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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Potty Training In Just 3 Days!

Several years ago I blogged about how I potty trained Gavin in just 3 days using the 3 day potty training method.  It was a really rough 3 days but if the goal was no more diapers, it worked like a charm! 

Since Joey turned 2 in July, the idea of potty training was looming.  I was pretty much dreading it.  Joey is a challenging kid.  He is ornery.  He was a late bloomer in the verbal department.  He just didn't seem ready.  I put it off for just a few more weeks for several months.  When November hit and Doug told me that he was going to be taking a week off after Thanksgiving, I decided it was time.

I followed the 3 day method which involves ridding yourself of all diapers and diaper like products (i.e. pull ups) and going cold turkey.  You then fill your kid full of as many liquids as you can get them to consume which gives you tons of opportunity for successes.  It also makes for many many many many... messes.  Between wanting so badly to not clean up pee for the 45th time in 2 hours and repeating the token phrase of "Don't forget to tell me if you have to go potty." 3 billion times, I was ready to give up after 4 hours.  Maybe I should wait until he is older.

By day two, I was singing a different tune.  Joey was having more hits than he was misses.  He was still having an occassional dribble if I wasn't 100% tuned in to him and his cues for needed to go potty.  But when night fell, I was pretty pleased with his progress, but I joked that if I ever have another baby I am going to let them potty train themselves.  Even if I have to wait until they are teens. Never again was I going to bother with this crazy thing called potty training. 

But, much like child birth, the reward is worth it!  When day 3 was completed, Joey was diaper free and peeing and pooping in the potty.  Every time.  No joke!  He hadn't shown any interest in the potty before.  He never ever woke up dry in the mornings.  In fact his morning diaper was always the wettest. 

Confession: I love a good night sleep and on the second night used a pull up at night.  I called it his special bedtime underpants.  After the third day of potty training, he was waking up dry every morning.  So after a week of pull up insurance at night, he is no longer using those.  I am pretty sure that the author of the 3 day potty training would scream at me, but hey, it worked for me. 

The first time through potty training with Gavin I was so stressed out about taking this show on the road.  I felt confined to my house for fear that he would pee in his car seat or need to go and I would have to scramble to find the closest potty (which is not fun at all!!).   For him, we started with a quick trip to WalMart to basically run in and run out.  I then gradually stretched the time out further.  With Joey I was more relaxed and jumped in with both feet.  When we arrived at our destination I offered the potty then did my shopping and asked again before we left.

If you are in a hurry to be done with diapers, this is the way to go.  No need for the kid to be "ready" but you must be.

My advice to you:
1. Have backup.  Don't try to do this when your hubby is on a business trip.  You will need an hour each evening to soak in a hot bath and read something that doesn't involve pee or poop.
2. Don't spend too much on fancy potties or potty equipment.  One light weight easy to clean potty will do. 
3. Have a massage already on the books.  All of the bending to help your child sit and position the goods (especially for boys!) and the pulling up and down of adorable tiny underpants is tough on the back. 
4. Remind yourself that even though it is super hard, it will be over soon and the pay off will be worth it!

If you have any questions or need support feel free to email me or find me at http://www.ttccommunity.com/index.php/community and I will be happy to help in any way I can. 
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Just a Quickie

I am just going to do a quick cycle update today but I have some posts in the works for when I don't have two kids frantically playing with new toys while managing sugar crashes.  Those posts is going to require me to have a complete train of thought without interruptions of "Guess what Joey drew on this time?!"  It seems I can talk about ovaries and follicles while remote control cars zoom around my feet and I can even tell you about my uterine lining while kids bicker over whose turn it is to play with the Leapfrog Pen Reader. 

I went to the RE on Sunday morning and had my cycle day 12 scan.  I have a great lining again of 9.6mm and 3 follicles that could potentially pop.  The lead was a ripe 26mm and there was also an 18 and a 15 but the RE was only giving the 15 a 50% chance of containing a mature egg.  I was a little worried that the 26 was too big since it would continue to grow 1-2 mm per day and it could take up to 3 days to ovulate.  Since I had the 18 waiting in the wings, I felt better.

I decided that after learning that using half of the trigger shot (5,000 units) only trimmed a day off of the false positive tests, that throwing away almost $40 worth of medications wasn't worth it.  I triggered ovulation with the full 10,000 units of hCG.  I did notice that this time the trigger medication came in a different box and instead of it reading "Human Chorionic Gonadotropin" it was a name brand of Pregnyl.   Of course now I am worried that it will not leave my system at the same rate as the other type but... we'll see. 

I am still planning on waiting until 12 dpo to test but there is one teeny issue. When I got home from my scan and getting the trigger I felt a sharp pain near my ovary.  Then, the next morning my temp went above my coverline so for the first time since having trigger shots, I think I ovulated the same day as the trigger.  It may have even been hours after the trigger.  Kind of ironic since I think the trigger shot couldn't have already done it's job so I think that my ovulation was natural and I just injected my body with $80.00 worth of hcg merely to drive myself insane with false positive tests.  I say all of that to say, 12 days past ovulation is also going to be 12 days past trigger.  I wish I could say that I am strong enough to wait an extra day or two to test until I can be sure that the trigger is gone, but... alas... I am an addict. 

In the next week or so I plan on writing two posts that couldn't be any less related.  The first is going to be addressing our faith in God and how it relates to children and their education.  In the second, I am going to share our story of getting Joey successfully potty trained in just 3 days despite him not showing any signs of readiness.  Oh, and I hope to post some positive pregnancy tests in about 2 weeks.  We'll see how that goes. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!! 
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Faith like a Child

The past few weeks have been emotional to say the least.  Between Grandma's health being on the decline and the awful tragedy in Connecticut, I have been on the verge of tears without much provocation. Each time I have shared this story, it has made me cry tears of pride. 

We were riding in the truck on our way to visit Grandma who's health has been a one-day-at-a-time kind of thing.  Seeing as how I wasn't sure if the boys would make it to visit again before she passes, I wanted to have a gentle, age appropriate talk about death. This is a topic that has yet to come up as no pets have passed, no one he knows has passed, and his concept of death is probably based on squished bugs and flowers that wilted and had to be disposed of.   I was nervous, but felt like I owed him a bit of a heads up instead of after she leaves us. 

"Gavin, do you know how old Grandma Luna is?" I asked.

"She is 100 years old!" He answered happily.

"Yes!  She is 100 years old!  That is a really really long time to be alive!  We have been very blessed to have her with us for so long.  After we live here we get to go live in Heaven!  Grandma is going to be going to Heaven to live with God soon, so we are going to visit her and tell her how much we love her, okay?"

"Yeah, but how will we get a house up to Heaven?" he asked with a quizzical expression.

"Well, we won't need to take anything with us to Heaven because God will see that we have everything we need." I explained while hiding my smile as to not give him the impression that his question was humorous instead of endearing.

"But what about a car?  Will God give us a car?" he wondered.

I paused for a second to find the right words and came up with, "If we need a car in Heaven, I am sure that God will provide it."

Gavin seemed satisfied with my response and he gazed out the window as we drove.  Then, about 5 minutes later, he spoke again.

"So God gives us the Bible so we can learn all about Him while we are down here.  Then, when we go to Heaven, we get to see how God makes stuff and does things.  That is pretty cool!"

Pretty cool indeed.  
Friday, December 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Infertility Affects Everyone

What?  It isn't Wednesday?

That's okay.  This isn't going to be wordless either.

Today I went for my baseline ultrasound which is really not post worthy since all they do is give me an ultrasound and say, "Okay.  Looks good."  How is that for climactic?  Understand why I don't blog about these appointments?

As I walked into the waiting room full of high backed leopard print chairs and contemporary decor, I saw something as odd as my mother-in-law at a strip club.  An Amish couple sat waiting patiently.

WHA??

I do live in rural Ohio and can identify an Amish person and these people were clearly Amish.  I did consider trying to snap a picture with my phone, but respect that the Amish do not like to be photographed (not that anyone appreciates being photographed when they aren't aware of it) so I refrained.  So you will have to just close your eyes and picture it for yourself.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Still hard to believe, right?

I am now going to have to wait for TLC or Discovery Chanel to do a reality TV show or documentary on infertility in the Amish community. 

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Most Fertile Time of the Year

Someone shared an article in one of the secret groups for TTCers I participate in.  It explained that September 16th is THE most frequently occurring birthday.  In fact, the whole month of September is the most popular month for birthdays with August and July coming in a close second and third.
Since I started my period today and will trigger ovulation on day 12... carry the one... add 38.... Yep.  That will give me an estimated due date of... you guess it... September 16th!  This is fantastic!  But wait just one infertile second (which happens to feel more like 32 cycles)!  What if I don't get pregnant?  Brace yourself for impact!  There is about to be a deluge of pregnancy announcements in the coming months.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  This is science folks.  Can't argue with that.

So let's look a bit deeper into this phenomenon of September 16th.  This means that conception takes place on or around Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Is it because people are feeling festive?  I don't know about you, but Christmas Eve around here is me always scurrying to bake something, wrap a dozen somethings, making last minute purchases, and this is usually happening while I don my gay apparel that is actually sweatpants and a tacky Christmas-y jeweled sweatshirt.  Actually I don't own a Christmas sweater or sweatshirt, but I will if it means getting pregnant. 


Anyone crafty out there want to make this for me?  Sipping on some festive holiday cocktails in this bad boy has to be a recipe for a baby, right?


This ought to work for Doug. I will refrain from any borderline inappropriate comments about packages. 

Are any of you or your kids the result of some Christmas time lovin'? Do I have any "cycle buddies" who might be ovulating around Christmas this year?  I'd love to see if we can be real live examples to this September phenomenon!
Sunday, December 9, 2012

Just Say No

It isn't looking good, folks.  It isn't looking good.  Chart looks great.  Temps are good.  Boobs are sore.  Tests are all clearly negative.

While I am very tempted to allow myself to feel sorry for myself, fall in a heap of soggy tissue, and sleep until AF starts, I am going to rally.  Not particularly because I want to, but because Doug is leaving town for work for a few days and Gavin isn't quite ready to cook for himself.

Tonight I will be flying solo for the ttcradio show.  I have grown quite accustomed to having Doug there so that I don't feel like I am talking to myself for an hour.  Between my utter frustration with this fight with infertility and not having Doug to help to steer my radio chit chat, this might end up being the best or worst radio show since the start of ttcradio.  Now... I really hope that the kids sleep well tonight otherwise the radio show might be people listening to me beg the children to sleep.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

I am challenging myself to turn over a new leaf next cycle.  Brace yourselves.  Seriously.  Brace yourselves for this.  I am not going to test until 12 DPO next month.  I know that with the 5000 unit trigger it will be out of my system by then and I will know for sure if I am pregnant.  I want to test on 12 dpo and if there is a pink line I can be happy.  If there isn't I can feel like I do right now and just feel that way for one day instead of for the last 3.

 I am trying so hard to stay positive.  I used to be so good at this.  Month after month I have been able to find the silver lining and this month I just haven't found it yet.  Today I am just feeling a little sorry for myself and increasingly frustrated that I am still waiting.  I know I'll get out of my funk eventually, but just not today. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Me and My Big Mouth

Last night I took Gavin to his very first, non family, birthday party.  This was no ordinary backyard party.  This was at a McDonalds.  Gavin couldn't have been more excited!  I, on the other hand, was about to walk into a room full of people that despite me crossing paths with them twice a day three times a week, I really didn't know any of them.

We go in and about 2.6 second later Gavin has tossed his shoes and off he goes.  I smile awkwardly and try to  figure out what to do with myself for the next 2 hours of 5 year old insanity.  Thankfully, a group of moms took me under their loud and raucous wing and I fit right in. 

One of the moms was talking about how she discovered that she had gallstones by giving herself and ultrasound.  Then I asked the question that most rational women wouldn't.

"So... You just scan yourself?  Like you throw some gel on there and have at it?" 

She was clearly my kinda girl because the over-sharing began immediately. 

"Yeah!" she answered.  "When I was trying to get pregnant I would scan myself and see if I had any follicles ready to go and would go home and tell my husband it was time to put out!" she shared with the small group of us.

I tried to stop myself but she said follicles.  I can't just walk away from a woman who mentions follicles in a McDonald's Play Place.

"Are you kidding me?!  I pay hundreds of dollars every month for someone to tell me the same thing!  Oh the money I would save if I could just....  wait... you give yourself transvaginal ultrasounds?  I'm not even sure how that would work..."

"Oh!  I just put my leg up on the table," she explained, "and I scan away! How exciting for you that you are trying for another!"

"Yeah.... not all that exciting anymore.  We been at it for 2 years."

I went on to explain my losses and she asked me if I was MTHFR (which I am) and we chatted for a good 20 minutes about my uterus.  At McDonalds.  With a woman I had just learned her name and no longer have to call her "the lady who drives the blue minivan."  She now knows all about my reproductive history.

I know some people are really secretive about their fertility but I just can't stop when given an opportunity.  The woman offered to give me a scan any time.  She went as far as putting her number in my phone for me!!  It wasn't until after I was telling the story to Doug that I realized that I never asked her what or where she worked.  Wouldn't it be funny if she worked at a vet clinic or something???  I would have to think long and hard if I would want to use the same machine as an expectant Mastiff.

I did have to suffer through a few comments about how fertile they were.  For instance one just has to drink a beer and she gets pregnant.  The other just put her legs in the air and it worked every time.  Sigh... I wonder if it works with gluten free beer?

And now an update... as of this moment (10 dpo) I am clearly not pregnant.  I could be pregnant tomorrow though.  I am feeling a lot of various symptoms that are filling me with hope but I recognize that they could very well be a result of the progesterone.  Trying to be patient until I can get an answer.  Thanks for all of you that have been asking about me.  The good news is that my Monday I should know one way or another.  I'll update when I know!  Have a great weekend!


Monday, December 3, 2012

More fun with pee sticks!

This cycle I chose to trigger with half of the typical dose.  Instead of 10,000 units of hCG I went with only 5,000. 

I had friends asking me if I would consider trying a cycle without the trigger since I don't have issues with ovulation and they see me go insane every cycle trying to decipher my tests.  While in thoery I loved that idea, I was fearful that using the medications for "super ovulation" (getting 2 or 3 follicles) would be for naught and that I would only ovulate one of them and then I am not increasing my odds.  So I found my happy medium. 

I asked the doctor who did my CD3 baseline ultrasound if the whole 10,000 unit dose is needed to induce ovulation.  Before answering me he asked me why I asked.  I explained how it would linger for the whole 13-14 days and I would go insane every month being unsure if I was pregnant or if it was the trigger.  He said that I could probably trigger with 5,000 units but to bring it up at my mid cycle appointment.  Because I just can't not ask questions, I asked him why then do they use the 10,000 unit dose if less does the same thing.  His response, "Mostly because that is the dosage it comes in, but also hCG helps with progesterone production." 

I decided that even though I would have to throw away half of the dose, my mental health will reimburse me.  Already, I am thankful!  I have been testing every other day and today would be 7 days past trigger.  The test is very close to negative!  It will work out perfectly in that it should be completely gone by the time I would expect a true positive.  Just for fun, here is my three tests from this past week.
To see the photo larger, click on it.
If you want to see how they compare to my 10,000 unit trigger tests that post is here

I am happy to report that Grandma seems to be doing better every day and am thankful for all the prayers!  Hopefully my next post will be able to share wonderful news all around!  Have a great week!

One other thing... the winner of the crappy pee sticks is Hanna who suggested that a coaster be made from the pee sticks!  I haven't heard back from her yet so... Hanna: If you want some super crappy pee sticks email me or message me on facebook!  I will throw in some wondfos if you post a pick of a pee stick coaster on my facebook page!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Grandma Luna

My most perfectly awesome Grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday a month ago.  It was a wonderful day!  How often does a woman celebrate her 100th birthday with all of her 6 children there to help her blow out her candles?  A room full of faces that were the direct result of her.  It was pretty amazing really. 

After a fall earlier in the week, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital.  I had been told that she had become very confused and had taken a significant turn for the worse.  Today I went to visit.  I tried to prepare myself mentally for the visit since I had heard that she looked pretty beat up and weak, but when I walked into her room at the hospital today I looked at a woman laying in a hospital bed that was merely a fragile frame of the woman I have forever frozen in time in my head.

I said hello.  She remained motionless looking at the opposite wall.

Again, I said, "Hi, Gramma!" this time louder.

Still nothing.

My parents and I quietly whispered to one another about how she was that morning, if she had eaten, if she was aware of what was going on around her.  Then, I hear her whispering to no one in particular.  She is inviting a friend over to her room because she wants to talk.  She is smiling and silently laughing.  I quietly listen as she reaches for imaginary items to show her invisible friend and I couldn't help but smile.   Here we were, nervous and concerned about her health, and she was entertaining a guest, sharing a joke, and making small talk with him. 

I asked her what her friend's name was.  She stopped talking, looked over at me out of the corner of her eye, almost as if she was annoyed that I had interrupted, and after about 20 seconds she said, "You'll find out."

The whole visit, she seemed unaware of visitors and nursing staff in and out of the room.  She was actively engaged with her friend and planning some sort of dinner party because she was talking about the seating arrangement.  The only interraction she innitiated was when she was hoping someone would help her reach imaginary things but even that communication was essentially non verbal. 

An hour or so later she was asking for someone to push on her so that she could reach something that we couldn't see.  When I would ask her if there was something I could get for her, she kept talking about a door.  She explained that she couldn't reach the door and just needed someone to push her so she could get to it to open it.

It wasn't until I was retelling that interaction to an aunt that we both stopped to wonder if that door wasn't just an imaginary door and if she was really talking about a doorway to something very different.  Then, I wondered about her friend.  Maybe Jesus was keeping her company and making her feel happy and safe.  It really was a wonderful image I had created in my head.  Then I had to leave.

I leaned in very close and said to her very loud, "Gramma.  I have to go now.  I love you like crazy!"

She looked right back at me and said, "I love you too."

I walked to my car and smiled the whole way.  It was really perfect considering the circumstances.

Gavin took this picture about a year ago.
Tonight I called my mother, who has been spending most of her time at the hospital, to see if she wanted me to get her anything from the store.  In the background, I hear my grandmother's voice ask, "Who is that?"

My mom tells her it is me and then I hear Grandma's voice again, "I want to talk to her."

I can tell that I am now on speaker phone and when I say hello, she starts talking to me about the ice cream she ate and how she is feeling good.

"Gramma!  Do me a favor and take care of yourself!  And keep eating that ice cream!  That stuff must be really good for you!" I say with my mouth half hanging open.  She was speaking in sentences and coherently!

"I will!" she says.  "Do you want to know why?"

"Why Gramma?" I say smiling but still with my mouth hanging open.

"Because you told me to."

It was like she was a whole new woman.  She was back.  Grandma is back.  She is such a fighter!  Kinda like a little miracle, if you ask me. 

Please pray that Jesus stays right next to her, making her smile when we cannot. 





Monday, November 26, 2012

It's not me. It's totally you.

I went today for my cycle day 12 ultrasound and was lucky to have my high school pal, who from here on out I will call P, instead of my regular RE.  It is sort of "the luck of the draw" as to what doctor you get since they all rotate between locations.  It seems that my RE and P are the only two that are at the location I prefer.  But, I was thrilled when the nurse said, "P will be right in!" 

She did the scan while I made small talk about her growing baby bump.  In the middle of a sentence she nearly shouted, "Maria!  Your lining looks AWESOME!"  She moved the screen so I could see and she pointed out how I had the triple stripe pattern which indicates wonderful structure.  She also told me that my lining was a healthy 8.5 mm.  That was the perfect lead in for some questions that have been rolling around in my head.
A uterus with good structure resembles a feather.

Without getting into all of the details there was a long talk all revolving around how and when to break up with my doctor.  I can't help but be a little annoyed that after a YEAR of fertility treatment, my doctor never once thought to try to improve my lining.  It isn't like I had a flop cycle where my lining sucked.  It was every time he measured it!  The best I ever had was a 7, I think.  I can't justify the fact that he continued to allow me to spend thousands of dollars this past year when the likelihood of pregnancy was so slim.  I asked P, in her professional opinion, is it possible that having a crappy lining could have something to do with a girl who has had a total of 8 early miscarriages.  She nodded.  I almost cried.  This might really be it.  The answer I have needed for the last 4 years! 

The only teeny little catch is that I can't break up with my doctor yet.  P is going to be having a baby at the end of December and then taking maternity leave.  So today was like me and my new love planning how I was going to pack up my belongings and make a clean get away.  I am going to continue with my doctor for now.  If I am not pregnant by February, the Dear Doc letter will be sent.


I am so happy about this.  I always liked my doctor's personality but now, as I look back, he never really changed anything.  I still had miscarriages.  I still can't get pregnant.  The only thing that is different now is that we have a lot less money and no answers.  Now, in a matter of a couple of cycles, something is different.  Something has changed.  I give the credit to P.  She saw what wasn't working and fixed it.  I really feel like I can talk to her and that she is going to tell it to me straight.  She doesn't have the doctor ego thing and I really feel like she will fight for me.  I also don't think it hurts that she is a woman who knows the pain of a miscarriage.  She really is a sweet girl and while it is a little awkward to have an old friend poking around in my lady business, I'm glad that she had gotten me on the right path.  I am about as happy as a infertile girl could be!  Having hope is so powerful!

Onward to the egg info!

I have 3 perfect follicles!  Two at 20mm and a 24mm!  I triggered with 5,000 units of hCG instead of the 10,000.  I really think that my mental health is going to thank me for this.  Not having to deal with the, "Is this trigger or the real deal?" is going to be wonderful. 

I hope you all have a great week! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Two Cycles

Gavin and my niece.
When we started trying for baby number 3, I never ever thought that I would find myself still wading through infertility.  So when we began using clomid and doing monitored cycles, I felt like I had just plunged into the real world of real women who were dealing with infertility.  But, as strange as it may sound, I felt like a visitor.  Like I wasn't really infertile.  I was just borrowing some of their meds and technology.  Turns out I am just as infertile as the next lady who can't get pregnant. 

A few months ago I started bringing up the topic of IUI with Doug.  I wasn't trying to coerce him.  To be honest, I really wasn't sold on it myself.  I think I just wanted to have the topic was on the table for discussion.  Then, one afternoon I was out running errands and Joey was having a rare quiet moment in the back seat thus leaving me alone with my thoughts it came to me.
Like a clear message intended only for me, I knew we were supposed to try the IUI.  Then almost as fast as that came to me I felt "You need two cycles."    That night, I told Doug that I feel like we are supposed to try IUI.  I can't remember my exact words but I explained that it was in God's hands and that He could still decide if we got pregnant or not.  I just felt like we were supposed to do this.  Even if it was just to teach us something. 

While I so much wanted to be pregnant from the IUIs, I can't help but notice that it was on our second cycle that we figured out that my uterine lining was not sufficient for pregnancy.  That must have been why we needed "two cycles".  That is what was needed to show me the missing piece.  It was my lining.  My crappy lining could very well be the reason for the my last 4 years worth of infertility and 8 total early miscarriages.    If only we had known this earlier.... but we didn't. 

While the IUIs weren't successful in getting me pregnant, they did teach me something.  So for that reason, I consider my IUIs a success.  They will play a part in my getting pregnant... whenever that happens. 

This cycle we are using the Femara again.  This medication helped my lining go from 5.4 to 10.9 which is practically ideal for pregnancy.  I feel like now that my lining is normal, we don't need the IUI.  We just need to wait for the right sperm to meet the right egg.  We are also going to do one other thing differently (most likely anyway... I haven't officially told the doctor my wishes).  I am going to trigger with half of the amount of hCG as I have in the past.  The perk of that is that it will be out of my system in half of the time and I won't have to play the "is this the trigger or a BFP" game.  That will hopefully help my sanity which is running a little short lately.  
The Cousins

I'll update next week!  Enjoy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!  To my international readers... If there isn't Thanksgiving do you have Black Friday? 
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The World's WORST Pregnancy Test Giveaway!!!

It has been a REALLY long time since I did a giveaway, so let's see how this grabs ya!

I had the worst experience ever using the Babi HPTs and that is saying a TON coming form the girl who has never met a pee stick she didn't like.  Like a fellow TTCer pointed out, I should have known the tests sucked when they couldn't even spell baby right.  Usually even crappy pee sticks have redeeming qualities.  Not these. 

I spent the last 7 days or so testing out my trigger using these Babi pregnancy tests.  In my last post I showed you how for three days in a row the lines on the tests didn't change one bit.  My levels were obviously dropping but the lines told me a completely different story. 

Then finally the lines went away... well not really.  They were lighter, then not there, then suddenly there again.  It was just enough to give me false hope.  I switched to name brand tests and saw the line get lighter and lighter.  The Babi tests were giving me lines of varying shades pretty much ever time I tested.  Including this test from yesterday morning:

 Before I go on I want to let you know that the test pictured above had to be a fluke.  That was the darkest line I had and maybe even darker than my trigger pictures.  I just think that these tests blow chunks.  I am feeling pretty confident that I will be getting a visit from Ol' Aunt Flo at any moment.  No line to speak of on today's name brand test and feeling more PMS-y than baby on board-y. 

Last night, for fun, I dipped three test into the same urine specimen and sat poised and ready to capture what I had been experiencing all week. Welcome to:





This pic makes the middle test look like it has the start of something.  Bottom has a maybe.This is when the package says to read the test.







This one makes the top one look like it might have a shadowy looking something too. 











Now the top two look negative but the bottom test has something that looks pink!











Or maybe not???











Then after an hour of sitting The bottom test has a visible line.  The middle has a shadow of something and the top we'll call negative. 



I totally recognize that most normal women would have thrown those tests away right at the 5 minute mark and be done with it.  I never claimed to be normal.  I also went to Amazon and read all of the negative reviews.  Apparently I am not alone in my thoughts that these tests stink!  Others who used these tests thought they were going to miscarry because the lines were always so light and never got any darker.  Others said that they got super light lines and had very obvious dark lines on First Response Tests.  The bottom line is that even if you are a pee stick addict, these need not be in your stash. 

So I bet you are wondering how on Earth this post could possibly be a giveaway post, right?  Since these tests are worthless to me, I thought we could make this into a game!!

I want you to tell me in a comment (Disqus comments please!) or in a blog post (post a link in the comments) what you would do with 30 of the world's worst pregnancy tests.   Whoever comes up with the most entertaining response/post will "win" the 30 Babi HPTs!   Be creative!  If I can't decide which idea makes me smile the biggest, I'll put it to a vote and let the readers decide! 

Deadline is November 20th!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halfway

I am halfway through my two week wait and have very little to report.  I am trudging through the awfulness that I call progesterone and all of it's pseudo pregnancy side effects.  I really considered skipping it this month since my lining was so great, but I am willing to endure this short term psychosis if it means I am giving a potential baby a better chance of having a cozy home for 10 months. 
Progesterone makes my mom CRAZY!

To help me pass the time, I have been working really hard on the website, ttccommunity.com. We decided that we are going to try something a little different.  I think that the change will help more of have quicker, more comfortable access to support and friendship throughout our journeys.  If you haven't been to the site in a while, stop by and read Welcome to the NEW ttccommunity!

Now on to the fun obsession stuff.  I wish that I was one of those girls who could just wait until 14 days after the IUI and take a pregnancy test.  I can't.  Granted I haven't really tried to restrain myself either.  For those that have followed my trigger shot progressions in the past know that I have a horrible "gift" of metabolizing hCG very slowly.  I have been known to get squinters for 12 or 13 days after my shot.  Right around the time I triggered I went shopping online for some pregnancy tests because I was seriously out of cheapies!  I honestly went 2 whole weeks without them.  I didn't even hyperventilate once. 

I intentionally bought tests that weren't as sensitive as the wondfo brand since I swear those show a line with the teeniest amount of hCG ever.  I started testing 3 days ago and was really excited to see a very very light line.  I was sure that with these tests I would get a negative much earlier!  But then when I tested the second day, it was the same as the day before.  Then today... you guess it!  Exactly the same!

Am I asking to much to see the line fade and then maybe go away for a day or two only to return nice and strong at 9 or 10 days past ovulation? 

Oh!  I may have forgotten to mention on here that according to some research study done about 15 years ago that examined 4 different variables and the outcomes of IUIs I have a 61% chance of this cycle working.  That is a pretty nice number.  Just really hoping and praying that I don't fall in the 39% chance that it won't work.  Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to post a calculator so that you can figure out your chances of success with IUI.  Goal for that calculator to be ready to go is this weekend.  Oh, the fun obsessing that can be done with that bad boy! 

Well, have a great weekend and I'll be sure to post again when we know if I am in the 61% or the 39%. 
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scary Follicles and Confessions of a Pee Stick Addict

Last cycle I posted about how disappointed I was to learn that my uterine lining was super duper thin.  I was reassured that it was okay because I had really "good structure" and that was more important.  When that cycle was a big fat bust, I asked the doctor what we could do to improve that.  Actually, all I said was, "Last cycle my lining was a measly 5.something..." and her expression was as if I told her I ran over a puppy on my way to the appointment.  Before I could even finish my question, she told me that she was going to switch me to Femara instead of Clomid.  She explained that Clomid can cause the lining to be too thin and Femara would help to thicken it.

Today I went for my Day 12 ultrasound.  For those of you who aren't personally involved with the infertility world, the primary purpose it so see if/how well medications worked by monitoring your follicles (eggs) and their maturity (size).  They also take a look at the uterine lining.  She quickly announced that I had a 24mm follicle and a 20mm follicle.  I was super happy with that but still nervous to learn what my lining would be.  When she told me that it was 10.9 I nearly jumped off the table and hugged her!  I couldn't have been happier!  My lining doubled on Femara! 

Then, the nurse came in to give me my trigger shot.  She looked at my numbers and she was grinning ear to ear as she read them off to me again.  She looked hopeful too.  Then she looked up at a calendar hanging on the cabinet and told me not to test until the 16th of November.  Yes, folks, the 16th.  Apparently there isn't a check box on my chart for pee stick addict. 


I smiled at her and said, "I can't promise you anything.  I will test out my trigger so I will know if it is a real positive, but to not test until the 16th is crazy talk!"

"Oh My!  Don't do that!  You are just wasting money by testing like that!" she pleaded.

"Apparently you haven't met my friend called The Internet Cheapie?" I poked back.  "They are less than a dollar and I can pee on those bad boys all cycle long for less than a box of expensive tests!"

Her eyes began to look worried as she cautioned, "Please don't!  We have had bad experiences with those cheap tests!"

"I'm a professional TTCer.  I know what I'm peeing on."  I decided at that point that I if I started throwing terms like "evaps" and the relaying the precise sensitivity of every test on the market, I might have found my file placed in a "special pile" so I stopped.

So aside from confessing to my pee stick addiction, the appointment went fantastically! 

Well, there was one other little problem.  I joked that since my appointment was on Halloween that I would dress up as my right ovary.  My RE, and former classmate, joked that she would dress like the left one and we could walk next to each other in the hallway.  I didn't wear a costume and the secretary called me out on it.  I explained that my ovary costume developed OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome- a result of responding too well to fertility meds) and had to stay home. 

Happy Halloween and I hope my scary awesome follicles cook up a set of adorable little pirates... or flowers... or dinosaurs... or MnMs... or anything squishy.  I will also be thrilled with one pirate, flower, dinosaur or a single solitary MnM!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Formerly Unwritten Rules of Pregnancy and the Facebook-o-sphere

The moment you have been waiting for is finally upon you!  You held in your hand a stick.  You peed on that stick.  While your urine absorbed into that fortune telling wick, you began dreaming of nursery themes and itty bitty argyle socks.  Then, as if your pee could talk, the words, "I'm pregnant!" echoed in your head.  With that news literally in your hand, you shook like a kid on Christmas morning.  You jumped a few times then worried it might hurt the baby.  You may have even twirled while holding your pee stick, small child, or pet under 40 pounds.  You, my dear, are pregnant!

Now what?  Do you scurry to thumb type a pregnancy announcement on your smart phone before the pee stick even dries?  Do you pick up the phone and call all relevant family and friends?  Do you feel guilty because your mom, best friend and your online TTC support group knew before your dear sweet husband?

Once the cat is out of the bag and you make it "facebook official," you may encounter one little hurdle that you weren't anticipating.  While you are glowing and giddy at the realization that there is a teeny human growing inside of you, the rest of the world doesn't really care nearly as much as you do.  I mean, it is cool.  It is facinating!  It is a miracle!  But rumor has it, you aren't the first woman in the world to be pregnant and you won't be the last either. So now what?  How do you share all of the wonderous things happening in your body without making 225 of your former classmates, work pals, and random people you have friended over the last 10 years, completely insane?  Here are a few ideas:

1. Start a blog.  This is an excellent option since you can write as much or as little as you want.  Then, you can post a link to your blog post on your facebook page.  Talk about your girly bits, or other sensitive information?  Give Uncle Al a heads up.  Blogging gives people the option of reading the play by play.

2. Start a facebook group.  Using this approach, you can select your friends and family who you would like to be privy to your uterine status (i.e., leave Uncle Al out of this).  You can make posts as frequently as you want and group members can participate to whatever extent they are comfortable.  They can type a frowny face when you share that you lost your lunch again, they can squeal along with you as you pass your 3 hour glucose tolerance test, or they can read your posts when they choose to without being bombarded with baby updates in their news feed.

3. Join a buddy group of pregnant women.  You are sure to find others who are currently on a similar path that would be happy to trade pregnancy war stories, milestones, and OB appointment updates.  Not only with this save Bob, that guy that you still aren't sure how (or if) you know him, from reading about how gassy you have become.

4. Use common sense.  If the previous options aren't quite your style, then here's another option.  When you post a status on facebook, ask yourself a few things before you click on the post button.

Question: Does anyone really want/need to know this?  
Example#1: I totally sneezed and peed myself 3 times today. 
Example#2: Anyone have any fast remedies for constipation?  I've been in the crapper for 47 minutes and this shit won't budge.
Example#3: It feels like someone is knocking on my vagina.  Is this normal?

Still unclear?  Ask yourself what you would think if your mother posted this.  If you shudder, cringe, or throw up a little, backspace and walk away.  

Question: Does your status make pregnancy sound like a dreaded disease?
Example#1: I am so miserable I could scream.  But, I would have to take a nap to muster the strength for screaming.  Someone save me.  
Example#2: I wish I could eat like a normal person but everything makes me barf my brains out. If I lose anymore weight I don't know how I will keep these maternity jeans up. 

1 in 6 couples is infertile.  They read these posts and long for those aches and pains of pregnancy.  Along similar lines, 1 in 4 women will suffer the loss of a baby.  To talk about pregnancy like it is torture, isn't going to be well received by what is likely to be a silent group of fellow facebookers.  So try to skip the bitching whenever possible.     


Question: Would I post this if I wasn't pregnant?

 Example#1: I only woke up to pee twice last night.  It was a personal best!  
Example#2: I swear that if I have buy yet another bra in a larger size, I might have to buy a strapless dress even if it is just to show off my girls!
Example#3: I have only gained 20 pounds in the last 4 months!

If you wouldn't, then don't. This will help weed out the useless nonsense and pregnancy over-sharing.

Bottom line, my soon-to-be rotund friend, is that people are happy for you.  They truly are!  That is why when you post your announcement you will get a bajillion likes and comments.  You can expect another outpouring of love when you disclose the gender, if you are so inclined.  Then finally, on the day when your baby makes his or her debut, you will feel the love and support from all around the facebook-o-sphere.    Anything you post in the interim of those milestones will likely be received with an eye roll or an obligatory emoticon response.  Feel free to post whatever you want though.  It is your slice of facebook pie!  Mmmmm... I just said pie.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!  Enjoy every single second even if you are sucking on lemon candy, puking up what used to be your favorite dinner, and unable to sleep because of that life growing in your expanding belly.  It is an amazing experience!  Just not one that we, the facebook world, need to experience along with you. 

 



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cycle Day 1 and Why I am Infertile... Maybe

Yep.  I said it.  My period showed up.  This cycle was a bust. 

A few days ago I was a wreck.  My hormones, synthetic ones and the real ones, were going crazy.  Between the acne of a teenager, the emotional stability of a toddler, and the patience of a gnat, I was a real pleasant person to be around.  When I finally stopped having phantom symptoms and inconclusive pregnancy tests, I felt moderately better.  I graciously invited my family back into the house in exchange for pumpkin bread and large amounts of Starbucks.  See?  I can be nice.     

I do plan on asking my doctor about what we can do to improve my lining.  I do not want to do another IUI unless my lining is significantly better.  I did my share of research and found plenty of studies that showed that the structure of the lining was actually more important (triple stripe pattern), but I also found countless sites and personal accounts where their doctor wouldn't even do an IUI unless the lining was at least 8 mm.  So, my pathetic 5 just isn't going to cut it. 

Who's ready for my latest theory?

Why I am Infertile: Theory #974,672 
 When I was trying for our first baby, my periods were probably 4 days long and I had what I always considered to be a normal amount of bleeding.  Then after Gavin showed up on the scene, I was happy to note that Ol' Aunt Flo started packing lighter and didn't stay as long.  I should celebrate right?!

Maybe not.  Having a shorter, lighter period can mean that my lining is too thin and that there isn't enough there for a fertilized egg to implant or implant well.  My theory is that having a thin lining may very well have been the primary cause of my early losses, all 8 of them.  Now that I am on cycle 30 of TTC baby #3, I can't help but wonder if I need to find a way to get Aunt Flo to stay a little longer.  Perhaps I need to offer her a glass of red wine?  Maybe buy her a nice pair of white pants?  Should I ask her to linger by planning a vacation where I plan to flaunt my not quite bikini ready body (by "not quite," I mean "not even close")?  How about I set up a buffet of deep fried cheese and chocolate fondue?  I'm completely open to suggestions. 

I don't know if the RE might suggest estrogen supplementation or if he might have another plan but I promise you, I am all ears. 

Until then, please pass the pumpkin bread and throw some ice cream on it, please.  Coffee?  Don't mind if I do. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

My Pal Progesterone

I really tried hard to not obsess this cycle.  I had plenty of distractions.

Like this: 


I, the queen of charting, even kicked the temping habit to the curb.  Well, sorta. I didn't take my temperature a single morning for a whole 17 days.  I may just be rationalizing my falling off the wagon, but I really wanted to see what my temperature would look like in the later part of my cycle.  I have noticed that for the last several cycles that my temps were trailing off starting at about 6 days past ovulation.  It seems that the progesterone is doing it's job because my temp is still nice and high. 

I don't know if I ever told you how much I detest Progesterone supplementation.  I do.  I hate it so much.  The pseudo pregnancy symptoms that every TTCer feels is multiplied.  There is no way to know whether it is the progesterone or a pregnancy causing the extra trips to the bathroom, the cramping, the fatigue, the sore boobs, the... well you know... the everything. 

So to say that all of these unusual feelings have been casually ignored would be a huge fat lie.  Dr. Google has been my right hand man and all he tells me is, "It might be pregnancy!!! Or it might be the progesterone."  Thanks for that Doc.

I am only 8 days past ovulation and have been testing out my trigger.  I used and Answer test today for the specific reason that they aren't as sensitive as the Wondfo pink tests.  My theory (I always have a theory) is that with a less sensitive test, it will be easier to know if the line is coming or going.  Today's answer test was a super ghost squinter (see below).  I am hoping that tomorrow's test is either darker or completely negative.  If it is negative then I will know that if a line shows on an Answer test then I can be cautiously happy.  If it is darker, I can be cautiously hopeful that the line will continue to get darker each day. 
Either way, I will post an update sometime before the end of the week.  Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.  I am so blessed to have you all!  Your emails, messages, and words of encouragement never go unnoticed!  Also a very special shout out to the girls at ttccommunity for being such a wonderful group! 
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sperm of the Moment Conversation

When I told the story of what took place at the doctor's office on Saturday morning, I left out one very funny detail.  We decided that we would enjoy a Saturday morning drive as a family.  After all, it is autumn and our favorite month of the year.  As we piled into the car, Gavin began questioning where we were going. 

When Gavin asks a question, we are always honest with out answers.  Doug is always the more honest of the two of us.  I am honest but try to keep my answers short and sweet.  Doug, on the other hand, will explain things to him as if he is an adult.  The majority of the time, Gavin really seems to understand the answers so there isn't any reason to "dumb it down," I just don't particularly enjoy the follow up questions that I usually answer with, "Let's google that!"  So when he asked where we were going on Saturday morning, I simply stated that I was going to the doctor.  Doug, on the other hand, went further and explained that they were going to use a special camera to look inside my belly to see how many eggs I had. He also went on to explain that eggs might turn into babies.  To say I was relieved when Gavin didn't prod further, would be an understatement.  We made it the rest of the trip without any other questions.   

Fast forward an hour and a half.

I climb back into the car appologizing profusely and begging for forgiveness.  The boys were contently coloring in the back seat and Doug was actually really calm about the fact he had been sitting with two kids under 5 in a vehicle for over an hour. 

Doug asked how things went and I shared with him that I had three follicles and that I had the trigger shot.  Gavin overheard and said, "So that means you will have three more babies."  He was perfectly okay with that number.  A few minutes later as we were making the return trip, Gavin interrupted to show me his drawing.

"Look, Mom!  I drew a picture of your three eggs!" I turned to see that he had three squiggly pen drawn figures.   

Before I could comment he continued,"So, Dad?  When the sperm swim up to them and accidentally bump into them, is that when they hatch?"

My mouth hung open. 

Doug explained that Gavin asked, and he... well... answered.

That night, the boys spent the night at my parent's house.  On Sunday morning my mother shared that Gavin explained in great detail how sperm find the eggs and "accidentally bump into them."  So he is apparently spreading the word.  Did I mention that I am dreading when his memory is piqued and he shares this information with his classmates and teachers?  I know it will happen.  It is just a matter of when.

Then, on a slighly less entertaining note but closely related, today at lunch Gavin tells me, "Mom, I just know that one of those three eggs you have in there is going to be a baby girl."

"How do you know that?"

"Well, because I am going to grow up to be a daddy.  Joey is sometimes pretending to be a mommy, but when he grows up he will be a daddy too.  We have to have someone that will be a mommy like you."

So that is the fertility forecast coming to you live from Gavin, a 4 year old destined to embarass me with his understanding of sperm.
Monday, October 8, 2012

Football and The Sperm Lady

It might be hard to realize how those two things might be connected, but I promise you they are!

Saturday is date night.  There are few better things than getting to spend a quiet evening alone with my husband.  We intermittently exchanging high fives as we cheered our very own Ohio State Buckeyes on to a win.  The game started at 8:00pm and Doug and I, being the wild and crazy kids that we are, stayed up through the whole 3rd quarter.

Meanwhile, about 20 miles away from us a similar situation played out.  One significant difference was that only the wife decided to call it a night at the end of the third quarter.  She decided to sleep in a different room so that her husband could watch the remainder of the game. That room, while very comfortable, lacked one very important tool.  An alarm clock. 

Sunday morning, our alarm woke us long before the sun could.  It was 5:50 am.  We had both showered and had everything ready to go the night before so that we could essentially jump in the truck and make our 45 minute journey to the RE's office for our first (and hopefully our last) IUI.  We had been given the option of bringing "the goods" with us as long as we could get it there within an hour of it's "arrival."  Since that made me nervous and really didn't want to feel like we were racing against the clock, we decided that Doug would do his part when we got there.

We drove though darkness making a quick stop at Starbucks since I read once that sperm can actually benefit from a high octane jolt of caffeine prior to being called to action.  Then, we arrived at the office and walked in.  Again, I was slightly shocked at the number of people I saw sitting in the room.  At least 10 people were sitting in the waiting area.  It was 7:00 am on a Sunday!?  I walked up to the receptionist, smiled and said our names.

She looked up, with very sleepy and perplexed eyes and replied, "I don't know where P is.  She was supposed to be here and I have no idea what to tell you.  Go ahead and have a seat."  P is who I fondly refer to as "The Sperm Lady."  She apparently was no where to be found.


We took a seat and then I surveyed the room again.  There were women rolling their eyes, tapping their feet, and nervously scrolling up and down on their smart phones.  The guys seemed to be more involved in their issue of Popular Mechanics and Sports Illustrated.  After a few minutes passed the receptionist calls out to the waiting area that P overslept and would be there in 20 minutes.  The women who had been already toe tapping and eye rolling, looked as if, had it been socially appropriate, they would have flopped on the floor and screamed.  Then it dawned on me... They had their time sensitive goods probably stowed in their clothing watching that minute hand tick tick tick.  I was so thankful that we decided to deal with the awkwardness of taking care of that on site. 

The Sperm Lady showed up exactly 21 minutes later and then it felt like we were transported to the floor of the NYSE.  People were bidding on who got to go next and making their move toward the Sperm Lady's door.  We, on the other hand, just sat.  Then, one woman from the other end of the room explained that they had been there since 6:30!  We were happy to wait until last. 

We were told to be back in one hour.  We grabbed some breakfast and came back and waited for our turn.  This time, we didn't have to wait very long before being called back, but we were close to being the last people in the waiting area.

We walked into the room and the nurse showed me a vial and asked me to verify that it was my husband's information on the label.  I saw his name and gave her the okay.  The doctor came in a few moments later and after exchanging some pleasantries,  he began reading of Doug's SS#.  Doug was nodding along until he read the last number.  The doctor said 7 and it should have been a 9.  We all kind of smiled awkwardly and giggled recognizing that it was just a typo, but on the very short list of the worst places to have a typo.  So we all agreed that the Sperm Lady must have misread Doug's handwriting.  Then he read off Doug's birthday.  Doug and I both nodded as he read the month and day of his birth but when he read the year, it was off by a decade.  I honestly thought that the doctor must have been making a joke considering the issue with the SS#, but when we corrected him he let a F-bomb fly and threw down some paperwork.  All a little too dramatic for a joke.

So, to wrap up this story that I had no intention of being this long, I may have been inseminated with some guy sperm who's first and last name was the same, has the same SS# with one digit different, and who is exactly 10 years younger!  I just hope this guy is half as wonderful as my husband is. 

But seriously, the doctor did give us the option of cancelling and rescheduling but assured us that he was the only doctor in today and that there had been no other confusion on any other samples.  Considering that we were basically the last of the people to be seen that day, we really are confident that it was just two very bad typos. 





Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thin Uterine Lining

Would it be too much to ask to have everything go smoothly?  Of course it would. 

Today I went to the RE to have a quick ultrasound to look at the follicles (eggs) and make usre they were mature and ready to ovulate.  Since I thought it would be a quick in-out visit, the whole family went for a drive this morning.  My appointment was at 8:30 and we arrived at about 8:25.  Doug dropped me off at the front door and waited in the truck with the boys while I "ran in for my quick scan."

When I walked through the door I saw about 20 people sitting in the waiting area.  My heart sank.  I plopped into a chair and started my clandestined game of angry birds while making sure to cock my head occasionally so it would appear as if I was reading a scholarly article or something very adult like.  Then, after about 25 minutes, they called a name.  Yep.  A name.  One.  Only 19 to go. 

Finally after an hour, they called me back.  I got the hurried, "undress from the waist down and the doctor will be right in."  I was relieved.  I thought that the doctor being "right in" meant he was essentially waiting in the hallway for me to drop my drawers.  I sat on the paper lined crinkly table and anticipated the whoosh of the door opening.  I anticipated that for another 20 minutes. 

I started to panic.  I had a car load of less than patient guys in the truck and a soccer game to get to.  I was starting to consider wrapping that paper sheet around my waist like a bath towel and marching into the hallway and demanding to know when the doctor would be in.  Then I heard a sound in the hallway.  It was the sound of a clicky pen clicking repeatedly.  I was a millisecond from calling out, "I know you are out there, Doctor.  Get your butt in here STAT!" when the door opened.  I think I exhaled for the first time in 20 minutes. 

He did the scan and took all the measurements of my follicles.  He told me that we would trigger today and IUI tomorrow.  Then, because I have a hard time not asking questions, I wanted to know what my lining measurement was.  You see, I have this other doctor that I call Dr. Google.  That doctor gave me a long list of statistics of successes based on these measurements.  My lining was a measly 5.something.  That, my friends, is not good.  Most doctors think 8 is a minimum measurement.  He did say that the structure of my lining was really good and had a three stripe pattern (which apparently is good).  He thinks that adding Baby Aspirin and Progesterone will be enough.  Needless to say, I called for an emergency appointment with Dr. Google and he has not been very reassuring. 

I did have three mature follicles so I am happy about that.  Tomorrow, at the crack of dawn, we will be going in for our IUI.  I ask that you say a prayer tonight that God's will be done.  We cannot thwart His plan so if it is meant to be, my lining doesn't really matter.

Thank you everyone for the support!  I'll try to update early next week. 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello 100!

Well... not 100 exactly but my weight, as of today, starts with a 1.  I can't remember the last time that was the case.  It certainly was before I had babies and maybe even before I was married!  Either way, I am excited!  Down a total of 27 pounds since June. 

A lot of people have asked me how I am losing weight so fast and I am going to tell you exactly what I am doing. 

1. I keep track of my calories.  Until June, I never paid any attention to calories or my portions.  I probably ate and drank enough for two people without even knowing it!   I found My Fitness Pal and learned that tracking my calories was actually easy.  I started reading labels of the crap I had been eating and started making better choices.  I am not eating cardboard and plain lettuce!  I eat normal food and I have eaten fast food at least once a week.  It is just a game of numbers!  I like to win so I watch those numbers!  If I eat a cheeseburger, then I have to be vigilant about what I eat the rest of the day.

2. I sweat.  Daily.   When I first decided to lose weight, I googled what the best exercise was to lose weight.  I found some stellar advice.  Turns out, the best exercise is the exercise you will do.  So, I bought a treadmill.  I had done other kinds of exercise over the years but I would always slack off when I thought that I might be pregnant for fear of causing some sort of complication or miscarriage.  So I decided that walking is something that I will do now and will keep doing through a pregnancy (perhaps less vigorous).  Everyday I walk for about 90 minutes.  The amount of calories I burn varies but it is usually around 750. 

3. I found motivation.  Most people would think that wanting to lose weight is motivation enough.  Thinking about being slim and looking good in fashionable clothes is really easy to do while watching TV and eating Doritos.  I used TV to motivate me.  I don't get much time to watch adult situation TV dramas and I figured out that I could do that using ear buds and either my phone or my husband's Kindle without young impressionable ears having any clue that I wasn't watching Blue's Clues.  I found a TV series that caught my attention and only was allowed to watch it while on the treadmill.  I loved how every episode would end with a bit of a cliff hanger so I would really look forward to my next workout.  I am now watching Lost and already getting concerned about what to watch next!  This might be tough to top!  I am completely open to any suggestions! 

That is really it!  I work hard for every pound I lose.  I would love to one day get to my goal weight of 150, but for now, I'll take it one cycle at a time.   For those that remember this post, I am getting closer to this!!! 


If you have any questions, ask me in the comments and I'll spill it.  I'm an open book! 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friends and Ultrasound Wands

When a couple is trying for a baby, it is all most women can think about.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner consists of basal body temperatures, prenatal vitamins and supplements, and timing intercourse.  Each facebook post about pregnancy feels like a very personal attack.  It is hard to think that it could be worse.  But, today, I realized how dealing with infertility from where I stand, could be considered easy.  

My baseline ultrasound today was with a doctor that I went to high school with.  She was in the same class as my brother and since it was a small school, we were acquainted.  So when I see her, it is a bit awkward.  I obviously called her by her first name in youth, but there is something a little odd about not referring to her as Dr. M when she has an ultrasound wand peeking at my ovaries. 

As old acquaintances do, we exchanged small talk and asked how each other was doing.  She explained that she was tired and revealed that she was 25 weeks pregnant.  I should have been able to spot a 25 week baby bump under her tightly stretched pullover sweater, but I hadn't.  I stuttered through my awkward excuse for not having noticed, and congratulated her. 

She was looking at the ultra sound screen and cocked her head.  Without giving her .2 seconds to say anything, I asked her if there was a cyst.  She smiled and told me that I looked fine.  I felt the need to explain that I was coming off of a chemical pregnancy and was worried that it was going to drag on in the form of a cyst.  She assured me that everything looked fine and that I was going to be able to go ahead with an IUI this cycle. As she finished up the scan, she shared a personal story. 

She had been trying to conceive for a really long time.  On Thanksgiving, she felt a little strange and had been spotting so she felt like she needed to take a pregnancy test.  It was positive but she knew that between light lines on pregnancy tests and the spotting, that things weren't going to end well.  (Did you catch that?!?!  My RE was assessing the darkness of lines on a pregnancy test!)  Her beta just wouldn't drop all the way down and she spent weeks waiting for a doomed pregnancy to end.  She explained that she found herself still at Christmas, waiting for the end. 

I almost cried when I remembered how I was at the office on Christmas Eve for a baseline ultrasound and having chit chat with her about the holiday and plans.  Never did the thought cross my mind that she, a fertility doctor, would be waiting to miscarry after trying for that baby for a very long time. 

It is just another example of how we never ever know someone else's story.  Had she not told me this story, I would probably have assumed that she got pregnant 37 seconds after she decided to try.  I mean, if it is in the water, the RE's office would be the place to drink gallons of it, right?   Infertility doesn't discriminate and apparently a fertility doctor can have it too.  While I groan at another facebook pregnancy announcement every few months, her occupation is getting people pregnant.  A unique place to be, where you are helping couples get pregnant but you can't do the same thing for yourself.  Every day of her life is like staring at a facebook feed of nothing but pregnancy announcements.  

So... anyway... I am cyst free and will be starting clomid tomorrow.  Then, in about 10 days, I will trigger ovulation using an injection of hCG.  I also got the results from Doug's most recent analysis and my untrained eye tells me that it is quite possible that the reason we have had such a hard time is due to the swimmers being a little sluggish.  So, an IUI should really up our chances of pregnancy.  I am hopeful and looking forward to what is to come.  




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Am Ready

Because I knew the odds of the pregnancy sticking were slim I began to protect myself from the start.  I might sound cold, heartless, or just way too practiced in handling a loss, but not one tear fell from my eyes.  When I woke up this morning and knew that I had started bleeding, I was relieved.  It was over.  I could start over.

Tomorrow I go to see the RE and I am looking at this appointment as potentially being the beginning of something.  I don't know if it will turn out to be nothing more than a learning experience or something much more exciting.  But, I am ready for it.  I am ready for the this awful cycle of bad news to be over.

I am ready.   

I am so ready. 
Monday, September 24, 2012

Pregnant for a Weekend

Yesterday I allowed myself to go there.  Just for a minute or two at a time.  I thought about the chance that I might get to see my belly grow and that at the beginning of summer I could be lounging in the sun with a newborn and two active little boys.  But then I would stop.  Thinking about that too much makes everything harder.

Today, I woke up and thought that maybe since my temperature hadn't dropped any lower, that maybe, just maybe, I was going to be the exception rather than the rule.  As I took a shower, I allowed my mind to wander again to what life might be like this winter with a round belly and snuggling up with my boys on cold snowy days while I nodded off for short naps.

After breakfast, I used another pregnancy test hoping that today was going to bring me a real line and hope for my daydreams to come true.  I waited and waited.  'Twas not meant to be.  Again.

I am okay.  I am hoping that the bleeding starts soon so that I can call the RE and talk about if we can proceed with IUI this cycle.   I am hopeful that this is going to help our next pregnancy have a much better outcome.   Plus, now that I will have at least 4 weeks to keep working my butt off to lose weight, I will break into the 100's this cycle.  I only have 3 pounds to go! 

Thank you all so much for all of the love and comments this weekend.  It really means the world to me. 
Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Madness Continues

When I woke this morning, to say that I was underwhelmed would be an understatement.  My temperature took a dive to my coverline which for you non-charters out there means that on a typical cycle, AF would be here soon.  So that didn't kick off my day with much hope.  Then, the pee stick festival began.  Though most minimal, the lines have gotten slightly darker. 


Yesterday at 5 minutes

Today at 5 minutes

Yesterday's Answer (never posted since there was nothing really there)
Today's Answer with the super squinter.
Again... Hardly anything to get excited about, but since we all know that I have a pee stick addiction I thought I would let you all obsess with me.

I appreciate all of the love, comments, and prayers on my last post! 

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