Desperate Times

Yesterday was a bad day.  A very bad day.  I was depressed to the point that I could barely function.  I wanted to crawl back into bed, hide in the dark and cry all day.  I was struggling not to fly off the handle at work, and barely managed to keep my anger in check on several occasions.  It reached a point where I was genuinely worried about myself. 

Fortunately, I made it home from work and gave myself the chance to lie in bed for a while before re-joining the world.  I cooked dinner, and we walked the dogs and I started to feel a bit more like myself.  Catch took me out for frozen yogurt, and something about those darn rainbow sprinkles helped even more. 

I was relieved when I woke up this morning feeling much better prepared to face the day.  I may not be 100% me, but it’s still a significant improvement over yesterday’s flat out depression.

TTC is stressful, and I’m fairly well versed in the highs and lows, but this was an exceptional low.  I think the progesterone supplements are at least partially to blame for the extreme.

I’m so looking forward to moving beyond this stage of waiting and on to whatever’s next.  Right now, everything about being 9 DPO kinda sucks. 

I’m hoping to convince my wife that we should spend the weekend poolside at whichever of her parents’ two houses they won’t inhabit this weekend.  They bought their retirement home last year and have been spending most weekends there, which leaves the LA house free, I hope.

Hope you’re all finding yourselves suitably distracted!

The Two Week Wait: Needs and Don’t Needs

What the Two Week Wait Needs More of:

Vodka.

And wine.

And possibly also Margarita Mondays.

And coffee.

And RUNNING.  Fast and hard and long.

And donuts.

If mother nature is going to force me to sit here counting every second of every damn minute until I am curled up in a ball of anxiety so tight that I can’t even begin to uncurl myself, then she AT LEAST needs to let me have my freaking vices. 

“Bartender, it’s been a hell of a day.  I’ll have a hot chamomile tea with a generous splash of peppermint!”

Said no one.  EVER.

 

What the Two Week Wait Needs less of:

Statistics.  Stop with the numbers already.  You relinquished control over this cycle the minute you spread your legs for that IUI.  30% of pregnancy tests were able to detect a positive at 8 dpo? IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Pregnant women.  Please just stop.  Stop running into me in the bathroom.  Stop walking past me at the park.  Stop wandering the aisles of Target.  My happy places cannot be your happy places.  Find your own.

Baby pictures.  Your baby is 7 weeks old today?  I don’t care.  Did I ask you to email me your pictures? No? Then DON’T.  Have I said a single word to you since you gave birth?  No?  Get a clue.

Mommy blogs.  God knows I love them, just not right now.  At the moment, seeing the smiling faces on those blogs just reminds me of what I don’t have.

 

Got anything to add to the list?  I'm sure there's plenty I'm missing!

The halfway mark

Part of me is jumping for joy that we’ve made it through half of our two week wait, but a bigger part of me recognizes that it’s MONDAY.  Adios, weekend.  Back to work. 

I went in for a progesterone test this morning.  Should have the results back later this afternoon.  Other than that, there’s really not much to report.  Unless you really want to know that I keep hitting my boobs to try to decide whether they’re “tender” or not.  A few more days of this and they will be sore for sure.  Anything to score more points on Fertility Friend’s pregnancy analyzer.

I’m fairly certain that waiting is going to be the death of me.  I just can’t stand it.  I really thought this cycle would be easier than our last insemination cycle, but clearly I hadn’t really considered how much more invested I am in this cycle.  Between the effort it took just to get to this point—the diet, exercise, and determination—to the simple fact that this cycle cost SO much more (double and then some) than our last one did—I am all in, here.  In every way possible. 

I’ve been trying to distract myself.  On Friday night, we saw The Other Woman (cute, but tired and a bit too long) and went out for dinner.  Saturday, we purchased and installed a new printer for my FIL, cleaned the house and then one of our good friends came over for dinner.  Sunday, we took the dogs on a nice long walk, walked to a favorite local spot for breakfast, worked in the vegetable garden and went to Catch’s first softball game of the season.  It was a really nice weekend, but I could use about 4 more of them. 

One of my good friends who I can be pretty open with about all of this was at the softball game last night.  She’s in the process of becoming a foster parent and hopefully adopting a child eventually.  Last night, she was obsessing over her application and some of the questions they ask that she has no idea how to answer.  It reminded me that there are SO many ways to create a family, and aside from the family aspect, the one thing they all have in common is ANXIETY.  So much anxiety.

Catch mentioned on the way home that some friends of ours had asked her for some info on all of this babymaking stuff several months ago (and she forgot to tell me????).  I wish I’d known that they know we’re trying, because I wouldn’t have had to invent a hip injury to explain why I’m not running for a couple of weeks.  I also wish I didn’t know that they’re looking into it because now I feel like it’s a competition, and I am a seriously competitive person.  Who will get pregnant first?  It better be me, or a meltdown will ensue.

And on that note, I will relieve you of my insanity.  Have a wonderful day!

The Wait: Day 3

Dear Potential Future Baby,

I hope you enjoyed the half a bag of discount Easter Rolos that I managed to eat yesterday in between Target and work on my lunch break.  Even though I know the color of the foil wrapper doesn’t change anything, I tried to eat mostly the green foil wrapped ones because it seemed healthier.  I try to eat something green every day at lunch.  Usually it’s broccoli, but hey—we can’t all be perfect.

I took the day off of work today so I could hang with your potential future other mom since she’s on Spring Break.  (That probably shouldn’t be capitalized, but it seems more fun and official if it is.)  We were going to take your potential future siblings, aka Twix & Rolo, (notice a trend?) to the dog beach, but it’s gloomy and rain is predicted, so we’ll probably wind up at a matinee that neither of us really wants to see.  That’s okay though, because MOVIE POPCORN.  Also, my favorite new theater has reclining seats and I might be able to catch a nap.  The prospect of your existence has been making sleep a bit elusive. 

I’ve been feeling pretty crampy ever since the IUIs.  It comes and goes, but it’s definitely a bit sore in my lower abdomen.  Is that you?  If it is, I totally don’t mind one bit.  I wish you could tell me if it’s you.  I really don’t understand how we could watch babies being conceived on movie screens in the 80s (Look Who’s Talking, anyone?) but we haven’t figured out how to let desperate women like me know whether their IUIs worked any sooner than 14 days.  Does it only work if you’re impregnated by John Travolta’s super sperm or something?  (Gag.)  (And yes, I'm kidding.)

Anyway, if you’re there I hope all is well.  Let me know if you need anything.  Let’s try to stop with the Rolos though, ok?  Maybe broccoli isn’t quite what you’re looking for, but surely we can reach a compromise. Zucchini?  Spinach?  Green beans?

Love,

Your Potential Future Mama

Wake Me When We’re in the Double Digits

It’s amazing how the two week wait messes with your head.  It all feels like an elaborate dance.

 

This is so not going to work.  And I’m okay with that.

But you weren’t nauseous after your last IUI—maybe it’s A Sign.

You’re not nauseous this morning, though.  It was probably nothing.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t be nauseous later.

Stop contemplating when you can test.  You’re waiting until the blood test.

But 12 DPO is May third and you know how you love threes…

NO.  YOU ARE WAITING FOR THE DAMN BLOOD TEST.

You're super grouchy this morning.  Maybe it’s A Sign.

You sure are tired this morning.  Maybe it’s A Sign.

You sure slept like crap last night.  Maybe it’s A Sign.

Wait.  Maybe you’re tired because you slept like crap.  Not a sign.  This totally didn’t work.

 

This is my brain on sperm, folks.  Who needs drugs when you can sit through a TWW?

Speaking of drugs, Catch asked me the other day if I feel like this cycle will be unsuccessful because we didn’t do the drugs.  I had to think about it for a minute, but honestly, that’s really not it.  I was upset about the cyst and the lack of clomid initially because I really didn’t think I’d ovulate without it.  In all these months of testing, it has NEVER happened apart from the clomid cycles and one cycle following clomid.  But I DID ovulate.  All on my own.  So that’s not it. 

It could be my thing about threes.  Next cycle would be our third IUI cycle.  Although technically, Tuesday was our third IUI.  (That’s crazy to me—in 14 months, we’ve managed THREE freaking IUIs? That’s it?)  I don’t really think that’s it, either.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am hopeful.  So hopeful.  I want to be wrong so badly.  I want this to be the last stop.  On my way to work, I put one hand on my belly and wished and wished until I got distracted by some asshole who cut me off. 

Anyway, it’s only day 2.  We have a long stretch of progesterone suppository-filled days ahead of us.  I wish my brain had an off switch.

Confessions

 
  1. I woke up this morning with a calm and overwhelming sense that this cycle just isn’t it. I told Catch in the car on our way to IUI #2 this morning, and she said I have to think positive. I’m afraid to think positive, though. I mean, I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m not, it feels like it’ll be easier to handle this way. I don’t know what the right answer is.
  2. Even though I should be eating especially healthy, I have consumed more chocolate cake in the past 48 hours than I have in the last 6 months combined. I finally asked Catch to throw the damn cake away this afternoon. Hopefully I can get back in track now.
  3. I am excited to start the progesterone tomorrow morning. Yes. Excited for suppositories. What’s wrong with me? I guess it’s just different. A new adventure. Something we haven’t tried yet. Still. What?
  4. While our sperm was thawed and prepped, we sat in the waiting room. There was a woman sitting there who kept staring at me. Even as she was called and started walking back with the nurse, she was staring at me. It was totally disconcerting, and I can’t figure it out. Perhaps it was the bright green t-shirt with the giant lucky shamrock that I was wearing? I mean come on, it’s a fertility clinic. Surely she wouldn’t be surprised to see some symbols of luck in the waiting room, right?
  5. My RE is on vacation this week (figures) so the physician’s assistant handled our two inseminations. She was kinda hot. We both noticed.
  6. Yesterday, the syringe of sperm was tinged pink. Today, it was not. This is bothering me for some reason, and yet I never asked why.
  7. Our sperm count for yesterday’s ui was over 17 million. No one offered a count today and I forgot to ask. This is also bothering me.
  8. I couldn’t sleep last night… Probably mostly because Catch waited on me hand I and foot all day and I have not been so inactive in months. She won’t even let me bend over. Anyway, I was trying to occupy myself by having a conversation with the hopeful combination of sperm & egg in my reproductive system. I tried a dozen times, but never got past “hello” before my mind wandered to something else. Then I’d berate myself for not being able to focus on the most important thing in our lives at the moment. It was an interesting night.
  9. I feel so strong today. Like this TWW isn’t going to crack me. But I know it will. It’s inevitable. I wish I could go to sleep tonight and wake up in 2 weeks. That’d be fantastic.
  10. Even though I understand that it won’t happen and why, I am still paranoid about losing precious sperm every time I have to pee. It’s ridiculous.

Here we go again

I had an 8 am appointment scheduled with the RE this morning for a follow up to see whether we had any follicle growth that could result in ovulation this week.

Yesterday, I did my OPK test in the morning like usual, and the test was significantly lighter than the day before. I was kind of bummed, and warned Catch that it just might not happen this cycle. That despite the major lifestyle changes, I might just not ovulate.

After that, I wasn’t very hopeful for this morning’s test. I did my thing and set it on the cabinet in the bathroom. After a minute or two, I noted that one line was significantly lighter than the other one and carried on getting ready for my appointment.

A few minutes later, Catch was brushing her hair while I was brushing my teeth and she said, “That line looks pretty dark, no?” I looked and did a double take. The test line was significantly darker than the control line.

Holy shit. A positive OPK and I did it all on my own with no drugs. I feel like I passed some kind of test!

So, off we went to our appointment. An ultrasound was performed. It showed that the cyst has grown from 18mm to 26mm on the left side, and the follicle on the right side was nowhere to be found, indicating that I had probably just ovulated.

Conversations were had, phone calls were made, and it was decided that they were going to thaw our sperm and do an IUI in an hour. They sent us off to have breakfast while they did what they needed to do.

We ended up walking a block down the boulevard to an IHOP. There were several classier options, but I told Catch a comfy booth, a cup of chamomile and a couple of pancakes sounded perfect. We sat there giddy and excited while we waited. Me, making arrangements for my two assistants to cover me at work, and her issuing instructions that I relax and do nothing for the next few days.

At 9:30, we headed back to the clinic for the first IUI of round 2. Prayers were prayed and wishes were wished. We do another IUI tomorrow morning, and then we wait. And wait and wait and wait.

I start progesterone suppositories on Wednesday. Then we have a progesterone test next Monday, and our official test date is Cinco de Mayo. If all goes well, we’ll have reason to celebrate. If it doesn’t, I’ll have the perfect excuse for margaritas.

Our TTC Timeline

January 2013 – I throw the idea of a baby out there.  Catch panics. 

February 2013 – I convince Catch to go to a family planning event at the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Center.  We learn a ton.  Over lunch, we decide to start tracking cycles and officially start TTC in June.

March 2013 – 20 day cycle.  Huh?

April 2013 – 41 day cycle.  What?

May 2013 – Start testing with OPKs for the first time.  No positive ever.  46 day cycle.

June 2013 – No positive OPK.  31 day cycle.

July 2013 – 30 days of bleeding.  Gyn orders blood tests for CD 3 of next cycle. 45 day cycle.

September 2013 – CD 3 blood work turns up normal.  Bleeding is explained as random.  Gyn does not think PCOS could be a factor because hormones are all normal.  Agrees to prescribe clomid for next cycle.  39 day cycle.

October 2013 – 50 mg clomid, CD 3-8.  HCG trigger on CD 15.  IUI CD 17 in the AM.  Nurse practitioner remarks that ovaries are polycystic but does not elaborate.  When we ask, she said it’s no big deal and not to worry about it.  27 day cycle.  BFN

November 2013 – Gyn increases clomid to 100 mg, CD 3-8.  Molly starts worrying about the polycystic ovaries comment.  Can’t get in to see gyn to discuss in time for insemination.  We decide to call the cycle off until we can get some explanation of the polycystic ovaries comment.  Sperm is too expensive to be wasting if there is a bigger issue at play.  Finally get in to see gyn.  She still doesn’t think PCOS is the issue, but doesn’t do an ultrasound.  She gives us referrals to two REs.  We decide to take some time off from TTC and focus on getting healthy and losing weight.  Clearly this is not going to be as easy as we’d hoped.  32 day cycle. 

December 2013 – + OPK on CD 17, but we’re sitting this one out.  31 day cycle.

January 2014 – Went to informational session at fertility clinic recommended by gyn.  Have consult and ultrasound with RE.  RE says PCOS is absolutely the issue, regardless of what the blood work says.  We decide to keep getting healthier and losing weight and start TTC again in March.  47 day cycle.

March 2014 – Since the previous cycle was so wonky, we decide to wait another month before TTC, hoping that our increasing health will help that much more.  + OPK on CD 17.  34 day cycle. 

April 2014 – Cyst is discovered in CD 2 ultrasound.  RE won’t prescribe clomid until cyst clears.  She isn’t hopeful, but says that if I do manage to ovulate on my own, we can still inseminate.  CD 12 ultrasound indicates I might actually ovulate sometime around CD 17.  Fingers crossed.

Spring Break – Dildocam Edition!

Catch’s spring break started today.  She was going to meet me for lunch—we had plans to go for a walk around the park by my office and then enjoy a little picnic.  I’ve been looking forward to it all week.  This week has been such a strain, and it was nice to have something to look forward to in the middle of the work day.

We’re trudging onward with the hope of inseminating this cycle, so I was happy to note this morning that there were some changes in my cervical fluid.  Suddenly, it’s watery and a bit slippery.  I tested with an OPK, and it was about half as dark as the control line.  Not positive, but possibly on its way to positive.

Since our RE had said to call if we started seeing signs of a surge, I decided to call.   I told them on the phone that it’s not positive yet, but that I was concerned about the weekend coming up and I’d really just like to know if anything is happening in there.  They asked if I could come in immediately.  Lunch date cancelled.

I left work, fought my way through mid-day traffic, and stripped from the waist down. 

The ultrasound was inconclusive.  (Story of my life, right?)

There’s an 18mm follicle on one side, but she’s pretty sure it’s that cyst she saw last time.  Not positive, though.  It’s 50/50.  If it IS a real follicle, it's pretty much ready to go.

On the other side, there’s a little 11mm follicle.  If that’s going to be “the one” this cycle, it still has 4-5 days of growing to do. 

They’re running some blood work—testing my LH and my estrogen.  I’ll find out the results sometime later this afternoon and then we’ll decide where to go from there.  Maybe insemination tomorrow, or maybe a follow up ultrasound on Monday and an insemination sometime after that.  Or maybe my body is just playing tricks on me and is going to yell, “psych” any second.

It took me 3 phone calls to get our sperm situation taken care of yesterday, but it’s done.  The RE will have our two horribly expensive vials of IUI spermsicles sometime today. 

Can I just mention how bizarre it was to be on the phone with a man while scheduling our spermsicle shipment?  It was a bit jarring to have that deep male voice confirming, “And your donor is 6 ft 2 in tall with red hair, blue eyes, and blood type A+?”  I don’t think I’ve dealt with a single man so far in this process until him.  Every other nurse, doctor, or random person on the phone has been female.

Weight

Not that kind of weight, though.  Being 38 pounds smaller is nothing to complain about.

I mean the kind of weight that comes with stress.  And life.  And the combination of stress and life. 

Things have been rough at work.  I can’t say much more than that.  There is a knot of stress and anxiety permanently residing somewhere between my stomach and my temples.  The worst part is having no control over any of it.  The issues are not mine to resolve, and yet they are mine to deal with. 

Add TTC to the professional stress, and I feel like I have anvils hanging from my eyelids. 

It all feels so heavy.  I am so tired.  I had an hour to kill last night between work and a hair appointment and I got about as far as my couch before I collapsed onto a throw pillow and begged the dogs to let me close my eyes for a few minutes.  They obliged, and I was awakened 45 minutes later by Catch’s key in the door—and I still felt like crap. 

I went for a walk at lunch today hoping the fresh air and exercise would clear my head and perk me up a bit.  It did the opposite.  I can barely keep my eyes open.

I can already imagine how my legs will feel on the treadmill tonight.  It’s not going to be pretty.

Today is CD 12.  I should have ordered sperm by now, but I haven’t.  There was a problem with the shipping address and I haven’t bothered calling them to resolve it.  It could be too late, now.  I have no idea.  Frankly, I’m too exhausted to care all that much—except that I also care a great deal.  I don’t know how that’s even possible. 

As I was writing this, Catch texted me to tell me that her librarian at work is pregnant with twins.  She said she wants to cry.  As a result, in the past 10 minutes, I’ve ordered the vials, called both CA Cryo and the fertility clinic and am hopefully en route to getting those puppies shipped to where they need to be.  Sometimes I just need a kick in the pants.  One more phone call should seal the deal, but I’m going to wait until faxes have had time to be sent and received.

I really need a vacation.  HR told me this week that I have 262 hours of vacation time right now.  That’s what?  6-ish weeks?  I think it would do me significantly more good if I put it to use somewhere with poolside waiters than it is sitting there accruing on a spreadsheet.