Friday, July 27, 2012

Moving Forward


I had my first official appointment with Dr. O yesterday. This will probably be a disjointed post since that is kind of how I am feeling. It was a whirlwind of information and when I went for my natural defense mechanism (taking copious notes as if I would be quizzed on everything later), she told me to put the pen away because I would get paperwork explaining everything in detail (er...but I didn't. And now I feel bereft).

Here's the nuts and bolts of it:

  • I am starting birth control now and then I will move onto Lupron, then Follistim, then Menapur (not sure my time frame on any of this. My OCD is ticking away violently).
  • I am getting some sort of water ultrasound (?) next week and I don't remember the purpose of it, but I think it helps them make sure there are no surprises when they go to implant the embabies.
  • Retrieval is set for the week of September 17th (which is perfect because even two days sooner and I was going to put it off for a month since it is the beginning of the school year / back to school night).
  • If we get to a 5 day transfer, they STRONGLY recommend only transferring one embryo. I am not sure how I feel about this. She says that new research shows that implanting two strong embryos does not make you any more likely to get pregnant, just more likely to have multiples. I am still hesitant because to me, safety in numbers and please let's take our best chances. But I think that is probably the subject of a different post at a different time.
And perhaps my favorite bullet of the day:
  • At their clinic, for my age, she says I have a 57% chance of getting pregnant.

Please, please let me be part of that 57%.

On a sad note, one of my favorite blogger friends just got devastating news that there was no heartbeat at her most recent ultrasound. My heart is broken for her, and I am full of hate right now at how hard this process is.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mean Girls

No,  not these Mean Girls:


I mean the voices inside your head. The voice that make you feel ridiculous for every pregnancy symptom you spot, or for getting your hopes up even slightly.

Journey, if you will, inside my head with me during the TWW:

B: Oh, cramping...maybe that is implantation!
MG (mean girl): Really? Because I am sure implantation feels juuuuuuust like gas. And those pangs would have nothing to do with eating Mexican for dinner last night.

B: Wow, four high temps in a row. I've never had temps so good before. This must be a good sign!
MG: Has the fact that we've had a week straight of 100 degree temperatures escaped your attention? *eyeroll*

B: Hmm, I think I see a second line on this test if I squint and hold it in dim light.
MG: I could nickname that test Betty White. You're pathetic, you know that, right?

I don't know if everyone has their inner mean girl, but I suspect if you have been trying this long, you do. The thing is, like real life mean girls, she pretends she is your friend. She is doing you a favor, protecting you from that bigger, badder bully hope. She's just keeping you grounded in reality so that you don't wind up hurt when you dont' get asked to prom  get your period. She warned you. So really, you should thank her.

But really, is hope that bad?  I mean, what is the harm if I think my bout of IBS is actually a case of implantation cramps? Or if I want to pee on a million pregnancy tests in case the first few were defective (well, this does harm my bank account, but I don't think MG is worried about my bottom line)? Because I have to tell you, I've been talking myself down from hoping for many many months now, and that does not make the pain of my period coming any easier. It is still there. It still comes regardless of whether you are ready for it or not. So wouldn't it be nicer to let yourself hope and believe, at least for a little bit, that this could be it?

Honestly, I don't know.  But, moving onto this next cycle, I think I am going to give my friendship with my inner Mean Girl a rest for a little while to find out.

Monday, July 23, 2012


The temperature drop arrives (accompanied by her best friend back pain).

It's official...temping is evil and my body thinks reproduction is for suckers.

Awaiting the arrival of AF and then will call Dr. O.

Roll on ivf.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thoughts on Temping...

Welcome if you are here from ICLW. For some background on where we are in our journey, be sure to check out my Crib Notes page.

I'm temping again. I know, I know. I had promised to give it up after February's chart nearly killed me. But, being in a natural cycle with no drugs to obsess over or constant appointments to keep, a girl has to have a hobby. So even though I had  thrown out (all three) of my thermometers, I snuck back to Walgreens and bought a new one. *hangs head in shame*

Just so you know, I am being punished for it. I have a really good looking chart again. Fertility Friend is even telling me it is possibly triphasic. Of course, my body does not want me to get too excited or hopeful, so it is keeping me grounded with lots and lots of stark white pregnancy tests (does anyone else ever get the urge to grab a Sharpie and draw in that second line? Anyone?). So, since my body says "no" and my temps say "yes" (or at least, possibly), I have spent many many maaaaaaany hours combing through the charts gallery. And do you know what I've learned?

Your chart means nothing.

Seriously, I have seen beautiful, text book sample charts that all of a sudden plummet like a depression-era stock market chart.Your temps just do not matter.

Or at least they don't matter until the end. I have decided it is like playing the lottery. Imagine sitting there with your lottery ticket listened to the spokes-girl rattle off the numbers...66, 32, 99, 54 (97.5, 97.7, 97.9, 98.1). And you are going yes, yes, yes, yeeeeeees. But really, it all comes down to that last number. Without her calling the 42 you have on your ticket, you are not the big winner. Likewise, if that last temp comes up as a 97.1 instead of a 98.4, you will not be getting that take home prize of a baby.

Although, maybe that is not a great analogy. Because if you get 4 out of 5 lottery numbers, I think you still get something...a smaller prize amount. Having a good chart that plummets gets you nothing but a broken heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things that Make me Happy Right Now

7DPO and nothing to write home about...

Since I am at a lull in my cycle, and specifically at the point where I begin thinking depressing, obsessive thoughts about my uterus being a lemon, I have decided to focus on some of the totally awesome things I have going for me right now.

1. Vacation! In a few weeks I am headed to the Jersey Shore! Now before you furrow your brow and try to picture me as a Snooki look-alike (I assure you, I am not. Besides the height difference, my fine Irish blood has ensured I’ve never seen a good tan), I have to say that the real Jersey Shore is nothing like the show. Or if it is, I am not “cool” enough to visit those parts. 
So what makes the Jersey Shore great? First off, the food. Seriously, it has the best pizza you can find. And if you have never had a Khor’s ice cream cone, you are deprived. And don’t even get me started on the raw bars…yum (picture slack jawed Homer Simpson face here). 
Secondly, as cheesy as it sounds, I love the carnival games. As a child I perfected my skills at the claw game. The secret: you can’t care about the prize. Sure that ipod looks cool, but you will never win it. See that Yo Gabba Gabba stuffy with the long neck? – There’s your victory.Don't worry about the fact that you've never actually seen an episode of the show because all that matters is you won it. Despite being in my thirties, I still have my competitive drive to spend tens of dollars trying to win junk worth $.95.
Finally, the drinking. OK, maybe that is a little Jersey Shore-ish, but seriously, it has great bars. Plus, a few summers ago,  I taught my parents the ins-and-outs of beer pong which makes for a hilarious night of family entertainment (especially since my mom will not drink beer so she fills up the cups with little bits of wine cooler).  I cannot wait to go.

2. Reading! As I've mentioned before, I love to read. However, during the school year, it is very hard for me to squeak away anytime to read for pleasure. So this summer, my library card is on overload. I started off by reading the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel. If you have never given them a try, I heartily recommend. I've never seen the tv show, but I've heard it is very, very different. I find this books a lot of fun and waaaaaay better than the Twilight series.
Other than that, my taste in books usually gravitates towards those that have pink covers (I hate the term "Chick Lit", but I guess it accurately sums it up). Some of my favorite authors that I have caught up with so far are Kristin Hannah ( of hers makes me cry), Jen Lancaster (really must recommend her earlier books - laugh out loud funny and snarky), and I am currently 38 on the waiting list for the new Jennifer Weiner book. Not to mention I am still slogging my way though 50 Shades of Gray (I want to like it, but the plot is so so thin. And I want to punch the "inner goddess"). Regardless, on any given day you can find me on my back porch wasting hours reading my books. D never believes that I don't watch tv during the day, but this chance to read is too precious to squander away.

3. Toby Keith! Some might be surprised that this Jersey girl loves country music (like my family. And by surprised, I mean ashamed and embarrassed), but D and I love to listen to country. In fact, our top contender for our wedding song was Whatever it Is by the Zac Brown Band and I am still disappointed we did not choose it (we've made it our unofficial one instead). Anyhow, we are going to see Toby Keith in August and I cannot wait. Despite being together for 10 years, D and I have actually never gone to a concert together so I am really looking forward to it.

4.Vacation Part Deux! Towards the end of the summer, we are going to Ocean City, MD for an extended weekend. I have not been there since I was a kid, but have so many fond memories of it. Specifically, they revolve around french fries with vinegar on them and hitting crabs with mallets. I am starting to think that food is a very good way to woo me...

5. School! I admit it, I am the nerd who buys school supplies in July. But seriously, I love my job. I teach third grade and I have to say, hands down, I think it is one of the best grades out there. They are old enough to be independent and try cool and challenging things, but young enough that they still love school and think you are cool. This year, I am doing some exciting professional development and have a student teacher, so I am looking forward to getting myself organized and geared up for the new school year (er - but I still really, really enjoy my summer). 

So there you go. Five things that are making me happy right now, and that is not even counting the basics I take for granted like D, my friends and family, and the most awesome cat and dog you could imagine.  It is so easy to focus on the negative that I just wanted to take a few minutes to remind myself that, for the most part, life is good.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

These Three Things...

Not a lot is happening in my life (and definitely not enough to warrant a whole blog post), so I can pretty much surmise what is going on in three small bullets.

1. Dr. O's nurse (Grace) called me yesterday. She just wanted to see if I had any questions. If I wasn't already swooning, I am now. Of course, seeing how she woke me up (hey - I'm a teacher on summer break), my foggy mind barely got her name. However, she reassured me if I thought of anything later, I should be sure to call. In the polar opposite front, Dr. D still has not called despite me cancelling our follow up appointment. Decision Reaffirmed.

2.  I dreamed last night that I was eight weeks pregnant.  Because I am a very vivid dreamer (or maybe everyone is this way), when I first woke up, I could not remember if I actually was pregnant or not. I even felt swollen and heavy in my abdomen where the baby had been (although, in truth, it was just a risotto baby left over from dinner last night). It's not the first time I've had a pregnancy dream, but they are always bitter sweet.  I love the contentedness and joy I feel the in dreams, and how real it feels at the time, but the next day I am always sullen and more sad than before because instead of just not being pregnant, I feel robbed.

3. I got a positive OPK today on CD19.  Is it just me, or does anyone else feel extraordinarily proud when you see that darkened second line?  I felt like patting myself on my back all day, just because my body did something it was meant to do. I think it is because my body so rarely does get its act together. So, like the coach of a Bad News Bears kind of team, I just want to high five my ovaries, slap the follies on their bottoms, and say "Go get 'em girls!"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

With the decision for a new doctor squared away, we needed to decided what to do next. My biggest concern (the main reason for the third opinion) was whether or not I should have surgery again. After reading my records she said she did not think it was necessary given the level of endo that was found (level 2), and how recent the surgery was. With that in mind, she gave me three options:

1. Continue doing IUIs. She said that if I have no desire to do IVF and want to keep trying, I can continue doing IUIs until they find the right dosage for me.

2. Have surgery. If something has grown back, it could be impeding the IUIs. Plus, she said that if I was concerned about having a tip-top pelvis, then this would be a good option. However, as I mentioned above, she did not think this was what was the problem.

3. Move onto IVF. As she put it, "If you said to me, I'm frustrated and I want to try what has the best odds" then she would say, "Ok, let's do IVF."

She stressed that there was no "wrong" choice, again reiterated that I was young, and that any of these were a good option. She said if I was older, she would strongly discourage 1 and 2 and would recommend #3.

I had pretty much decided before we even got there what I wanted. These injectible cycles have been extremely frustrating to me (losing 2 months at a time, and neither time yielding a "good" crop of eggs). Plus, I am okay with moving to IVF eventually - so if her recommendation for continuing doing IUIs is based on a lack of desire to do IVF, then that is not the case for me.

So with that in mind, D and I took the plunge and decided that we will do IVF for our next cycle. She said we can expect retrieval and transfer to be in September.

I have a lot of emotions about this. I am petrified that it will not work and that I will be more emotionally wrecked afterward. I am worried if the Big Kahuna of fertility treatments does not work, where do I turn to next? I am second guessing my decision to switch doctors because if I am doing IVF next anyway, shouldn't I stick with the better rated clinic? But most importantly, I am excited to be taking a big step with a doctor I liked, and possibly have an end date in sight. And that is what is giving me the strength to move forward. It may be scary, but I think it is the right decision for me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Third Time's The Charm?

If you remember, last week I was contemplating what option I should choose for going forward. Basically, I chose option IA and IIC - meaning I decided to try naturally this month, as well as to seek out a third opinion. Between google searches and recommendations from friends (of friends), I narrowed it down to two different REs in the area. Both had decent reviews, but were SART rated, and both were easily commutable from my house and my work. Only one had an opening in July. And thus my decision was made.

Yesterday, I had my meeting with the new RE. Amazingly, her name does not start with a D. It starts with an O - already a positive change! And I think I am in love (or at least, a strong case of like. Like, if this were middle school, I would totally be doodling her name on my notebook). Instead, here's a a list of reasons this new doc has got my attention:

1. It is a small practice. In fact, it is just her and a nurse at this office. Despite being smaller, she still offers good monitoring hours (unlike my original doctor who, while also small, did not open before 10). Because it is so small, she will perform all my medical procedures. 

2. She read my medical records. Not only that, but she questioned things she saw (for instance, she thought all the natural iuis made no sense since we have no male factor issue, and she could not understand how my HSG was "normal" when my surgery revealed things that should have shown up there as well. Plus, she also thought that triggering with my largest egg being 16mm was premature. Is there anything better than someone validating your own thoughts?). She did not do any of it in a derogatory sense to the other doctors; it was moreso that she was probing about the different experiences or things that did not add up to her. I liked that she did not just ruminate about all this in her head, but actually got me involved in the conversation.
 3. She called me young. Repeatedly. But not in an annoying, let's-take-your-time kind of way. More of a, the world's-your-fertility-oyster kind of thing. She was reassuring and kept stressing how with my age and health, she felt we would be successful. I know it is her business to do so, but it was nice to hear.

4. She gave me her email address and told me I could reach out with questions. This may not be a big deal to some people, but to me, this is like a magic lamp. My current doc is insulated by Fort Knox when it comes to communication. I love the idea that she is open to hearing from me. 
But perhaps most importantly:
5. She asked me what I wanted, and how I was feeling. And then, she listened
So, I think I am going to make the switch. I am nervous. Partly because I hate change, partly because I hate to already be on my third doc, and partly because in doing so, I will be leaving one of the "best" clinics in the area for a place that is less known. However, I liked her. I felt she listened. Even D said when we left that she was the most together and attentive doctor we have had. Which she really was. So, hopefully this is it. Third time's the charm.

Now I just need this cycle of waiting to be over so we can get the show on the road*.

*Unless any divine being seems fit to make me pregnant naturally, rendering all of this a moot point. I would totally be okay with that too...