Thursday, December 26, 2013


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and made it through the day with as few tears as possible. I thought, going into Christmas, that I would be good, due to the fact that we would not have any little ones present but alas, my MIL could talk about nothing else but her co-worker who just pops babies out like a rabbit and my BIL's upcoming engagement and need to get his future wife KU right away. I wanted to put my hands over my ears!

My DH and I had a humble but very nice Christmas. We agreed on no gifts, but I couldn't help myself. He lost his job last year and our business is struggling so any extra money we have goes to IF treatments but I have had a little money squirreled away and used it to buy him an iPad. He, in turn, made me a beautiful glass sculpture (he is a glass blower) of me holding a big huge heart, which he says is his heart. :)

So, anyhoo, I haven't been posting much because I am taking a break this cycle. I have not temped and did not use opks so I don't know if I O'd or not. I had been doing really well not focusing on TTC until I started having O pains. My body, apparently, didn't want me to stop paying attention to its every twinge and I started getting a little obsessy but I am keeping it under control for the most part. I ordered Pregnitude and Spearmint tea (to help with lowering my androgen levels) and when AF arrives next Friday I will be ready to go for my next IUI. The big #2. At this point it looks like we will only be doing three with my last one falling right around my 34th birthday (if we need it). After that, I don't know what we will do.

It has become a distinct possibility that we may not continue with treatment after IUI #3. Due to our company's financial woes, I am not taking a paycheck and we do not have enough money in savings for IVF and a child. It's a bit of a catch 22: use the savings for IVF and not have money when a child arrives or don't use the money and still, have no child. I have begun to ponder the idea that this just may not happen for us at all. We may never have a child and while I am not ok with that, I feel like I would be making our lives worse overall by insisting that we drain or savings for the chance of having a baby. Sigh. I guess I will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

For now, though, I will focus on not focusing on TTC!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Little Time to Reboot

Other cycle breaks I have take in the past have not been self imposed and have been, in fact, loathed. This time, I have chosen this break. I could not allow my business, regular things in life and the holidays compete with TTC and treatment. And so far, it's been going really well! I am not temping, not checking my CM, have no plans to opk and the DH and I are BDing when we want to as opposed to when we have to, which makes it much, much more fun! I am not worried about what my CM is like before we start and whether or not I need to either give myself a helping hand first, or break out the preseed. I'm not thinking about whether or not DH's sperm will be ok, during and I am not standing on my head afterwards. So all and all, although I am losing a month by not really trying to get KU, I think I am gaining a lot in that my mind and heart are more at ease without all the TTC stuff taking up so much space and energy.

I didn't think I would actually be able to take a step back and not get all crazy brained but it hasn't been as difficult as I thought. Interestingly enough, I only realized that today is cd 8 because I got on TB and saw my own ticker!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory!

I don’t actually feel like writing a blog post today but for some reason I feel a strange obligation to do so. Maybe it’s because I really write these more for myself, like a journal. Maybe I’ll feel a little better when I write this all out.

I’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Everything was pretty much perfect for this IUI. Even my frame of mind: I was the Queen of Positive Thinking. DH’s sperm count was through the roof and I had one perfect, and one pretty damn close to being perfect, sized follie. But, alas, AF has arrived and despite my staring at every test, willing the line to get darker, they only got lighter and lighter with each cup of FMU.

The only real problem I had was the fact that during the time of implantation, me, my DH and our two employees had two days to move everything in our 3000 square foot warehouse 25 miles away to the warehouse my DH built on our property. It was stressful and physically exhausting. My life is pretty much always stressful and physically exhausting. I run a pretty big business. I have two great employees and my DH helps a lot, but at the end of the day, I make all the decisions and I run the company. And it’s a company that fell into my lap. Originally, I came to this company to help my SIL. Her husband passed away years ago and left the company to her. The person running the company was screwing her over royally and when she asked me to come work at the company for a little while between her firing the first person and finding a new person to run everything (she has no idea how to run a company), I of course said yes and dove right in. It was only supposed to be for a month or two. Now, two and a half years later, after investing our entire retirement to try to save the company, DH and I are owners and my SIL bailed. She had a problem with meth years ago but had been clean for five years when I started working for her. This summer with the help of her now incarcerated BF, she relapsed. It was awful. My DH and I had to take her children away from her. She had needles all over her house and hadn’t fed her children in days. She was involving them in her delusions (brought on by the intravenous meth use) and her friends called me in the middle of the night to tell me that she was in her attic pulling wires out of the walls because she was sure the FBI and police had bugged her home. Unbelievable and horrifying. On top of that, in her drug induced craziness, she sold the building our company used to occupy. We had only a few weeks to figure out where to go and how to do it.

So it’s been a little nuts. Life has been a little hectic. But lots of people’s lives are hectic and they still get knocked up, so why not me? At least that’s what I tell myself. My life isn't going to calm down any time in the near future. I have a company and 18 animals that depend on me. And I am not getting any younger, I'll be 34 in March! I don't have the time to wait for my life to be less stressful to create the ideal conditions for implantation, if that's where this one failed. Ugh. Will it ever work? I didn't finish with work in time to call the RE's office before they closed today so I don't think we will even be able to get in for my CD3 u/s. But I think I am ok with that. Maybe I just need a break for a cycle. A break that I have chosen.  No temping, no opking. Just a break. Maybe.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dr. Google, tell me what I want hear

Call me the Google Queen cause this girl has been on a google search binge. My searches have included everything from, "BFP after BFN" to images of pee sticks woman have posted of the progression from the day after their trigger to a BFN to their BFPs. While there was a faint line on my test this morning (from the HCG trigger/boosters), I POAS after a four, almost five, hour hold tonight and it is stark white. Not even a hint of a line til after the test dried.  Yes, 10dpiui is still early. Yes, I could still get a BFP in a few days but I just don't have a good feeling. We moved our company to our home on Thursday and Friday and I think the stress of that and the physical exertion of moving a packed 3000 square foot warehouse in two days was too much for my body. Sad.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Update on the IUI

Well hello everyone! I've been MIA due to all the Holiday craziness and was away from my computer. It's pretty hard to post from my phone so sorry for the delay!

I had my first IUI last Wednesday 11/27/13 and it went really well. My RE said that he thinks both larger follies were in the running. :) And guess what? DH's sperm count was insane! 126 mil! We were pretty ecstatic and of course in true male fashion my DH stupidly said as we went to the car, "Well, I did my part, I guess it's just up to you!" Men. He didn't know and didn't mean to be a douche in saying that and I could tell that he immediately regretted the way it sounded so I just let it go.

So, now we wait. I am in a good place, listening to my meditations and trying to keep a positive mindset. I'm 6dpiui and have some cramping and had extreme nausea this morning but I am trying not to read too much in to that. For the moment, I am happy, optimistic and ready for this to have worked!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The power of positive thinking

I am going all in. I'm putting all my emotional chips in and going for the win. No bluffing. No second guessing. I am convinced that this is going to work! I had already decided this, before my u/s this morning because this cycle, the power of positive thinking is going to make my dreams come true.

Yes, I know it sounds a little silly and weird but really? I need to be all in this IUI. Mind, body and heart. I have forgiven my body for its past transgressions and am completely willing to believe that my body can successfully do its part in creating a tiny human.

These are all the thoughts I have been repeating to myself for the past three days and I am going to keep repeating them because ya know what? I have two follies that look GREAT for my IUI which has been scheduled for Wednesday morning!!!!! I actually have three follies on my right side at 21.5, 16 and 10.5. But my RE said the 10.5 (obviously) won't be ready by Wednesday morning. BUT two of those beautiful little embies will be and my RE said they both look really good! My lining is great and I am read to go!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Circle + Bloom

Despite the fact that I am battling some pretty embarrassing side effects from Femara and have to clench-walk to the bathroom every hour, I am in a good head space. I attribute this to the newest addition to my protocol: Circle + Bloom. I somewhat hesitantly shelled out the cash to download their IUI/IVF program because once I found it, I decided that if I don't try it and this cycle fails, I will forever wonder if adding it to my daily routine would have been the thing that could have made it work. 

I started the program without really thinking that it would help me relax and/or help me change my mindset but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, while listening to the introduction, I actually started to cry (in a good way). The woman who created and narrates the program said some encouraging words about struggling with infertility and apparently it was just the encouragement that I needed and tears of relief (or maybe acknowledgement?) just flowed unwittingly down my checks.

The meditation helps me to feel much more relaxed and reminds me that a positive attitude about my body succeeding at what I want it to do, is the best approach. Whereas last treatment cycle I felt overwhelmed by the side effects, pains and changes in my body, this cycle I am embracing them. If I am having side effects, that means the medicine is in my system, doing its job. The pains I feel? They are good, not annoying. They mean my ovaries are doing their job and the bloating means those beautiful little follies are plumping up and filling out, just like they are supposed to.

I like this mindset and I like me better when I am able to think this way. I am trying not to entertain the little negative voices in my head. Instead I am trying (hesitantly but I am trying) to truly believe that this cycle will work and that my body will succeed. I am filling my brain and body with positive energy and thoughts and hoping believing that this time will work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moving on up

Well my baseline appointment was yesterday and I had a lot of baby follies! 6 follies on my right side all under 8 mm and 8 follies on my left side all under 6mm. When my RE came in and I told him that we were ready to move on to our first IUI he was very happy. He said I have responded well to medication in the past and with all those follicles we were bound to get one that would get that baby. If I were just starting out in this process, I think I would be more excited but right now I am going with cautious optimism. There's a caveat to all that "we'll get you that baby" talk. One of my follies needs to be between 18-20 mm in order for them to do the IUI. I've never had a follie that size. They are always either, much bigger or much smaller. So I am going to try the Cycle + Bloom meditations along with all my usual vitamins and supplements, Femara and good ole positive thinking.
I've never been one to keep secrets, especially from my sisters. Although I am private, I am pretty much an open book and a terrible liar. I'm still contemplating whether or not I am going to tell my sister prior to her arrival next week. My sister is awesome, she really is, but  I can't emotionally afford to get too excited for this IUI and that is exactly what she will do. She will be ridiculously excited and want to talk it to death. I can barely handle my own disappointment when I get my BFNs, let alone anyone else's disappointment and if this IUI doesn't work. *Sigh*

Monday, November 18, 2013


I have massive anxiety today! I have my baseline appointment today and have a ton of questions for my RE. I am going to ask about Pregnitude and for them to up my Femara dosage in hopes that we can have IUI #1 next week. Last cycle I had a huge follie and a small follie. I think the huge one was overripe and the small one didn't get big enough in time and I don't want to spend the money on an IUI for follies that won't work. My DH was actually pretty hard to convince to do the IUI. He hasn't warmed to the idea of having so much assistance in getting me KU. He just wants us to get pregnant the old fashion way, if it's "meant to be," and has had a hard time adjusting to me taking all the meds and all the tests and everything. I know he doesn't mean for it to but his disappointment about having to get help makes me feel like a disappointment. 

We had a long talk on Saturday. He said would be happy either way. He says that he would love to have kids and knows that we would be awesome parents but he is completely 100% ok if we can't get pregnant because he is very happy with just me, without us having kids, but doesn't want to hold me back from any treatment we can afford because he knows it is important to me. I explained to him that I can't help the way I feel, that the burning desire in side of me, to have a child, doesn't feel like something I can just make go away. I never wanted to feel this way, in fact, I used to think that women who went through all these treatments were crazy and that they should just accept that they can't have kids. I felt that way about my sister and the crazy person she turned into when she was going through infertility treatments. Now, that I am in those same shoes, I feel bad for thinking that way. I feel bad for not trying to understand what my sister went through and I feel crazy for feeling the way I do now.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Inconvenient Timing

I'm 11 dpo and this morning's BFN wasn't really a big surprise. Ya know, because of the usual: I suck at making tiny humans! I'm looking forward to next cycle and my IUI which I just realized is going to be at a very inconvenient time. My sister and her family are coming for Thanksgiving, as they do every year, and they usually arrive the day before. However, she has decided they would like to come two days before turkey day. I am so looking forward to seeing them, however the day they plan to come will be (most likely if this cycle is the same as the others) the day I will be having my IUI. So how do I explain that one? Sorry Sis, the DH and I have to take a two hour road trip for a doctor's appointment, could you just hang out for a bit? AND, I'll have to give myself a booster shot on Thanksgiving day. I can just see myself reaching in the fridge to pull out my Pregnyl that has HCG written very largely across the box with my sister looking over my shoulder. Sigh. I think I am about to be outed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Internal Monologue

This is the running conversation I have had in my head this morning. I am incorrigible.

External Optimist Me: (after feeling a slight pinch/pull in my lower abdomen) Eeeek! Was that implantation?

Logical Me: You are 5dpo. Stop.

EOM: (after using the bathroom and noticing CM) Ooooo! I haven't had that type of CM before, have I? I should check FF and compare all the signs I have ever recorded at 5dpo. This could be an early pregnancy sign!

LM: You are 5dpo. Stop. This is a natural cycle. You don't O mature eggs on your own. Knock it off.

EOM: Maybe I should just google the symptoms for 5dpo? You never know! It only takes once! Stranger things have happened!

LM: You hate it when people say that stuff. Just stop.

EOM: My boobs hurt! Maybe...

LM: Your  boobs always hurt from O to AF. Just stop it. SMH!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Feeling... off

I'm 4dpo here of a natural cycle which was forced upon me by the powers that be at Blue Shield. Why they can't seem to communicate with my RE's office is beyond me. I even called them and while they said my cycle was covered, they didn't get in contact with my RE's office in time to get me in for my baseline! I think I am just going to have to get used to only being able to have medicated cycles, every other cycle. *sigh* Such is life. I am not very optimistic about this cycle, being that I such at creating mature tiny human eggs but there is always that little glimmer of hope in the back of my mind that says, what if?

From about 9 last night I have felt off. 4 dpo is way early to have any symptoms but I just don't feel right. I feel car sick and have cramps. Nawt fun.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Keeping IF in The Closet

We are not "out" about our struggles with IF. We have not told family and friends. There are many reasons for this but the biggest one is that I am not ready to come out. I am not emotionally prepared to admit to the world that I am broken and I am not ready to hear what the world has to say about that. I do not wish to welcome the world and its opinions into our bedroom or doctor's office.

By not telling anyone, I still have a space in my life where I am not broken. To everyone but me, I am just a women without children, not a women who fails at creating tiny humans. When I am with everyone else, my IF does not define me, and by coming out, I would no longer be just me.

Still, there have been many times during conversations with my mom or sister's that I have almost just blurted it out but I have stopped myself because at this point, I have done so much of this alone and have not told anyone for so long, I imagine that they will be hurt that I didn't tell them. I can see, however, that the time to tell them will come. It's like my heart and mind have started to search for a time to tell them without my permission and it is for that reason that I have started to try and find resources to help them cope with my brokeness, and why I didn't share it with them, and help them cope with me.

There are three posts I have found that I really related to and I hope that one day I can direct people to them and they will understand things a little better.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Riding the Pine

IF makes you a little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy. I have never been so obsessed with something in my life. I’ve never felt so completely encompassed by one thing but I can’t get having a baby off my mind.

I have five beautiful nieces and one nephew. I adore them all. Two of them live close enough that I have even been able to have a hand in raising them as my SIL is a single mom and has needed a helping hand more often than not. I have been blessed to have them in my life every day until a few months ago when my SIL fell off the wagon (meth). To make an incredibly long story short, my SIL is no longer speaking to my DH and me because we do not agree with her lifestyle choices and does not allow us to see the girls. This has just about wrecked me. I have always consoled myself with the idea that although we have not been able to get pregnant, we have the girls and we can spoil them and love them as if they were our own. Now that we don’t have them, I am finding the BFNs affecting me far more than they did before. The highs and lows of IF are much more high and low and I am finding it harder to recover and keep a rational and positive mindset. I find it hard to focus on work and hard to motivate myself to do anything at home. I read blogs, I read about treatment, I read about natural treatments. I worry, a lot. I worry that because we only have enough coverage left for two IUIs before we reach our insurance cap, we will have no choice but to stop trying and just be. My husband lost his job last year and although we still have our company, we don’t have the type of disposable income we used to have that would allow me to just plug right on ahead with treatment after treatment. Actually, "worry" isn’t the right word. I obsess. I obsess about these things. I think about them constantly. I put all my energy into thinking about having a baby and it’s pretty ridiculous. I recognize that this is not healthy and that I need to try and live my life without letting IF and my determination to have a baby take over but it’s a rough road, especially when riding the pine because I feel like I have no control over it right now.

On the plus side, my RE’s office called and said that they got approval for my next treatment cycle and for IUI #1! If all goes the way it should I will be having my first IUI the week of Thanksgiving. Now that is something to feel good about.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Source of Courage

I envy the women I see, toting around a little one (LO) in a carrier or sling. I watch the way they stare at their baby with love and awe. Some of these women look tired and a little worn out but the way their faces relax and their eyes light up when they stare at their LO makes me tear up. That look, that completeness they feel, that is what makes me continue these stupid treatments that make me miserable, in pain and don’t seem to be working. I derive the courage to continue from the hope that one day, I might get to feel that too.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The waiting place...

I am now in the waiting place. Since the insurance company didn't get back to my RE's office fast enough I was unable to get my baseline u/s and meds for this cycle. I don't have any hope of conceiving naturally since I suck at maturing tiny human eggs so I am just waiting for my next cycle. I will temp and check CM and all that fun stuff so that I have unmediated cycle data to compare my medicated cycle data to but beyond that I just get to wait. Good times!

*Goat update for those who are interested: Melody is doing much better. Her little face is healing and she is eating and drinking, thank God!

What a week! (Friday's post that somehow got deleted)

What. A. Week. I got a BFN on Monday morning, followed by an incredibly painful AF on Tuesday. Pain beyond belief. So to top off an already crappy beginning to my week, the DH and I returned from work on Wednesday afternoon to discover two stray dogs outside our fence. When DH chased them off they he noticed blood on them and when they ran towards our goat enclosure, he noticed that one of our goats was severely wounded and another was missing. He followed the dogs, on his quad, to try and find where they lived but they took off into a part of the forest where there are no trails. Upon checking on the goats, we found that Rose, one of our caramel pygmy’s had been killed and Melody our grey pygmy was severely wounded. We aren't sure if she is going to make it as most of the bites, tares and punctures are around her mouth and face and she won’t eat or drink. To top off my week, my RE’s office couldn't get approval fast enough from the insurance company to get me in for a baseline u/s. Now I have to wait until next cycle for treatment. Fabulous.

Friday, October 18, 2013

At the Edge of The Rabbit Hole

POAS update: 10dpo. The line is much lighter today, almost non-existent. On the plus side that means my trigger is pretty much gone, so a good positive after today would be a real BFP.

When you really, really want something you'd be willing to do almost anything to get it, right? As long as that "anything" doesn't require you going against your morals or nature or God, correct? Well, that is where I am struggling. At this point I don't feel we can get KU with just TI and meds. There's obviously something stopping my DH's perfectly good swimmers from meeting up with what look like, via TV u/s, perfectly good and mature eggies (perfected with meds and O'd due to a trigger). My RE recommended that we just go for an IUI right off the bat, which I didn't want to do. I wanted to make a baby with my husband, not make a baby using my husband. The more I have thought about it, the more I have strayed from my original stance. I mean, we're still using his sperm. It's still coming from him. We would just be using a doctor's help to get it where it needs to be. Right? And what is wrong with that? (Or maybe the fact that I keep having to reassure myself that there is nothing wrong with that is exactly what is wrong with that.)

I was never adamantly opposed to AI or an IUI, I just wanted to have a baby my way. I was raised Catholic and I know the Church's stance on AI and IVF. I don't feel like it is going against my morals or nature or God to have some assistance, regardless of what the Church says, it's just putting everything all in the right place at the right time and letting nature do the rest. But I wonder sometimes, about what I am putting myself through and what I would be willing to put myself through if the IUI doesn't work. I feel like I am on the brink of the rabbit hole. Can I just go down it a little bit? By accepting and embracing the IUI am I opening the door to IVF? Will my "Catholic guilt" even allow me to?

I have always said IVF was out of the question. To be honest, I have always said that it is because of the cost. In truth, it isn't just the expense, because I know myself well enough to know that if I decided to do something that expensive, I would find a way to pay for it; it's the whole "playing God" thing. Now, as we have been TTC for so long and these two medicated cycles haven't worked, I find myself thinking more and more about IVF. Is IVF like an IUI? Just putting everything together in the right place at the right time? Or is it more? I've heard that playing God is when you interfere with the natural process of things. Does that make fertilizing eggies in a Petri dish playing God? Is that interfering really with the natural process of things? Or, am I straying from my original thought process because I just want it that bad? Am I just willing to disregard my original thought process because of selfishness? Or is it just because I've learned so much more and am beginning to believe that IVF is just another way of creating the perfect set of circumstances for nature to succeed?

In an article on IVF I read in the Catholic World Report, the author states, "The bottom line is that the Church views the child as a gift from God, not a right..." ( It's an article about why artificial insemination and invitro fertilization are not allowed. I was raised Catholic and understand the Church's teachings and reasoning's for many of its beliefs but here's one (probably because it effects me so much) I can't get past. This sentiment hurts me a lot. Why can't I have that gift? What have I done wrong that makes it so I am not allowed the gift of a child from God? Needle junkies and deadbeats get that gift, easily! Why not me?

You may be sitting here thinking: This chick is cray. She hasn't even found out if this cycle is a definite fail, yet! I know, it probably seems insane to be thinking so far ahead, but things with IF move at light speed (and at a snails pace) and to stay sane you have to be ready to move on, move forward and look forward to the next glimmer of hope out there. If we do the IUIs and that doesn't work, do we just stop? Can I just stop, knowing that there is still another way to create my own tiny human? I never thought I would have to think about medication and once medicated I never thought I would have to think about AI, yet here we are: at the edge of the rabbit hole.

*I would like to add that IF and IF treatment is incredibly personal and can be a difficult journey. I do not believe that AI or IVF is inherently wrong and do not judge anyone who chooses those avenues. This is just my thought process.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Impatience... not a virtue

Before I got out of bed this morning I decided to stop feeling bad for myself. I think that maybe I was trying to protect myself from the worst by thinking the worst. Really, I just need to be prepared for the bad while still staying positive about what could be.

As for a POAS update, I tested this morning (9dpo) and the line actually looks slightly darker than yesterday's line. Since yesterday's was quite a squinter, I did not expect a line today. The one on the right is this morning's. The one on the left is yesterday morning's. I'm not really sure what to think of it and know that rather than speculate, it's probably better to just test again tomorrow and see what happens (see! I'm doing better already). But, for posterity's sake I figured I would upload the pic anyhow! It's probably still my trigger and booster and probably has something to do with me drinking less water than usual last night but ya never know!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Hodgepodge of Blah-ness

I am trying to stay positive. I really am. Every time a negative thought crosses my mind, I try to override it but it's not really working. Today I am 8dpo/9dpt (with boosters on 1dpo and 4dpo). At 6 and 7 dpo I had pulls and twinges and nausea and the works but today? Nothing. Nada. Not a sign. Except for irritability, but this is usually when my usual PMS irritability rears its ugly head each month. I don't feel pregnant.

Many women that have been pregnant told me they just knew when they were preggers. It was like a light turned on inside their heads. I don't have that. Hence the negative thoughts. I had a squinter positive test this morning but I am sure that it is the trigger and boosters. I am feeling pretty blah about it. Once again we did everything right. There were two follies. Our timing was impeccable but like I said, I don't feel pregnant. I know it's only 8dpo and I know implantation can still occur. I know it. I do. But I don't feel it. And I think there is something to be said for woman's intuition.

We are supposed to go meet our closest friend's new baby this Saturday and I was hoping against hope that I would be able to say quietly that I feel good about this cycle. Now, I think I'll just say AF is coming on Monday. These are the only friends that know we are going through treatment. They don't know specifics and I don't discuss it often but when the wife had a MC prior to this successful pregnancy, I told her a little about our troubles and about our seeing an RE. She's very sensitive and was so thoughtful and considerate when she was pregnant. Every time I talked to her, she talked about everyday stuff and barely mentioned her pregnancy so I don't anticipate this being a difficult visit (aside from the fact that she can make a tiny human and I can't).

Sigh. Why can't it just work? Grrrrrr.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trigger time... Like "Hammer Time" but not...

So I had my monitoring appointment yesterday and when my RE looked at my right ovary the nurse said, "When you make a follicle, you REALLY make a follicle!" It measured at 29 mm. I, of course blew on my fingernails and shined them up on my shoulder and said, "Yup. I do what I can." *insert ridiculously cheesy grin here* On my left side, for the very first time, I actually had a good looking follie as well at 16 mm! Holy shitballs, the left ovary awakens from its slumber!
 This is the first cycle we've seen any significant activity from my left side so I was pretty excited. My RE wanted me to trigger ASAP and although I felt like 16 was kinda small, my IDOB girls have reassured me it'll grow a little before it gets released. My RE said that he thinks the follie on the left side is "the one."

So I headed home and upon arriving found that my wondfos came and decided to just take an opk real quick and it was a fast and very dark positive (my first one!). So I mixed up my trigger and jammed that bad boy in there because at this point I have completely let go of my fear of needles. I don't have much of a choice because the DH looks sick when I talk about shooting myself! We DTD last night and are to do it again tonight to make sure there are plenty of swimmers up there for my eggies. Today, my right side hurts and I am nauseous as all get out (from the Pregnyl I am sure), but I am not feeling anything but a slight ache on my left side.

Please let this be it. Please let this be the time we get our BFP.
 It's not like I couldn't take any more treatments, shit I have only had two, but after almost five years of trying I am feeling a little burned out and I don't feel like I can stop or take a break because time keeps marching on and I am only getting older. Plus, IVF is not an option for us so our last stop would be a few IUIs before we reach our IF insurance cap.

For now, I am just going to try and think positively and visualize a sperm meeting up with an egg.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank God I feel better than yesterday...

Femara is the devil.

Ok, ok, not really. From what I understand there are tons of other IF meds that have horrific side effects and so far, besides hot flashes, I can't complain. Much. The one side effect I hadn't read about anywhere is depression. HOLY MOLY, let me tell you, I am so glad to have reached out and found support from my IDOB ladies and TB ladies on the message boards because yesterday, I couldn't. Stop. Crying. I was a hot mess. Thankfully after asking and finding out that other women experience depression while on Femara I was able to get a hold of myself (don't ask me why but for some reason it helped to know if was probably just the meds).

Today, I am still a little weepy but I've got it under control.

Yesterday I looked like Kristin Bell when she was freaking out about her sloth present from her husband:

Today, I'm more like how she was watching the video of herself, on Ellen, freaking out about the sloth:

It may not seem like much of an improvement but belieeeeeeeve me, it is.

By the way, if you haven't seen the video of her freaking out about the sloth it is pretty funny. Check it out!

Also, I love sloths. And since I need a smile and you might too, here's a picture of a baby sloth for you to oogle!

Fast Forward

When I started writing this blog, I thought I would write everything from beginning to end. But with work, life and IF, I just haven't had the time. I hope to go back and completely fill in all the blanks but for now I am just going to do a quick fast forward of what has happened and go from here!

July - Started my first cycle of Femara with a Pregnyl trigger shot, Pregnyl shot for LP support and timed intercourse. I decided that I wanted to give a few rounds of medication and good old fashioned baby dancing a chance before we moved on to an IUI. I also hoped that we would just get pregnant this way and wouldn't ever have to do anything else! It did not happen. I responded very well to the Femara. My lining was an 8 and I had one big ole follie at 29. Things looked good, until they didn't when I got a BIG FAT NEGATIVE (BFN) with the arrival of a very painful Aunt Flo (AF).

August - When I went in for my baseline ultrasound, I had too many follies to count and a big ole cyst. Fabulous. So my ovaries were in overdrive and I was on the bench. The doctor said we could try on our own, but since I'd been a failure at creating a tiny human for some time and I have been unable to create a mature egg, our chances were pretty much nil. I was pretty devastated. To finally be moving forward, to finally have some hope, only to be told to pump the brakes sucks a big one.

September - I called for my baseline ultrasound and got it all set up annnnnnnnnnnd then got a call back that the insurance company was lagging and that they hadn't given the go ahead for treatment. We are already 50% OOP (out of pocket) and going 100% just wasn't an option so I was cancelled for treatment.

October - At my baseline ultrasound, I already had three good looking follies on my right side (I should note that to date I have not produced any follies over 6 on my left side and when I had my saline u/s it was inconclusive as to whether or not my left tube was actually open). My follies were already 6, 9 and 11. This is excellent news! My RE put me on the same treatment plan: 5mg of Femara cycle days 4-8 then a monitoring u/s on cd 11 to find out when to trigger. Since my cycle is pretty short (25 days) I generally O (ovulate) around day 11 or 12.

First Appointment with the RE

When you go to any doctor you have to fill out a bunch of new patient forms right? Well take those, multiply them by 100. When the receptionist told me she would email me the forms before my appointment because they take a little while to fill out, I did not think she meant TWO HOURS! A lot of it was medical history on me and my dear husband (DH) and I flew through the family medical history because I only had to do mine (DH is adopted). Then it got to questions about treatment. They asked, what type of treatment option are you looking for? and I put: MAKE ME NORMAL. I want the same chance to make a baby as a normal person. (When the RE went through the forms with me, he laughed when he came to that answer. Thinking back, I am not sure if he laughed at the simplicity of my answer or the naivete of my answer.)

I made the mistake of going to this appointment alone because I thought it would be like any normal trip to the gyno's office. It. Was. Not. First I met with the RE in his office and we went over my book of new patient forms and talked for an hour. He talked about himself and then talked about what they do at the clinic. He went through all of the treatment types and costs and then explained to me what my appointment would be like that day and what the next three steps would be. My head was spinning and I was overwhelmed. This talk in his office for an hour wasn't my appointment? And apparently I was going to have a transvaginal ultrasound? What the?

I was pleased that he was thorough but I was overwhelmed and told him so. I really thought I was going to just get some medicine that would fix me and that was it. He didn't even flinch, he nodded and smiled and said, we want to "make you normal" but we have to confirm what the problems are and we have to monitor your treatments to preserve the fertility you do have. He said we would do the TV u/s, then I would need blood work and a saline u/s. And the DH would need blood work and a seman analysis (and this went on in my head: WAIT, they want to analyze his semen? WTH for?).

Then we went into this tiny room where I had to drop my pants and spread 'em. The TV u/s was pretty cool, I watched as my RE pointed out my uterus and ovaries (cysts and scar tissue and all) and when it was over, my RE told the nurse they would just fast track me to an IUI. And I thought, a what? The doctor confirmed my PCOS diagnosis (based on blood work already done by my GP and the presence of cysts and other fabulous symptoms) and said he felt that my best chance would be to start with a medication to help me ovulate, a trigger shot to make sure ovulation happened and artificial insemination. My head was spinning. I nodded and said, sounds good, in my smallest voice because I didn't know what the hell he was talking about!

Many women research like crazy before going to the infertility clinic. I just read their website. I was still naively convinced that I could just be fixed and would be able to just make a tiny human the normal way.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Not quite the beginning

Hmmm. Where to begin? Well, this morning when I was going through my usual routine of reading message boards in an attempt to avoid starting my work day, I happened across a blog and thought, "I guess you don't have to be Jane Austin to write a blog, I should do one!"

No one really knows we are TTC. That is, we haven't actually told anyone. The reason for this is quite simple, when we started TTC we weren't really trying. The conversation went something like this:

January 2009

Me: So, will you think you could handle getting me knocked up or should I look for another husband?

DH: You sure you really want kids? They take up a lot of -

Me: (interrupting) Yes.

DH: Well, ok.

Me: I don't want to tell anyone or get all crazy with tests and predictor kits and all that crap. I just want to do it and be like, surprise! We're having a baby!

DH: I just don't want trying to have a kid to take over our lives. Let's just let it happen.

And that was it. That was the big conversation. It seemed like it was going to be all easy and we would just get knocked up and then everyone would be like, "I didn't even know you were trying!" and we would just be all, "Yeah, cause we weren't really! I just went off the pill!" And everyone would be happy and we'd have babies to play with our fur babies and that. would. be. that.

Except that it didn't just happen. And I was super glad we didn't tell anyone. Could you imagine? Month after month for almost five years, people asking you if you were pregnant yet? I already felt like more and more of a failure with each month that passed. Could you imagine if I had to basically hear other people call me a failure too? Cause that is exactly what it would have sounded like to me. Someone would have said, "Well, maybe you're pregnant!" when I said I felt sick and I would have heard "You suck at your natural job of making a tiny human!" Or if someone asked, "Are you pregnant yet?" with all the best intentions in the world and I would have heard, "You suck at your natural job of making a tiny human!"

It can take up to a year for a normal healthy couple to get pregnant. So I was still ok at the one year mark of trying but not really TTC. Plus, I had endometriosis. Bad. I've had it since I first got my period. I even had to go to the emergency room once when I first got my period because the pain from my period was so bad. I'd already had laporoscopies and been told by my doctor's that my right ovary was massive due to all the cysts on it. So, I already knew that TTC was already going to involve the third T (Trouble, trying to conceive). So one year wasn't so bad. I wasn't paying that much attention to it yet. Plus, I was only 30. I was still cool with it. Even at the year and a half and close to two year mark, I was still pretty chill that we hadn't gotten pregnant and still quite happy that we hadn't told anyone.

It was right around that time, around the two year mark, that I bought a BBT. I had read about charting and thought, "Well maybe I am not ovulating." At that same time we changed GPs and I really liked my new doctor and felt comfortable with him. We had previously been with a network in which we never, ever saw the same doctor. It was the type of place where you waited for an hour past your appointment time to be brought back to the little room, to wait another 30-40 minutes to talk to a doctor who couldn't remember your name without looking at your chart repeatedly and who spent the majority of your appointment reading your history and trying to catch up before prescribing you with a cookie cutter treatment after diagnosing you with whatever cold or virus was going around regardless of what your symptoms actually were. My new doctor had been an OB/GYN before being a Family Practice doctor and it turned out that he had been my husband's doctor when he was little (my husband, not the doctor).  So, I told this new Doc my history and showed him my lap pics and videos and he oooo'd and awwwww'd about how much endo I had and how big my ovary was and agreed that I should start charting and then come back and see him in two months and we would discuss my charts and where to go from there.

But see, the DH and I had agreed that we wouldn't let TTC take over our lives, right? So I was determined to chart but also determined not to get all crazy with it. The first and second month I was pretty diligent about it but I could see pretty quickly that it didn't look like a normal BBT chart. It looked like the rocky freaking mountains. Dr. Google told me that because I wasn't taking my temp at the same time every day, I wasn't getting an accurate reading. Oh, come on! DR. GOOGLE! I DON'T HAVE KIDS YET AND YOU WANT ME UP EARLY ON THE WEEKENDS? Shit the bed. So, scratch those two months. I had to start again. (In hind sight I should have just gone to the dr. then to get the show on the road, but ya know 20/20 and all that)

Anyhoo, life intervened and I had to help my sister-in-law with her company and ended up actually running it, so while we didn't stop TTC, I wasn't as diligent about my temp taking as I should have been. But I was diligent enough for one thing to be pretty clear: it didn't look like I was ovulating. What. The. Eff. I could feel pain on my right or left side every month, so how was I not ovulating? We were getting close to the three year mark and it was painfully clear that something was wrong. I was broken. I had already known it but the charting thing was putting it right in my face, like a big sign that read: You suck at making tiny humans. Apparently, I sucked at even releasing tiny human eggs!

I was kind of putting off going back to the doctor, partially because I was still disillusionally hoping that I would just get pregnant and partially because I just didn't want to hear that something was wrong with me. But in March 2013 I woke up to an incredible pain in my foot. I could barely walk. It felt like someone had tied a piece of thread around one of my toes and the pain radiated from there. So, I had to go to the doctor. Of course, while there we discussed my painful periods and inability to conceive but lack of desire to take any drastic measures, when the doctor said: what if it's just something we could easily fix?

What if.....?

The doctor did an enormous amount of blood work, both for my foot and my (what he was now referring to as) infertility. The doctor called with the results the next day. He said, "Well, your tests indicate that you have an excess of male hormones. Specifically androgens. Have you heard of PCOS?" I had not. He went on to inform me that while I didn't have all the symptoms of PCOS, I had the cysts and excess of androgens as well as hair growth. I was also VERY heavy for quite a while, whether that was related or not, I am not sure. ( So basically, my body is not producing mature eggs.

Devastated is not even the right word to describe how I felt. I don't even remember the rest of what the doctor said. It was confirmed. I am broken. I suck at making tiny humans. I fail at being a woman. I sat my DH down and told him and I think that because of the way I was crying, he thought I was going to tell him that one of my blood tests indicated that I was dying. When I told him that I was infertile it obviously didn't click with him what a BIG FREAKING DEAL it was because he said, something along the lines of, well babe, you had to know something was wrong or you would have gotten pregnant by now! Men. Although honestly, anything he said at that moment would have been the wrong thing to say because nothing he could say could actually fix me and all I wanted to hear was that I wasn't broken.

I went back to the doctor and he decided it would be silly to go see an OB/GYN and just have them refer me to a fertility doctor so he just gave me the referral to California IVF to see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). I still did not want to go all crazy and be artificially inseminated or do IVF, I just wanted to be fixed. I just wanted a normal shot at getting knocked up. Just give me a pill that makes me ovulate and send me on my way, was all I was thinking. (All the women who have been through IF that are reading this right now are laughing at my naivete, I don't blame you! Looking back at myself, I chuckle too)

Now anyone that has gone to or knows someone that has gone to a RE knows, it's never just as easy as getting a pill. There are plenty of women out there who go to their normal gynecologists and get clomid and take it for a few days each month, end of story. But that is incredibly dangerous. These medications can cause a myriad of problems, including infertility if you aren't monitored by a doctor while you are on them. Did I know this? No. Did I think I was just going to have someone look at my coo-kah and give me some meds? Sure! Why not? SMDH!

But I was going! I was going to do something about my being bad at making tiny humans and that gave me hope. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and at the moment I made the appointment it was like a miracle had already happened and I was off in baby world in my mind. I. was. disillusional. In my mind I was predicting due dates.