Monday, April 27, 2009

I hope it all worked out OK

Do you ever wonder how things turned out for people you've never met? That's how I felt today.

Saturday night we were browsing at our local big box bookstore, and of course we stopped in the women's health section to check out the fertility books. It's not like we need more. We have an entire shelf. One or both of us have checked out everything available from the library. And we're far enough into it that many of the books don't really offer us much in the way of new information. Still, there were a couple that I almost picked up, but I decided I'd see if I could find them cheaper online.

Fast forward to today. E called to ask if I had ordered those books because he just found them both at a thrift store. Sweet!

When I got home from work I saw that along with the two books I wanted, he found two other fertility books and a pregnancy book. I've seen this before. E and I sell books online (I know - as if jobs, rentals, and trying to get knocked up weren't enough to keep us busy) so we frequently go to thrift stores, book sales and garage sales looking for books. My guess is that they were all donated by one person.

I have no idea who this person is. I probably don't know them, but we live in a smaller city. Maybe I do. You never know. And they've been through the same agony/stress/sadness that we all know too well.

I hope this journey ended the way they wanted.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Goods

I finally got around to taking the obligatory photo of my drugs for this cycle. Here it is:

I also found out yesterday that I will have to go out of town for work for a few days between May 4th and May 7th. It's for a beotch of a project, a repeat from last year. Ugh! And we'll be taking the corporate plane so I can't have E come along and turn it into a mini vaca - bummer. But it's what I had been assuming and is why we pushed our IVF schedule out.

Here's our tentative schedule:
May 5 - last BCP
May 7 - period should start
May 8 - baseline bloodwork and ultrasound, hopefully start HMG shots
May 15 - HCG trigger shot
May 17 - retrieval
May 20 - transfer

So, still two more weeks till things really get started. But I have my first acupuncture session tomorrow. I'm pretty pumped and hope it will make me feel like I'm doing something while we wait. Man, this whole waiting thing is just making me crazy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hi ICLWers

So ... shots class wasn't so bad. It was nice to be in a room full of other people who "get it," and I think E even had a little fun poking the little practice butt with the needle. My protocol doesn't include Lupron, so we really won't have that many shots. Well, at least until we get to the daily PIO, but we won't think about that yet. And they said I could switch back to my other BCPs for the last two weeks. Yeah!

This is my first ICLW, so I should probably let you all know a little more about me. And yes, Katie, I would like to do it alphabet style. Thanks for the idea! Here goes.

Acupuncture - I'm going in for my consultation and first treatment on Friday. I'm a big believer in the mind/body connection, and I think the relaxation will be very helpful.

Books - I have dozens of fertility-related books and I love reading, but I don't always have time so I listen to lots of books on CD. Today I finished Three Cups of Tea and started When You Were Engulfed in Flames. Hilarious!

COBRA - E works in the insurance industry and worked for a company that actually offered fertility coverage. And domestic partner benefits. He left that job, but we were able to keep me on the insurance policy through COBRA. It's far from cheap (more than five times the price I paid for insurance through my employer) and we'll probably max out the benefits by the end of this cycle, but if this works we'll come out ahead. I feel very blessed that we have it.

Dogs - We have two. We call them the Fur People. Sadie is a 4-year-old Aussie/Collie mix (we think - she was a shelter dog), who's a ball of energy. Ranger is a Sheltie we think is 6 or 7, but he came from a rescue, too, so we aren't sure.

E - That's my fiance, but he doesn't want me to use his name.

FSH - My FSH level at the start of this cycle was 10.5. I know that's borderline, so there's no time to lose.

Ganirelix - My protocol calls for Ganirelix instead of Lupron. This means only a couple of shots in my thigh. I'm glad 'cuz that freaks me out more than the shots in the butt.

Huge cyst - I warmed the bench in November and December of 2008 because of an especially huge cyst on my right ovary. See L below.

IVF with ICSI - E's swimmers aren't too bad, but we just don't have enough of them. When our IUI was cancelled in February because of a low count, we found out this was likely the only way we'd get pregnant.

Journalism - My undergraduate degree is in print journalism. And if I could come up with a topic and get crackin' on my thesis, I'd have a master's degree in it, too.

Kiki - She's one of the cats, who we just call cats, not Fur People.

Laproscopy/Hysteroscopy - During my saline sono in late March, we found out that my stupid cyst had grown again and had to be removed. Oh, and I had polyps inside my uterus. What fun! During the L/H, they also found a little endometriosis and removed that, too.

Marketing - I work in marketing for a consulting firm. It's stressful and sometimes the hours are long. It's not my dream job, but my immediate co-workers are cool, it pays the bills and I know it could be MUCH worse.

Nala - She's the other cat. She was mine before E and I met, but she prefers him. She hangs out with him in his office so he calls her his secretary.

OPKs - They suck. I never got a reliable response from them during any of my Clomid cycles.

Pi**ed - That's how I felt when we realized that we wasted a year on Clomid. I first talked to my OBGYN in December 2007. E had an SA done in February 2008 that was kind of low, but not aweful. We thought we had plenty of time to be conservative. HA!! Little did we know. I wish we'd done more testing early on, but oh well.

Qi Gong - I've been thinking about trying it since Dr. D says I can't really do anything strenous. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Real Estate - In addition to our regular jobs, E and I own and manage nine rental units. We have two houses, a duplex, and a five-plex. We started that adventure in October 2006 and have learned a lot since then. I hope to eventually be able to just freelance and manage the rentals.

Sperm - We just don't have enough of it.

Tattoo - When I was 18, I got two tattoos. I have Kokopelli on the big toe of my right foot, and two dolphins swimming around a yin yang symbol on my hip (I know. Trite, but a lot less ironic than the fertility god).

Uterus - Mine is now a polyp-free zone.

Vegetarian - I've been a vegetarian since I was 18. I'm definitely in the minority here in the Midwest.

Wine - I love full-bodied reds. Mmmm. Shiraz. But hopefully I won't be drinking any for a long time...

X-ray - HSG counts, right? I don't know if it's because my uterus is tilted, but dang, that hurt!

Y Chromosome Deletion - Since E's count is so low, our clinic required chromosome testing. Luckily everything came back negative.

Zen - My job is stressful in ways that are often beyond my control so I'm searching for ways to find my zen during these next several weeks. Any ideas?

Whew! Thanks for sticking with me through all of that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shots Class is Tomorrow

We go in for our shots training class tomorrow afternoon. E has already given me one shot before (the HCG for our cancelled IUI in February) so I think it should go pretty well. I'm also going to ask if I can switch BCPs since I have an extra pack of the ones I like better and I'll be taking them for two more weeks. It only took about two days of these ones to give me the complexion of a 14-year-old.

Nothing else too exciting on the IF front. We had a fairly relaxing weekend here. The weather was pretty nice so we got outside and started doing a little work in the front yard. The yard work doesn't seem nearly as bad when it's on your own house. We moved into this house about a year and a half ago and have been so busy with projects at our rental properties that we haven't done anything beyond mowing here. It was nice to have a move-in ready place, but I'm itching to start painting some walls and digging in the yard. We even made a compost bin. I might have to make more because it's almost full already.

Hopefully the nice weather will stick around so I can make some real progress on my plans for flower beds in front of the house. I think this will be a good way to distract myself at least a little.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Damn Duggar

Fertile freaks. I read today that the oldest one, who just got married last fall, has managed to get his wife knocked up. There were already plenty of reasons to find these people annoying (cutesy J themed names, Mom's bad hair, making each older kid take care of a younger one - their "buddy", the name Jim Bob . . . I could go on). Did you know that they didn't even kiss until their wedding? Makes me want to vomit.

I picked up my Ganirilex, Pregnyl, and progesterone in oil today. The PIO was covered by my insurance!! It was only $5. The rest, sadly, was a lot more.

I don't really have much else to say today. Just popping my BCPs and waiting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

All Systems Go

It's official. We got the "all clear" today. It's really happening.

The day started bright and early with a trip to Dr. D's office, about an hour away. It was a follow-up from my laproscopy and hysteroscopy about a week and a half ago to remove a large ovarian cyst, polyps in my uterus, and a little endometriosis that we didn't even know about until they got in there and looked around.

Dr. D said everything from the surgery looked good, informed us that E's other chromosome testing came back negative, confirmed that we have our drugs (I picked up the expensive ones today and the others are waiting at the pharmacy), and that we're signed up for Injections 101 (Yep, next Tuesday!).

They even gave me a little memento from my surgery - photos of my insides. Gross! E suggested that we leave these photos out of any scrapbooks. I agreed.

I also called a local acupunturist who works with fertility patients. My first appointment is next Friday and we'll determine a schedule/protocol from there. He's also an MD, so there's a chance my insurance might cover some of it. I can't wait.

So, no more hurdles. No more testing. It's on. It's real. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News

I got some good news today from Dr. D's office. E's Y chromosome test came back negative. Yeah! Now the only test results we're waiting on are the rest of his chromosome screening and we should have that back next week.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello, Blogland (aka CD1)

Hi, blogland. I'm C and I'm infertile. I've known for the last year and a half that I had fertility issues (I don't ovulate on my own), but we've recently discovered that my fiance (we'll call him E) does, too.

We went in for an IUI and were cancelled because of a very low sperm count. Basically, IVF with ICSI is our only real option. So, after lots of additional testing and number crunching, that's our plan. I have our calendar, the drugs are on their way, and I popped my first BCP today. YEAH!

During our first year of clomid, ultrasounds, BCPs/waiting for cysts to shrink, and reflexology, I've learned so much from the online IF community and I've gained strength and inspiration from other bloggers. Even though I rarely comment, I feel like I've gotten to know so many wonderful women just by following your blogs.

As we learned that our only real shot at a biological child is with IVF/ICSI, I found myself with an unending stream of thoughts floating around in my head. I decided to start this blog as an attempt to focus them. Hopefully I'll be a little more productive at work? Maybe I'll find a cycle buddy? Who knows? I guess none of us really know how this journey will end, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.