Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Natural O

Over the past five years of TTC, I have hand a handful of unmedicated cycles in which I have O pain and EWCM. Of that handful of times, I actually had a CP so I know for sure that I O'd on my own AND that confirmed to me that when I produce EWCM on my own, I am probably actually Oing a mature egg. In the past year, this has happened twice and now a third time as this cycle happens to be one of those handfuls!

I've been pretty blah about this cycle and TTC in general, but today I actually find myself a little encouraged. I am still not very hopeful but with a positive opk yesterday and EWCM this morning, along with some major O pains, I feel like there may actually be a small glimmer of hope.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Approved for IUI#4

Well, my insurance company cleared me for IUI#4 so with my next cycle starting the second week of May, we should be doing IUI#4 the third week of May. I plan to ask my RE if a change of protocol would be a good idea, to try and get more mature eggs but have a feeling he will just shoot me down. My current protocol is working, I'm just only getting one or two follies and while Pregnitude seemed to help initially (the first cycle after I started taking it I have two beautiful follies) it didn't help last cycle. I feel like I need a more aggressive plan.

On a non-IF related note, we thought that Mischief was going into labor yesterday, as she started doing this funky twist and push thing but she laid down in her stall shortly thereafter and we've seen no signs of labor since. It's frustrating to not know exactly when she was bred, since she was a rescue, so we only know that she should be kidding sometime between now and May 3!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Thrill is Gone

A long time ago in a reality far, far away, I lived in world in which POAS was a thrilling experience and everything about trying for a baby was fun and exciting. I only bought hpts when my period was late and I lived under the impression that, "It'll happen when the time is right" and when I got a negative test, I would still happily think, "It'll happen next month."

I don't remember exactly when it happened but at one point, somewhere along the way, "It'll happen when the time is right," became "The time is right and that saying is bullshit." And "It'll happen next month," became "Will it ever happen to me?"

Today, the thrill is gone. Even the excitement I felt last July about starting medicated cycles and timed intercourse and later IUIs has passed completely. I no longer look forward to filling my prescriptions and follie scans. Now, it all just seems like a chore and although I try to look forward with hope and positivity, I feel more like I am just going to go through the motions, for my next cycle, because if I don't at least try, I'll regret it.

Truthfully, I don't really feel like another IUI is going to do the trick. We've had perfect follicle sizes and excellent sperm counts, along with fantastic lining and it hasn't worked. Even my RE, while willing to do more IUIs, isn't convinced they will work.

Sometimes I allow myself to fantasize about what could be and allow the thrill to creep back in. I daydream that I am a normal fertile person, I just look at the calendar one day and realize that I should have had my period already. Then I will notice that I have a few pregnancy symptoms and I will have to go out and buy a test because I won't have 100 wondfos in my bathroom vanity. I won't worry about whether or not I am using FMU and I'll only test once because a positive is a positive, right? I tell the husband and while we are both shocked and a little overwhelmed (because we weren't even trying), we call everyone we know, right away, without even getting a blood test or waiting until after the first trimester because bad things don't happen to good people like us! I play this fantasy over and over in my mind and allow the happiness of that situation wash over me and for a little while I toy with the idea that maybe that could be us.

For a moment.

Before I remember that I am an infertile. And the thrill is gone again.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A More Complete Post

For new readers from ICLW, welcome! We have been TTC for five years and went to an RE last May. We have done two medicated TI cycles and three IUIs but still don't have our tiny human. 

Thankfully, we were on a mini-vacation when AF reared her ugly head because I have definitely able to cope better as a result. In fact, I barely thought about where we would be going from here! I was too busy gambling, watching the games I bet on, and eating delicious food to worry about when (or if) we would ever have our very own tiny human. It was a nice reprieve to live a few days in a non-child and non-IF world.

Since my insurance company always takes forever to get back to my clinic, I didn't even call to let them know that I started my period until today. I figured, what's the point calling them on my vacation just to tell them bad news? At first, I was super annoyed that it took my insurance company F.O.R.E.V.E.R to give authorization, but now? They can take as long as they need because apparently, they are VERY good negotiators. My clinic charges $1300 per IUI when you are OOP. We are 50% OOP after our insurance negotiates the rates and I just finally got my bill for my first IUI. I was expecting that it would be between $300-500. Since my insurance only pays out $1500 as a lifetime max for IF treatment, I assumed we could do three IUIs. But guess what folks!?!? Our bill was only $106 for our first IUI! That is just craziness! Since my RE feels comfortable doing a few more IUIs, I figure, why not? From a lot of research I have done, it seems like if it hasn't worked already, it's not going to BUT I am willing to give it a shot anyway. Since we can't afford IVF, it's better than doing nothing.

As I mentioned this morning, one of our goats was showing signs of labor. Goats are very interestingly a lot like humans in that all of their pregnancy symptoms can be something else. Since this is our first time having pregnant goats, I have been doing a ton of research on what signs and symptoms I should be looking for as kidding (birthing) time nears, and in almost every tutorial and blog I have read, I keep finding the words, "...may be a symptom that kidding is nearing but is also a symptom of..." I feel like I am on the Trying to Get Pregnant or Trouble Trying to Conceive threads on The Bump! At least for humans, we can pee on a stick, for a goat, the only true confirmation of pregnancy is the end result: a baby goat. So when I got a text from my husband this morning saying, "Mayhem is talking to her sides" which is a sign that labor could be starting, I ran outside, full of anticipation that we would soon have a new bundle of hooves. She was indeed making noises and nipping at her sides but 20 minutes later she was comfortably laying on the deck in the sun, sleeping. Sigh. It seems like everything is a guessing game! With my luck, it'll happen tomorrow night when it is sleeting and 37 degrees!

A Quick Post

Welcome to everyone stopping by from ICLW and Happy NIAW to all!

After much soul searching, I have decided not to come out for NIAW after all. As I mentioned before, my only true motivation for "coming out" was to be able to do IVF fundraising of some sort and although many of the "side effects" of coming out would be positive, (being able to reach out to others suffering with infertility and educating people, etc.) I am not ready to share everything that is going on with my lady bits with the world. DH and I agreed, after quite a few conversations while on vacation, that I can come out at any time, it doesn't necessarily have to be during NIAW.

After making this decision, we got the mail this morning and in it was a bill from our fertility clinic. I had run the numbers in my head and figured that if we were lucky we might have coverage for only one more IUI, IF we were lucky, but as it turns out, our insurance company and medical practice negotiated such a low rate, we will have coverage for at least two more IUIs!

I have so much work to do, since I was gone last week for three days AND one of our goats is showing signs of labor! So, I will be posting again later this afternoon as I need to get some work done!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BFN and CD1

Well, yesterday's bfn turned into cd1 today so I am out. Thankfully, we are on a mini-vacation in Reno so I am able to hit the Penny slots and avoid all things child, which is making this day much easier to handle. I'm still sad but my pity party last weekend helped take the sting out of this fail. 

I am not sure where we will go from here, as far as treatment, and still haven't decided whether or not we will be coming out for NIAW, so everything is kind of up in the air. For today, I am just trying to enjoy our time away from the business and our busy lives. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meh. ***pity party alert***

I've been kinda blah and have been throwing myself a bit of a pity party. I tried to stay busy over the weekend, gardening, cleaning and running errands to keep my mind off the TWW. It worked for most of the weekend, but every time I had a moment alone or down time I started analyzing everything that's going on with my body and the conclusion I came to time and time again is that this IUI didn't work either. I have all of my normal PMS symptoms including cramps and back pain that started last night and none of those pg symptoms I've heard so much about. Month after month the outcome is the same and I am just tired. And quite frankly, I feel like I am becoming a bitter infertile. I will still test Wednesday but I don't have high hopes.

I am also sad for a gal from my FB support groups. At 17 weeks she went into labor and she and her husband lost their little girl. It's devastating and unfair. Why do such wonderful people have to endure such pain? My heart goes out to her and her husband and they are in my prayers.

When I read the news on FB, my DH and I were hanging in our garden with a neighbor and since I started tearing up and he noticed, I told him a friend lost her baby. I never knew that he and his wife struggled to have their children, for crying out loud they have FIVE! But alas, in sharing this news with him, I have discovered another couple who has struggled with loss and IF. They have suffered through seven 1st trimester miscarriages, two 2nd trimester miscarriages, a late term termination due to abnormalities and their twins were in the NICU for three months and one of them almost didn't make it.

IF is unfair. Loss is unfair. Good people like Chickin and Becky don't deserve this pain. Good people like my neighbors who endured so much didn't deserve it either. I can't help but think: to what end? What is the plan here? Sure, in my neighbor's case, they had children that survived and thrived but what was the purpose for them to have to endure all that pain?

You know that saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? I've been trying to abide by that, which is why I have been MIA. I didn't really think anyone would want to hear about it but it helped an awful lot when Chickin sent me a message today to check in on me and it let me know that  absence has been noticed. It lifted a lot of the weight off my shoulders to know that someone else cares and it prompted me to write a post today, which I really haven't had the motivation for because I have been so down in the dumps. It reminded me that I do have support and that I still need to give support to others, that even though I am struggling, it's not a good idea to withdraw. I need to try and stay in the light and focus on the good. So while it might be a half-hearted attempt, here are the positives to not being pregnant this time:

-My EDD would have been December 25th. What a terrible birthday! My baby would have to share its b-day with the biggest holiday of the year. Nawt cool.

-My sister and her husband invited us on an all expense paid trip to Reno and we leave Wednesday afternoon. Not being KU means that I can party like a rockstar while we are there. I don't drink but I won't have to worry about second hand smoke in the casino and I can drink energy drinks and stay up late!

-That's all I've got. But it's better than nothing! I'm trying!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Considering Coming Out (for all the wrong reasons)

***children mention***

Saturday was a pretty bad day for me. I lost my damn mind and ended up a sobbing mess in the arms of DH because I really miss "my girls". My SIL is a drug addict and back in July, we had to take her kids away for a little while until she got it together. Since she got them back, she has not let us see them, to punish us for trying to get her to get clean and give her kids the lives they deserve. Due to the fact that she is a drug addict, DH and I have been hugely involved in the lives of his nieces ever since they were born. One is now 14 and the other is 6. The 14 year old lived with us for three days a week from the time she was two until she was seven and I have spent three to four days a week caring for the six year old since she was born (up until July). We also had the girls at our house every other weekend for years and took them on NYE trips almost every year. It is hard to not have them around. I miss them enormously. Not being able to conceive has been even more difficult since we haven't had my girls and as we are almost certainly out of insurance coverage (I'll find out for sure when my RE's office tries to get approval for IUI #4 if this one fails) I am desperate to try and find a way to continue treatment.

I am not ready to give up. I just can't. And the only thing I can think of to try and get money to continue treatment is to ask people for help. But we are in the closet so that makes it a little big difficult. I don't want to share what is happening in my womb, or more accurately what is not happening in my womb, with everyone and their mom but if we are going to get help with the finances of continued IUIs and possibly IVF, I am willing to give up my privacy for the chance of having a baby.

I also know that I will get a lot of flack from my Catholic family members who disagree with using any assisted reproductive technologies, so dealing with them will be a challenge all on its own.

In my mind, there is the noble reason for "coming out" which is to spread awareness and to educate people and there is the selfish reason to come out: to get money. I feel guilty considering using Infertility Awareness Week as a fundraising tool to help further our ability to get treatment but I cannot think of an alternative.

My plan would be to create a separate blog in which I would tell my story. On said blog, I would put a link to a give forward or another fundraising site, so as not to be too much of a beggar. It hurts my pride to ask for money but there's not much else I can do. We have put all of our money into our current business and DH's startup so that we have a strong financial future for us and our future children and their wants/needs and education, but there isn't much left to do anything else right now and Lord knows I am only getting older.

DH is completely indifferent. He says he will support me no matter what I decide. Which is sweet but kind of annoying! I need an opinion! So I am putting it to all you wonderful ladies. Is is terrible of me to consider coming out for the sole purpose of fund raising?

Friday, April 4, 2014

IUI#3 and a Surprise Opinion

IUI #3 is in the books! Everything went well and it was quick and painless. DH's count was 38.8 mil after the wash which I am really happy with and relieved by because he only abstained for one day. The countdown begins!

My husband and I have been together for almost 14 years and sometimes I am just completely taken aback when we are not on the same page. I am still in shock by what happened this morning.

However slim, there is a possibility that the three follicles on my right side matured enough to be released and fertilized. Logically, I know that since we have had no success thus far, the chances of four eggs being fertilized are pretty much nil but my IF brain starts working overtime and possibilities start running rampant through my mind and I over think like crazy. This morning, when I awoke to a ton of pinching and cramping on my right side, I had a little moment of panic. What if all four follies released mature eggs and they all were fertilized? We have always talked about how awesome it would be to have twins. I was a nanny for twins (from the time they were three months old until they were 22 months old) and know that it's a lot of work, but it was also pretty awesome and I know that I would love having multiples but FOUR? That would be craziness. I shared this concern with my husband and was shocked when he said: Well, obviously we would do a selective reduction, there's no way we are having four.

I was struck speechless. Ummmmm, what? Selective reduction? Just because four would be too many? Uh, no. Have we met? While I believe that every woman should be able to make her own choice and do not force my beliefs on others, I am against selective reduction for myself (except when it is necessary for the health of other fetus'). I just cannot see going through all of this, only to get pregnant and then CHOSE not to have all the babies God blessed me with.

I was speechless. How could we not be on the same page on this? I didn't say anything and still haven't. It's probably not a bridge we will ever have to cross so why have a hypothetical conversation that would probably turn into an argument.

The more I think about it, the more I know, deep inside, that my husband would not be able to do that. For crying out loud, when our cat got out when she was in her first heat (she was due to be spayed and went into heat and they wouldn't do the spay until after she was finished) and got KU, he called the vet to make an appointment to find out if she was indeed "with kittens" (his words) they asked if we would just like to spay her and dispose of the kittens and he lost his shit. He couldn't believe they would ask that. When it comes down to it, I don't think he could handle a selective reduction that wasn't due to medical necessity. But still. I can't believe those words came out of his mouth.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

IUI #3 Today

Well, I had my follie scan yesterday towards the end of the day and we will be doing our IUI today instead of tomorrow. My lining is textbook, triple stripe at 10.8! In my right ovary I have three follies hovering around 15 and in my left ovary I have a very large 28! My RE said there may even be one behind it but it was hard to tell because of the 28. I was nervous about it being so big, that maybe it is a cyst and doesn't contain an egg but he assured me that it is a beautiful follicle and it is ready to burst. He also said that there is a possibility that one or more on the right side could get a boost from the trigger and ovulate on Friday so we will be instructed to DTD on Friday as well.

They always tell me to bring my trigger to my follie scan appointment and I guess this is why because the nurse triggered me right there in the office and scheduled my IUI for 4:30 (pst) today. Regardless of what my RE says, I was still nervous that the 28 is too big so I did a bunch of research and found this: The optimal follicle size to achieve pregnancy on Femara. It made me feel a little better. It looks like with my lining, that follie size is ok. In one of the graphs, my chances look to be as good as 25% and in another about 20% which is obviously better than my historical 0%. I am trying to stay optimistic but I do have some lingering doubts. I wish we could have waited for the other three follies so we had better chances.

While in the RE's office, I felt really bad for a guy who was talking to another doctor at the nurses station. I overheard their conversation when I was walking into the room for my scan and they were talking about his low numbers and how difficult it would be to achieve pregnancy. He was obviously upset. At the end of my scan, I asked the doctor whether or not my DH's count would be an issue since he wouldn't have abstained for as long, doing the IUI a day earlier. He told me it wouldn't be an issue, reiterated that this follicle is perfect and as he was opening the door to leave the room said, "Your husband has a super sperm count, so his numbers will probably be just around normal instead of through the roof which will be perfect." The guy was still standing at the nurses station and very obviously heard. I know my RE didn't realize that it was probably hurtful to say it and maybe I'm just overly attuned to other's emotions when it comes to IF but when I left the room, I couldn't even look at the poor guy. Part of me wanted to hug him and the other part of me wanted to run. IF is a biatch!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Why did Lady Macbeth enter my mind when entitling this post? No idea, except that all I seem to be able to focus on today, is tomorrow's follie scan! At three tomorrow I will find out if the two folllies they saw at my last u/s are the right size to trigger. I am hoping some other follies decided to join in the race too and that I am all good to go for an IUI on Friday. Please send my follies juicy, right sized thoughts!

It has been snowing here for the last day and a half, which I LOVE but it has knocked out our satellite internet (living in the backwoods makes internet access a nightmare), so, I am attempting to post from my phone because I really wanted to share some snow pics and pics of my fur babies in the snow since this is the only snow I think we will have this year!

This is Pink, running and playing in the snow, she is SO happy!

This is Kenda. She is such a dork. She will stay in her shelter when it is snowing and raining, until we blanket her. Then she is living wild and fancy free, frolicking in the snow!

The view of our horse pen from the porch. I love how beautiful the trees look when they are covered in snow!