Tuesday, June 28, 2011

killing time...

IUI #6 complete...at least the IUI part. The cycle is far from complete. I ran into an A to Z questionnaire that I thought might kill a few minutes of the next two weeks :)

A to Z of TTC

A. Age when you started TTC: 32

B. Baby Dancing or Sex: Sex... we have learned baby dancing seldom results in the baby part-nor do I dance.

C. Children wanted: wanted, but not expected.

D. Dogs/Cats/Fill in Children: 4 dogs. I very old beagle, an aging jack russell, and 2 feisty chihuahuas that also double as mini heaters in the winter (or nuisances in the middle of summer when a heater is simply not needed)

E. Essential Oils/Vitamins/Snake Oils: Prenatals. 

F. Fertility Meds I’ve taken: Clomid, Ovidrel, Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur, lovenox, Crinone, Progesterone in Oil, Ganirelex, HCG trigger, dexamethasone-that may be it!

G. Gain: weight and increased sarcasm.

H. HSG (Hystosalpingogram): June 2009 (inconclusive leading to an August repeat), August 2009, August 2010 and anticipated August 2011.

I. Infertile Pet Peeves: It will happen when you least expect it...

J. Job title: Graphic Designer

K. Kid’s names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: I have never been attached to one in particular-it has been so long since I thought of names over three years ago that even my tastes change in names.
L. Length of time TTC: Over 3.5 years

M. Miscarriages: 2...well, one miscarriage and one what they like to call "biochemical"-I call it 2 miscarriages.

N. Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs: None-our RE is the only around and is fantastic. He is both open and willing to offer advice, but is also open and willing to do what you feel is right for your cycle.

O. Ovarian quality: FSH says great, lack of children seems to indicate otherwise.

P. POAS or wait for AF: POAS on a medicated cycle (regular cycles I do not waste the money on tests). I like the warning. I also think there needs to be a support group for people like me who will pee on just about anything if it will show a line.

Q. Quote from an obnoxious fertile: Just get drunk... it worked for me!

S. Sperm: Quantity and motility are great... morph leaves a little to be desired, but nothing to write home about.

T. Time you tried naturally: Subtract 2 clomid cycles and 6 IUI cucles over the last 3.5 years. That is how many cycles naturally.

U. Uterus quality: Good... the HSG shows all normal there minus a possible partially blocked tube-sometimes the dye goes through and sometimes it doesn't. Who knew?

V. Vagina: Yes...? 

W. What baby stuff do you already have?: My old cradle from when I was a baby and some cute little shoes and socks since I find them so irresistible. 

X. X-tra X-tra Hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy TTC journey? Everyone under the sun. My family, my friends, my coworkers, his coworkers...we have no shame. We are an open book. Just b prepared for the truth if you ask.

Y. Yearly Exam (do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?): Yes...they don't check the good for things like that at the RE. Although I have lost track of the number of lovely men and women who have graced my parts over the last several years.

Z. Zits: Absolutely...since puberty. It just never went away.

That was fun. What to do next? :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

does optimism come in an injection?

Today's ultrasound revealed really stubborn follicles in the right ovary, a couple of viable ones in the left ovary, and nearly 7mm lining-and whether we like it or not, tomorrow is IUI day. I have run out of ganirelex, hence no way to stop ovulation. They decided to give me one more night of stims and an unorthodox early morning trigger. I guess the intent is to let the incredibly large follicle do as it pleases and let the trigger work its magic on the smaller follicle that measured in at 17mm this morning (hopefully by ovulation it will be closer to 20mm).  I am feeling a little better knowing my lining is almost where it should be and will continue to thicken since my estrogen is through the roof right now. The follicles are a bit disappointing, but I still feel better now than two days ago.

Party on... IUI tomorrow afternoon. Can I get a dose of optimism with my trigger shot?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

adventures in things falling apart...and unusual attachments

First, let me start with an update to my current cycle. Not only is my lining failing to thicken to the desired 7mm as of this past Friday, but my "resolving" cyst from last month is refusing to...well, resolve. I also have (or had at this point as by now it is far beyond acceptable size and is now past its prime and usefulness) a mature follicle-ONE mature follicle. For God's sake, I can get that without all this medication. So the nurse decided it was best to let this follicle go (and grow to degenerative uselessness) and see if the other smaller follicles will get large enough over the weekend. The ones we are waiting for now are quite small-the largest being only 10mm, then next at 9mm, and 2 others at a mere 5mm. Lets hope they all grow to 18-20 by tomorrow morning and my stubborn lining thickens because I will be out of necessary medications to continue on any longer. I must trigger tomorrow night... I will ovulate whether I am ready or not since I don't have any more ganirelex to stop it from happening on its own.

Ah yes, I remember fondly my last cycle that went like textbook. Lots of great follicles, thick lining...and 97 million sperm to find their way. Those were the days. Turns out it doesn't make a bit of a difference on the outcome. Maybe this will be the way it goes... the struggle and uncertainty will lead to the desired outcome. After all, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Anything worth having I have had to work for. Perhaps this is no different.

I am attempting to lower my stress level since it has been abnormally high. I am terribly emotionally charged (as you may recall my post about crying like a baby to the Deadliest Catch) and I have been reduced to tears over the smallest of events. However, my car crapping out on me is not a small thing. I am not a material person, but this is a piece of practical equipment that gets me to my job-and doctor appointments at the butt crack of dawn. This is the car I dreamed of having and I am quite fond of it.

They not only do not make the model anymore-the company doesn't even exist. They decided the Pontiac line was not worth keeping. I thought once it died on me I would be fine saying goodbye to it and replacing it with a new piece of practical equipment. This too-shockingly enough-makes me sad. Apparently according to Jeff, it is a lengthy and costly fix, being that it is the transmission that is going-but he is willing to fix it if I want him to. It still runs right now, but I fear it won't get much farther-or even down the road. Do I let him fix it and see how much more life we get out of it... or do I let go and move on?

It appears I have some attachment issues in more than one facet of my life...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Needles and pills

I was able to start meds up again last night. The baseline ultrasound showed a resolving follicle that they decided would benefit waiting a day before starting meds. The regimen is exactly the same at this point-with the exception of the vitamins. I am glad I chose gummy prenatal vitamins instead of pills. It is like a little treat amongst the needles and pills.

I mentioned to the nurse that this will be our last cycle. Of course she said "because it will work right?"

Or perhaps our insurance will cut us off. Either way right?

Of course it will be nice if she is right after all...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

forgive the depression...

... but I think two things have started within me. We are at cycle day one on our final IUI cycle. Great to have a fresh new cycle, but scary to think of where we go next if it fails. I desperately want this to work and I thought that after 6 cycles, we would be a complete family. Adoption is weighing more heavily in our thoughts and through my research, I came across a poem about mourning the loss of a biological child never to be met. Naturally, it made me cry because those words, although I could not write them so well... say exactly how it feels:

Today I close the door of the nursery
I have kept for you in my heart.

This is from the book, "Children of Open Adoption" It is for the unborn child of an infertile couple.
I can no longer stand in its doorway.
I have waited for you there so long.
I cannot forever live on the periphery of the dream world we share,
and you cannot enter my world.

I have fought to bring you across the threshold of conception & birth. I have fought time, doctors,devils and God almighty. I am weary and there is no victory.

Other children may someday live in my  heart but never in your place.
I can never hold you. I can never really let you go. But I must go on.
The unborn are forever trapped within the living but it is unseemly
for the living to be trapped forever by the unborn.

It is hard to shift from wanting to share in the creation of something by two people in love that will have his ears and your mouth, the baby you will bond with for 9 months in the womb and bring into the world in a moment that words cannot describe. I mourn the possible loss of that connection-especially as we get close to the medical end. It will all be up to fate as to whether or nor-or even how our family grows from here. I know we both have love to give to any child... it is just a matter of saying goodbye to some things once dear to my heart and replacing it with new dreams. 
Just wanted to start thinking about the possibilities we could have a month from now. It could be exciting after all. Closing this entry with hope for this cycle, and realism that it will go as it needs.


So today is cycle day one and I am scared. It is our last IUI cycle and possibly our last medicated cycle ever. Insurance will not cover any more cycles after this.

No pressure...

The fun begins Friday morning. Let's hope there are no cysts!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another one down the crapper

At least I was not surprised at the negative result. On to the final cycle...

patiently waiting

I am patiently awaiting my blood test results-patiently because I am prepared for what the results probably are. That's the thing about this. You need to be one step ahead at all times. You need to work on the current cycle while planning for the next month. I have medications for if this cycle succeeds and medications for if I need to start all over again next month. Most of my medications are mail order and need to be ordered well in advance to be sure they  are here when I need them. Inevitably, I will waste medications because some will not get used. I have been told by family to not think it has failed, but I need to in order to be ready for the next month. It is the way the cycle goes.  There is no down time in between to contemplate unless you are ok with skipping a cycle.

I could wait a month and start again after a full cycle, thus eliminating the need to purchase new medications prior to the end of a previous cycle... but then I waste the med I had to open for one injection this past cycle. Once opened, it lasts 30 days. If I skip this next cycle, that med gets trashed-and the Gonal-F is a pricey medication to throw away.

Once the results are in, we will give it one more try this month. My body cannot take more than that, both physically and emotionally... but mostly emotionally. The physical pain will go away, but the mental toll is different. Every month is a failure and I cannot keep coming back to fail. It is too expensive and fruitless. We are contemplating the next step-most likely adoption-which poses its own set of unique risks that we need to work through. Money, time waiting, preparations, home visits, classes... and in the end, you have a beautiful baby that at any time until final papers are signed, could be taken away from you. Scary to think about.

But I wait for results... patiently. More to come.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I am M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E. and I won't lie about it. I got a negative pee test this morning-and although I realize it means absolutely nothing yet, I can't help but reference the last two positive tests I got in the past that had showed up by now. I nearly cried-or did cry depending-numerous times today, including sobbing while watching my DVRed episode of Deadliest Catch (it isn't just about crab fishing anymore apparently). My dog upset my by leaning against the curtain overnight causing it to fall to the floor-so that the other dog who insists on getting us up at 5:45 could wake us up even earlier. 5:20 is far too early for cranky me. I was angry at my job for making me work. I got angry at my lack of cool air on the car ride home.

Hell, I got angry at the new lawn ornament/planter that looks oddly like a 17 year old riding lawn mower that we got bought yesterday and broke-yesterday. The anger was not towards the broken part... it is the new position it holds proudly perched in our front yard. Just beautiful. I am thinking about putting my Chinese fan palm tree on it.

I love chocolate hostess cupcakes right? So while getting gas at an ungodly $3.77 a gallon (and yes-that upset me too), I stopped into the convenience store and saw a strawberry version of the cupcakey goodness. Any they were pink to boot. Imagine my disappointment when it tasted like a strawberry chapstick-or at least what I imagine a strawberry chapstick to taste like if you ate it whole.

Silly little things. Nothing a normal person would get upset over. But this is me we are talking about. Is it bedtime yet? Damned hormones...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

perhaps the beginning of the end... or just the beginning?

The typical spotting towards the end of my cycle has commenced. It could be many things. It could be implantation spotting. It could be simple irritation from the fantastic progesterone suppository. Or it could be my cycle coming to an inevitable end.

I don't want to get all pessimistic or anything, but I just can't help it. I have lost track of the number of cycles we have tried-both naturally and medically-and that is no joke. People in this situation can tell you every milestone and devastating event in great detail from the exact date it happened to what they ate or did that day. I have... lost... count. Sad really.

This pessimism has not hurt my success rate as far as I am concerned. What it has done is help me cope with the disappointment each month has provided me. I will be let down yet again should we fail-but I am prepared for it. I need to be prepared for it the same way you put on a life vest before the ship sinks and the bottom falls out. It is my defense. This month in particular has been tough. Everything has gone textbook. Perfect follicles and many of them responding exactly as they should, well-timed intralipid infusion and a Saturday insemination (which we succeeded at both times in the past), and the expected, yet still disturbing large bruises that have just started making an appearance from the blood thinner injected in my abdomen. It all is going to script. We have worked so hard and kept to a medication routine diligently. It will truly be devastating should it fail.

One step at a time... that fat lady has not had a chance to sing yet. I am still in the running until that bitch shows up. And if she does show, I will invite her in for a glass of wine.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

meds...or me

I learned today that a co-worker and friend will be moving decidedly too far away to visit. It makes me sad. I feel as if she has lived just 20 minutes away from me forever and I haven't been to see her outside of work in over a year. Disgusting...

Now she will be leaving and I can't seem to keep a level head about it. After all, we are not extra close in most peoples books. However, she has been there for me in some pretty tough times and has been a great support-even with my inconsistent friendship. She has been a part of my life for nearly 17 years. How different it will be. I can't decide if my overwhelming reaction to the news is me simply feeling sad... or if the meds are finally talking. I am weepy, crampy, bloated, always hungry, constantly peeing (sometimes 2-3 times while attempting to sleep through any given night), easily agitated-and the nagging pulling/stabbing sensation in my abdomen is driving me up a wall (perhaps a by-product of being easily agitated).

I can safely say that I cannot wait until this two week wait is over. My pee test (as you know by now I pee a lot) indicates my trigger shot is 99% gone, so if that second line gets darker, we are headed in the right direction. Come Saturday, I will either celebrate with great joy and relief... or with a great big bottle of Fulkerson's Sunset Blush as we partake in our traditional UFC fight night party-yay for chicken wing dip! Yummy with that bottle of wine :)

I miss my friend already...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

are we there yet?

Nothing like waiting two weeks to drive you absolutely mad (as if I wasn't already out of my mind). Although we are halfway there. I do not get my hopes up-mainly because we have done this so many times with shockingly similar results. Also, I am on so many hormone enhancing medications, there is no "true" way to know what is going on until they test my blood. My body has been faked into believing it is pregnant to the point my cycle will probably not restart without stopping all meds for several days.

I am experiencing the expected breast tenderness associated with pregnancy... and if I peed on a stick right now, I would in fact see a second line with thanks to the HCG trigger shot I took last Friday to force my body to ovulate. If I actually get a positive blood test on Saturday (it would be a true result as the trigger should be completely out of my bloodstream meaning my body is producing it on it's own), they would continue me on the progesterone and add HCG booster injections-which will again fake the positive pee test. So until I see anything on an ultrasound, theoretically, there could be nothing there any longer.

This is perfect for a hypochondriac. I have to add that my bras do not fit anymore. I had a hard enough time working around the "girls" to golf in the past. Now I wish they would stay home so I could play properly.