Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snarl, grumble, b*tch, complain

*grumbles* The effects of the progesterone have hit me like a ton of bricks.

*stomps around with a scowl on her face*

Gotta love it. NOT.

Thirteen days to my vacation. And twelve to the POAS date. Please God, let me get through these two weeks without murdering anyone!

Monday, November 27, 2006

DIUI #1... and a half

The appointment this morning went well. With the internal ultrasound, the doctor saw lots of free fluid on both sides (indicating that the follicles had released) and no sign of the larger follicles at all. A couple of the little ones were still hanging around (1.3 cm and less) but they'll likely disappear in a day or so, breaking down and reabsorbing back into the body. The endometrium is measuring a nice, thick 9.87 according to measurements. Not bad.

Knowing that I ovulated, he did another IUI with the donor sperm; he used the second half of our first sample, having used half yesterday. And now the 2ww sets in. That is always the hardest isn't it? I mean, all the key players are in place... the sperm is there (and it's GOOD sperm this time!), the eggs are there, the timing is right, but all we can do is wait. You never really know if it works until that 2ww is over.

And during this 2ww, I have a dozen things to keep me busy and try to keep my mind from obsessing on whether this one "worked" and whether the eggs are of good enough quality, and whether I'll be frustrated and dissolving in tears when we head south for Christmas. I have to focus on other things and do my best to just keep going, regardless of the outcome. And that is truly the hardest thing of all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Donor IUI #1... *gulps*

At today's 8 a.m. appointment, the endometrium was measured to be nice and thick, there are LOTS of follies on both sides, however they haven't released yet, despite the HCG trigger yesterday morning. It's likely that they'll come out to play later today.

So with that optimistic outlook, the doctor did the first IUI with donor sperm. He used half the sample, the second half of which we'll use tomorrow morning at my 6:45 a.m. appointment. And I was given a prescription for 200 mg of progesterone to start tonight before bed, for 14 days.

Hubby and I had a look at the donor sample and we remarked that even the colour was different. There are obvious differences in ejaculate for men who have had a vasectomy from those who have not, for example, colour, consistency, quantity (believe it or not, hubby saw drop in quantity of ejaculate after his vasectomy when he was told that he would likely not see any difference), and um... "shooting distance." None of those things really matter in the long run of course. As long as we have good sperm to work with, that is what matters when trying to have a baby. So you do what you have to. And for us, we are doing the right thing.

So now I am going to take it easy for the day and keep my fingers crossed. I might go with hubby and my stepchildren out to see "Happy Feet" (the movie) later. Good endorphins can only help, right?

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I sinfully indulged in a flying visit to Montréal with a girlfriend last night to visit two other girlfriends, (T and L) one of whom who JUST submitted her Ph.D. thesis on Thursday after a number of years of hard work. L, if you are reading, congratulations sweetie! Well-deserved and I know the defense will be spectacular! Woo hoo! Anyway, L finally surfaced and was ready to celebrate. I spent Friday morning bantering back and forth with my friends, as they cajoled, coerced, tried to convince and persuade me and another girlfriend to just hop in the car, drive the hour and a half or two hours and celebrate with them when our day was done.

Okay, okay, I caved. Right after work, my girlfriend and I BEAT IT out of town and over to Montréal to spend a glorious girls' evening with some Japanese food, wine and tea/coffee and chocolate cake at a dessert restaurant later. We crashed in Montréal (at T's place) for a few hours before getting up at 4:30 a.m. to make the drive back home. I needed get up early to make it back for my 8 a.m. appointment but it was ever-so-fantastic to see my girlfriends and laugh, celebrate and enjoy an evening out. Girls, we need to do that more often! I know it was totally spontaneous, but that made it all the more fun. YAHOO!!! *hands in the air, laughing*

So back here at home, hubby and I went to the doc appointment. I still have tons of follicles, but their growth hasn't gone forward a lot.
Endometrium: 9.84 mm; he was pleased.
Right: Two mature follicles, 2.15 and 1.92 cms; the others are under 1.68.
Left: All under 1.65 cm and again, a bunch of them.

The doc wondered... do we risk making the two dominant ones cystic (as I'm prone to cysts), and do a Puregon shot or, do we do the HCG trigger injection and DIUI? He didn't want to risk the cysts, so he gave me the HCG trigger and told me to return tomorrow morning at 8 for the insemination. Usually he would do one insemination today with the HCG trigger and then another tomorrow, but we're working with less sperm and normally, ovulation doesn't occur until 24-36 hours post HCG anyway.

So, we cross our fingers, and we return tomorrow. That gives me today to do some housework and decorate a bit for Christmas. Tomorrow will be a day for relaxing and taking it easy. But today, there's work to be done! Um... anyone wanna dig out my Christmas wreaths for me?

**Edit: I was just looking at those numbers. That means, in two days (CD10 to CD12) my dominant follicles grew from 1.3 cm to 2.15 cm. The doc remarked to me once, "When you grow em, you grow em big!" noting the rapidity with which the size increased in those two days. I wonder is that the normal growth rate for follicles? I seem to get the impression from others that their follies grow larger earlier and at a steady rate, whereas mine are slow starters but then EXPLODE into biggun's. Hmm... odd indeed.**

Friday, November 24, 2006

Battered and bruised

Bleh. My abdomen is dotted with bruises from the injections; it really ain't a pretty sight. I had hoped to avoid the blue-black marks that often occur when a needle pierces my skin. Oh well. So much for that idea. But as I said last night to good friends of ours (who can relate to our journey), "You do what you have to. Somehow, you find a way."

Thanks to M and M for a wonderful evening and for letting hubby and me vent about our struggles, laugh (that felt good!) and enjoy the company of such good friends. Love to you both. Always.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nine! I have nine!

Woo hoo! *dances* I have NINE, count 'em NINE follicles to work with!

I just got back from the doctor's office on this, my CD10 and first cycle with both Clomid and sub-cue injectables (Puregon, 50 IU), and the doc is really pleased with my response.

The numbers:
Endometrium lining -- 7.8 (very respectable considering this is only CD10)
Right ovary -- five follicles ranging from 1.3 cm to 9.14 mm
Left ovary -- four follicles ranging from 9.93 mm to 8.7 mm
Dosage -- to remain at 50 IU of Puregon until Saturday
Next appointment -- CD12, Saturday @ 8 a.m. (he'll likely be able to do an insemination)

And better yet, the donor samples have arrived at the doctor's office and are good to go. He's very optimistic about this cycle and really, so are hubby and I. We're doing everything we can to make this work.

So much so, that I am going to do some cleaning around the house today and tomorrow, so that I will be able to relax a little over the weekend when he does the inseminations, rather than be in a frantic tear to do both the housework AND put up Christmas decorations when Saturday and Sunday arrive. Tonight I get a bit of fun time too; hubby and I are going to see some friends as we're going to their home for dinner and a chat. It's been awhile since we've seen them, so we're looking forward to that very much.

Ah yes, one more thing. The doctor commented, yet again, that my bladder was full. Now that tells me something: I must have an AWFULLY large bladder! I used the washroom twice this morning before I got to the doc's office for my 7:15 a.m. appointment. On top of that, I hadn't had a thing to eat or drink since about 8 p.m. last night. WTF? Weird. Just very weird.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ups and Downs

In the last 24 hours, I've had a few ups and downs. Rollercoaster? Good God yes.

Up: Hubby did a fantastic job with the Puregon injection this morning! I barely felt it. I confess, I was nervous, but he did it beautifully. Thanks sweetie! *blows him kisses*

Down: I told my mom about our decision to use donor sperm yesterday, and I told her about this blog too. Now the fact that I told her about these things is not the "down" but rather the way in which I told her. Mom, if you've found this blog and you're reading, know that I love you so very much and I didn't want to tell you that way at all. You see folks, I had to e-mail my mom and tell her those things via text.

It's hard being so far away from my family. Mom and I are very close and I know if I were home, I would be able to go out to lunch with her, or sit down over a cup of tea and chat. But I can't do that from up here in the capital of the country when she's on the extreme east coast. We have only the telephone or e-mail. Truly, I had hoped to be able to sit down over a cup of tea with her in Florida in a mere three weeks' time. But my hand was forced and I had to come out with it. My family really didn't know all of what my hubby and I are dealing with, and to protect myself and to surround myself with supportive people (which I need right now), I had to let Mom know. I am sure she'll still have questions or concerns, and hubby and I will deal with them when we see my family at Christmas.

Down: And this is an ANGRY down. Reading the paper during my lunch hour yesterday I come across an article in the Travel Section entitled (get this) "The procreation vacation." I almost puked. Be. Freakin. Serious. Travel companies advertising "fertility-enhancing getaways"? The article discusses mini vacation getaways for "fertility-challenged couples" and even says that doctors are encouraging the trend. What he h*ll?

You know something? (Rant on folks. Move it or lose it... you've been warned.) If these Gen Xers aren't able to get pregnant after two or three months of trying simply because they're "too busy" or they're "over-scheduled" and can't make time, they're not "fertility-challenged," people! What is this about a Birds and the Bees package from a spot in Chesapeake Bay? Or a ski vacation in Wyoming? Total bull. Complete and utter bullsh*t.

These are not the infertile couples of the world. And how DARE such an article purport to state that they are! The idea that these couples spend upwards of $2000 for three nights to supposedly relax enough to get pregnant is nothing short of insulting to those of us who are dealing with real infertility: the ups and downs of the 2ww, the injections, the surgeries, the invasive testing and procedures, the constant monitoring, the hormone manipulation, the exploration of adoption, the choice to use donor sperm or surrogate mothers... all of that and more. THAT is infertility. And d*mmit, how many times do we have to say it? RELAXING DOES NOT MAKE AN INFERTILE COUPLE SUDDENLY FERTILE! ARGH!!!!!! *takes a deep breath* Disgusting. There are no words to describe my feelings.

Up: Hubby and I took a few hours and got our minds off the fertility stuff last night and we went to the first session of two on Installing Hardwood and Laminate Flooring. Our hope is to redo the basement floor (one room about 40ft x 25 ft) as well as the living room on the main floor. And you know? I also thought of doing the little bedroom that would eventually be a nursery. We have an older home; a three-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow with a finished basement and most of the home has parquet flooring that is in need of replacing. Little by little, we'll get it done.

It is my dream to refinish the little bedroom (I don't refer to it as a "nursery" because I don't want to get my hopes up or jinx myself) with laminate flooring, bright yellow and soft green colours (no pinks or blues... not my style), suns and stars and teddy bears. Those are the things I envisage, with a crib and a rocking chair and a chest of drawers... Ah, the stuff of dreams. One day. One day. Maybe soon. But one day I'll get that chance. Anyway, yes, laminate flooring; back to the topic. Hubby and I have homework before next week's class. Gotta find time to squeeze that in between doctor's appointments, seeing hubby's kids and taking them to a movie, going out with some good friends Thursday and other friends on Saturday... and somewhere in there I want to do some cleaning and decorating for the holidays.

Up: Hubby joined the DI_Dads yahoo group (thank you Eric!) and wouldn't you know it? Hubby is their 100th member! YAY! As I asked Eric, does that mean that we get extra special luck, wishes, hopes, babydust, lovin, etc.? No? Well phooey! Oh well. However, it does mean that we have another resource to call upon though. And that is a wonderful thing.

Ups and downs make the day tough. But somehow, we keep going. Sending so much love and best wishes to you all in blogland.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


This morning, hubby and I went to the specialist for my CD8 appointment. The internal ultrasound revealed four follicles on the right side, ranging in size from 3.2 to 5.8 mm and four follicles on the left side, ranging from 2.3 to 5.2 mm. Woo hoo! Eight little baby follies to work with! YAY! Of course, I know that the smaller ones will likely be reabsorbed into the body as the week goes on, but hey, knowing that we have at least a few that are in the 5.5 to 5.8 range, that's good news, right?

So, then the doc whips out the Puregon (FSH) injection pen and shows us how to prepare it. He figures that for today and tomorrow, 50 IU will be sufficient, and then on Thursday he'll check the size of the follicles again. He administered the shot in my abdomen (left side this morning, we'll do the right side tomorrow), and while I absolutely could NOT look, I confess, it didn't hurt at all. Just a little pinch really; I guess because the needle is SO ultra fine, and relatively short. Now, as long as it doesn't hurt when hubby tries it tomorrow, we'll do well. If not, I might have to smack him! :)

What hurt more was the ding to the pocketbook! Over $320 (CDN) for a 300 IU Puregon Pen (kit). Ouch! Thank goodness for a drug plan! Here's hoping that it will last me this month! *whispers* And that we won't need another one...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

And the answer is...

Thank you all for your patience and understanding. I've had a very emotional week, filled with tears, doubts, hesitancy, uncertainty, more crying jags than you can possibly shake a stick at, and more than one heart-to-heart with hubby. Side note: Why is it that so many heart-to-heart chats are held late at night, in bed, with the lights off and while he holds me? I dunno, but for some reason, I find that extremely reassuring.

Anyway, we have made a decision and we are going to be open and honest about it, to you, to our families, to our close friends, and to any child we may be lucky enough to call our own.

We are going to use donor sperm.

There, I've said it. It makes it all seem so real putting it out there for all the world to see, doesn't it? Eeesh!

Why donor sperm you ask? Well, the fact of the matter is, we could do the IVF/ICSI route at a substantial cost of course. But not impossible. And then we think about what that cost will take away from the child; it would mean less trips back to see "Grandma and Grandpa," less money available for college, less of an opportunity for him or her to have siblings, less of everything. Now, while we're not ruling out IVF/ICSI as a last chance, should the donor sperm not do the trick, we're moving it further down the list.

With that decision made, I have spent this week wrestling with my own emotions. Where DO I stand on the donor sperm option? (Bear with me, because my mind and its logic are not attuned with my emotional state at the moment!) In so many ways, I feel like a failure. You see, I cannot have my husband's biological child. I just can't. It is an impossibility. I cannot give that to him no matter how many times we try the IUI with his aspirated sperm. It just isn't working. And heavens knows, we have tried. We count approximately 24 IUIs with aspirated sperm, two resulting in chemical pregnancies and miscarriages. The emotional rollercoaster that comes every month is taking its toll, and it's finally starting to show.

Now combine that with your most quiet, private thoughts. I met my hubby almost six years ago. We didn't get married until two and a half years ago. And when you meet someone, and you envisage a future, and you eventually DO marry, you hope for so many good things. You hope for love, a family, a home, a sense of belonging, of warmth, of closeness. At least I do, even in today's seemingly dysfunctional society! Anyway, like any normal, happy, about-to-be-wed woman, I hoped for those things. And in hoping for a family, the possibility that any children in our home would NOT be of my husband's genealogy just never entered my mind. I mean, it would only follow that your husband would be the "father" of your children right? (Note that I use that term in quotes.)

What makes a dad anyway?
And here is what a friend explained to me (and I really knew anyway in my own head). Pretty much anyone can be a father. It takes a special kind of guy to be a dad. A dad is there for the firsts: the first word, the first step, the first day of school, the first fall off a bike, the first love, the first tears, the first "I hate you," the first day of university, etc. A dad is the one who loves you, who cares for you, who raises you and protects you, who says "no" when he has to, and who holds you when you need comforting. And you know something? My husband will make a great dad. I want to give him that. He wants that himself. For with his own two children, he is a "father" but not so much a dad. He deserves the opportunity. And I so badly wish to give that to him, and to be a mom myself. Cause you know, somehow, even though the two cats are my babies, they're my furbabies, and don't quite make the cut!

The donor sperm route it is. But the other thing we are doing this month is the short protocol stimulation, or mini superovulation. So, from CD3-7, I take Clomid, and I have an appointment on CD8 with the specialist to check my follicles. He may start me on FSH injections right there and then. Hubby changed his shift to come with me to this appointment to learn how to give me the injections... again, the needle thing kinda wigs me out, but at least it's easier to give me a shot than it is to get any blood out of me. I'll have an appointment with the specialist every two days from CD8-12, and during this time, we'll be doing injections at home to increase the number of follicles that I have (hopefully more than two to work with) so that the donor sperm can find at least one of 'em!

So we took the necessary steps earlier this week. My husband and I pored over the catalogues of donors from both organizations with whom my specialist liaises. We narrowed down a short list of donors from both organizations. And selected one of the two, simply because that short list contained three donors, all of whom had reported pregnancies in the past, whereas the short list of three donors from the other organization only had two of the three with reported pregnancies.

We selected our donor based mainly on physical characteristics of course; race, hair colour, hair texture, eye colour, height, weight, etc. And when we looked at our number one selection, we realized that the blood type wasn't the same as my husband's. I am A+. Hubby is A+. Our number one choice of donor? B-. Will that pose a problem in the future? I don't know. I know it won't be an issue during gestation, because only Rh- mothers with Rh+ babies would have a problem. But I'm wondering if down the road, there would be ANY possible reason why having a child with B- blood (if that happens) would cause a problem. If you know of anything, speak up or forever hold your peace!

So, with that done, I went online and ordered three vials of donor sperm, plus a full medical and personal history of the donor. If we get lucky and the first month works, we will have two vials left to work with in the future if we want more children. You see, it often happens that when X number of births have been reported with the same donor's sperm, they take that donor off the market and his sperm won't be available any longer. So if we're on the threshhold of that, I don't want to chance not having that sperm to use at a later date, if we need or want it. Three vials it was.

And D*MN but that stuff is horridly expensive! Ranging in cost from $350 to over $500 per vial, depending on the preparation, it'll put you in the poorhouse if you do it too often! My credit card was hit with a punch, but I look at it this way: it's about the same cost as a trip home. It's about the same cost as two years worth of chemicals and upkeep for our in-ground pool. Heck, I spend that much on Christmas gifts for my family and friends, easily! It's certainly worth it to spend that much on creating a child for my husband and me to hold, and snuggle, and love and raise.

There you go. Donor sperm and short protocol stims. And we hope. And we wait. And we get through each day praying that we too will have the opportunity to be parents.

Sending love to...
Before I leave you with my thoughts, let me send along my own hopes and wishes to Barely Sane at Infertility Licks. She is from BC and she and her hubby headed to Ohio on extremely short notice because they are >>this close<< to adopting a newborn baby girl. She had the opportunity to hold and feed her daughter on Wednesday. They still have some legal hurdles to jump, but I know in my heart that it will all work out. My hopes and prayers, go out to both of them, the birth mother, and all the families involved.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taking a Different Approach

CD2. I knew I wouldn't make it to Wednesday to be able to test. I could tell; when I get a migraine a few days before AF is due, I know AF is on the way. The migraines have certainly subsided in length and intensity since I've been taking vitamin B6, but I still felt it coming. Ugh.

I'm glad we met with the doctor last Friday to outline our options. So, we move forward with the choices we've made. Some meds (got my prescriptions filled), some money (whoo boy, you aren't kidding!) and a lot of wondering on my part. But we have to try. We've narrowed down the list of donors, AND looked at our finances for IVF/ICSI. I'm not going to reveal our choice just yet but I'm sure many of you will have a very good idea.

I think we're still debating how "open" we want to be if we do go the donor route. You see, if the child is the product of donor genetic material, I don't want that to colour anyone's view of him or her. Or of the way we choose to go about having a family. We both need to be comfortable with revealing that information or we both have to respect the other's wishes to not reveal it. But it has to be a choice that hubby and I make together knowing that the other will not arbitrarily go against it.

As for the IVF/ICSI, hubby is ready for that surgery. It's a lot to ask of a man. And it means more surgery for me too. But our calendars can work it in even in between all the Christmas preparations that we have going on, and preparing for our vacation down south. So while I love you all as friends, please respect my marriage enough not to push at the moment. When and if the time is right, we'll reveal. I promise.

Either way, if this next try doesn't work, I have to take a break for one cycle because we'll be away. We head to Florida on or around the day I'll be able to test next month. So either I spend the beginning of my vacation dealing with morning sickness or with AF. (I'm SO hoping it'll be morning sickness.)

But how on earth do you hide morning sickness? My family (Mom, Dad and two of my aunts) will be vacationing with us and STAYING IN THE SAME CONDO. So in my mind, trying to hide that will be very, very difficult. I mean seriously, if you have morning sickness -- like I did when I had the two chemical pregnancies -- and you're absolutely sick to your stomach at the drop of a hat, how can you hide that from someone? Can you? Is it possible? I never expected to hide it from hubby of course. But I would like to conceal it from the folks and the aunties. At least until the time is right to tell them.

You know what though? That would be the ultimate Christmas gift. For all of us.

I can dream, right?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Options, Options, Options...

So this afternoon, hubby and I had an appointment with our specialist. We got a few things out of that appointment, and we're relatively pleased.

I think we have a course of action that we're ready to follow. That said, he presented us with a bunch of options that he felt were still open to us at this point. And he explained a few things that I was unclear about. THAT'S always a good thing.

First of all, bloodwork results. CD3, FSH: 4.6 (less than 6 is good). Estradiol: 181 (more than 150 is good). Those numbers mean that I'm ovulating and I'm fertile. But get this... my CD23 bloodwork? Gone. "Deleted" was the comment from the lab when the doc phoned them using the speakerphone while we were there in the office. And as far as they knew, only "normal" tests were run. "CBC" was the code that she used, whatever that means. If you work in phlebotomy in Canada, and you know what this could mean, by all means, do get in touch! The doc disagreed with her, and it was evident he wasn't thrilled. Nor was I. You can bet your a$$ on that. Not after ALL that I went through to give the d*mn blood in the first place. I was NOT a happy camper. And I let him know that. But it wasn't his fault. And I knew that too. Anyway, I know not to bother with that hospital again if I need bloodwork.

So all that to say... we have no idea if there is a hypothyroid issue, or a blood glucose issue that is over and above the mild PCOS. He doesn't believe so. But again, he can't be sure.

Okay, set that aside a moment. Other things to talk about.

He explained a great deal about the process we are doing now. IUI/ICI. In essence, he let us know that while it CAN work and does for many (with a fresh sperm sample) for us, given that he has to extract it via a syringe, he is not getting the best quality sperm. He could be getting "old" sperm that has been in there for ages. Or a lot of "dead" sperm. And of course, there is not enough quantity to do a semen analysis with. Oh well. Not very good.

He did say that he doesn't see any reason why I can't get pregnant. Again though, back to the bloodwork. We don't have the CD23 results. Might look this again. *gulps*

So, what ARE our options?
1. Superovulation. Full on Superovulation. Using BCP for one month, then FSH injections for CD1-12 (Puregon or Gonal-f, I think). Yield is up to about 15 mature eggs. This is the method used for IVF or ICSI (see option 3 below) to get the most number eggs to work with.

2. Mini-superovulation. No BCP. Clomid on CD3-7. FSH injections for CD8-12. Yield is usually 4-5 mature eggs by CD 12 or 13. Something to think about. We could do this almost any month, whether we use hubby's sperm or donor (see option 4).

3. IVF/ICSI. For $9000, we can have three shots at IVF/ICSI at a place about an hour and a half from here. Our doc is a satellite office for them and he works in conjunction with them. He can do the legwork here but final procedures would be there. (Tricia, that would be in your city if you are reading this.) This would require MESA or TESA for hubby as well. In that surgery, they would essentially retrieve a wedge of his testicle (ouch!) to get SUPERB quality sperm to work with. All fresh, no "bad" quality stuff. And of course, two surgeries for me. One retrieval, one to reintroduce the embies into the uterus. And of course, no money-back guarantee. Because I'm in Canada though, the cost of the meds (supplementary to the $9000) would be reimbursed by our health care plans. Only the $9000 wouldn't be covered. And there are payment plans and loans that are possible with various banks. We could do this. The success rate is about 50% at the hospital he mentioned.

4. Donor sperm. The doc seems to think that it is a sperm quality issue that we are dealing with. And he wanted to discuss how we felt about donors at this point in the game. He was reassured by our responses. He laid his hand on mind, as hubby was talking about how "okay" he is with it, and when hubby was done speaking, he looked at me and said, "Gil, are YOU okay with that? How do you feel?" We discussed the fears. Issues. Etc. He told us that in 1998, he was on a board that was working with legislators. He did a survey of 100 of his donor patients. Of those 100, only ONE couple had revealed to anyone that the child was biologically the result of a donor, rather than the wife's partner. He also told us that less than 20% of prospective donors make it through the protocol. I read online that it was 3% at one of the clinics he uses for the donor sperm. So we're investigating this option too. We could use Donor sperm combined with mini-superovulation (option 2 above) for a good chance as well.

I also asked him for a prescription for Clomid for next month. No, I don't yet have AF this month. Yet. But my BBT is dropping like a stone. I had printed my Fertility Friend charts (see the links on the right) for him, and he examined them carefully. Given that my BBT is dropping, I'll likely have AF in a few days. If not before. But he is still optimistic because the BBT is still above the coverline. Ah, we'll see. I am not holding out hope. Hubby thinks it's possible. Either way, I got the Clomid prescription, and the doc looked at me and grinned, saying, "You won't fill it today now will you?" I said, "No, I promise I'll wait until AF arrives. And then I'll fill it. I won't jinx it. Promise." He laughed.

And do I have symptoms? Yeah. I guess. Some... VERY slight. No, I will not be one of those obsessive women poking at her nipples and breasts in a bathroom stall at the office every half hour to see if they're tender! Nor will I be doing the POAS at CD20 or so, hoping and praying and wasting my money on drugstore tests! I will just wait. The few little things I notice right now could very well just be the progesterone. I'm refusing to be too hopeful, because I know how that turns out. At least we have a plan for next month and I know where we're going from here. That feels good. I needed some "good" today. I really did.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Urology Appointment

Yesterday hubby and I had an appointment at a local hospital with a renowned urologist. Long story short: I am glad I didn't have my hopes up for the "further surgery for hubby" route.

Because of the short vas that hubby seems to have, and the difficulty in performing the first vasovasotomy, there is no point in doing another, or attempting to reattach the vas to the epididymis itself. It would make his testicles rise higher in the groin and generally be very uncomfortable for him all the time. That isn't worth it.

We inquired about a semen analysis, using the semen we're able to obtain through the extractions with the syringe that we've been doing all along (to use for IUIs). He indicated that the sample would likely be far too small to work with and that our fertility specialist would better be able to speak to the quality and motility of the sperm given that he checks it through the microscope just after extraction.

All this to say, no surgery will help hubby at this point. There is nothing that a urologist could do. So... that option is ruled out.

We're coming down to the short list folks. On Friday (my stepdaughter's 12th birthday), we have a consultation booked with the fertility specialist. I expect to learn the results of my bloodwork, maybe to get another prescription for Clomid for next month, and... to discuss the donor option.

My emotions and my psyche are battered and bruised with all of this. If I weren't going on 37 years old, I'd take a break for a few months to just try to be "me" again, because I've kinda lost sight of that. But with my "advanced" age, time is of the essence. Time is something we just don't have much of anymore.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pain on the Inside

Today is one of those days when you're beaten and feel like the weight of the world, or at least the part of the world that is infertile, is on your shoulders.

The heartbreak of infertility is very difficult to deal with, because there is no outward, visible sign of the inner grief and pain. I could explain a lot of it in detail, but I don't need to. Why you ask? Because Flicka over at Vacant Uterus has already done that for me. She has dealt with the pain of cancer and the pain of infertility. And according to her, the former is easier to deal with.

Flicka, I feel your pain. I know that so many of us do. Your words speak to me and I thank you for your eloquence. Hats off to you honey. And my thoughts, prayers and love are with you and your husband as you travel this road alongside me, and the other infertiles of this world.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Last Straw

I went out last week with a girlfriend. She and I took advantage of the short time that I can have a drink (now and then; you know, two weeks on, two weeks off) and we went to a pub for a pint after work. It was wonderful to sit and chat with her and forget the cruel "infertile" thoughts that creep into my mind and permeate my day. Every day. Every. D*mn. Day. *sighs*

Anyway, she and I were chatting about a particular co-worker of hers (whom I know, given that she and I worked together in the past) who'd given it a shot at hooking up with her for some "fun." She and I had a giggle about it all, because quite frankly, this man is not someone I would see her with. Or me. Or almost ANYONE for that matter. He's rather, um... well... Let's just say that my mother taught me that, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." *clamps her lips tightly shut*

And in reference to this man, my friend said, "God, can you imagine? It'd be like boinking an amoeba." She laughed. And while I laughed with her, I thought to myself, "Yanno, THAT is it. That is the feeling I have when I'm lying on the examining table, spread eagle for all the world to see, while the doctor does an IUI. It's like boinking an amoeba. Like... you feel that it isn't right. You feel nothing. It doesn't 'do it' for you, yanno? It isn't the way you imagine getting pregnant. It isn't 'normal' and it certainly doesn't merit pillow talk or a cigarette afterwards. H*ll, not even a passionate kiss. Sheesh!" (Before you ask, no, I don't smoke. Just evoking popular expression.)

Boinking an amoeba. The very moment the doctor put the speculum in on Monday for my appointment this month, I laughed, thinking of the conversation I'd had with my girlfriend. Oh well. Whatever gives you those endorphins I guess! LOL

Anyway, to keep you all updated, I managed with the Clomid well enough. There was some discomfort on Saturday evening (CD11) and I suspected I might have ovulated. On Monday (CD13) I had an appointment at 7 a.m. Those follies were STILL THERE! YAY! I had two good-sized, mature follicles at 1.9 and 2.2. The endometrium measured 8.9. The doc was very pleased with that. My temp had dropped a little the night before. And EWCM was present, cervix high and open; all good signs. So he did an IUI and gave me an HCG shot to make those follicles release. He gave me a prescription for 200mg of progesterone and sent me on my way. Off I went to work and got on with my day.

Then I went back for the follow-up on Tuesday at 7 a.m. He checked with the dildo cam, and lo and behold, both follies were gone! Lots of free fluid. And the CM was drier, but the cervix still open. I told him I'd had twinges at about 10 a.m. on Monday. He figured that we would try again, so he prepped and did another IUI with the last straw of little guys that we had left. He remarked, "This is the last straw that you have back there." And we both made a comment to the effect that this one had better work, or we move on to something else next time, likely donor sperm. We have an appointment with him on the 10th to discuss our next route. So this really is the "last straw." *crosses her fingers tightly*

Well, he did the second IUI on Tuesday at 7:28 a.m. and I lay there for about 10 minutes before getting up to dress. By the time I had dressed, caught the elevator downstairs and walked to the parking lot, I was cramping. Eeesh. Badly too. Rarely do I have cramps or discomfort after an IUI, but holy moly was I ever feeling it! I was gasping for air and doubled over by the time I sat behind the steering wheel. I tried to relax, and called hubby. Yes, I would be okay to drive, but rather than go right to work, I decided to go home to lie down for an hour or so. I did just that, and rubbed my abdomen, trying to unknot the tension. Cramping with a capital "C." Not fun. Ugh.

I met hubby at 9:30, picking him up so he could drive me to my office, rather than have me walk the 10-15 mins from the far lot into my building. I spent the day at my computer, editing documentation, but lemme tell ya, right after work, I headed home to the comfort of the bed again. I managed to rest a bit, catching some sleep actually.

And I am paying super close attention to my body. There are some months when he does a procedure and I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. So I know pretty quickly that it didn't work. And there are some months when I just feel like (as another blogger put it) that there is "construction" going on down there. Gurglings, rumblings, twinges, pangs. Whatever. I am holding my breath that the "construction" I sense right now means luck for us. Time will tell. Please God, let us be blessed this time.