Tuesday, November 27, 2007

hCG Clear

I took a HPT this morning, which was negative, so I can be reasonably sure that the hCG trigger shot from last week has cleared my system. This means that when I'm ready to really test myself early next week, I can be reasonably sure that a positive result actually means something. So, one more week of waiting.

Today I also had blood drawn for a mid-luteal-phase progesterone level test. I was anxious about the results, since I've had short luteal phases before, but B. at Dr. M.'s office called late this afternoon to say that everything was fine. (She actually just said that my progesterone was elevated, so I definitely ovulated, but I already knew that much... I wanted to know whether it was elevated enough, which I guess is an assumed "yes".)

In other news, on and off I've been feeling vaguely nauseous all day. It's too early in the 2ww for it to be morning sickness, so it's probably all in my head, but still... what's up with that?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Weekend

We are back from spending Thanksgiving with S's family. Some highlights of the holiday:
  • Watching the entire family fawn ceaselessly over the two-month-old that S's friend brought along. The baby was the main entertainment for the entire 4 day holiday....
  • Bursting into tears the one time that I held the baby, practically throwing the infant at S. so that I could get out of the room before anyone saw me. (I don't think I succeeded. I think the family now just thinks that I hate children.)
  • Listening to S's mother argue that she should get to hold the baby more than the other women there, because she doesn't have any grandchildren of her own.
  • Being the only one to turn down the wine for a family toast, which seemed to then make everyone think that I'm already pregnant.
  • Listening to the baby's mother commiserate with the other women over first trimester symptoms, then listening to the other women commiserate with each other over hot flashes, knowing that I have experienced the symptoms in both discussions, at the same time, in the last several months, but not being able to say anything out loud.
  • Quietly suffering through cramps, headaches, and uncomfortably rising internal temperatures without saying anything, trying to act cheerful.
When we got home, I also found out that another one of our friends is pregnant. This will be their second, and they had to have the doctor estimate the due date because they weren't really trying, so hadn't been paying attention to timing. She's due in July, just after A. So, add yet another baby shower to the calendar.

As for me... my BBT is still up, but other than that, we won't know anything for at least a week. On Tuesday, I have a blood test to check progesterone levels, and I can start checking to see of the hCG shot cleared my system, but it will be another week after that before I know anything definite.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We made it to an IUI! Woo hoo!

S. did his part this morning, we waited in the coffeeshop while they spun and washed his "deliverable," then did the procedure. Dr. M. had to use the large speculum in order to see my cervix, and then kept pushing it as far as he could, which was uncomfortable, but just like a bad pap smear. Inserting the catheter though my cervix, which is the part I was nervous about, didn't actually hurt at all (couldn't even feel it). We hung out with my hips elevated for 15 minutes, then came home to pass out on the couch and take it easy.

Next steps: in one week, I do a blood test to check my luteal phase progesterone levels. Around that same time, I can do a HPT to see whether the hCG trigger shot has cleared out of my system. One week after that (December 4) I should be able to take another HPT to actually see whether I'm pregnant. Until then, lots of deep breaths....

Monday, November 19, 2007


At my follicle scan today, I definitely had one mature follicle (19mm) on the right ovary. We're not really sure what happened to the other two slightly smaller ones that we saw on Thursday. They could have just been hiding -- the ultrasound today was really painful again, particularly on the left side, like in the first cycle, so once Dr. M. confirmed the presence of the one mature follicle, he took an approach of "good enough to work with!" and stopped looking as hard for more. So, definitely one follicle, possibly two more. Got an hCG trigger shot at 3:45 this afternoon, and we're doing an IUI tomorrow morning at 10am. I'm thrilled to have made it to the point where we can even do this. Now, keeping fingers crossed that it actually works.

Also in the equation: my OPK this morning was positive, so I might be ovulating on my own anyway. I'm a little worried that I'll have already ovulated before the IUI (or even, that I already ovulated those other two missing follicles before the scan today) but hopefully the timing is still correct.

After dodging increasingly persistent calls from my brother, M., I finally talked to him again. (Started to feel guilty ignoring him....) They couldn't wait anymore, and told the immediate family about A.'s pregnancy. I listened to him explain everyone's excitement, and complain about A.'s morning sickness, before making up excuses to get off the phone again. Hopefully I've put in enough time to avoid him for a few more weeks, by which time, with any luck, I'll have news of my own....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Follicle Watch

I'm going to go out on a limb and say ... my follicles are still growing. I have been growing increasingly uncomfortable since Thursday evening or so. Yesterday, it was painful to button my jeans over my swollen pelvis (wow, that sounds kinda dramatic, doesn't it...). OPK says that I'm not ovulating yet, which for once is a good thing. The hope is that I hold out long enough to let the eggs mature in the follicles, then use an hCG trigger on Monday afternoon to "encourage" all 3 follicles to erupt at the same time, increasing our odds. Waiting until the trigger to ovulate also will mean that we can try an IUI Tuesday morning, which should increase our odds even more.

In the mean time, I'm massaging my bloated pelvis, willing myself not to complain about the discomfort and mentally encouraging my ovaries to keep up the good work.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Follicle Scan

Today was my Day 13 ultrasound. When I arrived for the appointment, I found out that Dr. M. was delayed in surgery, and they had moved my appointment to later in the day, but I wasn't home when they called to tell me. So, S. and I went out for a leisurely brunch (leisurely, but tense, because I was so nervous, and increasingly uncomfortable), hung out at home, then returned to the office.

As for the scan: my uterine lining is 10mm (ideal is between 8-12mm, so this is perfect) and shows the desired "striped" pattern. My right ovary has 2 growing follicles, one measuring 11mm and the other slightly smaller (maybe 10mm?). My left ovary has 1 follicle, which wasn't measured but it looked about the same size as the smaller one on the right, so probably 10mm also. The follicles are supposed to be closer to 16-18mm or more before they do a trigger shot, and they grow 1-2mm per day, so we scheduled another follicle scan for Monday. That's 4 days from now, so they should each grow 4-8mm more. The hope is that on Monday, I'll have 3 follicles measuring in the 14-19mm range (the bigger, the better). If they indeed grew by then, we'll do the trigger shot at that appointment, and then the IUI on Tuesday.

I asked about doing OPK testing at home, and Dr. M. said that he doesn't care. If I want to know, I can monitor myself, but it won't affect his treatment. That's a little odd to me, because if I were to ovulate on my own before Monday's appointment, I would need to know that so that S. and I can take advantage of it on our own. So, I'm going to keep up the testing.

That's the plan for the next several days. I'm definitely feeling that "pelvic fullness" now, and apparently I want it to intensify over the next few days, so I'm seeing some sweat pants in my future....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cycle Day 12

So far, so good. The hot flashes and random crying both continue, but they are more nuisance than serious side effects. I've noticed other small things (dryness everywhere, constant need to pee, inability to sleep soundly) but I don't honestly know what I should attribute to the Clomid, what is just ... me, and what is all in my head.

I'm growing increasingly nervous about tomorrow's ultrasound. Although every once in a while my pelvis feels a little tight, it's nothing like last cycle, so I'm nervous that things are too quiet down there.

I found out yesterday that I'm supposed to take a business trip to Spain in January. I can wait to book the trip until I know a little more about this cycle, but not much longer than that. If I get pregnant this cycle, I should be fine, because I'd be 10 weeks during the trip, which is probably okay. If this cycle doesn't work, though... there's one more cycle before then to try, but if that also fails, then I would likely be ovulating while in Spain, which kind of rules out an IUI attempt. Given all the uncertainty, though, what do I do? Plan the trip, and hope for the ability to adjust my cycle if necessary? Just go on the trip and hope for the best? The uncertainty sucks, because it's been so long that it feels like our lives are "on hold."

At the same time, getting pregnant as soon as possible has to be a priority right now. If the question were whether to skip a career event because I'm pregnant, there'd be no question. But skipping things to try to get pregnant, when at the end of the day I've missed career opportunities and I'm still not pregnant, and have nothing to show for it ... that just sucks for so many reasons. I don't know what the right approach is.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cycle Day 8

So far, so good. Mild hot flashes on Thursday, much more intense ones on Friday, a few bouts of no-reason crying on each of those days, but that's about it. (And one bad headache, but that could easily have been the weather.) The Clomid is finished for this cycle, so now we wait for the follicle ultrasound on Thursday.

I've started drinking as much water as I can manage, which is keeping a bit of the bloating in check, but this afternoon I started to feel my jeans tightening up around my pelvis. On the left side. Again. This is earlier than last time, so I'm thinking that there are 2 possible explanations:

1. I'm totally imagining it.
2. My left ovary is stepping up, and giving itself more time to do its job.

I'm hoping with all my heart that it's a sign that the Clomid is working. And I'll weather any necessary hot flashes to make it so.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cycle Day 4 (Take 2)

Today was the second day of this round of Clomid and it was ... not bad at all. Yesterday was one giant fuzzy sweaty fog. I took the Clomid in the morning, and by mid-day I was not quite awake, not quite asleep, not able to concentrate on anything, not even able to tell the difference between a '-' and a '=' on my monitor (if my fuzzy-brained thinking hadn't stopped me from getting any work done, certainly not seeing characters correctly did the trick!). So, I spent the day napping on the couch, with bad television in the background, fanning my hot sweaty body with a magazine and drinking gallons of water in an attempt to bring down my bloating.

After an uneven night of sleep (kept waking up feeling hot and sticky) today was actually okay. My body temp felt normalized (though S says I am still emanating an amazing amount of heat, so maybe I've just gotten used to it). My thinking wasn't 100%, but closer. Enough to get through a series of meetings and get some real work done, anyway. No headaches. No sweating. No crying. A little remaining bloating, but overall, I am pleasantly surprised! Of course, last cycle, it was Cycle Days 5 and 6 when I broke down in endless crying, so we'll see. But, so far so good!

Three days to go.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


My period finally started today, with a vengeance, after a very respectable (and long!) 16-day luteal phase. I'm telling myself to be happy that it took so long, because it's a sign that my body is still capable of doing some of what it's supposed to do, correctly, on its own. Well, not completely on its own, since the Clomid is almost certainly what brought about the on-time ovulation and lengthened luteal phase, but I'm happy that it didn't need additional "prompting."

So, the doubled dose of Clomid starts on Monday, and I have an ultrasound scheduled for November 15. My outlook for the near future: cramps for the next two days, followed by complete emotional and physical upheaval for a week, followed by increasingly uncomfortable "pelvic fullness" for the week after that. And if I'm lucky, the pelvic fullness will be evenly distributed this time. Fun stuff.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

To Tell, or Not to Tell

S. and I have been talking a lot lately about whether to tell anyone about the infertility mess that we're going through. So far, we haven't told anyone, but as treatments disrupt our daily lives more and more, it becomes harder to keep it to ourselves.

When we first started trying, we didn't tell anyone, because that always seemed odd to me. ("Mom, guess what! We're gonna start having unprotected sex! Thought you'd want to know.") When that wasn't working, we still didn't tell anyone, because, well, there was nothing to tell. ("Guess what! We're still not pregnant. But you already knew that.") When we went to the doctor, we decided to wait to tell anyone until we actually had a diagnosis to share, and a plan for getting around it. And now, at any given time, in any given cycle, we're hoping that in a few short weeks, we WILL be pregnant, and in the mean time, I don't want to be constantly answering questions ("No, we're not pregnant yet. Thanks so much for asking. Again.") So, nobody knows.

Some of my friends have noticed the side effects of the drugs, or at least my avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, and pain-killers, so many of them seem to think that I am already pregnant but haven't announced it yet. (You'd think that, after observing what they think are first-trimester symptoms for 4 or 5 months in a row, with me not saying anything and certainly not showing, that they'd realize they were wrong....) Some of them have even asked S. if I'm pregnant -- he has mastered getting a shocked look on his face and saying "What?!? Who's the father???"

In the mean time, almost every single one of our friends has had a baby (3 newborns in the last 3 months alone). And they have all taken it upon themselves to try to convince us to have children, so it's all we hear about whenever we get together. S.'s parents are even worse -- the constant guilt trip to provide them with grandkids is particular tough to take when I just want to scream, "We're trying! We're trying! Leave us alone already!" (If we told them the truth, though, I think that the pity and constant questions would be even harder to take....) So, our silence continues.

Thanksgiving this year will probably be the toughest. When we saw my in-laws this summer, they were ruthless in dropping hints, bringing up children, making passive-aggressive comments, .... They push harder each time we see them, and the presense of a newborn being brought by their "adopted son" (D., one of S.'s best friends from grade school) will make the issue that much more at the forefront. When hearing that D. was coming to Thanksgiving with his 3-month-old, my mother-in-law's reaction was that she was thrilled that somebody was bringing an infant, so that the family would finally have someone to coo over and entertain them during the holiday. Point taken.