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!