Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Doctor

The clinic called me at the end of the day on Monday, to ask if we wanted to bump our appointment up to Wednesday morning. Of course!

I know it's ridiculous, but I was so nervous/anxious/excited on Wednesday morning. I had an upset stomach and could barely eat breakfast. I changed my outfit twice. Isn't that silly?

Anyway, finally it was 11 am and time for our appointment, and I met B over there to meet with Dr. F. We were in his office for 50 minutes! He kind of summarized the situation so far, including that we've never had absolute confirmation that the Clomid did anything perfect, since we've never had a good ultrasound. So, I'll finish this cycle (day 15 today- no ovulation yet) and then start Femara/Letrozole for next cycle. My 5th cycle of Clomid will be my last.

Also, we'll do an HCG test (an x-ray to check for anatomy problems). Since we'll be in Mexico and Chicago at the beginning of next cycle, we'll do that at the end of January (start of cycle 7). He also did an ovarian reserve test, although I think I've already had that test (but no records in my file). I'm going for an ultrasound around day 14 of the first Femara cycle (around January 4th) and a week later I'll meet with Dr. F again about the results, and how I am doing on Femara. If things look good, I'll stay on it up to 3 months.

If things don't look good on Femara, I'm going to talk to him about IVF. I feel like it might be time. Or at least, just a couple of tries with injectables. But from my research, IVF might be the way to go. As he said, this really is messing with my life plans. It'll have been a year by the time I meet with him in January. I'm ready to move on.

So, overall the appointment went as well as can be expected. B and I both like this new doctor. And then, last night he CALLED me AT HOME at 8:00 pm! "Just to see if I had any questions or had come up with any since our meeting." I was shocked. 8 pm and he's calling his patients to "check in"?? Wow. I think, for the first time, I can say that I love my doctor.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Waiting (What Else is New)

Friday was a very disappointing day. I had been counting down the days all week, eagerly anticipating the doctor's appointment. Friday morning I was very nervous and excited and I wore a cute dress and off B and I went.

Well, we checked in at the clinic and were told that my new doctor had a family emergency and so-and-so would see us instead. Um, NO. The whole reason I was there was to see THIS doctor, who I've met before and comes highly recommended. I hate my old doctor and I'm not trying someone else random again.

[Note: today, I looked up this "other" doctor and found she's not even a full-time faculty member! She's a SECOND YEAR fellow! Which means she's only been doing RE for like a year and a half! WTF!?!?]

So, the earliest we could be rescheduled is for this Friday- which is day 16, and probably after I'll have ovulated. So that sucks, but what can I do? I am on the waitlist in case Dr. F has any cancellations, so I'm hoping that will happen.

I was really, really disappointed and now I'm having to wait a whole more week. I was also really pissed that they didn't call me on Friday morning to let me know my doctor wouldn't be available. I mean, they charge me $70 if I don't show up, so they could have at least called and told us and we wouldn't have gone all the way over there. That's why they make phones, right?

Anyway, back to waiting, and dealing with a steadily increasing amount of hot flashes and bad mood swings. I cry at least every other day and it's pretty much the pits. Well, four more days.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Failed, Again

Well, I failed my fourth cycle of Clomid. Looks like I'm not going to be getting preggers as easily as we had hoped.

It was disappointing, but not as crushing as some other months. I guess I didn't have high hopes after failing the previous three cycles. I know it's wrong to have these thoughts, but I just don't think I'm getting pregnant without a fight... a lot of money... and IVF.

Speaking of IVF, we have a doctor's appointment with a new doctor. I have always been unhappy with my care from Dr. M and so I've scheduled a visit with Dr. F, who comes highly recommended- and whom I also know from helping with EndNote (for the very book on infertility- if only I'd known...) about three years ago. We'll see if he remembers me. Doesn't really matter either way.

I have a lot of questions for him: mainly, what do we do next? I'm guessing he'll have me finish this 5th cycle of Clomid, maybe do a 6th (since I'll inconveniently be in Mexico for the beginning of this cycle), and then want us to try injections.

I'm not totally opposed to injections... but I also don't want to wait too long and go through this too much longer. We have the money, and as much as we don't want to spend it, I also would rather just do it now than waste time and money on a much less effective treatment.

So, I am anxiously awaiting Friday morning at 9:45. Also, for the first time ever, my husband is actually accompanying me to the visit. I feel like I need the support, and I also want him to hear our options so we can talk about it later, and not always have me relaying all the info. He's not excited about it, but not opposed to it. So, we will see. I hope Dr. F says something like, "Oh let's not waste time on injections. Let's do IVF in January, and we'll get you in the trial so it's half price anyway." Wouldn't that be great?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter I Won't Send

Last night I had yet another meltdown. Of course there is never one reason, but an email from Brian's mom really set me off. It's not her fault, but she sent this cheesy email saying that she and John are going to do this thing at Thanksgiving where they take 5 pieces of corn and talk about what they are grateful for. I'm not mad at Judy at all, but it made me write this, which OF COURSE I will not send:

Hi (MIL's name),
Right now is a really hard time in my life. I know Brian probably doesn't talk about it, but I'm really upset over my fertility issues. We're coming up on a year of trying for a baby and we just have no guarantees of anything. I guess it's hard to be grateful for things right now. I know I have many other things to be grateful for, but it's hard to see through the fog of my own health issues and my own feelings of helplessness right now. Some of it is the hormones that I am taking that are causing my sadness, and some of it is just the situation.
I am seeing a new doctor the week after Thanksgiving and we're going to talk about next steps.
I am looking forward to seeing family and friends at Thanksgiving and I hope this will take my mind off my own troubles. You are right that it's important to be grateful too, it's just really hard for me right now.
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving too. Looking forward to seeing everyone at New Year's in Chicago.

In other news, I have really sore breasts. I know this could be PMS, but I usually don't get this. So of course I am hoping it's something more... but I'm not going to take any pregnancy tests or do anything like that until I am at least on the day of my period. Only a few more days :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Calm again

I was really upset last time I posted, on Wednesday night. I think I cried for an hour on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I went through a bad spell.

I talked to my mom, who talked to her friend Valerie who is a doctor, and Valerie reminded me that Clomid causes massive hormonal changes. It is somewhat reassuring to remember that my mood swings can be partially blamed on the Clomid. It's not all me being crazy. Well, it is, and I have good reason, but the uncontrollable crying is probably due to the Clomid as well.

Anyway, today is 9 dpo and my temp is high and steady. We will see. I know not to hope too much, and I intend to not freak out too much when day 13 is approaching, but we will see. At least I have the new doctor's appointment on December 2nd, just a week after Thanksgiving.

Here's to the next 4 or 5 days bringing me some good news....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I feel terrible. For two days now I have been very depressed. I hate my doctor, I hate all the new babies everyone is having (a new one pops up every few days on Facebook), I'm annoyed at Brian for not being more miserable with me, and I hate the unfairness of life. I hate everything. I hate my coworkers. I hate my job. I hate my furniture. I just stare into space and feel terrible. All my life now is waiting, waiting, waiting. And it never amounts to anything.

I am ditching my doctor and trying Dr. F, the chair of the department and an older doctor. I am seeing him in 2 1/2 weeks. Not so bad.

I want to talk about IVF. Unless there is a compelling reason to do injectables, I want to do IVF in January. I'm ready for this period of my life to be over. And I never want to go through this again. I think I will stop at one kid (if I ever have one). I hate what this is doing to me.

I'm at 6 dpo but I do not have my hopes up the way I did with the other three cycles. I would love to be surprised, but I know in my heart that I'm not going to get pregnant on Clomid.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cycle 4: 1 DPO

Finally my temperature rose this morning. In previous months I have ovulated on days 22, 18, and 15, so I expected something before day 15. However, because nothing ever works like it should with me when it comes to fertility, I did not ovulate till day 16 this month. Whatever. Today it was nice and high. That was a huge relief because I was down, really down and depressed, yesterday, and this has cheered me up today. Also, it's Friday and I am going out for Vietnamese food for lunch with a co-worker :)

I am increasingly thinking of switching clinics, but I'm still not sure. I just feel like my doctor doesn't particularly care about my outcomes and therefore isn't invested in trying the best methods or getting the right data to help us make decisions. For instance, I have not EVER, not one single month, seen a good follicle right before ovulation. So this month she said not to even bother coming for monitoring. I feel like I have to research all the protocol myself, like end-of-cycle monitoring and so forth. And many sources say that staying on Clomid after month 4, or even month 3, isn't necessarily worth it. Yet I'm staying on it for 5 months.

I think it's because I'm under 35 so she feels there is no rush. However, I do feel a sense of urgency, especially as we approach the 1 year mark of trying this January. I guess that is still 2 months away... but still, it's really really hard. I want a baby, I want my life to move forward, I want to know the ending to this (part of) the story. I want a baby. Two babies would even be fine! As every single one of my high school and college friends posts new baby announcements on Facebook, it's getting harder and harder as the months go by for me.

Well, all I can do now is try to relax and get through the next 13 or so days. I am due to either get my period- or hopefully miss it- on Thanksgiving Day. Here's hoping, praying, and wishing for some positive news this time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Clomid, Take 4

So, I failed my third cycle of Clomid. As in, I'm not pregnant.

I had a nasty stomach bug and got confused, along with a very, very light period and continued high temps. But I took a pregnancy test (at home and at the doctor's) and I'm not pregnant, not even a little.

So, on to Round 4 of Clomid. My doctor said we'll give it 5 rounds total and then move on.


Here's hoping- small, feeble, used-to-being-disappointed hope.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A little bit of (probably foolish) hope

12 dpo today and absolutely no spotting.... still high temp today.

I realize I will probably still get my period tomorrow, but a tiny part of me is allowing myself to be hopeful again. Though the slight achey back and the little bit of faint crampyness tell me otherwise.

I guess we'll see. But I have every ounce of me hoping...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's coming...

Today is 11 dpo. I think I am about to get my period.

Before this morning, I was getting really hopeful. I ovulated on day 15, we perfectly timed sex, this was my third round of Clomid, and my temperatures had reached a third high level for day 8, 9, and 10. I got so excited yesterday that I went to the store and bought an early pregnancy test.

Well, I took it at 6 am today, because that's when I woke up to pee, and it was... negative. Also, my temp fell- not below the coverline, but two tenths of a degree from yesterday. Also, my lower back is hurting.

So, neither the slight dip in temperature nor the negative early pregnancy test are signs of anything for sure- and the backache could totally be from bowling last night- but I'm not feeling hopeful anymore. I feel like this will be all the other months and I'm headed towards my period.

Life feels really, really unfair right now. It's not enough to suffer from infertility for the past 9+ months, but I also flunked out of the first three rounds of Clomid.

If it's not going to work, I wish I could save all this waiting and heartache and just skip to injectables or IVF. I know I still have to keep giving Clomid a chance, but jeezus, I never thought I'd have at least a TWO YEAR wait till I have a baby in my arms. Two years if I'm lucky, is what it's looking like right now.

I'm still hopeful but I'm also already depressed again. I guess now I just wait. I should get my period tomorrow or Tuesday, if it's coming again this month.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

4 dpo... the waiting game AGAIN

Well, what I feared did indeed happen. I got a positive on my ovulation predictor kit on Tuesday, day 14 of my cycle. Since I wouldn't be home for over 24 hours, poor Brian had to drive up to Richmond, where I was attending a conference. I left my roommate a "dear John" letter (Dear Karen, Sorry I had to go. Don't expect me back tonight. I will explain tomorrow!) and unfortunately had to explain the situation to my boss, and Brian and I got a hotel room nearby. Thanks, ovulation. You had to come on the one day that was least convenient, cost Brian a missed day of work, made my boss know about my "troubles," and caused us to ring up a $150 hotel and parking bill. Sigh.

BUT, on the plus side, I ovulated on day 15! First month on Clomid was day 22, second month day 18, and now, very much like a normal girl on day 15! Nice high temps ever since. I am hoping this third time is a charm and I end up learning I am pregnant in 8 days or so. If not, of course, I'll try Clomid for another 1-3 more months, but I hope and pray this is our lucky month. My due date would be July 4th, which sounds lovely. A summer baby, please please. Now, if only the next 8 days will speed by...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cycle day 12: Peeing in a cup continues

Today is day 12 of my cycle. I got a positive ovulation on day 20 of my first Clomid cycle, and day 17 of my second Clomid cycle. What will it be this month? Day 14, or back around 17, or something else altogether? I am a little nervous because I will be gone twice this week for two business trips: Monday morning through Wednesday evening, and Friday morning through Saturday night. I am worried my ovulation will fall on one of those away times... but we'll do what we can do when I am home and just see what happens. B might be making a 6 hour round-trip booty call to Richmond if I get a positive test on Monday or Tuesday!

Crossing my fingers I'll get a positive o-test on, like, Wednesday afternoon or even Thursday, or maybe Saturday. Wish me luck! Maybe three times a charm and this will be my lucky cycle. Please, please, please....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stories everywhere

Today I was getting my flu shot at work, and the nurse asked me the standard questions: do you have a latex allergy, have you ever had a reaction to the shot before, are you pregnant? I paused at the last one and said, "Well, I'm trying... does that count?"

She got a very sad look on her face and said, "I tried for two years. Good luck to you."

Then I felt like I would cry so I didn't say anything else at all. But when she was done giving me the shot, she touched my hand and told me Good Luck. I leaned forward and asked her if she did have kids. She said, "One daughter, two grandchildren. I love my daughter so much and she told me I should have had more kids." And then she gave me another meaningful look, like she wished she could have had more too, but it never happened.

When stuff like this happens it feels both helpful and sad to me. Helpful in that I sometimes feel alone in this struggle, when so many friends are popping out babies with seemingly no problems at all. But it also makes me sad because I fear waiting two years too, and also it makes me really realize that I actually have a disease. Infertility is a disease, whether or not our health insurance wants to recognize that (and they don't- because they don't want to pay to treat it), and I have it. I've never had anything physically wrong with me before and it's a sobering thought that stays with me whenever I meet someone else who has been in my same situation.

Anyway, this woman was in her 60s or 70s, and medicine has come a long way since then. It won't take me two years, right?

Month three of Clomid, please be kind to me. I ovulate next week and then the long wait begins anew.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

12 dpo and getting ants in my pants

Day 12. Last month I got my period after day 13, and my temps also dropped. So tomorrow or the next day will be the day. I am praying that I won't get it, of course, but preparing myself internally for disappointment. I am starting to get nervous, though, as the time draws closer. Last night my husband wanted to make love and I was too scared to, because I didn't want to see any red signs of my period coming and then be sad too soon. I just want to hold onto this hope for a little while longer, I guess.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I never knew 14 days could take so long

Hello from 11 dpo. This last week and a half have felt like a year and a half, but it's almost over. Just a few more days. I'm pretty sure I won't be pregnant, though of course I have wild blind hope that I will be. But yesterday I was spotting a little, and a tiny bit today. I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it doesn't seem encouraging to me either. In my very emotional state, it's been enough to make me feel sad for the last couple of days. Still, my temp today was still above the cover line (though slightly lower than the past several days) and so I continue to hope. I will know for sure on Wednesday or Thursday.

If I am not pregnant and I have to take time off from Clomid, I'm leaning towards switching clinics. I don't like how I haven't gotten a clear explanation from my doctor about why they read my ultrasound incorrectly last time (and I therefore didn't BD on the day I ovulated). And getting anyone to return calls or emails is such a nightmare. I don't trust them at all. I don't feel like my care is personalized or anything. So, perhaps time to move on. Maybe a private clinic rather than a large state hospital will be what I need. Even if it a long drive away.

I still have hope, but I'm trying to prepare myself for the very possible disappointment that might come this way in a couple of days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm feeling really down tonight. I'm doubting I will get pregnant ever, or at least not for a very long time and with lots of intervention. Today is three months after my 31st birthday and we've been trying to conceive for almost 9 months. It sucks that I started trying when I was 30 1/2 and the absolute earliest I could be having a child is when I'm just about 32. And maybe not for a year or more after that, even.

Yet, meanwhile, my husband's sister managed to get pregnant "without even trying" and very likely on the first month she "didn't try" when she was 38. THIRTY-EIGHT. And two of her FORTY year old friends also have newborns. And me? Nothing. All because of my stupid, unresponsive ovaries.

And now, if I can't get pregnant this month, and my cyst is still there, what then? I go off Clomid and have another 45+ day cycle, and THEN MAYBE start Clomid again so wait another 18 days till I ovulate?? So we're talking another 65+ days till I even have a shot at conceiving??

This just feels all so... never-ending. Never, ever ending. I am so sick of months coming and going when I thought I'd be preparing to expect a baby. No one ever warned me it might be this hard.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting game

Well, 28 hours after I emailed my doctor, she finally found the time to call me back. She said it does sound like I've ovulated, since I've had five high temps. She didn't know how to explain why my ultrasound showed all small follicles, except the one huge 40mm cyst. She really didn't have any explanation for me. All I know is that I must have ovulated that same day.

Anyway, the huge cyst might be a problem, so I'm to come back for a baseline ultrasound if I get my period next week. Then we'll decide if I should stay on the Clomid, and what to do about dosage.

I'm telling you, if I have to take a month off of drugs, I am going on vacation! I need a break from all this, and it's impossible for us to plan our usual Xmas get-away, since we never know if I'll be pregnant or not, and I don't want to fly if I'm still in my first trimester. Ugh, all this not-knowing is very stressful. I've been handling it better than last month, my first one on Clomid, but I'm still eager for time to speed up and for it to be day 13 already. Hopefully day 13, 14, 15 and beyond- with no period.

Good night,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can an ultrasound be wrong?

So either I am pretty late ovulating, or I am 3 dpo (days past ovulation). I have no idea which one and I'm not sure what to think. Here's the deal: I had my mid-cycle ultrasound on day 18 (last month I ovulated on day 21 or 22). I had gotten what I thought was probably a positive ovulation test the day before- day 17. It was definitely as dark as the control line, though not darker like last month when I had a positive ovulation test. So I was unsure, and I told the residents when they did my ultrasound. They looked, and said they didn't think I had ovulated, that my lining was still thinner than it should be (7.5, when ideally it's 8-12, but at least I was above 6, what is considered the minimum), and that they saw one huge cyst (40mm) and a bunch of small ones, like around 11-14 mm (I can't remember if they said 11 or 14. forgive me, but it was 7:30 am and I am not human yet at that hour. I was also nervous and upset, as always at the doctor's when I have a huge wand up my wazoo).

Anyway, they said it looked to them like I had not ovulated, but that I was on track to ovulate on Monday, day 22, just like last month.

I accepted this, and carried on, and have continued to do ovulation tests. Today is day 21, Sunday, and I have not really gotten a positive test yes (today's was darker than normal, but not as dark as Wednesday's). However, this is the weird part: I got that positive test last Wednesday, and my temperature spiked on Friday morning. It's been high each day since.

So it does seem that I might have ovulated. I don't know why it wouldn't appear that way on my ultrasound, except that they don't seem very reliable to me. More an art than a science. Last month they told me I had already ovulated, when in fact I wouldn't for another week. So, I kinda think those residents might be, uh, not that good at ultrasounds. Or it's just hard to read. Or they did say that big cyst was making things really hard to see.

So, I'm trying not to obsess, and we're just continuing to try to make a baby every other day, and I'll keep peeing in a cup and temping. I'm hoping that I really am 3dpo and not just not ovulating. I think I will email my doctor tomorrow and ask, "Can an ultrasound be wrong???"

Has anyone else ever gotten mixed messages like this? Or had a similar reason to doubt the ultrasounds???

Thanks for reading, whoever you are. Good night.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First post: 9 long months of infertility

After nine long months of trying to get pregnant, I feel like I've had it. I've had it with being positive and trying to "have faith" and acting hopeful all the time. I've had it with taking my temperature and charting and going to endless vaginal ultrasounds at the god awful time of 7:30 am at the hospital. I've had it with peeing in a cup in public bathrooms, being the weird lurker who is sitting in the stall for 5 minutes (while waiting for my ovulation test's 5 minute reaction time) and I've had it with scrutinizing each pee strip to hope, hope, hope that this month I will have an earlier ovulation.

I'm not giving up. I'm still trying. I just have hit a brick wall with feeling good about my fertility and I'm realizing I need better coping methods. Expecting my friends to listen isn't working- they all have newborns. My mom just worries when I don't have good news or at least an upbeat manner. My dad is horrified and doesn't want to talk about it, probably because he feels terrible. And my husband.. well, he's as sad as I am, but he's... very male about this whole thing. He just doesn't really want to talk about it as much as I do. Also, he is a wonderful cheerful positive person who does have faith. And I get sick of being the cynical party pooper who is crying over her (lack of) cervical mucus yet again.

So, I've contacted my old marriage therapist (from back when we first got married and went for a few months as we eased into married life) to ask if I can meet with her about coping strategies. And since I've been obsessively reading others' fertility blogs, I thought I'd try my own and see if it gives me a nice, constructive way to vent. Right now I'm not comfortable sharing it with my friends or giving too many personal details (like, uh, my name) but we'll see how it goes. And of course, I am hoping that this month or the month after or the one after that, I will have good news.

The story up till now: I'm 31 years old, my husband is 36. We met 6 years ago, when we'd both moved to this cute little hippie college town in the South. We like to tell people we met in a parking lot, and it's actually true. I thought he was cute from the moment I met him, and I don't think that about many guys.

In any case, that stuff doesn't have too much bearing to my infertility problems, except to say that I am not the type of girl who pretended all her dolls were babies (actually, I didn't have dolls. my mom was more the scary-stuffed-animal type) or envisioned Mommy being her favorite name. But, my husband loves kids, and I love my cat beyond belief, and I have enough love that I think I'd be a good parent.

So, after 7 years of being on the Pill, my husband and I had decent jobs and had saved enough money to feel okay with trying to have a baby. We even finished our massive student loans. We own a beautiful house in our little hippie eco-village and we've left the upstairs room pretty undecorated... always waiting to be a nursery, I guess. So, quit the Pill on Christmas Eve, while in Peru on Our Last Big Vacation, and... nothing. No period for a very long time. Finally, it came... but then, again, 45+ days passed before another period. Okay, maybe it was just the Pill. I waited, waited, and meanwhile we were screwing like bunnies from day 14 onwards. I have never been so sick of sex in my life as during that time. We even got so sick of it that my husband would have to look at porn first, just so we could, um, get it sort of over with quickly. Oh gosh, that sounds terrible! Well, if you've tried and tried and tried, you'd understand. In fact, when I got a UTI, my doctor was like, "Um, yeah, you've been having a lot of sex!" Ha. Too much of a good thing is, I can attest, too much.

Anyway, after 5 months of being off the Pill and still having wacky periods, I went to the doctor, and was then referred to a reproductive endocrinologist. I first saw her in early July, two months ago. She agreed my cycle is not right, especially my lame 9 day luteal phase. So, we tried Clomid, and it shortened my cycle to 35 days, including a very nice 13 day luteal phase. But I didn't get pregnant.

Which brings me to today. I'm on my second round of Clomid, and went in for my ultrasound today, on day 18. My lining looks good, and my follicles are small but probably on track for another day 22 ovulation. Now, I wait again, pee in little cups in the public restroom at work and probably weird everyone out with my bathroom hovering, and then hopefully ovulate and with the grace of God and the luck of the universe, maybe, just maybe, after 9 long months, have a happy ending to the terrible waiting game that is my infertility.

Thanks for reading and wish me the best follicles a girl can grow. Good night.