Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Feeling Guilty

Back-to-back IUI #1 was easier than I expected.  As the nurse was finishing on day 2, she announced that since Mr. Desperate's sperm count was still so high that we could have sex that night.  I don't know about anyone else, but the last thing I was thinking about at that moment was sex.  I could tell by the look on Mr. Desperate's face that his thoughts weren't so far off from mine.  However, late last night, he clearly changed his mind.  Nothing like having the Heat win in the last seconds of overtime to help his testosterone kick in!  I'll spare you the details, but afterwards he announced that that was the best it's been since we started trying.  I immediately wanted to cry, because I was so hurt, and then I realized that for the past year he hasn't been able to get past the pressure. I felt awful.  Clearly, the majority of our issues have been because of my body.  I've been the one that's been confused, frustrated, poked, and prodded.  Even though his levels require him to take some vitamins, I didn't think it was an issue for him.  Am I that oblivious?  I wanted to cry even more.

Am I crazy for feeling so guilty?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nerves or Excitement??

Tomorrow morning will be my first IUI.  I have 2 follicles (20 and 21) and a third at 17.  I am not sure if I am nervous or excited, but I am definitely emotional, and I'm pretty sure it's way too soon for the trigger shot to be affecting my emotions!!  I'm worried it will hurt (they assured me it's just uncomfortable) and that I will have a panic attack mid-procedure (this typically happens when they keep me waiting in the exam room for a considerable amount of time).

I am so hopeful that this will be what we need to get a BFP, but so scared that it won't work. 

It's hard to keep being so positive when, at the same time, I don't want to get my hopes up too high.

The good news is that my parents are coming in town Thursday, my siblings come in town Friday, and we leave for an 8 day cruise Saturday.  The day we get back will be beta test day, so at least the 2WW won't go by as slowly as it has in the past!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Face FAIL

I decided yesterday to start OPK testing, even though it was only CD8.  Big surprise, it was negative. 

This morning, I took an OPK test and thought it was broken because as I glanced at the test, I didn't see the empty circle that I have gotten so used to seeing (sigh).  At second glance, I realized there was a happy face and could not contain my excitement.  I called the doctor, which I was planning on anyways since I have so many questions before we make a decision about IUI, and added an, "Oh, by the way, I also had a positive OPK test just now."  I tried to remain patient, but they took FOREVER to call back.  And by the way, forever is painfully longer when you are a teacher and have the summer off.  I actually went to a friend's house (the one that knows what's going on) to kill time and help her paint a spare bedroom.  While I was there I took another test and it was negative.  Boo.  An hour later the nurse called back and told me to come in for an ultrasound.  My friend excitedly volunteered to come with me, and off we went.  So, at least I had company when the nurse started the ultrasound and I realized immediately that the follicles were all too small. 

Damn OPK test. 

Damn excitement for a happy face that turned out to lead to nothing but happiness.

While I was there they drew blood for a progesterone level check, which I am sure my insurance will deem unnecessary.  Oh well.

I also learned that my "usual" nurse wasn't in today and that my doctor is on vacation.  I know I could have asked another nurse my list of 100 questions but I just wanted to talk to someone who knows me.  Or, at least, someone who I think knows me better.  "My" nurse will be in tomorrow and I hope she is prepared to be bombarded with questions!

I'm so worried about missing the surge that I hate this part more than the 2WW!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Confused and Overwhelmed

Today I received a message from a nurse at my doctor's office.  After reviewing my husband's latest test results the doctor recommends IUI.  Without me realizing it, tears immediately welled in my eyes, and my "assistant" teacher (assistant is in quotes because she is completely my teaching partner, but she leaves 2 days a week at noon) asked me if everything was okay.

How do I answer that?

A thousand thoughts raced through my mind in the few seconds that passed since I listened to the message.  When the nurse first called me with test results Monday, everything sounded fine.  All his levels had increased, some tremendously.  And now it seems like all of a sudden we've been bombarded with making a major decision... within the next few days.

I know I need to call the doctor and ask questions.  The truth is, my brain cannot function enough to formulate questions.

I know that everyone is different, but can anyone offer me suggestions as to what to ask the doctor that will help me decide whether we do this or not (this is "only" my 2nd month taking Clomid).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Send in the... clowns???

My sister recommended that I google "stress + conception" which, for those of you who don't have a sister, means, "You talk too much," (although she swears I'm not annoying her).  Out of boredom, I was playing online and came across an article about how IVF is more successful when women were  entertained by a "medical clown" after implantation.  (Google "Patch Adams" or "Gesundheit! Institute" when you have spare time.)

While I do think that maintaining a low stress level is important, I also realize that if I weren't stressed concerned about my reproductive challenges, I wouldn't be going to a specialist and we would just be having TI, or what we decided was TI, with no rhyme or reason.

But the real concern here is that I hate clowns.  I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm terrified by them, but even when there's a clown on TV, I look away.  And it's not just clowns... it's anyone in a costume where you can't see their face (picture me at Disney World... the only one avoiding EVERY character that walks by!).

Here's the (somewhat old) article--

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

And I have officially begun Clomid attempt #2!  I was pretty certain that the first attempt's side effects weren't that bad, and they didn't kick in until the last day of the pills.  This time, not so much... the hot flashes have already arrived, more frequently than last time, although they are not as bad and do not last as long.   I'm also pretty sure my husband would say my mood swings are off the chart... and he seemed overly excited about going to work this morning.

The good news is that my doctor wants me to have an ultrasound on CD 11, and not wait until CD 14 if the OPKs are still negative.  I've heard and read so many different things about how and when to do OPKs.... first thing in the am, second pee of the day, afternoon, night, all of the above, and that you have to wait 4 hours after taking one to take another.  Any thoughts/opinions/advice for my upcoming OPKs (preferably medical advice, but anything that's worked will be greatly appreciated!)??

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cycle Day 1... I hope!

Am I the only one that panics when it comes to deciding what day is actually CD1???  I was pretty sure it was Monday, but then by Monday afternoon I was pretty sure it wasn't.  Same thing happened Tuesday.  So today I decided morning and afternoon that it was Cycle Day 1.  Just to be on the safe side I scheduled my next ultrasound for CD3 (nothing like spending your first day of summer vacation being poked and prodded by a nurse in a freezing cold exam room!).  I'm terrified I'm going to miss the chance to do another round of Clomid, but even more concerned about going in and getting assaulted when it's not necessary (and feeling like a moron for it!)!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My First Post

Recently, someone asked me, "If you could do anything with your life, what would it be?"  Without hesitation, I responded, "Write."  I have always wanted to be an author.  I began writing my first chapter book when I was in first grade.  The Lonely Dog.  I wrote it in red pen and it remains in the top drawer of my nightstand at my parents house.  Unfinished.

I, by no means, think that I have a talent for writing.  And when it comes to blogging, I have no idea what I'm doing.  But apparently, neither do my ovaries.  So, since I figure we're in this together, I can give blogging a try...

My journey of trying to conceive (TTC, I know... I'm new to the lingo!) has only been a year.  I don't know why I said "only", because it feels like an eternity, but I know that there are many other people who have been TTC for years and in comparison, a year is nothing. 

When I went off birth control last June, I by no means expected to get pregnant right away.  In fact, the only reason I went off birth control was because I was changing jobs and it was one less detail to stress about.  Just to be clear, my husband and I absolutely want children--lots of them.  He's still on the fence about how many, but before this process, I wanted 6 children.  Now I will be happy with 1. 

In October, I went in for my annual appointment and talked to my gynecologist about getting pregnant.  At that point, my cycles had already started getting farther apart (in the low 30s), but she said it was nothing to be concerned about about explained how to figure out when I was ovulating without buying one of the kits.  In January 2013, my cycles started getting even farther apart (in the 40s), so in February, I decided to buy an ovulation prediction kit, which was positive every day for 40 days.  Or maybe longer, but after 40 days, I stopped doing them and called my doctor.  She then referred me to a specialist.

My first appointment with the specialist was on March 25th.  After talking in her office, she ran blood work and did my first internal ultrasound, where she noticed my "poly cystic ovaries".  As the words came out of her mouth, I remembered that I was supposed to mention that my sister was diagnosed with PCOS when TTC.  At least now we had an explanation.  Not that I wanted something to be wrong, but I am a huge believer in medication and strongly felt that once I had this diagnosis, I would take this medicine and everything would just work out. 

No. Such. Luck.

After getting my initial blood work back, I was taking prenatal vitamins and a supplement called Pregnitude twice a day, which is a "reproductive support dietary supplement for women that helps support ovulatory function, menstrual cyclicity and quality of eggs.* (* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease)."  My thyroid levels were within the normal range, but for PCOS patients they find fewer miscarriages in patients with TSH levels under 2.5.  My TSH level was 2.53 so my RE decided to hold off on prescribing Synthroid, and repeat labs in 4 weeks.

When they repeated my labs, my TSH levels increased to 4.25 and I started taking 50 mcg of Levothyroxine (Synthroid).  At this point, I had still not gotten my period (CD 37) so I started taking 400 mg of Progesterone for 10 days.  My RE made it sound like I would get my period at the end of the 10 days or a few days after, but I didn't get my period for 9 days after finishing the Progesterone (CD 56).  I have never been so psyched to have the worst cramps!  With every agonizingly painful moment I kept thinking, "56 days... 56 days..."  I went in for an internal ultrasound on CD 2 and since there were no cysts and I was 100% not pregnant (just one stalled egg... booooo), I started taking 50 mg of Clomid on CD 3-7.  On CD 10-14 I took the at home ovulation prediction kit tests and was so happy to see a negative (after the 40 extremely false positives, I felt that this was the first good sign I'd had!).... at first.  On CD 14, I still had not had the LH surge and went in for another internal ultrasound.  It was a Sunday, and unfortunately, my doctor was not the doctor on call.  The not-so-friendly doctor I saw marked THREE huge follicles.

They shot me up with Ovidrel (which I continue to call by name, even though every time I do, my sister says, "people just call it a trigger shot") and sent me home with wishes of good luck.  I went in 2 days later (CD 16, if you're keeping track) for another internal ultrasound, which showed that all of the THREE follicles were no longer there.  Meaning that I had actually ovulated.  After waiting out a 56 day cycle, being told I ovulated felt like I had won the lottery.  And now we had three chances of having a baby.  If only it were that easy....

They also repeated my blood work to check my TSH levels.  Which, of course, increased to 5.16, so I increased my dose of  Levothyroxine (Synthroid) to 100 mcg.  On CD 21, I went in for a Mid Luteal Progesterone blood test.  Fortunately, my Progesterone levels were high--56.2 (they like them to be above 10).  Unfortunately, here I am, one week later, after receiving a phone call from the nurse saying that this morning's Beta HCG Pregnancy Test was negative.  I could hear it in her voice from the second she said my name and could barely make it down the hall to tell my husband before I started crying.

So I did what I always do--planted myself in front of my computer and started researching Clomid success rates and reading about success stories and came across some blogs from people who are in similar situations, while my husband went and worked in the yard.  After wanting to post about 87 responses to other people's posts, comments, and questions, I decided I needed a space of my own.  My husband, as much as I love him, and as much as he wants to have a baby, doesn't get it.  My family doesn't get it.  My friends don't get it.  They listen and they are supportive, but it's really hard when they haven't been there.  Or if they have, because I do have one friend that I talked to who also has PCOS and had difficulty getting pregnant, they now have a baby.

If you're still reading this, I applaud you.  I can't believe how much I had to write.  And honestly, how much better it feels now that I've written this.  I hope that I didn't scare you away, and I promise I won't always write this much!!