Thursday, December 29, 2011

Retrospections & Questions

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever else you celebrated during this holiday season.

Our Christmas lacked the drama that we were expecting, which was fantastic. We spent the day with my family - which included our five nieces and nephews (with one more due in a month). So, it was pretty crazy, but a lot of fun. We've been trying to connect with Devon's brother, but he's a bit of an absent family member, so we've yet to celebrate with him. Hopefully soon.

I'm off work this week, and I'm going on week 4 or 5 of being sick. I just can't shake this cold/sore throat/coughing thing. I'm hoping the few weeks in Mexico (in a few weeks!) will help me kick it.

This week, my job is to go through all of our possessions and purge, purge, purge so that we can get our condo ready to stage for selling. Yesterday, I took five boxes of books to a used book store and charity drop. I did two degrees - one in Creative Writing and one in English Lit - and I finally rid myself of every textbook I've ever bought through my postsecondary education. About three of the boxes were novels, some of which I've held on to for over 15 years.

Aside from the books, I've been going through some personal stuff. My parents sold our family house last year and handed off two boxes of "stuff" from my childhood, which I haven't had the emotional capacity to go through as of yet. I went through them yesterday, and had a really tough time.

I lost about 15 years of memory due to a "medical error" when I had ECT (shock therapy) in my teens and early twenties. Basically, I don't remember age six to twenty one (and how much does one really remember before age six?). I don't really remember people (unless they are still in my life), events, places of residence, well... everything. So when I'm given two boxes that cover that time period, it's like learning about myself all over again. Unfortunately, it's mostly learning about myself in the third person.

So, it's emotionally taxing, but it also helps me learn about who I once was. It's a really weird feeling reading intense letters to and from people I know very little about. It's odd to look at photographs and not be able to place myself in them. This is a feeling that I've only scraped the surface of in my writings (on and mostly off this blog), and one that I know needs a lot more realization. One of these days, I'd like to go into what it means to lose an identity and come out the other side, but for now, I will put it aside, again.

TTC is currently not on my radar, and I realized today I am currently on CD13. I suppose I will use OPKs to figure out which cycle day I ovulate this month, but we will most likely miss this cycle as the clinic does not open again until January 3rd (CD18). It's been kind of nice to be less focused on the baby and taking a break, but I wish it had been our decision instead of a forced break. We leave for Mexico on January 9th and I hope we will not be too late when we return. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to use Clomid during that cycle. There is a small chance (probably only about 10%) we will be away for when the IUI would be scheduled, but we will most likely be in town. It seems a huge waste if I take Clomid and don't end up having the IUI, but I also want to up our chances next month too. Anyone been in a similar predicament before?

Have a wonderful new years everyone... looking forward to catching up with all of you.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christian Daddies

I completed my few days of feeling resentful towards the universe and now I'm back. Thanks to all for your comments and for sticking around until I un-nailed myself from the martyr cross. I understand that it's a necessary part of this process, but damn, it can be annoying.

We ordered 4 vials of donor #2 yesterday. I'm pretty excited about him. It was a bit tough as I was doing my finances before the purchase, and realized if we don't get pregnant with any of these four samples, I can only afford to do another few rounds. If we have to move to IVF, I don't know if we'll be able to afford it. Trying not to go there for now, and hoping that a new donor will be the trick.

He's quite possibly the best looking donor we've seen in our searches. He's beautiful and amazingly eloquent in his writing. I know it's tough to go on simply words and photos alone, but we don't really have any other choice. I really, really like this dude. He's the same colouring as Devon (and the same as #1). He's a lot more of an extravert and has a stronger personality than #1, but I don't place too much emphasis on personality. I don't actually place that much emphasis on looks either... it was his writing that swayed us. 

I hate to say it, but there was one thing about our first donor that didn't sit well with me. He listed a very well-known evangelical preacher as his hero. I know that shouldn't really matter, but I was trying to fast forward 18 years and picture my kid telling his biological father that his/her parents were lesbians, and it made me shudder. I know that donors must realize that they may father kids of gay parents, but it's one thing knowing that in theory and another meeting the product of such a family.

I don't really like that banks seem to place a lot of emphasis on a donor's religious beliefs. What does that have to do with an offspring, if religion is one thing that you actually CAN choose? It's not heritable. I imagine it gives other Christians in need of a donor some peace that they are involving someone in their family that holds the same beliefs, or that God must condone the purchasing of sperm if it comes from another Christian. This is coming from a girl who was involved in a born-again Baptist cult church for five years, so I actually do understand it, but it's a bit of a turn-off.

Our new donor is listed as a Christian. Now please understand that I know that being Christian doesn't automatically make you a bigot - I have gay friends involved in United or Angelican churches and have been known to attend a service or two myself (and enjoying them). It's the ├╝ber religious that make me uncomfortable. I hope to bring up my kid to be aware of all faiths and encourage them to explore a set of beliefs that feels right to them. I also hope that if my child is 18 and wants to find its father, that religion won't be the thing that keeps them from connecting. Oh well, I have more than 18 years to ponder that.  Do any of you know if donors get counseling about this sort of situation?

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Another No

This one hit pretty hard. Harder than either of the BFNs before. For numerous reasons, I guess.

We really, really believed we were pregnant this time. I honestly didn't doubt it for one second during the 2WW - even with a few early BFN HPTs. The saying "third time lucky" has to come from somewhere, right? I had definite implantation bleeding on 8dpo (after my last questionable post), I was days late for my period (cruelly, it still hasn't come), I actually got to the point where I had to go in for a real blood test to find out whether I was pregnant, and I think the hardest hit is that the clinic is closed over Christmas, when I would ovulate next, and there is no guarantee that we'll be in town for a January ovulation either. I hate forced breaks - I have no control.

We are out of donor #1 and will move onto #2 next year. This is not necessarily a bad thing - we do really like #2. It's just a tough blow. Another couple of grand will be spent to have the boys shipped to the clinic in time, just in case I ovulate late next month and can squeeze in on January 3rd. That's a good chunk of money to spend right before Christmas, and a vacation. Shitty.

I was hoping so hard for an early Christmas gift, and now it just feels like the holidays are going to feel empty. Barren, one might say.

This is one of those "woe is me" posts, which I apologize for, but sometimes they are necessary.

I hope everyone is having a good pre-holiday season.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Mid-2WW Check-in

Not a lot to report on the symptoms front. Meaning, there are none. I thought I had a few drops of implantation yesterday (5dpo), but it wasn't clear and it seemed a little bit early. My boobs aren't sore, I'm not cramping, I'm not really feeling anything out of the ordinary... but I keep telling myself that the last time I got pregnant (and didn't know I was), I didn't feel a single thing until I lost it. 

I've remained pretty positive, as has Devon. She is super cute. She was at her office working 'til about 10:30 last night and when she came home, she kissed me in bed - I was half asleep - to let me know that she loves me and the baby. I like that.

I'm fighting off a cold which is knocking the wind out of me, so I'm generally not feeling well. I'm feeling the pressure of getting some work projects done before Christmas and my vacation in January. But I have to say, I love December - and the holidays in general. It's taken a long time for me to feel as though I'm able to celebrate them again. Devon has not been a fan of this time of year since essentially her entire family died, which I understand. It's just tough to not celebrate something that really was so special to me growing up. She's gotten better, now that we spend it with my family, and I imagine it will be completely different when we have a baby to celebrate with (hopefully by next Christmas).

I'm trying to decide when I want to test.  I'm trying to hold out until 13dpo (exactly a week from now), but I don't know if that's feasible. Probably smart though. When did/do YOU test?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Third Time Lucky?

Today went fabulously. Everything about it felt right. We had a new nurse do the insem, who was hilarious (totally not meaning to be hilarious). The staff there are incredible. I have yet to meet someone that hasn't treated us with the utmost care and respect. Pretty cool.

Devon is a crafty woman and presented me this morning with something that she made for me, for today. I've been wanting a type of locket to wear around my neck with something inside that was baby-ish and it's hard to find one. Devon is getting into clay and metal clay and made me this necklace, which is essentially wrapped as a baby blanket with a heart, and inside the blanket, a place for me to put a note to our future baby, and to keep it close to my heart and on my body today. I love it. I have the most amazing wife in the world. 































 I wrote out a little message to the baby and just having it around my neck made me feel so warm about everything.

In the past, the actual procedures have been quite painful, but Devon always just gets me to look at her and looks at me with a calmness and love that I can't even explain. I can't imagine doing this any other way. She's awesome. And today, the IUI didn't hurt at all. Just a wee bit of blood afterwards.

It was quite funny. I have a bladder that I can rarely empty (even if it feels empty) and I have to go pee every hour or two (even through the night). It's a neurological thing that I'm seeing doctors about, but it gets worse when I'm anxious. I was in the IUI room and the nurse entered and I said, "I have to pee again," but I was already naked from the waist down, so I threw a sheet over me and ran down the hall to pee. I kept slipping, thinking I was going to drop the sheet and give the waiting room a show. Luckily, not. Devon totally calmed me down when I got back... she's got a great grounding energy that is so important through this. 

So, here we go into another 2WW. I feel very positive and I hope that stays with me through the wait. I really, really, really, really want an early Christmas present this year. How awesome would that be?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Impressive!"

As soon as the image of my ultrasound came up on the screen this morning, my RE said, "impressive!" 

I've got two mother f*ckin' huge ass mature follicles - one measuring at 26 and one measuring at 25. I hadn't tested positive on my OPK, which he thought was a bit odd, considering it looks like I'm raring to go. I triggered in the Safeway parking lot on my way to another appointment. Classy.

My lining is unfortunately not as thick as they'd like, but I pretty much expected that with the Clomid. I'm hoping that it'll be strong enough to encourage one (or two?) wee somethings to stay and implant.

I'm SO happy there is not more than two follicles. I'm fine with twins, not so much with triplets or more (I wrote about my intense fears on The Next Family here).

IUI tomorrow at 11 am, and I am so very excited. Potentially even more so than the first round. Really, is that true? 
I wasn't happy to hear that the clinic is closed over Christmas/New Year, when I would be ovulating next, if tomorrow doesn't work. January we are away, so if we don't get preggers this month, we could potentially have to wait until mid-February to try again. But trying not to go there. I'm feeling good about these happy little eggs.














[image source]


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Heating Back Up

It looks like we're going to be IUI-ing this week, thank god. The wait has not been fun. I'm CD14 right now, no positive OPKs yet, but I'm going in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. I wish I could feel comfortable just waiting for a positive OPK and then make an appointment for the IUI the next day, but I just want to be sure. I think it threw me off that for my first IUI, I ovulated on CD13 and then the next month, I didn't get a positive but took a trigger shot at CD17 - it's a big difference, and I just want to make sure everything is hunky dory and that I don't miss it.

This is also my first cycle with Clomid, so I'd like to know what I'm up against. Are there five decent mature follicles or is there one perfect one? How many follicles does there have to be in order for an RE to cancel an IUI because of too many eggs? Nothing to worry about, but of course it's on my mind.

The Clomid has been interesting. A little taste of how it's affecting me? I woke up on Saturday and decided to make an omelette. I cut up an onion and a pepper and then went into the fridge for eggs and realized that there were none. And I almost punched a hole through the wall with how angry it made me. Devon came in and put up her hands as targets and told me to punch her to get it out of me (bless her) and I refused to hit. So she called me a pussy. And then I cried. Awesome.

Luckily, for the most part, I've been able to laugh at myself. I've also been sleeping naked (which I always do) but with the covers completely off and no heat on in the room. It's Canada. It's cold. It's around the freezing mark and I'm boiling.

We've decided to go with donor #1 instead of spending all the money on a new donor. If we get pregnant this round, fantastic! If not, we will change donors and go from there. We still love our #1 guy though, despite my naturopath's "warning".

I just want to do it now, now, now! Damn this whole woman and nature thing...


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adding Clomid & Other Ponderings...

I'm on day three of Clomid, and I'm happy to say that so far, the side-effects are almost non-existent. After reading a ton, I decided to take them at 7pm, so that I could sleep through the worst of it, and it's worked.

I can't tell if my mood is a result of the Clomid, or if I'm just having a very emotional, weepy day. My boss was just mean, mean, mean today. Well, she probably wasn't that bad, and it was probably just me, but it was one of those days where I felt as though she just wanted to get across that I was awful at my job and didn't deserve to be there. She sent a few snarky emails, engaged in a snarky phone call or two, and was generally just... snarky. I love absolutely everything about my job, except her. It's too bad, really.

I could tell it was a little more than that though, when I turned on the 6 o'clock news and saw a replay of Crosby scoring a goal in last night's hockey game after 10 months off with a concussion. He doesn't even play for "my" team and the game wasn't against "my" team. And I already heard on the radio that he'd scored... but apparently it's a whole different thing to see it on the box. Oy.

It's been interesting lately though. I've been so caught up with TTCing, and I haven't actually spent that much time pondering my health. I was telling my mum the other day that for the the first time in my life, I don't feel like I have a mental illness. It's taken a back seat. I don't feel "sick" - which is huge for me. I have been sick for so long and I can't even remember a time where I've been healthy (literally - I lost 15 years of memory and have very few memories before the age of 21).

It definitely feels like a new stage and I'm very grateful. Just this past week though, I've been feeling pretty raw, and on top of that, I actually had a panic attack at work a few weeks ago and had to go home. I recently cut back one of my anti-depressants again and I'm not sure if that's what's changed, but I'll keep an eye on it, of course. I do not want to raise my meds again, and I will do everything else I can do before having to go there. This is just so complicated. And as much as I'm so excited to TTC, it's so much pressure. I've been doing pretty well with it, but it's just... so much.

So, compared with what I've known, I'm doing amazing. Is my mood slipping a bit? Perhaps. And that's the tough part too: because I have been SO sick, my reasoning around healthy vs not is very skewed. Some might think that having a panic attack at work, feeling upset for a week or so, crying at the news and not being able to handle work pressure is reason for concern. Me? I just think, "Well, I don't want to off myself or cut half of my forearm open, so I must be okay". I think I need to readjust my thinking to a more realistic view of health.

As they may say on icanhascheezburger:


For now, I will take note and be realistic with myself. I promised Devon that I would talk my head off throughout my mood changes, and I will do that also. She's a pretty awesome listener and lover. I'm lucky. Hell, I'm lucky for a lot of things.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Four pieces of good news

  • Not long after writing my last post, I was happy to welcome AF. I've picked up my Clomid prescription and will start that on Sunday. I'm so excited to be on the bandwagon again and can't wait for our next IUI.
  • The baby boy I've been writing about is doing awesome - and so are his parents. We visited this week and I'm happy to say that everyone seems to have woken up to the fact that things need to change, and I was so happy to see that the little guy seemed very loved, and attended to.
  • We booked a two-week vacation in Cabo in January. I was initially hesitant to book something over the time when I'd be ovulating, but I'm hopeful that I will be pregnant by the time we get there!
  • It's Friday :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting to Bleed

It sounds like an album title.

Now I know that the 2WW is not as hard as waiting for your cycle to regulate after a miscarriage. At least with the 2WW, there is an end in sight. Right now, I have no idea whether I'll start bleeding tomorrow or in three months. Considering the miscarriage was so early, I thought that I would be back to a proper cycle quite fast. It has actually only been about a month so far, but it's the not knowing that is killing me.

Maybe if I'd celebrated the pregnancy, I would welcome the chance to mourn, but I feel as though the way things rolled out, all I want is to start trying again. Soon. The shitty part is, I've been PMS-ing and cramping and feeling like I'm going to bleed. For over a week. And nothing happens (this coming from a girl who had very few PMS symptoms before). I've even been wearing a pad or a liner the last few days, because I'm SO sure it's coming, and I get disappointed every time I go to the bathroom.

From what Dr. Google has told me, some women don't get their periods for months after a miscarriage, but that seems to be the case more for women who lose the pregnancies later in their first trimester. I have no idea what it's supposed to be for earlier losses. If any of you could weigh in with your experiences, I'd love to hear.

I just don't know what to do with myself in this forced time out! I miss TTC-ing. That's kind of crazy.

To help kill the time, I will watch one of my favourite YouTube videos to help with the mantra! (unfortunately, the embedding function is disabled, but if you like adorable kids, click here).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Damn Psychic!

This post is going to sound silly. Because it is a bit silly but it's also a bit relevant and I hate it when those two things don't match with my gut.

I went to my fabulous naturopath (who I call Frau) this week, for a scheduled general visit. This woman is crazy. And fascinating. One of the first times I went to her, she was working on a pressure point in my foot, stopped suddenly and said, "you're hanging on very tightly to that nightmare you had last night; it's time to let it go". I hadn't told her I had a nightmare, nor that I was indeed holding onto it. So she's definitely got a sixth sense, which I haven't ever questioned and have been very open to.

When I got there this week, Frau asked me how the TTC stuff was going, as the last time she saw me was almost two weeks after the last IUI. I told her about the miscarriage and she just said, "Yeah, it wasn't my place to tell you last time you were here. The baby was not healthy at all and didn't want to stay." Some may call her a quack, but there is just some shit that she shouldn't know, and yet she's incredibly accurate. She knows (through my body, apparently) when my partner is sick or sad or both. She said to me last week, "Why did you quit the musical group were singing in?" when I hadn't told her about my musical group, nor the fact that I quit. Those are just a few examples which just makes the following a little harder to just brush off.

While she was doing whatever she does with me, Frau asked me if we'd already paid for the last sample of the donor we're using (she knows we only have one left and then he's sold out after this). I told her yes and asked her why she asked, and she nodded and said "no reason". Later on, she asked if we have a back-up donor in place, and I told her that we had chosen donor #2 a few nights prior (the night our subscription to the bank ran out, we did a final search and a new guy popped up that we LOVE). She asked if we'd considered using #2 this next month instead of #1. I told her it's a lot of money to order more and that our plan was to try this month with #1, and if it doesn't work, buy 3-6 vials from #2 and keep going. 

There was a bit more of this back and forth, and finally I asked why she kept bringing it up. She tried to brush it off, but when I pushed her on it, she admitted that she didn't really have a good feeling about #1, but she had an excellent feeling about #2, "but who am I to say anything..." When I was leaving, she wished me good luck and said she was excited, followed by, "but I'm more excited about #2".

Devon was in the car when I got out and I told her and both of us just looked at each other and said, "fuck - what do we do?" And we know it's "just" a psychic naturopath and I know it's probably coming from a spiritual level (over scientific) but considering the relationship I've built with her, part of me felt like I had to listen. And both of us believe in this type of energy/whatever-you-call-it.
So we've been back and forth and back and forth about whether we ditch #1 (losing about $800) and pay another $2,400 - $4,800 for a new batch of goods from #2 - remember we are in Canada, so the cost is more, so is the shipping; one vial of sperm ends up being about $800.

My gut keeps changing, but I think we're going to stick with the original plan. We know that #1 can get me pregnant (granted, I have trouble keeping them) and we still feel that he is a good fit for our family. But I don't want the doubt... and I'm a bit mad that Frau even said anything, although I know it came from a place of caring. I just don't want to go into this with a split psyche... always wondering if it was the right decision. 

In the meantime, we had a bit of fun on the world wide web this morning and found a program that takes the faces of two people and morphs them into what their baby is going to look like. Here is my baby with donor #1 and my baby with donor #2. Which one is cuter? ;-)

Lex + donor #1
Lex + donor #2

Not that I know when we're going to be able to do this next... I am still waiting to bleed! (Sounds like an album title). I don't think I have ever looked forward to getting my period this much before.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A check-in on the little guy

A lot of you expressed concern over my friend's little guy - justifiably so - and I just wanted to update you quickly on the happenings. The parents are home, but the baby is still in the nursery for monitoring. I'm not entirely sure what is going on - through patchy communications, it appears that he has an IV, is on antibiotics and is getting a lot of blood tests done. I'm not sure what for, but in all honesty, I'm just happy to know that he is in good care in the hospital - and he will stay there for at least another week. I have offered my support and will check in continuously with my friend, and I intend to visit the boy in hospital too. I will find out what is going on with him health-wise. I would also like to speak with a nurse or doctor about my concerns, and inquire about a mental health worker. Apparently, the parents are looking forward to having him home, so I hope that's a good sign. Thanks for all of your thoughts and advice.

Although I'm not sure whether I can continue this friendship long-term, I do feel that I need to be there for the little boy, so for now, my priority is to help and support and cuddle and love.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I went to her baby shower a few weeks ago and it was nothing other than awkward - at 9 months pregnant, she was still going on and on about how this pregnancy and this child will ruin her and her entire life. The way she has been going for the last 7.5 months, since she's known about it.

I know that many people have a tough time through their pregnancies, but as soon as their children are born, they fall in love and become mothers. Mothers who nurture and love. I was hopeful that this would happen, and was excited to hear that she'd given birth to her son this week.

I work at the hospital, so was their first friend visitor. I was invited into the room, where my friend was in bed, her husband was slumped over on a chair in the corner, and their son was in his bassinet, with no blanket wrapped around him, crying so hard that his entire body was flushed with blood. 

I was shocked, and quickly asked whether I could pick him up and cuddle for a while. They tried to wrap him up burrito-style, and I bent down to pick him up gently, whispering to him and rocking him slightly. He stopped crying. He stopped shivering. 

My friend's first words to me were: "Moral of the story: don't have sex with boys. And don't ever, ever do this." (she doesn't know we are TTC). She has always used humour as a shield for when people try to get close to her, but I just felt like saying, shut the fuck up and show your son that he's wanted and welcome". But, of course I didn't. I smiled awkwardly and turned my attention to the boy.

I know that they are shit scared and young and probably in shock at the fact that they are now in charge of a nine-pound human that can't take care of himself. I get that, but it's tough to see. When the boy started making sucking attempts when he was in my arms, I mentioned that it looked like he was getting hungry, so I would pass him back.

I was met with a "no". I stopped rocking. "You can play with him". So I started trying to comfort the baby as best as I could, without providing him with food. Finally, it got so bad and he was crying so much that he couldn't breathe that well, so I forced him into her arms and said, "He should probably try to eat". And then, I was met with "it doesn't work anyway". 

Tears came as I closed the door to go back to my office. I've never had a friend that hasn't passionately wanted a child and this was so hard to see. I had hoped so much that with the little guy actually here, they'd get their shit together. I'm hoping they still have a chance, and that this baby won't suffer.

Devon took me for dinner that night and was surprised that I hadn't said anything to my friend. She didn't understand why I didn't tell her that the kid needed a blanket and needed some food. My friend had given birth less than 24 hours ago, and I didn't want to make her feel as though she wasn't doing a good enough job (which she probably wasn't, but I'm not going to tell her that). They were at the hospital, with capable nurses, and I didn't feel like it was my place to say anything. Though it fucking killed me...

Luckily, they were asked to stay in the hospital at least two more nights that they'd expected to be there. I hope they were flagged by staff and given the support they need. Devon suggested I offer to help them as soon as they are home, but again, I don't think it's my place to insinuate that they are not able to do it alone.

I'm just terrified for that baby. I'm so upset about this.

She is a pretty good friend. Not a best friend. What would you say/do, if anything?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pregnancy Loss Confirmed

Yes, no, yes, no, maybe... this is what I've heard all week.

So, despite my HCG levels being naught, my RE confirmed today that I did in fact lose a pregnancy last week. Apparently my LH and Estrogen levels tipped him off, and he has no other explanation for the bleeding.

I know there is a whole freakin' reality TV series dedicated to women who don't know they're pregnant until they give birth, many of who menstruate through their pregnancies... I just never thought that would happen to me. I asked him about the bleeding (before the miscarriage bleeding) and he said that we'll never know whether that was my period or not.

For those who need a refresher, here's the timeline:
October 1st - IUI
October 12th - bleeding for 5 days (almost dead on time for my period)
October 24th - bleeding for 5 days (apparently losing the pregnancy)

I see blood, I think period, I think no baby. I honestly feel really fucking stupid about this. Like, how could I not know? And how could I just stop taking care of myself as soon as my period came? I pulled a few all-nighters on vacation, didn't eat for hours on end, forgot to drink water and take vitamins, had a few glasses of wine here and there. I don't blame myself for the loss, but I'm shaking my head at how fucked up this is.

I'm still more confused than upset. I do have moments where I feel like this is all a mistake and that my cycles are just messed up. But I guess I have to trust the RE, who is awesome and who - I found out today - is responsible for the first baby born via IVF in Canada, 27 years ago. Pretty cool.

Anyway, if there was a silver lining today, it's that I'm safe to start trying again next cycle, considering it is such an early loss. We are adding Clomid, and I feel good about it.

Just a note re: terminology. Miscarriage vs. chemical pregnancy. Chemical pregnancy sounds so... lifeless. It's a baby. It's life. It's a big loss, regardless of size, shape or developmental stage. This is the shit that pro-lifers live for.

Alright, onwards and upwards, right? Kind of like this roller coaster?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So, no... maybe

My HCG level was 0, and though I didn't get a chance to speak with the RE, the nurse said it didn't look like a miscarriage. But she didn't know what it was, either. I'm trying to get in on a cancellation with the RE early next week, but there's no promise. I just want to know.

I asked the nurse if this could just be my period, and she said my LH levels are a bit high for that, but that anything is possible. I've officially stopped bleeding (yay), but it was a good 4 days worth. 

I'm still so confused, and I'm not sure whether getting to see my RE will clarify anything. He wasn't sure what it was, if it wasn't an early pregnancy loss.

So, I guess I wait. For what, I don't know. Not knowing whether this is my period or not, I have no idea where I am in my cycle, or when we'll have a chance for another IUI. It's the not knowing that I don't like. I've never been good with no answers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Miscarriage?

So, I may have been pregnant and I may have miscarried (and/or still in the process of miscarrying).

My blood tests came back negative for what they thought the bleeding was (low progesterone) and the RE called today and said that it's looking like an early pregnancy loss...

I got my period on October 12th, twelve days after our IUI. He said that that would in fact have been my period, and that somehow I managed to hold on to the pregnancy through that, and I'm just losing it now. At 6 weeks.

More tests done today, and I'll know for sure tomorrow. I'm more confused than upset. I've heard of women getting their periods throughout their pregnancies, but it just never crossed my mind as a possibility for me. So, when I got my period, I figured that was done and we'd focus on next month. And I had a few glasses of wine and didn't really look after myself that well when I was away. Had I known I was pregnant, it would have been quite a different vacation. I guess it's a good lesson to continue to take care of yourself, no matter what.

I'm just so confused... wouldn't my OPKs have been positive if I was pregnant? I never got the opportunity to take a HPT, considering I was menstruating.

And I'm still bleeding. Lighter today, but still enough to change my pad twice already.

Oy. I think I'm in a bit of shock.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Herring

I'm so confused. [just a warning that some of this is icky fluids stuff, so may be TMI for some people].

So, I was all good and ready to come home from Texas and start this third IUI, which was probably going to be this week. I started OPKs on Saturday in Texas and was happy that there were no positives when I was traveling, so was happy I hadn't missed it. We got back Sunday night - negative. I tested yesterday morning (CD13) and it was negative. Considering my first IUI was on day 13, I decided to test again that evening, just to be sure. When I went to the washroom to test, I looked down at an underwear full of blood. 

It looked like period blood. A lot of it. I often get periods that come out of nowhere, so it wasn't really that surprising... except for the fact that I had just finished my last period 6 days prior.

I called the clinic first thing in the morning and asked for an appointment with my new RE. There was a cancellation today but if I couldn't make it today, I couldn't see him til the end of November. I went today.

Firstly, the doc is great. An old Englishman, who is really straight up, honest and nice. He has a resident tagging along who is 8 months pregnant. Kind of cool to see in that environment, but I'm sure a lot of patients might have a hard time with it.

RE thinks it's pre-ovulatory bleeding, though says that the blood should be lighter than it is (in both colour and weight). This is a natural cycle, so it's come out of nowhere and I've never had anything like this before. Well, actually about 4 years ago, I bled for 28 days straight, but other than that, my cycles have been crazy normal. The timing just seems a little weird.

Most of what I can find on Dr. Google is very light spotting during pre-ovulation. This is definitely not light and I'm hemorrhaging a bit too. No pain so far, and no other symptoms of anything else being "wrong," but I guess I've just never heard of this, so I'm kind of freaking out a bit.

I managed to get to a lab and had a blood test this afternoon and the results should be in by Friday at the latest. From what I understand, they will be able to tell by my estrogen levels. If this is a one-off thing, no need to worry, but if it happens again, it's not so good.

So, this cycle is out. No IUI, which sucks, but I'd obviously like to feel healthy and good going into it.

Through some talking today with the RE, I now have a prescription for Clomid, which we have decided to add next cycle to up our chances. After reading a lot of your comments, it feels right.

I'm trying to shift my attention to next month and welcome the "break" as much as I can. It's just funny that when I'm finally at a place where I need good, normal cycles, weird things happen. I'd also like to stop bleeding anytime soon too...

Anyone else experienced something similar?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cry Me A (Red) River

Well, AF came today in full force... like FULL force... like the kind when you know She's there simply because you're sitting in a puddle. Usually I have some warning, but it seems like it was an extra slap in the face.

I guess I'm eager to put this month behind me and focus on next month, considering my frame of mind for the first part of my 2WW. It's still really tough and I think this let-down is actually harder than my first. (*of course* you won't be that person who gets pregnant on the first try... but it'll work the second time).

While I was quite negative at the beginning of the 2WW, your comments on my post really did help me focus on the positive, the "what ifs" and the possibility that this could be it. These 2WWs are quite excruciating. Now I know.

What I'm not fond of is how short the luteal phase is after a trigger shot (although it does make the 2WW more like a 1.5WW, which I guess is okay. Plus, less money spent on HPTs). It feels like I'm fucking with my cycle way too much though and the process is less intuitive, but I guess there is not much room for intuition and creativity when it comes to timing a conception.

I would love to hear from people who have used a hCG shot for IUIs specifically, who can ovulate on their own... do you think it's worth it?

One nurse told us not to add Clomid because I'm young and reproductively healthy, and that if anything, we should do back-to-back IUIs on our fourth month, if we haven't conceived already. Another nurse told us to add Clomid before our third try. A resident told us to do nothing - just to keep at it. I don't even have an RE anymore really, and won't be able to get in to see our new one (whoever that is) before our next try, because I'm away next week. When did others add "help"?

I'm bummed, and for a few specific reasons:
  • We only have one sample left from this donor, who is now unavailable (sold out), and I really want to get pregnant with this donor.
  • I'm potentially going to be in Texas when I next ovulate, or have to go in for an IUI the day I get back, which will be impossible as I am organizing a massive conference for that day at work. I haven't found a good way to balance work and family yet.
  • I don't want to be 9 months pregnant in the heat of August. (Now that's just selfish and not really worth complaining about).
Ah well. What can you do, right?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Disassociation Rocks

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your comments from my last post. Thank you, thank you. Reading them honestly made me change my mindset, and now I'm feeling a lot more confident. 

I have absolutely no early pregnancy symptoms. I don't feel different in any way. And I'm not worrying about it. In fact, I keep forgetting that I'm in the 2WW, which is awesome, actually. I've been busy with work, busy at home, and the fact that I'm either pregnant or not is at the very back of my head. I forgot the other day and almost opened a beer to drink - I'm taking that as good news (thankfully I remembered before I took a sip).

So, I have no idea what will happen. I'm actually thankful that I have no symptoms, because I can't read into them. I'm still not thrilled at how this month has gone... but what can I do, right? 

Another 6 days until we'll test. Now, just trying to figure out how to navigate the wine glass that will be handed to me on Thanksgiving on Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Can't Shake This Feeling

I don't know how to get over what I'm feeling and I need to, else this is going to break me down.

Nothing felt right about this month's insem. Though I really want to feel positive, I haven't been able to get in that mindset yet. Last month, I was living the "pregnant until proven otherwise" theory, which worked for me. After Saturday's IUI, I can't help but shake this yucky feeling. The timing felt wrong. None of my other fertility signs pointed to "yes". CM has been sticky for a week, BBT shows no dips or peaks, OPKs were negative before I took the trigger shot. I overheard the senior doctor in the clinic tell my doc (as they were looking over my chart) that the trigger "won't make a difference anyway". The IUI hurt and I was too focused on the pain to even think about what was happening.
But I can't be like this for another two weeks. It's going to kill me. Devon told me to talk to her about how I'm feeling, just to get it out of my body, but I don't want to be a Debby Downer, especially when she's working so hard to stay positive.

I know I have to really believe there is a chance I'm pregnant, but I'm having a tough time. How do I kick this feeling so that I can stay sane for this 2WW? Any experiences to share?










Saturday, October 1, 2011

IUI #2

Trigger shot yesterday, going in for IUI #2 in one hour! Very excited and feeling good (and sticky). Not looking forward to another 2WW, but hopefully it will pay off!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And Without Drugs To Boot!

So, I went in for another ultrasound this morning and I will not be ready for the IUI for another few days.

I was looking at and speaking to the doctor when the nurse starting saying "Ooooh, Lex!!!" and pointed at the ultrasound screen.

Looks like TWO eggs are maturing quite nicely... and the nurse started talking about how it will be such a blessing if we had twins. Doctor kept saying, "This is a natural cycle, right? Wow..."

I think I mumbled "Dear God" under my breath, but then I started beaming.

Twins or not, I suppose this will up our chances this month for at least one baby!

Anyone else have two mature follicles going into an IUI? With or without Clomid. Anyone got a stat for me? ;)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Second Verse, Same as the First

Tomorrow is CD15 and I'm not ready to ovulate at all. Last month, we inseminated on CD13. Yesterday, I had an ultrasound and follicle size was still quite small (15). I have another ultrasound tomorrow morning, but it looks as though insem day will be Friday or Saturday.

I'm *really* hoping for Friday, because here's why: My brother and his wife are going out of town for a wedding and leaving their four children (ages 7, 6, 4, and 17 months) with Devon and me for about 36 hours from Saturday to Sunday. If our insem is on Saturday, we may not have anywhere to "put" the kids for an hour or so, and if we can't find anyone to help, there is a possibility of having to bring them to the clinic and leave the older three in the waiting room and take the baby in the room with us. I can just imagine the looks we'd get... "what the HELL are those two ladies trying to create a FIFTH child??!"

Anyway, for some reason this later ovulation is making me a bit nervous. I don't know what it means, and if my luteal phase really is the same month-to-month, then I will try not to worry about it. I just want there to be enough time for this baby to stick and I really want this to be a healthy cycle.

I'm excited for IUI #2. I just want it to be now. I want this month to work really badly, for several reasons (besides the obvious). We have two tries left with our donor and he is currently sold out of units and I really really want to get pregnant by this donor - he's just a fantastic match for our family. Secondly, my RE has basically left for his new clinic, and though we got the go-ahead to switch to another doctor, I kind of don't want to have to go through that.

So, I stay positive and try to be patient. Because that's really all I can do, right?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mat Leave Drama

Some people have said that the wait to ovulate feels so much longer than the 2WW, but I have to disagree. We're already just a few days away from trying again. That makes me happy.

It's been an interesting week though... 

A bit of history: I was hired to cover a maternity leave and was asked to stay on when my colleague (let's call her Tee) returned. Tee's been back for less than two months, and she called me into her office on Thursday to tell me that she's four months pregnant. She's leaving for another year in March. I was actually thrilled for her and think it's awesome - she really wanted two within two years of each other, so I'm glad it worked out for her. 

Here's the thing. Our director (let's call her Kay) is a frikkin' insecure stress case and she's tanking even with both my colleague and I working for her (team of two became team of three). When Tee told Kay she was pregnant, it was a very professional response, but it was obvious Kay was shattered by the news. In the past, Kay has been vocal with me about how tough it was training me to do the scope of work that Tee had a lot more experience with. My inexperience has been blamed for numerous things, including the fact that Kay couldn't get the damn annual report out last year, because she was too busy "training" me (I got no said "training," so that's bullshit, but that's how she rolls). 

You many remember that one of the reasons Kay wanted to keep me on was precisely in case Tee took another mat leave (and apparently I was quite angry when I wrote this post about it). In her mind, I don't think mat leave is even a possibility for me.

I've always been terrified of telling Kay I'm pregnant. Out of all the obstacles of this whole conception journey, that has haunted me daily. I know family comes first, but I'm a Pisces and I take on the weight of the world and apparently I feel as though I can't possibly shatter Kay any more than she is by Tee's news. I know it sounds silly. It's life - lots of people go on mat leave - but I honestly don't know how I'm going to tell her when the time comes. She's going to shit herself.

After Tee told me, I had to tell her that I was trying. Of anyone, she'll know the stress of telling Kay. She was thrilled for me and very respectful with her questions. I told her my fears about Kay's mental health around this, and she understood. I just kept saying, "I hope I'm pregnant soon so that I can tell Kay before she hires for your position... and perhaps she'll hire someone with a higher skill set to deal with the potential double void."

Why do I care so much? It's work. Yes, we're in the healthcare industry (kind of) but it's not like we're saving lives. Kay is an insecure crazy lady who is under-qualified for her position anyway, but I feel as though this will bury Kay alive and my conscience is not doing so well with this one.

Totally a bridge to cross over when we get to it, but when Tee told me her news, I was thrilled and then my heart just dropped, realizing that this is not going to be easy. I really, really hope that I get pregnant this week, so that I'll only be at work for an extra 4 months after Tee leaves, and then if Kay goes under, we'll both be far out of reach.

Tee told me that, when the time comes, I need to present my pregnancy to Kay as really good news. Which I agree with, and have to get over the fact that it's not my responsibility that the timing kind of sucks for our team. It WILL be good news. And who knows, by the time I'm pregnant, maybe I'll have gotten over this.

[Quick non-related question: For those of you who have taken Ovidrel (trigger shot), has it affected your actual menstruation? I have been a 5-day bleeder my whole life, but this month my period lasted for three days. Two of which were very light. I'm not sure whether this is something to worry about, but I thought I'd ask in case it's a red flag for anything.]

Friday, September 16, 2011

No One Hit Wonder Here

We decided to POAS on Wednesday evening if AF hadn't come by then. It was 12dpo and though it was early, we knew to take the results with a grain of salt. We also knew that because of the trigger shot, we had a high chance of having a false positive. We were ready for that.

I don't know if I was ready for a big stark white empty space, but that's what stared back at us. I'd been pretty psyched because the nurse said I'd probably get my period Sunday-Tuesday because of the shot and I hadn't yet. Dev asked if she could look at the test first, which I actually appreciated.

We were both a little sad at the result, but knew there was no finality to it. When Devon suggested we test the next day, I said I'd rather wait until Friday, when we're supposed to test.

No less than one hour later, I went pee and AF had arrived. And I don't know if it's just the emotions or what, but it seems to be an extra painful, heavy period. Adding insult to injury.

At least we know, right? But it was tough. I wanted to those of you who commented and those who noted that the first 2WW is the hardest - it was really good to hear. Part of me was thankful that we actually got a chance to do an HPT because I feel like that's an integral part of this experience. I don't think I'm as crushed as I thought I would be, and I think that's partly attributed to reading the blogs that I read and recognizing that this process is rarely short and sweet for people. But I'm still incredibly sad and Devon is too, but we will pick up and focus on next month. We have to.

What I didn't expect is how annoyingly persistent friends are in asking about the status of the pregnancy. That's one of the reasons this blog is so great, because most readers understand - and I have no problem whatsoever updating people on this medium. After yesterday, I wish I hadn't told a soul (outside of here) that we'd had our IUI. It's hard enough mourning the loss as a couple, but having to tell other people, who are pushy and ask flat out if I'm pregnant, is painful. My sister-in-law asked yesterday when I was over at her house and I lied and said "I don't know yet". She told me to take a damn test already and call her right away. I am realizing that although I appreciated the energy sent to me on the day of the IUI, I can't be answering the pregnancy question month after month. I know everyone's intentions are fantastic... I guess I'd just hoped for some privacy. I had no idea how hard it is, and I haven't even told anyone yet. I'm dreading it. I've learned my lesson, and will not be so open with the specific dates going forward.

My best friend has texted me every day this week asking for news.

And guess what I get to do tonight? Go to a dinner party at said best friend's house and listen to her announce to our group of friends that she's pregnant.

The only good part about this BFN is that I can drink to get through this evening. Plus, then people will figure it out on their own and I won't have to tell them.

Thank you for all of your support. As always, you rock.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 2 of this 2WW

So we're into week two. If I don't get the bad news naturally, the earliest we'll know for sure is Friday. The nurse said that with the trigger shot, my period might come in 10-12 days. I'm at the end of day 11 with no AF, so I'm hoping we'll be okay.

I've over-analyzed everything this week. I've believed I'm pregnant and then I believe I'm not. I've wanted to stay positive, but it's fucking exhausting. There was a palpable change last week around Thursday. I had felt "differently" since my IUI for a full week and then suddenly, "that feeling" went away completely. And I can't even describe "that feeling" except to say that I felt different. And then on Thursday, and since, I haven't felt much.

My boobs hurt and now, not so much. Cramping is completely gone, which was pretty consistent. Of course, I'm trying to get "that feeling" back and I'm having trouble. Last night I was on the toilet with a really upset stomach and was cursing myself for pigging out on fish & chips and then realized, "hey, this may not be the fish!!!" 

Devon has stayed solidly positive this entire time, which I love, but I've felt so guilty for not being able to stay in that mindset myself. She keeps asking me if anything is wrong and I tell her no, because I don't want her to know I'm doubting anything. It's not good; it's like I'm hiding something. So, I finally told her today what was going on, and she was fantastic. She just said, "you feel what you feel and I'll be positive for the both of us". Did I mention I love her?
 
At this point, I almost don't care, I just want to know. And I hate that that's truth. If my first 2WW is this excruciating, I hope to dear god that there aren't too many more of them.

I can still hope and still get excited when I suddenly got an intense craving for sour cream & onion chips, when I don't even really like them to begin with. When I almost puked last week, I was so incredibly happy. So, I'll try to hold onto that happiness and trust that it'll get me through.

How do you not get so incredibly scared about seeing red every time you pull down your underwear to pee?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 1 of this 2WW (barely)

Who am I kidding? It's been a whopping 4 days, hardly halfway through a week, and I finally understand why the 2WW is excruciatingly difficult.

I had Thursday/Friday booked off work for vacation months ago, and though I wish now that I had actually had vacation days, I was really happy that I could do all of this stuff without worrying about getting back to my desk. I tested positive on the OPK Thursday morning and was due to go in for an ultrasound that morning anyhow, so it was good timing. Eggs were a good size, and uterine lining was thick, but they still wanted me to have a trigger shot to have a bit more control over the timing.

Long story kind-of short: On Thursday, I took the prescription for Ovidrel and put it in my back pocket and walked to the pharmacy 5 blocks away from the clinic. I got to the prescription counter and realized that the prescription was gone. I traced my steps up the street, picking up every white piece of trash looking for it. Called Devon all "No-I'm-okay, really... don't-worry-I'll-be-fine". Exactly halfway between the clinic and the pharmacy, the prescription was lying in a ditch on the road. Picked it up, gave it to the pharmacist, went to get my wallet from my purse and it wasn't there. Walk back to the car, finally found my wallet waaaay underneath the driver's seat. Went back to pharmacy, paid for meds, walked back to clinic and Devon was there waiting for me. She'd left work after hearing how scattered I was. Thank god.

On the morning of the IUI (Friday), I went for my first acupuncture treatment, which was really nice because the doctor left me alone for about 20 minutes with the needles in, so it allowed me to calm the fuck down, which I really really needed.

The IUI went well, I guess. Devon and I managed to make it "our" moment, which was actually my main concern. It's funny how superstitious one becomes. I picked out smiley face underwear to match the smiley face on the OPK. I wore a rose quartz around my neck that Devon got years ago and brought out for the occasion. We bought a really cute onesie the night before and brought it to the treatment (left it in the bag, but had it near). We had a joke that because the donor plays bass, we had to have a bass-heavy song for right afterwards. Turned out we used the Black-Eyed Peas song Boom Boom Pow (we're calling the potential fetus Boom Boom). 

I don't know why we did those things. We just felt better doing them, like it was an important occasion, which it was. I know it's all about biology and timing and has little to do with songs or semi-precious stones or underwear, but we both felt that we should do something. As silly as it sounds, it just made sense to us.

The IUI was uncomfortable, but over fast, though the nurse who did it was a talker, and I so wanted to shut her up, but felt rude. I know she was trying to distract me from the discomfort. Devon and I stayed in the room for about 20 minutes afterwards, and that was pretty special. 

It's interesting: although this is my first IUI, I feel as though I've been on this journey for a long time already. We decided to go ahead with trying for a child at the end of 2008. I've been weaning off several medications for over two years to ready my body for a baby. We've been to many many medical appointments with many many specialists that were mental health/reproductive health-related. It's been a long ride already, and I feel blessed that it is finally at a tangible level where something can actually happen. It may be another long road, but I'm thrilled that we've made it to this stage of the journey. I hope this stage is a quick one though.

I've been cramping since the IUI - kind of like period cramps. I'm not sure what that means. I'm remaining very optimistic - I have to. Except for a wee bit today: I had a minor panic moment today at work when I misplaced a very important file where the pit of my stomach just dropped and before I could get a hold of myself, started thinking that I was killing my fetus in that moment with the stress levels... gotta work on that. Yes, I know embryos/fetuses can withstand a lot, but if there is something in there, it probably hasn't even had a chance to figure out where it's going to burrow. Of course, the cramping went away for a few hours, and now it's back, which I'm taking as a good sign.

So yeah, excited and really wanting the 2 weeks to hurry up. Nurse says I may get my period 5 days early because of the shot, so if it's negative, I'll know early next week. Let's hope that's not the case.

Thank you so much for all of your support during this stage - it's wonderful!