Category: CDaily
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?  🙂

 

 

Status

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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Status

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.  😉

Status

Mother’s Day Hangover and Other Things That Suck…

Monday, May 13th, 2013.  CD2.

Howdy folks.

I wish I had felt well enough to put fingers to keyboard yesterday, but alas, I did not.  There were so many lovely Mother’s Day posts floating around our little corner of the interwebs yesterday though, I doubt you really needed my two cents.

Though, of course, I will give it…

No situation quite outlines the suckiness of infertility quite like starting one’s period on Mother’s Day.

Blerg.

At any rate, I survived, if barely.  The husband and I went to lunch with his grandmother, who is a tiny firecracker of a woman, and I ate more salmon than any one person probably should.  We drove out to see his sister and her kiddos for a bit, too, and dropped off some flowers and a card.  She was so sweet and sent me home with a cute little potted flower and a package of mini-muffins, which I suppose should have lasted me at least until today, but cramps and an appetite for carbs and sugar destroyed that cute little notion.  I don’t think those bad boys lasted more than an hour after we left her house.

After the morning/early afternoon activity, the husband took me home and left me to my own devices, which included wrapping up in a giant blanket with my heating pad, Kindle, tv remote, and roughly six pots of tea.

I hope your Mother’s Day was as relaxing, if less crampy and bleedy.  🙂

On another note, the arrival of dear old Aunt Flo means that tomorrow is my appointment with Dr. F to see if my cyst has made a graceful exit, and whether or not I can proceed with a Femara/Gonal F cycle this month.

I sure hope that’s the case…

Oh, and an update on the Metformin Situation – all is well!  Even yesterday, with my reproductive system throwing my digestive system for a nauseating loop, I had no complaints from the Met.  I’m still only taking 1000mg of the original formula Met with dinner, but I’m feeling brave enough to increase that this week.  I think I’ll start taking 500mg with lunch, and another 1000mg with dinner as usual.

It’s unbelievable to me (and my doctor) that the extended release formula made me so sick when it’s usually the easier to tolerate option, and that the original formula that’s suppose to be complete havoc on the digestion is the one that’s working for me… What can I say, though?  I never do things the easy way.

In vitamin/supplement news, I started taking a high-dose B-12 supplement (even though tests showed that my level is normal), because Met is supposed to suck the B-12 right out of your body.  I also started the husband and myself on a good quality fish oil supplement every day.  He was skeptical, but so far he’s complying.

As for this cycle, I’m feeling a little… apathetic.

I know I should be all bright and sunshiney and full of hope and rainbows and glitter and unicorn poop, but I just don’t.

You know that feeling when you first ride a rollercoaster?  It’s exciting and you don’t know what’s coming next, and when the ride ends, you’re disappointed, but you can’t wait to try again.

Now imagine that you’ve been on that same ride, over and over again with scarcely a break, for over four years.

Boring, right?  The rises, falls, loops and drops – Hell, even the disappointment at the end becomes expected…

I just want off sometimes.

Maybe my attitude will improve once I talk to the doc tomorrow, or maybe I’ll make some crazy choice to just stop trying for a while.  Right now though, I can’t tell you what I really want.

I know that I want a baby.  I know that I want to do whatever I can to get there.  What I don’t know is whether I’m ready to get back on that ride again just yet… Only time will tell.

I’ll be sure to update tomorrow after my appointment, but for now, everyone have a Happy Monday!  🙂

 

Status

Roadblock

Monday, April 15th, 2013.  CD3.

It’s been an interesting couple of days around here…

On Saturday morning, I woke up with my alarm.  I got up to get myself ready to head out to the homeland to visit my BFF and her new baby, but by the time I made it the ten feet to the bathroom, I was doubled over.

I spent Saturday in a relay between my bed, the couch, and the bathroom floor.  Activities included cramping, bleeding, puking, and trying to keep my intestines inside my body.  It was pretty much the worst start to a cycle I’ve had in recent memory, and I attribute much of it to the Metformin for magnifying my already brutal Cycle Day One side-effects.

I was so disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to see my friend, but I was also a little relieved that Aunt Flo had showed up, and that I could now move forward with this medicated cycle.  New doctor, new drugs, new outlook.

There was even a little back-of-the-gas-station drug deal that went on yesterday, as my friend delivered the Gonal F (and a TON of other fun stuff!) to me in a half-way point for the both of us.  As of 7pm yesterday, I was ready to get started…

Bring it on!

And so, I drove up to Ann Arbor this morning for my CD3 baseline scan.

I was told that my right ovary looks great!  He (Dr. Something I Can’t Remember, But Who Is Very Tall) said there were lots of follicles that should respond well to the Gonal F.

The rest of the conversation during the scan went a little like this:

…Let’s just take a look at Lefty here… Oh.  Oh no.

Umm… what?

Well, let me just look at this from another angle…

WHAT?!

Yes.  Just as I feared.  You have a very large residual cyst. 

UGH.  Seriously?

Yes.  When was your last ultrasound?

I don’t know… less than a month ago when I had my hysteroscopy?  And they didn’t see a cyst then!

Okay, well then this cyst is from this month.  Do you know if you ovulated?

If I did, I never got a positive test, and my temps barely came up, so I figured maybe I hadn’t.

Well that makes sense.  This cyst is probably from a failed ovulation that geared up and never followed through.

Well, that’s just lovely.  So what now?

Well, we recommend that you wait another month before starting any kind of medicated cycle.  Call us on your next Cycle Day One and we’ll set up another scan.  As long as this bad boy is gone by then, we should have no problem moving forward with a medicated cycle in May.

Okay?

…I guess so, yes.  I’ll call in you in a month then.  Thank you.

And then I calmly put on my pants, checked out with the receptionist, made friendly conversation with the billing clerk, walked to my car, shut the door, put my purse down on the passenger seat, and said a very bad word in a very loud voice.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to move forward with this cycle.  I was so ready to start cycling again!

I will admit, too, that I had some high hopes for this cycle.  I feel like so many stars aligned this month, and I know I’d placed this month on some kind of pedestal.  I would have probably been monumentally disappointed had this cycle not worked, so maybe it’s better that I’m knocked down a peg before we even got started.

On the plus side of things, another month off means another month of acupuncture, vitamins, and Metformin doing their thing to get me turned into a lean, mean, egg-making machine.

At least that’s what I’m going with today.

Tomorrow may be a different story.  NAIW may be a different story… as will GB’s due date that falls during that week.

Let’s just hope I can start the next cycle before Mother’s Day, or I may just start saying very bad words in very loud voices in very inappropriate places.

Status

Turn the Page

Monday, February 25th, 2013.  CD12.

A few things have happened over the course of the last week…

First, I received a packet of my medical records from when I participated in the AMIGOS study through Wayne State University.  I absolutely love having my records in my hands, because I like reading the notes and the lab results and consulting Dr. Google about any abnormalities!

Sadly, the few tiny abnormalities I did find were pretty much inconclusive to Dr. Google and myself.  Guess one of us needs a real medical degree to determine what’s going on there… Either that, or nothing is actually wrong.  Which I doubt.

Second, since all of my latest test results came back within normal ranges, I was waiting for Dr. K to call and let me know where I should go from here.  I had asked about genetic testing for the husband and myself, DNA karyotyping, and a laparoscopy.  When he had his (nice) nurse call me back, she said that the doc wasn’t too keen on genetics or karyotyping since we’ve only had one miscarriage.

ONLY ONE?  That’s not ENOUGH??

Anyway, he also said that there was no reason to do a laparoscopy without a prior diagnosis of endometriosis.  When I mentioned that I thought diagnosing endometriosis required a laparoscopy, the nurse said that they hadn’t seen anything via ultrasound to make them think that endo was a possibility, and that most insurance wouldn’t cover the lap anyway.

Uhh… what was that now?  Talk about going in circles… Yeesh.

Nice Nurse also said that the doc still recommends going through with a full injects and IUI cycle next, and to contact them when I have meds in hand for the full details.

Third, I made a decision to seek out the help of another doctor.  Specifically, I am going to see the head of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Michigan.  Dr. F seems more open-minded about “outside of the box” diagnoses and treatments, and she came to me highly recommended by one of the doctors I used to see at Wayne State.

This was on her “About Me” page:

Sometimes the solution doesn’t require extraordinary measures.  Dr. F also helps women who have medical conditions such as thyroid or pituitary abnormalities that make them infertile. She says, “A woman’s treatment may be having her health optimized.” Treating the underlying medical condition may mean that a couple doesn’t need assisted reproductive technologies to overcome infertility.

YES.  MOTHER OF GOD, YES!

So now I am going about the monumental task of accumulating my medical records and getting a second referral from my snooty PCP.  This woman likes to second guess everything I do, and it sounds like although I saw her for my annual physical just two weeks ago, she is going to make me come in to consult with her again to ask for a referral to another specialist.

Oy.

But whatever… I’ll do what I have to do.  I just have to make sure I do it quick, as the appointment is surprisingly soon –  March 12th!

I’m excited about having another set of ears to listen to my woes, and I hope this doctor will let me lay it all out for her.  My goal is to educate myself on everything I’ve been through up until this point, and and to be knowledgeable about any and all potential diagnoses that may be in my future.  I also want to be prepared for the possibility of surgery, expensive and more invasive treatments, and worst of all – the possibility of remaining “unexplained”.

I’m still not any closer to a diagnosis, a solution, or a baby, but I feel like making this decision is an important step in that direction.

And at my age, every step matters…

Status

Not Great, But Not Bad.

Thursday, February 7th, 2013.  CD24.

I just realized that I haven’t posted anything in a week!

…Not that you’re missing much.  Absolutely nothing has been happening over here.

Cycle day 24, and still no sign of ovulation.  I’ve depleted my entire stock of OPKs, and my temps are all over the place.  I have been sick with whatever bug has been going around – fever included, which has probably contributed to my crazy temps, and now I’m taking an antibiotic that makes me feel like poo.

So yeah.  I have no idea what is going on with my reproductive system.  Good times.

In other news, the husband repeated his semen analysis earlier in the week.  I got a call with the test results, and was quite pleased.

Our last SA, which was in February of 2012, showed quite a low morphology number:  2.  Dr. K wasn’t happy with this number, but assured me that it wasn’t a deal-breaker.

Our SA results from this week showed that morphology number to have risen.  To 12!

 

Not bad!

 

I know that these numbers can vary from test to test, and that the last time might have been a fluke, but it was nice to hear that the swimmers looked healthy and plentiful.  VERY plentiful, according to the andrologist who called me.  She didn’t have one negative thing to say, which was a relief.

Then, of course, there’s me.

I got my AMH results back today, and the nurse said they were normal, but low at 2.5.  She said it was nothing to be concerned about at this point, but still…

Obviously, I am the problem.  We’re still no closer to really knowing what that problem is, but I’m getting more and more tired of dicking around.

I just want a baby.  I don’t want to TRY any more.

Well, that’s not completely true… I just don’t want to FAIL any more.

I think we’ve come to the decision that we are going to attempt one injects-only IUI cycle, and then move on to bigger bills and better odds.  It’s scary, but it’s nice to have something of a plan in place.

Now if only I could figure out how long this current cycle is going to last…

Blerg.

 

Status

Escalation

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.  CD2.

Well, if you hadn’t already figured it out, every Infertile’s favorite auntie showed up late in the day yesterday.

I’m pretty much miserable, and more than a little cranky that she showed so early, but there’s nothing I can do about that.  I spoke to the nurse this morning, and the doctor is recommending we escalate my treatment to an injects-only cycle with additional monitoring.

I brought up the possibility of an IUI, and he said that if my response looks good, he would be happy to entertain that idea.  The nurse said that the doc wasn’t concerned with a 10-day luteal phase, even though I tend toward a 12- to 13-day LP in most medicated cycles.  She said that each cycle, even with meds, can be very different and that one shorter LP is not reason to panic.  (Can you guess which nurse I was speaking with?  LOL)

So, I will go in for a baseline ultrasound tomorrow afternoon, and from there, I’ll start Menopur and monitoring every few days.

I was really hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I suppose none of this is new territory for me.  I’ve had three injectables cycles, four IUIs, hundreds of shots, and thousands of blood draw needles in my arm.

This is just the natural progression, I suppose.

Well, natural for me.

*sigh*

I think people in my life wonder why we’ve been trying these methods for so long, and why we haven’t moved on to IVF or adoption…

First, IVF costs ten to fifteen thousand dollars, and that does not include medications with my doctor.  It also means a long, drawn out process including birth control, gallons of blood work, and invasive procedures.

Second, adoption can cost anywhere from fifteen to sixty thousand dollars, and that’s just domestic adoption of a toddler or older child within the US.  Try adopting an infant from overseas, and you can easily be looking at close to a hundred thousand dollar tab with airfare, hotel stays, meals, home visits, and international legal fees.

Third, both of these options take TIME.  IVF does NOT a guaranteed family make, and adoptions fall through all the time.  You can invest thousands of dollars and years of your life into something that can be undone in a moment.

I guess the long and short of it is that while I am tired and my faith in this process is in a constant state of flux, I am not ready to give up on these less invasive – and expensive – options just yet…

And so, onto the next option, full of hope and with high expectations.

…Same as always.

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