Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dilemmas and Donors

I have a dilemma. A couple of dilemmas in fact. I'm not sure what to do. So I've come here to muse and seek out advice from the community.

This is my first month on Clomid. Because I ovulate normally, it's never really been indicated before, however the specialist recommended it because obviously, I'll produce more follicles that way, and thus the "little guys" will have more possible targets. God, I hope he's right. Just one! Oh just one is all I can hope for! *prays*

So what's the dilemma you say? Well, we have only ONE sample left from hubby's last extraction. One tiny cannula of sperm for an IUI. So where do we go from here?

Problem #1
I have an appointment on Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 a.m. (CD13) to see the specialist. He hopes that my follies can hold on until then with the Clomid... usually I ovulate between CD10 and CD12. We're crossing our fingers that this month, CD13 is not too late. Why CD13? Because he's out of town this month and his is a one-doc only clinic thus, no one else available.

Problem #2
We only have one sample left. So if he needs me back on CD14, we have nothing to work with. Hubby COULD go in for another extraction (thus giving us another 8-10 cycles of sperm to work with) but we know that his sperm isn't the strongest anymore, so is it worth it? Or should we just work with the one sample we have? It's hard to say. We've been discussing donor sperm lately... I'll get to that in a minute.

Problem #3
There are two donor organizations that our clinic deals with, and neither of them is located near us, so any samples would have to be shipped. Each of these clinics needs about five working days notice for shipping, so it looks like we're out of luck this month for a donor anyway. That brings me back to "Should hubby give another sample until we can get a donor?" Good question.

Problem #4
If we decide to finally go the donor route, do we reveal it? Would it have repercussions in the future? Would his ex-wife instill some feelings of "superiority" in his other two children (who are now 10 and almost 12), so that when they come to visit, there are problems? Would our families view the child as "ours" and "part of the family?" My heart knows the answers to these questions... I think. But if you have advice, or thoughts, I'd like to hear them.

Thoughts on Donor Sperm... is it right for us?
And how do I feel about donor? Well, I've fluctuated on this issue I think. I'm all over the map and trying to wrap my brain around the implications. Oh sure, I know that donors produce superb children and it's safe and all that. That isn't my issue.

You see, when we first began this journey, hubby was adamant, "no donors." I am sure that (naive as we were in the beginning) he knew that he had produced two offspring already, so he was capable of procreation -- even after his vasectomy -- given that he still produced sperm and that we could extract it from him. So he was dead set against the donor option. I, however, was all for it. It was a viable option. As time goes on, and our journey grows longer, hubby has seen what these fertility treatments put me through though. He sees the medications. He sees the injections. He sees the discomfort and the irritability (sorry hon!) and bears the brunt of my anger, frustration and depression at times. He is becoming more sensitive to the fact that maybe his sperm can't do this very well anymore. And maybe if he opened up the doors to a donor, our goal would be reached more quickly. So he is now agreeable to having a donor.

Me though... I don't know. Somewhere in me, I hurt. I ache. It truly gives me grief to know that I cannot give him a biological child, even though it's possibly the lack of motility/viability of his sperm that puts me in that position. And I am jealous. That green-eyed monster raises its ugly head because (and here's the kicker)... his ex had that chance. She got to give him that. She was the one who was able to bear his biological children. And then she took them away from him. And that hurts me so much; knowing that SHE could do that and I probably never can. Knowing that he has children that she is raising and he feels so separated from them.

He often says to me that he knows he is a father, but he really wants the chance to be a dad. And I want to give that to him. To us. To welcome a child into the loving, caring family that is, not only the two of us, but our large circle of friends and family.

Where do we go from here? For today, I handle the Clomid. Tomorrow, I will handle the Clomid. And I will wait until Monday's appointment I guess. I'm not sure I know what else to do right now.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Second Blood Draw

Friday's bloodwork went... relatively well. I'm surprised in fact.

I went in there dreading it. I was trying my darndest to be calm. You know, doing the music thing, trying to relax, focus on other things, zone out to a different planet (LOL) all those good things. I did just that. BTW, drugs help too! Newsflash huh? Anyway, I was so relaxed by the time hubby told me they were ready for me, it was like I was somewhere else.

I got in there, and the woman doing the draw was confident and skilled. It was obvious. She had me sit up to try to find a vein on the right arm. Nothing. Right hand... she thought she had one, and she lay me down. She located it again and hubby held my arm while she stuck me. No luck though; the vein rolled away. Hubby told me later that it was the first time he'd seen a vein "move" away like that. It sorta shocked him I think to see that this really isn't all in my head. It truly is very difficult to find the veins in my arms.

So the phlebotomist had me turn to lie the other way, with my left arm out. She got a vein in my left hand, near my ring finger. And she stuck. And got it. Thank God. I exhaled and gritted my teeth, scraping my nails on the wall. For this draw, the only tests were for FSH and Estradiol so only one vial was needed; a much shorter time on the table than Tuesday! Whew! All done, they sat me up, made sure I wasn't going to faint, and hubby took me home. I fell into bed by about 3:30 and slept until 7 p.m. Friday evening.

It's now Sunday night. My hands are both still bruised, but it's over. And now we wait for the results. To Lisa, Neeroc, the Town Criers, hubby, and all who were hoping that it went well, I thank you for your thoughts. It is good to know that when I'm lying on that table, I'm not alone.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

TTC Lingo

It occurred to me that not everyone who reads this blog will be "in the know" with regards to the terminology involved in trying to conceive (TTC). Thus, before I have too many folks checking here who are totally confused about all the abbreviations, here is a list of some of the terms that you might see in my blog and other TTC blogs. I will make a permanent link to it for future reference. And I will update it as required.

AC - Assisted Conception
AF - Aunt Flo (getting your period)
AFAIK - as far as I know
AI – Assisted/Artificial Insemination
AID - Artificial Insemination with Donor Sperm
AIH - Artificial Insemination with husband's or partner's sperm
ART - Assisted Reproductive Technology (all forms of assisted reproduction are included)
BBT - Basal Body temperature (for me, temp taken at 5 a.m.)
BCP - Birth control pill
BD - baby dancing / bad deed (to have sex)
BFN - big fat negative (pregnancy test)
BFP - big fat positive (pregnancy test)
BW - blood work
BTW - by the way
CC - Controlled Crying
CD - cycle day (e.g, CD3, CD11)
CM - cervical mucus
DBT - dead baby thoughts
D&C - Dilation & Curettage
DH, DS, DD, DF, DB - dear husband, dear son, dear daughter, dear fiancé, dear boyfriend
DI - Donor Insemination
DPO - days past ovulation
EP - Ectopic Pregnancy
EPU - Egg pick up
ER - Egg Retrival
ET - Embryo Transfer
EW or EWCM - Egg White or Egg White Cervical Mucus (description of cervical mucus at ovulation time)
FET - Frozen Embryo Transfer (or fertilised egg transfer)
FS - Fertility Specialist
FSH - Follicle Stimulating Hormone
FWIW - for what it's worth
FYI - for your information
GIFT - Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer
GD - Gestational Diabetes
GYN - gynaecolgist
HPT - home pregnancy test
HSG - hysterosalpingogram (injection of dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes)
ICSI - Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion (injection of one sperm into an egg)
IMO - in my opinion
IMHO - in my humble opinion
IUI - Intrauterine Insemination (insertion of sperm into the uterine cavity)
IVF - In Vitro Fertilization (the mingling of sperm with an egg in a lab)
IYKWIM - if you know what I mean
LAP - laparoscopy
LOL - laughing out loud
MF - male factor
MIL, FIL, BIL, SIL - mother, father, brother, sister-in-law
M/C - miscarriage
M/S - morning sickness
O - Ovulation
OB - Obstetrician
OHSS - Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome
OI - Ovulation Induction
OPK - ovulation predictor test kit
OPU - Ovum (Egg) Pick Up
OT - Off Topic
PCO - Poly Cystic Ovaries
PCOS - Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
PG - pregnant
PGD - Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
POAS - pee on a stick (take a home pregnancy test)
POF - Premature Ovarian Failure
RE - Reproductive Endocrinologist
ROFL - rolling on floor laughing
ROFLMAO - roll on floor laughing my a$$ off
SA - Sperm Analysis
SCSA - Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (test to check for DNA breakage in sperm)
SD - Step Daughter
SO - significant other
SS - Step Son
TTC - trying to conceive
TMI - Too Much Information
U/S - Ultrasound
2WW - 2 week wait (time period between ovulation and either a BFP or the arrival of AF)

Friday, October 20, 2006

CD3 Testing

This afternoon, hubby will pick me up a little early and we'll head to a lab for more bloodwork. Having seen what I went through on Tuesday of this week, hubby called the specialist's office and spoke to the receptionist. He said that she sounded appalled when he recounted the tale of incompetence, and she recommended another lab to us. So he called them.

Over the phone, he explained to them about the extreme phobia I have. He told them about my collapsing, rolling, hiding, deep veins. He told them what happens when I have to have bloodwork. He told them that I've had bad experiences. He recounted the arguement that was held within earshot the other day when they insisted that they were "able to do their job" but clearly were not. And they reassured him that they have seen this and more. And that they can handle it. And that they will take good care of it.

And yet, despite his belief, none of that reassures me, because... over the phone, they can say anything to bring you in. So I'm still afraid. No. Scratch that. I'm still petrified. I'm sitting at my desk, hours before I need to do this, but my heart is racing. I have to get through this. Somehow. To help, I'm already drinking water. I have my meds with me. I have that MP3 player. I have all the tools I need, except my sanity. And no matter how hard I try, I can't find that anywhere.

Something bigger
Yet even as I deal with my own issues, there is a huge online community that deals with the struggles, the trials, the issue of infertility. I am but one in a large circle of sisters (and brothers) as we go down this path, we all come to know each other. Beginning today, and at least once per week, I will try to direct my personal thoughts and prayers to one other person, or two, as the case may be, who travel beside me. Thus, this week I'm...

Sending love to:
Manuela and Mr. P over at Thin Pink Line. After 20 weeks, Manuela lost her Shoelet and my heart aches for her and for all those who have to endure such injustice. Nothing prepares you for that, and the outpouring of grief and tears for her and her family from the online infertility community is meant to bring them some comfort and solace. We grieve with you Manuela and Mr. P. May God keep your little Shoelet in the palm of his hand.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bloodwork, and Blood *sighs*

Bear with me... my keyboarding skills are not stellar yet today. The effects of a double dose of Lorazepam (4mg) are going to take awhile to work out of my system.

Yesterday's blood draw was a nightmare. I had done the whole "take 2mg Lorazepam 1 hour before appointment" and the "apply Emla topical freezing cream to the skin at least 1 hour before appointment" and I had my MP3 player, and good, positive imagery. Yay! I was set. So we get to the clinic, I'm still relatively calm (eyes closed, deep breathing, good imagery, concentrating on other things) and eventually get called in.

The First Stop
The first young woman (I'll call her Youngin') says, "If I can't find a vein, I'll get a more senior tech to look at you." WHOA. Stop right there. "I want the MOST senior tech you have on site please. This is not going to be easy for either of us." Out she goes to ask another one to come in. Then I hear her and her cronies out there arguing about "Well this is your job, you can do it. She can't tell you that," etc. In comes Youngin' again, saying, "I'm just going to look. I won't stick you until I'm sure." Hey, have at it. She looks up and down, both arms, all over my hands, everywhere. Nada. Out goes Youngin'. In comes "Bertha" (a relatively larger, black woman), who manhandles my arms, searching for a vein. She managed to pinch the nerve on my left outer wrist where I've had surgery too. That was fun. Not.

Bertha declares, "No, I can't find a good one either." Out she goes. By this time my good imagery is shot. I'm trembling, lying on the table and fat tears are rolling down my cheeks. In walks the third woman, LadyDarkHair. More manhandling. A bit of slapping on my arms and hands, deep breathing for me, and turned up the MP3 player. So she "thinks" she has one on top of my right hand. Hey, if you got one, go for it. I brace myself and she sticks. And F*CK ME GENTLY WITH A CROWBAR it M*THERF*CKIN HURT!!! With my left hand I hit the wall beside me and exhaled hard and fast. And that, LadyDarkHair said, moved the vein and the needle. She lost it. "No, I'm sorry, we can't do it here. She needs to be more sedated for this. I would recommend a hospital." Nah, that didn't lose the vein in my mind. She lost it because I reacted with a smack to the wall. A release of pent-up fear and energy and she says, "Nope. We can't do you here." I have no idea what she thought, whether there were fears of her being in danger, or of my wrecking the place (ha ha!) or what, but the end result is, "Sorry, we can't do this here for you."

I sit up and I tell her, "Look, the attitude here is abominable. Even on the telephone when I called, I was ASSURED that you are all professionals and can deal with someone with a phobia and can certainly do your job. Next, I endure three people trying to find a vein who supposedly 'know their jobs' but yet can't do them, and then when you get a vein you lose it. Obviously this is extremely traumatic for me and I'm sorry about that, but that is the way it is." I'm crying like a f*ckin baby by this time, and angry as h*ll at her. She says, "I'm sorry you feel that way. Here's your requisition back. I would suggest a hospital." Stupid B*tch. I just stood there and cried a few minutes, trying to calm down.

Hubby and I go out and sit in the car. Now I feel like crap for putting him through this. He's told me before that he thinks this phobia of mine is "silly" and "stupid." Basically, he doesn't relate. So it's putting him through discomfort to have him even come with me and get embarrased cause the "crazy lady" doesn't like needles. That's how I feel anyway. He'll probably disagree.

Stops Number 2 and 3
We drive to the Montfort hospital. By this time it's about 4:45 p.m. We check with them there; "We can't do the work here, because your specialist doesn't have hospital privileges here. But he has privileges at the Civic on Carling Avenue." Off we go again towards Carling Avenue.

At the Civic, we get registered, I get a little armband, and we wait. And wait. And at about 6:50 we get called in to Urgent Care to be seen by a doc. He wondered what sort of "other sedation" we expected him to use. I retorted (a bit testy by now) "How about a baseball bat across the side of the head? I don't care. Whatever you can do to get blood is good by me."

He figures more Lorezapam by this point and they come back with two more for me. I take those. That's 4 mg of Lorazepam for those of you counting. I couldn't walk a straight line if you paid me a million dollars by now. We put on some more Emla cream and I cover up and lay down on the exam table, MP3 player on to relax. About 10-15 minutes of that, hubby said I started to doze off.

Third time's a charm
Then the nurse came in about 10 minutes after, and began palpitating... the fourth person to play with my veins that night. *shudders* She thought she'd had a good one, but it disappeared. Off to the other arm, where she finally found one on (get this) inner right wrist. It totally wigged me out! Arggggg! I cringe just writing those words. Ick. She gets hubby to hold my arm. I breathe deeply, listen to the music, focus on imagery, etc. and WHAM! She SLAMS THAT THING IN and F*CK I jumped. I tried not to. I did. I clung to the wall. I cried, sobbing like my heart was breaking. Like it was the worst torture ever. I tried my d*mdest not to move for her. I did; hubby held my arm tightly so she could get the blood she needed. Eight vials. Oh God. I just about died when I saw them beforehand, waiting to be filled. Eight.

Anyway, she did a darn good job, and I was so pleased that she took the time to make me comfortable and did what she needed to at the same time. (With hubby's help of course!) I thanked her profusely. It's never easy to deal with someone who has a phobia like mine. But she did a stellar job. Now if only I could have her do it all the time.

Not Over Yet...
And therein lies the kicker. I need more bloodwork done on CD3. So I figured that that would happen next week right? No. Nuh uh. No, ladies and gentlemen, tsk tsk. Don't be so positive! No... you see, yesterday was CD23, but good ol' today is CD1. You read that right. CD1. Short?? You want short cycles? Oh my god. I'm all over the map. So if today is CD1, I need more bloodwork on Friday afternoon (CD3). Dear. Sweet. God. In. Heaven. How am I going to go through that again so quickly? Give me strength. Please.

As well, this month, I am starting with Clomid from CD5-9. But I won't have an appointment with my specialist until CD13 (he's out of the province on my CD9-12). They hope that the Clomid will hold the eggs until CD13 for an IUI. Maybe it will, or maybe I'll ovulate on my own before then. Who knows? Either way, it's something new and we'll see how it goes.

I'm still coming down off yesterday's drugs to process all of this. But looking at my upcoming calendar it's full of all sorts of appointments, pill schedules, cycle dates, etc. It's all worth it I know. I'm pretty sure of that part. Right?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Husband's Insight.

How does one who already has kids, look at trying to get his second wife pregnant? That has always been a question that my wife has thrown at me, seeing as I view getting her pregnant differently. My wife feels that because I have two kids from a previous marriage I don't think this has as much importance, or that it's not a huge priority.

I think she is right. I do feel that this is not an urgent priority. But, I think it's important. The reasons are different though. For me, it's important because it's something that my wife wants. We had a lot of discussions before we agreed to go ahead and try for kids. I even had surgery to reverse my vasectomy, unfortunatly with negative results.

Do I want kids? The answer to this is two-fold. I want kids with my wife, but I would not want to have kids with anyone else (if I had been in any other relationship, for example). The reason is that with my ex-wife, I ended up doing a lot of the work. I did the cooking before she got pregnant, but after she got pregnant, she stopped doing even the cleaning. Her usual excuse was she was tired. Well, after two years that didn't changed, and I ended up doing most of the things myself. I got up in the middle of the night to feed my daughter, I am the one who gave her a bath, and so on and so forth. I know that with my current wife, that is not a concern at all. I know how she is. With my ex-wife, it was not a surprise.

My concerns for my current wife may be different than hers when it comes to her getting pregnant. My concerns are for her health, gaining weight after getting pregnant, and her getting Type 2 diabetes because of her pregnancy.

I know my wife also has concerns about how I don't make an effort to be closer with my kids, or that when we had them for over eight months and my ex-wife took them back I did not fight for them. The latter was due to financial constraints. The former is because I was really close to my kids, and when I broke up with my ex-wife, not seeing them and having to move away from them was really hard on me. It was actually harder to move away from them than it was to move away from her. So I don't get as close to my kids because I don't want to be hurt like that again. My wife found herself out how much it can hurt; when the kids moved in with us she did the same thing. She got close. When my ex took them back, my wife took it hard.

Because of this, she feels that I will be the same with a new child. I know I will not. But that is something I have no way to prove to her.

Hope this makes sense to you folks. I, unlike my wife, am not a writer.

Blood work; it really IS work. Trust me on this.

Now that I'm back in the land of the living after being sick for a week (and sleeping between 14 and 16 hours per day; sheesh!) I'm looking ahead to the next few days.

And circled in red on my calendar for next Tuesday the 17th is... Bloodwork. CD23 and a whole host of tests have been ordered by my fertility specialist. Let's see, I might be able to decipher his "doctor shorthand" on my requisition form. He wants me tested for:
-glucose (R)
-W.B.C. count (white blood cell, I assume)
-FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
-LH (luteinizing hormone)
-T4/T3 (thyroid stuff; many docs test me for hypothyroidism, but they've all come back negative so far)
-Free Testosterone
-DH EAS (another thyroid thing)
-BHCG (beta HCG or pregnancy test)

And two more that I simply can't discern right now. Looks like "Federtin" and "Ult R12". But those don't show up in my research.

Anyway, regardless, that's a H*lluva lot of bloodwork. And here's the kicker. I'm petrified of needles. Not just afraid, but "knock-down, drag-em-out, faint-on-the-floor, cry-like-a-baby, leave-scars-on-my-hubby's-hand, need-to-lie-down and take-relaxation-meds-beforehand" PETRIFIED. Got that?? Can I BE any more clear? I don't think so.

Seriously, my family doctor prescribes Lorazepam for me to relax prior to bloodwork. I have fainted in the past. It has taken more than an hour and multiple tries to FIND a vein that doesn't collapse or withdraw, and more often than not I have to lie down because otherwise I'll be in a puddle on the floor.

So as you can probably guess, I am NOT looking forward to this, although I realize the necessity of the bloodwork itself. How to get through it? I'm not sure. When I had my laparoscopy in April, I had a topical freezing cream applied, took some of that Lorazepam, relaxing music on my MP3 player, warm blankets wrapped around my arms to try to bring out the veins, a special doc called in to do the IV insertion, and even a sympathetic nurse who could relate because her husband is much like me. And I still cried. It frightens the living daylights out of me. It truly does.

Blood? No problem. Gore? Cool! Sawing through bone? Neat!! But a needle piercing skin? I'm a total wreck. Stupid right? Yeah, I know. I know. It stems from an incident I had as a child. I was about eight years old and for some reason (I can't remember why) the nurse at the children's hospital at home needed to take a blood sample from me. So I sit down, having done this before, and she preps my arm. God, even the alcohol swab makes me cry now. *shudders* Anyway, she puts in the needle, and loses the vein. What does she do? She withdraws the needle PARTWAYS and changes the angle, pushing in again. Not once, not even twice, but this B*tch does this repeatedly, time and time again, fishing for the crawling vein. Well, I'm sitting there watching this and eventually I just fainted. Dead on the floor, slid off the chair, fainted. Good God. I'll never forget it. And to this day I am so afraid.

So what to do about next week? Even the receptionist at the fertility doc's said, "Wow, looks like a few vials there," when she gave me the requisition form. Nice. Oh joy. I'll be lucky to get through this. I kid you not.

A request for my readers then. Tips? Tricks? Help? What would you advise? Anything that will help me get through the awful experience of a blood draw will be most welcome. Trust me. I'm all ears.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No Signs; Not even a Signpost

Okay, I confess... I have no idea what day in my cycle it is right now. The total insanity of the long Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada has tossed thoughts of fertility to the furthest recesses of my little brain. I have spent the weekend cooking, cleaning, shopping, visiting and entertaining. And on top of all that, I've got a cold. (Thanks to my hubby. He loves to share you see.)

So I'm trying not to take meds to help ease the cold symptoms. Sucking on Ricola throat lozenges just isn't cutting it. And you can be d*mn sure that those don't help my stuffy nose. Don't you just hate it when you become sick in your 2ww? Seriously, this sucks. Royally.

Hubby is home today sick, as am I. Well, he's been sick for more than two weeks; I suspect it's an infection now, rather than just a cold. Usually he can shake them much faster than that. He's taking his butt to a doctor today though to get it sorted out. Good thing too. I was ready to take him to the doctor myself. The incessant coughing is grating on my last nerve. Argh!

I think though, what is worse than all of that, is that so far, I feel nothing. Usually, when I have a cycle that "works" I feel twinges, symptoms, little signs and indications that I MIGHT be... well, the "P" word. (Yeah, I'm superstitous when it comes to even saying it. Like I'm some sort of fraud or something.) And this cycle, I feel nothing. No sore, heavy breasts; no heaviness in my abdomen; no sensitive gums when I brush my teeth; no darkened veins that look like bruises; no nausea (I remember one morning when I barely made it to the office after walking by the cafeteria at our headquarters complex!) nada. Usually, if the IUI works, about 4 days after the procedures, I start feeling something. Considering that this is Tuesday, and I had IUIs on Thursday and Friday of last week, I would know by now. Or, I think I would know. Maybe it's me just being silly and superstitious again.

Or maybe it's just this cold. I'll take my sick butt back to bed for awhile and concentrate on getting better.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Urine our World Now...

Welcome to CD12, and another look at my girly bits today with the dildo cam revealed that both follicles had released. YAY! I knew with those twinges yesterday that I'd ovulated. I must remember to record that on my chart. According to the doc, there is a lot of free fluid behind the uterus... a good sign. So knowing that I ovulated, he did another IUI today.

It took a good bit of poking and prodding today with that cam. My cervix is so very deep, there is no way I can ever possibly reach it, and doctors have often commented that it is VERY far back. I ask if that would ever pose a problem to delivering a child, or getting pregnant, but they all deny that it would be. So I assume it's just because I'm built that way. C'est la vie.

Anyway, both yesterday and today I did manage to empty my bladder. And that's a helluva feat for me! Hubby often comments I have a bladder like a freakin' camel. I usually go for a full workday without using the washroom. It's rare that I need to go do that. I NEVER get up in the middle of the night for it either. I just have an abnormal bladder capacity I guess.

Pee good to me!
So usually when I go for these visits to the doc, he'll comment about my bladder not being empty. I try and I try, but it never seems to fully empty. And last year, when I had the ovarian cyst, I was getting a lot of urinary tract infections. So many ultrasounds. So many urine samples. Eeesh. "Empty your bladder for this test," "Keep your bladder full for this test," "We need a sample," "When was the last time you emptied your bladder?" etc.

I went one time for an ultrasound (external and internal) and I had the external one first. Thus I needed a full bladder. Well, I drank and I drank and I drank some more. I was so full! I needed to go to the bathroom SO badly. But I vowed to hold it until after the external was done. The tech takes one look and her eyes go wide. She says, "Wow, your bladder is super full. Very clear picture!" Then she needed to do the internal. She said, "Go empty your bladder. Twice." Huh? "Yes, twice. Empty it once, then stand up and walk a few minutes. Then empty it again." I did just that. I lay down again, and she inserts the dildo cam. "Yep, still not empty. Go try again." *sigh*

Anyway, yes... yesterday and today. I didn't eat or drink before my appointments. So I made sure to empty fully. And he was very pleased that he could get a clear picture internally with an empty bladder. A real feat, like I said.

*wink wink, nudge nudge*
And the title of this post? Much like the title of this entire blog, it's a nod and a wink to EverQuest and EverQuest 2; online games that I play. Of all the quests I've undertaken in game and in life, this babymaking one is the hardest quest of all. But the reward at the end? That just rocks. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

CD11; time for an IUI

Today's appointment with the doc (bright and early at 7 a.m.! Sheesh, do these folks ever sleep?!) brought about some results.

The dildo cam -- oh, my girly bits are very 'intimate' with that thing now; more than they are with my hubby lately -- revealed that both follicles on the left side have sufficiently matured. One measured at 1.89 and the other at 1.99. Mature follicles measure between 1.8 and 2.6 my doctor told me. The endometrium is nice and thick this month, and that's good to hear because often it's not as thick as he would like it to be.

Figuring that those littl'uns are ripe for the picking, he did an IUI and gave me an HCG shot. Usually, if hubby is there, it's hubby who gets to push the plunger and he can then say that he 'did it.' *giggles* Unfortunately though, hubby works a 7-3 shift and thus unless absolutely necessary, he can't make the appointments. That's a shame. I always want my husband there for these sorts of things, and I miss him when he's not.

Anyway, the doctor wants me back again tomorrow at the same time (ugh!) to confirm ovulation and to do another IUI. He also indicated that it's time to try the Clomid. He'll give me that prescription tomorrow, for CD3-7 next month, if I need it.

He also gave me a requisition for CD23 bloodwork, and a requisition for CD3 bloodwork, if I get that far. Please GOD let me not see a CD3 this time. I am crossing my fingers. I don't want to see a CD3 for quite awhile.

While I was lying there, waiting a few minutes after the IUI before I got up and got dressed to go on with my day, go to work, etc., I hear peals of laughter from the room next door. She was one of the lucky ones. She got a BFP on a beta. And it turns out, she was one of many last week who did. I want to be that lucky. Is that selfish of me? I don't care. Well, I do, but I don't. Please let me be that lucky this time. Oh please.

So today and tomorrow, I'm doing my best to think positively. To get the good vibes flowing. To do the positive self-talk and imagery. To think good things. To that end, tonight hubby and I are going to the hockey season home opener (Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs; Go SENS Go!) and that will be a lovely distraction. No stress, no stress, no stress *chants the mantra*

Now if I can just get my Thanksgiving dinner all organized. I'm doing a dinner at our house for a few people on Monday and on Sunday we're going to hubby's family's fête. There will be 47 people for the meal on Sunday, and I'm doing dessert. *pulls out recipe cards frantically* Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all the Canucks who read. May it be full of love, laughter, friends and family.

Hee hee; as I'm typing this entry, I feel the twinges in my abdomen that tell me that I'm ovulating. To heck with the Sens; this game is much more important to me! *cheers the littl'uns on* Go little guys, go!!!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Aggressive? Who me?

I went to see my doctor this morning. A few things came out of that appointment.

First, I have two follicles developing on the left. They currently stand at 1.2 and 1.3 in size. He wants me to return on Thursday, CD11 as they are still too immature to work with, but by Thursday we can likely do an IUI.

I told him that I'm concerned about hypothyroidism, and I've often been tested, so far, with negative results. In recent years, I'm worried that it may have come to the forefront and thus is causing us difficulties. Time to be tested again.

He asked about whether I've done the serophene (Clomid) route. I replied that no, he'd never prescribed that for me, except for the one month that he did about a year ago, pre-laparoscopy. He thinks it may be time to get aggressive and do that, and do it for a series of six months, as is the standard procedure.

I asked him about IVF giving us better chances. He said, and I quote, "Well, you know you're working with bad sperm right?" Nice... thanks for the update there. Actually, no I didn't know THAT per se because he's never told us that. He's always told us that "All we need is one," and "They're good enough." This is the first negative comment I've heard about the quality of the sperm that we have to use. So that is an issue and something hubby and I are going to have to discuss. He thinks that if we look at IVF, then they will go the route of MESA or TESA to get the sperm to work with, if we do not use donor of course. I'm still open to donor, but hubby is not; or at least, the last time we discussed it, that topic seemed to be off the table for him. *sighs*

I mentioned to him that I was wondering if it might be Luteal Phase Defect (short luteal phase) but he seems to think that I ovulate too early, thus the eggs are not quite mature enough. The progesterone, it thus seems, is only to help thicken the endometrium, not to lengthen the luteal phase. Either way, that stuff makes me D*MN grumpy. Hubby will attest to that.

And to top it all off, it's way past time for me to have a round of bloodwork done. The last time he checked my hormone levels was sometime between January and March of 2004. So God knows what's happened between then and now; for all we know I'm off the charts somewhere and nothing we do will work if that is the case. So he's going to order bloodwork. Oh Joy. Another hour or two flat on my back in tears. At this point though, you know something? I'll do it. I'm scared sh*tless, but I will do it. Whatever it takes.

And that is the thought behind my keeping up my workouts at the gym too; whatever it takes. If I need to lose 50 lbs, then so be it. I can do that. I WILL do that, for my baby. I HAVE to do that for my baby. I have to give this the best possible opportunity to work.

Time marches on; I'm not getting any younger and it's time to get serious. Aggressive and serious about all this baby-making business.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Random Thoughts that Clutter my Brain

So, it's CD8. And I sit here with all sorts of thoughts running through my brain.

-- Will this month work?
-- Why was my menses so short last week? *scratches head*
-- What will the ultrasound tomorrow show?
-- Did I even have a normal cycle?
-- Is it early menopause? *wide eyed*
-- We know I ovulated so it wasn't an annovulatory cycle...
-- It's 10/2 and I did the POAS thing this morning: negative. Thanks WS for your hope and thoughts anyway.
-- Is it the metformin and PCOS that is yielding a false negative, like the pharmacist said it might? *clings to hope*
-- Am I totally out of my mind and overthinking all of this and worrying for nothing?

I need to relax. To put all this out of my head. To get away.

The irony of it all though, is that I can't "just relax" or "take a vacation and it will happen" as so many well-meaning individuals counsel us to do. In order for me to get pregnant, we HAVE to do it using ART methods. There is absolutely zero chance of a pregnancy happening on its own, given the vasectomy/failed reversal history. So we live in two-week cycles of "Damn, it didn't work" and "There's hope cause we're in the 2 week wait," (between the IUI and the POAS date).

So I try to keep my sanity as the seasons march onward. I attempt to smile and be happy for friends and acquaintances who joyfully announce their pregnancies. I even try to hide my tears from my husband. I know he cares so much, yet a part of him doesn't quite seem to "get it" because he already has two children. He's done the pregnancy/birth/childhood thing with his ex. For me, this is my first and only shot at having a family; I'm not getting any younger, God knows.

And I can't even contemplate yet what I'll do if I can't have children of my own. That's too painful to think about yet.