Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement. I loved hearing from you new people. When you throw your most personal and emotional thoughts into the blogosphere, you wonder who is out there reading it. :) It was nice to “meet” a few of you.

It seems the spotting has stopped, so I’m really not sure what that was. The cramping continues. Regardless, if this cycle is not successful, then we’ll know that it was probably just my period trying to break through. If so, I plan on asking the doctor if we should increase the amount of progesterone during the last half of my cycle.

Thanks again everyone.

P.S. In answer to a couple of your questions, I take the Prometrium vaginally (TMI - sorry!) and this is my 5th cycle taking it (1st time spotting).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Yes. I am Asking for Advice...

I am hoping there is someone out there that can give me advice or words of comfort… I know a lot of people who have dealt with infertility read this blog. Can any of you offer guidance?

This morning, I have been having cramps that move back and forth between my lower back and my abdomen. They are generally dull, but every once in a while there will be a brief, sharper pain in the lower right side. I am also spotting. It is light pink to light red.

I am on day11 after an IUI. I am on Prometrium (a progesterone supplement), which is supposed to keep my period away. I’m wondering if is it's my period trying to start despite the medication? I’ve taken Prometruim in the past and this has never happened before. Has anyone ever spotted on this medication?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Changing of the Guards…

Last night I turned over all my pregnancy tests to Ryan, even those cheap ones I never use (the ones where you have to pee in a cup and dip the stick).

This is going to be a loooong 2 weeks…

It's Just Another Day...

This morning, my Facebook page was flooded with pictures of kids on their first day of school. At one point, everything on my home page was literally on that topic.

Why can’t I stop the urge to “do the math”? Where would I have been today if I didn’t have infertility?

If it had taken me a year to get pregnant, like a normal person, my child would be just over five years old. He or she would be starting Kindergarten today. Their picture might have been on that Facebook page.

Instead, my alarm went off as usual, I got ready and went to work.

Today is no different than any other day.

Except that I will not be logging onto Facebook if I can help it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gettin' Personal with the Nurse Practitioner... ;)

Other than last cycle, I believe the previous IUI I had done was in early 2007. I had forgotten the difference in IUI experiences between the 2 main nurses at Dr. S’ office. I quickly remembered yesterday morning.

Nurse H is an RN and does the IUI very quickly. She uses “petite” instruments, and although it is uncomfortable, it is pretty painless.

Nurse M is a nurse practitioner and uses larger instruments, takes her time and really ‘gets in there’. Although it is a lot more painful, it kind of feels like she does a more thorough job. You know everything is exactly where it needs to be, although your breath is knocked out of you during the process.

These are just my impressions, but who knows! Honestly, I think they both are capable.

Yesterday, I had Nurse M. Between her more aggressive approach and the fact I was carrying a lot more eggs, I think this is why I’ve had so much residual pain since the treatment. My stomach is huge, like a beer-drinkers gut, and it is impossible to suck it in. I’ve also had some spotting and cramping.

I was happy to have Nurse M do the procedure, as I had some follow-up questions from my last appointment. Nurse H had done my ultrasound and was conflicted about whether to do the IUI right away (and capture the large egg on my right) or grow the eggs on my left another day (and risk ovulating before the IUI). She consulted with Nurse M and, although they decided with waiting on the IUI, I hadn’t heard the reasoning.

Nurse M explained that the real reason for waiting had nothing to do with the eggs at all; it was because of the lining in my uterus. The lining needed another couple of days to get ready. That made sense because when we did my last mid-cycle ultrasound, my lining measured 8.1, and this time it was 7.1. Nurse M thought it would be better to wait and let that lining thicken a bit more.

I also asked if they could give me an ultrasound before the IUI to see if I’ve ovulated. It turns out, it’s too difficult to tell via ultrasound because the follicle doesn’t just burst at ovulation, the fluid seeps out slowly. You can’t tell for sure that ovulation has occurred for a few days.

It seems they made good call by waiting because Nurse M stated she was convinced I was ovulating yesterday. I spotted a bit before I got there, felt cramping and pulling and my cervix was wide open when she did the IUI. She also said my chances for higher order multiples are very slim, especially because many of the eggs are so small. Then she joked, “Now that I’ve said that, watch… you’ll have four!” Hardy-har-har. But in all seriousness, I feel at peace with our decisions.

So now we begin the lovely 2 week wait. After last cycle, hubby has decided to confiscate all of my pregnancy tests. He’ll give me one on the actual day I am supposed to test. I hope he’s prepared because, even though taking the tests early can be an emotional roller coaster, at least seeing all those negatives last time prepared me for the “final” negative on the actual test day. This time around, I’ll live in that undeniable 2ww hope until the day my dreams are either realized or come crashing down.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today's Appointment

Today, we checked in on my ovaries to see how the Follistim has been working. It has been a tough treatment cycle. I was at a work retreat, and things just weren't as smooth as last time. My stomach was all bruised up and the headaches were intense. I didn't drink enough water because I didn't want to be running out of the meetings all the time to use the restroom, which just made it worse.

The cycle madness continued at today's appointment. I knew there was something going on in my left ovary because I felt a lot of pulling and cramping on that side. Sure enough the left ovary had at least 7 measurable eggs. Three of these were around 12mm and the other four were smaller, somewhere around 7-10mm. Nurse H called it a "heavy recruitment".

On my right ovary, I have one mature egg with a measurement of 18mm. No one knows how large an egg becomes before your body ovulates it. It varies for each person. It is possible that my body will ovulate this egg on its own. If that occurs, then the trigger shot and IUI will be for nothing, as I will have already ovulated. The problem is we can't tell if this will happen or if it did happen. Frustrating.

When Nurse H saw the situation on the ultrasound, she printed out the pictures and went to consult with Nurse M for a second opinion. It was a dilemma. Do we do the IUI right away in case I ovulate that egg on the right, or do we wait and grow the ones on the left, hoping I don't ovulate in the meantime?

They ended up deciding to "prescribe" sex, just in case I ovulate early, and continue with the Follistim for one more day. I took that dose today and the IUI is on Thursday.If I do ovulate early, I am not so sure I will become pregnant this month. Our odds aren't good at getting pregnant the "old fashioned way".

If I wait until Thursday to ovulate, it seems the chances for pregnancy are much greater. However, what happens if I ovulate all those eggs??? ALL those eggs! How many babies could that be??? This scares me to pieces. My babies have waited forever to get here; I want them to have every advantage possible. And cramming too many babies into my body would be devastating for them developmentally. That is not the start in life I want for my kids.

Having said that, for years I have seen women (including myself) worry themselves into a frenzy over their treatments, analyzing every little detail and second guessing every decision. Before all this treatment stuff started up again, I promised myself I would not fall into that trap. I was there last time with the Clomid/IUI cycles and I d0n't want to experience that again.

So, I am trying to think positively. Here are the thoughts I've been repeating over and over...

The doctor's office is very aware that I do not want to "selectively reduce" (abort some of the babies if you are carrying multiples). They have promised to take every precaution so that we do not end up in that situation. They would have cancelled the cycle if the risk was too great.

During one of my Clomid/IUI cycles, I had 4 very mature eggs, and I didn't get pregnant at all that time, so 8 eggs total doesn't necessarily mean 8 babies. Although I have a lot of eggs, most of them are very small, and may not amount to anything anyway.

If I ovulate early, than oh well. There is always the next treatment. Treatments 3 or 4 are typically the most successful anyway. The failure of cycle 2 doesn't mean a future treatment won't work.

Last cycle, everything went perfectly... not too many side effects from the treatment and 2 mature, perfect-looking eggs. The result? No pregnancy. This time, everything is difficult, chaotic and uncertain. A completely different experience than last time. Maybe the result will be different too.

Most of all, God knows us and He hears our prayers. We have been praying for our family: for the treatments to work if He sees fit, for comfort in case they don't, and for the right children to come into our lives, in the right way, at the right time, and in the speed or order they're supposed to.

At the end of the day, that's all we can do. Pray, make good decisions and pray again. The rest is out of our hands.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

The base ultrasound was yesterday. There were no cysts, which is awesome. We jumped right back into it and I started stims immediately after the appointment. We are keeping the same protocol as last time.

Yesterday, I asked Nurse H if anyone actually gets pregnant on the first cycle of Follistim. She quickly answered, “Yup! Lesbians do.” She wasn’t trying to be funny. Apparently, their lesbian clientele has the best luck getting pregnant on the first try. When you think about it, that does make sense. There hasn’t been a history of trying on your own and being unsuccessful. The only thing preventing their pregnancy is the missing half (sperm).

Ryan and I haven’t been able to get pregnant on our own for years. For people like us, Nurse H said most successes are during cycle 3 or 4. Some people get pregnant on cycle 2, but 3 and 4 are the most common. When I asked if our busted cycle 1 is any indication this treatment won’t work for us, she adamantly declared, “No way!” This was encouraging.

So I am doing the injections again. Yesterday, I learned the importance of taking the time to make sure the medicine is room temperature before injecting it. Holy cow!! I thought I had waited long enough, but I guess not. At least an hour outside the fridge! Not a minute less.

The main side effect this time (so far) is an excruciating headache. Maybe there are other things too, but I can’t notice them because my head is pounding so hard!

Doing this stims will be interesting this month, as I am leaving for a work conference. I have to take a cooler with all my ‘gear’, which is a little awkward and embarrassing. Have infertility, will travel! I am trying to keep a positive attitude about the whole situation.

All it takes is a moment to remember all the years I *DREAMED* of doing this process, and I instantly become okay with whatever I have to do to make it happen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

And In a Minute, It was Over

Our first experience with Follistim was not successful.

Ryan fasted the day before we got the results, and I felt so much strength from that. He is such an awesome man and partner in all this.

I'm trying to turn down the voice in my head that's saying maybe this treatment won't work for us after all, and turn up the voice in my head that's saying next time may be it.

Thanks for all those who supported us!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Arms Full of Babies

A couple days ago, I saw a picture posted online. It was a new mother in a hospital bed. She was holding her twin babies.

When I looked at that picture, I literally thought, "Her arms are full of babies". And then I felt my arms ache. Really. A physical reaction from a mere thought. Strange that can actually happen.

My arms ache for babies. My babies. Even with that painful thought, I am strangely comforted. Way back in my mind, I think I can picture a time when my arms will be full. And I can almost almost imagine what that might feel like.

(Don’t) Gimme a Break!

So, I know in my infertility Game Plan I said that we would take a break between treatment cycles. One month on, one month off, assuming we could afford it.

I have decided to alter the game plan.

As I am coming up on the end of this cycle, I contemplate the idea that this month’s treatment will be a failure. This very real thought makes my heart sink and my throat constrict. I can literally feel the devastation hovering over me. The thought that I will have to live in that devastation for an entire month while I wait for the next treatment cycle is unbearable.

We have the money now. I have left-over medication that will make this next cycle a bit cheaper. Why wait?

Although the treatment process is taxing and exhausting, there is something else I feel while going through it. Hope. I have felt hope so strong for the first time in years, and I am addicted. I just can’t pack it away for a whole month unnecessarily.

The nice thing about an IUI treatment cycle is the process literally starts on Day 1. If I find out this month failed, I will be back in the saddle again within a few days. That kind of distraction is priceless.

Deep in the back of my mind, I know that refusing to take a break now could result in a longer, forced break next time. Most people (including us) can’t afford to do this every month for an extended time. But, the optimistic side of me thinks if I get pregnant next time, it won’t matter that the IF well has run dry. That being said...

On with the show!

P.S. Early response pregnancy tests are the devil!!!! >:-(

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Oh, what to think, what to think...

I just love this waiting... waiting and wondering... wondering and waiting...

I am using Progesterone pills which, in essence, makes you feel like you are pregnant. Not that I would know, having never been pregnant myself, but that is how many people describe them. I am beyond exhausted, some headaches, a bit of nausea (although that might be the burst of butterflies I get every now and then... you know, because of all the waiting and wondering).

It's been helpful to be on the Progesterone because it forces me not to overanalyize every little symptom. It is obvious I am having symptoms, but it can all be attributable to the hormone. To think it could be something else for too long is a dangerous game. ;)