Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spotting (drama) Queen

I'm fairly outgoing and social, but I am not usually one who likes to be the center of attention. And I live my life in a very practical, simple manner. I am not the person people are talking about. Very little drama in my life or even my family's. Nope, that's not usually me.

However, I am really the spotting queen. And on this here blog I have become a bit of a drama queen about it! I can't believe how many times I thought it would be a nice, quiet week in my blog land only for it to be turned upside down into a chaotic spotting mess by my body. I almost feel like somebody could make up all these crazy spotting stories just to get attention in blog land.....but I assure you, I'm real and so is my problematic body. Of course, it would be kind of nice if it was all just pretend. :)

So thank you for your encouragement along the way, and I'm sorry you have to hear about my spotting post after post. And please be assured that, if my body acted like my personality does, I would not be such a spotting (drama) queen.

PS- Yes, I am still spotting. 13 days and counting. New RE appointment is in 12 days (September 10).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small spotting update

Thanks for your advice -- you motivated me to go ahead and call Dr. RE's office. The nurse didn't seem too concerned, but she did ask me a lot of questions about what's happening. She said since it was my first time taking any of those drugs/hormones, we have no history to go off of how my body would respond. Her guess would be it is how the progesterone effected my endometrium, or something like that.

I don't feel like I have any answers, but I feel reassured by a medical professional.

I can't wait for my new RE appointment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My hormones are crazy

I'm bleeding. Still.

I had a normal, 5 day menstrual cycle. Medium flow ending with light flow. On cycle day 6 I had a very minimal amount of spotting, which can be normal for me as my period comes to an end.

But then cycle day 7 rolled around, and the bleeding started up again. Not as bright red or heavy as a period, but reddish colored and fairly heavy. Ugh.

My brea.sts have remained very sore. My temperatures are way higher than my pre-ovulation temps normally are (they are in the post-ovulation range although I know I haven't ovulated). And today is cycle day 10 and I am still bleeding.

I'm guessing the clomid + HCG trigger + progesterone from last cycle have really thrown my hormones off and that my body is just freaking out. I wasn't expecting this, and as the days drag on I'm getting more and more nervous about it. I debated calling a doctor today, but who would I call? I'm done with the old Dr. RE and I don't meet with the new Dr. RE until September 10. I could try Dr. Ob/Gyn but she seems sort of out of the loop. She's probably the one I would call in a couple days if this continues.

This is very discouraging. When my body acts up it really weighs me down. Please pray that the bleeding would stop and my cycle would resume it's regularly scheduled program!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Plans

I think I am seeking to come to a place of acceptance that life has suddenly not gone "as planned." Prior to infertility, all of the big milestones I had hoped for did come to pass. I know this is rare, and I have lived a very blessed and simple life. Go to college: check. Get teaching credential: check. Meet the love of your life and get married: check. Buy a house: check. Have a baby....??

Of course, there were bumps and changes along the way. My parents could not afford to send me to the college I wanted to go to, so I went to a school that wasn't my "dream school." But God blessed me tremendously there and I am so glad it is where I ended up. I would have loved to have dated throughout college, but didn't meet my DH until my junior year and we started dating one month before I graduated. Again, this felt like a small shift, and I was blessed to make some wonderful friendships in my single years, and DH was worth the wait. Teaching...well, as I've said before that didn't end up being a profession I wanted to continue pursuing. And that was a difficult choice to make, but it did feel somewhat within my control.

But now as I face infertility, I feel like it is truly affecting the trajectory of my life. My path is being altered as I type, and all I can do is take one step forward at a time without knowing how many curves, bumps, or even road blocks lie ahead. I am wrestling with what this means for me as a person with goals and dreams. I am wrestling with this as a person who likes to plan everything -- from my weekend ahead to Christmas gifts year round to what our family would look like.

Most importantly, I am wrestling with what this means for me as a person of faith. Clearly, I am not in control. As much as I plan, strive, and yearn, I am not the giver of life. I have talked to and read about many people who face the difficulties, disappointments, and sufferings of life and say they cannot believe in a God who lets these things happen. However, as I wrestle with all of this I can see more and more that I am not in control and am thankful that someone is. And that "someone" is not a random person out there, but is my loving Father. What great comfort for me to know that there is a purpose to the events of my life, however they unfold. And he is glorified as I walk each blind step with him, in faith.

Truly, I am walking in faith today more than I think I ever have before. Walking in the midst of the unknown is a struggle, but it is growing me. And I don't mean walking in faith that God will give me a baby. I am walking in faith trusting in his plan for my life and the hope of a life spent with him.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to get un-stuck

I have continued to feel burdened by the new potential developments at work at how frustrated I am with where I am in my life. I have been in a blue spell that I haven't been able to shake, and I can tell when I get this way DH doesn't know quite what to do with me.

However, in the midst of it God has given me some sweet encouragements to trust his plan for my life. In all honesty I am not happy about where I am right now... but I can also say in the same breath that if this is where God wants me to be, then this is where I want to be. There is joy no where else for me. He will heal me, restore me, and return my wasted years. He has always been faithful to do all that he as promised.

There is a worship song that I have been listening to by a group called Enter the Worship Circle called All I Need that is based upon the following Psalm. It beautifully depicts heartache and suffering coupled with faith and praise.

2Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
3My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O LORD— how long?
Psalm 6:2-3

Tonight, I wait upon the Lord.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Work woes

A new situation arose at work yesterday that has made my mind race and my eyes shed some tears. It's not necessarily a problem; in fact, there are many things about it that would be wonderful!

However, the part that is making my stomach hurt is how incredibly stuck I feel in my life. I know God has me here at my job and childless for a reason. But I am struggling with the fact that I never imagined I would still be here.

When I left teaching and took my two jobs three years ago, I figured I would be working there for about two years until we had our first baby. Then I would be a stay at home mom, which is my heart's true desire. And honestly, I am happy and thankful I left teaching (trust me, I would be WAY more stressed out all the time if I were still there!). I am also happy and thankful I got these jobs three years ago. They have been exactly what I needed, I learned a whole new skill set, and have generally enjoyed what I do. I just don't want to do it anymore, but the one thing I want to do is completely out of my control.

This new development will potentially give me a "way out" of my job in 6-12 months. Obviously, I could leave sooner than that if I wanted to, but that would be the perfect amount of time to fully train somebody else. And also leave me some time to get pregnant...?

But will my womb be empty then? What will I do if I do leave that position then with no children-to-be? I am stuck in the unknown, and stuck in a place I don't want to be.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I heart progesterone

Progesterone, progesterone, how I love thee
Let me count the ways!
You made my LP spot free
And kept AF away for many days.
Now, thanks to thee,
I will only miss one cycle before starting treatments with a new RE!

******

In case my poem is difficult to decipher, I have to say that I loved being on the progesterone. Yes, it did make me a bit of a sticky, gooey mess, but it was so worth it. I didn't spot, felt great, and was so very relieved that SOMETHING helped my LP issues.

But the BEST news? The fact that compelled me to write a love poem to the progesterone?!? Well, when I scheduled my appointment with the new RE, the first available date looked like it would be about 7 days into my second cycle after the IUI. In other words, I looked at the calendar and thought I would have to miss TWO cycles before starting treatments again. However, thanks to my beloved progesterone, my LP lasted way longer than expected, and I now think the timing with the new RE will work out to only wait one cycle.

Thank you, progesterone!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Successful

Even though my first IUI cycle did not result in a pregnancy, I do feel like it was a success. I am very thankful for all that we learned about our fertility.

I think our main issue is that DH's sperm have very low motility. We were told that the washing they do prior to an IUI might help this, but it was a huge unknown that could have sent us straight to the "IVF only" camp if it did not prove to be true in our situation. However, I think we confirmed that the sperm washing did, in fact, make DH's sperm move fast! Based on what the NP described, it sounded like they could find and penetrate an egg, which is such wonderful news.

Our other struggle is my low progesterone and spotting issues. You, my dear readers, know all about this as you have to hear about me complain about it cycle after cycle (so sorry). I don't know if it was just the progesterone suppositories, or those combined with the clomid and HCG trigger, but whatever it was did completely eliminate my spotting. I had a nice, long, and spot-free luteal phase. It was glorious!

Knowing these two things, I think this cycle may have been our first "real" cycle trying to conceive. If DH's sperm were never moving and my progesterone was too low to actually support an embryo....then our chances prior to this cycle were almost non-existent. But now! Now we are correcting those two things. Trying to conceive: take two.

I'm praying that God is using all of this to bring us our miracle!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Negative

I tested last night and this morning, and both tests were negative.

When I first tested negative last night, I felt rather numb. My emotions were subdued, but there was a deep sadness that felt too far down to come out.

Then DH & I went to visit a friend who is in the hospital. As we were leaving, we stepped out of the elevator and saw two people waving at us. We got closer and realized it was a couple we knew from church. We don't know them very well and hadn't seen them in awhile. She was visibly pregnant, but I hadn't known she was pregnant.

I tried to say the nice things people say. Congrats, when is your baby due, you look great. They were touring the hospital in preparation for the delivery. It was a brief, two minute conversation as the four of us walked through the lobby and exited the building. When we got to the front we realized we had parked in opposite directions, said good-bye, and parted ways.

The moment our backs were to them, the tears formed and fell almost instantly. DH looked at me and knew they would be there before he even saw them. And as I cried, we laughed. What were the chances that we would see anyone we knew at the hospital? And what were the chances it would be somebody who was pregnant? And that we didn't know was pregnant? As DH put it, "It was the funniest sad thing you ever saw."

I cried all the way to the car, and it felt like a release. DH took me to get frozen yogurt as a consolation prize for not being pregnant.

*******

I am trusting the Lord and his timing, and am praying I will grow in that trust even when it hurts.

Yesterday I received the welcome packet for the new RE we will be seeing, and it felt like great timing. One cycle over, one door closed, but a new door to walk through. Our appointment is September 10.

Still no spotting or signs of my period, but I'm still taking the progesterone. I figured I'd test again tomorrow and then call the RE to find out when I should stop taking the progesterone if my period hasn't arrived.

Thanks for all your well wishes and sweet encouragements throughout this cycle. I am so thankful that you are walking this journey with me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Oh, the possibility!

Last night (Sunday) my hopes of a positive pregnancy test kicked into high gear. I think I had done a fairly decent job of not thinking about the fact that I was in the two week wait. I was living life, feeling good, not spotting, experiencing almost no "symptoms" or side effects, and hopeful from a distance.

And then last night, my boobs started hurting. And as much as I tell myself it's just the progesterone I'm taking...the boob pain made me blissfully hopeful that I could be pregnant. There was no going back. I am ecstatic every time I see the lack of any blood when I go to the bathroom. I keep pressing on my boobs when I am alone in a room, even at work, and think happy little thoughts every time they still hurt.

I am experiencing the joy of the possibility of being pregnant. I have imagined getting that positive test and let myself feel a small sliver of those happy feelings. I thought the two week wait would be stressful, but I don't want it to end! For the first time, I don't have any spotting or crashing temperatures to steal my hope these last few days. Nothing has put a damper on the possibility of being pregnant!

DH has even joined in the excitement. Everyday I update him about my lack of spotting, and I see the hope in his eyes, too. Last night he actually spent 10 minutes trying to convince me to pee on a stick! Seriously, my DH did that! I held strong, though. Why ruin my care-free, possibly pregnant state with a BFN that *could* have just been taken too early?

Even if I am not pregnant, I will still be happy that I had such a long, spot-free luteal phase, part of me wants to say. But that is a lie -- I won't be happy! Of course, I am thankful for the positive changes the medicine has done in my body...and it will make me more hopeful for the next cycle. But in the face of a negative pregnancy test, there will be no comparison of emotions and I don't think I will care.

And as I sit here in my joyful, possibly pregnant state I wonder how far I am setting myself up to fall. I feel like I couldn't help it. I tried to be careful.

Today: 11 days past ovulation. 12 days past IUI. 13 days past trigger. No spotting. Blissfully, happily, possibly pregnant. Scared of the fall.

Thinking of testing on Wednesday. No beta scheduled (I have no instructions from my RE).

Can I just stay here instead?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Giveaway, award, and thank you!

A few months ago I won a giveaway from Kat at My Struggles with Infertility, who had the fabulous idea of a pass along book within the infertility community. She sent me the book with a sweet, encouraging note written inside, and wanted me to read the book and then pass it on to another blogger to do the same. How neat will it be for each person to get this book filled with notes, know that others have walked this road with them, and have read the very same book they are holding in their hands? I'm honored to be part of the chain!

The book I received and am now offering as a giveaway to one of my blog readers is Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein. Even though I received this book a couple months ago, I did not pick it up until this past week. However, once I started reading I could not put it down and finished it in one night! It is an excellently written, thoughtful, and entertaining book. I will say that I did not agree with some of the author's fundamental beliefs about life, but loved what I took away from the book and am glad I read it.

I think I did not pick the book up for so long because, sometimes, an infertility story can be so depressing. I was nervous to open it and hear about heartbreak after heartbreak. But I found this book to be an encouragement. Of course, there is much sadness and struggle throughout, but I loved reading about how the author learned and grew during and after her journey. And when I finished the book, I felt like I had this peaceful reminder that there is another side of this journey. This struggle is not our forever, and we will reach the other side somehow. It was a powerful reminder.

So, lovely blog readers, I want to pass this book along to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment to this post by Thursday, August 13 at midnight PST. I will randomly choose a number and that commenter will be the winner. You also have to pinky swear that after you read it you will pass the book along to another IF blogger. :)

**********************

I need to thank many of you for the One Lovely Blog Award I have received recently! Thank you so much to each of you who tagged me for this award; I am honored. Because it took me so long to get around to posting about this (I'm sorry!), I received it from so many bloggers that I don't think I can link each one. But thank you to the following (and I'm sorry if I am leaving anyone out): Jen, A, Making Babies, Sumer, Courtney, Ashley, Michelle, Jess, Twondra, and Rambler!

Also, since I received this from many people and it appears to be circulating all over, I think I am not going to tag any new people to receive the award. I feel like a bad blogger, but it would just be too hard to figure out who has/ hasn't gotten the award yet.


*************************

And, finally, I just want to say THANK YOU to those of you walking this infertility journey with me. This has become such an amazing community of women, and I do feel encouraged and supported through it....and I hope I can offer the same to you. I think I have gotten some newer readers, and I'm sorry it has taken me awhile to get over to your blog and read YOUR story. Please know I WILL be by. :) And much love to my old faithfuls....

xxoo

PS - Still no spotting! 11dpiui (or 10dpo)!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New record!!

NO SPOTTING!!

I am thrilled!! .... even if it is completely due to medications. :) I have never made it past 7dpo with no spotting in the last 2-1/2 years that I have been off birth control pills -- and here I am half way done with 9dpo. I feel like a new woman!

I have had almost no side effects from the clomid or HCG trigger. I was tired on Monday, but other than that I have felt great. It almost makes me wonder if the meds actually did anything in me (since they didn't seem to increase my progesterone)?

My one and only side effect (so far) seems to be from the progesterone suppositories -- and it's a weird one! You know how if you clean out your belly button and it feels a little tender and uncomfortable during and afterwards? Or am I the only one that gets that (I do have a weird outie)? Anyway, if you DO get that you know what I am talking about. Well, my belly button feels like that today. When my belly rests against a counter, or even if my shirt rubs my belly button, it feels really uncomfortable. How strange is that?!?

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Positive & negative

The Positive:
  • I'm done with 1 week of my two week wait. For me that feels like climbing uphill, and now I'm on the downward slope approaching the end.
  • NO SPOTTING! I made it to 7dpo without spotting, which is the farthest I've made it in the last year and a half. If I don't spot tomorrow it will be a new record.
  • Because of the lack of spotting, I have felt really positive in my tww. Not necessarily in the sense that this cycle will be a BFP (although my mind does go there often), but that maybe we are getting things right. The clomid & HCG shot must have helped, so my ovulation must have been better...DH's sperm were moving fast even if there weren't a lot....things are looking up. If this cycle doesn't work maybe it will just take a few more....
The Negative:
  • My progesterone test today came back low. Talk about putting a damper on all my happy feelings. The level was 8.5, which compares miserably to my unmedicated p4 in January that came in at 8.3. WHY???
  • This has led my mind to go all over the place. Maybe I didn't ovulate when I thought I did. Maybe we did the IUI too early. Maybe my body is just really messed up. Maybe we're out for this cycle already.
  • My hope feels like it has been a little crushed.
The nurse said to start taking progesterone suppositories tonight, so at least we caught it and I can take those to help the situation. Why can't my body get things right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Daddy dance

When I was engaged I was friends with a woman from our church who was a mentor to me. I would usually hang out with her once a week and we would drink tea and talk about anything under the sun. She was one of those people who was only briefly in my life (she moved just after DH & I married), but I always felt like it was so fun and easy to talk to her. At the time, she had a 2 year old daughter who was absolutely adorable. Of course, our conversation often shifted to her daughter and parenting, since that was a huge part of my friend's life.

A rather small but significant story that has stuck with me was how she and her daughter always greeted her husband when he got home from work. They made it a point to stop whatever they were doing to welcome him home. Her daughter would do what she called the "daddy dance" to show how excited she was to see her dad walk through the door, and my friend would give her husband a welcome home kiss. She said it's one way for her and her daughter to show their love and appreciation to her husband, and it makes her husband that much more excited to come home after a long day at work.

I loved this story, and I tucked it away in my mind for when I would one day be a wife and mother. The mother part is still pending, but I have decided to have my own special greeting for DH when he comes home (since I am usually home first). No matter if he had to work late (or even if I'm annoyed that he had to work late), I have made it a goal to open the door for him when I hear his car pull into the garage. We hug and kiss and whisper sweet nothings. It's small and simple, but I think DH & I both look forward to when we are "reunited" after our days at work.

For the past two nights during our hug-and-kiss-welcome-home-time, DH has said, "That would be so wonderful if you were pregnant right now," as he held me close. I loved him for saying that, and it is something he has never said before that spontaneously or in that context. And it increased my desire even more to have a child there next to me to greet DH with a "daddy dance" each day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Slow...

I have been reading a lot about different RE's in the area and am feeling positive about making the change. Thank you so much for all of your advice and input!! All of your comments helped me to feel more assured that I am doing the right thing for our situation. Plus, the thought of stepping foot again in my current office fills me with dread....which is a definite motivator to get out of there!

All of this RE drama has been a decent distraction in the midst of my two week wait. However, time does seem to be moving very slowly. I guess that is just the nature of the tww, but I don't feel like I have experienced a "real" one in a long time. I must have forgotten how long they are.

I am 5dpIUI (4dpo, I think) and know that even if I *did* get blessed with a pregnancy this cycle, it is too early to experience any symptoms. I have had my fair share of "symptoms" in previous cycles that only led to the arrival of my period, and with the introduction of clomid and an HCG shot this cycle, I know any "symptoms" could be related to that. I am trying very hard not to think about anything my body is doing. (But, ok, I will say I've been really tired the last 2 days and today my stomach feels a little queasy. But, like I said, I know it can't mean anything. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice these things.) It's extra cruel that these drugs can cause side effects that are all too similar to pregnancy, don't you think?

One positive thing is that I have not started spotting yet! My spotting usually begins within the 3-7 dpo window, so I have made it a couple days and hope to make it many more. I am going to call the RE to get a lab slip for a 7dpo progesterone test. Other than that, it should be a pretty uneventful week.