Art, writing, and one sleepy estrogen girl

I haven’t been writing much in here mostly because these estrogen patches on my belly are making me feel fuzzy  At first, the surge in estrogen made me insane with unfettered illogical rage (at just about anything or anyone, except DH, who is my safe landing strip). And now it is making me sloth-like. I prefer sloth-like to homicidal. O estrogen, my love, can’t wait until there are 4 patches of you instead of 2!

Over the past few days, I’ve been making art (drawings, collages, mixed-media stuff) in an effort to invite creativity into my body. I find it very interesting that I became drawn to a collage technique, this past weekend, that I later learned is called a “transfer” (a subconscious link to my upcoming transfer?).

I’ve also been writing in a journal, long-hand, which is something I have not done in a long, long time. I have, at this point, 69 diaries/journals, dating back to when I was nine years old and pouring my heart out into a little blue book with a ballerina on the front cover. I also have 8 dream journals, dating back to 1996, filled with detailed, bizarre dreams, populated with odd and fascinating (to me) sketches. But when I started this blog a little over a year ago (a year ago, whaaaat) I pretty much abandoned my long-hand private journaling. After all, there is only so much time in the day. Blogging has sharpened my writing skills in ways I did not expect—I don’t hold onto my words for so long as I used to. I don’t suffocate my writing by over-editing it. I let go. I can publish a blog post in about a quarter of the time that it used to take me. In short, blogging helps me loosen the reins on my ego a little bit and get words out of my mind to my audience, my readers. For so many years, my writing has been mostly trapped in notebooks and journals and computer files,  except for a couple of short stories I’ve published here and there, or shared with my MFA cohort once upon a time. It has been such an enlightening experience, connecting with audience through this blog—not just as a woman struggling with infertility but also as a woman who has struggled, pretty much her whole life, to finish pieces of writing and put those writings in the hands of readers.

But as my trip to Atlanta approaches, I’ve felt private journaling calling me back, and so I started Journal #69 on Saturday. I realized that I don’t want to say anything negative about work in this blog (I feel paranoid about that, as it is my livelihood)—how freeing it was to be able to vent about a few things in ink on paper! On Sunday, I wrote about our donor, and my words were stream-of-consciousness, flowing wherever, however. I sketched. Created some funny collages to make me laugh. It was so enjoyable—I’d forgotten how the physical process of it pleases me so much: lying belly-down in the green grass, surrounded by pens, my journal open before me in the sunshine. I’ve been doing it for years and years and years. And while I do it I remember all of those younger versions of myself, pen in hand, thinking, feeling, processing.

I can’t believe—really just can’t—that I might become pregnant in a little over 2 weeks from now. All I want to do until then is curl up into a little ball and nap, waking only to jot things in my journal or make art. Is that so wrong? I want my body to be a welcome, rested place where Life might look around and say, Oh yeah, this is good, I can begin here.

Leave a comment


  1. I’m sorry the estrogen is affecting you so much. I must be very resistant to meds because I rarely have any reactions. I did IVF three times, at the absolute max dosages, and never felt much of anything, though I always had more of a sedation hangover after retrievals than friends have reported. Anyway, I’m glad you are taking care of yourself and getting lots of sleep. I tried to be kind to myself in the days leading up to and following transfer as well. I will say the last couple of days before transfer, I felt very fuzzy from the antiobiotics they will put you on. Try to eat well and take it easy. I’m getting so excited for you!

    • Well, my body has always been a wee bit sensitive, to say the least! Not looking forward to those antibiotics—thank you for the head’s up. But at least I won’t have to be at work. Working at a nursing center while on these hormones is pretty crazytown. Thank you for the encouragement. I’m excited too!!!

  2. H

     /  August 20, 2013

    Wow. I came upon your blog while researching the merits of frozen versus fresh donor eggs. My path to this point began with treatment for ovarian cancer six years ago. My husband and I are now trying to have a child through a gestational carrier and donor eggs. I have read so many of your posts in the past hour and found myself nodding in agreement and feeling relief and gratitude for how well you are expressing and articulating emotions that I have felt throughout this process. I wish you the best, and I thank you for putting your experience out here.

    • What a lovely, lovely thing to say—I’m very glad you found me and that my words have resonated. It is the silver lining in all of this—this blog, this connection. I’m sorry to hear you’ve gone through so much, and smile to hear that you are trying donor eggs and gestational carrier. Keep me posted on how you decide to proceed. And if you have any questions about frozen donor eggs I’d be happy to try to answer them. I wish you all the best. Thank you for your comment!

  3. I hope your body gets used to the estrogen soon, or at least it becomes the “new normal.” That exhaustion is hard to work with! How awesome that the art you’re doing is transfer, and HOLY PROLIFIC, journal woman! How wonderful to have those stream of consciousness, sketchy, no-audience outlets for everything going on right now. Two weeks–so exciting! Hoping for nothing but the best for you!

    • Oy oy, well, now the sloth has turned homicidal again. It’s a pattern, I’m noticing. My body doesn’t like to be on huge amounts of estrogen apparently! thanks for the cheerleading, as always.


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  • Posts By Month


  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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