Saturday, December 22, 2012

14 Weeks, 1 Day

It was a sleepless night, but we got up early and were able to meet to doctor this morning - she opened up the office just to get us in, so we were super thankful!!

The baby looks completely fine - he was completely upside down and moving his arms and legs. There was a good strong heartbeat. Doc found two Subcortical (??) hemmorhages which can slightly increase the risk for miscarriage but at 14 weeks, I am probably okay. The cervix was nice and closed and the baby looked nice and cozy in the uterus.

I probably overreacted last night with the amount of freaking out and crying that happened. I'm learning quickly that any amount of tears during this pregnancy = wicked headache. And LOTS of tears like last night (or two weeks ago when I stupidly watched the movie "Up") = migraine. In the wake of Sandyhook, there have been lots. and lots. and lots. of headaches in the past week. I can't read one sentence of an article or hear one clip of news about it without losing it.

Thanks so much for the support and positive vibes and prayers. The doc said I can expect several more days of spotting but that as long as I don't have any major cramping (and I haven't had any cramping since yesterday afternoon), and the spotting stays brownish, it can be attributed to the SCH.

Friday, December 21, 2012

14 Weeks & Spotting

FUCK.

Completely out of the blue. After 0.0 days of spotting in the last 13.6 weeks.  I was not especially active today and I didn't have sex within the last few days.  Spotting was dark brown, which I know is better than bright red, but I did have some mild, fleeting "period cramps" today and that's not good.

It's after hours at my clinic, but luckily MY OB is the one on call right now. She said their office isn't open again until THURSDAY. That's SIX DAYS AWAY.  She said I could go to the emergency room tonight or she'd make a special trip to the office tomorrow morning to have a look for me, else I'll freak out for the next week. We decided to wait until tomorrow. We cancelled our plans for tonight and we're just going to lay low.

I am a mess. I know this could be nothing, it could be completely fine and normal. But I am 100% completely on board and in love with this baby. Even the notion that s/he might not get here is sending me into a tailspin. Why did I let Champ talk me out of getting a Doppler? I would feel nine billion times better if we could just find the little heartbeat right now and I knew that the babe is still alive. He argued that if we couldn't find it, things would be even worse and I'm sure that's true.

Please please please please please let this be okay.

I'll keep you posted. Fuck.




Thursday, December 20, 2012

So This Is 30...

Happy Birthday to me!

Here's the poem I had in my inbox from Champ today (some words removed / changed)


There once was a girl born in 1982,
In the shadow of a mountain that smells like poo,
But this girl smelled great,
A Christmas present that couldn’t wait,
Conceived before her parents could say, “I do.”

Jennifer was smart from the start,
A little kid with a big heart,
She knew the alphabet song well,
Knew heaven from hell,
And was the first one to laugh at a fart.

The [lastname] clan was immediately smitten,
Her cuteness was likened to that of a kitten,
Her blond hair and big smile,
Beamed from [streetname] for miles,
In her honor, poems would be written.

Over her siblings she ruled like a queen,
She was bossy, but never really mean,
She loved her bro and sis dearly,
Although she quite clearly,
Broke her brother’s arm in her pre-teens.

She got older and ditched her eye glasses
Plucked her eyebrows and curled her eyelashes,
That cute little Jen,
Turned into a ten,
And boys started calling in masses.

She went to college and met some new buds,
She dated some guys, but they were all duds,
Until one day at the bar,
She saw [Champ] from afar,
And though, “Finally, I’ve found my stud.”

She spent her twenties with [Champ],
She traveled, worked, and [camped],
Planned student activities at [school'sname],
With her co-worker [friend's name],
Sometimes flying to Mexico for [some pamp. ering] (this verse isn't that good with the names changed).

So far her life has been quite fun,
But the adventure’s just begun,
We waited and prayed,
Now a little one’s on the way,
And everyone thinks “Seamus” is a great name for a son.

As she looks back on the 30 years that she’s had,
She should laugh out loud and be glad,
The next 30 might be tough,
I hear childbirth is rough,
But she’ll be a great mother to that lucky lad.



Monday, December 10, 2012

12 Weeks

I can't believe it. We've arrived at the elusive "12 week" mark in this pregnancy. Today officially is 12 weeks, 3 days and I still have to pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream.

We've told all our family and most of our friends. I told my students (I work at a college) last week and they are fascinated, spending several hours each day suggesting names, asking questions, and staring at my (very small) "bump". We haven't yet spread the news to facebook and I'm not sure we'll do that, ever. I plan on keeping my promises from this entry, posted just one week before I actually got pregnant. I am not a born-again fertile.

If we post anything on fb, the announcement will be accompanied with a "coming out of infertility closet" statement. Half of me thinks "that's nobody's f*cking business" and the other half doesn't want to contribute to this culture of infertility as a taboo subject. So that's where I am with that.

My "symptoms" are waning, big time. I've kicked the nausea almost completely. Food aversions are mostly gone (hello chocolate and Mexican food! I didn't even know I missed you until now). I'm still tired and my boobs can't be contained, but I am feeling pretty good. My dreams are CUH-RAZY. And super intense. There was that one where Champ had been plotting my murder since before we got married; that dream ended with him chasing me down the street with a knife in his hand. Then one a couple night ago during which I was babysitting my niece and a series of random events culminated with me taking a bite out of a live earthworm. Then the one where I was drunk and trying to explain to a co-worker how to properly taste wine. "Mary. There are five steps, and each of the steps starts with 'M'. Step one. Mint. Does it taste minty? <<erupt into giggles>> Maybe they don't all start with 'M'." I also dreamt that I named my baby girl "Phillipa." I woke up in a panic.

I'm enjoying the crazy dreams. I'm trying to write them down so I don't forget them all. In fact, I'm keeping a journal to document all of my regular happenings while pregnant, which might explain why I've been so bad about posting on here. I've started "bump" pictures a few weeks ago, but I don't think I'm going to post them on here. Ya'll see enough of that IRL I'm sure!

UPDATE: Also - I turned down the job. It felt too risky to make such a big change when I feel comfortable and safe and supported in my current job. The benefits, too, were waaaaay worse at that new job. I'm actually feeling a little more appreciative of my career in higher education after seeing how expensive insurance is in the private sector!

Monday, December 3, 2012

100th Post!

You guys! It's my 100th post! 

Sorry I've been MIA lately - I was hoping to find time to write something reflective and profound for my 100th post but alas, all you guys are going to get is verification that I am still alive and a few quick updates regarding the little guy in my uterus. 

I had my first prenatal appointment with my new OB today - she was fantastic, but we had to wait an hour just to see her, than another half-hour after I undressed for the ultrasound. We were there for two hours and fifteen minutes when all was said and done. I was seriously agitated, especially as I was laying mostly naked with an open-in-the-front hospital gown, waiting to make sure my baby is still alive. 

But the good news is, he (or she) IS still alive! The babe looks SO much bigger, with a clearly defined head and little nose and arms and everything. At one point, he had his hand on his face in a very "woe is me" fashion. It was amazing. He measured at 11 weeks on the nose, although according to my RE's previous measurements, I should be at 11 weeks 3 days. I think it's a pretty inexact science, so I'm going to continue believing that my big 12 week mark will be hit this Friday. I've already noticed my nausea is starting to feel better too, being less frequent and less severe than it's been. And I'm still pretty tired, but definitely feeling a little more energy also. 

I have more good news, in that I was offered a new job today! At a new company, getting out of the higher education field. It's only a little bit more money and the benefits don't seem to be as good (and they're more expensive), but it's going to be a tough decision on whether or not to take it. A few months ago, I felt completely stagnant in all facets of my life. I knew something had to change, whether that be moving out of town, getting a new job, or getting pregnant (or some combination of the three). Now that I'm pregnant, I feel way less compelled to move forward on the job front. I'm very comfortable where I am, very supported, and I have a good reputation. It would be so much work to start over at a new company while at the same time getting more and more pregnant, preparing for this huge, life-altering change. AND there's the maternity leave. At my current job, I've been promised 12 weeks - 6 paid, 6 unpaid (which is the max through FMLA). However, FMLA only kicks in when you've been at a company for a year or longer. 

So I have quite the dilemma in front of me. Such a different dilemma than I pictured a few months ago when I applied for this job. I'll have to let you all know what I decide. 

One last thing - I've been a terrible commenter lately. I've been reading along as usual, but mostly from my iPad instead of my computer (because I'm in bed all. the. time.) and it's a super pain to comment with the iPad. I'll try to be better about it! 



Friday, November 16, 2012

Ultrasound #3: 9 Weeks

Another good report at my FINAL RE VISIT today!

I'm measuring 9 weeks, 0 days, which is right on schedule from where the little guy has been in the past 3 weeks, but still not consistent with my chart. We got to see and hear the heartbeat again - it's up to 174 bpm! That's right about smack in the middle of "average" for 9 weeks, so things are looking good.

It's starting to feel like this is going to happen. There is still risk, as there will be the whole pregnancy, but with no bleeding or spotting and a good heart rate, we are very optimistic about actually having a baby in June!

I've experienced all the normal symptoms except heartburn and constipation. In fact, I am suffering from the opposite of constipation - I've had diarrhea five times in three weeks. One day it was bright green, so that was kinda concerning. After some obsessive googling, I think it's fine. Something about passing through your body too quickly to change the color, yada yada yada. Have I officially crossed into TMI or am I still toeing the line?

Also, no one ever told me about the "throwing up in my mouth a little," which has now happened four times in two weeks.

All in all, not bad problems to have, friends. I'll take it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

~8 weeks

No news is good news these days, friends. I am approximately 8 weeks, 3 days pregnant and I've been having an appropriate amount of nausea, exhaustion, boob soreness, and moodiness. I didn't think I was experiencing any emotional swings until I realized I was crying while reading at least half of your all's recent blog posts. I wasn't sure if they actually are sadder / happier than usual or if I am experiencing them differently, but I think I'm going to go with the latter.

We've spilled the beans with our immediate families this weekend and I didn't expect so many happy tears! My sister just sobbed. I knew I was "supported" as an infertile the past year, but I don't think I realized how much they have been thinking about me and worrying about me. Now that I think of it, it would have been nice to know, in my dark times especially, that we were on their minds. Only now, when they know I'm on Cloud Nine and thrilled to pieces, have they told me how they were worried about saying the wrong thing or bringing me down by talking about it.

I went to therapy last night for what I hope will be my last session in a long, long time. I told her she must be really good because I'm knocked up! I wasn't sure what we were going to talk about for a whole 45 minutes, but I must have been bursting to agonize over every detail, because I talked her ear off.

I still worry a lot about the baby and making it through the pregnancy with a healthy take-home baby in 7 months. It's still early, after all. And I'm still not convinced that I'm actually 8 weeks, 3 days pregnant, even though the baby has been measuring along those lines for the past two ultrasounds. If we go by the first day of my last period (Sept 22), I'm actually only 7 weeks 5 days along. Either way,  it's early.

I am very encouraged by the nausea, which I'm learning to manage, and by the exhaustion, which has me in bed by 9 or 9:30 every night. I feel bad for Champ because he's literally doing EVERYTHING around the house. I am exactly zero help. I get home from work and lay down for an hour, then force myself to shower, then turn down 99 out of 100 of Champ's suggestions for dinner, then wait for him to feed me, then I go to bed. Exciting stuff, huh? I think I must use every ounce of energy I have at work and by the time I get home, I can barely drag myself off the couch. I've been working myself up the motivation to do laundry for like 6 days.

We go back for our last RE visit on Friday for one more ultrasound. I can't wait to see the little guy again and make sure he's growing as he should!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Year Later

It's November 6, 2012.

I had originally envisioned this day's post to be a bleak, tear-streaked stream of consciousness in which I spilled my guts about how the past year changed everything but I have nothing to show for it. How infertility nearly broke me and I feel like a failure, a disappointment, and a disaster in general.  I had considered, a couple months ago, of taking today off work to get a massage or go see a movie and eat ice cream, because I knew that I'd be a blubbering mess, reliving the moments leading up to and immediately following the news in the OBGYN's office a year ago. I was going to end the post on a note of hope, because really, I have come a long, looooong way from crying every single day, considering darker thoughts than I'd like to admit, and isolating myself from friends and family.

Today, on the one year anniversary of my Premature Ovarian Failure diagnosis, the post I'm actually writing is very different from the one I planned. I didn't even dare imagine a couple months ago that I'd be pregnant while I wrote this post.

So I thought I'd take a minute to go ahead and remember how infertility challenged me and changed me this year, because I have a feeling this year is one for the books. I'm going to remember it like I won't remember a lot of other years.

The first few months after my diagnosis on November 6, 2011 are hazy. I cried a lot. Sobbed. A lot. Threw temper tantrums. Screamed into pillows. Had hot flashes. Spent a lot of money on meds that didn't work a lick.

In March, I got on Hormone Replacement Therapy, which resolved my hot flash and brain fog issues. I finally felt like I could live with this condition. I trained for my first ever full marathon - and ran it! But I was still depressed, sad and angry.

By late June, I made an appointment with a therapist, and whaddya know, it actually helped. After a few weeks, I started to see that my condition was out of my control and I might as well try to have some fun if I can't get pregnant. I decided to wait at least three years post-diagnosis to try IVF with a donor and in the meantime, hell, we were going to live it up.

In August, we went to San Diego and tried marijuana for the first time. I booked a trip to Mexico with my girlfriends. I went out with friends, drank a lot, ran a half marathon, and went skydiving.

And then when I least expected it, after a year and a half of trying, during a cycle with NO eggwhite cervical mucous and a wonky ass chart, it happened. My BFP.

I'm so grateful to be in 5-10% of women with my condition who get pregnant. I feel like I owe the universe. Or God. Or something. Why me? I know there's not an answer to that, but I can't help but feel completely overwhelmed with it all.

I will say I think about all of you still in the trenches all the time. I am rooting for you and I won't forget you!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Ultrasound: One Week Later

Everything is looking perfect with the little one. He's measuring seven weeks and one day, so he grew nine days worth in a week. His heartbeat is faster this week, too, just like it should be, at 133 beats per minute. I took the advice of some lovely other bloggers to record it on my phone so I can listen anytime I feel like hearing it. He also LOOKED a lot bigger than last week. You can almost make out a head and a body. But he still mostly looks like a little blob.

We keep referring to the little one as a "he." I heard once that female sperm are heavier and slower and are more likely to fertilize an egg when they have a long time to get to it (so, when sex happens a couple days prior to ovulation). The male sperm are quicker and lighter and more likely to get to an egg if sex happens right at or around ovulation. They also don't live as long as the female sperm. With the timing of ovulating on the 4th and having late night sex early in the morning on the 5th - that sperm had to FLY to that egg before it broke down. So my money is on a boy. And, no, I haven't been obsessively thinking about this at all, why do you ask?

I've had all the right symptoms - exhaustion, nausea, boob soreness. No spotting at all. Food aversions have begun in the past few days (all meat except for bacon and pepperoni, Mexican food, and chocolate (I know, what?!?)). Could things actually be going right for a change?

I go back for a final ultrasound with my RE in two weeks and then I'll "graduate" to my OBGYN. Speaking of, I need to get me one of those. I only saw my current OBGYN once (because the lady I had for years had just left the practice) and she's the one who delivered the news of my diagnosis, so I have bad memories of being there. Also, I want to go with an OB who can deliver at a "real" hospital in case anything goes wrong. I might be getting ahead of myself a tiny bit, eh?

I am still in shock that it's happening. A year ago Tuesday I was told my chances of ever getting pregnant with my own eggs were around 5%. I am cherishing every minute of this pregnancy, knowing full well how very lucky I am to be on the right side of those odds. Now it's just taking things one day at a time. Grow, little one, grow!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quick Poll

I go in for a second ultrasound tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for a more substantial update tomorrow, but in the meantime, I have to know: 

What's the verdict on having sex while your vajay is disgustingly full of progesterone cream? I'm on two 200 mg tablets "per vagina" (hahahaha!) in the morning and night and I have to say, things have looked better down there. But I'm also finding myself to be rather in the mood to play. Thoughts? Advice? 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fear, Timing & Positive Thoughts

Time is crawling by at a rate unmatched in slowness by any other time period in my life, ever. I can't believe that just a week ago I didn't know I was pregnant, because that seems like an eternity away. It has altered everything. In five days. Everything is different.

Except for the fear. Fear of not ever getting pregnant has quickly morphed into fear of not staying pregnant. I am obsessively monitoring my symptoms, starting to fret if too many hours go by without the sick, nauseous feeling with which I've become quite familiar with in the past two weeks or if I don't feel as tired as I think I should. 

For a few days, Champ and I were trying to temper our expectations and hope. It's so early. So much can go wrong. We kept saying things like "if this all works out" and "assuming nothing goes wrong," in an effort to soften the blow should a miscarriage be in our future. But I decided last night to throw those phrases out the window. Because I know now that there is no softening of that kind of blow. I would be completely gutted, regardless of whether or not I prepared myself for the worst. So positive thinking, here we come! 

I am still concerned about the timing. And the beta number. I inserted my chart into Fertility Friend (which I've never used before) and it confirmed that Ovulation was on October 4. Which would have put me at 5 weeks and 1 day last Friday, and I measured 5 weeks, 6 days. Five days ahead? I've heard of measuring ahead later on in a pregnancy but 5 days ahead this early? Thoughts? Could an early implantation affect that? And the Beta - 34,000 at 4 weeks, 6 days (or 5 weeks 3 days, depending on your perspective) seems really high. But there was definitely one heartbeat. I feel like I know nothing about anything of this. I'm thinking I'm glad to be on the upper end of these numbers rather than the other way around, but I just want to be normal. 

Friday can't get here soon enough. I'm anxious to get some numbers for comparison sake. One snapshot is not as helpful as knowing the direction we're headed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ultrasound Results

Okay, getting right down to it. I'm measuring 5 weeks, 6 days, which means that a) I conceived a good 3 1/2  weeks after the IUI or b) something is wrong.

We did see the yolk sac and, thank God, the heartbeat! Doc said he wanted the heart rate to be above 100 and it was 106, which seemed low to me. He said it was on the low side, but it's still early. I've been googling and read that the baby's heart rate starts out as the same as the mother's and my heart rate is always really low (b/c I am a runner, I think), so hopefully that explains it... My progesterone came back at 10.7 and he wanted to see it at 20, so I'm now taking crinone in the morning and night.

It was amazing to see the heartbeat. I was SO nervous, especially because I woke up this morning and my boobs felt 1000 times better. I still feel very nauseous and queasy, but I'm worried now that some of that is due to me being nervous and worried. I want these symptoms to stick around!!

I'm really freaked out about the timing. The doctor said I probably conceived 3 1/2 weeks ago (which would have been right around when I may have ovulated. I'm looking at my chart now and I would have ovulated on October 3 or 4th (CD 12 or 13)- I was in Mexico on the 3rd and didn't get home until SUPER late on the 4th.  Ladies, please! Help me with this chart!


Do you see why I would guess I had not ovulated? Those temps are all over the place! I have a good shift from the 3rd to the 4th, but it goes right back down... I was in Mexico from Saturday the 29th through late Thursday night (the 4th). Is it possible I got pregnant from sex early on the 5th, a day after ovulation??

I know this is all over the place, so here's a timeline:

9/22: Start a light, easy period (from progesterone withdrawal or actual shedding of lining, I don't know)
9/26: Period is over
9/28: Sex with Champ
9/29: Mexico
9/30: Mexico
10/1: Mexico
10/2: Mexico
10/3: Mexico
10/4: Temperature shift up 8/10 of a degree. Still in Mexico, get home at like midnight. Champ is asleep, but I now remember that we did have quick sex in the middle of the night. Was that THE night?
10/24: Take a pregnancy test, get BFP, Beta at 34,000
10/26: Heart rate at 106 bpm, measuring 5 weeks 6 days

Oh my God. I'm praying so hard that it happened this way. Otherwise, we're talking about a 9 week old babe measuring way WAAAAY behind and that would not be good.

I go back in one week to see how things are moving forward. AGH, I would feel so much better if this had happened with the IUI and I'd already be done with these crucial weeks 6-8. I mean, I'm so thankful to have seen the heart rate today, but about 10x more freaked out about this timing because I really don't understand how it could have happened. Does anyone have a better handle on this than I do? Help!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Being Pregnant: How Did This Happen?


Thanks everyone for all the support for my total shocker of a BFP yesterday! It appears that the IUI on September 4 (a full seven weeks ago!) actually worked. Tomorrow at the ultrasound I’ll find out if things are going well – we should be able to see a heartbeat and measure to see how far along I am, but the doctor said that if we go by the IUI, I am nine weeks pregnant. I’m guessing I’ll measure somewhere in the eight week mark because there has to be a reason I got a negative pregnancy test two weeks after the IUI –whether it was a late ovulation or implantation or what. Right?

The period I got on 9/22 can be explained by the fact that I stopped taking progesterone pills when I got my BFN, so the bleeding was withdrawal bleeding from that… I remember having one fleeting thought that it was a pretty light and easy period for having what seemed to be like a pretty good, thick lining. But honestly, I didn’t think twice about it. When I peed on a stick yesterday morning, I knew it would be negative. The only reason I even thought to do it is that I was complaining to a friend about the nausea and how completely and utterly exhausted I’ve been and she said “if I didn’t know any better, it sounds like you’re pregnant!” We laughed it off, both knowing that it wasn’t possible. But a positive test!  WHAT?!? I still can't believe it. 

I feel TERRIBLE now for all the crap I’ve been putting this little fetus through. Because five weeks ago, negative pregnancy test in hand, I proceeded to live on the edge until yesterday. I’ve been boozing pretty hard, pretty regularly. I went to Mexico and drank the water (and beer) with reckless abandon. I’ve been drinking tons of caffeine, eating blue cheese and cream cheese and lunch meat and everything you’re not allowed to have while pregnant. I’ve been regularly taking DHEA, Evening Primrose Oil, Estrogen tablets, etc. I just got my hair highlighted on Tuesday (it still smells like chemicals).  I freaken’ skydived, for crying out loud! All… while… pregnant… holy moly I am hoping and praying that I didn’t do any permanent damage. No mom-of-the-year awards over here. Good lord.

So I go in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. A BFP is obviously good news, especially with a beta of 34,000, but the true test will be in the sac tomorrow. I’m obviously nervous and freaking out. But my “symptoms” are holding strong. Boobs still sore and enlarged. Nausea actually getting worse. I'm still super tired. I’m assuming these are all good signs? 

I’ll try to post as soon as I can tomorrow and let you all know how it goes. My appointment is at 9 am. I would say I’m not sure how I’ll possibly get any sleep, but luckily I’m exhausted and will probably fall asleep by 9:30 tonight. GAH!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beta Results

Ya'll, I'm pregnant.

Beta: 34,000

I'm still in shock that this is happening. I go in for an ultrasound Friday morning!

WHAT?!?!?!?

I haven't ovulated this cycle. 

I had a period and a negative pregnancy test after my IUI on SEPTEMBER 4!  

But that period was pretty light considering my lining at the time.

My boobs have been sore for WEEKS (menopause? Maybe not?).

I've been the most tired I've ever been in my life. 

I've had crazy nausea the past week that feels better when I eat...? 

So this morning, I thought I'd pee on a stick. Even though how would it even be possible?

But Holy Fuck.





WHAT!?!?!?  Am I .... pregnant....? 

That vertical line showed up RIGHT away. the horizontal one looks pretty faint in different lighting- is that okay? I started shaking and crying immediately and ran in to wake up Champ, who didn't even know I was going to take a test.

But I PEED ON A STICK EXACTLY TWO WEEKS AFTER MY IUI and I got a BFN, no trace of a line. WHAT????  Seriously, is this even possible??? 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Slipping

Things haven't been going well. I don't know what it is lately, but I'm starting to slip back into depression mode. I haven't wanted to see anyone or do anything. Today I spent like 8 hours watching Netflix in my pajamas. I want to sleep all. the. time. When my mind isn't being distracted or occupied, infertile dark thoughts are racing through my head. I've started crying spontaneously again. The dumbest thing will set me off. A song, a commercial, a weird look from Champ... I'm a mess.

He heard me crying in the shower the other day and tried to talk to me about it. I just blew him off, even though as soon as I insisted I didn't want to talk about it, I realized that I actually really really wanted to talk about it. But what else is there to say? What can I say that I haven't said a thousand times in the past year? It still sucks that we can't have kids. I'm still pissed about it. I still feel guilty. On top of that, I don't want to burden him any more than I have to. I'm the biggest f*cking let down of a wife. Not only are my f*cking ovaries broken, but I can't possibly be pleasant to be around lately. And if I can't give him children, I'm trying to at least be worth that sacrifice for him. So I find myself pretending again. Hiding tears, putting on a happy face, being up for anything.

I know. It doesn't sound very healthy. It's not.

And as we are approaching my one year anniversary of being diagnosed, I keep thinking of where I was a year ago: so stupidly naive, still with a couple weeks of ignorance left. A year ago last week was my sister's wedding. A year ago this weekend was the last party I went to without infertility weighing me down.

November 6, 2011.

What a day. What a fucking day.

Don't worry about me too much. I'll be okay. And I go back to my therapist tomorrow, so at least there's that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Plan for November

I owe you all an update! I've been quiet lately on the blog and I'm not sure if we can attribute that to laziness, post-vacation blues, or having approximately nothing positive to talk about.

This is cycle day 26 (I think) and no sign of ovulation. There have, however, been several signs of ovarian failure, including night sweats (fun!) and four consecutive weeks of hugely swollen and sore boobs. Not to mention, you know, the whole failure to ovulate thing.

The good news? I have a plan. It involves taking my regularly scheduled progesterone on November 1st, getting a fake period, then trying another cycle of stims. My RE is not yet aware of these plans, but I think he'll go for it.

I have more faith in this plan than any other. After nearly a year of being diagnosed, and a year and a half of TTC, I have learned that my body only likes to ovulate after fake periods. Because of this, I think my previous two rounds with stims, first with Letrozole and then with Menopur, were doomed to fail. Those cycles did not follow fake periods.

Also, I'm up for a new job at a local company (I think I'm ready to get out of higher ed). I have a second interview next week and I'm really excited about it, despite some nerves about switching insurance. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Modern Family

Did anyone else catch Modern Family last night?

**Spoiler Alert**

Phil goes in for a vasectomy because he and Claire are done having kids and can't wait to be empty nesters who can travel and do exotic things and see the world (much like my recent trip to Mexico).They keep saying "five more years!" Of course, by the end of the episode, they realize that seeing the world is overrated and that true happiness comes from their kids. They decide they don't want Phil to get a vasectomy.

Also, Gloria, who is in her mid-forties, is accidentally pregnant.

Not a great show for an infertile these days. But the good news is I was more annoyed than sad.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Adventure week

Hi friends! I'm back!

I've actually been back for several days now, but have been on a vacation high and haven't wanted to jump back into my infertility reality.

Mexico. was. awesome. Rather than go into excruciating detail about how awesome, I will include some bulleted highlights for you to read through quickly:

  • Hanging with my two best gals. Ladies, if you want to forget that infertility exists, take a girls trip to Mexico. Trust me on this one. It helps that my two girls are both single and babies are the furthest thing from their mind. 
  • Taking one day off the resort to: drive ATVs to a nature preserve where we pet monkeys and explored an underground cave (complete with a cave lake and BATS!), then drive ATVs to a zipline in the middle of the jungle, where we ziplined into a 12 foot natural pool, then drive ATVs back to the ocean to snorkel, where we saw at least a dozen sea turtles and three or four sting rays. 
  • Participating in all the planned entertainment. From beach volleyball to cha-cha lessons, to water aerobics to Guacomole lessons to Staff vs. Guests Beer Drinking Contest to Spanish class to everything in between, the tres amigas were up for it!
  • Taking advantage of the free services at the resort - like renting kayaks, going out on the catamaran, renting bikes to go to the marina to see a baby dolphin, and taking my first ever spin class (omg.)
  • Drinking and eating. All free. For example, a Tequila taste test event:
The worst part:
  • Knowing we couldn't stay there forever. Seriously. So fun. 
But we came home. Then Champ surprised me with a Mystery Trip the day after I returned to celebrate our three year anniversary! We went to a state park in Ohio and stayed in a fantastic lodge. And we geo-cached for the first time. We sucked at it. 

Then, capping off the most adventurous week of my life to date, I WENT SKYDIVING ON MONDAY! There is nothing much like plunging out of an airplane at 9,000 feet and falling at 170 ft per second. Champ and I loved it. 

Take THAT, infertility. Bam. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pinterest Challenge Results!

I'm back with a quick post for Dog Mom's Pinterest Challenge before I leave for a nice long vacation TOMORROW MORNING!

My inspiration (as seen in this post) involved laser printing a picture onto regular paper and then transferring it onto canvas.

So I printed out a picture from the Bourbon Trail we took last year - Maker's Mark was our favorite distillery and I love this picture I took with my digital camera:


So I converted it to black and white and did a little cropping and went to work. This was after letting the picture and gel stuff sit over night:


The super annoying part of the deal was scraping off all the paper without taking up too much of the picture.

The final product:

I just rotated, saved, resaved, and renamed this picture and it would. not. upload. the right way.

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty well, considering this was attempt #1. I am not thrilled wilth how much of the picture rubbed off (that line through the middle bugs me), but I definitely want to try this again!  Thanks to Dog Mom for the inspiration to get my butt moving on this project!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another Niece or Nephew

I knew it was a matter of time, but we got the call today. My sister in law is pregnant with #2.

Her husband called Champ at work today and just blurted it out. I appreciate that. It wasn't a big announcement, it was over the phone, and I didn't have to hear it with my own ears to try and fumble out and appropriate response. You know, one that didn't involve me bursting into tears or making a comment like "must be real effin' nice."

When I got home, Champ was waiting for me with an uneasy look on his face. "I got some news today... got a call from Andy...."

I said it before he could get it out. "She's pregnant." What else could it be?

After confirming that yes, she's 8 1/2 weeks pregnant, Champ kept searching my eyes - waiting for me to lose it. But I didn't lose it, proof positive that therapy works. This news three months ago would have shattered me. But I am getting stronger. I'm learning that another woman's pregnancy doesn't take anything away from me.

Am I jealous? Um, yeah. Am I happy for them? I'm trying. I love my niece to pieces and I know I'll love this new baby as well. And they're wonderful parents. Good people. I'm sure they agonized over how and when to tell us the news (we are the first people they've told).

But man. There is something about hearing a pregnancy announcement, especially from someone close to me, that leaves me feeling pretty freaken sorry for myself. It's a "Why not me?" "What did she do to deserve two babies??" and "fuck everything and everyone!" reaction. How nice it must be to decide to try for a baby and then actually get pregnant.

It's actually good timing at least. Leaving for Mexico in two days is definitely easing the pain a little bit!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Dream About a Boy

I had the most vivid, lovely tear-inducing dream last night. It was one of those dreams that doesn't have a plot line or crazy twists and turns. It wasn't even very long or involved. But it is sticking with me today. I can't stop thinking about it.

Champ and I were at the beach on vacation. We were playing with a little boy - presumably our son - in the sand. He was probably two years old, but I could only see the back of his head, as he was facing Champ. It started to rain, so we picked up our stuff and started heading inside, the boy toddling in front of us, leading the way. Champ and I held hands until the boy, unsteady on the sand, lost his footing. He didn't fall, but Champ scooped him up and carried him the last few steps to the concrete. It was so natural, such an easy, normal situation. I felt blissfully happy.

As the alarm clock went off at 6:30 this morning, I realized right away it was a dream. I hit snooze and tried to bury myself back in it, to recreate that feeling of contentment. Instead I just felt sad. Not only is that little guy from my dream very much not my son, but he's also very much an improbability. I may never meet him. And the overwhelming feeling of regret and sorrow that takes over when I think about it is almost worth not having dreams like that. Almost.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Manly Monday #3

Time for another Manly Monday, a la Stupid Stork!

Let me preface this post with the fact that I love almost everything about my husband. Almost.

But of course, there are a few irritating quirks that I am forced to put up with. Like, for example, the external temperature of his toes (below freezing, probably?) and his unnerving habit of wiggling them all over my body all the time. Wear socks for once in your life, Champ, how bout it? Or his tendency to brace himself like he's going to die every time I'm driving us around. Or his grumpiness every morning before 10 am (luckily I leave before him during the week).

These quirks are just that: quirks. By and large, we live a very peaceful existence together. The nag or nitpick is a rare occasion. We don't really fight. I don't even remember the last time we yelled at each other in a serious way (aside from "STOP POKING ME!" or something like that). But there is one thing in our lives that causes more tension between us than anything else.

Not sex. Not money. Not even infertility.

It's this adorable face right here:


When I look at this face, I see a sweet, cuddly furball of love, while Champ sees a living, breathing bundle of poopy annoyance. Champ really hates our cat. I thought for a while he was just putting up a stink about sharing our home with an animal. I just knew that he would come to love this little guy. Who wouldn't? Henry is practically a dog in a cat's body. He follows me around, he comes when I calls, he's playful and purry and perfect. And seriously! That face! I mean, come on!

But Champ has not been won over. He's just not an animal person. He's especially not a cat person. Especially our cat. So we've been known to get into an argument or two about how the cat should be treated.

For example:
Champ: The cat's not allowed on the furniture or the bed or the kitchen counters.
Me: I'm with you on the kitchen counters, but these new couches we got don't collect fur at all! And he's so snuggly in bed.

For example:
Champ: The cat's being annoying. I'm going to lock him the garage all night even though it's barely above freezing and he sleeps in the basement anyway.
Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! SAVE HIM!

So yeah. It's a point of contention. Next week (er, the week after... next week I'll be on the beach) I'll have to tell ya'll something else good about Champ. I'm not making him out to be the best husband on the planet (as he is, truly! I love this guy more than anything!) with my stories of his cat hating and weird toes and drunken debauchery. Oops. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Three Promises

Here's a promise:

If I ever am fortunate and blessed enough to get pregnant, I will never complain about said pregnancy to someone I know to be infertile. 

And another one:

If that pregnancy should lead to my being a mother to an actual baby, I will never bitch to someone I know to be infertile about how I want my life and body back and how when I get home from work I just want said baby to go to bed so I can relax.

One more: 

I will remain capable of holding a conversation on topics other than pregnancy and motherhood. 

I can guess that pregnancy and motherhood are difficult and there would probably be times when I might feel like venting (though I have no experience with pregnancy nor motherhood). But having been infertile, I know that these types of complaints are painful to hear when you would do anything to be in that position. 

What I can't figure out is how my friend who tried to conceive for two years and went through several failed IUIs and a failed IVF before finally getting pregnant and having her adorable 13 month old girl has forgotten that. She's been where I am. She knows it's impossibly hard to hear... so I just. don't. get it. 

So what is it? Does being a mother completely erase one's ability to think about another person's perspective? 

I know that's not true for everyone because I have met many mothers in the blog world who remain sensitive to those of us still in the trenches. I hope if/when my fertility situation is ever resolved that I never forget what it took to get there. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Boobs

Welcome ICLW peeps! You can read about my story in brief on the right sidebar or the whole shebang in my timeline. I just had my first IUI (natural cycle) a couple weeks ago that resulted in a big fat negative this week.

I need to talk about my boobs for a minute. I figure the two-a-day 200 mg of progesterone I took for two weeks has something to do with their current state of enormity, but when can I expect the ladies to deflate to a normal, more manageable size? Not to say I'm not enjoying the extra attention from Champ, but seriously, my boobs are the largest they have ever been, including junior year in college when I put on 25 pounds of alcohol and fried food. That weight is long gone, but the boobs... they're out of control. They're also sore.

I took my last progesterone pill on Monday night. It's Friday now. How long does it stay in the system with a natural cycle? Also, what about a period? I knew the progesterone would prevent a period for a while, but ovulation happened 17 days ago and I'd really like to eke out a period before my trip to Mexico next week!

Speaking of my trip, I think Champ is starting to feel very bummed that he was not able to go (he doesn't have the vacation time and I have it oozing out of my ears). I'm sure it doesn't help that I will be gone during our three-year anniversary. Before you get all righteous on me, know that Champ assured me a hundred times that he didn't mind and it's just a day and we can celebrate on another day. He practically forced me to make the reservation after I had declared that I wouldn't go unless we found a new week (there really were no other weeks... I'm going with two girlfriends and one works in high-stress Finance in DC and the other works at a hospital. Weeks off are hard to come by). So I made the reservation.

I want to do something for him while I'm gone. I was thinking about leaving him a couple bottles of nice whiskey or having something delivered to his work one day. Any ideas?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A fun surprise

Just the pick-me-up I needed today:


Came back from teaching my class, and my office looked like this! Turns out, my students have been planning this surprise for a few weeks. They got half the student center to help blow up balloons, just because. It's hard not to smile when you're surrounded by this much color!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Handling the BFN (and Manly Monday #2)

Firs of all, thanks for all the support over my first failed IUI. I have been teetering on a very thin line between "handling it in a positive way" and "about to slip into an abyss of depression."

Another test this morning confirmed no pregnancy. Which shouldn't have been a punch in the face because I knew it would be negative. I got a negative two days ago. But it still felt like a punch in the face.

Then I got a call today at work from the NIH Study in Baltimore. This study - all about Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (as they politically correctly call it... failure is such a downer), would have me stay for three nights at a hospital in Baltimore, where I would get a bone density scan, karyotyping, alllll kinds of blood work, etc. FOR FREE to try to figure out a) why I have this condition and b) the factors that impact the chances of women with the condition getting pregnant.

I would just have to pay for the flight to Baltimore. I have been so excited about this study ever since I heard about it in the Spring. It would be a way to get some answers. And a plan. And I already pre-qualified and was just waiting until September because they were undergoing some "protocol changes."

I learned on the phone today that "protocol changes" means they've done away with the whole effing study. It's turned into a series of phone consults in which they tell me about the condition and how to live with it and manage it in a healthy way. No tests. No Baltimore. No doctors. No answers.

It was just the second punch in the face I needed today to totally lose my shit. At work. In the middle of the day. I managed to grab my gym bag and mumble "going for a workout" to my student worker before high-tailing it out of the office to have a good cry.

The cry helped. The workout helped too. You guys helped. Having a trip to Mexico on the horizon (um, next Saturday! How did that happen?!?) also helped. Having a couple of beers tonight will probably help. I'll be okay.

I also need to update a smidge late on Stupid Stork's Manly Monday. Here's some more info on my beloved Champ.

  • When he gets drunk, he grows equally large amounts of disorientation and confidence. This leads to some rather hilarious situations, such as him providing wildly incorrect driving directions (that you have no choice but to follow because he sounds so daggone confident!) and explaining complex directions that make no sense. There was one time that he had each member of my family simultaneously calling the cell phone of a different family member (all at the same time, in the same room). No rhyme or reason to that. He cannot recall the purpose of this experiment. 


Champ is pretty tall (6'1") and pretty skinny (155 lbs) and he has the longest, weirdest toes ever. He has long limbs all around, but his second toe is as long or longer than my pinky finger. Look at your pinky finger now. My husband's toe is probably longer than it. I submit the following picture into evidence. Please note the toes in the background.: 


That's all I have for today. Thanks again for the support!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Test Day

One lonely line. A BFN today.

Well. That sucks.

I must have looked at the stick at least a dozen times. I pulled it out of the trash can to observe it again. Is that a smudge or could it be a second line?

Spoiler alert: it was a smudge.

I came out of the bathroom and told Champ. He tried to play it off like he expected a negative test, but then pulled me into his lap and his eyes were shiny with tears. I tried to be optimistic and we outlined a plan of getting on some stims maybe in November after my next "fake" period. I was proud of myself for handling the news so well.

Then a couple hours later we were out to dinner and I saw a pregnant woman. She looked about 6 months along and was laughing at something a friend or sister had said.

Cue flushed faced. Cue tears welling up. Cue lump rising in throat. It struck me... the unjustness of it all. Why does that lady get to be pregnant? Why her and not me? What kind of fucked up cruel trick is this?

I'm glad I tested today. I have therapy tomorrow night (I'm only going once a month now) and I think it will be quite timely to discuss how pissed and frustrated I am. And I just got a good cry out in Champ's arms and I'd much rather have an evening to process this and get my head on straight rather than test in the morning and go to work a mess.

I really didn't think I had my hopes up. But I feel pretty crushed right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peeing and Fitness Pal

I'm holding out for the pee sticking until Sunday, which will be 12 days post IUI. I decided I definitely want to POAS before my therapy appointment on Monday night. And I definitely don't want to POAS and go straight to work Monday morning feeling all bummed about a BFN. So Sunday it is.

I'm not very hopeful that this is going to be it. My temperatures are all kinds of wonky and I'm convinced that my egg quality is low. I just want to either be pregnant or done inserting progesterone pills into my vajay. I am so over the leakage. And feeling generally wet and disgusting in my lady parts.

In my non-fertility related world, I have good news and bad news.

Good news:
I downloaded the free MyFitnessPal app on my ipad and am mildly obsessed with it. Why didn't you guys tell me how awesome this app is?!?!? I. Love. It. And it's been extremely motivating to exercise because that earns more calories and I have realized my key to eating whatever I want is, unfortunately, exercising my butt off.

Bad news:


Clearly, it hasn't stopped me from eating four cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ice cream for lunch and cookies and cheesecake for dessert after dinner. Also, saying I only had "one cup" of Graeter's ice cream is being extremely generous.

Entering my totals for Sunday was not a proud moment.

Overall, though, I've been much better than that. I think I'm "under" my calorie goal about 3/4 the time.  The app has really opened my eyes to how much sugar I eat (and not just in the above example). I'm "over" on sugar almost every day. And sodium is usually a problem, too.

Has anyone else used this app? Do you love it as much as I do? Has it helped? I love how so much stuff is programmed in there already!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weird little glimpse into my marriage


Aw. Aren't we cute?
Before I get started on Stupid Stork's proposition to provide a weird little glimpse into my marriage, I decided I need a new name for Hubs on the blog. Hubs is fine, and I actually do call him Hubs in real life on a semi-regular basis, but it's too common in the blog world.

So we're calling him Champ from now on. It makes sense as "Bum Ovaries" that he would be "Champion Swimmers" so he'll be Champ for short.

I feel like I've been teasing this "little glimpse" forever now so I better get on with it.

I've never been attracted to guys who aren't nice. I never saw the "bad boy" appeal. If a guy didn't treat me with respect and kindness, I dropped him like a hot tamale. I didn't want to change somebody or wait for somebody to change for me, and so by and large, I dated nice guys who treated me well.

Champ makes "nice guys" look like child pornographers (to borrow a phrase from Saturday Night Live's "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton and Charles Nelson Reilly, played by Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin... in a word, hilarious!). He takes nice to a whole new level. He's so genuinely kind-hearted and selfless, I have given up the idea of ever feeling like I deserve to be with him. I will happily admit that I hit the husband jackpot. Because I really did.

We met in college. We had the same freshman Honors English Rhetoric class. He remembers me more than I remember him. He liked my sweaters and high pony tails and he asked for my number (my four digit dorm phone number, pre-cell phone era) and called one day for me to "review his paper." He left a message on my answering machine and I blew him off.

Three and a half years later, I met him again at a bar near campus. I was drunk, fresh off a breakup, and out to make friends. I was wearing one of those silky lingerie looking tops that was all the rage back in '05 and he asked me if I was wearing a real shirt. Ha! I ran into him again a couple days later on campus and asked him if he would be at the bar that night... he seemed surprised and said, "the bar?! It's Sunday!" I was a bit of a lush back then and explained that yes, my girlfriends and I were going to the bar every night until graduation. Guess who showed up at the bar that night?

We never looked back.

Besides being generally wonderful:

  • Champ is a boobs man. And thank goodness for that, because my butt and legs are nothing to write home about. Every time I get out of the shower and am bare-chested for a second before I get a bra or t-shirt on, Champ is sneaking a peek or trying to cop a feel. I act annoyed but I'm secretly glad he's a fan. I keep wondering if it will get old, but it's like he's seeing the girls for the first time, every time. 
  • He laughs hysterically during movies and shows at stuff that no one else catches. You won't see him laughing when the crowd laughs, but he'll die at a funny look in the background or a quiet side comment. When he's feeling down, he watches Boom Goes the Dynamite to the 22 second mark and completely erupts into giggles. 
  • We have a policy of not turning down invitations unless we have to. We never want to be the kind of couple that people don't bother asking to hang out. My brother and his wife have become that couple. We rarely ask them to hang because they are always too tired or my brother is busy playing video games. Lame. And if we're stuck being infertile, dammit we're still gonna be a fun couple while we wait!
I could say a lot more but I want to hold back a bit if this will be a weekly thing. Thanks to Stupid Stork for the inspiration! Stop by her blog and let her know if you'd like to participate!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Late blooming shift? ???

Before I provide a glimpse into my marriage (per Stupid Stork's request), I am having a freak out moment and need your help.

It's about my chart.

I've been temping since CD1. All temps have hovered around 97.2 - 97.5. Including the day before, the day of, and the two days after my IUI on Tuesday. I got a shift today to 98.1.

I'm sure the shift today has something to do with the 200 mg. of progesterone I'm shoving up my vagina twice a day and probably not indicative of ovulating in the past 24 hours. BUT - did I not get a temperature shift for ovulation this time? Does the Ovidrel preclude a shift? Did I not ovulate? Was the IUI a huge waste of time and money and a torturous two week wait?

So I need to know - other charters who have used Ovidrel... is there supposed to be a shift? Should I lower my expectations about this IUI? Does the "temperature shift" credibility fly out the window when fertility meds enter the picture? HELP!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pill Popping Vagina

Let's talk about vaginal progesterone. 

After two capsules, I can definitely say I am not a fan of the vag pills (aside from the instructions on the bottle. "Take one capsule twice daily per vagina." HAHAHAHA!!!! I couldn't stop laughing about that last night.). 

I will say first I was quite impressed with my vagina's ability to... swallow the pill. Is that too much information? I was kind of nervous about sticking the pill up there because I definitely need an applicator for tampons. I could never figure out the non-applicator kind. But that pill went right up there and I swear I almost heard some lip smacking and a swallow! I don't think I could get it out even if I tried! Which I didn't. Obviously.  

But after my initial "'Atta Girl"s, I changed my tune pretty quick. 

Are they suppose to leak so much? And be so ... yellow?  And make me feel so gross? And force me to type in italics excessively? 

Gross! Not to mention, how much progesterone am I losing with said leakage? Is that even okay? Don't I need that stuff to stay up in there? I am not excited for another 58 times of vagina-popping those suckers. Although I will happily pill pop 58 times over getting cut off with a very unwelcome period in two weeks. 

Has it really only been two days since my IUI? Ya'll aren't kidding about the two week wait. This blows. Today I looked at the time at work and when it only said "1:15" I was sure it meant AM and not PM. Time doesn't normally go this slow, right? 

After conferring with Belle's post today and taking into consideration your input from my last post, I am going to pee on the 15th instead of the 18th. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'll pee on a pretty regular basis between now and then, but I meant pee on a stick. Of the pregnancy test variety. That will be 11 days post IUI. Otherwise known as one eternity from now. 

Distractions are good. Has everyone signed up for DogMom's Pinterest Challenge? I'm so excited about this and it's just the kick in the rear I need to actually make something from Pinterest besides made cake batter truffles and cake batter brownies (oh. my. god.). The first "official" month category is ART. And I've chosen my inspiration piece! And it's amazing!

Image from here, which seems to be a really cool blog that I think I'm going to add to my reader.
I'm in the process of deciding which of my own photos I'm going to use. Stay tuned!

Check back tomorrow or Saturday for a post spurred by Stupid Stork's request for a weird little glimpse into my marriage (and all marriages). I'm going to work something up tonight or tomorrow. 

Also, I'm serious about the vagina pill popping. Are those things normal? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An IUI for the nerd

The IUI went well this morning. 

Hubs went in at 7:30 am to "do his business" in the porno room (requiring him to wake up at 6 am). He was a real trooper to do this, because he usually doesn't like to open his eyes / talk to people until at least 8:30 am. My husband is many things, but a morning person is not one of them. 

I came in an hour later to pick up the "specimen," which was neatly tucked into a green gift bag, complete with tissue paper. I wrote down his numbers because I figured I would never remember them. The doctor said everything looked great.

Volume: 9.2 ML
Count post wash: 213 mil
Motility: 60%
Grade: 2

I think the only thing that isn't stellar is the Grade, but it's by no means problematic. 

You all were right about how the IUI would feel - just a little uncomfortable with some "period-like" cramping for a few minutes. I relaxed for an easy 15 minutes, then I was out of there.

I went ahead and took the day off, just to try and keep a "zen" feeling for as long as possible and work has been super stressing me out lately. I remained horizontal all day. I caught up on Bachelor Pad from last night, took a nap, played Scrambled and Words with Friends, and practiced the Rubik's Cube. 

Yes. The Rubik's Cube. In a supreme indication of my nerdiness, I have been diligently learning how to complete the old "magic cube" from the 70s. I'm to the point that I can get the bottom white face, and the bottom two rows of each side with no help from the instructions. 

But to complete the cube, I have to cheat and look it up. But not for long! I will master that cube and impress all the cool people at parties with my mad skillz.

Right. 

Anyway. The doc said that everything looked perfect and that I shouldn't get my hopes up too high because it's never a guarantee, but that everything has gone about as well as it could have with this cycle. 

They said I could test two weeks from today (the 18th) and not before because the Ovidrel can sometimes cause a false positive. Thoughts? I want to test as soon as humanly possible, but Hubs wants to wait two weeks. How early can I get away with it? Should I just suck it up and wait? 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Follie Update

First of all, thanks everyone SO MUCH for all of the support and positive thoughts over the past week. You guys are the best cheerleaders for my little follicle!

This weekend I was trying very hard to keep my expectations about the follicle growth low. Nothing seems to ever go our way when it comes to fertility, but it's tough not to get my hopes up anyway. So I went back to the doctor this morning thinking I'd really be at least "okay" if this cycle busted.

The ultrasound showed a lining of 7.8 (they wanted it above 7)
And follie went from 13.3 to 19 mm!!!!

We talked with the doctor about our options of IUI vs. timed intercourse and we decided to move forward with an IUI on Tuesday! I'm triggering tonight with the Ovidrel I never got to use from my previous failed cycles.

!!

I know the odds are still not "in our favor" because of likely egg quality issues, but even to get this far, to be in a position where I have an active, perfectly sized follicle with a perfectly lined uterine wall... I mean, this is huge for us. I really thought we'd never get to even try!

My question for any of you who have had IUIs - um... what's it feel like? Is it like the wand or different? Any advice for the next few days or the day of the IUI?

* * * 
Also, now that the really important update is out of the way, I also ran another half-marathon yesterday! And if you'll remember, I had not trained adequately for this one. As in, my longest run was 8 miles on the treadmill 5 weeks ago.  And since then, I haven't run more than 5 or 6 miles at once. So I expected to have to walk-run this thing (which I was fine with) at the very least. Also it was 91% humidity and a hot morning. However, I totally stuck with my friend and we ran the whole thing in 10:15 mins/mile splits! It's almost a full minute per mile slower than my half marathon in April, but it's also way faster and better than I expected or trained for!
The medal
It's been a good weekend. Let's hope the good luck continues!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grow, Follie, Grow!

I don't have time for a real update, but I wanted to post quickly about my little follicle. It grew! from an official "11.5" on Tuesday to "13.3" this morning. So we've got ourselves an actual active follicle! I go back on Sunday to see how it's doing and *possible* *just maybe* get to do an IUI early next week. The odds still aren't great (or even good. or okay. they're still bad.), but this is definitely the best shot we've have since I was diagnosed.

I'm headed to Indy tomorrow to run a half marathon for which I have not trained on Saturday morning. The RE assured me that it's perfectly fine to run. Not that I will be able to run the whole time.

I'll post Sunday after my appointment with an update. I'm getting pumped about the possibilities but still maintaining a pretty even keel. I think I'll be okay either way.

If you think about it, send me some happy follicle-growth-spurt vibes this weekend! I'll need 'em!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The little engine that could...

Today at the doc, a new resident did the ultrasound.

Oh.

My.

God.

FIVE LONG MINUTES of poking around my bladder, twisting that wand into all kind of crazy angles, jabbing it up my vajay farther than anything should be pushed up there trying to find just ONE of my ovaries. Finally, my doc was like "Um, let me see if I can find them."  Approximately .5 seconds later, there's righty on the screen.

I don't mind residents getting some practice in with me. But I would appreciate at least some semblance of expertise when it comes to poking up my privates. You know?

Anyway, I have a follicle! Call my right ovary "the little engine that could," cause it is trying super hard to make something happen. Good job, little gal! My RE told me today he "continues to be impressed" with me, because women with bum ovaries due to POF do not typically produce follicles. At least, hardly ever.

E2 levels: 78
Progesterone: .6
Lining: 9 mm
Follicle: 12 mm

It's not exactly promising. But if that little follie can stick around and cook for a few days, maybe grow to a nice 18 - 20 mm, Doc says we can do an IUI!!

I'm trying to temper my expectations, because well, we're all a little too familiar with the sting of disappointment after riding high on hope. Hubs thinks I'm being a downer. I think I'm being realistic. Chances are this follie won't be the one. My new post-therapy self will be okay if it isn't.

I go back to the doc on Thursday to see what kind of growth we get. Grow, follie, grow!




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wait, why are we doing this?

I don't know about you all, but my husband, while having come a long way, still knows very little about how the whole menstrual cycle works. He knows the term ovulation but not really when it happens or why or how. He knows that something changes in my lady bits when I'm nearing ovulation, but he kind of shuts his ears when I talk about stuff like egg white cervical mucus. 

So this week when I told him that I was hoping ovulation was in the near future, he knew well enough to ask me "how's it going down there?" every time I got out of the shower, even if he didn't exactly know what answer he was hoping for. But alas, every day this week, I shook my head and said "no dice." 

He said we should probably do it anyway, because you never know. I threw him a couple of bones, but I was pretty convinced it wasn't going to happen. It's Day 16 of my cycle and last time I ovulated (back in April), the EWCM showed up on Day 10. But my body is pretty effed up, so who knows. 

Last night, he confided that this week has been hard on him. That he got his hopes up and now it doesn't look like this month will have a chance, so he's been doing some soul searching about why we even want to have babies. I think that's pretty normal. I mean, you're going through x amount of years and who knows how many dollars and endless amount of disappointment and heartache... you're probably going to take a hot second and think about why you're doing it. 

It's not like we have a duty to perpetuate humanity. I think the population will survive without us. A big part of it is kind of selfish - to see what a miniature combo version of "us" would look like and be like. But my baby most likely won't look like me, cause we'll probably eventually use a donor egg. And then there's the desire for a "higher purpose" in life, of taking care of something that needs us. But we've both decided that we don't want that to be our WHOLE purpose in life, even if we do get pregnant and have kids. That's a totally different take on the situation than I would have had without this infertility mess. But seeing now how many of my friends with kids have just completely lost touch with anything beside their own kid, including the ability to think or talk about anything else... I don't know. Maybe it'll all change once I'm there, but I want to always consider myself a person in addition to the role of mother if I ever achieve it. 

We decided last night that we don't have to analytically pinpoint exactly why we want babies, because it's a combination of these things and a million other reasons and in the end it doesn't really matter. Because we know we want to be parents. 

And then today, EWCM shows up, loud, proud, and unmistakable. !! I'm calling the RE tomorrow morning and getting in there, stat! No wasting time. If I'm about to ovulate, we are marching in and asking how we can get this mofo knocked UP! An IUI? OKAY! Some kind of fancy expensive med? YES PLEASE! Headstands? We WILL do it! 

I will, of course, let you know how it goes. 

In other news, we've added some "decor" to our bathroom (freebies from my aunt). It's coming along!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bathroom Reveal!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my house flooded back in December. Since then, we've been chipping away at fixing our upstairs bathroom (the one that started the flood). It's been a long, loooong process, but we are thisclose to the end. And I thought I'd share some before and almost-after pictures, because it is FINALLY functional again. We have a working tub, toilet and sink, with all the comforts of an actual floor, woohoo!!

So here's the best pic I have of pre-flood, even though it was actually taken during the flood. Notice the lovely pink tiles and soft skyblue and pink wallpaper. Don't you love the linoleum floors? Yeah. Me neither.


Here is the other side of the bathroom - you can see the floors a little better. This is after the drying company removed half of the linoleum floor to dry out the floorboards.


And yes, the tile had to come out behind the vanity and toilet to dry as well. Lovely look, no?

And for the reveal:




Sorry for the poor quality of pictures (especially with the lights being completely washed out. I have no idea how to fix that). 

So, what did we do? 

Well we got new tile floors, just basic ceramic ones from Home Depot. Then we took out the tile surrounding the tub (uuuuuuugly) and Hubs and his dad and uncle retiled with lovely white subway tile. Then we painted the baseboards white, got a new vanity, mirror, and faucet, installed new light fixtures, and painted three walls. The fourth wall is curvy and becomes the ceiling, so we kept that white. 

It's not quite done because we have nothing hanging on the walls or anything "styled" per se. Not that I even know what that entails. I definitely plan on framing some of the old pink and gold swan tiles and hanging them up, for posterity's sake. 

What do you guys think? What would you put on the walls? I'm pretty bad at that kind of thing. I was thinking about a glass shelf over the toilet á la my favorite non-infertility blog Bower Power, but my husband was sure it would only last 12 seconds before I broke it. He's probably right. All I know is that I am SO GLAD not to be working on the daggone bathroom any more! It feels good to be done. 

What a beauty. 

And sorry this post has nothing to do with infertility but people wanted to see the reveal when I mentioned we were working on the bathroom and I can't let the people down! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not Pregnant: The Movie

Welcome August ICLW folks! For a very quick rundown on my scoop: I am 29, married to Hubs (I need a better name for him on this blog. Stay tuned.) for almost three years, started TTC 15 months ago, and diagnosed with bum ovaries in November 2011. We've tried some stims with no (as in zilch) response in February and May. I'm currently taking daily estrogen to keep symptoms in check (like brain fog, hot flashes, bone loss) and my next move is Donor Eggs... but we're not there yet. So right now, we're trying things to good old fashioned way (i.e. stand on head after sex, cross fingers and pray, etc.).

Anyway.

Last night Hubs asked me if I would mind if wrote a screenplay "loosely based" on our infertility journey. He's not really a writer, so I was quite intrigued. He said he'd call it "Not Pregnant" and it would start with us on a plane to Spain in May 2011, then cut to us seeing some sights and having a grand ol' time in España. On our second night in Madrid, we went to "Las Ventas" to see a bullfight, something I didn't care to do but Hubs was pumped about it and wanted to experience true Spanish culture.

Las Ventas, or Madrid's bullfighting ring
The screenplay would show Hubs and I watching the bullfight and me starting to sob uncontrollably at how cruelly the bulls were being treated. It would show everyone around us cheering and screaming, and me (being only a week and a half removed from being a two-year vegetarian) crying quietly, staring into my lap, Hubs trying to console me. We ended up leaving half-way through and went straight to a bar down the street, where we drank a ton of alhambra beer and decided that yes, definitely, we were ready to start trying to get pregnant.

Cue: us falling into bed a la Wedding Crashers' style, having lots of unprotected sex with jamming music in the background.

Cue: Negative test and a shrug. Negative test and a shrug. Negative test and shrug. Negative test and a concerned look. You get the idea.

Hubs told me the screenplay would be a "Dramedy" with some really funny parts and really sad parts. The sad parts would include me getting diagnosed in my OB/GYN's office, going to baby showers, telling family, and completely losing my shit when I came back from a five mile run with what Hubs described last night as a "wild look in my eyes" and a tear-stained sweaty face. They might also include some encounters with friends who have kids being really insensitive and downright rude.

Some of the funny parts would be like when the Resident doctor waved a sack of my period blood around in the air during an appointment, getting several days of diarrhea from the Chinese Herbs I was taking, and maybe trimming my mustache.

There would also be a few cringe-worthy scenes where you're not sure if you should laugh or cry, like when I made a drunken fool of myself at the 4th of July. And Hubs said there'd have to be some uplifting moments too, like when my friend with PCOS gave me the Expect a Miracle necklace or when I completed my first-ever full marathon.

I told Hubs it didn't sound very "loosely" based, but I gave him the go ahead to start writing away. I at least have a good record on hand via this blog of some of my worst and best moments over the past eight months, so maybe I could even help! And there don't seem to be many movies or television shows about infertility, especially when you consider how many people are affected by it! I don't know if it'll go anywhere, but I think it'll be fun, tough, interesting to read and help him.

What do you guys think? Is this a blockbuster waiting to happen (ha!)? What would be key scenes in your infertility movie?

Monday, August 20, 2012

An Only Child

Where did this week go?

Oh, now I remember. It's the busiest week of the year in my job and I haven't been able to stop to breathe until now. <<deep breath>>. That feels good.

My sister-in-law and her husband and adorable three year old daughter came to visit this weekend. Seriously, that little girl could not be more sweet and funny and adorable. We took her to see "Suessical the Musical" at a local dinner theatre and what did she take out of it? <<cue adorable little girl voice>> "You know what? That Grinch wasn't wearing any panties! He's so silly, isn't he?"

Then in her guest room at my house, she became quite enamored with this cookie cutter painting we got at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.


She brought it up on THREE separate occasions, asking me if I painted it, where did we get it and "how amazing is that picture?"

Aggggghghgh I can't even handle the preciousness!

As always, it's a little tough being around my niece A because she is a reminder of what my could-be daughter might look like. And my SIL, as supportive and wonderful as she tries to be, ends up completely inadvertently crushing my soul a little. She knows what's going on with my POF and everything and she really has made a solid effort trying to be supportive, but this weekend, she said "when you guys have kids [insert words of wisdom here]" a few times. And I know she says that because she really believes we'll have kids some day, but it's still like... she doesn't know if we'll ever have a kid, let alone kids plural. 

It got me thinking about how "kids" - being the plural of "kid" - is a word that will probably never be in my future. If we get to be in the lucky 5-10% of Premature Ovarian Failure couples who get pregnant with no help, it certainly will only happen once. And if we don't fall into the lucky 5-10%, we'll have to use a donor egg via IVF. For $15,000-$20,000. For a 50% chance of a baby. Again, that is only going to happen once. We are in no position to pay that kind of money more than once. We are very barely in the position to pay for it once, and it will take some serious sacrifice.

So if I get to be a mother at all, I can say with almost 100% certainty that I will have an "only child." And for some reason that makes me really really sad. Hubs and I are both one-of-three. We have huge families with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. I always wanted that for my kids too.

Don't get me wrong. I will happily and lovingly accept my one child if I get to be so lucky. I will love him or her with my whole heart and I will be eternally grateful for that one child. And I have nothing against only children. It just wasn't in my plan. I wanted two or possibly three kids.

So it's just one more thing infertility has stolen from me. Another thing thing to grieve.

But the good news is my someday baby will have an older cousin  (hopefully not too much older. She's already three!) to play with and look up to. And while it can be really hard now, being around my SIL's daughter, and anticipating my brother's wife's someday pregnancy, having cousins will be a really good thing for my baby, if/when I finally have one. It'll at least be the next best thing to siblings, right?