Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Its been awhile...

Ive been trying to keep this blog away from pregnancy updates. So, since I don't have anymore big things dealing with infertility besides the fact that my facial hair is still growing, but faster, I haven't updated.

I now know that I need to spend more time on the education side of the blog. I already have things I have been starting on on regards to the different hormones and how opks and hpts actually work. Some stuff will be for newbies, and some will be more complex. I don't know everything, but will try to learn myself and pass on only reliable information.

Please, if anyone reading has any tips or questions or things I should touch on, don't hesitate to comment or email me.


Saturday, July 05, 2014

I have been hesitant to post this

I'm not even sure where to begin. This is an infertility blog. I have been at this for 13 months. It has been an incredibly hard and frustrating 13 months.

I wanted this to be out there to give information to the women who don't ovulate or have pcos. I wanted to be the one they could sympathize or empathize with. I wanted this to be a current blog with new information pouring in. The only ones I have found, stop dead after a year or a few months. Some changing to pregnancy or mommy blogs, totally forgetting the struggles they went through to get there. Others just gave up hope because they never got their take home baby. It all left me feeling high and dry. I don't want to do that to you guys.

Maybe I should talk about my update so you know what Im talking about. The next day after my 8dpo post, I took another cheapie test I had.

I saw a shadow line in the case so I took it out. I still saw a shadowy line. So I used my microscope to see if I was even ferning. Ferning could indicate another estrogen surge meaning pregnancy.

This was good enough for me. I went out and bought a first signal from Walmart because I didnt want to waste the frer or the digis that I had. I used the same cup of fmu.

 I saw another faint line. I took them both out and scanned them in since my camera wasnt  doing them justice.

At this point they are invalid, one is way past its time, and they are both out of the case. However, since my life has been a science experiment for over a year now, why stop today. So I tweaked them a bit with saturation, and inverting the colors.

So at this point I have my hopes up a little, I post the original on Countdown to Pregnancy and got it pretty equally voted between positive, negative, and evap. I was leaning towards evap as well.

Next day, at 10dpo, dh is home and I want to surprise him. So I'm holding all the while awake and waiting for him to get up and leave the bedroom. (Our bathroom with the tests in it is attached to the bedroom.) Once he does, I pee in my handy cup and use my second First Signal. Nothing shows right away, so I'm bummed (with dd it was immediate once the dye went past the strip), but I wait. At about 3 mins, I see the line. About the same as the tweaked pic from 9dpo. So I break out the frer. All the while wondering if I'm going to regret wasting my last one.

I didn't. I was shocked. I couldn't stop smiling. I also didn't know if I should believe it. But I had planned to use a digi the next morning. I wasn't sure when I was going to tell dh, but probably the Monday that was coming up so I could at least buy him a card or do something special.

I was able to hide it, but it didn't last long. He kept asking when was a good time to test. If I could test today, or tomorrow. I told him today might be a good day, but that I would in the am and show him. He just wouldn't drop it, so I told him I would take one in a few hours. I had to hold me pee first. He seemed to hide his excitement well, but he would ask every once in a while when I was going to the bathroom. When I did, and asked him to look at the results himself. He said he didn't know how to read one, but I told him it spells it out for you.

This is what I got.

So I called my re for blood work, that eventually looked great. First beta at 12dpo was 60 and the second at 14dpo was 158.7. A doubling time of 32 hours.

I would like to say, that I still plan on writing about infertility and not so much about lovey dovey baby and pregnancy stuff. If I feel that its relevant to the struggle I will update, mainly because I am high risk and have had miscarriages before. I will still see my re for the first 12 weeks.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Well what do you know? 8dpo!

Sorry I haven't written in a while. As you know, I was traveling without dh out of state. Since I would be too far away from my REs office for monitoring and not even with dh, we couldn't do medication until I got back.

Well I recently got back and made my appt for a baseline scan and blood work. I couldn't get in for a few days, but I figured I waited 26 days whats 4 more? I started getting major ewcm! It went on for a few days, and I was out of opks. I just figured it was nothing, and even though I never really got ewcm for more than one day, a super power such as ovulating, just isnt something that I can do anymore.

Or so I thought. One day, without much sleep, I got a somewhat high temperature. I chalked this up to only getting 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep after driving dh to work (car troubles left us with only one car, but that's another story). Then my cm dried up and cp lowered. I also got hot flashes, which is a sign of low estrogen. Estrogen lowers once an egg is released. Still, I didn't think much of it and my appt was the nest day. That morning's temp was even higher. Maybe, just maybe, my body did something. On cd 28 no less, when the "normals" are ending their cycles. This is also the cd I conceived dd, and only 2 days after my previous normal o day (when I still ovulated 5-6 years ago).

I get to my appt, really nervous, Its been awhile since I got blood work done, however, it went well.  I waited in the room, and when the nurses got there I explained that I had some high temps, and asked if they could detect ovulation at only 2dpo. They said that it really depends, sometimes not. They took a look, and said while there is free fluid floating around, they couldn't see a clear corpus luteum. This is the collapsed follicle that produces progesterone after ovulation. BUT, they did see something. Luckily, there were not very many other follicles at all. So if we do have another cycle for meds, we should get a better response.

Luckily, I did my blood draw just early enough for the results to be there at the end of my scan. Progesterone was 4.8! I indeed ovulated on cd 28. I walked out with a smile, and the advice to take a test in ten days.

I came home an explained to dh that we would not be doing medication. He had a mini flip out, and wondered why we are never given a real chance. I explained to him he real reason, and he was even more upset. He is very unhappy with the amount of sex we had. The last day being the night before ovulation (which I think happened in the morning). 

So, while he is discouraged and wants the cycle to be over so we can do meds and an iui next time, I have confidence that this is it.

I got really excited to at 8dpo, and tested with my last wondfo.... and.....BFN womp womp. Even a faint line wouldn't convince me, as I had plenty of those without even ovulating.

I would like to list my symptoms, I am a firm believer in the fact that if symptoms were indeed caused by hcg (the pregnancy hormone that keeps the CL alive and producing progesterone) it would be high enough to cause a positive pregnancy test. Since I have a negative, and these symptoms, they are NOT from pregnancy. Its just progesterone from ovulating.

I had hot flashes at night, like I have every night since ovulation
Sore breasts, also since ovulation,but moving from medium to high pain on 5dpo
Nausea, which started a tad last night and a bit today, which I blame on peak progesterone at 7dpo
Exhaustion, blamed on quitting caffeine and the nonstop cleaning I was doing to prepare for mil
Sneezing and cold like symptoms, which I blame on bug spray and cleaning products used today.

Friday, June 06, 2014

I wouldnt mind a TWW

This is more of a vent than anything. I have posted this on my favorite BB, so a lot of my readers have seen this already.

I don't ovulate, I haven't had a tww in almost a year. And that tww meant nothing because thanks to dhs job, he was out of state during o.

I haven't had the hope or excitement that meant I could stop bding for two whole weeks and just give up control for a well deserved break.

Sure I've poas, but no real thoughts of that second pink line showing up because the logical side of me know, there is no possible way.

I can not wait to have a tww! I would do anything to be in the position to wait for something good rather then waiting a year to ovulate.

And it never happens. Not on Clomid. Not on femara. Not on gonal f. Relaxing didn't help. Vitamins didn't help. Castor packs didn't help. Soy iso didn't help. Cutting dairy didn't help. Nothing is helping.

I'm here, stagnant. Constantly at the ready, tempting, check opks in hopes this surge is the one, squinting at ferning slides to see if my estrogen is truly surging again, feeling my cervix trying to see how high and soft it really is compared to yesterday, hoping today's cm has finally changed from creamy to watery at the very least. Making sure I bd as often as possible, even if I dont want to. Telling dh that my temp still hasn't gone up, and we can't stop yet.

Its exhausting. I'd love to have the chance to conceive, because you know what? I haven't even had a chance yet! Not in over a year.

Sure with injectables I got some hope, followed by canceled cycles and cysts. Every time.

After all this crap, I'd love to have two measly little weeks to just sit back and see what happens. Leave it to fate, rather than my pee sticks and digital thermometer.

And if I get a bfn and af, oh well. Because you know what? Getting af on my own would be a treat! I have to wait, and wait for CD 40 at the least, then wait for an appointment, then wait in the lab for blood tests, then wait for the results, then wait to get a script for provera, then wait for it to be filled, then take it for ten days and wait for it to work.

Yeah, two weeks doesn't sound that bad.

As far as updates go, we are breaking from meds for now because Im going out of state for a week without dh. I hoped I could fit one more low, slow and steady round of gonal f before I left, but I had 3 huge cysts and a possible polyp.

I had to go back on the pill, then AF took her time showing up. That left no time. So the plan is when I get back, do an assessment. If everything is quiet, I can start a low dose gonal f again. I think 37.5, and drag that out as long as it takes. However we did that last cycle and all the follies were still slowly responding anyway. If not, probably provera first unless Im about to o on my own.

Dh and I only want to try this one more time before doing ivf. Its not covered by tricare, but fortunately our post does them 3-4 times a year for a discounted price. I'll cost around $6000 and we have to finance it. And wait 6 months.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pills and Polyps

I had my saline sonogram a few days ago. It hurt less than the HSG, but I still got faint as I expected.
DH was right there looking at the big screen that they have hooked up to the ultrasound. I really like that this place does that. I feel less in the dark about whats going on, and I feel like that's very important because its my one body.

Anyway, They did a normal sono right before, showing my lining as ok, and one 2cm cyst in the right, and a 12 mm in the left. I didn't have blood drawn since the pill takes over my hormones, it wouldn't have given us any information.

The dr then inserted a metal speculum, and then the catheter.  Then he took the speculum out and put the wand back in. I do not think they inflated any balloon like they did with the hsg because he explained that he was going to put pressure on my cervix with the wand to keep the saline in. I don't think there was a lot of saline, they pushed maybe a syringe or two through. They looked for about 5 min in every level and crevice possible and took tons of stills. I was took the inisial look was clear, but the nurse was going to look over the pictures. Everything was removed while she did that, and at the end of it all I got my answer.

NO POLYPS! That made me feel so much better. I was dreading a polypectomy. (< A blog post by Mel from Stirrup Queens) Ive had a d&c with my last loss, and remember it vividly, and with no fondness. I pictured it being somewhat similar. 

All in all, the after was similar to, but better than, the hsg. I was cramping and faint, but I prepared for that better by taking two midols and laying down after the procedure for as long as I needed. I also took a wet paper towel for my forehead for during (don't judge me for my anxiety, please). The cramps happened off and on throughout the rest of the day, just like the hsg. I had spotting for the entire time I have been on the pill. This happens to me in the first three months, as it does to a lot of women. I decided to just deal with it since its shrinking my cysts and I dont need to be on it after this last week of active pills. Two days after the sono was when the spotting got heavier, same as the hsg, but this time it was only the one day as opposed to 10.

My spotting is still light, my sex drive since the pill is almost zero. Its out of the ordinary, since starting ATTC, it is usually through the roof. Acne is another bummer. I usually only get it with progesterone, whether that's after o, or on provera. However the lovely pill that I take EVERY day now contains progesterone. So I'm back to looking like a teenager and not in the good way.

Its just one more week, however, since its summertime I will be doing some traveling. Since I will be out of state several times for more than a few days, I cannot use my injectable fsh. I haven't had much luck latey, but I used to ovulate on day 26 off the pill, so Im crossing my fingers so hard for that to be true THIS time. I have been looking into a more natutal approch and have purchased two books.

One being Taking Charge of your Fertility which is very well known in the ATTC community and I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't have a copy until now. The other being The Infertility Cure which is an Eastern medicine way of looking at infertility. I have been taking some supplements and doing a few other "natural" things to help me out on my 3 months off of treatment. I will write a blog post about this in more detail once I actually stop the pill and start this TCM thing for real.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Quick Update

My newest CD 3 appointment was a disappointment as I expected it to be. I had some pains in my ovaries, so I suspected that my follies were still there. Turns out I only had 3 major cysts, what took me for a loop was how big they were. In my right (the one that had two 16mms and a 13mm) had one at 24mm, and another at 37x27mm! In my left (2 other 13mm) was a 39x27mm. Blood work showed at least one was a functioning cyst, meaning it was giving off estradiol and would continue to grow, and respond to all the medication. My e2 level was around 150. Not good.

So the cycle was canceled, needless to say. However, a closer peak showed that even though I had 3 heavy flow days, my lining was still thick and there looked like there was a polyp in my uterus. Its probably not cancerous as they rarely are, but its still scary. It could require a d&c and hysteroscopy and I am not a fan of those at all.

The plan is, since my lining is still to thick to do a saline sonogram now, to wait for another period. Since I don't ovulate or get those on my own anymore, I am back on the pill. Im taking it for 2 weeks, I have another appointment coming up for the saline sono, and we will figure out where to go from there. The hope is that these stupid things will thin my lining and shrink the cysts. I also hope that this will even out some hormones and make it easier for me to ovulate, since the only times I ever conceived was right off the pill. A girl can hope right?

So here I go, finishing off this first year ttc by stopping "shooting up" and going back to "popping pills". I didnt think I'd have to do this in order to GET pregnant.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Since its CD 1 yet again...

I will update.

I got the call, and was told the official word was that I was canceled again. However, since this time there was only 2 follies at 16mm and 3 at 13mm, I didn't have that big of a risk. My issue was e2, it was now at 1500. I also learned, through my own opks and the blood test that I was surging on my own, and if I wanted to risk multiples, I could go ahead and bd at home. I asked if since my e2 was high again, if I risk a crash and short lp again, the answer I got was "I don't know, it could be the same, and it could be a different ball game." CD 30 was appointment day.

This was Thursday, and I had a new appointment for a blood draw the following Monday. My chart seemed to point to o that night. I wanted to use my crinone, the progesterone gel, to give myself a chance. I decided to wait until the blood test confirmed o.

It did not. It was inconclusive. My p4 was only .89 since it was higher than the last draw at .64 the nurse say its likely I ovulated very recently. Since I thought I od, according to temps, opks, breast pain, cramps, cm, cp, and everything else 4 days ago, I was not convinced. Either I hadn't ovulated, or I did and my p4 was already on the way down. I started the crinone anyway, and my temp shot up even higher. I figured even if I didn't o, this would bring on af so I dont need provera again. I HATE the waiting game that is provera. I just want to move on.

I messed up with the gel one day, and my temp went down the following morning and spotting started. I was better about it the next day, however spotting continued. I took a few hpts, all were negative, so I stopped the crinone.

I am so disappointed. I STILL haven't had a shot at getting pregnant. We are now in our 12th month of trying, and we have yet to actually "try".

 Ive cried, Ive had a few glasses of wine, and now that the witch arrived I called for my next appointment. I am going to bring up combination cycles, were you take oral meds and injections, in hopes that they pills will keep most of the follicles from responding and help keep e2 levels down, while the fsh works on just a few follies. However I have no idea if they will go for that.

I will also ask when we should consider IVF. DH and I have talked about this being our best option now. My reservations with that are the cost and the fact that our MTF (Military Treatment Facility) only does these 4 times a year, and has a waiting list, and DH will be out of the military in a year. I don't know if we will have Tricare by the time its our turn, let alone for the care by the time our hopeful baby is born. Financially, we have decided to finance it, even though the thought of continuing to pay for a baby that we may not even conceive kills me a little.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

4 Appointments Later...

Well I've had 4 more scans and blood draws since my last post. I didn't write since not much went on.
The first appt after starting 37.5 showed no growth. Lining was the same and so were the follicles.
Second appt showed maybe two at 10mm and the rest under. Several under 10 was what they said. Lining grew one mm. Was told to bump the dose back to 75. I was worried because this is the dose that overstuffed me last time. My Dr til me not to worry because my estrogen was still low, but climbing slowly.
Third is where they found only one more mm on my lining,  so now its 8. As for the follicles, I had an 11 and about 5 tens. My estrogen was above 300 according to my call back. I was told we were going to try to salvage the cycle with another bump in the dose to 112.5 for two days and I got really nervous.  She acted like too many follies were responding and I was going to be cancelled again.
This morning is appt four. I have four 12s and three 14s. They are really only looking at the 14s. My lining is at 13 now. I'm waiting for a call about the blood work.  She says she not sure if an iui would be done this cycle because I have a lot going on, but she's at least confident enough to hand me a trigger shot. 250ug Ovidrel that I wait for the go ahead to give to myself.
I'm so nervous,  I really hope I have a shot this month.  I will update after the call.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The New Start to my Second March Cycle ~ CD 17

So I just had my appointment on cd 17. This is two weeks after they found my cysts from the overstimulated cycle were still there on cd3.

I was very negative going in. I didn't think they would go away as I was still having pains in my ovaries daily. To me this meant at the very least they were still there if not growing. I was hoping they were bursting and would be gone, but I didn't think that was the case. I prepared myself for at least a month of the pill to help keep my hormones at bay, then DR Google informed me that even that might not work. Since I didn't think anything would come of this cycle I told dh not to come. There was no point in him leaving work for a huge disappointment.

The night before the appointment (during bd no less) I had a really sharp pain near my uterus. I was fairly certain this time it was a cyst bursting.

I get in the stirrups, and am completely nervous. I just know I'm going to be told there is nothing they can do for me. I explain my pain and they are very concerned so they call the dr in. They see a thin (for me) lining at 7mm, and several fairly small follicles in each ovary, no big ones! I'm shocked.
They did notice blood flow, which means my ovaries are fine after the over-stimulation. They also saw free fluid, which means I did have a cyst burst. This is great, because if it didn't burst it would have still been there and the pill would have been the only option.

Here comes the frustrating part, I had to explain to them what was going on and why I was there. They assumed that this cycle was the canceled cycle. Then they were confused as to what I wanted to do next. They told me to wait for my period! Uh as a women who no longer ovulates, I also no longer get my period, I about cried when I asked to start the meds now, or at the very least provera. They said they would call me back once my blood work was in. If my levels were low enough I could start stimming that night! on cd17! I was getting excited, and nervous.

I get the call back a few hours later and I'm told my levels are quite so wait for a period and call back! Ahh I wanted to scream and cry, in fact I started to cry. Luckily, she did follow up by asking what the plan was. So I asked if I could start the shots. I get put on hold, and pace the house. I had the hope that was just renewed that morning and I didn't want it to be ripped away by the afternoon.

After a 5 minute hold that seemed to take too long, she told me that if I still had my gonal f pen and needles, I could start them up again. Since Im starting the lower dose, I have enough meds, but I'm running low on needles. I have a new appointment soon, so I can get a refill then, just in time.

I'm so worried that this wont work. I will update after my next appointment.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Quick Update for my Second March Cycle

I just got through with my cd 3 baseline appointment. It looks like the only thing that happened was I ovulated the 19mm. The crash from the estrogen somehow caused af to show early. The nurses said that happens. All of the rest of the follies are still there. I still have a 17, 15, a few 13s, she stopped measuring at that point. They told me that sometimes after an overstimulated cycle the body just needs to rest.

After the scan I had my blood drawn, and it was completely painless. I have never had that happen before. Well my hormones are looking good and quiet right now. They are hoping they stay that way and that the cysts will shrink over the next 2 weeks. Im hoping it can still grow and be ovulated naturally and become my take home baby or thb.

I asked the nurse what would happen if they do not shrink. I was told that sometimes a good cycle will clear it up. Going on the birth control pill is always an option and I think that is actually the route I want to take. I have only ever conceived the first month off birth control, or while still on it. I think this will give my body a chance to reset, and start fresh. Hopefully  I wont have a ton of little 6-8mm follies in there to try and balance.

This is all so frustrating. I'm just starting my tenth month attc and I haven't yet been able to "try". I told dh today that I was losing hope. He was concerned, but I assured him this didn't mean I was giving up, but I no longer have that "I just know its going to happen this time" feeling. Ive given everything a shot and they all either don't work, or they backfire. Its disappointing.

I even got my hopes up last cycle. The follicles were growing and I started thinking about the baby's room again and even got it all cleaned up. Shampooed the carpets and washed the walls. I set up the guest bed and put up these giant maps I had that I hope to tie into the nursery theme I want. Now I feel so let down, and even silly for having that hope.

Anyway. We are going to try naturally for the next 2 weeks and hope something happens on its own, or miraculously clears up.