Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We Have Insemination!

We had our IUI today! 

At my cycle day 11 appointment on Friday, I had a 16mm and 14mm on the right and a 13mm and 12mm on the left.  They had us come again on Sunday for a follicle check, and after some work and babysitting finagling, we left right after I got off work on Sunday morning and headed to Iowa City.  At that time, the two on my right had grown to 19mm and 18mm and the left ones were 16 and 14.  So, we triggered at 10pm Sunday night and were to report to the Advanced Reproductive Lab at 8am on Tuesday before a 10am IUI.

We had our IUI and headed home.  We decided to stop for lunch at Biaggi's which was DELICIOUS!!!!  Now, I'm feeling a little crampy and sore, but hopefully my ibuprofen will kick in soon.  We're praying hard core for at least one baby to meet mid-December.  (Of course, that 16 on the left could have decided to pop, too, in which case we could be dealing with 1-3.  Eeeek!  I'm kind of hoping for no more than 2, quite frankly, but I'll take whatever I can get.)

Now starts the dreaded two week wait.  Hopefully it'll go quick and we'll end with good news!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Cycle

Well, I finally went back to Iowa City on Thursday to start a new cycle.  (The last few months, AF has shown on her own, but at times when it would be impossible to get there CD 1, 2 or 3.)  My problematic left ovary was more difficult than usual and the US tech had to call in reinforcements.  She grabbed my favorite tech and got pictures within a few minutes.  I should just request her all the time.  (On a side note, you might be an infertile if you have a favorite ultrasound tech.)  Everything looks ok in there, so we're on for a femara/follistim/ovidrel/prometrium cycle.  Here's the schedule:

CD 3 (3/10): 5mg Femara
CD 4: 5mg Femara
CD 5: 5mg Femara
CD 6: 5mg Femara
CD 7: 5mg Femara and 100 IU Follistim
CD 8: 150 IU Follistim
CD 9: 150 IU Follistim
CD 10: 150 IU Follistim
CD 11 (3/18): Follicle Check in Iowa City to see where to go from there

At some point after that, I will be giving myself my trigger shots and then going for an IUI.  For those of you keeping track at home, this will be our 2nd IUI.  It is our 5th cycle using the "big guns" for ovarian stimulation.  (That doesn't sound like a lot when you type it, but we also had about a million cycles of straight up femara or clomid before that.  All in all, we've been "not preventing" since the day we got married.  I count that as more than 4 years of TTC, even if we weren't overtly trying the entire time.  Maybe that's not the correct way to measure...I don't know.)

The PA I see said that Nick and I should talk about IVF.  I was kind of surprised she was bringing it up already, considering this is "only" our 2nd IUI, but she said that the success rate is obviously much higher with that.  Also, she said that while I respond ok to the stimulation meds, we've only gotten one dominant follicle each time (with the exception of the cycle I got pregnant with Blackberry) as opposed to the two they prefer.  She asked about my infertility coverage and I told her I know we have it, but I couldn't remember for sure how many cycles of what they cover, but I'd look into it.  (8 cycles of IUI and 4 cycles of IVF in my lifetime, in case you were curious.)  She said it is something she'd recommend we at least talk about and maybe move toward that if this cycle doesn't "take."

So, needless to say, we've been talking and doing research the last couple of days.  I know it is definitely something we'd like to do, but we just want to know more about it and ask a few questions of our clinic and other people who have done it before we jump in with both feet.  (Look for a blog post about that soon, probably.)

All in all, I was happy with my visit and I'm hoping I respond well to the tweaked protocol this cycle.  I'll be headed back to Iowa City on Friday for my follicle check.  If history is any indication, we'll probably be triggering that night then doing an IUI Sunday March 20 (although I'm hoping for triggering Saturday with the IUI Monday because I'm supposed to work next weekend and if I have to go there half the day Sunday after having just worked the night before, I'll probably be calling in sick Sunday night).  That places testing for April 3rd or 4th.  Hopefully we'll have good news then!

(Also, if you want to read an awesome blog, head here and read my mom's blog!  She's awesome and hilarious and you can sometimes hear about me!  Enjoy!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This Started as a Feel-Good Post...Oops...

I've been trying to mentally write a blog post for a few days now, and it's not really becoming anything solid, so I thought I'd open the "new post" button and see what came out.  Maybe I'll hit publish, maybe not.  I got as far as opening blogger, then I decided to open iTunes instead and figure out what the P!nk song is that I heard on the radio at work a few nights in a row and download it.  Then, I thought to myself, "What else can we download? I like that Katy Perry "Firework" song.  Let's do that.  I really like Katy Perry."  Both songs, I have since learned, have thinly-veiled anti-bullying messages.  Funny how you can just sing something mindlessly and not even realize what's going on.  Anyway, that turned into seeing what the top 10 songs were on the country, pop and rock charts on iTunes.  Did you know that "Don't Stop Believing" is #3 on the rock list?  Hilarious.

...ahem...procrastinate much?

Fact is, I legitimately don't know how to form thoughts into words. 

I have been struggling recently, I guess.  It's mostly an inward struggle as I usually choose to not bring everyone else down with my negative thoughts and random thought trails.  It's not that I don't trust the people closest to me to hear what my thoughts are, but part of me is afraid that to externalize my inward struggles will just make them worse.  Or worse, my family and friends will agree with me and our worries will compound into a ginormous mess of stress. 

The fact is, I don't want to say aloud that I feel like I'm treading water.  I feel like my infertility is assaulting me from all directions, but I can't do anything about it.  My period has arrived unprovoked 3ish months in a row, yet I can't go to Iowa City to do any treatments because I'm working at least 44 hours per week most weeks.  I have to sleep during the day and work at night which leaves roughly no time to hang out with my family for more than a couple of hours at a time, much less go to the doctor multiple times a week.  Thinking about this fact proves to only bring me down more.  It seems the large majority of people I know don't have to worry about their work schedules when they want to get pregnant. They get the luxury of saying, "Hey, let's have a baby!" They don't have to schedule appointments and have their husbands take personal days so he can get intimate with a specimen cup.  They just get to go the route that millions of people before them have gone and most of them have a little bundle of joy to show for it within a year or so. 

(Don't even get me started on these people who have baby after baby with no trouble at all.  If I see one more 22 year old come in who is on her 6th baby, I can't be held responsible for what happens.  I'm going to go on an epic tirade the likes of which Charlie Sheen has never dreamed of!)

But all joking aside, here's my true confession: Sometimes, I feel like God is blind to my suffering.  Now, I know, I really do, that that's not true.  He cares very much for me and my trials, of that I'm sure.  But it's hard to not feel like that.  I know it's probably wrong to even think it, even worse to vocalize it (I don't know where typing it is on the continuum). 

Recently, as I've been working through my "chronological bible in a year," I've really noticed that God likes to give blessings to people in the form of children. "Oh, Abraham, you rock! Have a son!" While I am by no means comparing myself to Abraham, in the back of my mind, I wonder why He hasn't seen fit to bless us with a child.  We've "done everything right," so to speak.  Why does He send babies everyone else's way and not to us?  To even type it out seems so petty and ridiculous, but it doesn't make my thoughts on the matter change. 

But, I internalize it.  I don't want to say aloud that seeing my sister's burgeoning baby belly sends a stab to my heart that I sometimes don't think I'll ever recover from.  I hesitate to say that it physically hurts when I see pictures on facebook of my friend's kids who were born 10 months apart, or ultrasound pictures from people who I know didn't spend years trying to get to that point or baby pictures from people who make no attempt to hide that they don't even know who the child's father is.  Situations like that hurt me in ways that I really don't think will ever be forgotten.  But, in the next breath I feel terrible for feeling that way. 

This post is admittedly scatter-brained, and for that I apologize.  I think it's a symptom of where I'm at in my mind right now.  I had really hoped to be "back to normal" by now.  I knew I'd hit a speed bump near the due date, but it's been nearly 2 months since then and 9 months since the miscarriage and I still relive it with disturbing regularity. 

I'd just like to be "normal." 

Infertility, it seems, leaves a swath of damage in its wake that is all-encompassing.