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Spermination Is The Name of the Game

20 Oct

Just a quick little update.

As of 10:00 am this morning I am officially sperminated. The IUI went off without a hitch. Husband produced 79.1 million beautiful little swimmers. He always had been an over achiever.

Unfortunately for me, yesterday’s happy hour turned into quite the happy night and I was probably the only hungover girl getting an IUI this morning. But, whatev. Why should fertiles have all the fun? I went out with a bang before I officially kicked off the 2ww.

We are going out again tonight for Oktoberfest at a place called Blob’s Pleasure Park. And no, it is decidedly not what it sounds like. I (and my hopefully freshly conceived eggs) get to be the DD and I am totally okay with this!

See ya’ll on the flipside.

Today Is Not A Good Day

17 Oct

You guys. Today is not a good day. I just can’t stop crying.

I had my CD 11 ultrasound this morning. I have a 19mm and 12mm follicle on my left ovary and a 19mm and 12mm follicle on my right ovary. I had blood work done to check my LH level to see if I will surge on my own. I already know I won’t because I never do on Clomid, so I will be going back bright and early tomorrow for another ultrasound and probably trigger with the HCG shot tomorrow afternoon. In the bathroom. At work…. All of which will equal an IUI on Saturday.

Sounds like good news, right? And it is exactly what I wanted–4 follicles, although only two will be mature enough to ovulate. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thrilled that my body is responding as it should. So why am I tearing up as I write this? That’s a very good question, ladies. Glad you asked.

Most likely it has to do with the Clomid. This is my fourth medicated cycle using Clomid and typically I never experience any side effects. This month, however, is SO different. I had migraine-style headaches that lasted days. My face and chest are broken out in all these tiny red bumps. I never break out and now I am terrified that my skin is going to be like this forever. Well, let me qualify that–I do break out from time to time, but never in such quantity. There are probably about 50 zits on my face. My husband says they aren’t noticeable, but I see them every time I look in the mirror.

And the mood swings…Oh the Mood Swings. I have been straight up bitchy all week and I refuse to make apologies for it. That’s how I know it’s bad. I am more than aware that I am being unreasonable and I just don’t effing care. Then today came the waterworks. I barely made it out of my RE’s office before the tears started pouring down my face. I called my husband and cried to him for a bit. Then I called my Mom and cried to her for even longer.

You see, my actual RE was the one who did my ultrasound this morning and afterward she told me that I needed to make an appointment to sit down with her and discuss our plan again because obviously this isn’t working. It’s been almost a year, I’ve done 5 medicated cycles, and I’m still not pregnant. She said “we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it happens this month.” I know exactly what that means. This is doctor speak for we seriously need to consider IVF.

But I’m not ready. Neither financially nor emotionally. But especially not financially. How the hell does one pull $15k out of thin air?

I just don’t know if I can take this anymore. I am becoming ambivalent towards this whole process and I can no longer see it as a means to an end. To be honest, some days I feel so unattached from my desire to be a mother that I totally forget why I am doing this in the first place. I guess that’s denial. Then there are days where it consumes my every thought and I am overly emotional at the idea that this might just never happen for me. Most days I attempt to avoid triggers in any direction so as to fool myself into believing that I am blissfully happy with the current state of my affairs. Maybe that’s actually denial?

Either way, I’m a damn mess. I’m scared. Anxious. Guilt-ridden. And so many other emotions that I didn’t even have names for.

Infertility effs with EVERYTHING! My complexion, my weight, and my emotions are just the beginning. Never mind how I see my relationships with my dearest friends changing right before my eyes. I know it isn’t due to anything that either of us is doing wrong, it’s just the way life works. We have different lifestyles and different priorities these days. Why would I even want to be invited to a play date anyway? I don’t! In fact, I can’t imagine anything more traumatic for me at this point. Yet, somehow that doesn’t erase the feelings of feeling excluded.

Then there is my marriage. I’m telling you, nothing is safe from the reach of infertility. There was a time not too long ago when I wrote about how infertility was bringing my husband and I closer together. That since we were the only people on whole, wide world who knew what it felt like to be us, our bond was further cemented in that unfortunate reality. However, I fear that is no longer the case. These days we barely talk about it. We face scheduled sex like homework. In fact, that’s how my RE actually refers to it. I know we could do better, we could try harder. But I really think neither of us has much fight left in us for that. Then there is the fact that this is my problem. He could go on and probably have 15 children with any fertile woman of his choosing. Logically I know this is backwards thinking. He has told me as much: I don’t get to make that decision for him. But, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that considers letting him go for this reason. I just know how devastated I would be (and am) at the prospect of facing a future without my own biological children. This decision would probably kill me, but I see it as a gift I could give to him. Perhaps the most selfless thing I could ever do in my life. I hope it never has to come to that point, but these are thoughts that keep my up and night and in tears all day.

I’m just all over the place and I know even more difficult decisions will need to be made. And soon.

My Made Up Protocol for Cycle 22

10 Oct

Yes, this cycle marks 22 months of TTC. I am so dreading that 2 year mark for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons being financial. As of January 1st our extremely high insurance deductible resets which means everything comes 100% out of pocket until we spend close to 5k. 5k which we don’t have, so as of January (if we aren’t pregnant?!?!) treatments will be put on hold until we can save that money up for IVF. I guess this works out nicely since my RE will no longer prescribe me fertility drugs at that point anyway and IVF is covered at 0%. This give us 3 cycles (including this one) to get the job done.

I wasn’t going to go overboard this cycle and just see what my body does on it’s own, but it seems that I changed my mind. Or rather, Kristin at Return to Go changed my mind. She posted a list of things she did this cycle in order to aid her fertility and they seem to be working so far. Thus, I present you with my very own protocol that I borrowed generously from her:

1. 50 mg of Clomid on CD 2-6 along with monitoring beginning on CD 10 and most likely a trigger shot. And definitely an IUI.

2. A foot bath (which can read more about here) with epsom salts and myrrh, geranium, and clary sage essential oils. I will also listen to the Circle + Bloom meditations while I do this.

3. Castor Oil Pack, which you can also read more about here.

4. I also picked up Fertility-Preg Liquid Extract to add to my water 2-3 times per day.

I already splurged on all this items in a moment of impulsiveness, so why not? I can’t hurt.

Between these things, your wine suggestion and position suggestions, I believe my broken foot, fractured tailbone, and infertile uterus shall be no match for my husband and I. Fingers crossed!

In Other News (And My 200th Post!!)

8 Oct

I’ve been so caught up in my October Writing Prompts that I almost forget this is primarily an (in)fertility blog. It seems that I owe you guys some sort of an update in that department.

I finished my 10 day antibiotic regiment to cure the ureaplasma.

Today is CD 2, so I started my first dose of 50mg if Clomid. We’re doing an IUI this month and my monitoring will begin on CD 10. Between my broken foot and broken/bruised tailbone, I have a feel getting it on will be quite difficult this month. Alas, the deed must be done. And done. And done. Then probably done at least one more time for good measure. Tips? Advice? Positions that will make the pain (and awkwardness) any easier? Recommendations for a good wine that will make me care a little less?

Pregnitude.

7 Aug

I first learned about Pregnitude through the lovely Carrie over at Searching for Middle Ground whose GYN told her that she shouldn’t just be on any prenatal vitamin, but that she should also be taking Pregnitude along with it. Carrie emailed me to let me know that she immediately thought of me (how freakin’ sweet?!?!) and wanted to let me know about it.

The first thing I did was mention it to my husband by relaying it much in the same way that I just did to you. His initial thought was that Pregnitude was some strange new TTC thing that I was trying in an attempt to get a better attitude towards trying to get pregnant. Oh men, why do those always have to be so literal?

The second thing I did was research the hell out of it. Turns out Pregnitude is a relatively new reproductive supplement that helps with ovulatory regulation and egg quality. Yes, ladies, you read that right. It’s a supplement (not a drug) that has been proven to help woman ovulate who don’t do so on their own, regulate cycles, and even improve the quality of the eggs! Sorry if I seem a little over excited, but I am wondering why there isn’t more out there about a supplement that has the possibility to be a miracle for us TTC-ers. Or, if nothing else, an alternative to Clomid.

Here is what I found in my research:

Pregnitude Website

Does Pregnitude Really Work for PCOS?

What is Myo-Inositol?

Pregnitude Study Results

The third thing I did was purchase my own box from their website and start it immediately. Now I had already ovulated by the time I started the supplement, but I figured what the heck? It cost about $35 and was fulfilled through Amazon and on my door step within 48 hours. It’s comes in a powder form that you dissolve into a glass of water and drink once in the morning and once at night. It has absolutely no taste whatsoever and I haven’t really noticed any side effects with the exception of gas. You can also get it at your local drugstore. You don’t need a prescription, but it is stored behind the pharmacist’s counter.

I’m curious…has anyone already tried this or even heard of it? Are any of your considering doing so?

*I was in no way paid, compensated, or even contacted by anyone having anything to do with this supplement. I was just amazed at the possibilities that it offers and wanted to pass it along to you lovely ladies.

Quick Little Update

1 Aug

Which will be done in bulleted fashion since I don’t have the brain power to compose paragraphs.

  • I have no idea how many DPO I am. Since my surgery follow-up was scheduled after day 3 of this cycle I am not taking any fertility meds again. I am pretty sure my body loves being Clomid free for two months. I know when my cycle started, which puts me at CD 20, but I have no clue when I ovulated because I didn’t even bother to use OPK this month. Guess we’ll just wait and see what happens in 8 days.
  • The plan for next month if to start Femara on CD 2 or 3 (I can’t remember). I know we won’t be doing an IUI, but I’m not sure if I’ll be monitored or given a trigger shot. This will be my first time on Femara so I have no idea what to expect. Hell, I’m not even sure if I’m spelling it right.
  • Am I the only one wondering what the heck happened to July? I am sad to see August here already. Despite the intense heat and humidity, summer is my absolute favorite season and I hate that it always flies by. We have lots of fun summer activities to fill up August–Old Crown Medicine Show and The Lumineers in DC this Friday from where we will drive directly to Bethany Beach for the weekend. Another beach weekend at the end of August with my husband, both of his brothers, their girlfriends/wives (the latter of which happens to be one of my BFF), and our dearest friends who are basically like family. Tomorrow will be a wine festival with my ladies. My other BFF from Seattle is coming home and somewhere along the lines we have to use our paddle boarding Groupon…..I get the feeling I am going to blink and it will be September.
  • I have to discuss it with my husband first, but I think I’m about ready to write about the marriage “issues” I alluded to a few blog posts back. Should be coming soon.
  • I’ve gone to the gym for the past three days in a row–definitely a record for me. My goal is to get there everyday except Fridays. I have also been tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal App and doing really well with staying under my allotted amount. Are any of you on that app? We can be friends :)
  • I feel like I’ve barely had time to breathe between work and everything going on at home. We’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics, much like the rest of the world. I’m really happy for Michael Phelps–he’s kind of a hometown here around here. Funny story–about 4 years ago, right after Beijing, a friend of mine got in a car accident with Micheal Phelps in downtown Baltimore. It was her fault and her car was totaled, but no one got hurt. Anyway, after everyone on the street nearby saw Michael get out of his car they started taking his picture and asking him questions and basically harassing him. Not a single person, with the exception of Phelps, came over to see if my friend was ok. I guess it just goes to show there is a little gentleman in there somewhere–or at the very least a decent driver.

How are you guys??? What’s been going on? Any fun “celebrity” sighting/interaction/car accident stories to share?

“Time is of the Essence”

19 Jul

I just got back from my saline ultrasound and felt like I need to write this all down while it is fresh in my mind.

I guess the good news is that the ultrasound looked great. My uterus is polyp free, my lining looks good, and I have three follicles already at 10mm each and this is only CD7. That’s with no drugs whatsoever this cycle or the last.

The bad news is that the tissue they scraped off during my hysteroscopy came back from pathology as inflamed endometrial lining, not polyps. My RE said they just because pathology didn’t call them polyps doesn’t mean that’s not what they are. So, uh, what’s the point in sending them to pathology then? Now, I think that we are sort of, kind of back to the unknown. Who really knows because there doesn’t seem to be a stitch of logic to this process. One day I have a diagnosis, then next day no one can say for certain. One day I’m up and then next I’m knocked right back down. I really wish I could get off this damn roller coaster.

My RE said that “time is of the essence” and that we need to be as aggressive as ever in order to beat the potential polyps to the metaphorical finish line, i.e. pregnancy. Her game plan is is for us to try naturally this month seeing as I didn’t take any Clomid and that window has already closed for this cycle. She says there is a chance that they scraped my uterus clean and provided a perfect environment for implantation. If that doesn’t work then she wants me to do two cycles of Femara with timed intercourse and see how that goes. After that we will go back and two cycles of Clomid with IUI and then if that still doesn’t work, we move on to IVF.

She will only let me do six medicated cycles because it isn’t good/safe for my body to keep taking those drugs. She also said that if 4 IUIs don’t work, then there really isn’t any point in doing more. I guess I knew this already, but now I know for sure that I only have 4 more cycles until IVF is our only option.

I’m not even going to bother getting into how I feel about IVF vs. surrogacy vs. adoption vs. living child-free because that is another post all on it’s own.

What I am feeling now is anger and resentment in light of everything that is going on in my marriage at the moment. What I am feeling is hatred and betrayal towards my own body. And the combination of these two things does not make for a good mix. The combination of these two things means that I need to prepare myself to watch my dreams move just a little further beyond my grasp.

All I want is to curl up, have a good cry, and go back to bed. But instead I have to put on my happy face and get myself to work where I can use distraction and denial to get me through one more day. I guess I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that anyway–good to know there is at least one new trick you can teach this old, barren dog.

***You know what else REALLY PISSES ME OFF…when I do spell check on my posts before publishing them and spell check alerts me to make sure IUI, IVF, endometrial, surrogacy, Clomid , Femara, are real words, spelled correctly. Someone should alert spell check (or whoever) that those words are SO REAL that they probably mean more than other word on this page. Any other word with maybe the exception of marriage….

 

Questions Without Answers

19 Jun

It’s never the negative pregnancy tests that get to me. Sure, I would much prefer to see two pink lines, but a negative HPT doesn’t knock me out of the game. There is room for error and I count on that. I dutifully wake up each morning beginning with CD 10 and I pee on a stick hoping that for once I might see something positive. Alas, those two lines continue to allude me.

But truly, it isn’t the past 18 months of negative pregnancy tests that has gotten me down. It’s actually the last 18 months of my period showing up right on time, every time. That’s my cue to throw in the towel; that’s when I know for sure that this month is not our month. Even after a year and a half of unwelcome periods and months of desperately clinging to hope even though I told myself that I wouldn’t, it still comes as a shock to me. Come to find out that as an “unexplained infertile” my chances of getting pregnant each month defy logic. My chances of conceiving naturally each month actually go down with each passing failure.

And yet, life goes on. And yet, I wake each day still in this same body that is STILL not pregnant.

I question my worthiness as a woman. If my body is incapable of bearing children, what good is the anatomy I was born with?

I question my ability to be a good wife. Will me husband leave me eventually if the alternative is a life without children? Are we strong enough to weather the silence that will fill our home for the rest of our lives? Am I letting him down?

I question my own sexual abilities. Am I doing it wrong? Is there something I have missed?

I question my past. Have I made choices in the past that have made me deserving of being infertile? Have I harmed my body in some way that is irreversible?

I question the present. Are the motions that I am going through convincing enough for everyone else? Am I strong enough? Patient enough? Smart enough? Good enough? How do I shake these feelings of fear and failure?

But mostly I question my future. What is this never happens for me? Will I find a new dream? Will I hate myself too much for depriving both my husband and I of that which we want most in this life? Can I going on living this way until my life ends?

So many questions and I don’t have an answer for any of them. It seems that this is what this journey has been about for me. I have so many questions and so few answers. What is preventing me from getting pregnant?

That is a question that I hope to have an answer for sooner rather than later. I am well aware that this method has failed me before. I got my hopes up about the BBT charts, elevated prolactin, the potential uterine septum, the HSG, and my husband’s varicocele. I put my trust in Clomid, trigger shots, acupuncture, IUIs, and progesterone suppositories. All of which has led me nowhere. I’m a textbook case for “normal” in every which way and all the interventions that I have tried thus far have been aimless shots in the dark. I sincerely hope that I will not be adding yet another procedure to this list.

I have scheduled both a laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy, which will be done at the same time. Who knows what they will find. Maybe nothing? Or maybe, just maybe, this will be the answer that I have been seeking. My surgery will be scheduled for next Tuesday or Wednesday which means the upcoming week could finally bring answers and solutions. I’d be lying if I said my hopes weren’t high. I need this to be it for me. I am beyond ready to move past the disillusionment I am suffering from my own body’s betrayal.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Pretty

29 May

The Good: Cycle Day 11 ultrasound went well this morning. I now have three follicles (one on the right, two on the left) and they are all measuring 21mm each! Of course I also got the “increased chances for multiples” speech. The RE said about 12% chance. That’s not that high, is it? IUI is scheduled for first thing Thursday morning.

The Bad: My LH level is even lower than yesterday at 4.3 so it doesn’t seem that I will be surging on my own again. I don’t know why this level drops as I am getting closer to what would be ovulation. I tried to do some research but it was all gibberish to me. Once again, I will be racing to the pharmacy to pick up my Ovidrel (trigger shot) on my lunch break and then shooting myself up in the bathroom at work between the hours of 4pm and 6pm. Oh joy!

The Ugly: A 21mm follicle is about the size of half a golf ball. That means I have the equivalent of 1.5 golf balls inside my uterus. Between that and the bloating from the Clomid, I could pass for a few months pregnant. Lord help me, I hope this isn’t an indication as to how quickly I will start showing once I get pregnant…..

The Pretty: As I’ve mentioned before, my husband I have been putting a lot of work into both our front and backyards. We are nearly finished with the backyard so I thought I would share some pictures. My husband built and stained this entire table by himself. We are so pleased with it and I am so proud of him! Clearly, we still have a few little touches to add. And just a warning…it’s a VERY SLOW day at work today!

Here is a picture from the opposite direction:

And lastly, a close up of my herb garden that I made all by myself! The color is more of a coral and less pink in real life. I’m really hoping I can salvage my cilantro plant and will probably pick up two more things to plant in there.

So, yeah. We had a busy, productive, long weekend. But it was well worth it when we got to eat dinner and have a drink in our new peaceful yard. It’s safe to say we are obsessed!

Here We Go Again

28 May

I had my CD 10 ultrasound this morning to check my response to my third round of 50mg of Clomid. I had to get up at 7 am on my day off to get to the RE’s office by 7:30 for the ultrasound clinic. I don’t even get up that early on workdays. Alas, an infertile girl has to do what an infertile girl has to do. It wasn’t so bad though as apparently I’m the only woman that needed an ultrasound today, so I was in and out in a matter of minutes. How great is it that these places are open 365 days a year? I thanked the RE for being available and he told me it was important work and ovulation is not to be missed! I really do love it there.

Even though I am only on CD 10, I had three follicles of substantial size. One on my right ovary, measuring 18mm. Two on my left ovary, measuring at 21mm and 15mm, respectively. I thought I saw a fourth follicle in there, but he didn’t bother measuring so I am assuming that it was too small to matter. I usually don’t ovulate until day 14 so I was a little surprised to learn that the follicles were already that big. However,  we already know that my reproductive organs have a mind of their own so I really shouldn’t have been so surprised.

From there I went down to the lab, which was also open despite the holiday. Again, I was the only one there so I was able to get in and out. 15 minutes from the time I walked into the hospital’s door until the time I was back in my car. It could have been way worse and probably will be when I go back tomorrow.

My FH was only 6.5 indicating that I am most likely not going to surge on my own. Ideally, I would have the Ovidrel trigger shot today and then IUI tomorrow but apparently pharmacies don’t care about my infertility as much as my RE’s office does and there is not an open one to be found today. So I will go back bright and early tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and blood work to re-check my FH levels. Hopefully the follicles don’t get too big by then (what is too big, anyway?).

As of now, it looks like ultrasound and trigger shot tomorrow and IUI on Wednesday.

This scenario actually works better for us anyhow because my husband has an appointment in DC tomorrow to get a rush passport. If the IUI had been scheduled for tomorrow then he would have had to run to office the minute they opened, do his man-business, and then head straight to DC. This would have left me to have the IUI done all by myself. Maybe it’s just me, but if we can’t do it the old fashioned way,  I would at least like my husband to be in the same room as my when our baby is conceived. So Wednesday it is.

In the meantime, I’m planning to do everything I can to aid the process. I booked a massage for Tuesday evening with a message therapist who also gives prenatal massages, but since I’m not pregnant she is going to do a regular/prenatal massage. A little bit of this, a little bit of that all while avoiding the places on my body that should be avoided if I were to be pregnant. I have been doing a lot of reading on the benefits of massage while TTC and thanks to Groupon, I can actually afford to try it out this cycle. At the very least, I should be super relaxed for my IUI.

I’m also going to skip yoga and exercising all together during my 2ww. I know they RE says I can go about business as usual after an IUI, but I just feel better taking it easy.

So that’s the plan. I feel pretty ambivalent towards the whole thing currently. I am pretty much assuming that I won’t get pregnant this cycle so really this is just me going through the motions. I’m doing what the doctors say should be done but instead of being cautiously optimistic, I am choosing to be realistic. I haven’t gotten pregnant in the past year and a half, so what would make me think that it will happen this time? Not a damn thing.

I have also decided that if I don’t get pregnant this month then I will be opting for the exploratory laprascopy next month. The idea that it is inevitable anyway just makes me feel like I would rather do it sooner than later. Patience has never really been my strong suit.

I’m not really sure how this early ovulation/trigger shot effects my luteal phase. I am very regular, every 28 days with a luteal phase of 14 days, but since I am triggering on day 11 I suppose that could shorten my cycle by three days. So my period will be due between June 13th and June 16th. I just realized that also happens to be the weekend I will be at the beach. Should make for an interesting vacation either way. Oy, it’s going to be a long 2 weeks.

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