Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another 2ww

What a day we had yesterday.
The IUI went about as well as I could hope for.

We got to the doctor's office just a minute or two early and no one was there. Which is a lovely feeling when I have a cup of jizz in my bra.
I was actually amazingly calm. Far calmer than I've been for past IUIs. I didn't have that feeling of wanting to scream "THE BOYS ARE DYING!" which was a nice change of pace.

Anyway, so we get there and wait. About 5 after 11 I start to feel a little stressed. What if she forgot us? So I paged her. She called back a minute or two later and told us she was 2 minutes away. And shortly thereafter she pulled in.

She took the sample and told us to have a seat. A few minutes later she came out and said "Some people think it's weird, but I like to ask - would you like to see the pre-washed sperm under the microscope?"

"Hell yeah, I would!" I said. I hopped up and looked back and David and asked if he didn't want to see. Nope. He just pulled his ball cap down over his eyes and mumbled "Umm, no, that's okay."

Silly boys.
So I ran off to see our future children in the microscope. I was honestly afraid I wouldn't be able to. I haven't looked in a microscope since college and science was NOT my best subject.

But sure enough, there they were. I saw some swim across the "screen" and even more just laying there, tails flipping lifelessly. Lazy fuckers.

I walked back to the waiting room and said "I saw your swimmer, baby!" and I heard Dr. Midkiff start laughing. She said that the guys are always shy about it. Yep. He was embarrassed. Silly boy. I'm there to get my hoo-ha probed and he doesn't want to look at some sperm. Hmmph.

Anyway, she sent them through the centrifuge and we waited.

Then we went to the room to get nekkid. No paper blanket for me. I go to a fancy place now. It's fabric. Stylishly blue.

In came Dr. Midkiff and I said "So how's the count?" Then I held my breath.
She said it was fair.

"Define fair."

Pre-wash - 10 million
Post-wash - 20 million.

I was ecstatic. 20 million! Right on! The month we got pregnant we had 28 million. I was praying for 20. Thanks God!

The cramping wasn't nearly so bad this time. When she threaded the catheter through my cervix, I got the usual craaaaaaaaaaaaamp. But I didn't get the 2nd cramp that I got last month when she shot the swimmers in there. (I had no small amount of amusement when the doctor actually used the term "swimmers" ie "I'm inserting the swimmers now.")

She put a cap over my cervix to keep the swimmers in. Dr. Midkiff had told me last month that I should lave the cap in for at least 4 hours and to call her if I had any trouble removing it. She said in 10 years she'd had 2 women break the string on the thing and have to come back in. This month she asked if I'd had any problems last month and I said no. No biggie.
We discussed a few details (referrals to the RE, my suspicious of a cyst etc) and we were on our way. The cramps had eased by the time we got home.

I spent the rest of the day in bed anyway. All the bloating that I had felt the day before had finally eased, but I still felt a little "off." It was a good enough excuse to lay in bed and watch TV for me.

We ended up going out for a nice dinner and then came home and really did a lot of nothing.
About 9:30 I had to pee and thought that I really needed to take that cap out.

So I pulled.

And pulled.

And pulled.

By now, the string from the thing was about to cut my finger. This thing was NOT budging. The more I pulled, the string would just slide around my finger.
So I got a comb and wrapped the string around the handle thinking that if I could just keep it from sliding, I'd be good.

Yeah. Not so much. The string broke. "UH OH."

I came out of the bathroom and paged the doctor. Then I went running for David. "Honey, I have a problem." He looked amused. I was trying to decide how freaked out I was.

So I waited for the phone to ring. I made another attempt to reach the thing. I could touch it, but couldn't get a grip on it.

The phone wasn't ringing. David came back to the bedroom to check on me and I asked if he thought he could try to get it. Being the good husband that he is, he rolled up his sleeves and washed his hands. He seemed far more amused than me.

So. Some lube, a flashlight and some time with my husband that I'll never forget later- it was out.

Thank God, because Dr. Midkiff never called back. And I REALLY didn't want to go to the ER and tell them I had a hunk of plastic stuck in my vagina.

It wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life but didn't really hurt. No worse than any pap smear I've ever hurt. My ego, however, didn't fair as well.

Thankfully my husband was nonplussed. Afterward I said "Bet you've never gotten such a good look at a cooch." His response? "Yeah! I've never gone fishin' in one before."

Oh boy.

True love, for sure.

Anyway, now we pray. Pray for conception. Pray for stickyness. And pray that the suction of that damned cervical cap didn't pull anything outta there.

You may commence laughing at me now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Here we go again.

CD15. Finally surging. I know many of you are probably thinking "CD15 is FINALLY?" PSHAW." but for me, that's late.
My body is playing games with me, I think. My guts hurt so bad I don't know what to think. And I had all but given up on actually surging. As my track record with OPKs isn't exactly stellar, I just never know.

But this morning my CBEFM gave me an egg. So I used an Answer brand OPK in the same cup of pee. I wouldn't have called it positive. The very tip-top was dark, but it faded as it went down. Seriously, the place that was dark was more like a dot. If my camera wasn't being PMSy I'd have taken a picture and posted it.

The trouble with this is that sometimes I think that the CBEFM gets my surge too late. Since theoretically we should surge in the afternoon, the CBEFM probably doesn't get it til the next morning. And since we ovulate 12-36 hours after the surge, maybe IUIing the next day is too late.

I mean- who really knows? I don't know if I'm Oing today or will tomorrow. We did have sex last night, so there's still a chance either way. But wow.. stressful.

I swear the most stressful part of the whole thing is trying to get the O timing right.
That's why when I finally go back to the RE (who called today to push my appointment back by 9 days.. which puts me 5 days into the next cycle, most likely.) I want her to do some monitoring and a trigger shot. I hate this guesswork stuff.

So. Anyway. I IUI tomorrow morning at 11am. Pray for lots of sperm. And an egg that is still around.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CD12 & counting

It's been an emotional week.
My friend does have MS. That's probably the biggest lingering bummer of the week. I wish I could be with her.

Two more friends are pregnant. One of them is a girl in my office that I actually went to high school with. She's 3 months. I saw it coming.

She actually had a miscarriage a few years ago and has a son who is almost 4, I think. Right after I miscarried she informed me that they were trying for #2. She didn't know I had been pregnant or anything. She asked the inevitable "So when are you guys going to have one?!" and it all came spilling out.
She came the first month and said "Well, it didn't work the first try." and I hadn't heard anything since. So I figured she was pregnant and just waiting a while to tell people.
I was right.

I wish I could say I was super excited for her. I'm happy for her, but honestly, my first reaction was "It figures."

I almost feel like the universe is just toying with me. "Look at all the people who can get pregnant before you!"

The saddest news of the week is that another friend miscarried. I have to say, when I heard the news, I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I got that bolt-of-lightning thing where my hands and feet tingled for a while afterward. Then I got angry. Really angry. WHY?
That's all I could think. WHY?

I had to remind myself that it isn't mine to know, but God's. But sometimes.. I just can't help but want to scream and kick things.

I'm still waiting to ovulate. I'm really thinking Thursday is going to be the day. Which is going to be a pain in the ass because David has baseball tickets on Thursday and we're going to have to pray to get in early to the doctor. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

In other news, (some good news for once) I found out that Dr. Keller (my old R.E. who I adore) is changing offices and is coming back to the office where I have had to move because of my insurance.

A friend of mine who sees her where she is now told me yesterday. I was very excited to hear the news. She won't be switching back until July 1st and I hope to be long pregnant by then, but if I'm not, I'm very relieved to have my favorite doctor back.

Just after the miscarriage when I was between doctors and trying to get the insurance straightened out, Dr. Keller called to let me know what she was doing with some paperwork. I told her that I was officially done at her office and I actually started to cry. She made me promise to let her know how things go and told me that she knows I'll have a baby soon. (Shoot.. I'm tearing up just typing about it.) I told her I'd send baby pictures. She's really a great doctor with an incredible bedside manner. I can't say enough good things about her.

Anyway, that's about it for me. Just checking in.

CD12 & counting.

-- Trish

Sunday, April 22, 2007


It's Saturday night. CD9, if you're keeping track. Not much to report.
My left ovary hurts a good deal. If I feel a sneeze coming on I cringe because I know it's not going to feel good. But at least it's a sign that something is happening, so it's okay. Funny how pain is somehow comforting, huh?

Since my last post was mostly a bunch of bitching about people, I thought I'd balance it out a bit.

I'll speak more about the people who have supported me more later. But I wanted to share some of the amazing gifts I have received. Not just the gift of friendship, I mean ACTUAL gifts. I'm blessed to have talented and giving friends.

I wanted to share some pictures of the amazing (and crazy) things I have received.

All of these come from friends I have met on the web. To anyone who doubts that real friendships and relationships are formed without meeting someone face to face, I offer you the following:

Jodi, from Maine, cross stitches. She was lucky enough to conceive on their first month trying and has been offering me some working sperm ever since.
A few weeks ago I came home and found this card in my mail box. She stitched the cover herself:

Just a few days ago, a friend name Michelle who makes jewelry, sent me this fertility necklace. It's beautiful. The picture truly doesn't do it justice. The charm is so gorgeous that I started to weep as soon as I saw it.

And last, but certainly not least, is by far the funniest gift I've ever received. This is from my friend Alyse. We met online when we were both planning our weddings and have remained friends since.
Alyse has no desire for children at all. And frequently offers to send me her uterus as she has no need for it.
She recently learned to knit.
One day I got a package in the mail from her. It was sort of soft and I thought "oh.. perhaps she made me a scarf!"
Then I opened it. I laughed so hard I cried. I also got pregnant the next month. I think I'll take it with me to my next IUI and see what my doctor says.
Yes, everyone. It IS a knitted uterus. Complete with ovaries and fallopian tubes.

I have also received numerous cards and even a small cow trinket (inside joke) after my miscarriage, but I'm devoting this space to handmade gifts. Thanks, girls. Love you!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

God's plan and other lies

The topic on my mind tonight is platitudes. Not because I've heard all of this over the last year, though I have. But because a friend of mine is facing a very likely diagnosis of M.S.

She's scared and sad. I'm scared and sad for her. Apparently some people think this is part of God's plan.

Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. Perhaps God's plan was for her to be healthy and the devil is lurking about.

I believe in God. I think we've established that. I even believe God has a plan.

What I don't believe is that I know what it is.

Sometimes I think I might get a glimpse at it. I heard a story about one of the victims of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. He had survived the Holocaust and died while helping some students escape. The story made me sad and for a moment, I questioned, "Why?" I'm not sure if I was asking myself, my friends, the stars or God, but it seemed so unfair. And then I thought that perhaps he had also questioned Why. Maybe all these years he wondered why he survived the Holocaust when so many others perished. And I wondered, if in that moment, as he watched the students escape out a window to freedom, he knew the answer. He survived to save them.
The thought was still sad, but somehow comforting. Perhaps it's just my way of making lemonade from a bushel of lemons, but I can hope.

But it some people seem to think they've got some inside knowledge. And it troubles me.

For myself, when someone tells me that it's God's plan, I can't help but feel insulted. Particularly when that person already has children. Apparently God's plan meant children for them, but none for me. Does God think I'd be a bad mother?
What about babies born to crack addicts? Was that God's plan?

My favorite was a woman on a message board who was fairly public about being "extremely fertile" but not liking children. She'd had more than 1 abortion, a miscarriage that she openly admitted was a relief and a son she often complained about not wanting. She told me that perhaps it was God's plan that I shouldn't have children.

I didn't bother to reply, though some people I feel forever indebted to suggested that if that were the case, it was clearly God's plan that she have multiple children and should get busy.

I sometimes feel bad when I tell people what NOT to say. I know they mean well. And being ignored or avoided is far worse than hearing the wrong thing. (Well, other than telling me God doesn't want me to have kids. If that's all you can come up with to say, feel free to shut the fuck up.) And often the reply I hear is "I don't know what to say." It's often accompanied by a sheepish look as they realize they've said the things I've just condemned.

For those, I offer this list:

I'm sorry.

I'm pray for you.

I will think good thoughts for you.

Can I do anything for you?

Would you like some company?

Would you like some time alone?

Want some ice cream?

How 'bout cookies?

I'm going to hug you now.

I love you.

Can I bring you anything?

I'll be right over.

I'm very sad for you.

Sometimes, all we want to hear is silence. Having you sit near us is great. I promise, we're not contagious. And if whatever we happen to be afflicted with IS contagious, you are excused from coming over. But try to call once in a while, okay?

I'll also include some of the highlights of what NOT to say. I don't think any blog about infertility is complete without one. Other than the above mentioned "reason" comment, here are a few common platitudes.

Everything happens for a reason.
Really? What reason is that?

It'll happen when the time is right.
Yep. Cause any time now would be the right time. I suppose this means nothing ever happens at the wrong time?

Just relax. (mix this with any suggestion of vacation or a trip, or a romantic dinner that all translate into "just relax.")
Probably the most hated phrase in all of infertility. Trust me, no matter HOW relaxed I am, my husband's sperm will not swim faster. As a matter of fact, there is some evidence that the boys respond to caffeine if consumed right before ejaculation. Relaxing will not make my eggs grow stronger, it will not increase my progesterone level. It won't regrow a missing ovary or fallopian tubes. And quite frankly- YOU relax! I'm pumped full of extra hormones and sitting in waiting rooms and being poked in my nether regions by doctors on a nearly weekly basis. You whine when you have to get a pap smear. Spare me.

Why don't you just adopt? / Have you thought about adoption?
This one is one of my favorites. I really like it. As much as it troubles me, I see it as in invitation to educate. That's when I roll out statistics like "for every white American baby up for adoption, there is an average of 40 couples vying for it." "Domestic adoption costs average about $25000 and can take years to bring a baby." "Foreign adoption costs even more and requires at least 1 and sometimes more lengthy stays in a foreign country. Nevermind the intrusion of home visits and interviews and paperwork."
Sometimes I think about saying "ADOPTION?! HOLY SHIT! WHY DIDN'T *I* THINK OF THAT? I'll stop trying to experience birthing a biological child and pregnancy right this instance. I'm a fool!"
OF COURSE, we've ALL thought about adoption. And I love the word "just." As though I can drive down to the local infant-mart and pre-order one. I'll take one with blonde hair and blue eyes. And I've always been fond of a dimple- yes- throw in a dimple. I'll be back to pick it up on Saturday. Thanks so much! Ta ta!
Yes, adoption might be in my future. Honestly, it might be in my future even if I am able to conceive and carry a biological child. I'm telling you that I'm trying to get pregnant. Did anyone try to talk you out of having a baby when you wanted one?

You can have mine!
Ahh, yes. I often say "okay." just as flatly and sincerely as possible. The mother usually looks confused as though I didn't get that they were joking. Then they get uncomfortable and explain "oh.. I'm just kidding. I wouldn't trade them for anything.. " to which I say "Yeah. If I could have one, I wouldn't either." I'm a bitch like that. When you say something assy, I like to make you feel like an ass. This goes along with "are you sure you really want one?" Huh. No. Now that you mention it, your kids really are some nasty brats. I better reconsider.

And last, but not least- Please.. for the love of all that is holy, do not try to tell me how to conceive.

I can't tell you how many times I, and other infertiles have heard some of the following:

"Are you guys having enough sex?"
"You know you should try the missionary position, it gets the sperm in there farther."
"Put your legs up after sex!"
"You know, Mary and Sue had been trying a while and they (insert sometimes not remotely related to fertility here) and boom, she was knocked up!"

Seriously, I'm telling you that I'm on fertility meds. I'm having a doctor inject my husband's sperm directly into my uterus. Do you SERIOUSLY believe that the missionary position is going to help? I've been at this a year. Do you think I've never tried putting my fucking legs up? And having enough sex? SERIOUSLY? ARE WE HAVING ENOUGH SEX? Jesus H Christ, WHY didn't I think of that? WE have to have SEX..... to get PREGNANT? Knock me over with a feather, we'll try that next month.
I realize you're just trying to be helpful, but please do not treat me like a moron. I'm literate. I had sex ed in school. I'm pretty sure I've got the basics.

I will never, for the life of me, understand why "I'm sorry" is so hard to say. We don't need you to fix it. You can't make it better. What you can do is be my friend. You can listen to me. You can try not to judge me. You can hug me when I cry. That's all I ask of you.

That's what I wish I could do for my friend facing M.S. She's several states away, but I'm sorry for her and wish I could take her some ice cream and hold her and cry.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Moving forward

I called my OB/GYN this morning for three reasons.

1) I needed my next round of Clomid called in.

2) I needed to let the insurance handler lady know to get my next IUI pre-approved.

3) I wanted to ask about a referral to a new R.E.

When my insurance changed in January, my old R.E. was no longer covered. The office that was now covered is actually familiar to me. The R.E. I had in '06 (Dr. Keller) actually used to work there. And a friend of mine was actually going there. My friend didn't have great things to say about the office or her doctor. I was less than thrilled. (She has sinced switched to Dr. Keller.)

When I let Dr. Keller know that I was going to have to change doctors, I told her about my concerns about her old office. She didn't say anything bad about the office but she hemmed and hawed enough to let me know that I wasn't wrong. She also recommended two of the doctors in the office. She specifically said that one of them would probably fit my personality better. (I should have asked what that meant. I think she's calling me high maintenance. Hahaha)

Now, the friend of mine that had gone to the new R.E.'s office had already told me it took her nearly 3 months to get a new patient appointment so that was another tick against them. I wanted to start IUIs as soon as my body healed from the miscarriage.

I was nervous as hell because I really didn't want to go. I also had to change GYNs because of my insurance change. That wasn't any great burden, really. My GYN had actually recently moved to California and I'd only seen the new one once. She was nice enough, but nothing to rave about.

I like my new GYN quite a bit and it turned out that she was able to do IUIs in her office. No referral to an R.E. required. Since we got pregnant on our first IUI last time, I was obviously overjoyed.

Clearly, we weren't quite as lucky this time.

So today I figured that I'd call the new R.E.'s office and make an appointment. I figured it would take 3 months to get an appointment, giving me time for at least 2 more IUIs through my GYNs office and not much lag in between.

Much to my surprise, the first open appointment for Dr. Moley - my new R.E.- was May 8th. Less than a month from now.

So, I picked up my Clomid, and in just under 2 weeks I'll have another IUI with my GYN. If I ovulate when I expect, I'll be approximately 11dpo when I see the new R.E. I really hope that appointment is pointless and wasteful. Hopefully I'll already be pregnant. But if not, I'm prepared.

I think that's probably a good thing. While I dread going to an office that has a bad reputation (long waits, lost bloodwork, poor attitudes) I do like going back to an actual infertility specialist. My infertility coverage is amazingly good. May as well take advantage of it. I hope this might include some monitoring and maybe a trigger shot.

Since I have such notoriously horrid trouble with OPKs I'd like to get a little more aggressive if I'm not pregnant after this IUI.

All in all, it was a day of planning. Mostly for the worst-case-scenario. I have high hopes that it won't come to that, but I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

So, speaking of moving (forward, that is) it's time to get off my butt and take my ovary swelling pills.

Ahh.. sweet Clomid.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Maybe the month of May

Temp was way down this morning - 96.94. I knew for sure that it was over, then. And figured that was at least a good sign that the cyst I'm convinced I had was calming down. Sure enough, before I left for work the spotting turned into ... well, not flow... but heavy spotting, anyway.

Got to work at 1:30 and a couple of hours later, the cramps set in.

I'm still not having what I'd call a normal period, but I've yet to have what I'd call a normal period while on Clomid. It didn't really turn into something I'd call a real flow until it was too late to call the doctor. So I guess I call early Monday morning and make them call the next round of Clomid in to the pharmacy. Depending how you count day 1, that'll be day 3 or 4.
I think I'll start the pills Monday night.

My old R.E. had me taking the Clomid CD3-7. My current GYN prefers 5-9. I read an article a while back that says that those taking it 5-9 has twice the miscarriage rate as 3-7. Plus I never had this cyst/lateness when I was on 3-7, so I tend to prefer that.

David and I layed and talked a long time last night. I was very upset and feeling very alone. I told him about how unfair it was and how sick of everything I am.

It's funny. We're trying so hard to have a baby, but I'm SO SICK OF TALKING ABOUT BABIES. It seems like I'm surrounded by them - pregnant women and newborns and parents. And they all want to talk about their babies.

Completely reasonable, of course. And when I finally manage to have a baby, I'll want to do the same. But for now, it just seems like if I want to take a minute to think about something else, there's nowhere to turn. I know it's part reality and part my own perception. But wow, it's exhausting.

The resentment has faded. I really don't feel that burning jealousy that I felt for a while. I think God and I have worked through that. But I still feel so sad. So angry at my own circumstances.
Even at David, sometimes.

It seems so unfair. He tried to suggest I take a few days off. I had to explain that if I take a few days off, I risk missing a symptom that could be important. I miss a temperature shift or something I'll want to know later. So I have to take my temperature, pee on sticks, analyze every twinge, take pills, and probe my vagina every day.

I told him how it feels when he has nothing to say. As though he doesn't care, doesn't take an interest. When he scowls at me if I tell him I'm jealous, I feel even worse.

He tells me that he does care. But that all he can do is wait-and-see. He tells me I just need to relax.

How exactly is that possible? He can turn his mind off and wait for me to tell him to do his business in a cup. And then wait for me to tell him I'm pregnant or not. I'm the one with swollen ovaries. I'm the one trying to determine if the OPK is the exact right shade to be positive. I'm the one running to the bathroom every hour to check for blood. I'm a woman. I don't have the luxury of relaxing.

I think he finally seemed to sort of get it. He held me. He's a good man and a good husband. Just shutting up and listening without judgement was a lot. And today I feel a little better, emotionally.

I'm just ready to get on with it. Aunt Flow is here as I wished. Now I wish her away and wait for ovulation. Such is the cycle of infertility. Just when you think you can't go on. Hope says "maybe May is our Month..."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Still no period.

And I think I've now peed on at least $50 worth of pee sticks which all agree that I'm not pregnant.

A brief history of the last 24 hours. Not for the squeamish:

--Middle of the evening last night I went to the bathroom and wiped. It looked a little pinkish. I wiped again. Had some cervical mucous tinged with blood. Definitely not mistaken.
My heart dropped, a tear spilled from my right eye. Heart broken. Convinced it was my period starting, I returned to my desk at work and fought tears. My stomach was in knots. I waited for the cramps to start.

--A couple of hours later, wondering where my cramps were, I visited the ladies room again. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Odd. But maybe it just happened to catch a spot and Aunt Flow is headed this way.

--Off work about 10pm. Home to obsess. Went to the bathroom. Nothing. My stomach is not feeling so good. Spent some time on the toilet. (I warned you. Not for the squeamish.) I decide to check my CM to see if it's still a little bloody or if there is any or what. Next thing I know, I'm bleeding. Like - really bleeding. I actually think I may have scratched myself. The blood is BRIGHT red...doesn't look like period blood at all.
I decide to give it an hour or so and check again. To pass the time, I cut off my fingernails. It's for a good cause.

-- The rest of the night- NOTHING.

-- Get up this morning, take my temperature. 97.7. Just low enough to be confusing and high enough that I don't think it's period time. Pee on yet another stick. NOT PREGNANT. Yeah. I got that. Traipse back to bed and try to decide if I should call the doctor or what.

--Get up in time for work. Pee. No blood. Leave a message for the doctor's office. Nervous again. Damned nervous stomach takes over AGAIN. Back to the bathroom. Wipe. Blood. Plenty of it. Bright red, though. Doesn't look like period blood at all. But I definitely didn't scratch myself.

--Head to work. I start thinking about everything, and wait for the doc's office to call.

--Get to work. Decide that I'm not pregnant. No, that's not just me trying not to get my hopes up. I really don't think I am. I think it's a cyst. It makes sense. I'm 16dpo. I should be getting a positive pregnancy test by now if I'm pregnant. I don't feel pregnant. Yes, my nipples hurt. But that's it. I don't feel bloated, I don't feel crampy. I don't feel anything I felt last time. If it's a corpus luteum cyst that just won't go away, that would cause the breast pain. I also have been very crampy in my left ovary. I didn't think much of it because I had the same thing the entire time I was pregnant. Even after my D&C, the first time she checked my ovaries I almost screamed when she touched the left one. No biggie. But it would explain why my temps are slightly elevated, but not full on pregnancy high. It could also explain the spotting. If it's filled with blood and I'm straining, I'm probably irritating it.

-- The doctor's office FINALLY calls back about 6pm. (Who knew they were even in that late?) Nurse informs me that they won't do a beta until I'm a week late. I'm just supposed to wait.

-- I get mad. I stay mad.

And that's pretty much where I am at this point. I think it's stupid and frustrating that the doctor's office won't do the test. If I'm truly not pregnant, then let's get to the business of starting the next cycle. Which means treating this cyst. Waiting til Tuesday isn't going to change anything. I really don't understand the logic of waiting a week. What is going to be any different then? NOTHING.

I will be discussing this with the doctor when I see her. Probably next week. I'm not real sure on how exactly they'd treat a cyst. I'm hoping there is some other option beside a month of birth control pills. Anyone out there with any more info on this is welcome to clue me in.

I feel surprisingly okay. I think getting mad at the doc's office helped (along with a good dose of prayer.) Instead of focusing on my sadness, I could focus anger at them. My husband sounded very disappointed and I felt really bad about that. But I'm trying not to think about that too much. Just looking to the next step.

With that, I leave you with yet more Dixie Chicks lyrics:

They say time heals everything
But I'm still waiting
I'm through with doubt
There's nothing left for me to figure out
I've paid a price
And I'll keep paying
I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell and
I don't have time to go round and round and round


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

15dpo update

Still no period. No cramps and really no bloating to speak of.

My temp was way down this morning again. 97.25.

The First Response Early Result HPT I took at 2am had 1 line. Not so much as an evaporation line.
The digital Clear Blue Easy I took at 8am concurred. "NOT PREGNANT."

You know, when I was pregnant in December, I used the CBE Digital and I loved seeing "PREGNANT" but today.. that "NOT" in front of it felt like a slap in the face. Somehow the absence of a 2nd line seems less........ mean.

Anyway, a brief history of my first pregnancy result.

14dpo morning: internet cheapie (IC) had what appeared to be an evaporation line as a 2nd line
14dpo evening: IC totally negative
15dpo evening: again with the "shadow" (David's word)
16dpo: bought some "real" tests
17dpo morning: CBE digital came up "PREGNANT" in about 30 seconds.

I blamed the internet cheapies for not working well, but maybe (Hope is going to bite me in the ass, isn't she?) it just taking a while to show up for me.

I have a lot of trouble getting OPKs to work for me (Of many brands) and I know I'm ovulation because my progesterone tests say so.

Hell, I know I ovulated this month. My 7dpo progesterone was 25.7. But where, oh where, is Aunt Flow? I swear that bitch is cruel.

Limbo sucks.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Has anyone seen my Aunt?

I'm hesitant to post this.

I think I'm late.

My period started about 5am (I woke up with cramps) on March 13th. When I'm on Clomid, I'm pretty much a 28 day girl. Like clock work. Without Clomid, it's more like 25 or 26. The only cycle I've had longer than 28 days in the last 10 years or so was the first after the miscarriage. It was 35 days. (And the ones I didn't have at all when I was on Depo. But those don't count.) If you count a day as a 24 hour period, I seem to be well into day 29.

Now, you all know I tested 2 days ago and had a very definitive NO. So I don't know what to think.

A friend of mine calls her false pregnancy symptoms "Mind Fetus." I.E. Mind Fetus is making my boobs hurt. I've tried to come up with something more clever, but damn it, I like it. I think it's very appropriate.

Mind Fetus doesn't seem to be doing much for me. But just enough to make me question. Which is pretty much the definition of Mind Fetus.

Here are the facts.

My first pregnancy:

--I had cramps from the day of my IUI through about my 6th week of pregnancy.

--I was bloated to the point that I was ready for maternity pants at 6w.

--My boobs started hurting about 8dpo. Not badly, but a little tender to the touch. A few days in the 5th & 6th weeks they hurt bad enough to keep me from hugging my husband properly.

--My temps hovered around 98.2 until after the D&C.

--I had some sticky cervical mucous around 10dpo and then really heavily at 14dpo and thereafter.

--It hurt to lay on my right side. The pain was on my left side.. like the weight of my gut was pressing on my left ovary and it was unhappy. My not-a-medical-professional theory was that I had a corpus luteum cyst on my left ovary and it was, indeed, not happy.

This week:

--I've had more than a week of creamy and/or sticky cervical mucous

--I've had faint breast twinges. I can't call it breast pain or breast tenderness. Just a sort of phantom achy feeling. If I push on 'em, they feel fine. I've even had some random nipple burning. Breast tenderness is regularly associated with PMS in my life.

--I've had a lot of twinges of pain in the general vicinity of my left ovary.

--My temp was 97.2 on Sunday (LOW) but back up well over 98 both Monday and today.

--I feel mildly bloated. Very mildly. Again- PMS symptom on a regular basis.

All in all, I don't feel pregnant. I don't really feel NOT pregnant. And of course, my mind is racing about 1000 miles per hour.
First I think Trish. You are NOT pregnant. Stop getting your hopes up.
Then I think I think I'll go buy a bib to tell David this time.
Then I think You're an idiot. You peed on a stick 2 days ago.
Then I think Yeah, but some people don't get a BFP until several days after their missed period. Hell, you didn't the last time.
Then I think Yeah, but that's cause you were using internet cheapie tests and not real ones. This time you used a real test. And it was negative.
Then I think Well, if I am pregnant and the test was negative that means the hcg wasn't high enough to register. Why isn't it high enough? What if I miscarry again? Which is really the worst thought of all.

So I don't know. I just don't know. I haven't told anyone that I'm sort of late. Not anyone. Not even David. You're the first people to officially know.

Last time I didn't tell anyone, either. A few friends said after-the-fact that they wanted to ask but didn't want to be pushy. And I actually appreciate that. It's scary to say it out loud. I mean... 4 million sperm? Sounds like a lot, but it's really... I mean REALLY... low.

When I got my negative the other night I told David how sad I was. I told him that I knew the chances of it working were probably like .5% but I couldn't help but be disappointed. But here I am. Wondering if anyone would notice if I took another trip to the bathroom. Surely a 6th one in 8 hours wouldn't seem TOO odd. Right? RIGHT?!

Be assured I'll test in the morning if there's still no sign of AF. And I'll post the results. Either way.

But if you're in the praying mood.. you know what I'm asking for.


**update as of 2am. POAS again. Still negative. I might be starting to feel crampy. We'll see what happens by morning, I suppose.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

12 dpo. BFN.

Not even an evaporation line. One thing I can say - My negatives are always very clear.

I knew it. My temp this morning was 97.2. It was freezing at my MIL's house but my pregnant temp is a full degree higher than that. I expect the bitch (Aunt Flow, that is.) any time between now and Tuesday.

Honestly, it's been a rough weekend. My MIL didn't talk about it too much. Didn't mention the miscarriage at all. Not really a huge surprise. She did once ask "How are things with that?" This was in the midst of a random conversation so I didn't know what she meant for a second. When she looked uncomfortably, I knew what she meant. But I still made her say it. I was really cranky this weekend and felt cruel.

"With what?" I asked.

"With your......infertilization."

Yeah. Infertilization. And it's mine. All mine.

I toyed with a few responses. Most of them were angry and bitter. Instead I sighed and said "Well, I'm still not pregnant so....."

Not to be troubled with the ugly parts, she quickly changed the subject.

I'm a hypocrite. I know I am. I didn't want to talk about it. I don't want her to know we're doing IUI again. But it still bothered me that she didn't ask. That she seems so embarrassed about it.

This is the woman who, when told that her son's sperm were screwy, said "Well, I just can't believe that.. I mean, we couldn't keep from getting pregnant and you'd think if his dad's..."

I interrupted, "I assure you, it's true. And fertility isn't genetic. And if you'll recall, [FIL] was told that you guys would never have children because of his prostate problems. You guys got lucky."

I really don't know if she was calling the doctors (or me) liars or was just expressing surprise. She's not a mean or vindictive woman but she does have a tendency to think her boys can do no wrong. And she sees this as "wrong."

We weren't going to tell her about any of it. But the IUI that got us pregnant was on Thanksgiving Day and she was at our house. It's hard to come up with an excuse to leave the house for a couple of hours on T-day morning. So I told her the whole thing.

When we found out we were pregnant we wanted to wait and tell her in person. She called and asked and David lied. It was almost Christmas and we wanted to give her an "I love my grandma" sweatshirt. He felt bad about the lie, but it was for a worthy cause.

The day we told her we were pregnant she called everyone she knew. EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION went like this:

MIL: Hi.

MIL: Good. Guess what I got for Christmas.



MIL: HE LIED! But it's okay. They wanted to tell me in person.

So he had told ALL of these people than 1) we're infertile. 2) we had an IUI and 3) it failed. Thanks for the discretion.

I won't even discuss the fact that she had to call all these people to tell them I miscarried. She chose to tell them. Since I haven't seen anyone since then I haven't had to deal with it. But my plan is that the first person who asks me about it is going to get the litany of what we've been through. That'll fix 'em.

But, you can see why I don't really want to tell her where we stand. I know she means well but she just stresses me out. She's one of those women who conceived two sons in spite of birth control and the fact that her husband shouldn't have been able to sire children. David was born 15 months after they married and his brother 15 months after that.

She says, without embarrassment, that "David was a broken condom. [BIL] was foam."

Despite my MIL not saying much, she still managed to annoy me. I mentioned I'm cranky. I've had very little sleep for three days straight. Three days is my insomnia threshold. That's when I get cranky.

At church today I seemed to be surrounded by pregnant women and newborns. One of the hymns we sang contained the lyrics "What a joy it is to hold a newborn baby." I know I'm going to hell, but I stopped singing and thought "ahh fuck you."

Then I prayed for God to take the anger away. Today, it's not going so well. I know it's mostly that I'm tired. I can feel it. But knowing it doesn't change it.
I just seem to find bitterness at every turn.

As we came home from church, the doorbell rang. It was some friend of my MIL's coming to visit after church. She brought her two children. One of them a baby. I hid in the bedroom.

Saturday afternoon, two of David's closest friends wanted to come talk to us. I was nervous. They're nice people, but hippies, and you just never know what they're going to say. Turns out they want us to be their son's guardian should they both perish. We agreed. I was honestly touched. They know we don't share a lot of their parenting ideas but trust us to raise their son as best we can.
But I was also a little bitter. Good enough for their son, but not my own.

Later that night, David hosted a dinner party for all his hometown friends. I hung out with one of the wives and their 2 year old daughter. We had a nice time. But again, it seemed to twist the knife just a little. When she was scolded for playing with a lamp, she ran to me for comfort. When she got sleepy, she climbed into my lap and rested her head on my breast. All I could do was wonder if I'd ever hold my own child the same way.

But, it's over. Tonight I'll sleep in my own bed and tomorrow will be a new day. When my period starts, I'll call the doctor. More drugs. More swollen ovaries. More painful probing. I'll hang on to the memory of my friend's daughter reaching for me as a glimpse at what we're working for.


Friday, April 6, 2007

So hard

It's so hard
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy.
It's so hard
It felt like a given
Something a woman is born to do
A natural ambition
See a reflection of me and you
And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it

These are some of the lyrics to a Dixie Chicks song. "So Hard." Two of the girls conceived via IVF. This is a song about their struggles through infertility.

I bought the CD. Not so much because I wanted it. I could have bought the song for 99 cents on Itunes. But I wanted to support the cause. So many people walk around with such secrecy and shame. I really appreciate their honesty about something that is so filled with shame and misconception. (ha ha.. no pun intended.)

I had David pick the CD up for me the other day. I'm just sitting down to really listen to it. So far, it's a decent CD. I actually really like the controversial song "Not ready to back down." I think it's a good anthem.
Whether you agree or disagree with the politics of the Chicks, the idea of standing up and being heard is still a great one. And the great thing about art is that it's subjective. You can take from it whatever suits you.

Then I played "So hard" and I began to sob. I actually wasn't expecting it. I mean, I'd listened to the song online and read the lyrics many times. But somehow I was just overwhelmed. As I sit here still listening, tears are streaming down my face.

I'm not even sure what I'm crying about. It's probably just PMS. Ha ha.

Tomorrow we're off to my mother-in-law's house. I have to work until 6 and then we'll drive down. It'll be the first time I've seen her since the miscarriage. David's visited his mom a couple of times since then, but I've managed to have to be somewhere else each time.

She was as good as you could really hope for when we lost the baby. She tried to be supportive but I just couldn't handle her, to be honest.

I had a lot of guilt about the pain that both she and my dad experienced. I sort of wished we hadn't told them I was pregnant. I know that's not really fair. My MIL (mother in law) and my dad are both really great, loving, supportive parents. There's no reason to deny them or ourselves their support in tough times. But when my dad said "Is there anything I can do?" and I said "No.. there's really not." And he said in this broken voice "There SHOULD BE SOMETHING I CAN DO." it broke my heart even more than it already was. He just wanted to fix it and it just wasn't possible.

When my MIL said she wished she was here with us, my honest thought was that I was glad she wasn't.

In those days after we knew the baby was died and just after the D&C, all I wanted was David. The notion of trying to entertain anyone, to have to make small talk and be okay was just too much for me. I needed to sob at will. Not that she'd have ever wanted me to fake it.. but in the end, I'd have felt pressured to do so. There are very few people in the world I feel like I can truly be myself around. No self-censoring, no holds-barred. They are my husband, my father and my best friend Karin.

I'm not allowed to cuss in front of my in-laws. You may have noticed already that I have a fairly foul mouth. It's a vice, I know. But it's one I enjoy. And I had plenty to cuss about just then.

She's the type that will offer platitudes. And have lots of questions. The platitudes anger me. Please don't tell me that it was "for the best because it means something was wrong with the baby." I'd have loved him anyway. And please don't tell me I can have another. I wanted this one. And please don't that things happen for a reason. When you can tell me what that reason is, I'll accept that. I know they're meant well, but truly, the only thing you can say is "I'm sorry. It's not fair." Nothing takes the pain away but to know that you feel for me.. that helps. Everything else is just frustrating.

As for the questions, I don't mind so much. Anyone who knows me knows that I really love to educate people. Particularly in this area since the subject is so personal to me. But sometimes the questions just have no answers.

And I know she hurts. She's been ready for grand kids for a long time. She was beyond elated when we announced the pregnancy. I know she's sad- both for us and for herself. And as selfish as it is, sometimes handling other people's pain is just too much. I'm barely handling my own.

So.. we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I know she cares. And that's a lot.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Some notes about jealousy

Yesterday I found out that someone I know is very unexpectedly and unhappily pregnant. She says she's keeping the baby but she's really not sure if it's really the right thing or not.

I think she'll make a good mom if she chooses to be one, but I know she's in a tough spot.

Other than the fact that she's the last person on earth I'd have expected to be pregnant, it was news-worthy because I didn't cry.

You see, for about six months, the moment someone announces they're pregnant, I cry. It literally feels like I've been kicked in the gut. I'm usually very still for a moment and then the tears well up. I take a deep breath and try to shake it off but inevitably, the tears flow. I'm eaten up with jealousy and sadness. "Damn you," I think, "it's not your fucking turn. It's MY turn and YOU just STOLE it."
Anger. Yes. I feel anger. Anger at the pregnant person. Then I think "This is stupid, Trish. Just because you can't conceive, the rest of the planet has to put their lives on hold cause it's your turn? Yeah. You're SO rational." Then I commence feeling like a piece of shit. Sometimes I have to go to the bathroom and cry a while. Sometimes I just feel sick for a while.

God forbid I go home and tell my husband that ________ is pregnant and don't do a dance of joy for them. He tells me I'm awful. That I shouldn't be jealous. Once I made the mistake of telling him about a post on a message board written by a woman who had just had a miscarriage and asked her friend to let her know via email when she gets pregnant because she knew she'd be emotional when she got the news. And how people had told her she was a horrible person for it. His response? "I don't blame them." Apparently it's not okay to be jealous or sad because you see the world going on w/o you but it's perfectly fine to publicly berate someone who recently lost a child.

I truly believe my husband has never felt an ounce of jealousy in his life. I swear a man could come up and kiss me on the mouth and he'd laugh. It just isn't his nature. And while I love his positive attitude and his sense of self, being told I'm a terrible person really doesn't help.

About a month ago, though, I decided that I was sick of all of it. I was sick of being sad and sick of being jealous and sick of worrying. My stomach was in knots the whole time. The entire time I was pregnant I was sick with worry. I laid in bed at night and prayed and cried. And all of my worry, praying and crying did nothing to keep my baby from dying.

I've never been one to pray for things. I've always asked for my loved ones to know they are loved, to be kept safe and for all of us to lead good Christian lives. And while I was still praying for my baby to be kept safe, the intention of the prayer was really not so altruistic. I was praying for God to give me something- A baby.

Though the course of my miscarriage and immediately following I realized how incredibly arrogant I was being. I thought I could worry myself into motherhood. If only I read enough, learned enough, took enough vitamins, I could control this. When, in reality, I never had control of it. God did. And I wasn't REALLY trusting him to take care of it. I could pray for him to keep my baby safe, but I wasn't REALLY handing it to him. And so I started praying more. Only this time I was praying for God to take away the jealousy. To take away the anger. I prayed for him to handle it.

There is a hymn that I love called "I surrender all." Faith Hill sang it for Oprah on an episode of "After the Show" once. I saved it on my TiVo and listened to it 100 times. I've searched the web, wishing I could find a recording of it. There are some other artists with versions of it, but none of them strike me the way Faith did. But I think of the song often when I'm feeling anxious or angry. I surrender all.

And after some time.. a funny thing started to happen. I didn't feel angry. Or jealous. I am still sad. But I'm not eaten up with it. When a friend tells me she's pregnant now I think "Oh. Wish I could be pregnant with you." and then I congratulate them. And I actually MEAN IT. I'm ACTUALLY happy for them.

Yesterday, when my friend broke the news (after I picked my jaw up) I thought "wow.. I hope she's okay." I wasn't really thinking about myself at all. I was just concerned for my friend. After I checked on her, there was a moment or two where I thought "man.. this just isn't fair.. if only we could switch spots." but it wasn't that jealousy of "DAMN HER" it was just "Hmm.. if we could switch places, we'd both be happy."

And it felt good. It really did.

I'm not saying my green eyes are cured. Someone else may tell me they're pregnant and I might cry. But for now, I'm celebrating a small victory.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

6dpo, the obsession continues.

Today my vagina felt moist!

Yes, I know you're thrilled to know that and thinking "WTF, Trish? That deserves an exclamation point?"

Well, that's how the mind of an infertile works.

You may have heard someone say "We charted."
People think that means taking your temperature. Which is correct- just not complete. It also means digging your fingers up to your cervix and swirling them around in the hopes of finding gold. Or... rather.. egg whites.

In the TTC circle, we call it EWCM- Egg White Cervical Mucous. You see, during the month, the mucous (or "fluid" as some prefer) changes consistency. Right after your period you are dry. Sexy, I know. I'll pause while you go splash yourself with water to cool down.

Okay. Welcome back.

As the month continues and you get closer to ovulation you start to produce some fluid (ahh.. what the hell, we're friends now..) mucous. If you're charting, you take note of this. I use the FAM (fertility awareness method) which means I try to decide between four different descriptions for it. The best sign is EWCM. It means that ovulation is imminent. It's clear and thin & will stretch- you guessed it- like egg whites. (My OB/GYN commented that I had great cervical mucous during my IUI. I blushed as though she had told me she liked my tits.) This is the most fertile type of cervical mucous. It functions in a few ways, but a really important one is that nourishes the swimmers so they aren't killed by the big, bad, chemically dangerous vagina and can make it up into the cervix and beyond.

As an educational side note there is another group out there that uses cervical fluid as a fertility diagnosing tools.. they have something like FIFTEEN different descriptions. I'm not one of those, though. I get four. Which is hard enough.

Also, as you get closer to ovulation your cervix gets higher, softer and more open. This is a very subjective interpretation but I've pretty much got the hang of mine. Yes, I DO spend a lot of time with my fingers in my vagina. I'm hoping any leftover sperm would see the finger and realize it's pointing out the path they should be following.

I use a program called ovusoft to chart (available for download at The best 40 bucks I've spent.) On it there is a page where I am asked to enter some info each day. They include temperature, cervical fluid, cervical feel, cervical position and cervical opening. But my favorite is "Vaginal sensation." Your choices?

"West, gooey, cold."
"Slippery, moist, lubicrative."

And today I feel lubricrative. The reason I'm excited about this is because I'm obviously past ovulation. I should be dry. I'm not even checking my cervical fluid. There shouldn't be any. But after deciding I felt moist, I did a cursory check. Cervical fluid present in a fairly large quantity. Creamy - I know you wondered.

Now, it's entirely possible that it's just a side effect of Clomid which is notorious for screwing with your cervical fluid, but it could mean that my estrogen is rising because a teeny little ball of cells has burrowed its way into my uterine lining.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Tick Tock Tick Tock

The two week wait continues.
I'm now 5dpo. (days post-ovulation) I have pretty much zero symptoms. I'm trying to think that's a good thing because I almost always have SOMETHING I can point to like "maybe." The month I was pregnant I was so completely symptom free that it was genuinely the first time in all of this that I was convinced I WASN'T pregnant.

I went back in my charts and checked what I noted last November. I had some cramps and some breast tenderness, but that was it. Well, that's pretty much every month for the last 15 years. The cramps were so normal that I walked around with a tampon in my pocket for 3 days. It's funny now, really. I was forever testing and getting negatives. That month, I was SO convinced I wasn't pregnant, I refused to test early. My period was due on a Thursday. Thursday morning-nothing. So I thought I'd test. Well, I used these Internet cheapie tests that came free with my OPKs. I thought that MAYBE I saw a line but it really looked like an evaporation line. I still wasn't even hopeful. The cramps were pretty intense. I ran to the bathroom at least twice that day with a tampon convinced I'd started. Nothing. So I came home and used another freebie. Same response. Convinced I was losing my mind I didn't even say anything to David.
The next morning- STILL no period. I haven't been late since I was about 15 years old. My periods are occasionally wonky, but I'm always early- never late. So I used another freebie. Just as blank as blank could be. I was actually almost relieved. No interpretation required. Okay. Not pregnant. I can deal. We move on. Again- at work, I ran to the bathroom 3 or 4 times expecting blood. Nada.

I did that whole "hold the toilet paper in the right place" thing.. I just KNEW there had to be SOMETHING.
So I came home and used ANOTHER stick. This time, again- maybe an evaporation line. This time I took it to David and shoved it at him and said "How many lines do you see?"
He twisted and turned and said "One.. well.. maybe... but.. it looks like a shadow or something."

Great. Now we're BOTH crazy, right?

So I said that when we went out we'd get a store test and try again. Turns out that we didn't get a test until Saturday afternoon. I opted to wait til Sunday to use it because I figured by then I was 4 days late and it had to be correct.

By this time I was actually ANGRY. I knew I wasn't pregnant and now my period was late which meant something ELSE was wrong. I kept thinking "great- something else to delay our next try."

I got up Sunday morning and peed in a cup. I opted for the digital. No interpretation. It says "pregnant" or "not pregnant." I was still sitting on the toilet, dipped the test and set it on my knee, then turned the directions over to read something. I glanced back down and saw it had come up. It said "Pregnant." I did a double take. I twisted and turned it because I just KNEW that there was a "Not" in front of that. Nope. I was pregnant.

I came running out of the bathroom and said "I'm pregnant!" David said "you are?" I said "LOOK!!" and ran over and shoved the stick at him. He wasn't excited at all. He's not much of a morning person and was still in bed. I was literally jumping up and down.

After I finished my excitement, I went to sit on the couch in the quiet for a while. I was in shock.

And, of course, all of that is really on my mind this week. (Hence going back and looking at my November chart.) The breast tenderness started 8dpo. The cramps lasted the whole two weeks after the IUI. Today is the first day since Tuesday that I haven't had cramps at all. So of course, that makes me sad. No breast tenderness yet, either.

I'm fairly certain I'm not pregnant- which makes me think maybe I am. Such an oxymoron, right?

I have a progesterone test on Tuesday. Then the following Tuesday will be test day. I'm also sure there will be a lot of breast poking between now and then.

It's going to be a long week and a half.