Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slow and Steady

Well, the results are in.  It is so funny how one day with infertility there is a positive spin on things and the next day it could very well be negative.  Monday I wasn't feeling so great, as it looked as though my little follicles decided to be stubborn in the face of Clomid again.  Not much growth and no dominant follicles coming forward--just some chocolate chip cookie looking ovaries.  I was discouraged, cried again, but picked myself back up and returned today.  It seems I have four follicles coming forward, largest is at 12 right now (CD11).  My E2 level will be in tomorrow and hopefully be up from the 491 it was on Monday.

Auntie Dumplings, my fertility nurse, has been clear all along that this isn't ideal, as we'd like to "quiet the ovaries for a few months".  From what I can understand, it seems this would help with the PCOS and ensure there weren't too many follicles coming forward at once.  Still, we just couldn't let this perfect window of time go to waste.

And then came the confusing part.  While I love Auntie Dumplings, I believe that we both have the same  characteristic of talking in circles around what we are really trying to say.  Unfortunately, this leaves me with so many questions after I leave.  I never realize it in the moment, because we discussed the issue at hand.  But then, when I'm driving away in my car, I always seem to think, " what did she really mean by that?"  During the appointment, she said that if it looked like four eggs were going to be released, they wouldn't recommend the trigger shot.  But immediately following that, she asked if we had discussed selective reduction.  I'm sure I looked at her completely blank...I have no idea.  What is that?  I definitely haven't gotten that far.  She said if too many eggs were fertilized, they would refer me to an RE for them to take some out for a healthy pregnancy.  Wow!  Another huge decision to make!  And, more importantly at this stage, is she saying that they wouldn't recommend a trigger shot, but I could still take it and plan on selective reduction if any eggs were fertilized?  Or would I not take it, but still be at risk for four eggs becoming fertilized?  So confused!

At any rate, I am not going to stress about this today.  It is a gorgeous day outside and after scouring the flower markets for sales, I am on my way out for a day of fun in the sun.  Planting, painting, and knowing (at least for now) that my follicles are progressing.  All is well!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Floundering Feelings

image via google images
My feelings these days are floundering.  I am happy with our decision to move on and keep TTC this summer, but overall, my feelings regarding our future little bean(s) are so different than they used to be.

When we first began TTC, I was a starry-eyed optimist.  I thought of our babies all the time, named them, imagined them sitting up in the clouds, ready to tumble on down into my belly at any moment.  I meditated on them, on the idea of clearing my body and making room for the baby.  I talked to them, read them imaginary letters that were really more like prayers asking to get pregnant.  I simplified my life and began eating and behaving like a woman who was already pregnant, taking wild precautions with just about everything.  Hubs and I would sit together, jokingly talking for hours about what our babies would be like.  If there was a little disagreement about laundry or dishes I would tease him saying, "shhh, if they hear all this silliness the baby is not going to want to tumble down!"  I am not crazy, I swear, though much of this probably paints me as a psychotic lunatic.  It was fun, it was light-hearted, it was carefree.   We were about to get pregnant and have a baby!  Right?

Wrong.  I am still not pregnant and while I know this has not been a long journey compared to so many others, it has still taken a toll on my body and my hope.  In the last month or so, I'm not so sure where the hope and optimism have wandered off to, but I'm sure I don't see them in sight.  There are glimpses at times, but I can never really catch them and pin them down.  I could be concerned about this, but I firmly believe that they will return when needed--probably in the 2WW right around 10dpo, if history tells us anything.

But moreover, my entire psyche has now shifted.  While it is obviously about baby while TTC, it isn't the focus anymore.  It isn't about baby--not about thinking of names or imagining what we'll be like as a family.  It isn't about dreaming of a nursery or those cherished moments.  And it isn't about creating a zen-like environment.  Now, it's about getting through.  I have hit  a stage of self-preservation, I believe. I assume it is for the best, but I do lament those carefree days.  Today, I can't meditate on my babies or my body with a smile.  I can't even think of the names we had prematurely picked out as they now seem to represent so much pain.  Before, it seemed like every decision and every move was to ensure that my life and my body would be ready for a happy, healthy baby.  Now, it seems every decision and every move is simply a required motion in order to get to the other side.

Even my view of these procedures have taken a hit as I can't say that I honestly think that good news will come when I go in for my appointment Monday morning.  After having no effect with Clomid 50mg, my dosage has been upped to 100mg, but I don't feel as though there will be good news.  I am ready for the news that my follicles did not respond, that I am Clomid resistant and that, yet again, this cycle will be cancelled.  My starry eyes are gone and now I'm a realist.  Now, all this just seems like huge hoops to jump through, an obstacle course in the way of our goal.  And more than ever, I am feeling like it is simply a course we have to run before we inevitably adopt.  I say this with no issues and no sadness as I am from an adoptive family and have always wanted to adopt myself.  The sadness I feel, honestly, comes from the thought of this journey, the next few months of procedures being so taxing and tolling it completely takes the joy out of the road to motherhood.  When I think about adopting, I wish I could just start the adoption process eager, optimistic and starry eyed again, but in the current scenario, it seems as though we will go in emotionally drained and scarred.

Infertility has turned me into a realist and thrown me into the deep waters where self-preservation is a necessity.  When I started my meds and my pregnant bellied friend exclaimed with bright eyes and a squealing voice, "Oh, this is so great!  Now, in two weeks, you could be pregnant!" I wanted to bolt.  I wanted to say, "Sure, I could, but don't hold your breath."  I wanted to tell her how naive I thought that comment was and while I know it was said with best of intentions, I wanted to say that it hurt me.  Of course, I played nice, smiled with a shrug of my shoulders and said, "Who knows?"  Soon after, I excused myself to cry in the bathroom.

I'm sure that I'm being dramatic now and I know that I will find the hope and optimism when I really need them, but I, like everyone else just wish that I didn't have to wait for them....or for a baby any longer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Keep moving on!

Well, I have made my decision of what to do this cycle.  Honestly, it seemed to stop my life in a ridiculous, obnoxious way.  It was the only thing I could think of and had me literally biting my fingernails I was so distraught!

We have decided to just keep going for the next two months with our scheduled clomid, trigger shot, and IUI cycles.  Go on, that is, unless my body does not respond to all the drugs I am pumping into it!  Seriously, you'd think that my body could throw me a freakin' bone here!  I am realistic about the possibility of a canceled cycle and finding out that I may be clomid resistant, but for now I cannot focus on that and must simply forge ahead.  The advice that I received from all of you truly helped me to just sit, meditate on my thoughts, and listen to my heart.  I am happy with our decision.  It is good for our timing, good for finances, and most of all, good for our hearts.  I am so prepared to tackle this now!  Bring it on!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Whatta to do???

So many decisions in an infertile's life!

I just got back from the doctor and am pretty disappointed... hmmm... make that bawling uncontrollably while feeling like I have no idea what to do or where to turn.  My CD2 baseline ultrasound revealed my very PCOS ovaries remain after only 2 weeks of Metformin.  I know this is to be expected as it takes time for Metformin to work its magic, but it is still a blow.  The main blow is the advice I got after this was found:  To take three months off TTC in order to quiet my ovaries with Metformin & birth control pills.

This is such a blow to me as I was so mentally prepared to go all out this month - Clomid, injections, IUI.  And now, I have to wait again?  My fertility nurse is very supportive and stressed the entire time that she is giving me options and that I am in the driver's seat.  She was wording things so carefully as to not influence me, but basically, it seems that I would have a better shot at successful IUI after my ovaries were quieted for a few months.

Still, then I begin thinking of the fact that this is prime time for TTC as a teacher as it results in perfect due dates and a better window in which to manage the stress and appointments.  In the same way, I now find out that it is prime time per our insurance as I have met my deductible and they will cover everything 100%.  Well, everything may be an overstatement as I am always unsure of what exactly they cover as their policy is to cover diagnostics, but not treatment.  I assumed that once I was diagnosed as PCOS, the coverage would stop, but they covered all three ultrasounds last month, all blood tests, and all meds except for Clomid.  I know that we will have to fork over some money and am completely realistic about this, but if I wait until after my deductible resets, we will pay for everything!!!

My main question is has anyone with PCOS taken time off to quiet their ovaries?  or have you not and gone ahead with treatments?  With a well-monitored cycle that watches out for hyperstim, are there risks of going ahead with treatment?  I can choose to do anything I'd like at this point, but here are the main options.  Please weigh in if you can!  I am in desperate need of advice!

Option 1:  Take time off TTC by quieting the ovaries for 3 months with Metformin and Birth Control pills                                                    

  • PROS - medically speaking, the chance of conception will be higher                                                                     
  • CONS - this is the best TTC time for me when dealing with infertility as I'm a teacher and off for the summer, makes appointments and stress more manageable     
  • adds 3 months to our already long wait
  • this is the best time to TTC being a teacher as due dat would be April, May, or June           
  • I have met my deductible and it would seem (surprisingly) that my insurance covered 100% of last month's ultrasounds and appointment.  Thus, taking time off might not make sense financially as I can get it covered, but only for the next 3 months until the new year kicks in September 1st                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Option 2:  Take one month off by quieting ovaries for 1 month with Metformin & birth control pills                                                                 

  • PROS - might help medically     
  • will be able to do one cycle with full insurance coverage before new plan year begins  Sept 1st                                        
  • CONS - adds one month to time table
  • best time to TTC with due date 
  •  will only be able to do one cycle with full insurance coverage before new plan year begins (chances of IUI working first cycle, not great)                                                                                                                                                                      

Option 3:  Just continue on this month with Clomid, injections, IUI                                                                                                                  

  • PROS - best timing for TTC  - emotionally, financially, due dates, etc.   
  • will get in two IUI cycles with insurance coverage before new plan year begins
  • mentally prepared to jump into this now 
  • CONS - chances aren't as great medically without quieted ovaries, ovaries more likely to respond well after more Metformin & birth control                                                                                                                                           

As always, thanks for your support!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Really, they must make a movie out of us!

A silly title, I know, but I just can't help myself.  I was looking at my last posts and realized that I hadn't yet told my latest ovulation story.  Compared to all the other wild and crazy things that happen on this ride, I suppose it isn't much, but it still makes me roll my eyes and laugh every time I play it back in my head, so here it is.

I have been in contact with my fertility nurse since I noticed EWCM about two weeks ago.  Now, because my ovaries, or follicles, or hormones move at a snail's speed, this wonderful fertile fluid is there for about a week prior to ovulation.  When I first called two weeks ago, she advised me to make an appointment the following Tuesday (which would be 7 days after I had first noticed EWCM) for a progesterone test.

The Tuesday of the appointment rolled around and I was in a funk.  I drove to work crabby--I was somewhere in between angry and sad, as one could tell by my fierce music but flowing tears.  Oh, what infertility does to a girl!  I was angry because after first seeing the EWCM, I had begun using OPKs and had not received a positive (and positively adorable) little smiley face yet.  My EWCM was still there and I was absolutely positive that I hadn't ovulated yet.  After charting this for year, I think I know a thing or two about ovulation.  Indeed, the charting has awoken me to so many signs my body gives to signal ovulation that I would have never otherwise noticed.  It is amazing! I was angry because I felt I had to go to this appointment, but I knew that the progesterone test would show that I hadn't ovulated, because... uh... I hadn't ovulated!  I was sad because it just felt like another hurdle to have to jump over and honestly, my stamina for this relay race is waning.

At lunch, when it came time to leave to get poked and prodded once again, I decided that I would take one more OPK test, just in case.  And here starts the comedy...

As a teacher, I run to the bathroom, only to find the staff bathroom is still out of order.  I quickly decide to use the student bathroom--you know, the one where the toilet is roughly one foot off the floor?  So there I am, squatting over this miniature toilet, peeing on a stick.  I didn't have time to wait for the result, so I carefully placed it right side up in my purse and scurried out to my car.  Once in the car, I put the stick on the passenger seat, just so I could see the result when it popped up.

I look down and screeeeech!  Slam on my breaks!  Of course, wouldn't you know that there is now a smiley face looking up at me, signaling that yes, I have finally begun to gear up to ovulate!  With the loud, screeching tires, everyone on the playground looks up and the adults start walking over to check if everything is alright.  
image from google images

I have no idea why my response was to slam on my breaks, but I am glad no one was behind me!  I pulled out onto the street and with a U-turn pulled right back into the parking lot and my parking space.  Once inside, I called the office to cancel my appointment and schedule another for a week later, now presumably 7 days after ovulation.

A little comical, I think.  I still don't know if I did or did not ovulate.  Can I ovulate on my own after not ovulating with Clomid?  I guess so?  Can you get a positive OPK but not ovulate?  I think so?  I have no idea what my little anomaly of a body is up to,  but I am hoping that tomorrow's progesterone appointment provides much less drama!

Any crazy fertility stories out there that make you feel as if you are in the middle of a comedy or drama?  Please share!  I've got a ton!


So sorry for my recent absence!  I really will get better at updating this soon, but I am running around constantly right now trying to pack everything into the last weeks of school for the kiddos.  Three more days of kids and the list of to-dos just keeps getting longer and longer!

I have been keeping up on your blogs, though.  And while I haven't had a lot of time to devote to commenting, I am always thinking of those going through this.

As for me . . .  I have a 7dpo progesterone test tomorrow.  Well, a possible 7dpo I should say, according to my random EWCM and OPK test that turned positive after my cycle was cancelled.  They are not convinced that I ovulated and I'm not convinced that I didn't.  We'll just see what happens tomorrow!

Report on the weather over here under my little infertility cloud?  Fairly sunny.  I'm feeling good.  More later : )