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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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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! 
Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Addiction At Its Finest

I have never shied away from admitting that I am a pee stick addict.  I am.  I pee on stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  Today was no different.

This morning I was expecting that my temperature would plummet to my coverline as it has every other cycle at about this time.  When I looked at my thermometer and saw that it hadn't, I was intrigued.  It actually had gone up a little, which I realize means next to nothing to the non-charters out there, but what it told me was that this cycle wasn't over.  Yet.

So what does a pee stick addict do at the first sign of something different in her cycle?  She pees on stuff.  So, using my first pee of the day I took a test.  I didn't expect to see anything.  I went to change Joeys diaper and on my way downstairs I picked up the test so I could examine it while I made breakfast... cause that is the best place for a pee stick to be.  Right next to our breakfast food.

Then... I saw this:
I know.  Nothing to get too ramped up about.  But then about 5 minutes later I saw this on the same test!
Now that I could see!  Even Doug could see it.  But, my heart didn't skip a beat.  I didn't do a happy dance.  I quickly thought about the fact that I should have had a positive test much earlier and with my lack of pregnancy symptoms and a late positive... I'm just not letting my mind go there.

Then I thought about the possibility that I may have ovulated a couple of days later than I thought I did.  If that was the case, then today would be 11 days past ovulation and I would be much more hopeful since Joey first showed on a pregnancy test on 11 days past ovulation.

So, breaking tradition, I skipped my Starbucks this morning, came home and tested again.  My tests were essentially negative.  I used and Answer Early and there was maybe a line if you held it at exactly the right angle, in exactly the right light.  But for 98% of normal, non addicted women, it was negative.

After lunch I wanted to take a hot shower since we are having some crisp fall weather and there is nothing like a long hot... aw who am I kidding?  It was an opportunity to have some quiet uninterrupted time with my pee sticks.  I dipped another Wondfo.

This is what I got.
Uhhhhh  not exactly the result that makes a girl want to go making any announcements.  Then, because I had dipped one of every other test I had in the house, I grabbed an expired digital test.  I think it expired a few months ago but I have never had a reason to use it so today was the day.  In the pee it went.

Again... I am happy that something is evidently going on in my body, but I am just not going to get too dreamy about it.  I know that the P word doesn't always mean baby but it does put me a whole lot closer.

I'll post any updates! 
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Project Drop Pounds

I still have a ways to go but I am pretty proud of how my hard work is starting to show!  Since the first picture I have probably lost between 25 and 30 pounds!  In TTC news... there isn't any.  Despite a most pretty chart, there is nothing to report from pee stick land.

I hope you all have a great Wednesday! 
Friday, September 14, 2012

Where is my Ribbon?

Have a Great Weekend! 
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Being Retarded

I am not sure what it was when I was in high school that led me to pursue a career in Special Education.  Maybe it was because, compared to most of my classmates, I felt like a special needs kid.  I was a smart kid.  Don't get me wrong.  I was just plopped down in the middle of a few hundred of the smartest teenagers around, and spent 4 years of my life trying to keep my head above water.  I had to find ways to help myself learn the things that the other kids would read once and have committed to memory.  So, either way, I was sure that I wanted to work with people with special needs.

IDSC for LifeWhen I finished school, I worked at a couple of different schools and enjoyed my work, but I just knew that teaching wasn't going to be my gig.  It was a nice way to pass the time until I found my true calling.  Then, after a few other short term jobs working with juvenile delinquents (now THAT was a rough couple of years!) I landed the best job ever.

I was hired at the local county board of MR/DD (Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities) with the Adult Services department.  While there were plenty of jobs that I had my eye on, one of the catches to this awesome place of employment was that I had to start at the bottom.  And by bottom... I mean bottom.  I spent several months at an entry level job that was only a substitute basis and the joyous days I was called in to work meant spoon feeding pureed spaghetti to hungry mouths of adults with mental retardation.  Then, there was the twice a day toileting of all of the individuals in my care.  It was always nice when they were capable sitting on a toilet, since otherwise that meant using the worlds largest changing table.  Considering I had no children of my own at that point, my first solo diaper change was on a 45 year old man.  Not many can say that.

Those first months were tough but so rewarding.  It was an opportunity to remind myself how blessed I am.  That I could eat spaghetti hot and in noodle form.  To go to the bathroom all by myself without anyone needing to assist me.  The very basic things that so many of us take for granted. 

I learned so much about people.  Not just the clients that I worked with, but humans in general.  What I learned most often was how the majority of individuals with MR/DD would get something in their head and they would keep trying to get "it."  The "it" would change from person to person and day to day, but they would keep at it (often to the staff's dismay) until they got "it."

IDSC for Life
The staff and the "normal" population would be handed a task, an "it," if you will, and would get frustrated, annoyed, and disheartened when "it" didn't come easy.  They would throw their hands up, march right up to someone with ears, and would complain and explain why on earth this "it" made no sense, how they couldn't do "it", and how hard "it" was.

When I was taking Gavin to his first day of preschool this year, the parents were invited to spend a little bit of time helping the kids get adjusted to the room by participating in activities.  They were typical preschool crafts, so the kids were having fun with stickers and stringing beads.  Then, we got to the activity where the kids were making door hangers that had foam stickers that went on to make a design of a horse, wearing a bandana and hat, bearing a lasso.  As I helped Gavin look at the instructions and decide which sticker to put on first, a woman sitting with her daughter caught my glance and spoke to me.

She asked, "This makes no sense to me.  Am I retarded or something?"

I am only pretty sure that I contorted my face and asked her with my eyes, "Did you really just say that?"

If I could have found the words, this is what I would have said.

"No.  Because from my experience, if you were retarded you would try to figure out what was being asked of you.  If you still didn't understand, you would have asked for more information.  If you were retarded, you would have tried before you threw your hands up in the air insisting that this was just too challenging.  So... no.  You aren't retarded, because you clearly lack the drive that someone with mental retardation has.  But, I will tell you the same thing I would tell someone who is 'retarded.'  I think you should read the very clearly illustrated directions and see if that helps you figure out this very advanced foamie sticker project.  Good luck."

But I didn't.  I just looked at her and shoved my copy of the directions in front of her.

What would you have said to that mom? 
Monday, September 10, 2012

Something New

Today Doug and I met with our RE.  After 28 cycles of trying for baby #3 with only one early loss to show for it, we are feeling like it was time to explore what else we might be able to do to get pregnant.

I never ever dreamed that I would have been that girl in that room that I was today.  After all, I was the girl that used to get pregnant nearly at will.  Here I was, sitting in that finely upholstered chair just like I had a half dozen times before.  This time, though, I was a bona fide infertile.

I tossed my question upon the table and sat back to observe.  I asked, "What is next?  What, in your professional opinion, should we do?"

We talked for close to 40 minutes.  There was plenty of laughter and jovial teasing at my "theories" on fertility because anyone that knows me knows that I always have theories.  I am proud to say that at least half of the time I am right.  The other half of the time I simply find that my theories needed a small adjustment.

My current theory involves Doug's current medications.  As it turns out, that brief pregnancy that we had about 9 months ago, was conceived when Doug had, against his doctor's knowledge, stopped his medications.  He restarted them as soon his liver enzymes began to rise again.  Since then, he has followed doctor's orders.  I also, have not become pregnant again.  We all agreed that Doug should get another semen analysis.  The doctor went on to say that regardless of the outcome of that test, he will probably recommend IUI as our next step.

I won't lie.  I am happy.

After so many cycles of no success, it feels good to feel like there is a new tool on the horizon.  I know that if God doesn't want us to get pregnant, we cannot thwart His plan.  I really feel like we are meant to go this route.  Even if it doesn't end with a pregnancy, this is part of our journey.

Also, I am happy to say that I have lost 20 pounds and I am still working very hard to lose more.  I would like to make it to the 100's before pregnancy, but if a pregnancy happens to strike first, I can't say that I will have one ounce of regret.  (Did you see that?  That was a weight joke!)

I hope to do a better job of blogging about this part of my journey.  Please know that I plan on being completely honest.  I plan on sharing all of my hopes, doubts and fears from here on out.  Thanks again for all of the support you have shown me over the last year and a half.  I hope that this post can serve as a start of a new chapter in this blog.  I hope it is a happy chapter.  But either way, it is the start of something new.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Good News

Not that I am not thankful for good news, but I think it caught both Doug and I slightly off guard.  Tuesday was yet another example of why Dr. Google is not a good dude.

We went to see the neurologist bright and early on Tuesday morning and after a long appointment and lots of questions and answers, he doesn't feel that there is anything to be concerned about.  Turns out that the abnormal MRI looked exactly the same as the one that was done a year ago.  I never thought I could compare a MRI to a pap smear but I had some irregular pap smears over the last decade or so.  I asked my OB if there was anything I was doing that was causing them.  She explained to me that the results of a pap are completely subjective.  One person might interpret the exact same sample of cells to be abnormal when the person sitting next to them would say it was fine.  This is exactly what happened with the MRI.  It was no different and one doctor said it was normal and the doctor that read his recent one stamped it with abnormal.  So... let that be a lesson to all of us!  Don't start asking Dr. Google what is wrong based on some dudes interpretation of one test. - Dear Dr. Google: Thank you so much for convincing me that I had a year to live based on a headache, fatigue, and sore muscles. You are an asshole.
We did learn that there is a chance that something might be going on neurologically since he does have an autoimmune disease.  It isn't out of the realm of possibility for Doug to develop something like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.  Then, the irony is that if he did have one of those things, the course of treatment would be.... drum roll please.... the exact same meds he is already taking.  So, he is going to do some blood tests to rule out those things and repeat the EEG since there was some things that could be unusual but also happens in 10% of the population without any epilepsy.

So really... we high fived and hugged in the hallway on the way out and I did a little happy dance on my way home.

This also brings me back to where we are on the TTC front.  It has been a long 2 years.  A very very long 2 years.  I celebrated my 36th birthday and while I recognize that I have fertile years ahead of me, the fact that we haven't had any luck doesn't leave me feeling any more relaxed or reassured.  I bit the bullet and called the RE to see about what might be next for us.   I won't lie, I am excited about this.  It is kind of like a fresh start. - All I have to do is relax and I'll get pregnant? Wait a second. Let me write down this stellar advice! Please pass me the pen that has been accidentally jammed into your eye.
I'll be sure to update after my appointment next week and maybe one of these days I'll sit down and blog about some of the crazy things I think about all day long. 

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