Saturday, December 31, 2011

Those 25 Seconds After Taking a Pregnancy Test...

Those several seconds after peeing on a pregnancy test stick are brutal. You all probably know what I am talking about. You know, those 25-30 seconds where you wait and watch, and you're probably still on the can yourself. Those seconds are torture, brutal, misleading. many times have I become excited because I *thought* I saw something-a little trace of color-only to have it fade as quickly as it came...and then the control line gets darker and darker and darker (if you're wondering, First Response, Early Response is my test of choice). In my post pregnancy test reflection, I realize that there never was a line, actually. It was just the dye moving across the window to light up the control line like a Christmas tree. But man, those few seconds-those seconds when the test line is ever so slightly, what a tease. I may just begin using digitals from now on.

Can you guess I recently tested? And I bet you can also guess the result?

But 2012 is a new year, a new start! While I know that my husband and I would LOVE a healthy baby, the more important thing is that we are all together and that we are healthy. A baby would be the absolute icing on the cake. But life is pretty darn good already (knock on wood-because I'm superstitious).

Have a wonderful night and a fertile 2012!

Some pics of Alex at her gymnastics class

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cycle Day 30

Cycle Day 30...and NO end in sight! Seriously, it doesn't even feel like my period is anywhere on its way. I'm not bloated, not crampy, not spotting. I'm thinking that there's pretty much nothing happening. Its gotta come sometime, right???

So some of you might be wondering...."why doesn't she just go in and get some progesterone to bring on her period"? Well, that had been the plan. The NP told me that if I hadn't gotten my period by the 28th or 29th day of my cycle, I could come in and get that prescription. And why haven't I done that??? Well, basically, it has been a crazzzzyyyy week!

We had a nice Christmas (mostly), but it was not smooth sailing! On Christmas Eve (fortunately at the very end of the night, at about 10pm) Alex began saying, "Ear hurt" and was crying. She was pretty uncomfortable all night and so Dan and I didn't get much sleep either. I ended up getting sick to my stomach Christmas Eve night as well (an adverse reaction to clam sauce, I think) and Dan managed to tweak his back around this time as well. We were a mess. So Christmas Day, while fun, was probably not the best we have ever had-or will have. Alex was still sick and vomited twice and did not want to eat. She had fun opening presents, but was not herself. Alex has also begun teething these last few days-2 year molars! So that hasn't been fun for her :( Anyway, it was a crazy week with all of us getting sick at different times, with doctor's appointments and a teething baby and redoing a guest bedroom to a play room. Yep-never made it to the specialist. But I figure that I will give it another few days and go in if my period doesn't start. Heck, at this point in time...what's the big deal with waiting a few more days??? My friend suggested that I take a pregnancy test, since my period is late (well, late in comparison to my last few cycles). I laughed at her and told her there was no way I was pregnant. Really, I no longer even trick myself into thinking that I could be anymore. You have to ovulate to get pregnant. That's kind of essential. I think that I would pretty much pass out from shock if I did test and it was positive!

Let's see, more updates....just found out (via FaceBook) that another friend is pregnant :O Ummmm, I brought Alex to a bounce-house place today (first day any of us have felt good) and it was pretty much like every women there had not only one older child, but an infant as well. I was totally surrounded! One woman (we kind of chatted) had a daughter Alex's age and infant twins-boy and girl. Gosh, I bet you guys can understand how tempted I was to ask her if they were fertility treatment twins! LOL-don't worry, I contained myself. That would be a little creepy if I had asked....

And some pics, of course :)
 Christmas Eve, opening a present with Noni

 LOVE this pic...and that dress!

 Hanging out with her cousin on the stairs...the cool place to be, apparently 

 Christmas Morning...Santa brought a dollhouse!

 And her Nana and Deda from Australia got her a kitchen!

 Vet kit

 The carnage!

 Christmas Day opening presents at Noni and G-Pop's house

Opening yet more presents at her great aunt and uncle's house

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone has a blessed holiday and enjoys this special time with loved ones. And may 2012 be an especially fertile year for you! I hope that anyone who finds their way to this blog (or any blog about infertility, for that matter) is blessed with a pregnancy or baby this time next year. Things can change instantly...even when it appears as though nothing is working. You never know what is in store for you!

And to those not pregnant at the moment, may you indulge in copious amounts of alcohol this holiday season...or if that's not your thing...may you indulge in mercury laden seafood and cold-cuts. It is my wish that we all (myself included) are round oompa loompa's next year and have kankles instead of ankles and will be discussing heartburn with our relatives after a big Christmas dinner. In other words, by this time next year...I hope that we are all knocked up...or as they would say in Australia..... "Up the duff"....

Keep the hope. In my own life, in the lives of people I know, I've seen miracles happen. If you have it in you, just keep going...

Have a wonderful few days :)

Oh...and PS....Period still hasn't come...still waiting, waiting, waiting.....

My presents from Alexandra:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

oh COME. ON.

Do you know what today is? Well, you probably don't....but it is cycle day 20. Last cycle, I had a complete, heavy, full flow on cycle day 20. Spotting started on cycle day 19. Of course, that was when I was praying and hoping and wishing that my period would stay away until my appointment.

Now? Now that I want my period to come so I can move on to our first injectable cycle (well, first since before Alex)...well, now it's  NOWHERE in sight. I'm not having any cramping, no bloating, no emotionality (except for being incredulous about this situation) no nothing. Nothing to indicate that the evil witch known as "Aunt Flo" is coming. And no. I am not pregnant.

Waiting sucks. I have no eloquent words. 'Nuff said. Waiting when you're "oh so close" sucks even more. Grrrraarrrrrrr!

Come on...just throw me a bone, will ya, fertility Gods???

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Even My Favorite Radio Personality is....

...Is pregnant. Ok, well not him. His wife of five months is a little over three months pregnant. Yeah. Wife of five months...three months pregnant. I guess that stuff really does happen--to other people.

I got a little teary eyed listening to the radio because A. I love listening to this guy and am happy for him because he seems like he would be a good dad and B. I'm just plain old jealous. I can admit it. That's healthy, right? Admitting to your feelings and all that? I might be a touch hormonal too, at the moment. Let's hope that means my period will be here SOON!

Ohhhhhh but I'm not done yet. So I am at work and Creepy Work Guy says to me, from out of nowhere I might add: "Hey, so you remember what I said to you last Spring"?

Me: "Um. Not really".
Creepy Work Guy: "You don't remember? We talked about how I know when people are about to get pregnant".
Me: "Oh. Yeah. I guess I remember that" (well, in actuality, the memory of that talk is burnt into my head. And not in a good way)
Creepy Work Guy: "So are you?"
Me: "Am I....????" (insert pregnant pun intended)
Creepy Work Guy: "Pregnant...I said you would be by Christmas".
Me: "Oh. No. No. There's nothing going on there. Unless it happens"

And so the conversation went on in its own stilted way, with Creepy Work Guy a little bit disappointed that he did not predict my pregnancy accurately. He went walking away, mumbling about how he had been "slipping" lately. Seriously. I couldn't make this stuff up. I work with some wacky people. How will I be able to deal with this when I am off coffee???

Oh. And the best part...he says this in front of my boss and the secretary. So then I feel kind of exposed and feel compelled (for some reason) to announce, "Well, we aren't really ready for number 2 we aren't really trying or anything". Oh yeah. I crossed that barrier. I was the girl who "over shared" at work. They are probably thinking about how I really need better boundaries. And what I said to them...that was totally bringing back the ol' "standby" excuse for when we were trying for number one: "we just aren't ready yet...we're having too much fun". Yeah. Right. Butt out is more like it.

So that's my tale of woe for today. Everyone is pregnant and Creepy Work Guy is as creepy and tactless as ever.

And for all of you who have no idea what I am talking about, read these links...Creepy Work Guy has a staring role (from April 2011)

Oh, and here's a more recent one featuring CWG

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Test Results Back...

So we got the last two test results back from the blood they took at our re-consultation. They were looking at Vitamin D levels and AMH levels. My vitamin D level was normal-well ok-low normal...but that makes sense for living in a perpetually cloudy state! For all those unfamiliar with AMH (because I sure as heck was), it is an acronym for "Anti-Mullerian Hormone". Quite a mouthful that one. AMH is a blood test that measures ovarian reserve. Here's a description from a website:

"AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. It is also called MIS (Mullerian Inhibiting Substance) . Since AMH is produced directly by the ovarian follicles, AMH levels correlate with the number of antral follicles in the ovaries . It has been documented that women with lower AMH have lower antral follicular counts and produce a lower number of oocytes compared with women with higher levels".

Apparently, specialists have begun looking at AMH over FSH because it (AMH) does not change depending on where you are in your cycle (whereas you have to test FSH on cycle day 3). Anything around 1ng/ml to 3 ng/ml is considered a normal result. Numbers lower than 1ng/ml are sub-optimal. Anything above 3-3.5 ng/ml is considered high (usually associated with PCOS) and places the woman at risk for hyperstimulation. AMH level was..... 9.5 ng/ml! Gee-think I have poly-cystic ovaries? Basically...I have A LOT of antral follicles. Which makes sense since I don't ovulate on my own-I guess I'm kind of hoarding my follicles, in a sense.

Ok. I'd rather have a higher result than a lower result without a doubt...but the risk for over-stimulation is greater than typical. Also, I don't believe AMH speaks to egg quality. So I can say I have a ton of eggs, but who the heck knows of the quality. Is there a test for quality? I just hope with all those follicles dotting my ovaries, something will work and we get our one healthy baby.

I'm definitely getting scared though. Well, nervous is probably a better descriptor. Nervous and anxious to just get. on. with. it. I hate waiting. I hate not knowing. I hate inaction. But I'm not looking forward to all the feelings (the old feelings that I thought I had buried after our previous treatments) if our first cycle is unsuccessful. I'm trying to stay realistic. I know there's a good chance that it won't happen for us right away. But a part of me still hopes we will be the "one cycle and done" family. I can't help it. And I am probably setting myself up for a hard fall.'s just a viscous cycle! I need a crystal ball so I can look into the future to see what happens. I just want to know! for my cousin update/preg-dar update: results are inconclusive. No announcement was made at the family Christmas party, but I did watch said cousin all night and she was drinking water, rather than partaking in the ample amounts of alcohol provided. When I mentioned this to my sister-she looked at me like I was OFF MY ROCKER and asked why I was visually stalking this cousin. *Sigh* She just doesn't get it....which is probably a good thing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fertility Update, Pregnancy Announcment & Alex Update...

Well this blog entry is going to have a little bit of everything...a hodge podge if you will.

Firstly...we got the results of Dan's seamen analysis back yesterday and everything came back within completely normal limits-motility, morphology, count, viscosity, etc etc etc-all completely normal :) We had no reason to believe that things would not be normal on that front, as there were no issues last time, but it's always nice to hear that things are STILL good in that particular arena.

Today was a big first for Alexandra....we converted her crib into a toddler bed! I thought I was going to feel a little bit nostalgic, but I held it together, lol. Seriously, it's better this way...we got our wake up call that it was time for a change when she had one whole leg dangling over the rails of her crib. So yeahhhh...probably best this way, although it was really nice to have her contained to ONE space!

After getting Alex's room and bed in order, we went to our town's festival of lights and then to my parents' house for pizza and wings. We had a very nice time, although I don't know that Alex was too impressed with the Santa at the festival. She was kind of giving him the dirt eye. Although I guess he would appear to be somewhat freakish to a two year old who doesn't yet "get" who Santa is!

So was a very nice night, but once we got home I was completely blindsided! You see, my preg-dar has been twitching for awhile now about one of my cousins. She is 32 and has been married for 2 1/2 years. She wants kids. Basically, I'm just waiting for the announcement and have been kind of mentally preparing myself that "the" announcement might take place on Sunday, at the big family Christmas party that her parents throw. So yeah, I've been mentally preparing for that. BUT-I was blindsided because when I got home tonight, one of my good friends from college messaged me on FB saying that she is expecting!

I am thrilled for my friend. She is 11 weeks and due June 30th. Yes, I'm very happy for her. But kind of sad for myself. Of course. As usual. I wonder if I will ever feel simple, complete happiness at hearing a pregnancy announcement??? I wonder, even if we go on to have a second or third baby and are no longer trying, will I still feel a little bit sad when hearing about pregnancies? Has infertility become that much a part of my life? Will this be pain that, to some degree, I carry around forever-even if only because I can *remember* the pain so vividly? What will life be like if I am ever fortunate enough to be DONE building our family and fertility does not matter? What will it feel like to no longer have to think about this stuff? God, please let these treatments work. Please let us have one more healthy baby....

So I'll keep you updated about tomorrow, in regard to whether my preg-dar is accurate or not. If it, two pregnancy announcements in 24 hours. I may need to go on a bender of some sort, perhaps some SERIOUS retail therapy. Whatever it takes to get through this infertility jungle, right?

Alex's toddler bed!

She loved being able to climb in and out on her own!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feeling VERY fortunate :)

No. I'm not pregnant. Ha...just had to get that out there!

But I AM feeling extremely fortunate and blessed and lucky and...and a bunch of other great feelings.

My medicine arrived today. Four Gonal-F pens, two boxes of Crinone (which is new to me), a whole Lupron kit with needles and wipes, HcG shots and our very own sharps container, lol. All delivered today via a friendly FedEx guy. Thanks Freedom Pharmacy!

But the best part of all....we only had to pay 55 bucks for the whole lot!!! I nearly cried when my husband told me.  Thank you insurance and to my job for adding an extra (and awesome) fertility treatment rider to our plan! Last time we had to order this much medication, it cost over 800 bucks, AND that was with insurance paying a LARGE percentage already. It was also confirmed that our plan pays for three IVF's. Of course, we are hoping to not have to go that route, but if we do, at least that aspect is generally taken care of. I feel very blessed to not have to really worry about this aspect of TTC, when the whole process is already plagued by worry and fear. Thank you, God. Thank you to whoever decided to add that rider....whether our treatments work or not, I will not take this gift for granted!

So here's my loot:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(Re)consultation, CHECK!

And it went well! I definitely will not be starting meds this month...which basically confirmed what I already knew. But apart from that minor disappointment (minor now, because I had a few days to work through it, lol), the appointment was great. I had my consultation with the nurse practitioner whom I saw a lot last time, so she knows my history. Apparently, she uses me as an example to her other patients about how good ovarian drilling can be for PCOS and fertility-since I got preggo with Alexandra right after my drilling. Who knows, perhaps I will have to go that route again? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, they did blood work (of course...bunch of vampires, lol!) and an ultrasound. Nothing much new there-my ovaries are still poly cystic in appearance, of course. I guess with the blood work, they are paying more attention to vitamin D levels than previously and are now checking ovarian reserve more frequently now. Meg-my nurse-didn't think I would have a problem with ovarian reserve, despite the fact that I am getting periods every 20-25 days. She seems to feel that the short cycles have more to do with a luteal phase defect-another common problem in PCOS women-than with ovarian reserve. Keeping my fingers crossed that the test comes back normal. I'd hate to have another thing fertility related to stress over. I did, however, take one of those First Response fertility tests the other day. It came as a freebie in a pack of pregnancy tests. It is supposed to measure FSH and ovarian reserve. My result was in the normal lets hope it was accurate and I won't get any bad surprises from the blood test! If it is a luteal phase defect, we'll have to ramp up the progesterone, but it should be fine.

So anyway....dh has to have a repeat seamen analysis, which we will be doing this week and the doctor is ordering all my meds (Gonal F, Lupron, trigger) to be delivered by courier within the next week to week and a half. I'm excited! It's all starting! I should be good to go as soon as my period comes again! Now lets keep the fingers crossed that this is a SUPER SHORT cycle! Meg told me that if I get to 28 days without a period, I can call and they will prescribe me Provera. I'm hoping it comes sooner than that though!

So that's my reconsultation story. Everyone was very friendly and very nice and actually seemed to remember us :) They all wanted to see pics of Alex so, of course, I happily obliged ;) It must be so rewarding to work witness all the lives you helped create, all the families you helped build. Maybe they would hire me on for counseling services? They provide everything else already-yoga, massage, acupuncture, support groups, etc etc. I'd love that job :)

 Our new favorite thing: old gift bags! She puts all of her Little People and stuffed animals in them and walks around!

 Having a daddy day at the area children's museum

 Mad that this is blurry because it's so cute! Alex holding her friend, Damian's, hand

How sweet is this tree????? LOOOVVVE it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Well...There Is No Denying...

...My period is well and truly here :( She came full blast on Thursday, which was only cycle day 20 (well, actually cycle day 1 now).

I was so hoping that I would spot for awhile, as I often spot for 5 or 6 days beforehand. Nope. Wasn't happening. And funny enough (well, actually, NOT so funny), getting my period on Thursday was probably the WORST day to get it to ensure that I wouldn't be able to start injections this cycle. Doesn't it just figure?  How's that for luck?

I even tried calling my fertility center to explain the situation to see if they could do anything-squeeze me in only a few days earlier, or loan me medications until mine come in. No can do. They have new protocols and would probably want me to begin injections on cd 3. Which is...oh yeah....TODAY.

Damn you PCOS! You have won this battle, but I plan to kick your ass next time (knock on wood because God forbid I jinx myself, as I am an especially superstitious infertile)!

On a funny side note....Dan and I saw the new Harold and Kumar Christmas movie and Harold and his wife were TTC. Apparently they had been trying for a year. Well, in the opening scene the wife was saying that they needed to "get busy" because she was ovulating. And then-miraculously THE NEXT DAY-which happened to be Christmas Day-she was waving around a positive pregnancy test-LOL! If only you could ovulate one day and get a positive test the next day. No more two week waits-sounds like a pretty sweet deal!