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.




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.).


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?

Monday, August 13, 2012

AF & Unbaby Me Update

My monthly bi-monthly randomly-timed visitor arrived this weekend! I should not be too surprised because I am actually on a super low dose of Hormone Replacement Therapy (1 mg of estrogen every day and 10 mgs of Progesterone for the first 12 days of every "even" month). I know to expect my period at some point during that even month, but day one hasn't exactly been consistent.

I used to be kind of bummed about getting my period, because it meant that the cycle was a bust. Now I've come to really appreciate it, especially these periods induced by the progesterone every other month (i.e. just about every period I have). Out of the three times I'm confident I ovulated this past year, two out of three followed a "fake" period that was induced by progesterone. It definitely doesn't happen every time, but ovulation seems to be more likely in these cycles. So I am crossing my fingers that this one will count. I even started charting again, which I haven't done since it was clear ovulation wasn't going to happen in June.

I also wanted to give ya'll an unbaby me update! I'd say it works about a quarter of the time. My wall is still pretty full of babies. I guess the extension looks at picture captions to identify baby pics, so if a picture doesn't have a caption, you'll still see the baby. Also, it's easy to tell if a picture is "unbabied" because it says so pretty clearly right there on the page:

How cute is that picture?!?

You still see babies that are profile pictures (like the one above), so there's no escaping that. So basically, if you use Unbaby Me, you are definitely not shielding yourself entirely from all pictures of babies. But it might spare you a few pictures here and there. And I selected the "cats" feed but the options are basically limitless. You can choose puppies, food, actors, artwork - anything that can have a feed on instagram.

In all: I like it. I don't feel like I'm missing anything pressing because I'm still seeing SOME pictures from every person's baby... but as we know some people can go a little overboard with the pics. I'm still getting friends' updates, but with slightly fewer baby pics. I'll take it. Especially when it means I get to see more pics like this:
Has anyone else tried it? Is anyone fundamentally against it? There was a good discussion over on Stirrup Queen's last week about the merits of hiding peoples' babies vs. just unsubscribing from their feeds or unfriending them.

My take is that yes, there are some people I can unfriend / unsubscribe (and I have), but others that I should (for work) stay pretty current on and others that I want to stay current on for other reasons (travel pictures, running updates, etc). And if I can do that while saving myself a few familiar pangs of longing, I'm game to do that. Trust me, I am not forgetting that these friends have babies. When I feel like seeing all those baby pics, I can always uninstall the extension (which is super easy in Chrome) or just use firefox or explorer. The extension is not for everyone, but I like it.

Now we just need an extension to remove obnoxious / uninformed politically charged posts and every-single-meal food pictures. Maybe that's just me?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I was doing great.

No tears in over THREE WEEKS (a record-shattering accomplishment for this year).

WAY more productive at work. Lots of list making and actually crossing things off. It helps that it's the absolute busiest three weeks of the year.

Also, this past weekend really helped me remember how much fun I can have. I've been riding that high all week long.

I think it's pretty clear that the therapy has been helping me cope with day-to-day life. I don't know how it's working, but it is. I've slowly been feeling a little happier, a little lighter, and a little more productive.

So things are looking up.

Then today, I decided to go for an outdoor run on my usual path by work. When I say "usual path," I mean I haven't actually run there since May because it's been so hot. But before then, it was pretty usual. As I was running, it's like my brain went back in time to May and I started feeling all those same hormonal train wreck feelings I went through back then. I found myself choking back tears. For really, no reason!

When I got in my car, I tried to reason with myself that I had really turned a corner lately and I shouldn't dwell on what I can't change and yada yada yada, but all I could do was cry because in my heart of hearts, I don't think I'll ever have my own biological baby. That's not a new thought, not a revelation or anything. I've felt that way for a while. And I was learning to cope with that.

Now I'm feeling kinda bummed. But I'll take "kinda bummed" over the dark depression I've had for the past three months, that's for sure. So I'm calling this just a little setback, and I think that's okay.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Best. Weekend. Ever?

I'm a little bummed I wasn't stationed at the computer for Mel's Friday Roundup to welcome a TON of traffic to the blog and come up with a more thought-provoking current post than Unbaby Me (facepalm).

But I am less bummed because I just had one of the best weekends EVER, hanging out on the west coast in between San Diego and LA with a bunch of Hubs' college friends (who have turned into, over the years, some of my besties too) for a wedding.

The wedding was beautiful!
I haven't had fun like that in a long, loooooong time. It was "reckless abandon" fun. It was drink-ourselves-silly, close-the-bars, reminisce-about-college, sing-at-the-top-of-our-lungs fun. We wine-tasted, ran on the beach and then relaxed on the beach, took naps, and danced our faces off.

I hardly even thought about being infertile. Really! And I don't think it was the city we were in or being on vacation; it was being around those amazing people - these old friends who are fun and laid back and funny and really, just good people. My face hurts from laughing so much. I soaked it up. I enjoyed every second.

It helps that out of the 19 of us, not one of us have babies. There are two couples who I believe to be TTC, but as of this past weekend, we're all child free. It was truly a breath of fresh air. There was no baby chat. I was only hassled with the "Soooo, when are you gonna have kids....?" question a couple of times (most of this group doesn't know we've been TTC and struggling). Maybe the therapy has been helping... maybe it was the booze... I didn't let it phase me at all!

This weekend just took me back to a time when every second didn't revolve around trying to have a baby or feeling inadequate about not being able to have a baby. It reminded me of how much fun I can have, perfect timing after my recent conversation with Hubs. Maybe I can find meaning outside of TTC. If nothing else, I figure that if I am not ready to move forward with donor eggs yet and if there is no other treatment for Premature Ovarian Failure, I might as well start having a little more fun while I'm in this "waiting to be ready or miraculously get knocked up" phase. That may be easier said than done now in my post-vacation life, but I think it's worth a shot.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Unbaby Me!

I am sick of babies all over my Facebook wall. 

I know I'm joining a whole bunch of other infertile ladies when I say that publicly on my blog. Right? I mean, babies have taken over my Facebook. It wouldn't be bad if it were, say, just a few baby pictures came up a day. But there are a whole lot of people who post multiple photos daily. Here's my baby trying on her third outfit of the day. Here's my baby spitting up. Here's my baby growing hair. It's like, I get it. You have a baby. Congratulations. Excuse me while I try to erase this constant reminder that I can't have what you have.

Recently, I made the decision to hide some of these people from my feed. I was annoyed about having to do that, because it's not like I don't want anything to do with these old friends/new mothers. I'd like to stay current on their affairs without the baby pictures getting out of control!
And then this morning I heard something on the radio that changes everything. It's a new Google Chrome extension called "Unbaby Me" and it recognizes baby faces on Facebook and changes them into picture of animals, art and bacon. I can get on board with seeing more of these things and less of babies.
Picture from

With this extension, you can still get non-baby pictures and updates from these baby over-sharers, without the copious amounts of baby pictures. I think you have to use Google Chrome for your browser (and I already do). 

I haven't tried it yet, but I think I'm going to give it a whirl. Has anybody else ever heard of this? Tried it? Gonna try it?