Stubborn


MH is stubborn.  He’s so funny.  I’ve been asking him to sit with me with his hand on my belly to try to catch one of Roo’s little kicks that she gives me at night.  MH will do it for about 2 minutes and then is over it. He gets so frustrated so quickly.  Then, when she starts to kick up a storm and I tell him, he gets stubborn and won’t come back. I’ll let him come to me and I know in time he’ll feel her.  She’s an active little girl and I know she’ll let her Daddy feel her kicks soon!

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If you’re here from ICLW: Welcome!  I’m in the middle of my second trimester of my second pregnancy (first one I lost at almost 6 weeks) with my first take-home baby – I hope and pray!  After our loss, we tried and tried each month with each cycle ending in tears and disappointment.  Six months after our loss, I went to a fertility specialist.  Because of my age, they did all the requisite testing and came up with a DOR diagnosis – finding me with fewer than half the amount of eggs I should have during a CD3 follicular u/s.  I was very disappointed – actually devastated.  Following that diagnosis, we tried a couple of IUIs with Letrozole without success and I started to look for answers elsewhere.  That elsewhere came up with a diagnosis of elevated natural killer cells.  We were told that my chances of getting pregnant and keeping the pregnancy beyond the first few weeks of conception were slim.  More devastation.  After much debate/discussion/research, we decided to move onto IVF.  The last natural cycle before starting the BCP for the IVF cycle, we were surprised with a BFP.  In all, our journey from going off BCP right after our wedding to our loss to this pregnancy was a year and a half.  That’s not as long as many but it was long enough for me to seek out the infertility community, which embraced me with open arms.

Today, I’m taking this pregnancy day-by-day.  It definitely has its ups and downs.  I try not to complain because I’d rather be here than not be pregnant.  I try to embrace the positive and negatives of pregnancy but accept the fact that as much as I wanted to love being pregnant especially because of the many trials that we encountered to get here that being pregnant is not my cup of tea!!  I hope you continue to read and follow my journey even after ICLW for March is finished!  Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to stop by and follow your journey too – we all need support and cheerleaders no matter what stage in this adventure we are in.

 

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The Thing About Temps…


My acupuncturist and so many others swear that high temps post ovulation can indicate pregnancy.  I disagree.  Almost every cycle, I have high temps during the luteal phase and since my pregnancy in December followed by its loss, I have never gotten a positive pregnancy test even with historically high temps.  Here’s a screen shot of my current cycle.  You can see that I have pretty high post-ovulation temperatures.

Well, it is a little hard to see my temps because the image is so small but this morning’s temp, the last on the right side, is 98.8.  That big temp dip around 6dpo(?), I usually don’t get a dip in my cycle but its an open circle because I woke up super early – so early that I couldn’t adjust it.

And, so you can see what a previous full cycle looks like, here’s my cycle from last month.  It was a medicated IUI cycle and I took progesterone after ovulation.

So, because of my history of high temps, I just can’t trust that mine are an indication of pregnancy.  Do you trust yours?

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If you’re here because of ICLW, welcome!!  I look forward to reading your comments and reading about your journey on your blogs as well.

And so ends IUI Cycle #2


I started to spot yesterday afternoon and my period is pretty much here this morning in full force.  After my stark white BFN, like I knew, I waited to fall apart until I saw red.  Literally.  MH had gone to the office for a little bit of cleaning up his office in quiet – he works for a major financial institution and it is common practice to ask employees to leave immediately after they announce their resignation, especially if they are going to a competitor, so he wants to make sure everything is in order before he announces his resignation (Fingers crossed this week!).  Long explanation for MH not being home when I started to spot.   When he got home around 6pm, needless to say, I was super cranky, grabbed the car keys from his hand and stormed out of the house almost immediately to go to the market for food for dinner.  He didn’t quite know what hit him and was probably super confused.  When I got back from the store, I fell apart in the kitchen while we were putting the groceries away. 😦

I was pretty sure early in the cycle that it didn’t work because for the first time in months, we didn’t get much time in for s.ex around the fertile time because of MH’s travel schedule.  I also think I ovulated prior to the IUI and even maybe before the trigger…and then of course, the extremely painful and crazy IUI procedure.

I’m not surprised by this BFN but it doesn’t make the sting any less.  I was trying to stay positive and hopeful but it didn’t work.  I seriously need to stop taking my temps because if I were going just on temps, I would definitely think I was pregnant.  But, I’m wrong!

I pretty much guzzled a glass of wine (or two) while making dinner.  Then, we went and saw Idiot Brother – which was moderately funny but not as funny as I hoped.  Some small comforts.

I guess I need to start researching how to get tested for Hashimoto’s and Natural Killer Cells.  I need to start doing research in general.  I’ve done some quick Google searches but not a lot of anything helpful has turned up.  Sigh!

I’m going to try and enjoy the rest of this weekend and be grateful that Irene on the other Coast has simmered down to a tropical storm and that I’m otherwise healthy.  Hope you all have a nice Sunday!

I’m not sure I belong here…


When I first started blogging about my infertility struggles and I started to read the blogs of so many women who have been dealing with infertility and loss for much longer than I, it was comforting knowing that in spite of their struggles these women are strong women – many of them who have gone on to successfully get pregnant and even already have given birth.  [Wow – that’s a run on sentence].  They – YOU – gave me hope and are an inspiration.  I felt like I was in the company of amazing women and I felt like I belonged.  You have led the way and I would follow knowing that whatever happened I would have your support.

But, after my amazing call with Dr. Sher, something shifted in me.  I don’t think I belong here anymore.  I went from having an explained reason for why we aren’t getting pregnant – DOR.  But, since he says that he barely would call my levels worthy of a DOR diagnosis, I feel unexplained.  Why aren’t we getting pregnant?  Is there something that we’re doing wrong?  Is it an autoimmune issue (a whole different set of scary issues to face)?  Dr. Sher says it is only because of my age.  But really?  We’ve had unprotected, very well-timed intercourse for more than a year with one pregnancy that ended in miscarriage.  It’s been 8 months since our loss and no positive pregnancy yet.

I’m in limbo.  I’m supposedly fertile yet inexplicably I’m clearly not quite fertile either. (Though I am counting on a positive pregnancy test on Sunday).

I honestly don’t know where I belong.  What many of you are going through is much more challenging than what I’m going through…but you have a diagnosis, the explanation and I want that too.  Is what I’m saying inappropriate?  If so, I apologize.  I should be overjoyed by the outcome of my call with Dr. Sher and keep my mouth shut but now that the dust has settled…I’m really just confused.

If I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.  This blog is my journal and I need to keep writing as I work through these emotions.  I’ll understand if you want to stop reading and supporting.

Second Opinions…


I’m still stunned by my call with Dr. Sher yesterday.  It was scheduled for 4pm and I didn’t get a call until just about 4:45pm which is fine.  I was expecting him not to call on time – I have doctors in my family so I know what their lives are like.

He was very gracious and I was surprised to hear that he has a British accent.  I don’t know why but I was…and that is COMPLETELY irrelevant.  Anyway, after he gave me his “spiel” that he must give to everyone having an initial consultation, he went through my history and stopped to talk about the thyroid and my slightly elevated TSH levels.  He said that his biggest concern for me is that because of my thyroid “issues,” which he is not too concerned with, is the possibility of an autoimmune disorder.  The two that he mentioned are Hashimoto’s and natural killer cells, both of which I guess inhibit pregnancy much beyond implantation.  I need to do more reading on these.  So, he recommends that I get blood work done to rule out both of these possibilities.  Takeaway: get blood work to rule out autoimmune issues.

Next he went on to tell me about how great Letrozole is for women who don’t ovulate.  However, he said that since I ovulate on my own that I should NOT be taking the medication.  That it does not make for a “stronger” ovulation as my current RE indicated.  He said that it in fact could inhibit a perfectly good ovulatory cycle.  He also said that the dosage of Ovidrel that I’ve been using would need to be doubled in order for it to do a proper job.  Also, MH’s sperm count, etc. are fine and IUI with normal counts don’t increase chances of pregnancy.  So, he essentially said that me doing a medicated IUI cycle is a waste of money and an emotional roller coaster that I don’t need to ride (that’s for sure).  Takeaway: no IUIs.

Lastly, he went onto explain that the blood work and ultrasounds that led my current RE to give me a DOR diagnosis are incorrect.  My levels are appropriate for my age that while he agrees that I may be on the verge of DOR that I do not have it.  He says that he believes an antralfollicle count of fewer than six along with elevated FSH and corresponding AMH results would lead to a DOR diagnosis but my numbers don’t match up.  While I have had a follicle count of seven, I also have had a follicle count of 11.  He said that people including well-trained physicians frequently don’t perform follicle counts correctly.  Takeaway: I don’t have DOR.

As the conversation unfolded, I kept wanting to interrupt and ask one of my two pages of questions that I had for him.  He just kept on speaking and I was stunned.  I was expecting him to agree with the DOR diagnosis and to tell me that IVF would be the next step.  I thought he was going to tell me that I didn’t have time to waste.  Instead he said, “If you aren’t pregnant in one to one and a half years, call me and we’ll do IVF.”  He said take any money you were going to spend on infertility treatments and go on vacation.   Finally, the words that brought tears to my eyes were, “Call me when you get pregnant.”  Takeaway: Have lots of sex after the LH surge is detected.

I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have spoken to Dr. Sher, in part because of my new friend, Lisa B.  I came across her blog a couple of months ago when I decided to start this blog.  I sent her an email asking about her experience with Dr. Sher and because of her response to me I make an appointment.  Yesterday, Lisa also had a call with Dr. Sher.  Her call didn’t go as well as mine.  Today she is facing the devastating reality that she may never carry a child in her body or experience the pains of childbirth.  I’m thinking and praying for Lisa and everyone else who is dealing with the devastation of infertility that miracles can happen for them.  Please stop by Lisa’s blog if you have a moment and give her some <hugs>.  She’s given them to me when I’ve needed them and I want her to know how grateful I am to her.

In the meantime, MH and I are waiting for an offer letter to come in from a company where he interviewed a couple of weeks ago.  If the letter has everything that we think it will based on several phone conversations with the hiring manager, we may be moving in less than four weeks to another state but still on the West Coast.  We had already decided that if I don’t get pregnant this month that we’re taking the next cycle off to deal with moving, etc.  When we get to our new city, I will find a new RE and get a third opinion.  I’m hopeful and I trust that what Dr. Sher has told me is correct but I also feel like I need validation.  Call me crazy but I do.  I also want to make sure that there are no underlying autoimmune issues that we’re dealing with that might be preventing a pregnancy.  So, we’ll see.

The journey is far from over though.  I still need to get pregnant and I still need to stay pregnant for 40 weeks.

Thank you for ALL of your support.

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In other news, I’m currently 11 days post IUI and 13 days post trigger.  I have pretty much ZERO symptoms, which is similar to last month.  I don’t understand because in so many of my previous cycles I had every possible pregnancy symptom imaginable.  So, I wait.  If I’m not pregnant and my body is the same as the last cycle, I’ll get my period on Sunday.  I won’t have to stop taking the progesterone in order for my period to start.  It won’t wait.  So, fingers crossed.  Sunday is the day!!  I pray that it is MH’s and my turn.

Telephone Consult with Sher Institute


This afternoon is my telephone consult with Dr. Sher.  I had all of our medical records relating to our early loss and our previous tests, DOR diagnosis, etc. sent to his office a couple of weeks ago.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say and what his recommendations are for us to move forward, if this IUI doesn’t work (I’m hopeful still that this call will be unnecessary when I test on Sunday).

I have two pages full of questions to ask him including what IVF protocol he would recommend for me, what his thoughts are on DHEA, if we should do an IUI with injects cycle first, etc.  Is there anything that you think I should definitely ask him?  So many of you have gone through this before me and might have some insight.  Thanks in advance!

I’m nervous that I won’t have time to ask all of my questions and that I might forget something important.  I’m not sure that MH will be able to participate because the scheduled time is still during work hours – and they require a three-hour window.  So, wish me luck and let’s hope that this conversation leads me to a new plan of action to getting me pregnant with my take-home baby!!

Trying Hard Not to Read Into Things…


I did a quick search of FertilityFriend’s charts.  The search terms were: post-O temperatures similar to mine with IUI and on Progesterone.  Of the results: 37% ovulatory and 62% pregnancy.  It makes my heart skip a beat with excitement.  I’ve done searches similar to this before and never before has a percentage this high of pregnancy charts appeared.

I’m trying hard not to read into it.  I know that even though 62% of these charts resulted in a positive pregnancy test that 37% of them ended up with a negative pregnancy test.

But still…I’ll let my heart skip a beat some more.  I’ll allow my hopes can go up.  I will let myself to imagine how I’ll feel next weekend after I test.

I really do hope and pray that it is a positive.  It would make what I know will be a tough week (my estimated due date is next Tuesday from our loss in December) so much easier.  I’m going to allow myself to hope because hope allows me to be positive and with positivity comes good things.

I could use a good thing or two to happen to me right now!  I’m going to let myself dream…

Just be there to catch me if it doesn’t work out…

Boy am I Angry


I have been EXTREMELY moody and bitchy and angry the past few days.  It of course all gets dumped on MH.  The poor guy.  Sometimes he just has to say one word and I’m all over him.  It is really strange and I feel terrible.  I’m saying these terrible things and I can’t stop myself.  Granted – he has done or said something to tick me off but I think if I wasn’t so hormonal I would keep my mouth shut and let it slide in one of those “pick your battles” types of moments.  But these days I’m taking on ALL battles – there’s no picking or choosing going on in my part of the world.

Seriously.

Luckily, MH is a sweet guy and once he’s over defending himself and getting irritated right back at me and once I realize that I’m a raging ball of hormones, we’re back to normal.  Sometimes in the blink of an eye.  It’s so odd.  Unfortunately, it has been happening at least once a day.  We’re not combative, argumentative people so for this to start happening lately is a little disconcerting.  But, at least I can know the “cause” – my raging f’ing hormones.

Like some other things that have happened in this IUI cycle, I sure hope that this “pain” is worth it.  I pray and hope that we are rewarded with a positive pregnancy test next Sunday.

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On a side note: Welcome to the August ICLWers!  Thanks for stopping by…

IUI #2 – Update post-procedure debrief – holy cow what a bad experience


OMG!  I had the WORST IUI experience.  I anticipated the exact same experience as my first IUI, which was painless and super quick.  Nope!

The RE who did the procedure wasn’t my normal doctor and she said it was one of the most challenging IUIs that she has ever done.   I cried and it has put my decision in stone about my desire to skip to IVF if this cycle doesn’t work.  But, I’ve decided that after this incredibly painful experience that I deserve to get a BFP in two weeks 🙂

So, here’s how the entire weekend went down.

I was so calm and relaxed up until yesterday morning when I woke up.  The night before, I triggered.  I did it on my own because MH was away.  So simple compared to the first/previous time.  Whew!

However, I woke up yesterday/Saturday morning and my temp had jumped so much that it was indicative of ovulation and I FREAKED out!  I won’t go into detail but I was so worried that I ovulated and that we had missed our chance, etc.  I was ready to cancel the IUI and just do timed intercourse but I called the doctor’s office and they said not to worry because it’s possible that the medications can mess with temperatures, that since I hadn’t gotten a positive OPK that the Ovidrel controlled the ovulation timing, etc.  So, I decided to have faith and trust that the doctors and nurses at my RE’s office are the experts.

This morning, we dropped off MH’s sperm sample.  And, two hours later we were back for the procedure.  I was on the table and everything was seemingly normal until she said that she was having trouble getting the catheter into my uterus.  She asked me to scoot further down on the table and that she was going to use a different type of catheter that might work better.  OMG!  She put it in and it hurt!!!!  Then, she did her thing for a bit and it clearly wasn’t working so she said she needed to call in a nurse for assistance.  She then took a pair of what looked like medical scissors/pliers to me and said that she needed to shift my uterus.  I thought the pain that I felt with the other type of catheter hurt but that was nothing compared to what it felt like when she shifted my uterus.  Holy crap – that hurt!  I was squeezing MH’s hand so hard.  She FINALLY got the catheter in and was able to do the insemination.

Seriously, I have a high tolerance for pain (or at least I thought)…I previously have said that I wanted to have a natural delivery without any medication but after this pain, I’m not so sure!!!!  I’m getting ahead of myself though.  Clearly!

Anyway, back to today: she said that I would most definitely need to have a mock transfer when/if we have to do IVF and that we would need to schedule extra time for the actual transfer because of this experience.

So, all in all, I’m done with IUI.  There’s no way that I’m going to go through that type of pain again without a better chance of it actually working.  Yowsers.  Painful.  It makes me wonder if my last IUI actually wasn’t done properly or if this one wasn’t done properly.  I have no idea but I’m done with IUI.

So, this afternoon, I’ve been quite uncomfortable.  My belly and uterus (or what I think is my uterus) are really sore.  The doctor told me to take it easy today because of the “trauma” that my body went through this morning.  So, MH took me for a picnic outside and now I’m resting on the couch in front of the TV.  Now, onto the TWW!

Has anyone else experienced something like this before?  Am I an abnormal case?

IUI#2 – Update


Great news!  I had my follow-up ultrasound this morning.  I’ve been given the go ahead to trigger tonight.  My uterine lining was about 7.6mm, which will continue to thicken.  And, I had two nice-sized follicles both on the right side: 25 and 27.  The IUI is scheduled for Sunday at 11:15am.

I’m so happy!  This past week, I’ve been doing a lot of relaxation and visualization to get my body ready.  I purchased and downloaded for my iPhone Circle + Bloom’s IVF/IUI mind/body program.  I really like it.  I don’t know if it is helping too well though with visualization because I keep falling asleep.  I do feel much more relaxed though this time around.  Whether I can attribute it to the program or just because I know what to expect this time, who knows.  I’m just a lot happier.

The timing has worked out well too.  MH was flown to another city for an interview and so he isn’t home.  I was worried that everything would happen before he could get back.  I was ready to freeze his sperm but I took the risk and it paid off!  He’ll be home tomorrow night  – just in time for everything on Sunday morning.  This cycle though is the first one where he is not here for some really good timed intercourse…it’s OK.  I’m trying to be relaxed about everything in spite of us not being able to take good advantage of O timing.

I’m pretty sure that I’m ready to skip to IVF if this cycle doesn’t work.  I will know more after we talk to Dr. Sher to make a more informed decision.  I know that MH will be on board with my decision because he says he’ll support me in whatever direction I want to take.  Plus, we are both SO ready to have a baby!  If we do make that choice, it’ll be time to start saving like mad!

I’m excited to get this part of the process started.  I’m hoping that this TWW will be less painful than the last one.

Oh, wish me luck.  Tonight I have to give myself the Ovidrel shot on my own without MH by my side.  Eeeek!