Special Torture (or how to grin and bear it)

Week 5 begins today. At least I think it does.

December 18, 2012 | health, life, pregnancy? | Permalink

I am a little confused about how far along I really am because the whole “your pregnancy starts with the first day of your last period” thing only works if you have a 28 day cycle and ovulate on day 14 which I don’t and didn’t. If I work backwards from the day I actually ovulated, then week 5 starts today.

Also, if I work forward from that day, I see that I have a due date of August 20th. How about that?

At ant rate, had my follow up blood tests yesterday. My HCG and progesterone levels are perfect. That’s good news. Turns out they want me to have my very first ultrasound this week too. That’s happening tomorrow. Crazy. It’s not the standard “lets see how far along you are” ultrasound. This is the, “you are a high risk of an ectopic pregnancy” ultrasound. So, understandably, I am a little freaked out.

Just a little. meep.

So

December 13, 2012 | health, life, pregnancy? | Permalink

My HCG and progesterone levels look “ideal”. I have to return to Dr. K’s on monday for more blood work to make sure I am progressing properly hormone-wise. But um so. I am pregnant. Didn’t think I would ever type those words. And while I am deeply aware that so many things could go so wrong at any moment, I am uncharacteristically calm and at ease. I might not be pregnant tomorrow or next week or one month for now, so I am just gonna soak this up. Right now, I am and this proves that I can be and that’s all I need to know right now.

Day Two. 2 Tests.

December 12, 2012 | health, life, pregnancy? | Permalink

day two

day two

SO here we are. I go to Dr K’s tomorrow for “blood work”. Still only cautiously optimistic. So much up to chance.

PS : How am I supposed to work today??

The little womb that could?

December 11, 2012 | health, life, pregnancy? | Permalink

we'll see.

we’ll see.

Somehow I just don’t believe it. After 15 plus failures it’s hard to consider the alternative. I’ll take another test with another brand tomorrow and then I suppose I’ll talk to my doc. Will update soon.

And Another Thing

December 5, 2012 | health, infertility, life | Permalink

I almost forgot the other thing.

I don’t take pregnancy tests. My cycle is so predictable that I have never once, durring this entire process, been late. In fact, as my luteal phase has grown shorter and shorter over the past year and change, I have only ever been early. So I just have never really had to take the test. Now, I do.

This time around, my period wont begin until I stop taking the progesterone, so on day 14 of that process (what will actually be day 34 of my cycle (!!)), I will have to take a pregnancy test. If I am not pregnant, I’ll stop taking the drug, my period will happen, and I will begin again after I ovulate next month.

So that seems simple enough and it is, but there is yet another way this drug makes everything different. Suddenly, I have to take pregnancy tests. Suddenly, I have to go through that 5 minutes of torture in addition to everything else. I guess I am really just lucky that I have escaped this until now.

Also on the bright side, I get like 5 pregnancy tests each time I order the 30 something LH predictor tests from Amazon, so I have a backlog of around 20 pregnancy tests. At least I don’t have to pay more money for this particular indignity.

Small blessings.

Seems Different This Time.

December 3, 2012 | Uncategorized | Permalink

And not necessarily in a good way. So, I am taking the progesterone and so far so good. No massive migraines. No maudlin mood swings. For this, I am enormously thankful, but approaching my attempts to conceive this way, with this medication specifically, it’s throwing me for a loop. See, everything I have done up to now, was trying to increase the chances of sperm meeting egg, of fertilization, but this – taking this drug – assumes that that has already happened. It assumes that I am pregnant. Um. And that’s fucked up! I have absolutely no reason to believe that this is the case and yet, I just spent $125 on medication that only does something if it is. I feel like I have jumped the gun. Skipped 3 steps. Or am just engaging in an expensive fool’s errand.

Now, I get that this really was the next step, the most logical thing to try before adding even more medication, but it just seems all out of order. And even as I warn myself over and over again that it’s not likely to have occurred, that I am probably not pregnant, just admitting that I have had to make this wild assumption so I can just pretend this course of action has any chance of being successful, predisposes me to Hope. Oh dastardly Hope.

Bats in my Belly

November 27, 2012 | health, infertility, life | Permalink

An update. My most recent round of blood work has revealed, you guessed it, nothing. So my infertility is still, after a year and half, techicnally unexplained. Welp, at least there was an upside to my most recent trip to the reproductive endocrinologist – Dr K was the first of my docs to show the slightest, and I really do mean slightest, interest in my monthly charting and she agrees that my luteal phase is too short. As a result, I’ll start taking progesterone in two days. The idea being that the length of time between ovulation and my period (and the natural progesterone drop) is too short to allow proper implanation. Taking progesterone will extend my luteal phase and well… maybe allow me to get pregnant. Or not. This only helps if implantation is my only problem and that just seems so unlikely to me at this point. But I am of course curious to see if this theory holds any water. I know I sure will be once I am on the progesterone…

So it’s official. In two days time, I will start taking my first “fertility drug”. OK, OK, progesterone is not technically a fertility drug in the follicle stimulating sort of way, but it is a pretty heavy hitting steroid hormone with a nasty, scary list of side effects. OH and it does not come in pill form. Only in bio-adhesive (ew) vaginal suppositories (ugh). This is gonna be gross.

And a little nerve wracking. I have bats in my belly (the serious, big brother to butterflies in one’s stomach). Every time I try something new, my emotions go so haywire. Each time, the first two-week-wait is just torture (special torture!) and the period that follows is just so rough. And while I see this as being something of a reprieve, I mean from not having to take actual fertility drugs (ie clomid), I am still deeply concerned about the effects this will have on my body. In short, I am scared.

Wish me luck.

Oh PS : I say I am going to be on progesterone in two days time, but I still don’t know how much this is going to cost me. I was warned that this drug treatment is “prohibitively expensive”. My insurance says they cover it, but at a brand co-pay. When I asked my pharmacy if they could tell me how much it would be, they told me, I had to wait until the prescription was submitted. Um so, I will know tomorrow if I can afford to go on fancy-pants, bio-adhesive hormone gel. Probably I can’t. I guess that’s what credit cards are for… sigh.

PPS : Nov 28 update. It’s $125.00 for a two week supply of the progesterone. That’s not awful, but it’s not great either. It wont break the bank if I only have to take it once a month for two weeks while I am trying to conceive, but there if gonna be a problem if I get pregnant and they want me to STAY on the drug for an unspecified length of time. I have been warned this is a possibly. Hm. Well, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thanksgiving

November 21, 2012 | life | Permalink

It was my habit for a while to go to Meeting on Sunday and silently catalog all the things I am grateful for. Sadly, I have fallen out of that habit. No one reason. Some weeks I just had other shit to do. There was a hangover or two that kept me in bed. Definitely a migraine or three. Some mornings, I was up, but it just felt too good to have coffee and breakfast with my honey and I could not bring myself to leave the Nest. End result is that I have not been down to the Meeting House in over three months.

But with tomorrow being Thanksgiving and all, I’ve been reminded of that hour long mental exercise. My list is not all that remarkable. It’s not poetic or even all that well thought out. In fact, it’s just a self-centered grocery list of things that make my life better. But that’s OK because I need it. I need to be reminded of the good, wonderful things I actually have when so much of my life is focused on this one big thing I don’t. I am thankful for the reminder.

The Good and the Bad.

November 13, 2012 | exercise, health, infertility, life, pain | Permalink

Lots has happened recently.

First, I have been remiss in not mentioning that my back pain is, for the first time in almost two years, completely under control. I have been having more pain free days then not. This is HUGE. And yet… I think I expected this to have more of an impact on my general state of well-being then it has. Yes, I am doing more, sleeping less, taking fewer mind numbing pain killers (migraines still in effect here, people), and all of that, but really, I am just still… bleh. See, I expected that when the back pain went away, I would wake up suddenly feeling this awesome sense or relief and joy and triumph. No such luck. I pretty much feel the same. Exhausted, feeble, and demoralized. It seems I was happily using the pain as a convenient excuse for the depression that is really just primarily related to my infertility. I am still broken and childless and now that a huge percentage of my physical pain is gone, I have to stare my emotional pain a bit more squarely in the face. Great. I was so looking forward to that.

But there have been small gains that made me feel deep, needed joy. My first 13 minute mile. A return to Yoga. Oh man, yoga. I went to my first class in months this past Sunday and it felt so good. I did it all. I did not modify a single pose. Forward folds and everything. I got home from that class feeling flush and high. My beau told me I looked radient. THAT was nice.

As for the hard stuff, one of my friends had her baby. A little girl. And while that is tremendously joyous news, it hit me so hard. So many of my friends have become parents recently, but this is one of the few actually living close by. And while I have had to deal with FaceBook updates from so many of these folks, I have had very few actual babies in my world. This new one is one I will have to reckon with. I will have to meet her, hold her eventually, watch her mother nurse her, and pretend that it does not kill me. That I am not wracked with jealousy and heartache. And it’s just a warning of what is to come. As more of my closer friends (and by ‘closer’ I mean both in proximity and friendship) get pregnant and have their babies, I will have to face this over and over. I know every infertile woman before me has had to deal with this, but I truly find it baffling – how are you supposed to look your friends in the eye when they have the only thing you can’t? Knowing that they are moms and you never will be. How are you supposed to feel kind or generous when you see their children? When all you want in the world is to feel the love that those two humans share. How can I handle it as each new baby in turn calls each friend ‘mama’, when I know no one will ever call me that? The hole in my heart could fit an iceberg.

And this is not the time to remind me that I can adopt. Really, it’s not.

This month also brings to a close my third attempt to conceive post recanalization. So much for that. I’ve made the appointment to go see Dr. K. It’s time to talk fertility drugs and good god, that terrifies me. Can I afford them? Will they make my headaches worse? Will they make me gain 30 pounds? Will I be dealing with the the emotional upheaval of my last few attempts to have a child in a hormone-induced insanity? These are all good questions. But the most important one – will I take them? Yes, of course. Will they help? My guts tells me probably not.

But I have to try.

I Voted Today

November 6, 2012 | life | Permalink

I voted for Barack Obama today for a lot of reasons, but these are the big 5 :

1) Because I stand for Obamacare (I have multiple preexisting conditions. Most members of my family do.)

2) Because I stand for Marriage Equality (so my eldest sister and my LGBT friends can marry the people they love!)

3) Because I stand for Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (so all women can receive far and equal pay.)

4) Because I stand for a Woman’s Right to Choose and for Planned Parenthood (so women continue to receive healthcare and the reproductive services they require AND because my older sister is employed by PP and I do not want her to lose her job!)

5) And I stand for PBS (because if I ever do manage to have a kid, I want them to have Sesame Street too).

God, I hope I wake up tomorrow in world where all of this is possible.

Hope Hurts.

October 14, 2012 | infertility, life | Permalink

It just does.

As I mentioned in my last post, I managed to get excited about the possibility. Maybe THIS month would be THE month. Maybe THIS blood is implantation bleeding. Maybe THESE cramps are implantation cramps. Get over it, lady. It’s day 27 of my cycle and while I suppose it’s not impossible that I am pregnant, I think it’s very very unlikely. This is just my period a day early, not implantation so late. And yet, I am still hanging on to this hope. The bleeding is light and I never get cramps. Maybe! But no. Just stop.

In my defense, several subtle and not so subtle things occurred this month. I have not gotten a migraine since I ovulated. This is unheard of. I looked back over all of my charts. In the 15 plus months I have been recording, that has never occurred. Next, my sense of taste and smell shifted lightly. Overnight, I went from craving grapefruit juice to finding it near undrinkable. The smell of the cabbage and potatoes in the slow cooker was almost nauseating. Apparently, my horoscope even suggested this would be the month. And this IS the month that would give me a due date in June, close to my own birthday. Sigh. I wanted that. A June baby.

So I let myself hope. And stupidly, sickeningly, there is still hope. Lets be honest, that hope wont be dashed for another few hours or half a day when my period finally gets heavy and my morning temperature plummets.

I hate this. I hate hope.

Watching and Waiting

October 11, 2012 | infertility, life | Permalink

5 friends/acquaintances of mine have had babies in the past month. Another is due by the end of this month and a second just revealed she is pregnant. Thank you, FaceBook, thank you. And meanwhile, it’s my second month after the recanalization and I accidentally got myself thinking that *gasp* maybe it will be this month! 4 more days and I should know. I hate this wait. Hate it.