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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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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%. 

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