Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A case of the crazies

Everyone, please take out your Craze-ometers, and let me know if this email says:

A) "I'm fully invested in my own health plan and appreciate being able to play an active role in my care"


B) "I'm a batshit crazy micromanager. And pushy. And watch out dominant follie, I will be making all the decisions for the next 18 years!!!"

I wrote (and sent) this to the nurse practitioner who's managing our care this cycle.

Subject: Some clarification on this cycle (today is CD3) 
Hi Nurse Practitioner Lady- 
I finished my 10th day of provera on Saturday, and CD1 showed up Monday afternoon. I filled the rx for the chlomid, and I plan on taking 2 pills per day starting tomorrow (CD4).
You and I had talked about a couple of things that I wanted to revisit doing during this cycle. The first was any blood tests or ultrasounds at certain points. Having PCOS makes me very nervous about whether my ovaries are responding to the chlomid, if its thinning my uterine lining, whether I ovulated w/out a trigger, how my hormone levels are post-ovulation. What are your thoughts on this?
Also, Dr Boy is going to drop off his repeat semen-analysis sample today, so we can see how the viscosity issue is. Because it at least showed up once as a problem, he and I are interested in doing an insemination this cycle no matter the results of the analysis. Would this be a viable option for us? We would really like to stack the deck in our favor as much as possible.
Thank you so much!

I guess she didn't think I was too annoyingly bonkers because she responded within a few hours, and I think I may have gotten my way she agreed with our plan of attack this cycle.

Hi JM: 
We would be happy for you to be seen for an ultrasound with ovulation. Call our office on the day of your LH surge for an appt (limited hours on wkends so call early). With the ultrasound we will be able to see your response to the Clomid and we could also check your lining. I'd also be happy to order a progesterone level for you to confirm that ovulation took place. Go to the lab 8 to 10 days after your surge for the blood test. 
Sorry I missed Dr Boy going to the lab (I see the specimen is being processed) because the State of California requires male infectious disease testing prior to doing IUIs. The tests he needs are: HIV, Hep C antibody, Hep B surface antigen, Syphilis and Human T Lymphocyte Virus (HTLV I/II). I've ordered the tests for him to complete. The HTLV takes the longest to return because it's sent out to Quest, so the sooner he gets the blood tests done, the better. You can bring in the signed IUI consents when you are here for the ultrasound. 
Let me know if you have any other additional questions or concerns. It is great to hear from you! See you soon.

Did she? Or is she just pandering to the crazazy? Because sometimes I feel crazazy. Pretty sure they swapped the provera pills for those that eff with you sense of normalcy. Oh well. I get an ultrasound with a +OPK, and I get the blood test after to see if the rockin' follies we are GOING to see did their job. And I (most likely) get to have Dr Boy's woohoo jammed up my lady business. God, this whole making a baby thing is romantic. Dr Boy just luuuuurved getting to give another sample, then go back to the lab at the end of the day to get blood drawn.*****

Tomorrow is CD4, and I'll start the chlomid. Last time I took it, I didn't experience a case of the crazies, or I was at least too entrenched in my own crazy to know that it was happening. Either way, can't wait for the next five days!!!

One more episode of the "JM belongs in an institution" series: I purchased 100 OPKs on Amazon last night.

1. The nurse practitioner said to use the smiley face CBE tests. I've never used them before and don't like the black and white nature of the result. I like to know when I'm getting close. Sooooooo
2. I bought a 40-pack of the cheapies with the two lines. Much more subjective, but it's all about the devil you know, right? I plan on using them both together and comparing. Plus the cheapies cost 1/3 the price of the others so it wasn't exactly a tough choice.
3. I was $4.50 away from the amazon free shipping. Eff. That. So I bought a second 40-pack. If this cycle doesn't work, and the cycle after that doesn't work, I will be SET. And if I DO have a baby in my belly at the end of this TWW, I'll have a sweet giveaway.

*****He did come home proclaiming "I'm holy! I'm holy!" Only he meant holey. As in from the blood draw. He's cute :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hello? Anybody in there?

What a crappy week to go MIA blog-style, huh?

Dr Boy and I went on vacation with my family, and the internet was quite a bit spottier than we had initially thought. Have you ever been to Yosemite Nat'l Park? Pretty freakin' beautiful. I used to go there with my parents a lot as a child, but this was the first time we had been back as a whole family in YEARS. Add on the fact that we've had the heaviest snowpack in 30 years, and that we were there during the peak snowmelt week of the spring, things were FLOWING! Absolutely gorgeous.

 Hannah had herself a pretty good time, too.

But now you're all like "Seriously though, how 'bout that Drs appt you had last week? I mean, Yosemite is pretty and all, but I hear relaxing DOESN'T get you pregnant. Drs do."

The appt with the RE went pretty well. I like her, but I think I my personality might be a bit too high-energy for us to click super-well (Read: she's calm and relaxing, I'm cra-zazy). I got re-wanded and was hit with a couple blows-
1. Ovaries are still VERY polycystic. Doesn't look like the 1500mg metformin have kicked those little suckers into submission at all.

2. Even though I was 2 weeks past ovulation, the ovaries didn't show any sign of having actually released an egg. So why the eff did the pee stick tell me I did? She didn't have an answer for that one.

We also went over the results of Dr Boys SA. Everything looked fabulous on that front except for the viscocity. Which I had never really heard of with respect to a SA before. Turns out his goo is a little gooier than they prefer, meaning the boys have to work a whole lot harder to get anywhere than they should. Think about swimming through honey instead of water. Yeah, that's a whole lot harder. She did say that it's a fairly subjective part of the test though, and is having him re-do that one this week and see if it was just a fluke. (Because who doesn't want to fondle oneself at their workplace? Twice?) She also reassured me that peeing after we woo-hoo won't keep me from getting knocked up. (Yes, laugh at me now. Irrational fears are hilaaaaarious)

After going through my entire history, we talked about where we should go from here. She understood our relative sense of urgency. Not urgency so much as just wanting to get the show on the road finally. She gave us two options. Both options include starting provera to induce the period. It won't really make CD1 show up all that much earlier than it would otherwise based on my "usual" cycle length, but it should at least clear me out better. (Oh, and just took the last of 10 provera pills yesterday, so bring on the cramps, baby)
1. Do a round with 100mg chlomid, starting on CD3, 4, or 5. Use the pee sticks. Engage in bam-chicka-bam-bam. Maybe do an IUI depending on the results of SA take 2.

2. Do a round of chlomid with menapur to stim the ovaries a bit more. Other activities to commence as before.

Here are my concerns:
1. Neither option includes much monitoring mid-cycle. I am VERY interested to see exactly where the cycle is breaking down- I keep getting +OPKs, but the last wanding didn't show any signs of Oing. What's up with that? Why do my boobs hurt SO MUCH at the end of the cycle? Why does it take 50 days for my body to cycle? I'd really prefer to have regular wandings or at least blood tests to see what part of the process is blowing chunks.

2. Can we please do an IUI no matter what? Just for good measure? If there's even a question of poor viscocity, isn't it better safe than sorry?

3. There were some signs that my thyroid hasn't been regulated. She didn't know exactly how to regulate the meds properly, so referred me back to my primary care physician. I'm uncomfortable with this. Because fertility can be such a thyroid-based issue, shouldn't my fertility doc be managing the problem? I don't like that she's not capable of doing that herself.

We decided to go for just the chlomid cycle, and I plan on advocating HARD for an insemination once the results from take 2 come back. We did agree that this would be the only round of chlomid before moving onto more aggressive treatment, so I'm fine with this as a more "exploratory" cycle.

Because of the other bits I'm uncomfortable with though, Dr Boy and I decided that at the end of this cycle we'll be switching doctors. There is an ObGyn doc that works in the RE dept, who happens to come highly recommended by a few of Dr Boys colleagues. We've been in contact with him, and he agrees with the general plan of action for now, but would take care of the whole picture- investigating the ineffectiveness of the metfomin, thyroid issue, and fertility plan. He happens to be out of town for the rest of the month, so going with the RE for this cycle fits just fine.

In summary:
1. Chlomid this cycle.
2. Advocating for an IUI when the time comes.
3. Begging for wandings and/or blood tests throughout to see what the damn problem is. (I feel like a junkie. An infertility junkie)
4. Start with Dr Competence at the end of July when this cycle ends. Unless it works. ha.

Any suggestions from you guys? How much monitoring mid-cycle is too much? Too little? What points in your cycle do your docs generally take a peek at things to see how it's progressing? Am I clinically insane?

Thanks for all the kind comments on my last few posts- I look forward to getting to know you guys better and am so glad ICLW is here to bring us together!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Naked. In the Backyard.

(Otherwise known as "I am my father's daughter")

Yesterday was a good, productive day. I ran some errands on the way home from vanpool, needing some additional groceries (milk and cheese) for a new recipe I wanted to try for dinner. I really wanted to get a jump start on cooling when I got home, as I planned on making some freezer meals (banana nut muffins and twice-baked potatoes) too. Ended up pulling up to the house at around 5pm, not too shabby, I thought!

Then I realized. My neighbors had my house keys (from petsitting over the weekend). The spare set? Sitting on the key hook. In the house. Locked out. The key-wielding neighbors weren't home, and Dr Boy was 40 minutes away.

1. It was not cool out. It was not warm out. It was HOT out. The hottest day of the year so far.

2. I was wearing my best Pioneer Woman impersonation getup- floral tunic top, jeggings, and brown boots. Not the best choice for a triple-digit day. Already sweating because of the errands and hot cars and the like.

I couldn't justify running the A/C in the car for 45 minutes, so I did what any respectable floozy woman does- stripped down to a tanktop and underwear and hung out in the backyard. And called Dr Boy to come home, STAT. And watered the garden. And tweeted.

Dr Boy came home rather quickly and was horrified to see me lounging so immodestly in the yard. "What if the neighbor's popped by?????" Really? They've never just "popped by" before! The fences would have kept anyone from calling the cops on me. It was quite freeing, actually.

I told my mom about it this morning, and she just laughed. My father is a bit absent-minded when it comes to stuff like that too (not the clothing-optional part, just the keys/wallet/watch kind of thing), and she said it sounded just like him. Guess I'm not a milkman baby!

While waiting in the yard I did get to see a pretty gnarly squirrel fight- three of them flailing about in one of the trees next to the fence. One of them had a giant nutsac. It was not pretty. (before you judge me from checking out the squirrel's nads, I swear, you couldn't NOT see them. They were HEEEE-YOOOGE) I wish I had had the fancy-pants camera.

So that was my evening. I still made the muffins and potatoes and dinner (including this beet and goat cheese risotto which was phenomenal). Triumph!

I'm about to head out to my first visit with the new IF doctors. Wish me luck!

Oh yeah- and did I mention today I'm 14DPO? Not pregnant. Another BFN. I cried over it when I tested prematurely on Sat, so I'm over the mega-emotional part. On to the next cycle. With my new Drs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I have an unhealthy obsession.

My Victory Garden, as of June 6th. And BTW, this photo
was not nearly as blurry in iPhoto. Thanks, Blogger.

With my garden. I heart it. I go outside when I get home from work, and I stare at it. I fight the good fight against the mushrooms that have been springing up during this unusually cold May and early June. I haven't needed to water or prune it much, due to the rain we've had here in the last couple of weeks, so instead, I stare.

I stare at the strawberry that will be red and delicious one day, remembering how the plant looked like a dead twig back in April.

I stare at the tomato flowers, which will (hopefully) become juicy tomatoes to turn into salsa and soup and sauce and other wonderful things. I wonder what kind of tomatoes the plants I got from the horticulture dept will be.

I swoon over the new bell pepper plant I bought on impulse, as if the planter weren't crowded enough. But it's called a "Sweet Chocolate Bell Pepper"- how could this chocoholic resist? The rest of the peppers are all tiny because of the cool weather. I have my fingers crossed that they'll pop when it heats up a bit next week.

I dream of the muffins and bread and grilling that will result from the flowering zucchini plant. Which I swear, went from zero to blooming in about a day. Craziness. Seriously, those are all flowers now.

The pesto and bruscetta I'll make with the purple basil.

And the green beans I finally planted so there would be at least one edible in the garden Dr Boy would eat. Do as he says, not as he does!

I don't know what it is about this garden that makes me swoon, but it sure does. Our first yard, gone from a big pile of unsightly dirt, to a big pile of unsightly dirt covered in edibles. Edibles that will be coming out of my ears by the end of the summer!

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I take pride in being about to MAKE something. I can't seem to make a damn baby, so something to eat is the next best thing, I guess. I don't want to get all philosophical about it, because then I'll just start rolling my eyes at myself and being all "seriously J, it's a freakin' garden. That's all."

But it makes me happy.

Are you gardens flourishing? What'cha all growing?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One of those days

It all started with a rash.

Mmmm hmmm, a rash. Tues night I noticed that my right ear was itchy, and by Wed, the whole back-side of it was rashy and itchy and warm. I tried to get a dr appt for that day, but no luck. Had to wait until this afternoon. Whatever. Went in today because it's pretty much completely covering my ear and is slowly making its way down my neck. Super duper sexy. Either Dr Boy learned some fantabulous lying skills over the last few months, or it really isn't noticeable. Just itchy. As as hell. Turns out it's just a run-of-the-mill case of eczema brought on by some sort of seasonal allergy (which I have never had before).

There are four ways I see our romantic anniversary weekend in Napa going.

1. Me: "Oh honey, whisper sweet nothings in my ear..."
Dr Boy: "I am, you just can't hear me through the steroid cream."

2. Dr Boy: "I love nuzzling your ear. Steroid cream is SUCH an aphrodisiac."

3. Me: "Hey cutie, do you think steroid cream is more effective than PreSeed?"
Dr Boy: "I was wondering if it'll give the sperm 'roid rage..."

4. Ignore my ears and neck the whole weekend until the rash goes away and I no longer smell like steroid cream.

I have a feeling the choice will be obvious.

While at the office though, I turned into a hormonal lump and proceeded to lose my shit over a silly little brochure on the wall while I waited for the dr to come see me.

This little gem was starting me in the face, asking me in the bitchiest sarcastic tone (trust me, I KNOW a sarcastic pamphlet when I see one), "So, gonna get preggo or not? What's it gonna be? Hurry the hell up!" All of the this-cycle-is-pointless thoughts came flooding out in the form of torrential tears. It's day 9 of the TWW, and the only "symptoms" I can come up with are the irrational losing of one's shit over a stupid pamphlet on the wall. My stomach's a little crampy, but there's been no implantation bleeding, no nausea, no tiredness other than the usual, no nada. Is my new rash a pregnancy symptom?

Of course, it's only DAY FREAKIN' NINE what the hell symptoms could you possibly have, but still. Irrationality knows no bounds.

I stopped crying before the dr came in thank god. I very nearly lost it again when she asked me about the fact that there was no birth control listed on my chart. I told her we're actively seeking pregnancy and have been for 2 1/2 years. First, she asked me if I knew how (again with the How question, kills me every time). Second, she tried to hand me that pamphlet. I recoiled as if it were a venomous snake. Sorry doc, I'm pretty sure I know a hell of a lot more than is in that darned pamphlet. But thanks for the concern.

I am scared though. Is there a pregnancy in my future? Someday? Will I be able to handle that if there's not? Will my family? I'm the only hope for a bio grandchild for my parents. Bio grandkids and bio kids aren't a HUGE deal to me, it's more the whole getting to carry a child in my womb thing. The whole being able to actually MAKE a baby. The possibility that that's not going to happen for me is what I really lost my shit over. I know we'll be parents, one way or another. I just really, really, would like it to be this way, at least first.

So that's the story of how my rashy ear caused me to lose my shit over a freakin' pamphlet. I'm good at crying, at least that's something I can relate to with my future baby!

We leave for the weekend in Napa tomorrow after work. Here's to hoping I'm not as big of an emotional mess there!

Fat chance.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Five Years

So I'm two days late in posting this, but that's the way I usually am with the important things in life. Friday was the 5 year anniversary of the day I said "I do" to Dr Boy. We have been married for 5 years and 2 days. In the fall, we'll have been in eachother's lives for 12 years. Holy crap.

Five years ago, in 100+ degree sunshine, we walked down the aisle.

 We signed our marriage contract, said our vows.

We were lucky enough to celebrate with most of our closest family members and friends, and to be honest, had an absolute blast. (We ignored the events of the night before, and the night before that. One of these days I'll tell you about the aftermath of the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Good grief.) I've never felt more beautiful in my life. I distinctly remember looking in the mirror before my father took me down the aisle, crying, and saying to him "I'll never be this beautiful EVER AGAIN." Insert rolled eyes and head-shaking at me here.

There are a few things I would have done differently with regards to the wedding itself, but the marriage? Agreeing to spend my life with the one man I've ever dated? Best decision ever.

And now back to the present.

We're on day 5 of the TWW. Had a glass of wine or two in the first few days, but had my last at our anniversary dinner Friday night. I feel a wee bit guilty, but hey, there wouldn't have been implantation yet anywho, right? We all caffeine and alcohol free now for the duration. I don't know what it is, but I'm feeling a bit of hope again with this round. I don't know if it's the whole first cycle post-HSG thing, or if it's because I felt ovulation pains for the first time, or the glow of the anniversary. Whatever it is, I'm hopeful. And probably just setting myself up for a bigger let-down.

But for now, I'll take hopeful. While it lasts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here we go again

This is Hannah's conflicted face:
She wants to ride in the car, but without the infernal seatbelt.

I'm conflicted.

Not sure whether to be happy or sad this cycle. There have been some positive moments- hitting CD1 in time to do the contraction-inducing HSG before I left for my trip to the Midwest, ovulation waiting until after I got back from the Midwest, crampy ovaries yesterday so I had a STRONG feeling I'd be getting a +OPK this morning. Which I did (on CD20, right at the end of my window)- yay for that. No really, I mean it. I'm glad I'm approaching some sense of "normalcy" with my cycle, even if it is 50 days long and includes a 30 day luteal phase.

I just don't know how idiotic it is to think that it may actually produce my BFP. Let's be honest, we've had lots of cycles over the course of the last two and a half years. Not as many as a NORMAL person, since I only really started cycling on my own in November and even since then it's nearly every two months. But I did have a couple of clomid cycles, non-clomid-ed cycles induced by provera, and the most recent ones. None have worked, and this one is au-natural except for a few pee-sticks and the metformin and synthroid I've been on the last 6 months. Oh, and pre-seed. (which creeps me out but i'd like to stack the deck in my favor thanksforasking) 

I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's not so many BFN cycles, but it sure as hell feels like it to me. I think it's the time more than anything else. Dr Boy and I started trying to conceive before I turned 27. I have now reached the point where I will have a full-term child before I turn 30 ONLY if I get preggo this cycle (ha). Thirty isn't that old, I know. It's just a milestone I had always imagined passing with two children in my arms. Two. And now I'm fighting for one. I don't want to cry about it again. I just want something to happen.

My first appt with the new RE dept is scheduled for June 15th. That'll be 15DPO, or CD34. Good timing, I guess, in that regard. We'll know if this attempt worked, and will be able to start a fully monitored cycle with a Dr, knowing fully that we've tried. And god knows we'll try this time around (hey! TMI police!). Our five-year wedding anniversary is on Friday. I have to work 6am shifts through the weekend, but we're still finding time to have a nice dinner and night out together.

The bad timing that seems to haunt me comes next weekend, when we're heading to Napa to do a real anniversary celebration. Smack dab on days 9 through 11 of the TWW. Early enough to where I might be able to get a faint BFP, but not late enough to be certain of a BFN. Which means I am going to wine country. Sober. (Insert advice to see someone about my need to drink copious amounts of wine HERE.) Not how I imagined spending the trip. If I wanted to go somewhere to NOT drink, there are a thousand places within driving distance that would be higher on the list. So I get pissed off about infertility and the bottles of wine I can't have because of it, the pissy-ness made more acute by the fact that I have no faith in this cycle anyways. And if I have no faith in the cycle why not just drink while I'm there? Or not even try? But we WILL try. And I WON'T drink. I'll just be pissy about it.

So there. I'm pissy, hopeless, ranting, and cranky. Already. Great place to be the morning you get your positive OPK, right?

Oh, and did I mention the father-in-law is coming to town for dinner tonight? Consider the mood set.

(maybe I'll be positive tomorrow. we'll see.)