Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baseline #2 today

All done with birth control pills - whoo-hoo! I haven't taken those in so long and I forgot how much I hate them and the insane amount of spotting that accompanies those terrible little pills.

Everything looked good at my baseline today, and my Estradiol was nice and low.

So I'm set to start stims on Monday - eek! It feels like forever since I've done any injections. Can you believe it's been three months since my last treatment cycle?! I'm starting with 1 vial of Menopur and 225 iu's of Follistim per day. He's also adding 81mg of aspirin per day, which I was happy about.

Nothing too exciting, but the real excitement (and anxiety and dread and hope) will begin on Monday. IVF #3, here we come...

Monday, October 25, 2010

From the mouth of babes

"Why can't you have a baby?" the 8-year-old asked me.

I had stopped by a friend's house on Friday to wish her a happy birthday. She is a stay at home mom to 3 kids, and we are in a church Bible study together that takes place weekly at their house.

When her son asked me this, I was stunned silent for a moment. We have shared our infertility with our whole Bible study....but after the kids had gone to bed. So I was surprised to hear this question come out of his mouth, and from the corner of my eye I could also see the embarrassed look on his mom's face.

I was surprised that he knew to even ask the question, but I didn't mind that he knew. Later his mom apologized, and said that the kids pray for our whole Bible study, and they had shared this with their son as a prayer request. Honestly I was touched that their kids would pray for us!

The real shock, however, was the bluntness that only a child has (or perhaps a few socially awkward adults :)). Many friends know about our infertility, but if any of them ask about it they use a softer, less direct method. As he said it, I felt like a normal, light-hearted conversation had suddenly shifted and knocked the wind out of me.

I managed a smile, gave a generic answer, and the conversation moved forward.

DH & I went out to dinner that night. I told him about this conversation and how shaken I felt. We had a nice night out, but I didn't feel quite like myself. We then went home to watch Le.gally Blond - a movie I own for some strange reason, but hadn't watched in years. On the way home, DH wanted to stop at Re.dbox to see if there were any good new movies there, and of course he found one (the new K.arate Kid - he was feeling nostalgic)....which I wasn't very excited about. Since we own the other I figured we might as well watch the rental, but after we started watching the other movie I got upset. I felt like a whiny 4-year-old... "But I don't wanna watch that movie!," but I tried to suck it up and enjoy the movie (it wasn't that good, but nothing to complain about, either).

The movie ended and all of my emotions flooded out. I was crying with a stream of tears trickling down my face, but not heavy crying. Just constant crying. I was sad in a life-is-hard kind of way, even though the trigger to this hard life was watching a movie that I didn't really want to see (I know, poor baby).

But, really, don't you have those days? When the weight of whatever struggles you face bear down on you? And even though you are so blessed and have a "good life," especially compared to people in much more difficult circumstances, you can just feel the sorrow of knowing life is not what it is meant to be? That even when this current struggle is over, there will be a new one? As DH & I talked about it, he could really relate. He has been having a difficult time at work lately, and although he overall enjoys his job and is thankful to have it, the endless toil of work has been a burden to him.

It made us think of Ecclesiastes, and it comforted us to read this:
Chapter 1
1The words of the Teacher, a]">[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

3 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Delayed

Everything went great at my baseline appointment today! In fact, I had my lowest FSH ever - 7.54!! (My first FSH reading in April 2009 was 8.9, then 10.1 in March 2010, and 10.9 in May 2010) Perhaps it was the CoQ-10 vitamin I've been taking? Or just the natural fluctuation? Either way, it felt like good news! I know you're only as good as your highest FSH, but it is a little positive that it's lower, right?

However, my RE is going to a conference that would fall during the end of stimming and my ER, so we decided I would take birth control pills for 10-12 days. I could have had another RE in the practice work with me and do the ER, but we just felt better sticking with my RE since we have such a history together now.

So... more waiting. But at least I know how long this waiting will be!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cycle day 1!

Whew, after a very, very, very LONG cycle (for me - 66 days), I think my period has arrived. It's here. It's time. I feel anxiety for practically the first time in 66 days. I'm excited and happy. I can't wait to show up at the RE's tomorrow. I also dread the roller coaster that lies ahead.

This, my friends, is the love-hate relationship I have with fertility treatments.

IVF #3 is starting! I have been waiting for this day, and I must say that it has already been a challenging cycle.

1. It took so long to get here.
2. It kept tricking me about when it would start. A little spotting here...."oh good, my period must be around the corner"...spotting stopped....huh?
3. This week it was pretty clear that the spotting was the real deal. But then the spotting kept confusing me as to whether or not it was my actual period.

Warning, a TMI recap of the spotting and period variety follows:

This week....
Saturday - Monday: A little spotting. Looked promising but I wasn't holding my breath.

Tuesday: Heavier. Knew this had to be it. Now how long would the spotting last before the period arrived?

Wednesday night: Hey, look at that red when I wiped! Bright red! But it's not heavy...and I'm not crampy...maybe tomorrow. But normally my spotting isn't bright red.

Thursday morning: Spotting darker and lighter than night before. I felt reassured that it wasn't my period.

Thursday night: Bright red when I wiped and on my pantyliner. Not heavy, necessarily, but heavier than the spotting. This cycle has already been so weird....so what if the start of AF is different than my usual? What if this is it? How can I tell? I mentally freak out a little because the RE said I needed to start stims on cycle day 2 - but what if I get the day wrong??

Friday morning: Still some bright red going on, but still not heavy like my usual period feel. I call the nurse to get advice. While I'm waiting for her to call back, it starts. The unmistakable this-is-a-period-flow with cramps to accompany it. Thankful for the reassurance!

So my baseline appointment is tomorrow morning. I do have a little worry that somehow the bright red "spotting" for a couple days before my period could have still been my period, and I am starting my IVF cycle on the wrong day...but I feel 90% certain I got it right. Hopefully. I don't want to mess any of this up!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our usual weekend

This weekend was a "normal" one as far as weekends go. It's difficult to say what a normal one is, because there is often some kind of birthday party, family get together, wedding, visitor, youth event, etc. that can vary and leave a weekend feeling very full. But for a non-busy weekend, this is our gold standard:

Friday night: Date night!! DH & I have made this a weekly tradition, and hope to continue it in some form even after we have kids. Although we occasionally get more creative, we usually just go out to dinner and rent a movie...so the only thing that will most likely need to change after we have kids may be take-out instead of dining out. :)

This Friday we went out to a bit of a nicer restaurant to celebrate DH's good performance review at work and had so much fun! We came home, got comfy, and watched the movie Once (which our friends had let us borrow) while eating home-made apple pie that I had made with a friend. Lovely night. (By the way, we didn't really love the movie despite its amazing reviews on Ama.zon...?!)

Saturday morning/ afternoon: I made coffee while DH toasted some English muffins and topped them with boysenberry jam. We did some reading, and then lounged around for awhile. I went to the grocery store, and then made Sloppy Joe's (so much better than from a can!), coleslaw, and baked sweet potato spears.

Saturday Evening: Took the above listed dinner over to a friend's house and ate with them. They had their 2nd baby about a month ago (and he was 10lbs 10ozs at birth!!), so we brought the meal to help out and get a chance to spend time with them. DH & I played Bingo with their 3 year old daughter, and after she went to bed we all watched the last two episodes of The Office.

Sunday: Went to church which is always a treat. Came home and DH made us an egg sandwich for brunch, and then we again had some lounge around time. I planned our Halloween Party (this will be our 3rd annual one), and sent out the Evite. I also found some cute decorations I want to make for the party, and DH & I planned out our costumes....more to come on that later!

All in all, a wonderful weekend. And as I enjoyed each part of it, I felt thankful that we are enjoying our pre-kids days. We have fun together, enjoy our sleep-ins, do a lot with friends, and try to live in the present. And even though the present doesn't have the kids I would have hoped for by now, we sure do have a lot to enjoy.

Thankful.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A single tear

Tonight was just like many other nights. I made dinner and had it ready for DH when he got home (aren't I a good wife?). DH put some music on and we lit the candles in our dining room. We started eating and filling each other in on our days.

DH told me about having lunch with a friend/ co-worker (we are also friends with his wife and kids). He knows about our infertility, and has been a really sweet support to DH. During the lunch, the friend mentioned that his wife was reading a book, and in it there was a quote from a woman who had had cancer AND infertility, and in her opinion infertility was as difficult as having cancer. Now, I have no idea what it's like to have cancer, but as hard as infertility is I still think cancer would be worse. Either way, though, it was obvious that this quote illustrated just how painful infertility is....and it made our friend and his wife think of us and want to check in.

After DH told me about his lunch and other events at work, he said simply, "As much as I enjoy work, it's not a family. I want a family."

I shared with DH about my own hopefulness - that somehow throwing out "the plan," knowing God is guiding us, and that we can potentially keep trying had renewed some hope in my heart. I told him it has been good for my emotional state to only work part-time at one of my jobs after leaving the more stressful one behind. And I confessed that I have even started looking at nurseries and imagining how we would decorate ours....which is something I never-ever-ever let myself do before.

And then a single tear rolled down my left cheek - a tear of pain, of hope, and of tiredness. "I will get to decorate that room soon," I said.

I don't know when we will be at the end of all of this, nor do I know whether or not that ending will also include a pregnancy. But I feel like we are nearing the end in a figurative sense (if not literal), and for the first time the end brings hope rather than a sense of doom. I have hope that we WILL have a baby who needs a nursery, whether that is an adopted child or biological one. I know I have said this before, and I will probably keep stating this in one way or another. But I have learned that there are many stages of trusting God, acceptance, and peace, and for today I simply feel one step closer. We will get there, and God will be guide us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One more week?!

Based on what the nurse said when I went in for bloodwork on cycle day 39 (which was 2 weeks ago), I can expect my period around one week from today.

IVF #3 might be only one week from starting! I continue to be rather inexplicably hopeful, which in turn makes me excited for the cycle to get under way. Some very generous blogging friends have given me their leftover meds, so I am all set and ready to go.

The only only thing holding me back from counting down the days in eager anticipation is the fact that I am somewhat doubtful I will actually get my period in a week. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I never really saw any typical ovulation or luteal phase signs or symptoms. Granted I didn't temp or use OPKs (I just wanted to enjoy this cycle and "relax"), but if I had to wager a guess I think I will have to go into the RE in a little over a week for more blood work.

Here's to hoping I'm wrong!