Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thus begins the two week wait

The IUI was done yesterday.

I wish I could say it went well.
It didn't.

The worst of it was that his count was horrible. Post-wash was 3-4 million. The minimum they will usually even do an IUI with is 5 million. 20 million is ideal.
The last IUI he had 28 million. The one that got us pregnant.

It's not impossible. And my doctor (who I liked, btw) did offer me a story about feeling guilty about an IUI she performed with only 1 million. "She has a 9 month old baby and is pregnant again on her own." But we all know that's way against the odds.

The other thing was that it hurt really, really badly. REALLY BADLY. Way more than the first time.

When she put the catheter in- WHAM! PAIN! Then the sperm. WHAM! MORE PAIN!
Then she pulled everything out and WHAM! MORE PAIN!
She then put a cap on my cervix (that was new) which wasn't so grand either. Basically something hard and scratchy in my vagina. Yeah. Fun stuff.

Then as I am getting up from the table and double over in pain and I say to David "It really hurts." he says "but it's all worth it if we make a baby."

I snapped back, "Easy for you to say, you got to have an orgasm. I'm the one in pain."

I hurt his feelings. I apologized after we got home and his response was "We'll talk about it later." Which hurt my feelings.

I went to dinner with a friend who also had an IUI yesterday. Hers actually went worse than mine. Their sperm count was good, but they actually bent the catheter in her cervix. Poor thing.

When I got home, we talked. He told me he owed me. I asked what I was owed for. He said it was because he got to have an orgasm and I had to be in pain. Then I felt worse. But I'll still take a massage. ;)

Now we're praying.

I was pretty emotional yesterday. Between a couple of days of pretty severe insomnia (coupled with horrid night sweats) and a really trying day, I was crying about twice an hour.

Today I feel a little better. I'm still cramping every now and then and if anything jiggles my girlie parts, it doesn't feel so great, but physically I'm pretty good. Emotionally I'm mostly okay with bouts of sadness. I'm really scared it didn't work, but I'm also okay. I dread having to do this again but I'm prepared to deal with what we're handed.

I've prayed about it. And when I start to feel anxiety, I pray some more. If anyone out there feels like praying with me, I'd love some company.

-- Trish

Monday, March 26, 2007

Here we go..

Tomorrow is my first IUI after my miscarriage.
For anyone who doesn't know about IUI, here's the short version.

Hubby does his business in a cup, we rush it to the doctor. Doctor "washes" it, stripping it of all semen, leaving only the swimmers. They then go through a centrifuge and get all riled up and then sucked up into a long tube structure which is then threaded up through my cervix and the swimmers are deposited into my uterus.

The idea being that in the normal conception process, a great % of the swimmers are lost at each turn. Some fall out immediately following the deed... some die in the vagina.. more don't make it up through the cervix etc etc. So when you don't have many to start with, by the time the herd makes it to an egg there aren't enough to penetrate an egg. (Contrary to the ever-popular expression "it only takes one strong swimmer," it actually takes quite a few more.) In an IUI, all the strongest swimmers are deposited closer to the goal line.

This is how we got pregnant on Thanksgiving day. On our first IUI. I was nervous then. I had never been through it. I had no idea what to expect. If it would hurt or what.

You'd think I would be less nervous this time, but I think I might be more. Since we got pregnant on our first IUI I feel this extra pressure. Plus I'm at a new office so even though I know what to expect pain wise, that's really about it. I've never even met the GYN that will be doing the procedure tomorrow. All I've seen is the nurse practitioner in the office.

So, anyone out there who is in a praying mood tomorrow, think of us tomorrow around 3:30 CST.

-- Trish

Friday, March 23, 2007

Swollen ovaries and pee sticks

Infertility is funny. Odd funny and sometimes ha-ha funny. But today, it's odd funny.

I really enjoy peeing on sticks these days.

It's funny in the same way that it's funny praying for two lines instead of one is.

The greatest irony of infertility is the realization that you wasted so much money & time on birth control & pregnancy tests for so many years.

I look back and remember all the times just holding my breath, waiting for the 2 minutes to be up and hoping there would only be 1 line. There always was. I breathed a sigh of relief & called myself lucky.


Here I am years later- instead of birth control pills, I take folic acid & fertility meds. I take Clomid. It's the beginner fertility drug. It's worked very well for me. Before Clomid my progesterone after ovulation hovered around 6. (should have been more than 10.) After Clomid, it hovers around 30. It's a great drug. Works for lots of people and is pretty cheap. The incidence of multiple pregnancy is low (less than 10% and then only twins - no risk of having a litter.) and the side effects are pretty minimal.

The main side effect I get is swollen ovaries. it's not so bad, really. Just a weird pressure on the outer edges of my pelvis. But let me hit a bump or twist the wrong way- Oh my. It definitely crosses the line into pain. My old RE told me "if your ovaries are talking, you should listen" implying I should take it easy. So I do. It's not so bad.

I find the pain sort of reassuring. In past months after about the 3rd pill, the pain started. This time it didn't set in until after I'd finished all 5. I was actually worried that I DIDN'T hurt.. maybe it wasn't working.

But today it set in. So I'm comforted.

I also peed on a few sticks today. I started with a Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM) stick. The CBEFM has let me down on a few occasions, so I followed it up with an Answer brand OPK.

CBEFM says "high", and the OPK was pretty dark, but not quite positive.

The OPK is interesting because it really looks like a pregnancy test. So I had a little daydream that it was a pregnancy test and it was positive. It was a pretty happy 2 minutes. I'm definitely ready to be pregnant again.

Now I just wait for the CBEFM to say "peak" or my OPK to be positive. Then I call my GYN and and the next morning, we do another IUI.

I'm guess it's going to be Tuesday.
If anyone out there is the praying sort, I'd appreciate any positive thoughts & prayers you'd be willing to part with come Tuesday.


In the beginning

I'm Trish. I'm 30. I'm infertile.

That's what I think to myself anytime says "So tell me a little about yourself."
In my mind, the room says "Hi Trish!" in unison.

Then I answer and leave off that last part.

The longer version:

I'm Trish. I'm 30. I'm married to David. He's 36. We've been married a year, though we dated nearly 4 years before we got married. I'm a fat girl. (No, not pudgy - fat. It's okay. I've been fat most of the life. If I could snap my fingers and change it, I would.. but overall, I'm pretty okay with myself.) I love animals. I have 3 cats and a dog and would happily have another dog except I really don't want my husband to divorce me. (It would hamper the baby-making.)

I work for a local utility doing something that I would explain but it would put you to sleep. David works for the government most of the time.

I'm also an insomniac. I mention that because it's part of the reason for the blog. The other is that I think too much. I get too many words rattling around in my head and it just further complicates the insomnia.

This blog will mostly be about our path which will hopefully eventually lead to motherhood.
I'm sure I'll wander off topic occasionally, because that's what I do.

So.. here's the background. (I promise every post won't be this long. But this is as brief as I can make that past year and a half.)

We got married in March of '06. We discussed children before we married. We agreed we wanted some - probably 2. We wanted to wait a year after marriage to start trying. Then as the wedding approached we decided we'd "re-evaluate our options" on my 30th b-day. Which was in October.

We knew we weren't getting any younger, but we also wanted to enjoy being married a bit first. Plus it gaves us a nice answer for our parents. ("We'll probably wait a year..") His mom seemed to accept that okay. My dad mostly just frowned. I'm never sure what he's really thinking, but he had informed me about 4 months before we got engaged that I should have a baby. When I started to protest he said "you don't have to get married.... just have a baby." That's my dad. Always the traditionalist.

In May before we got married I switch birth control from the Depo-Provera shot to the pill. My cycles returned in September. In October, my boobs started to hurt so badly I couldn't even stand with my arms at my sides because it hurt. And I missed a period. I peed on 5 pregnancy tests (all negative) and took my butt to the doctor. I was fairly certain I wasn't pregnant but someone HAD to do SOMETHING about my boobs.

She confirmed I was not pregnant and told me to stop drinking caffeine & take some vitamin E. She also informed me that between my age & my weight, it was entirely possible that my fertility (and period) wouldn't really be straight for up to 18 months from my last depo shot.

Well, that scared me. We had no plans to try to conceive (TTC) right away, but I'm a girl who likes options.

So home I went and informed my fiance that I wanted to stop birth control. To my surprise- he was totally fine with it. We decided that if I did get pregnant before we married, we'd deal. We knew it was very unlikely to happen.

I didn't have another period until our honeymoon in March. (Of COURSE on the honeymoon.) I decided I'd start charting and we'd just use the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to avoid conceiving until we were ready. So, I began taking my temperature every morning.

One day early in April, I started to say something like "I want to have a baby someday so that I can.." but only got as far as "I want to have a baby..." before David said very quickly, "Me, too!"

I paused a moment in shock. While we had discussed it, it was always in that future tense. I said "You do?" and he said "yes."
And so it began.

Now.. something you should know. I am a control freak. I really am. Call it anal retentive, call it OCD, call it controlling. I won't deny it. It's who I am. The more important and the scarier something is, the more I need to control it.

So I temped for one month, and sexed up the husband. And my period started. I was sad, but okay.
The next month I started using OPKs. They're ovulation predictor kits. Basically they're a pregnancy test only they're looking for a hormone in your urine that surges right before you ovulate.
I never got a positive.
That went on a few months..
My temperature charts were odd. I stared & counted and never could figure out if I was ovulating or not.

So when my well woman exam was due at the beginning of September, I made the husband trek along with me. I explained my confusion to my new OB/GYN (my old one abandoned me by moving to California.) She tried to tell me I was fine. I was having regular periods, I was young, I was fine.
I wasn't convinced. I was pushy. I do it well.

She finally agreed to do a couple of tests just to make sure I was ovulating. And she recommended my husband have his primary care doctor do a semen analysis just to make sure everything was okay.

Well... It's a good thing I'm pushy because neither of us were okay.
I'll spare you the details, but the short version is that I ovulate, but poorly. And my husband has too few boys and the boys he has don't swim well.

We were immediately referred to a fertility specialist. A reproductive endocrinologist (RE.)

Dr. Keller became my new BFF. I talked to her at least weekly.

She started us on the beginner fertility drug Clomid & recommended IUI. (Inter-uterine insemination. Think "turkey baster up the hoo-ha."_

I moved on to fancier machines to detect my ovulation. The first month, they failed.
The 2nd month, I ovulated on Thanksgiving day.

IUI is interesting. Poor David has to do his business in a cup & then I tuck it into my boobs to keep it warm and race across town. The doctors do some fancy stuff to strip everything away except that sperm & then send the boys through a spin to get them all revved up. Then they shove it up through my cervix.

So.. there I was on Thanksgiving day, basting my turkey.
2 weeks later, the test said "Pregnant."

I was stunned. The chances were slim, but there it was. I was elated.

And then we had our first ultrasound. I was 6w pregnant. There should have been a heartbeat. There was nothing.

I was devastated.

Dr. Keller told me there was hope, but then told me what to expect when the miscarriage happened.

A week later, we saw our baby's heartbeat on the screen. I cried out and began to sob. David cried. We were elated.

2 weeks later, it was over. The heartbeat was gone.
4 days later I had a D&C.

That was 2 1/2 months ago. The past few months have taught me a lot.

I've learned to let go. I've learned that I can't control everything. Not that I don't protest a bit, but protesting makes it no less real.

In the meantime, my insurance changed and with it.. my doctors. the new GYN wanted me to wait 2 months to try again. So here we are. Back on the Clomid, waiting for an ovulation.

Me with racing thoughts, David with hope.

So I start this blog as a place to try to make sense of it all.

I hope it can serve as some hope or help to someone else out there.