Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Down to Two…

I went in for monitoring this morning, and my three lead follicles that I had on Monday are now down to two. The nurse couldn’t even find one decent size follicle on my left ovary today, when on Monday there was one beautiful 10 mm folly! So I now have two follies on my right ovary – one at 13 and one at 14 mm. They’re growing away! I keep telling myself that this is good, that two follicles means two chances, and all I need is one. But my previous two IUI’s had three follicles each, and I only got pregnant with one baby each. No, two follicles equals two chances – this is good!!! (Definitely trying to work on my attitude…) The lining looks good at over 9 mm, so that’s good.

My bloodwork looks good: Estradiol at 392, LH at 3.13, Progesterone at 1.25. I’m supposed to continue with 75 of Gonal-F, start doing the Ganirelix tonight, and also start doing the Lovenox tonight. Oh boy, 3 shots each day! Definitely not looking forward to that…

The great news is I seem to be progressing such that I would trigger Friday night and have the two IUI’s on Saturday and Sunday, which would be wonderful as I wouldn’t have to miss work and make up some excuse as to why I have to miss two mornings in a row! AND – if I have an IUI on Saturday, then one of the IUIs can be with fresh sperm, as the hubs flies out on Saturday. We can only hope.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Of Course It Is!

About a month ago, I shared a story about my friend A. My super wonderful, super fertile friend A is pregnant, and I didn't handle her announcement very well. She just had her first ultrasound, and guess what – it’s twins! Of course it is! Why wouldn’t the super lucky uber-fertile woman be pregnant with twins??? Meanwhile, the first due date of my first baby is coming up – October 16. This little one was only with me for a few days before I knew it was ectopic, but I miss it. And then I would be 23 weeks pregnant now with my second baby, if he would have lived. I really hope I’m pregnant before the due date for my second little one. Oh wait, maybe I’ll be pregnant before the due date for my first baby… I probably won’t know by then, but maybe…

I responded well to the ultrasound picture of the two little sacs when A handed it to me. I was very excited for her, and reacted appropriately. She’s so overwhelmed, concerned with money, concerned with having two babies when her oldest won’t even be two years old. Of course, these are real concerns, but I wish it were me. I’ve always wanted twins. Shoot, I’ve always wanted a baby – I’d love just one right now. No, I’d rather have the two I lost.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Q&A Chain Letter – and WONDERFUL News – and Cycle Update

Thanks to Sienna for the nomination. I’m so thrilled to be responding to her letter today, because she just received amazing news – she’s pregnant!!! And her beta is wonderful! So excited for her!!!!

I usually don’t pass on these kinds of things, but I thought it would be fun…

1. What is your dream occupation?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a doctor. I got in trouble at school when I was around six years old because I was charging people a nickel to pull out their loose teeth. I thought it was a great business. My patients thought I was performing a valuable service, and I liked making the money. Unfortunately, the school nurse and my mother did not agree… I’m still fascinated by all things medicine, including this whole fertility business. I would do something medical, but I really don’t want to go back to school. Right now, my accounting job at a biotech will have to suffice.

2. Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper?

Twice. Once, my picture was in the newspaper because I was ranked 3rd in my high school graduating class, and they took a picture of the top three – didn’t get a title, but I loved that picture. And then, just before Ar.thur And.ersen was failing due to the whole En.ron fiasco, the company took out a two page ad in the W.all S.treet J.ournal, and listed all 28,000 employees that were going to lose their job if the Depar.tment of continued with their indictment. Later, it was overturned, but it didn’t change the fact that we all lost our jobs. Most of my office went to another firm, but it wasn’t the same. That was a big turning point in my life. Prior to that, I was a happy workaholic, and it all changed when I lost my job. Made me question my whole career and everything. In the end, it was very good. But it was really hard to go through.

3. What’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?

The Lim.ited. I worked there over the Christmas break my freshman year in college, and I hated every moment of it. I hated the pressure to sell stuff I didn’t like. I hated the mad rush before Christmas to buy just anything. I hated the men who came in and when asked what size their wife was, everyone said, “About your size.” I also hated the men who would come in on Christmas Eve, and when told that we didn’t have anything left in size 8 or whatever, they would buy their wives size 14 just to have something under the tree. I hate the insane after Christmas sales, especially knowing that we just robbed everyone of their money two days earlier. I simply hated it all. The next summer, I worked at – much better!

4. When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?

I always thought I would be 25 when I got married, then kinds 2-3 years later. Would be done having kids by 31 or 32. I thought that was way too old to have kids…

I got married the first time at 26 – I’m embarrassed to say that I figured it was time to get married, time to settle down, so I married the first nice guy that came around. And he was nice, he just wasn’t right for me. We tried to get pregnant – didn’t work. Two years after getting married, we divorced. I felt very messed up in the head, didn’t really want to date much for awhile. The first guy I started dating after my separation I assumed would be just a rebound guy. Two months after we started dating, he asked me to marry him. I said no. Five and ½ years later, he asked me again. I said yes. We got married when I was 33 – almost 34. I wish I would have waited until I was more sure to get married, but unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way.

5. What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?

I hate cleaning the house – all of it. But my absolute worse chore is cleaning showers and bathtubs. Hate every bit of that!!! My favorite is cleaning the kitchen and getting all the counters clean and sink shining. There’s something so inspiring about that. If my kitchen is clean, and there’s no clutter on the counters, then it feels like all is right with the world.

6. What’s your earliest memory?

I don’t know. I struggle with this one. I don’t remember much until I was about 8-9 years old, and even that is fuzzy. I get confused as to whether memories are memories of pictures that are in photo books, or stories that I’ve been told. I had a very messed up early childhood, and I think a lot of that is blocked out. So I don’t have anything really good for this question…

And for a cycle update… It’s CD8, day 5 of meds, and I had an ultrasound and bloodwork today. I’m still awaiting the results of the bloodwork, but I have three lead follicles – one at 12 mm, and two at 10 mm. So everything is looking good! I go back on Wednesday and Friday for more monitoring. If I have to bet, I would say my IUI’s will be next Monday and Tuesday. Oh and good news. I didn’t bug the hubs about dropping off his own swimmers to be frozen, and he asked me to make an appointment for round 1 tomorrow morning. And he’s planning on doing round 2 later this week. I really didn’t want to make the drive twice this week AND twice next week, and I think he realized it’s only fair for him to do his part. Yay!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IUI #3 – Cleared to Go!

Had my CD3 bloodwork & ultrasound this morning, and we’re officially a go for IUI #3! Here are the results of my bloodwork – everything looks good for CD3.

Progesterone: 1.45
LH: 6.97
FSH: 5.40
Estradiol: 77.5

No cysts, lining looks good for now, so I’m supposed to start meds tomorrow – 75 of Gonal-F. They didn’t want me to start today, because then I would need to go in for monitoring on Friday, and they wouldn’t see anything. So they asked me to start meds tomorrow, and then my first monitoring appointment is on Monday. They really don’t like to work on the weekends…

Got all the meds yesterday. Phew, that was almost hard. But the amazing thing is I now have a medication that is paid for by insurance – Lovenox. I get all my meds from Freedom Fertility, and they quoted me $1,082 for 30 days of Lovenox. Oh my goodness – that’s a lot. Especially considering if this IUI actually works, I would stay on this med until after delivery! So I called my insurance company, found out they covered it because it’s not an actual fertility med – just a regular old blood thinner. So I asked Freedom Fertility to use my insurance on that med. Turns out the insurance company wouldn’t pay Freedom Fertility because of the word “Fertility” in the name, so we transferred the script to my local grocery store pharmacy. Then the insurance company agreed to pay it. Guess how much my copay is - $7! So excited about this!!! Finally I like my insurance again. We’ve had a bad relationship considering how much I’ve been paying for fertility meds and treatments this year…

Between the meds yesterday and paying for the IUI including monitoring today, I’ve spent $4,000 in two days. Ugh. Hate this part.

Will be an interesting cycle. Just mapped it out on my handy calendar. I go to Austin this weekend (watching a UT game!), so I’ll need to keep the drugs cool in a cooler during the day while it’s left in the car, and will be shooting up in a hotel. Then during the IUI, the hubs will be in California for work, so we won’t be working with fresh spermies – have to freeze them next week. (We’re having an argument as to who has to drop off his two samples. The office where the IUI is done is an hour away. I don’t want to make the trip – during work hours – 4 times. I already have to do 2 for the IUI’s – don’t you think he should have to do the sperm drop-offs??? I wonder who will win this argument…I think it will be him. grumble grumble…) And after the IUI’s, during the 2ww, we’re going to Maryland for a friend’s wedding. I’ll be on Lovenox at that point, so I’ll need to fly with needles – need to get a doctor’s note for that one. Hopefully with everything that is going on, the time will go by fast.

This is my third IUI, and I’m not nervous about any of it. Until the end. The shots, the ultrasounds, the bloodwork, the IUI’s, no big deal. I can handle all of that. A BFN? I could probably handle that as well, although it would really suck – really suck. What I’m really scared of is a BFP. Because that starts the worry, the fear, all of the anxiety. If all this results in a BFP, I’ll be so afraid of losing another baby. But I need to not focus on that right now. Just worry about the everyday stuff – the shots, the monitoring, figuring out the next steps. The rest I’ll worry about later.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I’m Back…

I’m back! And busy – and tired!!! We flew back late last night, and I’m here at work now – oh boy, can’t wait until later today when I crash… My stupid boss set up a meeting for 4:00 this afternoon, so I can’t even leave early. Oh, and this is about the project he was supposed to get done while I was gone, and he didn’t do anything on it – in 2 ½ weeks!!! I woke up at 3:20 this morning, and couldn’t go back to sleep. The good news is I got a bunch of laundry and stuff done before coming to work. The bad news is I’m now exhausted, and it will only get worse as the day goes on…

Will definitely post some pics of the trip later this week – once I get them organized. Such a wonderful trip! I thanked the hubs for pushing the trip. It was something that he always pushed for, and I really didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to go, as I was supposed to be pregnant, and didn’t want the additional stress. Turns out it all worked out ok.

No rest for the weary – guess who started her period this morning! It was weird – my temps still hadn’t really dropped. Honestly for the last couple days, I thought I was pregnant, and was very disappointed this morning when I got my period. I half-heartedly tracked everything this cycle. Our BD timing wasn’t fabulous, but it was “Good” as rated by fertility friend, I checked my temps every few days or so after O’ing, and even this morning, they hadn’t dropped like they normally do prior to AF. I really thought I was pregnant – more than I have for a natural cycle in a very long time. But I was worried – yesterday on the plane ride home was our first non-alcoholic day in a long time… But no reason to worry, I didn’t get pregnant. I was relaxed, went on vacation, got drunk, had fun sex, and still didn’t get pregnant. Was definitely disappointed – was really hoping I didn’t have to go through another IUI, but here we are. It’s CD1, I made an appointment for Wednesday for my CD3 bloodwork and ultrasound, ordered a bunch of meds, and we’ll do IUI #3 – ugh.

I really am going to try to get caught up on my blog reading in the next few days – really hoping that there is some wonderful news out there for me to read!!! I’ve missed you ladies!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hello from a train!

I'm riding on a train from Basel to Munich, as we make our way to our last stop. This will be our 6th stop, 3 nights in Munich, with the primary goal of Oktoberfest. It's been a wonderful trip, lots of wonderful sights, food and drink. Very glad we did this. But I keep thinking about how this trip should have been different, or perhaps not at all. 

I've eaten so much wonderful food, most of which seems is on the forbidden for pregnancy list. And that does not even include the many glasses of wine and beer, including the upcoming Oktoberfest weekend! And I've done a ton of walking, hiking, some of it quite strenuous. Would never have done that if I was 5 months pregnant as planned. But I have had a wonderful time being able to enjoy those things. 

The real reason I'm taking some time out of my vacation to write a post, something I swore I wouldn't do, is I want to write about my conversation last night with my friend M. She lives in Basel, and 8 weeks ago she lost her baby when she was 4 1/2 months along. She started leaking amniotic fluid, checked into the hospital for bed rest, was monitored for over a week, hoping the hole in her sac would heal, but watched her fluid levels continue to decrease. Finally she had to make the heart wrenching decision to deliver the baby. I guess she could have continued the pregnancy, but the doctors guaranteed that the baby wouldn't properly develop, that it wouldn't be healthy, and it was likely that M would get an infection that would likely hurt her chances of future pregnancies. And so she chose to induce labor. 

I spoke with her via text while she was in the hospital and the day before the delivery, after the decision, but I hadn't really talked to her about it since, at her request. But last night, after dinner, I pulled her aside from our men, and asked if we could talk about it. 

She said she's doing fine now. She took a month off of work, and now she's back, and they're trying again for another child. She was showing quite a bit before she lost the baby, and they had done a huge announcement when she was 3 months along, so the worst part was telling everyone. Of course different people responded differently. Some of our mutual friends didn't respond at all-not a note, text, nothing. She was very disappointed in them, and doesn't know what to do about them. I told her about how some people don't know what to say, are very uncomfortable about pregnancy loss, but trying not to give excuses for these friends of ours. 

It was a really good conversation, but I couldn't help having negative feelings. She barely asked about me, and I had told her I was pregnant earlier this summer, and I had told her about my miscarriage at 9 weeks. I don't think she views our losses as similar. I know there are different opinions about 1st trimester or 2nd trimester losses, or even 3rd. I know that what she went through, being in the hospital for so long, having 2 1/2 months longer to bond with her baby, and then having to deliver it, this is so much worse than my experience. And it's not a competition of who had the worst loss or something terrible like that, but I really didn't expect to have her gloss over my miscarriage. 

She kept repeating that she didn't have a miscarriage, that it was different, that she was tired of having to console other people who were sad about her baby (this is after I teared up while she told her story). I asked her about the sex of the baby, she said she didn't know, she didn't want to know, that the sex or seeing the baby or holding the baby after delivery would make it more real. I don't understand this, as I would give anything to know more about the baby I lost. I keep trying to tell myself that everyone's different, that I need to accept her feelings, not judge them, but I just don't understand. 

She seems so strong, so able to just pick herself up and move on. She kept talking about how wonderful her life is, with or without a baby, and she'll be fine without one. They are trying again, and she's very confident it will work. She can be confident - it took her 2 months to get pregnant!!! 

Maybe that's the difference between M and me. Infertility has changed me. Yes we both have gone through terrible things, but I have to go back to treatments, and continuing to wonder if it will work. I've been fighting this battle for 1 1/2 years, and I'm exhausted! I can't just pick myself up, I don't feel strong, instead I feel bitter and jealous of my friend who just lost her baby. Which then makes me feel worse. 

Thanks for listening to me, as always. Sorry for the super long post, but I had to get it out.  I  have really missed blogging. It feels better just to have put my thoughts on paper, or rather the Internet... 

Will be coming home on Sunday, can't wait to see what all of you have been up to! Talk to you next week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

100th Post – What I’ve Learned

This is my 100th post, and I can’t believe I’m here already. I never thought I would ever have a blog, especially one centered around fertility! I started this in February, after going through an ectopic pregnancy, and feeling so alone. I had been following some blogs (including some of you!!!) for awhile, starting around November, but I had never commented and never blogged. I didn’t want to get “sucked up” in that world. But then I started getting jealous of the support that people received – both in the good stuff and in the bad, and I realized the benefit of being a real part of this community. I realized that not only did I want to hear about what other people were doing in their fertility struggle, but I wanted to respond and let people know I was out here struggling! And I wanted to tell my story. Also, I was afraid of going through something like the ectopic again, without having additional support – more than I have in my real life. Little did I know how much support I was really going to need a few months later, in June when I lost another baby. So for my 100th post, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve learned since starting my blog:

I learned that the support you get from internet friends can be better than anything you have in real life. You ladies “get” me better than anyone in my life, and I love knowing that I’m not the only one to feel the way I do.

I’ve learned that when you’re down in the dumps, and don’t feel like picking up the phone to call IRL friends, you can go on your blog and write a few words, and it will feel better. It feels good to let the feelings out, and then even better, it feels good to get the comments back. They really are like hugs – when someone comments that they’re thinking of me, or just agrees that something sucks, it makes me feel so much better, or at least not alone. Feeling surrounded by love is the best feeling in the world.

I’ve learned that following pregnancy blogs, although sometimes can make me jealous, give me great hope. I like pregnant after IF people much better than the “oops chicks” that I know, and it gives me great comfort that if these ladies can do it, maybe there’s a chance for me too. Plus I assume that maybe someday I’ll get pregnant and it will stick, in which case I need some mentors – I plan on asking all kinds of advice someday, maybe…

I’ve learned that flooding someone who is going through a loss with comments is so important. On that awful day, I took 2 minutes and wrote the No Heartbeat post. I received so many comments on that one. I remember being in bed, not being able to stop crying, but my phone kept buzzing. I kept receiving emails of comments from people. Some from people that I knew through blogging, and some were complete strangers. Someone had posted my news on LFCA, and a few of my bloggy friends had posted my news on their own blogs. It was amazing the amount of support and love I felt through that day. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through that day otherwise – thank you.

I’ve learned when the random errant commenter makes a not-so-nice comment, there’s nothing like a group of IFers to have your back. Wow, I knew I feel oh-so-protective about all of you, but to get the same fierce love back is amazing. Thank you ladies for always having my back.

I’ve learned that in blog-land, just as in real life, you get as much as you give. I make a conscious effort to pay attention, to read people’s blogs, and to comment and put out the love as much as possible. In return, I’ve developed some amazing friendships. I feel like the conversations we have, although they’re not like normal in-person ones with back and forth type dialogue, are amazing and really create friendships. Even if I haven't met any of you face-to-face, I consider you my friends, my support network, people that I need in my life.

I’ve learned that I don’t have to be a good writer to have a good blog. I’m terrible at grammar, I have to write my posts in Word first so there is a spell check, and I’ve always been terrible at creative writing. But here, I just spill out my thoughts, and I’ve discovered that it doesn’t really matter if I’m not the best writer. I will always be envious of those really good writers, the ones that can express their thoughts and feelings so beautifully, and I will never be that girl. I was intimidated by these writers when I started blogging, but I figured I would just let my thoughts fly. Hopefully you can tell that I’m open and honest, and just want to share what’s going on in my life and in my head.

Most of all, I’ve learned that my life is better for having this blog. I use this as a form of therapy, of support. I am lucky to have all of you in my life.

With that, I’m signing off for awhile. I leave tomorrow morning for Europe, and I’m not sure how much access I’ll have to my blog and to yours. I’ll miss you, my bloggy friends!