Saturday, March 30, 2013

Appalachian Trail Part 1 Week 1


I think I've mentioned on here before that I have chronic pain not associated with endo. Oddly enough it started not long after my first lap but we have it mostly under control now. I actually take a low dose anti-depressant that is prescribed for chronic pain as an off label use. I have break through pain a few times a month but mostly I'm fine... unless I exercise. Yup, that's just what a fat girl with PCOS wants is to not be able to exercise. Back before we stopped TTC I had worked up to about 90 minutes of light yoga a week which was at least something. Since then I haven't felt like doing anything. What does this have to do with the Appalachian Trail? I promise I'm getting to that part. =)

I thought well maybe I can't work up the energy or will to do yoga but I can take the dog for a walk. We don't normally take Scotty for walks as we have a big (fenced in) backyard he shares with another dog. With me being in so much pain lately from endo there have been days weeks where I haven't gone outside at all. So taking the dog for a walk and being in the sun a bit might improve my spirits slightly and get in at least some physical activity other than walking to the kitchen. I needed something to keep me accountable though or else I knew I wouldn't do it more than a day or two. So I started searching for walking apps for my phone.

Enter Virtual Walk. It's an app that lets you experience different destinations by walking around your own neighborhood. Say you select the National Mall route, your house has just become the Washington Monument. You get a little bit of info about the monument and a picture. It tells you stuff like because the construction took over 35 years, different sources of marble were used. Due to this you will notice the lower 156 feet are a different color than the rest. It's kind of like a tour guide in your phone! The next destination is the World War II Memorial, but the info about that is locked until you walk the actual distance between it and the Washington Monument. You can set it on treadmill mode rather than GPS and just leave it on until you unlock everything, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

The walk I chose is the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail. It is 70.6 miles long and most people complete it in about a week. I figure it's going to take me about six months. =D In order to keep myself even more accountable I thought I would update my progress here every week. Not sure which day yet, probably Friday or Saturday. So if you see a week go by without an update feel free to call me out on it! I know my time is pretty terrible, but please keep in mind I'm walking the dog and he likes to stop and sniff stuff and pee on all the mailbox posts.

Name of trail: AT Part 1 - Georgia
Distance this week: 2.6 miles
Total distance: 2.6 miles
Time this week: 1:05:11
Total Time: 1:05:11
Landmarks reached: AT Start, Spring Mountain Shelter, Stover Creek Shelter


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Official

Can't find the original source, sorry.

It feels weird not titling my Wednesday post with Cycle 13 CD5. That's something I've been doing since I started this blog 7 months and 6 cycles ago. I guess now that we aren't TTC anymore it doesn't matter how many cycles ago we started. I guess I can get rid of my desktop ticker as well. In the last year and 5 months we've gone from having no hope at all, to ovulating finally and having a little hope, to YES! being pregnant, to having our souls crushed, to being absolutely certain we'd be pregnant again soon, back to no hope at all. The last year and a half has certainly been interesting. Now it's all over.

AF arrived on Saturday. I'm so thankful to Dr. E for letting me text her on weekends to get more tramadol. If I thought I was in pain before, that was nothing compared to the cramps that showed up with AF. I'm glad that's over as of last night and I'm back down to my regular amount of pain for the most part. Of course I'd rather just not hurt at all.

Speaking of Dr. E, I had an appointment with her today to talk about my pain. Internal ultrasound didn't show any cysts so she's pretty sure my endo has grown back. She put me on something called Aygestin which should help. She said it works for 80-90% of endo cases, but then again so does birth control which didn't help me long term. It works by reducing estrogen which keeps my uterine lining from thickening. It also stops the production of FSH and LH so my body won't even attempt to ovulate. While I'm on it I shouldn't have any bleeding at all! So that should eliminate the pain from AF and stop the lining from accidentally getting outside my uterus. It also causes whatever lining I have now both inside and outside my uterus to atrophy which should eliminate the pain I'm feeling now. Obviously this means no more TTC.

I started on 5mg today and if I have any bleeding within the next few weeks I'm supposed to call and get my dose increased. Once we get to a level where there's no bleeding I'll just stay on it either until we decide to use donor sperm or for the next 20 years ish. Unfortunately one of the possible side effects is bone thinning so they don't want you to stay on it past your 40's. It must be similar to the depo shot in some way because my mom ended up getting her hysterectomy because she wasn't allowed to get that anymore for the same reason. I've been taking a calcium supplement for a while because of it's positive effects while TTC so I guess I'll just keep taking it.

The good thing is if this does work then I should be able to go back to school and/or find a job. Once that happens we can begin really saving for adoption, or even IVF since I'll still have my uterus. I'm trying not to get too hopeful though.

As far as my mental state regarding stopping TTC and most likely never having bio kids, I'm not really sure how I'm doing. It's hard to tell if what I'm feeling is from depression or just the drugs. I always feel kind of tired and listless after I've been on pain medication this many days straight. I did almost break out in tears in the waiting room from having to see so many smiling pregnant women. I guess that is to be expected when you go see an OB/GYN.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning 2013

What with the demise of Google Reader approaching I decided now would be a good time to clean out my blog list. As of a week and a half ago I had 140 subscriptions, and I've added several new ones since then. I added some of the Living Child-Free blogs from Stirrup Queens' Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer, and then a bunch from this month's ICLW. I've noticed that with our current situation it's harder to read some blogs than it used to be and I really don't feel like torturing myself right now. So if I've unsubscribed from you there's a pretty good chance it's me, not you. =) About half of the blogs I unsubed from either haven't been updated in ages (some not since 2010!) or just plain ol' don't exist anymore. About 3/8's of them were mommy/pregnancy blogs that I found too hard to read. The last 1/8th were like Reader clutter. For whatever reason I've been skimming or skipping over their blog posts lately so I decided to just get rid of them. I'm now done to 78 subscriptions! Some of these still haven't been updated in a while, but they belong to IRL folks and if they do start updating again I'd want to know about it. So excluding those I'm probably down to about 70 active subs which means I basically cut my list in half!

What about you? Done any spring cleaning of your own lately? Approximately how many blogs do you keep up with at any one time? I'd love to know where I stand as far as the average reading list goes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome March ICWL'ers!

Here's some background info on me and my lovely husby. My name is Tasha but I've been going by FrozenOJ (or spelled out Frozenorangejuice) on the web since middle school. In fact I'm still using the same email address as the one I excited grabbed when I was let into the Gmail beta all those years ago. =D

I'm 25 years old and live in Florida with my DH (27) and our yorkie (2). I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006 and told at that time I would almost certainly need medical assistance to conceive. I've had it since puberty and we're pretty certain I never ovulated before my diagnosis or after until very recently. After being in a terrible amount of abdominal pain for 7 months, I eventually had a lap done in 2011 and was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Endo greatly effects my live to the point it is disabling. At that point my doctor said if we had any children she would have pushed for a hysterectomy, but because we don't she wanted to give us that chance. We started TTC as soon as I was cleared after my surgery.

Starting Feb 2012 I was on Clomid for a total of seven cycles. I ovulated four of them, but it was always late. The third time I ovulated we were lucky enough to conceive but I unfortunately miscarried shortly after getting our one and only BFP. In January I was switched to Femara and ovulated the first cycle on CD24, the second cycle was anovulatory and I'm currently awaiting AF after taking provera. We've also recently found out we are dealing with some MFI issues after finally getting DH tested. He has extremely low testosterone, and that accompanied by my ever increasing pain has lead to a decision to stop TTC.  We do plan to adopt in the future but for now I'm trying to come to terms with the fact we will be childless or the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The End: Part II

UP: The most touching 9 minute love story ever.

Well it's Wednesday. Let's see if I can get through this without crying. I apologize in advance if this gets a bit rambly.

On Friday we had DH's urologist appointment. We brought in a sample with us that the doctor was going to look at before coming to see us, so we waited probably about half an hour. This whole time I was in a lot of pain. I had taken a tramadol before we left but it wasn't doing me any good. Many times I thought oh I should have just stayed home, but I'm glad I went. He comes in and says well, your semen is definitely... abnormal (read: terrible). We didn't get the exact numbers but I'm guessing they weren't any better than the last time, if anything they were worse. Apparently DH has incredibly low testosterone. Men his age should have ~827 ng/dL, men 80-100 years old should have ~241 ng/dL, he has a whopping 155 ng/dL. So yeah, that's a problem.

Doctor referred us to an endocrinologist and says treatment will make him sterile. After the appointment I did a bit of research and there seems there are treatments for low T that are TTC friendly, specifically Clomid and HCG. I don't know why the urologist didn't think these would be an option for us. He obviously knows we are there for infertility so less sperm isn't really what we're going for. As far as I can tell there are two reasons for low T, primary and secondary. Primary means there is a problem in the testes, whereas secondary means the problem is in the brain. Clomid and HCG may work for secondary but not for primary. See there is this loop where the pituitary gland releases LH which tells the testes to produce testosterone. A small percentage of this testosterone is converted into estrogen which signals the brain to stop producing LH. Clomid works by blocking this signal, causing more LH to be produced whereas HCG acts like extra LH. DH's LH, FSH, and estradiol are all within normal ranges. This leads me to believe that something is going on and he's not producing the right amount of testosterone for the amount of LH being released by his brain. So I don't know if extra LH would help all that much. This may be why the doctor didn't suggest trying these. We have an appointment on the 4th so I will ask more about those options then.

Anyway, with the way DH's sperm are looking he suggested we go see a fertility specialist a state over and do IVF, probably with ICSI. He didn't call it by name but he mentioned a procedure where they inject his sperm into my eggs, so I'm pretty sure that's what he was talking about. He did not see any point in trying IUI. After looking at the success rate I can understand why. IVF only costs slightly more than three IUI cycles and has a better chance than all three put together. If we had the option I know I'd rather try IVF than IUI. Unfortunately, we aren't in the financial place to do either. Once he goes on TRT doing it the old fashion way ceases to be an option and if we want biological kids he has to freeze some sperm first to later be used in IUI or IVF. There is a chance we could skimp and save over the next several months to do one IUI cycle, but it just doesn't seem worth it. I don't know if I want to put my body through even more intense drugs, more stress, more heartache, for such a small chance. For all I know I won't even respond.There is also the fact that we don't even have an RE here. There is one about 2 1/2 hours away that makes occasional visits here but trying to time a cycle around that seems like a nightmare.

So with this news and my continuing pain it looks like TTC has come to a halt. Even if we found out DH had super sperm we'd most likely be going on a break for at least three months, possibly stopping altogether because of my issues. I have an appointment on Wednesday to talk about that. For now I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that my pregnancy in October was our one, short lived miracle. I'm fairly certain at this point I qualify as being depressed. Not eating well, sleeping too much, no longer interested in my hobbies, here it is Wednesday and I haven't even watched last week's Walking Dead yet. I am considering finding some sort of therapist or other qualified person to talk things through with. Plus I took my last provera on Friday and AF still hasn't shown yet so I don't know what that's about. At least if AF never shows we don't have to decide whether to go through with one last cycle or not.

Source: my mom on Facebook.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Babies Everywhere

DH and I watch a lot of stuff on Hulu. Right now he is watching the History Channel series Vikings. I swear ever since we came home from his urology appointment there have been more commercials featuring babies or pregnancy than ever before. While we were TTC I was sensitive to these things so it's not like I am just now noticing them. I want to ask him to please click the "not relevant" button, but the words won't come out my mouth.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A New Start

With the end of one journey upon us and a new one beginning, I felt it was time for a bit of a blog overhaul. A new look, a new name, and a new URL. I hope the URL change doesn't mess things up too bad. If you have any links to the old site you need to replace, the new one is

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The End

Well it looks like our journey to a living biological child is over. Any chance I had of experiencing pregnancy for more than a week is basically gone. I know that one day we will adopt or foster or... something, but not for a while yet. Went to the urologist today and was told our only viable chance is IVF (probably with ICSI) which we just can't do financially. We could pursue other options but it would most likely be a waste of time and money. This coupled with my increased amount of pain recently has cemented the fact that it's not worth it. I have an appointment the 27th to see what we need to do now for my health. I will explain better what happened in my regular post on Wednesday, I just can't right now.

When selecting the labels for this post I realized I have no idea what to call this time in my life. We're no longer TTC, we're not actively working towards adoption, but we haven't resolved our infertility either. I need some kind of label for this process of transitioning from actively seeking a child to temporarily no longer being able to do so but I don't know what it is.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cycle 12 CD32 - Life! Don't talk to me about life.

If you've visited my blog recently you may have noticed a malware warning. As far as I know I was never infected so if you've visited you should be fine. However one of the blogs in my blogroll has been infected. When the favicon was loaded in the blogroll, it triggered the warning. I've removed the infected blog so you should no longer get the warning. 

 Several days ago I took the plunge and started Provera. I thought about it for a couple of days and in the end decided against waiting it out. I am officiating a wedding the first week of April so it's important AF is not visiting then. By taking Provera I can sort of plan her visit around that.

 Having an anovulatory cycle is pretty depressing. Over the past week I've tried to remain positive and think of reasons why this isn't such a bad thing. I've only come up with three.

  1. I have and will only use one HPT, to confirm not pregnant before starting Provera. This means I have more to use for other cycles, or hopefully progression. 
  2. Like I mentioned earlier, I can sort of plan AF's visit. It's not likely I would ovulate at the right time for her to show during the wedding, but you just never know. Anovulatory cycles are unpredictable so I could also start bleeding at any time even if I don't ovulate. But this way I know I will start before that would be a problem. 
  3. Given DH's bad SA, we likely would have had a BFN anyway. At least this way I get a calm TWW and don't have to anxiously scrutinize tests for super faint lines. 
 What I wasn't counting on was endo getting in the way of my calm TWW. Last Monday night I started having pelvic pain, which lasted until Thursday morning. This sucked because I hurt on my birthday, but also because I was babysitting last week. I'm a SAHW not by choice but because endo keeps me from working. Usually the pain is only bad during AF and a couple days sporadically mid-cycle, so I thought I could manage 5 days around O time. But nope, had to cancel Tuesday because of the pain. Thankfully I was already not working Wednesday due to it being my birthday. I hate feeling unreliable. I was fine Thursday and most of Friday but the pain came back Friday night, and hasn't left since. This is the longest I've hurt during non-AF days in a long time. It really scares me. Usually when this happens I have to go on BC pills for three months, and it would stop during that time. Last time that didn't work and I had pelvic pain for seven months until I finally had my lap. There's a chance this is just some weird episode and it will stop soon, but it's definitely scary. I will probably call to make an appointment to talk about next steps on Friday after DH's urology appointment, unless it stops before then.

Speaking of DH's urology appointment, he went and got his blood work done yesterday. Thankfully he gets off easier than I do and they only had to stick him once. We've abstained the correct number of days. Now if only Friday would get here! Since they didn't give us any instructions for the meantime DH has been taking my gummy pre-natals. I figure a multi-vitamin isn't going to hurt anything and it has a lot of the stuff supplements like Fertility Blend include. It probably won't make a substantial difference in sperm quantity/quality but I feel better doing something.

It was nice to babysit though, despite feeling like a worthless human being after having to cancel one of the days. People always say that babysitting a toddler helps calm the baby bug. Once you've dealt with tantrums and potty training having a baby doesn't sound quite so good, right? Well, it didn't work for me. Sure there were times it was frustrating, but it was also rewarding. The first day the mom said she might cry for a bit after the mom leaves, but I distracted her while the mom slipped out the door. She was upset when she noticed her mom was gone but it wasn't too bad. She asked where her mom was and when she was coming back several times. But by the end of the week she was practically pushing her mom out of the door! It felt great knowing that in such a short time this 3 year old child with Asperger's felt so comfortable with me it was no big deal to see Mommy leave. It made me feel like I was doing something right. I think I would be a good mom.

It also made me miss my baby. I made the mistake of looking up how far along I would be right now. 25 weeks. Over halfway to meeting our child. We would know the gender. We would have accomplished viability. Baby would be the size of an eggplant, with eyelashes and pink skin. I would know what it felt like for a little person to kick me from the inside. Instead I just feel pain where my baby should be, both physically and emotionally.

Just an FYI, I've added CommentLuv and smileys to the comments section! I completely forgot you can do that until the other day. 

Save Google Reader!

Google announced today that it plans to shut down Reader on July 1st. I don't know about you guys, but that's what I use to keep up with all your posts. I love the way it is integrated with Google Friend Connect (my widget of choice for subscribing to blogs) and also G+ so I can effortlessly share the posts I love. I also adore the browser extension that shows me if there is any new posts and if so, how many. I would appreciate it if you would take the time to sign the petition, tweet using the hastag #savegooglereader, share on Facebook, post on G+ also using #savegooglereader, and/or make a blog post such as this one.

These stats are a bit off, I've clicked a bunch of times.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cycle 12 CD25 - It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

You would cry too, if it happened to you!

I used to love Lesley Gore as a child. My mother had a record of hers and I'd play it over, and over. I liked It's My Party and You Don't Own Me, but my absolute favorite was Judy's Turn To Cry. What does this have to do with anything? Well today's my birthday, and we aren't having much of a party but I do kinda feel like crying. 

I didn't ovulate, I think that's pretty clear now. I never got any more fertile CM or a +OPK so it doesn't look like I'm going to. Honestly I'm having flashbacks to this time last year when something similar happened. I ovulated for the very first time in February and didn't again until August. I feel like the same thing has happened now as happened then. I ovulated the first cycle I was on Clomid and the first cycle I was on Femara but then didn't afterwards even though I should have. Those 6 months were terrible, I don't want to go through that again. 

At least then I was able to increase my Clomid dose and hope eventually it would work. Well I spoke to the nurse today and we aren't increasing the Femara. I am to test just in case and start provera tomorrow, then I'll be back on 5mg again. I know I've heard of people being on 7mg so I don't know why they won't increase it. Not much I can do about it though. I should go see an RE and see about next steps, injectibles or  something, but we can't afford that. 

I feel like I've put my body through all this for nothing. I kind of regret going down this road at all and wish I would have just had my hysterectomy in September 2011. At least then I might be able to work or finish school and we'd be more than a year closer to being able to adopt than we are now. 

Sorry if my blog has turned into a giant pity party but I'm having a hard time seeing any positives right now. Happy Birthday to me.