Friday, January 29, 2010

The One

I sincerely do believe that Doc is the best husband in the world. He's caring, handsome, smart, funny, and an excellent skier. I love his type A personality and love that he kicks ass during Jeo.pardy. But, alas, there are moments when I want to just punch him...really, really hard. Yesterday night was just one of those moments.

I was already in a pissy mood. I blame it on the meds, but I think it's just everything. The build up of a year of trying to conceive and having to change my life for something that I thought would come so easy. Anyway, so one thing leads to another and our conversation goes like this:

Me: You know, sometimes I feel like you don't appreciate everything that I'm going through and all the stress.

Doc: Of course I do. I tell you thank you all the time.

Me: No, you don't.

Doc: Well, you don't know how much stress I'm under because of all this. It's been stressful on me, too. I feel like I can't be myself. I have to tiptoe around you.

Me: WHAT? (in my thoughts: Oh, no, he just did not say that...)

And then floor opened up and all hell broke loose. It was ugly.

At the end of it all, we made up, but we also decided that we could not go through another round of meds and IUI. We're going to IVF. Decision made. For our sanity and marriage and Doc's life, we are going directly to IVF.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I know I shouldn't jump the gun and I should be relaxing and remaining optimistic, but I just can't help wondering what I should do if this cycle is a bust.

I don't know if I/we can go through another cycle of meds and IUI. This last time around was so stressful for us and put such a strain on our lives. If feels like my life has been hijacked by this trying to conceive process. At times, I feel bitter, angry and resentful. To whom? No one in particular, just at the entire world. I hate feeling like this. I want to be happy -- I want to enjoy life.

So, what am I going to do if this cycle ends in a BFN? I really thought I would do another IUI -- 3 is the magic number, right? We'd do injections this time and then if we failed, we'd move on to IVF. But, really, do we need to do another IUI?

Our insurance covers 100% of the IUIs and 80% of the IVF (including meds). Although, 20% of an IVF is still expensive, it's not the deciding factor. I still have this small sliver of hope that I can get pregnant without doing IVF. I think part of me sees going to IVF as capitulating and acknowledging that somehow I'm insufficient...lacking in my ability to conceive a baby. I know it seems weird because since I'm here, obviously we are having problems conceiving, but IVF somehow cements it. There's no way of saying, "hey, all we needed was a little help."

Thinking about things objectively and looking at the numbers, I know that IVF would be the better route. I'm not getting any younger and if I'm going to start injecting myself with meds, I might as well go all the way and do IVF. But, why is it so hard to accept?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IUI #2

Just came back from finishing IUI #2. It wasn't as bad as IUI #1 because I knew what to expect and I think the NP that was doing the procedure was much better than the doc that did IUI #1.

She told me that I have a small cyst on the opening of my cervix. I think it must have just appeared because I've never been told that before. It took her awhile to push it away and get into my cervix to drop off Doc's soldiers.

Once it was finished, I laid on my left side and waited for about 20 minutes before heading out. And so far, so good. I guess I'll know in about 2 weeks whether it was a success or not.

Speedy Gonzales!

Today is IUI #2. I haven't gone in yet, but just wanted to say that Doc is pretty efficient. His appointment was at 7am and he was back in his office and on the computer by 7:30. I'm not sure if I should be in awe or if I should be scared....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting To Know You

Since there seems to be more traffic to my blog from all my fellow ICLWers, I thought it might be interesting to put a few random facts about me.

1. I love peanut butter. I could put it on almost anything. I think that G.W. Carver was the most brilliant man to ever live.

2. Doc and I traveled to Mongolia for vacation and I have never recovered from the culinary experience. The end result, I haven't been able to eat lamb for the past two years.

3. I love zombie movies -- all types. The cheesier, the better.

4. My dream job: Professional Snowboarder. My real job: Government Grunt

5. I hate humidity. Thank goodness I live in California.

6. I grind my teeth when I sleep. So much so, that I ground through the wires of my retainer. Now I have a thick plastic nightguard, but I think that's getting worn down, too.

7. Next place that I'd like to visit...Either Hokkaido, Japan or Chile to go snowboarding!

8. I'm a book snob, but I read all the Twilight books. It was a guilty pleasure. I never read them in public and hid them whenever we had people over.

9. I have the worst memory ever. Doc's other job is to constantly remind me of things. I'm frightened to think what will happen when I'm 80.

10. I have a very short attention span, so I'm actually shocked that I've been able to stick with this blog. Sometimes, you surprise even yourself!

Monday, January 25, 2010

WOW! This is so exciting -- 7 comments! I can't believe it. I never thought that anyone would be even remotely interested in reading my drivel and yet, there's the proof. Sheesh! Who knew?! Thanks to all for your words! It so nice knowing that there's such a wonderful supportive community out there. Now back to our regular programming...

I went for my third ultrasound this morning (thank goodness these are covered by my insurance) and it looks like one of my follies on the left has grown to 19mm. I'm supposed to trigger tomorrow morning and then have my IUI on Wednesday morning. But, get this (there's always a kicker to keep things interesting), my lining seems to have shrunk. How is that possible?

My lining was measured at 8.2 last Wednesday and on Friday. Then today, down to 7.1? I can either attribute this to my body's inability to do two things at once, like grow my follies and grow my lining, much like chewing gum and walking. Or, that someone measured incorrectly. The same person did my ultrasound on Wed and Fri and a different person did my ultrasound today. I'm going to split the difference and attribute a lining of 7.7mm (very scientific). Since it's still a bit on the shallow side, I'm going to start my regular dosage of estrodial. They're taken vaginally and they're blue, which results in making it seem like you've just had sex with a smu.rf.

Friday, January 22, 2010

IComLeavWe - Exciting!

It's IComLeavWe Week! Welcome and thanks for perusing my blog! I got my first comments yesterday and I'm so excited. I didn't think that anyone would actually take the time and read my boring dribble. Yet, there's the proof -- in writing!

This is a happy moment in the midst of my morning frustration. Not to rain on the parade, but I'm having technical issues. My computer hard drive crashed earlier this week (the blue screen of death). Luckily, nothing too important had been on that computer, HOWEVER, restoring it has been a test in patience.

De.ll has been the bane of my existence for the past 2 days. I cannot get the freakin' drivers downloaded off their website. Their site is so slow that it continuously times out. The drivers are right there on their site for downloading, right within my grasp, and yet when I download they slip right though my fingers...down the time-out black hole. ARGH!!!

So, I sit here in front of my work computer, doing what I do best and acting like I'm doing some real work when in actuality I'm just procrastinating. Luckily, it's Friday and I'm taking off early to go to my neverending cycle of ultrasound appointments.

Today I get to find out if my follies have decided to take it up a notch and show some growth. I'm not getting my hopes up, though, because I haven't felt much activity going on. It's been pretty quiet down there in my lady regions.

Oh and lest I forget the other good news that I found out this week. Seems that me being of the asian persuasion, does not bode well for my chance at IVF...Check out this BS.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

Freakin' sucks! Man, all this time I've been worrying about my lining and now what?! The one thing that I haven't had any issues with has come to bite me in the ass.

Ultrasound shows that I have 15+ follies but all under 10mm on cycle day 12. How does that happen? I've never had any problems with follicle growth/production. The kicker is that my lining is now a health 8.2mm. Why can't I get both?! Is that too much to ask for?

So, I have another appointment for another ultrasound on Friday to see if my underperforming follies have found some way to redeem themselves. The nurse didn't sound all that optimistic about the results for Friday, but who knows, maybe we'll have a miracle and they'll get a growth spurt. If something radical doesn't happen by Friday, I'm hoping they keep growing slow and no ovulation over the weekend. Then on Monday, I can get the HCG shot and do the IUI the following day.

On totally different note, it's been pouring here. Everything is wet...a storm of biblical proportions! Lightning, thunder, hail, and wind. Everything you could possibly want of a storm and we got it. Makes going to doctor's appts even more miserable.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ovary in Overdrive

GAWD! My ovaries feel like they are on the 24-hour shift. Definite activity going on and it seems that only my left one is doing all the work. Is it just me or does everyone have a more "dominant" ovary? Even when I seemingly ovulate from my right side, my left ovary pitches in and produces a few follies, too. But, when my left ovary is up to bat, my right one decides to take it easy and it produces nothing -- leaves all the work to it's partner.

I'm so hoping that my little left ovary has produced some good follies. It definitely feels like it, but you never really know until you go in for that ultrasound. Tomorrow is the day, so I'll know by 9am if we're doing the IUI on Thursday or if I'm going to have to wait for those follies to grow a bit more.

For some odd reason the side effects aren't as bad this time around. Maybe it's because I'm less stressed since I've been through everything already and the holidays aren't messing with the schedule or maybe it's just because my body is used to all the extra hormones. I'm sure once I start the progesterone I'll feel the wonderful bloating, gas and constipation (I know...TMI).

Also, maybe it's because of the herbs I'm taking provided to me by my previous acu. They're actually palatable because they're in pill format. About 50 small black balls contained in one larger wax covered ping pong ball. I take half in the morning and half in the evening. I'm hoping that they beef up my lining. Last two cycles I didn't take any herbs and both had pretty pathetic lining numbers.

Or, maybe it's because of the alien body abduction where I've been turned into a blue alien that has a USB connection to all the other animals and plants on the planet...oh, wait...sorry, that's just another reason I've saved up if this IUI comes up with a BFN.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sweet Sleep

AH! I got a wonderful night of sleep last night. I guess being exhausted does the trick. I was still a bit tired when the alarm went off, but it was nice to be woken up by the alarm clock rather than being awake and waiting for the alarm to go off.

So, today I have two big appointments. I have an acupuncture appointment with my new acupuncturist and I have a open seminar with an IVF doc here in the Bay Area. He has one of the highest success rates in our area, so I'm hoping that we get a chance to ask him a few questions and get his opinion on how successful we'll be.

Today is CD5, so I still have two days of letrozole. Don't feel much different other than bloating, but what's new, right? I'm always in some state of bloat -- big bloat, small bloat. After a certain point it's all the same.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys

I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with my supplemental insurance trying to figure out how to get a reimbursement on my acupuncture treatments. We're fortunate enough to have our insurance supplement the acupuncture by 80%, however, we need to give them all the correct paperwork precisely the way they want it. I've never done this before so I'm sort of learning as I go along.

In other avenues of my life, I seem to be having a touch of insomnia. I can't fall asleep. I toss, turn, shift, fidget and spend over an hour trying to catch that ever elusive REM. It probably has to do with stress, but I don't feel stressed. I guess sooner or later I'll get so tired that I'll eventually just pass out and fall asleep. At least, that's what I'm hoping for.

As for the on-going saga of the femara cycle versus the injections cycle. I got an email back from the RE and she said since I have already agreed to the femara for this cycle, to just go ahead with the femara and do the injections next cycle. Well, I didn't agree to the femara cycle. I was forced into it because there were no other alternatives provided and I either had to choose femara or choose nothing. And to top it off, she didn't tell me if I would have to take the injections training which has a 2 month waiting list.

Maybe this is what is causing the insomnia...

Monday, January 11, 2010

And Life Goes On

Yes, AF showed up this weekend. Saturday morning to be exact. Unfortunately, that wasn't the worst of my weekend.

It all started on Friday. I decided to be proactive and call the RE nurses to see if I needed to do anything prior to starting the gonadatropins, particularly if I started my cycle this weekend. So, I left a voicemail and they called back.

This is when she told me that I would need to take a training on injections and that the only give the training 1-2 times per week and only 1-2 couples per training. We were number 18 on the wait list, so if we were lucky we'd be able to get training in within a month, but most likely not for a couple months.

Needless to say, I was stunned. No one had mentioned any type of training particularly with a wait list. Had I known, I would've called 2 months ago and been put on the wait list. I even asked the RE at our last appointment if there was anything else that I needed to do before the gonadatropin cycle, in case this cycle of femara didn't work out. She said all I needed to do was sign a consent form which states you understand the side effects of the gonadatropins.

I emailed my RE and asked her why she didn't tell me about the training and why I'll have to wait probably another 2 cycles before starting the gonadatropins. She emailed back that I shouldn't have to wait that long and to let her know when the first day of my cycle is. I replied back and so far no answer.

Now I'm waiting for an email back for the RE and a phone call back from the nurses because if I can't start the gonadatropins, at least I want to start the femara and today is CD3. This is BS to the umpteenth degree. Just give me the damn meds.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So, after my rant yesterday about not being to exercise I said f*** it and went to an hour long spin class. Man, did it feel goooooood. The burn, the sweat, the endorphins. All such a great sensation. I still feel stellar this morning! It helps that it's Friday, too.

I'm still waiting for my little red friend to show up. So far it's been just very faint spotting here and there. Makes me wonder if I should take another pregnancy test. Well, if nothing happens by tomorrow I'll test again. Otherwise, I'll just be patient and wait.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Running Ragged

Work has been very slow. I'm not sure if it's because people are still recovering from holiday mode or because of the cold or just because they'd rather be somewhere else. Whatever the reason, it's been very slow in the office.

As a result, I have loads of time to write on my blog. And the topic for this post is: Exercise. I love it! I love the feel you get when you're out of breath and you have to push that extra mile. I love seeing my heart rate monitor tell me that I'm working above close to my maximum level. I love the endorphin rush, the sweat, the thrill of accomplishment.

Everyone has told me, though, that this love for cardio may be a contributing factor to my light periods and short luteal phase. So since July 2009, I've been cutting back ever so slowly on my exercise.

That brings me to January 2010, and I haven't gone running for over 3 months and haven't taken a spinning class in 1 month. It's been a diet of yoga and walking. And although, yoga and walking are great, they just don't do it for me. I feel like a slug.

But, that's not the best part, the best part is now that it's winter and my favorite sport is available for me, I can't go. I love to snowboard. I live to snowboard and usually, by now, I've already gone to Tahoe at least half a dozen times. I try not to think about it, but when I see the weather reports and see there's snow up there in them mountains, I can't help but feel a little bit of me withering away.

In other, more simpler words: Life Sucks.

East Meets West

Yesterday was my first appointment with a new acupuncturist and it went great! She seems to know what she's doing and her office is quiet and relaxing. The only negative was that she seemed a bit harried. I don't know if it was due to the late patients (she mentioned that there were several late patients) or because she was the only one in the office, either way, she seemed a bit overwhelmed.

As I mentioned, this is my first appointment with my "new" acupuncturist. I switched over from my "old" acupuncturist, the one I had been going to from July until early December, because 1) I started clomid, and 2) no significant changes and obviously and most importantly, no baby. There seemed to have been some minor changes but I thought after almost six months of acupuncture and chinese herbs (and over $1K spent) that something would happen. He also didn't seem to be all that knowledgeable regarding the different fertility meds and their effects.

So, now I'm feeling pretty good. My new woman has gotten rave reviews from her clients and she specializes in fertility. Our appointment got off to a good start. She knew right away based upon my age and symptoms that I had a luteal phase defect. I also explained the issues with my thin lining. Based on that and the fact that I my blood work and HSG have both come back fine, she's going to be concentrating on really beefing up on my lining.

I'm not 100% sold that acupuncture will really help me, but what have I got to lose, right? There are articles on the positive effects of acu and also articles that show all those little needles do absolutely nothing. All I know is that even if it doesn't work, at least I will have tried everything and the sessions are very relaxing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting for Day 1

Like I said before, life these days sometimes feels like a broken record. Here I am waiting for Day 1...again.

I've tested and got the usual answer: BFN. So, now I'm just waiting for the inevitable to arrive. I stopped the prometrium yesterday, so it's just a matter of days before my old friend shows up to remind me that I have, yet again, failed.

But, look on the bright side! I get to start a whole new cycle with new drugs to introduce to my body. Say hello to the needles and the gonadatropins! I'm already familiar with femara, so we're old friends. Hooray!

My RE has assured me that the injections/femara combo will make my uterine lining nice and fluffy and that the odds are better with the new drugs. Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best. Last month I was a holy terror on the femara. Let me just tell you...if you were the Indian woman that sat next to me to watch "Up in the Air," you're very fortunate not have gotten whacked in the face with my purse. Why you ask? Oh, just because she happened to pick the seat right next to me when the rest of the movie theater was available. And, combine that with taking femara. Enough said.

Anyway, so that's it. I'm just waiting now. That's the story of my life.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Beginning...

So, I start from the beginning. Compared to many other bloggers, my story isn't as long, but I think it might help others who are in the same or similar situation.

According to my husband, we met a long time ago, at church, when I was in high school and he was in college. According to me, we "officially" met and started dating in February 2006. Although, we ran in the same circle of friends, we never really had a chance to connect until we realized that we both had a love of skiing/snowboarding. With a well-timed trip to Tahoe, things started rolling along and by November 2007, we were married!

We postponed having kiddies so we could focus on traveling. We spent the first year of our marriage trekking our way through Eastern Europe and Eastern Africa. It was an amazing experience and don't regret it all.

So, immediately after taking my last malaria med, we started trying to make the baby. No doubt I would get knocked up immediately. But, three months rolled around and then 5 months and then 6 and nothing. No BFP, no two lines, nada.

During this time, I had been charting my BBTs and noticed that although I was ovulating my luteal phase was consistently 8-9 days and my periods were extremely light. After talking to my OB/GYN, she recommended that I cut down on my exercise (I was running 10 miles/week plus 2 spinning classes and pilates). So, I cut that out and added acupuncture to the regimen.

After another three months of BFNs, in September 2009, I went to talk to an RE. And she shipped me off for an HSG which came back all clear. I also did the arsenal of blood tests (i.e., TSH, FSH, estrodial, progesterone, etc.) and the results were all normal. Husband also had his SA done in September and it was also normal. The diagnosis -- unexplained infertility.

Our next plan of attack in November was to do 100mg of Clomid (the Clomid Challenge) and an IUI. Fortunately, I passed the Clomid Challenge. Unfortunately, the IUI landed on the Thanksgiving holiday so we did it the old-fashioned way. My ovaries responded well to the Clomid and gave me two nice follies, however, my lining didn't do too well and it was less than 4mm on CD 11. Two weeks went by and the results came back: BFN.

And that brings us to December 2009, where we tried 5mg of Femara/Letrazole and IUI. This time the timing was good and we were able to do the IUI, but the results are back and it's a BFN.