Saturday, February 28, 2009

When to talk about Infertility

I don't normally post about what's on other people's blogs and I didn't really want to do that here, but I think this is an interesting topic worth discussing.

Hillary had an interesting post the other day about telling the youth group she works with about her infertility. As I understand it, Hillary is really trying to share her devotion to Jesus more than her infertility, infertility just happens to be the subject that she can use to share this. Like, I said, I don't really want to talk about her post, but I just want to explain that is where I'm jumping off of here.

I left a comment trying to explain why I didn't think it was a good idea. And from the other comments, I appear to be alone in my opinion.

Just to be clear, I don't think it's 'wrong' to talk about... I just wouldn't recommend it in this context.

This made me think back to my teen years and how very hurt I was that no one would talk to me about my fertility when I was diagnosed with PCOS. So the real question is when you should talk to kids about infertility?

In my case, it was very relevant and I was asking the questions. Someone absolutely should have taken the effort to explain things then. Most kids aren't in that situation and aren't asking questions.

It's not that I don't think kids should be taught about infertility... I think kids should be taught about infertility, but it should be learned on top of a solid understanding of fertility... which I don't think most kids have (I don't think most parents have one either).

I think our young women learn about puberty from those handouts made by the tampon and pad manufacturers. Their priority is to get you to buy their brand from an early age, not to explain fertility to you. Girls know that they should be prepared to bleed once a month but don't really understand the process that leads up to that. We talk about sex and getting pregnant, but not how it really happens. We live in a age where kids think that it's ok to get herpes cause there are all those pills on TV that you can use to treat it and as long as you use a condom you don't have to worry about it anyhow. Girls get birth control prescriptions without understanding what these hormones are doing to their bodies. (Oh, and incase you couldn't tell, I think abstinence only education is a big crock of SHIT designed by a patriarchal society to keep women uneducated, poor, and dependent on men... but that's another topic entirely.)

On top of that, we tell our kids to wait to get married and have careers before having children. That's not wrong, but ignores the very real threat of not being able to accomplish all that before the biological clock runs out. But whose going to tell their kids to get married to someone they don't love and have children before you're prepared? But kids need to have an understanding that their fertility won't wait around for them forever. And all those Hollywood stars having secret IVFs after 40 and lying about twins running in the family aren't helping out any.

But it still comes back to the fact that we don't talk about fertility enough for kids to really understand the infertility side of it.

Discussions about fertility (and sex) should start young and build up. Their's a lot to learn and these things take time to understand. You start with the basics and work up. Once you've started talking about sex, you start talking about reproduction, and then the details of reproduction and with these details, you eventually talk about if these thing don't happen correctly, reproduction doesn't happen. But you've got to make it age appropriate and relevant to the questions and curiosities that kids would normally be having.

Also, I think it's important for you to talk to kids about THEIR bodies, not YOUR body. You can use personal stories to relate experience to kids and make them feel more comfortable about their own body (ex. I used to get erections at school and had to carry a book in front of me to hide them), but if you start talking about your infertility to a kid, that's not something they can relate to back to themselves. Your just sharing personal information about your body... and talking about your adult body to a teen that is still trying to get a grasp on their own changing body and emotions, I think, would confusing or TMI to the kid.

Most kids have some concept of fertility/infertility. If you go to church and actually listen then you've heard that story about the parthenogenesis of Jesus or old Elizabeth or the world's most famous infertile, Sarah. So maybe they don't go to church, but they have probably heard of Octomom (world's second most famous infertile). I have no doubt that most kids these days have infertility on their radars, but they need to understand the whole of fertility before they can really understand infertility. Think about the Octomom story... to me one of the most inferiorating things about it is that people are hearing this story and judging all people that get infertility treatments based on this extreme case... they don't have any real understanding of fertility or infertility treatments and how majorly f-up that whole story is.

So this is getting kinda rambling, but to summarize, yes kids should know about IF, but it's a talk that is built up to spread out over time and delivered in a way that's relevant to them.

Ok, I officially regret this post, I don't think I explained my point very well, but I've spent enough time working on it that I don't care anymore.

Friday, February 27, 2009

*Super*

This whole last cycle has just been fascinating to me. Really. It was just so darn neat to ovulate and do my LP BBTs, and then PMS... but let's not forget AF here.

Fair warning: TMI.

Just to recap, I officially consider this my 3rd ovulation ever and the two times it happened before weren't normal cycles anyhow. If you don't count the meds, this really was my first *normal* cycle. So things being as they are, I have never had a normal period... till now.

So, I am learning all kinds of stuff lately. For instance, what a Heavy Flow looks like. Seriously, never had one before. In fact, I was in the tampon aisle a while ago and noticed a different color coding on a package of my tampon brand (Tampax for the record... I don't even have heavy periods and the pathetic Playtex tampons still leak). The coloring was orange. I thought they had a new product. No those were the Super Plus tampons. I had completely forgotten they made such a thing... I'm sure I've seen them before at my mom's or aunt's house or something.

I also learned that when you have a normal period, you should probably change your tampon more than twice during the day. Almost had to learn that one the hard way. If I'd had a Playtex in, I would of had to gone home to change my pants.

Heck, I'll probably even have to wear a tampon to bed tonight (not normally required for me).

I listened to my friends tell me for years that I was so lucky to not have my period and then when I got on the pill, I was so lucky cause my periods were so light. I told them back then that I wasn't lucky and probably would be able to have kids, and dammit, I hate being right sometimes. To all my friends that have done nothing but complain about their periods since the first day they had one, trust me, you are the lucky ones. This isn't that bad. Infertility is.

Puberty at 26

Yesterday I was not working and thinking about infertility as normal for me lately, and I just about started to laugh out loud.

I'm finally going through puberty at 26.

So, that's not completely accurate... I started going through it about 12, but because of the PCOS, I never really experienced what all those stupid hand outs accompanied with free maxi pad samples were talking about.

Those hand outs didn't mention that I would need to swallow and inject drugs and go to dildocam appointments to become a woman. And I'm pretty sure none of them ever warned me about infertility or even PCOS. But I guess I've finally figured it out and it hasn't been the natural, beautiful process I was promised at the "Becoming a Butterfly" class I attended with my Girl Scout troop when I was 13.

I feel like the final piece of the puzzle has fallen into place: PMS. Yes, ladies, I think I experienced PMS for the first time. My boobs were sore, my back hurt, I had cramps, and I was tired... so tired.

My mom had a tubal ligation after I was born and has been fighting menopause for what seems like a decade now. Every time I talk to her she bitches about her period. This has gotten old. But maybe I finally understand now. Hell, I'm even starting to feel sorry for my mom. She's had to put up with this a least once a month (twice a month for a while after she lost her ovary) since she was 14. That sucks.

And for the first time ever, I didn't welcome Aunt Flo into my home. Usually I'm impatiently waiting and inviting her in, happy to be saved from another anovulatory cycle... or maybe I was on the pill that month and she's just a change from the regularly scheduled monotony. But this month, I reluctantly greeted her when she came. It was the end of a cycle, but also getting on with my life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's official

AF just arrived.

One Headlight

I appreciate all the comments from yesterday, but there seems to be some optimism still floating around for this cycle. Well, AF has not shown yet, but my temps did fall even further this morning. So, I really, truly do think that it is over and I'm at peace with that.

There of course were some good things about this cycle. No. 1, I ovulated, No. 2 I have a fairly good looking LP. Heck, it appears that I have a 15 day LP, not too shabby, but I think that it may be even longer than that, which seems a little excessive. I think that because on my induced flows, my temps would have to go down for 3 days and on the 4th day, AF arrives... so she may not come till tomorrow, or maybe even the next day if I'm still following that pattern. I'm ready for her to get on with it.

And this cycle I got my first real BFN. But I've got to say, I think this BFN has been a lot easier to take than it would have been to have another anovulatory cycle. Once I get a few more BFNs down the road, I may not think as much of them as I do now, but for now, my grief has not been as bad as I thought it would be.

I am scared of one thing now, when I've had gallbladder attacks in the past, they have seemed to time up with the start of my periods pretty well... very miserable days indeed. And last year, I had a attack right before the start of Lent (which was the last time I ovulated) and another on Easter (there was something pretty disturbing about that one too, but I'll save that story for another time). It would be fate for me to have another one soon. I shall be avoiding fatty foods till I feel it's safe again. By the way, I did mention this anomaly to both of my PCPs, my ex-gynecologist, and my RE, none of whom seem to think there is a connection. Just bad luck then.

Last night I was driving to and from my acupuncture appointment (about 30 min each way) and I was desperately wishing that the radio would play my song (Something Good This Way Comes) to give me a little peace or something. They didn't. But right before I got home, they played "One Headlight" which is by the Wallflowers which is Jakob Dylan's old band. I felt it was too perfect, and I was like the car in the song, still driveable, far from perfect and with parts missing, but was going to make it home still.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Decisions

I didn't test this morning. I didn't see a point to it. My temps dropped a bunch last night and unless there is another dip that is suppose to occur at 15dpo, I think it's time to call it and pronounce this cycle dead.

I would like to thank you all for the support lately. This has been hell, and I appreciate you all helping me through it.

Since I expect CD 1 to happen soon (today?) I need to decide whether or not I'm going to try to cycle next month.

Basically, I have a surgery consult on Monday to get my gallbladder out. Also, my RE will be doing a looksy. Something tells me that I should not cycle and have surgery at the same time since I can avoid it.

The unknown is still exactly when will I have this surgery... if it's not till April I could fit in a cycle (and then risk pregnancy with a crap GB to worry about). Most likely it will happen before the end of March unless my general surgeon and RE just can't get their schedules together.

The only thing that really makes me want to try to fit in another cycle is that this is my last chance for a 2009 baby. I don't know that it should matter that much to me, but it kinda does.

March off also sounds nice so that I can give my body a little recovery time from the clomid.

Also, I'm kinda pissed that this cycle didn't work. I know that my chances were probably only 25% at best, but I feel like due to the failure, I would really like to get a FRICKIN HSG and a FRICKIN IUI next cycle (plus I'll have had my lap by then) and then I will know that everything should of worked and if it doesn't I will know that I'm just not cut out for making babies.

So I think, unless someone has a convincing argument otherwise, I will be taking the next cycle off. I welcome opinions on this matter, especially if you think I have over looked something.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I just don't know

I have been trying to get it in my head that this cycle is probably on life support right now... just waiting for the plug to be pulled. Just when I've got myself totally convinced that there is nothing left to hold out for, I lose it and start trying to convince myself it's not over yet.

Two things:

My boobs: They started hurting about 9dpo and got worse, peaking 11dpo, but then it seemed to change to just my nipples being really tender at 12dpo, but now, I barely feel anything if I push on them. It seems to me that this situation shouldn't be improving if this was my cycle.

CM: During my induced flows (since that's all I have to go by) I usually feel a lot wetter starting a couple of days before my flow. I have certainly felt a lot wetter yesterday and today.... I have been inspecting the situation and I would say I'm a fair amount wetter than I have been for my induced flows. I don't know if that means anything or not.

Also, I have had some occasional sticky-yellowish CM. This is very strange and I don't know what to make of it. I'm not smelly or itchy, so I don't think it's an infection. Back in early Jan I thought I might have had an infection cause I saw a little bit of CM that looked like this, but I've seen it several times now and in larger quantities. I just don't know what to make of it.

I have asked Dr. G about CM as an early pregnancy sign several times and he says it can be, but it's more of a hindsight 20/20 kinda thing. He keeps mentioning something about "Leukorrhea" but don't really think this is it based on the descriptions I'm reading.

Right before I started this post I had just finished convincing myself this cycle was toast then I felt wetness and went to check it out again (like the 10th time today) and found a big blob of the sticky-yellow stuff. So then I wonder, is it not over? What is this stuff?

Anyone got any ideas out there?

BFN at 14DPO

I'm starting to get a bit discouraged....

------

Bunco last night was interesting. One of the ladies asked me if we were still trying. Through the conversation about 5 of my neighbors all revealed that they all had miscarriages. One neighbor said it took her 9 years to have her first (finally after an HSG and she now has 3 teenage girls).

After so many of them said they had miscarriages I said that many people don't realize how common miscarriage is and no one talks about it and it makes you feel very isolated. You could tell from the nod/sigh of agreement from that what I had said was on the mark. I think it was a good conversation and maybe they enjoyed it more than me.

But then one of them said later, "You just need to relax." (SCREAM NOW!!!) "That's what we did and we finally got our third one." (Note: NOT the same lady that said it took 9 years). So I said back, "Don't ever say that to anyone again, it's absolutely not true, if I didn't worry about it every couple months, I'd have uterine cancer, and it's a lot easier to relax when you already have 2 kids!" That really pissed me off.

------

So today, in a moment of prudence, I decided it would be a good idea to put a liner in my underwear. I'm not used to not knowing exactly when AF shows up, so for mental sanity, I have succumb to the diaper.

I have had some batches of CM show up lately and when I start to feel it, I sit for a while and dread going to the bathroom, but eventually worry that if I sit too long, things might start to soak through. What will I find... CM or Blood? So far just CM. Something is going to have to do something soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not much going on here

I kinda don't know what else to do right now. Sorry if this post is a little random.

My mind is completely fixed on the guessing game of whether or not I'm pregnant. I'm mostly just passing time till I can test again. That's a miserable way to live.

I think I'm going through acupuncture withdrawal. I'm not sure that's possible, but if it is, I might be. I haven't had it in more than a week... partially cause that's just how the schedules have worked out and partially cause I'd like to cut back a little for the sake of my budget. I think I will get in on Wednesday again. Maybe if I stab myself with some needles later I will feel better.

I've been beating myself up a little lately by continually asking myself, "Why can't this be enough for me?" I've already got so much to be thankful for, why do I need a baby too? I don't have a good answer to that question and I'm not sure it's a fair to ask myself them in the first place.

Tonight my neighborhood plays Bunco. Hopefully that will be distracting, but since I've told some of them back in December that I was doing IF treatments (and we did not have a January Bunco) I'm a little apprehensive of questions being asked. I'm actually a little glad that I have tested negative so far in case anyone asks me if I'm pregnant yet, I won't have to lie. I'm a terrible liar.

I made a double batch of hummus this morning, one for me and one to bring to Bunco. I'm addicted to hummus lately. I eat several batches a week. I figure it's pretty good for me and somehow I've managed to lose several pounds this month. I think eating good, homemade hummus and avoiding the candy dish at work might have played a big part. If I don't get pregnant this month I hope I can loose more next month.

I had to turn down one of my friend's invitations to play Bunco with her group on Thursday. Last time I went (several months ago) there were a couple pregnant gals and one girl just announced her pregnancy out of the blue. I can't handle that right now on what could potentially end up being CD 1 or 2. I'm the youngest person in my neighborhood Bunco group and I'd say 90% of the women are post menopausal, so I don't really have to worry about any surprise announcements there.

My BBT went up another tenth today. That's good, but drives me a little nuts cause I keeping reading more into my chart than I should, and I don't know how to stop, cause
Good Chart does NOT equal Pregnancy.
Oh, and,
Pregnancy does NOT always equal Baby.
I wish it did. I need to get my thoughts in check so that I can be a little more relaxed and less obsessed.

Post vomit over.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BFN at 12DPO

And it was on an FRER Of course.

Does anyone else shake while waiting for their test develop?

*Rationalization Time*

1. I previously suggested that since I'm not entirely sure if I ovulated on CD14 or 15 today could have still been 11dpo so still pretty early.

2. I can't seem to produce concentrated urine (how's that for TMI?). I prefer to pee in a cup and dip the stick and my pee both times I've tested lately has been nice mild yellow and not the dark concentrated color that it probably should be. I don't know what I can do about this. It's not that easy to just hold it a little longer.

3. I had that bbt dip the other day and by chance it was related or matched the time of implantation, then it was only 2 days ago and maybe I need more time before anything can be detected in my sunshine yellow pee.

I wonder what a sane person does at this point... they probably put down the pee stick till 14dpo or maybe just wait for AF to arrive. But I'm a glutton for punishment... I will probably test tomorrow again and the next day. I need to pick up some more FRERs when I go to the store today (funny, I'd thought the 3 pack would be enough).

But the disappointing thing is that a part of me actually *feels* pregnant. There I said it, now I've surely jinxed myself. I had sore boobs yesterday and I've been a little dizzy lately. I know a lot of people say early pregnancy feels a lot like PMS but I don't really have much experience with PMS so I just don't know if any of this is normal or not.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm pissed

at my husband.

He reminds me the other day that he is going out of town to hunt this weekend.

First, *this weekend* um, at least he's not out hunting while I'm ovulating like last year, but I'm a little emotional and the timing is just not good.

But that's not what I'm really upset about. I started questioning him about this hunt last night. Turns out it's practically a canned hunt. He insists it's not, but oh please. They pay $60 each and pheasants are "released" to be hunted on this farm. (Hey paying customer, why don't you try looking for the pheasant over there!)

I'm ok with him deer hunting because he bow hunts and we have a deer population that needs to be managed around here. Even as a vegetarian, I understand that one. Plus, my husband has never actually managed to bag a deer, so it just gets him out of the house for a while and no harm done.

I'm less ok with him turkey hunting cause it's with a gun and I'm less concerned about turkeys causing accidents than I am about deer. But I allow it and last year he actually got one. His aunt fixed the meat and at least I didn't have to see/smell/cleanup any of it. But then, I found his stash in the garage... he'd cut off the tail, legs, and beard and hid them in the garage. I let the cat have her fun with them. I let him know that no more dead animal trophies were allowed in our home.

And I really hate that he hunts small birds that really cause no harm and probably don't need their populations managed such as pheasants, quail and doves. First, I don't understand why people would want to do all that butchering work for the tiny bit of buck shot meat you get (by the way, squirrel is popular around here and I apply the same argument... my husband does NOT hunt squirrels, thank God). I really like those birds... it's pretty cool to me when you see a quail run across a county road.

The only good thing about the bird hunts around here is that they encourage conservation and habitat creation to attract the birds. Believe it or not, the birds actually benefit as a species for being hunted... but canned hunts where birds are brought in are not the same thing at all. Just plain old wrong.

Anyhow, I let him know that I hoped that he didn't get anything and he had better not bring anything home if he does and that he was inflicting some seriously bad ju-ju on this cycle. I also reminded him that people get shot hunting these birds (didn't Dick Cheney shoot his good friend in the face on a quail hunt?).

Now I have to worry about him, while being pissed about what he's doing, while all alone and going out of my freakin mind. I cannot think of a proper punishment for this.

I didn't test this morning, but I will tomorrow morning, all alone. My temp recovered today and then some, so I'm feeling pretty good, but still pissed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

BFN at 10DPO

BFN.

Yeah, it might be too early... whatever.

My temp dropped a bunch this morning too. Tampons going back in the purse.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been keeping a secret

I know I promised to stop BBTing, and I truly meant what I wrote when I wrote it, but then the day wore on and I just couldn't handle the thought of not knowing what was going on. I mean come on, this is my first "real" LP and I couldn't miss the chance to see how it develops. Perhaps you have mistaken me for someone with self restraint.

So I have continued to quietly bbt. And I'm glad I did. After the initial shakiness, I had a really great looking chart... in fact, I believe I had a tiny estrogen surge with corroborating CM (aka "implantation dip" although I refuse to call it that) and then it turned triphasic with a vengeance. Look at it, it's beautiful:


I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have that 0.1 degree dip on CD22 had I not been sleeping with my mouth open that night... I closed it for a few minutes before temping, but I have to wonder if that's not what that tiny dip is from.

Forgive me for holding this info back, but I really didn't want to make too much of it as it was happening. I can barely handle knowing things looked as good as they do. My hope level is reaching a new high and I'm have trouble allowing the outside world to see me like that. I'm seriously dying to pee on something right now.

Actually, getting my progesterone level the other day kinda took me down a notch. 17.6 is good and normal and even average for pregnancy according to Dr. Google. At this point even average is a downer comparatively. Yes, I know that doesn't make a lot of sense. I just have to remember that even when things look good, they don't always turn out that way.

I know that my chart doesn't necessarily mean a thing at this point, but it's built me up and soon I will have to face the music. Breathe in. Hold it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Must resist urge to POAS

So I had finished doing my hair and decided to take a final pee stop before leaving the house this morning. As I was sitting on the toilet waiting for things to get going I looked over at my open drawer under the sink. I'd shoved an HPT in there the other morning. Suddenly it was calling my name and I tensed up just before I started to pee and had to genuinely fight the urge to catch it and test.

Reality check Amanda: it's way to early to test and especially too early to test with a $1 test and not FMU.

I relaxed and peed. That was close.

I've been waiting to put this post out till I got my P4 back... I had to call the clinic and it had been sent this morning but my RE hadn't signed off yet. Finally, the nurse called me back: 17.6

I guess that's fine, but honestly I was hoping for higher. The nurse said anything over 3 is positive. What? over 3, that doesn't sound right at all... I've almost always heard at least 10. Whatever.

Also, I asked about the Betas. They can process them in office and it only takes a few hours. That makes me feel better. Now I don't have to explore my morals about writing "STAT" on my scripts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

7DPO

Is it 7dpo, cause I'm not entirely sure that I ovulated on CD14, it could have been early CD15. I know you are suppose to wait till 7dpo to get your blood done, but I figure if I go on the best info I have, it is probably 7dpo. On the brightside, I'm basically 1 week down, one week to go.

I POAS'd this morning to make sure that the trigger is gone. Nothing but pure whiteness and a control line. I wasn't going to do this, but it had been nearly a week since I peed on anything and I needed to get my fix.

Then I went gave blood for my progesterone test. It went well, although I predict a small bruise.

I'm really curious to hear what my number is. I think my LP is going well so far (nipples still stand at the ready), but I have told myself that if I get a low P4 that I should probably tone down the optimism a little for my own self preservation. But I'm feeling good about it for now, especially since I swear I can feel my CL. I know you all probably think I'm nuts (and you're probably right in certain areas), but I'm telling you it's that or I really do need a lap, cause this ain't normal ovary pains trying to trick me into believing that something is going on down there (although my left one is still doing that trick, I've learned to ignore it).

I asked the phlebotomist how I could get a beta processed quickly, and she said it doesn't matter where I get it done, it will basically take the same amount of time unless the Dr. writes STAT on the order. Sigh....

Oh, yeah, and the TCOYF and my acupuncturist's wife... I told her I wouldn't give her the book if it wasn't approved reading with her husband. She let me know that there is a PERMANENT form of birth control in place (I will decline to state which one has it and how permanent it is, but it's pretty much a done deal that no biological kids are coming out of that pair) there so it's really just so that she can better understand her cycle. So, I apparently wasn't meddling. Relief.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, hope, you elusive creature

Well, things did not turn out as I was hoping for Emily :(

I tried to stop over to check up on how April's IVF was going... but she's gone password protected! Does anyone know how to get a hold of her to get on the list? I wasn't much of a commenter, but I enjoyed her blog.

Still working on the hope over here. I've been really twingy/crampy the last several days. I have no idea what's going on down there and am dying to know. I'm pretty sure it's nothing or at least not pregnancy related (let's be realistic, it's way to early to tell anything), but it's still weird. I wonder if this is what it's like for normal girls that ovulate. Do they normally have lots of LP cramps? I could definitely feel my GFC so maybe I'm sensitive enough to feel that CL hanging out on Old Righty. We shall see.

Pins and needles

Well, there is some good news in the Land of IF today. Life in the White House just got a great first beta. Things weren't looking good... some neg HPTs and low count in their donor sample, but so far, something good came from it all. Fingers crossed that everything continues to look good.

But there is another member of our club waiting on their beta results, Emily. If you haven't been following Emily's blog, you've been missing out. But today very well may be the end of her and Steve's pursuit of biological children. She posted her HPT the other day, and I'm a member of the crowd that see the faintest, of faint lines in there... but because HPT's are devices of evil, we must wait on the Beta. Although there is much doubt, today I choose to hope.

Speaking of betas and such, I'm on a quest today to determine what lab I should use to get my progesterone drawn at tomorrow. I have about 3 choices and being that I am impatient, I would prefer to use the lab that will get results the quickest. Unfortunately, all three would have to send off the blood to somewhere else for it to be processed. But in my research, I have found one lab that processes blood just up the road where my RE is located... but they have 4 or 5 labs up there, so I'm not sure which one actually has the processing center on site (if any).

So, my great plan for tomorrow is to get my P4 drawn here with the lab that processes just up the road, and while there, fish for any and all info on where exactly one must go to get a beta processed in less than 24 hours. If driving a half hour means that I could find out beta results before the end of the day, I'll make sure the gas tank stays filled. I really hope I get to the point where this info becomes important.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bad Karma

I have relocated my flowers to one of our wedding gift vases so that I could use the cheapy vase to put some flowers in for my grandmother. My tulips look much more sophisticated in this vase and they are much straighter today and opening up just slightly... so another picture is called for.


Today we are headed south to visit my Grandma (hence the flowers, you're better off if you bring her something)... and then we're stopping by my brother's on the way back to see the baby. I figure best to see the baby now than in a few days when I may not be able to look at one without crying. And then later, I'm planning on going to Adoration. I did it last week and enjoyed it, so I think I should continue to go.

But for my post today, another little story.

So I'm intrigued by my acupuncturist. He's a relatively good looking mid-30-something. He's mentioned his kids before, but never his wife. He's a cool guy. He immediately recognized my Sigg bottle and complemented me on it, and he used to be a vegetarian, and I'm pretty sure he's as much a liberal hippie as me. We have some pretty good conversations while he's poking me up.

While I'm waiting on him I usually talk to his receptionist, if she's there (she's not there on the weekend). I usually talk with her about my IF (since that's what I'm there for). She mentioned being interested in charting and such. So I asked her if she had kids: No. Ok. So I mention "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" of course.

So, talking with her again the other day and we talked about IF again and her wanting to chart and I asked her, "Are you married?" "Oh yeah, I'm married to S (the acupuncturist)." Oh, ok, had no idea. Not something one should assume IMO.

And a few side notes about the receptionist, she is gorgeous. I envy her hair. She's a redhead and has long wavy, non frizzy hair... "Celtic Maiden Hair" if you will. I'm a partial redhead with frizzy hair that only gets worse the longer it gets. Totally jealous. Plus, she's really sweet and seems genuinely interested in my problems. You know, a good human being. If only I could be like that, but I digress....

Ok, I've been semi giving her advice on how to get pregnant while her husband tries to get me pregnant. (Ha! I've been dying to type that, it sounds hilarious to me, yes I'm quite juvenile at times). Since I know he has a couple of kids (I'm guessing from a previous marriage) and I'm telling his wife how to chart... whoops, I'm meddling in someone's marriage all of a sudden! That's got to be bad karma.

I seriously meant no harm, but I've already promised to bring her my copy of Taking Charge. I find this kinda funny, but now I'm seriously worried that I've put baby yearnings into a marriage where they may not be wanted. Amanda, learn to keep your mouth shut!

This guy puts needles in me, yikes!

My next appointment is Monday... I guess I will still take my book, but I feel like I need to apologize or something now... I probably wouldn't have offered if I had known.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Isn't that sweet

For V-Day DH and I are planning on going to the movies and seeing "Taken" and then Mexican for dinner. Not your idea of a romantic V-Day? Well, I love Liam Neeson and the Mexican restaurants are the only places you can get a table around here on V-Day.

So that's really it, but before I go, allow me to entertain you with a story.

I made a 14ft long banner a year or so ago when my team beat our arch rivals and hung it up in the office to show my pride. Most of my coworkers also support this team (except one that is from our rival's school) so the banner was very much enjoyed. Well, we beat them again the other day and with my boss's permission, I hung the banner again. But after a couple of days it was time to take it down again. I told him I would take it down but he insisted on doing it. As he stood on the chair he said, "This might be a little dangerous at my age," so I asked, "You sure you don't want me to do it?" (He's ~62) But he insisted.

He finished taking it down, but I can't help but wonder if he wouldn't let me do it because he was worried that I might be pregnant and fall off the chair and m/c or something. I think it was kinda sweet.

Here's a picture of Muffy "helping out" back when I made the banner.


By the way, I should note, I've never tried to make it a secret where I went to school, but I take as much caution as I can to prevent the google-ability of that info.

I am so lucky


I just got my Valentine's Day flowers. I didn't think he'd send me any this year since V-Day is tomorrow. They are tulips (cause those are my favorites).

My secretary asked me what I got him cause last year I told her that me shaving my legs was his present (I think I was still pretty pissed at him being gone while I ovulated at this point in time). I told her I got him some candy when really my Follicle Check and Post Ovulation u/s's were my real gifts to him. He's more than ok with this of course.

Is it kinda funny that my Valentine's Day gift to him involved someone other than him putting something in my vagina?

Ok, quick 2WW question... do you think it would be a good idea for me to avoid orgasming, you know, in case of uterine contractions that could inhibit implantation? Am I being silly, or do you think I'm right to be cautious?

Just a little more on the BBT

I promise to stop soon, really.

I knew things would be better last night because when I took off my bra to get ready for bed, my nipples were staring back at me. From my experience with prometrium, I know that is a big progesterone symptom for me. And indeed, I was happier with my temp last night: 97.9 (which I know to be a pretty good temp from my prometrium experiences also).

Well I did some investigating the other day and I have found some info that makes me feel a little better about some of my chart. It turns out that it may be very common to see a slightly elevated temp from the HCG trigger. Which makes sense, seeing that a lot of pregnancy charts show an additional temperature shift after embryo implantation.

So maybe my drop from CD14 to 15 isn't really as severe as I thought it was.

And thinking back, this might also explain why I thought I O'd in December at first when it turned out that I really had a cyst.

I feel like I just had a big DUH moment.

So this is how I see things.


Ok, I'm putting the thermometer down. It's going back in it's case and into the drawer. I'm done.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ARRRRRRRRRRGGHH! BBT

So this morning, 97.4.

Yes, it went up, a little. Perhaps I'm a slow riser? Or maybe I've got LUFS or a Luteal Phase defect!

I was really hoping that the timing was just off yesterday and that's why the low temp, but two days in a row and it appears that there is something else going on.

Well now I'm really, really glad I got that u/s now. So I don't have to be freaking out that I didn't ovulate and I've got another cyst on my hands, and because if I get my P4 done and it's a really crappy number, we will know that I probably have a real problem here.

But now I'm sad again. I wanted to ovulate AND get pregnant this cycle and this scary BBT chart is not helping my confidence any.

Here's my ugly BBT chart so far.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I was wrong!

OMG, I did it. BBT be damned, the stupid trigger actually worked.

Ladies, I have arrived in the 2WW! Finally.

(FYI, the thermal they gave me is much clearer, but the scanner I used sucks)

I actually learned a lot about CL's from my u/s tech. The u/s machine has some color coding features and it showed blood flow/vascularization around the CL (it's actually on in the photo, but since it's black and white you can't really see it). They call this vascularization the "Ring of Fire". Ha, there's a burning ring of fire in my loins.

The difference it made in my mood between thinking I was anovulatory again and learning I freaking did it was well worth the cost of the u/s. I cried out of happiness on the way back to my office.

I actually got my u/s before my emergency anti-contraceptive acupuncture so I spread the good news at my acupuncturist office. My next acupuncture appt won't be till next Monday when I will hopefully have an embryo implanting.

Something Good This Way Comes.

-------

Dear God,

Thank you.

Amanda

Still waiting...

I'm pretty miserable right now cause I'm pretty sure that I haven't ovulated yet and very worried that I'm not going to.

My BBT this morning was 97.2 (yesterday was 97.6) and I never felt any mittelschmerz. I could have O after I took my BBT at 3:30 this morning and just not felt it. Entirely possible. I just don't think I did. And I didn't really sleep at all last night, so I don't think I would have slept through it.

I'm calling my acupuncturist in about a half hour to see if he can get me in this morning. I was suppose to go tonight, but now I feel like all I've got left is emergency acupuncture.

Anyone got any tricks for me to try... I'm tempted to punch myself in the ovary at this point (if only my pelvis wasn't protecting them).

Please, someone tell me that it took you more than 48 hours to O after your trigger.

-----

Update: Haven't been able to get a hold of the acupuncturist yet, but I did talk to my RE's nurse. She has guaranteed me that I ovulated (just like she did in December). So now I'm going in for a u/s. I will either find out that my body is capable of ovulating and be over joyed or prove to that nurse that it is possible to trigger and not ovulate. Of all the times to hope that I'm wrong, this is on the top of the list.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do or Die Day

So I'm a little doubt-y about ovulating today. I don't know why that would be considering how easily it's come for me so far.

But seriously, there are some things that are bothering me.

1. My lack of CM. I have detected only a few tidbits of decent CM, nothing great. So maybe if I do ovulate, it won't matter.

2. My BBT this morning went up. I was hoping that I might see an ovulation dip, but instead I got a small rise... the last couple days have been 97.1, 97.2, 97.4, and 97.6 this morning. It almost looks like a slow rise, but I know I haven't O'd yet, so I hope I get a nice 98.0 tomorrow or something.

3. Sex was completely different last night. This could be a good or bad thing, I don't know, but basically, it felt like my DH was really hammering me. Like punching my uterus over and over again. Not pleasant. I sometimes feel it bumping my cervix (which I find uncomfortable also) but last night was very different from that. So, that suggests to me that my CP has changed and that's good, but I just thought sex was suppose to hurt less (hmm... that sounds really bad the way I put it here) with a high cervix.

Bonus: For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy looking at some stuff I've peed on. Below we have a comparison photo of my HPTs, post trigger, FMU, from Today and December. The one from Today is on top. So, today's wasn't as strikingly positive as I was thinking it would be, but it is many times darker than the test in December so hopefully this is a good sign too. So, I'm still a tiny bit in doubt of my 5,000iu trigger, and if I don't ovulate today, I'm going to demand a 10,000iu shot next time.


Stay tuned.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trigger Day

I was kinda hoping that I'd get a positive OPK on my own before triggering and that didn't happen. I also hadn't seen any good CM... however I think I did see some this morning, but not as good or in the same quantity as I had with the cyst. I will continue to monitor the situation.

So, the lack of O symptoms makes me very glad that I had that trigger to use. The nurse at my PCP's office hadn't ever given one before so there was some confusion. I had a slip from my RE that clearly said to inject 1CC intermuscularly into the gluteus maximus, so I don't know what the issue was. But for all the confusion, I think I got a better injection than the RE's nurse gave me.

I apparently bleed (a fair amount for a shot IMO) when I got my last trigger. It makes me think it was injected directly into a blood supply, metabolized too quickly and explains when the HPT I took the next day with FMU was barely positive. This time the nurse stuck the needle in me, said that she was checking to make sure it wasn't in a blood supply, then pushed it in. I didn't bleed a drop. I'm POASing tomorrow, and I will be surprised if it isn't strikingly dark double lines.

Well, wish me luck to ovulate in approx. 35.5 hours. The waiting is killing me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Someone is trying to find me

I have the Google Analytics on my site. I just wanted to see how many people visit my site and I was curious to see if any crazy google terms lead people here.

Well, I'm always surprised and happy when it appears that people read this thing. And I've definitely had some interesting googles. I don't know what "tights on her head" was looking for or why some would search "Jakob Dylan Infertility" but I do get A LOT of "prometrium nipple pain" and "Flaxseed PCOS" or "Flaxseed TTC".

This is all fine and well, but apparently between Thursday and Friday there have been a bunch of "amanda blog infertility pcos". Ok, my dear bloggy friends, please tell me that one of you forgot my url and just googled your way back here the other day so I can stop being so freaked out.

Now I know I'm not the only Amanda in the world, but I'm seriously paranoid (normally) and if you are an IRL acquaintance and have found me, please let me know. I'd love to be able to talk with you about this, cause I have a rough time and need an IRL friend now and then.

I'm only a little "out" about my infertility. I told my mom, my boss, a friend or two, my hair dresser, my SIL, several of my neighbors, and obviously my drs. and acupuncturist knows. I have mentioned to a few of them that I am involved in the ALI community, but I haven't outright told anyone (other than DH) about my blog. (And DH swears it wasn't him.) So, seeing that particular google search caught me off guard.

Honestly, I'd be more out about my IF, but it just isn't something that normally comes up in conversation... plus I hate the judgment and advice that comes along with telling someone that you're infertile.

I'd like to use this post to extend an invitation to my lurkers out there. I'd like to get to know you, so please come out and leave a comment (even if you're not my mysterious googler).

By the way, when I have a baby, I'm totally going to make a onesie for it that says "My Mommy has PCOS".

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Follie Check

I'm reliving my glory days right now. I'm in a coffee shop in my college town, typing on my laptop. But this time I'm married and I have a genuine follicle and I'm getting some tonight.

So YAY! I have what looks like a real, live, viable follicle, measuring at a completely normal 17mm on my right ovary! I have a 12mm follicle on my right too. So there is an off chance that I could have 2 eggies, but a very good chance that I will have 1. And that's GREAT.

I was told to trigger Monday morning. I didn't want to give the shot to myself, and my husband doesn't want to give it to me either (can't say I blame the guy), so I called my PCP's office earlier in the week and they said they would happily stab me if I gave them a note from my RE. Yay! I don't have to get over my fear of needles yet!

I feel so awesome right now. Giddy with excitement.

Ok, off to acupuncture now!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I feel funny

I can't wait for my u/s tomorrow! (optimism anyone?)

Actually, I feel like I'm having a cramp. Why should I feel crampy now? Is this normal? The pain doesn't feel like my ovaries (not that my ovaries haven't been communicating with me in their own way lately, which probably doesn't mean a thing, lying bitches). It kinda feel little like gas, but I'm not sure what I ate to cause it if that's the case. I'm quite sure it has more to do with the reproductive organs at this point.

I hope this crampy feeling is good. It kinda freaks me out that maybe Dr. C was right and I shouldn't have done 150mg. But I have to keep reminding myself that it is nearly impossible to actually hyperstimulate on clomid, right?

1 follicle=great
2 follicles=still good
3+ follicles=soiled pants

So three follicles isn't exactly hyperstimulating, but it would definitely cause some unwanted side effects over here.

Given my history I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here. PCOS sucks... you always have to worry about not ovulating or overdoing it and in the meanwhile you're popping zits and plucking out stray hairs here and there.

Retrospective Perspective

I was thinking what it would be like to get a positive. Some of you have already had them so maybe you know what it’s like already… but I’m thinking more retrospectively about it… Retrospectively thinking about the future… don’t think about that too hard if you are smoking pot right now. Actually this post might be a little out there for those with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Bear with me.

“Retrospectively,” it’s a really calm and relaxed way of thinking about it. “I remember just looking down and it was there and then it was all different. I wasn’t trying anymore, I was.”

I’ve been really anxious lately, nervous thinking, “I just think if I can make it till (blank), I’ll be ok.” But this retro thought has helped me to find a little peace.

I think that after you’re pregnant and thinking back on your TTC time, and the anxiousness of it will go away… not the pain, but hopefully the anxiousness of it all. Of course, then there will a whole new host of things to be anxious about.

I just want to think that thought a little more. “I remember looking down and being amazed. I remember the happiness I felt at that moment.”

And it’s a thought that keeps going on… I think about what it would be like to think about that moment when I’ve been pregnant for a few weeks, then months, at the end when the baby is born....

When I try to think about seeing a positive from my current vantage point, it’s useless. I can’t see it, I laugh at the preposterousness of it. I’ve basically written it off for now. But the mother I will be some day can look fondly back on that moment.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ugg... BBT

If you've read about my BBT method before, then you know it's a little different. Basically I just wake myself up in the middle of the night, take it, and look at it in the morning (my thermometer stores the temps).

The system worked because I would work myself into a tizzy so that I would automatically wake myself up (you know, when you're mind just won't go to sleep, I did that to myself on purpose). Well, that was ok, but I'd get so worried about sleeping through it that I'd wake myself up multiple times and end up getting very little sleep.

I didn't want another alarm clock to help me wake up cause I already have too much on my nightstand. I'd use my cellphone, but then I would have to sleep with it (literally) and it wouldn't be able to charge overnight (a must for my old battery).

So, I came up with the solution: a watch with an alarm. It beeps every morning at 3:12am (cause I wake up naturally at that time on my own). And it's quiet enough that it doesn't wake up the husband. I can sleep with it without losing it in the sheets, and I don't have to reach far to turn it off. And I don't have to work myself into a tizzy to remember to wake up. A good solution overall.

Well last night, the cat started to cough up a hairball just after 3:12 and I hadn't taken the temp yet. I started to get up to "comfort" her in her hacking (I don't know if she appreciates this or not) but then I remembered the BBT. I had managed to fully standup, but immediately laid back down and popped the theremometer in my mouth. I took the temp (and I didn't have to get back up again because the cat got over her hacking episode with no actual hairballs produced). But I decided I might have corrupted my temp, so I would take it again when my morning alarm went off.

So I took it again a couple of hours later. Comparing the temps after I got up

~3:15 = 97.45 (PERFECT)
~5:45 = 98.20 (WAY TOO HIGH)

Ok, yeah if I took my temp every day at 5:45 my temps would be more consistent with this morning's readings, but then about once or twice a week, I'd still get 97.3 just to screw up my pretty chart. And then, when the shift comes, there's almost no where to go if the limit is 98.6.

I don't know what it is with my body, but if I take the BBT at wake up time, it's just terrible and inconsistent. If I take it in the middle of the night, I get a decent looking chart. I'd love to get more/better sleep, but as long as I'm doing the BBT, it's just not a option for me.

So I went with the 97.45.

*My other experiment this morning* Do not try to swallow Mucinex with pomegranate juice... you will regret it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mystery Solved!

Apparently PCOS is not what is causing my infertility, it's my ambidextrous superpowers that foil ovulation. What's the cure for that, chopping off one of my hands?

Acupuncture Again

Yesterday, Mel posted some Barren Advice about acupuncture. And as you know, I have been doing it now for a few weeks.

I started out as a skeptic, really doing it because I was hoping that if it just helped me to relax a little it was worth it. But now, I'm becoming an acupuncture believer, and I will tell you why.

I didn't post anything about this at the time because I didn't know what to make of it (and I still don't really). Back on Jan 17th I got my 1st treatment for infertility, ate lunch with DH, and then got home and it looked like I had about wet my pants with a red-watery discharge. Weird, that's NEVER happened before.

Also, I didn't feel the cyst anymore after that, until about the day or so before my period. So I'm sitting around confused thinking, "Is it really possible that my cyst did pop that day and that's what the discharge was from, or was it just some really weird, random discharge in the middle of a pack of BCPs?" or "It was nothing, cause I feel the cyst again, so it must have just gone dormant for a couple of weeks or something."

Since there was no fluid on this last u/s around the ovary, my RE thinks my cyst popped a while back. However he didn't know what to make of the discharge and kind wrote it off to the BCPs (I took BCPs for a decade and that NEVER happened before, so I am a bit skeptical on that one).

So to sum it all up, I was probably just feeling some phantom pains before my u/s because my cyst popped several days before my u/s, and if you ask me, it popped on the 17th and caused a red-watery discharge.

So did the acupuncture cause or at least significantly contribute to the cyst popping? Can't say, but if I'm wrong, the timing is uncanny.

So, you can see why I'm becoming an acupuncture believer. This next follicle check will really probably confirm or destroy my belief in acupuncture.

So make of that what you will.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I learn something new everyday...

... And sometimes it makes me want to go postal on my insurance company.

I have a mail in pharmacy... I've had one of these since I can remember. So I did with it what my mom had always done... got my 3 month long term prescriptions and sent them in and paid out the bum for all my non-long term scripts.

I had no idea that I could send in my receipts for my short term prescriptions and get back 50% (after the $100 deductible)! No one ever told me, I was never given a form with all the crap they send me, and it's not in the benefits book (which I have read cover to cover due to the IF stuff).

Ok, so does this mean that I have 50% prescription coverage on all my drugs?! I call them to ask immediately after finding this out... well no one could tell me for sure. I gave them a list of typical IF drugs and asked and they're like, "As long as it's medically necessary." Yeah, it's necessary, as my body is dysfunctional and these drugs FIX IT! A doctor prescribed them, that makes them medically necessary doesn't it? He wouldn't have given them to me if they weren't!

I'm going to send in my recent scripts for Novarel, Prometrium, Clomid, BCPs and Metformin and what gets covered.

This would have been great to know a while ago!

Ok, done bitching cause it looks like, although late getting to me, this is a very good discovery.