Are we parents yet?

The Clements’ IVF Journey

How times have changed!! March 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aria @ 4:07 pm

In 1971, the British Medical Associaiton advised that if you were under 5 ft in height you should have your baby in a hospital; if you had the baby at home, the husband should sleep in another room for the first two weeks; you shouldn’t drink a lot of alcohol – “at the most one or two sherries or two glasses of beer a day”; and when you first find out you are pregnant and go to see your doctor “you will almost certainly have a chest x-ray to make sure there is nothing wrong… A chest x-ray is prefectly harmless from the point of view of you and your baby. So please don’t worry about it at all.”




Filed under: Pregnancy — Aria @ 12:11 pm

Okay, so it’s okay. Apparently this kind of pain is normal as long as it isn’t persistent and there isn’t any blood. Also something abut corpus luteum. I was just too relieved to pay much attention to what corpus luteum is, something about progesterone. I’m on vaginal testosterone suppositories to supplement my natural progeterone. And somehow progesterone can cause cramping and aching too. If anyone understands this better than I do (Rachel?) please pipe in. I was too busy being relieved to pay attention to the rest.


Sharp pain March 30, 2009

Filed under: Fears and worries — Aria @ 11:00 pm

In the center, right above my pubic bone, and then it feels like it shoots straight back. In the kitchen I was double over, couldn’t stand. I don’t know if this is normal or not. But if it happens again, I’m going to go to the ER. If it doesn’t happen again, I’ll still be calling the doctor tomorrow.

I’ll feel a lot better if someone can tell me this is normal and that it happened to them and things were okay in the end.


This is pretty funny March 28, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy,Random thoughts — Aria @ 8:09 pm

No need to ever pay for a pregnancy test again!! Just use this pregnancy test. My results:

Aria, you’re going to be the proud parent of a baby girl, and just look- isn’t she just so damn cute! Based on our remote test results, your beautiful baby girl will weigh about 7 lbs, 16 oz and have blonde hair and hazel eyes. Truly a Wonder To Behold!

The Daddy Is . . .
Jesse Jackson

Wow, talk about “Family Values”. As Jesse would say, “The implications of my impregnations has caused contemplation across the nation!”


And Rachel’s right, not feeling the way I do would be cause for concern. Though it’s not enjoyable, I wouldn’t wish any of this away.

Two weeks and one day before we should be able to hear heartbeats. Seriously, how can anyone say that a living thing with a BEATING HEART is just a clump of cells? Hell if I know. I just know we’ll be crying in there. I’m excited to get to see the doctor. Last time I cried in front of her was in frustration. I think we’ll have to take her cookies or something.

Tomorrow I’ll share a couple of my fur-kids and our adventure today. Well, not really an adventure, but a day of fun!

Also I’m dealing with a Bartholin’s cyst. It’s painful and stings. I’m going to try some sit baths and see if I can’t get it close enough to the surface to lance. I’ve lanced abscesses before (I’ve got a very high pain tolerance for things I do to myself), and would rather avoid antibiotics or anything like that.



Filed under: Pregnancy,Random thoughts — Aria @ 11:20 am

That is how I feel. Ugh.

It’s odd how I both am thinking, “Damn, I don’t want to feel nauseated and achy and tired and headachy and my tummy in knots,” but on the other hand, I know I’m lucky to get to be in this position. It is bad of me to complain about feeling blah when it’s a step I must take to get what we want?

I know there are many MANY people in this country who are in the position of needing IVF to have a baby. But this isn’t the UK. You either have a lot of money, the ability to get into a ton of debt, insurance that might cover a little bit of something, or a combination of those. Two years ago I had none of them (if you don’t use credit AT ALL, then it’s surprisingly hard to start once you try – being able to live within your means doesn’t sow responsibility to the credit bureaus, and your credit score really is a measure of how much interest can be made off of you, which is why paying on a card for five years looks better than paying it in full every month).

And then we got insurance that covers some, even if it has been a fight to get them to pay, but it was enough to get us in the door at Stanford, and then into debt from there. I don’t even like to think about how much debt we have right now, but oh well. I guess $15,000 or so isn’t so bad in the scheme of things. The average debt including all non-home loans that Americans have is far more than that. So we’re in good shape.

And we really are lucky to “get” to have this kind of debt. It’s not the kind for a plasma tv and other things we don’t need and will throw out in ten years. It’s for something for the rest of our lives. A baby is worth it.

Still, I’m wanting to complain about feeling like hell, like I’ve been beaten with a bag of bricks. How I feel right now is comparable to the chemo I had, though not quite as bad just yet. It’s only a bag of bricks versus being smacked with a big-rig truck.

I am nauseated a lot and have been throwing up a lot, a few times just barely making it to the bathroom and not even getting over the bowl properly. Poor toilet seat. So naturally this makes me worry about whether or not I’m taking in enough calories and nutrients, though I haven’t been losing weight, so I guess that’s okay, right? I’m also taking Centrum multi-vitamins with two additional calcium/magnesium/zinc supplements, and 800mg of folic acid.

Also, completely off-topic, but I thought that this story is very sweet. A couple divorced after 27 years of marriage, and then the ex-husband needed a kidney transplant. The ex-wife volunteered to be tested and was a match. Through all of this, they fell in love again, and remarried 17 years after they divorced. 🙂 I love these heart-warming stories


hCG! March 27, 2009

Filed under: Elations — Aria @ 1:11 pm

My hCG was 149 on Wednesday, and is 486 today!!

Heartbeat ultrasound on the 13th, so two weeks from Monday. Oh my god, I’m going to go crazy waiting!

Order are still nothing strenuous that could get my heart rate over 140, and no heavy lifting. Sex is still a no-go until after the ultrasound, but baths are okay. And no more sashimi for a while. Dag-nabbit, I love raw fish. But California rolls are still play because those are cooked, so all’s not lost in the Americanized-sushi department.

So I can move around a bit now and sew and do some cleaning. And take BATHS! Yay!!!

Too bad I’m still incredibly tired all the time. Boo!


How will I give birth? March 25, 2009

Filed under: Delivery thoughts,Pregnancy — Aria @ 10:04 pm

Edit: PLEASE read how I actually gave birth here: I listened to my body and had a homebirth instead!!

Since I was 14, it’s been a planned c-section being what I’d have to have. I don’t have a large intestine anymore, thanks to an extremely severe case, as in it couldn’t have been worse, of ulcerative colitis (yes, it’s the Wiki, but the articles on this topic are very good), and my small intestine has a j-pouch held together by stables. The pushing COULD cause rupturing or other damage. My IDEAL birth would be a water birth at home. That’s not happening.

However some more recent studies are showing that having a j-pouch and a vaginal delivery might not carry as high of risks as previously thought. Some specialists still prefer a c-section to protect the j-pouch. There is certainly a bit of increased risk for a vaginal delivery over a c-section.

I can’t decide just now whether I’d attempt a vaginal. I would contact my original surgeon, the absolutely amazing Dr. Karen Deveney. That woman is concentrated brilliance and kindness, and when she’d check on me each and every day after surgery, she’d come into my room and sit down and it felt more like a visit, like she was concerned about my mental well-being with what I was going through rather than just was I going to live. A doctor’s bedside manner is incredibly important, and I can’t rave enough about hers and how caring and concerned she was, and she never showed any frustration with me when I was scared or would cry. Just thinking about how wonderful she is brings tears to my eyes. A year or so after she finished treating me, my dad went to her with a problem with extreme pain every now and then that he’d had for over a decade and no other doctor could figure out. One ex-ray was all she needed to spot the problem, and she got my dad in for surgery right away and he was fine until he died (not from anything intestinal.

I know I went off on a tangent with this, but truly, Dr. Deveney is just incredibly amazing, and if anyone ever has to go through this, believe me, she is worth traveling for. Go to Portland, Oregon, and see her. Move if you have to. I swear, SHE IS WORTH IT.

Back on topic.

I would need more information on how it can affect short-term and long-term pouch-function, the input of my doctors here (excellent doctors at Stanford), as well as information from Dr. Deveney.

I hope a vaginal delivery will end up safe for me, but if I have to have a c-section, I will. Hell if I know why ANYONE would have an ELECTIVE c-section. Sure, the pain of delivery is less, but it’s several weeks of painful recovery afterward.

This is really something I won’t be able to decide just now, but you can bet I’m thinking about it and agonizing about it.