Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MENTS I've Been Quiet...

... because I have a secret.  And I'm scared to put it out there in writing.  Scared I'll somehow jinx this and it will all go horribly wrong.  But I'm about to tell more than my close circle of friends so I guess it's time to share it here.

Today I am 13 weeks pregnant.

13 weeks.  The "safe" zone.  So why am I still so nervous?

There's a whole lot more to tell - about my experience with the clinic, the Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) that followed my embryo transfer and led to hospitalization in Prague, and all my wonderful pregnancy symptoms (so tired all the time and I crave tacos).

But for now I'll just say I'm back and I'm pregnant.

We saw the baby last weekend on an ultrasound and for the first time it really looked like a baby.  It had hiccups and the little kick of its legs as it hiccuped was perhaps the cutest thing I'd ever seen in my life, topped only a moment later when the baby stuck her/his thumb in her/his mouth.  I can't express it. Every day I talk to my belly and tell it to keep growing - hang in there.  Every day I worry and look at every single piece of toilet paper every time I wipe (and I pee a lot so I wipe a lot) and search for any sign of things going wrong.

But so far, so good.  Baby is measuring ahead of schedule by a few days and has a nice strong heartbeat.  This could really happen - finally - after all the time and heartbreak and surgery and treatments and drugs - I am in my second trimester.

Thanks for reading - I will keep posting and do some posts on the trip abroad and filling in the time between.  I just couldn't put it out there for the world to see before now so I hope you'll forgive my silence.  All prayers continue to be appreciated as we go day by day with the pregnancy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I am officially PUPO - pregnant until proven otherwise.  Embryo transfer was yesterday and now in the dreaded 2 week wait.

To catch up, on day 4 we had 4 morulas and 2 8 cell embryos.  We were very happy all 6 had made it to day 4.  However, the transition from morula to blastocyst is a big one and we knew they might not all make it.

Yesterday we went to the clinic a little after 8 for my acupuncture before transfer.  Then we were taken to a room and the embryologist came in to talk to us about our embryos.  There was good news and bad news but from my perspective the good news outweighed the bad.

Two of our embryos stopped developing and never made it to blast :(.  A third made it to blast but had no inner cell mass.  At the blast stage, the embryo divides into two distinct groups of cells.  The outer mass becomes the placenta and sac and the inner becomes the baby.  With no inner cells, the embryo could never have developed into a baby - just an empty sac.

Which left us with the three other embryos and there's where the good - well really great - news comes in.  Two of them were grade AA hatching blasts - the very best we could have to transfer!  And the third is a grade AA expanded blast - that one is now frozen for a later visit, hopefully for a sibling!

Transferred the two hatching AA blasts, transfer went smoothly - lining at 11mm - had acupuncture again and headed back to the hotel to rest.  The acupuncturist left these tiny needles in my ear and told me to leave them for like 3 weeks - not sure they're going to make it that long since they kind of bug me.

Spent the rest of yesterday resting at the hotel.  Only got up to go to the bathroom and for one quick trip down to the hotel computers to watch the dvd of our embryos growing (amazing!).  Today also taking it easy and praying!  Last night woke up in the middle of the night in terrible pain - like every part of my digestive system was inflamed.  Not sure what caused it but guessing drinking water lying down all day, eating potato chips and pineapple juice, and all the hormones on board conspired to make me a very unhappy camper for a bit.  Feeling better now.  Resting for the rest of the day and then tomorrow we're heading out for a little more sightseeing!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let the good times roll!

So yesterday's update was - all 6 embryos still kicking - 3 8 cell and 3 6 cell.  Yay.  Then this morning we got our update - 4 compacting morulas and the other 2 are at 8 cells so still potentially viable but lagging  behind a bit.  Overall we are very happy with this news!  Embryo transfer on for tomorrow bright and early - acupuncture then transfer then acupuncture then back to our beautiful hotel (the Barcelo Brno Palace) to rest and relax and be pampered by my husband.

Couldn't be happier right now.

More tomorrow as I'm lying in bed - planning a post about our clinic and one about the things I love and hate here in Europe (hint:  topping the list of loves = food; hates = hard beds)!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Quick Update

Hard to blog while over here - in our down time we are trying to see some sights and have some fun plus the husband has been hogging the computer for his blogging.  Here's a quick rundown:

Egg retrieval was on the 4th - retrieved 11 oocytes.
Next day fertilization report - 9 were mature and 7 fertilized via PICSI/ICSI.
Yesterday's day 2 embryo report - 5 at 4 cells, 1 at 3 cells and 1 stopped developing.
Waiting for today's report.

As far as travel it's been ok - I feel a little under the weather here and there but making it through.  After our ultrasound on Friday we were scheduled to stay in Brno through Monday.  But our hotel room's beds sucked.  We were at the Voronez I.  Good price, good breakfast but the bed was hard as rock and the shower had the removable showerhead mounted at about knee height.  Checked out a day early and headed to Bratislava for a night.

Loved Bratislava!  Stayed at Marrol's, a small boutique hotel.  Walked around and saw the castle, churches, and wandered into a local artisan fair where colorfully dressed Slovaks were selling pottery and hand painted eggs.  And the food!  I fell in love with what I'm calling Slovakian mac and cheese.  Dumplings with sheep's cheese and bacon!  Yum!!!

The next day (the 2nd) we drove to Poland where we stayed at a pyramid shaped hotel (yes, a pyramid shaped hotel, called Piramida, in the middle of Poland - so weird).  This hotel was apparently based on this "healing power of the pyramid", which I don't buy into but it was still interesting.  The room was a suite with a huge outer room and a tiny bedroom with a tiny bed.  The shower was amazing though - lights, music, jets all over.  The reason for that side trip was to visit Auschwitz, which we did the next day.  At first the husband thought going to Auschwitz would be morbid/depressing/inappropriate for a medical trip.  But both our grandfathers were in the war and I thought we might never have this chance again.  It was a way to pay our respects to the dead and at the same time remember that history forgotten repeats itself.  It made us talk about the heroes of that time who risked their lives to save others and stand up for what was right and reaffirmed our commitment to raise our children to stand up for the truth and for human life.  I won't say it was "fun" but it was a good visit.

After Auschwitz we headed back to Brno for the egg retrieval.  Egg retrieval on Wednesday and I took it easy the rest of the day in the hotel.  This time we stayed in the Holiday Inn and it was pretty fantastic.  Best beds so far - got great rest.  Shower was normal.  Only complaint was the internet sucked and breakfast wasn't included.  A bit pricey but husband was having serious insomnia so getting him a couple nights' sleep was key.

The next day we headed up to Berlin.  We originally booked at the Holiday Inn near the airport, thinking we would continue the fantastic bed theme.  And the beds were nice after we checked in.  The problem:  our room stank like raw sewage and the a/c and tv didn't work.  We asked them to change our room but they wouldn't.  So we checked right back out and struck out to find a new hotel.  We were able to find one just a bit out of town - very nice, although the a/c still doesn't work (what is up with no a/c in Europe?).  Here we've been seeing the sights and planning to head back to Brno yet again on Sunday for our embryo transfer.

That's the quick update!

Friday, August 30, 2013


So I guess I'm way way overdue for an update.  Things just got so busy in the last stages of planning the trip and now we are in the Czech Republic!!! Hopefully this posts ok because all the sidebars and stuff are in Czech so I'm guessing.

My period started right on time on the 22nd - which was a huge relief.  First I was worried it would come early, which would screw us big time since our flights were booked.  Then I started worrying it wouldn't come on time and even in the morning emailed my IVF coordinator saying it hadn't started.  An hour later - hello Aunt Flo - never been so happy to see you!

Started stims a week ago - 225iu of Gonal-F.  While in the states, we did the injection at midnight every night so that it was 8 a.m. Czech time to keep things consistent.  Very not fun to go to sleep knowing your alarm will go off at midnight and then try to get back to sleep but we made it through.  

Flight was very long and exhausting.  Had to do an injection mid-flight.  So glad to land and get here and then of course the fact that I was about to have my ultrasound became very very real.  I started worrying about whether I had follicles - or enough follicles at least.  For the most part my side effects so far have been pretty mild.  Some fatigue, very slight nausea, and one day back pain.  But overall not too bad, which made me wonder if they were working.

Good news - they were!  Ultrasound this morning showed 6 follicles on my left (lazy) side - 4 of which were 16mm.  On my right side - the good side - 10 follicles with 6 of them at 16mm.  Couldn't be happier about those numbers.  I was hoping for at least 10 but no more than 20 since sometimes egg quality is lower when you have lots.  

Today after my stims and a new injection - orgalutran/ganirelix (which I had a bad skin reaction to), I was tired.  Very tired.  4 hour nap tired.  Which is not what you want when you're in a foreign country and would like to explore but the #1 priority on this trip is the IVF so it's ok.  Had a nice nap and about to head out to dinner.  

Hope I didn't miss anything!  Now just hope these follicles are nice and healthy and retrieval goes well. It was moved up a day to September 4!  More to come!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Hate Birth Control Pills

I know it's standard to take birth control pills for IVF.  I started mine a week and a half ago.  And I hate it.  It's so ironic that I have to take the anti-baby pill in my quest to have a baby.  The last thing I want to do is prevent pregnancy!  I know this is just the first step and what is to come will probably suck even worse but right now when I take the pill every day I cringe.  It just reminds me that we are on the last resort.  The last chance (for a bio baby at least).  And I know if it doesn't work (please let it work) we will pick up and move on and if we end up adopting we will love our child no less.  It just feels final.  We're betting it all on one turn of the cards and I am a very risk averse person so it goes against my grain in a big way.

On the other hand, I now have a job when we get back.  A job with decent, if not great, pay. A job I am excited about.  And maybe we can do IVF again if it doesn't work because we both have jobs and we are saving money by going to the Czech Republic for it.

My husband started a blog to detail our travels for IVF.  I would link to it but it would totally compromise my anonymity (he did it under his name and uses my name as well) and since I've said a lot here I don't necessarily want the world to know (especially certain family members), I'll refrain.  He says he finds it theraputic and it allows our family to follow us on this journey.

Heading over to acupunture today.  Still don't know if it really works but we're throwing everything at this attempt so I'll keep going.

We finally booked our flights!  We are flying into Prague on August 28 and coming back to the US on September 18.  Hopefully with the best souvenir(s) ever!  T-22 days until we leave!  My emotions are all over the place, from excitement and hopeful joy to fear and anxiety.

Until then I will keep on keeping on and post more!

Friday, August 2, 2013

An Amazing Answer to Prayer!

So I mentioned before that I lost my job.  And my DH and I agreed I would not look for a new one until after our trip to the Czech Republic for IVF.

However, a couple months ago (before we made the IVF decision and before we decided to go abroad) I sent my resume to my number one choice for a new job.  Absolutely the number one choice.  Didn't hear anything - until last Friday.  They called to ask me to come in for an interview.

Cue worry.  I can't change the dates for IVF - we've already started the cycle and paid for all the meds. We're leaving August 28 for Europe.  Can't turn down the interview because as I might have mentioned this is my number one choice!

Decided to leave it in God's hands, be open about the fact that I have a trip planned (though not disclosing it's for IVF) and went to the interview.

And I got the job!  PLUS, even better, they want me to start AFTER the trip!  It could not be more perfect!  It really is the most wonderful answer to prayer - just the ideal and more than I could have hoped for.  Now we get to go do IVF and I don't have to worry about finances or looking for a job when we get back because I have one waiting for me.

Time for a celebratory dinner out!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going Public

I'm pretty open about our IF.  My husband even more so.  And without asking me, although I'm ok with it anyways.  It's led to some good things such as his work being INCREDIBLY supportive of our IVF overseas plan to the point where his manager told him even if he had to take unpaid leave she would work it out.  And a co-worker scheduled to go on vacation around the time we have to go to Europe is willing to rearrange her time off to accommodate us.  I mean, wow.

So now he has decided - we - should write a blog detailing our trip to the Czech Republic as a guide/informative blog for those considering it as well as for a way for his family to follow our journey.  This is great, but I do already have my own blog.  So I will be linking to the posts on our shared blog once it's up and running as well as posting some stuff here too - the stuff I really don't want my family or his to know about.  The things that are the reason this blog remains anonymous at this point.  It may change in the future but really it's been my venting place - my way of just putting it out there.

Anyways, lately I've been tired.  Really tired.  I am taking a ton of supplements and eating more healthily so you would think I'd feel better (I've lost 5 pounds too!) but instead I feel lethargic.  I am trying to work out more (way more) but sometimes I really just want to sit on my couch and watch the marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is incidentally on right now).  I know I'm now unemployed and my husband has be great telling me my job is just to be healthy and relaxed and I really want to give it my all so that IVF has the best chance of working but some days I just can't do it.

Today is one of those days.  I just can't bring myself to go get on the treadmill.  I need more motivation - you would think I would have all I need but today I just can't seem to do it.

Sometimes it just seems so unfair.  There are people out there who eat whatever crappy food they want, don't work out, get drunk and get pregnant.  And so many terrible parents out there.  Yet I have great test results, eat healthy, do everything I can to get pregnant and nothing.  Ugh.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Needles! (Acupuncture)

It's funny - I've had lots of needles poke me throughout this journey.  Hormone tests, HCG tests, pre-op tests, fertility drugs, etc.  But I've always shied away from doing acupuncture, despite hearing from so many sources it's good for fertility.

Now, I wish I'd tried it earlier.  It looks creepy - that's really the problem. But I had my first session yesterday and it was great.  I found this clinic that specializes in fertility acupuncture - the acupunturist took my history and boy was she thorough.  Then she stuck some needles in my back, put on a fertility meditation, put a heating lamp over my back, and left me to lie there for about 30 minutes.  It was so relaxing!  And you can barely feel the needles going in at all!

Afterwards I felt spacey and relaxed.  I'm going back once a week until we do the IVF.  It's kind of pricey but chalking it up to the costs of infertility :).  Never thought I'd recommend acupuncture but it actually seems to work!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back on Track

Yes I said I would blog more.  No I did not.  But in my defense my family came to visit and we went out of town for 4th of July weekend and I'm just full of excuses today!

So we are back on the traveling for IVF plan.  When we sat down and talked about it and upon further research and communication with the clinic we are comfortable with doing it.  My husband's work has been really supportive and his boss (who apparently went through infertility herself) is bending over backwards to make sure he can take time off to go do the IVF.

When my next cycle starts (in about 2 weeks) I will be on birth control pills and then start the real deal and travel in early September.

In happy news, my hormone panel came back great.  I was worried I would have high FSH.  FSH is follicle stimulating hormone.  As women age, the body has to produce more and more FSH to get the ovaries to pump out an egg.  So when your FSH gets high, it means you have less eggs left and your body is having trouble getting ovulation going.  Luckily, my number was very good - 6.6.  My understanding is less than 15 is in the clear! All the other hormones were good too so we are very hopeful this will work for us!

And also in happy news, my family member who has been living with us for the last 2 1/2 months (and driving my husband crazy and creating stress in the house) is moving out tomorrow!  He got a new job, a new girlfriend, and a new apartment all in a couple of weeks.  Of course, don't get me started on the new girlfriend he started dating literally days after his divorce was final and immediately jumped into a committed relationship with.  That is a whole nother story.  Suffice it to say, on their first date he told her he was an unemployed recently divorced recovering drug addict and apparently that's a-ok with her.  Who knows?  I'm just happy to have my house back (and my remote control).

I'm now selling a bunch of stuff I accumulated over the years on ebay in an attempt to subsidize the IVF travel.  One of the interesting problems I ran into is whether to put the reason for my fundraising in the listing.  Is it too "trying-to-get-sympathy"?  Will it turn some people off for fear we are doing something unethical?  I really don't know.  For the record we've already decided not to have any of our embryos destroyed.  If we are blessed enough to have extras we will go back for sibling(s) and if we somehow ended up still having more we would have them adopted.  All embryos created in our IVF will be given a chance at life.

Well that's it for now.  More on the clinic we picked and why later!

Friday, June 28, 2013


So yesterday I was completely sure we were going to go to the Czech republic to do IVF.  Now I'm kind of freaked out by the idea of getting such expensive serious medical care abroad and care when I get back and travel details, etc.  So DH and I will discuss it this weekend and make a final decision.  We really want to move forward ASAP so no time to dilly dally over the choice.

Pros of going to Czech Republic

  • Cheaper!!!  (it's about $5200 for IVF with ICSI, embryo monitoring, and meds)
  • Visit a new country (even if I'll feel like crap most of the time)
  • Decent success rate (clinic said 60% for women under 40 although I'm slightly uncomfortable with the fact that I'm lumped in with all the 20-somethings - would rather know the success rates for women 35-40 or something like that)
  • They have the embryo monitoring that is considered very cutting edge and not used at most clinics in the US
  • Reviews say clinic is clean and professional and very up to date
  • Did I mention CHEAPER?!? Even including travel, lodging, etc we're looking at $10-12k as opposed to $14-20k here.
  • My doctor says they pretty much consider you done when you leave after IVF and he doesn't want to be responsible for my care until the end of the first trimester (which is when IVF patients go back to their normal ob/gyn)
  • Time off work for DH
  • Medical care in another country - a little scary?
  • Pain in the butt to get the testing done I need before I can cycle with them
Too many decisions that need to be made in a short period of time.  I should have planned this all out in advance but felt like doing too much towards IVF would be negative towards my IUIs.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

3rd time = not the charm

HPT = negative. RE sent me in for a blood test to verify before going off progesterone.  Also negative.

And I lost my job.  Too much time off for fertility treatments.

So this has not been a great couple of weeks for us.

However, the silver lining has been my husband.  He has been AMAZING.  Supportive, loving, and just amazing.

When I lost my job he immediately looked on the bright side and said now we have time for IVF.  And now he's engaged in planning our IVF treatment.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  Sometimes I feel like marrying me was unfair for him - he's only 30 and his sperm are fantastic and he's stuck with a 37 year old wife who can't get pregnant.

Oh yeah, and I turned 37 in the last 2 weeks.  It's been just freaking fantastic.

So anyways we are moving on to IVF (obviously).  We agreed before we even started IUI that it was three strikes and we're out.

The somewhat exciting part of it is we've decided to do IVF overseas.  I will definitely post more about that soon.  And this time I should be able keep my promise to update more frequently since I don't have a job.

I will post an entire blog on how we came to the decision and how we picked a clinic tomorrow.  For tonight I'll just say this - my husband is awesome.  My job for the next couple months is to be healthy (new diet I'll post about later too) and prepare for IVF.

More tomorrow - for real this time!

Monday, June 10, 2013

3rd time's the charm?

Well we are on to our 3rd IUI.  Added two extra menopur shots and going for an ultrasound tomorrow.  It's only CD9 but I had a "cyst" that the RE wanted to make sure was not an active follicle so we're checking early.

I was trying to remember how many needle sticks I have endured so far in my quest to have a baby.
2 progesterone tests
3 pre-op blood draws
4 HCG draws
4 menopur shots (so far - have one more scheduled tomorrow)
2 HCG shots (with one to go this cycle)
1 IV - during surgery

Tonight my ovaries hurt and my head hurts and I'm tired as hell.

Had a massage yesterday.  Here are some samples of things my massage therapist said (after asking if my husband and I were trying to have kids):
"What a fun mission you are on!"
Yes, it's really fun to have the nurse dig around in me with the speculum trying to find my cervix to do an insemination.  And the ultrasound wand - what fun!
"I didn't know I was pregnant until I was 4 months along!"
Uh...great.  I have tracked my temperature and peed on so many sticks I couldn't count them if I wanted to and you couldn't figure out you were pregnant until almost halfway through.
"You're going to have like 5 or 6 kids!"
Yeah, just one would be nice.  It's already taken a lot and I don't have one so please don't talk about 5 or 6.
And my favorite...
"Have you and your husband thought about baby names?"
We've been thinking about babies and baby names and conceiving and pregnancy for 21 months so yes, we have thought about names and  no, I don't really want to talk about the names for my possible baby that may or may not happen in the near future.

So that's my week so far.  Really hoping for a good ultrasound tomorrow!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


It doesn't have the cache of Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve but for me it comes more than once a year.  Yeah, I'm tired and not so clever tonight (if I ever am).

Ultrasound today was good - two big follicles - one on each side.  And by big I mean big.  Way bigger than last month.  Which makes me worry I will/have ovulate(d) too soon and the timing will be off.  But then, I always find something to worry about with these things.

Lining was good and thick and two follicles.  I'm just going to focus on that.

Trigger shot makes me tired and cranky. And I spent 4 hours making beef and barley soup with dumplings for the husband for dinner and his reaction was kind of meh.  He was like "why aren't the dumplings fluffy?" and I was like "they're hearty german peasant dumplings dammit and they remind me of growing up!"  Beef and barley soup with dumplings was not a hit.  But now if I do get pregnant I'm totally going to call the baby my little dumpling for the first trimester.   Just cuz.

Going to bed now - will be up bright and early to head up to the RE's and do this thang..


Saturday, May 11, 2013

IUI # 2

Yes, I know I said I would be better.  And then I wasn't.

So here's the update.  I am in the middle of my second IUI cycle.  Did the same protocol as last time.  This time I didn't really have the back soreness from last time but instead my mouth hurt.  Weird.

Husband gave me the menopur shot at home - I was nervous about doing it ourselves but he was a total pro.

Tomorrow is mother's day. And also my ultrasound and trigger shot if my follicles are ready to rock and roll.  Hoping/praying for 3 or 4 good juicy follicles.

I try not to dwell on mother's day, or the many birth/pregnancy announcements on facebook, or any of it.  But it does make me sad.  I should be a mom.  This should be my day (and I hope it will be next year).  It's so unfair how everyone else seems to get pregnant (even crappy people) without any problem.  I know it's not really true and millions of women suffer with the same IF hell I do.  I just wonder when it's my turn.

Anyways - positive thinking.  Tomorrow is the ultrasound and everything will be great - thick lining and good follicles.

Then IUI on Monday/Tuesday and pray it will work (again) and this time it will stick and grow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Yes I am a terrible blogger.  I know.  Perhaps I will get better.  I will try.

So last I spoke my HCG test was positive but only 22.  That was on a Monday.

On Wednesday, my HCG was 15.  No bueno.  On Friday, 14.  Doc told me to go off progesterone and test on Monday to make sure my numbers went down.

Chemical pregnancy.  My first pregnancy.  A little baby maybe that never made it past the first page.  And everyone says "at least now you know you can get pregnant."  Yes, I know that.  I also know I was pregnant and I miscarried.  Very early, granted, but miscarried.

So Monday's test came back almost 0 and I asked whether we could do IUI this month.  Nope.  So not only do I finally get pregnant and get my hopes all up (they even gave me a due date of December 1), when my little barely there baby dies I can't move on right away and do IUI.

Naturally, all of this did NOT help with the work situation.  I am still getting a lot of flak from the managing partner of my office and I am tempted to straight out tell him I got pregnant and miscarried and didn't exactly have the heart to put in his GD 12 hour days that week.  (He knows we're in fertility treatments.)

On the bright side, B is doing very well - out of rehab and seems to be much more positive and with it and clean.  I have high hopes that he is truly on the road to recovery.  The DA offered him diversion for the criminal stuff (which is the best he could have hoped for) so the case is dismissed and all he has to do is stay in treatment and stay clean for about a year and he won't have anything on his record.

Anyways, we tried this month naturally.  I don't have high hopes since I've never conceived naturally and we've been trying for quite awhile, but of course little voices in my head keep saying stuff like "now your endo is treated and you got pregnant last month so maybe it was just the endo" and "Dr. Google says you might be more fertile right after a miscarriage because your body was gearing up for pregnancy."

I am in my natural 2ww and have put myself on progesterone (they gave me a 3 month prescription when I was pregnant).  If that miracle happens I don't want to blow it by having low progesterone so I'm taking it until I test.

Planning to test on Saturday (period isn't due until Monday but goodness knows I can't wait that long).

Have to leave tomorrow-Friday for depositions in Indiana.  Then next week is my firm's retreat.  It's at a fancy hotel on the beach in Florida and will be nice and I but really I wish I didn't have to go.  Because of the timing, I can't discontinue progesterone right away if HPT is negative come Monday because then it's likely my cycle will start while I'm gone and I won't be able to do my baseline ultrasound for IUI #2.  It all seems so complicated.

I. Will. Update. More. Frequently!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A little bit pregnant

They say you can't be a little bit pregnant.

I am.

My hcg today came back at 22.  Not good.

It's pretty low - the average for 14dpo is 48.  But it's not impossible that this will still turn into a viable pregnancy.  I am still pregnant, just not sure for how long.

I was in shock and unhappy with the number when the nurse called.  She seemed unfazed and said it was a start and we would have to see what the number is on Wednesday when I have bloodwork again.  She also said congratulations.  

So this is beta hell.  I am praying so hard for God to strengthen the little embryo (hopefully) in my uterus.  

Grow, little one, grow!

Need it to double or greater by Wednesday - otherwise I don't think there's much hope for the pregnancy.

DH tells me to be positive - he is still sure things will work out.  But I'm so scared.  I finally - finally - got pregnant and now it might be an even bigger disappointment than those many months where nothing happened at all.  

I also don't want this news at work.  Thinking about working from home on Wednesday so that if it is bad news I can deal with it in private.

For today I am pregnant and trying to stay positive.  Lots of cramping going on and I'm going to pretend it's caused by little baby bean setting up shop in there.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I am a bad blogger!

So much to catch up and with the progesterone I have just been so tired after work all I want to do is eat dinner and go to bed.  Ugh.

Side effects of progesterone - boobs hurt, moody, and TIRED.  Plus I had a three day headache.

Of course, every little twinge for the last week has made me wonder if it's implantation.  On Thursday (day 9/10piui) I broke down and POAS.  I blame my DH.  I was trying to wait until Fri/Sat but he suggested I check and of course I went along with it.  It was a BFN.  So all day at work on Thursday and Friday I was bummed.  I mean, I knew it was early but still disappointing.

On Friday night I met up with a friend and her boyfriend and just hung out at a Mexican place and had dinner.  I was so tempted to order a beer after the BFN but held off.  As we were chatting I looked down and realized it was almost 8:30.  This was a problem because a) I was out of progesterone; b) my pharmacy was 30 minutes away; c) my next dose was due at 7:30 this morning and the pharmacy didn't open until 9 a.m.; and d) the pharmacy closed at 9.

I booked it to the pharmacy - RAN into the grocery store - and just made it.  I was relieved but kind of like - meh, it probably didn't work anyways.


So I got up this morning to test.  Was pretty sleepy and only waited a couple minutes.  Saw nothing and figured it was another BFN.  Went back to bed. About 15 minutes later got up to do my progesterone dose.  Looked at the stick again.  Wait.  Just barely there - so faint I thought my eyes might be playing tricks on me - a second line.  Woke DH up and turned on the lights and made him look.  He saw it too.

I have studied that line so much today.  It's extremely faint but in the light it's definitely there and pink.  I have googled evaporation lines and am pretty sure (but not totally sure) that it is not one.  In short, I am pretty sure I had my very first BFP in a year and a half of trying.  I know you're not supposed to read tests after 10 minutes (and it was like 15) but I am so hopeful and excited right now.  DH is absolutely convinced it's definitely a BFP.

Testing again tomorrow.  Praying for a darker line!  I really don't know how to feel right now - I keep going back to look at my pee stick in the sunlight and confirm that I really did see a second line.  It's so faint but it's there.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 5/6 of the wait

Well, I'm almost a week into the wait and planning to test on Friday.  Starting to get to the point where I search for symptoms.

So far, not much.  Had very light cramping two nights ago (seems too early to be implantation cramping so I'm guessing it was the progesterone).  Sore boobs = progesterone.  Had to pee a lot yesterday but I drank a ton of water because I was super thirsty (progesterone?).

I had  a dream night before last that I took an HPT and it was positive.  My husband started to get excited and then I told him it was only the HCG shot.  Weird.  I wish I could dream about a baby, but those dreams are extremely rare for me.  Maybe that's for the better.

I've decided to tell my boss on Monday about what's going on.  I already told human resources a couple weeks ago.  He seems to think I'm "not engaged" and he's not sure how committed to the job I am.  I am hoping if I make it clear that I am going through IF treatments and these take a lot out of me physically and emotionally that maybe he will understand it's not that I don't care about my job but that I have a medical issue that I have to deal with at this time.  Trying to hold on to the job as long as possible since it's what makes the IF treatment financially possible.  And my RE has pretty much told me that since the endo will grow back over time, I need to take advantage of the six months post-surgery that I am at the most fertile I will likely be for the rest of my life.  Age + endo = not so fertile.  The longer I wait, the less likely it is that I will be able to have biological children.

It is incredibly hard to maintain a demanding job while doing fertility treatment.  My RE is 40 minutes north of my house and my work is 45 minutes south.  So when I have an appointment or bloodwork, by the time I get to work I've already been driving and being injected/ultrasounded/whatever for two+ hours.  Add in the drugs, which cause fatigue, dizzyness, headaches, back pain, etc., and the day to day of working long hours can be almost impossible.  For instance, my boss said he wanted to see me in the office until 8 p.m. and working on weekends to show my dedication. Well I am on progesterone supplements.  TMI WARNING I take my morning dose vaginally so that I can go to work without major side effects.  I have to take my evening dose precisely at 7:30.  Taking this vaginally is gross - it means I have to wear a panty liner all day as gunk leaks out and I feel constantly squishy.  So, as recommended by my nurse, I take the pill orally at night to give myself a break.  After taking the pill, I have side effects. Dizzyness, tiredness, NyQuil-like feelings.  I would not want to drive after taking it for at least a couple hours, not to mention it kind of puts me to sleep. So I can't take it orally at work.  And I really don't want to go into the work bathroom to give myself a vaginal suppository.  I could if I had to but I REALLY REALLY don't want to.

The moral of the story?  Progesterone sucks.  Bosses who don't understand suck.  Infertility sucks.  And I'm a whiner today.  Sorry about that - will try to be more positive in my next blog!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Not really my first 2ww

So I keep referring to this as my first 2ww because it's the first time I did IUI.  Then I realized it's really not my first 2ww.  (For the uninitiated, the 2ww is the 2 week wait between the IUI or IVF and when you test to see if you're pregnant).

My first 2ww was back in September, 2010, right after my wedding.  The first few were actually exciting.  I spent two weeks wondering, hoping, taking every little twinge as a sign I was pregnant.  The longer we tried, the more frustrating the 2ww became.

I started tempering my hope with pragmatism.  Started downplaying any "symptom" while secretly hoping this was the month.

Now it's like moving from the minor leagues to the majors (or maybe from college to the minors since I haven't had to do IVF yet).  The 2ww is once again kind of new and brings with it all kinds of mixed emotions.

I want to be hopeful.  Everything went as well as we could have hoped.  And now we have the monetary investment as well as the fact I am doing a job I hate to afford it.  On the other hand, I don't want to get my hopes up and face the disappointment if it didn't work.  I don't know how to manage these emotions and feel increasingly distracted at work.

It's very hard to manage a marriage, a demanding career, B's addiction (he went to rehab yesterday so hopefully that will be less of a stressor), and IF.  I feel like one of the balls I'm juggling is going to fall, and if I have to drop one I have to choose my job....

Monday, March 11, 2013

The 2ww

For the uninitiated, the 2ww is the two week wait - that time between insemination or ivf and the point at which you take a pregnancy test.

Round 2 of IUI was today and went well - DH had more than double the sperm from yesterday - 60 million post-wash!

Now I will wait.  I start progesterone on Wednesday.  We're not sure I need the progesterone but my test was borderline plus I sometimes have suspicious spotting so to be on the safe side my RE put me on it.


RE told me I can take oral or vaginal but according to everyone, vaginal is the better way to go because there is better absorption.  So it looks like I will be using a vaginal suppository twice a day for the next couple weeks (at least).  If I'm really lucky and it worked, I will use it for my first trimester.  Just another one of the little joys of infertility treatment.  Other women get two pink lines and start picking names and shopping at babies r us.  Infertile women wait and wait and pray and cry and wait and pray and undergo painful and embarrassing procedures and finally (hopefully) get a positive and then worry their way through the first trimester with close monitoring.

I'm pretty sure the wait is going to drive me absolutely crazy but as of right now I'm just glad things went well and trying to rest.

Time for a nap!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

IUI #1!

Went in for IUI number one today!

Arrived at 8 and shortly thereafter DH went to produce his sample.  After we turned in the sample we ended up waiting an hour and a half (it was a busy Sunday apparently).

After that it was easy going.  Went back and laid down on a table, legs in the stirrups - the usual.  Speculum just like a pap and I didn't even feel the catheter go in.  According to the nurse, we had 28 million motile sperm post-wash (they wash the sperm and remove the dead ones and stuff) which is supposed to be pretty darn good!

Now I'm just chilling out, taking it easy today.  Back tomorrow for round 2.

Also they gave me a prescription for progesterone and said I can take it orally or vaginally - my choice. Well my choice would obviously be orally (much easier) but am wondering if it's better (for absorption?) to do vaginal?  Looks like I'll be consulting Dr. Google on this one.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Counting follicles

So I went into my ultrasound appointment on Thursday hoping for 2-4 follicles and hoping to have my trigger shot of HCG so we could do the IUI on Friday-Saturday.  No such luck.  The woman doing my ultrasound looked at my right side and said "looks sleepy over there, nothing going on."  Then looked at my left and saw one follicle but not big enough yet to trigger.  On the positive side, my lining was 11 (and anything over 8 is great) and had the "triple stripe" they look for that means it's ready for implantation.

I was very disappointed at only one follicle.  I mean, I ovulate on my own every month.  I can produce one follicle without the drugs and side effects so I felt like it was a waste.  They scheduled me to come back in to see how it had grown today (Saturday).

Imagine my surprise when a different lady swung the ultrasound over to my right ovary and I said "they said it's sleepy over there" and she said - look this is your right ovary and there were two big black circles (follicles) sitting right there.  Yes, somehow lady #1 MISSED two follicles on my right side.  And when she went back to the left, the one from the left is SMALLER than the two on the right.  So how does that happen?  DH is pretty pissed but I'm just trying to be happy that it turns out I have at least 2 that should be mature and possibly 3!

Triggered today!
Follicles were:
17x20 (left side)

Going in tomorrow for IUI 1 and Monday for IUI 2!

Grow follicles grow (but don't ovulate until tomorrow please)!

Now sitting here with twinges around my ovaries - guessing it's a result of the HCG.

I have to admit I'm tempted to take a HPT just to see those two lines I've never seen before - even though I know it would only be because of the trigger shot and not because I'm pregnant.

Praying hard this weekend.

Also, my job sucks and is getting worse by the day.  Success here would make it so much better.

Please God, let at least one of those beautiful little follicles produce a good egg and let it be fertilized!  And then implant!  And then stay put for about 9 months!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Did I speak too soon?

So ... no more Clomid but LOTS more back pain.  My back is sore.  Not screaming in pain, can't get out of bed sore, but irritatingly and convincingly sore.  Can't move too quickly and feeling very stiff.  Which of course makes me wonder - is it working too well and I'm getting overstimulated?  Or maybe it's not working at all and I just tweaked my back somehow.

I had my menopur shot today.  It's just subcutaneous so the needle was tiny and not scary at all.  But it burned going in.  Didn't notice any new side effects from it, other than I really had no appetite for lunch.

And I found out my boss is going to have meetings with those of us who aren't billing "enough" hours, specifically last month.  I had surgery last month.  This is the kind of stuff that just irritates the crap out of me.  I'm going through infertility treatment and trying to keep up with work (I haven't missed any deadlines or anything) and sometimes it just starts to feel like too much.  It probably doesn't help that we just had a houseful of guests and the whole B drug thing.

This is turning into a pity party tonight, so I think I'll just sign off.  I know a lot of people out there have it a lot worse than me and I should focus on the fact that despite my infertility, I have a very blessed life.    I have a loving husband and a job that helps me pay for infertility treatments, even if it's stressful and I hate it.  And I have a supportive family, great friends, a nice house, and a sweet little dog.

That's my mantra for the next couple weeks - focus on the good.  Not sure if I'll be able to stick with it the whole way but I'm going to try!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Catching Up

Haven't really had the time/energy  to post the last couple days.  Had so much family in town and so much going on.  So I left off on Friday?

Friday was day 4 of Clomid.  Drove over 2 hours for a deposition.  Luckily it didn't take too long and I was back home by early afternoon.  As far as Clomid side effects I started having lower back pain. Not scream out loud pain, but way sore ouch pain. 

Got home from the deposition and husband said my MIL wanted to go to her brother's house (where his grandfather was staying) because she was bored and anxious and etc.  So he lends her our Forerunner.  The car that is not paid off.  She leaves shortly after I got back and not five minutes later calls to tell us she got in an accident.

ARGH!  And it was her fault.  And now our insurance will be going up and if we ever try to sell the car it will show up that it's been in an accident and we have to go through the pain in the butt stuff of getting it looked at by the insurance company and repaired.  So frustrating and stressful and not what I need right now!

Yesterday was pretty similar - lower back pain.  Other than that (and some tiredness but that could just be the family visiting thing), I was good.   Had a big dinner with family which was delicious.  And everyone, including B, left this morning (B is going to hang out with some other family members for the week and then possibly right into rehab).  Sweet Lord Jesus it is soooooo nice to have our house to ourselves again!!!  Love my family but having a full house when we're doing this IUI thing and I'm on hormones is difficult to say the least. 

Today we are doing loads of laundry, running errands, and date night tonight!  Have reservations at a nice restaurant and trying to relax before this upcoming week.  Of course, I've already started worrying...

My ovaries feel swollen and weird.  It's weird that I can feel them at all.  So of course I worry I'm responding too well to the stims and I will ovulate before my ultrasound on Thursday (CD12).  I have my menopur shot tomorrow and wonder if I should ask my PA if we can check and see if I'm responding, but an ultrasound costs $270 and insurance covers nothing.  So I really should wait.  Then again, we've already spent over $600 on this IUI cycle, so if something goes wrong we are out that money!  On the flip side, what if I'm NOT responding and we only end up with my usual one follicle?  Ugh...there are just too many things that can go wrong and I'm driving myself crazy!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Clomid - Days 2 and 3

Day 2

Again, I can't complain.  I had a bout of nausea (ironically just when the in-laws arrived) and other than that I was fine.

Day 3

BLOAT!  Ugh!  On the plane back from Wisconsin, very (seemingly) quickly got bloated and uncomfortable.  Lots of (TMI warning) gas pains and just couldn't wait to get home and lie down.  Still, not too terrible overall.

On a side note:  Am I being unreasonable?  I want my husband to have no alcohol before the IUI  Wednesday was his birthday and he went out with his friends Tuesday night and I asked if that could be his last alcohol before the IUI.  He said sure.  Then he went out to dinner with his family Wednesday and says he had a beer.  Then last night he was drinking a glass of red wine.  I know this is not a lot of alcohol but for goodness' sake we are spending $2000 on this and I am going through all this crap and can't he just hold of on the alcohol for a week and a half?!?!  Rant over.

Also, Clomid may be making me moody but I don't think so.  Drinking is not that big a thing to give up for just a couple weeks so we can have maximum fertility.  I am drinking that pom juice every day and taking all these supplements and giving up soda and crap.  The least he can do is not kill his swimmers with alcohol!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clomid - Day 1

Started my Clomid today and so far nothing to report.  Had a slight headache in the afternoon and felt a little spacey but I get headaches fairly frequently and I didn't get a lot of sleep last night so I'm going with the other explanation.

Not much to say tonight, really.  Heading to Wisconsin tomorrow for work then back on Thursday.

MIL and BIL and Grandfather-in-law arriving tomorrow, so bring on the craziness!

Oh and my husband's 30th birthday is tomorrow (yes I am a terrible wife and have to leave on his big birthday - another reason I like my job less and less - and less).

Full house, craziness, work stress, and fertility drugs.  I'm assuming my blog posts will get more interesting as the week progresses...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Side Effect of Infertility: TMI

I never thought I'd talk openly about my cervical mucus or my husband's sperm.  Fertile people don't do that.  I realized one of the biggest side effects of my IF has been TMI yesterday, when I walked out of my bedroom and announced to my husband AND B, sitting on the couch "yay, I got my period - now we can move on with IUI!"  I talk with my friends about my uterine lining and transvaginal ultrasounds without blinking an eye.  Putting my feet in the stirrups never felt so natural.  All those embarrassing things that some people get to never discuss or go through, like the fun of HSG, lead to a lot of conversations that you would think would be difficult, but somehow I've lost my ability to be embarrassed.  It's not necessarily a bad thing but I am going to try to avoid talking about my cycle in front of my family in the future.

On another note - NO CYSTS!!!  I am cleared for IUI!

Bring on the Clomid crazies starting tomorrow!

AND the nurse said I had numerous follicles (I refuse to call them follies - follies are acts of foolishness and/or apparently a strip club in Atlanta).  Anyways all these follicles are gearing up for this cycle and she seemed very happy with how they looked.  Go ovaries go!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Clomid Crazies?

So I'm about to start Clomid in a couple days and I'm wondering if it will make me a raving "witch."  The one person I know who's taken it pretty much said she was an unbearable wreck when she was on it.  It doesn't help that I have a slew of in-laws coming into town just during the time I'll be on it.  Hoping it doesn't make me too crazy...any stories out there?  Yes, I know it varies  from woman to woman and there's really no way to tell until I take it but any guidance on how you dealt with it would be appreciated!

Here we go!

My period came - which means either tomorrow or Tuesday I will go in for my baseline ultrasound and make sure I have no cysts so we can move forward with IUI.

Please please please no cysts.  I am too excited and too tired of delays!  We waited 6 months for the surgery because old insurance didn't cover it, got new insurance that covered it when I changed jobs, and it was cancelled/rescheduled twice (once due to my doctor getting the flu and once because my body didn't cooperate and my period was late thanks to stress from the first cancellation).

I'm impatient.  If this cycle is cancelled, I will freaking cry.  And I don't know why I'm so worried about it - I haven't had cysts in my prior ultrasounds and have no reason to think I will this time - but I just want to move forward so badly.

On a side note, the treatment of my endometriosis seems to have made a WORLD of difference.  My cramps are like 1/3 as painful as they were before and (warning - TMI) my period is significantly lighter as well. So yay for that at least.

Work will be crazy this week but I don't care because I am so excited at starting our first IUI try!  I keep trying to manage my expectations and tell myself it's unlikely we'll win the lottery and have it work on the first try but either way it feels like PROGRESS.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was crazy as usual, with the B situation and all.  His wife came over today to tell him she's filing for divorce tomorrow so at this point there is definitely no end in sight to his stay with us.  He's family and I love him but the timing is pretty non-ideal.  Add to that the fact that my mother-in-law and brother-in-law and grandfather-in-law come into town Wednesday-Sunday, right when I'm in the middle of my Clomid, does not help...

Friday, February 22, 2013

TGIFriday...kind of.

IUI update:  No period yet.  Still waiting.  Got my progesterone test back from Wednesday and it was 8.5.  Not really sure what that means and since I had surgery this month and we're not sure where in my cycle I am, the PA said we'd wait until my period comes and then count backwards and figure out if I need progesterone supplements.

In other news...

My addicted family member ... I'm going to call him B ... is already making me crazy.  He has a pretty bad oxy addiction.  Pretty bad as in he's lied and snuck around and run out repeatedly because he takes too many.  Bad as in he's facing felony charges for altering a prescription to get more pills.  At least he has not resorted to buying them on the street or anything (that I know of).

So his wife pretty much bailed on him.  I get that the addiction is a terrible thing, but she's his wife and married him knowing he was on oxy.  And he's agreed to do inpatient rehab but she won't even wait for that.  She is just out and putting their house on the market and completely done with it all.  Not exactly a for better or worse vow keeper but I suppose I should try to keep from judging her.  She's young and immature and very spoiled and I think this is all more than she can handle.  Thank God I have a husband who will stick by me through anything, including this IF crap.

So he's living with us.  At the beginning of our IUI thing.  And he's already trying to manipulate me to get more pills.  First it was "it's too embarrassing to have you hand out my pills like I'm a child."  The answer to that was "too bad - you want to live in our house this is how it will be."

Then yesterday he suggested that he be given two extra pills per week for emergencies. Stupidly, I agreed to this, leading him to think he could win the battle of the wills.  So last night I gave him his extra two pills.

Fast forward to today around 11:30 when he texts me to say he left three pills on the windowsill and now they're gone.  But the dogs seem ok so they probably didn't eat them but maybe they picked them up and left them somewhere.  Right.  He apparently thinks I'm pretty darn stupid.  So he asks me to replace them and I'm like - well you have your two emergency pills - use those.  I'm not replacing them.  So he says he took all 5 of the pills before 11:30 and now he's going to go through withdrawals.  Tough crap.  I feel like I'm being mean but can't let him get away with this crap.  If he took all 8 pills he had too quickly then he's just going to have to suffer the consequences.

Then he texts and asks if I'm ok with him going to live with his "sponsor."  Now this is the first I've heard of the "sponsor" and when I respond and ask who it is and if I can talk to him about it, I get no reply.  Now I'm home and B is in the guest bedroom sulking or sleeping or whatever.

I just do NOT need this stress right now.  I already have a deposition Monday, travel to Wisconsin Wednesday-Thursday, and a deposition on Friday two hours away.  Plus this week should be the start of the IUI cycle and now I'm playing mom to B.  I know I am getting repetitive on this post now.  I just need to vent at the moment.

So looking forward to an awkward weekend.  At least my husband will be around.  This whole thing has made me realize he might just turn out to be the strict parent and I might be the pushover!  He's firm about the rules, taking charge with the issues, and backing me up big time.  I'm so impressed with him right now and it just makes me want to make him a real dad even more.

At least on Sunday night I am taking my husband out to dinner to celebrate his birthday (since I will be away traveling for work the evening of his actual birthday).  Since it's restaurant week we are going to a very nice place for cheap!  Yay for a date with my honey!

Hope you all are having lovely weekends!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

IUI Countdown

IUI is on.  As soon as my period starts.  Had a long, good appointment with the P.A. and our RE today.  Dr. B seems very optimistic about our chances and said he was very happy with the results of my surgery.

The details of my IUI:

As soon as my period starts I call them.  We schedule a baseline u/s for CD 1, 2, or 3.  On CDs 3-7 I take 100 mg of Clomid.  Then on CD9 I receive an injection of Menopur to mature my egg(s).  Finally, day 12 I have an u/s to see if I'm ready for trigger and if so here comes the HCG and then back to back IUIs.

I know the stats say back to back IUI doesn't really increase your chances, but it kind of feels like it does.  More sperm!

It seems like my RE does not monitor as closely as some but more closely than others.  I'm overall pretty happy with the protocol and the PA was so knowledgeable she answered most of my questions before the RE even got into the room.

I also asked about progesterone, because some months I spot about a week before my period.  Dr. B sent me for a blood test today and said he'll keep an eye on it after the insemination.

I am crazily trying not to think about the fact that if this works I will have a baby around Christmas.  Not thinking about it.  Not thinking about it.  Yes, I am.

Now let's just hope my body cooperates.  I'm ok with my period coming any day except Wednesday because I have to fly out to Wisconsin on Wednesday for work, back on Thursday, then a deposition scheduled for Friday morning two hours from home.  So let's hope for Monday or Tuesday!  I'm not entirely certain how I am going to handle my work demands and the demands of infertility.

As far as family drama, I can't say a lot, just in case anyone figures out this is me.  I mean I'm "anonymous" and haven't really told anyone but my two best friends I'm blogging, but I've put enough personal facts out there that if someone stumbled across this blog they could figure it out.

Suffice it to say, a family member of mine has a prescription pill addiction which has led to serious difficulties in his marriage (as he is now living with my husband and I), serious financial difficulties (as he is and has been unemployed for the last 4 months) and now, serious legal difficulties (as I expect a felony summons will be issued for him shortly).  Since I am an attorney, and his only family member in this state, a lot of this is falling on me.  And I am feeling like his parent because I am doling out his medication, locking it up, and setting "rules" for the house for my adult family member.  My husband has been great about it but it is just not the stress I need in my life right now.  Nonetheless I love him (the family member - and the husband for that matter) dearly and will do everything I can to help him get through it.  I mean, I really want to be a mother, just not to him :).

So that's my day.  Hope all is well with all of you and hoping for BFPs for you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Appointment with RE is tomorrow to get all the details for my first IUI.

I feel like it's a cycle starting all over.  Like when we first started trying, every month I would think "it would be great if we got pregnant this month because ... " (I could announce it at Thanksgiving/Christmas/Etc. or the baby would be born...).

Now with IUI I can't help but start thinking - if it works the first time I'll have a baby around Christmas!  What a perfect present.  I know I should manage my expectations.  I also wonder if I'll feel a little guilty if it happens right away when so many women have tried for so long without success.

Anyways can't blog long tonight because some major crap went down with a family member today and I'm having to try to deal with it.  Can't give any details at this point but suffice it to say I have an unexpected houseguest and some legal research to do tonight :(.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are you out there?

So I just looked at the blog stats and wow!  People from all over have read my little baby blog.  At least a blog doesn't require trying for month after month and then having all kinds of stuff up your hoohah.

Anyways thanks for stopping by and reading and feel free to comment.  I started this blog because I found as we moved closer to doing the IUI and then maybe IVF thing I really enjoyed reading the stories of other women who have gone through the same thing.  But a lot of them don't start blogging until they're already pretty far into it.

Hoping to record my experiences as they're new and maybe someone will enjoy reading it or learn something from it or just know that others out there feel the same things.

Like when you're about to get your period and you try to fool yourself into thinking your boobs are extra sore this month and aren't they a little darker?  All the while telling yourself you know you're not really pregnant.  You don't drink because you tell yourself there's that .1% chance and you know it's not really a chance but you still hope. And God forbid your period is a minute late because then you get to pee on a stick and watch one line, and always just one line, show up.

And others say such helpful things.  Like "you just need to stop thinking about it."  "Relax and take a vacation."  I can't take a vacation because I'm saving all my money to buy drugs I can inject into myself to try to force my body to do something that SHOULD be the most natural thing in the world but just doesn't work for me.  It is not about needing to relax and if I just stop trying I will not immediately get pregnant thank you very much.  And I know they all mean well but they just don't know what it's like.

Anyways that's my vent/rant for the day.

:)  Thinking fertile thoughts for all those anonymous people who have stopped by.

So I guess it's IUI for us

I had my followup with the P.A. at my RE's office on Friday.  She went over the results of my surgery with me in detail.

Turns out I had no blockage in the tubes at all.  None.  And mild endometriosis which was removed.  The false positive on my HSG came from a kind of "divot" where the liquid pooled.

So long story short ... we have no answers.  I asked her what that means and she basically said - you're 36 - are you ready to move on to the next step.

The next step is IUI.  We're meeting with Dr. B on Wednesday to talk about it but we've already kind of decided to move forward this month.  So, I'll be asking my huge list of questions and then waiting for my period to start the process.

Amongst the questions I have:

Should we do Clomid or injectables?  I've heard really negative things about Clomid - the side effects, the lack of results.  But injectables are more expensive - will it be worth it?

How many follicles do we want? How many are too many?  How many would cause my RE to cancel the cycle?

Do we do progesterone after the IUI and if so, suppositories or injections?

I know I will have some answers in just a couple days but am anxiously waiting for the appointment.

Also really hoping IUI works even though I know it has lower success rates.  We haven't decided whether to do one cycle or two before moving on to the big ticket item - IVF.  Would love to not have to spend the money (insurance covers NOTHING).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



Tried to go to work today - made it through a half day before the pain got to me and I went home.

Wednesdays are the husband's day off - he was planning to go snowboarding today but changed his mind.  He says it was because he wanted to work on the garden (I think it was because he wanted to sleep in).

So tonight when I mention how I can't wait for our follow-up with the RE next Wednesday, he gets upset and says he "made plans" (this morning) to go snowboarding next Wednesday.  Too bad.  I told him when I made the appointment when it was and there's no way I'm waiting any longer for answers from our RE.

Stuff like this is a no brainer for me but not for him.  Snowboarding vs. a treatment plan after a year and a half of trying and failing?  Duh.

Sometimes I think he still hasn't fully accepted that I'm infertile.  He thinks somehow we can just do this the old-fashioned way and it will work.  Well it hasn't and my eggs ain't getting any younger.  I want - need - to move forward with this.

What a frustrating day.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I loved my old job.  I was proud of what I did.  It was interesting and crazy and stressful and I was passionate about it.  But the insurance didn't pay for anything fertility related.  And the pay was dismal. With student loans added in, it wasn't sustainable if we were going to jump into the fertility treatment realm.

I miss my old job.  Miss the the people there.  Miss the fulfillment it gave me.

And my new job?  It pays well.  Other than that, it sucks.  I have to travel, leaving my husband.  It's boring and unrewarding and going into the office every morning is harder and harder.  I keep telling myself it will be worth it.  And it will.


Yep, that's a big if.

If I get pregnant.  If we get our family.

If not...

I can't even think about it.  To give up what I love, to put myself through everything...

What if it doesn't work?  What if it never works?

We've been saving money like crazy.  As much as we can.  For the possible IVF.  What if it's all for nothing?

Babies Babies Everywhere!

It seems as soon as you start trying, babies and pregnant women pop up literally everywhere.  At one point, when we were about 6 months in, there were 8 women at my office who were pregnant or just had newborns.  In an office of only 60 people or so.  In the last year and a half, at least 15 of my facebook friends have announced pregnancy.   At least 30 people I know are either pregnant or had a baby during this time we've been trying.

At first I would happily go shopping for the baby shower.  It was half about the expectant mother and half me dreamily anticipating when I would get to start buying all the cute baby stuff for myself.  It was only a matter of time.

As time dragged on, it became harder and harder not to let my happiness for others become tinged with jealousy.  It seems so easy for others.  Many of my friends got pregnant within a couple of months of trying.

With the friends who know we're trying it's always awkward.  They don't know whether to talk about the pregnancy around me or stay away from the topic.  The one who don't know are blissfully unaware of how very badly I want what they have and tend to ask when we plan on following suit.

And it's not just the friends.  It seems everywhere I go there are big bellies and gurgling babies.  Restaurants, the grocery store, etc.  Even Paul has noticed it - he'll point out the super cute kid sitting at the table next to us and we'll have that moment of - someday - that will be us.  On the good days, seeing a smiling baby reminds us of hope.

On the bad days....  On the bad days it feels like I've been waiting forever for a baby of my own.  It feels like it will never happen.  Like we'll keep going down this road, spending huge amounts of money and getting no answers and no results.

And I feel stuck.  In limbo. Wanting to move forward and start the more advanced options but scared that it's a kind of giving up.  I want to be pregnant before my next birthday, in June.  I just don't know how we get there.

My Fault

Before my surgery, my husband insisted on calling Dr. B and asking if he should get tested a second time.  He wanted to make sure, before I went through surgery.  A sweet gesture, right?

They used the word "spectacular."  As in, with semen analysis results as "spectacular" as yours, there's no reason to retest.  Which is great.  Really, it is.

Except.  Except that means the blame for "our" infertility falls squarely on me.  My body.  My eggs?  My tubes?  My uterus?  We don't really know but we know it's not him.  

And he's loving and supportive and always acts like we're in this together.  But I know it's my body that isn't cooperating.  That if he had married someone else, someone younger, perhaps he, at least wouldn't have to go through this stress.

I couldn't keep a positive attitude without him.  I wouldn't go through this with anyone else but him.  But in a fundamental way, he doesn't completely understand what I'm going through and I don't understand what he's going through. 

My body betrayed me.  It promised fertility, every month without fail.  And then it let me down.  His functions just fine and dandy but he married an infertile woman.  It leads us to the same place but from different perspectives.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Explaining My Surgery

So I realized I didn't really talk about what my surgery was.  I had a laproscopy of my ovaries/tubes and a hysteroscopy of my uterus to look at the polyp.  So I have three incisions - two on each side right above where I imagine my ovaries are and a third in my bellybutton (they put the camera in there!).  The bellybutton one hurts and itches the mosts and I have a weird bruise around it.

The pain has not been too bad.  When I first woke up, I had some pretty bad crampy pain but told the nurse and she put something in my IV and it made me happy/fuzzy.  Since then I've had intermittent cramping pain, some abdominal soreness, and bleeding.  The percocet and vicodin Dr. B gave me have managed it quite well.

Incidentally, discussing surgery like this is always touchy.  Of course, I had to tell my work that I would be taking a couple days off for surgery.  And naturally, they asked what for? Are you ok?  Anything major?  And what do you say?  I'm not in the habit of telling everyone I'm infertile.  Unlike at the beginning, I don't want to tell people we're trying to conceive.  We did that in the beginning, which leads to that month after month of no news, getting pitying looks, and having people get all speculative every time I felt a little under the weather.

Plus - there's the added do I want people at work to know I'm trying to have a baby.  As an attorney, taking maternity leave - while not discouraged or anything - is not exactly a selling point for promotion.  It worries me for people to know I want to have kids and take leave because if they make cuts and I'm not pregnant yet ... well, maybe I'm paranoid but it concerns me.

So here's how I left it:  the woman I work most closely with knows what my surgery is all about.  I like her a lot and think I can trust her to keep my confidence.  The man who is the managing partner of my office does not, unless someone has told him, know the details.  When he asked, I said I was having minor abdominal surgery and nothing life-threatening.  It's possible he read into it but oh well.

Why me?

It's the question I'm sure all women struggling with infertility ask.  We all see these people - some of them terrible people - getting pregnant left and right.  Snooki just had a baby for goodness sake.  For a year or so, I prosecuted domestic violence cases.  All these women, on drugs, in abusive relationships, and so many of them were pregnant.  Bringing children into an unstable home.  One DUI case was a woman who was pulled over with a open half gallon of vodka in her lap at 8 months pregnant.  Her lawyer came into our first meeting and said "she lost the baby."  No, she killed that baby.

I don't mean to judge others.  I know it's un-PC to feel this way. But when I see the women who have 3 kids by 3 different baby daddies, when I see the gang banger with the most adorable little girl in his arms, I just want to yell it's not fair. And then the mom voice in my head, which I hope to get to use in the near future, says "life's not fair."  And it's not.  I did it the "right" way.  I waited for a husband and financial stability and what I get in return is a negative pregnancy test month after month.

We bought our first house last year.  We have our empty nursery.  I don't dare buy anything for it until... well, until.

When you first start trying you worry you might be one of those women who can't get pregnant.  You worry, but the worry isn't real.  Then month after month goes by.  And realization dawns. You are that woman.  The one who's family stops asking about when you're having children because they know.  The one who wants to be completely happy when friend after friend announces her pregnancy on facebook but can't quite quash the jealousy.  It took me a long time to say I am infertile.  But I am.  And I don't know why.  And it's not fair.

But, I am not alone. I know there are so many others out there going through the same thing.  I am clinging to my hope and faith that I will be one of the lucky ones who overcomes infertility.  I don't know what the next step is yet.  I think we may do IUI in a couple months but have to wait until we can talk to the doctor.

The waiting is the worst part.

Surgery - Finally!

Today, I am recovering from surgery on Friday.  It's the best and the worst. It's over but I'm still not sure we have the answers we need.  But first thing's first - the surgery itself.

Before surgery, Dr. B came to talk to me and scared the crap out of me.  He said he'd reviewed my test results again and thought there was a reasonable chance he'd have to remove my left tube and a very remote chance he'd have to remove both.  I was so scared.  I knew it was a possibility - that tubes that are blocked are toxic to embryos.  I didn't want to be at high risk of ectopic pregnancy - getting pregnant finally and having it be ectopic - I can't imagine the devastation.  But it just became so real as I lay there on the gurney being told when I woke up I might only have one tube.  Or even none.  Ultimately, I trusted Dr. B.  I knew he would do whatever was best for my fertility.

When I woke up the first thing I wanted - needed - to know was whether I still had tubes.  Good news - I did!  Both of them!  Dr. B told me the surgery couldn't have gone better.  There was some scarring, some endometriosis, but he cleaned it up.  I was pretty fuzzy but definitely remember that.  Dr. B said we would talk more about the next steps at post-op appointment since I wouldn't really remember everything right then.  But I do.

Dr. B told Paul the apparently blocked tube on the HSG was a "false positive."  My ovaries sit lower than usual and I guess it made it look like it might be blocked.  Which is good news - I think.

At home afterwards, I begin to have mixed emotions.  If the blockage was a false positive, did I just have unnecessary surgery?  I mean, I know there was no way to know it wasn't really blocked without surgery, but how could the surgery fix my fertility if it turns out my tube wasn't blocked at all.

I know I will get more information at my next appointment.  I am happy the surgery went well.  But I wonder if we are back in the same place we were before.  No definitive reason why I'm not pregnant.  Did the surgery fix anything?  Do we try without further intervention for awhile longer?  I want to move forward.   I want to be pregnant.  I'm tired of waiting.

Surgery - Attempt 2

My period didn't come on time.  The stress of getting ready for surgery and having it cancelled I guess. We rescheduled a second time - for February 8.

Surgery - 1st Attempt

My surgery was originally set for January 4.  The night before, I did all the prep - took a ton of antibiotics (which made me sick) and all the other good stuff.  Woke up in the morning hopeful and nervous after a night of fitful sleep.  Got into the shower, and when I got out there was a message on my phone.  From the doctor's office.  Dr. B had the flu and my surgery was cancelled.  I sobbed.  I was so psychologically invested in getting the surgery done - in finding answers - and the rug was pulled out from underneath me.

We rescheduled for the 28th.  It was cutting it close if my period didn't come right on time but the 4th, the ideal date, I had to be out of town for a mediation and couldn't change it.


The day after my HSG I went back to work.  I was sad and confused and didn't know how we would afford to move forward.  And then I received a call from a recruiter I had spoken with.  I had agreed to do a single job interview a few weeks before.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to have options.

The firm liked me.  My recruiter called to tell me they were offering me a job.  At triple my public service salary.  And their insurance plan covered infertility diagnosis (but not treatment). I knew I would miss my current job - it didn't pay well but I loved it and it was fulfilling.  I knew the firm job would be boring and stressful and I would not enjoy it much.

But I had to make the decision that would be best for my future family.  What choice did I have?  This job opportunity offered me the chance to do whatever is necessary to have children.  By now, it was July of 2012.  We had been trying for almost a year, and just told I needed surgery.

So I gave my notice.  My start date at the new job was in August and we decided to schedule my surgery for January.  It gave us a few more months to try and me a few months to settle into the new job.

We weren't very optimistic at this point.  Dr. B told us that if there was a blockage, the fluid in the fallopian tube could be pushed back into my uterus.  That fluid is apparently toxic to embryos and so even if I ovulated from the right side, any pregnancy might be doomed from the start thanks to my weird left tube.  So we tried, half-heartedly, until the surgery.

Every month I tried not to get my hopes up.  Every month I still greeted my period with profound sadness.  But I looked forward to the surgery, hopeful we would have answers afterwards.

HSG - (Hurts, Sucks, Gross?)

For those who are beginning the journey and have not had this test yet, it's really not as bad as my title makes it seem.  It does hurt a bit.  It sucks a lot.  And the aftermath was kind of gross for me.  Yes, this will be a TMI post.

So HSG - hysterosalpingogram - is where the doctor injects a dye into the uterus to see if it goes through the tubes and out the end.  It makes sure your tubes are patent, or open.

So I am brought into the operating room and get propped up.  Instruments, numbing stuff, etc.  I get to look at the screen as he does the test and I see my tubes appear (right before I'm hit with an incredibly bad cramp).  The dye causes cramping btw.  For me, bad cramping.  But I saw the dye go through both tubes and thought - GREAT - no blockage.  Except I'm not a doctor.  And the news Dr. B gave me afterward made me anything but happy.

As a side note, at this point the insurance from my job covered NOTHING for fertility.  We were paying out of pocket.  As the title of my blog indicates, I'm an attorney.  However, I was working in public service and making very little money.  And have lots of student loans.  So just paying for the HSG was a strain on our finances.  To make things even better (read sarcasm), the day before my HSG I found out I was passed up for a promotion everyone expected me to get.  A promotion that would have increased my pay by over 10%.

Dr. B came into the recovery room.  He told me I had a mixed review.  My right tube looked perfectly normal.  Dye went in.  Dye went out.  Dye spread out into my abdomen just like it should.  My left side was not so cooperative.  The pictures looked like the dye was pooling at the end of my tube.  Dr. B said it could mean there was scar tissue blocking the end of the tube or between the tube and ovary.  There was also a small polyp in my uterus, although he thought with its size and location that it wasn't the problem.

The only way to find out if my left tube was really blocked - surgery.  As in, $10,000 surgery out of pocket.  Shell shocked.  We really didn't know what to do.  At that point, to go forward, we would have to put the surgery on a credit card. But everything changed the next day.

The First Appointment with Dr. B

We started with a full history.  Dr. B's P.A. went through it with us.  Then Dr. B came in to talk to us. I really like him.  He's warm and intelligent and takes the time to talk us through things.

 He wanted to start out with an ultrasound.  Date number two with dear old Wanda.  I didn't mind because it sounded like good news.  No cysts.  He could see my follicles - I was close to ovulating.  And no, I do not call them follies.  Follies are acts of foolishness. Too cutsie for me by far.

Anyways he couldn't see anything to explain my failure to get pregnant.  So of course, we set an appointment for the next step - the HSG.

I know we had only been trying for 8 months or so at that point. But I was so impatient.  I still am.  But at this point, I was still in denial.  I just kept telling myself it was normal for it to take that long to get pregnant.  Besides, I had no forewarning that getting pregnant would be a problem, other than my age.  I was an on-the-dot menstrauter.  Yes, I'm making up that word.  Every month, regular as clockwork.  The only times my period was late were moments I was under incredible stress - at boot camp (I was in the Marine Corps Reserves for 6 years), the month of my wedding, etc.

A lot of my friends who had trouble had plenty of warning. Irregular periods, hormone problems, etc.  Not me.  I hated my period but always went through it with the attitude that it was a badge of my fertility - a symbol of my ability to have children someday.  And I always wanted children - longed for them.  So onto the next step - the HSG.  Wherever this journey went, I was determined to follow it through until we reached our goal.

The Beginning

I am infertile.  There, I said it.  I avoided it for as long as I could but the simple fact is, my husband and I have been "trying" for almost a year and a half.  I know that doesn't compare to what some women have gone through but it's still a long time.

My husband and I were married in September, 2011.  Because I was already 35 at the time, we started trying right away.  The first few months were exciting.  Ooh, am I pregnant?  I feel a little nauseous.  Every time I spotted I wondered if it was implantation bleeding.  Of course, it never was.

After the first few tries, the fun faded.  I started tracking my temp and peeing on ovulation tests.  Sex became more and more of a chore - "we have to" because it's close to ovulation.  I started reading all the blogs, the books, the articles.  I ovulated - the sticks, my temp, and my every 28 days without fail period all say I do - but nothing more.  I am type A to the core - I am not accustomed to failing at things.  I kept thinking if we tried harder we'd just get it.  S

Once, we thought we had done it.  I had a hot flash.  Never had one before, never since.  Immediately jumped online and googled hot flash and pregnancy and of course it can be a symptom.  But lo and behold there came my period without fail.

After 6 months we went to see my primary care physician.  She ordered an ultrasound and blood work. Ah, my first appointment with the lovely transvaginal ultrasound wand.  How naive I still was.  Ultrasound showed nothing to indicate infertility.  Blood work was just fine.  No answers.

My husband, we'll call him Paul because that's his name, did his test too.  Let's just say he was beyond fine.  It's definitely not him.

My doctor recommended we try for a few more months then make an appointment with a specialist - Dr. B.  We tried.  We failed.  We called Dr. B.