Sunday, 20 July 2014

Reversal of Fortune

It was just after midnight when Husband and I returned home from the Veterinary Clinic where we said our final good bye to Angus. He cleaned up the dinner that we never ate, while I fixed us a cup of tea. It was near half one when we finally went to bed and neither of us slept very well. The next morning, I opted not to swim and sent emails to notify my parents and other east coast friends as I waited for the shower to warm up. Except it didn't. Our hot water heater was broken. There was no greater metaphor than a cold shower to represent our mood.

We had actually replaced the hot water heater last October, so it was still under warranty. As a matter of fact, I think this is the only appliance that hasn't waited until the guarantee expired before breaking down. However, we would still be responsible for the labour costs and it took over a week to order a new unit. I made it to the gym or went swimming everyday, but it was really just so I had access to a hot shower. Later that day, England was eliminated from the World Cup, after they scored only two goals, garnered one only point and finished last in their group during an exceptionally disappointing appearance. It was officially a crap week. However, it was during this time that we received our PGD results. Rather unusual for us that an infertility report was bringing us good news and was a highlight.

Once again, I am laughing over the way that I thought the year 2013 was unlucky. So far, the summer of 2014 didn't have much going for it, but at least things couldn't get any worse -right?  Apparently not. Last week, I had an accident using a mandoline slicer. I won't give any gory details, but I knew right away that I would need stitches. I twisted a paper towel into a makeshift tourniquet, thus utilising the skills earned from my Girl Scout First Aid Merit Badge, and prepared to drive myself to the ER. This was the one time I wish I drove an automatic transmission. Husband was away at a hockey tournament, which was probably a good thing as I think he would have fainted. It was another situation that would have been even more difficult if I had a baby with me.

I didn't have too much fun with
the fact that it was my middle finger
I was very fortunate, as the cut and its repercussions could have been much worse. I especially needed to remind myself of that fact after waiting forty-five minutes for my five minute visit with the hand surgeon. (I've watched a lot of HGTV in the past week...) It was also a good opportunity to clean out my Yahoo in-box and in doing so, I uncovered an email from New Girl informing me that they needed my consent forms in their hands in the next two days, otherwise XYZ would not let me proceed with a transfer in August. Groan. The tentative date is still over a month away, and they've previously collected my paperwork as late as on my CD10 monitoring. Why the urgency? It was probably best not to question. I had blocked off a generous amount of time for the finger follow up, so I could swing home and deliver the forms.

As I was driving, I heard an odd noise and noted that my speed was quickly dropping. Fortunately, I was just coming up to a junction and was able to pull off the motorway. After reaching the bottom of the ramp, I turned the car off and tried to restart it. Nothing. No sound, no action. I don't think a defibrillator could have jump started it. As I was on the phone with  AAA, I began to accept that this was probably it for my car. I tried not to think about the cosmic message that my car broke down as I was en route to deliver forms required for my upcoming transfer. While I waiting for the tow-truck, at least five people pulled over or offered to help. Feeling reminded that there is humanity and compassion in the world today was suppressing my urge to pout and whine. Although there was some drinking of wine later that night.

The dealership called to report that the timing belt had snapped. If the timing belt were the only issue, it would cost about $1,500 to fix. However if the cylinder were damaged, then it could cost up to $5,000. It wasn't even worth it to try to see if the less expensive option would be possible. I called time of death for my Jetta. Naturally, this prompted Co-worker and another colleague to point out the the timing was impeccable to upgrade to a family sized car. Grrrrr

There were two other events that soured my mood. I was summoned for Jury Duty, but I actually don't mind the civic duty. As a naturalised immigrant, my father always viewed Jury Duty as a privilege he had earned. He is a lawyer's voir dire dream. To this day, he views his service as the foreman who delivered a first degree murder conviction, as one of his life's accomplishments. As I was submitting my time off request, I was informed it would be applied to my Paid Time Off (PTO). I thought employers had to grant a release for Jury Duty in the same way that the poster in our break room indicates that we're entitled to time off for voting on Election Day. Whatever. I'm not even going to bother arguing, as it's probably indicated somewhere in my vaguely worded to seem fair; but later subject to creative interpretation, contract. I've previously succumbed to the reality that agreeing to work as an exempt employee surrenders one's rights under the Labour Board and you might as well sell your soul and work for Satan.

I'm truly whining here, as I know I'm fortunately to have a job and to have four weeks of PTO. When I added it up, one week will be used for my trip to Connecticut in October, another week in August will go toward my on-line CME requirement. I took a few days when I went to Nashville, and the remaining time will have been used for infertility treatments and now Jury Duty. This is why I am so bitter and unfairly judgmental over Co-worker's spa day during her baby bonding time, but I will own it. While she was receiving her pampering treatments, I had to work the day after severing my finger, not only because I had a schedule full of patients and was the only provider in the office, but I didn't want to burn any additional PTO. I won't have anything in a reserve if I need to do another transfer or if need a day off for anything pregnancy related. Husband suggested maybe I don't go back to Connecticut, but could just take a few days off and stay home. O-oh, a solitary stay-cation while he visits our friends and family on the east coast? How fucking depressing is that? Wow, suddenly I found cause to be excited about my holiday to Connecticut.

The day after I handed in my consent forms, I received a letter with my RE's return address. It was an invoice requesting $3,390 for our upcoming transfer. Fucking A! We already paid for the transfer at the beginning of our IVF cycle when she asked if we were intending to do PGD testing. I'm guessing she's presuming that our first transfer failed and this is the second one? Is it too much to expect her to check my records and be accurate with my account? At least I am hoping that is the situation and it's not indicating that my decision to delay the transfer means we lost our previous deposit, in which case I'd be preferring incompetence. I indulged in a nice fit of tears as I frantically searched for the original invoice.

I dried my eyes by the time I found the paperwork. It was all too tempting just to pour a glass of wine, climb into bed and drown in my own tears. I want to retreat from the world for a while. At times, I feel that I don't even want to proceed with transferring any of my four embryos. Why risk being disappointed four times over and falling further into debt? Maybe I should just resign myself now and accept that I'll always be girl at the club who has to watch the purses as her friends get asked to dance. I know we've come so far, and it seems that the end may be in sight; but I'm still hesitant to reach out any further on this ledge. Husband has already started applying the theory that we're more likely to succeed with our transfer since we've been though such a bought of bad luck.

It almost sounds plausible, except it defies all logic. None of our recent experiences have any bearing on whether or not the embryo implants. Plus I'm not sure if everything can be classified as bad luck. Angus's death and the end of my Jetta's run were both inevitable, we just thought we had a few more years with each. It just really sucks that both events occurred a month a part. Perhaps the only random incident was the malfunction of the hot water heater. I have to confess that I was using the guillotine (I mean, the mandoline slicer) without the guard, which officially categorises this episode under 'stupid things that I have done...'

I admit that I am among the population who is afraid to face how a great part of one's life is dependent on luck. Partly because I believe that one cannot rely on luck and must control his or her own destiny. Ya put on your big girl panties and you deal with things. I called the billing woman at my RE's office only to learn that she doesn't work on Fridays. Fuck me, am I the only person in the world who is working? I decided that even if I had a baby on the way, I don't want to drive an SUV. I love the reliable German engineering and the handle of the Jetta. Plus, when I'm not driving with a bloodied hand, I prefer the control afforded with a manual transmission. My medical assistant announced that she would find a car for me. I should have chastised her for not working on patient care, but I'll own being a hypocrite too. After a few internet searches, she scheduled me for some test drives.

"You're a lucky girl..." that was the conclusion of my hand surgeon, while I couldn't decide if I should be insulted or flattered that he called me a girl. My injury could have been much worse and it healed much better than expected. I attribute it to the prompt and excellent medical attention I received, as well as my diligent daily care; but maybe I had some good fortune on my side as well.

Oh, and there was one more fortunate event in our life:

Introducing Tyler Felix! 


  1. Wow, that seriously is a run of bad luck. I'm sorry for your losses, for both Angus and your car. It's hard to think about moving forward with the transfers when you just don't want to hear more bad news. However, you have 4 more shots at this baby thing with embryos you KNOW to have no abnormalities. I'm hoping one of those equals your good fortune!

  2. Oh he is GORGEOUS! Like he should be on the cover of Cat Fancy magazine. Well, at least you'll have this handsome furball to come home to--some days that is enough. XO

  3. Wow. I don't even know what to say. I'm sorry for your stroke of back luck. Nice to meet your new kitty. I am so super hopeful for your 4 embies.

  4. Love the photos of Felix and of you giving the (bandaged) finger. As for luck, good or bad....I don't trust it either. To me even good luck is scary because I'm always aware that it can be taken away any minute (although it isn't always). Anyway, I think the reasonable observation to make is that even though it might feel like there's been a lot of bad luck, or at least difficulties, that has no bearing over what happens in the future. Just take care of yourself and yours in the minute and make the best decisions you can based on present circumstances. And tomorrow will bring what it does. And that could be some very good things.

  5. welcome Tyler! Good thing you have him to bring a smile after all of that!

  6. What a beautiful cat!
    I'm so sorry for all the crap you had to go through lately. I know that the world isn't fair, technically, but I still hope you'll have a decent run of good luck soon!

  7. Sounds a little bit like my life before I got pregnant. It just felt like everything was going wrong. We kept saying it felt like we had a black cloud just hanging over us all the time. I'm taking your husband's side and saying you are due for some good luck and I really hope it's a successful FET.

  8. Sorry for your string of bad luck! Hoping that Tyler is only the first new addition to your family! Fingers crossed for a sucessful transfer.

  9. Gah! When it rains it pours! Hoping that good things are on the horizon!

  10. What a difficult week for you....I firmly believe that your future pregnancy will have nothing to do with this string of bad events. Glad your hand is doing okay! And I'm sure the billing will be sorted out once you find that girl.

  11. I can seriously see your bicep rippling in that photo. Thanks for reminding me I haven't been working out. Seriously though, I've been through periods of weeks, even months, where I felt like the universe just had it out for me. I wish I believed that there was some good karma waiting at the end, but like you I know that's not how it works. Eventually though, something has to start going right and I'm really hoping it's going to be your next transfer. And Tyler is gorgeous!!

  12. Sorry about all of the bad luck, but based on that adorable photo of Tyler, I bet he is your new good luck charm!

  13. I'm so sorry about the run of bad luck you have had, but hopefully you'll have some good things coming your way. And congrats on the new kitty! He's very cute!

  14. Your water heater definitely broke down at the wrong time. It’s a good thing that it’s still under warranty; at least you won’t worry that much about it. Now you can focus on recovering after your accident, and in looking for a new car.

    Dennis Cannon @ Laird & Son

  15. First of all, I knew you were a Girl Scout! (Me too.) I can totally relate to wanting to just give up and hide. But, like you said, ready or not here we come! Tyler Felix is adorable and I absolutely love that he has two names.

    1. I usually use the shelter name as my cats' middle name, but in this case it was 'Frank' and I couldn't get behind that name. 'Felix' was taken from a character in the play/movie 'The Normal Heart'

  16. I am so, so sorry to hear about Angus. The passing of a beloved animal is so very hard. I still think often about our old gal that we had to let go last year and how much I miss her. I'm hoping that the new little guy in your life brings you some joy.