Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cycle 12 CD18 (3dpo?) - Bitter R Us

Before getting to a cycle update I have an apology to make. JustMe, author of bits and pieces, is a regular commenter here and I really appreciate all the comments she leaves. She was recently lucky enough to get her BFP, and like the terrible horrible bitter person I am I have not congratulated her. You see, unlike most of the TTC'ers in my Google Reader she's not infertile. She doesn't suffer from RPL. She wasn't using MA. She's only been trying for like five months. And now she's pregnant. Conversely here I am, in the middle of my 12th cycle, 16 months after starting TTC, on fertility drugs, with a dead baby, and most importantly not pregnant. Deep down I know that the fact she hasn't gone down this road is a good thing. Deep down I'm happy she was able to dodge this bullet. This sucks so much and I don't want anyone to experience this that doesn't have to. But on the surface I'm just bitter. And I'm sorry. It is not her fault that I'm in this position and she's not. She didn't give me endo or PCOS or rob my husbands sperm in the night. She's a good person, and she deserves this. Yet every time I read one of her posts and go to comment I just can't. I get this ball in my throat and tears well up and I just close the page. Then I feel terribly guilty for not supporting her even though if the shoe were on the other foot, she'd support me. So I just wanted to state publicly how sorry I am for letting my bitterness get in the way of being a good friend. I'm really not upset at you, I'm just so sad for me. Most of all congratulations, I'm sorry I couldn't say it earlier.

As far as my cycle goes I may or may not be 3dpo. Bear with me here, as my explanation for why is going to get a little confusing. First off my temping has been all over the place this cycle. I'm on CD18 and there are only two filled in circles (for those unfamiliar with charting, ideally every day will have a filled in circle. Open circles mean you're doing it wrong.), I've missed days altogether and the time has ranged from 6:45am-1:00pm. So I have a bit of a rocky mountains thing going on, and frankly my chart isn't super reliable right now. That being said the last two days I have temped at the same time, and the day before was only an hour off. The day before that was three hours later than the time of the last two days. Here is a picture of my chart with actual temps then with those two days adjusted.


Even if I don't adjust CD16 and only adjust CD15 by .05 degrees (which is considerably less than the actual difference), I still get dotted CHs. So I feel pretty confident that had I taken my temp at the same time those 4 days I would have dotted CHs right now. However, the rest of my chart is so erratic and just plain missing that I still wouldn't be able to trust FF's accuracy. I want to believe FF is correct, and here is my justification of why:

  • The last two days I have been very bloated, to the point I've wondered if the femara is causing weight gain. Being bloating is a common TWW symptom for me.
  • Today my boobs hurt, which is also a common TWW symptom.
  • The reason the CHs are dotted is because I never got a +OPK. However, I did not start testing twice a day until CD15 when I first noticed fertile CM. It is possible I missed my surge on CD13 or 14.
  • My OPKs did get darker for a while, but the last two days they have had very faint lines (see picture below).
  • My CM pattern is consistent with ovulation occurring late CD15/early CD16. The last two days it has been sticky.
  • I posted in my TTC Facebook group the evening of CD15 that I was having O pains and experienced pink tinged CM (which could mean ovulation spotting).
  • Our timing was great for a CD15 O so it would be really awesome if it was true.
  • I could potentially get a BFP on my birthday!
  • This would be my earliest I ovulated EVER and a great validation for switching to femara. 

I know those last three have nothing to do with actual facts, but I really really really want this to be true. Now here are the companion reasons suggesting it's not true and I should keep on using OPKs and BD'ing:
  • My Google search says femara can actually cause weight gain.
  • I have gotten more physical activity the last two days than normal, which means the ladies have been bouncing around and could be sore from that.
  • There is just as much reason to assume I did not miss my surge as there is to assume I did.
  • I have had waves of darker then lighter then darker again OPKs in the past.
  • I have had more than one patch of fertile CM in a cycle before.
  • There are many different reasons other than ovulation for pink tinged CM.
So basically I don't know. What do you think?

Also don't forget about my new Facebook Page! I have decided to use it for posting pictures I find funny and/or encouraging, that I may not be comfortable posting on my personal page. Pictures similar to the ones I post at the top of my blog each week. I only plan to post a few times a week so I won't spam your newsfeed, I promise!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cycle 12 CD11 - SA Results

We got our SA results back today, and there are some problems. Right now the plan is to find a urologist and see what they say. The bad thing about MFI (male factor infertility) is it takes 3+ months after starting treatment before there is any improvement. As I'm kind of on a deadline with my endo this is a problem. If our appointment with the urologist goes favorably I might see about going on Lupron for the 3 months so hopefully my endo won't get any worse while we wait. If it doesn't go well we might just give up on TTC altogether. I have so many problems already, and my miscarriage chance is so high, it might not be worth it just because I want the experience of pregnancy. I don't want to go through another 12 cycles with nothing to show for it. If we give up TTC then I might can go back to school and back to work, especially if I go ahead with a hysterectomy, and we can start saving for adoption. Realistically adoption has always been our best bet for becoming parents. If you're wondering, here are the specifics (normal in parentheses):

pH - 9 (7.2-8.1)
Liquefaction - <30 minutes ( <30 minutes)
Viscosity - Normal
Volume - <0.5 (1.5)
Count - 4 (15)
Initial Motility - 66% (>40%)
Progress Motility - 43 (>32%)
Morphology - 28% (>30%)
Other - Large amount of immature germ cells

So the volume is low, the count is low, and the morphology is low. pH is high but no idea if that is a problem or not. Motility is looking pretty awesome. I have no idea what immature germ cells are.

As for me, things are still good as far as side effects go. Started my OPKs but haven't gotten a positive yet. There is a line though. I think it would be awesome if I ovulated in the next four days as then I could test on my birthday, but don't see that happening. I've been having a wacky sleep pattern (or lack thereof). One day in the past week I literally slept for 23 hours and then the next day I didn't sleep at all, so I'm missing some temps. Hopefully I can get that straightened out before O time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cycle 12 CD5 - Femara is my Valentine

I'm a day late. Again. Just wasn't feeling up to blogging yesterday. Thank you everyone who commented on my last post, I'm really not looking for pity I just want people to understand and not expect more than I'm capable of. Today however I am feeling much better and I'm pretty sure I have Femara to thank for that.

This cycle we increased my dose from 2.5 to 5mg so hopefully that gets me an earlier O. I noticed last cycle that about 12 hours after taking my first dose AF slowed considerably. I was still cramping but the flow wasn't as heavy. By the next day I was only spotting. Well, the same thing happened this cycle! I still had a light flow CD4 but now I'm down to spotting. The cramps are much better today as well. I think it could have been a coincidence if it happened once, but now I definitely think it has something to do with Femara. Just another reason I'm glad I switched.

Publix called the other day saying my Metformin was ready to be picked up. For those who don't know, Publix fills Metformin (and a bunch of other stuff) for free which is totally awesome. They also refill your monthly prescriptions automatically instead of you having to call it in. Well I realized that only about half of my last bottle had been used. I guess that shows how bad I was about my medications last cycle. I am back on the wagon though and have taken my medications and supplements every day this cycle like a good girl.

DH is supposed to get his SA done tomorrow so we could use all your spare good vibes/thoughts/prayers/whatever you're into. I have enough issues already it would really suck if he did too. We are hoping things are fine on his end since I was able to conceive only the third time I ovulated, but we could have just gotten lucky. I will be sure to post an update on that next week.

In non-TTC related blogging news, I made a Facebook page! Why? I don't really know. Maybe in case people want to stay updated that way rather than use GFC? A lot of bloggers have pages so there must be some use to them. I do plan on posting a link to my posts every week and maybe some other random nonsense. So if you want to "like" me, you can. I added badges to the sidebar for my Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram in case you want to see a bunch of pictures of my dog.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Day in the Life

Watching feminine product commercials really make me jealous. I know probably no one has a "happy period", but there are women who can go to the pool. Or go to lunch with their friends. Or even be semi-productive at their job. It feels like most people don't realize just how bad my periods are. I'm not trying to play in the Pain Olympics or play the "my life sucks more than yours" game, I just want people to understand. If I cancel plans with you, if I call out of work (when I was working), if I don't return your text or cut conversations short, it's not an excuse. I really just can't. So here's a day in the life of someone with Dysmenorrhea and Menorrhagia.

Caution: This is going to get TMI

Cry out/sob in the middle of my sleep, waking up my husband who stumbles in the dark looking for my pain medication. I take 1-2 Tramadol every 6-8 hours, plus 2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Once the pain goes down enough, I fall back asleep.

Wake up again in flight mode. You know that feeling like something is wrong and you have to flee. I have leaked out of my tampon/pad again. Rush to the bathroom, carefully slip off my underwear, take the pad off, and throw them in the bathtub. I have learned not to wear pants if I can help it. Dispose of tampon, take off the rest of my clothes and jump in the shower. While in the shower hand-wash my panties as best as possible, hoping they don't stain but knowing they will. Scrub off any blood on my body. By now the adrenaline of waking up is starting to calm down and I can feel the cramps again. Put in an ultra tampon, search the bedroom for any drinkable liquid, take another Tramadol and lay down till it kicks in. The bed and pillow will be wet but they were already dirty anyway.

When I'm feeling up to it put on a nightgown or some already ruined pj/yoga pants. Go back to the bathroom and change the tampon again and also put on a pad. Take some Tylenol, cry myself back to sleep. I don't sleep well as I try to stay aware of how it's feeling downstairs so I don't make a mess again.

Get back up. Change tampon/pad. Our plumbing is supposed to be able to handle tampons but I use so many in a day that it clogs it up. I have to alternate flushing and wrapping them up in tissue to throw away. Have to make sure the bathroom door stays closed so the dog doesn't try and find the blood. I check the time to see if I can take anymore Tramadol yet.

Call the nurse to let her know AF has arrived and update her on when I ovulated, wait while she asks Dr. E about this cycle's protocol. Ask for another Tramadol prescription. Find something on Netflix and lay back down because I hurt too much to do anything else. Probably cry some more.

Try to read, but can't concentrate because of the pain and the fuzzy feeling the drugs give me.

Try to play a video game but kill myself when an extra awful cramp catches me off guard.

Wish I was a man.

Wonder if I really want a baby. Maybe getting a hysterectomy isn't such a bad idea,

Restart whatever I was watching on Netflix because I missed most of it.

My little sister asks me to do something with her. Come play Just Dance with me! Let's go to the park! I can barely hobble from the couch to the bathroom. Can we watch a movie? Try to find something I've seen a dozen times so it won't matter if I can't pay attention.

Take more Tramadol/Tylenol as needed. It's always needed. Take as often as time allows.

Change tampon/pad every 3-2 hours. Sometimes less than half an hour. I always know when it's going to get really heavy like that as the cramps get worse. I bring my iPod into the bathroom and just lay on the tile floor in between changes as there's no point in leaving. In the summer I will take another shower and just sit in the bathtub with the water running, but we run out of hot water too fast in the winter.

Husband comes home, thank God! He can get me something to eat. I probably haven't eaten all day, takes too much effort. When the cramps get extra bad he will massage my abdomen in between my belly button and my pubic bone. It seems to help.

Scotty wants to play. He wants to go for a walk and smell all the smells and pee on all the mailboxes. I'm sorry, you can look at me with those big puppy eyes as much as you want, I can't do it. Try not to cry.

Go to bed early. All the medication makes me sleepy and hurting so much is exhausting. I'm probably getting to be anemic as well. Good thing I started taking iron. Make sure to change my tampon/pad and take more Tramadol before getting in bed. Hope I don't have to wake up too many times during the night.

It has taken me all day to write this. I'm not looking for sympathy. Really. But if I tell you I can't do X because AF is in town, believe me. Do not patronize me by saying, "Oh it's just cramps! Take a midol." Otherwise I'll probably bleed all over you.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cycle 11 CD33 (9dpo) - Patience Bootcamp

When dealing with infertility (or even just being actively TTC) it seems you are constantly waiting for something.

Waiting for Aunt Flow
Waiting to start your fertility medication
Waiting for your thermometer to beep before moving a muscle
Waiting for a positive OPK
Waiting to pee so your urine isn't too diluted
Waiting 5 minutes before looking at the test so you know it will be accurate
Waiting for crosshairs to confirm ovulation
Waiting for some new promising symptom to show up
Waiting till at least 10dpo to test
Waiting to pee (again)
Waiting 5 minutes (again)
Waiting for AF
Waiting for doctor appointments
Waiting for lab results
Waiting for OPKs/HPTs to arrive in the mail

Waiting for my turn.

It's easy to get frustrated when it feels like all you are doing is waiting. Months are passing you by as you wait for one thing or another. Can't we just move forward already?

Instead of getting frustrated I have decided to look at this as Patience Bootcamp. Patience is a virtue, after all. In this fast paced, instantly connected world of ours I could definitely use some more patience. I'm used to instant news updates, instant messaging, Netflix Instant Queue, Instagram, instant mashed potatoes, instant pudding, instant oatmeal, instant grits, etc (can you tell I'm hungry?). Waiting for something that means so much to us isn't going to do me any harm. After all, I'm going to need patience as a mother. I may not be a parent yet, but I worked in day care and I watched my little sister often when she was a baby. One thing I learned is the more frustrated you get the fussier they are. I choose to use this time in my life for personal growth. Maybe through all this waiting I will be better prepared to deal with a crying, colicy baby until DH gets home and I can finally take a shower. Or to deal with a toddler who insists on answering every question with "no". I doubt anyone has started their therapy session of with, "Well you see Doc, my mother was just too patient with me as a child."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Books for a Buck February 8-9

Don't miss your chance to grab some great books for 99 cents February 8th and 9th! Categories include: Young Adult, New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Chick Lit. Click the banner above for more info.