Saturday, February 22, 2014

Third time's the...3rd failure

It didn't work...again. 

I don't know why I'm depressed about it, there was such a small chance it would work anyway, given the blocked tube issue, but I still am. 

This next part is probably TMI, so if you don't want to read further, you've been warned.  I had a small amount of spotting on Thursday night.  It honestly surprised me to see that small amount of blood that I actually said out loud (in my hotel room, by myself), "What is that?!?"  I was only at CD26, and having my last 4 cycles be around an average of 38 days, I didn't even consider I could be getting ready to start.  So, I do what all crazy people do, and instantly started googling implantation bleeding and by the time I went to bed Thursday night, I had myself convinced that was what was happening. 

Friday morning I woke up to a slight bit more bleeding, but still not much at all.  So of course, I googled whether or not implantation bleeding could get heavier, and found it could, so I was still thinking I was ok. 

Then...it just got heavier throughout the day, and the cramping became more severe.  My mood went downhill pretty quickly.  I was at a client's office and was trying to get work done, and didn't even think until 12:00 that I should call the doctor's office to let them know I was starting and needed a refill for clomid, since I'd have to start taking it on Sunday.  Thankfully, I remembered, and called and left a message for Dr. S's nurse.  Her nurse called me a couple of hours later, and I explained to her how my cycles had been getting longer and that the last time I saw Dr. S, she wanted me to call when I knew the result of the latest IUI.  So, her nurse said she'd talk to Dr. S and get back to me. 

A couple of hours later, her nurse called me back.  Basically, we're going to go ahead and set up a consultation with the RE from Little Rock, but because that will take a few weeks, we're going to do another IUI in the mean time.  As the nurse said, worst case scenario, we get pregnant and have to cancel the consultation. 

So...here we go again...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What have I learned?

Although 3 times of doing AI, or IUI, or whatever you want to call it certainly doesn't make me an expert, I definitely feel like I've learned so much through these last 10 months.  Probably one of the first things I learned was the "lingo".  Yes, infertility has it's own language.  For example:

  • 2ww - two week wait between IUI & and the point where I can take a pregnancy test
  • AI - artificial insemination
  • AF - Aunt Flo - period, menstrual cycle
  • BD - baby dance, or sex, this one cracks me up
  • Beta - HCG pregnancy test
  • BFN - big fat negative
  • BFP - big fat positive
  • CD - cycle day, which starts the day AF arrives
  • CM - cervical mucus
  • FET - frozen embryo transfer (IVF term)
  • DPO - days past ovulation
  • DPT - days post transfer (IVF term)
  • IF - infertility
  • IUI - intra-uterine insemination
  • IVF - in vitro fertilization
  • MC - miscarriage
  • POAS - pee on a stick - home pregnancy test
  • RE - reproductive endocrinologist
  • TTC - trying to conceive
  • US - ultrasound
I've learned that there is just no explanation of why things don't work when it seems like they should.  I already knew this, but this has continued to remind me that life isn't fair.  I've learned I'm a much more jealous person than I ever realized.  I think 90% of my friends that are of child-bearing age have had children or announced pregnancies in the last year.  Every single time, I grow slightly more jealous and it hurts a little more.  You would think I'd get used to it, and maybe I will, but right now, it hurts.

I've learned that I have some pretty amazing friends and family.  I can't count the number of amazing friends and family members that have checked in on me and let me know they are thinking about me.  I've also learned some friends are still pretty amazing, but just don't know how to talk to me about it, and so they don't.  I've learned to let that go, and just know not all people are the same.

I've learned that my husband is even more amazing than I realized before we started this, and he had set the bar pretty high.  I couldn't do this if it weren't for him.  I think back to the HSG test, where we found out I was {slightly} pregnant.  My sweet and perfect husband knew to not celebrate, as it never felt real, even the next morning when I took three pregnancy tests and they all said positive.  Dusty held my hand a few weeks later as I went through the most painful experience ever, when I actually had the HSG test and if he hadn't been there, right next to me, holding my hand, I would have quit the test and given up right then.  Dusty's had his fair share of unpleasant experiences through this as well...nothing like trying to get me pregnant by taking a brown paper bag to the doctor's office with his part of the process inside.  Then, during this IUI cycle, Dusty gave me my trigger shot.  I can't thank God enough for that man!

And last, but maybe most important, is, although I may forget it quite a bit of the time, I've learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought I would be.  This process has been so difficult, and I know I haven't had it near as bad as other women have, but it has still be hard, and depressing.  Somehow, I'm still here, and trying to stay positive.  I'm working to build my inner strength to keep going, whatever the next step might be. 

Speaking of inner strength, I've been wanted to post this for a while, and felt like this was the perfect post to include this.  For Christmas, my sweet sisters-in-law gave me a charm for my Pandora bracelet that represents inner strength.  Because of the stupid winter weather, Dusty and I didn't get to go to Iowa for Christmas, so we mailed presents up and they mailed presents down.  When I opened the card and the charm, I instantly started crying.  It was such a sweet and touching gift from them and I absolutely love it.  I've posted a picture of it below.  I decided to put it between the two spacers that Dusty gave me when he first gave me the bracelet, and those two charms are the birthstones for my mom & dad.  I like the thought of the inner strength being right between my parents' charms, as I feel like they are really the reason I am who I am today. 

 

Monday, February 17, 2014

it's been...one week

It's been one week since my IUI.  I'm smack dab in the middle of my two week wait.  The "2ww" is horrible.  It is such a mixed bag of emotions in my head during that time.  I want to be hopeful, but I don't want to get my hopes up.  I want to think positively, but I don't want to be crushed if the results are negative.  I want to think there is an embryo developing in my uterus, but then again, I don't want to think that so when there isn't, I didn't really think there ever was.  In other words, the 2ww sucks!

My IUI went well.  I realized as I was sitting on the table waiting for the doctor that I hadn't worried about it hurting, nor had I even thought about that until that moment.  When I realized that, I just thought, wow...something that not too long ago I stressed about until the point where I felt sick, hadn't even crossed my mind until the minutes before my IUI.  Maybe I was too worried about Dusty having to give me a shot to think about it! 

That did have me slightly worried.  Dusty did great, though.  Sunday morning, in the middle of making pancakes for Dusty, Summer and myself, I loaded up the needle (years of doing this for Dad to give shots to the cattle came in handy!), and then Dusty gave me the shot.  I don't know why, but I bled when he gave me the shot.  And as I felt it trickle down my skin, I was trying to figure out whether it was alcohol or blood.  Well, Dusty wiped it with a cotton ball before putting the band-aid on me, and let me tell you, when I saw it was blood, I nearly passed out!  I felt the blood rush out of my head and the cold sweat start to break out down my back.  My vision started to get a little blurry as I started to flip a pancake, and I realized I was about to pass out.  I asked Dusty to turn the pancakes and laid down for a couple of minutes.  After laying down for a short time, I was fine, but dang!  I just can't take the sight of my own blood, I guess.  I'm such a sissy.

So, that was Sunday morning.  I quickly recovered in time to enjoy pancakes with my niece.  Dusty and I asked her lots of questions about dance, and just loved our conversation with her.  She talks so adult-like for a 10 year old! 

Monday, I went to work for part of the day, and then left around 1:00 to run an errand and then meet Dusty at home to head to the clinic.  Dr. H came in and said Dusty's numbers looked great {yay}, and then we started the IUI.  It was more painful than usual.  Dr. H warned me I was about to cramp and boy, was he right!  Right when he said it, I felt pretty strong cramps and hurt for the rest of the procedure, which was only a couple of minutes at most. 

Afterwards, we headed home (after laying on the table for 20 minutes, of course), and I took the rest of the day off and chilled on the couch.  I had pretty strong cramping the rest of the day, and even the next day at work.  That was tough!  I was walking around like a little old lady, bent over from the cramps keeping me from straightening up.  Luckily, everyone just thought I wasn't feeling well and didn't really ask me anything about it!!  Thank goodness! 

So, that brings us back to being in the middle of the 2ww.  We'll see what happens. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Monday...


This is happening tomorrow & Monday...

I had my follow up scan today, and my follicles on my left side continued growing, with one going from 11mm to 17mm this morning.  My lining looks good as well.  Although the follicles are on my left side, we are still going to do AI on Monday.  It's a lower chance of working, but you never know.  So, this means Dusty has to give me my trigger shot tomorrow morning!!  Eek!  The nurse showed Dusty where (and then drew a circle on me) and how to give me my shot, and he says he can do it.  On Monday afternoon, we'll go in and do the AI procedure. 

Please say a prayer for us!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Another Day, Another Ultrasound

 





I had my first ultrasound for this cycle yesterday.  After a slight freak out due to a conflict on my schedule, I ended up seeing another doctor for my ultrasound, and I have to say, it was quite a blessing from God that I did!  But, first, before that, I sat at my appointment forever yesterday, waiting to see the doctor, so, I decided to snap some pictures.  Haha!  I was bored.  Of all times that I didn't bring my ipad to read on, it had to be the one appointment that ran about 45 minutes late!  And on top of that, my phone died about 30 minutes into the 45 minute delay.  Good times.  But, before it died, I took the pictures above.  What can I say, I was bored.  I do love the cute green stirrups cover, though!!

Now, about the appointment.  Dr. S came in and the first thing she said was, long time no see!  That made me feel good, because I felt like she had taken the time to look at my chart and realize that she had seen me once before.  Dr. S was the doctor that did my scan in June (I think) when my follicles didn't grow between days, and as a result, she upped my clomid dosage.  Dr. S is funny and I enjoy her personality.  She asked me what I had been up to, and then said, lots of clomid?  I told her yes, along with two failed IUI attempts and then a third cycle where my follicles didn't grow so we didn't do IUI.  She asked me if, as a result of that cycle, they upped my clomid dosage.  I told her no, but I had asked about that, and had been told by my doctor's nurse that it was a dud cycle and if it happened again, they might up my dose.  Dr. S kind of frowned at that, but didn't really say anything. 

Dr. S scanned me and I have two follicles developing on my left side, which isn't ideal.  She said my right ovary was looking slightly polycystic and there was only 1 small follicle on that side.  She had read in my chart about my blocked tube, so she knew about that, but did say that it is still possible for the right tube to pick up follicles from my left ovary, but, obviously, a much smaller chance of that happening.  She then said that I needed to be scanned again in 48 hours, which is on Saturday.  She said she wasn't on call, but did say that she wished she were so she could see what happens with my follicles. 

I think my follicles probably aren't as large as they should be at this point in the cycle, although she didn't say that.  Her next statement was that, having been on clomid, it is possible for them to grown more than 2 mm a day, and then she asked me when I typically ovulated.  I told her that it was usually around day 15 or 16, but that my cycles had been getting pretty long lately, like, between 40 & 45 days times, and that I've had to have a prescription 3 times to make me start.  Dr. S really frowned at that!  I told her that I had asked Dr. P's nurse whether or not that was normal, and before I could even tell her what the nurse had told me, she was like, No, it's not!  She said that it especially wasn't normal doing the clomid and IUIs.  I told her I was glad she said that because I was pretty worried about it and didn't feel great with the answer I had been given.  Dr. S then said that after this IUI cycle, she wants me to call her nurse, and at that point, she wants the RE in Little Rock to take a look at my history.  Based on the 3 failed IUIs (assuming this cycle will fail), the long cycles, and the blocked tube, she wants to get a fresh set of eyes on my history.  Dr. S said she isn't trying to bypass Dr. P, but I think she could tell I wasn't happy with the answers I had been getting, and was concerned.  Which really made me feel so glad that I saw her for my appointment.  She then had me get dressed and told me to meet her at the nurse's station to figure out when I needed to come in on Saturday and who was on call.

I got dressed and walked out to the station, and then it was slightly awkward, as Dr. P was standing right there.  I have to say, I absolutely love Dr. P, she is great!!  But, that being said, I think she is very busy, and gives a lot of liberty to her nurse to answer questions from patients for her without the nurse consulting with Dr. P first.  This has made me question some of the answers I've received from her nurse, especially now, given Dr. S's reaction to some of the things I've told her.  I have no idea what the dynamic is between all of the doctors and how they handle differences, but I guess that doesn't really matter, as long as I'm getting cared for.  Anyway, Dr. S was standing next to Dr. P (who said hi to me as soon as she saw me) and Dr. S asked her who was on call this weekend to do my Saturday scan.  It's Dr. H, Dr. P's husband, which I was glad about because I've seen him before and I'm comfortable with him.  Dr. S then told Dr. P that she's concerned about my cycles and wants to look into it more, but I don't think she really wanted to go into more details right then, and Dr. P just said ok, before Dr. S headed off to another patient.  Dr. P then told me how to go about getting my scan on the weekend, when the clinic is closed.  Dr. S walked into another patient's room, but I wish I had been able to talk to her more.  She looked back at me when she was walking in the door, but because Dr. P was talking to me, I couldn't really look over at her, but felt she was trying to catch my eye.  I guess I'll just see how tomorrow goes and depending on what we end up doing this cycle, I will give her nurse a call.

So, that's the latest.  I wanted to make sure I blogged pretty quickly about this because I felt like I got a lot of information yesterday, and I didn't want to forget it.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Another Round...

After a "dud" cycle in December, I had to wait 37 days for my next cycle to start, which didn't even start without prescription drug help.  I don't understand why I had always been so regular until the last few months and now my cycles are stretched out so long.  I've asked, and my doctor doesn't really know.  I think I'll ask another doctor when I get the chance, but first I'm going to write out exactly how long each cycle has been for the past year, so I actually have some data to support my concern.  I'm such an auditor. 

All that being said, I started my cycle earlier this week, and decided that I wanted to try another IUI, depending on what my follicles look like.  Even with it being my busy season at work, I just want to get through the IUI attempts so this process of trying to have a baby isn't slowed even more.  It already feels like I'm missing chances because of my cycles being so long, so I don't want to miss any voluntarily. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about work yet, but I'll just figure that out when I find out what this cycle looks like.  I go in Thursday for my first ultrasound this cycle, however; it'll be so early in the cycle that I'm not very hopeful that I'll find out anything then.  I'm not really sure how it works with the weekend, because I am usually scanned every other day, so I don't even know how that will work either.  I'm just kind of coasting, figuring it'll work out like it needs to.  Maybe I'm finally turning over my worry to God.  Or...I've been through this process so many times that I'm just used to it and don't feel the need to stress.  Maybe a combination of both?  Either way, I'm just going with the flow.