Blame it on the hormones.

Okay, kids, I’m climbing out of the weirdness that has been my personality for the last 40 days.

I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the hormones. Let me explain.

Here’s something you didn’t know about me: I went on the pill about a year after I started my period, which was age 11, 6th grade. My periods were very heavy, long, and I got two of them each month. Since the BCP cleared up my acne and then I started having sex at 17, I just stayed on the pill the entire time – from age 12-26.

During that time, especially after I started having sex, I noticed that I had zero sex drive. It became an unfortunate part of who I was – I never had a sex drive. It was a rarity for me to initiate, because I had no desire until I was already involved. Luckily, my boyfriend-now-husband has always been very patient, but sometimes weeks/months would go by, and that was hard for him, too. In addition, I didn’t find people attractive. Let me clarify – I have always been attracted to my husband, and that started the day I met him at age 12. But….if we passed a good-looking guy on the street, I would recognize that he might be good-looking, but I wouldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t spout off a list of people I thought were attractive, because I didn’t have this list.

I considered both of these traits to be just who I was. I didn’t like that about myself but there was really nothing I could do about it. There was a lot of anxiety in college regarding all of that, for sure. When I went off the pill, I had heard I might start having a sex drive, because a lot of people did. But it really didn’t change. I suppose slightly. But not much.

Now, I’m on 150 mg of Clomid. My hot flashes continue to get worse, as I knew they would after upping my dosage for the third time. I wake up a few times a night, dying of heat, only to be cold five minutes later. It happens at school, too, and I throw the windows open and freeze my students. Those suck. In addition, I am noticing that when I’m far from ovulation, I’m much moodier, and more down in the dumps. As ovulation approaches, I start to just…feel like I have more energy, and I’m happier. I’m sure part of that is I’m excited to ovulate, and glad that I am. But more than that, I bet you it’s the hormones from the Clomid.

There has been one noticeable perk from my new hormones. Yes, more of a sex drive. Not only that, but all of a sudden, and for the first time in my life, I’m attracted to, like, everyone. Especially in TV shows. It started with Henry Cavill from The Tudors, and then swept to Cory Monteith on Glee, Dev from Smash, Zac Efron in The Lucky One..or anything, and of course, Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games. Look at that list! I’m proud of that list, as weird as that may be. I’ve never had a list. I’ve never…felt hormonal things. I’ve loved my husband through and through, and that has helped when the hormones weren’t there. But this..this is what I’ve been missing throughout my teenage years, and now I feel like it’s spinning out of control! It’s funny, really. I feel like a 14-year old girl trapped in a 27-year old’s body. This must be what it feels like for a normal teenager. And now, years too late, here I am, feeling hormonal.

I mention all of this for a reason. First of all, I’m upset that I never made a big stink about this to a doctor when I was a teenager. I never looked into why this might be happening. I questioned my love for my husband, love for anyone, really, and just chalked it up to me being…not a normal teenager. This would have been a major sign, along with my irregular periods, that something was wrong in my body hormonally. Do I think that is one piece of the infertility puzzle for me? Yes, I do. I wish that I had known sooner.

In addition, like I said before, I’ve been just..down now, for 40 days. 40, of course, because that’s how long it’s been since my last period. With this whole stair-stepping thing, which apparently double-dosing it is here to stay, each cycle is 50+ days long. I started Clomid in December, it’s almost May, and I’ve gotten my period twice. The waiting is extra long for me, I feel like. Today is CD 39, or, after the new round of Clomid, CD 18. But for those first 35 days now for two cycles, I feel down. I am frustrated, as any person would be, but I’m betting that Clomid has something to do with it as well. Every emotion, good or bad, feels heightened.

So there are perks to Clomid, but then there are reasons why it sucks, too. As of right now, though, the pros outweigh the cons: I’ve ovulated twice, hopefully three times soon, and prior to that..I didn’t.

No, I didn’t get my smiley face yet. I’ve having some cramping, and so I’m just praying that in the next few days it happens. I’ll go in for the IUI, and enjoy my third ever TWW.

Until then, with my spirits hopefully lifted a bit, I’ll do more research on my new diet. Paleo is okay, and I feel decent on it, but still having some stomach issues. I’ve just heard about the low amylose diet for PCOS – can anyone help out and tell me more about this?

Stair-stepping, Round 2.

I’m back for an update.

My follicle, which was 16 mm last Friday, has stopped growing. In fact, my nurse wonders whether it was ever a follicle at all, or maybe a cyst. If it was a follicle, there is no egg inside. My estrogen levels have actually gone down, when they should have gone up. Of course, I knew this already and hated having to wait a certain amount of days to be told this.

I am stair-stepping again, for the second cycle in a row (out of three total). They are bumping me up to 150 mg of Clomid, and I start it today. What was CD 25 this morning has just become CD 5, again. I am nervous about the hot flashes – they were bad enough on 100, not to mention 150.

I actually answered the phone today, so I did have some questions. Specifically, the answers were, no, the Dr. is not concerned about how Clomid works for me sometimes and not others, and specifically, works on one dosage ONCE, and then never again. Yes, it is normal (in terms of infertility). No, he does not see the need at this point to do a trigger shot, and instead wants me to stair-step. No, it’s not all over once 150 stops working (and we all know it will) – they will go to 200, and then 250. 250 is the max.

I am to come in for bloodwork in about a week and a half (what will be CD 15) to check on my status. So, as I feared, my first IUI is going to have to wait another 15-20 days.

Can I wait? Of course I can. But I’m irritated beyond belief because this is the second cycle in a row that I’ve had to stair-step, making it the second cycle in a row that the length of my cycle has been over 40 days. Can’t they see this is turning into a pattern? I will ovulate, I’m sure, on 150 with this stair-stepping, but then next cycle, when it’s150 by itself, I won’t. One dosage of Clomid, no matter what amount, is clearly not working in any given cycle. I need more.

The other reason I am irritated is because I have been peeing on a stick for 14 straight days, sometimes twice a day. I had ovulation pains, EWCM, my temps dropped real low. We got in a few BDs, then I got this lovely infection, probably caused by all of this. I planned. Again. Putting both my husband and I through this every cycle is just….so frustrating.

So yes, I’m annoyed. I am just mad that my body isn’t even allowing me the chance to conceive, and that the doctors aren’t too concerned. I’m worried that I will get to 250 (if I can survive the hot flashes), that will fail and then – IVF. I know so many of you go through IVF, but it’s nerve-wracking.

I’m not going to get my hopes up this time. I am sure I will ovulate. We’ll have the IUI and I will hope the best, but I’m going to try not to think about it. I’m done playing mind games with my body – begging and pleading and hoping is not working. Emotionally, I can’t continue like this, so instead, my tactic for this cycle is to attempt to completely forget about it. Wish me luck.

The worst secret club ever.

I tend to want to blog for one of two reasons: I’m excited and want to share, or I’m down and out and want to vent. This post falls under the latter category.

Let me preface by saying this: I hate whining, I don’t like being weak, I don’t like admitting to weakness that lasts longer than one blog post. I allow myself one post at a time and that’s it for a while. So here’s my one post.

I think my follicle has frozen in time. It’s CD 23, and still, no positive OPK. First of all, the nurse on Friday swore I’d get my smiley face yesterday, as my follicle was 16 mm on Friday. Secondly, even if my follicle is just growing really, extremely slowly, I don’t want to ovulate this late! It’s too late! There’s a reason they say that ovulating really late isn’t the best thing. The latest I’ve ovulated (out of the 2 times, ha) is CD 24. But I got my smiley face for that cycle on CD 22 and 23. Now, with no smiley on CD 23, I wonder, is it ever going to come? Has my body played yet another cruel trick on me – forming and developing a follicle, giving me some signs of ovulation, getting my hopes up for this first IUI, and then deciding to freeze there? Apparently, that’s a thing.

What will come of this? Well, I’m calling tomorrow and demanding an ultrasound Wednesday. I’m sure I’ll go in, they’ll see my follicle is right where they left it Friday, and then I’ll need to stair-step again, getting more Clomid before this cycle is over. Then, I’ll have this super giant follicle, but I’ll have to wait another 20+ days to get it. Doesn’t it say something if you have to stair-step two cycles in a row? And on different dosages of Clomid, no less? That’s a sign. One round of Clomid in a cycle isn’t enough – of either 50 or 100. I need something else. I do know about those injectables – maybe that’s something they would give to me?

But either way – and here comes my rant – it’s not freaking fair! Not that I’m not ovulating, though that isn’t either. It’s not fair that I have to go through any of this. It’s not fair that any of you have to. It’s not fair that this rough little bump in my life has come during a time of pure bliss for seemingly everyone else I know, that they have gotten pregnant all at the very same time. You know, if everyone else was struggling to get pregnant, I’m sure it wouldn’t sting quite as much. And I don’t wish that on them. But every Facebook post, every corner I turn, even my relatives continue to hint – why?

Easter was – well, okay. Not one of my bests. Mostly because my favorite reason for Easter (I sound horrible saying this but it’s quite true) is the guiltless reason to eat copious amounts of candy. Peeps, jelly beans, Cadbury cream eggs, peanut butter cups, anything with dark chocolate or marshmellow – I love it. I love it all. After ice cream, candy was my next favorite food group. This was my first Easter sugar-free. That is, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy(ish)-free, grain-free, aka Paleo diet. Sure, I splurged on N’s sweet potatoes with splenda-infused brown sugar (Oh My!), and even indulged in a few sugar-free jelly beans (thanks, Mom, and Russell Stover), but it wasn’t the same.

Visiting my dad’s side of the family, whom I rarely see, I got a nice tummy-pat from my 80-something year old grandmother. Granted, she’s only about as tall as my stomach, but still – is she saying I’m fat? Or is she patting it to indicate that I should be pregnant right about now? Am I paranoid? Probably, but can you blame me?

At my in-law’s, a family friend of theirs commented as I held one of my dogs in my arms, “See? You don’t even need to have kids.” Now – this is a nice man. I’ve continued to say, regarding the 5,000 people who’ve made dumb comments like that to me in the last 6 months, all of these people mean well, and are nice. I even like some of them. But why the dumb comment at the Easter dinner table? Hmm?? I responded with, “Well….not exactly.” He must’ve been told by my MIL, or N’s aunt. They know, but I certainly haven’t personally told anyone else in his family about my struggles. Why else would he have said that if he didn’t know? So, what,  is my infertility the big Easter dinner table secret?

The truth is, I don’t want to hold these secrets anymore. As it is, I’ve told everyone I feel close to and the entire online world. And even that isn’t enough. I don’t want to keep this negative thing in my life around anymore – I want it out. If I’m going to keep any secrets at all, I only want ONE specific secret. And you all know what that is.

Daryl put it perfectly:  ” This community, in particular, feels more like a secret society, one to which having a set of unlucky circumstances is the only password.  One to which all the members wish they didn’t belong.”

I agree – and while everyone around me gets to head into the “we’re over the moon with excitement!” stage – I’m missing out on a rite of passage. It’s called motherhood. I’m stuck in a very weird place between an over-grown teenager and a young-looking, young-acting woman. Remember my Peeta celebrity crush? He’s 19 years old! The real issue going on there is that I either want to be back in college (with N, of course) living out my golden years without a care in the world, or with a baby in my arms. There is no happy medium. Some of you have described your possible ability to grow old without kids. For me, it’s not an option. We will exhaust absolutely everything to have a child, including adoption. Therefore – I know I’ll have kids. I’m not saying I won’t. Some way or another, it’ll happen. But this waiting-in-limbo thing, it’s horrible, painful, upsetting at times. It just flat out sucks.

And I have one other concern. Can you sense the bitterness, the poutiness, the unhappiness I display on a regular basis? The jealousy, the rage, the irritation? When I get pregnant, is that going to go away? Am I going to retreat back to my old self, happy-go-lucky with just a dash of being a bit high-strung? Am I going to find the positive in all the little things, stopping and smelling the flowers, if you will? Will I be a better listener to my friends, because I’ll be able to give them more of my brain space? Will I shower N with the attention and love he deserves, without ever having to fake happiness? Or have I done some irrevocable damage, and this will be the new me? I fear that this mutter-under-my-breath type of personality that has taken shape in the last year is becoming permanent, and I won’t even like to be around myself.

Okay, I’m done. As usual, I do feel a bit better. And after all this whining and ranting, maybe I’ll go and get a smiley face tomorrow. You never know. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest! Thankfully, I know you guys have been there; you’ve been through it and then some. I only wish that none of us have had to.  No offense, but I want to belong to that other club, not this one.

Now, please, lil’ folly, please grow and turn into something hopeful.

Still on the fence.

I’m still on the fence! I thought I was sure and had made up my mind, but maybe I didn’t…

I can’t decide whether to skip right to IUI this cycle or do another natural Clomid cycle. I’ve still got four more cycles of natural Clomid if I so choose to use them. And why wouldn’t I? I’ve taken Clomid three times (this is Round 4), and ovulated twice. Clomid does work for me. At the same time, there’s this sperm issue…

Like I said previously, I know I’m not allergic to sperm, just like I’m not allergic to wheat or sugar. But sometimes, when I take in any of those three things, I get hives. With the sperm, it is accompanied by swelling and burning. I imagine my insides swell up and block off the sperm from traveling. This is something I could completely avoid with IUI…..but I’ve only tried naturally twice!

I know I need to make this decision, like, now. It’s CD 10. I imagine I’ll be ovulating sometime in the next 10 days (hopefully). So, I’m listing the pros and cons to see if it helps me decide.

PROS: Slight increase in success rate (not sure how much, still want to find that out), puts the fun back in sex, and after it’s over, the nurse gives me a blood test to determine if I’m pregnant..I don’t even need to worry about testing.

CONS: Skipping over four more natural cycles means, I’m guessing, I will not be returning to them if IUI’s don’t work. Can IUI’s not work after three rounds due to the same reason people don’t get pregnant naturally after three rounds – bad luck? I’d be going right to IVF next, which is scary for me right now. I want to go to IVF if something is wrong, not because of bad luck. Also, N would have to go do his thing, again. We would both have to miss work on a certain day, no matter what was happening, like important meetings and whatnot. Finally, it takes the fun out of baby-making. Sure, sex would be less stressful I suppose, but we wouldn’t be “baby-making” at all – a nurse would do that for me. And baby-making is special.

I understand that for those of you who don’t have a choice, it’s a no-brainer, because having a child is the main goal. And I understand that, but..I don’t know. While I still have the option, should I just try to enjoy the baby-making naturally? It might be gone someday and I might miss it. I can’t make up my mind.

N wants to know exactly how much the success rate will increase. He also thinks it’s somewhat sad if we jump to that step, because we could possibly be conceiving a child without going about it the way nature intended. It’s a big step. He’s on the fence, too.

So I know I need to make the decision. I was going to wait until next cycle, but honestly, the sheer number of people around me getting pregnant is just…debilitating, and I know I can wait one more cycle, but should I?

I was hoping to talk to my new ND first, whom I’m seeing on Thursday. She might be able to (I’m hoping and assuming) change my whole diet around and try to combat these autoimmune hives herself. That might do the trick. But I really think I need my decision by the morning.

In other fertility news, I’ve been planning how to spend my next TWW, whenever that comes around. I will not make the mistakes I made last time. Never again. Instead, I need to keep very busy, with my mind on other things. So far, I plan to 1) finish the Hunger Games series with the last book…that might not make it to the TWW), 2) paint this hook thing I bought at Home Goods and hang it up, and 3) buy, and enjoy, a Circle and Bloom tape. That also might not make it to the TWW.

In addition, I’m super focused right now on the rest of my health problems, because I’ve been breaking out in hives after every meal. With no sugar, except natural from fruit. It’s out of control.

Thanks for the comments and helpful suggestions. I’ve been writing down your thoughts and I plan to share them on Thursday with my ND!

 

A witch to the rescue?

The weekend is finally here. It’s always slow in its arrival. I feel like, lately, I am just dying to get in my car and drive home just as fast as I can after school. That would be fine and all, if I were getting to school early enough in the morning to actually be productive. But no, with my morning exercises and just flat out sluggishness I roll into work only a few minutes before I actually have to be there. (You know what I’m doing at 7 am over my bowl of chex and almonds? Reading your blogs…) I can sum all of this up by simply saying – I don’t want to be at work. It’s a shame, too, because I am a good teacher, and I have always loved my job. It’s not the kids, it’s not the school, though I do feel the pressures that teachers are facing have tripled since I started only five years ago. But that’s not it, anyway. It’s just that teaching is no longer my number one priority, like it used to be. Now, I have more important things on my mind, and even when I’m able to stop thinking about babies, I just want to come home and be with N. He always makes me feel better.

Anyway, as I’ve alluded to in the past few posts, I have recovered from my failed cycle, though a bit of embarrassment still lingers. I just was so stupid! I vow never to make those mistakes again. Hope is okay, but guaranteeing something in your brain is a bad idea. I did that, and more. I broke all the rules. This time, I am going into it more relaxed (I think). You’ll be pleased to know that since this new cycle has started (today is CD 7) I have only taken my temperature twice! Screw it – I don’t need a 5 am reminder that my temps are yes, still low. Once ovulation comes roaring into the station I’ll start up with it again.

I’m still on the fence about IUI’s. I appreciate all of your comments and thoughts, and I still have some questions. My biggest question is this: if there isn’t a medical reason to have an IUI (which, I do have a medical reason but I’m still in denial about it), what are the percentages of success vs. a natural Clomid cycle? Does anyone know this info? Heaven forbid I let my heart lead me in a certain direction. I need to know the facts, the science! Because if it’s a no-brainer, that IUI’s are so much more likely to work than a natural Clomid cycle, I’m there. But I have a feeling it doesn’t much make a difference…

..if there isn’t a medical condition. Other than my anovulation, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, antibody hives and all that good stuff, I do still have slight swelling and burning with regards to sperm. Are those swimmers swimming, or are my insides closing up shop because my antibodies are so out of whack? I don’t know.

It’s not that I don’t want to do an IUI. I want to do whatever will let me take home a child. I will, eventually, try everything and anything. But I wasn’t mentally prepared to be offered that right now, after only 2 natural Clomid cycles. So at this point, with the information I’m currently armed with, we are going to let this cycle be another natural Clomid cycle (which I suppose isn’t natural at all, but you know what I mean). If it fails, perhaps then we will throw in the towel and head over to my RE’s office. But in the back of my mind, don’t doubt that I haven’t wondered if my failed cycles are because of this autoimmune anti-sperm campaign. What if that was it?

Now, in addition to all of this on my mind, my other health issues have been on the forefront of my brain. My hives are absolutely out of control. I have gone down to a low-sugar diet, especially after 3 pm. But twice this week, after having a very small cup of low-sugar ice cream (5 or 6 grams), I am still breaking out in hives on my cheeks, lips, throat, etc. Even my Greek yogurt that I always eat gave me hives, and I ate it at 2:00! My body is saying NO sugar, and of course I’m having a hard time listening. Sugar is in everything! Gluten-free products have really hit the grocery store aisles, which is helpful, but there’s nothing sugar-free! There’s low-sugar, for diabetics, but not sugar-free. Ugh.  And it’s been feeling like summer, too, and my local dairy farm ice cream (which is in walking distance from my house) is a torturous thought. I’m brand new to low-sugar…how will I live without fresh coconut chocolate chip ice cream? Peeps on Easter? This is what I’ve been fretting about.

However, a glimmer of hope has arrived. Has anyone ever been to a naturopathic doctor? My first thought is to somewhat roll my eyes – I’m fine with taking medicine if it solves a health problem, and the stereotypes of “hippee” doctors including lots of herbs and spices spinning around in a witch’s brew. I’m not going to stereotype, though. I need this woman’s help, like, badly. I will be seeing her on Thursday. My insurance covers her, which #1 is totally awesome, and #2 proves that this doctor must been good enough at what she does to be in my insurance’s network. I wouldn’t be paying the $250 for an initial visit otherwise. She specializes in everything – nutrition, allergies, acupuncture, etc. I’m going to just tell her everything, and hope she uses her magic spells to cure me (kidding). But seriously, if she could just..help me, please, help me, in controlling my antibodies and my autoimmune symptoms. If my hives could subside and I could actually enjoy wheat and sugar again, even in small doses, I would be most grateful. I could have many less things to worry about. Plus, my CVS bill would go down.

Anyway, between this new doctor (bringing my total number of doctors to 7) and my thoughts on IUI’s and this natural cycle, I can only hope something good can come out of all of this.

My Dearest Wish

I feel as if I’m in good enough form today to present myself to the world via blog.

I know and understand that everyone has down moments, and there are times that they are completely justified. I know my being upset with getting AF, after being so completely sure I was pregnant, might be justifiable to you readers, and for a few days, I was okay with it, too. Now, though, I want nothing more than to be the exact opposite of that needy, whiny, “woe is me” kind of person, because I don’t like to be that person. For the record, whenever anyone else feels this way, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. But I judge myself the hardest, and I don’t like to be in that kind of a state.

I grew up with one very optimistic parent, and one generally pessimistic parent. I have always wanted to be optimistic about everything in life. And in many ways, I am. I set goals for myself and I reach them, and when I do, I tell myself it’s because I kept my head in the game and stayed positive. TTC, however, is a different story.

Unfortunately, being positive doesn’t always come naturally. I’m the very first one to be positive about someone else. I have no problem with that. I find, though, that I tend to think negatively after a period of frustration. I guess most people do. But I’ve always wished thinking positively came more naturally than it does. I have to work at talking to myself in a positive way. So in the last few days, I’ve had to put some effort into telling myself to cut the crap, suck it up, and think positively. It did not come naturally. Finally, though, after forcing the thoughts for a day or two, they are here to stay. (At least until ovulation…)

So I didn’t get pregnant. There’s always this cycle.

We had an impromptu Chinese food lunch at school today. This was my fortune:

I am not a spiritual person, and I tend to roll my eyes at any saying with the word “fate”. That said, I certainly didn’t mind getting this fortune. As I walked back to my classroom after lunch and started thinking about how many fortune cookies probably say this same exact thing, because they know that basically everyone has a wish, and this would be a common thing to put in a cookie to get people’s hopes up for nothing (and to continue buying their food)….I attempted to remind myself to stop being cynical and just..keep the damn fortune and shut up. So I did just that, and if I get pregnant soon, I will, in no way shape or form, chalk it up to this fortune cookie and instead attribute my good luck to science, but I will remember that this fortune brought nice thoughts today, and I’ll take that, for sure.

So that’s that. Now, I have a question for you.

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this before. With my high level of antibodies running around in my body doing a paranoid sprint, I develop hives from certain triggers. Mostly sugar, as you know. Gluten isn’t very good friends with my stomach, either. However, I can have sugar in the morning, but not night. I can’t have it alone. I can have an apple with lunch, but if I have it on an empty stomach..game over.Yesterday I had my yogurt (with 20 grams of sugar) at 2:00, by itself (like I do every day!), and within an hour I had a lip hive. It grew to full lip size and even put a nice lump in my throat all the way until about 9:00 this morning. Everything is so..random. It’s practically impossible to control.

I have had occasional hives in places that shall remain nameless, after a night in bed with N. I’m not going to be graphic. Let’s just put it this way. When my hives on the rest of me are especially bad, or could be if I ate the wrong trigger foods, I will have swelling and burning in the nether regions. It has been like that for years, but it’s sporadic. Sometimes I’m good to go, sometimes I feel like I’m going to throw up and I can barely walk. Mostly, though, it’s somewhere in the middle, with slight swelling, and possibly slight burning. The past couple cycles haven’t seemed to be a problem.

I told my RE about this when I first met him months ago, and he said, “Well, we will watch it, and we might jump right to IUI’s to bypass that problem.”

I remembered that, but started off on my Clomid journey, naturally. This past failed cycle, with perfect timing and all that…I realize it’s probably just…luck. The percentages of actually conceiving are never that high. However…what if it’s something else? What if, when the swelling and burning occurs, that’s my autoimmune system rejecting sperm? What if it never travels to its destination?

So I left a message with my nurse today, asking for a blood test.

She responded, saying that it is very rare to have an actual sperm allergy, and since this doesn’t happen to me every time, it’s probably not that. It is probably a sensitivity issue (just like with everything else in my system) to the proteins that travel, not the actual sperm. She said there really is no blood test to see that sensitivity.

I have four more cycles of Clomid to go,  naturally, before they try a few with an IUI. The nurse finished her message by saying that at any time if I am worried about this possibly being a cause of not being able to conceive, they can go right to IUI and skip the rest of the natural Clomid cycles.

So, I was basically offered IUI. Now. Or whenever I want. For me, though, this is a big step. It means technology is stepping in, and sex would not be the way to conceive our child. Am I ready for that? I have only had two natural cycles. That’s it. Swelling and burning was at an all-time low, but with the way my body has been acting the last few weeks, who knows.

N says it’s up to me, of course, and doesn’t really have much input. I wasn’t prepared to switch over yet, mentally, and I don’t want to go there, because if IUI fails, it’s one step closer to IVF, which is something I was hoping to avoid. Skipping four cycles of Clomid and going right to IUI means…IVF would be next, which is scary. No more natural cycles.

I really do not know what I should do in the slightest. Anyone who has had an IUI, what was the experience like? I’ll happily take your input – what do you think?

I’m good now, really.

My OCD is kicking in right now. I simply have to write this additional, short little post. I may be crazy, but you already knew that.

I’m fine, I’m good. I’m better. I don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t like admitting weakness! It’s okay to have it, but it’s just as important to get back on the horse. I can’t have that last post hanging over my head like that!

Just writing all that down helped, a lot. We just walked the dogs, and N admitted that the worst part is seeing how upset I get. I agreed, but for me, it’s seeing him upset. We’re mad that he won’t need his leftover vacation time to take off the month of December, but instead, we’ve decided to go away for a few days in April.

Looking back at the last cycle does nothing but make me upset, so I’m going to look forward. Today was a crappy day. I had eight vials of blood taken and my nurse messed up my Clomid prescription. But like I said, I’m looking forward. I’m on CD 2. Clomid starts in three days. Here we go again, Round 4.

Bitterness abounds, and it’s embarrassing.

A warning – this is a long, rant-filled post. I’m completely indulging in self-pity, and I hope to rid myself of that feeling by the time I’m done. Bear with me. Honestly, I almost don’t want to publish this post. I’m slightly embarrassed by my childlike emotions. Getting them out there, though, might take them right away.

Man, am I pissed off. I’m just – pissed. What was sadness has now channeled into a more thrilling emotion – anger. I’m angry.

Let me preface all of this by stating, again, that I know I don’t have it bad. I really don’t. And I don’t mean to imply that I do. It could be so much worse, and I’m grateful that it’s not. But I can only live in my own world, and experience my own situation. Thinking about how much worse I could have it doesn’t make this situation suck any less.

I’m mad for multiple reasons. I’ll attempt to sort them out.

Reason #1 – this one is a given. I’m pissed I’m not pregnant. Plain and simple. The timing was – impeccable. It couldn’t have been any better. My temps were beautiful. I had “symptoms”. There really should be no reason that this didn’t work. But it didn’t.

Reason #2 – I’m mad that the whole wide world has suddenly come down with a bad case of the pregnancy bug, and I haven’t caught it myself. Horrible thoughts like, “I doubt I’ll be pregnant by the summer” have come creeping into my brain. To be honest, I might have to leave Facebook. At least, I might stop checking it. Every time that I scroll through my news feed I am hit with someone’s baby something. Baby pictures, baby announcements, husbands swooning about their pregnant wives – seriously, I want to throw my phone out the window. I thought I’d be more mature about this, and handle this without excess drama but apparently at the moment I’m incapable of doing so.

Reason #3 (This is the biggest one) – I know I should be forgiven for this, but I am most angry at the fact that I allowed myself to believe, 100%, that I was pregnant. I’m so damn upset with myself for this. Ever since ovulation, I was so sure it happened. So sure, in fact, that I convinced my husband. We set out on our nightly walks, talking about how much vacation time N has, and if he could take off the month of December. Yes, my due date would’ve been Nov.25th. Stupid FF, for even telling me that. He would ask me, “You got a baby in that belly?” And I’d respond with, “I think so!” Stupid, stupid, stupid. It did dawn on me a few times during the TWW that I haven’t yet actually had a positive pregnancy test. Ha, I’d think. Oops. Well, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I was pregnant in my mind, and that’s it. And though I’m ridiculously disappointed, I’m more upset to read my husband’s disappointment on his face. He was so excited. I was so excited. And I convinced him it was happening. I thought my super-ovulation might have even released more than one egg, and we entertained the idea of multiples. We have names picked out (we have for a good year or so), and those names started to be spoken.

There’s a few other, secondary reasons I’m mad. (Gosh, I sound whiny. Oops.)

Last Thursday, in the midst of the end of the TWW craziness, I was asked by another person in my building if I was expecting. Since September, when I started at this school and met a whole bunch of new people, two have asked me if I’m pregnant, and one asked when I would be. Why, why, whyyyy do you have to ask me this?? And here’s the worst part of it – the woman who asked me last week asked because it looked like I was. You know what “you look like you’re pregnant” is code for? You guessed it – “You’re fat.”

Now, this woman is very nice, and I don’t know her from a hole in the wall. I was waiting to pick up my students from lunch and I had my arms crossed. I’m sure my nice little gut was sticking out, and my posture was probably bad. So she looked at my stomach, came over to me and said, “Oh, oh my, are you…are you expecting?” “No..”I replied. “Oh,” she said, “It just looked like you…” Then, realizing her mistake, she started apologizing, and I felt a little bit badly for her, because she has been nice throughout the time I’ve known her. So, I told her we were trying, but no, this is not a pregnancy belly. I’ve just…gained some weight.

Here’s the thing, and I know I’ve mentioned this before, too. I am self-conscious of my weight. I’m mad at myself, disgusted with the fact that I just binged-ate my way through this past weekend and today, and I’m aware that in the past year or so I have formed a nice little gut/butt….and I’m not happy about it. That said, I’m not very overweight. I could stand to lose 10-15 pounds. That’s it. I’m still in the “normal” range of my BMI. I think, though, that people notice that my gut and butt don’t fit the rest of my body. My frame screams that I should be smaller. And I’m not. It’s noticeable. The side view, in my opinion, isn’t pretty. I exercise though, and that’s not a problem. My problem is my food – I eat a LOT. A ton. As much as N, if not more sometimes. And he’s got 45 pounds on me. I emotionally eat. I stressfully eat. I eat when I’m bored. And lately, I’ve been eating when I’m upset and full of anxiety. That’s been, oh I don’t know, the last four weeks. Four months…a year. Two years. Which leads me to my next point.

I’m super-pissed at my body. Why do I have health problems? Why? I have healthy parents, I grew up healthy, what I actually eat is quite healthy, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I really barely even drink. I’ve been active all my life, I’ve made good choices. Why, then, in my 20’s, has my immune system decided to do a back flip? I should not have to have a reproductive endocrinologist, a rheumatologist, an endocrinologist, an allergist, etc. I should not have to be sugar-free in order to avoid my lips swelling up like a balloon. I should not have to be punished after eating a cupful of no-sugar added ice cream last night with a face full of lip hives this morning, as I hung my head in shame walking into the gym. For the love of God, just don’t look at my lips. I should not have to make sure my Synthroid goes down with enough water at 5 am every morning to keep my TSH levels at bay. I shouldn’t have to wonder if my positive ANA-titer is going to result in lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis someday. I shouldn’t have to wonder, when a cycle doesn’t work, whether it’s just bad luck this time, or if my endless autoimmune antibodies are at play.

Then again, none of us should have to go through what we go through. I know you’ve contemplated this yourself. I just wrote a giant post that can be summed up in three words – “It’s not fair!” And it’s not. Not at all.

Am I done yet? Yes, almost.

My gym is a brand-new YMCA. When I’m not taking a class, I’m hitting the treadmill. You know what window the treadmills face? The one out into the lobby, where on a Saturday morning there are more babies and toddlers there than adults. And they walk by, and wave, and smile, and parents coo. All while I’m attempting to run off my fat, as my sweat literally (no joke) drips down my arms. Yes, I’m nasty when I exercise.

I’m going to have to face Easter, seeing all my family and N’s family, with not a single good thing to say. I was really hoping to have a good secret. I almost want to hide from the world until I feel better. I haven’t been able to give myself to my family and friends. I’ve always been a good listener, and I like to give advice as well. I like being a part of my family and friends’ worlds. Lately, the only world I’ve been stuck in is my own. I don’t feel like I’ve been a good friend or family member the last few months or so. When I see anyone, honestly, what else is there to talk about? Is there anything else in my life as important and thought-consuming as TTC? No, there isn’t. Nothing else has mattered lately. And I’m not happy about that, either. I used to like my job, and I had other interests. I need to get those back. No one wants to hear me whine again and again, and I don’t feel comfortable doing so. Hence this blog. Sorry to those who get a double dose – on the blog and in real life!

I’m done. Phew.

That was a humungous dose of whiny, “I’m feeling sorry for myself” ranting. I do apologize. I never thought I’d become such a bitter person. I don’t like this new personality trait. I’m going to have to work on it.

And you know what? I do feel better, so thank you. Nothing’s more unpleasant than a whiny, overweight infertile. If I’m going to continue having issues conceiving a child, I might as well look good doing so.

I’m already wishing I didn’t write this post. I feel so much less anger and sadness right now that it’s almost worth deleting. I feel better. I’ve already started the new cycle, after all, and I just need to look ahead. Don’t look back.

Binge eating needs to stop, immediately. I need to count my calories. Work on looking my best, and try to forget about baby stuff. I need to put my bitterness away, at least until next cycle. I need to remind myself why I used to love my job. I need to invest in a hobby that has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy.

I will learn to love life again, without a child in it. For now.

 

 

Not a happy girl.

13 DPO, and I’m not pregnant. And I’m really upset.

I wasn’t going to post this weekend – whatever the outcome, I was just going to let it sink in before I wrote anything. That’s the problem – it’s not sinking in. I can’t accept this. And I’m also confused.

This is my chart.

I could not have asked for a better looking chart post ovulation. The temps kept climbing and climbing, I had lots of cm all the way through, and I made it through 9 and 10 DPO without spotting, like I did last time. Combine these beautiful temps with our timing, and I really, really thought we had it in the bag. I can’t emphasis enough how stupid I was, to be so sure of something, so convinced this happened that N and I started talking about due dates, and when he would take off work. How we would tell the relatives. Colors of a baby room.

Then, Thursday night (11 DPO), I had a small amount of spotting. Nothing major. I know implantation bleeding can happen as late as 12 DPO, so 11 DPO was certainly possible. I had no AF cramping, no AF signs whatsoever. But I started to panic. Then, yesterday, 12 DPO, after light spotting through the morning, I went to the bathroom at lunch to discover a horrible color – bright red. (Sorry for this TMI) I was upset, but I held it together. I threw in a tampon and finished the day. After I came home, I took out the tampon – no more red. Not even on the tampon. Back to a little spotting. Made it through the rest of the evening with nothing, or very, very light spotting. Did some Googling, it’s even possible to have a little bright red implantation spotting. It’s possible. I continued to hold out hope.

I also want to point out that on the two days I had spotting (the last two), my temp went up .2 each time for a total of a .4 increase. How could I have this spotting with that kind of increase? Hope continued.

This morning, as in 15 minutes ago, I woke up, removed the tampon I threw in overnight just in case, still spotting on it. A little bit of red as well. Very light, nothing major. I’ve got nothing right now at all.

I continue to not have any AF cramps, and I always have AF cramps. My temp continues to be up, though it dropped back .2 today, as you can see on the chart. I can’t officially call anything CD 1, because I need a regular flow for that, and that has not happened yet. But who has three days of implantation spotting this late in the game?

I have tested. I tested Thursday, yesterday, and this morning. All negative. Not even a trace of a second line.

I think it’s over. My body is being so cruel to me, in not giving it to me straight one way or the other. For dragging me through the mud. I still don’t officially, fully have AF. I have no signs of AF. My temps are high. But there is still spotting, still blood, still a little red. And negative tests.

I’m all for continuing to have some hope. It’s not over ’til it’s over, anyway. But at this point, this morning, I can’t do it anymore. I simply can’t. Holding out hope for the last week has caused me physical pain. I haven’t been able to sleep, my stomach’s been a mess. I’ve been nursing bananas and Gas-X. Something similar last time happened to me too, the last week. I’m such a wreck, because I’m so hopeful, yet so worried.

Last night, after being sure I was starting AF, N and I went out to dinner, and I ate and ate. I don’t care about the portions or the fat, I was happy that I craved food again, and could eat something that’s not off the BRAT diet. We went to the mall afterwards, stopped at Yankee Candle, had a PG rated good time smelling all the new scents, and picking out a few new ones for our home. I laughed, I paid attention to N, which I haven’t done since ovulation, basically. I’ve been glued to my phone.

If this cycle really is a bust, my goal for the next cycle will be to truly chill the f out (easier said than done, for me), enjoy life during the TWW, and the weeks leading up to ovulation. Which is basically my whole cycle. Enjoy life. Be with N. We will attempt not to talk too much about babies, but we enjoy it. It makes up hopeful. Hope is something you have to have. I think I just had a little too much of it this time.

That said, I still can’t. believe. it. Is it really over? Really? The way I felt 99% sure this happened, that was all in my head? I still don’t have the low temps or the sustained period to fully believe it. But who am I kidding. All those people out there who have found themselves pregnant in the last few months, and I could’ve sworn I would be joining them. I was so absolutely sure.

I know it’s just a BFN. And I know how many of you have gone through this, times 100. It’s just a negative cycle. I understand that, and I’m not meaning to say it’s the biggest thing in the world. I’ll have kids, I know that. I just completely threw my heart and soul into believing this was the one. I had a couple other people believing it, too. I can’t believe it didn’t happen. I still can’t believe it.

10 DPO, and I’ve gone mad!

It has been three days since my last post, and I feel like it’s been years. Apparently I got used to frequent postings! I wasn’t going to post today, either, but I figured doing a little recap wouldn’t hurt. The reason I haven’t posted is because…

…I’m crazy. Totally insane. I’ve lost my mind, my sanity, I am completely nuts. All thanks to the fun and exciting TWW.

I am 10 DPO. A little cramping (feels like AF cramping, but then, it always has) here and there, hungry constantly (hello, emotional eating), and temps above the cover line. That’s it.

Last cycle, I spotted on 9 and 10 DPO, and got AF on 11 DPO. Hence, you can imagine my excitement at not having any spotting yet. That said, if I did spot, it could be implantation spotting, but since I wouldn’t know for sure, for my sanity I’d just like to not have any spotting, please. The other thing in the back of my mind is that I took B6 pills this round and the non-ovulation round as well, to lengthen the luteal phase. I have heard success of doing this with this pill, so I gave it a whirl. My fear is that my LP has been lengthened, but I’m not pregnant, causing me to wonder for additional days than necessary about why I haven’t spotted yet.

It’s only 10 DPO. I am not testing, yet. However, some people do get positives on 10 DPO. But what if I don’t? I can’t put myself through that. It will have to wait.

Ha – can you see how this post is going? It’s a whole bunch of rambling. While annoying, thank you for allowing me to spill it out, because that is exactly what goes through my head all day, every day. I woke up at 5:00 this morning, took my temp, started Googling. In bed. When I should’ve gone back to sleep for 45 minutes. But I couldn’t! How could I possibly sleep when I am this close to this amazing, life-changing goal?

I’m over-analyzing my chart, I know. However, does it concern you that my post-o temps are so…flat? Where’s the spike, for implantation? Where’s the drop, for implantation? This chart tells me I haven’t implanted anything yet, if I was going to at all. My thermometer is new, it works wonderfully..I’m a big fan. It’s not the thermometer. I’m really stuck at 98.2. If it jumps up, just once, a big jump, I will be thrilled. But I’d rather have it flat than a drop, too. This is torture.

I wasn’t like this last time. Not this bad. Partly because #1 I knew my timing wasn’t great last time, so it was a shot in the dark. #2 I thought it unlikely to happen the first time around, and #3, I had spotting at 9 DPO so it was all over before I could even consider all of this.

There have been so many BFP’s lately, especially with so many of you bloggers, and I just feel like…this could be so nice, to join you. If it doesn’t happen this cycle, I know it will another cycle. I know I’m going to have a child. It’s just…so hard to start all over. To take Clomid again, go through this waiting thing, again. Wait to ovulate, wait out the TWW. I can’t believe I am so close and I could simply be about to start it over again. Or…maybe not. Maybe I have something here. The timing was practically perfect, after all. I just wish these stupid AF-like cramps would go away and stop worrying me.

There’s a lot riding on this cycle, and I’ve really put my everything into it. I’m hoping for a miracle!