Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The List

Went to the doctor today because I am still miserable. Of course they ran through their list of symptoms asking me what I have..... headache, check; sore throat, check; runny nose, check; itchy watery eyes, check; fever, check; congestion, check; most annoying f-ing cough in the world, double freaking check.

This all started last Thursday with a sore throat and slight earache. If only it were so easy! Instead, the symptoms keep changing! Now, it's this darned cough that has made me lose my voice (yeah, I sound real sexy right now!), keeps me from playing with my daughter for fear of contaminating her, keeps me pretty much confined to the couch from exhaustion and need to restrict the germy areas, and has kept me from getting a decent bit of sleep for 3 days! I am so stinking tired and feel so crappy that all I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. Even if I can't sleep, it feels so good to rest my voice - something you can't do with a 2 year old around all day. This sucks. And I have to admit that it ticks me off that with us stay-at-home mom's, we always have to just deal with it when we are sick. We still have to be awake and functioning all day long no matter how crappy we feel. There is no one else to take care of the children so we have to do it no matter what. At least if our hubby's get sick, they can stay home from work and rest, while we take care of the kids as we normally would. It's so hard to get better when you can't get the rest that is needed to kick a virus.

Okay, enough bitchin'. IUI was this morning and it went fine. Doc said unless I have a fever over 101 it shouldn't interfere with conception. I was too embarassed to ask whether or not my coughing will force the 'stuff' out or make the little embryo not want to stick around. So I guess we just keep our fingers crossed and hope! The 2 week wait begins again.....

Monday, February 26, 2007

Return of The Folliculator

Good news today..... 2 follicles good to go, 1 close. Left ovary had a 17.2, a 17.0, some 10's, a 9.2 and about 20 more under 10mm. Right ovary has a 13.something, and about 15 under 10mm. Normally we would wait until the lead follicle is 18mm or more before triggering, but we are triggering tonight so that we can avoid all those 10mm follicles hitting a growth spurt and causing the cycle to be canceled. So.... trigger shot in the re@r around 7pm tonight, IUI Wednesday morning around 6:30am. Then the long wait begins again! But I'm really excited this time! This is the kind of cycle I've been waiting for.... it has all the things I wanted - I didn't have to use provera, we used injectables for the whole cycle, I have 2 ready to go follicles and 1 almost there follicle that may or may not make it to ovulation. I've been convinced from the start that this is what I need to have a successful cycle. Let's hope I was right!

I'm off to take my kitty to the vet again in about 20 minutes. Hope we can figure out what's wrong with his leg!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention my awesome endometrial lining... 10.something mm, which is my best so far.
Also, it appears my kitty tore his ACL (muscle or tendon?) in his knee. Recovery can be up to 3 months and it can be a reoccuring injury. Goal is to keep him comfy and as inactive as possible for a cat. Yeah, like that's possible!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Where did Saturday go?

I must've missed it. Oh, wait, maybe it passed while I was lying in bed miserable? Yeah, that certainly seems possible, considering I was delirious with fever, which peaked at 102.8 yesterday. Stayed over 101 the entire day. Should've known the day was shot when I woke up freezing so much I was shivering in the warm weather we're having here. After wrapping me up in 2 blankets and putting 2 more on top of those, my hubby took my temp and declared me very ill. He spent the entire day caring for me and our daughter, which is a difficult task in and of itself! It took several hours of frequently-renewed cold compresses and lots of rest to bring the fever down. I literally could barely move; even getting up to use the bathroom was scary because I was dizzy. By yesterday evening my fever was down to around 100 and I was feeling less on the brink of death. By early this afternoon (Sunday) I was feeling much better. A shower definitely helped, as did some food, and a much needed hug from my daughter (being very careful not to breathe on her!). Still not 100%, but definitely on my way. Thank God this illness happened on a weekend, because there's no way I could've cared for my daughter through this one, like I usually do.

Anyways, sum it all up to say that my hubby was wonderful this weekend. And, tomorrow is my ultrasound - hopefully there will be good news!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Please pray for my kitty

My oldest cat, who we call Bubba-Sam, has been having some issues with his left leg. He had 2 tumors removed at different times in the past 6 months or so. Tuesday evening he started limping on that same leg. We took him to the vet Wednesday and after some expensive x-rays we were told it was probably arthritis or a possible fracture, but the x-rays needed to be reviewed by a specialist. Sam was put on an anti-inflammatory and we've just been waiting to hear back about the x-rays. Since Wednesday, his limping has gotten worse and he is having a lot of trouble with his jumping. Where he could normally jump on the bed with no problems, he now doesn't make it half the time. Even jumping on the couch is hard for him. I spoke with the doctor today and the specialist didn't see any bony problems on the x-ray so we don't know what is wrong. He should be getting better, not worse. I'm going in a few minutes to pick up a second anti-inflammatory/pain medication to try to bring him some relief.

Please pray for him. He truly is the greatest cat ever - he is 13 years old but still such a sweety. He actually enjoys being held like a baby and will let my 2 year old do just about anything to him (make her dolls sit on him like a horse, etc). He has the greatest personality and we all absolutely adore him. We're afraid that if he continues to decline, we will be forced to euthanize him. We don't want him to suffer, but we really don't want to lose him. My daughters little heart will break into pieces and she will not understand why Sam is gone. I still haven't figured out how to explain the hamster dying - I keep telling her she is hiding and sleeping. Please pray that Bubba makes a full recovery. He's really got us worried.

Talked to the doctor...

I don't think they know what they are doing. I talked to a different doctor (Dr L) than I saw either time this cycle (or ever before I think). This guy tells me that they won't really know how I'm responding to the current dose until my ultrasound on Monday. I questioned why the other doctor had me come in for bloodwork only this Wednesday then. He said sometimes they can get an idea from the bloodwork. So I said, yeah, well my E2 was really low and that's why I'm thinking we should increase the dose. He says that the low E2 level is definitely a concern, but that since Dr K had already increased my dose Wednesday we needed to wait until Monday. Um, NO, Dr K did NOT increase my dose Wednesday, he told me to stay on the same dose the Dr R had started me on Sunday. So Dr L says that Dr R knows a lot more about this sort of thing than he does so he's going to stick with the dose Dr R gave me.

I'm wondering why, if Dr R knows so much more than Dr L and probably even Dr K, why didn't anyone bother to consult him about my low E2 levels Wednesday? In any case, I am still taking the 2 amps every night and I will go on Monday and pray that there has been some good growth on my follicles. Hopefully I am just a slow responder and needed to get a couple more days of the current dose in before my body started working right. 2amps worked when we conceived my daughter, but the PCOS has worsened (and I've put on some weight) since then so maybe I'm more resistant. I am just going to pray to God that this dose works for me and that we can get our IUI done before my hubby goes out of town. I'd be happy with 2 mature follicles. Sometime before March 4. Please please please!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The First of Many

My daughter fell yesterday playing with her friends trike. Brave little girl got right back up and wanted to play more - I had to force her in the house to get her boo-boo cleaned up and bandaged. Normally I wouldn't worry, if it's just a small scratch or something, but instead it was this:

On the beautiful porcelain skin of her arm. And I just know her elbows and knees will look like this all summer - my knees were always bandaged when I was little. I am SO not looking forward to it!
Can you believe that brave little girl didn't even cry? I'm quite sure I would've cried if it was me!

The plan remains the same

Continue with 2 amps Gonal-F every night, come back Monday morning for labs and ultrasound. Estradiol was only 69.something which is really low so apparently I'm under-stimulating, meaning I'm not responding as hoped. But, rather than up the dose, since they continue to be so terrified of my polycystic ovaries, I am to continue on the same dose and come back Monday to see if there's been a change.

I'm thinking I will call and leave them a message asking if there is any way we can recheck on Friday and if I'm still under-responding we can up the dose, or if we can simply up the dose now and I can come in Saturday if they are going to be there and then if I'm over-responding we can go back down to 2 amps. I'm just worried because my hubby is going out of town March 9 so this IUI has to be done by then. I think I need to remind them of that.

Well, guess we'll see....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The new plan + Why my RE's fear me

New plan is to inject 2 amps of Gonal-F for 3 nights, then go Wednesday morning for bloodwork. Based on those results, we will determine when my next ultrasound will be. I'm anticipating Friday.

Why my RE's fear me - at my baseline ultrasound today I had an estimated 25 ready-to-grow follicles on my left ovary and 12 on my right ovary. That basically means that it is possible, though not probable, that I could get 37+ mature follicles this cycle. Now, I think that would require some serious doses of the meds and would most likely put me in the hospital with OHSS, but if for some freakish reason we wanted to, we could get many many eggs. I'm probably an IVF (IVF generally aims for a high number of follicles/eggs) doctor's worst nightmare and greatest fantasy all-in-one!
The thing is, with IVF the eggs are removed and then a certain number of embryos are implanted. So you can produce 20 eggs and have only 3 fertilized embryos implanted if you wish. The remaining eggs can be frozen and used later as needed. Of course, IVF is a much more complicated and difficult process than IUI. I'm hoping we don't need to move to IVF.
With IUI, however many eggs there are, that's how many could be 'fertilized'. So generally if you have too many mature follicles, your cycle will be canceled. Or you could be converted to IVF, but we'd have to pay for that. Anyways, the docs are worried that I will produce too many follicles to safely do IUI. So we have to be really careful with doses and monitoring because I am high risk for multiples and for OHSS. And we'd definitely like to avoid both of those!

In summary, I am a super-follicle producer, or as my husband likes to say , I am "The Folliculator." And that is why my RE's fear me.

Obviously I will update when I have more info....

Friday, February 16, 2007

The fat lady has sung

AF arrived late this morning, shortly after the clinic finally called with my beta results. Negative, obviously. The good news is that we can start another IUI cycle right away. I go in for my cd3 baseline labs and ultrasound this Sunday. I know we will be going straight into the injectable Gonal-F this time, but I don't know yet if they are going to want to do a combo of that and the Femara. Guess I'll know in a couple days! Oh, and I'm so happy - I don't have to get up before 5am like usual! Sunday scans start at 9:30, with labs at 9am, so I'm figuring I'll get there around 8:45.... which means I can sleep until 7:45, almost 3 extra hours! Woo-Hoo!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Can you smell that?

Yeah, that nasty, rotten smell? Sorry, that would be my dead hamster stinking up the neighborhood. Just discovered her today.... I'm guessing she died 2 days ago.... it would have to have been at night too because I remember my daughter wanted to hold her so my hubby took her out of the cage, but she wasn't being friendly. I feel really bad that we didn't know she was dead until today. Her poor boyfriend hamster is depressed - and I haven't figured out yet how to explain to a 2 1/2 year old that one of her pets died. I'd like to just replace her, but I don't think Riven (the boy hamster) will take to another hamster right now. He was pretty fond of Myst! Oh well, guess we shall see what happens.

On another note, I went in for a quantitative beta Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately the nurse neglected to call me with the results today. Despite promising me she "won't leave me hanging" when I talked to her Wednesday. After telling her I was going insane and just wanted to be put out of my misery, one way or another. And after I called and left a message early this afternoon reminding them to have someone call me with the results. So, I guess I'll find out somehow tomorrow, whether it is with AF showing up as I expect her to, or with the clinic finally calling me with the results. Still holding on to some hope for a positive. I'll let you know when I know!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I give up.

No more testing. Shouldn't be necessary anyways. I expect that AF will arrive by the weekend. The sooner the better, because there is a small chance we can get in another cycle before hubby goes out of town again. I'm waiting for the dr to call me back with the new game plan and to tell me if they think they can get a complete cycle, including IUI, done by March 8, assuming AF starts by Saturday. I also will have to remember to ask what I should do if I start today or tomorrow, or even Friday since the clinic is closed this Friday and all the way through Tuesday so they won't be there for my cd3 monitoring. They better not tell me we can't do a cycle because of that! Someone can come in on their 4 day weekend for an hour.

Anyways, I'll let you know when I find out. Plan to be gone part of the day today - I need to get my glasses fixed. Darned nose piece keeps falling off and this last time I couldn't find it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A little, okay a lot of, background

Since I feel like whining, and I also feel like going back through all this infertility shit, here's a little background on our 'journey'. I went off birth control when we got married in 2001. We immediately started trying to get pregnant, but with few and far between periods and never getting positive OPK's (ovulation predictor kit), we couldn't exactly time things. But nevertheless, we were your average newlyweds and had a healthy sex life so by the standard odds, we should have gotten pregnant. But of course we didn't. Towards the end of 2002, after trying on our own for about a year and a half, we finally convinced a doctor to give me a referral to an obgyn that specialized in infertility. But first, he wanted to try 'resetting my system' with 3 months of birth control. So we wasted 3 more months on that. Finally, around May of 2003 we got to see the obgyn. She diagnosed me with PCOS and started me on Clomid. We did 3 rounds of Clomid, going up to 150mg and I never even ovulated. We always had to use Provera to induce a period so we could start another round of meds. So, after 3 failed rounds of Clomid, I got a referral to an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist). They confirmed the PCOS with an ultrasound that showed the classic 'black pearl necklace' around my ovaries. They decided to try another round of 150mg Clomid, with blood tests and ultrasound monitoring, followed by an hCG trigger shot. We never got to the shot, because I once again didn't respond to the Clomid. So, the next step was injectables with IUI. Our insurance would not cover any part of an IUI (meds, monitoring, etc), so we decided to try a round of injectables with timed intercourse to see how I responded to the injections. Took 2 weeks of Repronex shots, but finally we were able to do the hCG trigger shot, do our thing, and we got lucky! 13 days after the hCG shot, I got a positive home pregnancy test. Our beautiful daughter was conceived in November of 2003, after over 2 years of trying, and she was born in August of 2004.

After her birth, I went on birth control per doctor recommendation, but after finding out that PCOSers can sometimes be more fertile in the year after giving birth, we decided it was worth a shot and went off birth control when our daughter was 3 months old. We've been trying to get pregnant ever since, but have faced the same problem with no ovulation. Finally managed to get another referral for infertility last year, and after sitting on a waiting list for several months, we went in August of 2006 for our consult. We had been trying on our own for almost 2 years. Of course, they wanted to try Clomid again, so we did. Failed of course. Moved on to Femara with IUI. First IUI failed. Second cycle of Femara with IUI ended up almost being cancelled because I wasn't responding to the Femara anymore. I convinced my doctor to add some injectables into the mix to try to salvage the cycle, so we did. Took my hCG trigger shot Jan 29 and had the second IUI Jan 31. So far, hpt's are showing me nothing but blank white space staring me in the face where I should be seeing a pretty pink line.

General consensus seems to be that the average couple will get pregnant within 6 months of actively trying. 90% of women will conceive within a year. You are generally considered infertile if 1 year of properly timed intercourse doesn't result in pregnancy. Unfortunately for many of us infertiles, there is no such thing as 'properly timed intercourse' without medical intervention. In my case, I never ovulate. I produce multiple follicles on a regular basis, but they never make it to maturity and never release. Hence, the pearl necklace on my ovaries - all the follicles the have not, and will not, mature. I have been told by many, including complete strangers, to just relax, if it's meant to be it will happen, it must be God's will, God doesn't give us more than we can handle, are we sure we're doing it right, why don't we just adopt, if we adopt we'll get pregnant, it happened for so and so, and on and on. It's not uncommon for a stranger to ask me why my daughter doesn't have a sibling yet, what am I waiting for, don't wait too long, you don't want an only child, etc, etc.

Infertility is not something that people choose. If you have never been through infertility, you cannot imagine what it is like. It is emotionally, physically, and for many financially, stressful. It puts strain on your marriage. It takes the joy out of sex. It wears you down and takes over your life. It makes you crazy and angry and resentful. I've heard of it ruining friendships because it is hard for an infertile to celebrate birth after birth for another. It makes you feel like there is something wrong with you. Like you are a failure. Your friends and family can get pregnant, why can't you? The crack whore on the street corner can get pregnant, why can't you? The people who beat and molest their children can get pregnant, why can't you? How is this God's will? Why should I believe that God would rather give the meth addict a baby to kill, then give me one to love? Who the hell are you to tell me that this is God's will? I'm sorry, this is getting too hard and I am probably going to go too far. Forgive me, I'm very upset.

Odds are getting slimmer and slimmer...

Negative again. According to the instructions, 93% of pregnant women would have a positive test by today. And according to the internet, that is allowing for 6% screwing up the test somehow. In lab testing by the companies themselves, 99% of pregnant women would have a positive by today. Since I would consider myself a damn hpt expert, as I'm sure most infertiles would, that means that there is a 1% chance that I am pregnant. I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm not pregnant. I'll use my last hpt tomorrow and then just wait for AF to come. She should be here by Friday. I'm really not sure if we can fit in another cycle either.... hubby has trips for work, have to decide if there's any chance of getting in a whole cycle before he could be leaving.

SO I'm just wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do. I'm not supposed to get my hopes up, because it just makes the negative results worse. But how the hell can you go through something like this without having hope? You have to have hope that the treatments will work. And how about when you are developing some possible symptoms of pregnancy? Damn it, I had strange cramps and twinges at the right time for implantation, I've had a couple bouts of nausea (no vomiting, but feeling like I could), my bre@sts have been a little tender, my stomach has been more sensitive and upset, my lower abdomen feels a little 'tight' or 'full', and I've got horrible acne and oily skin issues. These certainly aren't normal PMS symptoms for me. Well, except the acne. Oh, and have I mentioned the freaking exhaustion? Guess it must all be caused by the extra hormones from the injections. But dammit, I feel pregnant and I am totally pissed right now! I really feel like having a nice long rant on the complete unfairness of all of this shit. Actually, what I really feel like doing is vegging out on the couch, watching whatever I want to watch, and even being able to hear it, instead of the non-stop jabbering/shouting of a 2 year old!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Still negative

In case anyone was wondering. Feeling discouraged. Must go bake.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quick Update

Just wanted to pop in and tell ya'll that this mornings test yielded another negative..... but I'm still hopeful. I'm not sure why, but I think there might be a positive hpt in my near future. I've just had some kinda weird symptoms this past week+.... some strange cramping.... a little nausea..... extreme fatigue. Nothing constant, though the fatigue lasts until evening every day and the cramps came and went for several days. The nausea has only happened a couple times in the late evening. Hopefully they are early pregnancy symptoms. Keep praying!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My baby is growing up.

My baby girl is getting to be such a big girl. She has a huge independent streak and can carry on a better conversation than some adults I know. And now, she has a big girl bed. No more crib. We are hoping to be needing the crib by the end of the year so we talked about getting a toddler bed. And she needed a new dresser. So we went looking for dressers first, figuring we would just get her the Dor@ toddler bed from W@lm@rt. Pretty much everywhere we looked at dressers had bedroom sets.... and our little girl fell in love with the big girl beds. And we fell in love with one particular set. But, we didn't plan on spending that much money, so we kept looking. And looking. We couldn't find a nice, affordable dresser that wasn't in some sort of pattern that would be difficult to match down the road when she would outgrow the toddler bed.

So, we went through some figures in our head and decided that by getting a bedroom set now, instead of a toddler bed and dresser that we might have to replace because it won't match (I know, it doesn't have to, but it would really bother me if it didn't!), we would be saving ourselves about three hundred dollars. Because dressers are expensive. $250 was the average going rate.

So we shopped around for the set we liked, comparing prices, found the lowest, then went to a competitor and got them to beat it. And we were able to bring it all home with the van so we saved on delivery. If I do say so myself, we got a good deal. And our big girl is so excited and happy to have a big girl bed. So far she has spent 4 nights in it, and she has slept her normal 11-12 hours. And stayed in bed the whole time. Without a rail on the side, because we couldn't find one that would work without a box-spring. I am so proud of her!

And for those of you wondering how the testing or not-testing has gone.... Friday morning I got a negative hpt, so I know the hCG from the trigger shot is out of my system. Tomorrow is the soonest I think I could get a positive so I'll probably test tomorrow morning. And continue testing until I get a positive, or AF arrives. If I have any willpower in the morning, I will hold off from testing until Monday. But we all know I have no willpower so you can probably expect an update tomorrow. Let's pray for good news!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gettin' Antsy

As of Thursday morning I will be 8dpiui (days past iui), 10 days after my trigger shot. When I initially thought about testing, I had thought I would try to wait until 12dpiui, or 14 days after the trigger shot. Now I'm re-thinking it. Last cycle, I got my first negative hpt at 10dpiui, 12 days after the trigger shot.... when I got pregnant with my daughter, I got my first positive hpt (it was the first time I tested so don't know if it would have registered sooner or not) after the trigger shot. So, by my reasoning, if I test on Saturday, which will be 10dpiui, I stand a good chance of getting an accurate result. If it's negative, that doesn't necessarily mean it will stay negative, because it could be too soon to tell. But if it's positive, there's a definite chance it really is positive. And that would give me hope.... which I'm not sure would be good or bad to have.
In case that was all a bit confusing, I'll sum it up - based on past experience, the trigger shot should be out of my system by 10dpiui. But, it may be too soon to tell if I'm pregnant or not on an hpt. So I'm thinking that I will test on Saturday, 10dpiui and see what happens. Of course, I could change my mind.... if I can convince myself to wait longer, it would be good. Because I'm pretty sure that if I wait until 12dpiui and manage to get a positive hpt, then I am pregnant, whereas anything positive before then could, just maybe, be the remnants of the trigger shot, and anything negative before then could just mean my hormone levels from the pregnancy aren't high enough to register.
Hmmmm, wonder what I will do....

Saturday, February 03, 2007

11.5 days to go...

So far I haven't obsessed too much. I did have very sore abdominal muscles and a very sore lower abdomen for 2 days after the IUI, but that seems to have gotten better today. Probably a lingering reaction to the hCG shot. I've been trying to rest a lot, which isn't very easy with an extremely active 2 year old, but I have spent a decent amount of time on the couch. I figure the easier I take it, the more likely an embryo will want to hang around! I'm a little concerned that my endometrial lining was smaller than usual, but the doctors didn't say anything about it so I guess it must be okay. Hopefully it has bulked up since the last ultrasound! Implantation, if it will occur, should take place anytime between this Monday and next Monday. I plan to spend plenty of time stroking my tummy and telling the little embryo to settle in and make itself comfortable!

On a different note....tomorrow is the Superbowl! I still haven't figured out how I'm going to keep my daughter happy while we take the tv over from her (I swear, she is so spoiled, she has her shows on all day!). But, we'll work something out because we have to root for our team! Should be a great game! GO DA BEARS!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

2 week wait, day 1

I am now officially in the 2 week wait. I hate waiting. It seems to me, that with all the modern advancements of medicine, they should be able to tell you sooner whether or not you are pregnant. I understand the whole "implantation doesn't take place immediately" etc etc, but it doesn't make the waiting any easier.

I am enlisting you to help keep me sane during this wait. Let me know if there is anything you'd like me to post about..... anything that will help pass the time! Also, I'm open to suggestions of things to do to keep my mind off what may or may not be taking place inside my uterus. Crafts, cool web sites to check out, anything! Come on gals (and guys).... help me out please! Oh, and extra prayers would be appreciated too! Thanks!