Monday, July 31, 2006
Today, I heard the best news ever.
(Nope not pregnant, heck I haven't ovulated yet this cycle :).)
But, I did get a call from the dealership/service area. And, they will be paying for the part and service! Also, they are further checking if they are willing to cover the rental.
I feel so much better. One less thing to worry about and I can handle paying the rental at this point.
PHEW. Sigh, what a relief! YIPPEEE
Friday, July 28, 2006
Last month, on or about June 27th, I was on the Clomid and also I was preparing for the HSG which required me taking the antibiotic. Well, the first day I took the antibiotic, I vomited. Yes, it was within the half hour of taking the darn pill, and it made me sick. I felt better, finished getting ready, and went to my car to find an almost "flat" tire.
This started the car adventure.
I immediately scheduled an appointment with the dealership/mechanic for the following Friday, June 30th. While I was there, I got four new tires, an inspection sticker and an oil change. Ultimately, it was a horrible experience. The service took FOUR hours and was a small fortune which I expected. And, ultimately, they DAMAGED my automatic car starter.
This is where the fun really starts. So, T noticed the day after that the starter wasn't working. A few days later, I called the dealership. (If you remember I was on a mini-vacation and my Sister was admitted into the hospital for an appendicitis. Needless to say I was a little preoccupied.)
I called the dealership. They told me that there is a toggle switch which needs to be flipped. Once this is done, it'll be all "fixed." Well, my car doesn't have a toggle switch. It has two buttons, but no switch.
On Monday, I call the dealership to request an appointment to get this "mistake" to be "fixed." I was told to come in between 9AM and 4 PM. (I don't know about you, but that is usually when I'm working.) So, I say "The last time I was there for FOUR hours. I'm obviously going to be coming on my lunch hour. Can you please tell me of a good time to come in, where my appointment will be on time?" He says, "Sure, how about Tuesday at noon."
I go in on Tuesday at noon. I get there at exactly noon. I wait fifteen minutes to get into the garage. Ten minutes after I am actually get in the garage they talk to me.
I tell the Service Manager, "I am angry. I was not thrilled with my last service here. While here, someone from your dealership, did something to my automatic car starter. I do not believe I need to pay for this service, because it was your fault. Also, I am on my lunch hour. Despite the fact, that I always make appointments, you seem to honor your walk in service customers much better. I had 12 o'clock appointment and yet, I'm being seen at 12:25. I'm on my lunch hour. If you want to continue to be paid, I need to work."
The Service Manager, Mike, starts to fiddle with my car. Now at the time, I didn't think this was a good idea. Actually, hind site is telling me, I should of told him to back away from the car. He is specifically working in the fuse box near my wheel. This is also where there are two buttons which control my alarm.
Ultimately, he seemed to "fix" the automatic car starter.
But, would I be writing if it weren't more to the story?
Yesterday, I go to my car. My first day back on the Clomid. Make a stop at the post office. Get back into my car and I drive to work. While going to work, I notice the check engine light. Now, I know this is never good. But, when I got to work, I pulled out the owner's manual and confirmed that it was the check engine light. So, I called the dealership. Made an appointment for Saturday at 10:45 am. (Well, if anyone from the dealership is reading, you can cancel that appointment.)
It is the afternoon, after a VERY long day where I fell. (Yah, not a little fall where you catch yourself. A total fall on my left side, buttocks and lower back. Not good and continue to feel a little bit more pain as time goes on.) I start my car. The motor turns, but something is wrong, I can't move the shift. Nothing. So, I continue to look for clues, and I notice that the AC, radio, display, directionals, lights, windows, and everything else that is electric is not working.
I call my husband to see if he has any idea of what I should do. He thinks it is a fuse.
He gets there after I spend an hour messing with the thing. I can't figure it out. The fuses look fine to me. When he gets there, he messes with it for another half hour, when he gives up. He is able to do something with the shift so that I could drive it. Driving a car with no directionals and closed windows, is terrifying. He follows me to prevent a car accident.
We get to the dealership and after about an hour, we are told that the electrical system has shorted out. And the part, this is the best part, is $1,845! Just for the part, they still need to do more research to see what else was damaged and it will be more expensive trust me.
So, my immediate reaction as CRAZY Flutter was to yell. He said the price, and immediately I said, "I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER!" My husband was playing good cop and I think I was the bad cop. I like that assessment of the situation better, after all the other assessment that I have was that I was the CRAZY B*TCH and he was the reasonable man!
Today, leaves me questioning, bad luck or negligence? Maybe a little bit of both. God help them if they call me.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
When I started this blog, I had a few needs. One, to express myself. Up to that point, I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing this simple task. I had many things building inside, and they need a way to come out. Thankfully the blog has given me this outlet.
The second need was to have a way to express the emotional turmoil so that my husband and friends understand where I coming from. I am referring to my everyday real friends. Unfortunately, my Vent friends are going through the same thing on a regular basis so know all to well.
Many years ago, I realized how important my friends are to me. They were a constant like no other guy, except for T. I do my best to be there for them and I know that they do their best to be there for me. During this emotional time, it has been very difficult for all of us. I know that they feel helpless, just as much as I do.
To further complicate matters, I have not been able to vocalize my needs and wants concerning the emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive.
I apologize for this failure. It is a rollercoaster. There are days that I'm fine. There are days when I'm not. I don't have the strength to pick up the phone and ask for help, because saying the words would make me cry.
This is my attempt at trying to explain how I feel and what you can do as a friend for me.
I feel pain. Physical pain. Like someone is trying to rip my heart out with their bare hands and they are unsuccessful, so that keep on doing it. I am sad and I don't think anything to do with my situation is funny.
Despite past obstacles I've had in my life this is the most difficult up to now. Life isn't easy. I know that, and right now I am feeling that lesson more and more.
If I seem recluse. Please don’t take offense. It has nothing to do with you. Staying quiet or at home, is my way of not causing damage to my friendships. I try not to talk sometimes, because it depresses me, I can’t imagine what is doing to you. Also right now, there are times where I can't take things for what they are and I can't just shut up. It only causes problems.
It isn't that you aren't the right person to talk to. But, I'm not the same Flutter at this point and time. I'm broken and in the repair shop. Please know that I need my friends right now more than I can say to you and I don't want to lose any one of you because of my malfunctioning body.
What I need: A hug, chocolate, coffee, a drink, a flower, a card, a day with a friend at the movies, ice cream, a shoulder to cry on, an ear, a phone call, a person to read my blog and make comments (email and phone are very cool too), to go shoe shopping, to do non-kid related activities, to keep my mind off of things, etc.
What I say next is going to sound harsh, but I don't need you to fix the situation. I can't fix my problem, the Reproductive Endocrinologist can't fix my problem, the only one that can is God. I've stopped believing that he will do it just because, if it isn't in his plans, it isn't. I need you to help me thru it. To be strong when I am weak. To tell me that I will survive whatever the outcome.
And I will try to remember, when a comment is made that you are just talking. That there is no malice and if you know that it hurts, you will stop. You are trying to help in the only way you can.
Lastly, for my friends who will soon be Moms. What do I ask of you? Don’t hide it from me. Please do tell me, I want to hear of your wonderful adventure. I do ask that you tell me in private, you can tell me in front of T or your husband or our close friends. But don’t tell me in a large group, I beg of you. Please know, that no matter how crazy I feel that day, that I am genuinely happy for you, that I will pray will all my heart that you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and ultimately a very healthy and happy little one(s). With all my heart, that I am grateful that you don’t have to go thru this heart break. If my envious emotion comes up, please know that it isn’t that emotion that rules. If I cry know that it is mostly happy tears for you. And lastly, please now that I will love your little one with all of my heart.
I’ve said my peace. Thank you for letting me. And, I hope it is helpful.
Monday, July 24, 2006
- Family (My kitties are included here.)
- Testosterone is my only obstacle.
- The Wicked Witch didn't make me wait as she has in the past. (Cycle 13 was only 34 days long.)
- Finding the right dosage of clomid.
- Another detected ovulation, I pray.
- Having enough cash for the clomid, ovulation predictors, and fertility monitor sticks.
- Being able to take allergy medicine.
- Being able to have a drink.
Despite the mild cramps, the Wicked Witch does allow me to indulge in my allergy medicine, flavored water, and occasional drink. (Just a few things that I abstain from while in the two week wait and occasionally, when I'm on the clomid.)
Another round. God Grant me the Serenity...
Sunday, July 23, 2006
So, I went to the computer for some comfort (T. was asleep. I figured, I'd give him a few more hours of peace before I told him and he saw that I couldn't stop crying. I'm very good about hiding the crying.) I posted on my blog, my Vent board, and on another board.
Soon thereafter, I got responses from Joei, Jenn, and Kristin. (Thank you Ladies.)
And another post came up on the other board. It announced another member's BFP, positive pregnancy test. Ouch it hurt. Not even a sorry, nothing. I know that she was excited, that she wanted and needed to share her good news. But, I couldn't take it. And I started to cry and deleted the board from my favorites without thinking twice. (WOW, I don't think I've ever acted that quickly on anything.) I don't know if it was the pain that I experienced or the envy that I was feeling towards a fellow infertile. Both feelings weren't nice and I needed to stop it immediately.
So, I went back to bed. T awoke slightly from his gentle slumber. He asked about the test. I told him in a quivering voice that it was negative. The tears silently came out again, he just hugged me. Finally, sleep came and I took a nap.
Emotional me continued for most of the morning. Cried in the shower. (Great way not to get stuffy.) And when I asked T if we could talk to his Aunt and Uncle about the whole process, financing, etc. He said, "I never said we couldn't talk to them about this and I think we should."
I'll fast forward to the afternoon. We went to visit with G, L, and the boys. We sat, chatted and ate. It was really nice. But, I was losing my nerve. T new and broached the subject for me. For this I am forever grateful.
L gave me the number of a person who handles their insurance now. Who will be able to help us find supplemental insurance.
G told me her story. When she was younger, her appendix burst. Unknown to her it had caused a severe amount of scar tissue. The scar tissue had ruined one of her tubes. The doctor found this out once he performed an ultra sound. They manipulated her ovulation from the one good side, and after several years of trying she got pregnant. Unfortunately, it was ectopic.
She was brought in for emergency surgery. After several hours of surgery, she lost the baby, her one good tube and her bad tube. She was devastated. She met with her reproductive endocrinologist and he said in a few months we will start IVF.
How there was a woman that was going through IVF at the same time. How she boisterously yelled from her bed, about her failed cycles, and SEVEN successful cycles. Giving G hope.
She and L went through three cycles before they were successful with J. When they finally got pregnant with J, her numbers were precariously low. She was put on bed rest for the first trimester. But, after the first trimester, she was just fine.
After two years, she and L went through another cycle where T and D were conceived.
She continued. I remember feeling so angry for having to go through it. For not understanding. Looking at women, and being so critical because I wanted it so badly. She never forgets, but how she appreciated being pregnant all that more. Then, after she told me her story, she listened to me.
How I really don't like talking about it because I get emotional. How clomid has made me forgetful and mean. How I feel guilty that T isn't a Dad because of me. How envious I get. That I’m nervous that the clomid can do more harm than good.
Her therapy after knowing that I was in between. Good food, Mojitos, Piña Coladas, and ice cream. A woman after my own heart.
So, I thanked God for giving me G. For letting her be an Angel from heaven, here on Earth. For having her show me support, kindness and love. With reinforcement that miracles happen, seeing the boys you know that they do.
And that God knew that I would need her to get through this failed cycle, when we made plans two days ago.
After a long day, I felt at peace. Welcoming the cramps and the Wicked Witch. Allowing to start month 23 and cycle 14. Hopefully, it will be our third detected ovulation. After all, the third time is the charm. Hope, there she is again. Please play nice.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
by the Dixie Chicks
There Is No Good Reason
I Should Have To Be So Alone
I'm Smothered By This Emptiness
Lord I Wish I Was Made Of Stone
Like I Fool I Lent My Soul To Love
And It Paid Me Back In Change
God Help Me
Am I The Only One Who's Ever Felt This Way?
A Heart That's Worn
And Weathered Would Know Better Than To Fight
But I Wore Mine Like A Weapon Played Out Love Like A Crime
And It Wrung Me Out
And Strung Me Out
And It Hung Years On My Face
God Help Me
Am I The Only One Who's Ever Felt This Way?
Now My Sense Of Humor Needs A Break
I See A Shadow In The Mirror
And She's Laughin' Through Her Tears
One More Smile's All I Can Fake
There Is A Wound Inside Me
And It's Bleeding Like A Flood
There's Times When I See A Light Ahead
Hope Is Not Enough
As Another Night Surrounds Me
And It Pounds Me Like A Wave
God Help Me
Am I The Only One Who's Ever Felt This Way?
God Help Me
Am I The Only One Who's Ever Felt This Way?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Since, this could be a very good sign indicating implantation, I am trying to remain cautious. It doesn't help that the babycenter calendar, predicts spotting for tomorrow. It is only adding to my anxiety which is exacerbated by the following:
Gemini (May 20 - June 20)
You should be on cloud nine for most of the day today, dear Gemini. As evening sets in, however, situations might arise that are too heavy for you to feel comfortable with. People will have had enough of your gossip by then, so give it a rest. Kick back and plan for next week. You might also want to take a more serious approach to your romantic commitments by examining your true feelings about your partner.
Ok, the first part. Yes, I am utterly confused, but happy. But it is the "too heavy" that makes me sad, because this spotting could be a precursor to the Wicked Witch. Why, oh why after not reading a horoscope for over three years, did I start again during this 2ww?
So what to do? Well, a sane person would take a pregnancy test and be done with it. But, alas, I know too much. I know that 12 dpo, it is much too soon. Especially for my First Response Early Result test, as per FertilityPlus it detects between 15-25 mIU. And since conceivingconcepts.com provides the following information I definitely know it is WAY to early to test.
* At 14 DPO, the average HCG level is 48 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-119 mIU/ml.
* At 15 DPO, the average HCG level is 59 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-147 mIU/ml.
* At 16 DPO, the average HCG level is 95 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 33-223 mIU/ml.
* At 17 DPO, the average HCG level is 132 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-429 mIU/ml.
* At 18 DPO, the average HCG level is 292 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 70-758 mIU/ml.
* At 19 DPO, the average HCG level is 303 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 111-514 mIU/ml.
* At 20 DPO, the average HCG level is 522 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 135-1690 mIU/ml.
So, if I was truly sane, especially with all this knowledge I wouldn't test until my BETA on Monday. But, I know I am not sane, actually, I am feeling the cheese slip further away from the cracker.
I need a drink. CRAP, I can't even do that. God grant me Serenity...
I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space
And when you're out there
Without care, Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much
Does that make me crazy
Does that make me crazy
Does that make me crazy
And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice
That's my only advice
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control
Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me
My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember Is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little oh it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done
But maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy
Yes, I knew that this might happen, especially since I have so much hope.
HOPE IS CRUEL!
There is this commercial for an infertility clinic about this woman who is trying to conceive, but alas having a hard time of it. She goes on a business trip and while on the plane, she sees a beautiful baby girl. She can't help but staring at this baby. She eventually gets the courage to ask the baby's name, Hope. It turns out that she is successful in becoming pregnant.
Well, Hope, is cruel. For how much hope I have, I also know that she has led me down this road before. I don't want to be this hopeful. I still need/want some realism. Some doubt. And believe me, it is here.
I've been feeling slight cramps and this morning a drop of spotting. Why, oh why? At cycle day 32, it would be a miracle to get my period this early. (Yes, it is just as much of a miracle when I get my period in a timely manner.) So it leaves me in a very hopeful phase. But, I still need to have some caution in my optimism.
God grant me Serenity....
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
"Twenty something, you definitely ovulated."
And the number is high for 9 DPO which allows me and T to hope. (Sigh of relief.)
Now, must wait for Monday for blood test. (The RE said Monday, even if the nurse said Wednesday. I like Monday better.)
Who knows, a HPT maybe in my future? If only I could quit POAS. :) I think it would be better for my mental stability.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things rightif I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with HimForever in the next.Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr
In this most recent cycle, I've been reciting this prayer over and over. When I was taking the clomid, when I POAS to detect the LH surge, when I detected the LH surge, when we took full advantage of the ovulation, and now during the wait for the progesterone test.
At this point, I would be grateful for an inconclusive result so that all hope is not lost. Wishful thinking, this will be the first time my body gives me a conclusive answer with my luck. I hate waiting.
Progesterone in Pregnancy
What Level Means
As mentioned above, a level of 5 indicates some kind of ovulatory activity, though most doctors want to see a level over 10 on unmedicated cycles, and over 15 with medications. There is no mid-luteal level that predicts pregnancy.
Average is about 20 at 4 weeks LMP, and 40 at 14 weeks LMP. It is important to note that while a higher progesterone level corresponds with higher pregnancy success rates, one cannot fully predict outcome based on progesterone levels. Progesterone supplementation is unlikely to help if started after a positive pregnancy test.
Average is 40 at beginning, 90 at end.
Usually peaks at about 175.
Excellent graph at http://repro-med.net/papers/progest.html.
Monday, July 17, 2006
10. Why else do you get married but to have children?
Really, I thought I got married to spend the rest of my life with T. If I remember my wedding day correctly, I only pledged to be openned to the idea of children.
9. You are young, you've got time.
Why does every doctor I see say this? It is frustrating. Yes, I am only 30. In fertility terms I have time, however if I started this journey at 28, and as time goes by it will only be more difficult. Wouldn't it be smarter to take action NOW?
8. Relax, it'll happen.
Relaxing is NOT going to get me to ovulate or get my testosterone to a "normal" range is it?
7. Aren't you overeacting? You don't have a problem. It is all in your head.
Denial, is not just a river in Egypt Mom. Just because you choose to ignore an issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Actually, that is a double negative, therefore it means that it DOES exist.
6. Are you sure your getting the right hole?
Is that what happened with you?
5. Your whole existence should be to give me a grandchild.
You need to reevaluate that idea, because it may never happen.
4. Your just like my granddaughter, much too selfish to have children.
I'll remember that at your next birthday.
3. You know that you shouldn't douche after you have sex if you are trying to conceive?
You really think I am stupid. Stupidity doesn't preclude a person from being a parent, actually sometimes I think it is a requirement. And, since I'm not that stupid, that might be my problem.
2. Maybe you aren't meant to have kids.
Thanks, but since you aren't God, I'd like a second opinion.
1. You better get going on having a kid, before T leaves you.
I think you should be more concerned with your husband my dear. Especially, as a manager of a grocery store he has more emergencies than my husband who is a police officer.
I have. Drum roll, please. I have an "indication of PCOS because of my high testosterone." But, I don't have any of the other symptoms and all of my other tests came back normal.
OK, so not as cut and dry as I hoped. Like you definitely have PCOS. But, relief that I don't have any tumors. Actually, she was the one who said it. (For this reason, I really like my RE becuase she goes along with my crazy thoughts before I say them out loud.)
There is nothing to fix my testosterone imbalance. It is the way I was made. GO NATURE, please note, sarcasm has been added.
The plan for the next six months is the following. Three months of Clomid at 100 mg and good old fashioned s*x. If this doesn't work, I move onto Clomid or injectibles for three months with IUI. If this doesn't work, we reevalutate.
My homework is to look into supplemental fertility insurance to cover IUIs. She likes to give me homework.
Also, she checked my progesterone. The results should be here tomorrow. If they are low or non-existent, that means negative on the pregnancy this cycle, but that the Wicked Witch will be coming. If high, I should keep my fingers crossed. Hoping for the second :).
Friday, July 14, 2006
(Yes, it is confirmed that I am nuts, since I am more concerned with naming the problem than the potential aftermath of finding out what is wrong with me. One step at a time.)
CD 26, DPO 6, and still optimistic. Everything is good. And it is Friday!
Please say a prayer that she is able to recover emotionally, spiritually, and physically soon. She and her husband find peace in this terrible situation.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
So, I have been trying to keep track of things that are different this cycle. Here is my list so far.
1. This is the first cycle that I have detected the LH surge and also had EWCM. At the same time.
2. CM has been present consistently since ovulation.
3. I had a complete and total aversion to my mother's chicken the other day. I couldn't eat it. Only smelled the chicken and put it down. Had to get it off my plate immediately. (This has never happened, I am a good/non-picky eater.)
4. Random cramps, but this could be from the pineapple or Clomid. Not completely unusual.
5. Skin is breaking out. Usually happens closer to menstrual cycle, at cycle day 25, it is much too early.
6. Skin is also drier than normal.
7. Feeling annoyed with people. For no real good reason.
8. Slight headache yesterday afternoon, usually happens closer to menstrual cycle.
9. Random sharp pain in left breast.
10. Waking up with dry mouth.
11. Waking up every morning, since ovulation, between 5:30 and 6:00 am, well before my alarm.
Thank you Babysnark.com for providing this information!
Usage: There is an old wives' tale floating around that pineapple juice will help a fertilized egg implant. However, pineapple juice is not recommended for use in TTC and/or pregnancy. In large doses, it can cause uterine contractions and bring on spontaneous abortions (miscarriage).
Recommended Dosage: Drink only in small quantities, if at all.
Food Sources: Pineapples.
Side Effects: Large doses may cause uterine contractions, miscarriage, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, very heavy menstrual periods. Unripe pineapple is poisonous, causing excessive diarrhea.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The pressure to raise a family can be enormous, and the thought of not being able to can make many people feel something is wrong with them. We talked to respected psychologists who work with couples with fertility problems to find out which coping strategies really work.
Recognize that a fertility problem is a crisis. A fertility problem may be one of the most difficult things you'll ever face. Acknowledging this is a key to coping, says Kate Marosek, who's counseled couples with fertility problems in the Washington, D.C., area for more than ten years. "It's normal to feel a monumental sense of loss, to feel stressed, sad, or overwhelmed. Don't chastise yourself for feeling these ways." Facing and accepting your emotions can help you move beyond them.
Don't blame yourself. Resist the temptation to blame yourself or to listen to the little voice in your head that may be saying, "I shouldn't have waited; I'm being punished for having that abortion; I should have lost more weight or taken better care of my health; I shouldn't have assumed that I could have children when I wanted," or whatever.
People can get caught in negative-thinking patterns that only make things worse, says Yakov M. Epstein, a psychologist at Rutgers University and co-author of Getting Pregnant When You Thought You Couldn't: "Instead of berating yourself, look forward to how you and your partner are going to manage the situation." When you start feeling like you "should have" or "could have," remind yourself that your fertility problem is not your fault. Even if you could have made different decisions in the past, they're behind you. Concentrate on your future.
Is considering yourself broken, blaming? But I don't think it was anything I've done. Must contemplate.
Work as a team with your partner. You and your partner should help each other through this time (and definitely not blame each other for your difficulty getting pregnant). This doesn't mean you need to feel the same thing at the same time — that's one of the most common pitfalls for couples facing fertility problems. It does mean paying attention to what your partner's going through. "If you're taking care of each other emotionally, you can unite to fight the problem," says Marosek.
Work together to find practical ways to share the burden, too. If you're undergoing treatment, he can take care of the insurance papers. Or if he needs injected therapy, you can administer the shots.
Check. We take turns in freaking out. He and I have united in many ways. Coming to agreement in definitions. Realizing that most of this freaks him out and that he is in a need to know phase. But, he has been very good about going to his HR, coming to appointments, taking me to appointments, etc. He did over book himself and now he can't make it to the 17th appointment. I think there is room for improvement.
Educate yourself about fertility problems. Read as much as you can about fertility problems, and ask your doctor and other couples in your same situation questions. This is especially important when you're dealing with a fertility problem because the technologies behind the treatments are complicated and change quickly. "You've got to understand what's happening medically," says Epstein, "or you won't be able to make informed choices."
See our resource guide for a list of books, Web sites, and organizations that can help, or learn the basics by starting at the beginning of our Fertility Problems area.
Check. Have you read my blog? This isn't half of what I've learned in the short time that I've been trying to read everything I can find.
Set limits on how long you're willing to try. Some couples decide from the get-go that they won't go to extreme measures to have a baby. Others spend years and thousands of dollars trying out all their treatment options. No one can tell you when to stop trying to conceive — that's a decision you need to make with your partner and doctor — but you'll feel more in control of your life if you start thinking in advance about how far you're willing to go to get pregnant.
Start by discussing your medical odds of getting pregnant, which treatments you're not willing to try, and your end goal. (For more help making this decision, see Making the decision to end fertility treatment)
Have not done this, but it is yet premature considering we don't know what is wrong with me or what the best course of action will be. Need to know more information before we can decide.
Decide how much you're willing to pay. With in vitro fertilization (IVF) averaging $10,000 to $17,000 a cycle, it's no wonder couples feel anxious about money, especially since women often need to go through multiple cycles before becoming pregnant. To cope with the anxiety caused by the high costs of treatment, sit down and develop a financial plan. Start with your insurance: Find out exactly what it does and doesn't cover. If it covers some or all of your treatments, decide whether you or your partner will monitor the paperwork and negotiate with the insurance company. Then look at all your assets and determine how much you can spend and on which treatments. "You should always have a plan B," says Alice Domar, a Harvard University Medical School psychologist who specializes in helping couples with fertility problems. "Because nothing, especially with fertility treatments, is certain."
Again need to know more information before we can determine this, however it does seem wrong in a way. How much is a baby worth?
Get support from professionals or others with fertility problems. Society often fails to recognize the grief caused by fertility problems, so those denied parenthood tend to hide their sorrow, which only increases their feelings of shame and isolation. "Finding other people who are going through the same thing can help you see that fertility problems are widespread and your disappointment is understandable," says Linda Klempner, a clinical psychologist and mental health consultant at the Diamond Institute for Infertility and Menopause in Millburn, New Jersey. Connect with others who can relate on one of our Fertility Issues bulletin boards.
If you'd like to talk to a therapist, look for one who understands fertility problems. "Fertility problems are very complex, and if a therapist does not understand the medical issues he or she won't be able to help," says Epstein. Ask RESOLVE for a referral or check out the InterNational Council on Infertility Information's list of therapists.
Not at this point yet. My T, blogging, my friends, and crochet are my therapy for now.
Just say no to baby-focused activities. If certain gatherings or celebrations are too painful for you — all your siblings had babies in the last two years, say, or you keep getting invited to baby showers — give yourself permission to avoid them or at least to have a good cry afterward. To avoid hurt feelings, send a gift, but send children's books to save yourself a troubling trip to the toy store or baby boutique.
Not at this point yet. There not fun, but I can still manage without breaking down at them, I can wait until I get into the car.
Balance optimism and realism. "You need to be optimistic to go through a procedure," says Epstein, "but if you're too hopeful, if your hope is unrealistic, you'll be setting yourself up for a huge fall." By keeping up to date on the technology and your diagnosis, you can get a good handle on what chance of success you have with each treatment.The array of medical technologies available today leads many couples to keep trying month after month, year after year. But about a third of couples treated for fertility problems won't go on to have a biological child, and often they must make peace with that before they can move on with their lives. Staying realistic can help you make smart choices as you work your way through the emotional minefield of treatment.
Check. I do believe that I do do this one. For the most part I am a realist. After 22 months of TTC, 13 menstrual cycles, and only two confirmed ovulations. Yes, I am cautiously optimistic. This is one of those all too few times, so I will enjoy it as long as possible.
Take care of yourself by pursuing other interests. Being treated for a fertility problem can feel like a full- or at least part-time job, so it's important to keep up with some of the activities or hobbies that bring you pleasure. "It won't be easy," says Marosek, "especially if you're doing something like going in for a blood test every other day, but look for ways to take care of yourself." She recommends that people get a massage, have a manicure — anything that can give them relief from the focus on fertility treatment.
If your old activities are painful — maybe all your friends are parents now — look for new diversions. If hiking is your thing, do that. Or take a class — painting, dance, or something else that's always tempted you. And remember, laughter is one of the best healers. See a funny movie, head out to a comedy club, and re-read your favorite funny novel.
This one, I have tried. But it is very hard to do. Especially when the things I want to do don't exist in my area (cooking classes or book clubs) or are really expensive (yoga and pilates classes). After spending $80 on fertility monitor sticks and ovulation predictors, saving for potential IUIs that cost $750, etc.; there is very little left.
OK. Not bad. Four checks and five needs improvement/not applicable at this point. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
1. Using the babycenter.com calculator, I check to see when this child would possibly be born. This opportunity, March 31 - April 2.
2. Study twoweekwait.com for any clue.
3. Constantly check the Vent board. And lurk on other boards as well.
4. Research various random items; such as safe cold medicines, strange pains on my left side, extreme thirst, etc.
5. Blog and also lurk.
6. Eat pineapple.
7. Abstain from alcohol.
8. Only have one small coffee. No other caffeinated drink is allowed.
9. Crochet as therapy.
10. If it is a really hopeful cycle and very late in the two week wait, I look online at potential nursery items and names.
11. Sleep on my left side.
At DPO 3, I've only done 1, 5, 7, 8, and 11. Not bad! Number 6 will happen later this afternoon.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Feeling very content that we have a chance this cycle. An opportunity that it could happen. Yes, this makes me feel happy.
T is exhausted, if I am to be truthful, so am I. A marathon is work, despite how pleasing it is!
Also talked to the nurse at the RE's office about the weekend surge, turns out that I could have just called and come in on Sunday and Monday for the IUIs. But, she agreed that since we haven't had our review of our exams it may be more productive to wait. (After all it will be coming out of our pocket.) I asked if I needed a progesterone test to determine if my fertility machine and ovulation predictor were correct. (Yes, I realize how obsessive that sounds.) She said that it would be a good thing to ask the RE, with my history, at my appointment. Also, if the Wicked Witch doesn't show by the 25th, I am to call for a pregnancy test on the 26th. Little does she now, that if the Wicked Witch showed that soon, cycle day 38, I would have a minor heart attack!
So, I must wait seven days, Monday to get my medical diagnosis. And, 16 days for the all important pregnancy test.
The wait is the killer. Oh boy, what will I do with my time. The same thing I always do. No worries, I will fill you in soon. :)
Saturday, July 08, 2006
The bummer is that the RE never told me what to do if I surged on a weekend. So, no IUI this cycle which is a mixed blessing. I think it is good, afterall we don't have any straight answers yet and don't know if it is a truly an appropriate way to proceed. I go in for the follow-up diagnosis appointment on July 17th and hopefully I will get some answers.
Back to my happy thoughts, I surged, ovulation is occuring, and we've got a chance!
Friday, July 07, 2006
Cycle Day 1-7
Hopeful that this maybe “THE” cycle. After 13 cycles, I am ALWAYS hopeful in the beginning and overall happy. I can tolerate the PREGNANT ARMY and overall a joy to be around.
Cycle Day 8-38
If on Clomid, I am cranky and forgetful. Usually lasts from cycle day 9 to 25. Obsessive over the LH surge, slight twinges, possible signs of ovulation or conception. Fairly content in the beginning, with progressive mood swings as time continues.
The mood swings usually start around cycle day 28 when the fertility monitor tells me that there is no hope of ovulating and hopelessness comes to visit. Anger which can be directed at anyone, no one is safe.
If ovulation occurs, generally in a good mood and hopeful!
Cycle Day 39-50
If ovulation did not occur, I feel broken, frustrated, depressed, sense of loss, and hopelessness. Hate the PREGNANT ARMY. Try to stay home to avoid all pregnant people. After all it isn’t there fault that they are cool, hip and trendy!
If ovulation does occur, attempt to remain hopeful and optimistic that this may actually be the cycle. Around cycle day 40, I start the home pregnancy tests. So far has caused only true sadness.
This article has just given me a “AHA” moment. It is a fun and light piece, but it explains why I am having such a hard time getting pregnant.
1. I’ve never been cool, trendy or hip.
2. I’m not ridiculous, I’d never spend $800 on a carriage.
3. I’ve never been curvy or voluptuous.
Makes perfect sense!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I pee on a stick (POAS) in the morning for the fertility monitor and on a ovulation predictor at night. There is hardly a chance that I will miss the surge. At least this is what I tell myself. After all if I don't detect the surge, than there definitely will not be an IUI or exactly timed intercourse, and I can't let this happen.
I've used the monitor since January. It only detected a surge once in that entire time. It has no problem in detecting my estrogen increase. The estrogen has been detected every cycle except for one. However, since I can ovulate between cycle day 13 and 38. The monitor directs me to stop POAS on or about cycle day 28. I've learned that I must continue to use the ovulation predictors basically until I see the Wicked Witch. Also, since the monitor is only used in the morning and many people experience the surges in the afternoon, I am also forced to test at night as well by using the ovulation predictors.
The estrogen elevations are also interesting. Mostly because it never detected a spike during my first cycle of Clomid at 50 mg. However, during this cycle of Clomid at 100 mg, it has detected my elevated estrogen levels since cycle day 12 which gives me some hope that I may ovulate this cycle in a timely manner.
So say it with me. PLEASE, OH PLEASE, LET ME OVULATE IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. I will leave out the part about me and T having s*x on that day too.
Q: What is an ovulation predictor kit (OPK)? What does it tell me?
A: An OPK is a test that looks for luteinizing hormone (LH). Just prior to ovulation, women experience a short surge where the LH level rises to a higher level. The OPK will help you pinpoint this surge and help you predict when you will ovulate.
Q: Which OPK is best?
A: It seems that Clearplan Easy is probably the easiest to find, and that Clearplan and OvuQuick are the ones most discussed on the newsgroups. Many people post that their reproductive endocrinologists recommend Clearplan or OvuQuick. For more information on OPKs you can check the Consumer Reports. You may want to try a couple of different tests and see which one works best for you.
There are between 5 and 9 tests per kit, and the average cost is $3-$7 per test. Expect to pay $15-$70 per month. They are not refillable.
Q: What time of day should I test?
A: The best time to test is 2 p.m., or as close as possible. Anytime between noon and 8 p.m. is fine, first morning urine is not recommended. The reason for this is that most women experience a surge in the morning, but it can take 4 hours for it to show up in your urine.
Make sure to test at about the same time every day.
Q: On what day of my cycle should I start testing?
A: If you have a variable cycle, you should use the date of your shortest cycle in the past six months as a starting time.
21 - 5
22 - 5
23 - 6
24 - 7
25 - 8
26 - 9
27 - 10
28 - 11
29 - 12
30 - 13
31 - 14
32 - 15
33 - 16
34 - 17
35 - 18
36 - 19
37 - 20
38 - 21
39 - 22
40 - 23
41 - 24
42 - 25
Q: I have a long cycle, how many days will I have to test?
A: It varies. The best thing to do is figure out the length of your shortest cycle in the past six months, and begin testing on the day mentioned in the chart above. Continuing testing until you detect a surge or have a sustained temperature rise (at least 4 days, and at 0.4 degrees higher than the previous six temps.).
If your cycle varies by a week or so, you can expect to go through up to 10 tests. The more your cycle varies, the more tests you'll need. Example: Your shortest cycle is 28 days and the longest is 42, you would begin testing on day 11, but may need to continue through 20 tests, or even more. Note that this isn't common, but it is possible. About 90% of women will detect a surge within 10 days of testing.
Try not to lose patience and keep on testing . . . you'll learn more about your cycle then if you stop.
Q: Does Clomid cause problems with OPKs?
A: Clomid (Serophene/clomiphene citrate) can cause a false positive in OPKs if taken too soon after finishing the prescription. According to most of the manufacturers you should wait at least 3 days before using an OPK. If you take Clomid days 3-7 you can begin testing on day 10. If you take it 5-9, you should wait until day 12.
Q: Can I use OPKs if I am taking injectable fertility drugs such as Pergonal, Humegon, Repronex, Gonal-F, Follistim, or Fertinex?
A: This is a tough one to answer. Pergonal, Humegon and Repronex are made from LH+FSH and may contain enough LH to cause a false reading, though the FSH-only meds, Gonal-F, Follistim and Fertinex, should not effect testing.
With any of these drugs, patients should have follicle size monitored by ultrasound and then get an HCG trigger to induce ovulation when the follicles are large enough rather than relying on OPKs. Many patients do not have a natural LH surge while on injectable medications. Some doctors will ask you to use OPKs in addition to ultrasound monitoring, but be weary of one who goes only by OPKs.
Q: What if the OPK uses pee-on sticks and I'd rather use a cup?
A: Take a sterile cup, fill it with urine, and dip the stick in for between 5 and 20 seconds. If you need to store the urine for any length of time before testing, consult the package insert to see what your OPK suggests.
Q: How long after my LH surge should I ovulate?
A: Most people will ovulate 12-48 hours after the LH surge is detected, most common is 36 hours after the actual surge. One should get a bit more notice, 24-48 hours, by testing in the afternoon.
Q: Once I detect my LH surge, when should I have intercourse?
A: It's best to have intercourse the day of the LH surge and the two days after. Also consider "insurance" sex for one more day in case you ovulate late. Perfect timing would be to have had intercourse the day before the LH surge as well, but that can be hard to predict for those with an irregular cycle. If you don't know when you might ovulate, having sex every other day from cycle day 10 through a positive OPK. If you are taking your basal body temperature, you should have sex through the first day of your temp rise to make sure you cover all days (though after the rise is usually too late).
Q: How long after my LH surge should I have my insemination?
A: Most doctors will do an intra-uterine insemination (IUI) the day after the LH surge, or about 36 hours after it is detected. With a vaginal insemination, or an intra-cervical insemination (ICI) in someone with good fertile mucus, the day of the surge may be preferable. Many doctors are now doing two inseminations per cycle. Check the IUI FAQ.
Q: If I see any line in the result window, is that a positive?
A: Unlike home pregnancy tests where a line in the result window indicates a positive, OPKs are only positive if the test result line in the same color or darker than the reference line. Refer to the instructions in your test kit to be sure you know which window is which, and whether the line has to be as dark (Clearplan) or darker (OvuQuick).
Test Same ColorPositive Some Brands
Test DarkerPositive All Brands
Q: How come I always have a faint line in the test result window? Does this indicate a problem?
A: We always have LH in our systems, so the test can pick it up. Most of the tests don't show a full positive result until 25-40 mIU, but many will show a faint line with LH levels over 10 mIU. If your result line often has significant color, you should consider trying another brand. If you still get a significant line, you should consider having your doctor test your LH levels on the third day of your next cycle to see if your hormone levels are elevated. FSH levels should be checked at the same time as LH, especially if PCOS is suspected.
Faint LineNormal Result
50% ColorConcern if Daily
Q: What does it mean if my test line gets darker for a day or more before the actual positive?
A: Some women have a fade-in pattern where the test will get darker for a day or two before the positive result. This generally isn't anything to worry about, and may have the benefit of a bit of advanced noticed. If you find you have a fade-in pattern, you should begin having intercourse when the fade-in pattern starts.
Q: I have PCOS. Can I still use OPKs?
A: It depends on whether one of your PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) symptoms is elevated LH. You can get some false positives or misleading results. A PCOS patient may have more success tracking ovulation via ultrasound. The only way to know if it is reliable for you is to try it.
Q: I had a positive LH surge, but tested again the following day anyway. It was positive again! What does that mean?
A: This isn't a problem. You may have caught your surge on its way up and on the way down. It is more common to only get one day of positive testing, but it is not uncommon to have two days of a positive tests. Even three days isn't uncommon, but it is worth consulting a doctor in case you have high LH levels.
Q: If I'm taking my basal body temperature, what's the point in doing expensive OPKs?
A: The OPK will tell you when to expect ovulate before it happens, while BBT only tells you after it's over. The thermal shift occurs *after* ovulation in response to increased progesterone production. One your temperature goes up, it's too late to get pregnant. By using OPKs, you'll know before ovulation and can be sure to get your timing right.
Q: If I am doing OPKs, why should I still bother to take my BBTs?
A: There are a couple of reasons why it would be a good idea. The first is so that you can see if your LH surge corresponds properly with your thermal shift. You should shift 1-3 days after your positive OPK, though sometimes it takes as long as five days for those with a slow shift.
Another reason is to make sure your temperatures stay up for at least 10 days after ovulation. Your falling BBT will let you know when your period is starting, but if your temperature stays elevated 18 days past ovulation you should test for pregnancy.
Q: What if I don't detect a surge, but I have a thermal shift?
A: You probably missed your surge. Some people need to test more than once per day. If you've had a test that was half-color and then negative the next day, plus a thermal shift, in your next cycle you should consider testing twice a day (noon and 8 p.m. would be a good choice).
Another possibility is that you didn't hold your urine long enough. Several tests suggest holding urine for 4 hours before checking for LH.
Q: I used an OPK, my timing was perfect, why didn't I get pregnant?
A: It often takes a number of perfectly timed cycles before pregnancy is achieved. The chances of getting pregnant each cycle varies a bit with age. If you are 20-25, your chance per cycle are about 25%. From there they begin to fall off. At 25-30 your chances are about 20%. At 30-35 they are about 15%. After 35 they may be about 10% per ovulatory cycle, and the chances continue the downward trend.
This means that the average woman under 30 will get pregnant within 6 cycles. If you don't succeed after a year, it is a good idea to consult a fertility specialist. Women in their early 30s get pregnant on average by the end of 9 cycles. Mid-30s would be a year. If you are over 35, you should consult a fertility specialist if you have not achieved pregnancy within 6 months. Why 6 months when it can take a year? Because your chances of conception are lower and miscarriage rates are higher -- it is better not to waste time.
Q: What about those re-useable microscope fertility indicators?
A: The fertility microscopes are used to detect a ferning pattern in either your saliva or your fertile mucus. Many women have success with these testa, while others find them hard to interpret. These tests are not as exact as detecting your LH surge -- the fertile window often ends up being about 6 days. Some women with high estrogen levels (many overweight women) will find they appear fertile more often than they actually are.
Q: Are expensive fertility monitors more accurate than OPKs?
A: The monitors, such as the Clearplan monitor, test estrogen and LH. They tell you when you are not fertile, fertile, and then peak fertility. Like OPKs, they may not be as reliable in women with PCOS, and there cost may be prohibitive to those just starting out. The Clearplan monitor usually can be found for about $180 with 20 test sticks. Replacement test strips cost a bit over $1 each.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Hence my contemplation that TTC has become an obsession. I refuse to let myself have a LH spike without it being detected. This may be a problem indeed.