You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

After my appointment-making debacle on Friday, I found myself a little frazzled. I felt like I was thinking in circles about infertility, ttc, acupuncture, doctors appointments, our future…and I realized that I really have no idea what we – or I, even – want to do to try to get pregnant. It’s hard to even put it into words.

I looked at doctors on Saturday morning again and realized that I don’t even know what I’m looking for in a doctor – do I want someone who will treat infertility, or do I want someone who will just give me an annual exam and make sure there isn’t anything weird going on with my ovaries (since I have had some intermittent pain)? When I first started acupuncture, I thought it would be worth a try, and so far, I don’t regret it. But it’s hard – it’s going down that path of really trying to get pregnant, when we had pretty much given up. My acupuncturist is so hopeful that this is going to work, and I know she probably thinks her attitude is helpful, but it’s not. I would love to think it could work, but it may not…and really, the chances are probably better that it won’t work than that it will. Sometimes I’m just tired of the whole thing – of thinking about it at all – and while acupuncture is relaxing, it’s sort of like a weekly reminder of the fact I’m infertile. On one hand, I feel like I need a break from going, but on the other, I know there’s a better chance of it working if I continue. I don’t want to think that the next cycle would have worked if I kept going, or maybe the cycle after that…but I also can’t do it forever.

Those what ifs start to carry over into other forms of treatment…what if the next medication would have worked? What if we tried IVF? Sometimes, I feel so confident in the decisions we’ve made, but then doubts creep in. I think sometimes that trying acupuncture – and letting in that little bit of hope – has a downside.

I have been thinking about my last post, and I realized that in order to put this behind me, I need to move forward and/or put it to rest. I think this looming need to make a doctor’s appointment is just adding to the weight of this whole situation, so I decided – it was time to just call the doctor.

I also took a break from work and was watching that show, the Doctors, and they were emphasizing how important it is for women to have an annual exam. I thought – I just need to do it and get it over with! On top of this whole infertility issue, I haven’t even had an annual exam in almost two years. So…I decided it was time to call.

And I did…but then…

I was on hold for 50 minutes!!! 50 minutes for an appointment?!? Now I have been warned that there is almost always at least a two hour wait to see this doctor, and that it takes a while to get in. That sort of bothered me, because a consistent two hour wait or more is just sort of…I don’t know…a bad sign. I understand that emergencies happen, but consistent lateness – and especially when it’s over 2 hours – makes me a little uncomfortable. But whatever – because of these glowing reports, I was going to give it a try…until I sat on hold for 50 minutes trying to make an appointment.

So now, I’ve decided that I am going to go elsewhere. It may be a mistake…but I know how I am, and this isn’t going to work for me. I’ve been mildly freaked out by seeing a male gynecologist, and then the warnings about wait time, and now being on hold to make an appointment – it’s just not a good match for my needs. I’m too easily discouraged in all this.

I found a few other practices that seem good, so I think I am going to make an appointment on Monday (since being on hold took almost an hour, it was 5 by the time I hung up!). Now I just need to decide if I want a smaller practice with two physicians (both women! yay for that!), a larger practice that’s closer that also has a RE on staff, or a medium-sized practice that’s also fairly close by.

It’s so discouraging, but I feel like I’m making some kind of progress.

I’m soo happy today is Friday. I had planned to make a dr’s appointment today, but I decided to put it off until next week. I know I need to – and I keep writing about it – but I just can’t quite bring myself to make the call. I don’t know why I’m so hesitant, really. 😦

My temps are up now, which makes me happy. I have such a love-hate relationship with the bbt chart! I love seeing what’s going on, but not when I think it doesn’t look right! 🙂

I’ve been getting tired of thinking about ttc and infertility lately. Maybe that’s where my hesitation to call the dr. comes from. I get tired from all the hoping, thinking, researching, staying positive…sometimes I just don’t want to think about it at all. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the mindset before we ever started to ttc – ignorance is bliss, really! It’s been a part of my life for so long (if you count both marriages), and sometimes it just feels like a weight that I’ve been carrying around for a long time. When we aren’t really trying, it’s like a light weight, but each thing we do to improve our chances makes the weight grow heavier. Getting acupuncture made it a little heavier, and adding herbs that I have to remember to take twice a day did, too. The addition of the opk’s made the weight grow, and using progesterone cream each night after ovulating is another reminder – adding to the weight. Going to a new dr. will make it undeniably heavy – and I won’t be able to ignore it.

I know a lot of people do SO much more than we do, but sometimes I’m just ready to put it all behind me.

My bbt is so low this cycle…it’s really strange! I had one high post-O temp, but I was up until 3:30 am the night before! That’s so beyond unusual for me, so I’m thinking that going to bed so late disrupted my sleep and caused a crazy high temp in the a.m. Aside from that one, my temps are barely higher than they were before ovulating…doesn’t seem good. They aren’t erratic like they were last cycle, but my December temps are the best looking yet, and that’s when I had only gone to acupuncture for a few weeks. It’s frustrating. 😦 I’m hoping things shift a little over the next few days, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I have another long lp so I at least know I’m making some kind of progress.

(I also screwed up my temp yesterday, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be 97.9 or 97.7. I just don’t remember what the thermometer said! 7 and 9 look kind of familiar, so I’m just not sure. I had it at 97.9 yesterday, but when I saw how low my temp was this morning, I switched it to 97.7. Grrr…)

I’m realizing with each passing day/week/month that I really should see a doctor. I almost made an appointment yesterday, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m going to force myself to call by Friday, though, so I can get this looming, nagging thing out of the way. I keep wishing I would just get pregnant already so I wouldn’t have to make the appointment! I’d so much rather be making an appointment because I’m pregnant than because I’m infertile!

Sarah from Call Me Mama tagged me – thanks, Sarah! 🙂

Rule #1: the tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: tag 4 people to do this quiz; they cannot refuse. The tag-ee must state who tagged them.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?

Definitely! I have a mini dachshund who is definitely part of our family.

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?

To have a happy and fulfilling life, which I would hope includes having a child. Winning the lottery would be an added bonus – as would having a house on the beach (which is unlikely, but I can dream!).

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Buy a house on the beach! 🙂 I might think about getting another degree, and I would help M (husband) start his own business, donate money to charities, create a scholarship, and buy a house. I might buy a private plane, too, so that I could travel to see family whenever I want to. I’d probably like a boat, too.

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

My dog, laughing with my husband, and focusing on the positive.

5. What is your bedtime routine, with your kids?

If I had kids, I would probably have bath time, read a story, and tuck them in. I like to think I would do something nice like have them think of one thing they were thankful for each day, or tell me about the best part of their day – just to end the day on a positive note.

6. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your significant other?

We met years ago and were friends. He actually worked with my (then) husband, and years later, after I had moved out of the area, we were both divorced and talking via email. We dated long distance for five months before moving in together, and a year after that, we got married!

7. What kind of books do you read?

Mostly fiction, although I love a good autobiography or historical fiction. A lot of the books I read fall into that Oprah’s Book Club category.

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still married and hopefully in a nice house and still living in the same area we are now. I hope we either have a child/children or are content with a childfree life.

9. What’s your fear?

Having regrets about not being more aggressive in pursing fertility treatments.

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?

No. I think outer space would freak me out, and while I don’t eat much junk food, I want to have the option to eat it.

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Take my temperature, say good morning to my husband, take the dog out or thank my husband for doing it, check email

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?

I wish he had a better memory.

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

I actually really like my name, and it isn’t very common. I do like the name Claire, though.

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?

Definitely sun!

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?

That’s so difficult! I guess french fries…or maybe a baked potato with sour cream and chives.

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?

I think it helps me process things, and not bottle up my emotions. It’s nice to get feedback from other people in the same position, too!

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?

Salty

18. What items are in your purse right now?

Wallet, pens, eyeliner, 2 kinds of lip gloss, lip balm (burt’s bees!), herbal hand sanitizer, receipts, a small notebook, bbt charts, eyeglasses, sunglasses, and a reusable shopping bag.

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go?

Beach! Mountains are nice, but I love the beach.

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn’t?

Days of Our Lives…I record it.

I have to run, but I’m going to try to come back and tag four people later. I think most people I would tag have already done this, though!

We ran some errands over the weekend, and one of our stops included Target. It was sort of crowded, and I wouldn’t help but notice there were people with babies EVERYWHERE. It’s like they were giving things away for people who brought their babies into the store…crazy! I can handle one or two babies, but it was so many that I couldn’t help but feel like I was the only person in the store who couldn’t have a child.

I’m not all that happy with my bbt chart at the moment. I had a really high temp. on Saturday, but we stayed up super late on Friday night, and I’m sure that affected it. It was lower on Sunday, and so low today. I know my acupuncturist is going to think I’m having an implantation dip, but seriously…I find it hard to believe it’s happening EVERY month. I think it’s just what my body does, but really, I wish it wouldn’t. It makes my chart look so erratic, and then I start wondering if anything I’m doing is working.

I know I said I was going to make an appointment with that dr. this week, but I’m back to feeling unsure. I want to know what’s preventing me from getting pregnant, but I just don’t feel optimistic that he’ll really find anything. Or, that he’ll find something, and we’ll all assume that was the problem, but nothing will change. I was really hopeful when I started acupuncture, and I still am (sort of), but it’s hard. My birthday is three months from now, and I’ll be 37. I just don’t know how much longer I can keep this up.

Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

My first post on my new wordpress blog! How exciting!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mel/Stirrup Queen’s post about infertility, and about the comments, too. I’m not horribly open about being infertile. It’s not a secret, but I don’t like to spend much time talking about it, especially with people I don’t know well. Even if I am talking to someone I’m close with, I still don’t really like talking about it, because the reaction is never appropriate or what I want it to be. On top of that, though, there’s nothing anyone can say that will make me feel differently about it. Most of my friends either had children easily or don’t want them, and I don’t think that hearing about my difficulties will change a thing. I don’t think I’m pessimistic – but I think it’s hard to be truly empathetic when you’re lacking a personal experience to compare it to.

I’m not ashamed of being infertile – at all. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, either,  and a lot of times I wonder if I would be any different if I did have a serious illness that required intensive treatment, like cancer. Even if the reaction I got from other people was appropriate, I think I would still avoid it. I don’t really know why.

I found out today that an old of friend of mine that I haven’t seen for years and years has a brain tumor. I’m stunned, and I don’t know what to say. She hasn’t told her friends…her husband sent an email to let everyone know (which is sort of weird – or nice – kind of hard to say), and I’ve been thinking about it all day. I was also already thinking about that post, and how much we share with other people. I have no idea what it would be like to be in her shoes – headed in for surgery next week – but I’m hopeful that she’ll be ok.

And I feel lucky, really. Infertility sucks, but I am lucky to be healthy, and I don’t even want to take all the good things in my life for granted.

>I have a ton of work to finish today, so this will be brief-

– I realized I was using my opk's incorrectly (I know…how is that possible???), hence the inconclusive readings. Luckily, I figured it out (or read the directions), in time to get a positive, so yay for that. Maybe I would have gotten a + before that if I was doing it correctly – who knows.
– If you are having problems with a pack of opks you bought, take my advice and DO NOT go online and read reviews of the product. Nothing will make you feel more infertile. 
– I think my temps look really good so far this cycle. The pre-O temps are low and fairly stable, so it will be interesting to see how the second half of the cycle goes. 
– I watched the episode of Giuliana and Bill where they find out they're not pregnant after their second IVF. It was so sad…especially seeing how horrible Bill looked. I know that not everyone is a fan of theirs and that they aren't always providing the best information (they aren't experts – just people), but I do think they're doing a good thing by letting so many people into their lives and see what it's like to go through infertility treatment…and letting people see that it doesn't always work, and that even if you're rich and famous, it isn't easy. I'm sure when they started the show they weren't planning on making it all about infertility, and I am sort of amazed that they're been so public about it. It's sad, though, just like it is for anyone dealing with infertility. 
– I am going to make the doctor's appointment. Not today, though. 
– I'm also moving my blog to wordpress. It's going to have a new name, too (with no typo!). I'll post the URL when it's ready. 

>I had my weekly acupuncture appointment yesterday, and it went pretty well. My pre-O temps are looking good…more consistent than previous cycles, and a little lower, on average, than they were in the past. I did have one ridiculously high temp over the weekend that I deleted – it was 98.2 degrees! My average pre-O temp has been around 97.5, so I think it was a fluke thing. I had a few glasses of wine the night before, which generally doesn't affect my temps too much, but I must not have slept well. They've been back in the 97.5 range ever since, so I think deleting it was the right thing to do. I'm on CD 12, so hopefully I'll ovulate in the next few days. 

My acupuncturist was pretty chatty yesterday, and while I like talking to her, my appt. wasn't as relaxing as it should have been. At one point, while we were talking, I started to feel really dizzy and ill. I had to close my eyes for a minute in the middle of a sentence! She left after that to let me rest, and while she was gone I felt soooo heavy. I wish I could have laid there longer! It seemed like she felt sort of bad about all the talking at the end of my appointment, and I don't want her to feel bad, but I also feel like I do need a little quiet time to let the needles do their thing. 
I have been really having issues with the opk's I bought. I really hate those things, but I feel like I sort of need them to make sure we get the timing right. I got these new ones from the Clearblue people that are supposed to be digital. I like them because they work sort of like the clearblue fertility monitor – you pop the test stick in to this digital reader, and it shows the results – either a blank circle (negative) or a smiley face (positive). I like not having to look at the lines and figure out which is darker, but it's been giving me a lot of errors. It says it's ok to test in the morning, which is good for me because I drink a ton of water and have a hard time holding it for long enough to test in the afternoon. I don't know if the problem is the test, the fact that I'm trying to use fmu, or if I am just screwing it up, but I got errors this morning and on Sunday. If I retest in the afternoon it seems to work, but I hate to waste the tests, and it's hard for me to hold it for four hours! I really liked these tests initially, but I am starting to think they are more trouble than they're worth. 
I got my new insurance card yesterday in the mail, so now I'm free to make a doctor's appointment and get a second opinion. I realized – pretty much upon receiving the mail – that my insurance issues have been an easy excuse to avoid going to the doctor, and to even avoid thinking about it at all! I know a lot of people would jump at the chance to see a doctor who has a great reputation for having a good bedside manner AND being able to diagnose people who have been dealing with infertility, but I'm just not looking forward to it. I know I need to, and I would be stupid not to, but it's just a hard step for me to take. I have some ideas of why this is such an issue for me, but I'm not sure which one is primary. First, he's a man, and I've never been to a male ob/gyn in my life. I actually almost never see male doctors at all, so seeing a male ob/gyn is strange and not very comfortable for me. I think there's more to it than that, though. It feels a little like opening up a can of worms…testing, thinking about treatment options, making decisions…I know it's necessary, but I just dread it. I dread talking about it – giving my infertility history through several years and two marriages, and figuring out how to explain that I really want a baby and want to know what's preventing it from happening but don't really want to take medication. I know my last doctor should have repeated the tests I had done when I was married to my ex (hsg, sono, ultrasounds), but it certainly made it easy that she didn't (although she did do extensive bloodwork). So now, I feel like on one hand, what if this dr. feels the same way…what if, despite his reputation, he just wants to take some blood and throw clomid at me? On one hand, it would be easy (yay for no tests!), but on the other, it would be disappointing. And speaking of disappointment…what if I do have to go through a bunch of tests and he still has no answers? 
Thinking about it just drains me, but I know I need to do it. I'll be 37 in three months, so I know I shouldn't delay things. I have pretty good insurance coverage, which should cover infertility testing, and my schedule for the next few months is flexible enough that I could make it to whatever appointments I might need. So why is it so difficult to just pick up the phone and make an appointment? 

>I haven’t been posting much because I really don’t have much to say. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I’m trying to be positive and assume it’s good.

Things have been moving along here…continuing with acupuncture, bbt’s, herbs. I’m trying to be more conscious of what I eat, and that’s had some interesting results. My acupuncturist (who has wondered if I have some kind of a cyst) suggested at one point that I cut back on gluten. In her words, I don’t need to “go crazy,” but might try just avoiding gluten when I can…cutting back on breads and pastas and focusing on lean meats and veggies. Her theory is that some people have gluten sensitivities and that avoiding gluten can help, particularly if I do have some kind of a cyst.

I was a little hesitant, only because there are people who really cannot have gluten and can become quite ill from it…and I don’t think I’m one of those people. But, I figured that breads and pastas probably aren’t doing me a whole lot of good, anyway, so I have been avoiding them and have been instead eating fruits, veggies, meats, etc. I had always been a low fat/high fiber kind of girl – eating lots of pasta salads with beans and veggies, whole grain cereals and breads, etc, but I eliminated those, too. After doing this for about a month, the little tummy I was developing is going away! It’s actually noticeable. I’m no longer bloated, and I wasn’t even right before I got my period. I don’t know if it’s really because of the gluten, or if it’s just an issue of removing unnecessary carbs (although because I run, I have been eating the occasional baked potato), or something else entirely, but I am going to keep it up for a while. I definitely didn’t expect to lose weight (or fat, or bloat, or whatever it is) through all this, but it’s a pleasant side effect.

I debated this cycle about how much longer I want to continue with acupuncture. I really enjoy it – but the cost gets to me at times. I think of what else I could be doing with the money, and I question if I’m just throwing money away. We want to buy a house, and I could put that money in savings! But, I remind myself that for one thing, it’s money toward my health – while the goal is to have a baby, I do think I’m more relaxed and healthier overall. Plus, I do believe it’s working. Whether or not I’ll get pregnant is questionable (I certainly hope so, but I know it’s far from guaranteed), but things are changing for the better. I was stunned to see my LP lengthen after just a month of acupuncture treatments, and my acupuncturist was, too. She said it usually takes a lot longer to see results or any changes, which is encouraging. Plus, this is probably my last real attempt at getting pregnant. I’ll see the dr. my acupuncturist recommended when my insurance is all straightened out, but aside from some tests and getting a second opinion, I don’t think we’re going to pursue any additional fertility treatments. So, this is pretty much it. She said that it takes 3-6 months to treat infertility through acupuncture, and I had mentally committed to going for three months. I’m only halfway to three months now. Another three could be tough to face (financially), but I sort of hope I can see it through.

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