Sunday, January 31, 2010

RE Appt Part 1: A New Hope

Well our last try with the OB was a bust so it's on to the Reproductive Endocrinologist aka RE. Having to seek a specialist's help definitely conjures up a mixture of emotions. Part of me is hopeful that this will be just the thing to get us to where we need to be and fulfill our dreams of becoming parents, and part of me feels like a failure for needing this extra help. But I was still eager to meet with a doctor sooner rather than later which is why I was so grateful that my insurance provided me with a list of in network RE's and I found one that could not only get me in the same week, but the doctor also has stellar reviews from past patients on yahoo local. Of 18 reviews, 17 gave him 5 stars and the 18th gave him 4.

After meeting with Dr. Lee on Friday, I can confirm that those reviews were well deserved. His staff his friendly and helpful and he is hands down the best doctor I have ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with. Chad and I both clicked with him instantly and felt very comforted by his manner and approach. We discussed all of our previous testing and Dr. Lee proclaimed Chad to have "super sperm" as he has higher than average count and motility, something that definitely put a little smile on Chad's face. We also reviewed what we've done up until this point and then I had a little visit with wandy. Never my favorite part of any doctor visit but Dr Lee made the process more comfortable for me and was very good about showing us both what was on screen and explaining everything. He then assured me that my ovaries are "fantastic" and my eggs look good enough to be used for donation. Needless to say, Chad and I both felt pretty good about our reproductive odds after hearing that both our basic baby-making ingredients are in tip-top shape.

The problem was still my tubes. It was figuring out how much of a hindrance they are that was the we needed. Dr. Lee couldn't see any problems with my tubes on the ultrasound which is a good sign but he wanted to review the HSG films with us and get an accurate picture of what is happening with my plumbing. So he instructed us to get a copy from the radiology office and come in to review then with him and then discuss our options.

We raced out of there and had the films within half an hour. Unfortunately, Chad had to get back to work so we couldn't review the films the same day but we were able to schedule RE appt part 2 for Monday morning. It was wonderful to leave that office feeling hopeful again. We know that there will still be work to be done but it's great to know that despite our challenges we actually do have some things going for us. And it's great to know that we have a doctor that seems to really care about our success. I am showing my geek side here, but I feel like Dr. Lee is our Luke Skywalker, using the force of his experience and passion to defeat the dark side of our fertility and help us to have a baby. Well at the very least, he has definitely given us new hope that we will succeed soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My 1st blog Award!

Wow this is so exciting! I'd like to thank the academy...oh wait not that award. I already gave up on that one. I would seriously like to thank Roxanne and Jenn who are both incredibly awesome bloggers and so sweet to have passed this award on to me. Thank you both so much! I am truly honored!

  • Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
  • Copy the award and place it in your blog.
  • Link the person who nominated you for this award.
  • Tell us 7 interesting things about you.
  • Nominate 7 bloggers.
  • Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate.

Seven Interesting (I think) Things About Me.
  1. Jon Stewart used a joke I told him during the meet and greet before a taping to open the Daily Show- true story!
  2. I just barely got out of high school but graduated from college Summa Cum Laude.
  3. My 1st pet was a house bunny named Angel. He was litter trained and used to scratch at my door to wake me up for school.
  4. I used to perform in a Nickelodeon stage show, complete with pies in the face and slime. Chad proposed there after I got off work and before I saw him I though I was about to get pied.
  5. When I met my husband he was my boss but we did not date or even hang out outside of work until after we had stopped working together. (I swear!)
  6. I had a "quarter-life crisis" when I turned 25 and took a solo train trip from Florida to DC and then NYC. It was an AMAZING experience.
  7. I unwittingly "wrote" the tagline for the movie "Up in the Air" and also met Jason Reitman (the director) at a marketing screening.
I realize there is not a lot of explanation on this list and some of these have longer stories so if you have any questions or want to know more please feel free to ask!

Seven bloggers that I pass this award to:








Of course there are SO many wonderful blogs on my reading list that I wanted to nominate but I wanted to try and spread the love around a bit to bloggers that haven't gotten this award yet (or at least recently) and I LOVE these blogs. Plus I really want to find out what their 7 interesting things will be!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pressing Pause

My temps dropped. Late. And then AF came. Late. I cried my heart out and mourned this lost cycle and lamented about the tricks my body played on me. And then I realized that I need a break from the insanity. I am sick of being on a schedule. I am tired of being so hyper aware of everything my body is doing. I miss the days when Chad and I were just "not preventing", blissfully naive about my blocked tube and believing that if we just behaved like a normal married couple we would surely have a child nine months later. I am emotionally and mentally drained and consumed with the ttc process. It's time to hit pause.

Since this was my last cycle on clomid we have decided to press pause on the whole TTC routine. No temping, no OPKs, no clomid, no crazy BD rituals or requirements. Just a month for Chad and me to just be us. Of course, thanks to many months of charts, I have a vague idea of when I will ovulate so there is a good chance we will still BD during that time, but only if we want to. I know it will be a challenge for my controlling side to let go like this but I am also very relieved to give up some of the stress.

We are in no way giving up the fight, but we realize that it's time to take a break from the battle to rest and regroup. And this is also a perfect opportunity to meet with the experts and re-strategize. Our first appointment with the RE is this Friday. I have mixed feelings about this stage of our TTC journey but I ultimately feel like it's the direction for us right now.

Of course, there is the chance that our plan to take a break will change once we meet with the RE if he wants to do monitoring this cycle, but that's the great thing about a pause button, you can hit play and start right where you left off.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hope is Scary

Today is 11dpo and my temp is the same as yesterday. This has NEVER happened. My temp always
starts going down by now. My LP is only 12 days so a temp drop at 11dpo is expected and very typical, but today it didn't happen. I had a significant dip at 9dpo and assumed it was the beginning of the end but then at 10dpo it went back up and is still there! (my chart) I am trying to keep my feet on the ground but the bubble of of hope in my heart is getting bigger and is about to float away with me.

Before you ask, yes I caved and poas'd this morning:
BFN. I know that 11dpo is pretty early though, so the knowledge of my not falling temp this morning is staying with me. This is dangerous. I have been having those daydreams about how I would tell friends and family, when the baby would be due, and how I would decorate the nursery. I have even gone so far as to find out that if we did in fact conceive this month it would have happened on January 13, which as you may recall is our lego anniversary and the start of our lucky 8th year together. Little things like this make me even more hopeful.

The ups and downs of ttc and struggling with infertility has never made me more afraid to hope. As horrible as I felt last month knowing I wasn't pregnant, as I watched my temperatures fall at least I was prepared for the heartbreak. When I dare to hope the pain of another failed cycle seems to be that much greater. Don't get me wrong, I'm not always hope-phobic. For the majority of every cycle I am very hopeful that this could be the month and I relish the new hopes and possibilities during that time period, it's the last few days of the 2ww when everything gets real. This is the time that will make or break me emotionally. I just fear that I will have sky-high hopes today, despite my best attempts to stay grounded, and I will be in that much more pain tomorrow when my temp drops or worse when AF shows her ugly face.

If this cycle does end in disappointment it's on to the next phase of treatment including my first visit to the RE and most likely surgery for my blocked tube. I am mostly ok with that. I am sure some tears will be shed in the process but I am optimistic that this will be the right course to take. Unless I really am already pregnant....should I really dare to dream?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Busted Libs!

I love Mad-Libs! Friends and I have been known to gather round the firepit, mad-lib book in hand taking turns coming up with snarky, gross, cheesy and just plain silly words to plug into a mad-lib story. So when I heard about Busted Kate's "Busted Lib's" about infertility I had to do one. So here it is. I swear no cheating or peeking took place! If you want to do one go here and do it 1st so you don't ruin it for yourself.

Busted Libs Button

1. An Emotion- annoying

2. An Emotion- silly
3. An Emotion- hopeful
4. Body Part- nostril
5. Body Part- hoo ha
6. Adjective- smelly
7. Color- turquoise
8. Adjective- splotchy
9. Adverb- fiercely
10. Adverb- mysteriously
11. Verb- scuba dive
12. Famous Celebrity- Oprah
13. Adjective- sticky
14. Plural Noun- geese

Your First Visit to the Reproductive Endocrinologist
Your first visit to a Fertility Specialist, also known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), can be [annoying] (1: An emotion). But don't worry! Your RE can be your first step in finding both the cause of and solution to your infertility. Infertility problems can make you feel [silly] (2: An emotion) or [hopeful] (3: An emotion), however a good RE will take time to address these feelings. The RE may then do an examination of your [nostril] (4: Body part) visually or by using an ultrasound. The RE may also examine your partner's [hoo ha] (5: Body part) for any signs of abnormality. The doctor will ask you some pretty personal questions, like if your cervical mucus is [smelly] (6: Adjective) and [turquoise] (7: Color), and if your menstruation looks [splotchy] (8: Adjective). The doctor may suggest that you have intercourse [fiercely] (9: Adverb) rather than [mysteriously] (10: Adverb), and for you to [scuba dive] (11: Verb) after intercourse. And don't feel bad if you have fertility challenges, even famous celebrities like [Oprah] (12: Famous Celebrity) have received infertility treatment. The most important is to keep a [sticky] (13: Adjective) attitude, and turn to your [geese] (14: Plural noun) for support. Good luck in your journey!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: 8 Days a Week...

Chad and I have been legos since the very beginning of our relationship because legos "fit together"

Today is 7 years that my "Lego" and I have been together and officially marks the start of our 8th year together. And 8 is my lucky number.....

Love you Lotskies Babe!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Signs, Signs Everywhere Signs

So it's official, I am entering the dreaded 2ww. That lovely time every month after ovulation but before you can take an HPT where you try not obsess over every little tummy twinge or bout of fatigue: "Is that implantation cramping or just gas pains? Am I exhausted because my body is furiously dividing cells or is it because I was up until after midnight chatting on twitter?"

As the months have gone on I have gotten much better about not reading into every "symptom" and have even been known to stop temping so that I can avoid the tendency to over-analyze every tiny dip or rise in my BBT. But one thing I can't seem to stop analyzing is the signs!

I am not really a very superstitious or religious person but I still have faith that there is more to the world than what I can see and sometimes it feels like the universe really is talking directly to me! Only 1dpo and the signs are already starting.

First, when I got my new OPKs in the mail this month the company included a temporary tattoo of a lucky shamrock. Chad (DH) and I got married the day after St Patty's so I always associate this imagery with the two of us and the start of our family- another shamrock could mean good things for the growth of our family!

More wedding related imagery- the last song at our wedding was "The Best is Yet to Come". I didn't shed a single tear the entire wedding day (I was just too busy smiling!), until this song played. The lyrics just hit me as I was looking into Chad's eyes dancing and then the waterworks started. Ever since, anytime this song plays it just happens to be when I am wondering about the what's next and I always take it to literally mean the next great thing is about to come. For instance, when I was unpacking after our move to California from Florida I was naturally thinking a lot about whether this would turn out to be the best for us and whether I could handle being 3500 miles away from ALL of our friends and family. Well, I decided to put on some music while I unpacked and what do you think the very 1st song that played was? Yep! "The Best is Yet to Come"! And as it played I unpacked the box that just happened to have our wedding photo on top! It was the 1st thing to hang in our new home. And it really turned out to be true. We are loving life here and can't wait to raise a child in California. And then last night, the day I O'd, Chad put on Pandora and the VERY 1st song on was again "The Best Is Yet to Come"!

Oh and this Wednesday marks 7 years of Chad and I as a couple, which means our 8th year together starts this week. 8 is my lucky number, not really a sign but still adds to my overall good vibes!

I am sure I will find plenty more signs as the 2ww goes on. I just can't help it!

Yes of course I know logically that anyone can take any mundane moment and make it all about them or make it fit their needs if they want to, but that doesn't mean I can't see these moments as reasons to hope. I am a dreamer by nature and my childlike belief in magic, wishing on stars, and gold at the end of the rainbow is something I could never give up. Sure I have no proof that the universe is giving me messages, but I also have no proof that it isn't.

So what about you? What good signs has the universe given you? I am really interested in hearing about your moments of serendipity. The song the radio played just for you or the fortune cookie that was surely destined to wind up in your take-out. There are signs everywhere! Share yours!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frankie says "Relax"

They say when something is keeping you up at night, making you cranky, and generally NEVER off your mind that the best way to improve the situation is to "relax". And these same mysterious "they" say that journaling or blogging is an ideal way to get things off your chest and therefore relax. Kind of like personal therapy with a pen, or in this case a laptop.

So here I am writing my 1st ever blog, derived from what feels like my millionth handwritten (unfinished) journal in order to cope with the stress of infertility and trying to conceive. I have great friends and family, and of course a wonderful husband to talk to, but I still think about this stuff way more than any of these people probably want to hear about. So I have decided to share all of my happy, sad, ridiculous, disgusting, funny and hopeful thoughts on my journey to motherhood with the blogosphere instead.

Here is a quick rundown of my journey so far:
  • December 6, 1982: born to the most wonderful mother in the world
  • August 1999: wrote paper on what I will be doing in 10 years- motherhood was #1
  • January 13, 2003: started dating my future husband, Chad
  • March 18, 2007: married him
  • April 2007: stopped "preventing".
  • July 2007: 1st preconception Dr visit.
  • March 2008: shifted from "not preventing" to "trying".
  • January 2009: 1st "WTF IS WRONG?!?" appt. Told I'm still young, just start charting.
  • January 2009: kept first chart of basal body temperatures.
  • March 2009: found out we were moving to California from Florida. Whole world is flipped upside down. Stopped charting.
  • April 2009: made the move.
  • May 2009: found previously mentioned paper at mom's house. Almost 10 years later and not a mom as predicted. Started to doubt my talents as a fortune teller.
  • July 22, 2009: started seriously charting again.
  • August 9, 2009: got my 1st positive OPK. Did a happy dance and thought for sure the problem had just been timing and we would get pregnant very soon.
  • September 23, 2009: found a new Dr in Cali- officially told we are dealing w/ infertility and given a huge packet of tests to complete.
  • October 2009: completed tons of bloodwork, ultrasounds, a semen analysis for the hubby and a very painful HSG for me.
  • October 7, 2009: informed I had "no spillage" in my left tube-it's completely blocked. All other tests came back "normal".
  • October 27, 2009: started 50mg of Clomid to increase ovarian function & odds of ovulating on my "good" side.
  • November 28, 2009: started 2nd round of Clomid
  • December 28, 2009: started 3rd round of Clomid
Which brings me to now and back to the whole point of this. I'm supposed to "relax". Whoever decided this was sage advice is in serious need of a good thrashing by the way. I started this journey pretty relaxed but nearly three years later I feel that furiously fighting for what I want is completely reasonable. Whether I ever actually relax again or not, I will be a mom, I'm ready!