Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The End

Despite already knowing that this cycle failed miserably I still had to go to my clinic this morning to have my blood work. As I already knew, my HCG was negative, <.05 (so really negative) and my progesterone was already down to 10.4. I am thankful that this didn't turn into another loss or even a chemical pregnancy but I am still devastated over the failure.

Today I informed my clinic that I am done with IVF. I explained to them that it was just too much at this point. The stress starts with the injections as you worry about having enough follicles to make it to retrieval, then you worry how many eggs they will actually get at retrieval, then how many were fertilized, and then how many will actually make it to transfer. There is so much to worry about! I know a lot of women who just don't pay any attention to these things and just leave it in the hands of the clinic but I am not one of those people. After everything that I have been through I need to feel like I have some sense of control...even though in reality, I don't. Today I talked to the nurse manager for about 40 minutes about how I was feeling. I started crying my eyes out and told her that I just couldn't do this anymore. Again she reminded me that if I give up, I will be giving up on my dream. Something that she made me realize is that there was something else that I was really having a hard time dealing with regarding IVF. We put back 8 great embryos and to me each of these embryos already signified a life and I am having a hard time thinking about how my body rejected and essentially killed these 8 tiny lives. I know that they they were only a cluster of complex cells at that point but still, it was the beginning of a tiny human. She completely understood how I was feeling which actually made me feel so much better. What we have decided, and I am still nervous about it, is to go back to medicated IUIs. With an IUI you don't know how many actual eggs you have, only the number of follicles and there isn't any fertilization unless a pregnancy were to occur, so to me, this is so much easier. Also, what we found by looking through my flowsheets is that my lining gets worse with higher doses of gonadotropins. So for my IUI we are going to do Femara (something I have never used before) on CD3-7 and then Follistim (low dose) CD7-trigger. I will still remain on the baby aspirin, Prednisone, DHEA, and CoQ10. We are also adding in Fertility Blend which is a custom herbal formula to help support the reproductive system. My husband will also be taking Male Vital Care which is a custom herb formula to help his little boys stay strong and healthy. Both of these are available through my clinic's healing arts center and are rather inexpensive.

So now I just wait for AF to show up and based on my progesterone, she should be here within the next 2 days. I will have to go in on CD3 for baseline blood work and ultrasound to check everything out. I have a feeling though that I will have a ton of left over cysts so I probably won't be able to do the IUI until October, but hey, you never know.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Big F**king Failure

Yup, that's right, this cycle failed miserably. I started spotting Friday night so I decided to take a test. Of course I had to use one of those 6 Day FRERs which detects levels as low as 6.5 and it was completely white. My Beta is not until Wednesday but this afternoon I had it confirmed that my HCG is negative so this cycle is over. I was told that this is for sure. My only fear at this point would be a messed up embryo that half ass implants at the last minute causing a chemical pregnancy (which happened last time) but I don't think that is likely at this point. I am having excruciating cramps so I know that AF is trying like hell to break through the progesterone supplements.

I am completely devastated. The piece of information that I didn't share in the beginning was the number of embryos we transferred as I didn't want to get judged by people who don't completely understand my situation. We did CGH so we know how bad my eggs are! This time we transferred 8 embryos and if you remember they were all great quality (visually anyway.) The fact that not one of the 8 embryos resulted in a pregnancy is a huge blow and I am having a very hard time handling it. I am sorry that I am ignoring everyone's calls, emails, and texts but I don't feel like talking about it right now. I cannot handle another "you have to stay positive" or a "this cycle is your cycle" comment...I will completely lose it. At this point I don't ever want to hear those things again because people obviously don't know what they are talking about. Sorry, I am very angry right now!

My husband and I have done a lot of talking over these last two days and we have decided that our IVF journey is over. After 3 failed ART cycles (BFNs), 5 losses, 3 D&Cs, 4 rounds of Methotrexate, 3 hospitalizations, 3 hysteroscopies, a septum removal, a endometrial biopsy and even bladder surgery, I am done. My heart simply cannot take anymore of this. My dream of being a mom is never going to come true, and frankly, I don't know if I can handle that...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is It Really The Progesterone??

My mind is starting to screw with me now. I have been on the progesterone for every cycle in the past and I have always been able to differentiate between progesterone symptoms and pregnancy symptoms, as many of them are very similar. Progesterone supplements tend to cause fatigue, very frequent urination, sore boobs, bloating and even a bit of pretty much your typical early pregnancy symptoms. The one symptom that is really sticking out for me, and it is the way I have known 3 times that I was pregnant, is the awful lower back pain. If I stand in place for more than 5 minutes or so, I have to start shifting my weight around as it feels like my kidneys are going to blow out my back. With my first pregnancy, which was a total surprise, the only way I knew something was wrong was because of this back pain. I was convinced I had a kidney stone. It was the weekend of my BFF's wedding and I remember this back pain being so severe that someone was going to take me to the ER as I was sure I had a kidney stone...obviously I didn't go. She got married on a Sunday so I ended up calling the doctor on Monday and asked if I could come in. The first question they asked me was if I was pregnant. Of course I wasn't. They told me to take a test and then call them back. After peeing on 12 tests because I just couldn't believe it I called them back and told them that they were right! Well, this is the same exact pain. I keep telling  myself that I probably just slept wrong but I just have this overwhelming feeling that I am pregnant. I am trying to ignore that feeling because what if this one time it is wrong? What if I convince myself that I am pregnant only to find out in a few days that I am not. I guess we will see as only time will tell.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

6dt2dt (8dpo)

I am absolutely miserable from the Crinone and PIO injections. I am to the point where I don't want to be around people and I just want to be left alone. I am pretty sure that my progesterone levels kicked up on Tuesday night as all night Tuesday and all day yesterday I kept having these stabbing pelvic pains that would come and go but would absolutely take my breath away when they came on. The stabbing pains are actually better today but now it feels like I have pulled every pelvic muscle that I have as it hurts to cough, sneeze, laugh (which I am not doing much of anyway) turn over in bed or stand from a sitting position. I cannot stay awake for the life of me either. If I could work for 2 hours and then nap for 1, life would be perfect.

Okay, enough complaining...

It is getting down to the wire. I could start testing if I wanted to as I know that the trigger shot is out of my system by now. I do know, after the hell I went through last time, I will not test before least. I'm not so scared about getting a BFN as getting pregnant isn't my issue, I'm terrified of having a 6th loss. No one can even begin to understand what this is like for me. I absolutely appreciate the support that I get from people but from what they say, I realize that they have absolutely no idea how I feel or how this journey has impacted me. I mean, how could I expect them to understand? Someone who has only been doing this for a short time or has had only one loss or even has no infertility experience at all, can't even fathom what this process is like for me. And let me clarify, when I say "only" I am not minimizing having one loss as any loss is traumatic. I remember how awful my first loss was. I use the word "only" to differentiate between one loss and five. We all fall under the category of "infertility" but we all fall into different subcategories. I think of it like this...someone who has had lets say Stage I cervical cancer (like me) which is completely treatable and non life threatening cannot go up to someone who has Stage IV lung cancer who is going through chemo, radiation and is probably going to die and say that just because I had cancer I know what you are going through or that everything is going to be all right because it was for me! Yes, my experience with cancer was upsetting and traumatic but it was also short and successful. It isn't even comparable to someone with advanced cancer and it would be horribly disrespectful if I acted like my situation was just as bad as theirs was. Of course I do understand that if someone, who you know isn't a complete A-hole, said something like this they wouldn't be doing it to be disrespectful, they probably just don't understand what they are saying and really haven't taken the time to think about it. So that is how I kind of look at infertility and even loss. Yes, I have been through 5 losses (all first trimester) but I would never even think about going up to someone who has had a stillborn and tell them I know how they feel because in all actuality, I have no idea.

Okay, I guess I wasn't done complaining after all. Now I am done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And So It Begins

Today I am 4pd2dt or 6dpo. I have been feeling pretty excited and confident about this cycle...and then today came. I was driving in between meetings today and it was like my heart stopped. Here I am driving around like everything is just perfect and I suddenly thought "what if it's not?" At this point I am trying like hell to stay on the road as the tears from my controllable sobbing are making it difficult to see. I don't have any indication that this cycle is a failure but that "protective voice" inside my head is starting to do it's thing.

There are a few details about this cycle that I have yet to share but its those details that will make failure of this cycle almost unbearable. If this cycle does not work it will be implying something bad. (I apologize for the vagueness but I an not ready to share these intimate details yet.) The only thing running through my mind is that if this cycle does fail, my journey will likely be over...forever. It will pretty much show us that this dream of mine is not possible and that everything that I have done up until now has been a complete waste. I am still remaining hopeful, but the fear of failing is more overwhelming than ever. Please God, just get me through these next 7 days.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bedrest is Over

I was so happy when this morning came and I can't tell you how good that shower felt...I must have washed my hair like 5 times! I still took it semi-easy today but I am back to work tomorrow. Hopefully the day will fly by as I find myself needing a nap around 2pm. I might have to find a parking lot (I drive a lot for my job) and pull over and take a little snooze.

The discomfort in my abdomen from the swelling is a bit better but I still look like I am about 7 months pregnant. Early this morning I started with some pretty bad stabbing pains in my pelvic region along with intermittent cramping similar to the cramps you get with the endometrial biopsy or an HSG. The thing that concerns me the most is the stabbing pains. I can be sitting, laying, walking and out of no where I get this sudden sharp pain that absolutely takes my breath away to the point where I yelp. They are not constant but just randomly happen. With my second pregnancy I developed an intestinal blockage and was hospitalized for almost two weeks so I am a bit nervous. I have been taking Miralax every other day but things seem to be "regular" now as after the transfer things were a bit backed up...but that is to be expected.

I now have 9 days until by Beta. I have planned something almost every night this week so that when I come home from work I don't have to sit around and think about how slowly time is moving. One thing that I am very excited about is taking care of a friends newborn on Saturday. This couple and I went through this journey together and on August 10th they delivered the most adorable baby girl. They have a good friend's wedding on Saturday night in my town so I offered to watch their little princess. This will be their first time leaving her so I am honored that they trust me enough to watch her. I cannot wait to snuggle with her. They will be bringing some "equipment" for her but I have a feeling that I won't be putting her down. I told my husband to look at this as a baby "bootcamp." I am so excited...I can use all the positive baby mojo I can get!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Counting Down the Minutes

I am now in the homestretch of bedrest...only 13 hours to go! I am bored out of my mind. There is only so much TV that you can watch until your eyes start to cross. I have spent a lot of my time looking at the pregnancy forums that I belong to, reading pregnancy magazines, and I have read a bit of my "Multiples" book as well. I am not planning on more than one embryo taking, but just in case, I like to be informed. Ultimately I would like to have one baby. A singleton pregnancy carries the least risks. No matter whether I have 1 or 20 babies we already know that I will be high risk. I have an incompetent cervix, CVID, pretty bad asthma, a benign arrhythmia, and wicked the point where I end up with blockages. My doctors have assured me that they will get me through pregnancy so I am not worried. I know that multiples are a good possibility but I cannot even start to think about that right now. The first step is for me to get pregnant...and stay pregnant.

From now until my Beta on the 31st my med routine will be:

2mg Estrace vaginally
90mg Crinone vaginally
1ml Progesterone in Oil injection (given in butt)
30mg Lovenox injection (Heparin) given in stomach
15mg Prednisone
Baby Aspirn

These are in addition to all my usual meds for my stomach and my asthma. I have the alarm on my phone set for these times so I don't forget to take anything. It seems a bit overwhelming but you get used to it.

I am looking very forward to being able to get out of bed tomorrow. I will still take it easy until Monday but I am very excited about taking a shower. Sometimes it is the little things that we miss the most!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Let The Waiting Begin

Today was my Day 2 ET and I couldn't be happier with how it went. This cycle we used the Agonist/Antagonist Conversion Protocol with Estrogen Priming as my egg quality with my last cycle (as shown by CGH) was just awful. I am happy to report that it seems that this protocol has done the trick. Out of the 8 eggs that fertilized all 8 remained today. Of the 8 we had:
4-4 cell grade 4 (4 is the highest grade)
2-4 cell grade 3
1-4 cell grade 2
1-2 cell grade 4

Since we did a Day 2 transfer a 4 cell embryo is considered perfect. The grade of the embryo simply identifies it's fragmentation. A 4 indicates no fragmentation, a 3 indicates 1-10% fragmentation, a 2 indicates 11-25% fragmentation, and a 1 indicates more than 25% fragmentation. Obviously no fragmentation is best but an embryo with less than 25% fragmentation can still result in a baby. This is my first cycle ever that I had any grade 4 embryos which is incredible. It was very difficult to decide how many to transfer as this whole thing is a numbers game but my RE, my husband and I all decided what was best. We have decided not to disclose yet how many we transferred until after we know the results of this cycle.

I am quite uncomfortable to say the least. My stomach is extremely distended and very sore to the touch. It feels as if all of my internal organs are being smushed into my ribs. I am hoping that this will go away within the next few days. I have to keep an eye on my weight to make sure that I am not retaining too much fluid. I am chugging Gatorade like it is going out of style mixed with tomato juice so I am hoping that this will help.

So now we wait. My Beta is scheduled for the 31st so I have 12 days to go. I am considering taking a HPT but not until the day before my Beta. I am hoping that one of these embryos decides to get nice and cozy and stick around for the next 37 weeks or so.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fertilization Report

Early this morning I got the call. Out of 13 eggs, 4 were immature so that left us with 9. Out of the 9, 8 fertilized! I am so happy to have 8...what a great number! I go in tomorrow at 9am for acupuncture followed by my transfer at 10:30 followed by more acupuncture at 11:30. I was even nice enough to book an hour long massage for my husband during my second acupuncture session. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ER Report

Today, as you know, was my egg retrieval. I was so happy going in as I was in quite a bit of pain and I couldn't wait for all of those eggs to get sucked out. We had a total of 13 eggs retrieved. Since we know that not every follicle contains an egg, 13 isn't a bad number at all. I am a bit nervous about how many will be immature or degenerated and how many will actually fertilize. Like I said before, it is what it is. I was really hoping to have some to freeze but it doesn't look like that will be the case. At this point the only thing that I care about is that I have a few good ones in there that will stick around...hopefully for 9 months. My RE and I have a number in mind to transfer and that decision will be finalized tomorrow morning when I get my fertilization report. The plan is to have my ET Friday afternoon. I will post another update tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It Is What It Is

That is the phrase I keep telling myself...over, and over, and over. I went in today for my last monitoring appointment and I am disappointed once again. My lining is only a 6.22, and that is being generous. It does, however, have the triple stripe so I am not sure what is going on. Normally the endometrium doesn't get the triple stripe until it thickens considerably yet mine seems to get it when my follicles are ready to trigger. My nurse is telling me not to worry but we shall see. On a positive note my follicles look great. I have at least 5 or 6 on the right and the nurse stopped counting at 10 on my left. I think that this is going to be a good retrieval. My ovaries are huge and actually quite painful. I triggered tonight at 8 and my retrieval is scheduled for 7am on Wednesday. In a sick sort of way I am excited for the anesthesia. It is nice to be knocked out to the point where I can't worry. As long as things go as planned we will be doing a Day 2 transfer. My RE and I have decided on the number of embryos to transfer and I will further elaborate on our decision once I know that the ET is a go.

I often think about why things can't ever go right for me. The one thing I have wrong with me can't be fixed. My nurse today said that chronically thin linings are not something that they see very often and they have only had a handful of people with them. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. We have tried everything to get my lining to respond. Baby aspirin, Prednisone, B6, Co Q10, Estrace (orally and vaginally), Estradiol Valerate injections, POM juice, lots of red meat, leafy greens, pineapple, orgasm (yup, I said it), acupuncture...nothing works. If this fresh transfer doesn't work I am not sure what we are going to do yet. I am hoping that after we transfer the number we have decided on that there will be some to freeze so I can do a FET. FETs are so much easier as there are no stim meds involved. You only take meds to help plump up your lining...if that would even happen for me. The nice part about FET is that we can take as long as we want to work on my lining. With IVF you only have the number of days it takes your eggs to mature, so it usually ends up being only 12 days or so. With a FET we could take 2 months if we needed to. I know that it is not over until the fat lady sings but I am starting to mentally prepare myself in case she does.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just A Little Laugh

I thought that this was funny so I wanted to share it:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Life Lessons

Here is a quick cycle/med update before I get to the main post:
Today is day 9 of stims and I went in for another monitoring appointment. On a good note my follicles are now all between 13-15mm. We stopped counting at 11 follicles but there is still more! My lining has increased from 4.56 to 5.81 so we are trending in the right direction. My RE is not concerned about my lining. He said that he has seen pregnancies result from linings as thin as a 5 or 6 and he also pointed out that I am an unique case and that we cannot apply all "research" to me as I have proven to defy the odds. I do still have a small amount of fluid in my uterus but he said that if it is still there at ET, and he is confident that it won't be, that he will suction it out prior to placing the embryos. The one thing that is bothering me though is my estrogen levels. I was forewarned that with this protocol that estrogen levels mean absolutely nothing as long term use of Ganirelix screws with the blood serum levels of E2 and the blood serum level is completely different than the actual level. This time last cycle I was around 2500 and now it is only 784. I was pretty disturbed by this but I was reassured that we cannot, in any way, use it to judge my cycle. They said my lining is thickening and my follicles are growing so everything is fine. We shall see. If things continue at this pace we are hoping to trigger on Monday with the ER on Wednesday. My RE (the one I love) is going on vacation starting the 20th so if I want him to do my transfer I will have to do a Day 2 transfer. Otherwise I can do a Day 3 with the other RE. I am leaning more towards the Day 2 as there isn't much difference between a Day 2 and a Day 3 and I would love for my RE to do my transfer. He has been through this entire journey right along with me and if my journey comes to an end this cycle (in a positive way) I would be sad if he wasn't part of it. I will decide next week what I am going to do.

I also received the results back from my Primary Care doc regarding my blood sugars. My A1C came back at 4.8 which is completely normal. We now know that diabetes is not a concern right now...which I didn't think it was. I just wish they could figure out why my blood sugar keeps falling so low. The plan is that if my blood sugar falls below 60 (which it usually does at least once a week) I have to take four glucose tablets. If it is between 60-80 I can just eat crackers. If I pass out (again) I can be given glucose gel by my husband. If I pass out in public (like I did at the mall) I am screwed as no one will know what is wrong and they will probably just think that I am a drunk. If the tabs and gel don't hold me I will have to start carrying Glucagon but I really don't want it to come to that.

Ok, enough of that crap...

Since the beginning of this nightmare people have always said that "everything happens for a reason." People have now learned not to say that to me as I will turn into the girl form the Exorcist and all hell will break loose. I will admit that there is a reason, as awful as it may sound, that my life has gone down this road. I usually just think that either God hates me or that I was Hitler in my previous life, but something hit me today as I was driving home. I was thinking today about everything that I have lost and I suddenly realized how much I have gained. I have become a much stronger person from all of this. Bad things happen everyday, but it seems now that anything that is thrown my way is manageable and can't hold a candle to what I have already endured. I also have developed a new perception of myself. I now think of myself as a survivor. Yes, I have already survived a lot, but this just reiterates that I have always been a survivor and it is just who I am. I like that thought.

Up until starting this journey, I had very few people in my life. My biggest fear about the lack of relationships in my life is the impact that it would have on my kids. Lets face it, my family is VERY limited (understatement of the year) and my husband's family is great, very loving and nice, but they all have their own lives. So when our baby(ies) come along, if they ever do, it would just be my husband and I. I realized today that this is no longer true. I now have some really awesome people in my life, all who know what I am going through either because they have been there or they work in the environment. One couple that I met when I first started fertility treatments have become like family to me. We have been through the ups and downs (literal hell) together. They have always been a wonderful source of support. Happily, they just gave birth on Wednesday to a baby girl...who I absolutely adore. Knowing what motherhood means to me and how much my life would suffer if it never happened, this amazing couple has offered to by my surrogate if it ever came down to it. I can't even hold back my tears when I think about that. To have someone just offer something like that to you is the most amazing feeling in the world. No one, and I mean no one, has ever made me feel so special. I really hope that I don't have to go that route, that I will be happily pregnant one day, but just knowing that they are there, and I do have options, takes so much pressure off of me. Even if I don't end up needing a surrogate, I will be forever grateful and I hope that they will always be a part of my life. And again, I have to mention the nurse manager at my clinic. She has done more for me in the past 19 months than most have done my entire life. I am usually very guarded and cautious around people, but I find myself actually looking forward to seeing her and talking with her. It is nice to finally have that sisterly (is that a word?) support. She doesn't take my shit and tells me how it is yet she is one of the most encouraging and supportive people I have ever met. Like I always say, I wouldn't be doing this still if it wasn't for her.

Despite all of the heartache and tragedy that I have experienced over these past 2 years, I am thankful for everything that I have gained. I can't explain it but when I realized everything positive that has come out of all of this, it was like everything changed for me. I have always realized what wonderful people I am surrounded by, but it just never clicked like it did today. Maybe this is the lesson or the reason behind my journey.   

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Reality of Emotions

Today was not a good day for me. I had my second monitoring appointment this morning and of course it didn't go as I had planned. My follicles are looking good..growing slowly but that is expected with any estrogen priming protocol. My estradiol was at 638 which is better than what I had hoped for. However, my lining has decreased by over a millimeter. It went from a 5.77 to 4.56. I know that it is still early and my follicles are only between the 11mm and 12mm mark so I guess that there is still a chance. The worst part of it though is knowing everything that I am doing to thicken my lining and not having it work. It's like a slap in the face. My LH was also pretty low at 0.38. I read a few journal articles on low LH during IVF stimming and I do not like what I see. According to two studies, one of them in Fertility and Sterility which is the official journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, LH levels under 1 are associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, lower estradiol levels, and thinner endo linings.

I am absolutely miserable on this Terbutaline (even though I tell everyone I am fine.) My heart is racing and I am shaking pretty badly from it. I am so afraid that my clinic is going to stop it if they see how it is affecting me so when they come into the room to do my ultrasound I start to shake my feet so it looks as though I am shaking myself. And something fun that started today is that I can't stop shivering. Not the type you do when you are chilly, but the kind you see when someone is running a high fever...but I am not running one...I don't think. I am so nauseated from this crap that I am not eating either. I could hardly choke down a cheese pastry for lunch (and you know how much I love cheese) and I have no desire to eat dinner. My husband is riding my ass because to him, if I don't eat, I am annoying!

When I wasn't in the company of others today, I was crying. I now remember what I hate the most about doing fertility treatments...the lack of control. I get it, everyone likes to have control but it is different for me. When I am not in control of a situation is when something bad happens. Yes, this stems back to my childhood but it is something that I cannot let go of. I have spent so many years perfecting my tough exterior that it has now become how people see me. I act like I can handle anything, like nothing affects me. The only weakness that anyone ever sees is my anxiety. Today as I was finishing up with my appointment, I had all I could do to hold back my tears until I got into my vehicle. That is typical Krystyn. I could never ask for help back then and I can't ask for it now...I feel guilty for bothering people.

I know that I have no control over what happens with IVF...or a lot of other things in life. At times I find comfort in knowing that I can't do anymore than I am already doing but there are other times when that thought absolutely rips me apart. This is one of those times. The underlying fear, which is probably quite obvious, is that I will never be able to have my own child. I can't imagine my life if that happens. I have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get to where I am today in life. I did this in order to have a somewhat normal life and to escape the unpleasantries that are my past. The next chapter in my life is to start a family. If I can't make this happen than I have failed myself.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Top 10 Things That Annoy Me About Naive Newbie TTCers

Yes, the hormones are kicking in and I am in full bitch mode. I need something to rant about. If you are a newbie in the TTC world, you probably don't want to read this because I am complaining about you. There, I warned you.

1. Timing
I can't stand those people who think that getting pregnant should happen within the first few months of trying, and if it doesn't, they whine. Get real people! No complaining allowed. Do you really think that I want to hear how unfair it is that you have been "trying" for a few months and just because the stork didn't deliver your package using "2nd Day Air Shipping" that you think you are never going to get pregnant?? You want to know what unfair is? Come talk to me.

2. Drinking
You are trying to conceive a baby, why the hell are you drinking during your 2WW? If you can't give up drinking for the 2 weeks after ovulation to determine whether or not you are pregnant then maybe you are not ready to have a baby.

3. Am I Pregnant?
Why is it that newbies have this need to ask others, particularly on forums, if the symptoms they are having indicate pregnancy. Wait, let me look into my crystal ball. Nope, that cramping you are having is just gas, sorry. If you think you are pregnant then take a test. I also can't stand those who are convinced that they are having pregnancy symptoms 4 days after ovulation. Time to educate yourself people. Implantation doesn't take place for 6-10 days after ovulation. It takes 2 days after implantation for HCG to even become detectable with a HPT. Unless you are pregnant with 10 babies, you are not going to feel anything that early. Yes, it is all in your head!

4. People Who Live on TTC Forums
Now let me start out by saying that I have no problem with TTC/pregnancy forums. However, there is a fine line between support/knowledge and obsession. I also get a kick out of all of the inaccurate information that is given on TTC boards. Actually, keep doing it. It provides hours of enjoyment just reading all of the ridiculous things that you write about.

5. Can You See A Line?
Why are you asking? Do you really think that if you can't see a line in person that we are going to be able to see a non-existent line on a computer screen? Even better are the ones who post an obviously positive test asking if a line can be seen. Can we say narcissistic?? I also get a kick out of the people who post a picture of their OPK and ask if it is positive. Again, if you can't determine if it is positive then you probably aren't smart enough to be making a child.

6. It Is Cycle Day 29, I'm Late!
No you're not. I know that in grade school you are taught that ovulation occurs on day 14 and 14 days later your period comes so a cycle is 28 days, but for most women this is not true. This is probably why you are not getting pregnant. Unless your cycle is a perfect 28 days, you are not late! Educate yourself!

7. Implantation Bleeding
Why is everything implantation bleeding? Implantation bleeding occurs in only 30% of pregnancies. Statistically speaking, your chances of not having it are greater than having it. And no, you are not experiencing implantation bleeding 2 or 3 days after ovulation. I don't know what it is but it is not IB. Again, educate yourself!

Which leads me to...

8. When Can I Test
Whenever the hell you want to! Why do you need to ask others when you can test. If you buy a box of tests it tells you how early it can detect HCG and how accurate the results are on each of those days. If you want to waste money you can start testing starting the day of ovulation. Hell, why not start on the first day of your period.

9. Baby Dust
Yes, I once fell for this pathetic concept. It only lasted long enough for me to realize how stupid it was, which wasn't long at all. Fine, if you want to say it once in a while go ahead, but please do not finish every forum post with "Magical Baby Dust to All." Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth...

Last but not least...

10. Chart Stalkers
Before starting fertility treatments I was a big fan of Fertility Friend and I still believe that it is a great way for women to educate themselves about their cycles. However, there is no need to stare at it all day. Once you enter your information for the day, the changes happen instantly...even if your cover line changes. Staring at it for hours at a time is not going to make it any different. Also, why are you posting your chart on a forum. I really don't need or want to know what days you did the "baby dance" or what days you had egg white cervical mucus on. TMI!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Yes, today was my birthday. I remember the days when I used to get so excited about my birthday as the day was filled with fun festivities and good times. Today was not. Besides all of the typical daily stuff, like work, my day consisted of a doctors appointment and a 3 1/2 hour nap after work. At my doctors appointment today I did learn a few interesting things though. The first being that I am not going to Barcelona for work. My doctor was just too uncomfortable with me going to another country with everything that is going on. He was concerned with the administration of a few of my medications as they have to be given by someone that has been trained to do them as I cannot do them myself. I am disappointed as who wouldn't want to go to Spain? There is also a part of me that is relieved as I was trying to figure out how I would manage if I did go. I would have to carry a good sized cooler on board the plane with me as I would be unable to check it as the vials are glass and I also have to ensure that the meds stay cooled at all times...another thing I was wondering how I would manage. My total travel time, including layovers, would have been around 15 hours. I don't think that my ice packs would last that long. The other thing is the administration and timing of a couple of my meds. There is one med in particular that has to be given by someone else as it is an IM injection in my behind and with the timing of my travel, it would have to be given in flight as well. All I could think is that one of my colleagues would be doing this for me and that was a bit embarrassing to think about. Also, with the time change my meds would have to be given during my meeting. I normally take it at 9pm and I have a 15 minute window on each side of that time to give it so that means it would have had to be given at 3pm. Well, I don't have to worry about that anymore I guess.

I also had another surprise today at my doc's office. Due to the recent increase in the instability of my blood sugars, I officially have a glucometer. I had to spend some time getting trained on how to use it today (it's really not rocket science.) He checked my A1C level today and I should have the results by Tuesday. Until then I just need to record what I eat and monitor my glucose. He said that I need to stay away from everything white. What? All I eat is white stuff!! No bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no nothing. He did say that I still need to live my life so I can treat myself once in a while but I really need to be careful. I can have wholewheat pasta and wholewheat bread in small amounts (which I already eat) but I need to lay off of the potatoes and things that are high in sugar. I am sure everything will end up being just fine and they are just being extra cautious with everything else that is going on. As always I am going with the flow. One of these days, all of this crap will be worth it...I hope.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Do I Want To Have A Baby?

The really short answer to that question is that I can't imagine my life without a child and I truly believe that I was born to be a mom. That is the short and simple answer, however, the reality of it goes much deeper. About 10 years ago I had to make a very hard decision: my life or my family. As I have mentioned previously, I was brought up in a very dysfunctional family where a lot of really bad things happened. As a child you are oblivious to the realities of life so no matter what happens to you, you cope and continue on...or at least you think you do. Once we become wiser and realize how much those things from the past destroyed our lives we become resentful, confused, and angry. Not knowing how to properly channel those feelings, we tend to internalize them which causes us to blame ourselves. That is exactly what I did.

To this day, I remember the moment that I realized that something in my life had to change and it wasn't going to happen unless I did it myself. At the age of 16 I remember having this overwhelming feeling that my life didn't matter to anyone. I knew that one day I would have a life of my own and I could leave my past behind but I had a hard time accepting that I was only a teenager and it was going to be a while before this happened. I became very experienced at dissociating from the world. I felt so defeated. What changed everything for me was when I woke up in the intensive care unit on a respirator where I had been for 3 days. I remember opening my eyes thinking that I was dreaming. I laid there waiting to wake up, but I didn't. I kept having these visions and I soon realized that I was remembering what had happened to me. Apparently my crying set off the alarm on the respirator as one of the nurses came running over. She looked at me, grabbed my hand and told me that everything was going to be okay. For once in my life I was thankful to be alive. From this exact moment on, I knew that I was going to make it. I was ready and willing to do anything and everything that I had to so I could ensure myself the life that I deserved.

I obviously did what I set out to do, but it didn't come easy. In order to succeed in life I had to make the difficult decision to cut-off ties with most my family. The people that I remained closest to were my Babci and Dziadziu (grandparents.) They were the most incredible people who loved me and taught me what it meant to be a family. I have such great memories of them throughout my entire life. They encouraged me, supported me, and most importantly, loved me for who I was. When my Dziadziu passed away in 2007 I started to feel that there was a huge void in my life. My Babci followed and joined him in Heaven two years later. It was shortly after her passing that I realized how important family was. I wanted back all of the good times...holidays, birthdays, and just those regular days where you know that life couldn't be better. The only difference now is that I want to be that caregiver, just like my Babci and Dziadziu were. I want my child (or children) to grow up knowing that they are loved, appreciated, and perfect just the way that they are. I want them to know how important family is. I want to remember what that was like.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All Clear

Well, today I had my hysteroscopy (4th one since March) and endometrial biopsy. All I can say is holy s**t it hurt...the biopsy that is. I felt some cramping but apparently that was only the fluid that they use to get a clear look into your uterus. Just as I was thinking that it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, BAM, I think I jumped about a foot up off of the table despite being medicated. It didn't last long but boy did it suck! On a positive note everything looked fine. I also had a second set of baselines today and everything looked great. My estrogen was up to 366 after 3 doses of Estradiol Valerate. My FSH dropped from 5.7 down to 0.6 so I am adequately suppressed. Another great thing was my lining. At my first set of baselines last week it was measuring 3.46mm, today, even before starting stims, it was already up to 5.58mm. For me this is great. I just hope it keeps thickening as I would like to get over 8mm for a change.

So now the fun begins. Tomorrow I start the regimen from hell. Here is how the next 12 to 14 days are looking:

25mg DHEA
100mg Co Q10
5mg Terbutaline
25mg Vaginal Viagra

25mg Vaginal Viagra

5mg Terbutaline
25mg DHEA

25mg Vaginal Viagra

5mg Terbutaline
600iu Follistim
125mcg Ganirelix
15mg Prednisone
25mg DHEA
100mg Co Q10
81mg Aspirin

25mg Vaginal Viagra

**I also continue on the 4mg of Estradiol Valerate every 3 days until my follicles are over 12mm and on Tuesday I will add in 37.5iu Menopur daily until trigger.**

As awful as this looks, I am happy to be starting again. I am not happy that I have to do this again, but it is nice that things are moving along and I am not sitting around waiting because something is wrong or my body isn't cooperating.