Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crushed... Wait, I am crushed, right?

I'm in a very weird mood today. I went in this morning for my B/W U/S appointment and Patrick came along to sign consents for this cycle. I was pretty excited as two days ago I had 3-4 follicles on each ovary measuring between 5.3-7.5mm. I have also been feeling pretty... amorous lately, so I figured things were getting close to happening. ;)
Right away the tech said, "Oh, we have some activity in there!" I looked over excitedly, only to have my hopes dashed as I saw my left ovary (the cut tube is still attached and fluid-filled so its pretty recognizable) with a nice, big follicle. She measured it at about 17.5mm and said it looks ready to be triggered. I tried to tell myself that it could just be the part of the tube that wraps around that they always mistake for a cyst, but there was nothing else on that side, all the other follies were gone.
My response was a half-hearted, "Let's hope we have some activity on the right side, too."
She scanned over to the right side as I held my breath, praying.
Not even small ones.
All my pretty little follies went away. And then something strange happened... instead of the crushing disappointment that I would have expected, I felt nothing. Its like I just went numb.
The tech said she was sorry that it looked like this cycle was a bust and that they would talk to the doctor, look at my blood-work, and call me this afternoon with a "plan".
I just nodded as Patrick thanked her and she left.
I think Patrick was expecting me to be upset. I didn't say much as I got dressed and we left. As soon as we were out of the office Patrick started reassuring me that "at least we can try again, we always have next month." He kept it up until we got to the car but I didn't hear most of what he said, I was too... detached. Finally I replied lamely, "I'm just happy I don't have to be stuck with anything for two weeks." But the truth is, I'd happily be stuck, poked, and prodded daily for my entire pregnancy if that's what it took.
I'm still waiting for the sadness to come and it hasn't. I think I've reached a breaking point and, to save my sanity, my emotions have shut down. Today is also the first day that I could look at my pregnant suite-mate at work and not want to gag over how easily it happened for her and how flippant she has been with her pregnancy (she's known for a month and hasn't been to the doctor!). The other day I overheard her talking to someone about the possibility of miscarriage and she told them, "I'm not really worried about it. We got pregnant pretty easily this time so I'm sure we'll have no problem getting pregnant again if something happens." That day I fumed for hours over that statement, today barely a flicker of emotion, gone so fast I can't even name what I felt.
I'm just empty today.

God, please give me the strength to get through this.

Or maybe the emptiness is His way of helping hold me together so I don't crack wide open?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Walking Pin-Cushion...

...but a happy one! I went in for my second checkup on the Follistim today. Last Friday I went in for the first and I had 2-3 follicles on my right side, and one on my left, all measuring between 4.5-5.1mm and my E2 had gone up to 65. I figured it was a good start and the doctor must have agreed because he kept my dose at 50IU.
I really wanted to go up. Good start aside, I know from my previous cycles that not all those little follies are going to mature and I want as many as possible... well, no... no more than 5. Actually 4. Even the chance of having 5 babies at once gives me anxiety. But I digress.
I was a little unhappy about staying on the low dose, but I did as I was told.
Today I went back to see what had changed. A lot, apperantly. I now have 3-4 follies on each side! They all measure between 5.3-7.5, with the ones on my left being slightly bigger. My E2 is rising steadily, up to 92, so my Dr. is still going to keep me at the same dose. I feel better about that dose now. Had it been higher, I can only imagine how many follicles I would have produced!... probably too many to continue the cycle had they kept growing.
It just goes to show... just because I have WebMD and read every fertility forum I can find, I'm still NOT a doctor and I need to trust that mine knows what is best for me. Even though I think I know everything, I very obviously don't.
Lesson learned.
I really just hope that my little follicles keep growing and maturing. And that they do it quickly. I'm starting to feel like a pin-cushion. My last two shots bruised, last night's more than the others, and my poor tummy is pretty tender. I feel like I'm collecting puncture wounds and blue spots... and that's not even mentioning my arms! I look like a freakin heroin addict with all the needle marks from my 3X weekly blood draws. I have to go back Wednesday AND Thursday and I'm dreading having to be stuck again. My veins are already so bruised, it hurts when they stick me.
But its all for baby!
Today is also the first day that I'm noticing that my ovaries feel very heavy/full. It feels almost like a period cramp, just in the wrong spot... like a dull ache. I know its a good sign that my follies are growing so I won't mind when it gets worse as they get bigger.
The only other... side effect?... I'm having is that I'm on a bit of a short trigger, but that might be from being on my period, as its gotten better as my flow slowed.
Overall, I've been in a pretty good mood, dotted with some irritability and some very happy moments as I think about being one step closer to getting my positive.
Grow follies, grow!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just a Little Prick

Well, I started my Follistim on Tuesday! I'm actually REALLY excited about this cycle. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, especially this early, but I'm excited.
Tuesday's B/W came back with my lowest hormone levels ever... my E2 was below 20! The U/S looked great-- though it took them a while of staring at the screen in confusion before I reminded them that the upper portion of my left tube that was cut is still attached to my ovary and is filled with fluid. They only see me at least once a week, you'd think they would remember by now. Oh well.
They told me they would call me with results and that I would probably start my shots in two day. I was a little surprised when they called later and told me to go ahead and start the Follistim at 50IU and come back on Friday. I was also a little disappointed that we would only be starting at 50IU instead of 75 like the nurse had told me they usually start at. I know I'm younger and they don't want to overstimulate my ovaries, but I only have one tube and I do NOT want to waste the time, medicine, or money by not having any/enough follicles on my right side. Yes, yes... it only takes one... but I want to have the best possible chance to get my positive this month! I'm hoping for 3-4 follies on my right side. Since we are only doing timed intercourse and not IUI, my chances of having that many fertilized are low. My doctor told me that I would only have a 5-15% chance of conceiving with the injectables... let's do what we can to improve those odds!
But I'm ranting.
That night, I got my meds out of the fridge and put them on the counter to warm up a bit-- I heard that the cold meds can sting a bit and its best to let them come up to room temp. After dinner, I took the medicine, grabbed my pen, needles, and alcohol swabs, laid it all out by the computer and pulled up the Follistim instruction video on YouTube. I knew what to do, but I wanted to make SURE I did it right. So...
Assembled medicine and pen...
Attach needle...
Swab injection area with alcohol...
Pinch area...
Little prick, barely felt a thing...
Oh crap. I'm holding the pen too close to the middle to get my thumb to the plunger. My other hand is pinching the area and there is a needle in my stomach so there will be no shuffling up the pen. Obviously didn't think this one through too well.
I stood there for a moment, trying to decide if I should just try again, but I really want to keep the number of puncture wounds on my body to a minimum, so I just unpinched and pushed the plunger with the other hand.
After, I cleaned up my makeshift medical area, put the pen in the fridge, and plopped down on the couch. Patrick asked me how it was and I told him fine. I didn't mention my blond moment with the plunger.
The rest of the evening I SWEAR I felt little tinges in my ovary, like the medicine was stimulating it. I really am amazed at the things we can convince ourselves of.
Day 2-
I worked late so I called Patrick on the way home to tell him to take my pen out of the fridge. He was in charge of dinner, but had yet to make anything, which worried me as we are suppose to be eating healthy and at 8pm, if dinner isn't made, we usually pick it up.
Got home to Chinese take-out... grrrrr... but at least he took the pen out like I asked.
This shot went much smoother. Having learned from the previous night, I positioned my hand closer to the top, pinched my belly, little prick, pushed the plunger, and done. Didn't even bleed.
I haven't had any bruising or redness from the shots, but my injection site from last night is a little tender today. Nothing bad, I can just tell I had shot there. I've also not had any side effects yet from the medicine, which I am pretty happy about. Usually, if the drug info lists it, I'm gonna get it, so this is nice.
I have been charting again and my temps, which were up from the birth control, finally started coming down this morning, followed late morning by the beginnings of AF. I took my last birth control pill Sunday night and I skipped Monday night's since I was going to the doctor the next day, so I have been expecting to start any day. I doubt its going to be a long or heavy period since its only been two weeks since my last one, and the nurse that did my U/S said my lining was pretty thin already from the birth control.
Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we continue with the smooth sailing and sail right into a smooth pregnancy! Positive thoughts, right!

And to top it off, we have had some BEAUTIFUL weather in Houston the past few days (besides being a little windy here and there)... so all and all, I'm feeling downright chipper!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Ride Isn't Fun Anymore... I Think I Want Off

My last cycle reminds me of an M. Night Shyamalan movie... too many twists to result in anything good. After barely eeking in a BD (baby dance for those new to the TTC lingo) before I ovulated, I felt confident that we at least had a CHANCE to conceive that cycle. That chance flew out the window when 6DPO my temperature dropped... scratch that, plummeted, to the lowest number my chart has seen in two years.
My average pre-O temps range from 97.2-97.5ish, tending to pop up to 97.7-97.8 on O day, and creep up over the next few days to even out at the 98.2-98.5 range.
On 6DPO, my waking temperature was 97.05... and I was bleeding. Not enough so actually be AF, but more than spotting. Of course, my mind was desperately trying to hold on to hope of still getting preggo, so I tried to tell myself it might just be implantation... but I knew better. Stress had gotten the better of me and undoubtably sabotaged my cycle.
The 97.26 degree temp the next morning pretty much confirmed it, and I called in to the Dr.'s office to report my new cycle. My flow was strange, fluctuating between a light flow to slight spotting. I expected my hormones to be screwy on my BW/US the next morning.
Day 3 my temp was back down to 97.07, AF hadn't increased but hadn't stopped, so I headed to the office to see what my crazy body was up to. We had decided to do a cycle injectables this round, which I was very excited about, but the cost has me stressed and I definitely didn't want to spend that much money unless my cycle was ideal!
The girl at the desk asked me if we would be starting treatment that day. I laughingly told her that I had no friggin clue because my cycle wasn't suppose to be due for another week and I had no idea what my body was up to. Well, she must have mentioned this to the Dr. because after my blood was taken, instead of a nurse coming in to do my ultrasound, the doctor came in with an intern (I guess that's the right term) to see what's happening.
Long story, shorter: the follicle that released was still trying to be active, still visible on US, but my lining and blood work was back to normal day 3 levels. So I have been on two weeks of birth control pills (ARGH!) and going back on Tuesday to *fingers crossed* get rolling again.
I just don't know how much more of this I can take. I try really hard to be optimistic, but this is taking a toll on me. My body doesn't feel like its under my control anymore. I snap from being happy to sad to angry to excited to bitter and every emotion in between. Back in the day, if a woman couldn't get pregnant they called her "barren", and that is exactly how I have begun to feel... barren. This time that is suppose to be fun and a bonding experience for Patrick and I has turned into a roller coaster from hell and I think I'm reaching a point where I need to get off the ride. I am not this angry, bitter person. I'm usually the happy one!
I need to get back to that.
Hopefully Tuesday will bring a new outlook.