Tuesday, June 29, 2010

it changes everything

Infertility. It does. It changes how I view basically everything. It changes how I view money. It changes how I view the holidays. It changes how I view simple trips to the store or the mall. It changes how I view other staff members at my job (oops, pregnancy brain!, is something I was told the other day...). It has even affected my faith and my marriage. MBL and I started this journey on our wedding night and naively assumed we'd be pregnant when we returned from our honeymoon! No? Well then we'll get pregnant on MBL's birthday the next month! No? Hmmm...I have to admit it was only our third month of trying when I sent MBL for a s/a. I just *knew* something was wrong. And, I was right, his count was low. And when we got it retested in July it was even lower (9.3 million/mL). We started "treatment" July 21, 2009. I never thought I would see my one year anniversary with my RE. Yet, here I am. More vulnerable than ever to the pain of infertility, but also a little less hurt by it than last year...if that even makes any sense.

All of that to say that MBL and I went out for dinner Saturday night. We are going to fast from alcohol for at least the next month and we wanted one last hurrah! before beginning that. At dinner I brought up to MBL the fact that I have been second guessing our choice of returning to our current clinic for IVF #2 (for various reasons...they do TWO DAY transfers, they don't seem to be up on the latest science for IVF, they always seem in a rush during our appointments...). I mentioned a clinic I had been looking at out of state, and MBL totally surprised me! He listened to what I had to say!! He took it all in and said, "Yeah, let's check it out!" He liked how differently they did things and how they were up on the latest technologies. I was really surprised. Usually he just gives me a sideways glance like, "you're crazy" when I start talking about what I've recently learned or read regarding our IF. So, we're thinking about switching. Maybe. But, one of the main points of my conversation with him was that I just don't frickin' care about the money anymore! Whatever it costs! I. don't. care. I told MBL that it would be worthless to me to get to the end of our lives with pockets full of money and absolutely no one with whom to share it. I would hate to have a big house without a gaggle of kids running from room to room. I would hate to have a lakehouse and a boat without having a family with whom to enjoy it. Now, I firmly believe that MBL and I are a family all by ourselves. We are married and we are a family of two, we do not need children to be a family. But, to me, having our house full of kids means more to me than any earthly thing and I plan on going to the moon and back, if I have to, to achieve my goal of pregnancy, birth, and children.

On a related note, I am oddly thankful that I have to work this weekend. Not just because it means more $$$ for the baby fund, but also because it gives me an excuse to miss the big family fireworks in the lakeside town near us. I am sure the fireworks are beautiful, and, yes, I want to see them, but I do not think I could stand seeing all the families with their beautiful kids enjoying the holiday together. I think it would hurt too much. Instead, I will work both the 3rd and the 4th and we will go to the fireworks locations just before they are set to go off. Because it seems like my infertility pain is always the greatest around holidays, but I do my best to distance myself from activities/outings that inevitably leave me feeling bitter and upset. So, if what I truly enjoy is the fireworks, then I am thankful I can arrive just before they are launched!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I've lost my groove

So, I've mentioned it here before that I love running. I picked it up five years ago (back when I was a chubby college sophomore) and I've been addicted ever since. Well, scratch that, I was addicted up until I started on our long journey with assisted reproduction. I was on Clo.mid from May to September last year and my RE suggested that I stop running during my cycles because of the ovarian swelling. So, I ran my last real run last July. In October I had my laparoscopy and then we started our IVF cycle in November. January through April were filled with self loathing and doubt and a little bit of exercise (mostly kick boxing and walking). Then we started back up with the joyous fertility meds again in May and here we are today. I used to track points and/or calories, but I've noticed that I'm not able to lose very much weight (and by that I mean, I end up losing only a pound or two) just doing that, and I do tend to really stick to the plan, so I know it's not because I'm overeating.

Anyways, all that to say, that I miss working out. I really do. I miss tracking what I eat and working out to help my progress along. I also just feel better when I'm able to do those things. I feel better about myself and I just am able to go about my day better. I feel more motivated and more energized and just like I've accomplished things. And, I truly love feeling like I have to get on the treadmill or get out for a run, I love the responsibility I feel towards exercise when I'm in a good groove. I also love pounding out the miles and getting all sweaty and out of breath. I really, truly do love that. And, I hate the infertility has made me so afraid of doing things. I'm pretty sure I'm "allowed" to run about starting at three days past ovulation, but I get scared that I'll "knock the baby off." And these fears also stem to other things, I don't like to lift anything during the two week wait. MBL and I have a lot of painting/other projects to do around the house, but I don't want to expose myself to paint fumes or overexert myself. When I type it out it seems silly, but it is partially due to the fact that I don't want to get another BFN and wonder if it was due to me doing any of the above. Does anyone else have these fears???

Friday, June 25, 2010

feeling bad for myself

So, I went to the mall and then to the grocery store tonight around 6:00pm. Big mistake. Apparently that is the time that all the preggos and the moms with new babies go shopping. I wouldn't have been so annoyed if it weren't for the fact that the grocery store didn't have the angel food cake that I wanted. It's my favorite because one sixth of the cake has only 60 calories, which means I can have a really big dessert and not feel bad about it. But, of course, the grocery store was out. Boo hoo. And they were out of other things I needed and so I threw a pity party for myself in the frozen food section and then contemplated buying a carton of ice cream to eat on my way home. (I should clarify that while I often talk about gorging on loads of junk food, I rarely ever follow through...just so all you bloggy friends know that I don't sit around eating my feelings all the time...although sometimes I do and usually it involves a cake donut with chocolate icing and sprinkles-yum!) There were so many beautiful bellies and cutie pie babies at the store that I just felt sorry for myself. Blah.

So, I guess the world is conspiring against me (no, I am not being overly dramatic). I took tomorrow afternoon off so that MBL and I could go to the beach, but the weather has decided to take a turn for the worse and it looks like our plans may fall through. 80% chance of rain? Not looking to good for me. But, at least I will have the afternoon off and be able to spend some quality time with MBL. We need that.

Finally, 2dpo today! I can't wait until I can start testing! This is the first time I haven't had a trigger shot in my system, so I may be naughty and start testing around 11dpo (don't tell MBL!).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That's what I've been! This month we did our IUI based on my LH surge due to our vacation. I got a positive late Monday, at 11:30pm, and we did our IUI right around 11:15am this morning. MBL had to be at the clinic early to give his, um, "deposit". He's such a trooper! He could collect at home, but he's convinced that collecting at the clinic helps his count. As a person who holds a bachelor's in psychology, I know better than to argue with that! Today we had our best count ever, 8.6million motile spermies! We had a new nurse for our IUI and she was FANTASTIC! So friendly and cheery. Usually I get the RN that is all business. She is fast and furious and barely says three words the entire time (which is awkward when you're laying there with your feet in stirrups and your lady bits in full view). Needless to say, I don't particularly like that RN, even if she does always wear the cutest earrings. Anyways, back to our RN today, she was so gentle and thorough and just sweet. The IUI was painless and I even remembered to wear my fertility socks! MBL was quite funny afterwards and he kept making me laugh and then yelling at me for "pushing it out".

So, now on to the two week wait (assuming that I my temp goes up tomorrow)! Here's hoping we get our positive from this!

Monday, June 21, 2010

spoke too soon

Remember that last post? Where I said the meaner version of my self post-clo.mid/pre-ovulation seems to be absent this month? Well, I was wrong. Somewhat. I'm not feeling near as pissy as I normally do, but I am feeling hormonal and quite upset. All it took? One innocent peek into a face.book photo album from a trip to Bor.a Bor.a. I seriously was expecting to just spend some time perusing photos from a vacation and then BAM! about five or so photos in I'm greeted with the most glorious, beautiful preggo belly. And immediately? I wanted to eat a whole box of donuts followed by an entire pizza and a case of beer, but first? I wanted to cry every tear I have left. The ironic thing about all of this? The album belongs to one of MBL's coworkers. A coworker who went out of his way to tell us that he and his wife needed fertility treatments to get all three of their children (assuming these pictures are recent, this is baby #4, and we have no idea if fertility treatments were used). I was already in the middle of a texting MBL and so I asked if he knew about this and he didn't. MBL thinks they didn't say anything because of our situation. Ugh. I kind of hate that we are the people from whom others have to hide their good news.

Okay, I REALLY hate that we're those people. But, I am going to feel envious of every preggo I encounter until I have my own belly to wield around. And even then, I cannot promise that I won't be overcome with feelings of envy. (I've heard that pregnancy does not an infertility scar erase). I have no doubt that MBL is now dreading coming home tonight as having Debbie Downer as a wife is about as much fun as having a root canal with no anaesthesia. Blah. How I wish we were doing IVF in July, just because that would mean it was one month sooner and my potential for a BFP that much closer!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

something is missing!

The hormonal wench that usually takes over my body during my post clo.mid, pre-ovulation waiting period seems to be missing. Seriously, I have not felt moody or irritable these past two weeks and it actually feels kind of weird. I have had some hot flashes (hm, like right now), but none of the "I need to cry every tear I have because I am not friggin pregnant and maybe also yell at MBL for no good reason." I have been, well, back to my normalish self. I've been happy! How did this happen?

I think it can be attributed to eleven days off from work, 9 of which were spent on the most glorious vacation since our honeymoon (which was just over a year and a half ago, but still). We went to Niagara Falls and DC with my parents and my younger (19) sister. And we had a blast!! I have not laughed so hard or had so much fun in so long! I did see a gamut of pregnant women, all of whom stirred up belly envy, but did not cause me to have a public (or private) breakdown over IF. On the plane yesterday, MBL turned to me and said, "Next year we should vacation for two weeks." The last few nights, before bed, he emphasized how much fun he was having and how great it was to travel with my family (whom I adore). It was so wonderful to see him so happy. So, we started talking about where we would like to go next summer and I couldn't help but picturing a baby carrier strapped to MBL's front. We're thinking San Diego. With or without the baby carrier, but hopefully with at least some semblance of a baby bump.

I only wish I had taken off work this weekend. We could have stayed until Thursday that way...oh, hindsight! I am just relieved to find that MBL is still the man I married and, more importantly, that I am still the woman he married. Who knows maybe this IUI will the one simply because it was post vacation and I will be about as relaxed as humanly possible (but, please note that I am in no way suggesting that relaxing=pregnancy). I just think it will be good for us to head into the TWW refreshed and happy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the fulfillment of my dreams

So, I am currently visiting the Washington DC area. We have been here since Saturday and MBL and I leave Friday. Today we went to Mou.nt Ver.non. I had been there once before, but 3 of the people in our group had not. It was nice to go back and take it all in again! And even though the place was beautiful, my highlight of the day has nothing to do with anything historical. Instead, the sweetest thing I saw all day was a mom with her four kids (all dressed in the same color), touring the property. She had two girls and two boys, exactly what MBL and I would like to have (in my dream world where everything works out how I want it to). The kids were outrageously well behaved and their mom reacted to everything in stride. She did not once yell at them when they wandered away and when she nicely asked them to return to her side, they would do so. And, I should mention that the kids were young, like between 3 and 7. I always like it when I get to witness good parenting and in this case, while I was a tad bit jealous, I was mostly glad that this mom appeared to really appreciate the gifts she had been given in her four children.

And, that brings me to...why are they so many stinkin' preggos here??? Seriously they are EVERYWHERE!!! Ugh. I have belly lust. I want a big ole preggo belly. BAD. Sometimes (ok, a lot of time), I get scared that because I can't picture myself pregnant, that means that it won't happen for me. But, then I think back to how I couldn't imagine getting married or working in a "real" job and I have done both of those things despite my limited forsight. So, perhaps this is like that? I will say that part of me thinks that just to spite me, MBL and I will get preggo from this IUI because we will have spent the last 10 days beforehand on vacation and then everyone will be able to say that it is because I was relaxed that it worked out.

Our vacation has been extraordinarily wonderful. MBL and I have really had a chance to reconnect and enjoy being together again without the worries of work or our house hanging over our heads. I'm sad to return to reality on Friday.

For now, I'm just relishing in the last two days of our trip!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

my mom is a math teacher

...and yet I can't do math! I called the RE today to schedule my mid cycle ultrasound and the nurse did the math and realized that day 14 would be Sunday, June 20. And turns out, Sundays are the only days they do not do IUIs. And? I'm gone until after 5pm on Friday, June 18. So, we are going to scratch the monitoring and instead I'll go in when I get a positive OPK. My last two non-Clo.mid cycles I have Oed around day 16 or 17, so we'll see. Here's to hoping that I don't O early!!! Oh, and on a positive note, at least I get out of a meeting with the vag cam this month!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a whole box of donuts

That is what I wanted to eat today. I didn't. I had one. For dinner. Sometimes I just have to eat my feelings and today was one of those days. I always try to set limits and boundaries for myself so that I don't end up with a box of empty donuts and stomach full of regret.

Anyways, on to why I felt like eating a whole box of donuts. I guess I just feel like I have been fighting a battle since last May and I just wonder when I will come out on top. Every time I feel like I am getting close to it getting better, something else happens or the "better" falls through. Case in point? I finally got a new job that pays me well in March. The catch? It's only 20 hours a week. I worked two jobs until two weeks ago when the family for whom I nannyed moved too far away. I have been able to pick up extra hours at my new job, but that will probably only last until the end of July. Well, on Friday I found out that the full time person in my office was leaving her position and that her position would be open. She told me that they were considering giving me more hours and asked me if I would be interested. I gave an enthusiastic "yes!". Going 32 hours a week would give me full time status which would include thousands more per year to help with IF treatments and school loans AND 50% coverage on infertility meds. The opportunity would be life changing. I lived with the glow of possibility from Friday through Sunday. Then, yesterday, my supervisor told me they were offering the position to a current employee who has less experience than I do. He explained that if she did not want 40 hours, then I could take on more. Well, today he emailed and let me know she accepted the full 40 hour position. I cried. Hard. The kind of cry where I literally feel like I might fall to pieces. It's my "I stinkin' hate infertility and it's totally unfair" cry. The sobs come from so deep inside me, it's hard for me to see an end to how I'm feeling. Sure this decision technically had nothing to do with my infertility, but it sure felt like it did. And what makes me most upset is that I am more qualified for the position and yet she was offered it because of her (totally unrelated) experience in the organization. I literally feel like I will just never "win".

Like how MBL and I wrote to a partner at his company giving her personal details about our struggle with infertility and asking her to consider offering some sort of coverage this next fiscal year and come to find out not only will they still not cover a penny, but that they jacked up copays. I told MBL that I feel like that decision was just a big "We don't give a hoot!!!" to us.

Or like how this latest IUI is a BFN despite everything looking good or how our IVF was a BFN. These days I'm even taking the canned pumpkin shortage personally.

I am so NOT looking forward to being on Clo.mid over my vacation.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

well that settles it

So, no February baby for us! On Thursday I ended up testing with FRER and it was a BFN, so I took it as an invitation to indulge at the baseball game. And indulge I did :). A few $2 beers, one hotdog, and a pretzel with cheese later...I was feeling better (at least momentarily). Prior to the game I had MEGA PMS. Like I wanted to rip MBL's head off and stomp on it just because I was pissed about not being pregnant. My temp did shoot up Friday morning, but I think that was due to my indulgence Thursday night. I still tested with an IC, but it was BFN. I thought for sure that I was going to get AF on Friday or yesterday, but nope. Thankfully (yes, I am actually thankful), she held off until this afternoon. If she had come any earlier, we would not have been able to do an IUI this month because we will be travelling to Niagara Falls and Washington DC for a ten day trip and our clinic does not do IUIs on weekends (at least I'm pretty sure they don't). So, now we will be back just in time for a Monday, June 21 IUI. So, thank you 17 day luteal phase!

For this upcoming IUI cycle I am thinking about making some med changes without doctor approval, but I'm not sure if I will get the results I want. You see, in February I had four follicles on 100mg of clo.mid. This past month I *only* had two (doc still says that's an excellent response). I'm a greedy little bugger, so I want more than two for our June IUI. When we went to see the new RE, he gave me a new Rx for 100mg of clo.mid, but I still have one refill left on my old prescription. So, I have been considering taking 150mg. Anybody have any thoughts on that? I tried searching for answers on whether or not that would improve my chances of getting more follicles, but the general consensus seems to be that it depends on the person and the cycle. MBL thinks I should do it, but I'm still a little hesitant. So, I'd love your two cents!

I am feeling surprisingly okay about this BFN. After getting so many of them, I'm used to the idea. In the past we haven't kept our parents in the loop on our treatments (only telling them that we had done IUI and that we were going to do IVF, but no specific dates or anything). Well, I decided to let my mom in on what we were doing and when we were doing it. She was really cute about the whole thing and after our IUI she called to tell me that on the day we were having ours a woman in her school told her about her struggle with IF and how she got pregnant, with twins!, from an IUI. The woman happened to tell my mom this story on the very day we were having our IUI, so my mom saw this as a good sign. It was so sweet to hear how she was thinking of us that day and how she was praying that everything worked out. The reason I have kept most people out of the loop is the fact that I feel disappointed enough after each failed cycle, that I don't want to add on having to explain another BFN to other people as well. And while it still will be a bummer to tell my mom that it didn't work, it felt really great having her support and positivity during the cycle that I will likely keep her in the loop on the rest of our IUIs and our IVF.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! I've been working the whole time...but no complaints here, work equals money for the baby fund!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

old habits and a new feeling

So, since beginning this journey forever and a day ago, I have surrendered some of my daily habits in hopes that doing so would grant me my elusive BFP. I lowered my caffeine intake from the get go. I had two diet cokes a day, which added up to around 84mg of caffeine, well below the guideline of 200mg. Well, now I read that for those potentially going through IVF, caffeine should be greatly restricted. So, now I try to only have 82mg a week. I still have one diet coke a day, however, now it is caffeine free. I also just LOVE beer...I used to have one a night. My reading also indicates that alcohol intake should be greatly reduced as well, so now I have one to three drinks a week. And it's not potent beer either, instead I am drinking the uber light stuff with about 2.8% alcohol by volume.

I can deal without caffeinated diet coke and heavier beer, the thing I miss the most? RUNNING! I was kind of a chub during high school and my freshman year in college. A few weeks into my sophomore year I picked up running and just never stopped! Within two months I was running 6 or 7 miles at a time (and I had dropped 20 pounds). In 2006 I ran my first 25k and in 2007 I ran my second. For five solid years I ran at least once a week and most every week I put in at least 20 miles. I felt great about my body and I loved that I was able to run for an hour without stopping. My confidence sky rocketed and my stress level fell. I read that I could run while TTC and even into my pregnancy, so I kept at it. Until last July when my RE said he didn't advise it while using clo.mid. I stopped immediately. I ran once in September and then went on hiatus. Well, yesterday, I went for a walk around my favorite place, a beautiful lake with a sunny walking trail. After a mile and a half I came to my favorite downhill and I decided I just couldn't walk down it, I had to run!! So, I ran down it and continued running for a few minutes. I felt so alive (and a little naughty). I continued this pattern for the rest of the 4.5 miles. Oh it felt so good!!! I miss it. So. much. If we don't do IUI or clo.mid in July, I may run again.

I also went to my hairdresser yesterday...another thing I just LOVE (but I only go every three months because it costs an arm and a leg)! And I got a new cut that I just love! It's the little things in life that keep me going these days :).

On another note, for the past few days (before the running), I have been noticing the strangest feeling in my uterus. I have never had this feeling before. It's almost like a pressure that I can feel in my (TMI WARNING)...va jay jay. SO ODD!!! Maybe it is a good sign? My ovaries have also been quite sensitive. I have heard of people getting crampy before their BFP, but I haven't heard anything about this. Tomorrow I will be 13dpo and I am breaking out the big guns. I went to the store today and picked up some FRERs. Tomorrow night we are set to go to a baseball game with some friends where there will be $2 beer. If my temp drops I will drink a beer or two. If it is still up, I will test. I have been testing with ICs (internet cheapies) the past few days and they have been BFN, but I know they are not the most sensitive of tests. So, I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings. If my temp is down, I will keep the FRERs for our IVF cycle.

If anyone has any input on the odd feeling in my ute, feel free to share your insight!