Monday, April 30, 2007

DIUI #3 (aka Third time's a charm?)

With the arrival of AF and her smelly carpet bag last week, I heaved a sigh and picked up my phone. I contacted my RE's office on Friday and discussed my thoughts on the upcoming cycle. Today is CD4, and I started taking Clomid (well, Serophene) last night on CD3. On Friday, I go to the RE for a scan of the follies and (hopefully) to start the Pure.gon injections. Sub-cue FTW! Blech. It'll be lovely to see my belly dotted with bruises again; I'm SO looking forward to that. NOT. Mind you, I get to start those fun injections after a stop on Thursday afternoon at the ob/gyn's office for my annual PAP.

The ob/gyn (Dr. HandsomeBrit) is the same doctor who did my laparoscopy last April to remove the cyst from my right ovary. He is so caring and sweet. You know how you have some docs who are all business and just rush you in and out, barely taking the time to talk to you, and you feel like you're on a conveyor belt of (in)effeciency at their offices? Well, this guy is NOT like that. He's the hand-holding, sympathizing, talk-to-you-for-40-minutes-to-reassure-you-if-you-need-it type of doctor. He's a rare breed, and I'm glad he's in my city.

While I am very glad for that, I am also feeling a lot of sadness around seeing him later this week. You see, last year, after my lap last April, he followed up with me and proclaimed everything was great. The cyst was gone, there are no signs of endometriosis, my uterus was "lovely" according to him. He ended our appointment by saying, "Gil, I would be pleased to follow you through any pregnancy. Good luck with the IUIs." He smiled and sent me back to my RE for the next round. I went on my merry way, AF followed like clockwork, and that VERY next cycle, I had a chemical p/g and miscarried at about 5 weeks. So when I go back to the doc this week, some part of me will be thinking, "I should have had a three-month old baby with me." *sigh*

On another note, I talked to my mom last night. I try to call her every Sunday. My entire family is very far away from me, yet we are very close. As we were chatting last night, the conversation turned to our income tax and the refunds hubby and I will be getting this time around. All told, we ought to see some $1800 back. Not bad. Mom said, "So what are you going to do with the money?" I remained vague and said, "Oh, I'm sure we can find something to do with it." Mom replied, "It's already earmarked is it? I think you should take it and go on a trip." I shook my head and spoke, hedging a little. "No, it'll probably be a lot more mundane than that. Like paying off bills or something." Mom said, "You two deserve to have some fun with it. Enjoy it." I am sure my voice got rather quiet and I told her, "Mom, we're probably just going to save that to go towards IVF." I could hear the sadness in her voice as she spoke, "Oh, you're looking at that, are you honey?" It was all I could do not to cry. I sucked back the tears and managed to continue our conversation.

And that touched off a brief discussion of IVF, adoption, costs of both procedures, options, etc. I won't get into it all here, but suffice it to say, I am slowly reaching the end of my rope. Hubby and I have picked donors for the next few rounds if needs be. But I am not sure how much more we can do. I just don't know.

Right now, I'm just trying to focus on this week, taking my meds as I'm supposed to, and preparing to do the renovation work in one of our guest rooms. Anything to keep me busy. And I'm reading your blogs and sending much love to all of you.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Aaaannnndddd... WHAMMO! Here she is.

The haggard old bag has arrived. I tried ignoring the doorbell; I tried pushing her back out. H*ll, I even thought about moving so she couldn't find me. Alas. For all her shortcomings, AF has a bloody brilliant sense of direction; she found me. She waltzed in very late last night, crotchety as can be, and threw her stinky, smelly, tattered, old carpet bag on my floor. Just in time to ruin my weekend too. Nice.

BFN it is. Mel, I think I need a double at your virtual bar. Oh, h*ll with it. Just pass the bottle. And the tissues.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thinking About the Future

I'm at the end of my 2ww, for those of you counting, but no POAS here. Nuh uh. I don't do that. IF (and that's a rather HUGE "if") I make it to Saturday, I MAY indulge, but there are no guarantees I can actually bring myself to do that. I'm just trying to take one day at a time. H*ll, right now, one hour at a time is quite enough. It's touch and go.

I'm much of the mind of Serenity when she describes her AF. My AF used to be cool. She used to be easygoing and if not fun, at least she wasn't a drag. She hung out for a few days, talked about makeup and boys, got me to try on outrageous makeup and have poofy 80s hair. These days though, she's a haggard old bag. I picture her in tatters, disheveled grey hair, a lopsided hat with a broken flower bent in the rim, wrinkled skin and yellowed nails as she stands at my door and scratches her sagging breasts, cigarette hanging from her mouth with a haze of blue smoke round her head, and in a scratchy voice she bellows in a drawn-out "New Yawk" accent (no offense to the New Yorkers who may read), "Yeah, whaddya want? I'm here, I'm here. Move over, move over. Comin' through."

I dread her arrival as I know many of us do. Yet I do my best to put on a happy face and just endure her visit, hoping each month that that is the last I see of her for awhile. I hope her sorry ass doesn't see my front door for months on end. I hope she loses her torn and battered carpet bag on her travels. I hope that she stops for cigs next time and misses a bus. Better yet, that she gets on the wrong bus and ends up on the other end of the country. I hope for all of these things. But somehow I'm never surprised when I open my door and whammo! There she is.

Anyway, yesterday between fortune cookies (see previous post) and doing our taxes (yay for refunds!), hubby and I discussed a few things with regard to this miserably long and bumpy road we're on. Screw the bumpy. Let's call it h*llish. That's what it is right? Just h*llish. Our discussions began with the "what ifs" that we all go through from time to time. If, at the end of all of this, we are not lucky; if we do not have the opportunity to have children, what then? Where do we pour our energy, our time, our emotions and our money? Will we travel? Will we invest? Will we do nothing but upgrade our current home and go about our daily grind? Will we find other hobbies or activities? Cause, yanno, we're gamers but we can't game forever. Will we find a way to be happy without children? Is that a possibility? Can we imagine our lives like that? So many questions. I've recently started to ponder the answers to them and the thing is, when I do, fear grips me. I've never imagined that I would NOT have children. When I envisaged my life, I never pictured life as part of a couple forever. I always pictured children. I've had dreams for many years in fact in which I clearly see myself with children; twins to be exact. I've seen that in my life for so many years I'd accepted that as normal. Something that I was destined to have. It's all very surreal actually. So how do I reframe my life and be happy with it? There's something to mull over I suppose.

After we finished the taxes, we'd agreed to go looking at the two companies my RE works with for donor sperm samples again. Cause, you know, we'd only purchased three vials and we've only got one vial left if this month is a no-go. We'd better line up our options. Wouldn't you know it? Our donor isn't available at the moment. *sigh* So we have to go through the process again and find another one, just in case. I'm narrowing down the list. This time, I think we're going to choose someone with more of my characteristics than my husband's.

There's often two camps of thought on that: either you choose someone who is CLOSE to your partner's characteristics, and thus hope that the children are a relatively good physical representative of what would have been your biological children; or you choose someone who is close to the mother's characteristics, thereby hopefully ensuring that the children are a good representative of the mother's physical characteristics. Last time we chose someone with hubby's characteristics (hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, height, weight, interests, background, etc.) but hubby encouraged me to look for someone that is more like me this time. There's no rush. We just want to keep that option open if we need to order more samples.

For now, we wait and hope. And we keep the box of tissues handy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fortune Cookies

Tonight, hubby wanted chicken fried rice to accompany his dinner. He ordered it and we got a few fortune cookies to go along with.

Cracking open his, it reads:

"Stop searching forever. Happiness is just next to you."

He smiled, and after he read it, he leaned over and kissed me. Yet one of the many reasons I love him so much.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fading Hopes

Two things today.

My thoughts are with Vee and Max over at The Sweet Life as she waits on pins and needles. Right now, it looks like they're dealing with a blighted ovum and frankly, that sucks. No one should have to deal with this.

Secondly, thanks Shlomit for checking in. I've been quiet in the hopes that AF stays away. I fear my luck may have run out though. No, no EPS at all, and that old familiar feeling of a migraine and cramping is going on today. *sighs* We'll see what the next few days bring. Until AF shows, I have a shred of hope. Barely a shred, but a shred nonetheless.

I'm keeping busy planning my trip to Minneapolis though for that conference I mentioned. The money came through; I got the final documents and signatures yesterday. So it's a "go" on my end. I'll get to hook up with both my sister and a friend, and attend an international conference as well. It's all good. Now, to figure out if we'll be doing Pure.gon injections next month to go along with all that. And somewhere before I leave on that conference, I need to install laminate flooring in the other spare room.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What the... ?

Yesterday afternoon, a glorious Friday with the sun shining, a high of 21 degrees in Canada's capital (woo hoo! I think I can take the tarp off our pool this weekend!) and I'm sitting at my office plugging away until 3 p.m., just doing my job when whammo! Sharp, stabbing pain in my abdomen on CD20 or 8dpo. I doubled over in pain. Holy heavens! I was there in my little cubicle (cause we all know, government employees never deserve a door, right?) and had to back away from my computer to bend over and BREATHE through it.

What the heck? I mean seriously. The pains lasted about 5 or 10 minutes, and were centred right smack dab in the middle of my belly. Ugh. My mind started racing... AF arriving early? An m/c in the making? Dare I dream of implantation? No no, that would be stupid. *dismisses it quickly* Whatever it was, it hurt like the dickens and I'm just hoping that it stays at bay. Any of you have thoughts on what it might have been? Very weird... all very weird.

On another note, it seems like I MIGHT get the go-ahead to attend a conference in Minneapolis in May. I'm looking forward to that, not only for the conference's sake, but because I have a good friend just north of Minneapolis in Andover, and my conference just so happens to overlap with my sister's conference the same week. My sis lives in West Virginia with her husband. You remember my sis right? The one who loves me and gave me a swift kick when I needed it? Yes. Her. I love her so much. I wish she was closer. Anyway, I haven't seen her since the fall of 2005. It'd be GREAT to catch up with her. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the final approvals come soon and sis and I can plan an evening or two with her to do dinner and shop at the Mall of America!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Infertility in Canadian Media/Government

Thanks to Shlomit, I just found (and read!) this article in the May 2007 issue of Chatelaine (a Canadian magazine) entitled, "In vitro we trust."

Additionally, proposals that have been tabled and are currently under consideration by Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long Term Care discuss the possibility of reintroducing IVF insurance coverage for Ontario couples who are suffering from specific types of male factor infertility. You can read the summary, or, from the same page, download the longer versions and/or contact the Ministry if you have questions.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

She had a girl!

Jenny had her baby daughter the other day. Welcome to the world baby Olivia! She writes more in Jenny from the Infertility Block. Oh, those pictures are gorgeous. Congratulations Jenny. You made it to the other side.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An Update

I think it's time for me to update. Well, at least to update the header of this blog. As of April 15, my husband is no longer 38, but now 39! The last kick at his 30s and *gulp* a mere month or so before my 37th birthday. Holy heavens, when did I get so old!? How is it I still feel 16 inside and yet here I am with a house, a career and all these adult responsibilities? Bleh.

Anyway, yes, hubby hit the 39-year mark yesterday. We took his kids out for dinner on Saturday to celebrate the occasion. My husband is the consumate technology geek/guru and for his birthday he'd wanted an HP Ipaq. I rolled my eyes at yet another gadget coming into the house. Seriously. Think about it: this is a man who has set up a live feed webcam to the guinea pig cage in our house so we can check on the piggies during the day from work! Frankly, I think he has far too much time on his hands already.

But yes, a new gadget, a dinner out (which usually I adore but this time did NOT agree with me at all!) and some alone time to celebrate. Nothing fancy, however, just the way he likes it.

Symptom watch for dIUI #2 is in high gear at the moment. "Ha ha, Come on Gil," I hear you say. Yup. You're absolutely right; it's far too early. Such silliness. But hubby is being vigilant. My dreams last night must have been rather traumatic; hubby woke me at 3 a.m. because I'd been crying in my sleep. Weird. Just very weird. I've no idea what I was dreaming about but obviously it was enough to make me emotional. And this morning, hubby walked out of the bathroom after putting on his "normal" amount of cologne (one of my favorites by the way). I got one whiff of it and I turned up my nose and said, "Did you BATHE in the stuff or what?" He replied, "I didn't put on any more than usual. You must be pregnant." Funny man. I just about clocked him...

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Race Is On! (aka Part Deux of dIUI #2)

I went back to see my RE this morning for a 7:15 appointment. While I sat and waited, thumbing through magazines, I chatted with the receptionist and one or two of the other women/couples who were there. I was just in the middle of discussing a visit to Australia with one of the other women when the receptionist chimed in about how she too would love to go there. Somewhere along the way, I remarked how nice it was to hear people actually TALK in the waiting room, rather than hide behind magazines. Even better... (you're gonna kill me Shlomit! *ducks*) I said to the receptionist that there's even an IF blogging friend I know that was going to bring her guitar to the waiting room! A whole movement afoot to have jovial waiting rooms! Imagine that! Too much huh? Yeah, I figured. Anyway, it was a nice change of pace to hear voices in the waiting room, even if one of those voices was my own.

So for those of you keeping track, yesterday at about 2 p.m. I had some exquisitely SHARP pain on my right side. I thought, "Ah ha! The bursting of the follies!" as I gripped the arms of my chair and winced through the worst 10 seconds or so. Whew. I don't know about you, but when my follies release those eggs, sometimes I can feel it, and other times I can't. This time, I definitely did. The residual aches and pains lasted about 10 or 15 minutes. But I was glad I felt it.

This morning's scan revealed...
-Endometrium: 8.8 mm (he commented that I must have started the progesterone? I replied that yes, I was a good little patient and I had)
-Right side: LOTS of free fluid, so the follicles had indeed released the eggs
- Left side: nothing to speak of

Because my RE only has one ultrasound machine, if you are due for any procedures, he'll usually move you to another examining room. I dutifully gathered up my clothing, my lower body wrapped ever-so-gracefully in a white cloth drape -- which is all the rage this season by the way -- and I shuffled off to one of the other rooms. He got "the goods" and came back with the second half of the donor vial. I checked that the number on the vial matched the one we'd chose, and badda-boom, badda-bing, he does his thing and those little spermies were in place. I lay there for about 10 minutes afterwards, and then dressed and headed for home. To keep my brain from racing with hopes yet again this morning during those 10 minutes flat on my back, I took out my cell phone and played pinball. Hmm, I suppose I could have called my husband. Or one of you guys. There's a thought... what do you do while you endure that 10 minute wait? Or are you lucky enough to have your husband/partner there to talk to? I wish I were that lucky. Oh well.

Now the dreaded 2ww sets in. I hate this part. Stupid progesterone mimics p/g symptoms like nobody's business and it makes me neurotic. But all I can do is hope and wait. Tonight, I'm heading to a girlfriend's for dinner; bit of a girls night out. I'm not going to get to indulge with any wine or anything, but at least the company and chatter will take my mind off things. Must search for other things to keep me busy at home during the 2ww. Otherwise I'll go mad! MAD I tell you!

One last thing, I rescheduled that PAP for early May, just in case. That way I get to keep the doc, my appoinment and MAYBE with a bit of luck, I'll get to postpone it again. *crosses fingers* Hugs to all in blogland! *blows kisses* Off to read my round of daily blogs...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Get in there guys! Go go go!

Well, for all that bloating and discomfort, you would have thought I had a dozen follicles in there! Nooooo! Not so. There were only a few viable ones. But they are on the right side and my RE made the comment that it is my right side that is the dominant one. He said with measurements like he saw this morning on my follies, he didn't want to waste a good opportunity.

He advised that yes, I have a dIUI this morning. I wasn't expecting that because I got a negative on an OPK yesterday, but like he said, the measurements and details on the ultrasound are much more precise than an OPK. And if the eggs are mature, then the HCG triggers ovulation anyway.

So here are the stats for you junkies.
-Left: bunch of little follicles, nothing useful
-Right: 2.07 cm, 1.97 cm, 1.30 cm
-Endometrium: 7.5 mm, a little thin, but he expects that to catch up in a couple of days
-HCG trigger adminstered (damn, I HATE shots, and that always itches and hurts for 1-2 days afterwards)
-half of a donor vial used: the other half tomorrow morning at a 7:15 appointment
-200 mg prometrium: for 16 days; a little longer than usual seeing as this is CD12

My RE did comment, yet again, that my bladder was full. I DELIBERATELY didn't have anything to drink since about 8 p.m. last night. I told my RE that this morning, I'd poured myself a glass of milk but then remembered my appointment. So instead of drinking it (although I REALLY wanted it) I said to hubby, "Yeah, yeah, I know I poured it but I can't have it. You drink it instead." When hubby asked why, my response was, "I can't because the doc will say my bladder is full!" My RE laughed when I recounted that. And he said that regardless, my bladder was full. So he had me go to empty it before he did the IUI. Apparently it's easier to get that catheter in place while the bladder is empty.

I had some cramping after the dIUI. That doesn't usually happen but once in awhile, it's awfully uncomfortable. Today is one of those days I guess. Now if those follies can pop in the next 24 hours I will be blessed! Because of scheduling and transportation and the like, I came home to lie down a little and wait til I go pick up hubby at 11:30 a.m. so he can drop me at work for the afternoon.

A confession though. While I was lying on that table, waiting for him to prepare the sample, and after the dIUI was done, so many thoughts ran through my head. Thoughts of Max and Vee and their good results. Thoughts of Mel and the supportive work she does with, for example, Emblopedia. Thoughts of Bea and the Film Festival. Thoughts of Angie and Joe and their delight. Thoughts of Thalya and her natural BFP after so many years of ART. Thoughts of My Reality and the sadness and frustration she's dealing with. Thoughts of Eric and how he is letting his children tell their story. Thoughts of Dramalish and her cherub. Thoughts of Katd and her successful adoption after so much heartache. So many of you, your names, your faces, your stories, ran through my head in those moments.

And then thoughts of my husband, and how I wished fervently that he could have been at my side, holding my hand while the RE slid in that catheter. Thoughts of how I badly want to pass on my Newfoundland heritage and family traditions. Thoughts of a future. I dared to dream for a split second. I stabbed back the tears, knowing I had to be functional and drive myself home. Oh how I want this. God please. WE want this. Please. Please God please. I don't know how much more I have in me. I really don't.


To answer your questions, yes my RE could do my PAP test. He offered to do that when I mentioned to him about having the appointment with the ob/gyn next Monday. However, the thing is, if I don't see the ob/gyn within one year of my last appointment, I lose him as a doctor. And he's good. Really good. So I don't want to lose him. I'll just reschedule the appointment. I'd hate to have to search for another ob/gyn, with the doctor shortages we have in Ontario. Not my idea of fun. Do you know it took me eight years to find a GP? I kid you not. It's insane. So I'm not willing to risk losing my ob/gyn now that I have one!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thar She Blows!

Good God. I feel like a beached whale. Seriously. I kid you not. Now fine, fine, those of you who know me in person know I really LOOK like a beached whale, but still! It's bigger than both of us my friend. My belly feels like it's about to explode. I hate that feeling, but I'm secretly hoping it means I have a few good follicles in there. I won't know until my appointment on Thursday morning, so until then, I have to suffer. Ugh. I woke this morning after an extra long, four day weekend and my first thought was, "Do I really have to put on any clothes to go to work? And squash my bloated belly into pants?" But yes indeed, I did just that. Just because I'm uncomfortable and feeling like an elephant doesn't mean I get to sit home all day. Although it's sorely tempting. Believe me. The thought HAD crossed my mind.

So my appointment is on Thursday morning for a viewing with the dildo cam. We'll see if this month we'll be able to do a dIUI or wait til next month. I have a bit of a dilemma though. I have my appointment with the RE on Thursday (which could be shifted to Friday or even Saturday for a dIUI if we determine that it is worthwhile and the follies need to grow) but then on Monday afternoon, I have an appointment for my yearly PAP test. Now, to my way of thinking, while I adore the ob/gyn who will do the PAP, and I trust him implicitly -- he is the one who did my laparoscopy last April -- I really don't want him or ANYONE near my cervix that close after an IUI. I'd be so afraid of risking any possible chances we have. So I'm debating rescheduling that PAP test. I guess I'll sit tight til after any possible dIUI though and chat with my RE about the feasibility of doing a PAP test within a few days of having an IUI.

I'm just worrying about any little thing I guess. I'm a hypersensitive mess right now and I know that any dIUI and progesterone will intensify that later this week. Calgon, take me away!!!

Sending love to...
Vee and Max over at The Sweet Life. Cause she got lucky with a FET and I'm SO happy for them both!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Meds Make Me Mad

Yes indeed, mad, mad, mad. Crazy mad. Insane. Freakishly flipped. And all within two or three days.

For months now, I've been off all medications and feeling SO wonderful. Even my mom commented on it when she came to visit last month; how I am my "old self" again. Much happier, positive, outgoing and upbeat. I was really feeling more like myself. No signs of depression, frustration, anger (other than the normal stuff). And certainly nothing like the outburst I experienced yesterday. Dear Lord. I swear I grew horns overnight.

It's obvious I'm back on fertility medication. Plain as the horns on my head and the tail protruding out my ass. I'll just take that pitchfork and shove it... well, let's be polite shall we?

So to my hubby, I apologize, publically and profusely. I am a madwoman. The best advice I can give it to just give me a wide berth and know that it has absolutely nothing to do with you, and EVERYTHING to do with the meds. And remember that I love you.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

CD23 Results, DIUI #2?

The results are in. This is what I know. (Normal values as provided by the lab are noted in parentheses.)

Ferritin = 28 (13-145)
Insulin = 117 (30-1980)
TSH = 3.82 (0.30-4.70)
T4 Free = 11.2 (9.1-23.8)
Free T3 = 4.0 (2.5-5.7)
Vitamin B12 = 235 (>131)
RBC Folate = 1516 (>372)
LH = 1.1 (luteal norm 0.9-9.3)
FSH = 2.0 (luteal norm 1.0-14)
Free Testosterone = 6.8 (<9.0)
Estradiol = 434 (luteal 0-1145)
Progesterone = 18 (luteal 4-51)
Prolactin = 22.4 (3.3-26.7)
DHEAS = 4.3 (for ages 30-39, normal is <7.3)

Hemoglobin = 140 (115-165)
Hematocrit = 0.417 (0.37-0.47)
WBC Count = 10.2 (4.0-11.0)
RBC Count = 4.65 (3.8-5.8)
MCV = 89.5 (80-97)
MCH = 30.1 (27-32)
MCHC = 337 (320-360)
RDW = 13.0 (11.0-14.5) NORMAL
Platelet Count = 226 (150-400) NORMAL
Absolute Neutros = 7.0 (2.0-7.5)
(A) Lymph = 2.5 (1.1-3.3)
(A) Mono = 0.4 (0.0-0.8)
(A) EOS = 0.2 (0.0-0.5)
(A) Baso = 0.1 (0.0-0.2)

Glucose = 4.2 (3.3-7.8)

What does this all mean? All values are normal. A couple are higher or lower than I'd personally like to see, but according to the lab, they're normal. So that means, DIUI #2 is likely on the horizon.

My RE wants me back on metformin (500 mg/day) because of a slight tendency towards cysts. He wants me on 25 mg of sero.phene (aka Clo.mid) from CD3-7; only 25 mg because of the tendency towards cysts. We won't do a superovulation with Pure.gon because of the long Easter weekend coming up but depending on what follies are there on CD12, we will decide whether we try another DIUI or whether we sit out this month in favor of trying next month. It's a tentative go for another try. My appointment is for April 12. Dear heavens. I haven't cycled since November/December. This has got me all nervous again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Argh!!!! CD1 it is, and it's Sunday. And I don't yet have my CD23 results. So I have NO idea if I can cycle!!! *frets and tears out hair* Gotta call the clinic and hope to heavens they have those results before CD3. Otherwise, we wait yet another month. *sighs*