Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Progesterone Results - June 19th, 2011

I got a call from Dr. RE's nurse this morning with the results of my progesterone test from yesterday. Anything over a 10 is good. I've been having a short luteal phase since I stopped breastfeeding my daughter. What that means is that the period of time after ovulation before my period starts is too short. The 'normal' is 14 days from ovulation to the beginning of menstruation. Anything shorter than 12 days is borderline, and anything 10 days or less is too short and indicates a defect. My luteal phase has been under 10 days since RoBet was born.

Now, the cause of a short luteal phase is generally low progesterone. So, I figured that since my progesterone hoovered around 10 (8.8 & 11) before RoBet, it was probably in the 6 - 7 range now. The cycle that I was pregnant with RoBet, it was 28.5, so really through the roof! So again, I was expecting something quite low this time. Instead, it was a 15.6. Now, that's not through the roof, but compared with what I was expecting, I'm a bit surprised at how high it is. I was trying not to get too hopeful this cycle, I really wasn't. But that number is pretty good, so I have to say I am more optimistic now than I was a couple of days ago. I'm planning to begin testing on Friday morning. I may give in and start tomorrow though, just in case I had an early implantation and might see the result sooner. =) Ah, hopeful feels good. I just hope I'm not too crushed when I see that BFN tomorrow. lol!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Official - June 28, 2011

Well, as of today, I am "out", so I can share here. I will be leaving my career to become a stay at home mom for awhile! I have been going back and forth on this decision since I found out that I was pregnant with RoBet, so it is high time to make it happen. I enjoy the people I work with, and my job is a pretty good fit for me too, but I just don't get enough time for all that I want to do with my daughter and in my home. I love to cook, but I am so pooped by the end of the day that I rarely do more than throw something in the microwave or pick up take-out. I love to garden, but it is all overgrown and stuff is going to seed because I never have the time to go out and tend to it (or use the veggies I would pick since I don't cook much!). I will get to take RoBet to the zoo, teach her to swim at the pool this summer, take her to reading time at the library, and so much more now that my days will be for her. I am so excited to start this new chapter of my life. And the icing on the cake is that my Mom and Dad will soon be here in the same suburb with us, so they can share in as much of RoBet's life as they want! Grammy plans to come to the zoo with us, and hopefully will join the pool with us too, as she always enjoyed being poolside with us growing up. I am so very optimistic about the months and years to come. It will be quite a large adjustment, and we will certainly have to sacrifice the "buy anything we want whenever we want" mentality, but it will be worth it. For my hubby, who will probably read this at some point, remember these benefits:
1. Healthier meals, no more "what fast food do you want tonight?" all the time.
2. No more doing laundry except on rare occasions.
3. The bulk of the shopping will be planned out and done without you having to go.
4. Happy wife and daughter!

Still no update on the IUI. Just in the two week wait now. I do get my progesterone checked this afternoon. Results will be in tomorrow. I had it checked 4 times the first time around in TTC. It was something like 9, 11, and 14 when I was not pregnant, but it was 28.5 the cycle that I was pregnant. So, thought it is not an indicator of pregnancy, it can be taken as a 'symptom' of pregnancy to have a significantly higher than normal level. I'll update as soon as I know!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IUI #1 (or 4) - June 21, 2011

The day started with me rushing my husband's 'sample' down to the clinic to have it washed (recall that this is the process of removing the less than ideal sperm and all of the other components of the semen, leaving only the good sperm). I arrived there about 10 minutes before they opened, so I had to wait in the car with the jar tucked in between my legs to keep it warm. While I waited, 3 other cars pulled up with anxious looking men and women in them. I suppose I looked much the same to them. Then a man walked up to the door and unlocked it and went inside. This was about 3 minutes before the posted open time of 7:30. So, I got out and walked up to the door, only to find that he had locked it behind himself. *sigh* I went back to my car and continued to wait, this time tucking the sample jar in my armpit to give my legs a break. Three minutes later, the same man walked to the door from inside and unlocked it, so I jumped out of my car and went inside.

I approached the desk and said, "I have this sample to drop off for an IUI." The man was very friendly and said, "OK, sure. Just write your husband's name, your name, and his SSN on the side of the jar." Uhhhhhh . . . well, he had told me I didn't need anything other than to give them his name, so I didn't have his SSN with me. So I asked, "Can I just use my SSN?" To which he explained that doing so would result in his records permanently being under my SSN instead of his, which can be a problem if there are irregularities with the sample. I told him that yes, I fully expected irregularities with the sample, based on his problems from our first go-round a few years before. He then realized that my husband would already be in the system, and was able to find him by his name. Whew! Next he says, "OK, here is his SSN - write it on the jar please. Then just let me see your photo ID." Uhhhhhh . . . again, didn't know I needed anything, so my purse was in my car. I had to run out and get it, running past about 4 other people who were waiting in line while all of this transpired. *sigh* Finally we got everything sorted out and I was allowed to leave. I ran to the Panera Bread restaurant up the street to get some coffee and breakfast while I waited for 9:00 to roll around, which is when the procedure was to take place.


I had my first IUI of trying to conceive (ttc) #2 Tuesday. That's IUI #4 total - I guess I'm an old pro at this by now. The counts weren't exactly what I'd hoped for, but they're not too bad. The pre-wash count was very bad at 4.2 million. Remember that a 'normal' count is 40 million+ and anything under 20 million+ is considered very low. Post wash though was a bit of good news. Under our old patterns, a count of 4.2 would have led to a post-wash count of 400,000 or less. Today it led to 2 million! That means that 50% of his total count was usable! Yay! We conceived RoBet with 1.8 post-wash, so, I am allowing myself a bit of hope.

The procedure itself wasn't bad at all this time. It's the first time my actual doctor did the procedure, always before it was another doc at the clinic. This time, Dr. RE came in and showed me his smiling face. He's always so happy - I really like his demeanor. He is a bit of a geek, which makes me feel so much more at home with him. He's not cold and stern like Dr. Shortstick. So as I scooched down on the table and put my feet in those oh-so-wonderful stirrups to 'present myself' for the insemination, he started making chit-chat. We had discussed my husband's counts, so apparently sperm was the topic of choice for him at that point. He began by saying, "Do you remember that doctor that, about 8 years ago, was inseminating all those women with his sperm?" I replied, "Ummhmm, I do recall that story, yes." He proceeded to go on discussing the details of the situation with that doctor at length, and as he was threading the catheter through my cervix, he declared, "Oh, but don't worry! I had a vasectomy!" All I could do was to laugh. That was really TMI, Dr. RE, but how hilarious that in that moment you realized that the topic could be taken as a bit unsettling! ha!

The procedure itself was as I remembered it - uncomfortable but not horrible. The rest of the day, however, was a bit more on the painful side rather than the uncomfortable side. The cramping was very intense for awhile, causing me to have to take a brief break from the meeting that I was running to allow the waves of pain to subside a bit. That was embarrassing as I couldn't explain why I needed that minute to just sit. Then for the rest of the day, it felt as though I had a bowling ball sitting in my uterus. Every step I took felt like that ball was wiggling around inside of me and hurt so much. But I made it through the day and even managed to care for my daughter, cook and clean up, and tidy up the house in preparation for the cleaning lady to come all by myself, as my husband was working late hours.

All in all, the process felt all too familiar. I not only remember the anxiety that infertility produces, I am living it all over again. Before my ultrasound, I had felt so much more at ease and in control, and now I feel just as helpless as I did two years ago. I know that RoBet is young and we have time, but I am ready to be pregnant now. I am ready to add to my family today, why must I be in such limbo? And for how long? So I must try to cling to the hope that this worked for us last time, even if it was a lightening strike, lightening can strike in the same place twice. I just hope it does for us.

IUI in half an hour! June 21, 2011

I'm at the Panera Bread up the street having breakfast. I dropped off the 'sample' at 7:30 and my IUI is at 9:00. I am really hoping for some great numbers - that will make me feel so much better if they are good! I would like 10 million+ pre-wash and 2 million+ post-wash. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ultrasound is today! - June 17, 2011

I'm really hoping for 3 good follicles of a size that we'll do the trigger shot tonight or tomorrow with the IUI Sunday or Monday! I'll post updates later today of what they find.

Update: They only found 1 follicle, and it wasn't even ready yet. =( Boo! My 'good vibes' bubble just popped. Unless my husband's levels have dramatically improved, I'm not feeling hopeful for this cycle after all. Meh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The waaaiting is the hardest part - June 15, 2011

I don't really have much to report about myself these days. I'm just waiting and looking forward to my ultrasound on Friday to see how many follicles have matured. I've been feeling lots of 'activity' these past couple of days, so I suspect there are a few on each side. We shall see. Meanwhile, I've been pretty emotional these last few days. I've been tearing up randomly. For instance, I was sitting in a meeting this morning, just listening, nothing frustrating or anything, and I got misty eyed. It kind of drives me nuts because I'm an emotional person anyway, so I don't need any help getting emotional, thank you very much.

Now, on to good news! A friend of mine who has been trying to conceive for something like 8 years now has told me that she is 12.5 weeks pregnant! Hoooooorayyyy! It has been a long struggle for her, and I am so glad that she now knows that she will be a mommy, and that it will be soon. So let's all give out a cheer for her - yaaaay!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Last day of Clomid - June 12, 2011

Today was my last day of Clomid for this cycle. 5 days at 100 mg, and none of the nasty side effects that I had last time! Yay! Well, I did get some headaches, but that is so minor compared to the hot flashes, emotional spells, headaches, and nausea from last time. My ultrasound is scheduled for Friday morning. Hopefully they will find 2 - 3 good sized follicles and a nice thick lining for the embryo to nestle into. Depending on what they find, the IUI will be scheduled for either Sunday or Monday morning of next week - eeek! It's just so exciting for it to be coming up so soon again. And this time it feels so different. I don't have all of the sorrow and loneliness that I felt the first time through these procedures. I feel hopeful, and confident that even if the IUIs do not work, we will still be pregnant by the end of the year. And that's OK. Even though that is 6 months away, it really doesn't feel that long. Sure, I would prefer to be pregnant sooner, but if that isn't what happens, I feel perfectly fine with that. I feel more of a sense of longing for all of the wonderful friends I have made over these past few years who are still waiting for their take-home baby. I just cannot stomach the heartache and loss that so many wonderful women (and men) go through, cycle after cycle. I feel so aware of it now, now that I know what I have learned from Rosalena in this past year. I wish there was something that I could do to help them fill their arms with the child they are dreaming of. Or even if there was a way to lessen their pain as they wait and experience disappointment after disappointment. I guess I'm just rambling now, sorry. Well, on to another week filled with promise and hope.

RoBet's First Birthday Pictures!

See! I promised I'd put some up, and here they are!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Treatment Begins Anew - June 8, 2011

As it turns out, Dr RE agreed with our plan. He still thinks we have a very low chance of success with the IUI treatment, but it worked before, so *shrug*. Rather than ordering a new semen analysis, the doc suggested we just find out with the first treatment. The cost is pretty much the same to do the analysis as the treatment, so again, *shrug*.

In any case, today is cycle day 3 (CD3), so I have a blood draw to test my FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone - make sure I'm not menopausal early) and then I start the Clomid! The doc has me on 100 mg again this time, like I was on in cycles 2 & 3 last time. It's kind of exciting, but I remember all of the nasty side effects. As if it's not already hot enough, hot flash city, here I come! And the headaches - bleh. But then I think of my awesome daughter and realize just how worth it all of this is. No amount of discomfort can dissuade me from working toward another awesome little munchkin. I need to get better at blogging from home, as that is where my camera and pictures are. I promise to get better, soon, since additional upcoming changes in my life will soon allow me more time for these things! More on that to come . . . for now - wish me luck with the test and the hormones!