March 30, 2012

Winning the Lottery

So unless you live under a rock (or out of the United States, I guess), you've probably heard about the mega-million multi-state lottery. And the fact that the jackpot has swelled to over a half a billion dollars. I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life, but even I contributed $5 to the office lottery pool today. We bought 50 tickets between 10 people, which increases our odds of winning from infinitesimal to incredibly improbable, heh.

But all this talk of lotteries and odds got me thinking. The odds that I will win the lottery is as good as the odds of me getting struck by lightning. But I'm really not that interested in winning the mega-millions lottery. I'd much rather win the "my-sister-gives-birth-to-a-live-baby" lottery. Or the "my-husband-has-to-get-a-decent-paying-job-eventually-right??" lottery. Or how about the "I-get-lucky-and-beat-PCOS-by-getting-pregnant-this-month" lottery. Now *there's* a lottery I'm dying to win! I wish I knew the odds on those events happening. And I wish I could increase my odds as easily as pooling some money with my co-workers...

March 29, 2012

Unicorns and Double Rainbows...

...are just about as rare as me getting crosshairs on Fertility Friend. Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket today.

For only the third time in 15 months, I got crosshairs on my chart. Well whaddaya know? That makes me feel a little better about all of this although I still won't believe it until I get my blood results. FF pegged the O date as Sunday, but I'm fairly positive it would have been Saturday. I have a 16 day luteal phase and I'll be testing on technically 13DPO. I would wait and test Saturday or Sunday, buuuut.....well I don't have a good reason other than I am a terribly impatient person!

Money issues have been front and center this week. A confluence of events created a pitiful bank account balance until next payday. Doesn't help that I get the feeling our cellphone company is bleeding us dry with "taxes and fees". Utter bullshit. If we didn't have to worry about treatments, things would be more secure. After all, we've squirreled away a significant sum in our savings account. But its earmarked. All of our savings accounts are earmarked for something. And M has probably applied for upwards of 50 jobs, but no dice. We're coming up on 6 months now, it can't be much longer, right? I'm praying for too many miracles these days...

March 27, 2012

Feel the Burn!

If only my instructor was like Hans und Franz...
Did I mention in my last post that I'm taking a weight training class? Let me explain:

I work for a university and as such I can take classes for free - including from the Health and Physical Recreation department (in other words, gym classes!). So a co-worker and I signed up for weight training for women which is two days a week for the next 10 weeks. Today was our first day and Janie, our instructor, is going to *Pump* us up!

This is going to be so good for me because I really need the external motivation to do my best. If I try really hard I can get myself to the gym every now and then, or take a zumba class in town, but the fact that there is mandatory attendance (and I paid a $10 supplies fee) means that I will not flake out on my workout. And I *love* that this is a class only for women! No big sweaty men strutting from machine to machine, bench pressing my entire body weight and generally making me feel stupid and weak. I think there's one or two female athletes in my class, but for the most part, everyone there seemed as clueless as me - yay!!

I was a little nervous about starting this class during my 2ww, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and act like I don't even know. Anyway, I'm such a weakling, I didn't lift anything heavier than 20 lb. (except in the leg exercises, my legs are hella strong!). And I need this! I make way too many excuses for why I can't work out: zumba leaves me manic for the rest of the night and I can't sleep, sweating ruins my precious curly hair (and I'm on the Curly Girl method - have I blogged about that yet? If not, I totally will), I think I may have ovulated and I don't want to accidentally kill a little embryo. Bull shit, bull shit, bull shit.

Clearly this whole getting pregnant thing is not happening, so why do I bend my life around the assumption it will? That only leads to heartache, as many of you know, I'm sure. This class will be good for me, good for my whole body. And it can only improve my chances of getting pregnant. And the pain in my muscles is an *excellent* distraction from any symptoms I'm having, real or imaginary. Thank heaven for tuition remission!

March 26, 2012


When I told Fertility Friend that I had taken an HCG shot, it advised that I manually override ovulation and put in my own date. I haven't done it yet. I can't - not until I get my progesterone results proving I did in fact ovulate. Yes, I'm that neurotically concerned that I didn't. I don't have any real reason to assume I didn't (other than being burned in the past), but even the symptoms that I am feeling now can't be trusted because they could just be the trigger shot. My EWCM went away, my boobs are sore, and the nausea has continued off and on (though not nearly as bad as Thursday). All of these things could be from the trigger, so I really don't know anything for sure. I just don't want to assume ovulation, get back negative results, and then that little line on my chart will sit there mocking me. I go for blood work on Friday, but of course I won't know the results until Monday - a whole week of waiting yet.

I've got several options for distractions: The two hour Mad Men premiere was fabulous and there will be plenty of blogs dissecting every word and glance. Plus a new episode next Sunday that can hopefully get me through to Friday (as long as I actually have reason to POAS). There's plenty of work to do at work (if I can tear myself away from all your blogs!) and church on Wednesday. Plus I'll have my nephew for lunch on Friday while my sister is at another u/s. Thank goodness next week is Holy week. Tons of church stuff to occupy my time *and* M's birthday. ::sigh:: All this still leaves far too many hours to think too much. I should really start another crochet project...maybe that would help.

My mom asked when I will test and when I told her Firday the 6th she said, "Oh that will make for a wonderful Easter!" She actually said that with glee, not sarcasm. Like she's expecting it will be positive. I could only shake my head. I don't have it in me to think like that, I just don't. I already looked at the calendar and counted out the days for the next cycle - when I'll take meds, when I might trigger, etc. I know it sounds terribly pessimistic, but these things keep me grounded. If I get good news from my first blood check, then I'll let myself have a tiny bit of hope and excitement. All I've wanted for the past year and 3 months was to ovulate predictably. And so far I have failed miserably at it. I guess we'll see...

March 23, 2012

Not So Fertility Free Friday

I know a lot of people do the themed Friday posts (as well as Thankful Thursday). And I actually have non-fertility stuff to talk about for once! But I also still have plenty of IF stuff, so its not a true Fertility-Free Friday here.

First, my IUI went great!! M's washed sample was almost double the average for our clinic :-D If this cycle doesn't get us pregnant (or God forbid, I don't ovulate), then I will feel comfortable doing Timed Intercourse for any subsequent cycles. That is a big relief to our wallets. I hope those millions of little swimmers appreciate that I just spent over $300 to give them the best possible chance! I did start temping again as of yesterday, so I hope I can see a clear temp rise in a few days. They are also having me go in for a progesterone check next Friday to confirm ovulation and then I have orders for a blood pregnancy test for April 6th if I want to use it. I had initially told the nurse it wasn't necessary (because I have to assume this isn't going to work, so why waste the blood?), but she reminded me it will be a Friday and if I get a positive home test, but don't already have the order for a blood test, I may have to wait all weekend. Thank goodness she talked me into it. Just in case...

My IUI appointment lined up pretty close with J's u/s appointment, so she and her husband were in the waiting room when we walked out. M and I waited for their appointment to be over so we could all leave together. I quickly became a nervous wreck after J was called back. Her husband is good about texting my mom and I with the u/s info and it took *so long* to hear from him I became convinced it was bad news. Instead, we got video of the little nubbin wiggling around!! So J came out finally and we hugged and cried and breathed another sigh of relief. I'm so glad we are seeing the same doctor. And I hate that we both have to go through IF, but at least we have each other.

I refuse to look up prospective due dates. I refuse to google what our odds of conception might be, given M's sample. And I know better than to symptom spot. I am going to try my damnedest to pretend that nothing is different at all. Its 2 weeks, 14 short little days - I can wait.

And while I wait, I can obsess over something else entirely because...

                                                               MAD MEN IS BACK ON SUNDAY!!!!!!

Oh how I have missed this show! It has helped that Downton Abbey came about and was an excellent distraction, but I need my Don Draper fix!! And Peggy! And Joan - Oh how I've missed Joan! So for 2 hours Sunday night, I know for certain I won't be thinking about my ovaries or uterus. My mind will be solely consumed with the gossip and intrigue at Sterling Cooper Draper Price ;-)

March 22, 2012

Major Duh

So I woke up this morning feeling like my blood sugar had plummeted through the floor. Nibbled a Larabar as I got ready for the day, but continued to feel queesy and light-headed. At work it got worse. I knew I needed to eat in order to feel better, but the thought of eating...ugh. It went away long enough for me to get some food down, but returned within a few hours.

Do you know it took me a while to realize that nausea would clearly be a side effect of an HCG shot? Serious DUH on my part. I did not plan for this at all, so now I'm at work with nothing appetizing available, sipping on ginger ale and trying not to throw up. So not cool.

But its worth it. I have the best chance I've had in a *long* time of getting pregnant. Its worth it.

March 21, 2012

Thoughts on Trigger Day

Its CD16, trigger day.

 I've had EWCM for 3 or 4 days now, but my cervix seems stubbornly low and closed. I suppose the HCG shot should fix all that.

I'm excited. And I'm nervous. I've been here before. Not with this drug, but with others. Thinking that I have "arrived", that *this*, this was the missing piece - this pill, that shot, is the silver bullet, the chink in IF's armor that we can exploit and finally we'll get some results!

What if it doesn't work?

Is that possible? Are there people who don't respond to a trigger shot?

After the metformin didn't regulate my cycles, I was disappointed, but not very surprised. When clomid failed me month after month, though, I was fairly devastated. If this trigger shot doesn't work, I have to go under the knife (laser, whatever). I'm not worked up over this, I'm still in a very zen place right now. And even though surgery would suck, I just see it as one more weapon I can use to fight the PCOS - I am a warrior woman who is not afraid of a few scars. But I do wonder if it will come to that or not. Should I take it for granted that this shot is a sure thing, or should I put my guard up?

I don't think I'll ever stop waiting for the bottom to drop out on me. I know my sister hasn't. Nine - almost 10! - weeks pregnant now and she still cries at every ultrasound appointment. She's so afraid of the silence that might be at the end of the wand. And I don't blame her. How could you not be so permanently changed by something like that? I haven't even experienced anything nearly as bad and I still notice that I am waiting for the other shoe to drop - always. You can't take anything for granted after you've been in the Land of IF for a while...

March 20, 2012

Unusually Calm

Going to California for a conference was a nice diversion from this cycle. While I was there I took all my clomid and got blood work done, but there was so much else going on I didn't have time to obsess over things as I have in the past. I was worried that coming back home would be a rude awakening and I'd fall to pieces. Afterall, Monday was my ultrasound where they checked to see if I had any decent sized follicles. If I didn't, I was one step closer to needing surgery (the ovarian drilling ::cringe::) in order to get pregnant.

I was planning for the worst without even hoping for the best. Imagine my surprise (sarcasm), when I found out I was wrong (much like George Castanza, perhaps I should live my life doing the opposite of what I would usually do since all my instincts appear to be wrong). Two decent sized follies! And on only 100mg of clomid. A 17 in one ovary and a 14 in the other. That's really good for a CD14 scan for me - I'm a late ovulator. Dr. B was pleased and told me I could use the HCG trigger shot Wednesday night for a Friday morning IUI. Holy cow! So...this is happening! I was honestly prepared to accept this cycle as a wash and prepare myself for surgery and a 2 month forced break while I recover. Instead, as of Friday I'll be in my 2 Week Wait! Crazy crazy...

And I feel really calm about all this, amazingly enough. I considered getting out my BBT thermometer to start tracking my temps again so I can see the exact day  ovulate. But I haven't been sleeping well since I got back from my trip and I know that could throw things off. Even if this trigger shot does the trick and I ovulate one or two juicy eggs, there's still the issue of M's swimmers. He has only vaguely and sporadically been taking his vitamins that are supposed to help with morphology (heaven forbid I say anything about it though because he's "trying"!). At least I know he hasn't been in any hot tubs... So I will be very interested to see what his "sample" looks like after they've washed it and cleared out all the...debris, let's say. I want to know if IUI is a good idea for any subsequent cycles or if Dr. B thinks we'll have a good chance with Timed Intercourse.

Maybe the reason I'm so collected this cycle is because with every Dr. visit I get more information, a clearer picture of what we are up against and whether treatment is working. Instead of sitting around going crazy wondering if the clomid is working, will I ovulate, is this EWCM for real? I *know* for certain what is going on and that provides a lot of peace of mind. I feel more confident that someday I *will* get my take-home baby.

Now, remind me about all this next week when I am FREAKING OUT over the tiniest non-symptom, haha!

March 12, 2012

So Much Time, and so Little to Do!

Stop that. Reverse it. Much better.

Going out of town for a my conference tomorrow and of course my office has been insane all day. I've finally gotten a few minutes to catch my breath and collect my thoughts.

My HSG was today and thank GOD it went fine, there was no pain and my tubes are clear! So, now that we know that my uterus is fine and does its job, and my fallopian tubes are fine and do *their* jobs...::pointedly stares at ovaries:: I guess we have only one culprit left.

Both the Guru and Dr. B have been reviewing the labs as they come back and they are in agreement that I am a good candidate for ovarian drilling. That kind of scared me when he said it because what little I know of it...well it sounds scary. But he explained a lot to me (I *love* this practice, the doctors are amazingly smart and so good about explaining things!) and now I am more willing to at least consider it. I want to see what happens this cycle, see how I respond to the clomid, etc. They will try a stair-step approach if I'm not responding and give me Femara most likely. If I respond poorly to that too, then we know ovarian drilling is probably the smart thing to do.

Jesus Christ, *surgery*, just for the hope of getting pregnant...I feel like I'm crossing a line of no return. I will never be able to "fit in" with a regular mommy group because of the battle scars I will have from getting my take home baby. You just can't go back to happy la-la land after going through this shit. We know too much. I don't like playing the Pain Olympics with other IFers, but for some reason I have no problem playing it with "normals". Honey, you don't know the meaning of pain - I don't care if you did do a home birth with no meds.

So anyway, *so much* going on right now! And every time I go to Dr. B's office I get a slew of new information thrown at me. I won't be updating while I'm gone, and even worse, I'm sure I won't be keeping up with blogs I follow. Nobody get pregnant while I'm gone, okay?? I don't want to miss out on the congratulations! I'll be back Sunday, so feel free to POAS then ;-)

March 09, 2012

Standing on the Brink

I just filled my clomid prescription... Am I really ready for this ride again?

I'm standing on a precipice and I have no idea where the bottom is. Am I ready for this? I'm so excited to get back to actively trying to build our family, but also filled with trepidation. I'm not as naive as I was a year ago (and I honestly don't think I was that naive back then), I know there could still be a long road ahead.

I told an IRL friend that I was really looking forward to this cycle and she warned me not to get my hopes too high. Ha! Rookie mistake, right? I told her that I've long since given up on active hope - that just doesn't exist anymore. But there's this...passive hope, that will never really go away. I can push it down and shove it in some small dark corner of my mind, but its never going to be 100% gone. Its that passive hope that brings the tears even when I get a BFN that I was expecting.

Am I ready for my daily life to be consumed with all things fertility again? I have 3 appointments in a week...that's crazy to me! We are rising to a new level of intensity. I know this is a necessary step because all these extra appointments will give us a wealth of information about my cycles and how I react to the medicine, but wow! And to think, I'm not even in the deep end yet. I think if we go with an IUI this cycle we'll be hovering about the point in the pool where my head goes underwater (but I'm only 5'3", so that's not very deep).

I wish "normals" could understand how much bravery is required to go through fertility treatments month after month. We put our hearts out there time and again, fully acknowledging we could be crushed, but knowing that its so worth it if we come out the other side one day with our take home baby. And for those who never reach that goal, it only intensifies how much strength and bravery they possess.

I stand at the top of the rabbit hole, peering down into oblivion. But at least this time I feel like I have a parachute of sorts. So what am I afraid of? Just take a deep breath and jump. Pop that first pill, and away we go...

Bottoms up, Alice.

March 06, 2012


(I've been waiting all day to write this post)

I don't think normal people could ever understand how exciting it is to get AF on your own when you've got PCOS (or any other anovulatory issues for that matter). I cycled! On my own! Without heavy drugs and terrible side effects!! Its incredible...its....possimpable!

So, I did get a kind of a miracle, just not the miracle I was hoping for. But I'll take what I can get - no complaints here! I waited a few hours, to make sure this really was CD1 and then I called Dr. B's office. Had to leave a message with the nurses' line (remember how fun that was last time?), but I was very careful to give them all the information they needed and spelled out my request to the letter. They called me back about 2 hours later and gave me an appointment on Thursday morning! I know I said I was waiting until after I get back from my trip next week to jump back in the trenches, but getting AF naturally was too great an opportunity for me to pass up. I have bloodwork and an HSG to schedule anyway and I'm not sure if those are happening in *conjunction* with treatment or before. If its before, then I'm happy to get started earlier than expected. And if my trip causes a conflict with appointments for a medicated cycle, then I know I can at least get the bloodwork and HSG out of the way.

Today, is a *very* good day :-)

March 05, 2012

10 O'Clock and Already a Difficult Day

I kept waking up every hour last night. I think I was anxious about testing. I feel well rested despite that, so oh well. Obviously the test was negative or this would be a very different post already. I knew it would be negative, I don't know why I even allow that tiny microgram of hope to persist month after month. Now I just have to hope AF rears her ugly head (just in time for my birthday) - otherwise I'll have a whole new reason to be sad.

I shrugged off the BFN this morning and got on with my shower and such. I was even in a good mood when I got to work. Maybe it was this false sense of security that made me think it would be okay to *finally* respond to a Facebook message I received last week. A good friend of mine who now lives in Colorado (with her gorgeous husband and adorable 6 month old boy that she got pregnant with when her husband *looked* at her, swear to God!) wrote to me asking how J and I are, saying she prays for us and thinks of us all the time. And then she asked what PCOS is and why it makes TTC so difficult. When I first got the message I was so shocked by this random act of caring that I didn't know how to respond. I've gotten so used to pulling out my soapbox and angrily (or at least with a pissy manor) railing on and on about the cruel injustices of infertility...that didn't seem an appropriate response to a kind question. So I sat on it for several days. Why did I think that I could handle answering it today?

I had to lie by omission about J because she's not telling *anyone* she's pregnant yet. And then I just gave her the super condensed version of how I got here: that my hormones are jacked up, so I never ovulate. That in a whole year of "ttc" I never really had a shot at getting pregnant. That I blew through all the clomid doses with, basically, zero response. That now we know we are also dealing with okay/sub-fertile sperm morphology so we may be looking at IUI eventually. And before I knew it, I was crying - though it was more like my eyes were leaking against my will and without permission. I know she'll probably try for another baby once this one is weaned, so I asked her to please forgive me if I don't immediately sound as happy as I should when she is pregnant again. That made my leaky eyes worse, the fact that I am planning for this woman to lap me.

I've got myself back under control, my tear ducts heavily reprimanded for losing their shit at the office. I think I didn't realize how hard it would hit me to go back over all the crap that's happened up until now. I mean, I deal with it on a daily basis, you'd think I could write about it with a certain amount of detatchement. Apparently not. Maybe the BFN hit me harder than I thought. Maybe it hurts extra to talk about my IF with a super-fertile. Who knows. But all this makes me so happy that I have this safe space to come to and unload, so I can get back to my day feeling less burdened. In 2 weeks I can go back to Dr. B and finally, officially, *really* start TTC for the first time. That's enough to put a smile on my face for now.

March 01, 2012

Definitely a Pattern

Yep, right on schedule the spotting is getting worse. I won't go into details. I had thought that I would take a pregnancy test next Friday just to make sure I'm in the clear for the celebratory drinking on Saturday for my birthday. Now I'm thinking I'll bump it up to Monday because if anything *is* growing in there (highly unlikely as that may be), its certainly not doing well if I'm spotting this bad. Monday is, at the earliest, 10DPO and at the latest...14DPO? Since I have no way of knowing when the supposed ovulation occurred, I'm going off the worst case scenario. I've got plenty of progesterone pills I could start popping if I need to. I might even take them anyway because this spotting *kills* my sex life and what is a birthday without some sexy time??

J had another ultrasound and got to hear a heartbeat. I know she'll feel a little more secure once she gets past 8 weeks (something about most early miscarriages happening between weeks 6 and 8?). And then we just wait 3 long months for the BIG milestone: the age of viability. If she makes it that far (pleas please please God, let her make it that far!), I've decided I'll buy her a nice gift, not a baby gift, just something for her.

Pretty soon I'll be going back to Dr. B, all set to start trying again. I'm really glad I took this break. The clomid symptoms I get are *so* strong, its been nice to just be my regular broken self without additional complaints. I've learned of 3 wonderful women getting pregnant during that time, each one feels like a miracle. I hope there's a bit of miracle left over for me...