why it would be, but let's say it is), how did you, Ms. Social Worker, decide that the problem was with me and that my ex 'stood by me' (hence giving him bonus points for dedication)???

In other news, Ohad and I were never able to really reach a decision about the amnio. The default was that we have an appointment tomorrow morning at 10. Since we didn't cancel it, we're going. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I feel just as calm as I did last time, though this time I'm not really worried about the results either...

Ohad has promised to spoil me for 2 days (and when he says it, he means it). So it's not all bad :-)

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Off to court

Should be a blast. I get to play with my new GPS on the way. I tried to test it once before, but it said, "prepare for arrival at your destination" (in Hebrew) about 5 seconds after I got in the car. I guess that's what happens when all your trips are that short...

I will update later, unless I faint there on the floor, hit my head & need to be hospitalized. In such case, I'll try to get someone else to update.

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Update: I survived. The social worker's report was good enough that the judge got the point that the kids are fine. Psycho-ex, despite his wishes, was convinced to change the suit from custody to visitation. He also went psycho in the court, screaming and crying. There weren't any emotional issues going on, so it was completely out of the blue and very out of place. He even yelled, very loudly, that the entire custody suit doesn't interest him and he doesn't even want custody. The judge made sure that got into the protocol.

It isn't over, but it's looking better. For now, I just forbade the kids to wear clothes that their father gives them to school (he has majorly bad taste, including sending them in things that are too small). I can't afford any more run-in's with the school.

Gotta run...

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tomorrow at 12

There really are worse things than having to go to court. I can think of many of them, but it still doesn't make that particular experience appeal to me. Actually, the court is troubling me less than seeing what our lovely social worker decided to write in the end.

On the phone, she said that, at most, she'd recommend that I be a bit more flexible about the visitation in the future. Considering the grouch (aka psycho-ex) rarely picks up the kids on time anyway, I didn't really get the point, but whatever. My lawyer will be there at 10 or so and he said he'd call to let me know how it (the social worker's report) is. I don't expect it to be honest or fair. She has always said that I just need to communicate better... I tried to explain that it's difficult to communicate with someone who was consistently abusive toward me throughout my 13-year marriage and can't get through more than 20 seconds on the phone without screaming at the top of his lungs, but she just doesn't get it.

My lawyer said that the case has a better than 50% chance of getting thrown out of court tomorrow (the grouch originally filed for divorce in the Rabbinic court and the divorce agreement clearly states that any disputes in the future must be resolved there - but when he filed the custody suit, he filed it in a Family court that doesn't have the jurisdiction).

Trying to ignore the fact that I have to be in court tomorrow, Ohad and I sat here for the past hour or so trying to decide whether we should go for amnio on Tuesday or not. The only good part of it that I can see is that I'd get to be spoiled for 2 days. Maybe we can just skip the amnio and I'll lie in bed as if I've done it... How about that?

Tonight, I asked the older kids to help arrange the poles of our Sukkah. After a little while, I heard hammering - turns out they put the entire Sukkah together on their own(!) Just as they were finishing, it started to rain - the first rain of the season :-)

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

YouNeverCall offers $10k for the first mobile call from the moon

YouNeverCall, the popular online cell phone superstore, today announced a $10,000 prize award for the first cell phone call placed from the moon. This announcement follows on the coattails of Google's announcement of $20M in prize money for landing a craft on the moon by Dec. 31, 2014. (See the article here.)

Any ideas for a contest Google can announce regarding infertility?

And I'm sure YouNeverCall will hop in with an offer for the first mobile call made from the womb...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

And the winners are...

The top 5 ordered items were:

Helping the Stork: The Choices and Challenges of Donor Insemination

The Couple's Guide to In Vitro Fertilization: Everything You Need to Know to Maximize Your Chances of Success

FertilMARQ: A Male Fertility Sperm Test

Single Mothers by Choice

Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families

The only DVD ordered more than once was:

The Time Machine

Anything else you'd like to know?
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And of course, no IF blog would be complete without wishing Thalia a huge congratulations on the arrival of Pob!

Lastly, for all of those observing Yom Kippur, have an easy fast and a Gmar Chatima Tova!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I shoulda said thank you...

First of all, a major Mazal Tov to Karen on the birth of her triplets today!

In some pages on FertilityStories I have links to Amazon, as a not-so-successful effort to try to, as they say, 'monetize the site'. However, once in a blue moon, people actually do click through and buy things (that I'm hoping/guessing they would have bought anyway). A few months ago, someone bought a TV/DVD combo. So I wanted to say thank you to anyone who has bought through the site (especially y'all with the TV/DVD, I hope you're enjoying it :-))

And now for the question... Keep in mind that the ONLY information I get about a purchase is the approximate date, what it was and how much the person paid. So here's the question:



I'll give it a few days & see what you think...

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Calming down?

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last few posts!!!

Things seem to be calming down around here. I hope. I got a good report from the social worker who was shocked to see real-live happy kids instead of Oliver Twist... She said that at most she would recommend greater flexibility with the visitation. I told her that I don't really mind, but that she should remember that he doesn't take advantage of the time he does have for visitation, so that giving him more seems a bit useless... At least this means there isn't going to be any sort of custody battle. I hope once we're able to tell the kids this whole thing is over (we will wait until after the judge's decision, hopefully next Monday) that they will feel much better.

Yesterday, when I was looking for good things to think about, I looked at my site stats and saw that in the past month FertilityStories.com has had over 21,500 unique visitors. Last year, in the same time period, there were 9300. Is there a doubling-time calculator for that ;-)?

I posted a message about the glucose challenge on a medical forum & the doctor there said he recommended repeating it at 28 weeks. I can live with that, although I admit that those last few sips really did make me want to vomit. I was lucky enough not to, because my guess is I would have had to start over. Mega-yuck!

We're still debating the amnio issue. My choice would probably be to skip it based on the three tests we did do - the NT which gave 1:975, the 16-week-scan that was normal, and the AFP which gave 1:1140. On the other hand, if it turns out that something is wrong, we have other children we need to care for. Basically, it seems that the risk of not doing the amnio is very small, but if we don't do amnio and there does turn out to be a very serious problem, it will have a significant impact on our entire family. It's confusing and it's time for us to make a decision. Our appointment is next Tuesday (the day after we go to court). I guess we can cancel it any time until Monday or so... Thoughts?

Oh and last, but probably most importantly GOOD LUCK to Karen whose c-section is scheduled for today!!!

Edit: I just wanted to mention that we did go for amnio with the last pregnancy (due to bad AFP results) and I documented the time in what I called my amnio blog - before I had a 'real' blog.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gestational diabetes update

I got the results late last night. No diabetes! All of my values were well within normal range :-)

I'm only in week 18 now, so I am wondering whether I'll have to repeat the test, but for now that's good news - it means that I don't need to worry that too much sugar is getting to UI (short for Ubar Inbar - ubar in Hebrew means fetus). UI, by the way is what our (Ohad & my) field is often referred to - user interface...

The kids met with the social worker last night, but since they were at their dad's house both before & after (and while they're there, even when he's not home, their ability to talk on the phone intelligibly is severely limited) I don't know much about what went on there. (But I do know that I used 3 homonyms in the same sentence... Fortunately, I was always a good speller.)

I now understand that the social worker has serious problems expressing herself. What she meant to begin with was not that the children are neglected, but rather that we had neglected to seek professional help for them. It is hard to screw up this message in English, but even harder in Hebrew. I think she needs to see someone about this problem, especially if she's writing things for the court. If not, she's neglected. Ooops. I mean then she's neglected to get help for the problem she has. If I had been able to understand this last week, I would not have been nearly as stressed, especially considering the fact that even recently we took one of the kids to a professional (and told the social worker about it... I wonder if we should add amnesia to her list of problems).

BTW, I really did, as I told the social worker, lose 4 pounds over the long weekend that included 6 holiday meals. I started this pregnancy at 127. I now weigh 130 (I am, however, only 5'4").

In blogosphere news, I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for Bea (AKA POF), who's having a less-than-optimal early pregnancy experience. I hope, pray and believe the next scan will bring a huge sigh of relief. Thalia is scheduled for a c-section on September 20th. I can't believe how excited I am for her! Karen (another woman with an unbelievably fabulous attitude) has made it to 32 weeks. She's in the hospital now, but everything's looking good. Even triplets has got to be easier than these past few months have been for her. Suz & Joe have now taken 3 of their quads home. Wow. And of course, good luck to Kirby who's having (what I consider to be) her first real appointment with an RE this week.

Now I really do feel better :-)

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Social worker meets school counselor

Well, she didn't meet her, but she talked to her on the telephone.

Right, she says - the counselor didn't say any of those things, but that's my interpretation of what she did say... Um. Saying a child came to school sad is DIFFERENT from saying that the child is 'emotionally neglected'. Or maybe not. I guess I'd have to go to social work school to find out...

Social worker calling again. I absolutely refuse to switch phone bills with her.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

I stress

Some people can handle anything. I stress. Badly. It makes my stomach hurt, occupies my mind almost constantly and makes me unable to sleep.

It wasn't the fact that I got a notice on Wednesday afternoon that my AFP results were in and that I could "print them at the local clinic" (that was only going to be open on Sunday). It was actually the social worker who called me in on Monday to notify me that the school has reported that my children are 'neglected '(I won't elaborate, but some of the things were the exact complaints I'd reported to the social worker as issues I have with my ex, others were complete lies). She said the most recent report was in August (which I found strange, since vacation here is all of July & August). I came out of her office horrified. How on earth can I fight the school's lies? And if this is what the school thinks, why haven't I heard about it? The first thing I did (after I called my lawyer) was called the school counselor and made an appointment to meet with her. Of course the meeting was set for today (Sunday), which meant almost 6 days of intense stressing, including obsessive thoughts about how to try to explain to uncooperative people that some of the things they said are absolutely impossible... Every time I looked at the calendar (and it's on the front of the fridge) I felt sick to my stomach.

I don't easily decide that I like people, but I remembered that the last time I met the counselor I liked her, meaning she seemed like a reasonable person - making it even more difficult to understand how she would spread such lies. Ohad came with me to the meeting and there basically wasn't anything she said we didn't agree with. When we asked her about neglect issues and other specifics, she said she didn't recall any of them... Including the fact that there was no way she gave any report to social services in August because she was out of the country.

Back to the social worker. Oh. Oops. I read what your ex said and mistook it for information I got from the school... me (thinking): Oh. Oops, in the middle of a custody battle, it's not really that good to mix up an ex-husband's lies and reports from a school... Especially when you're the one reporting it to the mother and the court...

We may actually sleep tonight. Fortunately, I am so relieved that I don't even feel like killing her.

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AFP results - by age 1:153. Test 1:1140(!) I could not have hoped for better.

Tomorrow is the 100gr glucose challenge (the 3-hour-test). I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy & so I have a 60% chance of having it again this time. I'd trade the stress Ohad and I had over the holiday with 5 sugar-free months anytime.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Coming out of the closet...

Back in June I was already hoping that things would go well and the time would come when I'd be one of the ones with the news... and I tried to understand what the best way to say it was. I still came to the conclusion that there's no magic method, so here it is...

We're pregnant.

Having family members read my blog is an advantage, since that means at least 3 people read it. On the other hand, it meant that I had to be a little careful about what I wrote so that I could keep the surprise factor for them.

I started my 17th week and went for the AFP test today. Based on the results, we'll decide whether to keep the amnio appointment we have for Sept 25th. So far, the NT scan and the early scan were both good.

We still haven't found time to tell the kids...

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