Thoughtful ThursdayInstead of continuing to blog about blogging as we’ve done for the past three Thoughtful Thursdays, we will conclude April by returning to Thoughtful Thursday’s bread and butter: regular old infertility. The kind of issue that Fertiles just don’t tend to deal with, or at least not in the same way.

Hold on, not so fast… Quick detour first. It’s on topic, trust me.

When I bought my Volkswagen (as you may recall, the car I bought in 2001 to prepare for the baby that I was sure would be on the way soon), I received a registration card from VW. In addition to the usual name and address questions, it asked a question I’ve never seen anywhere else — a manifestation of the quirky marketing for which VW has strived for decades.

The registration card said something to the effect of:

Did you give your Volkswagen a name?
___ Of course! The name is _______
___ Huh? Why would I name a car?

To me, the very same question can be asked about all of the eggs and embryos (“theoretical children,” as my husband would call them) that get produced during fertility treatments. 

After IVF #2, Delenn asked me that very question about the two embryos that we transferred.

Looking good!! Did you name ’em? We named ours Attia and Servilla (Attia survived- we assume).

Honestly, naming embryos had never occurred to me before. Yes, I gazed at their photos for hours, wished that they would stay, imagined their futures, loved them. But naming embryos who had not implanted (and in that case, never did implant) was just not on my radar. I did name my Volkswagen, though.

Anyway, I have found many people who thought otherwise in the blogosphere. I have seen names for eggs prior to retrieval or IUI (usually naming the whole group rather than each individual, such as The Magnificent Seven). I have seen lots of names for embryos post-fertilization/pre-transfer, and even more names for embryos post-transfer (some names for the group and some individual names). The naming seems to go up further once people see embryos on ultrasound. When the sex of the fetus is known, it seems rare not to have some kind of nickname (or in some cases, the people start using the real name that they will give the baby). Some names are unique to people’s interests; some reflect something about the embryos/fetuses; some are just fun or silly.

Using some concurrent twin pregnancies as examples:

  • Miss Conception calls her twins Chick and Pea.
  • Katedaphne has called her twins Thing 1 and Thing 2 since seeing their first ultrasounds.
  • Shinejil named her twins Bruiser and Runty upon seeing their disparate sizes on ultrasound; one week later, Runty’s heartbeat could no longer be found, but Bruiser continues to do well.
  • Mrs. M@sk had been calling her twins The Flintstones, then revised it to Wilma and Betty once she learned the sexes, but she continues to call them all sorts of variations on the theme such as Bedrock Babies. By the way, Mrs. M@sk has just been put on bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy, so go send her your good thoughts that the babies stay put for several more weeks.

My husband and I do have nicknames for our fetuses, but between the two of us we have said them out loud less than half a dozen times. Once, only once, when my husband said goodbye as I left for work, he also said goodbye to the babies using their nicknames. One of them is a name that DH for years has joked about giving our child as an actual name — purely a joke, he’s not batshit insane. The other one we came up with as a counterpart to the first name when we learned that I was carrying twins.

I’m not going to tell you the names, but I will give you a huge hint. If anyone happens to get them both before next week’s Thoughtful Thursday, you will get an enormous jackpot bonanza prize. I’m pretty sure no one will guess — wanna prove me wrong? (If you do guess, please don’t forget to also answer the substantive Thoughtful Thursday questions.)

Your hint(s): The names come from The Transformers. The 80s cartoon and toy empire, not necessarily the recent movie. One of the characters after whom one of our twins is named appeared in the 2007 movie, but the other one did not. I am not telling you whether they are Autobots or Decepticons (or one of each).

Back to this week’s Thoughtful Thursday query:
Have you named eggs/embryos at any point in the treatment process? If so, at what point? Were the names picked out before or after you saw their microscope/ultrasound image?

I’m not talking about when you might assign the real name to a fetus — that’s a topic for a different Thoughtful Thursday. Today, let’s talk about the silly nicknames that some of us give and some of us don’t. You can even tell us the names if you’d like.

Thoughtful Thursday
It’s a new month, and that means a new crop of Intelligentsia (people who have commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of February). Returning from her January Intelligentsia appearance is Wiseguy from Woman Anyone?, the only two-time Intelligentsia member. She has some fine company this month:

Ernessa from Fierce and Nerdy
Fattykins from I Can’t Wash My Jeans, My Fat Is In The Way
Heather from Joys In My Life
Leslie Laine from What You’re Not Expecting When You’re Trying to Expect
Mel a.k.a. Lollipop Goldstein from Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters
Shalini from By the Pricking of My Thumbs

Thanks for your diligence, ladies! If you would like the icon for your sidebar and need the code, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy your bling and your accolades. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Onto the main event. This week’s Thoughtful Thursday will focus on socks. Huh? Yes, socks.

The topic was inspired by Kym’s Great Sock-It-To-Me Exchange (signups end on FridaySunday, but if you hurry you can still join in the fun!). Send a pair, get a pair. Make a couple of new friends. Fend off the winter chill, snuggle up filled with bloggy camaraderie, or bring yourself some good luck for an upcoming cycle (even though many of us have come to realize that we don’t believe in luck).

The Sock-It-To-Me exchange actually won’t be the first time I’ve sent socks to another blogger. You may recall the Mojo Sock giveaway, in which I found redemption following an unfortunate pottery calamity through the simple purchase and gift of some socks. I am so thrilled to say that the donor FET in which Miss Conception wore the Mojo Socks has resulted in a twin pregnancy, about to reach the 14 week mark. I don’t believe in luck, but I just might believe in Mojo.

Oh, and Miss Conception would like to pass along some kindness of her own. If you are in the U.S. or Canada can use any of the following extra meds, please email missyconception at gmail .com:

1 full box of Crinone (18 applicators) worth $400…free to a good home
1 bottle of Prometrium (100mg tablets x 41)
1 Bottle of Estrace (2mg tablets x 17)

Enough thoughtful giving. Now, time for the usual kind of thoughtfulness.

Thoughtful ThursdayOnce “lucky” socks have been worn for a fertility treatment (IUI, embryo transfer, etc.), what happens next?

It’s pretty clear what happens when the cycle works. There are many cases in the blogosphere of socks from a successful cycle being passed along to someone else, in the hopes that the success would also be passed along.

Before her transfer, Miss Conception talked about visualizing herself wearing the Mojo Socks at delivery, waddling down the hallway of the hospital as labor progressed. In addition to the transfer, she has worn them at several ultrasounds, continuing the power of the Mojo.

But what happens to socks from an unsuccessful cycle? Move them into your normal sock rotation? Banish them? Wear them for a future cycle?

I’m not so superstitious as to discard “unlucky” socks, but I can understand the impulse. The socks I wore for IVF #2 retrieval are in my normal rotation now — wool socks are quite useful under winter boots, regardless of the zany stripes. I don’t believe that they’re cursed or anything, but I still wouldn’t wear them for IVF #3, especially now that I’ll have my new Sock-It-To-Me socks.

There’s an added layer of complexity if socks are a gift. If you give someone socks for a cycle that turns out to be unsuccessful, should you feel bad? My happiness for Miss Conception was combined with relief that I didn’t jinx her.

I realize that this doesn’t have the gravitas of some of the other Thoughtful Thursday topics, but it’s something that many of us have to deal with, and something that I’ve never heard discussed elsewhere. You can play along whether you’ve worn “lucky” socks for a treatment, whether you’ve done IF treatments but haven’t worn special socks, or whether you’ve never done IF treatments.

What should you do with socks from an unsuccessful cycle?

For this week’s Show and Tell, I will present some artwork that I recently bought. Then, I will announce the winner of this week’s Dirty Laundry contest and her prize, which is related to the artwork.

During the unpleasantness of the 2WW during IVF #2 earlier this month, I did a lot of web-surfing. One of the sites I came across was Wall Blank. I really like the idea of this website: every day, they post one piece of artwork. It is available for purchase for one week, unless it sells out first. Editions seem to run in the range of 50 to 200 prints — small enough that you won’t see the same print at someone else’s house. If by some chance you do, you will be delighted that you both share the same good taste and belong to such an exclusive club. Maybe you’ll then develop a secret handshake.

Some of the art is photography; some are prints of paintings, drawings, mixed media, etc. Prices are extremely affordable for limited edition artwork. Really, extremely affordable — I have paid more than twice as much for photo prints that were 1/4 the size.

Offering a new piece every day brings a fun sense of anticipation and variety; one of my favorite Google Reader clicks every day is the new Wall Blank print. The one-week deadline creates an interesting sense of urgency. One day between IVF #2 transfer and beta day, I was smitten with a photograph. Each day, I would consider whether to buy it. During moments of optimism: art for the baby’s room! During moments of pessimism: art that will remind me of the failed cycle. During moments of realism: art that will simultaneously connect me to the past and the future. Finally, I decided to make the purchase a couple of days before the one-week window closed. Not knowing the outcome of the 2WW, I didn’t know whether optimism, pessimism, or realism would turn out to be correct. I did know that if I failed to seize the opportunity, I would regret it later.

Here is the photo that I purchased (the image is from the Wall Blank website; the print looks even better in person, but I haven’t framed it yet so I can’t show you what it looks like on my wall). The visuals are striking, but the title and description sealed the deal.
Dreaming Makes Life Colourful. Description from Wall Blank:

This photo was taken in Seoul during the Buddha’s birthday celebrations. This was taken at Jogyesa, which is one of the temples in central Seoul.

In the Buddhist religion Buddha’s birthday is the equivalent of Christmas for Christians. At this time of year Buddhists can make a wish in the form of a message attached to a lantern. Those wishes are often peoples’ dreams and can include desires for world peace, good health for a loved one, or success in something they’re doing that year. I feel those who are striving to achieve dreams are living life to the full, and as such lead a life full of colour and joy. Every dream has it’s own colour and uniqueness, so hold onto your dreams.

By Simon Bond. An archival pigment print. Includes a signed & numbered certificate of authenticity.

As someone who is in the midst of trying very hard to achieve a long-time dream, this description spoke to me. The British spelling of colourful was icing on the cake.

The one-week deadline has long since expired, so none of you can buy this particular print (sorry!) unless it makes a surprise reappearance someday, but something new appears each weekday. I’ve seen several other offerings that would make nice metaphors for infertility, and many that were aesthetically wonderful.

This brings us to the Dirty Laundry contest winner. Earlier this week I posted ten items of dirty laundry, anonymous bits of honesty about people in my life. I asked readers to guess how many my husband would correctly identify.

He correctly identified most of them instantly. Amusingly, the one that I said would be pretty easy for him actually required extra thought. The one that stumped him the most was ironic: it’s about one of his relatives, and it’s more his complaint than mine — which says something about his attunement to my emotions as well as his own ability to move quickly past things that bother him (an ability that I don’t share). But, after some thought, he got all ten of them correct.

This means that Anita from Hope.Faith.Patience is the winner, since she was the first to guess 100%. Honorable mention (but no prize) to Danielle and Shinejil, who subsequently guessed 10 out of 10.

Anita’s prize is any artwork of her choice from Wall Blank. She can choose something that’s currently for sale, or she can wait until something catches her fancy.

I was all set to pay for the artwork myself, as I have done with my other contests, but in the course of emailing customer service to ask a logistic question about the gift certificate, Wall Blank’s founder Shawn generously offered to provide the print for the contest. Thanks very much, Shawn!

Anita’s IVF cycle was canceled yesterday. I hope that winning this contest will be a pleasant distraction for her, and that she’ll be able to pick a piece of artwork that helps her look to the future, as mine does for me. Congratulations, Anita; I wish you the best with your surgery and the next cycle.

More optimism, pessimism, and realism at Show and Tell.


January 14, 2009

It’s confirmed — negative beta.

One benefit of POAS knowledge: the nurse seemed surprised that I took her bad news so well.

One ray of hope: I may have a trick up my sleeve that will allow future IVFs to get covered by insurance — don’t ask yet, since I’m not sure if it’ll work. Sure, it would have been nice if I’d discovered this trick earlier before paying for 2 IVF cycles out of pocket (plus assessment and 2 IUIs earlier in 2008, all of which actually would have been covered by my current health insurance except that I didn’t have this job at the time) but that’s water under the bridge.

Thanks for all of your hope and well wishes.

Now, I’m going to go wash the magic marker PIO targets off my butt.

Edited to add: I’m pasting the timeline here, just so that I have it recorded.
11/20-12/15: BCP
12/19: start stims (Gonal-F)
12/23: blood & U/S
12/23-12/24: Gonal-F plus Repronex — itchy!
12/25-12/28: Gonal-F, Repronex, and Centrotide
12/26: blood & U/S
12/28: blood & U/S
12/29: blood & U/S: follicles are ready; time to trigger!
12/31: egg retrieval, ICSI, start estrogen
1/1: start progesterone in oil
1/2 embryo transfer
1/14: beta: BFN

IVF #2 2WW Blow by Blow

January 13, 2009

By nature, I am a pretty calm person. DH’s über-calm style has influenced me to be even more calm. But some powerful chaos lies dormant inside me — I inherited some pretty nutty genes from multiple family members.

Those chaotic genes have been activated during the second half of this 2WW.

With IVF #1, my patience (and avoidance) was so great that I didn’t POAS until 3 days after the beta would have been scheduled, extending the 2WW into a 2-and-a-half-WW. IVF #2 has been the complete opposite.

During the chicken-with-its-head-cut-off phases of this 2WW, I have scoured the IF blogosphere for posts of people who were at the same point in their 2WW, and I have found their subjective accounts immensely helpful. So, I’m going to give you a blow-by-blow in the hopes that it is helpful to someone else, now or in the future, during the throes of 2WWorry.

The following information comes from my IVF #2 spreadsheet — after abandoning them for a few treatment cycles, I am back to spreadsheets. It’s either indicative of optimism or an inability to distinguish one day on the couch wearing pajamas from the next. Probably both.

transfer day, 1dp2dt: Houseguests still here; some residual cramping from retrieval, but otherwise fine.

2dp2dt, 3dp2dt, 4dp2dt, 5dp2dt: Feeling lazy and sometimes sleepy, but otherwise fine. I stare repeatedly at the photos of my beautiful embryos.

(Here is where the “fun” begins.)

6dp2dt: After many lazy days, I am suddenly full of energy. I get as far as cuing up the video for a Qi Gong workout (which I have never done before, but it is gentler than the power yoga that I usually do) but don’t actually manage to do any exercise. I also have a tiny bit of nausea during the day, but in the evening I am moderately nauseous. That night, I am completely unable to sleep until after 4 a.m., totally anxious and 2WWhacked out. When I finally fall asleep, I have drawn-out dreams about BFNs and BFPs. Full scenarios, such as BFN followed by changing health insurance followed by FET or another IVF.

(My husband likes to make fun of me for my lame dreams, because he dreams about sports and sex but I tend to dream about topics like work and math. I may have topped my own nerdiness by dreaming about insurance.)

7dp2dt: Although I was planning to wait until the weekend, obviously my brain cannot take it anymore and I decide to POAS. My strong nausea must mean I’ll get a BFP, right? Nope. BFN. Granted, it is extremely early to be testing. Later in the day, I am again nauseous at night. I am also constipated, which often makes me cranky but in this case my mood is okay. I also spend most of the day being active or sociable, which probably helps.

8dp2dt: Bleeeeeeh. Constipation has given way to loose stools. I have a tummyache with some nausea most of the day. I am decidedly cranky. Oh, and also still lazy.

9dp2dt: Time to POAS again. BFN. I check Betabase and determine that there is more than a 50-50 chance that even if I were truly pregnant, I would still get a BFN at 9dp2dt. This does little to affect my mood, which becomes miserable. DH offers the wisdom that if I were supposed to test on 7dp2dt or 9dp2dt, they would have scheduled the beta then instead of 12dp2dt. The constipation returns, and I also have a bit of spotting/light pink bleeding. This is the first bleeding since the post-retrieval bleeding stopped. I don’t know what to make of this. DH goes out of town, and when I drop him off at the airport it feels as if I’m saying goodbye for months instead of a week. On the way home I go to the store and come close to bursting into tears more than once. Not much of an emotional eater, the only thing at the market that I can find to bring me any comfort is high-end hot chocolate mix.

10dp2dt: A little more spotting, but not much. Energy is higher, and I actually make it to the office. Still a bit nauseous and a bit constipated — I don’t know what to make of these symptoms. When I get home and check the mail, it contains a letter from the embryologist saying that none of my three extra embryos made it to freeze. I start to freak out, because the two embryos that were transferred were graded the same two of the ones they did not transfer. This means that if this cycle fails, instead of FET it’s right back to IVF. But more importantly, I also feel like it bodes poorly for the embryos that were transferred. Not entirely logical, I know, but my hope was already fragile and now it’s almost non-existent.

11dp2dt: POAS, BFN. Back to the drawing board. I guess there’s a tiny chance that the beta will be positive, especially given that I accidentally used First Response Rapid instead of First Response Early for today’s BFN, but I’ve wasted too much of my energy in the past seven years on glimmers of hope.

(Oh, and since my out-of-town husband is going to get the BFN news by reading this post, sorry. I love you.)

The beta is tomorrow. Tonight’s PIO injection is going to suck.

Conclusion #1:
Early POAS is great if it’s positive, but torture if it’s negative. (Obviously, you don’t know which it will be until you test.) But without POAS, I don’t know if I would have slept in the past five days.

Conclusion #2:
No matter how optimistic an RE is about a cycle, he is not in control of the babymaking gods. I wish I knew who the god-wrangler was — I’d bake him all the uterus cookies in the world.

Show and Tell: Cookie

January 11, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I let you into my post-injection snack ritual. Usually I go for normal foods like cookies and brownies, but occasionally there is a special treat. In honor of IVF #2, while I was making shortbread for the holidays I made one unique cookie. The other cookies were all normal shapes, but this one I hand-crafted to boost the spirits of my own hopeful womb and to amuse my bloggy friends.


Can you tell what it is?

When DH saw it on the cooling rack, he asked, “Why did you make a cookie shaped like a penis and balls?”

Close, from an ontogeny point of view, but not quite.

As all of you easily guessed, I’m sure, the cookie depicts a uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

I will admit that it’s not a fully accurate representation. The raw version was slightly better, but ultimately, c’mon, this is a cookie. Still, I think it’s pretty good. Don’t ask me why, but my favorite part was sculpting the cervix.

I saved this cookie for the HCG trigger shot, which also happened to be the first injection that DH ever administered. His technique has improved with each PIO shot, and perhaps coincidentally most nights I don’t feel like having a treat after the shots anymore. Maybe I’m preggers, or maybe it’s just the hormones.

Go see what the rest of the class brought to Show and Tell. And if you haven’t already done so today, vote for Mel.

More Show than Tell:

Two beautiful 4-cell Day 2 embryos transferred yesterday.

The 2WW for IVF #2 begins.
Day 2 Embryos

Go see what everyone else brought to Show and Tell, if you can tear yourself away from Creme de la Creme.

Fertilization Report

January 1, 2009

Houseguests are going fine, except that I am constitutionally incapable of not lifting a finger.

New Year’s party was surprisingly painless emotionally though pretty painful physically. Rather than gathering everyone into the living room and doing a grand announcement as I expected, the announcement was made with people gathered tightly into the foyer. I was so far on the fringe of the crowd that I couldn’t hear what Mr. Other Host said, nor see either of their faces. When the message passed down the line, Telephone-style, the person next to me said, “The Other Hosts are having a baby!” I said dryly, “Yeah, I know.” And then I seemed to be in the in-crowd, gifted with advance intel, rather than a wretch whose feelings must be protected.

After getting home late (awake for 22 hours not counting being unconscious under anesthesia and a couple of 15-minute naps), I got an early call from the head embryologist. I’ve never spoken to her before, but I’ve always heard very good things about her expertise and kind manner. She said:

  • 9 eggs retrieved
  • 6 mature (I’m assuming it’s the same 6 large follicles that I saw in the ultrasound)
  • 6 received ICSI
  • 5 fertilized
  • 1 has vacuoles
  • 4 look “quite nice”
  • 2-day transfer on Friday

2009 is starting off well already! Hope the same is true for all of you.

Egg retrieval for IVF #2 went pretty well this morning.

First, for your listening pleasure as you read the rest of my post, my retrieval playlist (which I played this morning to begin my journey to the clinic, followed by an hour of other Radiohead songs):

No alarms and no surprises please
–Radiohead, No Surprises

For you I’ve waited all these years
For you I’d wait ’til kingdom come
–Coldplay, ‘Til Kingdom Come

I believe in you and me
I’m coming to find you
If it takes me all night
–The Killers, Everything Will Be Alright

I was able to do all of the preparation for the houseguests yesterday (with the help of our housecleaner), except for a few things I finished this morning before leaving the house. The eight houseguests have dwindled to five — the family of four has been replaced by That Guy. The family bowed out because the logistics were too difficult with young children — not the kind of parent that I hope to be, but very typical. Once That Guy realized that most of his friends would be at this party, he just had to join in. When I previously told you That Guy is the kind of husband’s friend that most wives can’t stand, I was so correct. Even though the Other Hosts have room for That Guy, Mrs. OH has decreed that he is not allowed to stay there. In contrast, DH and I welcome everyone. Once you have four houseguests following an egg retrieval, what’s one more person?

Back to the retrieval. A snowstorm started just as we were arriving at the clinic.

Nine eggs retrieved. 111 million sperm, though they only need 9. Not much else to tell. I think I’m getting used to the general anesthesia; I’ve spent the whole day awake (we’ll see how long that holds out during the New Year’s celebration). Not sure if the transfer will be Friday or Saturday.

Unlike IVF #1 at the hospital, at the clinic they let me wear my own socks instead of the lawsuit-prevention socks with the rubber soles.


Needing as much luck as we can get, I decided to expand the sock superstition by giving DH a pair of his own today. He’s been lobbying for cozy socks for months; I bought these for him weeks ago but forgot about them when we canceled Christmas. DH said there was no way he was wearing nothing but these socks during his part of the process. Since we agreed that he could keep his shoes and other clothes on as well, he has become quite fond of them.


By the time we were finished with everything, the snowstorm was in full effect. Our drive home took almost twice as long as usual. Here is a photo depicting the early stages of the storm, featuring the pole outside of the clinic which always cracks me up.

Then, literally as we were backing out of the parking spot to start the long drive home, DH received a phone call from Mr. Other Host, who will be hosting tonight’s New Year’s Eve party. “Good news!”

Can you guess what kind of good news someone who has been married for six months might have to share?

Of course, the Other Hosts are pregnant.

They will be telling everyone in a grand announcement tonight at the party. DH actually has known about the pregnancy for two weeks. Mr. Other Host specifically asked to strategize with DH about the best way to tell me. Because of our decision not to tell any of DH’s friends anything about treatments anymore, Mr. Other Host does not know about the current IVF, but he does know about our fertility issues. It was very kind of him to tell me individually ahead of time rather than ambushing me in front of 20 other people.

As much as I appreciate Mr. Other Host’s sensitivity, when I was put on the spot to respond to his announcement on speakerphone, still groggy from anesthesia and in a lot of pain from post-retrieval cramping, I could only muster the weakest congratulations. DH effusively expressed his genuine excitement for them, but I didn’t share it. I absolutely care about them and want the best for them; they will be good parents, and Mr. OH is one of the most family-oriented people I know. It’s not the same bitterness that I’ve experienced with some other announcements, but I felt and continue to feel no happiness at all for them. Maybe I would have on another day, but today is not the day.

I also feel a bit like they stole my thunder (even though it was secret thunder).

So now, in addition to pretending that I’m not in terrible pain throughout the party, I must get ready for the big announcement and hours of talk about pregnancy and babies. If anyone asks when we’re going to have kids, I swear to you right now, I will say, “Fuck off” and then insult them. Today is not the day.

I foresee the creation of a sub-party in the basement, with DH, single guys, video games, and me. The sign on the door will read: No Breeders Allowed.

But the day hasn’t been only grumpiness. As we left the clinic, I spotted a restaurant and told DH to pull in, famished from having been NPO since the night before. In the midst of the snowstorm, standing outside the restaurant trying to draw customers inside, I saw something which I hope will be a good harbinger for 2009.


Thanks to everyone for all of your good wishes. Happy New Year to all of you.

Perfect Moment

First, the perfect moment: I have never been so happy after an ultrasound.

My follicles are ready for trigger.

2 18mm, 2 17mm, 16, and 15. As I said yesterday, I would have liked to see more follicles, but at this point I just want to get this show on the road. More than anything, I want to stop waking up at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. for blood draws and ultrasounds. I’m supposed to be on vacation, at least from New Job; I still have to go in to Old Job somewhat. It was comical last night when Old Job boss called me at home (yes, on a Sunday night) and asked for a meeting today; I had to think hard to figure out how to fit him in between blood draw and ultrasound, acupuncture, and possibly driving almost two hours round trip to the pharmacy.

Pending confirmation from the RE’s office, the follicles’ progress means that the egg retrieval will occur on Wednesday. New Year’s Eve.

Usually we boycott New Year’s and all other similar holidays, but for once we do happen to have New Year’s plans. Specifically, some friends (hereafter called the Other Hosts) are having a big party. The party is such a major event that more than a dozen friends from other cities are coming in. The majority of those people will be staying at my house, for several days.

I’m not sure how it happened that two guys staying over turned into two guys, a couple, and a family of four. I wasn’t enthusiastic at the prospect of the family, in part because I’m not always as fond of kids nowadays as I usually am, and in part because small children inherently demand extra effort. The family also happen to be acquaintances more than friends, which makes the effort less compelling.

My first instinct yesterday as I heard DH talking on the phone, warmly exclaiming, “Sure, of course the whole family can stay here!” was to scream “Noooooooooooo!” My actual response was to make wild hand gestures to DH and whisper, “No! Out of the question! I do not want them staying here. That would be horrible. You have got to be kidding me.”

After DH’s abrupt “Uh, I have to call you back,” we negotiated terms. My visceral reaction to children gave way to trying to negotiate the logistics of more than a dozen out of town guests fitting into two houses, ours and the Other Hosts. I succumbed to the collective good, as well as to the visceral reactions of Mrs. Other Host (though they didn’t say this directly, I have a sneaking suspicion that the couple staying with us is banned from staying at the Other house because the woman once dated Mr. Other Host).

Then I fell asleep, catching up on sleep lost to the early morning trip to the R.E. By the time DH returned from the pharmacy road trip, everything had been settled.

So, I will prepare for eight guests’ arrival ahead of time today and tomorrow, and then I will not lift a finger on Wednesday or Thursday. Or rather, I will try very very hard not to lift a finger. I will not be bossy while I order DH around. I will make up some mysterious reason why I can barely move. I will concede all of the locations in my house where I normally recover after such surgeries. General anesthetic makes me sleepy for more than a day afterward, but I will be sweet and cordial while passing in and out of consciousness.

No one can ever accuse me of being anything less than a gracious hostess.

Head to Weebles Wobblog to see more Perfect Moments.