Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dr. C

December 23rd came and went. I am happy that I had my new consult appointment with Dr. C but I am disappointed that we still have a lot of work ahead of us before I can really start any treatment. These are things that I all knew were going to have to happen, I just wish that I could speed it up. Many of these test are really cycle day dependant, though. Again, this whole process is a huge test in patience.

Basically, my RE appointment consisted of a huge health history with the Endocrinology Nurse. Then a review of this history with Dr. C and then an appointment with the Financial Planner.

Dr. C would like to order some more labs, as well as labs that I have had previously drawn but would like them run on more cycle specific days (i.e. CD3). I will have another ultrasound and an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram). Ahhh, the dreaded HSG, where I will have radiographic dye injected through my cervix and into my abdominal cavity in order to assess the patency of my fallopian tubes.

We did go over some of my previous labs and I did feel like I was being assessed for my personal knowledge of the whole situation. I do know many of my lab values and I have made a point of insisting on knowing my results. I was told that from my first u/s that my ovaries did have polycystic qualities, specifically the string of pearls appearance. I was told that everything was normal with my uterus. You can imagine my shock and dismay when Dr. C shrieked, "Your lining was only 5 and this ultrasound was done on Cycle Day 54!" So now I have ANOTHER thing to worry about: My lackluster uterine lining.

Dr. C also had a nice little chat with me regarding lifestyle choices. Specifically the fact that I have not technically quit smoking if I indulge in even one cigarette. I know I needed her to yell at me, but I did feel like I was being verbally whipped for having 4 cigarettes this past month. I know any smoking is still smoking, but prior to this past month, my cigarette indulgences have been few and far in between. Usually while inebriated. But smoking is still smoking. Her words are still ringing in my ears...particularly the phrase, "You may have already damaged your eggs permanently." Yay.

I am also no longer allowed to run. She said that I cannot run and ABSOLUTELY no long distance running. She may or may not have pointed a finger at me at this point. Apparently I will not respond to her treatments if I put myself through that sort of exertion. So the half marathon that I was planning on doing in April is a no go. Yoga and Pilates it is!

I'm not so sure what my feelings are for Dr. C. On one hand, I can certainly get on board with the tough love approach if she gets me knocked up. On the other, if her abilities are sub par, I might find her attitude annoying and a waste of my time and money. I have a strong philosophy regarding physicians: I don't care how bat shit crazy, mean, or smelly you are; but you better be effin BRILLIANT. Now, if you're going to be a mediocre practitioner, then let's drop the God complex and treat your patients like actual people. I have yet to determine which category Dr. C falls in to. I hope she at least has an ounce of some sort of bedside manner during my HSG.

My meeting with the financial counselor was brief but a pleasant surprise. Apparently our insurance does cover 80% of diagnostics once our $2000 deductible is met. The HSG alone is $1998. I hope the ultrasounds are included in this "diagnostic" category. At $500 a pop and with at least 2 or 3 during a cycle, those babies will add up. Our insurance will not cover any procedure to actually get me pregnant, though. I guess I don't really care, the fact that diagnostics are somewhat covered was good news in this crappy situation.

The waiting game commences while I wait for my period to either show or be induced so we can get all of these tests done. Don't forget, The Bear has to have a repeat SA done, this time at the lab. The clinic is very nice, a little cold and sterile, but very private. It's not in The Palace, but in the hospital right next door. This would have been useful information to know before I started wandering around The Palace after working a night shift. After I wound up in the NICU, I admitted to myself that I was lost and enlisted the help of the sweetest elderly male volunteer (complete with burgundy blazer!) and he gladly escorted me there. What a gent.

In non-IF news, The Bear and I are headed off to Punta Cana in about 10 days for a destination wedding. This is a vacation that we both really need right now. When we get back, Trying to Conceive 2010 will begin!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone in the blogosphere!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Waiting Game...

Is killing me!!! I am typically a very impatient individual and all of this waiting around is killing me. I'm just so ready to go for my first RE appointment with Dr. C and here what she has to say. That being said...after the initial appointment, we won't be able to do anything for awhile. Unfortunately, we won't even be able to start anything until after the 2nd or 3rd week of January BECAUSE The Bear and I are going on vacation right after the New Year--Punta Cana! Provided I started Provera right after my 1st appointment with my new RE, my period would be set to arrive right before we leave and then I would be taking Clomid during the vacation. I absolutely refuse to do that. Also, there would be no way that I would be able to have lab work and be properly monitored in the Dominican Republic. No thanks.

This vacation has been in the works for years. We'll be spending time with my in laws at a destination wedding. This resort is also where The Bear and I honeymooned in 2008. I'm really looking forward to the weather, good company, good food and RELAXATION. Since I'm going to be in a swimsuit in the near future, I should probably take my bloated ass to the gym!

P.S. If anyone comments that good things come to those who wait or anything about patience, don't be alarmed if I show up at your house and kick you in the shins. Consider yourself warned :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Knocked Up

There are a variety of different ways to figure out when you might be fertile. If you're pretty regular you can figure out when you ovulate by counting back 14 days from the beginning of your period. You can use Basal Body Temperature charting, check your cervical mucus, or ovulation predictor kits. Or I love this one, you can "listen to your body." I'm trying to listen to my body, but it's sending me mixed signals.

BBT consists of using a special thermometer and taking your temperature at the same time each morning (before you even move) and you chart it. Based on what your chart looks like (and combined with other methods of charting) you can figure out when you're ovulating. I tried this for one month. A typical BBT chart looks like this:

My chart looked nothing like that. My temperatures were very erratic and I could make no sense of them what so ever. At that time I chalked it up to my rotating schedule and that I wasn't really sleeping longer than 3 hours at a crack.

Ovulation predictor kits are supposed to be easier to use. Just pee on a stick at the same time each day (or even a couple each day) in order to figure out when your LH surge occurs. Throughout your cycle estrogen and LH gradually increase causing an egg to ripen and mature. Right before ovulation, a LH surge can be detected. The thing that is tricky is that even if a LH surge is detected, it does not guarantee that an egg was actually released.

I am not even going to discuss CM (I can't even type it out fully!) because a variety of males (ones I'm related to!) read this blog and I want to be able to look them in the eyes in the future. Tell you what, if you're really interested, go Google it yourself.

Last, some women say that they feel really crampy and bloated when they're ovulating. Lovingly dubbed "mittelschmerz" (middle pain) by our German friends. Hmmm, this is how I feel on almost every given day due to the fact that I'm usually stuffing my face with cheesy, processed foods.

That's just on the female's end. If you're a dude, you've got to have working swimmers. You only need one, though. One working one that is able to find one, tiny little egg in an organ the size of a pear. Then it has to be able to successfully fertilize that egg.

So there you have it folks, how to make a baby. You know, with all of the technicalities and little ways this process can get screwed up, it's a wonder this world is overpopulated.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


So far all that is back is my FSH, which is lower than the CD3 number but is still well within normal limits. I haven't officially heard from Dr. B but I've done enough Googling to know that this should be just fine. Who knows what else they'll take a look at.

The results of my OB panel from CD3 are also in and I was able to totally peruse my lab values from my CBC. My H/H was 13.2/40! Holy cats I'm not even anemic! As an ICU nurse I've become accustomed to being happy over a H/H of 8/28. I've even seen as low as 5/10. My H/H value totally tickles me.

I worked an extra shift last night. I figure it's time to start saving up for IF treatments. My plan is to open a second bank account on Monday. The Bear and I will designate a little cash each week to save up for who knows what. I have a huge Carlo Rossi wine jug that I've been filling with change since I was about 19 and the jug is almost full. I'm very curious to find out how much is in there...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thank goodness I am almost over my cold! Upon further review, it is my belief that my hot flashes were not so much due to Clomid as it was me having symptoms of a cold/flu. I know, I know--what was I thinking going out in public (the mall! gasp! h1n1!) and possibly infecting everyone with lord knows what. Anyways, I have rejoined society and am functioning! And I am off until Wednesday!

It's funny how much better the world looks when you don't have a head full of snot and a fever. Who would have thunk it?

CD10 lab work has been completed, we'll see what it shows. Now I'm off to bed to snuggle with the best dog ever.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is a bad day. I should probably just call it a night (morning, whatever) and get some sleep before I go back to work tonight.

I know that The Bear and I have only been trying for 7 months, but I just have this feeling of despair. I keep trying to tell myself that God has a plan for everyone, and that this is just part of His plan for us right now. I know that we may never know what life is supposed to hold for us and why things happen the way that they do. Why do we lose people we love? Why do we lose our jobs? Why do we fall on hard times? It is all just a test of faith, and I keep desperately holding on to knowing that above all I have to keep my faith, but it's still so hard. And I know it's only going to get harder. We still have a long road ahead of us before we will become parents. And that is me being realistic. Neither optimistic or pessimistic. My mom told me that I should try to keep a 50-50 balance between optimism and pessimism. I told her that the most I could muster up would be about 30-70. I just keep trying to hold on to all of the small and beautiful things that grace my day.

Like being able to computer shop with my dear mum yesterday. She is a brave woman who had the courage to take her sick and Clomid-infused daughter to the mall during Christmas season! And I behaved myself! And I was patient! I did have my first rocking hot flash, though. What a doozy! It felt like I was baking in the middle of the summer in a kitchen located on top of an active volcano. Realistically, it wasn't that bad. I guess I just turned a little pink on the outside. But was I ever sweating underneath my hoodie. Who knows, it could be the cold I'm battling.

The latest in fertility news...My CD3 labs are trickling in. My FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) looks good--this is indicative of ovarian reserve. So I guess there are still some good eggs in there, it's just a matter of them coming out to play. All of my lab work regarding my testosterone is within normal limits, too. This explains my lack of a moustache. Hopefully my face stays that way. What I'm really waiting for is the pesky LH (Lutenizing Hormone) result.

I have just two more days of Clomid. Then I've got some CD10 labwork (what will be tested, I haven't a clue. I'll ask the phlebotomist) and then it's time to pee on a stick everyday for awhile in order to see if I'm ovulating.

***I'm FINE. This post was for venting purposes, I will be sleeping all day, so please don't call me to make sure I'm OK--I assure you, I am :)