85% of couples conceive in the first year, I am not one of them

Posts tagged ‘fertility’

Synchronizing

It’s Monday and yippee, my vagina rage fest has cooled down to normal ranges. That’s about the only thing to be happy about.

My OPKs went positive around CD14 or 15, and I expected a temp shift to follow. My tests have not really faded back down to nothing, they are not way darker than the control line like they typically are the day before O, but they have gone down to equal to control line darkness. Still technically positive. For the past 2 days my alarm did not wake me to take my temps for some reason. I was finally able to get a temp taken this morning. I expected 98.4 ish, a typical post O temp reading. I got 97.9. That can’t be right. I took it again…97.8. Pre O temps! It would seem I never ovulated. Fertility Friend seems to think I ovulated on CD13, which doesn’t really fit with what a normal cycle looks like for me, nor does it fit with OPK data. My coverline used to be that low last year…but has since moved up to the 98/98.1 range.

 

Meanwhile here is a typical chart from last month.

I know my body better than a computer. Something is up. I’m pretty sure I didn’t ovulate. Could it be from the diflucan I wonder? Could I have a cyst? I’ve never had this issue before. I guess we’ll find out when I truly did O when AF comes. If it comes.

I finally made my charm bracelets. I wish I would have ordered larger beads but overall I think they turned out well. After all is said and done I really won’t make too much off of each one. I put them up on my ebay for all to enjoy.

Now all I can do is wait for AF, that’s it. What a boring waiting game.

Clomid Crazies

I’ve noticed there is some truth to the emotional side effects of clomid. This round I was extremely irritable and angry. While I’m on it I’m just in a perpetual bad mood. It seems like the only time I’m not feeling 100% crazy these days is during the 2ww. And that’s only because the crazy is being fought off with a small ray of hope. A ray that just keeps getting swallowed up by the grey storm clouds of depression and defeat.

I have my CD12 ultrasound tomorrow, and if all looks well my trigger too. Then CD13/14 IUIs. I honestly can’t even say I’m excited. I know the outcome, it’s going to be negative. It’s always negative. It’s never not negative. At this point there are 3 issues that I’m betting are keeping me from getting pregnant. Either my husbands sperm are so bad they can’t penetrate the egg, my eggs are so bad they can’t be penetrated and/or mature or 3 my lining or the eggs themselves are not conducive to sticking and allowing the egg to grow. That’s it. We know I produce eggs, we know my husband has plenty of sperm, we know they’re alive, we know my tubes are clear, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST COMBINE AND GROW?! It’s 2012 for crap sake, why isn’t there technology to capture exactly what is going on with sperm and eggs inside a woman’s body? It’s LITERALLY just “put the sperm in and if it’s positive great, if not let’s just bang on our chests a little more and throw a bone in the air because we have no idea unless we take the eggs and sperm outside the body”. Come on now, that’s awful. Even in IVF they literally just shoot the fertilized eggs in and HOPE THEY STICK. Again, mentally, I just can not handle this, it’s not acceptable.

Even when I’m not on clomid I’m just teetering on the edge of sanity. It doesn’t take much to set me off into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety. I’m frustrated. There’s only so much shit someone can take and expect to have a healthy mental state. I know I have a habit of freaking out about things that end up just fine. I mean look at this blog, I freaked out about my HSG forever and it turned out to be pain free. But I don’t think it’s fair to compare something like being scared of being in pain for 5 minutes, and being scared you will die without leaving behind a legacy. Ask any young woman who hasn’t started actively trying what she would do if she found out she couldn’t have kids. She’d probably have to choke back tears and wail about how the only thing she’s ever wanted to be was a mother. Basically, that is the hell that is my life at the moment. I can’t be happy in the present knowing what doom the future could hold. It all boils down to what I will do if in 4+ months if I’m not pregnant. The health insurance will be up and any future attempts will be at my own expense. I’m fairly sure I don’t want to adopt. I just can’t do it.

I’m just not sure I can face a future where I have no children. I’m not sure I want to be a part of that future. And it hurts to type that. Why me?

The top of the mountain is here

I had my HSG today. You know, the one I’ve been dreading since I first started this blog? I don’t find myself truly scared often, but this HSG has had me completely frightened.

My journey started yesterday at Walgreens trying to fill my Z-pak antibiotic prescription. Turns out the nurse that wrote my script didn’t sign it. Opps. They would call  my doctor in the morning and I’d have to come back. I came back this morning to find out that my doctor’s office sent them to the dreaded nurse line answering machine. I don’t think I’m ever getting my antibiotics. Whatever, I’m a beast.

So I came back home, bathed myself, popped an aleve and vicodin, and set off for my doctor’s office. First part of the process is taking a pregnancy test at the office. Considering I haven’t even ovulated yet I wish they could take my word for it but alas, pee in a cup for everyone! Let me just say this bathroom was outrageous. There was like a plush chair facing the toilet,why? Who’s going to be in there with me? Nice pictures on the wall, air freshener, dimly lit. Nicest hospital bathroom ever.

Yep, not pregnant. Now I get to navigate the maze of the hospital to radiology. My doctor’s office probably got tired of ladies asking for directions and were prepared with a print out of the correct route. I still got lost, but showed up on time. At radiology I was fitted with a hospital bracelet and sat in a waiting room watching CNN for 15 minutes. I had absolutely no cell signal, like they were blocking it. Grrr, I wanted to read comics.

Eventually my name was called by an older nurse, who was very pleasant and chatted it up with me. I was lead to a huge room with a bathroom, a large table with a hovering xray machine, a cart with a monitor on it, and several chairs. I was told to undress from the bottom down and put on 2 hospital gowns, one on front and one on back. The room was comfortably warm, which was nice. I debated keeping on my electric green and black stripped mitten socks. Mmmmm no. Barefoot it is.

At this point my heart was in my throat. I was so nervous and it was making me nauseous. The smell in the room didn’t help, all those chemicals, ick. I came out, sat in a chair, and waited. The nurse came back and told me I could put my socks on if I wanted to. She also told me how much she liked my doctor, how kind she was. I asked her if other women had the same opinion after the procedure was done. “Is she gentle?” I asked. “I’m not going to lie, it gets a little crampy, she tries to make it as good as she can, she hates having to do this to you girls”.  I decided to put my socks back on. Looking in the mirror I told myself that I was strong and I could do this.

My doctor popped her energetic head in the room and greeted me warmly. She asked me to hop up on the table and commented on my socks. She actually remembered that I wore toe socks for my last appointment! Then she got really serious for a second. “This is going to sound crazy, or maybe it’s not crazy but I’m a crazy doctor…” Oh crap, what could this be about. “I got your blood test results, and I totally don’t remember asking for Factor V Leiden but it was on there…” Yeah I actually put that on there. My dad had it and said I should get tested so I was kinda sneaky sneaky. “Oh no it’s fine that you were sneaky sneaky it works out because it came back positive!” Yeah I kind of figured that, it’s not really a big deal right? “Yeah I think you have only one copy of it and it just means you can’t be on birth control….ever…again. Oh and when you get pregnant you’ll probably have to take blood thinners as a precautionary”. I figured as much. My dad found out he had it when he had his hip replaced. It’s basically a blood clotting disorder, one of many out there. For a young healthy woman like myself, it really doesn’t mean much. It’s only when I combine my genetic predisposition for getting blood clots with other medications or situations that cause clotting does a problem arise. I think of FVL as a multiplication symbol. Hormonal birth control carries a risk of blood clots for everyone. Multiply that with FVL and you have an increased risk of dangerous clots. So I can’t take it ever again. Not that I would, obviously. Also I shouldn’t smoke, which I don’t. Yep, besides carrying a miscarriage risk FVL means very little to me. It’s just good to know about.

It was crunch time now. All the fear of the past 2 months filled me as I was told to lay back and get ready. She put the speculum in, which felt a little pinchy and uncomfortable. She seems to not ease things in, it’s like BAM speculum all up in your business. I have a tight vagina so that’s probably why it felt pinchy. She ratcheted the speculum open and my arms were positioned at my side. Oh god. It’s happening. I was told to take deep breaths, so I did. I gasped for breaths heavily, waiting to feel the pain of the catheter on my cervix. And I waited. And waited. She kept telling me to take deep breaths so I did. I watched the screen with eagle eyes, catching a glimpse of my insides. Then… I saw dye flowing about and immediately though WHAT?

“You’re already injecting dye?” Yep.

Where was the catheter pain? Where was the dye pain? I was laying there on the table just waiting for pain that never came. I watched the dye fill up my uterus and flow out one side. “I think I see it coming out one side!” I said excitedly. Yep…and here comes the other side, finally! Your tubes are clear, yay! “Awesome!” I said. She instructed the nurse to take pictures. I wasn’t told to shift at all, I was flat the entire time. Once a few pictures had been snapped I heard “all done” and she pulled everything out. Out came a flow of gross yellow tinged oily dye onto the table with it. “Your all set, here’s a pad, feel free to wipe up and get changed.”

Really….that’s it? Are you serious. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I asked. Yep, I was all done. I wiped up, got changed, and came back out. My doctor bid me farewell and told me I’d see her Monday. That was it. My dreaded HSG was over. It didn’t hurt! My periods cramps hurt worse. My ovulation pain hurts more. My 2 weeks of costochondritis hurt WAY WORSE. I feel kind of silly for stressing about it for so long. The 2 months of stressing was far worse then the 3 minutes of HSG. Ugh.

Please take it from me ladies. The internet is full of pussies. The pain of an HSG will vary woman to woman but there’s a very, very good chance your HSG will not be that painful. Don’t stress about it, it’s not worth stressing over, and the feeling of being told “your tubes are clear” is soooooo worth it.

Monday is the top of the mountain. I get results of my blood test and my husband’s SA. We get to take the next step after that. I’m so excited. For the first time in a while I’m getting the spark of “I could be a mom” back. I’m scared that the results will be bad, but even if she says “we need to go straight to IVF” that’s a GOOD thing in my eyes. It’s an answer. It’s a solution. It’s moving me closer to being a mom. I’m also scared the results will be good, but hey, if everything is good maybe we do IUI. Either way, we get some much needed answers. Here’s hoping the top of the mountain is awesome.

EDIT: It’s now later at night and I have noticeable cramps. It feels like straight up CD 1 cramps. Minor bleeding but that’s to be expected. My lining is good to go by O day and of course shooting dye in there is going to knock some of it loose. I wonder why it took so long to start cramping? I know the Aleve is just now almost gone from my system, but the Vicodin was to wear off 6 hours ago. Maybe my uterus was sleeping. It totally just woke up and was like oh shit I’m full of stuff that doesn’t belong here, better get rid of that.

My OPK went positive tonight, I’m going to ovulate tomorrow, one day early. I decided that unfortunately I’m going to have to sit this month out. My first month in a year that we won’t be trying. I was told to abstain from disturbing my cervix with intercourse, douches, tampons, anything really for 48 hours. That plus my lack of precautionary antibiotics means it would just be reckless of me to try. I don’t want to get an infection or damage things. Plus I’m sure the mixture of blood and dye isn’t exactly sperm paradise. Oh well. The HSG halo of added fertility is said to stick around for a few months. Being the dye didn’t immediately clear my left tube it could have been somewhat clogged, which is now fixed. I’m really excited for next month.

Feeling stuck

Yuck, it’s been half a month since my last post! I was on a well deserved vacation the last week in March, and have been in a pre and post vacation fog. Coming back to reality SUCKS. I’m the type of person who needs something to look forward to. It’s like fuel that helps drag me through the infinite doldrum that is my life. Now what do I get to look forward to? Fertility treatments? It all just depresses me. The end result is my new goal. The fire to finally get this shit together and produce a baby is burning white hot. Almost too hot, it hurts.

My husband and I have been talking about moving back to Florida. We’re both born and raised in Ohio, and throughout his life he’s been back and fourth to Florida, living there for a time and then moving back. He even took me there to live for our first year of marriage. Why come back? A number of reasons, mainly money. It’s been 4 years and a lot has changed since our last attempt. It could definitely work this time. I want to pack up and leave….now. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. I’ve decided that we’re not going anywhere until I get pregnant. I don’t want to give up a steady source of income that will pay for this journey. Even though I really don’t enjoy my job as much as I used to, it’s pure recreational income. I’m saving every penny I can so that if it comes to IVF, I’ll be able to make a dent. Plus my husband has good insurance through his current job regarding fertility treatments, we can’t just give that up. Something about staying at a job you don’t see a future at so you can afford to have a child seems very mature, considering my friends conceived at minimum wage jobs or having no jobs at all. It’s so unfair…

I was due to ovulate on Saturday, but due to our vacation my O date seemed to skew off course. Cramps and OPKs point to Sunday instead. I got swimmers Saturday and Sunday. This cycle was so off, I usually get 3 clear days of EWCM with day 3 being O day. I barely had ANY EWCM. Maybe this will be a good thing, maybe copious amounts of EWCM were hindering things.

We’re planning on delivering a sperm sample tomorrow afternoon, yes, finally! I’m excited and worried at the same time. What if it shows his sperm is perfect? What if it shows his sperm is terrible? They’re both equally scary to me. One says I’m the problem, one says he’s the problem. Either way there’s a problem to deal with! What if his sperm is perfect AND they can’t find anything wrong with me? I crave answers.

Then there’s still the matter of bloodwork and HSG. I’m still fairly afraid of having the HSG done, I just don’t WANT to go through that. Hopefully we’ll be successful this month and all this will work out. Hopefully…

My first appointment…let the tears begin?

My very first appointment with the doctor was at 3 this afternoon. I had 2 moles cauterized at the dermatologist this morning and there’s no pain at all. I marveled at how strong of a person I am. I’ve had at least 9 needles stuck in me over the past month and a half and took it all in stride. Me strong woman, me can take anything! Or so I thought…

I met my doctor, a young looking, very perky Indian woman. I assumed this appointment would be pap smear + fertility talks, a basic toe dip into the pool of fertility treatments. I was quickly sat at a table with some assistant and my doctor, asking all the questions I had already answered on my 12 page new patient questionnaire. Time for a pap smear right? I was lead into a room and told to take off my pants and get up on the table. There was a strange machine with a huge dildo looking wand on it. Turns out I wasn’t in for a toe dip, someone was about to shove me into the pool whether I liked it or not.

Transvaginal ultrasound time! They used the wand to take a look at my uterus. The assistant handled the wand while the doctor watched the screen. Sometimes the assistant wouldn’t be positioned where the doctor wanted so she would grab the wand and thrust it to where she needed it. Felt like she was poking my ovaries or something, it was quite sensitive.

“Your lining is looking good….you also have a slight dip in your uterus”. Dip? What’s a dip? You mean like a tilted uterus? I asked. “Everyone’s uterus is tilted”…she then turns the screen so I can see it. “See where it sort of has bunny ears at the top? That’s a dip, it’s actually called bicornuate”. WHAT?! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? WHY DOES MY UTERUS HAVE EARS?! “It doesn’t usually affect conception, but it could contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage.” That’s good to hear, but it still makes me sad to know that I have a BICORNUATE UTERUS. Apparently not that bad of one, but still noticeable. Maybe I should make pride ribbons, just turn the ribbon upside down…..looks about right!

I’m pretty sure I’m ovulating today, I say confidently. “MMMMM nope, no follicle here. You may have already ovulated.” WHAT? Again, my head races with questions. By that time the ordeal was over and I was told to come out of the room when I was ready. I never saw my doctor again. I really wanted to ask how long after ovulation does the follicle stop being visible. There’s a very good chance I ovulated last night, but would that give it enough time to become invisible?! DID I OVULATE AT ALL?! What a terrible situation to leave someone in! It only got worse.

I crept out of my room and looked around for what I was supposed to do next. I’m the kind of person that appreciates a little hand holding, especially in a new, unfamiliar place like this. The woman at the desk in front of my room motioned for me to come over. I looked for my doctor with my newly formed questions, but she was no where to be found.

The woman at the desk began to rattle off prescriptions and procedures I would need to schedule on this day by this time bla bla bla. I was so confused. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into by coming here. One test was a sperm analysis, which is what I wanted to start with all along. If we find out my husband has sperm issues, that’s case closed as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to go digging for more problems if a big one is staring me in the face first. Imagine my horror when she didn’t stop at the sperm analysis. The doctor also wants me to get an HSG. Basically a x-ray+ dye injection in the uterus to check and see if tubes are open and all that good stuff. WHAT THE…? Is that really necessary on the second visit?! Shouldn’t we wait for SA results first?? I highly doubt my tubes are blocked and I don’t want to be more invasive then I need to be. Also ordered was routine blood work to be performed at any lab of my choice.

I payed my 30 dollar co-pay and left with my goodie bag of prescriptions, appointment sheets, and a sterile cup to collect the sperm for the SA. I made it all the way home before screaming my lungs out in a pillow and crying for 15 minutes. My ovaries HURT now and I have no idea why. If I can’t take a vaginal ultrasound how the HELL am I going to take the pain of an HSG? WHY DOES MY UTERUS HAVE TO BE SHAPED LIKE THE EASTER BUNNY?!

I just wish every woman out there pouting about being accidentally pregnant is happy. Before feeling sorry for themselves they should be mandated by karmatic law to come look me in the eye and tell me how angry they are for getting pregnant accidentally, how effortless and easy it was. Just so they can see the pain in my eyes and how that makes ME feel.

Delayed Ejaculation = delayed pregnancy?

My birthday was on Friday, I just turned 24. I really, really wanted to have a child before this birthday but I guess we don’t always get what we want. Hopefully 24 will by year in the sun!

This is as good a post as any to introduce my methods of conception. Methods of conception you say? There’s methods other than penis + thrusting + vagina = babies? I’m about to blow…your….mind. Yes. Yes there are. Chances are if you’re using the aforementioned method, you’d have no reason to believe there are other ways to make a baby between 2 healthy consenting adults. Spoiler alert…straight up penis + vagina sex just doesn’t work for everyone.

I am one of those people. We have an issue known as delayed ejaculation. It is exactly what it sounds like, ejaculation is delayed or non existent either through sex or by manual stimulation. My husband can get it up, keep it up, and up, and up….and up. There’s no down. SOUNDS AMAZING RIGHT?! Well yes and no. It’s great for me because I can get as much as I need to be happy, but because my husband does not experience a climax in sex, it’s no where near as enjoyable for him. When it comes to baby making, it down right sucks.

There seems to be 4 main external male issues; getting it up, keeping it up, keeping it in, and getting it out. Although some couples suffer with premature ejaculation, when it comes to baby making that sounds amazing. Especially dealing with the flip side.

We’ve gotten a pretty good system worked out to get around this. We will commence baby mambo for a little bit for my needs, my husband will end up stimulating himself until he’s about to pop, then a well timed thrust back in and voila! Almost like the real thing….almost. Sometimes the timing isn’t correct and we’ll get a small strike on an outlaying island, if you know what I mean. I’ll always end up with sperm in the right place when all is said and done. Because sex is exhausting and basically pointless for my husband, we’ve also adopted a second method. This involves some oral sexytimes wherein either I or he finishes and he goes into a plastic cup. I then take an oral medicine syringe, suck up all the sperm, and insert it myself.

Both methods have the same results as regular sex, sperm deposited all up in my business, so I’d have to assume that my methods have little to do with my lack of pregnancy thus far. The only issue these methods impart is frequency. Because we’re not one of those couples constantly fucking, we only try during my fertile window. Usually 1-2 tries in my 3 days of egg white cervical mucus. That’s all that matters right? Any sex outside of fertile sex isn’t going to get you pregnant. I’d LOVE to have sex twice a day for 5 days or whatever it takes so that I’m constantly stuffed with male DNA, but it’s never going to happen. It only takes one lucky sperm….that’s what I keep telling myself.

Had a dream last night…

I think it had to do with an inner fear of being judged that I’m sure every parent has. I was with a small boy child, that my mind placed at either 1-4 years old, but visually he appeared to be at least 4. I only saw him from the back, standing in front of me. We were at the pediatrician’s office and it was time for some shots. He was screaming and being generally loud, to the point that the entire clinic could hear. I felt extremely self conscious, that my child was causing a disruption and people would wonder why I couldn’t keep my kid quiet. Part of me wanted to resort to a spanking, no idea where that came from. I quickly realized it was stupid to feel self conscious. We’re at a doctors office, a young child is getting shots, and he’s scared. He has every right to be afraid and cry, it comes with the territory. I knelt down and asked him where my big brave boy had gone. I don’t see my big brave boy anywhere, doctor, do you see where my big brave boy went? Big brave boys get their shots, even though they hurt, because they make him strong and healthy. The boy stopped crying, and that’s when I woke up.

Hmm, the first of many parenting dreams? I have a huge fear of being a terrible parent. Lazy, inattentive, over critical, not being able to control bad behavior, everything you can think of. I have 3 dogs and I like to think they’re well behaved. I can get barking spells under control quite quickly, even when they’re in the back yard and the neighborhood dogs are out and making a fuss. The problem is, dogs don’t understand English, you can’t reason with them. I admit I’ve trained my dogs through well placed cracks on the behind from time to time. I don’t believe you have to do the same with children. Raising kids and raising dogs are 2 different things…..right? I’m afraid I’ll resort to the same “training” methods with children. How terrible would that be?

I was raised in a spanking household and I believe it contributes to my current situation of not being terribly close with my parents. Spankings were handed out for accidents like spilling milk or dropping a plate. I was verbally assaulted and backed into a corner for getting a speeding ticket when I was 16. You can’t train accidents out of people, everyone makes mistakes. I respond to logic and reason, not violence and yelling. I believe children are the same. I don’t want to live in a world of “because I said sos”. Did I turn out ok? Sure. I’m the only one of my close female friends to have any college degree (most never attempted to go or got pregnant and dropped out).  Not coincidentally, I’m the only one with a house. I think I have a pretty good life, all things considered. However, I’m sure I would have turned out the same sans the spanking.

Look at me, doling out parenting advice and I can’t even get pregnant. Silly me. I should shut up now.

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