Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It has been a while...

I know, I know. It has been a while since I've posted. The reason is because I have become a little bogged down with self pity and I don't want to share that with all of you. As you have all figured out by now, last month on the injections and IUI did not work. It actually had the opposite effect, if that is even possible, because I ended up with 2 large cysts in my left ovary which means that no injections or IUI for this cycle. So we are skipping this cycle and then next cycle it will be back to the injections and IUI for a second time. After that it will probably be one or two more cycles and if we are still unsuccessful we will be moving on to IVF.

I have a feeling that IVF is going to be in our future, as the statistics just aren't in our favor. After the 4th round of IUI the possibilities of conception are pretty slim and for a woman who is under 35 with no major ovulation problems and unexplained infertility, IUI statistically doesn't work very well at all. So here I am, a woman for whom IUI statistically shouldn't work very well and I'll be on my 5th round of IUI next cycle...I'd say my chances are pretty slim. But I'm okay with that and I'm letting IVF become a very real possibility in my mind.

So, as I take this month off from the blood work and ultrasounds and injections and IUI, I am also going to take this month off from the blogging world. I'm going to enjoy this time in my life right now, and I'm not going to think about what is past or what might be in the future. I'm just going to recharge my batteries and come back stronger than ever and I would suggest that you all do the same! The holiday season is upon us and everyone in our infertility boat should mentally take this time off! Focus on what makes you happy, even if it is just until the holidays are over and we'll all come back rested and ready to conquer infertility once and for all!


Friday, November 5, 2010

A change in the game...

Ok everybody! We have moved on to injections instead of the clomid! We are going to start using the follistim pen this evening, it seems pretty easy to use and I think that lots of people use this system when moving on to injections. Our goal on the injections is the same as our goal on the clomid, we want to get 2-3 mature follicles and then we'll do the trigger shot and then IUI. Why move to the injections when I was (sometimes) getting those results with the clomid? Well, because I'm not pregnant! :) For starters the clomid didn't always work as we wanted it to and the injections are much more potent so I should for sure get 2-3 follicles each cycle, and also because as the lovely KB explained to me, with the injections the doctor has much more control over the actual ovulation.

The clomid tells your body to produce more FSH, with the injection we are cutting out the middle man and just injecting in straight FSH. Instead of butchering what KB told me, I'm just going to cut and paste so you can all read her exact words when explaining why we use the injections.

"So, here is how the injections were described to me and how they are different. My dr. said he thought the problem was in my brain. Basically there is a "path" our bodies follow. Menstruation, Ovulation, then back again. But with lots of ups and downs of hormones in between. Usually most women's cycles follow this on a similar path each month. He said your pituitary gland and hypothalamus work together to make this work. Some women, like myself, have a problem with the hypothalamus that causes this path to get off track, hormones to be different and basically for the cycle not to work the way it should. My path gets lost! So my brain loses signals which causes hormones not to rise like they should which causes me not to ovulate or to have late ovulation or a weak one. Well clomid worked to try and get that signal working with fsh. And I did ovulate but not strong. Well, with using injections, your Dr. is your brain! He told me my brain could stay out on vacation because they were now going to give me the hormones, control their levels and basically function as my brain. Clomid was a pill you took and then you had to sit back and have ultrasounds to see what happened. With these, he can monitor your ovaries, your hormones and your cycle. He can control how many eggs are produced and what your ovaries and hormones are doing by adjusting levels of the injections. So nothing is up to your body anymore, its up to the Dr.! So everything is off of your back!"

Thank you KB! Now, obviously every woman is different, and even KB and I are different. So, my dose starting out will be 75 on the follistim pen but for KB I'm sure it was different because we have slightly different ovulation issues. The basic idea of controlling the cycle and controlling the ovulation is the same for every woman, but the dosages will be different. And that 75 is just our starting out number, which may need to be adjusted as we continue on which is why your blood work and ultrasounds become more frequent on the injections. Also, because they need to monitor you for safety reasons, so you don't over stimulate your ovaries, it is rare but it happens.

So that is where we stand, we are moving on and we are bringing out the big guns! It is time to make this baby!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Negative, negative...

I haven't gotten my period yet, so I went ahead and had my blood test yesterday. Shockingly, the results came back very quickly but not shockingly the result was negative. The nurse said that my levels were still high though and I'll get my period in a couple of days. I am pretty disappointed. I was really feeling like this could be our month, well I guess that I feel that way every month. My doctors are confident, and I'm still optimistic if not exactly confident. It is hard to be confident when I have gone this long without getting pregnant.

If I was pregnant this cycle, then the timing would have been perfect. I am going to be a bridesmaid in the second weekend of August. Had I gotten pregnant this cycle, I would have given birth around the second weekend of July. If I get pregnant this upcoming cycle then my due date will be right around the second weekend in August, the wedding weekend! I totally felt like, if the timing was going to be this perfect then I would finally get pregnant. Like it would have been a nice little reward for this struggle, as it stands I have a feeling that if I ever get do pregnant it will be in the worst possible cycle and I'll be due on the exact day of my best friend's wedding. But beggars can't be choosers!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Almost made it...

Well, I made it to Thursday. I was trying not to think about whether or not I am pregnant until I get my period, and I was doing very good, until today! I also wanted to leave up KB's story for a while so as many people as possible could read it. But I made it until about 5 am this morning, when I woke up and could not fall back asleep because my mind was spinning with "Am I pregnants." The best way to get past this wait? Tell you all about how crazy I feel!

I do not have any early pregnancy symptoms, other than my usual PMS symptoms. I am super bloated, a little crampy, very klutzy, very moody, BUT I haven't gotten any headaches yet. I have just been feeling really rattled and scattered lately, not entirely unusual but my moods seem a little extreme this month. I am feeling really hopeful and optimistic, but trying not to get my hopes up too much because we all know the depression that follows that let down and I do not want to revisit that. On Monday, I can go in for my pregnancy test which I will do if I haven't gotten my period. I think last month I started spotting on the day before I was due for the pregnancy test so if that happens again I'm going to skip it and just do the urine test because I'll know I'm not pregnant and there is no use drawing blood that doesn't need to be drawn. So now, I just have to make it to Monday! I'm feeling good about this month!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

KB's amazing journey...

Okay , no depressing info about me not being pregnant today, I have a special treat for everyone! A little while ago, my online support system, Miss KB told me the wonderful news that she had finally gotten pregnant. I was so happy and excited for her and her husband, I was a tad jealous of course but I was a little surprised at how thrilled I was for them, even my husband got excited at the news! I was just plain old delighted that KB had finally gotten that little miracle she (and her husband) much deserves. Even though we have never met I feel a strong bond with KB that I know is totally unique. Only friends who are both dealing with infertility would have the relationship that we have. Her amazing news absolutely made me feel like if she can do it, I can do it, and I know that you will all feel the same. So here is KB’s story, with a nice happy ending that she earned every little bit of!

Through email, I spoke with Kay Bee and she had asked me to write our story of infertility, but with a happy ending. And I will go ahead and apologize for length; I never can get stories out in a timely manner. I am sure you are probably thinking (because I know I did), “ugh, why would I want to hear about another pregnant person”, because trust me, I have been there and it is depressing, frustrating and it often gave me a feeling as if I was getting farther away from ever having a baby. However, there were a few special occasions in which I was given a sense of hope when hearing someone was pregnant and actually felt pure joy for that person (not that I was not happy for others, it was just hard). But for some reason, whether it is through blogs or people I know going through infertility, whenever I heard their treatments had succeeded, that they defeated the odds, it gave me nothing but pure hope that it would work for us too and joy that their pain had ended. After all, those of us that are going or have gone through infertility know that the baby we all will have eventually was hard earned! It was not an easy road, but now looking back at our journey I would not trade a month, tear, or treatment (except for the cost!). I know that probably also sounds crazy. In fact I remember someone telling me they felt this way after they were pregnant and I laughed and could not believe it. But trust me again, those pure raw emotions you may be feeling on a daily basis (you know the anger, sadness, frustration, depression, and just feeling crazy feelings) are still very raw to me and close to me. In fact, sometimes I forget that I don’t have to feel those anymore and somehow they sneak back up until I remind myself it is okay now and remembering what we went through is a good thing. But now that I am pregnant (which I promise I will get to in a second) I feel as if it is something we worked hard for, went through hell for and deserve. I feel as if we are even more appreciative and more excited than I ever would have been if we had gotten it “easy”. And for some odd reason, all that we went through just seems to all be okay. So, I guess what I am trying to say is I still get how you feel and I know your pain and I know you probably don’t believe me or like to hear this, but it will be okay and once it is, your road will be a part of your character. After all our worst experiences create our best character.

I went off BC in Dec. of 2008 thinking that my husband and I would just “not be careful” and we would get pregnant. After all, at the time I was only 25 and in good health and never gave thought to what laid ahead of us. We figured it would take a while, and we were okay with that but we figured we would just leave it up to God. Well, within 3 months I gained 20 lbs, got acne like I was in puberty again and my period never came. I did not think anything of it, just a side effect of stopping the pill after 9 years. Something deep down told me to go to the doctor but I am fairly stubborn so I ignored that gut kick reaction. Time went by fast and I was busy with work and we were building a house (and I was busting my butt to get the lbs off!) and so I just ignored the fact I had gotten 2 periods within almost a year. I started natural herbal treatments on my own, did the OPK sticks and the oh so pleasant charting. My g-o-o-g-l-e keys on my computer quickly became worn down. So in Oct. of 2009 I went back to my OB and I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was very confused because I did not have many of the symptoms; I guess I was considered “skinny PCOS” whatever that means! After a strict diet, meds, and working out a lot I thought my period would return. I also stopped opk’s and charting..it was a bad way to start each day. But my period did not come back until I used a combination of metformin and clomid. Oh my good friend Clomid. We ended up sharing 7 months together…7 months of hot flashes, crazy visions, and terrible mood swings! Out of those 7 months, I ovulated 4 times and used the HCG shot all those times and had the ultrasounds and blood work each month. We also did IUI one of the last months on Clomid. My 5th month of using Clomid my husband and I switched to an RE..aka my savior! He quickly said he did not think I had PCOS (which instantly I was relieved but also angry that I had gotten so depressed over a false diagnosis) and he thought I had a problem with my hypothalamus..so my brain was not working correctly which caused my cycle to be off and me not to ovulate. He gave us 2 more months on Clomid, which the last I did not ovulate at all. I was devastated this cycle but it was nice to sort of “take the month off”. I felt semi normal. After this cycle, we had decided, with our RE’s advice, it would be smart to move on to injectables. Now, part of me was excited to try something new, but part of me was hopeless and figured it would never work. I was also scared because he said if his diagnosis was correct, I would be pregnant within 3 months. And if I was not pregnant, something else is wrong that he is missing it and I would need surgery most likely to find out what they were missing. At this point we were thousands of dollars into this and emotionally drained so we figured if it did not work we would take time off. When doing gondotropins (injectibles) it is an intense process. Blood work and ultrasounds every 4-5 days, a shot every day, and 2 HCG shots (trigger and booster). This month was my ultimate low of low. I cried every day and was just negative about it working. It was taking a serious toll on me. It probably also did not help that within 3 months I had about 7 friends get pregnant and about all of them tried no more than 2 months! I felt very isolated and depressed. Thank God for my husband. I can’t even put words to what he was to me during this. He was more than a support system, even though he too was in pain. One thing that this entire journey did was bring us closer. He understood my pain, dealt with my moods, and held my hand through it all. Everyone needs someone and I hope you too have that someone whether it is your husband, best friend, mom, or anyone. I can’t thank him enough.

Well, back to our “journey”. After my progesterone blood work the first month of injections (I used Follistim), my progesterone was a 9. I was so upset because most months on Clomid, except the last month, it was 21 or higher. My ultrasound also showed that I had 3 eggs and we carefully timed IUI and the trigger shot. So needless to say I was confused and felt more hopeless than ever. Well, a long 2 weeks after that I was able to take a HPT, which I was dreading because I just knew it would be negative and I would cry and go through the roller coaster all over again. But somehow, it was positive! And at that second, all the tears I ever shed all became okay. I am now currently almost 9 weeks. I am taking provera, a progesterone suppository, to keep from miscarrying. It is a very nerve racking 9 weeks, but we are close to the clear. I have had 2 ultrasounds and recently was turned over to my regular OB (which my husband I were both kind of sad about). I think I cry every day in disbelief and get extra emotional whenever we get to hear the heartbeat.

I have been where you are right now. Please hang in there and please never give up! It just takes finding the right Doctor and right treatment. Injections were our miracle drug. If you are frustrated on Clomid, I suggest anyone ask their dr. about it! If you are interested in any dosages I did or anything like that email Kay Bee and she can give you my email. You all are in my prayers every night. And I find prayer does work. God Bless You All!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Start the countdown...

So, at my day 3 blood work and ultrasound appointment earlier this week one of my doctors actually popped in for a little chat which at first got me nervous because that is unusual, but it ended up being good news! He said that he doesn't see any reason why I can't get pregnant and stay pregnant and that he thinks I should be pregnant in 4 cycles max! I was so surprised that he would make such a definitive statement like that because there is always the chance that even though there is truly nothing wrong with either me or my husband, we still won't conceive. My doctor then continued on to say that he doesn't feel that we would even get to this point but if I'm not pregnant in 4 cycles then we would move on to a very low dose of the injectable hormones and continue with the IUI. He also said that he was confident that I wouldn't require any surgeries or anything, aka IVF.

Thanks to my doctors vote of confidence I have feeling pretty amazing lately! I feel like we have a time line and and that in 4 months, I WILL BE PREGNANT! Start the countdown to motherhood because HERE I COME!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Start up another cycle...

I got my period on Saturday morning...kind of a bummer but I'm doing fine with it. Now we just start another cycle and hopefully this month I'll get a couple extra follicles to give us a better shot. I am finding that the urine pregnancy tests have been pretty reliable for me, well they are always negative but they are always correct! I always feel some light cramping a day or two before I get my period and couple that with a negative test result, I can feel pretty confident that I am not pregnant. So I am thinking of bagging the pregnancy blood test at the end of the month. I am just feeling like a pin cushion.

I will of course have to check with the nurses to see if there is any reason why I need to have that last blood test at the end of the month, I'm not sure if it is solely to find out if I'm pregnant or if there are other hormone levels they are still monitoring or something. Apparently my veins have a tendency to "roll," which means that frequently the nurse will stick me and then have to keep jabbing around in my arm to get the needle into my vein, it is terrible and it leaves a huge bruise. Not good. It most often happens with my left arm so I've stopped offering my left arm up to slaughter and I've just been having my blood taken from my right arm. But now my right arm is taking on all the abuse. Long story short it would be lovely to have one less blood test every month!

Oh and PS: I had another really easy (well easy to compared to what I used to have) period this month again! Some cramping yesterday and the day before that taking a regular does of ibuprofen took care of. I'm finally having a normal period and I am SO thankful for that!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Test's taken...

Well the blood test has been taken and we're awaiting the result...although I'm pretty sure it will be negative since the stick I peed on this morning was negative. I'm disappointed of course but I think I'll get myself a nice pedicure today and maybe a new pair of jeans and not the kind I usually get that come from JC Penny's or Old Navy, but a fancy pair from the Gap or Express. So now I'm looking forward to my treat instead of dwelling on the negative test, works every time!

Next week the nurse is going to call me and say, "I'm sorry, but you are not pregnant. Would you like to start another cycle?" And I'm going to say, "Yes!" And I'm going to keep saying yes until I get that call that says, "Congratulations, you are pregnant! You don't have to do another cycle!" I am getting that phone call, I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The land of implantation...

Ok, so this has officially been the SLOWEST week ever! Not only has it simply taken forever just to get to Wednesday, last week my dog took one little bite on the power cord to my computer when I wasn't watching her for two seconds and of course it was ruined so I wasn't even been able to get online until my new cord came in the mail today! So, finally I'm back in business!

Now, since I have been trying to occupy my brain so that I don't think too much about how slowly the time is passing, I realized that the busier my hands are the less my brain thinks about it. The problem is that I have to go to sleep sometime and that is when I my mind gets the better of me. All day long I can get myself nice and busy and then lose my mind in whatever menial task that I'm doing, but as soon as I lay my head on my pillow I immediately start fantasizing about what fun way I'm going to tell my husband I'm pregnant or going on a shopping spree at babies r us. I'll know for sure about this time next week if this month was a bust or not. The lab my blood work gets sent out to doesn't have the best turn around so even though my test is Friday I probably won't know until around Tuesday.

This month I know that I released an egg, and I know that we got at least some sperm up there on time so I feel like we had a good shot this month but I'm worried that the egg didn't fertilize or maybe even more likely didn't implant. I don't feel pregnant and I don't feel not pregnant. I actually don't feel anything going on but I have no idea when I'm going to get my period. It was pretty late last month so if this month is like last month than technically I am right on schedule. I'm just hoping that I get my period soon, I'd really like to already know the answer when the nurse calls to tell me the result. As usual, probably wishful thinking.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lack of feelings...

I feel like I have nothing interesting going on to tell you all about lately! Everything is now on such regimented schedule and it is going to be the same each month, which is great for my sanity but it doesn't make for much blog material! You all know I had the IUI done last Friday, and I go in for a blood test this Friday to double check that all my hormone levels are where they should be and then I go in for the pregnancy blood test the Friday after that. I'm going to stay on the clomid, even though I didn't have that great of results on it this month and I am pretty sure that I'm having some small side effects from it. It is weird, I assumed that if I were going to have side effects I would get them while I was actually taking the clomid but I guess since it just changes my hormones I seem to get side effects after I ovulate. This month and last month I have been getting hot flashes, teeny tiny little pimples all over my forehead, and I just feel really sleepy. Of course the tiredness is probably more related to the fact that I can't sleep through the night anymore because I'm hot - cold - hot - cold all night long! But I don't seem to get super moody anymore and my period was practically pain free last month so I'm thinking that the good cancels out the bad in my case. So all in all, it is just same old same old around here.

Well, there has been one change in me that is pretty significant...I've turned into an emotional robot when it comes to the infertility struggle. It is kind of sad but I think it is a necessary evil to get me through this time in my life. It is not that I don't care anymore about getting pregnant, I'm just kind of on auto pilot. I just put my head down and I'm plowing through the muck and I'm not looking up until I'm pregnant. I've stopped thinking about everything all the time and I am able to function on a normal level in my social and home life instead of being completely derailed all the time. The only thing is that I'm detached and cold about this, which is not my personality, and I didn't make a conscious decision to be this way either. I just kind of woke up one morning with a new outlook and a lack of emotions. It is getting me through though, so I'm not complaining...yet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Big news...

Okay everybody, tomorrow is the big day! Tomorrow at 8:30 am I will be getting our first try at IUI! I know I haven't been updating you all very well as of late but there hasn't been much that has changed in a while fertility wise and my husband and I also made the life changing purchase of a 9 week old puppy so I've been a little distracted lately! I certainly would not recommend a puppy to everyone struggling with infertility, but after our old dog passed away it was lonely and depressing for me at home and I really needed somebody to replace that void. So, we decided to get a puppy and she is so much fun and requires so much attention that I haven't had time to dwell on our disaster situation of trying to have a baby. Don't get me wrong, it is not all rainbows and sunshine over here, she has peed all over our house, she barks at us to get us to play with her, she bites us instead of her chew toys, and cries when we put her in her crate but she likes to snuggle and sleeps on my lap all the time and follows us everywhere. I am totally putting all of my pent up maternal love into this dog but who cares?! It makes me feel good and the dog eats it up, and I'm doing my best not to spoil her rotten because we will need her to be well behaved when she's older but for right now she is absolutely my baby.

So that is our big news! That and the IUI tomorrow of course! I'm actually pretty nervous about it, mostly because I HATE the speculum (but really who doesn't?!) but I'm also panicking a little that they will inseminate me with the wrong sperm. I know the odds of that happening are a million to one, but it could happen. The other thing that I'm not thrilled about is the fact that I only had one follicle mature this month. I had a lot of little ones in both ovaries but only one 20 mm one in my right ovary. It is my right ovary's turn to ovulate but I'm bummed that it only has one follicle. I'm going to stick with the clomid though because I had better results on it last month when I had 3 mature follicles so hopefully we'll get those results again next month. Maybe my right ovary is just a little less productive than my left one. I am also a little disappointed in my one follicle because I can't help but feel that we would have a better shot at getting pregnant if I had more, but it only takes one sperm and one egg so I should really relax. Come on guys, just one sperm and one egg! You can do it! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Measuring up...

I've realized that part of the reason I was feeling so crappy before was because we have to do the IUI now. At this point it has been over a year since we've been trying and last month just doing the clomid and timing sex right for once didn't work, it is time to move on. My husband and I decided in the beginning of seeing the fertility doctors that we were just going to go for it. We decided that whatever the doctors suggested is what we would do and if they say IUI, then we do IUI. I was just really hoping that we would get pregnant right before we got to that point and we wouldn't have to go down that road. Wishful thinking.

Now that we are officially not able to do this on our own, it just brings up all those mixed emotions of feeling like you let your spouse down. For me, that has definitely been my biggest hang up. I just cannot stop feeling like a poor choice for a wife, even though my husband reassures me ALL THE TIME, and even if we knew before getting married we would have gotten married anyway. I'm just tired of not getting to be the one to announce that I'm having a baby. Most of our friends have had two kids by now! I need to stop comparing me to other women, but that just feels so impossible. I've spent my whole life comparing myself to others and seeing how I measure up, everyone has, it is human nature. But right now I'm not measuring up and I'm having a very hard time dealing with that. I know there is a lesson in here somewhere, I'm just to exhausted to figure it out right now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where have I been...?!

Soooo...I've been MIA lately. I have no excuse, I just ran out of steam this month. Since my period was a day late, I kept hoping that the tests were all wrong and I really was pregnant. As usual no such luck, and I then just lost my momentum. The second I got my period, it was like I hit a wall. I didn't have the total meltdown that I've had in months past, but I just lost all my happy feelings. I hate it when I don't feel optimistic, but you can't fake it when it just isn't there and I didn't want to keep blogging about how crappy I was feeling. You don't want to read it, I don't want to write it and I think the more I feed into those crappy feelings the less inclined they are to go away. So, I took a little break and now I am feeling better.

We did start another cycle with our doctors this month. I just started taking the clomid yesterday, and then I go in on Monday for another little biopsy to check and make sure the bacteria that I had is gone and they will probably give me the trigger shot then. One thing is for sure, when working with the doctors the months really go fast. It might just feel like they do because I can give myself little milestone markers to check off as we go along, with the dates of ultrasounds and blood work and when to take the clomid and whatnot. Working with the doctors definitely helps me feel less isolated and alone which is nice as well. The best part about working with the doctors is that somehow there has been some sort of a miracle and my menstrual cramps were so light and manageable this month I almost passed out from shock rather than pain!

I honestly do not know what it is that is relieving the pain. It could be the prenatal vitamins because I did read that a combination of B vitamins can sometimes help alleviate cramps, it could be the clomid, or maybe even the antibiotic (to get rid of the bacteria) I guess. I hope that it is the prenatal vitamins, I would love to have a repeat of this months period next month. It was heavenly, I didn't miss a beat and I wasn't strapped to my heating pad for a week. So, at least I got a cramp free period bonus for not being pregnant, it really could have been worse!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cross this month off...

It looks like it is still not our lucky month, but hopefully for the rest of you in my boat out there it will be yours. I took a home pregnancy test this morning, two actually, and they were negative. Not even a little hint of a line, just totally negative. I'm disappointed, as usual, but this isn't the end of the world and I'm definitely not feeling as desperate as I have in months past.

I was feeling differently than I usually do this entire month, and I was thinking that maybe that was because I am pregnant but I realized this morning that it is probably just because my hormones are all at different levels then they usually are. Since I took clomid and had the trigger shot I shouldn't have expected to have the exact same symptoms at the exact same times as a normal cycle. So I may have gotten my hopes up a little prematurely, but now I know exactly what to expect next month. I'm disappointed this month, but I'm not devastated and I'm ready to move on to next month.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pregnancy test Monday...

Something kind of good has come out of having a little bacteria in my uterus, I get to go in for a blood pregnancy test on Monday. If the test is positive I don't take the antibiotic and forget all about the bacteria, if it is negative we start on a 10 day cycle of doxycycline. The test result will be back by Tuesday so if my period is late, as it is frequently is, I'll still know whether or not I'm pregnant.

Plus, the nurse reassured me that there is nothing scary or gross about having a little bacteria in there, it happens. When she told me that if I'm pregnant we won't do anything about the bacteria that made me feel a little better. If it can be in there and not affect a baby then it really must not be that big a deal, even if the concept creeps me out. Bottom line, I just have to make it until Tuesday now and we will for sure know if this was our lucky month.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Biopsy results...

The results from the biopsy of my uterine lining came back and my tissue is really healthy and looks great BUT I have some bacteria in there! The doctor said that it is nothing to be worried about and it isn't anything remotely close to an STD but it still is kind of creeping me out. Just thinking that there are unwanted organisms getting a free ride in my uterus makes my skin crawl. So this means 10 days on an antibiotic, for me and for my husband.

The bacteria is completely invisible but it can prevent the egg from implanting, which might have been what is causing us to not get pregnant. I just can't think of how I could have gotten bacteria in there in the first place if it didn't happen during the HSG. My doctor expressed multiple times that this is not a big deal, and I shouldn't worry, they just like to get rid of it so that the egg has the best chance of implanting but he called me at 7:30 this morning and there is nothing like an early morning phone call to get your heart pumping. The call mostly just disappointed me, because it is now even more unlikely that I got pregnant this month. That's okay though, because we do the IUI next month and I'll have a nice and bacteria free uterus for our baby to grow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another shower...

Well I've made it through another 24 hours without losing my mind, although if you ask my husband he'd say that I never had control of it in the first place but that is neither here nor there! One of my best friends is pregnant and due in October and her baby shower is coming up and I've been put in charge of purchasing the gift from the group. At first I wasn't having a problem getting excited for this shower, but now that it is coming up and I have to get the present I'm not so excited anymore. I haven't seen my pregnant friend in a while, she lives about two hours away and since I haven't actually seen her growing belly it has been much easier to maintain our friendship. It was really hard when she told me she was pregnant and it still stings when I get all the updates about how the baby is doing in there but because we are always on the phone and I couldn't see it I think I was able to let go of my jealousy and be happy for her.

But now I have to see her a month before she is due and she's going to be huge! With every single pregnant woman I see I feel as if they are flaunting their bellies in front of me on purpose. This is why my husband thinks that I've lost my mind, how could a perfect stranger ever be flaunting their baby bump on purpose, they would have no idea what is going on with us! But I can't help it, I take everything personally anymore! The worst thing about this upcoming shower is that there are going to be some other babies and some other preggos there. I just can't seem to get away from them, but that is life I guess. I know that it is perfectly natural to be jealous, but I just feel like a crappy person because I am not always able to control those feelings. I think I have to cut myself some slack and allow myself to feel those feelings but not let them take control to the point where I am taking other pregnant women personally. Probably easier said than done, but we'll see!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Patience is a virtue...

Okay, I cannot believe that today is only Tuesday and I have to make it until Monday! I can't even test early because I'm still peeing out the extra hormones from the trigger shot so I could get a false positive. I am having a better attitude than the one I had yesterday, which is definitely helping but I still am not entirely positive about the possibilities of being pregnant this month. I do have a ton of teeny little zits all over my forehead which is definitely out of the ordinary for me, usually right before I get my period I'll get one or two monsters on my chin so I do think that something is up with my skin. I have been headachey but that is always a period sign and really means nothing.

I guess the thing that I have to get through my thick head is that it all means nothing. All of my "symptoms" and "signs" truly mean nothing because there is no way that I can find out if I am pregnant until Monday. So I can have as many early pregnancy symptoms or as many period signs as I want I still won't know whether or not I'm pregnant until I get my period. I just have to be patient. Why has no one invented a test to see if your egg was fertilized? Does science not realize how much people would pay for that?! If only I were a scientific genius, I would invent it and become rich beyond my wildest dreams!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dangerous self diagnosing...

I had my final blood test this morning and as of now haven't gotten a call from the doctor's office so I think it is safe to say that my results were normal! One more test passed! I do have a headache though and I've been self diagnosing and driving my husband crazy by saying that I have a headache because I had a drop in hormones because I'm not pregnant. My husband is so rational and level headed and he tried to bring me back down to earth but it wasn't working. I'm totally bummed out now because I am just so certain that I'm not pregnant, once again.

I hear what my husband is saying and all but I feel how I do every month before I get my period so my head just instantly tells me to not get optimistic about a pregnancy. I know I should stay positive and I was doing so good up until this afternoon. I know that there might not be a reason I have a headache but I just can't help self diagnosing. Ugh, the head games of having fertility problems! I hate it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This month is on its way out...

The weekend is here! I just have to make it through Saturday and Sunday and then I have my final blood test on Monday and then this month's "work" is officially over! I love that my two week wait is broken down into two 7 day waits, it seriously helps to pass the time. I have seven days (which will be over on Monday) between the shot and the blood test and then seven days after that I can take a pregnancy test. Because everything is planned out and scheduled, I can look forward to the date of the next upcoming test or procedure instead of just dwelling on the unknown and that really helped this month fly by.

If we aren't pregnant this month, I know exactly what will happen and when it will happen next month. Working with the doctors really helps to make the whole situation much less desperate. I feel productive and like we are moving forward now, where before we were stuck in the despair of feeling we would never get pregnant. Next month we will move forward with the IUI, and I feel really confident that it will work for us. The clomid will get me a good amount of follicles, and the IUI will make certain that the sperm reach the fallopian tubes and I really don't think we would need anything else. Unless of course something else comes up in my blood test on Monday, but I think that would be unlikely. Everything seems to be fine physically and chemically, I truly think we were just having a timing issue coupled with my uterus being really pushed back and the sperm just weren't getting to the egg at the right time. I am really starting to feel confident that we are going to get pregnant and I'm excited! It might not be right away, but I think a good 6 months of trying with the clomid, the trigger shot and the IUI, will finally get us there. I'm no longer hoping to get pregnant, I know that I'm going to and that it is just a matter of being patient. Our miracle will come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Prenatal vitamins revisited...

Now that we are working with the doctors, I am actually feeling like there may be a legitimate chance I could be getting pregnant each month and so just taking the extra folic acid every day wasn't cutting it. We have worked SO hard to try and get this baby and I don't want to mess anything up if we actually get pregnant so I asked my nurse about a prenatal vitamin that wouldn't make me so constipated. She gave me a 10 day supply of CitraNatal Harmony to try and if that does the trick then they'll write me a prescription for it. The CitraNatal has a built in stool softener and so far so good, I've only taken it for 4 days but I haven't been blocked up yet so I would think it is working. I'll let you all know in 10 days whether or not I'd recommend it!

But that experience just really hit home with me about how once again the fertility specialists treat their patients so much differently than at the regular OB/GYN. I can understand, a lot of people are paying for these treatments out of pocket and so their customer service needs to be better. When I was going to my regular OB and I asked for a recommendation for a prenatal vitamin, I told her that I get constipated on regular vitamins and she still just prescribed me the same vitamins she prescribes for all her patients. And shocker, they made me constipated! Then when I went back in later for something else, she told me to just take the folic acid. Looking back on it now, how could she not have told me about prenatal vitamins that have stool softeners in them? I cannot be the only woman in the world that gets backed up on prenatal vitamins, and I know for a fact that one of the signs of pregnancy is constipation so obviously there is going to be a prenatal for those types of women.

I'm probably just being sensitive but it was like she knew that I wasn't going to be getting pregnant on my own anytime soon and that the fertility specialists would take care of me. And let's face it, she was right, we do need help. We never would have figured out when I ovulate on our own but I just wish she would have actually said that, instead of being so passive aggressive about the whole thing. Suggesting, hinting at, trying to be gentle, I get it. Doctor's have tough jobs when they have to tell their patients things that they don't want to hear, but that is why we pay them the big bucks. So, for all you women out there in my boat, when your regular OB/GYN says that maybe you should see the specialists, go. The sooner the better. Knowing what I know now, I would have made one appointment with my OB to get a referral for the specialists and I would have gone straight there and not wasted any time. It is scary. Going to the specialists means admitting to yourself that there is something wrong but if you can try and push past that fear you will thank yourself later. And look, you might even get the prenatal vitamin of your dreams out of it just like I did!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I may have cracked the case...

Since I had been charting my temperature and using OPK tests to try and figure out when I was ovulating I have a lot of information about my past periods at my fingertips. This is very good for self diagnosing, which can also be a bit dangerous but in this case no harm can come of it because we're following doctor's orders anyway. I now think I might have cracked the case on our fertility problem though so I'm sharing my crazy theory with you guys!

Let's start with this month, because we know exactly what was going on. I got the trigger shot around 9 o'clock Monday morning, by 2 in the afternoon I was feeling a little poking feeling on the left side of my abdomen and by 5 I had a headache and was beginning to get pretty irritable. Then on Tuesday I was irritable and did not feel like having sex at all (I was able to rally and we did anyway, twice). So with that information I know that the poking twinges that I get every month are ovulation pains, and I get a headache like clockwork twice a month that I now think corresponds with the increase in hormones for ovulation and the decrease in hormones when I'm not pregnant and my body is getting ready to have my period. But how is this helping me figure out why we have been struggling to get pregnant you ask, well let me tell you!

Since I have charted every little detail about these past months, I was able to go back and see that the days that I got the ovulation pains and the headache do not correspond with the days that I would get a positive OPK test. I should have gotten a positive OPK and then within the next 3 days have had the pains and the headache, but I wasn't getting the pains and the headache until about 7 (or sometimes more) days after the positive OPK! So it looks as though we were just getting the timing wrong every month. If we get pregnant this month then I will have to believe that we just weren't getting the timing right, and in that case I'm going to feel like a total moron. Hypothetically we could have just had sex everyday for a few months straight and that would have worked, but there is no way we could have pulled that off! We tried to have sex everyday for an entire month once and I get cranky and irritable and my husband works really hard so he is literally too tired to do it sometimes. Plus, there were months where we inadvertently had sex around the days that I had ovulation pains and a headache, so the timing might not be our only problem but it it certainly seems to be a very likely candidate. The best part is that if we do get pregnant this month, I get to be pregnant and I get to feel like a genius because I figured it all out! I've got a lot riding on this month!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Campfire talk...

My husband had guys trip with his man friends this past weekend. They drove out to the middle of nowhere, pitched their tents, made a campfire, had a cookout, showered in a lake, rode ATVs, and pooped in the woods. Guess what their conversation turned to at the end of the night before the men folks all retired to their tents, yup, kids. Way to be manly, dudes. But seriously now, they had a real heart to heart man style about having children.

There were three men out there and all three are married. One guy wants to have children now, but his wife doesn't want to and doesn't feel that she'll ever want to have kids, I know what you are thinking but she was very clear with him before they got married. One guy was married a year or two before my husband and I and they are just about to start trying but his wife has to pass a battery of tests first because she had a small heart condition as a child. And then one guy is my husband, and you all know our story. Now my husband was recounting this whole story to me and he summed it up with telling me about the guy whose wife had the heart condition. He said that he wants kids but if his wife doesn't get the all clear and they cannot have them then that would be okay too. Then my husband said to me, "I'd be really upset if we couldn't have kids." To which I said, "I wish that you said you'd be okay if we couldn't have kids." To which he said, "You want me to lie?" To which I said, "Yes, I absolutely want you to lie."

I was just teasing my husband when I told him I want him to lie to me, and I said it with a smile, but I do wish that it would be okay with him if we were unable to have our own children. It is not okay with me in the slightest, I want kids that come from our DNA and if we can't then I will be devastated, but I am open to other options. I don't think that my husband is open to other options though and that is what worries me. I would consider egg donors, surrogacy or adoption and I don't think he would consider any of them. We have had light discussions on all of those options, and he just isn't sure. He wants a baby that came from us and that I carried, not typically a tall order so I can't help but think that if he hadn't married me then he would have some beautiful babies by now. We've talked about it and of course he says he would have married me no matter what, but I still struggle with those nagging feelings of everything being my fault. Since, technically, everything is my fault because the fertility problem is mine, I think I'll struggle with those feelings until I get pregnant. If I get pregnant.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Busy bee...

Whoa, have I been busy! All tests are complete, all recoveries have been made and all the results were optimal. So. Where are we now? We are in Ovulation Town! I went in this morning and I had 3 ripe follicles in my left ovary so they gave me the trigger shot which means that I should ovulate sometime in the next 24 hours or so. We were given instructions to have sex last Friday and Sunday (which we did) and we are now to abstain tonight but then do it tomorrow morning and tomorrow night. So tomorrow is going to be the big day. Then in 7 days I go back in for a blood test to make sure my body is providing the right amount of hormones so that I can sustain a pregnancy, and if not then we correct that and then 7 days after that I'm allowed to take a pregnancy test. This month has been a whirlwind and it has been so different than every other month we have tried to make a baby because we now know exactly what is going on at all times. It is just so satisfying to know that I am actually going to ovulate and that it is going to happen in the next 24 hours. It takes all the guessing out of the game with the bonus being that all the stress goes out with the guessing!

Since this was our testing month we are allowed to try on our own but we're not going to do the IUI. I would be very surprised if we got pregnant this month though, my uterus has been through the wringer and I'm just thinking it might need a little break. Although my nurse this morning did say that my body responded to the clomid just as it should. I had just the right amount of ripe follicles, not too many and not just one, so I do think that egg wise we have a good shot this month. So one would think that if egg wise and timing wise we are right on the mark and my husband's swimmers are in ship shape then we should get pregnant. Oh, if it were only so easy! And now tomorrow officially begins the two week wait. Ugh.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pulling out of Testville...

Hell week is over. And thank goodness because I was just about to have a breakdown! The hysteroscopy went well yesterday, but the procedure itself was the most horrible thing I have ever been through. Because it is considered surgery (I guess because they take a sample of uterine tissue with them?), everything is more serious and takes longer. I literally spent 4 hours at the surgical center for a procedure that took all of 10 minutes and they were the most exhausting 4 hours of my life. The pain was similar and then different than the HSG and by different I mean eighty million times more terrible. However, I've only had light spotting since, no intense soreness like the HSG gave me. So basically pick your poison, god awful pain that is so bad you contemplate screaming the F word at the doctor but which goes away almost immediately or moderate pain that builds up and then lingers for 48 hours. I've had both, and they both suck, I would never prefer one over the other, and I never want to go back down this road again.

I don't want to scare anyone out there though, because everybody feels things differently and my doctor did say that part of the reason I was in so much pain was because of the way my uterus is tilted so most people would probably not have my experience. Although the girl who went before me did hyperventilate and almost passed out but maybe her uterus was tilted too? I just think the whole atmosphere of the surgical center makes it difficult to not freak out. You have to wear a gown, hair hat, and booties and they wheel chair you everywhere and the surgery room itself was this giant gaping sterile abyss with bright lights all shining down on the chair of death in the center. The chair was the worst part, it wasn't even really a chair just a table with two slots for your legs and once your legs are in there they strap them down so you can't move! And when your legs are strapped in and you couldn't get away if you wanted to, that is when it hits you that gee, this is not what you expected and is suddenly way more serious. But enough about the trauma of yesterday, it is all over with and I've passed everything with flying colors. We have pulled out of Testville, and are just about to pull into Ovulation Town.

We looked at my follicles via ultrasound this morning and I had some blood work done so now we just monitor me very closely to see when I ovulate. We have instructions to have (unprotected this time!) sex tomorrow and Sunday in case I ovulate on my own and then I go back in on Monday for another follicle check and maybe the HCG shot if I'm ready. I'm hoping that we have just been missing when I ovulate and we'll be able to get pregnant without the IUI because I just don't want any more catheters going through my cervix but IUI is much easier than IVF and I'll take what I can get. I just can't believe that our work for this month is almost over, and that having sex is going to be the easy part! By the end of next week I will have ovulated and we'll be done timing sex so I'll be running at least a week ahead of schedule. This month is flying by and I'm finally feeling productive.

And yes, these pictures are of my actual uterus. You can see in the first one my left and right fallopian tubes, the second and third are close ups of my left and right tubes respectively, and the fourth is another view of both tubes. The red blotches are just some blood and irritation and all in all the uterus passed inspection!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Achy breaky uterus...

Today I am blogging from bed. I had a rough day yesterday and I'm having a rough morning so far. About 2 or 3 hours after the HSG yesterday my abdomen just felt so achy. My whole stomach looks swollen, it is so weird. Like, from right under my boobs and down it is totally puffy and hard! I'm having a hard time explaining what it feels like but it is like everything on the inside is sore. It feels like the first day of track practice in high school when I would do too much too soon and have every muscle in my body ache the next day, only it is on the inside.

I visited all the forums and googled my fingers off and I think this is totally normal, it seems that any kind of pain that you get after the HSG is normal. The HSG is like pregnancy and giving birth, every woman has a different experience and they are all "normal." I think it is because everyone has such a different perception of pain, if I had never had sore muscles from over working my body during track practice I would totally think that I was dying right now. But since I've felt this way before, it isn't so bad. It certainly is lasting a little longer than I would like but if it helps get me pregnant I'm happy to lay in bed all month with a sore belly! Not to mention that my sweet husband has been totally spoiling me!

The strangest thing happened yesterday though. I had a little spotting, mostly dye colored, but then I got what seemed like fertile quality cervical mucus pouring out. It was crystal clear and super stretchy, it did have teeny tiny little speckles of blood in it, but it was just SO stretchy. It was like slime, and I've never had anything that looked and felt like that come out of me before. This I'm not sure is normal, but I certainly found it interesting. I'm wondering if the HSG didn't dust off some cobwebs in there and give my baby maker a little kick start. I think can hear my wombs little engine sputtering back to life! Come on, come on womb, you can do it! Go, baby, go!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My tubes are open for business...

Whew! Where to begin?! The HSG went okay, the procedure itself had a couple of snafu's and my husband and I were huge idiots on Friday and almost blew the whole thing but the results were normal. I feel ridiculous talking about this, but that is what this blog is all about and we are throwing modesty out the window here! So, back to Friday, my husband completely and totally forgot that we were not supposed to have unprotected sex and I just simply wasn't paying enough attention to what was going on so of course we had a minor protection-less sex incident before the HSG, after our doctor specifically told us not to. We just felt like complete morons. And of course it happened Friday night so we had to agonize about whether or not we should say something all weekend. We searched high and low online for all the facts and found some people whose doctors never told them to use protection and some whose procedures were cancelled after telling the doctor that they had unprotected sex. For us, we didn't care about waiting another month but I just felt sick that we would have been wasting our doctor's time and the radiology staff's time because we couldn't tell them what happened until the last minute. My husband willingly (and thankfully!) made the embarrassing phone call first thing this morning to tell them what had happened, and they said "don't worry about it." Collective sigh of relief and the day went on as planned, with us feeling just a little silly.

Now, to the procedure. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good either. The speculum hurt like the dickens going in for some reason. I think that was the worst part, it felt like it was open way wider than usual or something. Then I totally felt the catheter going in, and it just felt weird and slightly crampy and then the dye started going in which felt even more crampy and then the little balloon on the end of the catheter that is supposed to hold the dye in popped out. Apparently my cervix is very thin since I've never delivered any babies and my cervix was just not cooperating with the balloon. So the balloon popped out twice, which meant that the speculum from hell had to go in and out 3 times! Not so fun. But once everything was in and situated and the dye was a flowin' it was fine.

My uterus is a little tilted back, and I'm not surprised because my mom's is as well but my tubes were open and the dye flowed through like it was supposed to. They had me cough a couple of times which helped move the dye along and before the dye spilled into the tubes it did get a little painful for a second. My husband actually came with me, which was so amazing of him and so wonderful for me. He was a little uncomfortable and he got a little pale in the face during the procedure but his little pale worried face made me feel so loved and cared for that I was able to think about something other than what was going on downstairs. It is really cool how you get to watch immediately on the x-ray what is going on, and I'm glad my husband was there to see it too. Now that everything is all said and done I am feeling a little stretched and "raw" down there and still drippy and crampy and for some reason just plain old tired so I'm going to sit on the sofa and watch a movie while I await my results from the clomid challenge test. It was a slightly rocky start but we're two down with one to go in Testville and so far so good!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The HSG procedure...

The title of this post is a link a great site explaining every last little detail about the HSG procedure, just in case anybody out there was looking for more info. There was only one little thing that the site left out, and something that I haven't heard anything about myself, where does the dye go after you're done? Our fabulous commenter KB has had the procedure done so hopefully she'll comment on this, but how does all the dye they injected get back out?!

I am imagining that my uterus is huge and it will take a gallon of dye to fill it up and then it will all come rushing back out when I sit up. In actuality my uterus is probably pretty small and they only put like a cup of dye in there and I'll just slowly leak it all out, but I don't know for sure! There is a great picture on the site I linked to, and I'm hoping that they'll let me take a picture of mine so that I can post it for you all to see! This is why my doctor said that all modesty gets thrown out the window.

I used to ONLY see a woman gynecologist, now all my doctors have been men and I'm getting to the point where I don't even care. I will say though that I am really glad that it was a nurse that did my day 3 ultrasound while I had my period because that was pretty messy and embarrassing. She chatted me up and complemented me on my earrings; she definitely knew what to do to make me relax a little bit and I was thankful for her. But now, one of the doctors at our fertility practice meets me in the radiology department of our hospital to perform the procedure and I have a 4 in 5 chance that it will be a man and a 3 in 4 chance that I've never met him before. This is where the modesty gets thrown out, by the end of all this multiple men (and women for that matter!) will have been all up in my business! My personality is not one that doesn't care about modesty, but I'm definitely getting used to this. I'm guessing that by Wednesday a stranger sticking something foreign into my vagina will be old hat and I won't think twice about it. Ew. I am grossing myself out. Sorry guys!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Haves and have nots...

It is so crazy to think that by Wednesday of next week the testing will all be over and we'll know exactly what we are dealing with. During both the HSG and the hysteroscopy procedures I get to watch and the doctor will tell me right then and there if he sees something wrong, so there will (for once in my life) be no waiting! I am beginning to get nervous about the hysteroscopy though, I'm not worried about the HSG because I think that my fallopian tubes are open, not that I have any real way of knowing, but I am just more concerned about endometriosis or something like that. I am so excited and scared that this will all be over in a matter of days, good or bad!

I am hoping beyond hope that there is nothing seriously wrong with me on the inside and that I was just blessed with an irregular cycle, terrible crampy periods and poor fertile quality cervical mucus. While on our beach trip this weekend, my husband and I officially had the "why us?" conversation. Neither of us wanted to go down that road, because it can get pretty petty but we had to wind up there eventually. It was not one of our finer moments, as we sat there ticking off all of the people we knew with kids that we felt we would be better parents than, but it was a necessary evil I suppose. We were able to see the nonsense in it though, and realize that life is not fair and all the people we know with kids are all perfectly fine parents and we are just jealous. I think that it just gets hard sometimes to remember that this isn't about anyone else, it is just about him and me. It is personal, and we are keeping it private for the time being because it is only about the two of us. At the end of the day, it is only the two of us and anyone else who has gone through this that knows how we feel. In the war of the haves and the have nots, nobody wants to be a have not because they always lose, one way or the other.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The clomid challenge...

The clomid challenge has officially started! I just took my first little white clomid pill and I'll continue to take one pill twice a day until Sunday (Cycle days 5-9) then on Monday (cycle day 10) I'll go back in for another blood test and we are hoping for the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to be below 11. The way the clomid challenge test works is a little confusing, but basically they are testing the message that your pituitary gland sends to your ovaries, and by the amount of FSH your pituitary is sending the doctor can predict how good or bad your ovarian reserve is. The title of this post is a link to a website that explains it much better than I ever could. My doctor explained it to us, so did the nurse I saw on Monday and I've read everything I've found online and I still don't think I have a good enough grasp of it to be explaining it to someone else, so please click the title to learn more.

I am starting to get a little nervous about how my body will react to all this tampering though and it is going to be a busy week. I've gotten my tests booked and the first one will be next week. The HSG procedure on Monday and the hysteroscopy on Wednesday so I have to start taking an antibiotic this Sunday, in anticipation of filling my uterus up with dye and salt water I suppose. Then after all of these tests are finished I'm going to be given a shot of hCG to make me ovulate. All in all there will be a lot of foreign substances flowing through my veins and I'm just feeling a little anxious about all of it. I'm really glad that it will be a short month though because I'll be ovulating about a week, or maybe even more than a week, early so if I don't get pregnant this month, we will be at the next month in no time. I'm just thrilled at the way my doctors have been handling us, they are aggressive in doing all that they can to figure out what is going on in my body so we can decide the best way to get me pregnant as soon as possible. There is still waiting and there will always be waiting (about 2 weeks of it every month!), but at least now I'm waiting with an action already decided and in place for when the wait is over.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We are not alone...

At the fertility clinic that we go to, the procedure is that you call them on day one of your period every month and then the plan for that month is set in motion. I had my first full day of flow on Saturday (Friday was just spotting) so I went in for my day 3 blood work and ultrasound yesterday. Now, I went in pretty early, 8:45 am, and I was the third woman to get there. While I was sitting and waiting for my turn, a steady stream of women starting coming in, one would get done and two more would come in. We were all around the same age, though I was probably at the younger end of the spectrum, everybody else looked around 30 - 35. But the thing that almost made me laugh out loud was that not only was it a room full of women around my age, we were all wearing sweatpants and flip flops. We all must have been on our day 3, and who is going to wear a nice outfit while you have your period to get a transvaginal ultrasound? I had to wear a pad and there is no way I can wear anything other than sweatpants with a pad on!

It was just nice though, looking around the room at all these women, who looked just like me that are having the same troubles that I am having. We still have not yet told anyone close to us what we are going through and for a long time I had felt very alone, mostly because I couldn't talk about it, then I started writing this blog and it really helped me feel less isolated. Then yesterday, sitting shoulder to shoulder with women who have struggles just like me really hit that message home. This blog makes me feel like I'm not alone and that waiting room let me see that I am not alone. And in this case, seeing was definitely believing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This train is a movin'...

We're back from the beach and I literally just got back from the doctor. I got up bright and early to get my day 3 blood work and ultrasound done, and let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've had a transvaginal ultrasound while you have your period. It was a little uncomfortable to say the least, mostly because of how crampy I already was but add that I was bleeding all over the place and you really get a treat. My uterine lining was thinning and shedding, like it should and my ovaries and follicles look healthy and are doing what they should be doing on day 3 as well. So everything so far appears to be healthy, but we still have to do the clomid challenge test to make sure. I filled my Rx for clomid and I'll take that on days 5-9 and then get a blood test on day 10. If my FSH level is below 11, I'm golden, over 11 we need to get the baby making done ASAP because the quality and quantity of my eggs is questionable and if it is over 18 then we probably start talking egg donor. I'm pretty confident that my eggs are going to match my age, I'm 28 and a pretty healthy lady so I think I'll pass the clomid challenge.

Then up next is the HSG procedure first, I'll probably have it on Wednesday or Thursday and then follow that up with the hysteroscopy. My nurse schedules everything and then they just call you to tell you when to show up and where, they make it really easy for you. My nurse also told me that they ask us to use protection if we have sex so I don't somehow get pregnant before we do the procedures. Now, I don't usually ovulate until day 21-ish anyway but more importantly I still have my period and my uterus is about to be completely invaded twice in the span of about a week, who would ever want to have sex during this?! Sex is literally the last thing that I am thinking about right now! I am so pumped up and excited to get this whole thing started though. The baby train has left the station and has just pulled into its first stop, Testville! We'll have a brief stopover and then it is on to the next stop, Ovulation Town! Toot toot!

Friday, July 30, 2010

She's baaaack...

As day 38 of my cycle begins, I have finally gotten my period, and right in time to ruin my whole weekend! I'm going to get my nails done later on today to make myself feel good, it is so silly but I really thought that I was pregnant, again. Every month the same thing happens, but this time I was fine with it. I'm mostly just bummed out that I'm not carrying our dog who just passed reincarnated into our baby. Weird and kind of gross I know, but we really loved this dog!

Now, I'm just worried about cramps and how they'll put my plans on hold once again. As if I don't suffer enough by simply not being pregnant every month, my medieval torture chamber-esque cramps just add insult to injury. I'm going to go for a run right after I am done writing this post in hopes of keeping the cramps manageable. Exercise definitely helps lessen them, and I've been pretty good at keeping up with my exercise this week even though I kept worrying that I was pregnant and I was doing too much the whole time! But I'm glad I followed my rules and I didn't act like I was pregnant. I exercised, had a pina coloda on Monday at a barbecue, and didn't over eat, and finding my period this morning didn't have the earth shattering impact that it has in months past. So, I'm getting used to this, I'm growing and learning how to handle this struggle, and I'm feeling proud of myself today. Now I've just got to keep my spirits up in the coming weeks, because it is going to get a little crazy 'round here! Clomid challenge test here I come!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The best laid plans...

It is the morning of day 37 and still no period. I know it is coming, I can feel it, and I've got all the usual signs. This month is just like every other month, but now that I can't wait to get it, my period is being coy! I am actually starting to get a little angry because all of my plans for the weekend are about to go horribly wrong. Not only am I super anxious to start all this testing after my period has come and gone, we have a trip to the beach with my husband's best friend, his wife and their kids planned for this weekend. And now, there is just no way I can avoid having cramps all weekend. I was hoping that I'd get my period yesterday, so I could be at the point where my cramps are manageable through only acetaminophen by Saturday and I wouldn't need to be strapped to my heating pad all weekend.

No such luck. I'll get my period today or tomorrow, feel like crap and then my cramps will be in full force Saturday and Sunday. How am I supposed to explain, without being horribly embarrassed, that I can't go to the beach because I have to stay back at the house with my heating pad? I already know that I'm not going to be able to get adequate heating pad time in a house full of non-family members so I'm going to be cranky and snappy as all get out. I can hear my husband jumping for joy at the prospect of being with me, sans heating pad, all weekend. I can picture just how this weekend is going to go and it is the opposite of the fun, relaxing, bike riding trip to the beach that I had planned. I just don't get why I can't even have one fun weekend away without there being some stupid thing going on in my body?! I should not have to consult my period before going away for the weekend! It isn't even like I could have planned around it, it is so irregular anyway. I am just feeling like I cannot win today.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The hope never dies...

I've made it to day 36 and still have not gotten my period, of course it is early in the day yet. This is so bittersweet because even though I'm excited to get my period and get the ball rolling, I'm having a longer cycle so I'm starting to get hopeful that I could be pregnant. It hasn't become a big possibility in my head yet, but I'm slowly starting to ramp up to the danger zone of, "I must be pregnant!" I really need to keep myself out of that danger zone though, that is what makes me so upset when my period finally rears its ugly head. Every month I'm always so certain that I'm pregnant but I'm not and I think if I can cut out that certainty I'd be able to handle the let down much better.

Let's face it, no matter what you tell yourself in your own head, getting your period is still a let down. It's a bummer even if you don't want to be pregnant, nobody likes to get their period. But even though I'm getting all the period warning signs and I know that we need assisted fertility treatments, I still feel like it could be our lucky month. Why does my brain do this to me?! Why am I completely incapable of thinking rationally in this one area? It makes no sense, I can tell myself whatever I want but it makes no difference, that little glimmer of hope is there every month in the days before I get my period. It never fails, that shiny little glimmer of hope but the truth make me wish I could just squish it down and forget about it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My cycle days...

Because I know that you all care and want to know, today is day 35 of my cycle. Which means that most women probably would have had their period by now, but nope, not me! My cycle goes anywhere from 33 to 40 days with no rhyme or reason. I would say that it may just be very in tune to my stress level, but it wouldn't matter anyway because my stress level is nonexistent. Most of the discrepancies lie in the number of days before I ovulate, but lots of times the days after I ovulate change as well. There is just nothing constant from month to month except my cramps. Those babies show up religiously.

By Sunday my period will be here in all its crampy glory so I'm planning a mani/pedi for myself to take the edge off on Friday. That way I don't have to worry about cramps during the actual nail doing. I'm getting excited for our testing to start, we should be ready to go in about a week and a half! I'm a little nervous about passing the clomid challenge, no viable eggs changes the whole game, but I'm optimistic. Let the countdown to test day begin! (If I only knew what day I'd get my period and how long it would last, we could do an actual countdown!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

My existential crisis...

Lately I find myself having a bit of an existential crisis. I know what I don't want to do, but I have no idea what I do want to do. I don't want to work in an office with set hours, I don't want to work full time, I don't want to have a ton of responsibility, I don't want to do something menial, I don't want to work on something I don't care about...don't don't don't! There are just so many negatives about the next step that I want to take in life and let's face it that is because my life is not panning out as I thought it would. I just assumed that I would be given the gift of a child whenever I was ready for it, so I opted out of having a career, instead working as a nanny, preparing myself for my next role as mother. Now, I'm 28 with no real work experience and no real prospects of becoming a mother on my horizon.

I feel like I'm back at square one, and I wasted the past 10 years of my life. I am not an extraordinarily driven person, but I am intelligent so I do believe that I could have made a good run at a career. I didn't really know what I career I wanted to pursue in college, so I picked a program that I was good at and went from there. I ended up with a BA in English and media but still didn't know what I wanted to do, so I ended up a nanny. Now, the one thing that I always knew I wanted for myself is eluding me and I am having a hard time coming up with other options for myself.

It doesn't help that my mother is worried about me and is always trying to get me to talk about what I want out of life with her. She is worried that I won't find something that I can find fulfillment in. I know that I am enjoying writing this blog though, it makes me feel good and smart and like a real writer. I think that I do find fulfillment in this blog, and the fact that people actually read it. I wish I could say to my mom, "See?! I'm fine! I write a blog and people read it!!!" But since we aren't ready to disclose our fertility struggle right now, I definitely can't tell her about my blog that is all about it but then again isn't that what doing something for yourself is all about? Nobody but me needs to know. Well, nobody but me and all of you out there in cyberspace!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Miracles of modern science...

I do wonder sometimes if my husband and I weren't meant to get pregnant and that is why we are having fertility problems. I wonder if nature or god simply didn't intend for us to procreate, either to help keep the population in check or because our genes would not create a good human, or just because. I wonder if by doing the fertility treatments we are going against the master plan in place for us.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that struggling with fertility is part of the master plan for us. In today's world, technology is so advanced and doing things like IUI and IVF has become so commonplace and so widely accepted (except maybe by the Catholic church) that I cannot imagine we would be going against nature by using the tools that are available to us to get what we want most out of life. Plus, if having kids isn't in the cards for us then the IUI and potentially the IVF wouldn't work. Maybe there is just something for us to learn here. Hopefully it is good things come to those who wait and not you don't always get what you want...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

But we had a plan...

Since there is no good way to start off this post, I'm just going to jump right in with the bad news. Yesterday our dog died. She was about to turn 11 in August and had a slew of things wrong with her, but most recently a bad case of lymphoma, so we made the decision to put her down. I can say with conviction that my wedding day was the absolute best day of my life, and that yesterday was the absolute worst. I thought that we were prepared, we had talked and talked and agonized over the decision and we agreed that we didn't want her to suffer. Our vet even reinforced to us that we were doing the right thing, but even with all that we were a total mess yesterday. Both of us could not stop tearing up every 5 minutes and now we are just running on auto pilot.

I just keep thinking, "BUT WE HAD A PLAN!?" How could I possibly be so upset when we had a plan in place? I knew exactly what was going to happen, and it didn't make one bit of difference. Suddenly, I have a not so sunny outlook on us getting pregnant. I'm still confident in our plan, I'm just much less confident that I'll be able to handle the emotional side of it. I was so sure that if we didn't get pregnant the first month of assisted fertility I would be fine and we'd just keep on truckin' because that was the plan. But now, I have firsthand knowledge of when the plan goes as planned and you still feel like crap because the expected outcome, though expected, still sucks. Well, I guess at least now I know that if our first month is a bust I'll be a mess, so no surprises. I suppose the only surprise at this point would be me getting pregnant. I'm laughing, but it's funny sad, not funny ha-ha.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The two weeks of emotion...

For all of you women out there who are trying to have a baby, you know all about the two week wait. I swear this may be the worst one that I've ever had! This time I am excited to get my period so that we can look around my uterus and see exactly what is going on in there. Usually, I have a lump in the pit of my stomach the entire two weeks, there is a little hope but I always have the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. This time it is different, I am waiting for something that I know is going to happen. There is no anxiety attached to not knowing whether or not I'm getting my period, I know that it is coming and I'm looking forward to it like I did my wedding day!

It is just funny how much emotion a person can attach to an event or an object. I guess that is a part of what makes us human, but sometimes I just wish I could shut my emotions off. They can get the best of me and totally carry me away, and I often get really angry at myself for feeling so strongly about inconsequential things. I used to think that my hormones played a large roll in why I can be so emotional, but after a conversation with my husband (who believes that they have nothing to do with my emotions as he has yet to see a pattern emerge) I think that they just amplify emotions that are already extremely close to the surface. I think my monthly changing hormone levels make it so that I simply have less control of my emotions. I can absolutely control them most of the time during the month, but it takes a conscious effort, when I have PMS I just don't have a chance in hell of checking my emotions at the door. I just wish I could be different, not so emotional, and more stoic. But hey, this must be what makes me so fun and exciting!?

Monday, July 19, 2010

There is always something...

Last night my mom and dad came over for dinner while I was babysitting my cousin's baby so that she could go to a wedding while her parents were out of town. We actually had a great time. My parents absolutely adore this baby, he is really ridiculously cute and for the most part he's a pretty easy baby to take care of. But I was happy because I was finally able to enjoy my cousin's child without feelings of jealousy and just plain old self pity. It is so strange, but it is like a switch was flipped in our doctor's office. Although, lately I have been having crazy mood swings which usually means I'm due for my period in about two weeks but even that doesn't seem to be bothering me. It unfortunately is bothering my husband, who is claiming that I've been crazier than usual, which honestly I'm finding quite hard to believe as I can be extremely crazy. All in all, the general tone remains happy, so I'm psyched!

Of course my mother couldn't leave the house last night without insisting that she knew I was going to be pregnant this month. How she knew it was a mystery to everyone else, but I have a feeling that it was because she spied my bottle of folic acid (that I take during every two week wait) that I accidentally left out on the counter. It was a crazy night, with dinner and a baby and parents, so I forgot to hide it away! Big mistake! I told her not to be disappointed when I'm not pregnant, that it would have been the immaculate conception because we are not trying and that we are using birth control, but she wasn't sold. She saw the folic acid and she thinks she knows that I'm pregnant and waiting the requisite 3 months or so to make the announcement. I'm just praying at this point she doesn't start telling people, which would be SO my mother. There is always something that prevents a day from going by without any infertility drama.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm making a new rule...

The comment on my last post from the fabulous KB got me thinking and I have decided to implement a new rule. For the day that my period is due, I'm going to plan something special to do. That way I have something good to look forward to and hopefully it'll take the edge off getting my period again. My period is pretty irregular but with the doctors helping now and being able to pinpoint when I ovulate much better, I should finally be able to have a reliable estimated start date. I can't plan to do something special after I get my period because my wonderful cramps make it so that I can't do anything for 3 days. But if I can't reward myself for getting my period, I can at least distract myself on the day I should be getting it.

I'm not talking about doing anything huge, but not too small either. I'm thinking things along the lines of getting a mani/pedi, a mini shopping spree, or dinner out at my favorite restaurant in the city with my hubby. It has to be something that I don't do very often but doesn't cost too much money so that I can afford to do it once a month! I think that having a nice distraction on the day that I'm frantically checking my panty liner for a drop of blood every 2 seconds should at the very least make the day go faster and keep me upbeat if I get my period. Right now I'm already looking forward to planning a special treat for myself on Saturday July 31st, and I'm excited to have to come up with new things to do for myself once a month! I think that I'll start with a mani/pedi and a fatty little Auntie Anne's soft pretzel from the mall. Oh crap, now all I can think about is that darn pretzel! Hey! Distraction accomplished!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Silly superstitions...

I've started to act like a major league baseball player lately. You know how superstitious those wackos are, with all their weird rituals before stepping up to bat, notorious for not washing underwear or shaving during a a good streak, well now you can add me to the wacko pile. Every time I go to do to something, in my head I'll say if I do the right thing then I'll get pregnant. If I'm generous and kind to others then I'll have a better shot at having a baby. I'm acting like a kid who thinks that Santa is watching and she won't get any presents if she isn't a good little girl. Obviously the world doesn't work this way, I know way too many beotches with babies!

This is just the strangest two week wait that I've ever had because I'm finally not expecting to be pregnant. I want my period to get here so that we can start with our testing and treatments but I keep psyching myself up for a miracle. I'm finally not having the, "I could be pregnant, no no, I'm probably not, but I feel like maybe I'm pregnant, no no, that was just gas, but I really think I am this time," conversation running through my head 24 hours a day. Instead I seem to be trying to talk myself into believing that the impossible is possible, that I could just find myself pregnant after not trying. We've been charting and OPK'ing and checking cervical mucus out the wazoo, what are the odds if we couldn't get pregnant during all that then we would once we stopped? I'll tell you, slim to none, yet the eternal optimist voice in my head is still there peeping in every so often that it could happen. Well, one thing is certain that voice is the lesser of the two evils and I'm enjoying this break from the 24-7 maybe I'm pregnant convo even if I'm acting like a kid at Christmastime. Reminding myself from time to time that it could happen probably isn't the worst thing in the world and if it doesn't I still have the tests and treatments to look forward to. Finally, a win - win!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Black holes of happiness...

I was just talking to my husband about having nothing to write on my blog this morning because I've run out of things to complain about since I've been little miss happy clam lately, and he said, "well you can blog about happy things too." And my immediate response was that I didn't want to be over here tooting about how good I feel lately while other people aren't feeling the same way, and he answered back, "Well you aren't all sentenced to a life of misery!" And then I just thought, my god, you are so right!

I think that as soon as women begin to experience fertility issues they take all the blame and shame upon themselves and become like a black hole, just sucking up all that responsibility and bad feelings about it, creating an atmosphere in which it is impossible to be happy. I know I was doing it, it is really hard not to take full responsibility and throw yourself into fixing the problem, ignoring all your other emotions. Once you realize that you're doing it, it is harder still to stop because that means letting go. You have to let go of that responsibility and pass it to someone else to hold for little bit while you relax. I gave mine over to my doctor to hang onto, and you know I've been feeling fantastic lately. If we go through a few months of assisted fertility and we're still unsuccessful I'll have to make a conscious effort not to collapse in on myself and become a black hole again but I'm hoping I can do it. This may sound silly, but sometimes I think it is easier for me to be angry and nasty than happy and positive. My poor husband didn't give me the nickname "Doom and Gloom" for nothing, I earned that title! Well, those days are over! I'm working on acquiring a new nickname, "So Happy and Positive it is Annoying to All Around Her," and I think it is so far so good! :)

Funny, I used to find those little smiley faces just so annoying...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I dreamed a dream...

So the other morning I had the most amazing dream. I dreamed that I was taking my two newborn twin boys to a check-up at the doctor's office and then the doctor suddenly turned to me and said, "You're pregnant again!" We did an ultrasound and sure enough there was a little baby girl in there! It was a little farfetched, I highly doubt that twins are in my future or that a doctor can tell someone is pregnant just by looking at them or that you can even get pregnant directly after giving birth, but I don't care I loved it! I was holding both of the twins and looking down at their little heads (I couldn't see their faces, but I tried) and I just got this rush of pride and that was shortly followed by love and joy in enormous quantities.

Now, I think one of two things happened, either I have reached a new level of crazy or my brain is doing things to help get its body through a difficult situation. When I woke up, I felt glorious. I wasn't even a hint sad or upset because I had a taste of what it might be like to have a baby and that was enough to keep me going, so I'm going to go with my brain is helping me out a little here. I do know that often people have pregnancy dreams when something big in their life is coming to fruition, at the end of a huge project they had been working on, or embarking on something life changing...any kind of thing that could be equated to giving birth. I think of an artist completing a masterpiece after months of work, and I can totally relate that to someone giving birth. While I haven't completed any masterpieces lately, I am finding myself feeling much differently now that we've seen our doctor. So maybe my brain is just showing me how I feel so I can keep this feeling going, which is like the pregnancy train has finally pulled out of the station! We boarded this darn train MONTHS ago and we've jut been sitting here waiting for our conductor, now he's finally arrived and now we're off to destination pregnancy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've passed the torch...

It has been so nice and stress free around our household ever since we went to the fertility specialists. I have been able to completely let go of all the stress and tension I had been holding on to about not being able to get pregnant because I guess I let go being able to do it naturally. It was difficult, especially in the past month or so because it turned out that I was the one with the fertility problem but ever since we went to the doctor I haven't been worried. I've stopped taking my basal temperature and using the OPK's and we are just going with the flow and are no longer timing sex.

I don't know if it is right for me to just totally dump getting me pregnant in my doctor's lap but it has certainly made it a lot easier for me to cope lately. I think I have just finally allowed myself to acknowledge that we need help instead of beating myself up every month for a fertility problem that is totally out of my control. Our doctor just kind of swooped in and took the reins and by doing that he took all of the control away from us which simultaneously took all the pressure off of us. Now I realize that I am more than happy to give up the control of all this infertility nonsense and sit back and relax while somebody else does all the work and the worrying for me. It may be wrong to have so much blind faith in our doctor, and it may come back to bite me later but right now I am feeling relaxed and happy and I'm not giving that up just yet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why I can't wait to get my period...

Now that we are on the move with our plan, I cannot wait for my next two periods to be over! Who ever would have thought that I would find myself looking forward to my periods?! It is just so great to be excited about something again and I am really looking forward to finally knowing if there is something wrong. Most importantly I am finally looking forward to getting pregnant again. I had just gotten so disheartened about the whole situation that I even stopped thinking about the fun stuff, like baby names, and dreaming about who the baby would look like and stuff like that.

Plus, since I have finally been given the diagnoses of dysmenorrhea (which just means that I get enough pain during my periods to limit my normal activity, a fancy way of saying that I get cramps from hell if you will) I also kind of feel vindicated. I have been complaining to my OB/GYN for the past 8 years and I always get the same answer. Painful cramps are normal, chunky periods are normal, blah blah blah. I would just leave my annual visit and tell myself that everything was fine and then the next period I got being fine flew out the window. There is no way that the pain I feel every month could be considered normal. Other than a having a baby with my husband, there is nothing that I would love more than not having to put my life on hold to sit with a heating pad for 72 hours straight once a month! Hopefully by doing all the testing we'll be able to figure out if there is a reason why my periods are so darn painful and then remedy the problem. Even if I can't get rid of them, if I could just get pregnant those 9 months and then the time I'd hopefully spend breastfeeding would give me such a wonderful break. My dream in life is to have a baby, stop having cramps forever and win the lottery, and in that order. Of course if we could just have a baby, I could care less about the cramps and the lottery.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our plan of attack...

Like I said before, we are a team with a plan now and I thought I'd share our initial plan with you. First things first, we figure out if I am actually ovulating. We did the trans-vaginal ultrasound and saw no ripe follicles ready to pop out an egg and the subsequent blood test confirmed that I not ovulated yet so I go in on Friday for another blood test. Basically we do blood tests until we can confirm a change in hormones indicating ovulation.

After that, everything is kind of put on hold until my next cycle. The next three tests we'll do need to be done after the start of my next period. First up is the clomid challenge test (CCCT). That entails taking clomid orally and monitoring my hormone levels to determine my ovarian reserve, or the quality of the eggs that I have left. This test will enable us to identify whether or not my eggs are good enough to be fertilized by my husband's super sperm. If I flunk this one we will most likely turn to the alternatives at that point: adoption, using an egg donor or giving up entirely. Needless to say, that test is freaking me out.

If I pass, we move on to the next tests. The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and the hysteroscopy. They are both super fun and you guys are going to be so jealous and you'll all want to have them done. The HSG involves filling me with a special dye that should end up filling my entire uterus and fallopian tubes. If it does not, that will indicate a blockage and we move on from there to either unblock it or work around it (IVF). The hysteroscopy involves filling me with sterile salt water and then sticking a tiny little telescope up there to visualize my uterus so they can detect any scar tissue, polyps, fibroids or any other abnormalities. Along with the hysteroscopy they'll take an endometrial biopsy to rule out an infection or inflammation of my uterine lining.

After those three tests are preformed, we'll take the information we've gleaned from them and move on from there. It's onward and upward if I can just pass the CCCT! I think we can still try this month, but next month (the month of trying to see how many liquids they can fill up my uterus up with) will be out. This means that the next two periods I get won't be wrought with anguish over yet another wasted cycle with no pregnancy because I'm not doing anything differently yet! I've got a free pass on the agony for the next two months and I am just one happy camper!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Insurance abusers...

We are beginning to suspect that my OB/GYN may have been a bit of an insurance abuser. When we saw our new doctor yesterday, he looked at the results of the semen analysis and saw that we went to the urologist and he looked at us and said, "Your OB sent you to the urologist? Did he kick you out of his office when you got there?!" Because the sample's numbers, across the board, were really good and the sperm count itself was ridiculously high, we never should have gone to see the urologist as there was no concern of male infertility. But the urologist actually ordered a second semen analysis along with a test (that is NOT covered by our insurance) to see whether or not my husband's swimmers could penetrate through a hamster's eggs. I did a little digging on the hamster egg test and it is pretty controversial. For one thing a lot of doctors don't think that the results really mean anything but more importantly they kill the hamster that they get the eggs from!

Now, it is a long shot that my OB was doing that just so the urology practice could charge our insurance company, but the two practices are affiliated so we were being cynical and thinking that maybe they do a little "referring" of patients to each other's practices for doctor visits and tests that are completely unnecessary just so they can make the extra bucks. Talk about a conspiracy theory! What is more likely is that my OB was just busy with her practice and other patients and didn't feel like making the time to think about what might be going on with us so she passed me off to the fertility specialist and my husband off to the urologist. She was completely right in sending me to the specialists, but she was completely wrong in sending my husband.

Faster and easier for my OB? Yes. Ethical? Probably not so much. However, after yesterday's appointment with our new doctor I'm feeling pretty confident in his and his practice's ethics. I don't think they are out to waste our time and money just so that they can turn a profit, the profit is just an added benefit. I just finally feel like someone has our best interest in mind.