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. 🙂

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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.