Thursday, November 28, 2013

(Un)Happy Thanksgiving

I'd be lying if I said I woke up this morning in a joyful mood, ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and reflect on everything in my life for which I should be thankful. Truthfully, I woke up in a horrible mood. I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of the first day of the first cycle that we began trying to add to our family, and here I am on cycle day 2 of one of the heaviest periods I've ever had on our 22nd cycle of trying. That means we have been unsuccessful 21 times. It also means this is yet another Thanksgiving passing us by where we are childless - with not even a single positive pregnancy test to show for all the prayer, treatment, tears, and good old fashioned trying we have put in over the past 729 days.

Of course, it probably didn't help that I logged onto Facebook, only to be bombarded by multiple pregnancy announcements, hundreds (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit) of adorable pictures of precious babies, and multiple heartfelt messages of thanks from parents for their wonderful children. Don't get me wrong - I totally get it. As I kept scrolling, I knew I would be beyond thankful, too, if I was in any of their shoes.

But that's just the thing - I should be thankful for everything I have, despite my circumstances. In 1 Thesssalonians 5:16-18, God says, "Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live." And so I have a choice. I can choose to be miserable because God has not yet blessed us with a child - the one thing my heart desires more than anything, or I can choose to be cheerful anyway, continue praying, and make it a point to thank God for not only the blessings he has already given us, but also for those that are yet to come, including the miracle of a child.

I am reminded this Thanksgiving more than ever that His plans are not my own. After our second IUI, I had dreamt up this magical way of telling J's entire family we were expecting today at Thanksgiving. His granddaddy always says the blessing before we eat, and I wanted to tell him ahead of time to include, "the child with whom God has blessed Jeremy and Heather" at the end of the list of things to be thankful for during the prayer. Obviously, this isn't going to happen. But I have to believe - I choose to believe - that God has even better things in store for us, beyond what I am capable of imagining.

I know there are others out there who are struggling today, too, so I wanted to share my prayer to God this morning, along with some of God's Word that I find incredibly encouraging:

Lord, you know my heart. You know my innermost desires. Thank you for all of the blessings you have already given me and for those that will come later. Today I am choosing to be joyful in my circumstances. If I lose my hope, God, I pray that you will continue to remind me that your plans are far better than my dreams. Lord, help me to believe with all my heart that trusting you, rather than focusing on what I see before me, is completely worth it. Give me the strength to ignore my own logical reasonings and instead rely on your powerful promises. I love you so much. Amen.

"Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I'm doing, but it will be clear enough to you later." - John 13:7

"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later." - Romans 8:18

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her." - Luke 1:45

"And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." - Hebrews 6:15

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Where Are We Now?

IUI # 2 didn't work, unfortunately. I went through the usual emotions of being extremely upset the day I started my period, and then picked myself up so we could move on. Of course, we had to have the inevitable discussion of what would be our next steps.

Basically, we had to decide between doing one more IUI or moving on to IVF. Meds/copays for both IUI cycles have been around $1500, so $3000 total. This past IUI cycle, all the action was happening on my right ovary, where I have no tube. Yes, I know eggs can get from the right ovary to the left tube, but it's not a guarantee. So, in our minds, we could spend $1500 again for a very small chance that it would actually work, or just put that money toward saving up for IVF over the summer when I am much less stressed (I have a crazy, crazy class this year at school = constantly stressed!). 

With all of that said, we have decided to save up for IVF and try on our own until then. There isn't a real reason we can't get pregnant on our own, so there of course we are going to try! I am also doing everything I can on my end to get as healthy as possible so that a) we are more likely to get pregnant on our own and b) I am healthier for IVF. Here's what I have been doing as of Monday:
  • no caffeine
  • no refined sugar
  • no processed foods
  • no GMOs
  • all organic (as much as possible)
  • more protein, fewer carbs
  • slowly eliminating plastic containers and going to stainless steel
The first two days I had horrible headaches, but I'm feeling much better now! I'm hoping I lose some weight, but also that this can help in our journey to getting pregnant.

The other part of all of this is starting to research where to do IVF. Honestly, we can probably only afford to do IVF one time. So wherever we do it, we want it to be the best, even if that means paying a little more. Our current clinic only does IVF 4 times a year, contracts in an embryologist, and apparently prefers 3-day transfers to 5-day transfers. I don't like any of that, so I doubt we will go with our current RE, even though he does have fantastic success rates (best in the state). We are thinking about CCRM in Colorado, or even possibly traveling out of country. Who knows - we are just beginning to research. Of course, we are so hopeful that it won't even be necessary because we will get pregnant on our own before then.

Also, adoption has been on my mind a lot. I feel like I keep seeing so many people I know adopting, and it really just tugs at my heart strings. I'm not ready to give up the idea of having a biological child yet, but adoption isn't out of the question for us. Personally, if it came down to it, I would love to do DIA (domestic infant adoption) or foster to adopt (because it is very inexpensive). Honestly, at this point I figured we would have a 1-2 year old, so I wouldn't mind fostering to adopt a 1-4 year old to be the older sibling for our biological child if we are blessed with one. J, on the other hand, isn't quite as ready to seriously consider this as I am. 

So, that's where we are right now... lots to think about. Who knew becoming parents would be so hard?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

3 DPIUI: In the Waiting Game!

We had our second IUI on Thursday. It went very well. I'm not sure exactly how many mature follicles I ended up with, ya know, because of the whole unspecific nurse situation. I think it's safe to say I had at least 4... however I think there was only 1 (maybe 2) on my left ovary, which is the side with my lone fallopian tube. Honestly I don't care though, because if this is the cycle it's supposed to happen for us, then it will. Also, J had 135 million motile sperm post wash, so we were thrilled with that number! It's over double what we had last time. We of course also had sex the night of trigger and the night of IUI - the more sperm the better!

Now we are just waiting it out! I am semi-testing out my trigger - ha! I POAS yesterday afternoon, and the trigger is definitely still very there. I will probably do what I did last time and test every other day. Last time the trigger stayed in my system for at least a week, and I think even a bit longer than that. 

I am praying that in a week or so I will have a BFP to share! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

CD 11: IUI #2 In Progress... and Thoughts of IVF

I don't remember if I updated or not, but after our first injects/IUI cycle we were benched due to me having multiple large cysts (the largest being 3.4 cm) and ovaries two times the size they are supposed to be. Obviously we weren't successful on our own while I was benched (see post title - ha!), but at least the cysts did go away on their own. 

Let me start by saying that I am so not happy with my RE's office right now... more specifically my new nurse. The nurse I had been seeing for almost a year is apparently no longer there anymore - no clue why - and I really, really dislike the new one. She isn't really new because she has been there doing financial stuff and sometimes filling in with nursing duties, but she is new to me. Anyway, she just rubs me the wrong way and doesn't give me any information. Hello, lady! I'm kind of OCD about all of this, and I need to know how thick my lining is, what my estradiol level is, how many follicles I have, what side they are on, and exactly how big they are!!! Even with me asking, she still didn't divulge any info. Like I said, she isn't my favorite. And since she is being so "secretive" I don't have a lot of information to update because I don't have it myself!

So, this cycle they started me out on CD 4 taking 3 vials of Bravelle (225 iu). I did this for 5 days and then went back in for monitoring. According to Nurse Secrets everything looks "good," whatever that means. Apparently not good enough to trigger, though, because I then had to do 3 more days of Bravelle injects (same dose). I'll do the last shot tonight and go back tomorrow morning to see what's going on. I am really hoping that I can trigger tomorrow and don't have to buy more meds, because we have already spent $950 just on meds this cycle. If I need to do even one more day of meds, it will be another $180. We shall see, though! I am specifically praying for 3-4 mature follicles on my left ovary. 

Also, we have been thinking and praying a lot about what our next steps will be. My RE recommended 3 IUIs before moving on to IVF, and we are on number two right now. Of course I am praying that this is the one that works and we won't even have to deal with IVF, but I also want to be realistic and have a plan in place. Part of me wants to do the 3 IUIs like my RE suggested, but on the other hand, J doesn't have any sperm issues, so I'm not really sure how much an IUI ups our chances compared to just trying on our own, ya know? If it doesn't improve our chances too much (I need to see if the RE can give me some percentages on trying on our own vs. IUI w/injects vs. IVF), we are tossing around the idea of just moving straight to IVF after IUI #2 to save money. I mean, injects cycles are expensive, and we could put the ~$1500 we would spend on an IUI cycle toward the IVF, which is insanely expensive (RE mentioned $12,000 at one point). Unfortunately, we don't have the money for it right now, so we would save up between now and next summer and go for it then. During the time we were saving we would continue to try naturally, and I would work on losing weight. 

Where we would do the IVF is also another thing to consider, because my RE only does IVF 4 times per year (every 3 months). Apparently he contracts out an embryologist - there isn't one there full time. They have wonderful success rates, but at the same time, I worry that I would get OHSS or something and have to wait 3 additional months to do a FET. I know I'm probably thinking way too far ahead, but I want to have some kind of game plan in place. There is some clinic in Dallas, TX that has good success rates and seemingly good prices, too, if you pay out of pocket. Their website says the cost is $6,500 without meds, so that seems pretty good. Again, we are just going to have to keep researching! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CD 25: Back from My Hiatus

So, I've been trying to take a break from all things infertility related recently, including my blog and looking at others' blogs... I'll have to try to get caught up on where everyone is! 

You see, the thing is, I went in for my baseline appointment, and quickly discovered that my ovaries were twice their normal size and I had multiple large cysts, the biggest being 3.4 cm. Clearly, I was benched. No meds for me this cycle. We were encouraged to try naturally... having sex every other day starting on CD 11. 

Honestly? This break? It's been wonderful. I've seriously loved not having to obsess about anything related to my infertility. I haven't missed the RE appointments, injections, temping, or charting. Truthfully, I don't even know if I've ovulated yet. Like I said, I'm enjoying not worrying about it for a change.

The best part, though, is in this break where I have been paying basically no attention to getting pregnant, I feel like my eyes have been opened, and that's what I really want to share.

I have always been one of those people who believed everything happens for a reason. And then infertility happened. I struggled... A LOT. Something I had believed my entire life suddenly sounded so cruel and frankly unbelievable. I remember thinking all the time, "Why am I going through this? It's not fair. We would make such incredible parents. I can't see any reason why we would have to go through this."

I'd be lying if I said I never struggle with thoughts like these anymore. Because I do. And I probably will until this journey we have been on reaches a happy ending. I do, however, feel like the reason for our incredibly trying time with infertility has been revealed to me. It just took me a bit of time to get there.

Let me take you back to my high school years. I attended a phenomenal church, and I was on fire for God. I sang in my church's youth band and loved having that opportunity to show my love for God. But... I drifted away at some point. I never stopped believing in God, but after college, I moved to a new town for my teaching job, and I didn't find a church to get involved in. Then I got married, and we never made it a priority to get involved in church. It just wasn't a part of our lives.

Then infertility happened. Suddenly I needed God again. I needed church again. Really, I needed God all along but had stopped relying on Him. A wise pastor at our church said one Sunday that God will find a way to draw you back to Him if you drift away... He will throw out a roadblock or immerse you in struggles... not because He wants you to suffer, but because He so desperately wants a relationship with you. 

If I am being honest, I don't know if J and I would find ourselves back in church and seeking God right now if we hadn't had to deal with infertility. We've been going since January, and even though I hate what we are going through, at the same time... I'm kind of thankful for it. Without it, we wouldn't be in church. And not only that, because we found a great church, J's parents started going, as well. I can't help but think that wouldn't have happened either if infertility wasn't put in our path. 

I feel like God has been working overtime to reveal this to me and to let me know that He is there, He is real, and I should put all of my trust in Him. A couple of months ago, when I began to notice my thinking about our situation starting to shift a bit, I decided to get my tattoo based on the Bible verse Hebrews 6:19 that basically says, "Hope is the anchor of the soul, and we can have faith in God that He will fulfill his promises." Shortly after this, I started noticing pictures of rainbows everywhere on Facebook and Instagram - a sign of God's promise. I wanted to see my own rainbow, though, and I would literally run outside if I thought it looked like there might be a rainbow. 

I waited and waited, but never saw one. And then one day, 5 days into my current cycle (and possibly in one of my lowest points of this whole journey), I was driving to dinner with J, and he pointed out a rainbow in the sky up ahead. But I couldn't see it. Ironically, he realized he could see it better with his sunglasses on, so he had me put them on, and there it was. Right in front of us. Of course, I couldn't help but think of the sunglasses as an analogy for the darkness we have been experiencing with our infertility... and it was only through that darkness that I could see the rainbow. 

I have hope. I absolutely do. God fulfills His promises. I see the reason for our struggles. It doesn't mean I like our situation, but it does mean I appreciate it a whole lot more. And hopefully, once we get our happy ending, we can somehow use our story to reach out to others. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CD 2: Yeah, you read that right...

(FYI - This is going to be long. Sorry in advance.)

IUI #1 didn't work. And not only did it just not work... my luteal phase was 9 days. I got my period 10 DPIUI. Which, lucky me, also happened to be the first day of school. So, on top of dealing with a new class of students, I also had to try to hold it together all day long. To say it was incredibly difficult is a huge understatement. I basically cried from the time I got in my car after school until I went to bed that night. I would have been upset no matter what if it didn't work, but the fact that my period came so early just made things so much worse because it was such a surprise.

Honestly, I don't even know what the heck happened. I talked to my nurse this morning and her explanation was basically that things are "different" with my body because of all the injects and the HCG trigger shot... something about how the "process" of ovulation starts when I give myself the trigger shot, so my luteal phase was really a couple days longer. Okay, that explantation just doesn't fly with me, because if I do ovulate right away with the shot, then the IUI 36 hours later is done too late!!! Luckily, I have an appointment on Thursday with my RE (in addition to my baseline appointment), so he better have a much, much better explanation for me.

Needless to say, it's been a tough couple of days. So, today I went to go ahead and get my first few days of meds (long story, but basically with my appointment being at 3:15 on Thursday, and the pharmacy I use closing at 4:30, I needed to go ahead and get it). I will need 15 vials of Bravelle to start with (assuming I can actually go through with this cycle... AKA no cysts). I had my nurse fax in a prescription for 10 to start with because there is a coupon where you can get to $500 off if you get 10 vials (you get less off if you get less vials). The coupon is only good once per cycle. Well, when I got there I found out that apparently it's actually only good every 30 days, and since my period came so freaking early, I can't use it until like Monday or something, which will be too late. Awesome. I left empty handed, because I'm not about to pay an extra $500 when I don't know for sure that I will be able to cycle.

So, I called my mom when I left, and I was just explaining everything to her. And I told her that if we wait until next cycle it would basically cost us $500 less, so we may just take this cycle off... and she said she and my dad had talked about it, and if it was just finances stopping us, they would help us out and they would send us $500. I immediately started sobbing hysterically. I think it was just such a relief to finally feel not so alone in all of this... like someone else was helping us to carry this tremendous burden.

If you can spare some extra prayers, we could really use them.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

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Friday, August 9, 2013

CD 18: IUI Complete!

Everything went very well this morning. Thank you so much for all of the prayers! It was a lot easier process than I thought it would be. Unfortunately, J's counts weren't quite as good as when he was originally tested (I'm thinking because we had to have sex last night since he had been out of town), but in the end they were still very good according to my nurse. After everything was all said and done they ended up injecting 67 million motile sperm into my uterus. I'm feeling fine, just a bit crampy and like my ovaries might explode! Ha!

So, now I wait. I can't decide if I want to test out my trigger or not. Part of me just doesn't want to see two lines on a test knowing it's not real, ya know? We shall see, though. I usually am not good when it comes to resisting the urge to test!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CD 17: IUI Is Tomorrow!!!

I'm kind of freaking out. Our IUI is tomorrow morning! I gave myself the trigger shot last night because  at my monitoring appointment I had three mature follicles - two on my left (YAY!!!) and one on my right. I am so thankful for these results, and hoping that things go well tomorrow.

Funny story really quickly... J is giving his sample at home. My RE gave me a specimen cup on Wednesday, and somehow... I managed to lose it. I mean seriously? Only I would do something like this. So, I called Walgreen's to ask if they carry them because it shows on their website that they do in store. The lady who answered the phone acted like  I was a complete weirdo, and they apparently don't have them. So, I ended up going to a doctor's office and asking if I could have one. The receptionist also acted like I was a weirdo, but thankfully she gave me one.

Needless to say, J is very happy he won't have to be giving his sample at the office!!!

God, please let tomorrow be it for us. Please.

Monday, August 5, 2013

CD 13: Monitoring Update

This is just going to be a quick post. I had another monitoring appointment this morning, and things are looking a LOT better. My lining was at 7.2, and it still has some time to grow, so it's looking great. Right now, my biggest follicles are 14, 14, and 12. The two 14s are on my left (WOOHOO!!), and the 12 is on my right. Unfortunately, I did have to buy more injections... 3 vials a day for 2 more days. So, there went another $300. We are up to well over $1,000 now for this cycle! I go back again on Wednesday, and hopefully will get to trigger Wednesday or Thursday.

On another note, J's granddaddy is not doing very well. He is supposed to have a procedure on Friday and said to one of his friends that he doesn't know if he can make it until then. If you pray, please pray for continued growth of my follicles and that J's granddaddy will be alright.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

CD 9: Not In a Good Place

I had my first monitoring appointment today. Needless to say, it didn't go how I wanted it to go. My lining was at a 6. I'm not too worried about that because it's obviously too early. Apparently my follicles really didn't grow a whole lot from baseline. I had two 9mm follies on my right at baseline that are still at 9mm. I had a 6mm on my left that is now a 9mm. Those are the biggest follies I have, along with a ton of smaller ones.

So, after taking Bravelle 150iu for 5 days, it basically did a whole lot of nothing. When my nurse called me today, she said my E2 had only gone from a 33 at baseline to a 58 today. I don't know much about E2, but apparently that's not good. Now I have to take 225iu of Bravelle today, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday... and then go back on Monday morning for more monitoring.

I guess I just assumed the injections would work some kind of miracle. Instead, we just paid another $650 for something that might not even work. However, I am remaining hopeful that the increase in meds is just what I need to make my follicles grow.

If you pray, please pray for the following:

1) For our finances to be in order... the costs this cycle are adding up FAST.
2) For the higher dose of meds to have the needed effect on my follies.
3) For me to be at peace with everything.

If I am being totally honest, today was one of the roughest days I've had in awhile. I feel so upset that my body isn't doing what it should be able to do naturally even WITH the help of a ridiculous amount of meds.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

CD 4: Injection # 1 Complete!

It's done! I did it! And I must say... the anticipation leading up to injecting myself was about 10,000 times worse than the actual shot itself. I may or may not have three little poke marks on my stomach... twice from barely poking myself before finally getting brave and jabbing it in my stomach for real! Ha!

Honestly, though, it didn't end up hurting at all! Not even a little bit! Hopefully this means that tomorrow I won't get so nervous when it's time to give it. We shall see!

Oh, and as a random "duh" moment... I closed the lid on the sharps container... before I realized that it locks permanently when you do that! Oh, well. Guess I'll just be using an empty water bottle or something for the rest of this cycle. I'd say at least I learned my lesson for next time, but I am praying so, so hard that there is no next time!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

CD 2: Injects Here We Come

The meds in the picture above cost over $1,000. Thankfully, my insurance covers 50%, and THEN there was a $500 off coupon at the pharmacy I used, so my OOP cost was only $85. However, this is only 5 days worth of Bravelle and a trigger shot, so if I need more Bravelle, it will be about $50 per vial, and I'm starting out with two vials a day. That could add up really, really fast. Please pray I respond well to the five days worth and don't need any more!

Everything went well at my baseline appointment today. My nurse counted about 20 follicles total (10 per ovary), and she was pleased with that! I start the injections on Saturday, and will do them every day through Wednesday. I go back for my first monitoring appointment next Thursday at 8:00 AM. I am praying A LOT for quick growth and a few good follicles on my left ovary, specifically.

Oh, and I found out my results from AMH testing that I asked to have done... mine is a 4.2, which my nurse said was fantastic and above average. In doing some of my own research, though, a level higher than 3.0 can be indicative of PCOS (which I already know I have). Either way, it looks like I don't need to worry about my ovarian reserve!!

I'll probably update again on Saturday after I do my first injection. Yikes! So nervous!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CD 25: So Ready to Move On!

So, I'm currently on CD 25. I'm probably about 6 DPO, but considering I didn't temp or do OPKs this cycle (I needed to restore some sanity after temping just about every day for the past 20 months), there's no way to really know for sure. Needless to say, it's been kind of nice not really worrying about everything. I'm not positive J and I even hit my fertile window this month because I went out of town with my mom on CD 19, and that's usually the day I ovulate as of recently, but... even if we did, it's not like I'm expecting some miracle pregnancy at this point based on past cycles. Don't get me wrong. If it happened, I'd obviously be thrilled! But honestly, I'm just ready to move onto injects and IUI so that I can feel like we are actually doing something again.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I went out of town with my mom. We went to Savannah, GA, and it was great! It's such a cute little city! I took about a million pictures... so I'll post a few!

View of the river from the roof of our hotel
Line to get ice cream at Leopold's... definitely worth it
Pirate's House restaurant... supposedly haunted
Room inside the Pirate's House called Herb House, which is the oldest in Georgia
Awesome restaurant we ate at for lunch one day
Goosefeathers is famous for their whoopie pies...
And their bread pudding
On River Street
Can't tell that great from the picture, but all of the stairs there were SO steep
Fun little bar on River Street
Yes, those are frozen alcoholic beverages on the wall
We went to Tybee Island for a day
Restaurant called Coco's on Tybee Island... very good
This place on Tybee Island had some interesting art
Cute shopping area on Tybee Island
Lighthouse on Tybee Island
Dueling piano bar called Savannah Smiles... so much fun
My mom and me at Savannah Smiles
My mom and me in front of a beautiful fountain at Forsyth Park
Love this fountain
Restaurant that Jenny worked at on Forrest Gump

Monday, July 8, 2013

So... I Got Really Brave...

and decided to get a tattoo today! I have been thinking about it for awhile now. It's definitely not something that is typical of me, but I just wanted something related to the journey we are on. I love it because it reminds me to never give up hope. It's based on the verse Hebrews 6:19, which says, "We have this hope [that God will keep His promises] as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." In verses 13-15 it is talking about God's promise to Abraham to bless him with many children. In verse 15 it says,  "And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised."

Anyway, I came across this verse today and it just seemed right, so I went for it! I figured if I waited I would change my mind. It definitely hurt. If I'm being honest, it probably hurt more than I thought it was going to, but I love the end result! I'm proud of myself that I didn't cry until my best friend that came with me started talking about what an incredible story this would be to tell my future children. So, yes, I cried, but it was from the emotional pain, not physical. I also got brave for another reason, which is that I posted the picture of the tattoo on Instagram and Facebook with #infertilitysucks. So, it's definitely out in the open now (although, not like, in your face...).

One of my friends (not a close friend) even sent me the sweetest message telling me that I had been on her heart lately, and she wasn't sure why, but she had been praying for me. Yeah, talk about waterworks! Definitely made me cry!

And don't worry, I wouldn't do a post like this without the pictures for proof!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CD 10: Post-Op Appointment

I just got back from my post-op appointment a little bit ago, and everything is looking great! I did learn a few new things about the surgery. First, Dr. S. said that more than likely the polyps, which were about 1 cm each, had formed after my HSG that was done in November, as he didn't see them on the x-ray then. He said that they can make it more difficult to get pregnant, but they weren't necessarily the reason the clomid didn't work. Second, I ovulated from my right ovary last cycle (BOO!! My tube is on the other side!). Most importantly, though, the polyps were benign! Praise God! I had a dream last week that I found out they were cancerous and had to have my uterus removed. Yeah, I definitely woke up crying. It sucked. 

I am also happy to say that we have a plan for next cycle! On CD 1 I need to call to schedule an appointment for CD 3 to have blood work and an ultrasound. If everything looks good, I will start Bravelle injections (150 iu). I think it's from CD 4-9, but I will find out more when I go in on CD 3. Depending on how everything looks, they will adjust my dosage, and when everything looks good, I will give myself a trigger shot. About 36 hours after that I will go in for an IUI. 

So, even though I am happy we have a plan, I'm also really nervous for a lot of reasons. For one thing the Bravelle is going to be a lot more expensive than clomid. I am so, so thankful that my insurance covers up to 8 IUIs and 50% of the medication (up to a $2,500 lifetime max), but that $2,500 will run out pretty quickly if the first IUI isn't successful... and so will OUR money. The whole money thing makes me uneasy just because if it doesn't work, it will feel like we threw a bunch of money down the drain. 

Another reason I'm nervous is the fact that I have to give myself shots. Luckily needles don't really make me queasy or anything, but, I dunno... I'm not any kind of medical professional. I have a DVD to watch that Dr. S. gave me today, so maybe watching that will make me feel a bit better.

I'm nervous because there is a 20% chance of multiples, and that's just scary for me knowing that I only have half a uterus.

And... most of all, I'm nervous because this is one step closer to IVF. And, I mean, what if it doesn't work? Then what? Dr. S. said IVF runs around $12,000. We definitely don't have that kind of money just lying around. Sometimes it seems so unfair that some people have to pay so much money to have a baby, yet others (including those not so deserving) get pregnant for free.

Anyway, I am choosing to be optimistic that this new plan will work for us and I will be happily pregnant in the near future!

Monday, June 24, 2013

CD 2 (I Think...): 3 Days Post Laparoscopy

Recovery from the procedure hasn't been too bad, thankfully. My stomach has still been pretty sore, making it a bit difficult to stand up, sit down, and especially bend over to get anything. I think my period started yesterday (which is when it should have started), but then again, it could also be bleeding from the lap/hysteroscopy/D&C/polypectomy. I'm kind of hoping it's my period because that would possibly mean we could try on our own this cycle. 

I've been doing some reading on polyps and their relationship to infertility. Everything I have found basically says that they might be a cause of infertility, but it hasn't exactly been proven yet. One study found that after having uterine polyps removed, 64 women got pregnant (out of 215), but only 29 got pregnant that didn't have them removed. I'm not sure of the time frame it took for these women to get pregnant. Another study showed that 63% of women got pregnant with IUI after removal and only 28% got pregnant with IUI that still had polyps.  Again, I'm not sure if this was on the first attempt of an IUI or what. Either way, those studies make me a little bit hopeful that maybe our issue is fixed! 

I also read that the polyps can act as an IUD, but that depends on the size and location of the polyps in the uterus. Plus, apparently the polyps can also reduce blood flow to the uterine lining. I kind of wonder if since my uterus is so small, it might make the issues even worse, since there is only half the amount of uterine lining that a normal person would have.

My post-op appointment is July 2nd, so hopefully I will know more then!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Laparoscopy Complete!

Based on my post title, I obviously didn't get pregnant naturally this last cycle. I was definitely bummed, but having the laparoscopy kind of made me feel we were doing something else to help us get pregnant. Basically, everything looked pretty good overall. I had two uterine polyps, so my RE performed a polypectomy. He also removed my right tube and uterine remnant (where the other half of my uterus didn't form correctly - hence the unicornuate uterus).

The surgery wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When they took me back I started crying... I think because I was just nervous and kind of scared. I had a bit of nausea yesterday, which unfortunately made me throw up twice, but I'm fine today. The only annoying things right now are a sore throat from the breathing tube and the intense pain in my belly button. It especially hurts when I try to get up from sitting down. I'm not taking any pain medication other than tylenol because I know it makes me sick. Hopefully the pain will start to go away soon. Here are a few internal pics from the surgery...

Uterine remnant being removed

Uterine remnant being removed

After uterine remnant was removed

Two polyps that were removed

After the polyps were removed

I was so thankful that both my parents and husband were with me for my surgery. It was nice to spend some time with my parents especially since I don't see them very often (they live in Ohio). I made my dad a belated birthday meal: fish tacos, corn on the cob, and butterfinger cheesecake for dessert. (Cheesecake and butterfingers are his favorites!) While they were here my dad also put some new lights around our back patio, and I LOVE them! 

Best cheesecake I've ever eaten

View of lights from side of patio

View of lights from the front of the patio

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

9 DPO: Getting Anxious

I don't really have anything too new to report. Like usual, I tested early... BFN, of course. I kind of feel like I need to test early this cycle though, since my laparoscopy is Friday at 12 DPO. I was feeling optimistic, but at this point I feel like I will more than likely be having the surgery on Friday. I'm absolutely dreading it.

In other semi-related news, Katie Couric's show today was on infertility. One of the guests had what I have - a unicornuate uterus! Seeing as how it's pretty rare, I was surprised... and a little disheartened because they haven't had success as of yet.

I will update again probably on Thursday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

3 DPO: Surgery Scheduled

I had my appointment yesterday to get my surgery scheduled. It's on the books for June 21st... as in next Friday! I will be 12 DPO then, so I'm just really, really hoping that if this is the cycle for us that I'll know by then. My mom and dad will be staying with us the night of the surgery. They were already going to be visiting and just decided to stay an extra night, so I'm thankful for that! I'm extremely nervous about the surgery, though. I've never had a major surgery before. If I end up having it, I just hope everything goes smoothly!

I could have had it June 28th, the following Friday, but we are going to Myrtle Beach, SC, with J's family on July 3rd, and I just didn't know how I'd be feeling! We were originally going to go out of the country, but we couldn't pass up a free trip! Here is the hotel we are staying at:

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to get away for a few days! In other baby-making news, yesterday when I was leaving the doctor's office, I noticed on the paper they always give you with all the medical codes that PCOS was circled. I asked the surgery scheduler about it because at that time, my appointment was already over. Apparently I was diagnosed with it in February?! WTH?! My RE never even said anything to me about it. Like, at all. So... that is kind of confusing me. I don't understand why he would diagnose me in February when I had my initial blood work all done in November. Anyway, this is definitely something I plan on asking him about at my next appointment, which will probably be my post-op appointment. I'm just wondering why I'm not taking any meds like metformin if I do have PCOS. So strange!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CD 16: I've Got One of Those Feelings...

It goes without saying that as someone who is dealing with infertility, I've unfortunately had to experience many, many unsuccessful cycles over a long period of time. (In case you are wondering, we are currently in month 19 and cycle number 16... meaning 15 times we have had to suffer through the extreme disappointment of not being pregnant.) 

For whatever reason, this cycle just feels different somehow. I have this overwhelming optimistic feeling that this cycle could be it for us.

Maybe it's the fact that lately it seems so many people who are dealing with infertility have gotten pregnant when they are on a treatment break... which is our situation right now as my upcoming laparoscopic surgery approaches. I keep thinking about what an incredible miracle it would be for God to bless us with a pregnancy this cycle when we are going all natural.

Maybe I am feeling hopeful because I am focusing so much on my health right now... taking a fish oil daily, eating right (lots of fresh fruits and veggies and very few carbs), and walking 2 miles five times a week.

Maybe it's because based on OPKs, it looks like I might get a positive tomorrow, which would be the earliest I've ever had one without medication. (I've ovulated as late as CD 40.)

Maybe it's because the timing would be perfect. The due date would be the beginning of March... which is just perfect as a teacher. I think I'd have enough days to get me all the way to summer break!

Most importantly, though, maybe it was the message I heard at church last Sunday entitled, "How to Change Your World," which was all about overcoming obstacles. One phrase I wrote down was "Put your foot on the devil of disease." I couldn't help but think of infertility as soon as this statement was made. The message also made me think of Romans 8:18, which basically states that the pain I've been feeling is nothing compared to the joy that's coming...

Maybe I'm wrong... but I pray with all my heart that this feeling will come to fruition. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

13 DPO: MIA... Oops!

So, I haven't been very good about updating recently, seeing as how my last post was almost two months ago. I'd like to say the reason is because I finally got pregnant... but unfortunately, that's not the case. I'm at the 18 month mark... a year and a half... and still no baby. It never gets any easier. In fact, I think it is constantly getting more difficult. Here's a brief synopsis of what has happened the last two cycles:

  • Cycle 14 was clearly a bust. According to my blood progesterone levels, my P4 at 7 DPO was at 0.2, indicating I didn't even ovulate. This was very strange to me, because my chart was clearly biphasic, with my post ovulation temperatures averaging a degree higher than my pre ovulation temperatures. Despite this strangeness, my clomid was bumped up to 150 mcg. Joy.
  • I'm currently on Cycle 15. My 7 DPO P4 this cycle was 14 something, so definitely much better. My RE even reran last cycle's blood work after seeing my chart from last cycle, but it came back with the same result. Again, completely weird. 
  • I told him at my appointment (which was a week ago tomorrow) that I am done taking clomid. I've taken it for 6 cycles and I'm ready for something different. He agreed. 
  • I go back in about a month, and then we will schedule laparoscopic surgery for the end of June (I believe). He wants my ovaries to rest for a month so that he will be able to see better during the surgery... apparently they swell up with the clomid. The bad part of this timing is that we are supposed to be going out of the country for vacation shortly after that, and I'm not sure how I will react to the surgery. Honestly, though, I'm willing to say screw you IF at this point and just go on our vacation and deal with the surgery later if need be. 
  • Then, his plan is for me to do injects. He said we could try TI for one cycle, but since my insurance pays for up to 8 IUIs, he thinks we should just go ahead and do that. When I told him injects and IUI made me nervous due to only having half of a uterus and not having room for multiples, he suggested doing IVF and implanting one embryo. I promptly responded with, "Uhm... are you going to be paying for that?!" We are so not ready to go down that road yet. I guess we will talk more about it at my next appointment.

So, basically, I'm at a crossroads right now... not really sure exactly what's going to happen with everything. Oh, and to make this crappy journey even worse, I took a test (okay, SEVERAL) tests this cycle... WONDFOs in case you are wondering... and got positives.... only to look online and realize this is a bad batch. I know they were false positives because I've got negatives on FRER. Ugh. Talk about heartbreaking! I was SO excited. I even showed sweet J, who confirmed that he saw 2 lines as well. I kind of wish I hadn't even showed him... no reason for both of us to be upset by it. I'm just ready for CD 1 so I can get this "break" cycle on the road and over with! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

14 DPO: I Fell Off...

of the daily challenge wagon. I also fell off of the "not gonna test early" wagon. Oops. After all these times, though, I've learned that testing early doesn't really have any effect on the final outcome. It's another BFN this cycle. At this point, I'm not even surprised. Like, at all. How could I be after so many cycles of negatives... over, and over, and over again.

Evil AF hasn't started yet, but it's coming, any minute now. I had a huge temperature drop yesterday and another one today. The crazy thing is yesterday I even started hoping I still wasn't out because there really were no other signs of AF. It's ridiculous the things I let myself believe when I want something so badly. I've really, really got to learn to be more rational.

So, 14 DPO shall quickly turn into CD1. No Thanksgiving due date for us (but man, that would have been so neat... truly something to be thankful for!). This next cycle will be our last chance to have a baby in 2013. I just don't see it actually happening, though. Instead, I see myself completing these last three cycles of clomid and having laparoscopic surgery in June. Part of me thinks maybe getting pregnant after the surgery would be better timing anyway, because if we got pregnant in July or August, the due date would be much closer to the end of the school year and I'd have the whole summer with our sweet miracle. Believe me, though, I've learned that making these plans in my mind doesn't mean that's how it's going to play out.

As soon as CD1 actually arrives, I'll be calling my nurse for her to call in my prescription. I also plan on having a little chat with her. I want to know why we are doing so many cycles of the exact same protocol. I mean, 4 times were unsuccessful, what makes my RE think the last 3 will work? I want to know why he's not being more aggressive. I have my own ideas as to why: 1) J's SA was awesome. I mean, better than good. So, his swimmers shouldn't need any help and 2) I only have half of a uterus, so producing more than 1 follicle could be very bad for me... there isn't room for one baby, let alone multiples. I'll update again later once I talk to my nurse and see what she has to say!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 14

Can I just say how glad I am that tomorrow is Friday? Which of course is followed by... spring break! Thank goodness! I don't know if I could have gone another day without a break!

I have to say this blog challenge is certainly helping me stay occupied and not think quite as much about how this cycle is going to turn out... at least not as much as usual, anyway. Today's topic is all about what's on my iPod. This is an interesting topic because I obviously can't list every song I have on there. So, instead, I'll just list some of the songs on my infertility play list. These songs really serve to uplift me when I'm feeling down!

1) Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia
2) Need You Now by Plumb
3) Worn by Tenth Avenue North
4) Only a Mountain by Jason Castro
5) I would Die for That by Kellie Coffey
6) No Fight Left by JJ Heller
7) Who You Are by JJ Heller

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 13

Can I just say that the further along I am in the 2 week wait, the harder it is to wait! Also, I have a very funny (and somewhat embarrassing) story to tell about myself that just happened. So, apparently I was quite tired this afternoon after a long day at work complete with our last play performance and 9 parent conferences. Anyway, I fell asleep on the couch sometime around 5:30. Then I woke up. I looked at my phone, saw it was 6:30 and thought, "OMG, I just slept through the night on the couch!" Cue freak out. (I get up at like 5:45 for work.) I ran and jumped in the shower, making the executive decision to not wash my hair. As I'm scrubbing my body, I think to myself, "Oh, NO!!! I didn't let the dogs inside last night! And I didn't feed them any dinner! Poor babies!" At this point, I literally was about to cry because I felt so bad. Then I realized it's light outside. And it's been dark outside with the time change. That's when I finally understood it was 6:30 PM not 6:30 AM! Haha - what a dork I am!

On to the challenge! Today's topic is "Do I have a regret?" Ultimately, the answer to this question for me is kind of cliche, I feel like, because every decision I have made has lead me to where I am today. Who knows how my life would have turned out if I had done something differently. For example, sometimes I wish I had lived on campus my freshman year of college and/or joined a sorority so that I would have made more friends in college. I was never really a partier, and kind of kept to myself a lot, especially because I was dating J at the time and he still lived back at home to finish his senior year of high school. At the same time, though, if I had lived on campus or been a part of a sorority, there's a good chance my new, young relationship wouldn't have surveyed, and I can't imagine living my life with J in it. So, I guess the answer to the question is no, I really don't have a regret! I'm happy where I am and look forward to all the future holds!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 12

Can this week please end already?! My school's spring break is next week, and the anticipation leading up to that plus putting on the 4th grade play Monday-Wednesday and getting out on Wednesday and Thursday at 12:00 is making my students go crazy, and I think I'm quickly joining them! I did realize, though, that the outcome of this cycle is either going to make me be in a fantastic (or horrible) mood this cycle. I'm 6 DPO, so I'll be testing during spring break. I'm really, really hoping I get to be in a good mood! And even if it doesn't turn out how I'd hoped, I'd like to think that I can choose to be happy despite the circumstances.

Today's challenge topic is "something that I miss." This one was pretty easy for me, as I miss my parents and younger brother every day! My parents live in Ohio, which is pretty far from Alabama, so I don't get to see them a whole lot. I miss the shopping days that I used to have with my mom on the weekends and the playful side of my dad when he would joke around with me. Sometimes, the lazy side of me even misses having someone else do things for me - ya know, cooking, cleaning, laundry. Haha! I swear, I didn't know how good I had it when I was a kid!

I miss my brother a lot, too. He's in the army, and he's stationed in Hawaii. Lucky duck! I'm so proud of him. He is supposed to deploy to Afghanistan sometime this year. That really scares me, but I know the army has trained him well!

As a random side note, not testing has been easy so far. Granted, I'm only 6 DPO, but I haven't been as consumed thinking about everything as I usually am. I'm definitely hoping this trend continues!

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 11

I survived baby shower #2! Was it difficult? Yes, but again, not as hard as I thought it'd be. For that I'm thankful. In fact, I found myself feeling truly happy for the mother-to-be. It brought me hope; if she's beat infertility, I can, too.

On to today's blog challenge: the last book I read. I was excited for today's topic because I absolutely love reading. Especially because it's a great way to get my mind off of our struggles with infertility. I read all the time and usually finish each book I read in a day or two. I like all kinds of books, especially those that are impossible to put down until I finish them. Click HERE to see a list of some of my recently read books.

Yesterday I finished the book Matched by Ally Condie. It's the first book of a trilogy, and has a similar vibe to Hunger Games and Divergent (both of which I definitely recommend!). It's about a 17-year-old girl, Cassia, living in a utopia, although there are signs that it's not quite as perfect as The Society makes it out to be. Once the girls in The Society turn 17, they attend a matching ceremony in which each girl is matched with their future spouse based on statistics. It's supposed to be a flawless system, but when Cassia views her microcard from The Society to learn more about her match, a second picture of a different match appears after the first one goes away. She is left with several huge decisions - which match does she choose? I won't spoil it for you! :)

It's truly a great book, especially if you liked the other two series I mentioned. I'm currently reading the second book in the series now, called Crossed. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 10

Well, I survived one of the two back-to-back baby showers today.  I did much better than I thought I would, especially since I had already had to go to two different baby stores for presents for today and tomorrow's showers. Of course, the shower wouldn't have been complete without my MIL saying something along the lines of, "Look at all these grandmother's carrying around babies." This included a look in my direction that let me know she was ready for her turn. Believe me MIL, I'm ready for my turn, too!

Ok, on to the actual challenge... my daily routine! Yikes, this is probably going to be pretty boring, but my normal Sunday routine goes about like this:

6:30 - Get up and get ready... shower, makeup, etc.
7:30 - Leave to go to church.
8:00 - Church service... my favorite part of the day!
9:30 - Breakfast with J.
10:30 - Go with J to get his car cleaned. (Yes, this is a weekly thing. He's spoiled.)
11:00 - Get groceries for the week.
12:00 - Head home.
12:30 - Take a nap, read, watch TV, etc.

From that point, the rest of the day is always up in the air. Usually there's a walk thrown in, plus dinner of course, and at some point I always do my lesson plans for the upcoming week. Like I said, pretty boring!

Wish me luck that tomorrow's baby shower goes as well as today's did!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 9

Today's topic is all about what's on my life list or bucket list. This probably makes me sound completely unambitious, but I don't really have a whole lot on the list. Maybe it's because lately I've tried to remind myself to be thankful for all I've already done, seen, and been blessed with... because truly, it's a lot! So, I'm going to start with that.

I'm thankful for...

  • An amazing husband who loves me unconditionally, despite all my flaws.
  • Having successfully completed undergrad and graduate school.
  • A job that allows me to put my degrees into practice every day. Teaching is hard on a daily basis, but I do love it.
  • Having a teaching job at a school that is literally 5 minutes away from my RE's office. On a whim, I applied to one of the best schools in the state toward the end of last school year and found out I got the job about 10 minutes after I had left my interview. God is so good, and clearly knew exactly what was in store for my life. Had I continued working at my old school, I would have had to take time off every time I needed an ultrasound or blood drawn, leaving less days for my maternity leave. Honestly, this is another reason I remain faithful that being a mother is in my future.
  • Owning a nice home that perfectly meets our needs.
  • A family who supports everything I do.
  • My few close friends who I can talk to when the need arises.

With that said, what all do I still want to accomplish? There are three main things, I think, that stick out above the rest...

1) Obviously, I want to be a mother. I want to hold my child in my arms and know what that feels like. I want to see my husband in the role of a father to a baby that we created together in love.

2) I want to be a healthy weight. The whole Weight Watchers things hasn't gone well this time around. I'm not motivated. A weird part of me feels like by devoting time to losing weight, I'm giving up on my dream of having a child. I know this is irrational and untrue, but in my mind it makes sense. Why get skinny now, when getting pregnant will erase that for a time being? To me, it's like saying, go ahead and try now because a pregnancy isn't going to happen. One day, though, I will be a healthy weight.

3) I want to visit every continent. Other than North America, I've been to Europe (Spain), Asia (Japan), and Africa (Morocco). That leaves Australia, South America, and Antarctica. Of those, I most want to visit Australia, and I least want to visit Antarctica. I hate the cold!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

March Blogging Challenge - Day 8

Like I promised, I found a challenge! This one has different topics to write about for each day of March. I'm not going to go back and do the ones I missed, and I can't guarantee I'll continue to the end of March. (More than likely I will just keep it up until either CD1 or a BFP.) Lord, please let it be the latter!

Here's the challenge:
So, since today is March 8th, I'll be writing about my biggest pet peeve! (As a side note, is it just me who wonders where sayings like this came from? Pet peeve??)

Man, do I have to just choose one?! Yikes... I have several. Therefore, I'm going to make a list of my top ten pet peeves, starting with the one I find least annoying and leading up to the one that really drives me absolutely crazy!

My Top Ten Pet Peeves

10. People who chew loudly when eating and/or bite the fork when taking a bite. I seriously despise that sound. It makes me cringe!

9. People who are constantly using their cell phones at inappropriate times... ya know, while paying for your food at Chick-Fil-A, in the middle of dinner, etc.

8. Grocery store baggers who apparently don't notice that I took the time to arrange my groceries on the conveyer belt based on type. Cans together, frozen stuff together, refrigerated stuff together. You get the gist. Is it really that difficult?

7. Shoppers that are oblivious to everything and everyone around them. Personally, I try to always be conscious of those around me, making to sure I'm not in anyone's way. Seriously, old lady, how long do you need to stand there and debate about what kind of cheese you need to buy?! 

6. People who refuse to put their dogs not on leash. Case in point... this one time I was going for a run with one of our dogs, Lilly, (who was most definitely on a leash), when someone decided to let his dog out the front door without a leash. Said dog of course ran across the street to us, causing Lilly to jump up and pull toward the dog, knocking me straight to the ground. That guy definitely got an earful from me, especially when he didn't even bother to ask if I was alright!

5. People who are late... even more so when they don't even let you know they won't make it on time!

4. People who use bad grammar/spelling. This includes mixing up homonyms like you're/your and their/there/they're. I mean come on people, as an adult, you should know the difference between these words!

3. People who can't drive. UGH! You know just who I am talking about. This category includes the people who drive 50 MPH in the fast lane and refuse to get over, the people who don't use their turn signal so you know you can go ahead and turn, and the people who cut you off and then slam on their brakes. 

2. People who smoke in front of others. Actually, if I'm being honest, smokers in general annoy me. It's disgusting, and I don't want to have to smell it.

... Drum roll please...

1. People who can't take care of their kids! Are you surprised? Just the other day when I was at car pool, a parent had her kindergartener get in the front seat of her mini-van. Seriously? 

And there you have it! Clearly I need to de-stress a bit, ha!

CD 17 (1 or 2 DPO): It's Been Awhile!

I haven't updated recently, so I figured I should probably get on that! I am in the two week wait again, and I'm really hoping it goes by quickly. I'm not really feeling strongly one way or the other as for how this cycle is going to go. I am going to try to wait it out and not test until I'm actually late, which would be March 20th if I'm 2 DPO. So, my plan is to do some kind of blog challenge until then to give me something to do! Off to look for one in just a minute!

Can I also just say that I am really not looking forward to Sunday or Monday? I have a baby shower to attend both days. Crazily enough, both girls that are pregnant saw my same RE. It will definitely be difficult for me, but at the same time, it also gives me hope that one day it will be me in their shoes. I still have to get both of their gifts... and I'm not loving the idea of going shopping for baby stuff. Oh, well. Not much I can do about it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CD 8: Times Are Tough

Last night was excruciatingly tough. I don't know why, honestly. Well, actually I do, but there wasn't any specific event or happening that triggered my depressed episode of hysterical crying that lasted for at least fifteen minutes. It was awful. Full on ugly cry. Completely sobbing while lying in bed listening to music, uncontrollably squeezing my eyes together so tight it hurt. Black mascara streaming down my cheeks. 

I felt so hopeless and alone. Not only because J is out of town, but also because I am truly feeling like I have no one in real life to help me through this tumultuous journey. Really, I was just feeling incredibly sorry for myself and our less-than-desirable circumstances.

I thought about calling my mom mid-sob, but I was crying so hard I'm pretty sure I would have just about given her a panic attack and made her think something really horrible had happened. 

Something horrible and tragic is happening, though, and I hate it. I hate feeling helpless and alone. 

I'm really hoping this is all Clomid talking and I can get out of this funk. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

CD 5: Wonderful Weekend

This weekend has been just what I needed - lots of relaxation with J. I don't usually post about anything besides our struggles with IF, so I figured I should probably include some other (less depressing) updates every once in a while!

Friday we had dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, La Paz. Ya know, since it was National Margarita Day and all. I guess that's one perk of not being pregnant yet! It was delicious! We were going to go see Silver Linings Playbook but ended up deciding to just go home and watch some shows we had recorded.

Saturday we got lunch with J's granddaddy, brother, and his brother's girlfriend. We got Chinese, which isn't my favorite, but it was actually pretty good. We didn't do a whole lot else, but I got to take a long nap that was much needed.

Today has been the best day of the weekend. I always love Sundays because they leave me feeling so refreshed. We went to our usual church service at 8:00 AM. Can I just say I love our church. I'm thankful for an incredible worship experience and a pastor that isn't afraid to speak the truth when he feels it needs to be heard. After church we went to breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe. So good! We hadn't eaten there before, but I'm glad we decided to try it out! Afterwards we ran some errands... Target for new sheets, Publix for our weekly groceries, and CVS for the awesome deals! 

Which brings me to my next topic... I love couponing. I used to do it awhile back and stopped (stupid), and recently got started back up again. At Publix we spent around $32 and saved $62! Then, at CVS, we spent around $4 for $58 worth of products before tax (the items pictured below) and left with 21 extra bucks to use for next time. So, we basically ended up with a $17 profit!

And finally, because it's such a beautiful day outside - sunny, low 60s, not a cloud in the sky - J and I took a walk through the park. I need to remember the good days like these when I'm feeling upset about our infertility, because even though I still long for a baby of our own, we are truly blessed with the life we lead. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

CD 4: Still Waiting

What am I waiting on? Lots of things.

Of course, I'm still waiting on my miracle. Ya know, the moment I look down at a pregnancy test and actually see two pink lines.

I'm waiting on the day I can tell my husband we are finally pregnant.

I'm waiting on the cycle I can avoid acting like I've completely lost my mind. Case in point... at the end of last cycle, I had bright red bleeding on 12 DPO and convinced myself it was implantation bleeding because my progesterone was higher than it had ever been, so it was impossible to already be getting my period. Yeah, right. What was I thinking?

I'm waiting for the perfect opportunity to tell our parents we are pregnant. Yesterday I was informed by my brother-in-law's girlfriend that my mother-in-law thinks "something is definitely going on" because we moved our dogs to the garage and cleaned out and painted our front bedroom. Awesome. Nothing like some extra added pressure. Believe me, MIL, I wish something was "going on."

I'm waiting for all of these things because I know it will be worth it in the end.

On another note, I feel like there have been multiple occasions where God has really spoken to me through music. I mentioned one time several entries ago, but this past week there was another occurrence. I was on my way home from work and turned into the CVS parking lot to pick up my Clomid prescription. For whatever reason, I changed my mind, deciding I didn't really feel like dealing with getting my prescription right then. As I was pulling out, the song "Who You Are" by JJ Heller came on the radio. The song literally begins, "All she wanted was a baby to hold." Anyway, the basic message of the song is that we don't know God's plans, but he is God, and his plans are so much better than ours. I have to remind myself of this constantly during this journey, and I just know God knew I needed to hear that song at that exact moment, because if I had gone inside CVS, I wouldn't have heard it at all.

If you want to listen, here it is:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

9 DPO: Hating the Waiting Game

I despise the two week wait. Patience has never been my strong point, and I have quickly learned I need a lot of it during this journey. I am literally not good at having to wait, which was proven this morning when I decided to go ahead and test this cycle. Uhm, hello, I'm only 9 DPO... like it would have actually been positive anyway! Sometimes I think I must just like torturing myself. And now that I've started testing, I'll probably continue every day. At least my progesterone was good this cycle at 16.5. That's the best it's been so far!

I feel like I have been really irritable this cycle, especially when people (read: my friends who know what we are going through) seem to always bring up other people's pregnancies. I mean, seriously? Do they really think I actually want to hear about other people who are pregnant? Use some common sense, people: I don't. This has happened twice in the past three days! The first instance was on Valentine's Day. I went to dinner and a movie with my best friend because J was out of town on business. She starts talking about a girl she works with who she finds so weird and is pregnant. Gee, thanks for letting me know. I just love to hear about random people I don't even care about who are pregnant.

Then, last night, we hung out with some friends for dinner and game night. One of my friends informs me that their neighbor who has been pregnant lost the baby. She was pretty far along - like far enough that they knew it was a boy. I do feel really, really bad for this couple. In the back of my head, though, I remember the last time my friend told me about their pregnancy was right after she went to their gender reveal party and the mom started bawling when it was revealed it was a boy and basically threw a temper tantrum because she wanted a girl. Let's just say that story made me develop a deep dislike for this girl. Like I said, I still feel awful for her and her husband, but it doesn't mean I like hearing about these kind of things.

So, for now, I am hoping this cycle is the last cycle I am irritated hearing about others' pregnancies... because maybe there won't be another cycle for me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

4 DPO: Step Away from the Thermometer!

Temping keeps me sane and drives me crazy all at once. I love being able to for sure know when I ovulated, but at the same time, I am guilty of overanalyzing every temp and pattern during the 2WW. Every. Single. 2WW. I'm the crazy girl who does chart overlays on Fertility Friend starting at like 8 DPO to compare my charts to those that resulted in a pregnancy. I'm the crazy girl who thinks, Oh, my temperature went up on CD 12, when usually it goes down. This must mean something GOOD! Yeah, right. 

Needless to say, I made myself stop temping today. I temped just long enough to confirm ovulation, and last night I put my thermometer in the drawer of my nightstand. I'm done with it this cycle... and of course hoping I'm done with it for good and won't need it for a "next" cycle.

I'm not really sure how I'm feeling this cycle, honestly. I'm not near as hopeful as I was last cycle. Although, this is probably a good thing. The less hopeful I am now, the less let down I will feel later if this cycle is unsuccessful.

I did realize the other day that if this cycle works, we will have seen the heartbeat by Easter, and we will actually be able to tell my parents in person (they live about 700 miles away from us). I know thinking ahead like this is quite dangerous in terms of my emotions, but sometimes it's nice to think about the "What ifs...." 

So, in light of that, here are my thoughts on "What if this cycle actually works?":
  • As mentioned, we can tell my parents in person on Easter, which is something I've always wanted to do.
  • I would be due on October 31st - hello Halloween baby!
  • Timing would be great for maternity leave because my time off would lead right up to Christmas break. (Assuming I don't go into labor super early, ya know, because of my half-uterus and all.
It's kind of weird that I can think more logically about these things now, all the while keeping myself from being too overly optimistic, but I'm glad for this new-found ability. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

CD 14: Another RE Appointment

Well, today was an interesting appointment. Monitoring wise, everything looks great, and I should ovulate any day now. (Yay!) What made it a little strange, though, was toward the end of the appointment my RE mentioned that my last visit to my lady doctor was last January... so... he went ahead and did a pap smear right then and there! Uhm, definitely wasn't prepared for that one! At least it's done and out of the way, though. And that's one less co-pay out of my pocket!

I also found out that J apparently has super sperm. I don't really remember all of the numbers, honestly. I think my RE said he had 194 million total count and 76% motility... something like that. He even went so far as to say that his counts were so good he would be a great candidate for a sperm donor. Uh, great, so maybe he can knock someone else up since it isn't working out so well with me? I don't think so. That's not at all what my RE was trying to say, but my mind definitely went there anyway. 

As for what's next, my RE wants me to do 6 successful rounds of clomid (successful in that I actually have a strong ovulation). He said that if I'm not pregnant after the 6 rounds, then I will likely have laparoscopic surgery... which I would really like to avoid. So, if this cycle doesn't work out, I will have 4 more cycles of clomid. I was thinking he would probably only want me to do one more and then move on to IUI, but I am kind of glad he isn't going that route, because I think our chances are actually pretty good to conceive naturally now that I am actually having strong ovulations and knowing how excellent J's sperm count is. In fact, today when we talked about my last cycle being a BFN, my RE said, "Well, not many people actually get pregnant their first time ovulating." That really made me change my mindset a bit and realize that last cycle was really our first true chance of getting pregnant. In a way, that makes me feel a bit better about everything. 

One last tidbit... on my way to the RE this morning, "Don't You Worry Child" came on the radio. I hadn't really ever paid attention to the lyrics before, but I did today and part of them seemed so fitting:

My Father said,
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See Heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

I really feel like that song came on the radio right at that moment just for me to hear those exact words. I can't wait to see God's plan for me.