Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

My Stats

Days since IUI#4-11

Days w/o Bread=26

I am trying not to panic. Went to the bathroom a couple of hours ago and had a tiny bit of light pink spotting. I'm not supposed to take my pregnancy test until Wednesday (three more days). I am hoping it is just implantation spotting, but I'm fearing the worst. It's a holiday weekend and I could try to call the RE's office, but it is a Sunday and tomorrow is Memorial Day so I really don't think that anything can be done, especially this early in the cycle. XY says I should just relax and monitor it. If there is still spotting tomorrow then call the RE's office. I know he's right. I mean what more can they do? I'm already taking progesterone suppositories twice a day.

It's been a nice weekend otherwise. Relaxing. I've rented several movies including the first two "Harry Potter" movies. I want to watch all four before the new (5th) movie comes out in July. So yesterday, XY and I went for a walk around the neighborhood (about 20 minutes, but nothing strenuous). So today they are having a carnival in the parking lot of the local library. In the ten years I've lived in this city, we have never gone. So XY and I walked over (about 10-15 minute walk), looked around, played a couple of overpriced games, and had some food. He had a small (gigantic) sno-cone and I ate a funnel cake. It's more pancake batter than bread so I don't really think it was cheating. I do think it made my blood sugar go all wonky though, because when we got back I totally collapsed in the bed for about a two or three hour nap. I don't know I was just exhausted. Then when I woke up, that's when I discovered the spotting.

I've gone on a few trusted infertility blogs/sites (Thalia's Fertility Journey, BrooklynGirl, IVF Connections, Fertility Friends) and I'm just hoping that the spotting is from implantation and not my period coming early or a failed implantation. Fingers crossed, I keep praying that everything is okay and I'm really trying not to pull out an HPT and check. (Since the last time I did that during an IUI cycle I got my hopes up and then when the actual day came I got a big fat negative and later learned that HCG can create a false positive if you test too early.)

As for my 28 day "no bread" products, I've holding at approximately 8 pounds lost. I had one day where I slipped and ate XY's left over chicken burrito (darn you tortilla shell), but other than that I haven't had any problems. I don't even really miss all that bread! There's hope for my carb loading eating habits yet.

In the meantime, I am going to try to stay positive and wait till Wednesday for my pregnancy test. I'm really hoping this spotting was an anomaly and that it won't happen again. If anyone out there feels like sending positive thoughts my way, they would be much appreciated. That's all you can do right? Try to stay positive.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Waiting Game

My Stats

Weight-248.4 lb
BMI-43.7 (by my scale)

Days w/o Bread=22

Between work and this IUI cycle it has been a crazy two weeks. I did the Follistim and Ganirellix again on CD 8. I did my HCG trigger shot on the following day. (Monday, CD 9). Tuesday was a day of rest. Then last Wednesday (CD 9) it was the two hour drive to the fertility clinic for IUI#4. It went pretty well. We had to be there by 7:20am, so that XY could make his deposit. About an hour and a half later it was my turn. This time the procedure was done by one of the nurses, but I like her a lot and I didn't even feel it when she inserted the catheter. XY's count was 193,000,000 swimmers so unless someone pipes up and tells me that sucks, I'm pretty happy with that amount. Of course, it was the usual "only 10 minute" wait till I could put my legs down and head home. (We milked it for an extra 5 minutes though-just to make me feel better.) Is it just me or does every other gal out there hate the thought of having a plastic bag covered sponge stuck up their cooch for 4 hours after the procedure. Granted it doesn't hurt and if they do it right, you can't feel it, but not exactly a highlight on my "to do" list.

Well, afterwards XY was sweet enough to offer up the caveats of lunch at a nice restaurant and a trip to Borders. Strolling around Borders before the cramps start up (a given) for magazines and books to lay around and look at in bed later that afternoon is definitely a nice way to say "thanks for trying to get knocked up with my baby."

So, of course the final instructions were "have sex" tomorrow, then start up with the Prometrium 200mg supplements twice a day the day after that during the 2WW. That's where we're at-it's been a week of fun suppositories, but if it works...I'm all for it! That's it for now. Time to get back to concentrating on the season finale of "Lost". I will be so sad if they kill Charlie off and it is permanent!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hugh Darling...Could You Pass Me That Shot of Ganirelix?


CD-8 (Sunday night)
Fertility Drugs-Follistim 225, Ganirelix 0.5 mL syringe (Sat & Sun nights)
Other Medications-Prenatal & Vitamin C, Synthroid, Metformin x2

Days w/o Bread=12

Well, three more days till IUI#4. I'm trying to stay positive, happy, and in the "this time it's going to work" mood. My meds have been upped from just Follistim 225 to Follistim 225 plus a syringe of Ganirelix .5 mL last night and tonight. A funny thing happened on the way to the injection site.

Last night, I promised my neighbor we would go see "Music and Lyrics" at the cheap theater. I had asked her if she wanted to go Friday, but that was a bust and we rescheduled for Saturday. Unfortunately I had a new desk delivered at 6:45am! Let me tell you right now, I am NOT a morning person. To make matters worse, I had a whopping case of insomnia the night before and didn't get to bed till almost 5:30am as it was. The closer it gets to summer, the more insomnia creeps into my life. Add that to the fact that I am totally worried about IUI try #4 and you have a recipe for a disastrously unproductive weekend. After the wonderful, new desk was delivered and set up, I trundled back to bed in zombie like fashion. Unfortunately my sweet XY decided to wake me up four hours later because he wanted me to eat something. ("Well you're Type II diabetic, I was worried about your blood sugar.") After having eaten something, I proceeded to get in a very snippy row with XY because he was loudly complaining about the dirty dishes in the sink (okay they were bad and the pile was high) while I was trying to go back to sleep. One clean sink of dishes later (of course that wasn't all of them) and one threat that he'd better not do the rest of them while I was sleeping (otherwise he should have just kept his mouth shut in the first place and let me sleep), I was back in coma land. Only to be woken up three hours later by the phone and the neighbor across the street wanting to know what time we were leaving for the movie. Not wanting to drag this out any further (even though I was totally worried about taking my fertility drugs on time) I told her 6:30pm and proceeded to drag myself out of bed and take a shower to wake up.

I did try to call the pharmacy in Massachusetts where my fertility drugs come from, but unfortunately they were already closed for the day. I then proceeded to try the previous pharmacy I got my drugs from in Texas (the one I really liked till my bastard insurance company switched preferred providers on me) but they were also closed. I finally called the local pharmacy and just asked them what date to go by, the weird "discard" date or the "expiration" date. They said expiration date, so I felt better that I would not be wasting any fertility drugs and took the gal on the phone's word for it.

Follistim AQ pen and Ganirelix Acetate prefilled syringe in my bag, I headed off to see the dishy Hugh Grant on the celluloid screen. The movie was pretty good for a chick flick. Brad Garrett's sidekick manager/friend character could have been funnier and Drew Barrymore's character could have been a little less neurotic, but Hugh was definitely dishy. They even threw in an obligatory naked chest scene. All the more reason to pay my $3 plus popcorn and diet pop to go see Hugh on the big scene. Of course, I did keep checking my watch to see if 9pm was fast approaching. (My shoot up time.) The credits were just rolling at 9pm and I didn't want to wait another 15-30 minutes to take my fertility shots at home, so I slipped into the bathroom to shoot up. There were three girls ahead of me, who gave me a "don't queue barge" look when I passed them to get to the sinks and wash my hands. By the time I had disinfected and pulled out the syringes the line was twice as long and I really didn't want to pull down my jeans, expose my jelly belly, and shoot up in front of a bunch of strangers so I got back in line. I felt I had to explain to the woman next to me why I was getting back in line when she looked at the case in my hand and proceeded to ask me if I hadn't already gone. So of course everyone else in line heard me say "well I have to take some meds and I'm sure no one wants to watch me stick a needle in myself." Great-but frankly I'll never see those people again, so who cares. I finally got in a stall and was giving myself the second injection when my neighbor popped in to check if I was okay. Explaining about the line of people and the prep time (okay it took me 20 minutes to do the whole thing) I exited the stall and proceeded to head out the door. Frankly I hate that my neighbor knows so much about my fertility stuff, since it's not like she's my best friend or anything, but somehow it is easier to just give her too much information when she asks questions than to try to fake the fact that I am going through all this. I guess I feel that if people ask, I'd rather tell them warts and all then try to spare them their "discomfort". Hey if you ask, I'm gonna tell. If you don't want to know, then don't ask.

So, that was last night. Today was much more productive (although never productive enough). I took the second set of Follistim and Ganirelix shots with little incident. (Okay the plunger on the Ganirelix almost came off, but I didn't panic and got it all injected in me so everything should be fine.) I've been a little crampy and gassy since then, but that's a small price to pay for the chance to get pregnant and have a baby.

Tomorrow, the trigger shot! [I have another meeting tomorrow night, but I am definitely leaving said meeting early if it looks like it will go past 8pm. There is NO WAY I am going to try to mix up an HCG shot of liquid with powder and change the long needle to a short needle in the bathroom of Red Lobster. Not if I can help it!]

P.S. XY and I did get in one bit of business this morning, so that is one less thing I have to worry about. You would think sex would be relaxing, but when the RE nurse is telling you a minimum of 2-3 days abstinence before the procedure, well I want it all to go off without a hitch and work and XY just feels the pressure to perform. It doesn't make for the most relaxing baby making. I'll just be happy once it's Wednesday afternoon and IUI#4 is done. Course, then there is the 2WW, but let's not put the cart before the horse just yet.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Freaking Eater of Blog Post.....

My Stats

Fertility Drugs-Follistim AQ
Other Drugs-Synthroid, Metformin x2, Prenatal & Vitamin C

Days w/o Bread=10

I am so freaking pissed right now! I just wrote this long post about what's going on right now and the bloody computer ate it!

Basically I am freaking out about the fact that I screwed up and got sidetracked and took my Follistim (225 units) shot an hour late. It was supposed to be at 9pm and I spaced it and didn't realize till 10pm that I hadn't taken it. Of course, I jumped up and took it right away then, but I'm freaking that it might screw up IUI#4. I went and tried to look at another infertility blog to see if I could find the answer. I finally Googled it and found a website for an infertility clinic with a FAQ page that said not taking it at "exactly" the same time as the night before shouldn't screw up the IUI procedure. Phew...dodged a bullet there. Of course, if IUI#4 doesn't work then I will totally know that my taking the shot an hour late is the cause for another failure.

I'm also worried because I start my Ganirelix shot tomorrow night. In preparation, I was looking at my supply and while I have enough I realized that one of the boxes has an "expiration" date of April 2008, but the prescription label has a "discard" date of 5/10/2007. If I take the shot tomorrow night then it will be 2 days past the discard date. I don't want to take a shot that might be too old, but on the other hand I don't want to waste any infertility drugs if I don't have to. I tried searching for the difference between "expiration" and "discard" date, but couldn't find anything. I know I will call the 1-800 number for the pharmacy tomorrow and ask them, but in the meantime does anyone out there know what the difference is between the two dates? If I take the Ganirelix 2 days past the "discard" date, but before the expiration date, should it be okay? Which date is more important?

Here is a quick update on my status.

Took Follistim AQ shot (225 units) Tues, Wed, Thurs
Had blood work and ultrasound#2 today (Friday)
Took Follistim AQ shot (225 units) Friday night (but one hour late)
Sat&Sun-will take Follistim (225 units) plus a pre-filled shot of Ganirelix both nights.
Sometime by Sunday have sex with XY. (RE office nurse said abstinence before procedure of a minimum of 2-3 days.)
Monday night-Give self HCG trigger shot
Wednesday-Drive almost 2 hours to RE's office so XY & I are there by 7:20am (yikes) for IUI#4. (Take entire day off work, rather than make previous mistake of going back to work after procedure.)

In the meantime any positive thoughts/prayers would be appreciated. I have an acupuncture appointment on Tuesday to hopefully help me relax before the procedure on Wednesday morning. I am currently trying to think positive thoughts, send up imploring wishes to any gods/goddesses listening. Offering up bushels of pomegranates to Persephone for any fertility mojo she can send my way.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pass Me the Drugs...Fertility That Is

My Stats


Days w/o Bread-7

Cysts-Big Fat Whopping Zero-Yahoo!
Fertility Drugs-Follistim 225 units tonight, W, & TH
Other/more Fertility Drug Helpers-prenatal vitamin, vitamin C, Metformin (2x a day), and a "small" shot of insulin right at bedtime.

I am so psyched. Progress is finally being made on all fronts. I went to the OB/GYN office this morning for my baseline ultrasound (u/s) and the tech informed me that she didn't see any cysts! First time in 6 months. (Well I'm not sure about December or February since I just couldn't face doing an IUI procedure either of those months.) I guess the low estrogen BCP my RE had me on this last month did the job. I spent the whole month feeling weird about taking those pills. (I think it's strange taking BCP when you are actually trying to "get" pregnant, not "prevent" pregnancy. My family history also now includes immediate family members who have had blood clots, so that is another freak out factor regarding the pill.) I know all these other fertility drugs (and the weight) can increase my chances for clots, but I really try not to think about that. Either way it looks like the BCP worked, so it was worth the worry. I just had to wait for my RE's office to call regarding the faxed results for a definite confirmation and I got it. No cyst, start the fertility drugs tonight.

I'm starting out with Follistim 225 units for the first three nights. This is typical from the last 3 IUI's I went through. It's reassuring to have the routine down, but the fact that the last three attempts failed does make me wonder if this combination of drugs is really working for me. The job is to induce my ovaries to produce healthy follicles, but at IUI#3 the nurse admitted that they do the procedure after the trigger shot assuming at least one mature egg will roll down the shoot, but they can't actually guarantee that it will happen. No real way to prove that I've actually ovulated. It's just a hope that I did and that XY's catheter inserted sperm will be strong enough and healthy enough to find that minuscule egg and fertilize it.

Either way, I am so excited to finally have cyst free ovaries so that we can try another round of IUI. I took my first shot (LOVE the ease of the Follistim pen) at 9pm tonight and aside from a little cramping (which never happened before with the Follistim) so far so good.

Other positive news: I haven't had any bread in a week and I've already lost 5 pounds. Now I know it's early in the race, but considering I haven't done any extra exercising I think it's a good sign that I'm down 5 whole pounds which brings my BMI down about a whole point! I know in the future I can't expect such quick results every week, but 5 lbs + 0 cysts = a good sign.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Little White Pills

CD-1/2 (almost Day 1)
Weight-253.4 lbs

Days w/o Bread-4

Sometimes I think that the idea of ever having a baby is just a huge fantasy. It's like something right out of "Alice in Wonderland." It's falling down a rabbit hole, having to decide which side of the cookie you want to bite. It's relying on hopes, dreams, potions, and pills.

I finished the white pills out of my birth control pack. It feels so wrong taking birth control pills when I'm trying to get pregnant. I know that the RE has her reasons. I had three cycles with cysts and the "just rest and see if they go away on their own" directive obviously wasn't working. Hopefully taking the BC pills will even out my hormones enough to create a "normal" cycle. All I know is that I'm onto the placebo/iron pills of the pack and my period is starting. Not enough to call today (Saturday) day one, but I think I can definitely call tomorrow CD1.

If all goes well, this time I'll get the green light to shoot up a lot of infertility drugs (or should that just be fertility drugs) and XY and I can attempt IUI#4. Of course it couldn't be the worst possible time to try this with my work schedule this month, but the worst of my commitments don't begin till the 23rd. So if tomorrow is CD1 and we usually try an IUI between CD12-14, then at the worst CD14 would be the 20Th and I can just squeeze in the IUI before my stressful work deadlines arrive. (And we know how good stress is during all these proceedings!)

On a positive note, I've gone four whole days without any types of bread. I was really tempted to eat a burrito yesterday, but I stopped myself. XY came back from his work trip and the homecoming didn't go as well as I would have liked, but by the end of the day things had settled down so we went out to get a quick bite to eat. Dinner came with bread, but I passed it up. (It didn't even look very tempting.) I haven't told XY about my self-imposed ban on bread for the month, but he didn't seem to notice anyway. I also noticed that I dropped almost 3 pounds in the last 4 days so that's at least a "tiny" bit reassuring that this crazy idea might not be so crazy after all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Triathlon Log-Day 1

My Stats

Cycle Day (CD)-?? Finishing RE ordered birth control pack, waiting for CD1 to start!
Height-5 ft 3 in
Weight-256 lb

Days w/o Bread-1

I've been really nervous about putting my statistics out on the web for all to see. I finally decided, "What's a better motivator than seeing the actual numbers?" Numbers are facts and the science geek in me keeps whispering, "You can't hide from the facts." Since this is my infertility triathlon, it made sense to keep a log and that's what this blog basically is; a log of my attempts to lose weight, exercise more, and overcome the infertility hurdle. Will I put up the stats every day? Doubtful. I don't think I can stand looking at my "weight" every day, but if people know my height and BMI, I think they can do the reverse mathematics involved to determine my current weight.

By the way, it's 5:03pm, I am officially blowing off yoga tonight. Don't get me wrong, I love yoga, but it starts in 17 minutes, so unless I leave right now, it's just not going to happen. I've had yesterday and today off from work so I could take a break, relax, work on cleaning out my home office. Status report: I've been reading parts of "The Sisters Grimm: The Fairytale Detectives" and "Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom" and I've got to say it's a bit more relaxing then sorting piles of paper junk. Meanwhile I've watched a little TV [House] and shoveled most of the paper junk off the office floor onto my bed. (Where else should I put it? It's got to go out of the room to be sorted or the room will never get cleaned.) AND, I go back to work tomorrow, so either I go to yoga and feel guilty that when I get home the piles on the bed will still be there and the checkbook will still not be balanced (or bills paid) or I blow off yoga and as soon as I'm done posting this, I go back to work on the office and the paper stacks.

The newly motivated fitness side of me says "go to yoga", but the old, I don't feel like exercising and there are too many distractions, chores, TV programs to watch instead side of me wins out.

On another note, today is Day 1 of "NO BREAD" and so far it's been good. I did eat some chips (swap one addiction for another), but I didn't eat the whole bag so I'm not beating myself up over that. I even tried to order the "cheese and fruit" plate when I hit the local Starbucks for a decaf coffee drink, but I was smacked down. No fruit and cheese platters left. Is that because they only make them for breakfast and it was 3pm or is it because I live in the middle of the heartland and meat is more prevalent than fruit trees? Needless to say, if I had paid the almost $6 for the cheese and fruit plate I would have felt better (than the toffee brownie I got instead-it didn't even taste very good), but XY would have made some snarky comment about the price if he were around. (The main reason I stopped ordering the "fruit plate" from McDonald's when he is with me.) But although I wanted toast for breakfast I resisted. I know it's only day 1, but it's a start.

In other depressing news, I just found out that my best friend's sister is having another baby (happy for her, sad for me). I also dropped off a baby gift for a co-worker today and I found out one of my best assistants is probably leaving her position with me to work in another office for one of my co-workers. [Not because of me, but because she hates our supervisor at this office branch.] It just reaffirms all the thoughts I've had lately about how my job hasn't fulfilled me in years and probably contributes to my unhappiness at times which of course goes hand in hand with the overeating. I really do need to dust off the information I have on the PhD program I want to enter and figure out how to change my life for the better. Is it crazy to want to still bring a child into all this? Is the fact that I'm trying to have a child a positive step or are the repeated IUI failures just a reinforcement of how disappointing my life can be? Still trying though...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

28 Days

With the XY factor out of town for the week on business, I am trying to make the most of some "alone" time. I love watching movies, but because of "the job" I really haven't had much time for renting/going to the movies lately. I've supplemented over the last few months by getting as gifts/purchasing Season 3-5 of "Angel", Season 1&2 of "Once & Again", and seasons 2-4 of "Alias", and Season 2 of "Numb3rs". Along with a bunch of Agatha Christie "Hercule Poirot" movies and Season 1 of "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates". So, technically I haven't had to go through "entertainment on the celluloid screen" withdrawal.

I am however taking advantage of XY's absence and so I rented 6 movies to watch over the next week while I am working on house projects. The first one I watched was "28 Days" with Sandra Bullock & Viggo Mortensen. It's basically about this mixed-up writer who is addicted to drugs and alcohol and ends up having to do a stint in rehab after she drunkenly leaves her sister's wedding and drives the limo into someones house. Definitely a chick movie, but not as "feel good" as you would think. No girl cleans up act and ends up in the arms of the perfect man ending. Anyway, it got me thinking about addiction and recovery including the different types of addiction.

Can an infertile become too "addicted" to trying to conceive? Not necessarily addicted to the fertility drugs themselves, but addicted to the process and the rush of hope that goes with it. (As someone who has given themselves multiple injections daily and still not gotten pregnant I just can't see anyone getting addicted to Follistem, Ganirellex, or any other fertility drug.) I think that "hope" and "desire" can be very addicting. Anyone who's felt the effects of adrenalin and serotonin might agree.

I wouldn't say I'm "addicted" to infertility treatments (disappointed-YES, still trying-YES, loving it-NO) but getting back to that "weighty" issue I know that I am definitely some type of food addict. Not anorexic or bulimic, but definitely a compulsive/comfort eater. Stress me out and I go for the food. Feeling sad, feeling blue where's that sundae, chocolate bar, box of french fries, bag of potato chips? The entire binge eating issue is not for today's post. We'll leave it for another time, but after watching "28 Days" I am inspired to try something.

One of my worst food offenders is bread. It's not even my go to food, but it lurks in the background, waiting for me to notice it. One piece is never enough and unless it's for a sandwich it is usually accompanied by it's evil sidekick-"Butter Boy". (Clogger of arteries and willing servant of my arch nemesis-Mr. Obesity!) So, as part of my "race to regain my fertility" I am hereby declaring a BAN on all bread products for the next 28 days. It's my simple carb in the form of bread rehab stint. Starting tomorrow (May 2ND) I will not eat any bread (toast, sandwich bread, rolls, croissants [mmmm croissants], crackers, croutons, pita pockets, tortillas, or bagels [mmm bagels]) for 28 days. My only thoughts are while I don't think that pancakes or waffles (which I hardly eat anyway) would be considered "a type of bread", I unfortunately fear that I am going to have to classify "muffins" as bread. Especially since you can slice them open and slather them with "Butter Boy". (We've all heard of English Muffins haven't we and those are definitely bread in my book.) So wish me luck! I'll keep you all updated with my progress (like an inmate marking off time served on the jail cell wall). Now I just have to think up some kind of mantra for those tempting times. How's this..."NO Bread on the Lips, Less Weight on the Thighs or Hips....Go Fertility!"