Thursday, May 24, 2012

Insensitivity Strikes Again

Honestly, I try to remember that everyone fights their own battles. I do. I know people are dealing with their own crap and are struggling in their own ways. And I realize that my infertility isn't their number one concern. It may slip their mind. They may not realize how heavily it weighs on me every day.


I am not the right person to console you and wipe away your tears about how fast your four month old baby is growing up. Or how time consuming it is to pump breast milk. Or how little sleep you're getting. Or how it's hard to get your pre-baby body back.

I have tried to be a good listener to this particular person (also featured here and even more devastatingly here). She has been a wonderful friend over the past several years and I'd hate to lose her. I know she doesn't mean to be insensitive and I love her despite the fact that she came to my office yesterday specifically to unload. Through her tears, she said she knew she shouldn't be complaining to me of all people. I just didn't know what to say. I know she's struggling right now. I have no doubt what she's going through is tough. And I'm sure she needs to talk about it with someone.

Just not me. NOT. ME.

I'm not sure what my strategy should be in situations like this. Do I speak up? Tune out? Avoid? Redirect? Remind my friend that I would do anything to have those problems?

But then on the other hand, what kind of friendship is one where you can't talk about your kid and how your life has changed because of him? I can feel her life and mine stretching further and further apart. It's sad. I don't want to lose my friends when they have babies, right?!? But can I handle this kind of conversation?

I'm not sure there's an answer to any of this, but words of wisdom are welcome. I really am torn on how to proceed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TTC: One Year. And counting.

Thanks for all the positive, supportive comments about my marathon results! I'm still reeling that it actually happened! And my legs still hurt! And I am probably going to lose a toenail for the first time ever!

Anyway. Because nothing can be great for too long, I am now focused on the fact that a year ago today was the first day I didn't start a new cycle of birth control pills. So we've officially been trying to conceive for one year.

A year ago, the world was wide open in front of me. My life had been going, essentially, according to plan. I was educated, happily married, and working at a job that challenged and excited me. I had just been in Spain for an amazing nine-day vacation with Hubs. I had absolutely no clue, no inkling in the world, what the next year would have in store for us when we decided on a whim to try making a baby.

We were giddy those first months. It was "our little secret" that we had pulled the proverbial goalie. We spent hours talking about baby names, nursery ideas, ways to tell our parents when we got pregnant. We bought pregnancy tests and knew nothing about EWCM or charting or Premature Ovarian Failure. It never occurred to me that I might not be pregnant a year later. I figured it would take a few months - six maybe, max, but I had no doubt in my mind on May 22, 2011 that I would be pregnant by May 22, 2012.

My diagnosis in November shattered that idea and I know now that I'll be lucky to ever carry my own biological child. The odds are not on my side.

Infertility has, undoubtedly, torn me to shreds. It's left me feeling often battered and broken and more sorrowful than I knew was possible. I'm a different person now than I was. I know everyone changes a little from year to year. We grow. We learn. We develop new ideas. But the past year has been so different than the normal year-to-year growth. I feel... hardened. Wiser. More bitter. I'm sad that the woman I was a year ago is gone. I no longer see the world the same way she did. She was hopeful and bright-eyed. I am cynical and jaded. My world is filtered through infertility-colored glasses.

That's not to say I haven't had some good moments. I just finished running a marathon. I ovulated twice, maybe three times, which isn't great for a whole year, but at least it's something. I was the Matron of Honor in my sister's wedding (and it was so much fun!), and I realized how to lean on my friends when I need to.

And as heinous as infertility has been, it has also brought my husband and I closer. We've had a wonderfully happy marriage from the start, but over the past year we have really solidified ourselves as a team. There have been times when it would have been easy for us to turn away from each other out of resentment or frustration and instead we turned to each other to lean in and take a deep breath together. I don't want to take anything away from our first year and a half of marriage, but the past year has definitely made us stronger, especially because there's a dark place in my heart that wouldn't blame him for wanting to walk away. It's hard to admit that, but I know he didn't expect this when he married me. And instead of displaying even the slightest bit of disappointment in me, he has continually reassured me, comforted me, stood by me, and loved me. He's seen me through my very lowest moments this year and he has never wavered for one second. That man is the most loyal, strong, steadfast person I know, and I am damn lucky to have him. Infertility has reminded me, again and again, of that fact.

I know one year pales in comparison to what some of you have been through. And you all - my new friends in the blog world - have been such a blessing in remembering that I'm NOT alone in this. That it's NOT my fault, and that the feelings of inadequacy, frustration, anger, sadness, and bitchiness are NORMAL reactions to a devastating reality. I read your blogs every day and I am so inspired by you and grateful to be a part of this amazing group of women. You help me get through this. Your comments support me. Your posts of strength lift me up. Your posts whining how crappy IF is validate me. Your posts sharing your stories help me understand my own story better. Thank you for including me in your own journey and for reading along as I share mine. I don't know that I could have made it through this year in one piece if it weren't for you all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marathon Results!

Welcome, ICLW folks! A quick update on who I am and what I'm up to:

Hubs and I are 29, married 2.5 years, trying to conceive one year (ahem, one year tomorrow. More on that later). I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure in November of 2011. We just finished a round of Menopur stims last week with zero ovarian stimulation success, so now I'm back on daily estrogen and hoping that my next cycle is more encouraging.

The only positive thing about my Menopur cycle being a total bust is that I was given the go ahead to run the full marathon this weekend. AND I DID IT! I still haven't fully wrapped my head around it, but yesterday I ran 26.2 miles! You obviously need to hear every tantalizing detail, so here it goes.

The Marathon was in Cleveland (not exactly a hot spot, but the timing worked). I drove up Saturday with a couple of girlfriends - one is a brand new runner and doing the 10k, the other is one of my coworkers/running buddies who I ran a half marathon with three weeks ago. She wasn't racing this weekend, but came along to be our support / carrier of our stuff / cheerleader/ etc. We met up with another friend in Cleveland, who was also running the marathon (her first as well!).

My nerves for this marathon were OUT.OF.CONTROL. I was freaked the heck out. I had never run more than 20 miles before and the weather was predicted to be 100% sunny and 78 degrees by the time I was going to be halfway done. That's a beautiful day to WATCH a marathon, but a terrible day to RUN a marathon. I was also nervous because my hormones have been all kinds of crazy after being on the stims last week and only back on the estrogen tablets for a few days. That's bound to have an effect on running 26.2 miles, right?

Enter: Morning of the race. I had a terrible night's sleep and we were up by 4:30 am. After driving downtown, frantically searching for port-a-potties (runners will understand), taking some pre-race photos and wishing each other good luck, we were off. It was already 62 degrees when we started, which is a little warmer than ideal but still fine.

My friend and I are at vastly different paces, so I ran by myself the whole time. The first 10 miles were fine. No complaints. Felt strong. At around mile 10, the sun was blazing pretty hard and I started to feel a little tired. Still, I was fueled by the fact that my two friends not running the marathon were going to be waiting at mile 12 to cheer me on. I kept my pace just under 10 minutes per mile for the first 10 miles.

Mile 12: Feeling pretty fatigued and overheated. I kept looking for my friends to no avail. I passed the point of where they said they'd be, so I figured I missed them. BUMMER.

Mile 13: Two familiar faces come running down a side street, screaming my name. They found me! I felt so rejuvenated and excited to see them! Totally gave me a boost right when I was getting really tired.

Miles 13-15: The full and half marathon split to different courses by now and the crowd really thinned out. It seemed like I was running out there by myself. The miles felt really long and the heat was becoming an issue. I started taking two cups of water instead of one at the water stations. I was able to maintain a decent pace, but definitely slowed it down to about 10:15/mile.

Miles 15-17: Ugh. My legs started to feel very heavy. I decided to walk through the water stations to make sure I had enough time to get every drop. Pace slowed to about 11:05 mins / mile due to the walking at water stations

Miles 17-22: OH. MY. GOD. Every surface of my body was pouring sweat. There was no refuge from the sun. No wind. No shade. My legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds each. I walked longer at each water station. I slowed down more and more. I poured water on my head and down my back. EVERYTHING hurt.

Mile 22: I remembered at this point that I was planning to run on rage and frustration about fertility when I ran out of steam. So I dug deep for it and it just wasn't there. Or I couldn't find it. I wanted to give myself a pep talk, but the only thing in my brain was ""

Mile 23: I saw a kitten on the side of the course. In a moment of delirium, I stopped running, crouched down, and pet the kitten. This lasted about 20 seconds until I remembered that I was running a marathon.

Mile 24 - 26: Pure willpower. That's the only thing that kept me going. My brain was essentially useless. The only thing I could do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. You would think I would be energized by being so close to the end, thinking "Sweet, only two measly miles left! I could do that in my sleep!" That thought did not happen. Two miles seemed like an absolute eternity.

Mile 26-26.2: Glorious, beautiful downhill finish. I cruised at an 8:42 pace, encouraged by the awesome crowd support. When I was ALMOST there, my two friends saw me and started screaming my name and cheering.

Crossing the finish line was surreal. I couldn't believe I'd done it. I was so happy to be done. So relieved to not be running. My eyes teared up a little, kind of in awe of my body, but the physical pain I was in took my attention away from my emotional experience. My final time was 4 hours, 33 minutes and 32 seconds, for a final pace of 10:26 per mile. I was really hoping to finish it in sub 4.5 hours, but considering the heat, I'm chalking it up to a success. I learned later they had raised the heat-advisory flags when I was at mile 15. By 10 am, the "feels like" temperature in Cleveland was 89 degrees. They had twice as many runners treated in the medical tents as usual, due to the heat.

I'm hurting pretty bad today but I took the day off work to recover. I am SO GLAD that this marathon is over. But I'm also SO GLAD that I did it. I feel amazingly accomplished and proud. I swore yesterday I would never run another marathon ever (I think I said "I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever even think about ever running another marathon again. Ever."), but... we'll see. That feeling is pretty awesome. And I'd maybe like to do one with better conditions because I know I could have done so much better.

I know this post has very little to do with fertility, but I had to update about the marathon. My dark depression from last week seems so far away; I'm in a much better place. Not sure if that's because of the estrogen or just NOT being on the Menopur, or maybe even being on a prolonged runner's high, but I feel infinitely better about life than I did last week.

Tomorrow is our one-year anniversary of trying to conceive, so we'll see how I feel then. But for now I'm going to bask in the glory of my accomplishment. It feels good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cycle Officially Busted

I've been pretty busy the last couple of days but I wanted to drop a quick update. Yesterday my u/s showed absolutely zero follicle growth. As in, none present at all. So the strongest stims they have didn't work. 

On the plus side, I'm back on daily estrogen and I am hopeful that those suckers will kick in soon to stabilize my terrible mood swings and brain fog. I have to say, it's helping already. The doctor also gave me his official approval to run my full marathon ON SUNDAY. IN TWO DAYS.

All of the sudden, I am freaking out. What was I thinking?!? 26.2 Miles?!? Really?!? Why did that sound like such a better idea two months ago? 

I do have a plan. I will run for as far as possible on my training alone. But when I am out of steam, I will run on all of the rage and frustration and sadness that has been taking over my life lately. That should get me to the finish line. 

Post-marathon, I plan to focus my attention on getting into the National Institutes of Health Study on Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (the new and more politically correct way to say Premature Ovarian Failure). It's in Bethesda, Maryland and it would include three days of extensive testing to try to figure out why my ovaries are bum at age 29. Today I sent a request for medical records and a referral letter to my RE and I sent in a ton of family history and screening info to the study itself. I think I'll easily qualify and I'm hoping to get in sometime this summer. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hormonal Train Wreck

Well last night was just awful. I have definitely tipped the crazy scale with my wacked-out hormones and I had several massive breakdowns last night, complete with hyperventilating and ugly cries. There's no logic to it and I can recognize the futility of these depressed and angry emotions. But I feel trapped in them, hopefully due to the hormones and not just reality. Last night they CONSUMED ME.

I felt on edge all day yesterday, after getting blood test results from Monday (Estrogen at 16. I guess that's pretty low and crappy). The doctor told me he wants to up my dose of Menopur and the amount of time I spend on it. Menopur is REALLY expensive and just the increased dosage for this cycle would be another $1,000. After we already dropped $1,500. Which would be okay if there was any indication at all that it was working or might work. I mean, Monday was day 8 of my cycle. Not a single, solitary trace of even the tiniest follicle. I'd been on the Menopur for 6 days at that point.

The Menopur is screaming at my ovaries to work. But the ovaries must be deaf. Screaming louder and harder is still going to fall on deaf ears. I explained this (in so many words) and the doctor said, "well, you've only been on the Menopur for a three or four days, you've got to give it a chance to work." "Um, nope. Today will be the 7th day." He was confused about when I started since he was out of town at my appointment on Friday. CAN'T THESE DOCTORS KEEP ANYTHING STRAIGHT??? YOU WANT ME TO SPEND ANOTHER THOUSAND BUCKS AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW LONG I'VE BEEN ON THIS MEDICINE?

Anyway, that's the back-story that led to last night. I just felt all edgy and hormonal. I came home from work and finished reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" (don't even get me started on that. Terrible writing. Just awful. But. Still hard to put down.) and sat on our deck for a little bit just staring at the yard. I should know better by now. My unoccupied mind is a dangerous place to be when I am on the crazy hormone train. Must. keep. brain. busy. There is only one place my brain wants to go when it isn't busy and it's to re-live every terrible IF related moment and imagine a life I'm not going to have.

After snapping at the Hubs for no reason, I decided to go for a 5 mile run. The tension in my body was screaming to get out. About 3/4 of a mile in, I was FURIOUS. Rage was boiling inside of me. I was angry at every person who's had any role, however minute or indirect, in leading me to this day. I was mad at my parents for raising me to put a career before babies. Mad at my mom for getting me on birth control pills at 17. Mad at my brother for accidentally knocking up his exchange-student prom date (she lives in South America with his daughter he's never met), giving me a solid fear of unprotected sex. Mad at Hubs for waiting so long to propose when maybe we could have been trying earlier, before my ovaries dried up. Mad at every doctor who might have been able to catch this before my 28th year and didn't. Mad at every friend or relative who's ever gotten pregnant easily, for making me think that getting pregnant would be easy. And the deepest, most hateful anger was saved for myself.

Every step I took pounded harder into the pavement. I kept running faster and faster and finally just started bawling. Bawling + running fast = hyperventilation and stomach cramp. I slowed it down. I changed my ipod shuffle to something more uplifting. I promised myself that I would allow this anger, but only in the last mile of my run. Get through four miles first.

I was feeling a lot better by mile four. But as I rounded the last quarter mile down the street back to my house, I felt panicked again. This time, anger was out the door and I was consumed with sorrow. I sat on the back deck again, heart pounding fast through my whole body, eyes closed. Tears streaming. An instrumental song played on my shuffle, and it was almost like watching a movie in my mind. I saw two pink lines on a test. I saw Hub's face when I show him the test. I saw us making the big announcement to our families. Painting a nursery together. Laying in bed with a bump on my belly. Hubs staying up late to talk to the bump. A baby shower for me. Driving to the hospital. Doctor handing me my baby for the first time. Being over-the-moon in love.

Will this ever happen for me?

I didn't stop crying for 45 minutes. Hubs made dinner and I just cried and cried and cried. He hugged. He tried distracting me. He tried looking on the bright side.

I finally wore myself out and laid on the couch, watching "The Wonder Years" on Netflix while playing "Draw Something" on my ipad. I think that has to be my strategy for the next few days until I'm off the Menopur and back on the estrogen. No more time alone with my thoughts.

I'm sorry for being such a downer lately. Especially when just over a week ago I was on Cloud Nine for having an ovulatory cycle! How quickly things change in the IF world. Thanks for your support.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Survived

I survived Mother's Day with relative ease. It hadn't dawned on me to be depressed about Mother's Day until late last week, but I decided to go into the day as a daughter, not as a "non-Mother." So I celebrated my own mother, and we also celebrated my little cousin's 1st Communion.

I was a little nervous about my family slipping and accidentally saying "Happy Mother's Day" to me, which sounds weird. We have a tendency to automatically reply to "Happy [insert birthday, anniversary, holiday here] by immediately repeating it back to the person with a high pitched "TO YOU!" at the end. So on my sister's birthday, for example, I'll say "Happy Birthday!" and she'll say "Happy Birthday TO YOU!" even though my birthday is nowhere near hers. It's just a thing we do. So I had mentally prepared myself to shrug off some accidental "Happy Mothers Day TO YOU!" comments. However, my fam must have powwowed before I arrived at lunch and there were no slip ups. I appreciated it.

We ate lunch as a family (although Hubs was out of town for a Bachelor Party) and then drove across town to my cousin's 1st Communion together. Lots of family time yesterday. My cousin's Mom, Kelly (who is only a few years older than me), went through five years of infertility before finally getting pregnant with my cousin through IVF. Then she went on to have three more babies over the next six years, all completely naturally. She's recently started reaching out to me to talk about my IF situation and yesterday she pulled me aside to give me a charm of St. Girard, the patron saint of fertility/motherhood, and a prayer book that helped get her her five year struggle. The book was a gift from her friend and the charm was passed down from my Great Aunt, who was uber Catholic and helped raise my dad (his mother died when he was three). It meant so much and I immediately added the charm to my Expect a Miracle necklace.

I had a dream Saturday night that my brother and his wife announced they were pregnant. In the dream, I yelled "NO!" and burst into tears. Note to self: prepare a better response than that if the time comes. Also, I somehow need to get the message to them that I would really really like them to tell me privately instead of announcing it in a big fun surprise way in front of a bunch of people when they get pregnant. I would not handle that situation well.

So I thought I'd save the worst news for last. Went to the RE this morning and my ultrasound showed not a single follicle on either ovary. The Menopur does not appear to be working. I go back on Friday to make sure. I had three sobbing fits on the drive from the RE's office to work and I'm trying to keep my cool here at work.

Thanks for the support after my whiny post on Friday. You guys are the best.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I am 13 again.

I shouldn't post right now because I have nothing good to say. I'm irritable, moody, and depressed. I've been irrationally annoyed by everyone who crossed my path today, starting with the receptionist at my doctor's office who was a little too chipper for 8 in the morning at an RE office to every single person I saw at work. When I didn't feel like punching someone (anyone) squarely in the face, I've been on the verge of a total emotional breakdown.

It feels like I'm 13 again and going through puberty. The world is against me. Nobody understands. My life is hard. Everybody sucks. And so does everything.

I can assume with relative certainty that these feelings are hormonal. Nothing about my life is any worse today than it has been over the past 6 months (in fact, I *should* be feeling more hope now that I'm actually on some stims), but I am a mess! I couldn't find anything in the side effects of menopur having anything to do with irritability or emotional instability, so I think my craziness probably stems from my temporary hiatus from the daily estrogen pills.

I went to the doctor today and since my regular doctor was out of town, I had to see Dr. Otherguy. Which was, of course, irritating. I kept thinking - this guy doesn't know jack squat about my case. These nurses are weird. This guys' ultrasounds don't feel the same. Ugh. I thought they might be able to tell if the medicine is working (and thereby, if I will be doing an IUI in a week and a half or running a marathon in a week and a half) but it's too early to tell. So Dr. Otherguy said "I wanna see you back on Monday to see if we have progress then." So I went to make an appointment with my REGULAR RE doctor and they said "oh no, you should see Dr. Otherguy because he does all the 'cycling patients'."

Um... no. Nobody ever said anything about switching doctors. I don't even know what a "cycling patient" means and the ONLY reason I wasn't seeing Regular Doctor today is because he was out of town! My confusion was evident and then the chipper receptionist said she'll just make a note for regular doctor to tell him I "requested him special". Um, not really. I just want to see MY DOCTOR who knows MY CASE. There's nothing special about it.

So clearly, that was annoying. But I am seeing my regular doctor on Monday. If he tells me I should start seeing Dr. Otherguy, fine. I will see Dr. Otherguy. But I don't trust that these people know what the eff is going on with my case, as I'm not exactly normal.

Tonight, Hubs and I were invited to do go out with some friends to a new lager house down town and to see some friends of friends who are in town for the weekend. We usually have a pretty solid "If we're invited, we will go" policy (we're both pretty social people), but I am just feeling too rotten to put on a happy face for the night. Hubs is supportive, as usual. In fact, he's been the only respite from this terrible day. He knows just how to calm me down and help me see the light. Tonight I was crying in his arms and he told me how brave he thinks I am, for putting up with all the needles and discomfort and appointments. He said he doesn't think he could do it, especially the shots and the endless blood work.

He also said that he was talking to his (fertile) sister on the phone yesterday about how we're doing and what's going on with this cycle and the meds. And he told her the worst case scenario is that we get pregnant and have a miscarriage (which is so beyond the scope of my coping ability right now, I can't think about it too long without losing my mind). And his sister told him that she knows it won't happen. She already prayed to God that if anyone in the family were to have a miscarriage, that it be her. It's so morbid and terrible to think about, and obviously no one wants to have a miscarriage. But it's also touching. Maybe you have to know her to understand really. I clearly hope and pray that no miscarriages go around at all.

Anyway. I'm in for the night. Hubs and I are going to watch a movie. I'm doing my last, probably futile, long training run tomorrow morning, so it'll probably be an early-ish night. Sorry for the negative post. But I know you guys will understand. You've been there, too, right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Call Me Les Mis

Well my hopeful mood has certainly shifted since yesterday. I feel crummy.

The doctor this morning was fine. My u/s looked good - no cysts - and the doc said to start the menopur tonight to stimulate the ovaries. The nurse showed Hubs how to do it (it's much more complicated than previous injections I've had), and sent us off with instructions to take the meds between 6 pm and 10 pm tonight and the next two nights at the same time, and then come back on Friday morning.

At about 5:40 tonight, doc called while I was in the shower (of course) and left a message that my estrogen was 28 and FSH was 18. Damn. Not a good sign. But he said go ahead and start the medicine anyway. The FSH is high but still lower than some previous cycles. They'll see me Friday to see how I responded. So I went to prepare the menopur for injections and realized - the instructions the resident wrote out for me (with the dosage and what not) was for the wrong. effing. drug.  They were for some other drug I never heard of. That I don't have.

So right off the heels of learning that my FSH levels aren't ideal, I learn that there's a screw-up with my meds.  I obviously fall into a panic. I called Hubs three times to get his opinion and he didn't answer. He was on his way home to give me the shots before we were getting picked up by some family members to go to dinner then see Les Miserables tonight, so our plan of quickly administering the meds before we got picked up was not going to work since I had to figure out this misinformation.

I called the Doctor's Office and pressed "one for emergency" to get through to an on-call doctor. A receptionist lady took my info and my problem and said I'd hear back from the on-call doctor "momentarily." That was five hours ago. No call.

Hubs and I took the meds with us to the Mexican restaurant for dinner and finally decided right before having to run to the play to go ahead and take them. In the bathroom at the Mexican restaurant. Not exactly pristine conditions. Agh, I just felt SO FLUSTERED. My uncles and parents were waiting for us outside the bathroom so we could make it to the play on time, and Menopur requires lots of mixing saline with powder tablets and collecting the solutions and putting it into more powder, so we were really rushed and irritated that we hadn't heard back and worried that we were taking the wrong dosage because the stupid resident wrote down the wrong drug!

Les Miserables is a three hour play (or at least, it was tonight), so we didn't get home until 11:30 pm.  So it's good we did the meds earlier instead of waiting til we got home. If they're the right meds. But I hate that feeling of being so panicked and rushed!

What makes matters worse is that I'm already starting to feel hot "flushes" from the meds. They aren't powerful yet, but I think they'll get progressively stronger. And the RE doesn't want me to take my estrogen while I'm doing the meds, which I've come to be pretty reliant on for keeping my brain working.

And to top it off, the doc says that I probably won't be able to run my marathon.


This is my prediction: I won't run my marathon, per instructions of the doctor. Also: I won't get pregnant. Infertility wins again, sucking the life out of me one piece at a time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Infertility Support Group

Well, I have a couple pieces of news to share.

First, I got my period today! That's right. My very own, hardly-assisted-at-all, post-ovulation, real live period. This is after a chart that started out super weird but then made a miraculous comeback and ended up being the best chart I've seen... since I've started charting. And during a cycle in which I was running pretty much constantly in training for my upcoming first full marathon attempt. AND a cycle in which I had given myself a full pardon from worrying about TTC due to said marathon attempt.

Clearly, this is very good news! My recent bloodwork even proved that I ovulated, and the doctor told me when the results came in that he would probably try to put me on the $1500 Menopur that Hubs and I already purchased but couldn't use back in January, provided that I didn't have any wonky cysts like I did last time. I was really worried that we'd just have to consider that money as good as gone because I really didn't expect to have a good enough cycle to try it before the meds expired. I'm headed back to the RE tomorrow for an ultrasound (here's hoping that I have a less humiliating experience this time) to make sure I'm good to go with the meds.

My other news is that I finally made it to the local Infertility Support Group tonight! It's held the first Monday of the month and I typically teach a class on Monday nights, but hallelujah, classes are out for summer.

I was nervous and not sure of what to expect but I was SO GLAD I went! It's a small group - the leader said the number varies every single week - but we had five tonight. I can't believe how great it was to be with some other IF folks in the flesh! I guess "great" isn't the right word, because obviously it sucks a fat one that any of us are involved in this at all. But I really appreciated hearing other peoples' perspectives and what they've gone through and how we're all kind of at different stages with coping and in our journey.

This is going to sound painfully obviously, but I really felt supported (I know, duh, it's a support group). It was a very open, non-judging, caring environment. I felt instantly connected. And the women were just really nice. We took turns sharing our stories and then talking about what's been the toughest for us throughout the process, the RE's we've been seeing and how we liked them, and that kind of thing. I'm definitely going back next month. I might even make a couple of new gal pals out of it! Has anyone else tried a support group? Did you also have a good experience?

So all-in-all, things are looking up. I'm hoping for a good doctor's appointment tomorrow. My job is slowing down to a manageable pace. I'm feeling SOLIDLY ready for my marathon. And I'm still flying high from actually ovulating this cycle!

Friday, May 4, 2012

They're In!

Finally. Blood test results showed some promise!

Pregnancy test was negative. But I figured that already.

The good news? I ovulated! All by myself! My progesterone was a 6.4 and it only needs to be above 3 to show ovulation. Good job, Bum Ovaries!

And my FSH?

7.5!!!  New record low!

The plan is to call and head in for an ultrasound as soon as I get my period and then he will probably want me on the Menopur, provided I don't have any wonky cysts or anything.

Waiting for Blood Test Results

I was waiting to write until I had my blood test results from my RE appointment yesterday but I STILL. DON'T. HAVE.THEM.

My appointment was for 8:15 am yesterday and the whole point was to check on how my daily estrogen is going. I had some other goals in mind, however, mostly which I did not accomplish. 

  • Tell him the pills are going great. Brain fog cleared up. No hot flashes. 
  • Discuss current cycle and possible ovulation. Got a "pregnancy serum" test (is this the same as a beta?)
  • Got blood drawn to look at FSH, estrogen, and progesterone levels. These results will apparently tell us whether or not I ovulated, and how the estrogen pills are doing in keeping my FSH low and my estrogen at a decent level. 
  • Got some "what if" scenarios with possible plans to move forward depending on said blood work. If I ovulated and am not knocked up, I may finally get to use the Menopur (discussed here) that has been sitting in my fridge for the past four months. If I did not ovulate, we will continue the daily estrogen (or adjust the dosage, according to my numbers). 
  • Discuss the NIH study. I am planning to bring it up if my blood work shows I didn't ovulate. 
  • Ask about a therapist. Honestly, I just forgot. Will bring it up on the phone if blood work was crappy.
  • Receive the EFFING BLOOD TEST RESULTS YET. He said he'd call yesterday afternoon. Nope. This morning? Nope. I called and left a message at noon. They called back to just verify my freaking birth date. Really? So I'm still waiting.
I can assume that the pregnancy serum came back negative, because that's a phone call I'm sure the doc would squeeze in, however busy he might be. So now I am just hoping that I ovulated and the rest of the numbers look solid. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Peed on a stick this morning. Negative.

I'm trying not to get too down about this because it's still pretty early (I'm on day 23 and I think ovulation happened on day 11 or 13. The fact that I can't tell for sure via my chart should probably be a red flag). And signs of ovulation at ALL is a huge improvement over the past five months of nothing. Plus I totally expected this cycle to be bad, because of all the running I've been doing.

But it's Hubs' 29th birthday and I had this little scene in my head of wrapping up a positive pregnancy test and giving it to him tonight for his birthday.

I'm trying not to dwell. At least I had reason to TAKE a pregnancy test. I haven't needed to POAS since... gosh, probably September?

I go back to the RE on Thursday for a check-up to see how these estrogen pills are working out for me. Here are my goals for the appointment:

1) Tell him the pills are awesome. I feel at least 75% better than I did before the estrogen.
2) Discuss current cycle and possible ovulation. Get a beta test.
3) Discuss NIH study in Baltimore. Request referral letter. If I do the study, I get all kinds of free testing that my insurance doesn't cover, which may help me get to the bottom of why the eff I have Ovarian Failure at age 29.
4) Request referral for therapist. (PS thanks to everyone who gave me advice on how to find a therapist in this post).

In other (happier) news, I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) race this weekend and I totally ROCKED IT (for me). It was my fourth half marathon and I beat my previous record by 16 minutes (!!) and increased my speed by a minute and 15 seconds per mile. Which is CRAZY. My finishing time was 2:01:53, with an average pace of 9:18 / mile. My full marathon is in less than three weeks, but I think I'll be ready!

Thanks to everyone for the awesome ICLW comments in the past week. Having support in the blog world is amazing.