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.