Friday, January 30, 2009

Another ultrasound

So for those who are keeping track, today is cd12 and the day of the follicle check. Last time, I only had one decent looking follicle, so I was all prepared for the worst. I figured that I was probably looking at not even having one and needing to decide whether to reschedule the IUI for next month. That's how optimistic I am these days.

Anyway, today's appointment was a delicious course of interesting, topped with some creamy odd remarks.
Odd thing #1- Not one, not two, but 3 of the girls I had some conversation with (receptionist, nurse, and resident) all asked me, "Is that your natural hair color?" All with that same wording. I have no problem admitting it is not, so I was only amused, not offended.
Odd thing #2- When left alone in a room with medical equipment and no pants on, I get a little loopy. Like contemplating-whether-to-mess-with-the-ultrasound-equipment-and-wondering-if-I-can-fit-a-large-latex-glove-over-my-head-so-I-can-pretend-to-be-a-turkey sort of loopy.

After waiting on the always lovely butcher-papered table and playing shooting games with the stirrups for 24 1/2 minutes, the doctor came in and here was the conversation we had:
Dr. Awesome- "So this is IUI #2 and we are now doing 100 mg of Clomid?"
Infertile me- "This is #2 and we have done 100 mg for both."
DA- "And you're not pregnant? Why not?"
IM- "'re the tell me."

Oh such fun we have! Anyway, the ultrasound went smoothly and it looks like we have 3-4 big follicles to work with this time around, so huzzah I guess. I can't remember what the numbers for the right ovary were, but I think there was a 23mm and a 18 in there, left ovary was 24, 16, and 12. Ovulation usually happens when the lead follicle reaches 20mm. Still no LH surge, so looks like we will be waiting at least a couple more days.

Dammit. I feel myself getting hopeful. I was trying to avoid that, but I guess it was inevitable. I've decided to go with it. I know I am setting myself up for a let-down, but this is our last chance for a long while (possibly forever), so I feel the need to fully experience it. It seems right to me for this to end with some pain. I know it doesn't make much sense, but it's my way of fully acknowledging my infertility. I want it to hurt, because then it will have meant something. At least that is what my overly hormone riddled brain is telling me.

So here's to hope. Here's to thinking that it might work. That after all this we've finally paid our dues and it's our chance for the good news. That my uterus may get the memo and realize that it better kick into gear before I throw it the hell out. Over a year of money, pain, and effort is coming down to this last month. No pressure. But hey, maybe it will work. Maybe one or two of those little follies will actually fight the odds and become a child. Stranger things have happened, right?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have I really been such a slacker?

Honestly? No updates for a week? I really do suck...sorry to the two people who actually read this.

Yesterday I finished my final dose of Clomid, thank goodness! Why I can't get along with a few tiny white pills is beyond me, but we really aren't friends. (Side note: I keep looking for pharmacist McWhatthehell, but haven't seen it possible that he got fired?) Now it's just the wait before starting the OPKs (ovulation predictor kits), or as I like to call it, the calm before the pee storm. See, a more normal person would take the tests once a day for a few days until they got a positive, then enjoy some intercourse, then get a positive pregnancy test and move on with life. Those of us in the broken insides club, get to take two tests a day for a week or so. "But that doesn't sound like a huge big deal." Did I mention that you have to hold your pee for 4 hours before taking the test? Oh, and it can't be the first pee of the morning either, and my doctor wants me to take the first one no later than 9am and the second one between 5-8 pm. So, do the math.

For those who hate math, basically my week of OPKs goes a little something like this. I'm supposed to start on cycle day 10...I never get a positive this early, but I tell myself to do it anyway since what if this is the one month it comes early. CD10 I set my alarm for 5 am in order to get up and pee. Fun already, no? Then I try to go back to sleep for a few more hours, but usually only get another 45 minutes sleep. When I am about to bust open at 9, I take the morning test: negative. Hey, at least I am free to pee now, right? WRONG! I have to start holding it again at no later than 2 pm...I think you see where I'm going with this. Spend a week of your life having to hold your pee for the better part of the afternoon. It's surprisingly annoying. Oh, did I mention that each test comes as a set of 7 and costs at least $25? This last IUI I spent roughly $55 on OPKs. Those are some pricey pee sticks!

Have I talked about pee enough for you? No? Awesome! Enjoy a pee story that has nothing to do with infertility. I don't worry too much about the holding it for 4 hours. It's annoying, but not impossible for me. I'm pretty much a camel and always have been. When I was 8 I was in the hospital with a pretty serious infection. After surgery to place drainage tubes, it seemed like all was getting better, but they wanted to do a CAT scan to make sure nothing had spread into bones or anything. Don't ask me, I was 8. So the scan takes about an hour and then I am laying in my hospital bed when the doctor comes in to tell me that, "The scan looks areas we need to worry you need to use the bathroom?" I respond, "I don't feel like I do, why?" "Well," he says, "according to the scan, your bladder is full enough to be covering a good chunk of your hips. You sure you don't need to go?" I decide that I'd give it a go because, while I've been quite accurate in the past about this sort of thing, I'm no doctor. The fun thing is that the hospital has to keep track of everything, so they measured my pee. Why do I tell you that? Because it was over 850 cc worth. That is just shy of a full liter! What my uterus lacks in effort, my bladder more than makes up for in girth, even back then.

So today is cd8...two more until I become way too aware of my own pee.

By the way, I happy to add people's blogs to my list and vice versa, so stop lurking and say hi!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feeling a bit better

Thank you for the kind words and empathy. As I've said, infertility can feel like such a lonely place, it's nice to be reminded that my perceptions are not the reality. I'm still a bit bummed, but feeling better than the other day. I know it's not the end of the world. I know there are so many women out there going through far worse than I am. Mostly, it's hard being reminded how strong you aren't. I promise, I'll have funnies tomorrow. Perhaps I will even share my most hilarious story...if you all really want.

Funny thing is that this is the third time in a span of 4 months or so where a family member has announced a pregnancy right before or after I have found out that another try didn't work. I joked with The Boy today that every time I get my period, someone gets knocked up. I am the bell to their angel wings.

So we've decided to do one more round of IUI and then take a break. The clomid makes the endo pain much more severe (as in, pop an 800 mg ibuprofen every 4 hours just to be able to take the edge off) and it's just too much to keep going through at this time. I guess this is last call for my ovaries. Come on ladies...step up for once!

So here's the plan: 100 mg Clomid days 3-7, ultrasound on day 12 (Dr Awesome isn't working on day 13), IUI day after positive OPK. I don't anticipate it being successful, but see it as something I need to do to reassure myself that I gave this whole getting pregnant thing all I could. I feel good about it. Frankly, I just want to produce more than one follicle. The Boy's SA shows no real problems. Sure, there are some morphology issues, but the high concentration makes up for it. Not looking forward to the whole process again, but it will help me sleep easier in the coming months.

I've been asked if we are going to try IVF. The answer at this point is no. There are amazingly strong couples who go through it. Some are even successful. I don't know quite how to explain it, but it's not for us. We've both agreed very strongly that the toll it takes financially, physically, and emotionally is just not something we chose to take on. I may change my mind on that in the coming months, but I doubt it. We've been walking this trail for a while now and I think we are both ready to sit down and enjoy the view for a while.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have nothing funny to say.

About an hour ago I got my period. IUI #1= massive fail.
The Boy's SA came back with abnormalities. Concentration is 164, motility is 65% and morphology is only 20%. The andrology lab can't be bothered to call me back and tell me what the numbers mean, but they don't sound so great to me (except the concentration, that is). I feel like I've been rubbed raw.

To every person who tells me to "just relax and it will happen", screw off. I was as relaxed as I could be right after the iui. I was in a tropical paradise for crying out loud! Relaxing does not cure a medical condition. Relaxing isn't going to make my endometriosis go away.

To everyone who tells me I am young and have plenty of time, screw you. Young has nothing to do with this. Young doesn't change the fact that medical professionals have given me a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant naturally. Young doesn't factor into it when you are out of money and sick of being in constant physical pain. Young doesn't change the fact that this will be the year we decide if adoption is our only choice of having a family.

To everyone who tells me about some person who they know through a friend who was told she could never have kids, but then she did so you just can't give up hope because you never know, just get away from me before I stab you in the eye. When we stop trying to have a kid, we will have to save up money for a hysterectomy, so I'm afraid that sometimes you do know. I can't stay off birth control and just hope for the best. My endometriosis is getting more severe every day, as is the pain, and treating endo and getting pregnant are mutually exclusive endeavors.

Finally, to everyone who says none of these things, thank you. I know all the above are done in an effort to comfort, help, and relate, but sadly they manage to fail in all of those areas. The only thing you can say to someone dealing with infertility and failed procedures is, "I'm sorry." Put that in your book of useful information.

Please don't think I am writing this to get sympathy from anyone. I am just hurting quite a bit right now, in spite of my best efforts to not get my hopes up. I find that writing things down helps me process my feelings and move on. I guess what I'm saying is that I just need a place to vent. I think one of the hardest things about infertility is feeling like you can't really talk openly about it to other people. It makes them very uncomfortable. I mean, what are they supposed to say? (answer: see above, also, "That sucks." is another option)

There are plenty of horrible diseases and conditions a person can have, and I don't want any of them. What makes infertility so difficult to me is that it's not something you have, it's something you are. You don't say, "I have infertility" like you would say about cancer or MS. I try not to let it take over my life, but how can it not? I am infertile. (I guess you could say, "I have infertility issues, but it doesn't slip as easily off the toungue, now does it?). Simple semantics, but it really does affect things, at least to me. It's like I'm saying "I am a leper," and trust me the reactions to both phrases are quite similar.

As I said a little while ago, I didn't actually expect the IUI to work. If we do another one, I will also not expect it to work. Pregnancy, it seems, is something that happens to other people, not me. So why do I bother? I guess I see the IUI as something that is necessary to get out of the way. Something to do to prove to myself that I tried everything I could. So that if we do decide to machete our way through the red tape of adoption, I will know that it is the only way we could have a family. Somehow I feel like that will make it easier, if such things can be made easier.

"But you can't lose hope!!! You have to stay positive, and then good things will happen!" says the moron in the back.
You know what? Hope is a fickle, horrible, nasty whore who has led me on month after month only to slap my hard in the face and run off laughing. I'm sick of letting it back in my life everytime it says "Baby, you know I'm sorry. I love you and I'd never do anything to hurt you. Please take me back." I'm done with it. Hope can go screw with someone else for a while.
I'm infertile. No amount of hope will change that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Things you don't want to hear 13 dpo

Hey, you know your cousin who got pregnant the first week of trying (on her honeymoon) and had a baby girl about 5 months ago? Guess what! Yup, she's pregnant again.

Tomorrow is 14 days past ovulation (dpo) and 14dpiui (days past IUI), so I'm guessing this news will be even happier tomorrow.

Would you like some cheese to go with your bitter harpie?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No real vacation from infertility

Ah views...wondering how our IUI turned out and if we'll have to do another one next month or n--Nope...not thinking about that. Enjoying the beautiful weather...smelling the flowers...not at all thinking about what the results of the SA will be.

I'll say this: I had a fantastic time. I really didn't think very much about the IF stuff. The Boy and I had a chat about if we would do another IUI during one of our layovers and then put an embargo on talking about it. We even succeeded at that for the whole week!

The problem is we were not traveling alone. We had some long car rides with family that I had never met, and The Boy hadn't seen in a few years. It was fine, oh, 95% of the time, but the endo came up since I don't eat like a normal american, which in turn opens up the inevitable can of worms I like to call The Question. The Question, as many of you already know, goes a little something like this:

*pleasant conversation about any given topic*
topic gradually turns to my insides (as you know, they are fascinating to the general public!)
I quite gracefully and diplomatically answer the basics about endo: what it is, why it causes pain, things that help. I never give more information than they need for their questions and try not to make a big deal about it. We're talking maybe a sentance or two.
Pleased with myself I try to turn the topic to something less tricky.
Then comes The Question

"So can you have kids?"

Yup. I get asked this question just about every time the endo comes up. Is it any wonder I don't care to talk about it with many people?

It gets better. I will typically answer the question with a polite, but firm, "We don't really know. Endo can cause problems for people, and not for others. We'll deal with all that when the time comes."

Then, since it is not at all their business, they ask, "Well are you trying? How many kids do you want? Do you think you'll have to adopt? How long have you been married for? How old are you? Would you rather not talk about this and get some ice cream instead?" of those questions was not actually asked of me this trip...I'll let you guess which one it was. Not only that, I was asked The Question (and follow-up questions) no less than 3 times on this 7 days. I typically responded with something along the lines of, "We are happy with where are life is right now." I'd pull out the snark, but I really don't know these people well, and I really want to get invited back on vacation. Besides, most people don't think this is any worse than asking what team you support for the superbowl, and the ones asking me were equally nosey about basically everyone else too. Fair's fair.

Speaking of fair's fair...don't think I sat idly by during all this. I got my own delightfully chilled revenge. You see, this couple provide endless entertainment during the drives by fighting with each other, making loud animal sounds at every cow and chicken we pass by, and making quite a few remarks that made me go "WOW!!!" (like that Obama was going to change the national anthem to rap). Not only did I feast upon the schadenfreude with much delight...I brought home a doggy bag. You see, The Boy was as entertained as I was by the need to yell at each other over whether or not the rain would make the roads slippery to drive on (the verdict, who really can say!), so he pulled out his camera, switched it to movie mode, and let the entertainment flow. When conversation slowed, I would prod with questions like, "So Beth*, do you have any crazy stories?" Boy did she! I'm probably going to hell, but at least I'll have a good laugh on my way down.

I'm still in vacation mode, so no talking about our current round. I'll do that tomorrow.

*Not her real name, obviously. I wish I could post some sound clips, but maybe I'll so a little trascription instead.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gone for a while

First, let me say I am surprised that anyone reads this blog, myself included. Thanks for all the kind comments and well wishes. I assure you they get through my hard candy shell, right to the slightly less hard center.

So, I'm off to take a much needed vacation. W00T!
I'll be back with some funny stories in a week. Until then, enjoy another tale of our crazy pharmacist, Nutty McWhatthehell.

So for my third round of clomid, the boy opted to pick up the prescription. Mostly, I was feeling lazy, but I joked that I didn't want to deal with the crazy pharmacist. I didn't actually think he would be there, let alone say anything.

After about 20 minutes, the boy called and says, "You are never picking up your prescriptions here again." Basically, what happened was this:

Nutty- "May I help you?"
TB- "Yeah, I need to pick up a refill of Clomid."
Nutty- "'re not supposed to need this three months in a row."
TB- "Uh.....what?"
Nutty- *insert random story about people that have gotten pregnant with multiple kids while on Clomid*
TB- "You know, it's really not--"
Nutty- "So just keep that in mind."

He then continues to tell some other random story, all while The Boy is trying to politely leave and not talk about this with some geriatric whack job. Finally, he pays for the pills of happy ovary tilling and as he is walking out, Nutty says "Good luck this time!!!"

Now, keep in mind, this is all happening with a line of people within easy ear shot. Can you say:

I know you can.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let us never speak of this again.

So I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is, "How did the IUI go?"'s over with, and that's about the best thing I can say about that. In all fairness, it wasn't nearly as painful as my HSG. When the nurse inserted the catheter, there was cramping, but as I told her, "I have endometriosis, so cramps and I go way back." The hurt a bit, but wasn't too bad. I had pretty nasty cramps for the rest of the day and couldn't stand up all the way, but most of that is over with now.

So why am I whining when other people have such a harder time? How can I complain when there are other who go through full IVF? Where is my usual snark and funnies? While the IUI was physically pretty mild, it was more emotionally taxing than I thought it would be. It's one thing to be told you are infertile. It's quite another to have a medical procedure to try to get pregnant. No one thinks about their child being the result of laying on a table, legs in stirrups, trying to chat about nothing in particular with the woman who is essentially impregnating them. It's supposed to be something between a couple, not a couple, a few nurses, some lab techs, various other medical personnel, and a few other nervous couples in the waiting room. It's hard to describe, but I don't blame anyone who decides this is not for them. I'm sure the next one will be easier, but hopefully we won't need to do anymore. Yeah right.

Oh, by the way, I was wrong about one prediction. The RE office had a copy of Conceive on a table...but only one.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

IUI is on

We are go for IUI. OPK came back positive this morning, so we are scheduled for the IUI tomorrow. I suppose I figured that my uterus would try to thwart my plans once again and build some sort of barricade to not allow any ovulation to occur. Apparently not.

It's strange, but even though I have read many peoples experiences with all this, I still can't believe that we are doing all this. It's extremely surreal.

Predictions for tomorrow:
-I will spend the entire time trying to not laugh in the andrology department, cause I am immature.
- I will be incredibly glad that the RE's office does not carry any Conceive magazines to teach me about hot, hot pregnancy sex.
- I will spend the entire day, and subsequent 2 weeks convinced that if I really think that this succeeded it will jinx it, so the secret is to not think it worked, which will make me think I am incredibly clever because I managed to use reverse psychology on the universe. The universe is not so easily tricked, however, so I really won't get pregnant despite my ingenious plan.
-That guy I live with will make some joke after the fact asking if the insemination was satisfying.
- I will tell him that I "had all kinds of orgasms"* from the procedure.

Wish me luck!

*points for whoever can identify the quote!

Friday, January 2, 2009


So the ultrasound is done and the verdicts is:

Right ovary showed some small follicles, left showed one good folly. I guess I should be pleased to have one good potential egg, but I was really hoping for 2 or 3 (as was Dr Awesome). He still sounded positive about our chances of success, so we are going ahead with the IUI. A big scabby thumbs up to my ovaries. Guess they got the message from my uterus to just take it easy.

I know it only takes one egg, but honestly, after so long I can't imagine this working. I feel like we're going through the motions because that is what you do. Dr. A did tell me that if I don't ovulate in the next 2 days or so there is a good chance that the other follies will catch up, but I honestly think he was saying that to make me feel better and not because he actually thought that would really happen. Oh well...guess we'll see. Anyone have success with only one follicle?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hey thumb...screw you!

Not even a day into the new year and I manage to damage myself further. Allow me to explain:
Me- Hey, I need to cut up some food. Since I do that on a daily basis it surely can't be anything I need to pay close attention to.
Kitchen knife- aren't watching me...and I'm thirsty for blood! My time has come!
My thumb- Hmmm....I feel too long and heavy...maybe I should just take a nap beneath this shiny silver thing.
My nerve endings- MOTHER F^&#%$@!!!!!!!!!!

Yup...I cut the tip of my thumb off. Nothing stitches or anything. I cut about 80% of the way through the skin and nail about a centimeter down More of an inconvenience than a serious tragedy. But still...does not inspire confidence in myself. Yay 2009!

So I go in for my ultrasound tomorrow and we'll see if any follies have decided to cooperate. Still no ovulation, which is good since it would have screwed up the IUI schedule.

I keep going back and forth on how I feel about all this. One second I am excited about it all, the next I start panicking about how we are going to afford all this and if we are just wasting our time. I don't know whether to tell myself that this is going to work, or to prepare myself for another disappointment. What to do, what to do? Seriously...I am totally open to suggestions.