Tuesday, February 28, 2012

on our way!

Well, despite what I thought was going to happen, when I called the fertility clinic yesterday they let me know that I needed to begin birth control asap. I was on cycle day three. I wanted to ask her why no one called me back this past weekend even though I called with cycle day one, especially if I was supposed to start birth control. But, she's not the nicest nurse at the clinic, so I decided to just let it be. I'm sure they wouldn't let me cycle if it was too late to start the pills. Right?

The nurse barely had time to talk to me (which is kind of irritating), but I'm assuming that I'm going to do the long lupron protocol again as that's what I did my BFP cycle. I had to sign a cancellation form (agreeing to pay $400 if we cancel this cycle) and she said once she had that I would have a more finalized plan. I emailed that this morning, so now I'm just obsessively checking my email to see if she's responded. She did say, however, that she is almost certain I will have my ER/ET the first week of April. Which just so happens to be the first week I was going to be picking up extra hours at work. Whoops. Oh well. I'll still be able to make a little extra money in April, so I'm not going to grieve over those ten hours. The good thing about that timing is that it will fall right over Easter which means we will get to be with my family for that holiday! My mom is already planning on hiding eggs for Piper. Melt. my. heart.

Speaking of that little girl, she has been getting lots of extra snuggles the past few days as I am just in a funk. I'm so anxious over this next cycle. SOOOO anxious. I was so hopeful that this past cycle would work, that it's BFN is just making me doubt that I'll be able to get pregnant again. Which is actually kind of crazy. It's just that everyone tells you your body will be different after having a baby that I just kind of believed I was somehow magically cured and I'd be one of the lucky ones to get pregnant without medical intervention, or with very little intervention. I guess I'm just having a hard time accepting that we are doing IVF again. That we are headed down this path again. I'm desperately trying to remember what we did last time. When did I soak my feet? When did I eat the core of the pineapple? I just want to do those things again since I did get my BFP.

Oh, and since I am on BCP and we are going to be headed towards ER/ET sooner than I thought, I will have less time to get my booty in shape. Well, to be fair, I have been running and eating right since Piper was 7 weeks old, but that has led to very little weight loss. Now that I am hoping to be knocked up again soon, I am going to up the ante and try combining workouts with a high protein diet and hope I can drop 5lbs or so before I start injects (which will be in about 2.5-3 weeks). I guess that means I should get my butt up off this couch and start my workout!!

Have you ever tried a crazy diet? Do you regularly work out? What do you do to motivate yourself to work out?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

decision: made.

And the winners are:




After a measly 11 day luteal phase, AF greeted me at noon. We were getting ready to leave to run some errands and I was less than pleased by her arrival. We were hoping this cycle was going to be our miracle BFP. Guess not. So, this means that we are headed for IVF! MBL and I talked about it this afternoon and due to several factors, we have decided to go ahead with IVF this cycle! Since I will be doing the long lupron protocol, I won't actually start any meds for at least three weeks, but we have our first call out to the fertility clinic and I am hoping to hear from them tomorrow or Monday to verify our plan. I really thought and prayed hard about the timing of this and I feel strongly that going ahead this month is the way to go. The only anxiety on my heart has to do with my fear that it won't work. But waiting another month or two won't make that go away. So, we're forging ahead.

I'm actually quite surprised by how well MBL and I are handling this. We were both quite shocked by the arrival of AF and both of us were sad that this past cycle didn't work. BUT, neither one of us freaked out or lost our cool. I didn't even cry (although I'm sure those tears are yet to come). We talked about our options coolly and calmly and shared the positives and negatives for cycle timing. MBL even asked what he could do to soften the blow of our BFN. It's amazing how close we've grown through all this IF crap.

Now onto the babymaking stuff. In the three or so weeks I have until we begin the lupron, I have a battle plan for making sure I give this cycle our all. I am googling my noggin off, trying to figure out what MBL and I can eat or do to make sure we have the best shot possible. For starters, I am going to try and lose 5 pounds. I (finally) am below my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am still 13 pounds away from my wedding day weight. I do not want to define myself by a number, but I feel like losing a wee bit of weight will help me feel better about myself and my body and may even help with our cycle. I plan on running again (I took the last two weeks off due to my ovary size post IUI) and I may even do some hot yoga. I took a class two weeks ago and I really liked it. I think it would help relax me, too. I also plan on making these every morning for MBL and myself:


Apparently leafy greens are really good for fertility, so I am looking forward to working out different recipes for green smoothies so that MBL and I have our share! I am also looking into taking Coenzyme Q10 which is supposed to help with egg quality. The last time we we went through IVF I also ate hard boiled eggs to help with egg quality and now that I can finally stomach them again, I think I will do that as well. At this point, I would sleep upside down for the next two months if it meant I would get a BFP!

Do you have any other suggestions on what I can do to help my chances for IVF? Have you ever done anything crazy in the hopes it would get you your BFP? If so, what did you do?

Friday, February 24, 2012

a breakdown.

Last night I had a breakdown of sorts. I think it was a long time coming, but the tears finally made their way to the surface. And crying about all the pain I've been feeling felt really good. I'm just so heartbroken about so many things, all of them related to the ALI community, that I just really needed to let it all out. And, thankfully, MBL was here to put his arm around me and just hold me while I cried about our situation and the situations of other bloggers out there.

I would say that I've been on edge since the start of this cycle. There is just so much riding on this. If this doesn't work out we are headed towards IVF again and I just am so pissed about paying for something that so many people get for free. And I am just so pissed about all the awful, terrible people out there who are able to conceive without problem only to abuse or, worse, kill their children. I carry around this feeling of injustice most days, but it really came to the surface when MBL and I were innocently watching an episode of Law & Order. The child abuse that was suggested in the episode absolutely made me sick and then, at the end, they said that the episode was actually based on real events! I just don't get it.

Then I read stories about women who try and try to get pregnant and are unable or get pregnant (finally!) and then suffer loss. The unfairness. The injustice. It just makes me want to SCREAM!!!

And then I look at my own situation and I feel like what we are dealing with is small potatoes in comparison. And, yet, it's still hard. There is no good reason why this last cycle shouldn't have worked (great lining, 3-4 follies, 14 million motile sperm), but I tested BFN this morning. Which made me want to gorge on this:


But doing that won't make me feel any better about myself and it won't make me any more likely to get two lines next month. There's still a chance that I will get my second line tomorrow (i'm 11 dpo today), so I haven't given up all hope, but I am trying to figure out the timing of our next steps. Basically, if we go ahead with starting IVF next month we would be able to have a baby in December 2012 (if it worked) and I really like that. If we wait to do it until April/May, my DD (again, if it worked) would be the end of January, which I do not like. It snows SOOOO much here in January and February and I just don't think I could handle the anxiety of trying to get around in that weather (with a big ole precious preggo belly). BUT, I kind of want to push off doing IVF again because I'm SOOOO scared of it not working. I have so many more thoughts on this, so I will come back tomorrow with a post just on the IVF timing debate.

Do you ever feel like a good cry is exactly what you need? When was the last time you cried and over what?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

too many emotions

Hi to those here from ICLW! If you want to read my intro post from last month you can click here. You can also visit the handy dandy tabs at the top of my blog to learn more about me and my journey. The basics though are that I am 26 and DH (MBL) is newly 35. We have an absolutely perfect 9 month old daughter (seriously, we are SO in love). She is the "product" of IVF #2 after 21 months TTC, 5 IUIs, and 2 IVFs. Our original diagnosis was MFI, but that seems to no longer be the case (!). Everything on my end seems to be okay (normal ute, open tubes, normal cycles), but my AMH is on the low end of normal (1.0). I do not have DOR yet, but it is likely that I will go through menopause early (like between 40-44). I weaned my daughter in November to get my cycle to return and am now on my third post partum cycle. We did IUI with clomid and injectables. The cycle was picture perfect and I am hopeful that we were successful in conceiving #2. We'll know for sure in a few days. So, that's basically our story (in short form). I'm glad to have you here!

So, today is 9dpo and I am feeling so anxious to know the outcome of this cycle! I have googled IUI stats to death and actually found them quite assuring. Almost too much, actually. I'm feeling so hopeful. IF this cycle actually worked, everything would turn out so well. It would be like when I got pregnant with Piper, it was so perfectly timed that I was able to finish my Master's, give birth, and then have the summer "off". IF this worked, I would turn 27 and a few days later give birth and then I would have November, December, and January off. PLUS, I would be due only a month after my good college friend, which would be SO cool.

The way that I am talking and thinking makes me feel completely ridiculous because, on the flip side, I know that while the stats on success rates for our cycle vary from 20-60%, that is no where near 100%. And once I get a positive, it doesn't mean that I will get a baby at the end of it all. The reality is that once you go through infertility, you can't just go into TTC with rose colored glasses. Even IF I were to get a baby from this, I still won't approach TTC #3 (or #4) as if it will be a piece of cake. I don't think I'll feel "safe" from infertility until I have all my kiddos at home with me, and even then I'm sure the ache of infertility won't ever go away (i'll probably still be jealous of other people's easy pregnancies/conceptions/pregnancy announcements). This whole TTC another baby thing is really more taxing mentally than I was prepared for. I thought that I would be able to approach it in a more relaxed state, but the truth is that if we want our 3-4 kids we have to get pregnant again as quickly as possible. It looks as though my fertility will start to decline in my early 30's, which means we need to be DONE by then. Which means that IF this IUI didn't work, we will be going forward with IVF in the spring. Which means spending more $$$$ to do something that so many people get to do for free. And that money will be on top of the $1,000 plus we've already spent TTC #2.

I'm just feeling all kinds of anxious and just want it to be next Monday so that I would have a definite answer as to where we are headed...

How do you handle the stress of TTC? What are some of your coping mechanisms when you are cycling and in the two week wait?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

which one???

Today's shopping trip led to an interesting conundrum... Which one will I end up needing in a week or so?

As I threw those items on the conveyor belt (along with a myriad of other things), I couldn't help but think of the irony of needing all four of those items. I have no idea where this cycle is going. MBL wants to believe it has worked so he joked about not needing the tampo.ns at all. HA! I don't want to take that risk. BUT, I'm hopeful that they will need to spend the next nine plus months collecting dust in my closet. And, I'm hoping that I get to use all five of those pregnancy tests to verify a growing bean!! The days have been going by so slowly and I cannot wait until I can know for sure if this worked out! I'm optimistic to the point of feeling like I'm new to TTC, ready for my BFP at any moment. Only a few more days and then I'll have an idea of what the outcome will be :).

Are you an early tester? Why or why not? And, just for fun, what's your favorite brand of test?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I. am. struggling.  This secondary IF thing is way harder than I
thought it would be.  When I was pregnant with Piper, I thought about
having more kids, but mostly I just took my pregnancy day by day.
Enjoying each and every little thing about it.  After she was born, it
was bliss...  Until the exhaustion kicked in.  And exhaustion doesn't
even begin to describe how tired I was.  Everyone said to nap while
the baby napped, but because we kept her around noise during the day
(to straighten out her days and nights), it was too loud for me to
sleep.  During weeks 1-4 of Piper's life I told my own mother near
daily that I was one and done.  And, to be honest, I kind of meant it.
 My baby slept 8 hours in a row and I was still exhausted!  Turns out
that having a csection and taking care of a newborn is just not that
easy on your body.

I didn't really think too much about TTC during Piper's first four to
five months.  She was our preciously perfect little girl and I was
completely content.  Plus, I knew that I wanted to pump for her until
she was six months old and since doing so kept AF at bay, we couldn't
TTC.  When I start weaning her at 6 months, I wanted more kids but
that burning desire to be pregnant wasn't really there.  Then came
Christmastime, and something about being around my newest nephew sent
me into severe pregnancy/baby lust.  And when we had our appointment
with our RE and they said my fertility won't be around forever, the
burning desire that had been absent for so long, came rushing back,
stronger than ever.

Now, I need to be honest, when I was TTC prior to Piper, I often
skipped over blogs or boards talking about secondary IF.  I just
didn't want to read about people who had kids wanting more kids.  And,
now, I totally get it.  I have this wonderful little girl and I love
being her mom more than I could possibly express.  And, I want more.
I want to do this again.  I want Piper to have siblings with whom to
share this life.  And this ache for more babies and for a swelling
belly again has reopened all of my IF emotions.  I want a belly of my
own so badly.  I want positive pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and
doctor's appointments.  My friends' joy over their own pregnancies and
coming babies has started to hurt again.  I want to join them.  SO.

Speaking of wanting to join them, we had our IUI on Monday and it was
textbook.  On saturday the doc counted three mature follicles and one
or two lagging just slightly behind.  My e2 was 817, so I'm thinking
it was probably four mature.  I triggered late on saturday and went in
for my IUI yesterday at 11:00.  Between the frozen and fresh
specimens, we had 14 million motile spe.rm!!!  That's more than double
our previous highest count for IUI.  And it's our highest egg count
for IUI to date, as well.  So, we're excited.  And hopeful.  And
nervous as all get out.  I want this to work.  I want to have a fall
baby.  I want to be able to avoid having to do IVF again.  MBL and I
would love to use that $12,000 for other things, like paying off my
school loans!  I feel so selfish for wanting something so simple as
IUI to work for us on only our third month officially TTC (for #2),
but I want it so badly.  So, I'm praying that when I start peeing on
sticks in approximately 10 days, they come up with two beautifully
pink lines!!

How did y'all spend V-day? MBL and I picked up Thai food and watched Bu.rn Noti.ce. It was perfect!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

awkwardness averted!


Our "confrontation" appointment was yesterday at 8:10 and I am happy to say it went well. I was so nervous about the appointment; nervous about what to say and how to say it. MBL asked if I wanted to take lead on what to say and I thought I was going to be fine doing so, but then something I didn't foresee happened and I was left basically speechless. When the doc came in for our consult, he brought the nurse from our IUI with him. Now, keep in mind, he had no idea why we were there. I merely made the appointment as a follow up to our IUI and that's all I said to both the scheduler and the nurse. So, when he walked in with the nurse, he had no idea how awkward it made the whole situation. And, neither did MBL. All he said was this is C, she is a new nurse here, so I've asked her to observe our consult. MBL took lead on the conversation as I silently tried to figure out how to appropriately phrase our concerns/issues without making the nurse feel super awkward. Thankfully, MBL is really good with people and was able to address our concerns with the spe.rm fiasco in a tactful manner. He reminded the doc that we pay out of pocket for everything and that we had made it clear to both the lab and the nurses that we were concerned about his count. He told him that we wouldn't have wanted to go through with the IUI had we known that the total count was only 1.5. At that point the doc asked if I had verified the total count and my husband's name/birth date before the actual IUI. I told him I had. I'm not sure if he was trying to say that we could have backed out at that point and, to be honest, I was a little peeved that he was trying to insinuate that. BUT, he didn't say anything else regarding that, so I didn't have to get all defensive.

Then came the point where MBL brought up the actual IUI and I realized I was going to have to say something. He kept saying, "I guess there was a new nurse" and, finally, C (the new nurse) spoke up and told him that it was she that did my IUI. I explained that I understand that everyone has to learn somehow, but that the IUI was really painful and I did express that to both nurses. I did not say this in our meeting, but I do not blame the new nurse, I really feel like the "supervising" nurse should have stepped in and taken over. Thankfully, the new nurse handled it very well and didn't make the situation any more awkward than it already was. I never wanted to confront her and I felt bad that she was (very likely) surprised by our meeting. Poor girl.

That being said, the doc made the whole meeting as comfortable as humanly possible. He agreed that 1.5 million was not a good count and went on to say that he wants to run another SA on MBL and make sure that we have good swimmers with which to work. He said that he would have the lab do the analysis and then freeze the sample at no cost to us. He said we could combine that sample with a fresh one for our IUI. He also, without any prompting from us, said that they would do our IUI at no cost as well. The doc didn't let his ego rule the meeting and handled the whole situation so well. We are thankful that the doc was willing to listen to us and was more generous in our "compensation" than we were expecting.

On a side note... MBL asked the new nurse why she looked familiar and she explained that she used to work at the other RE's office (we went there for our ultrasounds/blood work during our last IVF). After the meeting was over and MBL and I were alone, I realized that the reason the nurse looked so familiar was that she was the one who always drew my blood at that office. And she could NEVER find the vein in my arm and would always have to draw from my hand. It was so painful and I was so glad when I was done going there for lab draws! It was pretty funny to realize that my only experiences with that nurse have been negative! (although, to be fair, she was always very sweet...just not very good at her job). **In case you're curious about what I said about her previously, you can read about it here.

While we were there, we got in my ultrasound and saw that there were at least 5 follies developing. They were all between 11-13mm. I have another ultrasound scheduled for Saturday to see how things have developed and I'm really hoping that all five are still growing. I want MBL's swimmers to have as many targets as possible! Now, normally, a cycle is cancelled when there are more than 3 follicles, but I doubt they'll cancel me as I have SIX failed IUIs in my history.

In all likelihood, we will have our IUI on Monday. It's the day before Valentine's and I would just love to get a belated gift of a BFP!!! I'm trying not to get too hopeful, but, if I'm being honest, I am REALLY hoping that it works. I am praying for stellar counts, five mature eggs, and one (or two) take home babies. It would just be so amazing to be able to skip the whole IVF drama...

Speaking of Valentine's Day, do you have anything fun planned? And, what kind of gift are you hoping to receive (chocolate? wine? extra sleep?)?

Sunday, February 5, 2012



Ok, so I hate confrontation. I've spent a lot of my life avoiding it. I hate it when people get upset or angry and I usually do what I can to not cause waves. In the last two years, however, that has changed and I have become more of an advocate for myself. MBL and I sought a new RE when our local one tried to push donor eggs on me at 23! I went to a new OB when my old one wouldn't listen to my concerns. I walked away from a volunteer position when it was clear I was never going to do things right in the eyes of the Director. I'm very clearly willing to walk away from unhealthy situations. So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, MBL and I have an appointment on Wednesday with the local RE to discuss the mess that was our last IUI.

If you don't want to go back and read, basically we had to freeze MBL's sample because he had to be out of the COUNTRY for work. He had a great pre-freeze count of 96 million! When it came time for our IUI, however, somehow the sample had dropped to 1.5 million. On top of that, the nurse who was supposed to do the IUI let the new nurse do it WITHOUT asking my permission. It was awkward and painful. I spotted for the first time EVER after an IUI and I think a lot of it had to do with having the new nurse doing it. She struggled to get the speculum in and I sat there for literal MINUTES thinking she had the catheter in for the actually IUI, when in actuality, she was still doing something with the speculum! And I seriously think she cranked that thing as wide as it would go! OUCH!!!! For the record, I am ALL about helping medical professionals by being a "guinea pig" of sorts. I've allowed more than one new tech to do my TV ultrasounds because they have to learn somehow, right? BUT, I was always asked prior to them doing it. In this case, had I been asked, I would have said "no". I had just found out that my husband's sample had dropped an astounding 98.5% and I was all by myself. I wanted the procedure to be as pain-free and relaxing as possible. Instead, I got a nurse who had no idea what she was doing and ended up causing me quite a bit of pain. I even tried to say something about how much it was hurting and all the "supervising" nurse said was, "You're doing great, hon." AGH!!

So, on Wednesday I have to go into the RE's office and ask if they will cover this month's IUI. And I have no idea how to achieve that. I want to be polite, but forceful. Is that even possible? I really feel like they are responsible for a large part of it going "wrong". I mean, something had to have happened for MBL's count to have dropped so dramatically. I should have been called about that and I really should have been asked if I was okay with a new nurse doing the IUI (did I mention she could barely even get the speculum in?). The whole thing just leaves me with an icky feeling.

Do any of you have pointers on what to say? Words of encouragement? Any experience asking for such a thing? I'm looking for all the help I can get with this :).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

almost? kind of?

I've been mulling over this post for a while, not sure if I even wanted to write it. I guess I've been struggling with what to write and even how I feel about everything. Last week was weird. Way weird and I'm glad it's over. I guess it's time to just talk about it. At 9dpo I took a FRER to see the status of my trigger and it was a stark white negative. I took another one in the morning on 10dpo, another negative. BUT, I was "feeling" pregnant. My ute felt full and I just kind of felt a little weird. So, I tested again on the evening of 10dpo (the same time I got my BFP for Piper) and I saw a line? It was there, but not very dark. I decided to test again in the morning and I was pleasantly surprised by a line! It was light, but came up right away and even MBL saw it. I decided to hold back on my heavy training for the 25k and wait it out. I tested again that evening and the line was still there, but not as dark. To make a long story short, by Sunday (13dpo) the line had vanished and I just knew that AF was on her way. I had two days of lines and then it was over. And, it just so happened that during this time one of my very dearest college friends called me in hysterics because on her first month off birth control, she got pregnant.

So, as you can see, it was all very weird. Two (long) days of wondering if the line was going to turn into something more and feeling like I was kind of pregnant, but not really. So, does that make it an almost? And then talking with a friend who was happy, but quite shocked to be pregnant so fast. I was honored that she called me first (before her sisters or her husband), but it was weird to be so excited for her and, yet, so confused for myself. After lots of time spent thinking about it, I decided I was thankful for the confusion brought on my those light, pink lines. I'm assuming that what I experienced was a chemical and that means that egg and sp.erm actually met. With only 1.5 million swimmers and nothing else, it's pretty impressive that anything happened. The last time I had a chemical (july 2010), we got pregnant on our next cycle via IVF, so I'm hoping we'll have the same luck this time. Only, this time, we will be going for IUI with clo.mid plus injects and doing plenty of BDing in the meantime. This is our last cycle with our local RE before we head into IVF in April/May. I would LOVE to avoid having to fork over $10,000 for IVF and instead get pregnant from a $700 IUI. A girl can dream, right?

Today is cycle day 3 and I started my clo.mid (100mg). On day 7 I will begin injects and we will likely be ready for IUI between the 11th-13th. The good news is that at my baseline ultrasound my antral count was 21! No, not all of those follicles will develop, but 21 is WAY better than the 11 my other RE saw in December. I'm hoping for 3-5 follicles by day 11. And I just hope that MBL has a stellar count to accompany all those targets :)! I guess we'll find out soon enough!