Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Can't Deny the Crazy

So after promising myself that I wouldn't get all wound up and crazy with this cycle, I ended up doing just that. Last Tuesday, at 8DPO, I woke up with a very strong sense of optimism. After reading through my regular forums, a hint of my testing craziness kicked in and I nearly ran to the store to get some tests, but I restrained myself. Well, as I was getting ready for my day, I was rummaging through my bathroom cabinet in search of something and stumbled upon an unused pregnancy test. Its a sign! my crazy brain shouted. I wanted to test right away but my logical side (if you can call it logical during the 2WW) reminded me that I was only 8DPO and that I should really wait to test the next day with FMU. Compromise reached.
The next day I was up as soon as my hubby left, peeing on that test stick. I was a bit disappointed when I opened it to find that it was a blue dye test, but I was an addict looking for my fix and anything would work at that point.
I watched as the test developed. Staring at the forming line.
...but wait, is that?... a second line? I lean closer, stare harder. There is something... maybe. I know blue dyes are notorious for evap lines and faulty tests. I stand in the bathroom for 10 minutes, turning the test, looking at it from different angles, looking at it close up, from arms length, until I convince myself that this is the start of something. I walk to the guest room, where we get morning sun to see it in better light.
The line disappears in the direct sunlight. :/ What?
Back in the bathroom, the line is back...
Needless to say, I went into full-on, obsessive testing CRAZY!
I immediately ordered 50 tests strips from Wondfo, even though I know there is a bad batch going around... I'll take my chances. I even got the 2-day priority shipping!
On the way home from work, I stopped at the dollar store and picked up two tests to hold me over until my strips came on Friday. I took one as soon as I got home. It was negative.
The next morning I tested with FMU. Again I convinced myself that there were two lines. I told myself that it wasn't my trigger. I told myself it didn't matter that it took a little while to show up. I told myself that it wasn't an evap.
I stared and analyzed those three tests all day. I would take them all out and look at them under different lighting. I would take pictures on my cell-phone to see if I could see anything in the close ups. It was bad.
Friday afternoon my Wondfos showed up... and they are from the bad batch. I took two immediately.... negative. Took another a few hours later... negative.
Saturday morning I took two more with FMU... positive!!! One was a real squinter, but the other one was definitely positive. I wanted to be excited, but knowing that they are part of the bad batch and because the two tests dipped in the same cup came up so differently, I refused to let myself get my hopes up.
Okay, I got my hopes up a little.
I refused to go pee all day at work. I stopped and bought some First Response Early Result tests on the way home. By the time I got home, I felt like my bladder would explode. I didn't want to waste the FRERs so I took three more Wondfo tests... negative. I told myself  it was okay, that I would use a FRER with FMU.
Sunday morning I woke up to AF at 13DPO.
I was disappointed, but I had known from the beginning my chances were slim at best this month. I also hadn't put much stock on those positive tests. More than anything I was just happy for the waiting and guessing game to be over.
Yesterday I went back to the RE for my baseline BW/US. The follie on my left ovary is now a nice little 30mm cyst. It is a very good possibility that it didn't even ovulate, which would explain my screwy chart. :/
I told the RE that I really want to be a good bit more aggressive this cycle. He agreed and said that they would start me at 75IU of Follistim instead of 50 and that our goal would be to have 2-3 mature follicles on my right side this time. He told me that he is very worried about me hyper-stimming because I have such an excellent ovarian reserve, but that he wouldn't be so conservative and that they would up my dosage if necessary. As for the cyst, he said that if it wasn't hormonally active, we would start the meds in spite of the cyst since we are trying to get follies on the right side anyways.
Well, B/W came back a bit elevated... E2@ 76.8, Lh@18.2... so the cyst is "slightly active" and the RE wanted me to start birth control instead. But only for a week (hopefully). He wants me to come back on Monday to see what's going on. He said the cyst doesn't have to be gone, just smaller and my hormones need to be back down to baseline levels.
I'm VERY excited for this cycle!!!! I have a good feeling and I'm really hoping for my Christmas BFP!
I felt very foolish for getting so caught up in my testing frenzy, but I really can't help myself. I'm just going to go with it this time around. Trying to deny myself the outlet of my anxiety just results in an eruption of crazy all at once. Also, Wondfo is acknowledging the bad batch and kindly sending me more tests, so now I will have just shy of a 100 pregnancy tests... I can't resist that type of temptation!! I'll use the bad batch to tests out my trigger and just to feed my addiction until I can reliably test for the real thing.
Fingers crossed for August twins!!! ;)

Please, God, keep me strong this cycle and bless me with a Christmas miracle... or two.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two Weeks of Questioning, Over-Analyzing, and Obsessing... Let the Wait Begin!

Well, it seems I am officially in my two-week-wait... the dreaded 2WW! This is the worst part of the cycle for me. With no meds, RE appointments, or scheduled sexy-time to keep me busy, the two weeks of waiting before I can find out if I will get my elusive BFP should be a time for me to take it easy and recoup.
Not so much.
I am obsessive compulsive by nature. Not enough to be labeled OCD, though I definitely have tendencies, but I think most of us do. I also do not drink, I quit smoking four years ago, and I have given up my coffee habit to help with the TTC, so, having no-where to channel my compulsive energy, I can safely say...
*Standing up for dramatic effect* My name is Zui and I am addicted to charting... and everything else involved with TTC.
Every morning I take my temperature around the time my husband gets up. If it looks like I am expecting it to, I go back to bed. If it does not, I take it one more time (as I sometimes fall asleep while taking it and breathe through my mouth) before going back to sleep, and then again when I wake up an hour or so later.
If I have accepted my first temp, I will get up and enter it on FertilityFriend, along with all my symptoms/specific signs. Since it is still early, I play the "what do I think I am going to feel today" game, where I guess my symptoms based on twinges I feel within the first half hour of getting up. If I have not accepted my first temp, I now have a bit of a problem as I have three temperatures and only a spot for one. The first two are usually pretty close and the third is way different so now I play the "which one looks like it fits" game. The temp that I accept will depend on which side of me is dominant that day- if I am in a visually perfectionist mood, the one that looks best is going in, if I am in a logically perfectionist mood, the first temp I took will go in since I know that it is the right one. I do record all the temps and times they were taken in the Notes.
Now begins the fun part. I make my one allowed cup of coffee for the day and sip it while I spend the next 10-30 minutes staring at my chart, looking for possible answers to all the questions my symptoms and temps pose, as if they will rise out of my chart like some crazy magic-eye if I stare long enough. Since, obviously, no answers are forth-coming, I move on to phase two.
FertilityFriend's VIP membership gives you access to all sorts of nifty, obsession-feeding tools. My favorite of which is hands down the Pregnancy Monitor. This little addition has percentages... possible answers!! It tells you how often the symptoms I have entered/guessed for the day show up on pregnancy charts! So of course I now have to check and uncheck symptoms to see what I should be feeling to make it more likely that I'm pregnant.
Once that's done, I'm sometimes left with an odd symptom or occurrence that is on my chart but "unexplained" by the tools below my chart. When this happens, I move to phase three- searching the Chart Gallery for similar occurrences. This happens more once I get later in my wait, when the symptoms could actually be a sign of pregnancy. I need to know that what my body is doing is normal and that it doesn't mean my cycle is a bust.
Finally, it is time for breakfast and blogging! Well, usually its breakfast and forums but the other way sounds better. I log on to my frequented forums, check the threads that I usually haunt for updates, search for threads about any nagging questions that FF couldn't answer (there's usually a lot), then begin my postings. This is part of my day that helps me the most. The women on those forums are always amazing and there is something so bonding and healing about sharing with someone who understands what you are going through. I truly have become invested in what happens in their journeys. It is amazing that you begin to care so much about someone you have never met.
After my emotional pick-me-up, I go about my day. On days I work, if I have time once I get to the salon, I'll check in on my chart (like that magic-eye is going to appear in the different lighting of the salon), check in on the forums, and then begins the google searches. Every weird twinge or symptom, every temp dip, and every possible scenario that could come of something I'm feeling. I know most of the answers, I have been doing this for a long time, but I look it up anyways. My addiction must be fed. Usually the day does not allow too much time for obsessing.
Once I get home its more of the same. I see how many of symptoms I guessed correctly, removing or adding ones I missed. Then its a check-in with the forums, which I will continue to do sporadically for the rest of the evening.
As I get closer to my test day another items is added to my list of obsessions. Because I have forbidden myself from buying and taking any HPTs,  I have to satisfy my testing urge in another way. Again FF is my dealer with their test results/photos gallery being my drug of choice. If I am feeling particularly hopeful, the ultrasounds gallery is an added bonus.

The hardest thing is not knowing. The wondering if the symptoms I'm feeling is a side effect of the progesterone I'm on, or a pregnancy symptom. Questioning if the dip in temperature on 8DPO is because of implantation, or if I slept with my mouth open. Am I dizzy because I'm hungry or because its a pregnancy sign? Are my boobs bigger? Are my nipples darker? Did you smell that too? Am I nauseous or is it in my head? Are those period cramps? Does my tummy look bloated?
So many questions!!
I have told myself that I will not stress over this cycle because I ovulated from the wrong side and my chances of actually getting pregnant this cycle are so low, but I know I will obsess. I can't help myself. True, I have already written this cycle off as a bust, but what else am I suppose to do for the two weeks I wait for AF? I think my crazy obsession keeps me sane.
I think we all need to act a little crazy to stay sane sometimes.

Please, God, give me strength to face the next two weeks... and please let this work.