Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nope those aren't OPK pee sticks

So its not completely real yet, but I made an appointment for next week. I am trying to make myself be happy about the positive today and yesterday regardless of how everything else plays out. I think I will keep taking HPT until my appointment just to see the line get darker. As far as how I feel, I feel nothing & that is different. By this time every cycle I am usually bloated with sore boobs. I have been humbled & I am thankful.

I will be saying an extra prayer tonight for our friends who are happy for us, but I honestly want Maggie and Jason to be pregnant just as much as I want it for us. So we will celebrate our victories & mourn our losses & keep pushing forward.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


In my last post I wrote about praying. Though I have started, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without feeling like I am bargaining with God, because that's obviously not the point. I ran across St. Theresa's prayer in a thread on Even though I'm not Catholic, I find it very calming.

"May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you."

Anyway, I really do love it and I think I'm going to copy it down to keep with me.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It's strange. I remember an episode at the pediatricians office where I cried and puked and hid in the bathroom when it was time to get shots. (Embarrassingly enough, these were the immunizations necessary to enter high school. Yeah.) I also recall sitting in the mini-van with my dad at an interstate rest stop and watching with horror as an older diabetic gentleman gave himself insulin in the stomach in the parking lot. I remember how queasy it made me feel, like my knees were melting into my ankles.

I could never have imagined that I'd actually be excited, hopeful, and even grateful for the opportunity to stick myself with a damn needle in the stomach on a daily basis. Once you get over the psychological aspect of it, there's really nothing to it. But there is the hope.

The first two days of this cycle were the most depressing days of my entire life. The desperation I felt cannot be put into words, and cannot be understood, or even expected to be understood by anyone not in the same predicament. I honestly felt more sick than I did when my first husband left -- by a long shot. I had hoped to never feel that way again, and I certainly didn't think I'd ever feel worse.

Day One came the realization that this would be our last cycle -- at least for several months. The end of this month will be more than $10,000 spent TTC. We've got to stop the financial bleeding for a while; otherwise we'll end up too poor to support a child, even if we do get pregnant.

Day Two Jason and I were grocery shopping and we saw a little girl coming to or from her soccer game in pink striped knee-high socks and pigtails tied with pink ribbon. Her father was with her as the crossed in front of our car and into the store. I probably would have lost it anyway, but the fact that she had very dark shiny hair (I didn't even see her face) made me picture what our child might look like. It also made me sad for the fact that we may never take a child to soccer practice.

Today is Day Four. I'm trying very much to be happy. That's very hard when your happiness is pinned on something that you don't know if your body can provide. At this point I'm praying for lots of follicles. I don't care if I do have sextuplets and nothing in my life is ever my own again. That's something that a fertile person cannot understand -- that when all you dream of is a baby, your life is really not your own to begin with. Sure I'd love to go back to school, go horseback riding in Australia, spend two weeks in Jamaica, have a size eight body again. But how could you compare that to raising a child?

I have started praying again. I haven't prayed in a very long time for me. I've gone past the point of worrying that God might think I'm selfish for asking for something solely for us. I don't even know if you could call what I am doing "praying" as much as it is "begging." But it's a start.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I just love Spring

So I am noticing how quickly CD 1 thru CD 12 goes by. If only the entire cycle would seem to go by at that same speed. I have printed my new calendar for April, ordered another IUI catheter, and checked stock on my other supplies - so I'm ready to go again, right? Well, I dont feel ready to go. I am trying to get back in my 'zone,' but I am struggling this month to get up the steam that I have had the previous two attempts. I think its a combination of worrying about money and just tired of being let down.

My goal for today is to find a multitude of things to distract me from thinking about TTC. From this point prior, I have been trying to pray and when I really want to let go, I have me a few cold ones (of course after 2ww). I need better coping. I also need to feel better about myself. These are things I have been feeling too sorry for myself to get started, but now is the time. So I have:

1. Praise and thank God daily for something regardless of how crappy I feel
2. Keep up on laundry
3. Work on my personal statement for residency
4. Cook dinner every other day
5. Go to the tanning bed 3-4 x a week
6. Do 15 minute workout video every morning before showering
7. Run 2-3 x a week
8. Eat generous amounts of veggies and nuts
9. Bury myself in clerkship duties

I think this is a great start. Okay now I am a bit excited. I must plan a schedule now to get all these things done. I have to hold myself accountable for my own good!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm going to be an aunt... lovely

It has been just over 24 hours since I found out that my brother's wife is pregnant. You could say I didn't take the news very well but that would be an understatement. I couldn't breathe. I called Jason and spouted all the curse words I knew. I called Calee and left a sobbing ridiculous message on her voicemail. Then I called my brother's wife to congratulate her. I think I was a pretty convincing actress. I even tried to ask about her first doctors appointment when the question I really wanted to ask was where in the f*** were they planning on living when the baby came in nine months. When I asked her if she was taking vitamins and she seemed confused as to why a pregnant woman might want to do such a thing, I even tried to be helpful and tell her she could get over-the-counter prenatal vitamins until her doctor prescribed her some, instead of screaming her head off. When I found out she hadn't called yet to make her first appointment even though she'd been back a full day and half from being out of the country, I decided the conversation was over. "Well, congrats again and I'll see you guys... soon." I want soon to be here never. Eventually I am going to have to face my very pregnant sister-in-law at baby showers, family functions and the birth of my parents' first grandchild. Ugh.

I took another pregnancy test this morning, at 10dpiui. It was negative. I stopped by Dollar General and bought four more so that I can test every day until 14dpiui. If I haven't gotten my period by then, I'll call my RE and have her schedule a beta. I haven't started spotting yet {knock on wood} which is very encouraging since last time I started spotting at 9dpiui. But nothing. Not a smidgen of spotting. I felt very different at the beginning of this IUI, but the feeling of fullness and the cramping have subsided. I haven't a clue what that means.

When my mom called me this afternoon (once she learned that I had heard the news) she was insanely annoying. She said things like "don't stress or you will have a miscarriage when you get pregnant" (I'm being a lot more blunt than she was, but trust me, that's what her words translated to) and "your brother has a lot more than we did when we had you." Uh, yeah, but you didn't live in the apartment on your parents' property. Truly, there is no one who can understand infertility like infertile people. There's no other way around it. Jason's mom completely understood when he told her he was going to stay with me this weekend instead of going to visit them 8 hours away -- because she knows. Her sister, who is 8 years younger than her, had a baby before she did. Calee told me the story of how she found out her brother's girlfriend was pregnant.

Seriously, no one else gets it. And it's very hard not to be incredibly frustrated with them. I have no idea how I'm going to keep this up, and we've only been at it for two months. I feel so drained that sometimes I don't think there's much left. All I know is that I have never had to lean on anyone so much as I have Calee these past couple of days. I am so beyond thankful for her and so excited to see them both this weekend! Hopefully I don't leave mascara smears on her. :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to real life (7 days since trigger)

Jason and I just got back from our super-speedy trip up North. We went to celebrate his grandmother's birthday. I was absolutely dreading the trip but when it came time to leave I suddenly wished our flight back would get canceled due to bad weather.... for a lot of reasons.

First of all, his family was so incredibly gracious and uplifting to be around. Second, I got really attached to one of Jason's cousin's 5 year old twins (boy/girl). The little girl absolutely loved me, and that says a lot. (Children don't usually care for me and they certainly don't make a habit of following me around.) But the third and most important reason I didn't want to leave is that I hardly thought about whether or not I was pregnant! Well, when I say "hardly" that means only 30 times per day instead of 30 times per hour!

Another of Jason's cousins has a 10 month old set of twin girls (apparently they're pretty common in his family) and Jason and I got to play with them. It was the first time I had ever seen Jason excited about holding a baby and it was incredible. It didn't even make me sad or jealous that they had something we didn't. I try my best now not to assume that people just had the easiest time in the world getting pregnant. For all I know, they went through what we are going through now.

The only time I got a smidge upset was when they were taking pictures of Jason's grandmother's sons and their offspring-- "generational shots" I guess you could call them. Anyway, Jason's uncles (grandma had all boys) each had 10 (at a minimum) people in their shot. But when it came to us, it was a lonely five. Grandma, Jason's parents, Jason, and me. Jason is an only child, and at 27, everyone began asking us when we were going to get on the ball. I leaned over and whispered to Jason and his mother that "this crew just isn't as prolific as the rest of you all!" Jason's mother got a kick out of that because it took her ten years to have Jason, so she knows the heartache of infertility. Well, that and the fact that we just shared with her early last week that we were actually actively trying to get pregnant and undergoing fertility treatments.

Tomorrow is back to work, back to counting down the latter half of the 2ww. Yay, how very thrilling. Jason is even going to be out of town when I start my pregnancy testing insanity. Probably better for him. Now we've just got to figure out who's going to scoop the litter box while he's gone for four days!

Friday, March 21, 2008

CD 12 update

Today is CD 13, and yesterday was my midcyle u/s appointment. Right ovary is trying to be the baby-maker this time: one dominant follicle at 1.6cm. The left ovary had four: three at 1.2cm and one at 1.0cm. Lining measured 9.4mm.

We also talked about injectibles (if this cycle fails). Jason had previously wanted to to try one more month of Clomid, since RE was willing to let us try. I am super impatient though and was ready to move it up to the big scary drugs. But we were unsure if Jason's being a cheap-ass or my being so baby hungry was interfering with out decision making skills. We wanted to make the decision for a good reason, so we asked out NP what she would do. She said that based on my dominant follicles [very dominant with the closest in size being at least two days (.4cm) behind the largest] that she would go with injectibles. That will give my ovaries a chance to produce several of the same sizes so that the sperm will have "more targets." This of course also increases the risk of multiples. Which of course would be perfectly ok by me, but I am not the one that is the main provider for the family, so I can understand how Jason might not be so thrilled about the prospect of twins.

I am desperately trying to have some faith in my body this cycle. For some reason, I just keep thinking, "well next month when we're on injectibles..." when I really should be focusing on this cycle. Or maybe not. Maybe that makes it easier if/when this cycle is not successful. It's not like I am overjoyed about the idea of injections EVERY night and having to spend four hours per day in the car for u/s monitoring. So what's my deal? Why do I insist that this cycle won't be successful??? I'm getting slightly worried that I am distancing myself from the process a little too much sometimes. However, this morning's near breakdown when I couldn't find a shirt I wanted to wear should be evidence to the contrary. You could say I don't process stress very well, but that would be an understatement.

So right now I am going to focus on not dreading the 2ww and being excited about the potential outcome of what is going on in my body in the here and now. I know one thing is for sure: I need to stop counting weeks of a pregnancy that isn't even here yet!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cycle#2 - home IUI with clomid - now 2ww

Its nice to have that first cycle of 2 home IUIs behind us. Studies I've read show LH surge in serum approximately 12 hours before urine detection of LH surge & ovulation 24 hrs after urine detected LH surge. As you can see below, my physiology follows quite closely.

Mid-cycle Timeline
LH surge, urine- CD 14 12pm (noon)
IUI #1 - CD 14 at 11pm ( 11 hours after urine LH surge)
Right sided ovulatory pain CD 15 10:30am - 12:30pm
IUI #2 - CD 15 3:45pm (28 hours after urine LH surge)

Now for another 2ww. Lets hope I can keep myself busy and not think about it too much. Yeah right.

Just as a logistical note, we could only get the catheter about 5 - 5.5 cm into the cervix. We are unsure if this distance was enough to ensure that we were at the top of the uterine cavity. We know the insemination cannot be any less effective than the intravaginal insemination we did last month regardless. We are trying not to stress about it. Hey, this isn't our day jobs after all, ya know. We're amateurs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Here we go again. CD 14 surge

So this surge was different than my last two cycles. This is my first true positive. How cool. Only weird thing is my EW CM is gone today (it was copious Sun night and Mon). I dont know if we should do the first IUI tonight or tomorrow AM. Erg... I'll update soon.

I'm so over birthdays!

So a few days ago my birthday came. I did not anticipate being depressed about turning another year older, but yet, here I am and another birthday has passed without becoming a mother. If you had asked me when I was in high school or college at what age I would/would want to be a mom, I would have said 24 or 25. Yeah. That has come and gone. When I woke up the morning of my birthday, all I wanted to do was burst out in tears. And this went on ALL DAY LONG. Thankfully, I finally got my chance when company left and I was able to have my pity party without an audience.... well.... almost. Jason did come in and disturb the flow of tears when he decided I needed a "shower buddy" for a birthday gift. It made me smile though, and I needed that.

The next day, I was perfectly fine. Over the whole thing. So here's hoping that this year, Ryan (the Steve Irwin of cervixes), Calee, Jason and I don't have to go another birthday without a baby at least on the way! My birthday was the first to pass of 2008, and let's hope that when the others roll around, we have much more reason to celebrate!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Successful cervix hunting

Ryan and I had a large milestone this evening. Our IUI catheters came in last week & our much anticipated specula earlier this week. I wanted to wait a few days after my HSG before we explored. We had the enormous task of finding my cervix with the specula in preparation for IUI next week. I was a little nervous for Ryan. This is a huge task that I have gotten us into & he knows that I am comfortable with the plans, but he is the one that is going to have to carry it out.

So we get the instruments: speculum, flash light, and mirror. Ryan is already grossed out. He was like, "I hope this doesn't ruin sex for me." I thought it was funny. So we get in position. I place the specula while he holds the mirror. The first time I opened the speculum we didn't see anything but CM and the walls. I tried to readjust with no luck. Ryan was already discouraged, but he was hanging in there. I took it out and reinserted it. As soon as I opened the blades, Ryan excitedly says, "I see it !!!" So he moved the mirror so I could see better and there it was in all it's glory. We were both smiling ear to ear. I just wanted to look at it for a view minutes. He was like, "I can definitely get it [the catheter] through there." Apparently, he thought it was going to be much smaller. So it will be my job to get it in view & he will do the rest.

We still haven't decided if we should do two inseminations or just one this cycle. I am leaning toward one, but we have a week to decide.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CD 3 update

I wish I could find the excitement that I had last cycle. It's really funny how different my two Clomid check u/s appointments have been. Last month, when I started my period, I was thrilled. In fact, I wash shaking and sick at my stomach the entire two hour drive. This cycle, day one was on Sunday, so I called my RE as soon as they opened yesterday morning. No hooplah. Jason couldn't even come with me because of car trouble and a work situation. It didn't really bother me though. But it is nice to have someone to talk to about the whole thing when that's all you can think about and your best friend is busy trying to graduate :)

Calee and I have scootched a day closer cycle wise this time. That's kind of fun. She's on day 7 and I'm on day 3, which means I start taking my Clomid tonight. Hmmm, see even taking Clomid was fun last cycle. It was something new and different and I felt I was doing something effective and proactive about my fertility. This time it's just kinda ..."oh, I am supposed to start Clomid tonight, I guess that means I need to go pick up my meds." The pharmacist wish me luck. It's pretty hilarious when your pharmacist knows more than your own parents do about the major things going on in your life.

Here are some of the really good things about starting when I did this month:
I didn't have to worry about the chemicals I was cleaning my house with for the party I had for some friends on Saturday. I was able to have two beers and a glass of wine at the party. Jason and my two hour flight to visit family at the end of the month will not interfere with my ovulation. I'll be in my 2ww and just have to take my progesterone tablets with me. I'm thinking it will be good for me to take a flight right in the middle of my 2ww. Honestly. Instead of worrying whether or not I'm having implantation cramping, I can worry about my little 3oz. bottles of toiletries and the two hours it's going to take to get through security and praying to God we don't get snowed in. Or maybe we do get snowed in. That would certainly make it interesting. And you know what I'll be doing to pass the time if we do??? Oh yeah, baby! Peeing on as many pregnancy tests as I can get my hands on! :)


So I finally got up the nerves to ask my regular OB-gyn if she would do a HSG to check my tube patency & of course (because she's awesome) she said yes. Then on to insurance. Well, they preapproved it. So this AM I went to get it done. It was completely normal & I am very glad that I dont have to worry about those expensive little swimmers being blocked from my eggs. Basically, this just was a way for me to know there was not a confounding factor to would prevent success. BBT charting tells me I ovulate, OPK tells me when, we purchase the little swimmers, the only thing more you need is a path for them to meet. Now we know that they have a path! Lord, give us the strength to hang in there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March for Ryan & Calee

Lilypie 21 - 37 day cycle Ticker

CD 1 and ready to rock and roll!

My last post was such a downer. This post is definitely an upper. That's how it is - a roller coaster.

So my temperature dropped this AM and AF appeared during my morning trip to the bathroom. I spent some time online yesterday afternoon & decided that I was ready to get a bit more aggressive. I called my OB-gyn today requesting a HSG for my dysmenorrhea. LOL. I have had dysmenorrhea since I was 14, but now is the time to check it out. Mainly because I want to know if my tubes are patent, but she doesnt have to know that. I am pretty sure insurance will pay if dysmenorrhea this the diagnosis. The reason I thought it was a good time to do this is because I thought we could try an at home IUI next cycle. I really think Ryan and I can do it. Being in the medical field, I am thinking if they can do it, why can't I? Plus, if something goes wrong, there is no suing myself. I ordered the goods last night & found a donor that has frozen washed sperm. Maggie thinks I'm crazy probably. No really, she thinks it is a good idea I think. Lets hope my OB-gyn will do the HSG !!!!

Here we go again!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Finding the words

I had sincere hope that Calee and I would be celebrating together this week. Instead, we find ourlselves comforting one another.... as much as one can comfort someone else in this situation.

I would think that going through the same thing would make knowing what to say to another who is suffering much easier. I thought that words of wisdom and encouragement would come naturally. I mean, when our mothers deal with test results and our minds wander again to the threat of cancer, we know what to say to one another. When contracts on first homes fall through, we know what to say. When we doubt ourselves, our career paths, our general abilities in life, even when we need to be uplifted about something as simple as they way we look, Calee and I always know what to say to each other. I hope that, like me, at least she finds reassurance in the fact that I am here: I may not have a damn clue what to say, but I am here.

This is so different from everything -- from anything we've had to endure. When someone passes away, you know that at least there is peace and an end to suffering. Though this is my very first month of this particularly tortuous cycle of hope and disappointment, I imagine that there isn't a lot of peace on the other end. At least I can say now that I know. I can sleep knowing. And that might be its own little sick version of peace. But I don't know how to deal with this "death" every month. There's no funeral where we can go and listen to comforting verses and rest in the knowledge that time will heal. I am positive that time will not heal this ache. I certainly have no idea what to say to the other mourners.

The Void

As I sit on the sofa with my two lovely dogs, feeling quite nauseous from the indian left overs I just consumed, I am reflecting on the past two days. As previously mentioned, this cycle was the first time that we really had everything together - good timing. My AF is due tomorrow & I am CD 30, DPO 15. First signs of AF are here this afternoon & I wonder how tomorrow could be any worse than today.

Yesterday the unthinkable happened. I (with Ryan's verification) received a positive result at 3-10 minutes with Answer Early Pregnancy test. I am freaking, but head off to work. So I remember I didnt take a picture of it so I call Ryan at home to tell him to. He tells me the line is getting more faint. Long story short, by 11pm the same night the line was gone & the internet had almost completely convinced me it was negative (something called a 'disappearing positive which equates to negative), but my next morning urine would for sure tell the truth. (I went and bought two other brands so that I could test all three together - my own little experiment) All 3 BFN. Gotta love it.

So I was doing okay until I got in the car to head home. All the sudden, I am thinking, "I need Ryan to take me to a nice restaurant" and "What can I go buy to make me feel better?" or the best one "A bottle of Cab would fix me right up." Then it hits me. I have a void. A void that I try to fill every month disappointment after disappointment with material things and ways to escape and not feel the feelings that I am so tired of feeling. I just want to be happy again. Not like smilely happy, but complete. Complete and content. I want to look forward to coming home. I want to look forward to my off time. I want to not resent the world and (although I hate to admit it) my God for not letting us have a family and have something to look forward to. I try to thank God everyday for all the blessings He has given me, I have been trying to leave things in his hands, but then everything creeps back into my mind & there I am burdened. Burdened with the what ifs and the how comes. There has been nothing in my life that has ever, ever affected me this much. (I love roller coasters, but damn this emotional roller coaster has about got the best of me today). I am usually what I consider to be a good coper, but I am questioning that today.

So life does go on. The question is how do I enjoy it during this process? How do I keep hope and faith in spite of being let down on the deepest level? How do I not think about it?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baby dust

So my OPK kits came with a little pouch of pink, blue, silver, and purple confetti. This is baby dust. Hope is good. Disappointment is bad. I am driven by hope these two weeks in waiting. With 3 days left. Only time will tell.

I feel crazy. I am having a hard time expressing my feelings about these last few days before AF is due to arrive. Maggie is being a great friend letting me talk to her about my thoughts and I hope she feels the same about me. I would like to think I'm nauseous because I'm expecting. I would like to think my temp dipped because of implantation. I would like to think that pregnancy test today had the most finest, finest positive. I would like to think my cervix is soft and high because Im expecting. Your mind and heart can play games with you...

On God's time and by God's grace.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Coping.... or lack there of

Thursday and Friday were very exciting days. After a small fiasco between Jason and I (we couldn't decide who should give the injection and changed our minds a couple of times because we were both so chicken), we went to our appointment for our first IUI on Friday afternoon. I was so nervous that I literally thought I was going to puke in the biohazard bin. I think I've been reading too much about how it hurt and oh the terrible cramping and such, but it wasn't bad at all. The worst part was the waiting. We've never had to wait a minute past our appointment time, and even when we arrive early, they will more often than not see us. But not on the most nerve racking day since we've been going there. So basically, I had plenty of time to get my nerves worked up. Dr. M-L did the procedure, which I was very thankful for since I didn't know the other doctors and it was my first IUI.

On Saturday, we weren't seen until almost an hour after our appointment time. The clinic had lost the consent to thaw forms so I had a to sign a new one 15 minutes before the IUI was supposed to be done, which meant they hadn't even starting thawing it, much less the wash and prep. But for a moment when the nurse came out, I thought there was a problem with the specimen and we would be losing out on today somehow. And to add to that, I knew that the doctor on call for the weekend was a man, so I was extremely nervous about that. I've never had a male gyno, so I wasn't too keen on having one snoop around down there now. Thankfully, he was so nice, that I really forgot about it. I had purposely worn the most ridiculous socks that I could find in an effort to spark conversation and make the doctor laugh to make me less nervous. It worked. He started on my socks, the pronunciation of my last name, introduced himself by "Andy Toledo" instead of Dr. Toledo -- essentially had far better bedside manner than Dr. Mitchell-Leef. After it was over and I confessed how nervous I had been about it and told him that he had hurt far less than the IUI yesterday, he said "that's because you have to have a man do it." Something about being much less rough. Anyhow, he really was so nice and propped my head up so that I would be comfortable for the 20 minute wait and my hips up for good measure with the IUI. Part of me wishes he would do the procedure every time, but I'm not super thrilled about the prospect of switching doctors; and I'm hopeful that I won't have to do an IUI again for a few years.

Trying to cope is the hardest thing in the world. I have been so hopeful and excited since CD 1 this month. I guess I was always looking forward to the next task, monitoring, appointment, or medication. But now, there's really just waiting.... for two weeks. And somewhere in the last two days, I've lost some of that hopefulness. I guess it's hard to imagine that the IUI could result in something so incredible that could be going on my body right now. I find myself counting the hours since my last insemination, wondering if the sperm are still swimming around, trying to find my egg, if my egg is where it should be, etc. Friday night and last night I even tried to lay mostly on my left side during sleep so that gravity might help the sperm towards the more active of my ovaries. Kind of silly, I know. I'm nauseated as hell thinking about everything, wishing I could be as excited as I was before. This is going to be a very long two weeks. I think there's been more stress in the last few days than there was even when we found out the news. Maybe I'm just blowing it all out of proportion, but I find myself wanting to break down every 2 hours. So right now, I am just trying to cope.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ovidrel TONIGHT!

So just over an hour ago, I got my positive LH surge! On the way home from work, I was on the phone with Calee. She was headed to class and had to go, but I told her that I'd be home in 20 minutes to do my OPK and I'd text her with the news.

I was so pumped when I saw the smilie face that I really didn't believe it! You'd think that damn thing was a positive pregnancy test the way I yelped when I saw the smilie. I think the ClearBlue Easy people need to make a smilie face pregnancy test too. I realize that not all pregnancies are happy news, but it would only add to my joy when I finally get a positive result. I take that back. I'm not really sure there's anything that could add to it.

Anyhow, I had to take a picture of it so that my hubby could see, because the results only flash for 8 minutes. Tonight he gives me the Ovidrel injection and I get IUI tomorrow and Saturday! (And yes, that's a dog hair on the tester. It happens around here:) )

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby dreams

I haven't had a dream about a baby in a long time. Before we found out about our male factor infertility, I would dream about babies all the time. After the news, my subconscious just didn't have any hope I guess. My subconscious has hope again & what a wonderful feeling. I thought I would share the three dreams I had last night. Simple and not meaningful probably to anyone but me.

The first one was in a big bedroom with fancy, plush covers. I think it was red with gold trim and gold sheets. I was laying on the bed with the baby watching TV. The baby feel asleep but I didn't want to leave them there. That's all I remember.

The next was me and my brother in a car & I didn't know how to hook up the baby in the car seat. I was getting anxious, but then I made a funny face at the baby and she/he smiled back at me. And I thought to myself, I can do this.

The final one is the weirdest one, I was actually the physician in this dream. There was a couple (two women) with a baby. One woman was upset and rambling about how people think they can't be good parents. The baby is crying in the bassinet under the window. I remember her pacing the room and me shaking my head. She then said its because we are two ladies. I told her no & that there are other things she should look at. This angered her.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Horay for my left ovary!

Today is CD 12. I am five days behind my very best friend, Calee, as we document together. What is amazing to me is the timing of it all: everything has been so nearly exact that it is frightening. Everything from purchasing our homes and vehicles to the discovery of our male factor infertility. It's quite scary. I really shouldn't tell her she's flicted. It just reflects poorly on me.

Though we doubt a lot, Calee and I never doubt why we became so close when we did, and not a minute sooner. Neither of us would have been ready (or even needed) a friendship on this level. And right now, I am realizing that for both of us (all four of us!) this cycle holds more hope than any before it. As Calee puts it, "all the factors are in place." Nothing is missing. Actually, I think she said "all the ingredients are here." And though we took slightly different paths on our fertility journey, the possibility is there that our due dates could be six days apart. INSANE.

I'm still not at a point where I can ask God for exactly what I want. So right now, I still pray for the strength for what He does bring my way. But you know what I can pray for and not feel a bit selfish?? I can pray for Calee & Ryan's success, because I know that no matter what happens, I could not be jealous. It's impossible to know what they have been through, to have been through what they have been through and begrudge them of it. But I can be thankful of today's news.....

I have six follicles! My left ovary loves Clomid. I have one 1.7cm, three 1.3cm, and one 1.0 cm on my left ovary; one 1.0 cm on my right ovary. The three medium size ones might or might not catch up with the larger follicle, but it's apparently not something I need to stress about. If I get a positive OPK, I give the trigger shot that night. If not, I give it Friday night, with or without a damn smilie face. And that makes me smile. :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

CD 16 & waiting for a temp rise

Last month was a disappointment because we missed my surge and didnt inseminate. I had an almost positive on CD 14, but since it was my first time using the OPKs and Clomid I continued to wait for a darker line. CD 15 I had some right sided pain, but was still thinking it was a false alarm given the lack of positive OPK. Then CD 16 my temperature began to rise telling me I had already ovulated. So I researched the discussion groups to find that some women will not have a full positive and that you have to learn what your pattern is that indicates your LH surge. So our failure last month proved helpful this month.

Although I am waiting for my temp rise to verify that ovulation has occurred, this same pattern happened this month, but we took the almost positive as a positive on CD 14 (7pm was the "peak") and proceeded to inseminate twice within 48 hours afterwords. My first true 2W&W where all the factors are aligned. Only time will tell. I'll take any % chance over 0% chance.

Ryan's participation in the process was beautiful & better than I could have imagined. Once we finished, I was thinking about how I could do this every month for months if that is what it takes. I was completely at peace with it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Praying for a smilie face...

Today we bought a box of OPKs at Target. When I informed my nurse practicioner at our last appointment that I was worried about the LH surge because I had never been able to detect it before, she suggested we purchase the digital kind of OPK. We did, and it seems easy enough-- if you have no surge that day, you get a blank circle-- if you do have a surge, you get a smilie face. How appropriate! I know if it happens I'll be jumping for joy, calling Dr. M-L to set up an appointment for my IUI the next day and stressing about giving myself the injection that night.

That much I know. What I haven't figured out yet is how to go about your normal day NOT thinking about whether or not you're going to get a smilie face when you pee on a stick an hour after you get home. How on earth is anyone supposed to understand that? As I've said before, we've become pretty adept at pretending nothing is going on, but this gets into another whole territory.

Before when I've used the kits, it was more for practice when we were getting ready to do the at-home ICI. They were Target brand and $15/box. These gosh dang things are $30/box, which is a little ridiculous, but the fact that I am about 16 hours from spending over $400 at the pharmacy tomorrow puts it in perspective.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My cognitive behavioral therapy session with myself. Blogging is SO much cheaper than a therapist...

I thrive on those things in life that are not easy. I usually love to rise to an occasion and do that which seems difficult. I like to feel productive & useful. I don't like to feel self absorbed or bored, but accomplished. I live my out my career and marriage with only one goal - No regrets.

Why should infertility be any different? Why can I not step up to the plate and go for it? Make the fertility clinic appointments. Isn't it logical to say NO to work and YES to my future family? There is logically no better time than now given my career. I have been trying to figure out what is really holding me back. My thoughts are fear of failure and fear of what others will think. The fear of failure is on many, many levels. The fear of failure is ultimately defined by my ridiculous expectations I have for myself. (I have a goal to flesh these out more in the future). Fears that haven't stood in my way before, but do now... In my past experiences, these fears have served to motivate me, why is this different? I say my priorities are my family, but I am not practicing what I preach. Who am I to deny my youthful self and my dear husband of this opportunity out of fear?

I have got to catch myself as my thinking has been skewed - the thinking and rationalizations that have supplied me with reasons not to pursue more aggressive means. I have friends to thank for challenging me. God works in powerful ways. I think at this point he may be shouting.

A lesson tearfully learned this week - I have great fears to overcome. I must overcome. I will overcome. Only with God's grace.

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. 
-Joshua J. Marine
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
- Anatole France
The strength of the heart comes from the soundness of the faith. 
- Saudi Arabian Proverb

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ovaries, please cooperate....

Day Five. I think I feel twinges in my ovaries. Maybe. It might be my imagination, which I imagine has become fairly creative as of late. I have only taken 200 mg of Clomid and another 100 due tonight. But I promise you that little sharp, short pains are happening on both sides. I would have previously been unsure that I even knew exactly where my ovaries are -- but ever since the laproscopy and I realized that the pains in my right side every month actually were something (my right ovary ovulating or at least trying to) -- I am positive that my ovaries are there. And that they are sore. I know that is wishful thinking, but if wishful thinking produces big fat follicles and lots of them, then who cares?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

CD 1 finally arrives

So, my new cycle came on Friday, which was very exciting for us, as it means that the cycle we attempt IUI is finally here. I say finally like we've been waiting for a decade for this or something, but really only a little over a year all-in-all.

I called the clinic and in a flurry of activity we were directed to come to the clinic by 1pm same day. Keep in mind, we live two hours away from our clinic and both Jason and I were at work on very busy days. We managed to shake free and got there with 20 minutes to spare.

The Clomid check u/s looked great and the blood pregnancy test was negative (duh - I had a D&C exactly three weeks prior) so that means that tomorrow night (CD 3) I start 100 mg of Clomid for five days! They gave us a ton of information as usual, but I am trying to take it one "chunk" of time at a time. The nurse practicioner just told me to relax and that all I had to focus on for now was taking the Clomid as directed and she'd see me again in 11 days to check follicle size and give me some more direction about the other medications (Ovidrel, Doxycycline, & Endometrin). So really, this is the easy part of it all I guess. I'm also pretty anxious about the LH predictor kits. I've never been able to detect a surge with them. Hopefully the Clomid with change all that. Either way, she said she'd give me date to give myself the shot even if I haven't detected a surge by that point. I'm hoping and praying for a detectable surge to up my chances.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Things I am Thankful for:

In the spirit of being so utterly down after finding out another (very young) friend is pregnant the day after a mindlessly boring and depressing baby shower, I decided that I needed a reminder for all the things I am thankful for. Here goes.

  • My husband
  • Calee - she's the only person outside my marriage who understands it all on every level
  • my parents and in-laws (they're going to be great grandparents if it ever happens)
  • my house
  • my health
  • my job

That's all I've got right now, but I'll work on it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What does God mean???

So I totally stole this off of the Fertile Thoughts webpage, but I thought it was incredibly touching.

"What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility?”

Couples experiencing infertility often receive well-meaning but extremely insensitive "advice." We can all list the most popular ones: "Just relax and you'll get pregnant," or "adopt and you'll get pregnant," or "things happen for a reason", of the most painful from those who think they've got the goods on God's plan, "Maybe God never meant for you to have children." The sheer audacity of making a statement like that never fails to amaze me.

"These same people would never walk up to someone seeking treatment for cancer and say, "Maybe God never meant for you to live." However, because I am infertile, I'm supposed to get on with my life. It's hard to understand that people can not see infertility for what it is, a disease for which I have to seek treatment. What if Jonas Salk had said to the parents of polio victims,
"Maybe God meant for thousands of our children to be cripples, live in an iron lung or die." What if he'd never tried to find a cure? Who could think for one minute that that was God's plan?

"What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility?

"I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility.

"No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down.

"Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.

"While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Someone else's hands

Tomorrow is our IUI consultation with our fertility clinic. I'm very nervous and Jason and I are very excited. My nervousness stems from the fact that every time I walk in the door at the practice, I'm given loads of information that takes my tired mind a week (at minumum) to process. The reasoning behind the excitement is a lot easier to pinpoint.

So.... tonight, I'm channeling my nervous energy into something semi-productive. Well, it is productive, but I really should be fixing the button on the slacks I want to wear to work tomorrow. I'm taking the tangible portion of the aforementioned "loads of information" and getting organized. So I sit beside what was an hour ago a mash of patient information packets, consents, clinic policies, lab work results, surgical findings, and parking receipts --- I honestly do feel better. My theory is that if the papers containing all of the overwhelming information are in order in the notebook, the little clouds of knowledge in my mind will somehow file themselves away neatly as well. I know that tomorrow brings with it the hope of a child, but also more information than I could possibly hope to wrap my mind around in the week it usually takes me -- I think I'll set a goal of two weeks for myself on this one -- that is if I've got that kind of time. I'm on CD 24 tomorrow. Clomid will start anyday, and I'm happy that Calee ventured there first. Fear of the unknown sucks.

My surgery was 9 days ago. Because of an iodine allergy, my doctor and Jason and I chose to do a laproscopic hysterscopy to be sure my tubes were open before we spent thousands of dollars on IUI and donor sperm. My iodine allergy, oddly enough, turned out to be a godsend. My doctor was able to find what she may have been able to see on a hysterosalpingogram, but would not have been able to correct: uterine polyps, stage I endometriosis, and ovarian cysts. All of which she was able to take care of while I was in the diagnostic surgery. Great news, but all shocking for Jason, who (along with me) believes that the only news he would receive was that my tubes were open. They are, by the way. So between God and Dr. Mitchell-Leef, I hope they can get me pregnant.

As I await tomorrow's exacting instructions from Dr. M-L and the clinic, I'm just glad it's in someone else's hands. Two pretty damn smart someone elses at that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Impossible to start from the beginning...

So I composed a little timeline on the side. Unfortunately, the facts are there stated, but the feelings - grief, anger, hopes, and disappointments - deserve to be documented as well. I want to document how I feel at this time in my life because honestly, I never want to take anything for granted in the future. Life is full of obstacles. I have been one of those individuals who overcomes personal difficulties and prefers not to further reflect on the negatives. This journey is the first time in my life that I feel if I don't really own my emotions, then I will regret it in the future. 

The Anniversary

Anniversaries are wonderful, right? Well, not always. Yesterday marked a year since Jason and I found out that we would not be having children without some drastic intervention. The progression has been intense over the past year, but I'll give you the easy to read "large print" version of our emotions that first year and to our current place in the baby game.

Jason and I had some slight (very slight) reason to believe that we may not be able to conceive as easily as some. He had a routine physical in late December 2006 at which we asked his physician if we could have Jason's sperm count done. The doc said "sure" and that it was an easy test with same-day results. He gave us the order to go down to the lab and have the test done.

On a Friday afternoon, we went to the lab and they told us that the portion of the hospital that performs the sperm analysis accepted their last samples at 2pm, but that Jason could come back early Monday morning and she would rush the sample over to he hospital so that results would be as accurate as possible. She gave us the sterile cup and everything so that it could be done in the privacy of our own home as long as she had it within an thirty minutes.

Monday morning, January 8, 2007: Jason drops the sample at the lab at 8:30 am sharp. At noon, we still have not heard anything. We called the lab and they told us results had been faxed to Jason's doctor. Jason gets the call from the doctor, who will not discuss results, but simply tells us that we need to see him and he can't see us until the following day. I break down. We go to the lab, pick up the results and read for ourselves: "no spermatozoa detected in sample." We sat in the parking lot of the lab in Jason's car. We read it 100 different times, trying to find a different explaination for what we already knew. I expected a low count, that's all. Low count is fine, lots can be done. But I did not expect that there would be zero.

We both cried. A lot. We made love. Then we got ready: we had family coming over that night for a football game and we had to pretend that everything was fine. Jason and I got an early start on pretending everything is fine. Just hours after hearing the mind blowing news, we were doing it. We're absolute pros now, and it comes pretty easy most of the time. It's kind of a theme now. Calee and I trade advice on the best ways to either appear real at it.

The next afternoon, I called Calee and told her the news. She was shocked. She also told me that she was going to skip class and drive to be with me. I didn't let her, but the fact that she offered was enough. Over the next couple of months, she told me how great I was holding up and that she didn't think she could do it as well as I had if it was Ryan..... wow.

I became obsessive about researching Jason's condition, possible resolutions, and options on financing fertility treatments. I spent at least six hours a day on the internet. Over the next five months, we made and cancelled a few appointments at fertility clinics. Jason wasn't ready yet, and while it broke my heart at the time, I probably wasn't either. Finally, in June, we went to a doctor who specialized in reproductive urology for males. He did some genetic testing that ruled out cystic fibrosis and other chromosomal issues, but did not find a physical reason for Jason's infertility. Even all the hormone testing had come back normal. So, after ultrasounds, ten or so vials of blood, a doplar and five months, we knew little more than we did before.... except for this: we DID definitely want children, and we were going to find out what it took to have them.

When Jason and I first discovered our problem, the idea of donor sperm wasn't even something that either of us were willing to consider. Why have children, if they can't really be yours??? But we were missing a key piece of the puzzle that should have been more obvious to both of us, who had wonderful families: family is not about genetics at all, no one bit. I thought about what my reaction would be if I found out that one of my parents wasn't really my parent. I would be shocked, but it wouldn't change anything major in my life at all.

We planned on doing artificial insemination at home, but had a set back with my OB/GYN's office. Fortunately though, this setback resulting in the realization that the stress of trying to predict my own ovulation when I can't even reach my own cervix was a little too much to handle for me. So, I began the research again. I called three different fertility clinics and chose one with Jason's help. We had our first appointment on December 6th of this year and things are looking good so far (I'll update that in another blog about our plan). I actually just cancelled the appointment we had a another clinic today because I feel so optimisic about this plan. We're doing IUI and it could be very soon!!!

Sometimes even really shitty anniversaries can be good.

And believe it or not, that is the SHORT track to how we got to where we are today.