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>We’re leaving tomorrow for a trip back to see my family. I’m very much looking forward to it – and to having a bunch of time off! I also found out that I’ll come back to a new job! I’ve been helping out in another department since I found out my department will be closing, but they have decided to hire me. It’s a more structured work day, so going to appointments for monitoring will be a little trickier, but I am hoping I’ll be able to swing it. It’s one of those catch-22 situations…without the job, we wouldn’t be able to afford treatment, but without the job, getting to appointments would have been easier. I’ll just have to make it work, though. There is some travel, but I am just going to keep my fingers crossed that it won’t be a big deal. Overall, I am very happy about it, and it’s a huge relief!

I keep wondering what the new year has in store for us. Honestly, the past year wasn’t too bad, but it was a little rough at times. I got laid off, M. realized he has far fewer job options than he thought (and had to face a discouraging rejection), our cat almost died (and really, is still hanging on by a thread), our roof and ceiling started leaking, and we passed the one year mark of trying to get pregnant. We found out that all our tests look perfect, and we did two unsuccessful cycles of Clomid.

It wasn’t a horrible year by any means, but it wasn’t always easy to be optimistic. It’s hard to predict how we’ll feel about our situation, and I don’t know what the next year holds for us. I think all I can do is hope, and focus on enjoying my time off with my family and friends!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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>My temp. dropped two days ago, so I already knew this cycle wasn’t going to be a success. That almost never happens…it usually stays high until the bitter end…so I sort of appreciated the heads up. If was mildly disappointing, but I sort of knew I wasn’t pregnant anyway. I started spotting and had cramps this morning, so it’s only a matter of time.

The whole unexplained infertility situation is so confusing. I keep wondering why these treatments will work, when no one knows what problem they are trying to address. My cycle is like clockwork…my ovulation date varies by a few days, but my lp is always 11-12 days. I have ovulated at least once a month for the past year and a half, so I wonder how much medication that helps me ovulate is really going to help. I’m not saying that I’m ready to throw in the towel, but it does not leave me feeling optimistic.

I’m not taking anything away from people who have irregular cycles or don’t ovulate on their own – I’m sure that’s got to be extremely frustrating. It’s more that there seems to be some kind of flaw in the whole approach to the problem, when you’re taking medications that may not even address the underlying issue. It could be my age, I suppose, but that isn’t really a cause to me. Besides, I’m 35, and I know tons of people who have no issue getting pregnant at 35 (or any other age)!

Luckily, we are taking a month off. I thought I would find it discouraging and frustrating to take a break, but instead, I am looking forward to it! I’m not going to take my bbt, fertility monitor, or anything, and I’m just going to enjoy the freedom of not thinking about it, not being tired (Clomid made me so tired, for some reason), and not being bloated (Clomid, again). I’m going to make a few calls to find out what I’ll need to do for my next cycle with injectables, but aside from that, I am going to just enjoy my life with my husband.

I may not be around a lot over the next few days, as we prepare to travel for the holiday, but I wish everyone a happy holiday!

>I haven’t been posting much, which is unfortunate, because I have so many thoughts in my head that I would like to get down. Work is crazy, though, and I am consumed by all the things I meant to do for the holidays and haven’t had time to yet.

I think part of the problem is that I’m so not feeling it this year. I just don’t feel like celebrating the holidays, and doing things like writing Christmas cards and shopping are not helping. They all just feel like tasks.

I think I do a fairly good job of staying positive and not focusing on infertility most days. But now, at 10 DPO, and with the holidays right around the corner, I feel like it’s taking a little bit of a toll. I don’t feel like the holidays should be here already, and I definitely don’t feel like this should be the second Christmas where I am wondering when I’ll ever get pregnant. Time is passing quickly, but at the same time, I’m standing still.

>Well, my temp. has remained high, so I’m confident that I ovulated and my monitor just missed it. That’s never happened, but it’s only the second time I used it while taking Clomid. I’m soooo glad I decided to continue taking my bbt, or I would be totally in the dark and freaking out, thinking I didn’t ovulate. I’m still a little weary of the two really high temperatures, but I’m guessing I either ovulated on CD 18 or 15. CD 15 obviously looks correct, but I had some wine, didn’t sleep all that great, etc. I guess I’ll know when (or “if,” if I want to be optimistic) Af arrives. My LP is never longer than 12 days, so then I’ll really know. I felt like I ovulated on CD 15, though, so maybe it’s correct after all.

I’m SO bloated, which is really lame. My abdomen got kind of swollen when I was taking Clomid and before I ovulated, and it went away for a few days after that. Now, though, it is back with a vengeance! It is literally sticking out, and I can’t wear this new shirt I got because it’s too snug. I know I sound like such a whiner, and I wouldn’t mind if I was actually pregnant, but I find it so aggravating to have a swollen abdomen with the potential of having nothing inside. If there a baby in there, it would be ok…but if there’s not, I would prefer to not look pregnant.

The a.m. radio show stuck again this morning. They often present different questions or topics and ask people to call in with their responses and experiences. Because of the demographic, I understand that the majority are focused on family dilemmas. It’s not all of them, but probably more than half. Even though I don’t have a child, they’re somewhat interesting or entertaining. The focus on pregnancy, though, is beginning to get to me. I posted a while ago about one morning where people called in and talked about creative ways that they told their families they were pregnant. Another time, they asked people to call in about baby names – and specificially, situations where a family member used the name you thought you might want to use down the road. Today, they focused on pregnancy symptoms.

I feel like it’s a little bit over the top. First of all, they said something like ‘If you want to have a family, you pretty much have to get pregnant.’ I have so many issues with that…What about people who choose to adopt? What about people who want to have a family, but haven’t been able to get pregnant? They made it sound so simple – want a family, get pregnant!

The did say something after that like ‘of course, you could adopt,’ but I thought the way they introduced the topic was insulting (and I don’t even want to adopt right now!). The show went on, with lots of women calling in to talk about all their crazy pregnancy symptoms, how they varied from one pregnancy to the next, and how you can blame so many crazy symptoms on pregnancy. It was not what I wanted to hear on a Friday morning.

One of the morning radio show hosts is pregnant, so I understand to an extent. I don’t expect her to never mention it, but to have three separate call-in shows about it seems extreme. They have another call-in segment where they have a doctor respond to a listener’s question (that was usually submitted anonymously). I’m really considering writing them a letter. I think they should address infertility in one of the segments to increase awareness. No, it’s not a fun or funny topic, but hearing about pregnancy symptoms all morning on the radio isn’t fun for those of us who haven’t been able to have a child, either.

>I think at this point there are four possibilities.

– I am not ovulating this cycle
– I will ovulate within the next few days
– I ovulated on CD 15
– I ovulated on CD 18

FF thinks I ovulated on CD 15, but those two crazy temperatures are distorting things. They may be accurate, but I doubt it. They’re SO high. If my temps stay high for the next few days, I would guess I either ovulated on CD 15 or 18, but I’ll only know after a few days pass. Either one is possible. It’s annoying that the monitor missed it, if it was one of those days.

The other possibility is that I didn’t ovulate yet. I know a lot of people occasionally ovulate late, and Clomid does delay ovulation. I’ve had cycles where I ovulated naturally on CD 18 – and even CD 21. So that makes it seem like it’s entirely possible that I haven’t ovulated yet.

Here’s a link to my bbt chart – http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/221a78 – and I added a ticker on the right-hand side of my blog, too.

My next decision is whether or not I buy more test sticks for the monitor. I have one or two left, but that’s it. They’re almost $50 for a box, if I buy them locally (which I usually don’t do). That’s usually a three month supply, but I don’t know that I really need three months. We’re taking next month off (I suppose we’ll try on our own, but I don’t think I’m going to bother using the monitor or timing anything), and then we’ll be moving on to shots in January. That requires monitoring, so I would assume I wouldn’t need the monitor. Although, now that I think about it, I have seen some posts about people who are monitored but also use OPK’s. I’m really torn now!

After this cycle, I am glad to be taking a break. I just hope that at some point, one of these things works!

>Well, my temp. wasn’t horribly high today, so I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. It’s sort of strange…the monitor is still saying “high,” so I suppose you never know. But at CD 18, it’s getting kind of late. This is so unusual for me! I suppose the monitor could have missed the surge, and I could wake up with a temp spike any day now. Ovulating on CD 19 or 20 would be late, but possible. It’s just a little strange. I’m beginning to hope that I ovulate at all this month…if I don’t, things would definitely be going in the wrong direction.

I did ovulate once a few months ago on CD 21, so I guess anything is possible. That was unusual, because I usually ovulate between CD 15-18. I sort of thought that being on Clomid would override my body a little bit, but I have been on a pretty low dose. I guess only time will tell. It’s disconcerting, though.

Someone sent an email out with photos of my coworker’s new baby today. I’m happy for him, but hearing about how happy they are and seeing their pictures is not easy. I want to be optimistic that I will have the same experience some day, but it’s hard. I keep wondering how long it can take to fix something when no one even knows what’s wrong in the first place.

>This cycle has been kind of strange. My fertility monitor is still reading as “high,” even though it’s CD 17. Last month – taking the same amount of Clomid for the same number of days – I got the peak reading on CD 16. Now, it’s possible I could get the peak reading tomorrow, but I sort of feel like I already ovulated. My abdomen was so swollen on Friday and Saturday, and now it’s not as bad. I had some O pains on Saturday, too, and now I just have some occasional cramping. I had EWCM on Friday and Saturday, but I don’t today. My bbt went up on Saturday, but unfortunately, I had a few glasses of wine over the weekend. My temperature was high yesterday morning and this morning, but it could have been the wine. I also slept really terribly last night and woke up a billion times, so I don’t know that today’s temperature was even very accurate. So, I guess the next few days will be more telling. I’ll be super curious to see what my temp will be tomorrow, and whether or not the monitor will ever give me a peak reading. I am running out of test sticks, so hopefully I won’t need too many more!

I’m looking forward to either being pregnant (obviously) or having the next month off from medication, testing, etc. We’ll be traveling to see my family, and it will be nice to not keep track of what CD it is, take my temperature, use my fertility monitor, take clomid, etc. On the other hand, it will be a little weird to be home and still not be pregnant. I told my family that we were trying when I was there in August, and at that point, it had almost been a year. Now, I’ll be home in December, and things are essentially the same…I’m still not pregnant, and no one knows why.

When I was home in the summer, I got into a little bit of a heated discussion with my mother when I said we were ‘having a hard time getting pregnant.’She said we weren’t ‘having a hard time,’ and that it just takes some people longer than others. I think she’s beginning to understand that we really do have a problem, even though doctors can’t figure out what it is. I think she’s had an especially hard time believing that there is something wrong with me.

When I was married before, we tried to have a child for three years. In the end, the RE felt it was my ex-husband’s (then husband’s) sperm that caused our difficulty conceiving. I think to my mom, that meant there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. It’s always seemed like, to her, having an explanation – and especially an explanation that no longer affects me (since we are now divorced) – means I was never infertile. When M and I decided to ttc, I already knew that my ex-husband and his wife were expecting a baby. I hoped we wouldn’t have a problem conceiving, but I knew we might. When I found out my ex-husband was expecting a baby, part of me knew that the previous RE from years ago may not have been completely accurate.

I can tell that my mom is searching for answers. She says things every now and then about articles she’s read, or things that she’s looked up. It’s good, in a way, because I think she’s realized that what we’re experiencing is beyond ‘it taking some people longer than others.’At the same time, though, I don’t want her to worry about it. We do have a problem, and we’re dealing with it. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know we’ll get through it. I don’t know if we’ll ever learn why it isn’t just happening for us, but I think we have to just keep moving forward.

>I have not been very good about posting here lately. Part of the issue is that I am helping out another department at work, and the jobs I am doing for them require a lot of writing. It’s also a very busy job, so I have no time during the day – and the last thing I want to do at night is write more. The other issue is I really don’t have a lot to say. I’ve been somewhat consumed with work, so I haven’t had room to think about much else. I’m waiting to ovulate…probably within the next few days…so there isn’t much going on. I also know that if I don’t get a BFP this time, we’re taking a break through the holidays before starting injections in January.

I really want to focus on enjoying the holidays. I used to love Christmas, and while I still like it, I feel like it’s a little bit of a reminder of what I’m missing. I see children excited to see Santa, parents buying gifts for their kids, and all those cute little Christmas outfits everywhere. I was looking for a 2009 ornament, but instead I found ornaments with the date – to commemorate baby’s first Christmas. I don’t want those things to bother me, and I want to just appreciate what I have. And I do – but it’s hard to ignore the reminders all around me of what’s missing.

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1