Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I had a wonderful vacation in Colorado with my family.  We drank gallons of red wine and beer and spent lots of time in the sperm-killing hot tub.  A great time was had by all.  We'll head down tonight to spend Christmas with the in-laws. 

My husband's annual work Christmas party was yesterday.  That was harder than I expected.  I've been to the party yearly since we started dating in 2002 and have watched his co-workers' kids grow and grow.  There are also a lot of new and growing babies every year.  This year was particularly hard, as two of my husband's good work friends have new babies who everyone was cooing over.  I know it's selfish, but it made me feel somewhat jealous and left out -- another work party with no baby.  We ordered many pitchers of beer from this place afterwards, which helped.

Cycle wise, I ovulated late this cycle (Day 19, which is quite late for me).  I was getting very annoyed at my "CBE" monitor when it wasn't giving me a peak day around CD 14-15, but sure enough, I got it at CD 19.  The deed was done accordingly, though at this point it's kind of a joke that we are still even bothering to try naturally.  I'll schedule my saline sonogram, trial transfer and bloodwork after my period shows and we should be good to go for IVF.

I wish you guys a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah (though I know that's over now), and Happy New Year.  All the best to all of you for the New Year.  Leaving you with one of my favorite Christmas songs (I prefer the humorous variety).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Notes from RE consult #3

Following up on the last post, I did actually get AF later that day!  So, that issue resolved, I guess.  I should be ovulating sometime in the next few days, but this and the next cycle will be natural.  Yesterday I met with a new RE from a famous national practice.  It's in my state, but about an hour and a half from my house.  I was in the "neighborhood" (relatively speaking) for work yesterday, so I made an appointment.  The meeting was very interesting and I learned a lot of fascinating things.  The doctor thinks that we have several factors at work here, all to do with me: 1) endometriosis - the fact that some was found and removed is important.  He says even if it was a mild case, there can be damage or problems on a microscopic level that is causing problems.  2) my FSH level was a little high one of the times it was tested (it was 8.0 in September and 6.4 in October) - the 6.4 is OK but 8 means that it's creeping up.  He says it normally goes up gradually over time with age, the fact that it's fluctuating could be an issue.  3) possibly an immunity issue, which also is linked to the endometriosis.  He explained about how the body naturally fights off the endometrial cells when they leave the uterus, but those killer cells can also damage the egg when it is moving between the ovary and fallopian tube, causing it to not be fertilizable. (is that a word?)  IVF solves this because the eggs are removed directly from the ovary.  So, it can explain why, even though I'm ovulating and my tubes are open, I'm not getting pregnant.  He did bloodwork to check my natural killer cells level, they have a treatment for people with high killer cells in IVF cases.  Not all doctors believe in the science behind this, but the doctor who founded their clinic has done a lot of research on this and incorporated it into his treatment plans.  He thinks there is no male factor in our case.  We just did the killer cell bloodwork to see what shows up, but thinks I should go ahead with the IVF at my current clinic.  Another interesting thing he said was that there could be a DQ Alpha match which prevents our pregnancy - basically, that we could be too genetically similar.  So, it was pretty enlightening.  We'll see what the bloodwork turns up.

In other news, heading on vacation from tomorrow till the 20th!  Yay!  Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for all your support!

Friday, December 3, 2010

More drama..

Sorry for not posting for a while!  We've been busy the last few weeks with travel and general holiday craziness.  Picking up where we left off last time, I got a copy of my file from my RE and reviewed it thoroughly.  Nothing really stands out.  All my bloodwork levels were normal, and DH's semen analysis was normal.  I was a little concerned with his morphology - it was only 5% normal, but that is apparently in the "normal" range.  So, no answers there.  I touched base with the IVF coordinator about what I need to do now - she told me to call when I got my period (which was due last Friday or Saturday) to schedule the bloodwork and saline sonogram.  I'm now on CD 35 and still no period.  This is epically long for me - the longest cycle that I have had, possibly ever.  I'm definitely not pregnant (trust me).  So, I called my doctor yesterday to see what was up.  They made me come in for a beta / progesterone test today and may have to give me something to start my period.  This is truly bizarre.  So, it's looking like it will be 2 more cycles till we start IVF.

Friday, November 19, 2010

IVF chat, part 2

The last RE consult left me with kind of a bad taste in my mouth.  I left feeling like the doctors aren't particularly interested in figuring out the cause of our infertility and that they're just advising us to move on to IVF because it's the next step.  I also was somewhat annoyed that the doctor dismissed the chemical pregnancy, telling me that it was probably just the ovidrel.  Other than semen analysis, no bloodwork or tests have ever been done on my husband.  I also haven't had any tests other than hormone levels, saline sonogram and HSG.  I'd be interested to have an immunology or RPL panel done to see if anything shows up there. 

I have an appointment with a well-renowned clinic in another part of the state for a second opinion.  I still plan to do IVF with my current clinic, but maybe this other doc can look at my chart and give me some insight as to what they think may be the problem. 

I got the quote from the financial person at my clinic.  The IVF will cost $6725 (including ICSI and freezing), plus the cost of meds.  While it is quite expensive, it's a little cheaper than I expected.  They mark it down a bit for people who are not insured.  I'll talk to the IVF coordinator sometime next week to schedule the saline sonogram and bloodwork, so that we'll be ready to start in January or February.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Doctor consult post-mortem

We had our consult with the doctor today to discuss our next options.  It looks like IVF is in the cards for us.  The doctor said that due to the high cost of the injectables cyles (about $1900 a cycle), it makes more financial sense not to do any more IUIs, but to go for IVF.  They provide discounts to uninsured patients, but it's looking like it will be about $10K, including meds.  She couldn't really give us any insight as to why all the failures.  They don't do a lot of screening at this clinic, such as to check for chromosomal issues or recurrent pregnancy loss or anything like that.  At least, not for us.  We're "normal" according to them, though the doc did mention Bunny's low sperm counts which have gotten better since our first IUI's.  She recommended that we ICSI at least some of the eggs.  I raised concern that my luteal phase is getting shorter and shorter, she just said that I'll be given progesterone during the IVF cycle, like they do with all patients.  We'll figure it all out over the next few months, then probably start treatment in the spring.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moving on...

I'm going to take a little break from the blog.  I need to regroup and heal from this last IUI failure.  I really lost it on Saturday but feeling much better today.  I think I got it out of my system.  The doctor is still making me go for a beta tomorrow, just to make sure it's not an ectopic or something, I guess.  I guess I should be somewhat encouraged that "something" happened this cycle, even if it didn't stick.  It shows that at least the eggs are capable of being fertilized.  I'll decide later whether to move on to IVF or do one more IUI, after speaking with the doctor.  Thanks for all the support, you guys are the best.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's official - BFN

It's official that this one was a BFN.  Must have been a chemical or something.  They say that the digital tests don't lie, but I guess this one did.  The tests last night and this morning were clearly negative, then AF arrived.  It sure was fun to be pregnant for 2 days.  I'm going to call and cancel my beta for Monday.  The sucky thing is that I told my husband and he was super excited. 

I'm thinking that we may start IVF in the New Year.  This IUI was picture perfect and it failed.  I don't see the point of doing more IUI's if they're not going to work.

Friday, October 29, 2010


I tested today and yesterday and the results are, well... inconclusive.  I guess that's my punishment for testing too early.  Yesterday I tested in the morning with an "internet cheapie" and it had a faint second line.  I tested after work with a FRER and it was also very, very faintly positive.  This morning, both the internet cheapie and the FRER were negative.  I thought, what the hell, and peed on a digital and it was positive.  So, no big announcement yet.  I thought I'd have a blaring positive and be able to make a big announcement here, but it looks like it won't be official till I see a beta.  Here's a pic for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, October 25, 2010

7 DP monitoring appointment...

I had my 7 DP IUI monitoring appointment this morning.  They drew blood to check my progesterone level and I learned my number from last cycle - it was 34, I think.  They also did an ultrasound to check on my ovaries.  The right one was pretty big and had 2 corpus lutei.  There was a pocket of fluid outside my right ovary but the doctor said it should resolve itself.  The left ovary was huge! and there were also 2 or 3 corpus lutei.  She said I really need to take it easy until the ovaries get back to their normal size.  I'll need to make it through this week and maybe I'll test on Friday or Saturday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

5 DP IUI...

Not much to report at the moment.  Bunny is camping this weekend, so I'm at home alone with the kitties, cooking up a storm.  Tonight I'll go to the Philadelphia Film Festival and out to dinner with my sister in law.  I made homemade chicken tortilla soup for lunch, check out the deliciousness...

I'll attempt homemade won tons tomorrow.  Yum!

I'm not testing out the trigger this cycle.  Why bother?  It's fun to see those positive HPT's, but once they go negative it's a bummer.  I know the trigger is probably out of my system by now.  I'll try and wait to test until around 11 DPO or so, which is next Saturday I believe.  I've had really bad dreams during the 2 week wait, both last cycle and this cycle.  Last night I dreamed that I was undergoing chemotherapy.  I literally thought to myself in my dream "this will kill the babies for sure, if there are any."  How depressing!!  Let's hope this week goes by quickly and that there is a BFP on the other side!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Post-IUI report

The IUI was this morning.  It went very well - the post-wash count was 43 million!  I think an extra day of abstaining helped achieve a higher number.  Ovulation pain started this morning, so I think the timing was just right.  Let's hope I catch a break this cycle.

I just realized that I didn't provide an update on Saturday.  Well, I turned out to have 5 mature follicles when I went for monitoring Saturday morning.  There were at least 3 in the 18+ mm range.  The doctor said that I'll have a high risk for multiples and wanted to make sure I was open to selective reduction.  So, it looks like I'll hopefully ovulate at least 2 or 3 mature eggs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Triggering tomorrow...

Things aren't growing as quickly as I thought.  The largest follie I had this morning was at about 17, with a few others in the 14-15 range.  I'm going to go in for monitoring again tomorrow, probably trigger then, and the IUI has been pushed to Monday.  I put all my injectables stuff away last night cause I thought I'd taken my last shot, but I guess I'll be cracking another vial of Follistim tonight.  I can't wait for this cycle to be over.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Almost time to trigger...

I'm feeling better, still not 100% but the ear is feeling much better.  I had my monitoring appointment yesterday morning and the largest follie was on the left and measuring about 18.  I had a few smaller ones in the 14-15 range.  It looks like I'll probably only ovulate one mature egg.  I'm still on 275 units of the Follistim. They'll probably have me trigger tomorrow morning during my monitoring appointment, then do the IUI on Saturday (they don't open on Sundays). The timing of the trigger annoys me somewhat (since it's less than 36 hours before the IUI), but I guess it's the best they can do.  My lining looked good, I think it was 9 mm.  If I get a BFP, great.  If not, at least I'll have a 2-month break from treatment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Man oh man...

Man oh man, this cycle has been something else.  Yesterday morning I woke up and my right ear was swollen shut.  Yes, that's right - ear infection!  I had a similar infection in my other ear last year, so I guess my right ear wanted to join the fun.  I took some drops left over from last time and some advil for the pain.  I woke up this morning and it was even worse!  Luckily I had a monitoring appointment first thing this morning, so I asked the doc if it was OK for me to take antibiotics and he said it was.  I went to an urgent care clinic and they put me on steroids, antibiotics and drops.  I'll go see a specialist tomorrow.  Meanwhile, the doc wants to up my Follistim dose again to 275 units.  The largest follie was at about a 9, so I guess he wants to see more growth.  I really hope I don't get OHSS.  I'll be back in there Wednesday, so we'll see.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Somewhere out there...

I was cleaning out our crawlspace today and came upon a box of my old stuff from when my parents moved out of my childhood home.  It was mostly things that were in my old bedroom.  I found two music boxes that I had completely forgotten that I owned.  I don't even remember now when they were given to me or by whom.  But, one of them plays that song "Somewhere Out There."  I'm going to put it on my dresser with all my baby talismans (St. Gerard medal, fertility crystals, etc.) to remind me that my baby is somewhere out there in the universe.

In other news, I had a scan this morning.  I don't remember how many follies there were - I believe there were 3 or 4 dominant ones total.  The doc is increasing my Follistim dose to 200 units.  I guess he thinks I'm not responding quite good enough.  My next scan will be Monday.

I've decided to register for an 8k in Philly taking place about a month and a half from now.  I ran a 5k pretty easily back in April and I think I'm up for the challenge.  The Bunny will run it with me.  I know I'm not supposed to run or jog during the treatment, but I'll talk to the doc about it Monday.  The inactivity is really getting me down.  Hopefully they'll let me do a little running, as long as I take it easy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Here we go again...

I had my first monitoring appt today, CD3.  Blah blah, a cyst left over from last month, some antral follicles... start tonight with 150 units of Follistim... blah.  I'm very unmotivated and OVER IT this cycle.  I almost cried at the appointment because they told me I'd need to come in Saturday morning and probably Monday as well.  We had plans to go down to our beach house for the long weekend, leaving Friday night and coming back Monday.  Now we'll have to leave Saturday morning and come back possibly Sunday night, which neither of us wanted to do.  I'm just so SICK of infertility.  I'm sick of having to rearrange my plans for these stupid monitoring appointments.  I'm sick of having to tell people about my treatments, and update them when the treatment fails.  I can't freaking believe that it's October 2010 and we still don't have a child.  I expressed my frustration with the doctor, and she reassured me that it will work for us, not to worry, we're doing everything right, etc.  I can't wait for this cycle to be over so we can have a few months' break!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's officially official - IUI#4 = FAIL

"AF" arrived today (12 DP IUI).  So that's that.  We're going right into IUI #5.  I can't believe I'm typing that - I long for the naive days when I thought I'd conceive on my first or second IUI. This will be our last IUI of the year.  If we get lucky, it will work.  If not, we'll try naturally (which is a joke at this point) till the new year, then re-evaluate at that time.  It's looking like IVF may be in the cards for next year.  My first monitoring appointment will be Wednesday.

I tested today and ...

BFN.  I knew waking up this morning that my period is on her way.  All the signs were there.  I'm not even going to bother testing again, there's no point, really.  I'm disappointed but not inconsolable.  On to IUI #5 and cycle #34 (!!) TTC.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Notes from the 7 DP IUI monitoring appointment...

I had my 7 DP IUI monitoring appointment this morning.  When I was taking the Clomid, they simply did bloodwork to check my progesterone level.  With the injectables, they also do an ultrasound to make sure the ovaries look OK.  Mine looked fine - the doctor counted 4 "CL's" (I assume she meant corpus luteum's (lutei?) - 2 on each side.  Does this mean that I ovulated 4 eggs??  I didn't ask.  Anyway, they said they'd call if my progesterone was low and have me start suppositories.  They didn't call, so I assume it was OK.  I won't test (or probably post) again till Monday, which will be 12 DP IUI.  This time, they told me to wait until 14 DP IUI, and if no period, call them to schedule a beta the following day.  So, theoretically I may have a beta next Thursday.  We shall see - one thing at a time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Geez... thanks a lot, pajama pants.

I've had these flannel pajama pants for about 7 years.  They've come in handy during these bloated days due to their forgiving drawstring waist.  When I was putting them on, I noticed the tag.

 Gosh, even my pajama pants are telling me to "just relax."

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I'm checking in today, 4 DP IUI.  I'm having major GI issues (mainly constipation) and lots of cramping and lower back pain.  I'm not sure if it's my digestive system or my uterus which is the source of the cramping.  My boobs are sore, but I believe that is from the HCG trigger.  I've been very "good" this cycle so far about not drinking coffee or alcohol.   Past cycles, I kept drinking coffee and had a drink or two during the 2ww, partly because I didn't think it would hurt anything if I did.  This time, I'm trying to really take care of my body, just in case this IUI worked.  Mentally, I'm feeling very calm and positive.

Still testing out the trigger and it was positive as of today.  I'll keep testing every other day till it's gone, then stop testing till hopefully next Monday (12 DPO).  We're heading out of town to Virginia next weekend for an ultimate frisbee tournament that Bunny is playing in.  I won't bring any tests with me, so that I won't be tempted!

Just for fun, here's the series so far.  The numbers next to the tests are days past trigger.  Based on previous cycles, the tests turn negative by around 8 DPT.  These are Wondfo tests, which I find to be accurate.  I have a zillion of them.  Thanks for all the comments - I was hearing crickets around here for awhile!  Glad to hear you all are reading and supporting me - I appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IUI was this morning...

I had the IUI this morning.  Bunny's post-wash count was 26 million, not too shabby.  When I signed the paper saying that the sample was his, I noticed a note at the bottom saying something about liquefaction and "reduced motility."  The doctor and nurse didn't comment on it, though, just said that it was a good count.  If these IUI's fail, I'll ask them about it.  It makes me wonder if something is up with Bunny's semen.  I've been having ovulation pain on both sides since last night.  Hopefully I will O some time today.  I plan to test out the trigger till it's gone, then hopefully stop until at least 10 or 11 DPIUI.  The good thing is that we're going away next weekend, so I can leave the tests at home and that will stop me from caving!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Triggering tonight!

I had my last monitoring appointment this morning.  I have two big follies (both measuring around 20mm) on the right side, plus a few smaller ones which probably won't produce an egg.  I've gotten the go ahead to trigger tonight.  The IUI will be on Wednesday morning (CD 13).  I'm stoked because I only went though one vial of Follistim, so I have a ton left (2 600mcg vials) for future IUI's.  If we repeat next month (here's hoping we won't need to!) then I'll only need to order Ovidrel.  It's always nice to save a dollar or two (or several hundred)...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quick monitoring update... CD9

The monitoring appointment this morning turned up one dominant follicle at 16mm and a few smaller ones.  The doc thinks I'll probably trigger Monday or Tuesday.  It seems quite early, since Monday is only CD 11.  He said he has high hopes for me this cycle, but if this one doesn't work they may increase the Follistim dose next time so I'll have more mature follicles.  I'm still on 100 mcg.  I haven't even gotten through one vial of the meds this month, so hopefully the other two vials in my fridge will carry me for another cycle.  I'll check in again on Monday.

The doctors keep telling me that everything is "perfect" and that they think I'll get pregnant this time, but it doesn't ever actually happen.  I'm not going to get my hopes up until I see a positive pregnancy test.  Not sure yet whether I'll test out the trigger, but I probably will.  I'm really going to try and hold off starting "official" testing until at least 12 DPO.  Let's see if I have the discipline!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CD 7 - monitoring appt...

I had my second monitoring appointment this morning.  This time it was a nurse practitioner I hadn't seen before.  She just did a very quick wanding and told the nurse (not me) what she saw.  It was all a blur but I believe she said that there were eight follicles on one side and nine on the other??  Either that or she was saying that there was one that measured 8 mm and one that measured 9.  All she told me was that I have follicles growing but they need to keep monitoring me.  I'm still on 100 mcg of the Follistim and I'll go back for my third appt on Saturday.  I assume my bloodwork was OK, since they didn't call me with the results or tell me to change my dosage.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baseline ultrasound...

I had my first ultrasound and bloodwork this morning.  The uterine lining is "nice and thin" according to the doctor.  I have 7 possible follicles on either side.  I don't really know what that means exactly, or how many will actually develop into eggs, but the doctor said it's very good.  I'll start 100 IU Follistim tonight and go in for my next ultrasound and bloodwork on Thursday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

CD1 - it's on...

AF arrived today very unexpectedly.  This was my shortest cycle yet - 25 days, with a 10 day luteal phase.  Freaks me out a little.  I have my first monitoring appt on Monday morning and will be starting the Follistim then as well... wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Acupuncture, take 2

I started acupuncture again yesterday.  I found a new practitioner close to work which will be much more convenient.  I had my consultation, and she told me that I'm showing signs of liver, kidney and some spleen deficiency.  She also said my heart pulse was weak.  So, I'll be getting treatment once a week for a few weeks, then down to maybe once every two weeks.  I really missed it.  I'm 9 DPO today and don't feel especially pregnant, so I doubt I am.  I had some major GI issues over the weekend which haven't fully resolved, but I was traveling and eating lots of rich food, so that's probably the cause.  I had a lot of cramping and pressure in my abdomen yesterday, but not putting much stock in any of it.  I'm expecting AF on Monday, then it's on for IUI #4!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Hail Mary cycle

I'm on CD15 of our "Hail Mary" cycle before we do IUI #4.  I've been using the CBE monitor this month and got "peak" days on Saturday and Sunday, a glaring positive OPK yesterday and I think I ovulated this morning from the left side.  We did the deed accordingly.  I'm going to start seeing a new acupuncturist near my office - I'm waiting for her to call and schedule a consultation.  I've really missed it since I stopped going in February and I've decided it's worth the expense.  I'm going to try and do IUI #4 and 5 back to back in Sept / Oct, then if they both fail we'll reevaluate in the New Year.  I'm feeling good mentally and enjoying what's left of the summer.  I hope you all are doing well - things have been quiet around here so I hope someone is still reading.  I don't track my analytics because I'm terrified of finding out that someone I know in real life is reading.  I don't know why that freaks me out, but it does!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Checking in from our beach house.  Sooo glad we put off the injectables IUI till next cycle.  I had court three days in a row last week so it would have really screwed up my schedule if I'd had to go to the RE at 7AM on those days.  I've run a few miles this week and because we put off the IUI, we have been able to come down to our beach house this weekend.  I'll also be coming down next weekend, when my mom and siblings will all be down.  I used the CBEFM for the first time today, we'll see how that goes.  I was hesitant to buy it, but I figured what the hell, I've tried everything else.  I got it used off e.bay.  Last cycle was really weird because AF showed up two days late (on CD 30) - I would have been freaking if I didn't know with 100% certainty that I wasn't pregnant.  Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A change in plans...

We decided last night to postpone this IUI until September.  The juggling of work obligations, family obligations and other commitments this month was getting to be too much for both of us.  We have a lot going on this month, both work-wise and family-wise, so we decided last night to put off the IUI till September, when we have nothing going on.  My plan for this month is to exercise as much as possible, as I am carrying a few extra pounds as a result of studying for the bar exam day and night.  I also want to enjoy the little bit of summer that we have left.  I'm going to try out my recently acquired Easy Fer.tility Mon.itor for the first time this month.  I'll check in later this month with "CBEFM" reports.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Meds are here!

Got the meds on Thursday.  They came in a huge box, but barely filled the bottom of it.  At least my cats have a new box to play with.  I'm expecting AF this Friday, then the monitoring will start the following week.  Should be fun!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Public service announcement

I was driving through rural Delaware yesterday on my way home from the beach and saw not one, but two billboards warning women not to smoke while pregnant.  Do they really need to put out an all-points bulletin on that one??

Friday, July 30, 2010


I ordered my Folli.stim for the upcoming cycle - the price was shocking!!  Over $1500 for 3 600 ml vials of it, plus the Ovi.drel.  I'm not familiar with the dosages of Folli.stim, but isn't 1800 ML a lot for one cycle?  Is this supposed to carry me through several cycles?  Any input is appreciated.  Ugh, I'm still reeling over this price. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feeling strangely great...

I had to share this, because it's something I haven't experienced in a while.  As I've mentioned before, I have a history of depression dating back to at least when I was a teenager, possibly even earlier.  I wasn't officially diagnosed until my early 20's.  It's not severe and it's been managed with fairly low doses of meds, on and off, for about 6 or 7 years.  I used to think it was SAD, until I started getting depressed in the summer too.  I have been off the meds since around January, because I was worried it would affect my TTC.  I felt like I was sliding back into depression in May, and that's when I started seeing the infertility counselor.  I've been feeling good this summer and not having my usual symptoms (not being able to get up in the morning, high anxiety, lack of concentration at work, etc)  Anyway, I took last week and this week off work (let's call it a "stay-cation", but actually it's because I'm re-taking the NJ bar exam. Long story, since I'm already licensed in PA, I don't really want to get into it now.  Let's keep it under our hats, shall we?)  I have been feeling absolutely GREAT this last week.  Is it because I'm getting about 10 hours of sleep a night?  Is it because the last 2 months of working and studying 24-7 is nearly over and I can finally enjoy my summer?  I don't know, but I can't remember the last time I felt this good.  On Friday night, I sat outside on my deck with my husband, books and a glass of wine for over 2 hours and it was absolutely divine, I tell you.  There were goldfinches and hummingbirds on the bird feeders, and it was a beautiful, balmy night.  Anyway, I want to memorialize this moment on my blog, because I don't feel this great that often!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gearing up for IUI #4...

I was holding out the (irrational and unrealistic) hope that maybe I'd get magically pregnant naturally last cycle, but it didn't happen.  You would think after 30 cycles of negative pregnancy tests, I would learn my lesson.  It's highly unlikely to happen this month, too.  So, I'm gearing up for my 4th IUI next month.  I expect that it will probably happen the 3rd week in August.  Unfortunately, that is when I was planning to spend time down at the beach with my family, but the IUI takes precedence.  I seriously considered putting the IUI off another month so that I could have some beach time this summer, but I don't want to drag it out anymore.  I want to get in at least 2 injectable IUI cycles before the end of the year so that we can pursue IVF early next year, if necessary.  I'm going to order the meds next week so I'll be ready to go. 

We just planned a fun trip to Colorado the week before Christmas and may also take a Caribbean vacation over Thanksgiving.  We also are going to DH's hometown over Labor Day for a wedding, so we have some travel to look forward to in the next few months.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A quick apology...

A quick apology for the goofed-up design of the blog this week.  I'm updating the design and it may look jacked up for a few days... Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two quick book recommendations...

I'm reading two great books about coping with infertility that I thought I'd share.  They are both pretty popular among the infertile crowd.  I wish I'd read them a long time ago.  All the other fertility related books I have read tell me "use my method and you'll get pregnant right away!" (I'm looking at you, Taking Charge of Your Infertility and The Infertility Cure.)  I do recommend "Taking Charge" and "The Infertility Cure" to people who are just starting the TTC process, but I find them to be somewhat misleading in their claims to "cure" infertility.

Anyway, I highly recommend these books:

Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar
A Few Good Eggs by Maureen Regan and Julie Vargo

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Breaking the bank

I got a friendly letter from the RE on Saturday, stating that their price for the IUI with injectables is over $1500.00 and it must be paid at my first appointment.  This doesn't cover the price of the medications, which are looking like they will be about $750 per cycle.  I am insured through my husband's job, and they provide absolutely no coverage for any infertility treatment whatsoever.  They recently changed our prescription coverage, but they they don't cover injectable fertility medications of any kind.  We are fortunate that our state (NJ) mandates fertility coverage by law, but unfortunately my husband works in Pennsylvania and our plan is administered in PA.  So, we don't get that benefit either.  I know it's been said over and over again, but it is fundamentally unfair that many health insurance plans cover pregnancy, contraception, and erectile dysfunction but don't cover infertility treatment.  It's not our fault that we are infertile.  I didn't do anything to cause my infertility.  We are being punished for something that we have no control over.  It is so frustrating!  So, we are most likely going to have to clean out our savings (and possibly our retirement accounts if we end up doing IVF). 

On that note, if anyone knows which pharmacy is the cheapest for Folli.stim, Lu.pron, etc. please let me know.  I am using a NJ-based mom and pop pharmacy, but I don't know if their prices are cheapest.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

RE consultation today...

I just got back from our consult with the RE.  We met with one of the nurse practitioners, who was very nice.  The plan is to do a few more IUI's with Follistim, then possibly on to IVF.  She says it's totally up to us how many more IUI's we want do to, since we are paying out of pocket.  She said that the success rate with Clomid is actually only about 5% (I had been told 20%) but that the injectables have a much better success rate.  We'll probably do 2 or 3, then move on to IVF.  Their IVF price isn't as high as some that I've seen - she said it's about $6000 plus the cost of drugs.  She said if we do move on to IVF we will have a very high chance of success, as much as 70%, due to my age.  Their general success rate is about 45%, but she says that in women my age (under 35), they normally only transfer one good-quality embryo and about 70% of these women get pregnant.  So, some reassuring news.  We'll do the first injects cycle in August.  I can't do it sooner due to work obligations, which would interfere with monitoring appointments.  I'll continue to check in from time to time. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sending positive thoughts to Jo

My blog-friend Jo got some bad news today.  Please send some love and good thoughts her way.

Friday, June 18, 2010


The beta was negative.  Fail #3.  I'm fine, taking it in stride.  At least now I can take some Advil for these cramps!  Still no period, but it will probably come tomorrow.

Beta this morning, waiting for the results

I went in for a beta this morning, which was the day they told me to come for a test when I had the IUI. Today is technically 13 DP IUI, so the beta is one day early, but my regular office doesn't operate on Saturdays. I've not had a double line on the HPT's since last week when I was testing out the trigger. I have had menstrual-like cramps on an off since Wednesday, so I really feel like I'm going to get my period. I always have one full day of cramps before "AF" arrives. I actually took 2 advil yesterday morning, thinking that my period was imminent. Feeling pessimistic, since I haven't had a positive HPT. I'll get "the call" this afternoon and go from there. If this one fails, we'll meet with the RE to see what the next steps are.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BFN, so far

I tested yesterday and today (10 and 11 DP IUI) and both were BFN. It's still a bit early, though. If I make it to Friday without my period, I'll go in Friday morning for a beta. No idea what my temperature is doing, but feeling like this one probably didn't work, as I expected. No biggie. On to bigger and more expensive drugs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm at our beach house for the weekend for some much-needed R&R. I didn't bring any tests with me so I wouldn't be tempted! We'll get back Monday afternoon, but I have a night class, so I probably won't test again till Tuesday, which will be 10 DP. I tested yesterday to see if the trigger was gone, and I still had a very faint line, but the trigger is probably gone by now. I'm having no unusual symptoms, other than a backache and some GI issues which I won't elaborate on! ;) Yesterday was our 5-year wedding anniversary, and we're going out for a nice dinner tonight in Ocean City. I've been feeling very good mentally over the last few weeks and feel somewhat at peace this cycle. Hopefully I won't lose my sh*t if I get a BFN, like I did last time.

I skipped my progesterone test yesterday! It wasn't my fault. My doctor only does them between 7am - 10am. I had to be in Court at 8 AM, and the court is nearly 2 hours away, so I couldn't stop by in the morning. I called the doctor and they said it would be OK to stop by before 3pm, but my case was moved to the afternoon and I didn't get out of court till about 3:30! So, I totally missed my chance. I was wondering if I could just show up at a lab down here and get the test done, or if I need a slip from the doctor's office. Hopefully they won't be mad at me for skipping it. I know with 100% certainty that I ovulated.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IUI was today!

I had the IUI this morning. DH's post-wash was a little over 10 mil, which is an all-time low for us. We ended up BD on CD13 (we were told to do it on CD12, but didn't feel like it) so I think the extra day of abstinence would have improved his count. The doc said that anything over 10 mil is OK, so at least we made the cut. I'm having MAJOR ovulation pain today, mostly on the left side, and feel super bloated. Having some friends over for dinner tonight, and planning to kick back and relax tomorrow. Hopefully this 2ww won't make me crazy. Next weekend is our 5-year wedding anniversary and we'll be spending the weekend at our beach house. I'll be very busy the next 2 weeks, so hopefully it will go by fast. I'll check back in a few days.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jolly follies

Today was the CD12 ultrasound and holy crap, I have 5 follicles! I can't remember the exact details, but I believe there were three on the right (largest around 20, the others in the 15-16 range) and two on the left (I think around 19 and 16). I don't know what my lining was (they never mention the lining). The doctor said "you always have such beautiful follicles!" It doesn't provide much comfort after 2 failed IUI's. The IUI will be on Saturday morning (which has totally f'ed up my weekend plans, as I was planning to go to the beach on Friday night). We'll see how it goes, since I'm in class till 10pm every night this week and we are supposed to BD tonight. I'll check in again after the IUI.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CD 4 - Clomid is go!

Started the Clomid last night. No big whoop. This cycle, I'm REALLY trying not to get my hopes up. I won't chart my temperatures this month, and am planning ahead so that if/when I find out my BFN, I can take the day off if necessary. I'm also trying to stay the hell off fertility friend, but despite my better judgment I keep finding myself back in those boards. My Day 12 ultrasound is next Wednesday, and I expect the IUI will be Friday. (my clinic ALWAYS does the IUI's on day 14, it seems). I'll check in on Day 12.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CD 2 - here we go again

AF arrived yesterday, a day early. I called my RE's office, who are only open for a few hours on Saturdays, to ask them to call in the Clomid prescription so I can start it tomorrow. They never called it in, so I'll have to pester them again tomorrow to call it in. I estimate that the IUI will be around June 4. Let's hope third time's a charm. This will probably be my last Clomid cycle.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mexican infertility remedies

I have a lot Mexican and Central American clients, whom I love dearly. Most of them come from very poor indigenous backgrounds with little exposure to Western Medicine. Many of them offer me folk remedies for various ailments. When they find out I'm infertile, they like to offer solutions to my infertility. It's often just the usual "have relations 10-14 days after menstruation and stand on your head!" advice. Today I was chatting with a client who asked if I have kids (as they often do). I explained that I haven't been able to have a child and she told me that she had the same problem. She said that she had a "vientre frio" (cold uterus) and that I should drink "te de ajo" (garlic tea) every night. I asked how you make it and she said you peel a head of garlic and boil it in a liter of water, then drink it nightly. Yuck! It's amazing how similar this hot/cold advice is to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also talks about a cold uterus and ways to heat up the body. It makes me think that maybe there's something to it.

The Ovidrel arrived today and AF should be making her appearance on Sunday. So I should be starting the Clomid sometime next week. Looking forward to a beautiful weekend so we can get some housework done and refinish our deck!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gearing up for IUI #3...

I'm getting ready for IUI #3 this coming cycle, which will start around May 24. That would make the IUI around the 4th of June. This will most likely be my last IUI on Clomid. If this one fails, I'm pretty sure the doc will put me on injectables or something else. I haven't met with the RE since our first meeting - they wanted to do the 3 IUI's and then go from there. We have been taking a total break from TTC the last two months. I wanted to have an IUI this month, but we were out of town on Day 12-14. So much for that!

I found a clinic in this area that has a very interesting IVF program. If you have extra eggs during the IVF process, you can donate them and the clinic will "comp" your IVF procedure! This could be a good option for us, since we have no fertility insurance coverage.

The months of June and July will be somewhat stressful due to some work issues, so hopefully that won't affect the IUI's.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Well, Spring has definitely sprung here in NJ. The trees are blooming, flowers everywhere, it's really gorgeous. We took a nice trip to Florida (though the weather wasn't so great) and had some nice quality time with my hubby. I have taken a total break from dealing with my infertility. (I mean TOTAL - I suspended my fertility friend account, no OPK's, no charting, and I don't honestly know what cycle day I am on). Though I still think about it every day, it's not an all-consuming obsession like it has been the last few months. I ran a 5K last Saturday and have been spending time with family. We may not do the 3rd IUI in May - some family activities are interfering with the scheduling of it and we would be out of town on CD12 and 14. So, it may be June or July. No biggie, this break has been great!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Moving on...

Still here, hanging in there. I honestly didn't have my hopes up last cycle, but for some reason this IUI failure broke me. I was inconsolable for 2 days. I just wanted this to work so badly. I really, really don't want to have to move on to injectables or IVF, though I will if I have to. This month we're taking a break. I've put my fertility friend account on hold and won't even log in. I'm not keeping track of this cycle at all this month - I just need a total break. We're going to Florida for a much-needed long weekend away this weekend. We'll do IUI #3 with Clomid in May, then go from there. I have thought about taking a few months off completely from TTC, but I feel the months and years ticking by. I turned 32 yesterday and my husband will be 39 this year. I know I'm on the younger end of the infertility spectrum, but it's already taken us over 2 years to get to this point and I don't think we can wait anymore. I haven't been back to acupuncture and am concentrating right now on my physical fitness. I'm sick and tired of this whole infertility thing!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Well, back to the drawing board. AF arrived today, CD 28, as expected. This was our 25th month trying to conceive. I have NEVER had a positive pregnancy test, not once. I had 4 follicles this time, 3 last time, good sperm counts, and still negative. I'm really starting to lose hope that we will ever conceive a child. On paper, everything looks normal. But, there must be some reason that we're not getting pregnant. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CD 27 / 12 DP IUI - losing hope...

Things aren't looking too good. Another BFN this morning and my temp is dropping (it's gone from 98.5 to 98.2 over the last few days). Also, having my usual pre-period cramps. It looks like another one bites the dust. Pretty bummed out. I now need to decide whether we'll have another IUI this coming month or hold it off. I kind of want to get this one out of the way so we can decide what to do next.

Friday, March 26, 2010

CD 26 - 11DP IUI

I tested this morning at 11DPO with a First Response - negatory. I'd been "testing out" the HCG trigger and still had a faint positive 2 days ago, but today it was stark white. I'm having some symptoms but nothing I haven't felt before. I've had cramping on and off the last few days. It ain't over till "flo" shows up, though. After the last post, my temperature did go up. It just took a few extra days for some reason. We'll see how it goes over the weekend. If I'm not pregnant, I expect Aunt Flo on Sunday. If not, I'll have a beta on Monday morning. I'll check back in one way or the other!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CD 19 - WTF??

Here we are at CD 19. I've been charting my temperature (mostly out of old habit, I guess) but I find it very strange that my temperature hasn't shifted. WTF?? It's normally up in the 98's by now. I'm pretty sure I ovulated, but I don't understand what is going on. I guess my Monday morning progesterone level will tell. No symptoms to speak of yet, though it's early. I peed on a stick today and still have HCG in my urine, same as last time. Who knows what's going on this cycle...

Monday, March 15, 2010

CD 15 - IUI day

I had the IUI this morning. It went fine - DH's post-wash count was 38.5 mil. Not too shabby. The doc said anything over 10 mil for an IUI is good. I noticed in the notes that the person who did the sperm wash wrote "rare agglutination, pre-wash" on the IUI workup sheet. The doctor didn't say anything about it, but I wonder if there is an issue with his semen after all. The timing is a little better this cycle, because I think I ovulated last night or this morning. I'll try to keep my cool over the next two weeks!

Friday, March 12, 2010

CD 12 Ultrasound

The ultrasound and bloodwork were this morning. There were two "dominant" follicles and 2 more which were slightly smaller. If I remember correctly (the nurse just gave me a quick look at her notes), one measured about 20, the other 18, and the other two 15 or 16. I'll do the Ovidrel injection tomorrow night and then go in Monday morning for the IUI.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CD 11 - my ovaries are exploding

Here we are at CD 11. I finished the Clomid on Sunday and I feel like my ovaries are about to explode. My left one was really bothering me on Sunday, now rightie has joined in the fun. My CD12 ultrasound is tomorrow, so we'll find out soon how many follies there are. Day 14 falls on Sunday and my RE isn't open on weekends (I don't think, anyway) so the IUI will most likely be Monday morning. I had hot yoga last night. I'll probably skip it during the 2ww, because the combination of the heat, twisting and ab work may not be implantation-friendly. If anything, I'll do a hatha class instead. I walked 10 miles last week and trying to do the same this week. Still not in a great place mentally this cycle - I'm trying not to get my hopes up at all so as not to be disappointed if this one isn't successful. Twice in the last 2 weeks, I've found myself near tears when talking to friends about this IUI and the frustration I've been feeling through this whole process. I'll check in tomorrow after the ultrasound.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

IUI, Take 2

My new cycle started yesterday, so IUI #2 is go. I'm feeling much differently this time - all the optimism and excitement I had last time around is gone. I was holding out the delusion that perhaps I would get pregnant last month and get to call off the IUI, but no such luck. I was feeling particularly sorry for myself over the weekend after going to lunch with some friends and their beautiful babies. I'm not one to resent others for their normal fertility or avoid situations where I may encounter a pregnancy or baby, but sometimes its just gets to me, you know? So, I'm feeling pretty down and discouraged at the moment. I just want to get through this one and try not to hold out too much hope that it will succeed. I warned my husband that if this one fails, I'm going to lose my sh*t. Clomid starts tomorrow (fun!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Saturday!

I had a weird dream last night. My acupuncturist told me I was pregnant and gave me some sort of weird treatment involving giant tea bags all over my body. Also, her office was in Canada (Olympics much?) in some strange city I've never seen before. I remember thinking in my dream that I could finally try poutine. I've had a lot of pregnancy and birth dreams over the years (going back to when I was about 14 years old!) I don't take much stock in dreams, but I do find them amusing!

On a total fitness kick right now - I signed up for a 5K in April and also a program where you walk 10 miles a week for a month. I'm still doing hot yoga and feel like I'm getting stronger. Not much weight loss, though.

I ordered the Ovidrel and it will be delivered Friday. If things go as planned, the IUI will be around the 15th of March. I'm not particularly excited about this one after the disappointment of the last one. But, maybe I'll get lucky this time. Next month will be the last chance for a 2010 baby, cause the due date will be in December.

Thanks for the support and I hope everyone is doing great!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Countdown to IUI#2

We're officially counting down to IUI #2! I'm calling my RE tomorrow to get the Rx's for Clomid and Ovidrel called in. I'm only on day 8 of this cycle, but I want to make sure everything is lined up for next month. If by some miracle of God I get pregnant this month, I won't need the meds, but I'm not counting on it (if the last 26 cycles are any indication, anyway.) I'm not sure I'll even tell anyone about this next IUI, not even my mom or MIL. It's bad enough that we're going through the emotional ups and downs of infertility to make them go through it as well. My MIL told me she cried and cried when the last IUI failed. My mom remarked last time she saw me that she hoped next time we saw each other I'd be pregnant. I feel like I'm letting them down! Fingers crossed, girls...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moving on...

Still here - still alive! The last two "natural" months have not worked. Timing has been an issue - the fertile window fell Christmas week in December and we had company, which made "doing the deed" a little difficult. Then in mid-January, my husband broke his arm snowboarding and was totally wacked out on meds during the fertile window. So, to be fair, we didn't "try" as much as we should have. We will do one more natural month, then another IUI in March. Work has been INSANELY busy and I've been in court multiple times a week for the last two weeks. I'm almost completely off the Zoloft and feeling good and positive. I've started Weight Watchers and am trying to stick with the plan, though I've been somewhat lax about it. I was thinking about completely cutting out sugar and dairy for a month or two, but I don't think it's a good diet for TTC. I also started a new power hot yoga class which is awesome! Hope everyone is doing great.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Checking in... happy new year everyone. We are still in our "just relaxing" phase, probably won't do another IUI until at least February. I am continuing with the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). I saw my TCM lady last night and we looked at my charts for the last 5 cycles (since I started TCM). You can definitely see a shift in my temperatures, especially during the luteal phase. They have gone up into the mid-98's and my luteal phase has gotten a little bit longer. She once again says that she really thinks I can conceive naturally, as long as we have intercourse at least 3x during the fertile window. We'll see if she's right. I'm also weaning myself off Zoloft, which I have been taking for about 3 months after a pretty severe bout of depression. I've been feeling much better and am hoping that the TCM will help my moods as well.