Thursday, April 26, 2012

Worst Timing EVER

I got my period yesterday.  Seemed rather fitting since it was also the day I had my appt. with Dr. P

It went well, as well as it could have gone.  P didn't go and it was kind of sad to be sitting there alone.  I don't feel overwhelmed more a sense of melancholy I guess, kind of just going through the motions.  Happy we have options, unhappy we need them. 

On to my meeting with Dr. P...

In her words, she has never seen a patient respond to meds. the way I did.  Which is why she does not feel comfortable going forward with another IUI.  I was started on the lowest possible dose 75 and I was a follicle-making machine.  She really didn't think it was safe.  Each month the ovaries respond differently, for all we know, as responsive as my ovaries were, next time could be worse.  With IVF there is much more control.  So, we will be moving forward with IVF w/ ICSI. 

I expressed my huge fear of OHSS and IVF and she said those fears were warranted.  I probably will develop it, to what extent, like she said, she wished there was a crystal ball she could look into and tell me, but we will just have to take a leap of faith that it will not be severe.  When we move forward with IVF she will be starting me out on the lowest dose of Gonal-F she has ever started a patient on (112.)  This makes me feel good and bad.  Good, because I know she is looking out for me, but bad because we might not get a great response.  She said she likes to get anywhere between 10-15 eggs.  Shouldn't be a problem for me (I hope!) 

So, the timing.  Yesterday.  I sat down with the IVF Coordinator and she gave me an estimated date of June 13 for egg retrieval give or take a few days.

I also sat down with the insurance/financials person again and after getting authorization which shouldn't be a problem, insurance wouldn't be a problem (we are so very lucky, I know.)
As apprehensive as I was just two days ago, hearing Dr. P talk about sperm and egg FINALLY meeting and forming our own little embryos was so exciting.  It got me to thinking that maybe, just maybe, this could be our time.  So, since I have had such a change of heart, let's get started NOW! 

Oh wait, my brother is getting married the first weekend in July and I have the shower, bachelorette party, and all things wedding in both June and the beginning of July.  What does that mean? We will most likely have to put this off for 2 more months.  We have come this far and now more waiting.  Kind of frustrating, but I refuse to be that person that takes attention away from my brother, as selfish as I think I should be allowed to be right now, I don't want to do it.  What if I missed the shower?  People would be talking about ME, not them.  What if I get a bad case of OHSS and it screws everything up?  Again, it would be about me, and as much as I want so badly it to be about me right now, I just don't think it's the right thing to do.  This is my one and only sibling and I want to be able to celebrate the day with him, without any unwanted attention on me.  To think, we started trying back in December of '10 so we would have a baby before the wedding, so I wouldn't be pregnant for the wedding, and here we are almost a year and a half later not pregnant, no baby, no belly!

Impulsive me (still) wants to jump right into this head first.  Like I just jumped into planting flowers in the ground last weekend, even though we are expecting a frost this weekend and they will probably die!!  Ahhh!  But, if we jumped right in, I would spend the whole cycle in a panic, worried about timing, and dates, and everything else, and I don't think that is a good state of mind to be starting out in. 

What does all this mean?  We most likely will be waiting two cycles (this one and the next) and then begin IVF.  That would put us right around the beginning of the last week in June, and then I would begin the Lupron 3 weeks after that and we would be on our way.  No, it's not fair and it seems so far away, and yes I would like nothing more than to whine about it.  But, maybe this is a good thing.  If IVF is anything like my IUI it will probably not go smooth, and maybe we are not ready for that right now.  Our relationship certainly isn't.  We are both walking around on eggshells, each time one of us opens our mouth, the other is ready to pounce.  Maybe we can use this time to focus on us a little bit more. 

In the meantime I have to go in for cd 3 b/w on Friday, the last step needed before authorization can be sent out to our insurance company for our first IVF cycle.  Turns out my last cd 3 b/w to measure my e2 and FSH (ovarian reserve) was done in May of last year.  Holy shit, it was almost a year ago when I paid a visit to my OBGYN expressing my concerns after 5 months without success, she thought I just needed to give it more time, oh how I wish she had been right!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Ignore Infertility

Because it is National Infertility Awareness Week, we were asked to particpate in posting about the following prompt...Don't ignore (fill in the blank)

This is my attempt at responding to Resolve's challenge to bloggers. 

Don't Ignore the fight you have inside you.  Each one of us is far more courageous and brave than we could have ever imagined.  Every day is a challenge, some days emotionally, some days physically, soem days mentally, and somedays it's all three!  Yet, we all continue to fight, something tells us we must keep fighting.  How we can go from breaking down to taking on another battle all in just a few days, hours, sometimes minutes is a pretty amazing thing.

It is that fight inside of us that gets us out of bed early in the morning to drive to appts. 

It is that fight inside of us that decides to move forward with another cycle when we know it's time for a break.

It is that fight inside of us that allows us to smile on the outside when on the inside all we want to do is scream.

It is that fight inside of us that gives us that tiny bit of hope that even though things are bad now, they won't (CAN'T) be this way forever.

When I heard the news yesterday that we were most likely going straight to IVF the fears and doubts hit me like a ton of bricks and I walked around in a bit of a daze for a little while.  What if I can't handle all the shots?  What if they don't monitor me well enough?  What if I get my hopes up too much?  What if this fails too? 

Then I got in the car with Sage, turned on the radio  and thought about all I have already been through and those four little words came out of my mouth...I can do this.  YOU can do this.  WE can do this.  The song playing on the radio was Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up." 

To those who have never experienced IF, there is no way to put it into words.  For as difficult as it feels for you to reach out to us, it is nothing compared to the daily struggle we face.  It sometimes seems like the world is just passing you by and you are at a standstill unable to participate, watching like an outsider.  You watch people celebrate good things in their lives and as much as you try and be a part of it, a part of you is shut off to their happiness, a part of you has grown a little cold.  Even your happiest of days aren't the "happy" they used to be.  But you don't give up, that fight inside of you pushes back.  That little fight inside of you tells you that eventually those days will become happy days again, hopefully filled with tubbies, bedtime stories, and lots hugs and kisses. For most of us, giving up is not an option.  A baby will come into our lives one way or another.

So, next time you feel like you just can't stand the thought of another failure, don't ignore that little bit of fight left inside of you, instead, allow it to take over.  Sometimes it is right under the surface, and sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find it, but it is there, and we all have it.  And I pray for each and every one of us that the little bit of fight we have left, however small it may feel at times, wins out in the end...

To our little baby out there somewhere, don't worry, we still have a lot of fight left in us!

I Won't Give Up
Jason Mraz

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well there's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts
We got yeah we got a lot at stake
And in the end,
You're still my friend at least we didn't tend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
I'm still looking up

I won't give up on us
God knows I'm tough, he knows
We got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up...


Monday, April 23, 2012

My New Normal

I was in great spirits this weekend.  P and I had a great day yesterday being rained in, I got a lot of school work done, we made dinner together, and watched the Bruins win in OT.  Then Sunday night came and I couldn't sleep.  I don't think I slept more than 1-2 hours, maybe I knew deep down the news this morning would be so much more than just a negative beta. As I tossed and turned I began to think about what I could blog about for National Infertility Awareness Week which began yesterday.  Resolve has challenged bloggers to respond to this prompt: Don't Ignore...(fill in the blank.)  When I woke up this morning I was all prepared to blog about this when I got home from work, but with the state of mind I am in right now, I have decided to postpone this until tomorrow (maybe.)

So, I got the phone call today.  My 2ww is over and it was negative.  I was totally prepared for that and actually excited to move on to the next IUI.  The second one would be better, easier, I was ready for it, only there will not be a second one or a third one...

The woman on the phone was disgustingly sympathetic, to the point that I wanted to tell her please don't feel sorry for me.  But, I knew what she was trying to do, it must be awful to be the person making those phone calls on a daily basis.  My response was, "Thanks, but I knew it was negative."  She then questioned how I knew and I explained and she told me that she believed from looking at my bloodwork that it couldn't have been timed more perfectly, with more than 3-4 mature follicles waiting in the wings.  Is this supposed to make me feel better??  If everything was so perfect, why are we still sitting here?  What is going on with my body/P?  Why can't we make a baby??  What are we missing??

What I didn't know was what she was preparing to tell me next.

"I have a few messages for you from Dr. P.  She would like you in for a consult this week, the sooner the better.  She would also like you to speak with our financials person.  She doesn't think going forward with another IUI is the right move.  In her opinion you should go straight to IVF (possibly with ICSI.)"      

I'm sorry what...

What happened to let's try 3 cycles of IUI and then proceed with IVF?  Dr. P had even suggested wait a few more months before IUI and now she wants us to go straight to IVF?  What has caused her to jump ship so quickly?  She is very conservative, so I have to believe that IVF is our only option if she is recommending it and that thought scares me just a little bit.

P and I had originally decided we would move forward with 2 more IUIs, take the summer off (assuming they were unsuccessful) because my brother is getting married the first week in July, we have a few other weddings, and were hoping to get away in August.  Then, prepare for IVF in September (first month back at work) and go for it in October.  I should know by now, that my plans mean NOTHING...absolutely nothing in this ugly battle with IF.  There is no point in planning anymore. 

So, I am going in on Wednesday afternoon to see Dr. P and I don't know what exactly she is going to say and I am trying to ignore this feeling that I have in the pit of my stomach that this is never going to happen for us.  If we move forward in the next few months with IVF, what happens if that doesn't work?  What happens if nothing works?  I know I am jumping ahead but I am so frustrated right now.  It isn't supposed to be like this.  Why is it so god damn easy for so many other people?  So many people will never know what this feels like, and it is hard not to feel bitter and angry about that.

I know it's early in the week, but I plan on treating myself to a few drinks tonight.  I guess this has become my new normal and I once again have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.  Just seems like a lot to deal with for a 29 year old girl that wasn't prepared for any of this...

Good luck to all my IVF buddies this month, I have been thinking of you all weekend long, and am awaiting positive results for all of you over the next few weeks xoxoxo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Almost Over

In 2 days, my 2ww will be over.  I will get that phone call and we will begin again, and I am anxious to get going.

We have another wedding tonight. I have mixed feelings about going.  He was one of my good friends our last few years of high school and our first few years into college.  We don't talk as much anymore, but lately P and him have become closer.  So, I am really excited to see him today and a bunch of guys we went to high school with.  I am NOT excited about making small talk with their wives/girlfriends.  Like I have said before I have always related better with guys then girls, I love to laugh and joke around.  But, I feel like I am now at an age where it is not as socially acceptable to hang with the guys haha and I have to force myself to make conversation with their wives/girlfriends.    Normally, I would have a few drinks and it would be a BLAST, but a few months ago when we got the invitation, we just knew there was NO WAY I wouldn't be pregnant, so we didn't get a hotel room because we knew I wouldn't be drinking and could drive home.  Worst of both worlds: I am NOT pregnant and I CANNOT get drunk because I have to drive home...ughh hopefully one glass of wine will help.

I woke up the last two mornings and tested.  WHY?  Because I am obsessed.  I know I am not pregnant, and it is just cruel to keep doing this to myself, but I can't help it.  I have even debated stopping the progesterone suppositories because the way they are messing with my hormones.  But, it is my first cycle on them and I only have 2 more nights, so I can hang in there.

P took Thursday and Friday off and insisted we go somewhere for the night.  And although I fought him all the way, not wanting to go, I have to admit it was good to get away.  When the three of us (Sage included) are away from here it feels like we are in our own little bubble.  It isn't that our problems with having a baby disappear (we actually had a nice conversation about it while out to dinner Thurs. night) but they aren't in our face all the time.  Our two upstairs bathrooms are filled with monitors, OPKs, leftover syringes (which I should probably toss out,) tests, and anything else you can think of.  No matter how much I try to not let it, it is taking over my life. 

Thursday and Friday were nice enough that we decided to take Sage to the beach.  Dogs are allowed until Memorial Day, and we LOVE to watch her run around.  P especially loves it.  At one point I was taking a picture of the two of them and I thought to myself, could I be happy if it was just the 3 of us and a huge lump started forming in my throat.  Since the day we got Sage we have talked about how good she will be around kids.  She is the best dog in the world, and that is not me just being bias!  She loves to play, she's protective, she cuddles with us in the morning...How could you not love this face?? 


We have been talking a lot about getting a new car, an SUV for me, and when we went to the beach we were in an SUV and Sage can't jump up.  So, as we were driving away P said to me that we are going to have to get one of those mini step stools for when we get an SUV this Fall.  When I asked why, he told me because Sage would need one to get into the car.  She is a LAB!  She is going to have to learn how to jump up I told him as I was laughing.  He is going to be such a good dad...

Then come the questions...Why is this happening to us?  Why can so many people want a baby and then have one?  I know I can handle this and I hope P can, but that doesn't mean I want to.

The number 12 seems to be popping up a lot lately.  To be considered infertile, a couple needs to be trying for at least 12 months on their own.  May will mark our 17th month and I don't feel ANY closer, in fact, after the Clomid in Nov. and Dec., and the Bromocriptine since Jan, and the IUI this month (all things that were supposed get us a baby and have failed) I feel farther away from having a baby than I ever have.  I am trying so hard on a daily basis to be okay with it, but the bottom line is, it just makes me sad. 

Between 10-12% of couples deal with infertility when trying to have a baby.  That means almost 90% DON'T! 

At my clinic the success rate for an IUI is 12% for a typical couple.  We are dealing with a few issues that make us a not so typical couple, so does that mean our success rate is even lower?  Doesn't that seem like a shot in the dark?  Are we wasting our time?  We missed my LH surge for IUI #1, what if it happens the next two cycles?  Will I look back and wonder why did we waste this valuable time?  I guess only time will tell... 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not Bad Days, Just Bad Moments...

I am currently 9 dpiui.  The first few days of my 2ww were horrible because I felt like crap.  Since then, I have felt great!  My stomach is still a little funky, but totally related to the progesterone.  One of the side effects I was looking forward to having was bigger boobs, but OF COURSE that didn't happen!

I have been on vacation since Monday and the weather has been gorgeous.  I am in such a better place than I was 2 months ago, during February vacation.  I have spent time with friends, shopped, cleaned, and gone on long walks with my pup (who also doubles as my therapist...I pay her in treats!)

I haven't had any bad days lately, just bad moments.  I have been in the car a lot lately.  I love to drive in the warm weather, with the windows down, blasting my radio, it makes me happy.

But, there are still bad moments and in those moments it feels I am in the middle of the ocean, drowning, desperately searching for something to save me, and I can't find it.  In those small moments I feel tired...tired of acting like everything is fine, tired of watching everyone else have babies...tired of constantly trying to swim, just to stay above the water. 

The thing is I can't put my finger on what causes those bad moments, one day this week P came home from work and I just got teary eyed, another time I was in the car listening to a song, and my mind must have wandered off and again I got tears in my eyes.  Babies are EVERYWHERE.  I went off facebook about a month ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I know so many people in the upcoming months that are due to give birth and a few of our friends even had children that turned 1 this month, that does make me a little sad. 

Like I said though, I am in a much better place.  I know that no matter what happens I will be okay.  I will bounce back, my body will bounce back.  I am 99% sure this cycle failed and although I will be sad when I get the phone call, I might even break down for a few minutes, but I know I will be okay.  Some of you will tell me to be hopeful over these next few days and while I appreciate it, I am simply being honest with myself.  It would be the most wonderful miracle if it happened this month, but we were fighting an uphill battle almost from the start.

We have decided we will move forward with another IUI, assuming this one was unsuccessful, and I am cleared of cysts.  P told me the decision was mine, and I feel comfortable going ahead.  The shots were a piece of cake, I had almost no side effects, with the exception of the trigger, and I will be much more prepared.  I talked to my doctor's office today and there will be a change in my plan, but we will not know specifics until next week. 

So, for now, I am enjoying every minute of my vacation and my alone time.  I know our day will come, I just hope it comes sooner rather than later because this sunny weather can't last forever...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Questions, Questions, Questions

I can't believe I am saying this, but answering all these questions has been a lot of fun.  I was actually sitting at the computer smiling to myself, at one point even laughing.  Thanks to Cristy at Searching for Our Silver Lining, Sass at (In)Fertility Unexplained and Shelley at From the Waiting Room for giving me a much needed distraction!  So, here are the rules...

Here are the rules:1. Post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
5. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

These are Cristy's questions:

1) What do you want to be when you grow up?

I LOVE my job, but I often think it would be so much fun to be an event planner.  I have always been pretty organized, and although it sounds super stressful, I always thought it would be fun. 

2) Do you have a favorite season? Which one and why?

Since marrying P, I have grown to love the fall...pumpkins, apples, football, warm days and cool nights.  But, I also love the first snowfall in winter, and the first warm day in the summer.  Haha, the only season I am not CRAZY about it Spring, but so far we have had gorgeous weather this Spring in New hard to pick a favorite!

3) What is your fondest memory (childhood, teenagehood or adulthood)?

There are so many!  I remember when my brother and I were growing up, sitting around the kitchen table with my mom and grandparents ordering Domino's pizza and playing solitaire.  I am pretty sure I learned my first few swear words from my Nana after playing that game so many times!

Another fond memory I have is from one of my birthdays in elementary school.  My dad picked me up from school and had flowers for me.  He was not the real sentimental type back then (although he sure is now) and that is something that has always stuck with me.

4) Name one thing you absolutely love about your sweetheart.

I love to listen to him talk to our pup while I am upstairs in bed and he is downstairs cuddling with her, it always makes me smile and makes me think of what a wonderful father he will be someday...

5) Speaking of music: Hip-hop or hard rock?

Depends on the day!  Probably more hip hop than rock, but some days I listen to Colplay for hours and hours, other days I can listen to Katy Perry, Jason Mraz, Florence and the Machine....the list goes on and on...

6) Tell me one thing you did in the past week you are proud of.

The few days after my IUI when I went back to school and was able to pretend I was fine. 

7) Tell me one thing you love about your body. one of my best friends C would say my bubble butt.  I am pretty thin, always have been, but that little poof on my backside adds just a little bit of character haha. 

8) What was your favorite childhood toy?

I am pretty sure I had a cabbage patch doll named Emma that I loved, I also remember being very fond of Teddy Ruxbin (sp)??

9) Share a funny story.

Can't think of one right now, although I am the type of person that usually spends half of my day laughing, so when I can think of one I will post about it!

10) Looking back on this journey, what is one thing infertility has taught you?

Live in the moment.  Yesterday is over and we don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I need to stop wasting time worrying about the next procedure or the next test.  It is hard, but I need to appreciate the times I feel good, allow myself to break down, and know that it will not be this way forever.  I will have tough days, days that I want to cry, scream, punch something, but tomorrow is always a new day.  It is amazing what your mind and body are capable of handling when there is no other choice. 

It has also taught me how important support is.  Even though there are many days I feel I am fighting this alone, I am often reminded by family, friends, and the blogging community how much support there is and the fact that it is okay to reach out and admit I am struggling...

11) Finally, in honor of Mel's picky eater posts, share with us the one food you think everyone needs to try before they die. Explain why.

I am a super picky eater, actually I have the taste buds of a 10 year old, and I am okay with that.  So, it is more something that is my favorite that I never get sick of...Buffalo Chicken Pizza (what can I say, I have simple taste!)  I have probably tried it from over 10 restaurants over the past year and I cannot get enough of it!

These are Shelley's questions:

1. What’s your lucky number and why?

I don't really have a lucky number.  I guess looking back I would say was my high school basketball number.

2. Do you still live in the place where you grew up? Why or why not?

Haha, sadly P and I both grew up here and we are BACK!  It is such a great town, in the middle of two cities.  And, our families are close.  Family is very important to both of us.

3. Name one goal you have for yourself this week.

P has really been encouraging me to reach out to find an infertility therapist to talk to.  So, I hope by the end of the week I can find a few names/numbers in my area and at least reach out to them by phone.

4. What’s your favorite item of clothing or jewelry in your closet right now?

Just got the best dress from The Loft to wear to my future SIL's shower.  Here is a pic...Loft Dress
I have pretty much no figure, no hips, no boobs, just tall and thin so it kind of works for me.

5. If you could only have five kinds of cheese for the rest of your life, which five would you choose?

Not really a "cheese" person per say...So, going to change the question a little haha...five things with cheese in them that I love...buffalo chicken pizza, queso dip, Cracker Barrel sharp cheese with pepperoni and wheat thins (I know I have such simple taste haha,) cheesy fries from Longhorn (SO BAD FOR YOU) and favorite of both P and me is good old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich on a cold day!

6. Do you have any tattoos? If so, tell me about them. If not, would you ever get one?

No, but I have ALWAYS wanted one.  I keep telling myself if we are not pregnant in the next 6 months or so I would like to get one.  Something small, something that represents hope and courage.  But, hopefully I will never need to get one :)

7. If your significant other was an animal, what animal would he or she be?

I have ABSOLUTELY no idea...I just asked P what he thought and he said a horse, when I said why, he told me because they are majestic (neither one of us are very creative)...he is so corny haha, I guess that would be another thing I love about him. 

8. Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Kind of in the middle...I don't mind being up early, and some days I can stay up late.  All depends on how my week is going, and what cycle I am on haha!

9. Would you rather be a dog named Killer or a cat named Fluffy?

Oh god, neither!  I am not a fan of cats, and Fluffy just sounds to cutesy, yet Killer is way too nasty for me. 

10. How has infertility changed you?

Oh boy, what a loaded question.  I feel it has made me stronger.  It has made me realize I can handle much more than I ever thought I could.  But, it has also made me a little cold.  I have lost a little bit of myself in this battle.  The moments where I am truly happy and living in the moment seem to be fleeting...

11. Tell me about your oddest quirk.

Oh god there are so many!  My biggest one is with my food.  Since I was a kid, I have not been able to eat foods that touch other foods i.e. my corn can't touch my mashed potatoes.  I think it is a texture issue, but it effects a lot of my eating habits, definitely something P finds quirky (maybe annoying) about me!

And last but CERTAINLY not LEAST here are Sass' questions

1. Where did you grow up and how did it shape you?

I grew up in a sports town.  Being an athlete was super important, which is why it felt so great to be a big time basketball player.  I am sure you were hoping for a sentimental type answer but I just can't figure it out right now!!

2. Do you have any siblings?

I have a younger brother who is getting married in July. 

3. What was your first job?

I used to wake up on Saturday mornings after my basketball games Friday night and ref little kids sports.  Every job I have had since I can remember involved kids.  Babysitting, coaching, camp counselor...

4. If you've lived more than one place, what was your favorite home?

I am a HOMEBODY...never lived anywhere besides here, unless you count college, and even then I often times came home on the weekends haha

5. Where and when did you meet your partner?

It was time for senior prom (high school) and P asked me to go, we have been together ever since.

6. If you could return to school to study something different, what would it be?

I have always thought physical therapy was something I would be good at/enjoy. 

7. What was your favorite vacation?

I had SO many awesome vacations when I was a kid between Disney World, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, New Hampsire...I wasn't kidding when I said I had an awesome family.  My brother and I were very lucky.  As an adult, it would have to be our honeymoon to Hawaii.  It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen on earth, we will go back someday...

8. If you could recommend one book, what would it be?

The Help...phenomenal book

9. When did you know that adding a child to your family wouldn't be easy.

I hate to admit it, but I can remember almost 10 years ago admitting to my mom I thought I would have trouble.

10. What is your diagnosis?

There are so many!! High prolactin, MFI, unexplained...I am sure if I thought hard enough I could find more "problems" with my body

11. If you could give one piece of advice to the person you were when you were just starting your IF journey, what would it be?

Try and enjoy my time with P more.  We spend so much time sad, angry, frustrated, that I almost feel like we have lost the last year and a half of our life.  We decided not to do things for fear/hope we may be pregnant, and here we are still waiting...

Finally, here are my questions for YOU...

1. What drink do you miss the most when you are cycling?
2. If you could go back and change one thing about your life, what would it be?
3. Who is your celebrity crush and why?
4. What movie do you watch when you want/need a good cry?
5. Tell me about your best personality trait.
6. What is one thing that you do that drives your partner crazy (and not in a good way?)
7. What do you think the best thing about parenthood will be?
8. What is your favorite tv show?
9. Is there a song that you listen to/think of when you are having a particularly bad day?
10. How do you keep charging ahead with IF?  What gives you the strength?
11. Name one POSITIVE that has come out of your struggle with IF.

If you don't want to answer these, I totally understand, but to be honest, I kind of had fun with it and would love to hear your answers...

Laura @ Adventures of an Infertile Myrtle
Emily @ The Empty Uterus
Becky @ This Blissful Journey
The Bird @ Bird Meets Bee
Mrs. GG @ Baby Making Merry Go Round
JustTooBusy @ Too Busy Living To Be Perfect
Ess @ Good Luck-Try Again
Meggola @ Lost in Procreation
Emily @ A Blanket 2 Keep
Sometimes @ Sometimes It's Hard to Get Pregnant
Crystal @ The Redhead Files

I really should have tagged everyone because I would love to hear all of your answers, but I am starting to see spots on the screen which I think is a signal I should probably get off...thanks again to all my friends for such a great distraction :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This has been the longest I have gone without posting in the 2 months since I started blogging.  I don't really know the exact reason why I haven't felt the need to, but it could be the millions of thoughts I have swirling around in my head.

Emotionally and mentally I am doing pretty well.  Physically, it hasn't been the greatest few days.  I came down with a horrible case of nausea and stomach "issues" on Monday night, to the point that P made me call the nurse and I had to sleep on the couch and take Tuesday off as well.  I am getting used to the suppositories but they're not my favorite, this is usually how it goes...wake up with cramping, take my prenatals...go to bed with lots of  bloating, take my bromocriptine, and progesterone suppositories, get up and repeat. 

P and I may or may not decide to move forward with another IUI next month.  Crazy, we spent the last 16 months waiting for this IUI and now we both are left wondering what to do.  I really want to sit down/have a phone conversation with my RE. 

After I went in for my baselines on cd 3 and was told to go ahead with the injections, they said they didn't want to see me until cd8.  I remember calling P and saying I thought that was very strange since we had no idea how my body would react.  Especially since I had responded so extremely well to only 50 mg of Clomid.  But, what do I know?

I was also a high-risk candidate for OHSS which I have been petrified about since Monday.  Because my estradiol was 2300 on cd9 and I had so many follicles in the small/medium size as well as the 3-4 mature ones, its the perfect storm for OHSS.

To be honest, whether this cycle works or not I am so looking forward to it being over...and I am pretty sure it is not going to work.  I have been doing research and because I was only on the stims for 6 days before I did the trigger, even though I had 3-4 follicles that appeared to mature, the quality of the eggs is most likely to be poor.  I am almost positive I ovulated sometime Sunday (my BBT skyrocketed Monday morning and has remained up for the last 6 days) and I think the on-call doctor realized what was happening, and had me come in early Monday for the insemination to try and catch the last few hours of "good eggs."  He had me to trigger Sunday afternoon after bloodwork had already picked up the surge that morning.  Couple that with only 8 million motile sperm and we are once again not a good recipe for making a baby.

I would be okay with all of this if I thought my clinic did the best job they could monitoring me, but I don't think they did.  Don't get me wrong, everyone there has been wonderful, and great to work with, but that doesn't make up for everything.  I totally get that each person responds differently to the meds, I just think with my history I should have been in earlier. 

I remember Satuday night (cd 8 after my estradiol came back at 1300) giving myself the lower dose of gonal-f, wondering if I should even give it at all.  I also remember moments before I gave myself the trigger shot on Sunday thinking, maybe this isn't a good idea.  I need to learn to trust my gut more.  Maybe my cycle should have just been cancelled.  But, at the time, P and I had no idea what to do.  So, we plunged ahead.

I am also having a hard time getting the scene of the insemination out of my head.  Hearing the nurse tell me she has tried 5 different types of catheters (some with hooks, bumps, curves) and can't seem to get any to work.  Hearing the doctor ask to the nurse to get a thicker catheter from the other room.  Holding my knees up by my chest to try and make the angles better.  It was pretty traumatizing, definitely not the 3 minute procedure I was expecting.  But, again, it's over and I am pretty amazed at how resilient the mind and body are.

I am currently 5dpiui and just (while I am writing this haha) tested the HCG out of my system using a pregnancy test.  Lots of people say it can take up to 7-10 days for it to leave your body, but I did an Ovidrel trigger 250 ug, and I guess that can leave your system in as early as 4-5 days.  I tested two days ago, and it was still there.  So, if in a week I get two lines I will know it is not from the HCG trigger, but the HCG my body is producing meaning I would be pregnant. 

It is getting warmer in New England and April vacation is here.  I am going to try my best to relax and enjoy.  Our ride is not over yet, and I am going to try and enjoy every turn from here on out (as much as I can!)    We are on our way to my friend's wedding, it is beautiful outside and I just got an awesome dress that I am psyched to wear.  If I can't feel good, the least I can do is try to look good!

Even though I haven't been commenting as much lately, I am quietly lurking and have been silently rooting all of you on :) 

Monday, April 9, 2012

No such thing as easy when you're dealing with IF

I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened over these past 48 hours... Saturday morning was just supposed to be a typical cd8 monitoring and then all hell broke loose I had lots of follicles but my estradiol level was sky high and we were told on Sunday we had a mere hour to decide what we wanted to do with this cycle. I expected the insemination to happen over my vacation, but instead

I went in for it this morning. I didn't have enough time to process everything, realize what was about to happen, so I of course spent last night thrashing around in bed, filled with fear, unable to slow my heart rate down. I think I slept in 10 minute increments. This morning I was nauseous and couldn't eat. I attribute it to a combination of the HCG shot and nerves.

We showed up on time to the appt after Ps sample was washed and given the go ahead. Our nurse was nice and I expressed how nervous I was, how unexpected this timing was. She assured me she does these all the time, and they always go smooth, after she said that I couldn't help but feel a little bit of dread creeping up.

It started out fine, I was able to relax enough for her to put the speculum in, and that's where it stopped being just another insemination. She spent 10 minutes unable to breakthrough the inner door of my cervix...she said it was as if it was sewn shut, even though we knewnthat wasnt true because inhad an HSG test last November.

She then went to get another nurse who spent another 10 minutes attempting to get it through. At this point I am fighting back tears and squeezing my husband's hand so hard i feel like it may lose circulation! Both nurses tell me in the 10 plus years doing this, they have never not been able to get though, so they call in the big guns, a doctor. The doctor struggled for about 5 minutes and then slams her hand down on my stomach and whoosh, it went in, I winced but knew it was almost over.

The nurse was apologetic and said my cervix was deviated to the left and she would make note of it on my chart in case I need to have another one. Another one?? How am I supposed to even think about putting my body through this again? I am ready for this to stop being so hard. But, it is over and I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief.

I start the crinone progesterone suppositories tomorrow morning and am expecting pregnancy symptoms to accompany them, what a cruel joke. As for the two week wait, I am not too hopeful, I think because everything happened so fast we missed the surge. I know eggs are good for 12-24 hours but I can't help but fear we missed the window that never even seemed to open up long enough for us. For now, I am happy to catch up on some sleep on the couch, thank god that is over!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And we're off...

Just got a call from the nurse, too late to do IVF, my body has decided to surge on it own, we have decided to move forward with the IUI.  I have 3, maybe 4 mature follicles and am to trigger as soon as I finish this post! 

IUI#1 is tomorrow morning at 930.

This is not the way it was supposed to happen, each doctor and nurse I have spoken with today cannot get over how quickly I responded, IUI on cd 10 is not typical.  But like my mom said to me earlier today, I never do anything half-way.  Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best...

Tough Decisions

My head is spinning...

We are on cd 9 and I just went in again for more b/w and u/s. 

I was so upset, I had gotten a call from the nurse yesterday that they had to lower my Gonal f to 37.5 because my estraidol came back high, more like sky high at 1,357...for cd 8 that is considered in the danger zone, probably also explains why I have felt so crummy over the past day or so.

So, this morning I went armed with concerns, questions, and lots of frustration.

My u/s technician was an absolute savior.  She answered all my questions, laid it all out on the table and told us we may have some very difficult decisions ahead of us.

Let me start by saying I am at an extreme high rish for developing OHSS (I had heard of this and expressed my concerns to Dr. P because of how well I had responded to the Clomid but she said she has never had anyone develop this with IUI at my clinic, and only one develop it from an of course there would be a good chance it would happen with me) 

My u/s tech was one I hadn't had before so when she began talking to me she began to explain the IVF procedure, I had to stop her and say this was for an IUI.  She was taken aback, and very apologetic, she assumed with the crazy amount of follicles that they were priming me for a nice egg retrieval.  WRONG! is what we are left with while we wait to hear back on my b/w (estraidol levels)

1. Cancel cycle

I need to find out how dangerous OHSS is.  Again, because I am so tiny this is a real threat and because there are so many follicles, we don't know how many could actually mature after the trigger shot, or how many actually will release an egg.  There is also the chance that my estraidol continued to get too high.

Overnight I had two dominant follicles appear in my right ovary and a third one that doesn't look too bad either.  But there are also lots of smaller ones around 11-12, that we are assuming will just die off.  She said if this cycle doesn't work, they will most likely keep me on the lowest Gonal-f dose possible for the next one, probably 37.5 throughout.  The whole time she was talking to us, she reminded us, this is just what she thinks, the doctor could call with other info.   

2. IUI

P and I have discussed the possibility of twins and although we are not hoping for it, we can deal with that, my body can handle that, but what if there are more?  Then again all of this could be nothing beacuse like I have mentioned in the past, on top of everything else we are also dealing with MFI.  This could all just be a crap shoot.

3.IVF Cycle

Because I have so many follicles, this is an option for us. 

Whatever happened to let's try an IUI because it seems to be less stressful, less invasive, less everything?  No one can prepare you for the ups and downs of this journey, and taking it in stride is nearly impssible (for me at least.)

So, for now, I leave you with a to be continued...

3 hours later...

The doctor on call just called me with my e2 came back at 2300 after cutting my dose of gonal-f in half. There is no way to slow it down, he suspsects my body is preparing to surge on its own which means it is probably already to late to convert to an IVF cycle, to double check he has sent out my bloodwork again to see if an LH surge was detected.  Waiting to hear back...

There are 3-4 follicles that will most likely reach maturity.  He said he feels comfortable with me doing the trigger tonight and going in for the insemination Tuesday morning (cd11). He couldn't believe how "robustly" I responded to these drugs and suspects the same thing would happen next cycle even if placed on 37.5 IUs so I would probably need to be monitored on a daily basis.

Chances of pregnancy at my clinic are 12%. Chances of people who become pregnant having multiples is 25%. Chances of triples and quadruplets are even rarer, but the possibility is there.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

cd 8 part 2

Of course I spoke too soon, too effing soon. Just 5 minutes before I walked into the baby shower today, the nurse called, change of plan. My estradiol levels were sky high which doesn't match up with my follicle count, with my numbers I should have seen lots of BIG ones today. Here I was thinking 3 follicles measuring above 10mm was a good thing, but it's not. I have about a dozen follicles measuring under 10mm, they should be much bigger with how high my estradiol levels are, but they are not.

High estradiol can cause a cancelled cycle, it may also explain why I have thought over the past few months my body prepares to ovulate and something happens. Hopefully this ends up being nothing, but for now its something.   I can't believe this cycle might actually get cancelled...

I am so frustrated and upset. I didn't even ask the nurse the right questions. So for now I have to lower my dose to 37.5 IUs and of course go in for another u/s and more bloodwork tomorrow morning. Why is this so easy for some and so difficult for others?

The shower sucked. I put on my best face and pretended to be happy but I was filled with sadness and anger. Then one of my friends looked over at me and said, "I think you're brave for being here," and I just about fell apart. Just a few hours ago I felt great and now once again I feel ready to fall apart...

We have growth!

Today is cd 8 and I went in early this morning for u/s and b/w.  I dragged P with me because I am tired of feeling like I am the only one going through this.  I know he is, in his own way, but I need him to be physically by my side a little more.  He was a little overwhelmed but also told me he feels like he is learning something new everyday (I did notice his eyes did light up a little when we left as he realized what all of this could lead to.)

I am waiting for the b/w results and for the nurse to follow up with my next steps, but here is what we saw.  My left ovary was about 10 mm smaller than my right (I think my left was right around 30 and my right was right around 40.) The nurse said that was fine because lots of times the angles you measure the ovaries at can effect the actual measurements.  On my left ovary I had one follicle measuring 14 mm and on my right ovary I had two follicles, one measuring at 15 mm and one measuring at 12mm.  She said I also had a bunch of littles ones on both sides that could turn into something over the next 48 hours.  This is my first time getting down and dirty with my follicles so I am trying to make sense of it all, any and all thoughts are welcome!

I am only on cd 8, it seems early to have 2 follicles so large already.  But, I am not really surprised, when I was only on 50 mg Clomid I was told I released mutiple eggs.  I think I respond really well to these fertility drugs, but maybe I have no idea what I am talking about?  The nurse said they like to have you trigger when your follicles are between 16-18 mm, and two of my follicles are about a day or two away from being that size.  If my follicles grow 1-2 mm a day, I would guess that I would be triggering Monday night and go in for the insemination on Wednesday morning, which is earlier than I had thought.  But, again, maybe I have no idea what I am talking about? 

I am trying really hard to stay calm and level-headed through all of this.  Like I have said before, I am hopeful, but very realistic.  Success rates are higher with multiple eggs, but they are reduced when there are MFI, so who knows?

This is going to sound crazy but whether this works or not, I will be happy when this first one is over.  I feel like there was so much build up to this IUI (months and months of looking forward to this step) that my life has been put on hold.  I am not saying that the second one (if we need it) will be any easier but there will be less "firsts" and I will know exactly what I am dealing with/what to expect, I won't be as uptight about everything.  But, for now my life continues to be on hold...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Actually, I have 22 kids (everyday from 8-3)

One of the things that I genuinely look forward to every day is being with my first graders.  I was running math centers this afternoon watching them interact with each other and it is so amazing to see how far they have come. 

I teach in a city, not an "inner city" but a city, and over the past 6 years I have had students who have been homeless, spent endless nights in a car, watched their parents overdose on drugs, been through messy divorces and custody battles, and believe it or not I have had 3 students that have lost a parent...some of my kids have had it rough, really rough and they depend on me for so much more than teaching them how to read or how to add and subtract.

Very early on in my teaching career I realized that although academics is of the "utmost" importance, these kids need to want to learn, they have to want to come to school, they have to buy into the program I am trying to sell them, they have to "care."  After realizing that I decided that many of my students needed to learn life skills almost as much as they needed to learn everything else.  Although I put smiley faces on papers, and give a student a high five when they get all their words right on a spelling test, I make a far bigger deal when I see students helping one another, offering to tie a friend's shoes, or comforting a classmate when they are upset.  Those are the real successes in my classroom. 

This year I have had one student have an accident on the floor, 3 times, and while the first time was shocking to the class, the next two times, I had 2-3 students ask me if they could take him to the nurse, and tell me not to worry, they wouldn't let the other kids see.  Those are the moments that make me proud as a teacher.  My classoom is a community, and they look out for each other, show kindness toward one another. Those are skills that I hope will stay with them forever.

I had a little boy last year who had an extremely difficult time with transitions.  He had been at a different school the previous year, in a half-day kindergarten program.  So, he was coming into first grade at a brand new school, for a FULL day.  The first few weeks he spent crying, rolling around on the floor, and throwing rocks at me at recess (true story!)  By the end of the school year he was a different child, nearly unrecognizeable, and the greatest gift he gave me was when he told me on the last day of school he didn't know what he would do without me in second grade (or so I thought.)  Amazingly, he went into second grade functioning like a typical 7 year old, merely waving at me, or yelling my names when he saw me in the halls.  At first it made me sad to realize I had put all that hard work into him and he didn't need me anymore.  Then I realized what an amazing feat this was for him.  He didn't need me anymore, it kind of made me think of the job of a parent.  You prepare them for the real world, and hope they still want you to be a part of it as they grow older, but you also hope they don't need you to survive in it, you hope you have taught them how to function independently in society.

I write this as I prepare give myself another shot.  I need to keep reminding myself how lucky I am.  So many people hate their jobs and mine continues to be a source of comfort and relief from this crazy life I am currently living.  Sadly, the shots have become easier, I can pretty much do them in under 30 seconds (still pausing a few second before to think I can't believe I am sticking this needle into my stomach).  I don't want this to become my new "normal," like brushing my teeth every night before I go to bed.  But, for now it is, and just for now, I am okay with it... 

Hooray for 3 day weekends...and more monitoring on Saturday, I sure hope I got some good growth over these past 5 days!!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So, I decided I should get some gifts for my friend's baby shower which is this weekend.  I had actually already bought a few cute Carter's outfits a few months ago and planned to give them to her then but then life got in the way as she continued to grow a baby inside of her and I continued to not, so it's been a little while since I have seen her.  In those few months these tiny outfits gradually made their way to our guest room closet, hanging up all by themselves.  I showed them to P a few days ago and asked him if I should give them to her, surprisingly he said no, he liked them in our closet (poor P he has no idea how long they could be in there!) 

Because those cute outfits are going to stay in the closet I had to go to Babies R' Us <insert face>.  I really hope I can find some other places to register, I know potterybarn kids and Giggle are an inconvenience to some, but come on...Babies R' Us is a nightmare.  The aisle numbers make no sense, the registry items are all over the place and I found the pregnant mothers in there to be so much younger than me!!  It made me feel old, which made me feel sad.  I feel like I have aged tremendously in this past year and a half (almost!)

It also made me realize I need to begin accepting some things...

I need to accept that I probably will not have a child before I am 30 (may seem silly to some, but if I don't get pregnant in these next 2 months, this becomes a reality and it scares me)

I need to accept that I cannot control what happens here on out, and that this IUI may not work, all I can do is follow my doctor's plans, hope for the best, and take care of my body.

I need to accept that every day is going to be an uphill battle and that is okay, because I will survive this.

I need to accept that this is going to put a strain on my relationships (including the one with P) and it is ok, most would even say it is normal.

I need to accept that unless I am talking to someone who has been through this, they are not going to understand what we are going through and are probably going to say things at times that make me sad and/or angry (not because they don't care but because that's just the way it is)

I need to accept that while I am going through a crummy part of my life right now, life goes on for everyone else.

I need to accept that some people will announce they are pregnant with their second baby before we will ever announce we are pregnant with our first.  My mom tells me it will make it that much more special for us (I think those are just words from a nana in waiting!)

I also need to accept that this plan our doctor has for us doesn't include just 1 injection, it includes lots of injections so I have to do it again tonight, and the next night, and the next night....YIKES!!!  I think tonight I will just work on accepting that, everything else can wait until tomorrow :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

And it's time...

April is here!  This is a busy month for us.  Saturday I have a baby shower and I am pretty sure the whole day will be emotional for me but I am going to try and make the best of it and be as happy as I can for my friend, it doesn't help that I am waking up early that morning for b/w and u/s.  The following two weekends we have weddings, my insemination may fall on the same day as one of the weddings, oh well! 

Since my vacation starts in a little less than two weeks we had really hoped to get away somewhere warm, but doesn't look like it is going to happen because of our crazy schedule.  Maybe we will plan an overnight trip or a few day trips, because my vacation is right in the middle of our 2ww and I know I will go stir crazy sitting at home all week.  February vacation was almost the death of me!

I had my cd 3 u/s and b/w today and they called this afternoon giving me the go ahead.  After seeing my ovaries on the screen (I only peeked for a second, beacuse I didn't want to see them if something was wrong) I drove to work with just a tiny burst of excitement.  It was a feeling I haven't had since we began trying a long time ago.

The nurse told me my ovaries looked good and she could see a handful of tiny follicles on either side.  One of those follicles could mature into an egg, which could be the beginning of our first baby.  It's pretty powerful stuff when you think of it that way!   I am trying to remain calm because I know our chances aren't that great, but they are better then our chances were when we were trying on our own, and better than when we tried Clomid for 2 months, so it is hard to not get a little excited.

This afternoon I got the nurse called with my plan: start 75 IUs tonight through Friday night and I have an appt. Saturday morning at 8:15 to check out my follies and see how they have grown.  I had such mixed feelings tonight.  I can't believe it is here, we have waited for this for so long, and at the same time I CAN'T BELEIVE THIS IS HERE, we are still not pregnant!

I decided I would give myself the injections.  I am kind of a control freak and like to do things my way.  I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  So, I headed into the bathroom upstairs where I had the alcohol swabs, pen, needles, and everything else.  I knew the first one would be difficult, I just wasn't sure how difficult.  I literally was staring in the mirror pinching and prodding at my skin trying to figure out how the heck I was going to do this.  Every few minutes I would walk out and look at P wondering how I was really supposed to do this.  He finally pretended to get mad and came in the bathroom with me, I screamed at him to get out and I announced I wouldn't come out until I did it haha!  Definitely never pictured us having these kinds of conversations when we said "I do!!"

I went up to the bathroom around 8:10 and when I walked out around 8:30 the look of shock on P's face was priceless, he didn't think I would be able to do it!  I am hoping to get it under 10 minutes tomorrow night but we will see.  It didn't really hurt at all, it is more just everything it represents.  Never in a million years did I think I would be in the bathroom sticking needles in my stomach to try and have a baby.  But, here we are, and I did it...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

IUI # 1

March 23- medications arrived

  • Gonal f pen (900 IUI)
  • Ovidrel trigger shot
  • Crinone (progesterone suppositories)

March 31- period arrives

April 2- begin Gonal f 75 iu

April 3- Gonal f 75 iu

April 4- Gonal f 75 iu

April 5- Gonal f 75 iu

April 6- Gonal f 75 iu

April 7-first u/s and b/w appt.

  • u/s reveals three large follicles but lots of smaller ones
  • receive phone call about estradiol, way too high at 1,357
  • Lower dose to 37.5 iu of Gonal f and back tomorrow (starting to panic)
April 8- Easter
  • u/s and b/w appt.
  • ultrasound tech assumed I was doing an IVF cycle because of all the little follicles
  • estradiol came back at 2,300 (holy crap)
  • RE on call sends my b/w out again and finds I am already surging so it cannot be converted to an IVF cycle
  • made the choice to go forward with IUI even thou risk of multiples was high
  • instructed to give trigger shot immediately 

April 9- IUI # 1 @ 9:30 am

  • so nervous, nauseous from trigger, and didn't sleep at all the night before
  • took 3 people to get the catheter in and I left feeling terrible, what a nightmare!
  • at time if procedure it was believed I had 3, maybe 4 mature follicles, was questioning if cycle should be cancelled, but decided to go for it anyway 
April 10- began crinone suppositories

April 23- Beta 
  • came back at 0...NOT PREGNANT
  • recommended we go straight to IVF 
  • stop suppositories