Month: May 2013
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I Can’t Stop Laughing…

First, I’d like to apologize.  I’m so very sorry for this.  It came up in a Google search for “flow charts”, and I can’t help but think it so very appropriate.

Second…

You’re welcome.

Happy Friday, folks!

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Summer Peep-Toe Revirginization Syndrome

It’s finally summer here in Northwest Ohio, and with the warmer weather comes subtle changes in our wardrobes.

I say subtle because you can’t just throw on a sundress and some flippy-floppies any given day of the week, because if you do, it will snow that day.

Guaranteed.

So you prepare yourself for the sudden, spastic, bipolar changes in the weather by dressing in layers from head to almost-toe.

Be gone, knee-high socks!  It’s summatime!

Yesterday I wore a tank top, t-shirt, cardigan, long pants, and these super cute, bargain basement peep-toe sandals I’ve had for two years.  Since I bought them, they’ve been the signal that summer is officially in the house, and it’s time to start shaving my legs and getting pedicures on the regular again.

Well, I half-assed the shaving and at least smoothed out the up-to-the-knee part of the leg, and I painted my own toenails a glittery blue-green on a rainy day over the long weekend.  I left the house yesterday ready to fully embrace the warm weather outside from head to polished toe.

By the time I left work though, I could tell that my winter-toes were not too happy with me for all the prancing around I apparently did in the nine hours I was out of the house.  I kicked my beloved peep-toes off when I walked in the door, and saw that I had giant, pulsating twin blisters on one toe from each foot.

Disgusting.

And OWW!

Apparently my toes grew soft and lazy over the cold winter, becoming too complacent in their wool socks and knee-high boots.  They forgot what brutality typically awaits them in the summertime.

Gone were the memories of running barefoot into the gravelly street to chase an idiot dog chasing an idiot squirrel.

Stubbing a bare toe on a lounge chair, or burning the whole sole of the foot on molten beach sand became misty reflections of a time long past.

So easy to forget the times of want during a time of plenty, no?

 

 

The moral of the story (and yes, I know that this story has nothing to do with my uterus – GASP!) is that perhaps we who live in the Great White North should take caution when jumping into warm-weather footwear with both spoiled feet…

Alternate lesson:  Buy expensive shoes.  The more you spend, the lower the odds of betrayal by toe-blister.

It’s science.

 

Status

Woman, Control Thyself!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013.  CD18, 4DPIUI.

I’m a patient person.

I guess I would have to be, right?  If this journey has taught me anything, it’s that things don’t always happen on the schedule you prefer.

Though, while I’m patient, I’m also very much aware of how little control I have over this process.

That itself makes me antsy in my pantsy.

There are some women out there who can go through an entire medicated cycle serenely following the doctor’s orders, taking each tiny uterine twinge with a grain of salt, and generally not over-analyzing the whole process.  These are the women who wait the full fourteen days after their IUI to bust out their one and only pee-stick, and accept the results of the test without question.

I AM NOT THIS WOMAN.

I ask questions.  I check up on things.  And double check.  And sometimes triple check.  I follow orders if I think they suit my situation, and sometimes alter them a teensy bit if I think I know better.  I assume any little gas bubble is my perfect little embryo implanting itself in my uterine lining like the itty-bitty allstar it obviously is.

I analyze.  And over-analyze.  I Google, and chart, and blog, and hit up the forums online.

I also don’t wait until The Safe Zone Test Day to find out if the cycle is a success or failure…

I test out the trigger like it’s my JOB.

If you’re new to fertility treatment protocols or the affects of certain medications, let me give you a quick rundown:

In some medicated cycles, after a woman has taken pills (Femara, Clomid) or injections (Gonal F, Menopur, Bravelle, Follistim, etc.) to stimulate their ovaries into producing mature follicles, the doctor will have them use a trigger shot to cause ovulation to occur within a predictable amount of time (36 hours, typically).

A trigger shot is usually a form of HCG, which is the pregnancy hormone.  Ovidrel, Pregnyl, and Novarel are common trigger medications, and these are usually injected with a short needle into the tummy fat, or with a bigger needle into the “hip” (read: BUTT MUSCLE).

When you inject HCG into your system, it causes ovulation, which is what you want, but it also causes you to give false positives on any home pregnancy test (HPT) that you might take.  This hormone in your system will wear off after a few days, but until that point, you should not consider any HPT you take to be a true positive.

There are some who “test out the trigger”, which means that they (I) take an HPT every day to watch the false-positive test lines get lighter and lighter until they fade to white completely.  Once there is no longer a danger of a false positive, the patient in question (ME) can assume that any positive test result she receives thereafter is a true positive, and not the effects of the medication.

This seems to me like the only possible way I can maintain any semblance of control over what’s going on with my body for two straight torturous weeks.

I usually wait to start till around 7DPO, knowing that trigger shots tend to stick around in my system for well over a week.  This cycle, however, I figured I’d go ahead and start early.  Like three days past trigger early.

Yep.  I’m that girl.

So that’s that.

I am a trigger-tester-outer, and I’ll not apologize for it.

It’s what I need to do to feel like I am participating in this process in some way… It’s a way to center myself each morning, knowing that my body is doing what it’s supposed to do in removing the trigger-caused HCG from my system to make way for the true HCG that would be caused by an embryo implanting in my uterine lining.

Some women float placidly along through their Two Week Wait, enjoying their days, blissfully unaware of what may or may not be happening in their uterine cavity at any given moment.  I imagine these are also the women who wear white yoga pants and dance on the beach during their periods, but I digress…

Other women pee in a cup every morning, and spend an absurd amount of time with their faces entirely too close to strips of peed-on paper, analyzing them and looking for any indication that their HCG level may have increased instead of decreased overnight.

I’m the latter, take me or leave me.

Happy Hump Day to you all, and I wish you all the mythical peaceful optimism that comes so naturally to some…

I also wish you realism, and hope that your pee-stick mania doesn’t lead to any awkward moments in the bathroom with your husband asking why there’s a cup of pee next to his toothbrush.

To each their own, just be sure to clean up your bodily fluids thusly.  🙂

 

Pee-Stick Addiction is a real thing, and its sufferers are real people. Like me. And this blogger here.

Status

Always Do What You Are Afraid To Do…

Saturday, May 25th, 2013.  CD14.

Happy birthday to a very wise man, Ralph Waldo Emerson…

Also, happy IUI day to me!

Things went well this morning, although I was a bit worried because one thing happened out of my carefully crafted schedule…

Thursday night I had intended on some marital intimacy, which would have given us nice coverage between then and the IUI should I ovulate a bit early.  Well, we ordered Chinese takeout on Thursday for dinner and ate it in front of the TV, after which I promptly passed out on the couch.  No idea why I was so exhausted, but I dragged myself to bed at 9pm after triggering, and that sexy-time never happened.

I woke up at 6am on Friday morning, temped, and promptly freaked out.

We managed to cover our bases on Friday morning, but I was a little concerned that it was too close to the IUI and that the husband’s counts might be low because of it…

I was wrong.

Today’s postwash count was 97 million with 95% motility.  Not too shabby!

I had my IUI around 10am as planned, and went on my way.  I have my Prometrium prescription in hand, and will start that on Monday night or Tuesday, and aside from some cramping and uncomfortable bloating, I’m feeling good.

Confident.

It’s a good day.  🙂

From me to you, wishes for a fantastic holiday weekend!

 

Status

I Freaked Out For Nothing, As Usual.

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013.  CD12.

At my dildo-cam appointment this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have one plump follie (who I have subsequently named Dudley, if you’re interested) measuring around 20mm.  I also have a couple of little guys on the left measuring 15 and 13mm, but the doc was doubtful that they’d catch up much before Saturday.

Oh right.  I suppose I should let you know what we’re doing…

So we also decided to go forward with an IUI on Saturday.  This cycle hasn’t been ideal in my mind, but the doctor thought it looked pretty great.  I would  have liked more than one mature follicle, but hey – it only takes one, right?

The husband and I will drive up on Saturday morning for his “appointment”, and then go have a nice breakfast in Ann Arbor somewhere.  After that, we’ll go back for my baby-batter injection, lie on the table with my hips in the air for 20 minutes, and then head out to the cottage for some rest and relaxation.

And then in two weeks, we’ll be pregnant.  RIGHT?!

Fingers are crossed for that part, anyway.

One thing I’m a little concerned about is the timing of the IUI… And yes, I knoooooow that I shouldn’t question the doctors, especially since they were right the last time I freaked out about my sad, lagging follies and thin-ish uterine lining (which caught up to 12.5, by the way!), but it’s really hard not to question their 36 hour rule.

I am supposed to trigger tonight around bedtime, and the IUI is scheduled for around 9am on Saturday morning… In past IUI cycles, I’ve triggered anywhere from 12 to 36 hours before the IUI.  The shorter timeframes were because my labs apparently showed that I was trying to ovulate on my own, but I always feel like I ovulate around 24 hours after my trigger.

I could be totally wrong, of course, and may or may not be basing much of this assumption on my BBT, which I have been told is not accurate once you’ve triggered.

Still though… Can anyone out there ease my mind about trigger timing?  Are the broad majority of women triggering and then ovulating 36 hours after – no earlier, no later?  That does not seem plausible to me, but it’s what I’m being led to assume.

Either way, the husband and I will ensure that our bases are covered, timing-wise.  We’ll take matters into our own hands (heh) at home tonight, IUI on Saturday morning, and we’ll attempt a bit more “intervention” Saturday night and Sunday.

You know, just to be sure Dudley doesn’t get away.

So anyway, that’s what’s going on all up in my business.

What’s new with you?  🙂

 

 

Parenting Styles and Infertility

. So I was reading this post about the kind of parent this blogger thought she might be when she was a kid, based on TV parents she had watched growing up.  That got me to thinking… . Q.  What kind of parent do I want to be?  That is, if I ever even get

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To Run My Mouth or Not to Run My Mouth…

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013.  CD10.

…That is the question.

So I just got back from my dildo-cam appointment (where they also took around a gallon of blood – rather unexpectedly, mind you), and I have some concerns.

First, I’ve done five days on 5mg of Femara, followed by three days on 75IU of Gonal F.

As of today, I have only two measurable follicles:  an 11 on the right, and a 14 on the left.

This seems on track with my first injects cycle, where I had just slightly smaller follies than that on CD11.  That cycle took 10 days at 75IU of Menopur to get me to a mature follicle.  I triggered on CD17 in that cycle, and ovulated on CD18.

I got my BFP that time, but, well… you know the story of how that worked out.

Issue one:  So, I have smallish follicles for CD10, and the doctor (read:  not MY doctor, but the fill-in doctor) wants me to continue with the 75IU dosage tonight and tomorrow, and return to their office on Thursday.

Issue two:  I started this cycle with one 450IU Gonal F pen in my possession.  I have used 225IU thus far.  I can either use 150IU over the course of the next two nights, and have 75IU leftover for a “just in case” dose, or I can push to do another 75IU tonight, and 150IU tomorrow, and have no safety net.  Also, I’d have to hope and pray that my 14 got itself to maturity by then… and maybe a spare prayer for the 11 to catch up.

Question one:  Should I call the nurse and give her the sad story of my first injectables cycle, and let her know that I would really like to do 75IU tonight, and 150IU tomorrow to ensure these bad boys grow fast?

Issue three:  My lining is also measuring only 6.5, which is a bit low for me.  In previous injects cycles, my lining was measuring around 9 by CD10 or 11.

Question two:  My doctor will let me use Prometrium for an IUI cycle, but hasn’t said anything about using it for timed intercourse cycles… Should I press her for a prescription regardless which direction we go for insemination?

Question three:  Am I a crazy person?  Already?  This soon after a lengthy break in which to come down from Mount CrazyPants??

*le sigh*

So anyway, now you see what I’m mulling over in my mind.  I don’t know whether to keep on the path of least resistance, or stand up and risk becoming the Crazy Patient so soon with this new clinic.

I do know this much:

I know myself, and I know my body.

I know my history.

I know that my body has sometimes responded slowly to meds, and sometimes responded more quickly.

I know that I’ve never used Gonal F before, and am aware that my body may react differently to a synthetic FSH rather than an FSH/LH mix.

I know that I should also probably wait until the results of my Estradiol labs come back before making any grand statements…

I also know that there are many of you out there in the Readerdom who have been through this, and who have much more scientific information to go on than I do at present.

If any of you would like to offer your advice or counsel on this topic, I am ALL EARS, sister!

Please help me, for my CrazyTrain is getting dangerously close to derailment.  🙂

 

Update:  I called and chatted with a super-friendly nurse (or at least she’s friendly NOW… just wait till she realizes the depths of my crazy…), and she gave my Estradiol number, which was 106.  Nice Nurse also talked me down from the ledge, telling me that at CD10, everything looks pretty good in the eyes of medicine.  I shouldn’t compare this cycle to previous cycles, because so much is different now, like the supplements I’m taking, the dietary changes I’ve made, and the new meds I’m trying like Gonal F and Metformin.

She agreed to call in a Prometrium Rx for me, and said that I can start taking it 72 hours after IUI (if we go that route – if not, I can start it around 3DPO).  Nice Nurse doesn’t think I need to do anything to get my lining thicker, and that it will thicken well enough on its own once I have more mature follicles.  Mature follicles produce more E2, therefore my E2 will go up as my follicles mature, and my lining will thicken as a result.  Or so she says…

Anyway, I feel better.  I’m going to be a good patient (for now… mwahahaha!) and continue with my 75IU dosage for today and tomorrow.  That will leave me with a “just in case” dose for Thursday night if necessary.  Hopefully I won’t need more Gonal F than that, but if I do, Nice Nurse knows the pharmacies in town that have it in stock for emergencies.

Best case scenario looks like this:  Final Gonal F shot on Wednesday, u/s Thursday shows mature follies, trigger Thursday, IUI Friday (maybe), covert ops baby-making Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s hoping!

Gonal F RFF Pen, Amongst Other Things

Monday, May 20th, 2013.  CD9. Yo. It’s been a hot minute, right? I just haven’t really had much to say lately, I guess.  I’m still working through some things, where I am having trouble getting excited for this cycle.  I have chunks of time where I feel a little indifferent, but I’m trying. That being

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Reconsideration

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013.  CD3.

Two things happened in the past 24 hours to make me think about my apathy toward this cycle.

One, was reading my horoscope late in the day yesterday, after I had already written the post stating how I just don’t know what I feel toward TTC these days.

You may feel like you are stuck in neutral with an important goal.  You put a lot of effort into it in the beginning, and you believed and worked hard and you had great enthusiasm.  But when your goal didn’t gain momentum as you hoped it would, you began to feel stuck.  And after you felt stuck for a while, you started to lose that enthusiasm, and it was harder to keep going.  But you have the power to get back in the groove.  If you still want what you wanted as much as you did at the beginning, use this auspicious time to start moving forward again.  Find a way to inspire yourself.

As you may know, I am quite interested in astrology; that being said, I typically don’t put a lot of stock in horoscopes, especially those that come from a free app on my phone.

This may not be a sign from the stars, but it was certainly something that made me think, so in that aspect, this horoscope was successful.  I realize that yes, I do still want a child, and yes, I am still willing to do whatever it takes to get there.  I just need to suck it up and deal with the peaks and valleys of this trip.

The other thing that happened was at my dildo-cam appointment this morning.

My cyst has retreated, and the doc cleared me to move forward with my regularly scheduled hybrid Femara/Gonal F cycle!

I was almost expecting to be disappointed, and maybe a little bit of me was even hoping that I would be put back on the bench to sulk.  Though, when she told me that everything looked good to start the meds, I found that I was pleasantly surprised.

I am now even looking forward to getting back in the saddle!

I started thinking while putting my pants back on in the ultrasound room that it’s been since my December/January cycle since I’ve really been on the baby-making train.  Wow… that’s a heck of a break for someone who wants a child so badly.

I’m ready.  It’s time.

All aboard the Hormone Express.  😉

Gallery

Just For Me, v2.0

This gallery contains 8 photos.

You may remember that back in March, I signed up for this sweet little program that drops a package of awesomeness on my doorstep once a month. You may also recall that I completely forgot to post the results of the April box… Partly because I’m a slacker, and partly because it just wasn’t amazeballs. 

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