Monday, November 30, 2009

IUI #3 Part 2

Whew, we made it! There's such a nice feeling of relief after that last appointment, despite the fact that I've now entered the challenging two week wait. But from where I sit today I feel relieved and thankful we made it this far.

IUI #3 Part 2 had lower counts and motility: 4.7 million post wash with only 29% motility. Of course we had hoped and prayed for higher numbers, but I think we've accepted that DH's SA's are generally not very good and to just expect it. Yesterday's 10.7 million was a pleasant surprise.

Thank you for your kind prayers and encouragements - I am feeling much more emotionally stable and hopeful today. Last night our church started our Advent series, and the message was about the hope we have as we wait for Christ to return, and the promises that were fulfilled when Christ first came. God is so faithful. I have a feeling that this Advent season will really minister to my soul while I am in such a place of waiting. Even though I have been a Christian for quite a few years, I think I am just now starting to grasp this deeper, beautiful message of Advent.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

IUI #3 Part 1

Part 1 was this morning, and I am thankful to report better post-wash SA numbers! 10.7 million post wash (compared to 5.5 million last time)!! I didn't catch all of the numbers and the break down, but that bottom line number is decent.

Despite this good news, I have been crying off and on since last night and feeling particularly blue about our infertility. As much as I pray, hope, and try to imagine this cycle resulting in a pregnancy, I feel like we are "walking the plank," so to speak, towards IVF. I laid on the table after the IUI with tears trickling down my face, one after another. I want to be positive and hopeful but I just feel sad.

If this cycle is negative we only have 1 more IUI before we max out on the "statistically recommended" number of IUI's. However, we may do 2 more since I don't feel like the first one with the old RE counted, and I don't know if we're ready to just do one more.

We are praying for God's will in our lives. God, how far down this path will we go? How long will we wait? Will you eventually take us down another path to build our family?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vindicated :)

I went in for my {early} cycle day 10 appointment. They didn't think I needed to come in until Monday (cycle day 12), and this morning were a little bit confused as to why I was there. The RE was happy to accommodate and do a check, though.

Turns out, I had one 24mm follicle ready to go. I couldn't help but smile at DH and say "See..." with my eyes. In the hallway I overheard two nurses discussing that I was waiting for my blood work, and one said to the other, "Yes, she came in early because she feared ovulating too early. Turns out she is ready to go. I guess she knows her body!" DH leaned over and said I must feel vindicated, and I confess I did. :)

I am *a little* disappointed that there is only one follicle, and feel like this cycle wasn't as "nice" as the other in terms of my response. The side I had the follicle on is the same side where the small cyst still remained at the start of the cycle, and I guess that turned into a dominant follicle right away? He had me do blood work to confirm that I actually had a mature follicle and not just a large cyst, so I was glad to get the call a few hours later that I do in fact have an egg to ovulate.

Melissa had a funny blog post title last week that made me smile: Guess who thinks she knows more than her RE? Don't you feel like that sometimes?? I mean, I know that in the big scheme of things he knows WAY more than me, but when it comes to me and my body I think I know more. This cycle feels like confirmation of that. Not just in terms of the early ovulation, but I also questioned him starting me on clomid and Menopur a day later (cycle day 4 for clomid, and cycle day 9 for Menopur). I wonder if the later start made me have a dominant follicle, and I only ended up getting in one dose of the Menopur. Really, this turned out to be just a clomid cycle.

I know "it only takes one," and I am so very thankful that I do have one and didn't get canceled or anything this cycle. There are no problems this cycle, I just don't feel like this cycle was as good as the other. But God doesn't require perfect cycles with two eggs on cycle day 14 to create life, so I am still praying hopefully for a miracle!

IUI part 1 will be tomorrow morning, and IUI part 2 will be on Monday. I'll keep you posted on the post wash counts, which are the last mysterious piece of the puzzle each cycle.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The note

Thanksgiving day is almost over. As I got ready for bed a few minutes ago, I realized I didn't get out our camera to take any pictures today. No pictures of my family at my parents house for lunch, no pictures of all the food I made there, and no pictures of our dinner at DH's parents' house. I was a little sad to realize that there will be no photo record of Thanksgiving 2009.

Do you any of your notice that you take fewer pictures while dealing with infertility? Maybe it's just me, but I have noticed a lack of 2009 photos stored on our hard drive in general. I have an entire album devoted to college, tons of pictures from when we were dating and engaged, and then, of course, the million wedding pictures. Our first year of marriage was filled with all the "firsts" to photograph: our first dinner together, apartment, Christmas tree, dinner party that we hosted, vacation, Easter, and the list could go on. The firsts got less numerous as the years passed, but photo worthy milestones continued to occur. We bought a house and set to painting, painting, and more painting to transform each room. Trips to visit friends and family across the country. But now the photos are slowing down.

And I know if we had a baby this Thanksgiving, or even if I were pregnant, the camera would have been flashing all day long. A baby brings another lifetime's worth of firsts and milestones to record, I imagine. Not to say that DH and I won't have noteworthy, meaningful, and memorable things to record...it's just different. And less frequent.

But, as I wrap up Thanksgiving 2009, I do have one very special memento from the day. It brings tears to my eyes just to write about it. My dear, sweet brother gave DH and I a card with a handwritten and heartfelt message of thanks to us. My 24 year old single, cynical, reserved, and sometimes hard to read brother wrote us a note that conveyed a tremendous amount of love. I always have known him to be very thoughtful and loving....and I feel close to him in one sense....but we do not live like we are close. We don't call or talk often, and while I know that loving side of him is there, he doesn't express it very often. This note was quite unexpected and out of the blue.

This year was a Thanksgiving that I thought would be just like all the others, but it turned out to be such a special day thanks to my sweet brother and his one small - but huge - act of love. And although I don't have any photos of today, I am incredibly thankful to have that note to cherish always.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The little things

I am constantly amazed at what a roller coaster of emotions infertility, and especially infertility treatments, are. And I am constantly surprised at my own reactions. Last week as we were finishing up our break month cycle I felt like I was in such a good place spiritually. I was trusting the Lord and experiencing his amazing peace and joy that surpassed my circumstances.

And then I went to my baseline appointment, and felt like that all went suddenly out the window. I was a stressed out basket case worrying about all the little details of my cycle. Why is he starting me on meds later? Why is my first monitoring so late? What if I ovulate early? What if I get too many follicles? AHHHH!!

But really, why is it that I can trust the Lord in the big picture, but when it comes to the "little things," the day-to-day things, I don't? Or are these moments a reflection of how much I am truly trusting the Lord?

However, there IS an important element of using my knowledge and resources to be a good steward of where God has me. I do need to pay attention to the details so that I don't waste my time and money, which may mean calling my RE to get an earlier monitoring appointment. Being on top of my cycle is a good thing, I think. But the worry is where the problem lies.

I want to find a balance in being able to trust God even in these little things. I want to be proactive, informed, and seeking God in each day-to-day item, but I want to do so without freaking out. :) I'm praying about this.

*****

I got an earlier monitoring appointment for cycle day 10, which will be Saturday. It was actually really easy to do and makes me feel extra silly for my feelings of panic and despair on Friday.

Today is cycle day 5, and I'm about to take my second dose of clomid in an hour! Again, I am thankful for the fact that I have never experienced any side effects from this often hated drug.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Long day

My cysts are gone!! Well, mostly. I had one small one still, but the RE said we could proceed anyway and that it was of no concern. Good news - IUI #3 is on!

However, I must confess I left the office today unhappy and concerned about the protocol for my cycle. The RE did the ultrasound and spoke in general terms about the cycle, but then I met with a nurse who went over the meds. I was surprised to find out he wants me to start clomid on cycle day 4 (50mg), take that for 5 days, and then take 75ius of Menopur cycle days 9-11. I've heard of the starting days are typically 3 or 5, but 4 doesn't seem too strange. However, for somebody like me who tends to ovulate really early, I started to feel worried that my body would start doing it's thing before the meds and throw off the cycle.

Then she wants to schedule me to come in for my FIRST monitoring appointment on CYCLE DAY 12. Alarm bells went off in my head and I started freaking out.

Here's my history:
  • Without meds, I have been ovulating on cd 10 for the last year.
  • IUI #1: I was on 100mg of clomid cd 3-7, had a 22mm follicle on cd 8 so I was triggered that day.Ovulation, therefore, was cd 10.
  • IUI #2: 50mg of clomid cd 3-7, 75iu's of Menopur cd 7-9. However, I was so nervous about ovulating before my first scheduled monitoring appointment that I begged to go in on cd 9, found out I had 4 potential follicles ranging from 12-16mm, so he had me skip my third/last dose of Menopur (coasted). Went back the next day on cd 10 and triggered that day with 2 mature follicles, and I ovulated on cd 12.

Do you see the pattern?? Do you see how going in on cycle day 12 freaks me out that I could have already ovulated before even getting to the doctor? *sigh*

My other concern is that I had 4 potential follicles on the same dose of meds. He coasted me on the last night so only 2 matured. If I go in on cd 12, I could have 4 mature follicles, and I don't think I would be comfortable doing an IUI with that many.

I couldn't help but wonder if they were conveniently attempting to push my cycle back so I won't come in over Thanksgiving weekend??? My first monitoring appointment is schedule for the Monday after.

I tried to ask the nurse about all of these things, but she just said this is what the doctor wanted and gave no specific answers. Their office was packed this morning, so I figured I would call the RE himself at lunchtime so he could call me back in the afternoon when things were slower.

A nurse ended up returning my call and said the RE had already left for the day - boo. She said starting on cycle day 4 is just fine, and not to worry about ovulating early since the clomid will delay ovulation. *sigh*

After getting out of the RE's at 10:15, I had so much to do..... I had two big projects (one at each of my jobs) that HAD to get done today. We are also trying to refinance our mortgage right now, and the stress of talking to the loan people, gathering papers, and bargaining for that low rate could be an entire (boring) post of its own. It was a looong day.

Needless to say, I am so glad it is Friday. I'm just going to start the clomid on Sunday (cd 4) and then call next week and insist I get an earlier monitoring appointment. Part of me feels guilty for not "trusting" the RE on this, but I just can't shake it the feeling that the timing could be problematic. Worse case, I get an extra u/s to confirm things are moving along nicely, right?

Sorry this post so long and boring - thanks if you made it through! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cycle Day 1

Yeah! Finally (says the girl with notoriously short cycles after a whopping 25 day cycle)!

AF arrived at around 8:00pm last night, so my RE is counting today (Thursday) as cycle day 1. I go in tomorrow for my baseline ultrasound....PLEASE let there be NO CYSTS! I am praying.

I am also thankful that, assuming there are no cysts, the timing of my appointments and IUI's will most likely be over Thanksgiving weekend but NOT on Thanksgiving day. It would have been a little stressful to figure out how to explain a doctor's appointment on Thanksgiving day. :) But it's also nice that we may not have to miss work and can 'leisurely' go to our appointments over the weekend.

Thanks for all your well-wishes about AF's arrival!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Doesn't it always seem true that whenever you want your period to arrive, it doesn't? And when you don't want it to arrive, it does?

Well, I'm in the hoping-for-it-to-come-quickly camp today at what I think is 14 dpo. If my period doesn't arrive in a mere 3 hours, it will be "late." Typing that word made me want to get hopeful, but I have learned in these last 23 cycles that "late" can mean nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Or, it could mean that I didn't ovulate when I think I did....which is very possible. I did get a positive OPK, but I did not chart or verify things. So I could be wrong.

Or, it could mean that I didn't ovulate at all. Maybe I got a positive OPK because my LH was surging to try to ovulate, but then ovulation never occurred. And now I could be in nebulous anovulation land.

Or, it could mean that somewhere in all of this spotting (that lasted from cycle day 1 through today, cycle day 24!) I did actually have a very light period and didn't know it. I really hope it's not that option.

This maybe kind of a little bit "late" business makes me feel like I should test tomorrow. I guess I will, but it is more to rule out the one possibility out there that can actually be ruled out than out of hope.

Maybe peeing on a stick will remind my period to come out from hiding!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Infertile? Who me?

I haven't "felt" infertile during this break month. I don't know why or how - I've had plenty of other waiting periods that were tough - but these past few weeks I almost forgot I was infertile. I did not pray for this or expect it, but as I look back I can see what a sweet gift God has given me. A true rest in my soul. Thank you Lord!

I think my period should arrive within the next few days. As much as I have enjoyed this month off, I am more than ready to jump back in to treatments. I have started doing "infertile math" where I am counting days....if AF arrives on this day, my appointments would probably be on these days.... and my IUI's would probably be on those days.... and I would test around that date. I'm ready!

I am praying, praying, praying that those cysts are gone when I go to my cd 2/3 appointment!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Of course, I wish you could all win, but two cute notepads going to one lucky winner tonight:

True Random Number Generator
28 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Commenter #28, Hope.Faith.Patience!! We have followed each other's journeys for almost this whole year (I think), and Hope.Faith.Patience recently got her BFP after multiple IVF's and FET's.

Congratulations, I'll be in touch to get your address. :)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creme de la Creme and other news

I realized that I never updated all of you about DH's sickness last week. Thankfully, it proved to be really mild and he only had a fever for about 24 hours (which we medicated so he wasn't literally fevered that whole time). It felt like a miracle! DH is one of those people that tends to get sick more often and worse than others, so we were so, so thankful this was as mild as it was. So maybe it wasn't H1N1?

****
In other rather mundane news, my spotting continues endlessly. It got quite heavy at the end of last week, so I called the RE's office to talk to a nurse. She said my hormones are off because the cysts are releasing estrogen. This is a different explanation than my old RE's nurse from when this happened after my last clomid/ progestorone cycle, but both make sense and it could probably be either (or both).

I think I am just anticipating that after every medicated cycle I will probably have cysts and I will probably spot the entire time. At least it won't be as much of a shock from here on out.

****
Have you heard of the Creme de la Creme list? Mel, the organizer of our ALI (Adoption, Loss, and Infertility) community, puts this together each year to celebrate the wonderful blogging that is happening. She has a great explanation on her blog if you click over, but I would just encourage any of you who have a blog to submit a post! I do not think of myself as a writer, but I submitted one - so you can too! It will be such an amazing compilation of posts to read through on or after New Year's.

Here's the logo:


Creme


The Best of the Adoption/Loss/Infertility Blogs of 2009

Hope to see many of you on the list with me! And if you need help choosing a post, let me know - I'd be happy to look at some with you. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy blogoversary giveaway

As of today, I have been blogging here for 1 year. Happy blogoversary to me! :)

It seems most fitting on this anniversary to thank you all. Thank you for reading, for listening, for sharing, for caring, for praying, and for supporting. Thank you for commenting and letting me know you're out there, and thank you even for lurking.

I have "met" so many lovely people through this forum, and am so thankful for each one of you.

On anniversaries, people often exchange gifts, right? So I want to give one of you a gift through a little giveaway here...a gift that will literally only be to only one of you, but will figuratively be for the plural "you."

My giveaway will be for 2 super cute, handy, and awesome notepads from Knock Knock. I am a planner who enjoys making lists, so I love owning these and hope you will, too.

The first one I have hanging on my fridge at all times (and *most* of the time it is updated). It's called "What to Eat" and is perfect for meal planning:


The second is called "Pack This!"and helps you to not have the "I must have forgotten something..." feeling as you leave for a trip!:


To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment by Wednesday, November 11 at 9:00pm PST. ANYONE is welcome to enter, even lurkers! I was a blog lurker for a long time too. :) I will choose one commenter by randomly selecting a number.

Thank you!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A year ago today...

...we found out we were officially infertile.

DH had gone in for the first of what would be many SA's on Halloween. Early in the next week he got a call from his primary care physician to come in the following day to go over the results. I remember wondering if the fact that DH had to go over the results in person meant there was a "problem," but didn't know enough about doctors and how things worked to actually get worried.

A year ago today, DH called me as he was driving home from that momentous appointment. It was about 11:00 am, and I was alone in the office at my work. He repeated what the doctor had said, that everything looked normal except the motility. It's funny to look back and remember that I didn't even know what motility meant (it's the percentage of how many sperm move, in case you're wondering)! DH didn't sound too worried, and he had gotten a referral to a urologist.

After we hung up, I tried to resume my work. But my mind was racing with this new piece of information, and I so badly had the urge to google. But how could I could about sp.erm at work!? I tried to keep working. But the unknown was filling me with such anxiety and dread, that I gave into temptation and started googling. Pretty quickly I saw the seriousness of our situation, and sobs formed deep in my chest.

I left work and met DH at home for lunch. We laid on our bed and DH held me while I cried. We prayed. I didn't go back to work that day.

As I look back on that day, I am amazed to say that I feel like I am in a much better place than I was then. On some level that is so strange to say because it's been an entire year and I am still not pregnant, and the reality of potentially never conceiving is that much closer. On many levels I think I should be worse off right now than I am.

But - I am well.

My life in this season is marked with deep sadness and intense moments of fear that I must give to the Lord. I struggle with the frustration that my life is not what I had envisioned or hoped it would be at this point. I wrestle with trusting God and his plan for my life.

But - I am well.

And, finding out we were infertile felt like a piece of God's plan had, indeed, been revealed in my life. I found comfort in that this past year that I did not have prior to our diagnosis as we were unsuccessfully trying to conceive. I never would have chosen it, but he has set DH on this infertility journey. And if this is where God wants me to be for his glory, this is where I want to be. Even when it is hard and it hurts.

I am well.

My cup does overflow. My soul is well - I am saved! I have a relationship with my Creator, my heavenly Father. And I have many earthly blessings: a warm, vibrant, and loving church community, old friends who know me so well, new friends who have been wonderful to grow in friendship with, a ministry that is both a challenge and a joy, and, most significantly in this season, a loving, Godly husband who walks with me.

I am well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I think DH has H1N1

Let me start by saying that he has not been tested for H1N1, nor has any doctor "diagnosed" him. This is purely my own non-medical opinion. But at lunch time today DH called me to tell me he was leaving work because he was chilled and achey with a fever. Sounds like the flu to me.

Before I sound like a hypochondriac alarmist, this is what I have heard: Doctors in my area are not usually testing for H1N1 unless things gets "serious," but one doctor told a friend of ours that anyone they have tested with flu symptoms did have H1N1. Apparently, it is the flu virus going around town at the moment.

Thus, I am guessing this is what DH has. Thankfully it has been a relatively mild version (so far). His fever was about 100 when he first tested, and as the Tylenol wore off it was at 99.7 this evening. He has chills, body aches, and a stuffy nose. He said the last time he had the flu two years ago was worse.

Overall, I'm not too worried. He called his doctor because he has asthma and this is a "higher risk" group, but his doctor said to drink fluids, rest, etc. and just call if he has any respiratory problems.

I hope the fever is not effecting his sp.erm. There is no way to know if it does or will, but I do wish DH would stop getting these fevers just in case!

One silver lining to not being pregnant at the moment: if I do get H1N1 from DH, at least I will not have to worry about our baby or be in the "high risk" group.

Do you know people with H1N1, or have you had it yourself?

Monday, November 2, 2009

spotting and Halloween

Just like my last post-medicated cycle, I have been spotting continuously since my period stopped (and last time that happened for the complete 19 day cycle). It is incredibly annoying, but I am trying to count my blessings that I am healthy, and not in any pain or discomfort. I can handle annoying.

Unlike like last time, I got a beautiful and positive second line on an OPK yesterday (cycle day 8). I might get another, more positive one today....we'll see. I keep meaning to start taking my temperature so that I can really know what's going on this cycle and if I do in fact ovulate, but I never seem to remember when I wake up in the morning. I used to be such a diligent charter, and LOVED having a complete and accurate chart. Now those few temps around potential ovulation are somewhat problematic to obtain.

****

We had an action packed weekend, and I am thankful that this cycle continues to fly by. We hosted a Halloween party on Saturday night and it was so.much.fun. I love hosting parties. I made chili, cornbread, and cute Halloween cupcakes and we had about 25 people over. There were 4 kids who came and we had The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for them the watch, followed by a game where they had to eat a mini donut with no hands that was dangling from a string. It was hilarious to see some 2 and 3 year olds attempt to do this - they were so adorable!

This was our 2nd annual Halloween party, I guess. We never intended to necessarily make it a tradition, but it just might turn into that. Everyone seemed to appreciate having something to do on that night, and hopefully they had as much fun as I did.

I hope you had a great weekend! Did you do anything for Halloween?

ETA: Yes, we did dress up! We were an Am.ish couple....a little strange, I know. We got the costumes for another youth group event earlier in the year and re-used. :)