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?