You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

>While I’m always hopeful that I’ll one day get pregnant, I know I may not. I think I base a lot of my decisions on that premise – trying to balance hope with fact – trying to be realistic but optimistic – trying to create a life for myself and my husband that would be enriched by a child, but not empty without one. While there’s an ebb and flow to it – sometimes hope and optimism take the lead, while other times the reality that I may never be a mother prevails – I think I am generally pretty balanced. I think a lot of it comes from dealing with infertility for almost four years before getting divorced, and truly accepting that in getting divorced, I would never have a child. This marriage – and our attempts to have a child – almost feel like a bonus round to me. I knew that M and I could have a happy, child-free life together, and I didn’t assume we would have children. The realization that I was dealing with infertility for a second time was difficult and upsetting, but after two and a half years, I feel like I have come to some sort of peace with it. I obviously am not happy that we haven’t been able to have a child, and it does make me sad, but after a combined total of almost 7 years of dealing with it, it’s just a part of me. I hope that some day, I will have a child, but I know that in all reality it could go either way.

The thing that gets to me, though, and what sometimes overwhelms me, is how easy it is for other people. I think because I’ve dealt with this for so long (through two marriages, in my 20’s and in my 30’s), dealing with infertility is somehow normal to me. I forget that there are people who don’t have to struggle, or have to decide how much money they want to spend or how much they want to put themselves through to have a child. I forget that for some people, it’s as easy as deciding they want a baby. And sometimes, it just wears me out. I’m tired of seeing photos of happy families with their new babies, and I don’t want to hear anyone else talk about how excited they are that their daughter is having a child. I don’t want to find out that people I went to high school with have two, three, or four grown children, and I don’t want to see photos of people’s nieces and nephews. I don’t wish ill will on any of them or wish that they, too, had to deal with this, but I think I am just happier in my IF cocoon. It’s always a tough realization when I remember that for a lot of people, this really isn’t normal.

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>I had an interesting chat with my acupuncturist yesterday. At the end of my appointment, we usually have a quick recap where she reminds me what I’m supposed to be doing. This time, she told me to keep charting my bbt, and we talked for a little while about how helpful it is to see exactly when I’m ovulating and what else is going on. She said that charting can really get to some people and create some stress/worry/obsession, but that I seemed fine with it. I told her that there were times in my past that I didn’t deal with it well, and I said that when I was married the first time and started charting my bbt, I became a little crazy. I was so afraid that something was wrong, and I came to hate charting. (Actually, I hated all of it – charting, testing – and feeling like I couldn’t get it out of my mind.) I told her that I had a much harder time dealing with infertility in general then, and that I have told my husband that he’s lucky he’s married to me now and is benefiting from my past experiences. We talked about it for a little while, and then she said that I need to be sure I’ve put all that behind me and let it go.

I agreed, but I’ve continued to think about it ever since. I keep wondering – how would I know if I let it go? And what exactly am I letting go – my negative feelings about my previous marriage? My previous experience dealing with infertility?

I think that I really have let it go, and that I’ve been able to put those dark days behind me. When M and I first started ttc, I was scared – not so much of dealing with infertility again (although I was scared of that, too), but of how we would react to it. I hoped that we would get pregnant right away, and that we wouldn’t have to deal with it at all. It was upsetting, to say the least, when I realized I was going to deal with infertility again, and that we were also going to have to deal with it as a couple. I think at that point, I had not put my previous experiences behind me, and I hadn’t let it go. But here we are, two and a half years later, still trying (unfortunately), but no worse for wear. I used to be afraid that I would feel alone in the struggle – as I did in my previous marriage – but nothing could be further than the truth. I used to be afraid that I would see an ugly side to our relationship – that dealing with infertility would make me doubt our ability to support one another and make decisions together – but that hasn’t happened, either. I think my fears have subsided, and in the process, I think I have been able to let it go.

>Thanks to everyone who has posted comments in the last few days! It’s nice to get reactions and support from people in the IF community!

I realized this morning that for people who haven’t read my blog for very long, I should have probably clarified my post yesterday about my acupuncturist’s suggestion that I see a dr. I have had a whole slew of tests in the past…but it was quite a while ago. When I was married to my ex, we saw an ob/gyn and an RE for infertility, and I had all the standard tests (hsg, sono, b/w, etc). They found that he had some fairly serious issues (although he does have a child now), but they never found anything out of the ordinary in the tests they ran on me. After getting remarried and realizing I wasn’t pregnant (again) after about six months, I made an appointment with my ob/gyn. She did the CD3 b/w, but didn’t really feel that other tests were necessary, since I had them all before. She said if everything was clear in the previous tests, she didn’t think we needed to repeat them. I don’t know if that was the right decision or not, but now that we’ve moved (and more time has passed), it wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion. My acupuncturist recommended this dr. (an ob/gyn) who is apparently really good at finding things that other doctors cannot. Of course, “finding things,” especially hidden things, usually means surgery, unless this dr. is a magician. I don’t know if he’ll want to repeat any of the tests I’ve had before, but at this point, it’s been a really long time. I think I got all my b/w two years ago, but everything else would have been with my ex – which is probably in more like the 6-8 year range. It did bother me that my old ob/gyn didn’t even do an u/s, but I suppose that’s all water under the bridge now. Hopefully, this new dr. will be more thorough.

This would also require that I make an appointment!

My temp went back up today, so that means my bbt is following a similar pattern that it did last cycle. I’d like to be optimistic, but our timing was so poor that I find it hard to believe anything could be happening. I guess time will tell! I’m sort of crampy, which I’m sure my acupuncturist would attribute to implantation (she’s all about implantation and bbt implantations dips), but I know that if that’s not what’s causing it, then it’s probably a drop in hormones that caused my temp to drop in the first place (which I’m sure could cause mild cramping). I’d like to be optimistic, but it’s such a struggle for me to balance positive thinking and self-preservation. I know I need to be positive, but I hate the disappointment. It seems easier to just remain neutral.

>I had another acupuncture appointment today. The acupuncturist still believes it’s possible that I have some kind of a cyst or “blockage” (and I think she means blockage in the literal sense – not in acupuncture terms), so she seemed relieved that I’m taking steps to see a doctor. She said she doesn’t think it’s absolutely the case, or that I have something serious to worry about, but she did think it would be a good idea – if for nothing else than to rule it out as a problem. I was glad to get back to acupuncture this week, though. I missed going last week!

My acupuncturist lives in a neighborhood that I really like. We’ve only found two or three neighborhoods that we really like and can afford since we moved, and she lives in our favorite one. When I am headed home after my acupuncture appointment, I always imagine myself living there – with our little family. We’d like to live there whether or not we end up having children (it’s family friendly, but not totally family-centric, like some neighborhoods where we’d feel out of place without children), but I like imagining us there, with a baby who would grow up there, as I’m driving home. It’s like imagining my dream life.

>This cycle has been interesting so far. It’s my first full cycle while taking vitex and getting acupuncture, and there’s definitely a big shift from last cycle. Some things are the same…my bbt still has some pretty big fluctuations, and I still have the ability to confuse fertility friend. It initially said I ovulated on Thursday, but my temp dropped so low this morning that once again (much like last cycle), it took the ovulation line away. If I did ovulate on Thursday, it would be really early for me – CD 11. Last month, I didn’t ovulate until somewhere around CD 19, so that’s a huge difference. Who knows if I really did O on CD 11 – I guess only time will tell – but it’s definitely earlier. I did buy some opk’s for this cycle, but I was out of town on CD 8-11 and didn’t bring them with me. Since I didn’t O until CD 19 last cycle, I thought that would be fine, but my body likes to surprise me, and I noticed EWCM on CD 10 and 11. I used an opk when I woke up on Friday (CD 12), and it was positive (by the way, I got clear blue digital opk’s – and they are awesome!), but it’s possible that it would have been positive on CD 9 or 10 if I had been able to use it then. So, it’s confirmation that I O’d somewhere around then – and the way my chart looks right now – it probably was on CD 11 – but only time will tell. Traveling and being totally exhausted hasn’t helped anything, and I’m curious to see how many times FF will move my O date.

I had to take a break from acupuncture last week because of my trip, but I’ll be back to it tomorrow. I keep trying to figure out if it’s helping, and it’s hard to say. I think it is – if nothing else, I do feel all around more relaxed – but I feel like maybe it’s helping in other ways, too. It’s hard to know if it’s helping or if I just want it to be helping.

If I did O on CD 11, our timing was really off. I didn’t get home until 1 am on CD 11, so we missed that day, and the four days prior – not ideal. I figure, though, that acupuncture and herbs are getting my body ready and making it work the way it’s supposed to (if they’re doing anything at all)- which will last months – not one cycle. If our timing was poor last month, maybe we’ll catch it next cycle. I definitely don’t feel the same level of pressure that I did while taking Clomid (although I am spending a lot more money).

I am in the middle of changing my insurance, and I’ve decided that when it’s all finalized (I seem to be paying for the new insurance already, but it will take 4-6 weeks to get new id cards), I’ll make an appointment to see the doctor my acupuncturist recommended. In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

>I signed up for IComLeavWe, which I haven’t done in ages. I think I didn’t because of a combination of being so busy that I knew I couldn’t comment on six blogs a day on top of the ones I already read, and the fact that I wasn’t posting with much frequency. We had sort of given up on our ttc efforts and assumed we wouldn’t have children, so it was sometimes hard to think of things to write. But, unexpectedly, here I am, posting often and pretty much back on the ttc wagon again, and I’m not as busy as I was a few months ago.

One thing that always stumps me when I fill out the form for ICLW is choosing the three words to describe what I blog about most often. It’s hard to break it down into three words, and I can never decide what words best fit my current situation. I can barely describe my situation with unlimited words, so three is definitely a challenge!

I mentioned that I am “unexpectedly” back to ttc, and it’s true. I mean, we were never preventing anything, but I think we had pretty much accepted that short of a miracle or giant surprise, we’d never be parents. We didn’t plan to start ttc again when we moved…it just sort of happened. My allergies were driving me crazy, and I thought I would give acupuncture a try…and why not see if we can do something about being infertile while we’re at it!?! And now, here we are – back to charting, taking herbs – and essentially TRYING again.

When I started this blog, I thought of the title* “trying again” in two ways. I had been married before and tried to have a child then, so I was trying again – but with a different person, and essentially another life. I also thought of the obvious – the way that infertility forces you to pick yourself back up every month and try again – and hang on to some sliver of hope.

What I didn’t realize is that M and I would try – again and again – and then stop trying…only to pretty much start all over again. When we first saw a dr. about our inability to get pregnant, we agreed we would spend one year, start to finish, on fertility treatments/testing/etc. If we had no baby, we would close the door on the idea and put it behind us.

That didn’t work out (two months into it, we had insurance issues and started to have second thoughts about the route we were taking), so we never really put the time or effort into treatments that we had planned. The year came and went, and it’s actually been over a year since we’ve done anything at all.

I keep thinking about what’s changed…what would make me all of a sudden have hope – and have a desire to keep trying? I really don’t know. I’m trying to hang on to that hope, but it isn’t always easy. I feel more hopeful than I have in ages, though, and for whatever reason, it’s something.

*After creating my blog, I realized I had a typo in my title and that I accidentally typed ‘agian’ instead of ‘again.’ Whoops!

>I had my fourth acupuncture appointment yesterday. It went fine, as it always does, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed by how I felt when AF arrived. I mean, of course I hoped the acupuncturist would be some kind of a miracle worker, and that I would find out I was pregnant after four short weeks of treatment, but I didn’t really expect it. What was more disappointing was how I felt physically. I sort of assumed – maybe incorrectly – that even if I didn’t get pregnant through acupuncture, I would at least feel the same or better than I usually do when I get my period. I was disappointed that my LP was exactly the same (or shorter, depending on whether or not one agrees with fertility friend’s ovulation date), and I had worse cramping than I have in months. I couldn’t sleep at all on Monday night because I was in so much pain, and the lack of sleep made me feel that much worse on Tuesday. On top of having cramps, I was nauseous and exhausted all day yesterday. I felt better after acupuncture, but I was even more tired (although that’s not unusual for me). Thankfully, I am feeling better today, and my cramps have pretty much disappeared.

It’s not the first time I’ve had horrible cramps with AF, but it had been a while since I had been that uncomfortable. When I started running, AF became easier to manage, and I realized yesterday that this is the first month in a while (probably close to a year) that I haven’t been running as regularly as I have in previous months. So, that may be part of it. Still, though, I hoped that taking herbs and getting acupuncture once a week would have made more of a difference. My acupuncturist thinks that my bbt chart shows an implantation dip, and that AF is worse because it was a pregnancy that didn’t stick. I suppose that could be true, but I’m not entirely convinced. She encouraged me to make a doctor’s appointment, because she’s still thinking I have some kind of a cyst (or something similar) somewhere that’s causing a problem. Her thinking is that it will take a month or so to get an appointment, so we can keep doing acupuncture in the meantime and can possibly get rid of it (whatever it is) that way. In a month or so, if I’m still not pregnant and still having issues, then she thinks it would be a good idea to have a doctor check it out.

I think it’s a good plan – but there is one problem. My insurance is still screwed up from moving, and the insurance I have right now isn’t accepted at the doctor’s office she (and someone else I know) suggested – or at pretty much any other doctors’ offices in the area. I put in a request to change it (moving out of the area counts and a life change or whatever they call it, so I don’t have to wait for open enrollment) when I decided to keep my current job, so I need to follow up on that today.

I’m not discouraged by the results from acupuncture, really – my chart did look different than it has in the past, which I think is a step. I think expecting major results (like a pregnancy) after four appointments would be a little unrealistic, and I’m really curious how things will look this cycle. It was disappointing to feel worse than usual, but I don’t want to dwell on it. At least I’m feeling better today.

So, here’s my plan for this cycle:
Castor oil packs (3 times per day for a few days – maybe starting today or tomorrow)
Vitex (twice per day)
Natural progesterone (at night after ovulation)
Continue bbt chart
OPK’s
Acupuncture

And I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed, too. 🙂

>I had a feeling AF was on its way all weekend. I started spotting on Saturday, and that’s pretty much a sure sign for me. Of course, there’s always that last bit of hope that I’ll be one of those people who has spotting but is still pregnant, but that hasn’t been true in the almost 2.5 years we’ve been ttc. AF showed up late last night/this morning in full force. I was a little bummed – only because I did have some visions (delusions?) of being one of those people who could say, “We tried for over two years, and after one month of acupuncture, I was pregnant!” Realistically and logically, though, I know that it takes longer than a few weeks of acupuncture to turn things around.

So, now we’ll start over. I’m supposed to use a castor oil pack today, because my acupuncturist thinks I may have a cyst. She said the castor oil pack can sometimes help get rid of it – and if I don’t have one, she thought it would still be a good thing to try. I’m a bit perplexed by the castor oil pack, to be honest…it seems messy, and I’ve read so many conflicting things about when to use it. Some say it should be used while menstruating, and others say it should not. I am seeing my acupuncturist tomorrow, so I may wait and ask her then. I know I shouldn’t do it after I ovulate, but I’m a little confused about using it today vs. 2-3 days from now.

I felt good after doing acupuncture this month, but I can’t say it’s made a ton of difference so far. I only went three times, though, so I’m thinking this cycle could be the one where I see a difference. I feel good overall – I just can’t say I saw a huge difference in my cycle. The whole thing was a little screwed up, anyway, though, because I missed those early cycle temperatures. I’m wondering now if I really ovulated on CD 17, but it’s hard to know for sure. If it really was CD 19, then my LP got shorter, instead of longer. Hopefully, things will be more clear this cycle.

M and I talked last night about me seeing that doctor that my acupuncturist recommended. I think when my insurance is straightened out, I’ll make an appointment. Even if he can’t fix anything, maybe he’d be able to figure out what it is that’s preventing me from getting pregnant. I feel like I need more information, and I need to know what our chances really are of ever having a child. If he can find a problem and fix it – that would be amazing. If he can’t figure it out, then at least I tried, and if he can find the problem but feels it’s not fixable…well, then we know, and we can move on.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with acupuncture and hope for the best. Even if I don’t get pregnant, at least I’m getting healthier. It’s hard to hang on to that optimism I felt a few weeks ago, but I’m trying. I’ll be turning 37 this year, and I feel like if we’re going to revisit this, it’s our chance. It may not be out last chance, but it certainly isn’t going to get any easier.

>I decided that next cycle, I am using opk’s. I sold my fertility monitor, but since I’m home all day, I don’t think using opk’s will be too much of a hassle. I want to try them for the obvious reason (timing), but I also need some confirmation of when I’m ovulating. My temps are a little erratic, and when you combine that with some missed temperatures, illness, and the fact that I only took my bbt once between CD1 and CD14, my O date is a little mysterious. Fertility friend keeps moving it, and by my interpretation, it could have been CD14, CD17, CD19, or CD20. FF had my O day as CD20, until I had a ridiculously high temp this morning (I think I may have been awake for longer than I thought, and I was having a crazy intense dream), and now they have it as CD24. My guess is either CD 17, 19, or 20, but not 24. This is the chart, in case anyone is interested! http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/221a78

I think a + opk would help me pinpoint it, so at least I would know where I am in my cycle. Next cycle, I’ll be fully armed.

>Thanks to those of you who commented yesterday about my job prospects and the decision I had to make. I emailed the prospective new employer and asked to be removed from the search, so now I can put it behind me. When I was talking to M today, I realized that since I have known him, I have gone from one crazy job to another. I started three jobs in the last five years, and each one began in a state of chaos. My current job began the same way, but it’s not so bad now. Plus, working from home makes a lot of problems at work seem more distant. Anyway, we agreed that I really don’t need to be throwing myself into yet another situation filled with chaos, and we’re both comfortable with my decision. I think it’s the right one – and I think it’s always a good idea to follow your instincts.

In other news, my temperature was crazy high (for me) this morning! I feel like that’s a good thing, especially since the acupuncturist was concerned about my crazy and sometimes low post-O temperatures. I still had a pretty significant dip two mornings ago, but it makes me happy when I see them going in the right direction. I still feel like my chart is off overall, though, because I started temping so late in the cycle. We’ll see, I suppose.

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