Cue IVF, with a therapy session

I feel like I owe the world an update. It’s been so long (only since August 25th, but feels like forever) that I actually just had to go to my blog to see what my last post was. I couldn’t even remember what I talked about.

My last post was the night before my last IUI. Since then, I had the IUI (painful this time, really, but my head nurse declared that “this would be the one”, and it would work). Then, I had my birthday on the 29th, turned 28. I was very glad I was at the beginning of my TWW when my birthday hit, not the end. Then, school started. It was crazy busy as you teachers know – I spent the whole week before my birthday in my room decorating, and after that, preparing the curriculum, attending meetings, and then the kids came. This was the first week of school, and there wasn’t a single day I was home before 4:30, even though I got there at 7:00. I was actually grateful to have school this week, the second half of my TWW, since it would help take my mind off it. And it did.

But let’s just recap for a second. Do you recall how, in my last TWW, I took Crinone (the progesterone cream) for the first time, and no one told me that you don’t get your period while you’re on it? So in those last days, I got all excited for nothing as there was no spotting whatsoever and I thought for sure, I must be pregnant. After a blood test revealed I wasn’t, I stopped the Crinone and got my period a day or two later. And then I blogged that this time, now that I knew Crinone stopped your period, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for anything?

And then this cycle came along. Let’s just keep the story short and say this: I started spotting, on Crinone, a few days ago. Cue excitement. Maybe my nurse was right, you know, maybe it was finally my time…I kind of “felt” pregnant. What’s up with the spotting? I could only assume implantation spotting. But it was so light, that I thought it could’ve been an irritation from the cream, which happens I guess. I did test, BFN.

Until yesterday, when I woke up with some light colors that definitely could be called spotting, but not from the cream, and excitement grew. Even though I’d already been spotting for a full day, it was still so light, it just had to be implantation spotting.

Until today, when I woke up with….

….my period. Really? Really?? Think about this. Last cycle I got my hopes up because nothing happened, only to find out the Crinone delayed it. This cycle I got my hopes up because something happened, a whole lot of something, only to find out that it’s possible for the Crinone NOT to delay your period. WHAT the hell??

And I know it’s my period. Doubling-over cramping, the tampon being a must-have..and it continues to get heavier. As I’m STILL on the damn cream! I thought it wasn’t possible! So freaking frustrating, I can’t even begin to explain it. But you all know.

I did call the nurse, she responded with, “Hmm…that’s weird.” Yes, yes it is. However, she said, I could still be pregnant, so I need to do a blood test tomorrow morning. And I will. But I’m not pregnant. There’s no way. I have a full-on period. And if I was pregnant…I just wouldn’t think all this blood is a good thing. It’s a period.

Cue chocolate cravings and comfort food.

So, that’s the end of of my IUI days. Finishing Clomid was a big deal at the time, and now finishing injectables with IUI’s are old hat. Moving on. What’s next? Oh yeah, IVF.

The only thing I want to say about IVF for now is this: I went to the mandatory IVF seminar last night with my husband. The first half was very informative, our clinic has some of the highest success rates in the country (I hope they’re not just saying this), the doctor really spelled out all the steps for us. I get it. I’m good with it all, except 1) OHSS risks and 2) shots with giant needles in my ass.

But the second half of the seminar was from the psychologist. And I have to say, it was like a giant unexpected therapy session. She started talking about what we must be feeling, all 40 of us or so, and as heads started to nod all around me, I swear to god I almost cried. And I’m not really that type. It’s just – so SAD that we are going through this, so shitty of a situation I never in my life thought I’d be facing, and yet, so NICE to see 40 people sitting there smiling and nodding, and you just know, they get it. They get it more than anyone else could. And that’s also why I continue to blog here, for that same community feeling.

In addition, the psychologist validated my feelings. And I already know my feelings and emotions, and I’m actually doing fine overall, with the exception of the screaming bitterness I feel on a regular basis. Otherwise I’m good. I never thought I needed validation. But it’s crazy – I did. She started talking about how we’ve probably all heard the stupid comments people make, like, “Just relax. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to,” and “don’t stress, or you’re going to make it worse”. All things I’ve HEARD! And then we all laughed, because it’s so true. And she talked about how some people have kept this horrible secret in forever, and perhaps they might want to think about sharing it. VS people who started off telling the whole world (um, me) and are now starting to think it might be better to keep your mouth shut (yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking lately). It’s like she read my mind! And how sometimes, the people you tell and get the better feedback from are your friends, or strangers, rather than family members (hence why I continue to tell the blogging world). It was just…so what I’m feeling. And obviously everyone else there too. It was just nice. That’s all. Nice. Even though I wanted to cry the whole time. I even raised my hand (like a big girl) and told everyone how the follistim shots are nothing to be scared of whatsoever, since I was one of the few who had done any shots before. It’s an emotional thing, and I – let’s just say if you know me, you know I don’t like to be..vulnerable. I hate to be emotional. Hate it. Because I hold myself together, and I pride myself on that. But last night I was very emotional, and I realized, you know what, this is shitty, this is really shitty. Why have I been trying to play it off? I don’t want people to think I’m a mess, that’s why. I’m not a mess. I laugh, I enjoy myself, I love my job. I’m good. But it’s not..okay. This is not my life.

And then tonight we were walking the dogs, and my husband said, “You know, I really actually enjoyed that class last night. It was nice to know there were others sitting in the same room as us who get what we are going through.” And cue more emotions. I feel bad for him, I do. I feel bad for me, I feel bad for us. This just sucks, big time. Yet, as upset as I felt last night, I also felt..relief. And almost a little giddy. I suppose a little therapy doesn’t hurt anyone.

Since I’m not sure when I’ll be back for a new post, because, really, what is there to say, I’ll share the new plan.

The new plan is, I am meeting with the doctor on the 17th to go over our IVF plan, wait out the 20 or so days left in my cycle, get Provera, start a period…and then the IVF process starts. So we’re looking at October, which I knew. Maybe IVF will work. Hopefully.

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My last IUI…

…is tomorrow. Yes, I’m actually ovulating, and although it took about three weeks to get there, I’m happy that the day is finally here. It is only one egg, in the end. There was a second one, it grew to 15 mm..and stopped. I went into the fertility office four days in a row last week for both the blood test and the ultrasound. In the end, they even gave me an extra day to see if the second one would cook anymore. It didn’t. So one it is. And I mean, really? Three weeks of daily shots and my body produces one freakin’ egg? Last time I had three! At the time of triggering, my one follie grew to 18 mm, and the doctor seemed pleased with that. So we’ll see.

One thing I am not going to do in this TWW is get excited, based on “symptoms”. There are no symptoms from this – what I’ll feel the first 10 days is nothing but my progesterone cream talking. And I will not temp, not even once, because as I now know, Crinone raises your temps, too. And lastly, as I found out the hard way, you don’t get your period while you’re still taking Crinone. So when 14 DPO comes around and I’m wondering where my period is – it’s not coming! I will be relying on the pregnancy test and the blood test 17 DPO to tell me the truth.

And not that I’m being pessimistic or anything….but I’ve started planning for the next cycle. The next cycle being my first IVF cycle. I’ve signed up for the class I need to take, which actually occurs during the TWW, when I won’t even know if I’m pregnant or not, but no matter. And I’ve made an appointment in mid-September to meet with the doctor and get the ball rolling. I do not know at this point whether I’d need to wait another month after that appointment, since my period will have already come and mostly gone by then, and it might be too late to start shots, but we’ll see. Hopefully it will work out to begin in September, but I suppose I could say, what’s another month?

I am still a bit scared about IVF. However, I met with a nurse at some point last week, who took a look a my growing follie among the 40+ others hanging out in there, and she declared that I have “young, super-ovaries” and I “really should do IVF”. I agree! Everything looks good in there, and I know I’ll make lots of eggs. I just need to bite the bullet and do it. And I will.

But one step at a time.

Meanwhile, I will focus on school. Our meetings start up next week, and the kids come in the second half of my TWW. I spent all last week setting up the room, and it has taken my mind off of things. It’s looking good, too! Check out my new teaching blog here to see before and after pictures of my classroom. 🙂

A Natural Mother

What happened to me on Clomid is appearing to be happening to me on follistim. I’m sensing a trend, and it’s really the most bizarre thing.

As a recap, when I was on Clomid, it would work (get me to ovulate by growing my follies) the first time I was on a new dose. So, when I started on 50 mg, it worked. But then, the second time I would use Clomid and start on that same dose I finished with last time, it wouldn’t work, and the doctor would have to up my dose. This happened while on Clomid three different times, and my doctor would just let me stair-step my cycles (not get my period and just keep going instead). Out of the six rounds of Clomid I took, three got me to ovulate. And yes, those three were every other time.

The first round of follistim got me to ovulate. They had to play with that dosage a bit because 50 iu’s weren’t working after a while. So, a week and a half into the shots, I was upped to 75 iu and bam, I grew 3 follies and ovulated. Guess what. I’m on my second round of follistim, and the doctor started me off at 75 iu, since that’s what worked last time. It’s been over 2 weeks now – that’s a lot of shots, and I have one, count them, one small follie, barely over 10 mm. Why am I not surprised? It’s like the first time I use a drug, my body hasn’t seen it before and responds appropriately. The second time, my body fights it off like it’s nobody’s business, daring me to try yet another drug or procedure.

That whole, don’t go on vacation because your estrogen is too high not to see us 3 days in a row thing, was crap. It’s been a week and a few days since then and it’s not looking good. That said, the doctor wanted me to continue this cycle. It’s not as if he gave up on it. But this cycle is going to be one follicle strong. Just one.

I’m not begging for multiples here, and I don’t mean to imply that. However, there’s something about going through all of this, both physically and mentally, where I get to this place where my brain says – you know what, if I’m going to ovulate, it better be more than one egg. When only one grows, I just joined the rest of the population who releases that one egg on their own and gets pregnant by having sex. Ha! Clearly these three-times-a-week jaunts down to my clinic and multiple stomach bruises do not put me in the same place as everyone else, and I would appreciate my body providing me with more than one large follie in order to say, “Thanks for putting up with my crap. Here’s two (or three) eggs for your effort and well-being.”

Plus, this is my last IUI. Yes, it really is. We’ve made up our minds, and have the luxury of being able to do that with our wonderful insurance. I can’t believe I’m getting very close to pulling out the big gun, IVF. It’s scary. Terrifying.

The funny thing is, I’ve recently mentioned IVF to a few people, especially those who I’ve not updated in a while. I don’t mind updating them when they ask, I really don’t. Talking about this has never been an issue. But it’s the funniest thing – the way people react. I’ve learned that most people do not know what IVF is. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to. But I feel like I always knew. I suppose that’s not the case. Anyway, the trend in comments is basically a congratulatory one. Yes, good for you. You’re doing IVF. Yay!

No, you don’t understand. This is the next step, yes. But it’s the last step. Not last last, like there’s no other options. But last as in..the last “common” type of fertility treatment. If that doesn’t work, to my knowledge my options are: surrogate, donor egg, adoption. And those will be done, if need be, but I mean – that’s, well, extreme. It just is. But as for IVF – I’m not happy about it. It’s not a “yay”. This is a step I’m not happy about doing. It’s a huge deal, and it’s scary.

Of course, people also don’t know what IVF entails. They seem to realize the severity of it once I get to the part where they go in and suck out the eggs, one by one. (I try to make it graphic for added effect.)

I’m jumping the gun, I know. I can’t help thinking about my next cycle after this one. Surgery, OHSS risks, and what if none of the eggs are viable? What if it doesn’t work?

One cycle at a time, and I’ll find out the progress on my little follie at yet another ultrasound tomorrow morning. I did start Ganirelix and as far as I know, that means ovulation might be..getting close? Or something? Had to order another round of follistim – blew through that first 900 iu pretty quick!

School is starting soon. My main reaction to this is happiness. I have a regret about this summer – I did nothing with it. I told myself I needed to do some projects, or something. Read some good books. I don’t know what the hell I did do this summer, but I know what I didn’t do. Anything. I wasted it. But then, I suppose the whole past year has been somewhat of a waste, and the only thing that got me through it with actual happiness was my last class. They were so wonderful. I laughed every day. Now, it’s back. Granted, I’m just starting to put my room back together again, and I’m getting a whole new round of kids, but having something to focus my mind on is such a relief. I almost forget this pregnancy mess.

But then today was a reminder of what is so far away. One of my most dedicated, happy, well-rounded 11-year old students from last year has come back to help me set up my room. He is actually one of a few students helping me out in my room this week, for which I am so grateful. But he was the first. We got a lot done; bulletin boards, attacking the closet, etc. I knew he was coming in advance and I told his mother I’d make him lunch as a thank you. Nothing much – just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple, a Gatorade, and chips. Well, he wolfed that sandwich down like it was his first meal on earth, and he raved about how delicious the bread was, how much he just loved the sandwich. He was also grateful for the rest of the food, and it’s not like he doesn’t eat at home! He has a wonderful family. I felt this sense of motherly..I don’t know, pride or something. Longing. That I could do something for him that he appreciated. Because he is coming back later in the week, and because my house is running out of food, I went to the grocery store after I left school. Bought more of that bread he loves (it’s my husband’s – with gluten), more jelly since we were out, Gatorade, etc. It made me happy to buy this food, and I will be even more happy when I go to make his lunch.  I realized how badly, how truly badly I want to be a mom. I want to be that mom in the store, thinking about my kids and remembering their favorite snacks, and bringing them home to make the kids happy. Such a simple little gesture but doing it for this student felt so good, it must be what mothers feel. I won’t go this far because he’s a student, not my kid, but I can’t wait to sneak a few m+m’s into a sandwich, or write a note that s/he finds at the bottom of his/her lunchbox that says “Have a great day. Love, Mom.” That’s what I want. That is the dominant feeling I am lacking most, the one that seems so very natural to me, and I think I do it well, but never have a chance to use it. I really do think I’m a natural mother. I’ve thought that for a very long time. Which is what makes this all the more difficult.

Like I said before, teaching is on the brain a bit now, and I’ll start updating my new teaching blog more often. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so here. I’m a little confused with wordpress – a lot of people who read this blog are reading my new blog and getting the emails, but my new blog doesn’t say I have them as followers. I don’t get it!

So frustrated!

It’s days like today where I’d like to scream in frustration. Or possibly punch someone in the face, because that seems gratifying. What I actually did was eat some chips and have (gasp!) a soda…with caffeine!

We were supposed to go on vacation this weekend. I know it seems like I’ve been on a lot of vacations this summer but I really have not. We visited my grandparents in Maine for 3 days in July, and I did get to the cape for a few days last week, but that wasn’t with my husband. He and I were supposed to go to his lake house for 3 nights – originally Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. As this weekend drew nearer, I had a feeling it wouldn’t continue to be a 3 night, 4 day vacation, because I knew I’d have to get into the doctor’s at some point. So all week long we’ve been playing it by ear, to see which day we would go, and for how many nights.

I went in for my baseline on Monday, went for bloodwork only on Thursday, and was told to come in today for an ultrasound and bloodwork (today is CD 7). So that’s when N and I realized that our 3 night vacation would definitely go down to 2 nights, or maybe even only 1 night, depending on when they next want to see me.

So I’m getting probed, per usual, you know, again with a weekend nurse. She actually walked in me in the middle of undressing…good times. Anyway, she’s digging around for buried treasure in there, and it’s only CD 7, so I’m not expecting a lot. And rightly so. There are no follicles greater than 10mm, and frankly, I don’t believe any are even bigger than like 6 or 7 mm. She didn’t even tell me how many there were, because it’s too early. But I do have two giant 20+mm cysts on my left ovary.

Then I meet with the doctor, and I tell him we were planning on going away for a few days. Did he think I’d end up having to go back on Monday or Tuesday? Since the follies are so small, I mean. He said he wasn’t sure if it would be Monday or Tuesday, but he took down a note that said Tuesday would work better for me, and as long as my estrogen levels were low enough, that should be fine. I figured we’d be golden…how could my E2 levels be high with no follies growing?

So I went home, finished packing for the trip, N packed the cooler .We still didn’t know if I’d be going in Monday or Tuesday – meaning, a 2 night vacation, or just one night? We brought the dogs to their doggy camp, paid $70, worked out arrangements with my mother to get them tomorrow and keep them tomorrow night, if we find out I don’t have to go in until Tuesday. We packed for 2 nights, knowing it could just be for one night only, but assumed the call wouldn’t come in until we were already on the road.

Thank goodness we were running late. After dropping off the dogs we swung into a Subway, and that’s when I got the call from some other weekend nurse. They need me TOMORROW. For bloodwork only. Because my E2 is high, 213, and my dosage needs to be dropped tonight.

My 2, down to 1 night vacation has officially turned into a zero night vacation – no vacation! And we were sitting in the car, about to hit the highway, with two nights worth of meals in the cooler, bags packed, dogs gone, you know, the whole bit. Could not believe it. So on the phone I was a little in denial at first..telling her that the doctor had predicted Monday or Tuesday, and she put me on hold and talked to another doctor, who told her that I could come in Monday for bloodwork, instead of tomorrow, but to be prepared that things could progress too fast, and they might have to cancel the cycle. Obviously we’re not going to risk that. And I couldn’t even look for a place in NH that does bloodwork, because who is going to be open on a Sunday morning, at a doctor’s office that isn’t mine? So we turned around and went home. I’m not going to pick the dogs up, because they are already paid for. So they have to spend the night in a place that’s not their favorite while we are home, 20 minutes away, and I feel bad.

Then I ask the nurse on the phone what the plan is from there, and because my levels are high, and they appear to be a bit concerned about this, I will also more than likely have to go in Monday morning for bloodwork and ultrasound again. That’s 3 days in a row, people. My arm is bruising up and looking like I’ve gone on a drug binge.

In the end, we’ll go on a date tonight somewhere not far away, and just pretend we didn’t just waste $70 for doggy care we don’t need. Tomorrow, I’ll get my blood done very early, and dammit, I’m going to that lake house, but it’s only for the day. You know, because I have to go back again the next morning. So much for vacation!

I will get over it, and in the scheme of life it’s not a big deal. It’s just frustrating that we were minutes from the highway with a packed car, and had to turn around. And the wasted money. And the lack of puppies in our house right now.

But really, there’s another underlying issue maybe you guys can help me with. I’m a little concerned – I have no developing follies, but my estrogen is at 213, apparently high enough for the doctors to make me lower my dosage tonight, and go in 3 days in a row to be monitored. Should I be worried here, that something bad is happening? Could the cysts be doing this? What does it mean when E2 goes up but follies don’t grow? I’m trying not to worry, but this doesn’t seem normal. Someone will get hurt if I have to cancel this cycle.

I’m a quitter and a liar. Oh, and a complainer.

Warning: Lots of bitter complaining and venting ahead.

Hmm, let’s see. Should I bitch first about my fertility woes or my inner food fight? I’ll start with the fertility stuff, as that is what this blog was made for in the first place.

I’m pissed off, I guess you could say. I’m mad at my nurse/doctor. Never did a single person in that office care to inform me that when you are on Crinone (the progesterone cream) during your TWW, you will not get your period until you stop it. There will be no spotting, either. Progesterone keeps your AF signals at bay. Not only that, but it actually tricks you into thinking you are pregnant by providing you with (what I believe to be) pregnancy signs. Minor, occasional cramping, chest growth we’ll just say, and painful as well, and, oh yeah, sky-rocketing temperatures. Had I known all of this, I wouldn’t have made the errors I did.

I started temping at 10DPIUI, and over the next few days, my temp soared to 99.6 degrees. I kid you not, and I’m not sick. Felt fine, just hot. I thought I may have had a superbaby in there or something. Wow – and the spotting isn’t here yet either?! And the days continued with temps still high enough, no spotting, and I thought – hold on a second. Let’s do a quick Google search. Sure enough, Crinone and Prometrium (the other commonly prescribed progesterone treatment) cause high temps, pregnancy symptoms, and you will not get your period until it’s over. Gosh, it sure would have been nice to have known that. I did it again – I got my stupid hopes way too high up.

I just had no idea. Now I know. Now, next cycle, I will not temp, not once, because they aren’t actually reflecting the true temps I would have. I will not overly analyze soreness and other preggo symptoms. I will not smile with delight at the lack of spotting; the lack of AF signs. I will just know that I will be completely in the dark as to whether I am actually pregnant or not until it shows up on a test. I did test twice, by the way. So mad I wasted two of those tests.

This all sounds like I must have my period, right? Nope. Now, my nurse had me in for bloodwork next week, what would have been 17DPIUI – that seemed excessive to me, but I wasn’t too concerned two weeks ago. Now I’m thinking – you expect me to wait that long? Absolutely not. If I am not pregnant, I am not waiting until Day 17 to stop the stupid cream and hear that I’m not pregnant. It worked out for me today because I was hoping to go on vacation next week for a few days, so I called this morning and asked if I could do it today. They said fine. (Next cycle, remind me to lie around 13DPIUI and say I’m going on another vacation…) So I trekked in today, had the blood done, knew I wasn’t pregnant, now that Dr. Google has taught me a thing or two, and stuck it to the man by not taking the Crinone this morning before I even went in. The nurse, when she called hours later, assumed I had. No, I figured it all out. That cream is done.

The nurse, though, was not my nurse. A weekend nurse. “Oh, I’m so sorry to have to tell you this,” she starts, “But I’m afraid you’re not pregnant.” You know what? I already know that. I got that blood test done because I’m supposed to. And I don’t really even want to hear the words. That said, I appreciate her kindness. I do. That’s when I asked about the Crinone and she said, “Oh yeah, you won’t get your period while you’re on that.” Wow, thank you so much! Just in time!

I’ve never been in this position before, so this is a first: My cycle is over, but I don’t actually have my period yet. CD1 is not here. It’s like..CD 95 or something redonkulous like that. I should’ve gone for an even 100. So I’m waiting. Fine, whatever, I’m ready for the period (“Your lining was extra thick,” the nurse says, “So you might have an unusually heavy period.” I can’t wait.) and I’m ready for the shots to the gut. Let’s do this. But my vacation hangs in the stupid balance, because I have to come in on CD2 for the baseline ultrasound. I wanted to go on vacation Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully my period comes soon, because if it doesn’t, I might not be able to go anywhere this week, and sitting around waiting for my period is not how I wanted this week to go. I’m irritated, I’m sure you can tell. Another IUI down the drain and a possibly ruined vacation. On to the next one.

And on to my next round of complaining. This Paleo diet – I’m done with that, too. I feel bad, I have to say. I feel like a quitter and a liar. I’ve always known I was a quitter (I stop any job when it gets too hard, especially physical labor, I did quit the track team once, I quit piano lessons when I only had one more recital before I graduated high school…I quit things. Wanna fight about it?) but one thing I am not is a liar. I literally cannot lie without my face turning bright red and the guilt just oozes out of me. I have to own up to it right away. But this time, I feel like I lied to you, because I went on and on and on about how awesome Paleo is and how I can do anything for 30 days. But I can’t, because I’m a quitter.

Not that the Paleo diet can’t be awesome. It can be. Just not for me. I am fully aware that the first week or two of the Paleo diet (especially when you’re super strict about it) causes the Paleo flu. I had it for Days 2 and 3, for sure. But even after the initial major stomach aches and fever subsided, I still felt like crap all week long. It was different symptoms (headache, dizziness, extremely fatigued, sluggishness, and insomnia) but some of those could’ve been from the stupid Crinone as well, so it’s hard to know. What I do know is that the large amount of food I prepared last Sunday ended up in the garbage. Mostly the vegetables, because I didn’t pay attention to the fact that even a bite of a raw pepper would send me heading to the bathroom, so I really couldn’t eat vegetables all week long. That’s just money down the drain, in my eyes. Not to mention without the vegetables, my diet was consisting of endless amounts of meat and shrimp, bananas, and sweet potatoes. And to be honest, I’m not sure I can eat another sweet potato for a long time. The thought of the eggplant that was sitting in the fridge is currently making my stomach turn. Zucchini? Don’t even go there. And (shudder) I need a break from ground meat. It was in my breakfast, it was in my lunch, it was in every meal. No veggies, it was a meat diet for a week. And I felt like such crap.  But even all this, which is just a bunch of “suck it up and get over it”, isn’t what caused me to cancel the challenge.

It was my favorite Paleo blogger, ironically enough, who posted a link to this article. That article, if you don’t want to read, can be summed up in the following: If you have thyroid problems or PCOS (hello, yes, that’s me) you need to have carbs in your diet or you’re going to make your health problems worse. We’re not like normal women (thanks so much), and it’s actually detrimental to our health not to have 100-200 grams of carbs (I keep typing “crabs”, ha) daily. Not veggies as carbs. That’s not what she means. Now, it doesn’t mean I have to go and consume a pizza, though I wouldn’t complain. It means I need to add back into my diet the lovely rice and potatoes. Ahhh. So much better. Just those two things have saved my sorry ass from this damn challenge. And that was all the convincing I needed to bring back those staples into my diet. I know there’s more to the story, including a whole bunch of sciency gobbly-gook that totally does make sense, but it made me feel so much better.

And since the challenge rules have been broken, I no longer feel bad at all about bringing back these into my diet: Sugar-free gum (gasp!) and stevia. In addition, there are just some times where you just…cave. OMG I had ranch dressing today! Say it isn’t so! Yup, and white potatoes too, at a shower I went to. Oh yeah, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m bad.

So now that I’ve totally caved and couldn’t commit to this one freaking thing, I realize – this is my happiness on the line here. You know, if I wasn’t a bitter mess, maybe I’d keep trying. But right now, that sounds like a giant no. The phrase “comfort food” exists for a reason.

But just so I don’t sound like a total unhealthy mess, I am going to keep a couple of things going, because the one compliment I can give to this first week of the Paleo diet is that my hives disappeared and my bloating completely went away. That’s the sign of my autoimmune issues smiling of delight inside. I really need to keep those hives away, while still getting sleep and not feeling like my stomach is going to twist into a pretzel. I also lost two pounds – my husband lost five. I am still 100% gluten-free, which is easy as pie. I am still 95% sugar-free, meaning day-to-day I am completely, like, dessert-free, but a few things that have a little sugar in them (like ketchup, yay!) I’m not going to have a heart attack over. That and when I’m on vacation, I’m having ice cream once. Full sugar and dairy, but a small. I’ll still pay later. It’s worth it. And I’m going to be about 95% dairy-free. Too much dairy does bother me, and totally bloats me. So I’m going to keep cheese away, mostly, and I don’t drink milk anyway. It’s only the vacation ice cream.

Grain-free? Well…I’m keeping rice. If I didn’t, I’d be…back on Paleo. There’s only so many ____-free’s I can do. Dairy, sugar, and gluten seems good enough right now.

Yes, I did totally just reason with myself. And provide myself with excuses that make me feel better for being a quitter. Especially since my husband is not a quitter – he feels great and joined a Crossfit gym to boot – so I have to watch him make smart choices. We are still having full Paleo meals, but I am adding in rice or a potato.

I do apologize for the epic amounts of whining and sarcasm here, but I must say, I always feel so much better when I’m done! And I know you guys won’t judge me (out loud, anyway) and are always a giant bunch of support systems. I also want to say that today, with the cycle over, I am trying to remind myself how good I really have it, and that so many of you have gone through, and are currently going through, so much more than I am. I do know that, and I keep it in mind. But sometimes, a good venting session is all I need.

 

10DPIUI is the worst day of the TWW.

I know I’m crazy. Being 10dpiui does that to a person.

I must not be alone on this one, because one of my most viewed posts to this day, was 10DPO, and I’ve gone mad! There must be others out there who think this day just totally sucks. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in my opinion, 10 days into the TWW is the worst day of the whole TWW. You see, at 10 days past, it’s likely too early to test. Yet, you’re getting so close to finding out one way or the other that you start Googling with excitement. Doing this for a few minutes helps you realize that there are some women out there who have, in fact, gotten a BFP on 10DPO. You wonder, could this happen to me, too? Is it worth trying? Then you keep Googling and find more and more people who have gotten their period and you get pissed you wasted that much time at the computer…

Maybe this is just my story. No, there’s no chance in hell I’d test today, for multiple reasons. #1 – BFN’s are sad, and they piss me off. I don’t want to see one unless I absolutely have to. #2 – I’m still taking progesterone, and who knows if the trigger shot is still in my system. The only thing worse than a BFN is a false BFP. That would be beyond devastating. And there’s really no way to know when it’s out of your system, unless you test from 1DPO, which I didn’t do. #3 – this has happened to me a few times now: I test, get a BFN, and then my period shows up within hours. “I should have waited” is what flows through my mind.

So I’m not testing. Yet, like I said before, I’ve hit double digits in the TWW. Game’s on, now. I know I’m nearing the end, and all of a sudden, I’m feeling a bit cray-cray. I was mentally steady up until this point, even thinking about next cycle with some optimism and focusing on my new Paleo 30-Day challenge. I was not thinking about the TWW, and when I did, I reminded myself we used frozen sperm, the count was low, there was nothing extra to “help out”…it’s so likely to be a “no”. Then, I woke up this morning with mild cramps and sore bb’s – a sure sign of my period. I know that feeling. It feels like AF. Except here’s the thing: it’s too early for that. The last few cycles, I have spotted around today or tomorrow (10 or 11 dpiui) but with no cramps. Then, the day AF shows up, that’s when I’m crampy. I would be extremely surprised if AF showed up today. Either way, the cramps were very mild and have now gone away, and nothing has happened. But it’s too early to test.

Like I said, the crappiest day of the TWW is day 10. That said, 11dpiui isn’t so wonderful either. Still too early to test. So, what, am I supposed to just ignore what my body is doing, either with pregnancy or my period, and pretend like it’s not happening? I guess so. It’s the final stretch but I have no control over anything. I just have to wait and see what happens.

This was my first injectable cycle, as well, and my first time using Ovidrel and Crinone. I don’t know what side effects I should be watching out for. I can say that my stomach has been a mess for weeks now, even a few days before the IUI. I don’t know what it was, but eventually it just went away. Then, since starting the Paleo diet challenge, back come the health issues. Not the autoimmune ones – those are nowhere in sight – but the chills, increased body temp (aka Paleo fever), stomach pains. Today, I can add slight headache (which I NEVER get) and occasional dizziness to the list. (Though – for those of you going Paleo or something like it – I feel better today, Day 4 of the challenge. Those stomach pains? Hunger. Just eat often and don’t worry about having an extra banana or sweet potato to settle the stomach!)

But it’s likely nothing to do with a pregnancy. Instead, I’m either fighting off a bug (that’s happened in my TWW before), or these are side effects of the Crinone (anyone know?), or most likely of all, it’s low blood sugar as my body adjusts to this crazy diet. Why did I pick the second week of the TWW to start a brand new diet? My body doesn’t know which way is up.

I’ve been so stable and calm for a while now, the whole month of July. All of a sudden I wake up this morning and I feel like I’m going to jump out a window. I. hate. waiting.

 

Turkey basting, Round 2, and pills galore.

I’ve had my second IUI, first one with injectables instead of Clomid. More on that in a minute.

I hate taking pills. Well, really, I just hate taking medication. I hate that today’s science labs have created something that I need to take in order to make me feel better, and that if I lived in an age where these drugs weren’t available I’d probably die, or something. I suppose I should be grateful. I’ll work on that. I hate my need for medication, most of all.

And apparently, I need a lot. I realized this today, while giving a rundown of my drugs to the nurse at my gyno office. Once upon a time I occasionally took 2 advil for period cramps, or 2 tylenol for a headache. And my birth control pill. I went from that, to this:

-Ranitidine (really Zantac) – not for ulcers, though I may give myself one over time, but for those pesky autoimmune hives. It’s an antihistamine.

-Claritin or Zyrtec – the other antihistamine, I take this with the ranitidine, twice a day.

-Synthroid – the one drug I don’t mind taking, it’s saved my thyroid.

-Probiotic – from RainbowLight, a friend said her stomach felt good on them, and she has a stomach similar to mine. I figured they can’t hurt. Twice a day.

-Psyllium Husk pill – twice a day. These are the only fiber supplements that seem to help with IBS. Again, another autoimmune disease, and Miralax doesn’t touch it.

-Multivitamin – one that actually feels great on the stomach. I wouldn’t mind that after dinner if it were by itself, but it’s joined by the probiotic, psyllium husk, and:

-Vitamin D – allergist said I was low and should take this, and I know it helps with thyroid function.

-Folic acid – multivitamin doesn’t have enough, but the gyno said I could stay on it if I added 400 mg more of it.

-Vitamin B6 – I’ve heard lengthens your LP. Mine was 9 days, and I decided to give it a try based on a friend’s recommendation. It works – went to an 11 day LP to a more recent 13 day LP.

That’s 6 pills with dinner, two with breakfast, two when I get up, two when I go to bed, and one at 5 am with a big drink of water. I HATE all these pills.

Well, after the rundown with the nurse at the gyno, the actual doctor came and did a culture on me, since I just had my third yeast infection in about as many months. Granted, I had that infection a week ago, and with the IUI last Sunday I wanted it cleared up by then, so a nurse at the RE’s office gave me the Diflucan, plus a prescription for 2 more, thank god. That pill is a miracle worker. Anyway, the culture today probably won’t show any yeast issues, because I’m sorry, I couldn’t wait a week to be tested. Not to mention, the results will probably be screwed up because I took my first dose of Crinone this morning, before the appointment.

After the culture, the doctor at the gyno really had no words of advice for why I get these yeast infections, and I was all prepared to battle against the typical, idiotic comments: Do you wear tight clothes? Shower after exercise? Take a probiotic?…blah, blah, blah. This isn’t my first rodeo. But she didn’t ask. Instead, she told me to start taking – wait for it – more pills.

-Cranberry pills, 2 of them, twice a day.

-Acidophilus – another probiotic, twice a day. I checked my current probiotic, not the same stuff in there, it’s different. Should I continue to take the one I already have, too?

Adding these to the cocktail will put me at 9 pills at dinner, 5 at breakfast…so on and so forth. Doesn’t this seem excessive? Yet, many are supplements, not hard drugs, and most were recommended by various doctors (which is a whole other story – I hate that I need 8,000 doctors. Whatever happened to going to my primary care when I had strep throat?)

I suppose I could stop certain pills, maybe. People who see me take out my pill container must think I’m nuts. But yet – my thyroid is perfect right now. Other than being 10 pounds overweight, I feel good. Hives are down, I’m attempting to get pregnant…I just don’t want to jinx it, basically. And I get the feeling that when you have autoimmune issues, you’re short on a bunch of vitamins. Supplements should be my friend.

Okay, on to the IUI. Like I said, it was Sunday morning. In my last post, I was worried about it, because of the yeast infection and the fact that we were using my husband’s frozen sperm. Add to the mix the fact that I had some sort of weird stomach bug….I felt fine until I ate or drank anything, even water…and then it all came out. This went on for 3 days. I barely ate. I just assume that such a weird thing will somehow manifest itself in my uterus.

And just as I thought, it was kind of sucky. My husband’s count before the freezing was 43 million, which was way down from 140 million last time, which is weird. But either way. After freezing and thawing, it was 7 million. Wow. That’s a big loss. She said they want to see it at least 5 million, so 7 million was fine. But still. We had no choice – we had to do it this way. My husband is always home, always. But a year ago he signed up for the Ironman race, it cost a lot of money – it was happening. My IUI was the day of his race. Nothing I could do about it. Not only did the count suck, but the Sunday nurse whom I had never seen before got me in a half hour late, when I was told I could be in a half hour early, and by the time it was done it was a good hour later than I had hoped, considering I was driving 4 hours to see my husband finish the race. And she sucked. Couldn’t match up the holes, or something, she said. It took a while to figure it out, and painful all the while. Thanks, lady.

She recommended we have sex that night, just to strengthen our chances. Well, my husband was coming off a 15-hour race, and we were staying in a tiny camper with his parents. Needless to say, sex was not an option. So, my second IUI, first with injectables, was done with the least amount of luck possible. Small count, no additional sex, a yeast infection, and a stomach bug.

Afterwards, I did drive 4 hours to see my husband finish his race, which he did at 10:30 at night. He started at 7 am. It was very cool, he did a great job, and it is quite an accomplishment.

And now, I’m in the TWW. My 4th time in a year. This time, I have no clue how things are looking, and I will continue to think nothing of it. I’m not temping (I haven’t since April, the last time I was in a TWW) – so I actually have no clue when I officially ovulated. I assume, being two days after the IUI, that I am 2 DPO, but who knows. I’m not checking any “symptoms” – they’re all in my head anyway. I’m already planning my next cycle. And I think we’ve reached our decision – I want to do another injectable with IUI. We have the option of going to IVF, and our insurance covers it, thank god. But I don’t think this IUI was given a fair chance. I want to do it right this time, with fresh sperm and sex, and I assume there will be less shots, now that the doctor knows what works and what didn’t. A second chance at the IUI, then IVF. That’s what I’m thinking right now.

The Crinone – ugh. You’ve warned me. It reminds me of those days of Monistat, before I knew about Diflucan. Gross, and I’m already itchy. Any side effects from this I should know about? And besides “cleaning house” up there every few days, is there anything else I should do to lessen the grossness? Does anyone actually have sex while they’re on this? And how long are you on this? Just the TWW?

Finally, the pregnancy test. I probably won’t even get to this point, because I plan on waiting a long-ass time to test. Maybe I’ll even try to surprise myself – “Oh, my, look at the date, I haven’t gotten my period on time!” Probably won’t happen. But I’ve heard the trigger shot skews results. The LAST thing I want is to get a false positive, the first time ever seeing one. How long until it’s out of your system?

I appreciate the words of advice you guys give me. I try to stay away from Google, and ask you instead. 🙂