09 December 2010

IVF process (part 3)

Dec 7, 2010
Yesterday morning (Mon, Dec 6th) I woke up with some spotting. As the day wore on, I spotted more. I don't think yesterday can be considered Day 1, but today definitely is.
So, that makes it official, this month is out for me. In fact, this year is out for me.

December 6th is Finnish Independence Day, so everything was closed yesterday. First thing this morning, Tuesday, I called the clinic to see what happens next.

Well, the nurse said nothing can be done this month. I'm assuming because of xmas, and potentially
NYE, being in the way that that will make another round of IVF not possible right now.

I asked about the 4 embryos that they were going to continue to grow... They didn't develope more, so those are gone. 15 eggs were harvested from me and only 2, which didn't stick, made it back to me!

So, seeing that in
Finland they will only do 3 rounds of IVF treatment, I have 2 tries left. IVF = the major hormones to get many eggs, not the actual transfer of those fertilized eggs. (I may potentially have a 4th round of IVF (if needed), I wonder if this round will be considered such a failure that I will still have 3 more goes?). I know I should focus on round 2 instead of jumping so far ahead to round 3 and maybe 4..but right now, thinking and calculating is all I've got.

Anyway, I should be getting the letter in the mail from the clinic soon explaining what happened to the 4 remaining eggs (as if more than "they didn't develop" needs to be said). The letter should also tell me when I can next contact the clinic and when the next step can be taken.

Yesterday when I broke down crying, my DH actually cried with me. He said he's sad to see me so sad. It's the first he's gotten emotional-sad over this whole process. I'm sorry to make him hurt so much. I've got to pull it together and toughen up and stop being so moody-mean to DH.
In addition, now that I've come out on Facebook...well, whatever, I don't really care what FB people (in general, not specific like LIW) think. But I do have some close friends (and family) that know I'm waiting for this Thursday. I just so can't deal with them right now. I know they mean well, but...I just don't wanna! One friend has already texted asking if I can stand the anticipation of waiting for Thursday. I haven't replied yet because my only thoughts are snippy and rude. (I know she'd understand though.)

That's my thoughts for now.

IVF process (part 2)

Nov 15, 2010
Today was a good u/s day! Harvesting will take place in one week!!!!!!

During my last visit, the doctor wasn't too hopeful about my left ovary producing many follicles or at least of much quality. Great news is, not only did my right ovary produce several follicles, my left one did too! Despite the cyst. My endometrial lining is 8 (not sure what exactly that means, but it is more than 5 from the previous visit).

So, I have 6-7 follicles measuring 10-14mm on my right ovary. ~4 11-12mm & ~3 13-15mm follicles on my left ovary. And boy oh, boy, I feel twinges and pangs on my ovaries! Nothing unpleasant (like I had been having last week before the injections), just enough twitchiness to know something is going on. Almost O-like symptoms, but not quite.

I will do 3 more days of Puregon injections (today, Tues & Wed). Then on Thursday morning I go back in for another control u/s, even though they already know they will harvest on Monday, the 22nd. The doctor said they still want to do 2 u/s. *shrug* Ok.

And then next Monday DH and I will go in early for my procedure (harvesting) and DH will give a sample. I've been told the harvesting is quite painful, so we'll see how that goes. And then on Wednesday I'll get 1-2 starts inserted back into me! In addition, on Mon-Wed, I'll be home from work on "sick leave".

I haven't felt this happy and hopeful in ages!

Nov 18, 2010
2nd u/s today to see how the eggies are doing. Not much has changed since Monday.

The endometrium lining is good and follicles are still growing. Since some of the follicles are a bit small, I'll continue with injections today and tomorrow. Saturday will be the O-stimulator injection and a break from needles on Sunday.

Monday we go in at
. DH will give a sample and I'll be harvested. I've been told it will take 15-30minutes for he actual procedure, but we'll be in the office about 2 hours total. I will get some pain killers and antibiotics intravenously. No driving for me for 24 hours. Good thing I'll have 4 days of sick leave (it is paid time off here in Finland) to recover (although, I'm hoping to go to the movies with a friend on Tues).

I've been warned by a co-worker that when his wife had this done, it was painful! So, I'm trying to prepare myself for pain and also try to prove them wrong and that it isn't painful. LOL

And then a week from today will be the reinsertion date.
OMG! After 2.5 years, it might finally be happening.

(In response to what someone said: Yes! What I wouldn't go through to get a LO! Pain? What's that? What am I not going through? This mega amount of hormones is totall kicking my butt. I'm so tired, sometimes a bit nauseous, food doesn't always sound good (totally not me), sensitive skin, heavy feeling ovaries, a couple of bruises from the injections. Thankfully I don't think I'm too moody...or at least not any worse than normal. lol

Harvesting can't be as painful as some birth stories I've heard. Can it? (famous last words) And this won't be that long of a procedure...)

Nov 22, 2010
Today was harvest day!
DH and I were a few minutes late (just after ), but that didn't seem to matter. *phew* The whole thing today only took about 2 hours.

The nurse called us to the waiting area (several beds cordoned off by curtains) and had me strip down below the waist and put on a hospital gown. DH was sent off to give his donation. There was a Paracetamol/Tylenol waiting for me. After I got dressed in my gown, the nurse put an IV in my arm and started the antibiotic drip (because of me having endo). Basic questions were asked of me (any allergies to medication, how long had we been trying, etc) DH came back and we just waited. When the antibiotics were done, the nurse told me to go to the bathroom. And right before the procedure, she told me go again (~), saying that nerves can stop the bladder from emptying fully and if I didn't go a 2nd time, I'd get a catheter. (yikes! No!)

The nurse and I walked to the end of the row of beds into the procedure room. There was the doctor/surgeon and one more lady. They had me get up on a table with stirrups (the type you rest your calf/knees on, not your feet). I got a shot of morphine in my IV (heheh). It went to my head almost immediately.

The doctor put a speculum in me to see what everything looked like and then she gave me a local injection (like at the dentist's) at my uterus opening. That pinched a bit. Then the doctor & nurse got the u/s wand ready. I couldn't quite see what the doctor did to it, but I believe the needle was clamped on to the wand. At least I know they only put one thing inside of me. Then the doctor found my right ovary and started the procedure.

The screen was turned so I could see what was happening. It was quite fascinating. The screen had a line of green dots going across it for the doctor to know the angle of the needle. Once the needle was in position (after a tiny pinch and ouch) and in a follicle "cell"(?), the needle started sucking it up. It was 'funny' to see the fluid being sucked up like in a straw. They told me when they got the first follicle in a tube and I just didn't hear them as I was so focused on the monitor. lol. The right ovary was harvested in no time. On to the left ovary.

The left ovary was a bit more painful! Almost each time the doctor moved the needle to go to another follicle, it pinched! It wasn't nearly as painful as I was expecting, but it sure did hurt. Getting an IUD inserted was much more painful (and I also had less painkillers)!! I "ouched" a few times and breathed deeply. Then all follicles were gathered! The doctor wiped up some blood, checked that there wasn't any extra bleeding going on and I was able to sit up. I sat for a few seconds and the nurse asked how I was doing and if I felt like I could walk back to my bed.

My head felt woozy-funny, but I was able to walk back without any problems. I just felt extremely tired. DH helped me get the blanket over my legs and I asked him what time it was. He answered, but I thought he was being silly and said "B14". After a bit of clarification, he said "a bit before 10".

A few minutes later the nurse came in and gave me some more pain medication in my IV. I laid there half out of it and sleepy for some time. The medication dripped and then the nurse said if I had something to eat with me (they recommended bringing a snack), I could eat it. So I sat up and ate my homemade pizza slices from the night before. *yum* After I had eaten, the nurse saw that I was sitting up and said if I was sitting, I must be well enough to go home.

The nurse went over some last minute details such as: 15 follicles were harvested (we won't know the quality of them or DH's sperm or how many fertilized nicely) and when to come back on Thursday. I got dressed and we walked (me slowly) to the car. DH drove us home and I came upstairs, he walked to work. I got me some more pain killer, tea, played with our younger cat and then crawled into bed to snuggle with our older cat. I tried reading for a bit, but was so exhausted that I closed my eyes at
. I woke up a few times for a sec, but didn't fully wake up until .

I will start taking Lugesteron (progesterone) capsules this evening and then continue with inserting 3 a day (ugh) until my period comes or until the first u/s after a positive test in 2 weeks.

Right now, I am feeling a bit sore, achy and a bit bloated in the stomach area. I will be home on sick leave for 4 days (back at work on Friday just in time for the xmas party). Anything more than gentle walking has been forbidden for the next week.

Now we wait until Thursday.

(In response to what someone said: The process was actually much easier than I thought it would be. And I guess I've been quite lucky to not have too many s/e from the drugs (during the whole process). Ok, sure, I've had pregnancy-like symptoms the last 2 weeks, but nothing I couldn't live with (most of the time, heh).
And I'm so excited and nervous for Thursday. I know already that if this fails, I'm gonna be in tears if I see a BFN or AF after the 2WW. I just feel it in my bones. Sure, I've been sad all the times before, but this time is different..)

Nov 25, 2010
Today was Transfer day! And It went well. :)
We knew on Monday that they harvested 15 eggs. Today we found out the rest of the stats.

Of the 15 eggs harvested, 14 were mature.
Of those 14, 8 fertilized.
Of the 8, something happened (I didn't quite understand) and only 6 continued on.
Of the 6, 2 were transferred to me today.
None were frozen today, but there are 4 embryos that are still growing and have a chance at being frozen in the next few days. I'll get a letter sent to my home with all the info and how many will be (were) frozen.

As for the appointment itself, I was in and out in about 20minutes. It was almost the same as an IUI procedure, except I was told to drink lots of liquid and not go pee before hand. A full bladder helps them to see and position the embryo into the correct position.

I checked in at the 7th floor like normal and the secretary told me to go to the 4th floor. *shock* I'd never been there, but I'm assuming that is where the labs are. As I walked in I saw a friend in the waiting room also. (We didn't really have time to chat as she was called off somewhere almost immediately.) A couple of minutes later, I was called back.

The details I told above were told to me and then I stripped down and headed to the procedure room. A technician (from another room, via a square "window") asked my social security number to make sure they had the right person. I laid back in the stirrups, the cold speculum was put in place. With help from the nurse and an external u/s on my lower abdomen, the doctor inserted the tube-needle thing into place. That pinched! Then the technician from the other room came back with the 2 embryos and the doctor inserted them into place. They had me sit for a sec and then I got dressed and was on my way home.

As I was driving home, an emotional wave hit me. I wasn't expecting it, at least not until 2 weeks from now. I just really really want this to work! I am so tired of waiting. I am also concerned that if this first IVF doesn't work, I won't be able to start the next round until after the new year. That's almost 2 months away!!

Anyway, after a cry and chat with my friend, I felt much better. A few fresh baked cookies and a cute 20mo old little girl doesn't hurt.

So, it's progesterone suppositories for me for the next 2 weeks and we'll see what happens.

Nov 26, 2010
I definitely feel better after my little cry yesterday. It is funny how most everything is released with a cry.

I will do an hpt test on Dec 9th. Although, I am not sure if I can hold out that long. LOL. But I do have only 1 hpt at home, so that might help.. hehe
I have no idea when I'll go back to the doctor. It will all depend on the test. I will at least call the clinic to let them know the result of the test.

IVF process (part 1)

I wrote on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago the following:
‎2.5 years ago my husband and I decided to try for a baby.
1.5 years ago the doctors suspected I have endometriosis.
1 year ago it was confirmed with surgery.
Now we are undergoing IVF in hopes of finally getting a baby.
It's been a long, difficult road and we're not there yet, but I am no longer worried about others knowing what is going on.

Having said that, here's an account of my IVF journey so far (this too has been posted elsewhere).

Oct 11, 2010
This is going to be a long post...you might want to get a cup of tea/coffee.

I'm officially at the start of the IVF process. And I'm not feeling quite like I thought I'd feel. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to finally get to this point as nothing else has worked so far. Yet at the same time I am quite sad. It's like "huh, so this is it. My body couldn't do it on its own and now I have to fully rely on treatments to hopefully get me where I want to go." As I drove DH home and then myself to work, I couldn't help but get teary-eyed.

At the appointment first thing was to check how big/small the cyst on my left ovary is and if it looks like any more endo-tissue has formed. Thankfully the cyst is only about 2cm and there is only a tiny bit of blood/tissue.. I think that is how big the cyst has been for a few months now. She said it wouldn't stop us from proceeding forward now. *big sigh of relief*

Next the doctor went through the overall IVF process and then got us started on what we need to do next. We'll be going the "long" route with IVF since I have endo. And because I do have endometriosis (even if I have no outward symptoms at all), this can make IVF more risky than if I didn't have it.

This cycle will play itself out on its own, except at day 21, I'll give myself an inejction (Procren) to basically stop my body's production of hormones for the next 4 weeks. AF should come like normal. She had better keep to her clockwork like schedule! I have my next appointment already set up for the beginning of next month. The doctor will check that the injection is doing its job. Then we'll decide how long I'll do injections of Puregon (stimulates folicles) and also the dosage. I've been using 50iu of Puregon for quite some time now, but this time the dosage will be upped to 150iu to start with. I'll have an u/s every couple of days to see how things are progressing and to change any meds if needed. Then I'll do a trigger injection for O (Pregnyl). Very soon after that will be my harvest date! The doctor said it looks as if week 45 (Nov 8-12) will probably be the week when it will happen. A fews days after my eggs are harvested and DH gives a sample (on the same day), the clinic will let us know when everything looks good and I can go back to have them put in me.

The doctor said that depending on the quality of the embryos, they might put 2 in me (AT MOST!). But they would prefer to only insert one. After that, it'll just be a waiting game.

The doctor also went over the possible side effects. What fun! The first injection might make me mean/moody and possible hot flashes (esp at night) and not being able to sleep too well. The higher dosage of Puregon could give me thrombosis (clots), bloating, swelling, moodiness, among other things. And again, because I have endo and it making the risks a bit higher, there could also be a chance of bleeding from the harvesting procedure. And maybe even infection (because needles will be inserted into my body). So, I'll be given some antibiotics via IV to hopefully prevent infection.

Oh, I can't forget that I need to get some blood tests done before all of this starts. They have to check me for Hep C and whatever other blood born diseases and ilnesses they check for before they can do IVF. DH has already had this done before his 1st SA.

So, I guess that is my appointment in a (big) nutshell.

Oct 18, 2010
I picked up my Procren* injection today. I will inject it one week from today (Oct 25th). It is supposed to stop the production of estrogen and testosterone.

*Procren isn't sold in the USA, but I think Lupron is similar.

(In response to what someone said: I'm not so down on myself this week. Just looking forward to Monday...not necessarily the injection itself, but rather what it means. In a sort of twisted way, I can't wait to see what sort of side effects I might get or not get. lol (Ask me that again if I can't sleep or get hot flashes...))

Oct 26, 2010
Monday Oct 25th, I injected myself with 3.75mg of Procren.

I got home just after , talked to DH, played with the cats and then set about getting ready for the injection.

The plunger needed to be screwed into the syringe. Then I had to carefully push the plunger up part way until the liquid mixed with the powder and the stopper thing reached the blue line. Next I had to carefully and slowly roll the syring back and forth between my hands to mix the liquid and powder. No shaking because it could cause bubbles and no turning the syringe over as we don't want anything to come out ahead of time.

Before getting the syringe ready, I cleaned the area below my bellybutton with the alcohol wipe that was included. Now that it was clean and dry, it was time to give myself the injection. This is always the most difficult part for me..sticking myself with the needle. It isn't that it's painful, the poking of the needle is really only a little prick. (Sometimes the liquid can sting a bit though.) It is more the idea of what I'm going to do..and how big the needle is! So, I stood there staring at the needle and making squirmy faces at it for a minute or so and then took a deep breath and got on with it.

I pinched an inch and then just slowly pressed the Procren into me. It was hard to see when the plunger made it all the way to the bottom. I then waited a few seconds before removing the needle. All done!

I've always given myself my own injections without anyone watching. I don't know if DH would want to help or see what I'm doing. I've just always gone and done it on my own and then shown him the little wound afterward. LOL. I'll have to ask him what he thinks.

I don't know how fast the stuff is supposed to start working. But I do remember being told that the effects would last for about 4 weeks. I did wake up during the night feeling quite hot and sweaty a few times, but that could have just also been that I had cats on my feet and it was warm in the room. And I don't think it effected my sleep..I'm just tired because I got to bed to late. I am a bit sore where I gave the injection, but that is quite normal for me.

Now we're just waiting for AF to arrive and my next appointment on November 2nd (Tuesday). If AF doesn't show by Monday, I need to call the clinic and reschedule the appt. Here's hoping she plays nice and shows up on time (this weekend?!).

Nov 1, 2010
I was saved by my phone alarm! AF showed up just in the nick of time, seriously!
I had my phone alarm set to remind me to call the clinic today at if AF hadn't arrived. Alarm went off and I quickly went to the bathroom and she was there..so were her wicked stepsisters: The Cramps. Thankfully I keep pain killer at work.

On a slightly different topic, but still relating to infertility and my IVF process, I received a letter last week from Kela (Social Insurance Institution/Social Security) stating that I'd surpassed my co-pay amount for medicines this year. So, for the rest of the year any prescription meds I need, I'll only have to pay 1.50€ per prescrip/fill.

Which is pretty cool because I'm going to be taking much higher doses of meds pretty soon and that means I'll need more of it.

I know the prices I'm paying for treatments and meds here in
Finland are not nearly as much as in the USA. And for that I am very thankful to be in Finland. But at the same time, we do pay higher taxes and what not in order to get cheaper health care. It's just different.

I also am pretty sure that if we were in the USA, that my DH would not be willing to pay $12k plus for IVF. Or at least, it would have been much more difficult to get him to this point in treatments.

Nov 2, 2010
I had a good doctor's appointment today. Not the exact results/timeline I was expecting, but doable.

The ultrasound showed that my right ovary is in great shape and clear/clean of any cysts. (That was the one I had the endometriomal cyst removed from a year ago this month.) The left ovary, on the other hand, has a blood filled cyst, most likely the same as what was removed a year ago, but they can't tell for sure unless they operate. It is 2cm. So, the doctor is optimistic about the right side, but not so on the left.

The doctor asked if I would mind waiting one more week before starting the Pregnyl (ovary stimulator) in hopes that this extra time would allow the endometriosis and cyst to calm down. And since it was only a week ago that I took the Procen shot, there is time. It was totally my call whether to start now or wait the week, so I said I'd wait the week. Especially when the doctor said that in her opinion it would hopefully give better results.

So, I start taking Pregnyl next week's Wednesday (10th). I take 200IU per day for 5 days. (That's up from the 50IU I have been taking.) Then on the following Monday (15th), I go back for another u/s to see where things stand.

The doctor says that it looks like we'll harvest the following week (wk 47 / week that starts on the 21st).

Nov 8, 2010
Quick update.
It's been two weeks since my injection of Procen. I don't think I've really had any specific side effects. At least not after my first night of sleeplessness, which I am sure was my own doing.
I have noticed though, that I've had some strange flutterings, cramps or just weirdnesses in my stomach/ovary area during the last two weeks. They haven't been anything constant nor persistent. Although, the last few days, I've been getting a few stronger cramps that hurt quite badly for 30sec-1min, then go away. I've also had a bit of nausea or sick feelings. It's never really any one sort of feeling that I can pinpoint other than I know it isn't pleasant.
I am sure it is just the absence of hormones being produced, so I'm trying not to be concerned, but well, you know.

Tonight was my first injection of Puregon (200IU). I'll be doing this until Sunday and then Monday, 15th, I go back for another u/s to see what my ovaries have produced.

Please send "pretty" and maturing egg thoughts my way.

17 August 2010

Switching kieliä

Huomasin tänään kun olin ajamassa Porille minun ajatuksia vaihtuivat englannista suomiksi se lähempännä saapuin Porille. Se varmasti johtuu että puhun appivanhempini suomeksi. Ja minun mieleni valmistu siihen.

Pidän puhumisesta suomea vaika se ei aina helpoa sanoa mitä haluan sanoa. Mutta jaksan.

A few thoughts in Finnish.

16 August 2010

3rd week of holiday

Yup, that's right. Today starts my 3rd week of summer holiday this year. The weather is nice (and yes, I am still inside) and again I don't have much planned, yet.

Yesterday  marked 1 month of Kantti's passing. Hubby and I are still a bit sad, but coping.

To get this holiday started, I went to see Inception with a co-worker. Before the movie, we had a quick dinner at Jack the Rooster. Yummy food! While waiting to order our food, we noticed that this coming Saturday (Aug 21) there will be a live Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute by Ville Tuomi (Suburban Tribe). We are going!

Sunday I went to Särkänniemi with another co-worker. We used our free entrance ticket (from work) and then paid the difference (24€) for the bracelet. I went on 14 rides!! Only the swings made me feel a bit nauseous. (It's that going round and round only that does it.) The weather was perfect and the company too! It only took me 11 years to go to the amusement park (outside of the Dolpinarium) and now I've been there twice this summer. Hehe

As for future plans this week, I need to get my rear in gear today and take my bike to the shop to see if they can help me get mud flaps on it and also see about getting a different seat. The one that came with it gives me camel toes like nothing else. Painful!

Also planned for today is a Skype date with my mom. :)

I'm thinking about going to Pori to visit my mother-in-law for a day or two. We'd most likely end up going to Yyteri (beach) for a swim and some sun. Not sure if Rusty will join me on the trip or not. Hubby will be working (sort of).

Thursday early evening I've got plan with 9 other co-workers to go bowling. We're scheduled for 1 hour for sure, but some of us might stick around for 2 hours.

Saturday is the RHCP thing and also a possible PostCrossing meeting during the day. Not sure what is going on with that yet, but we'll see.

Aunt Flow (period) showed her face early this morning. So, I'll be calling the fertility clinic today to get this next cycle rolling. This will be our last round of IUI and if it doesn't work, IVF will be our next step.

That's my week in a nutshell.

08 August 2010

Not happy with life lately

It just seems that when it rains, it pours. I've been feeling quite down and bleh-like the last few weeks and it doesn't seem to be getting better. Just worse. I know I have a pretty decent life, but sometimes it is hard to see the positive. That's how it is for me right now.

More than anything in the world, I want to be pregnant. How things stand, I don't think it will happen until October, the earliest. I just don't have faith in my body alone anymore (who would after 2+ years?). And so far the 2 IUI's haven't worked, I guess the 3rd time could be a charm.

Work is work. I still like what I do, but there are so many changes going on, that it isn't easy to stay upbeat and positive all the time. I believe there are about 200 jobs in our building at the moment and something like 100 of them are leaving, although a few (20-30?) will be coming to us. So not a total loss. In "my" team of 4, 1 has left already and another will leave in 2 months. Tomorrow we will get a new guy, so that will keep us at 3 for some time. Stressful times.

I feel as if I do all the cleaning around our apartment. And sometimes it just totally gets on my nerves and I freak out. I'm sick of doing all the dishes, most all the laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, picking up, etc. Not to mention most of the food shopping and cooking.

I'm still sad about losing Kantti.

Issues with my stepmom are coming to a (re)boil. My dad has been pushing for me, my mom and stepmom to get things sorted out from 4 years ago when Mika and I got married. I hope my mom and I have been getting things sorted out, but she is scared/shy/whatever to speak her mind at times, so my stepmom "has" to do it for her. And my stepmom is quite loud and opinionated (gee, I wonder where I get some of it from?) and slights/grudges can be held for a long time, which makes it hard to talk and apologize. As things look right now, I might need another 4-8 years to get on decent terms again with my stepmom, if that is possible.

I've been feeling pudgy lately. And I know that is all of my own fault. I haven't been going to TKD lately, nor doing much else. But at the same time, I just haven't felt like doing much of anything. I did go 2 weeks ago, it was great. And then last Monday I couldn't go because it was month end and I worked too late. I plan on going tomorrow.

I don't seem to have much contact with my friends anymore these days. And I think times like these would be when I'd need them the most. I know they all have lives of their own, with kids and husbands, work, etc. Maybe I just need to make my life more full and then I wouldn't have time to be so bleh.

It'll get better.

26 July 2010


Just heard (unofficially) that another girl here in my department is pregnant.
Here comes pregnancy-wave #2 at work. Maybe this time around I'll be able to catch it.
This sucks!

25 July 2010

Another week of holiday almost done

This last week has been my 2nd week of holiday this summer. (I still have one week in August and 2.5 weeks in Sept.)

It's been a sad, happy, bleh and relaxing week. We lost our cat Kantti unexpectedly on the Thursday before. My strawberry picking plans fell through. Played frisbee golf with a co-worker, her husband and their friend. Did nothing. Applied for my Finnish passport. My period started. Played around online quite a bit. Celebrated 11 years of living in Finland. Took the remaining cat, Rusty, to the vet. Snuggled and paid a lot of attention to said cat. Went to dinner with hubby. Did some laundry. Hubby and I watched many many tv series several evenings in a row. (I ♥ Castle!) Bowled with 2 co-workers. And now is Sunday, the day before heading back to a busy few weeks at work before my next week of holiday.

The lows of the week being Kantti is dead, none of my friends being around, my period starting (we're now on cycle 25 of TTC) and just the bleh feelings I've had off and on.

I am a bit bummed about my period starting, but at the same time I didn't expect anything else this month. The fertility clinic is closed for July, so that meant no treatments this cycle, nor this next cycle. I would have needed for AF to show up at the end of this week so that I could get into the clinic by day 9 of this cycle. Oh well. One more month of no extra hormones and then we'll give IUI one more try (before going to the USA). If this last attempt of IUI doesn't work, we'll be switching to IVF when we get back from the USA. And I have to say, I don't really have any hopes of anything happening until then.

As for the highs of this week: 11 years living in Finland!!! I don't really know what to say about it. I mean, I've been here for the 11 years, I've been living it so it isn't like it is a total surprise, but at the same time, where has the time gone? And to add to it, I have citizenship and a passport (next Tuesday).
(side note: Do you know how easy it is to get a Finnish passport? Insanely easy! I went to the police station with my b&w passport photos, 48€, my Kela card (social security) and US passport as driver's license isn't a proper enough form of ID. There is no form to fill out, so I just took a number and waited until it was called. Then I told the clerk what I was there for, showed my IDs (she was a bit confused at first seeing my US passport. lol). She typed in a few things on the computer, printed it out, had me double check that everything was correct and sign on the (not) dotted line. Then I had to sign once more inside a box for the passport itself. I paid her and was told I could come back in a week to pick up my ready passport. How easy is that?!)

Hubby and I have watched many TV series shows on the computer this week. We've watched almost the entire first season of Castle and most Stargåte (boring) Universe (season 1).

We also went to dinner at Nanda Devi, an Indian restaurant. They have a summer-buffet going on, which is what we both took. We both ate way too much and were ready to explode on the way home. When you've eaten that much (somewhat spicy) food, you don't want to laugh! We both felt as if it was going to come out at any second. So, of course, Hubby starts making jokes about things and we're laughing. It hurt to laugh and caused tears to run down my face. It was fun though.

To end the week, as I don't think I'll be doing much today, I went bowling with two co-workers. We started off with paying for one hour. It was so much fun that we bought a 2nd hour. Four games and 2 turns later, our finger tips were black! My best score was 121.

Today we'll eat the other half of the strawberry roll/log cake (mansikka kääretortu) that I made last night.
Happy early Birthday to Hubby and I. 
I think I'll also make some waffles to eat the rest of the fresh strawberries with. That is, the ones that we didn't freeze yesterday.

19 July 2010

RIP Kantti - March 5, 2000 - July 15, 2010

Your life with us was cut much too short. We love you, Kantti!

This is Kantti's rainbow he sent us on our way home after burying him.

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

25 June 2010

I have Finnish citizenship!!

The envelope that arrived while I was gone was a letter from Maahanmuuttovirasto / Finnish Immigration Service. Inside was a letter saying that I have been granted Finnish Citizenship as of June 16th, 2010.

On holiday this week,

and so much has happened!

Saturday, hubby, a co-worker of mine and I went to Ähtäri for the day. Weather was great and we saw lots of animals.

Sunday was spent at home.

Monday, the cats and I drove to Pori. Hubbies parents live there. We all just enjoyed the warm summer day and kitties were able to go outside.

Tuesday, I woke up way to early for a holiday morning and went swimming in an outdoor pool. Then mother-in-law and I drove to Vanha/Old Rauma, a UNESCO site. We wandered around there for an hour or so. We ate some of the bestest vanilla munkki we've ever eaten. They were so good, we had 2! lol. After that we drove to Sammallahdenmäki, another UNESCO site. Sammallahdenmäki was very interesting to walk around and check the cairns out. I'd love to go back when there are guides to get a better understanding and hear about some of the findings.

Wednesday was just a quiet day around the house. Kitties were allowed outside even more. And in the early evening we came home. Upon coming home, I found an envelope that had arrived for me while I was gone. (That will be updated in the next post.)

Today has been a mostly quiet day. Hubby and I grumped at each other a bit. Tried to go to lunch out, but the place was basically done serving lunch already. So, we went food shopping for juhannus weekend and bought tons of food stuffs.

Tomorrow we'll go to hubbie's co-worker's house in the evening to grill.

The rest of the weekend will most likely be quiet and restful. I will need to do some laundry before going back to work. Hopefully it will be sunny.

17 June 2010

Another one

A co-worker told me today that she is pregnant. As always, I'm happy for her, but aching a bit for me. I feel bad that there was caution and worry in her face as she told me, as she knows how long I've been trying to get pregnant. But I am pleased (not the correct word, but I can't think of a better one) that she felt able to tell me and before the rest of our co-workers.

The funny thing is that I was JUST thinking about her last night and wondering if she and her hubby were trying to get pregnant. She had a miscarriage a year ago. The pregnancy was unplanned and I remember hearing her say how she so wasn't ready to be a mom yet but that her husband is. It got me thinking that since it had happened and she had time to think about things a bit differently, would she be willing or wanting to try now. I got my answer today. Kinda funny.

I'm in turmoil again, but not as bad as a couple of weeks ago.

13 June 2010


That's something I wish I had at times. Sometimes the thoughts and feelings in my head just don't always come out in a way that I want. Bleh.

11 June 2010

My ex

A few days ago, my ex gave me a link to an online journal of his detailing his finding out about the death of a close friend. At this same jounal, are several months worth of entries. So, I've been reading them. So far I've read one month. I can see so much of the man that I knew when we were dating in those entries. But I also see more than what I saw then. I see more hurt, bleakness and despair than I realized he had in him. It isn't so much a shock, but I wish I could have done more or maybe do more now.

We may not be together as a couple anymore, but I still care for him. How could I not? I spent 4 years of my life with him. There had to be something good in him that I saw for me to devote that long to him. At least I feel that way.

I want to reach out to him, let him know I am still here if he needs or wants to talk. I would also like to let him know that I think I knew him better than he wanted me to. He told me many times during our relationship and even after that I never knew him, the real him and that he hadn't let me in. I beg to differ. I do think I knew him quite well, maybe not as well as the person I am reading about in his journal entries, but I did know him.
But the question here is, do I reach out? Do I possibly disturb sleeping cats (or dogs as it may be)?

I think I'm going to have to think on this.

p.s. I wish the pictures weren't broken links.

09 June 2010

Lowest low in 2 years

So, this cycle of my period marks 23 months that hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant. And last week's Tuesday marks the lowest of lows I have had during this time. My period had started a couple of days before (although not unexpected), so I was feeling quite bummed from that. Then I found out that a friend of mine is pregnant again. I just lost it. I started crying, shaking, hyperventilating... Then I would calm down for a sec and start up again. This is how I was all evening. I couldn't eat, do dishes, read, think, nothing! Why not me? When is it my turn!?

This is the same friend that was expressing/complaining that she was worried/concerned that she might not be able to get pregnant a 2nd time. I didn't understand what her worries were at that point because she got pregnant on her wedding night and her little one was only 9-10months old! And here she was saying this to me, who had been trying unsuccessfully for 20months, at the time, and another friend of ours who has been trying for several years with a couple of miscarriages. I don't have words to explain the frustration, confusion, dumbfoundedness and incomprehension that is going on in my head. What was she thinking when she was telling us this? She just doesn't get it, does she?

Last week, I just didn't feel that I could be happy for anyone else. I was tired of putting on a happy face and saying "congratulations" and asking interested questions. I just couldn't do it anymore. I had no happiness in me. All that was in me was a huge, dark, deep, black hole that physically hurt. Hurt so painfully bad.

This week, I am still saddened, but feeling much better. I have a brighter outlook and a bit of hope in my heart. This month is our 4th month of fertility treatments, but today was our second attempt with intra-uterine insemination (IUI). Hubby's sample was really great and healthy and I have 2 mature follicles. Let's hope his tadpoles meet with at least one of my eggs.

29 May 2010

7 gup

We had a belt test today and I am now the proud wearer of an upper yellow belt.

30 April 2010

One thing leads to another

My, how time flies! I really didn't mean it to be this long since my last entry. But with getting quite sick Easter weekend and all through the next week, going to Oulu for a night (for a TKD competition), work during the week and TKD practice in the evenings, and other events during weekends, it's just come to the point that I haven't written much. I have thought about writing stuff, I just never made it here.

Today is Vappu eve, or May Day eve. Tomorrow, here in Finland is Vappu, the Finnish labour day and with huge drunken festivities, especially for students. Me, I think I'll stay safe and sound and dry at home, indoors.

Vappu is sort of the first day of the year to have a picnic. Potato salad, nakki (hot dogs), sima (fermented mead type stuff) and tippaleipä (deep fried bread-noodles, with powdered sugar on top are eaten among other things.

Some links for you, because I'm too lazy explain it all myself. (Especially when it's been done already before.)
Vappu via Wikipedia
Vappu via FinnGuide

08 April 2010

Tea in my mail

PostCrossing isn't only about postcards (unless you stick to the official site), at least for me it isn't. As soon as I found Postcrossing (PC), I also found the forum. Through the forum I have gotten to know many people and even met several of them at different PC-meetings (around Finland, I haven't made it to any outside Finland yet). I've also traded, swapped and hosted (and won) lotteries with more than just postcards.

My most recent find at the forum is the Tea RR (round robin). Just yesterday I received my first teas. Two envelopes in one day! 

The first, from Netherlands, was for an RR in which each of us in the group sent out 5 different tea bags to each person. (I sent 20 teas bags and will receive 20.)
So far, I've tasted the Canadian Vanilla Maple (left side in baggie) and it is wonderful!! More please!

The 2nd package, from Turkey, was a private swap between me and the other person. We each sent 10 tea bags to the other. From this assortment, I've tasted the echinacea (wrinkled package, lower right) and it was surprisingly good.

30 March 2010

Mr Froggy in Helsinki

It's Monday night (I should be in bed) and I've actually had the computer to myself this evening! This is the first time in ages that I've had the computer entirely to myself, because Mr Froggy* is in Helsinki. The last time this phenomena happened was probably for the same reason as tonight.

Even if I have the joy of computing in peace, I still miss Mr. Froggy.
Hugs and kisses to my guy. I hope your day was decent and you sleep well.

*Mr Froggy is the name one of the PostCrossing people gave my husband and it works quite well considering I love frogs and am a Mrs.

23 March 2010

Frustration and guilt

A couple of weeks ago I met up with some of my girl friends, whom I don't see to often these days. I knew at least one of them would ask me about how our "trying to get pregnant" journey is going and I haven't been in the mood to discuss it with them. I know they would be asking out of concern (and curiousity), but it just feels too much like pitty and something else I can't even put to words.

All of the girls there have a kid, and most of them have a very young one. For the most part, they all got pregnant on their first try. Hubby and I have been trying 20+ months and not even a single hint of a positive pregnancy test. No matter how much my friends care and have concern for me, they will never fully understand how I feel. Sometimes my longing to be pregnant and have a baby hurts so bad that I swear it is a physical pain.

Anyway, at one point, one of the girls and I were alone and she asked how things are going and I said "I'd rather not talk about it, thank you." She tried again and said, "but wouldn't it help to talk about it to someone?" Again I replied, "I'd rather not talk about it, thank you." She got a strange look on her face and at that point someone else came into the room and asked me a question, so I was able to change the subject, so to speak.

The girl who asked the question disappeared a few minutes later (to the bathroom). The rest of us girls continued chatting and after a few more minutes had passed, the girl comes out of the bathroom crying. She said she wasn't feeling well and her period was bothering her. She had called her husband and he was on his way to pick her (and the baby) up.

This is where my guilt comes in. I know she said she wasn't feeling well, but up until the point she asked me about my trying to get pregnant, she was happy, bouncy, bubbly and all around seemed to be fine. I can't help but feel that it is my fault she got upset and went home. Yet at the same time, it is my *right* to not discuss my personal issues if I don't want to!

This event was over 2 weeks ago and I still can't stop thinking about it. And I still feel just as bad as I did then. Plus, she hasn't returned my email or text message. I know I could try calling her, but what if she really did go home because she didn't feel well and if I try bringing up the fact that I didn't/don't want to talk about my personal issues it would only be rubbing it in that I don't want to talk about it. Hence, my frustration.

11 March 2010

Sometimes it's the small things

I've had Lydia (my car) for almost 4 years now and it was only just this morning that I figured out the back window has a water-spray-thingy for the wiper! I had an idea that it existed earlier this winter, but no need to use it at that time.

After seeing it in use this morning and seeing out my back window, I drove the rest of the way to work quite happy.

06 March 2010

Me + 2 cats = in Pori

My husband has been working almost round the clock the last couple of weeks to get his thesis written. The poor guy does his regular work during the day and then deals with me and the cats in the evening, waiting for us to go to bed, then he works all night long on his thesis. Quite often he is just only crawling into bed when I am waking up to go to work. He sleeps a few hours and then is back at it all over again.
He was even doing this while sick with the cold that I gave him. (I didn't try to!)

I know he is struggling, stressing and not getting enough sleep. But it is quite frustrating for me (and the cats too). :( We can't really exist in our home either because we are trying to tip toe around him so that we don't bug him. And I honestly am trying to stay out of his way and not bother him, but I also know that just by being in the apartment and existing is enough to bother him so he can't get anything done until I am asleep.
 So, this weekend, I've taken the cats and gone to Pori.

Tons of hugs to my Love. I hope he gets some things done this weekend.

21 February 2010

In the mood, but nothing happens

I'm in the mood to write, but nothing comes to mind. I'll leave it to another day when I have some inspiration.

19 February 2010

Home sick

Today, I'm home sick. I don't mean home sick for Oregon, but rather that I am sitting here at home feeling bleh and sick.

So, I guess today is as good a day as any other to try to start writing here again. I've spent the last hour or so with the editing window open trying to think of what I wanted to say. And it only just now, as I was getting some more tea, came to me: my 3 biggest hobbies right now.

1. Taekwon-do
I started practicing Taekwon-do just 6 months ago and I love it. There's just so much about it that keeps me coming back for more. Not only am I learning the art of fighting, but self defense too. I've met some great people. I get to practice Finnish and learn some Korean while I'm at it. And it's a great work out. I've also come home with my fair share of bruises and aches. (Although door jambs and desk corners still get the better of me.)

2. Stained glass
At the same time I started Taekwon-do, I started taking a stained glass course through a local työväenopisto (sort of like a community college). It's every other Sunday from 10-15. During the fall, I basically created only one project; an angel for my mother-in-law for xmas.
I've continued with the course this year. So far, I've cut out and ground the glass for a couple of small-ish window hangings and I've ventured into glass melting. With the melted glass I've made some necklaces. (I should take pictures..) I cant' wait to play with this method of glass creations.

3. Postcrossing
I started Postcrossing about a year ago. It's great to send and receive postcards to and from around the world. I've met many people from the PC forum and made some great friends via the PC meetings I've attended.
card id: DE-315775