Lady in Waiting

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Today is 4DP5DT and I am already driving myself bat-shit crazy. I feel as though my emotions are in a ping pong match, shortly after the transfer I was feeling good, and hopeful but now I am feeling desolate and forlorn. I feel nothing, no different and I know that’s not necessarily an indication of anything but I can’t help but think it means the transfer didn’t work. Tomorrow will be my first day back at work since last Friday, I’ve had the last 6 days off work because I had some vacation time that needed to be used up before the end of the year. It has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand I didn’t have to worry about calling in sick for work for the transfer, and I got to just relax and take it easy over the past few days since the transfer, on the flip side I have way too much time on my hands and I can’t stay away from google. And I don’t even have any symptoms to google. Even if I did, I know I can’t trust that it isn’t just side effects from the progesterone.

After the transfer I wasn’t on bed rest, as it wasn’t recommended by the clinic. They just told me to “take it easy” for a couple days after transfer, no sex until the results are known, no strenuous activities and obviously no drinking, or other pregnancy related no-no’s. I’ve been really good with my limited caffeine intake, going cold turkey most days (though I had already reduced it leading up to transfer). I’ve been trying to eat fairly well, get lots of rest (I’ve been sleeping in, seeing as I’ve had so much time off). I feel like an imposter, having to act like I’m pregnant.

I’m lucky in that my clinic is doing my beta only 9 days after transfer (that will be Monday), as I know a lot of people have had to wait longer than that. I am so impatient that I went to the dollar store and bought some pregnancy tests today. 4 to be exact, so that I can test every day, starting tomorrow until the day before my beta. I fully expect it to be negative tomorrow, for one because it’s probably way too early still, and secondly because I just don’t think this worked. I know I’m being pessimistic, but I just feel in my gut that it’s not going to be this easy (Ha! Like how I consider “this” easy). Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, I hope so, but I fear not. Only time will tell…

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The Next Generation

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So far between my cousins and I, there is only one child (there will be two more when my cousins wife has their twins). Being that I’m an only child my mom has no grandchildren, and I know she desperately wants one (or several, but let’s be reasonable at this point).

My mom and I went out for coffee on Wednesday and we I pretty much skirt the issue of TTC nowadays. She did mention, however, that my grandma asked her when we might be having kids. I just said, “oh, did she?” and didn’t get any further into it. Didn’t ask how she responded, or give her any sort of answers. I know that might be a bit of a dick move but at this moment in time I am not ready to have that discussion. Especially not in the middle of a busy Starbucks, in case I dissolved into tears at having to explain the situation we’re facing. Plus if this IUI does work I still don’t want to tell anyone until around 10 or 12 weeks.

But what really got me thinking is the fact that my grandma was asking about my future children. My grandma has early stages of dementia and is having a hard time remembering things, and she repeats herself a lot. It’s gotten a fair bit worse over the past year or so and it is so hard. I’ve only ever met my paternal grandma once, so my maternal grandma is the one whose been around all my life. She treats me more special than my cousins, and I have a pretty close relationship with her.

So it is sad to think that if this cycle doesn’t work, by the time we do have a baby she may not be all there to remember me, or realize it’s my baby. And that is really hard to consider. Sooo, what I’m saying, as usual, is that I really hope this works.

In other news, J is really stressed out. He told me the result of the IUI is pretty much all he thinks about lately (ditto). In previous cycles he’s not really said to much about how he’s feeling about it. He pretty much just waits until I tell him it’s negative and we go again. Not so this time, everything feels so different, yes still the same this time. I’m getting antsy. And starting to feel a bit of the usual barely there PMS cramping. Not feeling so hopeful…

21 Day Relationship Challenge: Day 2

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Yes, I know I missed yesterday, but apparently I signed up too late in the evening on Tuesday so they skipped sending me day 2 until this morning instead of yesterday. So getting right down to it; today’s “step” is Give Gold Stars. I’ve decided I’ll post each except from the email so you can read it yourself and it’s not just me paraphrasing it to what I’ve gleaned from it;

“No surprise, studies show that receiving a partner’s “affective affirmation”—psych-speak for one person’s actions or words to make the other person feel loved, appreciated, desired, and supported—is very important to happiness. Who doesn’t love to get a gold star?
As a gold-star junkie myself, I was intrigued by researchers’ arguments that men need more gold stars from their partners than women do, because women get much more positive support outside marriage. Family members, colleagues, friends of both genders, and even strangers give more frequent affirmation to women than to men. Men, by contrast, depend much more on their partners for empathy and intimacy.
This prompted me to adopt the resolution to “Give gold stars.”
How? I tell my husband “I love you” more often. I try to be helpful even when he hasn’t asked for help—say, by bringing him aspirin if he has a headache. I thank him even for something that’s “his” job. I email him sweet photos of the girls. I try to be accommodating if he wants to go to the gym, leave a party early, work over the weekend, or when he asks me the same question over and over.
Resolve to “Give gold stars”—you make your partner feel more beloved, and at the same time, you make yourself feel more loving”

I felt like this was another one that I am fairly proficient at. I try and show appreciation for the things J does for me, to let him know I appreciate him (and also to reaffirm the things I would like him to continue doing, so shoot me, I may be using it as a dual purpose). When J cooks dinner I always thank him for the meal, if he cleans the house I thank him for his work (even if he doesn’t do it the way I like). I don’t give J a hard time if he wants to go out with his friends, or do something that is “for him”. He will call me to “ask” if he can do something, but really he’s just making sure we don’t have plans and letting me know he’s making plans, he doesn’t think he has to get my permission to do something. And I take pride in being a fairly chill wife.

Sometimes it’s hard to be appreciative if I am in a particular mood, or if he’s doing other things that are pissing me off. But it is something good to be mindful of. So I will continue to dole out the gold stars.

Now onto another matter, what we’re really all here to talk about. My uterus. Or your uterus. Our collective uteri (yup that’s the plural of uterus). Mine is doing nothing so far, AF has not arrived but neither has a BFP. I tested again this morning. I wasn’t going to but then J asked me last night if I was and I said no, I didn’t want to waste a test and he said “well what about the one you did on Tuesday?”. Touche. And he doesn’t know about the one on Monday. Or yesterday. So I did it just to see, and still nothing. I have a  requisition for bloodwork to test for hCG on Saturday so if AF is still a no show I will go, but I am banking on her Royal Red Highness showing tomorrow.

I was feeling pretty strong today, but then a client chewed me out (for something that I had already explained to him, but he didn’t understand it at the time and then when he looked it over he was mad). And then I felt crappy, like I might want to have a little cry. I hate when people ruin my day like that. I am moving past it now but I just took it too personally at the time. So I’m going to be keeping a watchful eye on my undies in the coming days, but I have a busy weekend planned so even if CD1 is imminent I will be well distracted. Happy Thursday!

5DPIUI and nothing is happening…

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Not that I thought it would at this point. I’m just impatient. I hate waiting and I swear everyday is crawling. I am busy at work, so that’s one good distraction. My car is also being a distraction in that it is being a piece of junk (it’s not even that old) so I had to get to work on the train today, and looks like I will be tomorrow as well. My battery is dead, like completely gone, won’t take a charge nothing. But because our weather has been so crap out lately I can’t get my battery replaced until soonest tomorrow evening (hopefully).

I would like to add more activities to my life so as to keep me distracted from the two week wait, waiting to ovulate, waiting, waiting always waiting. But at the same time, I already spend one evening a week away from home, plus yoga Sundays, the gym sporadically through the week (if J can cajole me to come with him) and if I have acupuncture, or a massage booked that’s more things. I surely could fit a lot more things into my life if I wanted. I do watch a lot of tv. I used to read a ton! I haven’t read in a long time except on vacation when I devour books as fast as humanly possible. At one point I wanted to join a book club, but I hate having to rush off somewhere after work. After work I just want to come home and relax. Now I could do more productive things with my time while I’m at home rather than sitting on my ass all night. I’m just not really a hobby person.

I don’t want to say I’m making a (late) New Years resolution. Because I’m not. I don’t make those. It’s just a thought. I want to read more and I love reading; I love non fiction because I can learn, but I love a good fiction book too because I can also get really wrapped up in a good story. I want to learn how to do my make up properly. I look presentable and I have all variety of eyeshadows, highlighters, ect. but I don’t necessarily know how to use them all properly. I asked for a nice set of make up brushes for Christmas, and wish granted so I suppose I should learn how to use them. I want to go to the gym more (yeah yeah, cliche). I don’t need to lose weight but I am fairly out of shape. But I haaate exercise. The only thing I like is yoga, but I generally only manage to make that once a week. I got J to come with me this weekend and although he struggled mightily with a majority of it, he did enjoy it.

Speaking of J, the other night we’re laying in bed and he asks me when I get to test. And this was like 3DPIUI. So nothing like both of us being amped up and antsy about testing. He’s never usually like this, but the longer this has gone on, the more involved he’s gotten, which is a blessing and a curse. So here we are in limbo again.

And there are others joining the wait today, good luck and juju baby vibes going out to Mallory at No Bun in This Oven and Lindsey at Awaiting Autumn who both had their IUI’s today!

So I have nothing exciting to talk about right now. I’ll try and think of something better for next time but I wanted to make sure I didn’t drop off the face of the earth and not post until I get the results of this IUI.

Oh, also I hit a record hit number of site visits the other day! So thanks to all the visitors, don’t be a lurker, come out and say hi! I have to say it seems mostly due to the fact that I signed up for IComLeavWe this month so I will be a commenter extraordinaire towards the end of this month. It will be my first one, so I’m not really sure what to expect but I’m excited to make some more IF friends! And one last side note, WordPress is being a bitch and keeps unfollowing people for me, so if it seems I have disappeared as your follower, it’s not you it’s me (or rather WordPress)!

Hello, my name is…

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Infertilty. I’ve taken the plunge and finally decided to start a blog to document my infertility journey. Though it started long before today, I am finally putting pen to paper…? Keystroke to computer? Anyways, I’m not a writer, just a girl whose been struggling (unsuccessfully) for 16 months to create a baby of my very own. I’ve spent a lot of time lurking on other people’s blogs (Stupid Stork, Mine to Command, Sweetest in the Gale, Dreaming of Dimples, Where the Bleep Is Our Stork, and Who Shot Down My Stork, to name a few). I’ve also spent a lot of time in TTC websites chatting with others, but I start to feel like I am going in a circle in those and I want a place of my own to just vent, ask questions, celebrate (for others or myself) and not have to fight through the idle chatter to be heard. That may sound a little narcissistic, but it’s more for me than anyone else. I feel like I might explode if I don’t let it all out, which has led me to the here and now. But not unselfishly, I know there is support to be had out here in blogger land.

I feel like I have so much to say, but I guess the best place to start is to introduce myself. I’m Cassie, 26 years old (almost 27), been married to J (33 years old) for 3.5 years and together for 7.5 in total. We have very much enjoyed our time of just the two of us, we have travelled extensively, and generally do as we please in our childless DINK (double income, no kids) state. But for the past 16 months we’ve been trying to change that status. My dear friend had her first child Aug. 2012, right around the time J and I had decided it was time to ditch the birth control.

I had been on birth control since I was 15 (started out on it because of my terrible acne) and was excited to finally ditch it. I apparently have amnesia and don’t remember what a b*tch Aunt Flo is. So first month out, and I was late (OMG) and thinking I was pregnant. I gotta tell ya I was really naive to this whole TTC thing. I was having all sorts of weird symptoms, sore boobs, bloat, back ache. Of course I had to be pregnant! A few days past my usually dead on 28 day cycle AF finally decided to show. I have to say the first few cycles that this happened I was a tiny bit relieved. Even though the goal was to get pregnant, I didn’t think it would happen immediately (because it took my friend a few months, and of course that’s what I went off of) and I was a bit freaked out. Fast forward to today and I laugh at my idiot self back then.

So I tried to be patient for the first 5 or so months, in January of 2013 I joined a TTC support website and trolled around for a bit before dipping my toe in and speaking up. I have met (in the online sense of the word) some amazing people through this site, which I am very thankful for, but 95% of the people just bug me. This is where I learned all sorts of new things though, like all the lingo, wow was that a learning curve! I learned all about BBT, and figured out that I probably had Luteal Phase Defect. I also realized that I was missing a key TTC ingredient, cervical mucus (sorry, this is going to be one of those TMI blogs). I started taking vitamins and supplements, and using PreSeed (as I didn’t realize that my other lubes…and saliva were hurting our chances). So overall this website was a good experience, but I feel I’ve outgrown it a bit.

After 11 or so months, I schedule an appointment with my GP for a yearly physical and PAP, and also so I could discuss our lack of pregnancy. Like no BFP, at all, ever. She didn’t seem overly concerned (she just had a baby not terrible long ago), suggested I should gain a few pounds (I am on the very bottom of the healthy BMI chart, but have always been a very small person) and come back in 6 months. She did however give me a requisition for some bloodwork, just in case I wasn’t just another overly concerned woman trying to make a baby.

The bloodwork came back showing elevated thyroid levels, which led to a whole gambit of testing to see if I had hyperthyroidism, from what cause, and what should be done about it. I was very stressed at this point because it was suggested to me that I would have to kill off part of my thyroid with radioactive iodine which would prevent me from TTC for another 12 months. I was devastated, but also was not keen on their recommended course of action. Not just because it would interrupt our TTC, but there was a possibility of using meds to get it under control and possibly into remission. But it could be the reason for us not being able to conceive, so although I was very worried, I was almost relieved to have an answer. All moot points because it turned I just had thyroiditis, a temporary inflammation of the thyroid caused by a virus or bacteria. Back to square one. (Though my RE did later put me on Synthroid, a drug to treat the opposite condition, hypothyroidism, as I had very high antibodies for it, and it was only a matter of time)

At this point I was finally able to convince J to get a sperm analysis. And it was not good. The results went back to his GP, who forwarded them on to us. He said it is not his area of expertise, but that he doubted J would be able to get me pregnant. I didn’t entirely understand the results, but they did have normal ranges next to his values, so I was able to get the gist of it. Good motility, good count (I thought), I’m reading, and finally I get to the bottom. He had 0/100 normal morphology. I was heartbroken, even though I didn’t really understand. Of course Dr. Google confirmed my fears, that this was not good. We were very lucky to get referred to a Fertility Clinic, and got in on a cancellation a few short days later, when normally the wait list is 6 – 9 months.

We saw Dr. M who had a charming accent (that I still can’t place) and he was very reassuring. He said we would have to have another SA done, just to confirm that it wasn’t just flukey numbers, and he also explained that it most definitely was not impossible for J to get me pregnant, but it would just take a very long time. We scheduled another appointment to see him a few months down the road to go over our next SA results, and go from there. He left us feeling as though all wasn’t lost, though we were a bit scared to even have had to be going down this road.

Fast forward to our next appointment, and I still hadn’t gotten pregnant. I was hoping it would be a Murphy’s Law kind of thing, seek help and you’ll no longer need it. No such luck. Dr. M didn’t seem as charming as the last time. We waited well past our scheduled appointment (all the while being away from work), then sat in the exam room for another good stretch of time. Dr. M was very busy, and didn’t mince words. The next SA was better, 4% normal forms but he also said J’s count was on the low side of normal (45 million), which was strange for a “young” man. I didn’t realize we were dealing with a low-ish count as well as morphology issues, so that sucked. He advised we try 3 rounds of IUI and if that didn’t work then we would meet again to discuss. At which point I made a face, he agreed, he did not want to have that conversation either. He left an RX for Clomid for me, and told us the nurse would be in to go over the finer details. DH was devastated, he blamed himself and hated that I had to go through what was about to come. I had to open my big mouth before Dr. M came in saying how I hoped we didn’t have to do IUI, blah blah blah, just making it worse without realizing it.

The nurse came in, explained how the IUI would work, that I was to take the 50mg Clomid CD3 – 7, then use OPK’s on the days advised based on my cycle length. Once I got my positive, we would come in for the IUI the next day. All sounded simple enough. The Clomid was easy, to take at least. The headaches were a fun little side effect. The clinic suggested a particular brand of OPK’s to use, as they are supposed to be one of the most accurate. I used to use the smiley face ones, made for Dummies who don’t want to be squinting at two lines trying to decide which is darker. Which is exactly what happened to me when I used the recommended brand. So then I stressed about it, and doubted the result, but went ahead with the IUI the next day anyways. In hindsight, I should have waited one more day.

The day of the IUI was a bit of a nightmare, it was a Saturday, that I was supposed to be working so I had to call and give some lame excuse of why I was going to be in late. J and I got snippy with each other just before we were about to leave and then we both had a bit of a meltdown, the whole situation was a bit much for J. We managed to get out the door, and headed to the clinic in separate cars as I still had to go to work afterwards. We check in and J gave his “specimen” and got an A+ for getting it all in the cup. Then we had some time to kill in the cafeteria as there were 2 couples ahead of us and his baby juice had to be processed. We had some time to apologize to each other for the freakout, and discuss our future. We were much calmer when we went back up to the clinic.

We were taken back to an exam room, and the nurse? (lady who washed and handles the sperm) brought us J’s sample in a test tube in a bag. She went over the stats, 45% motility (I think…a lot of the whole situation is a bit of a blur) and around 49 million sperm, before being washed and the sample halved, so around 25 million post wash. She left us there until the nurse, and then the Dr. were to come. J seemed pretty please about the results, and asked me what I was thinking. I told him I didn’t want to say because I was having negative thoughts, but he pressed. I told him 25 million isn’t that much. I know I am terrible cow who loves to put my foot in my mouth. That dropped his mood. The nurse came in, gave us a requisition for progesterone testing, and the Beta (if AF didn’t show first). Then the Dr. came in (not Dr. M this time), did the procedure, set the timer for 10 minutes that I was to stay lying down. After that, done and dusted.

I headed off to work for the rest of the day, and the next day I had to fly out of town for 9 days on a work trip. That was a blessing in disguise because it was a busy trip and kept me distracted until I got home. By the time I got home I was almost done my TWW. I managed to hold off testing until 13 DPO, which resulted in a BFN, and AF followed the next morning.

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly surprised. I had been having my typical PMS symptoms, and I just felt the whole IUI process didn’t go very smoothly so I didn’t have a lot of hope. So that was the end of cycle 18. This all happened in November, and we decided to take December off. A couple reasons behind this, one being if we were to have another unsuccessful cycle it would land just before Christmas. Miserable. Another reason is both of our nieces were born on the same day (both by C-section, yup my SIL allowed the second one to be scheduled on the first ones birthday) at the end of August, and if we did an IUI in December my due date would be their birthday. Not gonna happen, even if it means sacrificing a cycle. So we are on a break, not trying, not preventing.

It’s been nice not stressing about timing, and tracking, and temping. I’ll start Clomid again just before Christmas (oh joy) and our 2nd IUI should be the first week of January. I will be going back to my smiley OPK’s, and not stressing so much about the IUI as I will be about the result. My RE does not monitor my cycles, so I don’t do a trigger, or have any follicle ultra sounds, which I was kind of surprised about, but because we are treating male factor infertility and I ovulate on my own, I suppose he’s not too worried about me. I would think more monitoring would give us better accuracy though, and then I wouldn’t have to deal with those damn OPK’s.

In any case, if this IUI doesn’t work, and the next one either, we are done. For now at least. We’re exhausted (and I know, we haven’t even been through the half of it). We’ve had other struggles in our life and marriage, and it just feels like the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We’ve talked a lot about moving abroad (we live in Canada now) but this whole TTC situation has kind of put that on hold. We discussed that if we were to get pregnant we would stay put throughout the pregnancy and probably for about a year afterwards. But if don’t get pregnant then there’s nothing holding us back (well besides our families sobbing if we leave them). So it’s nice to have an end in sight, even if it could mean the end of our dream for now.

Neither one of us is willing to pursue IVF at this point, though we will surely have to revisit it at a later time if the IUI’s fail. So this process, if it takes all three IUI’s, will lead us to February. My 27th birthday is in mid February, and we will have an answer/decision by then, either way. It will be a nice gift. I’m tired of our life being on hold.

Phew, thanks for holding on, that was a long one. I’ve been waiting a long time to get it off my chest. I’m glad I decided to join the world of IF bloggers, and I look forward to getting to know some of you along the way. Celebrating the triumph, and mourning the losses.

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