Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cycle Day 19-Ouchie belly button!

Woo boy....  My belly button area feels strange!  Just under my belly button, maybe a half an inch to the left, I am having this strange pinching pulling feeling.  It started this afternoon while we were heading to Cici's for lunch.  Just BAM, there it was.  I thought maybe my pants were sitting strangely or digging in, but they weren't.  Its been coming off and on all day.  I still have some slight burning in my uterus, but not as much today.  My right ovary is still painful.  Out of nowhere it will start aching.  I wish I could fully explain how it all feels!

I've been looking around online to see if I can get any explanation of the pinching under the belly button.  The only thing I've found isn't helping my mental state, everything I've found is that it is a common early sign of pregnancy.  Eek!  I hope!  LOL  How can you not start to get excited???

I'm trying to fill the hubby in on all the symptoms or weird things I've been feeling.  After telling him about the pinchy belly button, he laughed and said that he doesn't remember all of these things in the past pregnancies.  We are both holding all of them as positive signs. 

I bought a jar of dill pickles today and ate some as soon as I got home.  They tasted so wonderful.  I've been wanting some strong flavors the last day or so.  We had Cici's for lunch because I wanted a variety of flavors.  I had a little of almost every pizza they had, a salad, and cinnamon rolls and enjoyed every bite!

Here is a scary thought I've had.  With the intensity of these feelings, could it be more than one if I am pregnant???

I also have a decision to make about testing.  The doctor who did my insemination (IUI) says you can test 2 weeks after the IUI procedure, which would be a week from tomorrow.  However, my normal doctor, Dr. James, she says 2 weeks 2 days post IUI.  Should I breakdown and test next Sunday or wait the extra two days?

My brain is working over time today and I wish it wasn't.  I don't want to be let down....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 18-Changes!

Today has been a rough day.  I woke up this morning feeling pretty good.  I have this soreness in my lower belly, by my uterus/bladder area, that feels like I’ve been doing sit ups all night.  Other than that I felt fine, nothing different.  Hubby and I talked in the bathroom while we were both getting ready for work.  It was a nice moment of closeness we shared because we are both going through this and it is sharing how each other feel.  We mostly just talked about how I’m feeling and if I have noticed any symptoms yet.  I am 5 days past ovulation date.  Symptoms could start showing up any day now.  This morning, I had nothing to really report other than the sore belly and a slowing down of my potty abilities….  Not constipation, but slower.

This afternoon however, ugh.  My tummy is still sore.   I have this stabbing pain around my right ovary whenever I move and off and on when I’m just sitting.  There are times it almost takes my breath away.  I think it may be the corpeus lutium.  I think it is setting up shop!  I’m having some strange spasm feelings in my cervix and my cervical mucus is getting to be this thinner white consistency.  My pants have apparently shrank during the late morning, early afternoon because I had to unbutton them and they are now being held closed with a rubber band.  I’ve eaten pretty much anything and everything I’ve laid eyes on and am still starving!  I’ve drank several glasses of water and still feel thirsty, which has led to more peeing.  There have been several times this afternoon I’ve had to fight to keep from laying down and sleeping. 

At first, its easy to get excited about these symptoms.  But remember, I’m on progesterone suppositories, so it could just be from them.  Or, it could be early pregnancy symptoms.  Its so heart wrenching to feel these things and not know.  I’m getting excited from feeling them, but I’m so afraid of the potential let down that could be coming in a week and a half.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Days 16 & 17

Sorry for skipping another day.  We went to the hockey game last night.  It was a late game, but it was ok because the Jackets tromped Detroit!  Being hormonal at the game made me cheer even harder, so I guess there are some perks to those stupid little white suppositories!

I am feeling a little hormonal, but not terrible.  I’ve been a bit whiney and a bit short tempered.  Hubby called me out on it last night after talking to me on my drive home and I was complaining about all of the other drivers.  I just had to laugh, because I knew deep inside that I was being silly about it, but I also felt like I couldn’t stop it.  I’ve found its much better to just let it out than to hold it in when I’m feeling like this.  I do not want to recreate the ‘Great Baked Potato Incident’.  It was 7 or 8 years ago, I honestly can’t remember, but I was taking Clomid in the hopes I’d get pregnant.  Clomid is handed out pretty freely by gynos to try and get you pregnant, but they have no monitoring while you are on it so you don’t know if it is working or not.  I never got pregnant and in the trial of it with the fertility doctor, I know that I don’t respond to it, even in the highest dosage available.  All it managed to do was make me a hormonal psycho!  So, one night I was making dinner and we were going to have baked potatoes.  I put them in the toaster oven so that I didn’t have to turn the oven on.  Two hours later, the stupid things hadn’t even really started to cook.  I had never really used a toaster oven before and threw the thing out shortly after this night.  I had a meltdown.  I cried and cried and cried for 2, almost 2 ½ hours over these potatoes.  It wasn’t even so much about them as it was I was mad because I was crying and couldn’t stop.  Hubby, be the good man he is, made some French fries to go with dinner and we ate, while I was still crying.  He tried to calm me down, but no matter what he or I did, I couldn’t stop.  We now joke about it, but at the time, I was so mad at myself for acting like that and not being able to stop it.  When the fertility doctor said she wanted to start with Clomid, Hubby’s face went pale.  I knew he was remembering the Baked Potato Incident.   

Physically, I’m sore.  My insides still hurt and I have this weird twinge-y pain that comes and goes on my right hip.  Its deep, so I’m not sure if its still from my ovaries doing their thing or not.  Mentally, my mind is going 90 different directions.  Its very hard to get anything done.  I am counting down the days until I can pee on that lovely stick, all the while trying to remind myself that it may not work this round.  I don’t want to be too devastated if I only get one pink line.  I also keep thinking to myself, even if it is two pink lines, that doesn’t mean that everything is ok.  I’ve had the positive tests before and still I don’t have a baby to hold.  As I’ve said before, I am trying really hard to keep a positive mind set.  I can’t dwell on the past, but its always there, nagging me.  I know deep in my heart, until I can hold my baby in my arms, I’m going to always be waiting for the worse.  And even after the little one does get here, I’ll have a whole new set of worries.  I certainly hope I’m not prematurely aging myself with all of this worry!  Adding to my mental jumble is a coworker who is due any day now, just left work maybe 30 minutes ago to start maternity leave.  I am envious of her.  She is scared about the labor, about being a mom, and scared about all of it that goes with the grounds of being a mom.  I am jealous that she is feeling these feelings.  I want to be scared about the kind of mother I’ll be, rather than being scared of never being a mother.

In all of the hub-bub of her getting ready to have her son, it has me thinking of the future.  If this round works, we’d be due around December 17th.  A baby born around the holidays, a baby born around their daddy’s birthday….  Sometimes I feel like I’m giving myself false hope by thinking about these things.  I question if other women who’ve experienced similar struggles have done the same or am I just some nut who likes to torture herself?

Only 11 days to go until I get to pee on that expensive stick!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cycle Days 14 & 15

Sorry for no post yesterday.  I was off enjoying the day with my niece, sister in law and mother in law.  We had a day of smiles and laughs.  I needed it more than I realized.

My insides hurt.  I feel like I have a urinary tract infection in my uterus.  That is the best way to describe it.  It kind of feels like I have to pee a lot and there is tightness in the muscles around my ovaries and uterus.  I believe it is from the eggs popping out and having a tube moved around in my uterus to deposit the swimmers. 

Here is the weird thing.  In the two rounds of treatment when I got pregnant, I had this feeling, but if I didn't get those feelings, I didn't get pregnant.  I don't know if I am just crazy or if there is something to it!  Anyway, I have this feeling this time, so I'm thinking positive thoughts.

I'm trying to think positive thoughts no matter what.  Sometimes its hard.  I keep thinking of the future and what it will be like to bring our baby home.  I've had dreams and goals for the babies I've lost, so it doesn't surprise me to have dreams and goals for a baby that may not even be conceived yet. 

I'll tell you something else, sex is usually fun!  But have you ever had to have sex for several days in a row at certain times in certain positions, even if you weren't really up for it?  Do you know how much of a pain it is to have to lay in the same spot for 20 minutes afterwards when all you want to do is pee and go to sleep?!  This can take a toll on a marriage.  It starts to lose the spontaneity and excitement when you have  to do it!  I think after almost 10 years of timed sex on an almost monthly basis, we are doing well though.  There is a distinct difference in baby making sex and 'normal' romantic sex.  Thankfully!  :)

Tonight I start my progesterone vaginal suppositories.  These little white 'pills' go inside your vaginal canal at bed time. 



Progesterone is a pregnancy hormone.  My body doesn't produce quite enough of this hormone to support a healthy pregnancy.  The progesterone is produced by a cyst that forms on your ovary after ovulation.  This cyst is called a corpus luteum.  So I have to take these suppositories in the hope that I do get pregnant and my body is ready to carry the little bean.  The downside is that I will start to experience pregnancy symptoms within a few days.  Sore breasts, sleepiness, sometimes nausea, etc.  This is a bit taxing on your mental state when all you want is to get pregnant and your body is acting like its pregnant, even if you may not be! 

Another not so fun part of these, they can force your body to continue to carry a baby that will never grow.  This has happened with my last two miscarriages.  I carried my babies for a few weeks after they stopped growing.  One thing that I appreciated from that though, was the ability to have our babies tested to find out what happened.  Non-recurring chromosomal abnormalities.  These pregnancies usually end on their own before a mother even realizes she is pregnant, but because of the progesterone, your body keeps thinking nothing is wrong.

I refuse to go on anymore on this sad subject today.  I want to be happy and positive right now.  I want a happy home for a baby to settle in!  I'll check in tomorrow and let you know if I'm having a happy bunny or an angry bear kind of day!  Keep up the prayers and positive energies for us, and for any person who may be suffering from infant loss or infertility.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cycle Day 13--Early morning basteing

6:30 came really early this morning.  But, considering we had a 7:30 drop off of Hubby's little swimmers, I had to wake up. 

As weird as it is for me to have doctors 'in my business' every few days, I can't imagine how weird it must be for hubby and his part.  He must deposit his little swimmers into a specimen cup, at a certain date and time.  The cup then rides, tucked inside a coat pocket to keep them body temp, to the doctor.  There, he passes them off to a lab tech, today a young woman, and fill out a sheet that asks things like how his sample was collected and what time.

After the drop off we have to wait an hour and a half for me to come back for my IUI.  We usually go for a nice breakfast and try not to think about what our day holds.  Today we tried a place called Mimi's Cafe, and it was really good!

Back to the doctor's office at 9:00.  My favorite nurse, Val, she gets us checked into a room and has a little vial that carries Hubby's cleaned swimmers.  To 'clean' them, they are spun out of the fluid they are in, into a sterile fluid that is hot pink in color.  On the vial they have Hubby's name, the last four digits of his social security number and my name. Val verifies Hubby's name and social, hands me my paper towel sheet and off she goes, telling us the doctor will be in shortly. 

This weekend I've been seeing Dr. Moretuzzo.  He is a soft spoken and friendly doctor.  The doctors in this practice are some of the nicest and most loving doctors I have ever encountered.  Dr. Moretuzzo comes in and gives us Hubby's numbers.  The count is 97 Million with 90% motility.  The average count is about 30 million, so these are great numbers!  Hubby watches what he eats and drinks in the days leading up to our IUI to maximize his numbers.  Seems to be working!  So, Dr. Moretuzzo inserts a speculum (that lovely device they use in our annual visits for pap smears) to open  the canal so he can see my cervix.  He then uses a catheter that is made specifically for IUI.  This is what is looks like



Its like a long straw on a syringe that injects the swimmers into my uterus.  You actually don't feel much at all, for me, I only feel a slight tickle on my cervix when it passes through.   The doctor is able to aim the catheter so that they can deposit some swimmers on a particular side, or some on both if you have eggs on both sides.  This puts them as close as possible to the eggs, ensuring more of them make it.  The doctor then takes everything back out and pulls out the foot rest on the exam table for you to rest for 10 minutes or so.  And that is it!  That is all there is to an IUI.  After your 10 minutes, off you go.

Now, for the next few days, we have to go at it on our own, just to increase our changes.  There won't be a whole lot to report on.

Physically though, I hurt.  My breasts are super super sore and my ovaries are cramping a lot.  I'm not looking forward to starting the progesterone in a couple of days. 

We now wait 2 weeks and 2 days to take a pregnancy test.  Fingers are crossed, toes are crossed, prayers are being said, and baby dances are being done!

Cycle Day 12--Sorry I'm late!

I apologize for not posting yesterday, so I'll post this morning instead.

Yesterday, I took a nap that ended up being a 4 1/2 hour long nap!  These hormone shots are knocking me for a loop.

I triggered yesterday.  This was done with an injection in my right hip.  This is probably the least painful shot in the whole process.  However, it makes the surrounding area very sore.  We ended up going to watch the Blue Jackets practice after my appointment and it was a bit uncomfortable to sit in those seats!

The good news though.  I had 3 eggs that would for sure be popped out and possibly two more that could trigger.  The one follicle measured a .24, another a .23 and another a .18.  Anything over a .16 usually triggers.  I had two more that were about .147.  If I had enough of the follistim in my body, those could release as well.  Each 24 hour period of follistim, your follicles grow about .2.  Therefore; if I had enough follistim, the two .147 could reach a .167, being big enough to trigger.

Having 3 eggs is a great amount.  On any regular cycle for a woman who has 1 egg, you have a 25% chance of getting pregnant.  You can do the math here and look at how promising 3 eggs are and how much more promising 5 eggs are!

Since its still early in the day and I have a whole day of fun ahead of me, I'll not share my morning events with you yet.  There was enough happening yesterday for one post!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cycle Day 11-Shots in a downtown parking garage

Not a whole lot on my mind today.  I am very very sleepy and my body hurts.  I'm still trying to convince Hubby that I need to cut my breasts off.  They hurt from the inside out.  My mucus is nice and thick like it should be, but its a little ucky...

Oh, and today, I had to do my shot in a downtown parking garage.  We had a hockey game tonight and there is no place to do my shot other than the bathroom.  Hubby said that he would do my shot, but we had to do it in the car in the parking garage.  Thankfully, we were able to park in a corner where there weren't many people and there was a nice large pillar blocking anyone from seeing me with my pants around my knees!

Tomorrow, we are supposed to trigger!  My appointment is at 9:45.  Hopefully I'll be getting my injection in my hip around 10!  That means turkey basting on Sunday morning.  YAY!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cycle Day 10-More than you realize

Well, no trigger shot today.  I go back on Saturday and will trigger then.  I'm working on a handful of eggies.  We should have a better idea on Saturday how many we are talking.  Could be just one or two pop, or it could be like 8! 

My ovaries hurt worse today than I can ever remember, and my breasts feel like they need cut off.  Mucus is nice and egg white-like, just like it should be, but ugh, yuck!  My insides hurt from the ultrasound.  My left ovary is a master hide and seek player and they have to jam the wand in as far as they can, push it to the left and then push on my belly to see it.  I feel like I've been scrambled! 


Today though, I made some connections with a couple of co-workers that I was not expecting.  I've been fairly vocal with my co-workers about what is going on, mainly so they know that when I'm bawling my eyes out for no reason, just let me be.  The one coworker, we'll call her MC, she had a tubal pregnancy two years ago and lost a fallopian tube.  She is concerned because she has not been able to get pregnant again.  Her doctor has suggested she have her tubes checked for blockage and she is scared.  She is scared of what she will find out in the test, that her one remaining tube is blocked.  And that it will be the start of her journey down the infertility treatment road.  She is not afraid of the physical pain, but of the emotional pain.  It was nice for the two of us to just talk about the emotional side of this.  If you have never been through the loss and frustration, you'll never fully understand.

Another coworker, we'll call her ML, she sent me a message that just said "someone told me I should check out your blog".  That gave me a big ol' smile.  Someone out there is reading this and believes that this could be helpful.  Anyway, I found out she too has PCOS.  We had some discussion about doctors and the joys of this disorder....  Its nice to know that you aren't the only one out there dealing with the depression, body hair, weight that won't budge... 

There are more of us than you realize!

I did something tonight that has taken me two and a half years to do. 

I finally cleaned up the baby car seat.  This has been sitting in my mom's basement since August of 2009.  Back then, we were going to adopt a beautiful baby girl.  We were there at the hospital when she was born and took care of her until it was time to go home.  About 30 minutes before we were supposed to be released, the birth mom came to us and said she changed her mind, she just couldn't let her baby girl go. 

As a woman who wants to be a mom more than anything in the world, I could never imagine going through what this mom went through.  She had made the choice to find a forever home for her baby girl, believing it was for the best.  I felt honored to be the mom picked out for this sweet angel.  Then I was absolutely crushed when she was taken away.  I believe it is best for her to be with her birth mother, as long as her birth mom loves her and cares for her.

I've never felt a crushing pain like I did that day.  I've lost four babies to miscarriage, but I've NEVER felt the pain of having her taken away.  There is a huge difference in losing a baby that you've only known on an ultrasound screen and losing a baby that you've held and loved and cared for.  Both hurt immensely but they both hurt differently. 

Needless to say, this rocked me to my core.   My mother and sister came to the rescue that day when Hubby and I stumbled home, numb.  They boxed up everything that we had purchased and took it to my mom's house.  There is has sat since that day.  This weekend though, I finally felt strong enough to start bringing stuff home.  I brought home the car seat and our boppy pillow.  After two and a half years of sitting in a basement, they needed cleaned up.  So now the seat liner and pillows are drying. 

I can not express how good it felt to be able to do that.  I believe I am truly stronger because of this experience.  My heart now feels ready to love again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cycle Day 9, He's back!!!

Today is cycle day 9.  There is not a whole lot to report other than the Hubby is finally home from Texas!  I'm happy he is home.  Partially because it meant I didn't have to give myself my shot today.  :)  But mostly because I missed him.

I hope today is my last injection, but I have a feeling it won't be.  One of the signs of being close to ovulation is your mucus thickens.  I know, its gross to think about.   How do you think I feel, watching my mucus levels to see when they reach egg white like consistency?  That is one of the signs that ovulation is close at hand.  Mine are thickening and increasing in volume, but I don't think its quite there.  I guess we'll see tomorrow.

My breasts are starting to get really sore and my ovaries are hurting.  Perhaps I'll get my trigger shot tomorrow.

Tune in tomorrow for an update on my trigger date!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cycle Day 8--Shots in a public restroom

Ack, its 7:45 am and my ovaries are killing me!  These little buggers are working extra hard this month and it makes me want to cry!  The pain had been in just my right ovary, but this morning, my left ovary is 10 times worse than the right one.  I really really hope we trigger on Thursday!

Its now 2:30 in the afternoon and I’m still dealing with these ovary pains.  They are pretty bad today.  I’m also experiencing something I forgot about…leg cramps!  My hip bones and knees hurt.  Come on eggies, be ready for Thursday!  You know you want to! 

I’m dog tired today too.  With the hubby being gone, neither the dog or I sleep well.  The two of us tossed and turned and fought for blankets all night long.  At one point in time, we were laying there just looking at each other.  The look on her face was “come on morning and get here!”  Of course, me being an emotional rollercoaster, I cried and held her.  Imagine, all of your ‘normal’ emotions being intensified.  When you feel good, you are super happy, but when you are sad, you are really really sad.  Then it adds the frustration of knowing you shouldn’t be this happy or this sad in the normal course of things and you get mad.  So last night, I’m holding and petting my puppy dog crying because I miss my hubby, and then getting frustrated because I feel silly for crying when he has only been gone two nights….  And as much as I love my puppy, she isn’t very good at talking me down from the emotional freak outs. 

I know I’ve said a couple of times before that my appetite was shrinking when I was on the progesterone.  Its only getting worse.  It feels like all I can do to finish a small bit of food.  On top of that, NOTHING sounds appealing.  I’ve eaten more fish in the last couple of weeks than I’ve eaten in the last year!  It seems unreal that something like medicine to help you have a child could impact so many parts of your life.  

I'm finally back home and in bed, finishing this off.  I had to give myself my shot in the bathroom at the hockey arena tonight....  So much fun, not!  I did it though, and hopefully I've only got another one or two of these things...

Hubby comes home tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cycle Day 7-Progress! Oh, and a video

Today is cycle day 7.  I had my doctor's appointment to check the follicle growth. 

Good news!  Big smiles from me today.

The doctor measured 4 follicles and said she wasn't going to measure another 2 or 3 because she could tell they were the same size.  She laughed and said I'm responding faster than I have in the past.  Normally, I do injections for 10-12 nights.  I go back on Thursday and I might trigger then.  If so, that will only be 8 nights.Things are looking great!  I am a little bummed though, my follow up on Thursday will not be with Dr. James, but will be with her partner, Dr. Nash.  He is a great doctor too, but he just isn't Dr. James. 

Now, lets look at the number of follicles.  You might be thinking, OMG 4, possibly 7 eggs?  Is she nuts?  I may be, but... the chances of all of those eggs becoming fertilized, implanting, and making it through to a full term baby are very very very slim!  For the average fertile couple, there is a 25% chance of getting pregnant each cycle.  Now, with me having fertility issues and having had 4 miscarriages, my chances are even less.  I have very good chances of having one of those eggs fertilize and implant.  My chances of it being a successful pregnancy are a bit more grim.  But, I refuse to dwell on the negative possibilities and I am focusing on all of the positive possibilities! 

On to the not so fun part of my day, INJECTIONS, dun dun dunnnnn....

I decided to record my injections tonight.  I apologize, the video is 7 minutes long, but I wanted to do this.  Its video proof for some of you out there that I can actually do this! The video probably would be shorter, but it was a double injection night.... 

I am wearing shorts in this!  I am NOT pants-less!  LOL

video

I want to say thank you again for taking the time to read my blog.  It means so much that so many people care.  I also hope this helps someone who may be going through this!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cycle Day 6-By myself?

This morning I dropped my Hubby off at the airport.  He is off to Houston for 3 nights for a conference.  I'm going to miss him, I always do when he travels.  I can already tell, I'm going to have a hard time this time.  My hormones are all jacked up and I'm feeling hyper emotional.

I'll spend my afternoon at my sister's house, with my mom and my mom in law.  So I'll be surrounded by family and won't really be all by myself.  Its a good thing, because today, I don't think I'd do so well by myself.

Well, I'm home now.  I had a wonderful afternoon with my family.  I bought a new bracelet for me and a present for a good friend at the jewelry party my sister had.  I needed the girl time. 

My sister gave me my shot.  I think she gets more nervous than I do.  But she does a good job.  I still haven't bruised, and I'm shocked! 

I'm back to the doctor tomorrow at 11:45 to check the growth of my follicles.  I'm hoping for a couple on each side.  I would love to have more than a few pop this time.  It increases our changes, and you know what, if we end up with twins, I'd be ok with that.

I don't have much else to say tonight.  Trying to adjust to the time without my hubby.  We'll see how well I can sleep.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cycle Day 5-A kick in the ovary

Day 5 and things are already starting to change.  My right ovary is awake.  While walking around the auto show this afternoon, I felt like I had been kicked in my ovary.  It took my breath away it was so strong.  After about a minute it dulled down and now I have this pressure on my ovary.

Over the last two years, I've learned to feel parts of my body that most women ignore.  This pressure and pain is a sign that the follicles on my ovary are growing.  If I were a 'normal' woman who had regular cycles, I probably would never notice the pressure, if it were indeed able to be felt.  The follistim though, causes multiple follicles to enlarge and prep to pop out eggs.  The ovary pain is a common issue those of us on injectables have, but a sign that its working, so I am glad to feel it.

This was my third day of injections.  Things are going fairly well.  I'm surprised that I have no bruises on my thighs yet.  I figure within the next day or so, that will change.

Tomorrow, I have to give myself my shot, and will have to for the next few nights.  Hubby is off to Houston for work.  If you know me at all, you know that this is a huge feat for me to be able to give myself a shot.  I HATE needles with a passion.  When I was a child, it would take 6 adult men to hold me down for blood work.  But now, I am able to give myself shots, with the pen in the thigh, and with the typical syringe style in the belly.  For me, its another sign of my determination to have a child.

Two years ago when we started this journey, I said that if it came to me having shots, I didn't think I could do it and well, maybe that would end our attempts.  I'm glad that I have been able to move past the immobilizing fear of needles to do this.  This hasn't been without its trials though.  My very first night of injections, I had a panic attack and Hubby had to talk me down from it.  Bawling my eyes out, with my puppy licking my tears, he was able to give me my injection.  Things have gotten better, but I still feel sick to my stomach every evening as the clock ticks closer to 6pm.  The reality is, the injections don't hurt.  The needles are very thin and not very long.  They sting, but its nothing terrible.

Tomorrow, I can do this.  I'll be at my sister's house, so I may talk her into injecting me.  :)  She has helped me out before with it.  Its sweet when my nieces ask to watch.  The older of my sister's daughters, we'll call her B, she asks all sorts of questions.

She knows that I have to have shots of medicine to get my belly ready for a baby.  She also asks me every time she sees me if I have a baby in my belly yet.

The hardest part is when B asks about the babies I had in my belly before.  She asks questions about what happened to them, and how to do you explain miscarriage to a 5 year old?  She experienced the joy we had, and she experienced the pain of loss we had.  The best answer we've been able to give her is that those babies were never going to grow bigger than a piece of rice.  We gave her a piece of rice to hold and explained that a baby that tiny just couldn't live with us.  She understood, I think.  B has her little sister, we'll call her H, but she wants a cousin!  I also think B understands how much her Aunt and Uncle want a baby.  Its special for me because she is taking this journey with us.  She'll get to tell her cousin one day that she helped bring them to life.  She was able to hold my hand and the band aids and the cotton ball while her mommy gave me my shot.  I just hope we aren't messing her up for her later years!  I am afraid when she has to watch 'the video' in school, she is going to ask, well, when do we have to have our shots? 

So many people are on this journey with me and my hubby.  A role as small as holding my hand while I get my shot, has such a big meaning for me.  If you are reading this, you are playing a much larger part in our journey than you may realize.  Thank you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cycle Day 4-It burns, it burns!

Second day of injections and I forgot how much it burns!

I also forgot the weird taste you get about 25 seconds after the injection.  Its like I have rocks in my mouth, an earthy and mineral flavor....

I've warned my coworkers that I may experience some crazy emotions over the next few weeks, and hopefully months.  They decided on a 'fluffy bunny' and 'grizzly bear' system.  If I'm having a good day, I am to hang a picture of a fluffy bunny on my cubicle wall, and if its a bad day, up goes the bear.  Its a cute idea and they are being good sports with it.  They've all offered to help cover things when I have to run to the doctor for a follow up scan.

My hormones haven't started affecting my moods, yet.  I do, however, feel like I haven't slept in weeks.  I was having serious insomnia earlier this week, but Dr. James gave me the ok to take tylenol pm.  I took it last night and passed out.  It wasn't a very restful sleep though....

Ok, wow, fell asleep for two hours only moments after typing that last bit.  I could not stay awake.  Now, hubby is in bed sleeping and I'm awake...  ugh....

Not a whole lot more to say about today, so we'll see how things go tomorrow.  I should start feeling my ovaries in the next couple of days.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cycle Day 3

March 15, 2012.  The Ides of March and My March Bean's birthday.  One year ago today, we lost you.  A year later, I still miss you.  Happy Birthday my little Bean.  I'll share March Bean's story in a bit.

On to the events of cycle day 3.

Today is the first day of follistim injections.  My dosage today, and until Monday, is 100.  You get your injection every night for 10-12 days between 6-8pm.

Its a lot like an Epi-pen that is used for allergies, but you can reuse the pen, with changeable needles.  Inside the pen you put your little refrigerated vial of liquid gold:




These puppies cost $250 per vial without insurance.  As you can see, the volume in the cartridges vary, but my vials contain 300 iu.  My dosage is 100 iu.   They do usually overfill the little vials enough where you can get about 400 iu out of them.  Injections usually go for 10-12 days.  Now lets do the math. 

3.5 doses per vial
12 doses needed
4 vials needed per cycle
$250x4=$1000

This is per month and does not include the cost of any other meds you have to take.  Your trigger shot or HCG shot as it is called, it runs about $60-$80 per injection.  You get one injection a cycle. 

Thankfully we now have some fertility coverage.  Whew, because if we didn't have, we'd probably not be able to do it.  Our insurance will now allow 3 vials at a time for $50.  Instead of $750 for those vials, I can pay $50.

Once you have your vial in your pen you can put your new needle on and dial up your dose.  Oh ya, one thing that I sometimes forget and have to deal with.  The medicine must be kept refrigerated.  Set it out about an hour before you need it, otherwise, its going to burn!  The dial is a nice feature because it also doubles as your plunger.

The injection sites are probably my least favorite part.  You have two options.  Under your belly button or on the outside upper part of your thighs.  I go for the thighs.  You get nasty nasty bruises at the injection sites, so pants can hurt if you use your belly. 

Like with any injection, you prep the area with an alcohol wipe.  If you don't let the alcohol dry, it'll burn when you inject.  After its dry, you aim your pen and poke.  You don't have to ram it in to your leg, but it does take some force.  Now that you have the needle in your leg, you press the plunger all the way down and let it burn.  You count to 10 and pull the needle back out.  Sometimes you bleed, sometimes  you don't.  It is literally hit or miss when it comes to veins... 

Now, you repeat this every day until you trigger....

Cycle day 2

Today is Cycle Day 2.  I hardly slept last night.  I think a lot of my sleeplessness is coming from the excitement I have about getting started back on treatments.  I feel like I’m one step closer to holding my baby, I guess. 

I’m also not eating much.  A bowl of cereal for breakfast, about 8 bites of Mexican lasagna at lunch and one small brownie.  Normally, I eat a good amount.  Such it is with a lot of us with PCOS.  You crave carbs.  There are days where I feel like if I don’t get a piece of bread or some cake that I will murder someone!  This is one of the cruelties of PCOS.  You crave carbs to the point you feel ill if you don’t get them, but then once you’ve eaten them, your waistline pays.  One of the aspects of PCOS is insulin intolerance.  A quick lesson in insulin intolerance or resistance.  When you eat sugars (carbs) your pancreas produces insulin to break down the glucose in your blood.  When you are intolerant or resistant, your body doesn’t produce the right amount of insulin or it just flat out doesn’t know what to do with it.  This is also how diabetes works….  I am essentially pre-diabetic, however its not going to matter if I fully develop full blown diabetes in the future because my body still won’t know how to process insulin, natural or through treatment.  The chances are, I won’t die from diabetes complications, but I’m going to feel pretty miserable!  Now for the best part of all, because my body doesn’t break the carbs down, it stores them as fat!  In order to lose weight, I would have to cut out carbs, completely.  This means ZERO carbs.  No ketchup, no BBQ sauce, no bread, no cake, no ice cream, NOTHING with a carb in it.  Or, I could try this medicine called Metformin.  This lovely horse pill has been used for the treatment of diabetes since the 1920s.  The medicine has a full history, but I won’t go into that.  What I will share is how this medicine is used to help PCOS ladies lose weight and possibly help to regulate your cycles.

When you eat anything with carbs, it is usually broken down higher up in your system.  The glucose is then absorbed into your bloodstream, and in PCOS ladies, stored in your belly fat.  Metformin, however, prevents the breakdown of carbs into glucose until they have reached your lower digestive tract.  Your intestines can’t break down the carbs very well, allowing for less absorption and ‘storage’ of these evil particles.  This should in turn, allow you to lose weight since you are not taking in the carbs from your food that you normally would.  There is one not so nice effect of the medicine though… if you do eat a carb laden meal, you will feel miserable and in the potty for a bit.

Seems like a miracle drug, right?  Well, for some it is.  However you have a 50/50 chance of this doing anything for you for weight loss and guess which category I fall into!  That’s right, the category of no help.  I’m on a high dosage, 1000mg twice a day.  I feel better taking it than I do not taking it.  I just wish I could lose some of this flab.  The beauty in losing weight is that your cycles can become regular, which in turn means a higher chance of getting pregnant.

Ok, enough of the medicine talk.

I had my appointment at 9:45 this morning.  I love my doctor.  She is a reproductive endocrinologist, or what some people would call a fertility specialist.  On top of helping people achieve their dream of parenthood, she can help patients who are not trying to get pregnant have a more normal life.  Endocrine disorders, especially the ones that effect the reproductive areas of your body, can be a hassle to deal with on a daily basis (excessive hair growth, painful cysts, etc) and she can help a person manage them.  But more than a doctor, my doctor, Dr. James is a wonderful person.  She has answered so many questions, explained so many things.  When we lost our babies, she held my hand and cried with me in the operating room while I waited for the anesthetic to take effect so she could perform the D&Cs.  She has become such a huge part of my life, and my husband’s as well. 

We had taken a few months off, ok, so we had taken almost 6 months off, of treatments.  Today was my first visit back with her.  We talked a little about why we had chosen to take some time off.  Mostly it was to get through the holidays and it allowed me to transition into my new position at work (no more travel which means I’m better able to focus on getting pregnant).  She did my ultrasound. 

This is the ultrasound machine.  The long phallic shaped object is the ultrasound wand that they use for a transvaginal ultrasound.  If you’ve ever had an ultrasound early in a pregnancy, you are familiar with this thing….



Everything looked clear.  This is a photo of the measurements of my uterus and ovaries.  Thrilling isn’t it?

My uterus had a healthy lining and my ovaries are cyst free.  We discussed my dosage of Follistim.  I’ll start out at 100 tomorrow and return for another ultrasound and blood work on Monday.  Four days at 100 means I should have several follicles grow.  Previously we have done alternating dosages of 100 and 75 to make sure we don’t get too many.  I meant to ask her what her thoughts are about stimulating more follicles this round….  In the past she has been worried about multiple births, but with the chances of that so low on just injectables, I’d be willing to risk it if it gives us a higher chance as conceiving a healthy child.  Anywho, I’m rambling.

My prescriptions were called into the pharmacy.  3 vials of Follistim, 1 dose of HCG, and progesterone vaginal suppositories.  Yes, I said vaginal suppositories….  Those will come into play after my shot of HCG in the next 10-14 days.

Tomorrow, I'll fill you in the injectables.  The what, how, and why.

Tomorrow, the Ides of March.  Tomorrow, the one year anniversary of losing our most recent baby.  Technically, its their birthday isn’t it?  I leave you with one final image:




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cycle Day 1

Today is cycle day one. 

So what does this mean in the path of trying to conceive?  It means it is the first day of my period, menstrual flow, aunt flow, whatever you want to call it.

This month's cycle was triggered from a medicine called Provera, or Medroxyprogesterone.  You take it for 10 days, then you'll get your period usually within two weeks after your last dose.  While taking the medicine, you get a lovely variety of side effects:  sore breasts, acne, growth of facial hair (which if you have PCOS you already deal with this on a daily basis!), loss of hair on your head, upset stomach, weight gain, drowsiness, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  Yuck!  I've felt all of these this round. 

For all of you ladies reading this who get regular cycles, you know the normal issues we all have, cramps, cravings, etc.  Now, when you have a period triggered by Provera, imagine everything times 10.  I've said it before, but my insides feel like they are being mixed with a hand powered egg beater.  I haven't slept more than 6 hours a night in days.  If you know me, you know that is really unusual!  I'm also not eating a whole lot right now, so I have even less energy. 

Cycle Day 1 means a call to the doctor to have your 'base line scan'.  My appointment is set for 9:45 tomorrow morning.  Your base line is normally done on day 1 or 2.  Your base line scan is a transvaginal ultrasound.  They take a wand, cover it with a condom and it is placed in your vaginal canal.  The doctor then pushes around on your abdomen to get your ovaries to move around so they can get an ultrasound photo of each ovary, on all sides.  This is done to make sure that no follicles (the little fluid filled pouches that your eggs will pop out of) are too big, or cystic.  You will also have blood work done to check on your hormone levels.

So, this is what I get to experience tomorrow.  Fun stuff!

I hope to be able to get a photo from the ultrasound to share what my ovaries look like.

Now I get to try to go to sleep.  I doubt sleep will come easily tonight.... 

Let's do this.... again.

This is far from the start of my journey with infertility.  This is a little over 10 years into my journey.  I don't intend to share my entire history in this blog, only this leg of the mission.  Hopefully the last leg.

A brief background for those of you who do not know me.  I was diagnosed with PCOS over 10 years ago, after a miscarriage.  If you want a full background on PCOS, visit this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycystic_ovary_syndrome .  The gist is my body doesn't produce the right amount of female hormones, and produces too many male hormones.  This results in blood sugar issues, excess body weight, and excessive body hair.  Oh ya, it also makes it really difficult to get pregnant.

In all, I've had 4 miscarriages and a few failed adoption attempts.  I miss all of my babies, and anxiously wait for the day that I can hold my child.  Take them home and give them everything I have.


Now that you have the Cliff notes of my history, we can get started on this journey together.

My goal is to include some photos and videos of my experiences.  Some will involve needles, but I'll try to put a warning before them so if you are bothered by it, you have a heads up.  ;) 

So, there, its my 'intro' if you want to call it that. 

Here we go....