Ghost ovulation

I decided to give away my Cherry Blossom 10 Mile race ticket a few months ago, thinking it wouldn’t be a good idea to train for a race while trying to conceive. The race is 10 days, and…I’m not pregnant.

I’m not going to go on and on about how much you put your life on hold when you are waiting for the magical BFP. The sun still rises and sets and time marches forward no matter where you are at any given time. That’s kind of where I am now with my TTC journey.

My wife and I have been TTC since September. Among other roadblocks, we’ve encountered the following: 3 times the sperm count was lower than 5 million; one time my uterine lining was too thin (Clomid); one month we were out while we waited to see if either of us carry a genetic disease; and most recently, I developed a cyst as a side effect of taking Femara. AF arrived 3 days ago, but I never got the (+) OPK, so that leaves me to conclude the following: a) I need to test sooner than day 10, despite the insistence of the fertility clinic; b) the cyst impacted the LH surge showing up on the kit; c) I missed the surge due to not testing multiple times a day.

When people advise you to stop worrying, don’t you feel like if you don’t worry, you’ll not be sharp enough to consider all of these possiblities?!

Despite the chronic TTC headache, I continue to feel hopeful about one day getting that BFP and finally becoming a mother.

 

Scared to loosen my grip

As many women in the TTC journey have mentioned, you will never be happier to get your period than when one of your IUIs has failed and you have to start over. Because when you get your period, that is Day 1 of what will hopefully be your last IUI cycle!

I got my period this morning. And am very grateful for that.

Switching gears…

I have been struggling to chill. the (#_!. out. Maybe that has something to do with the copious snow days we’ve been having down here, and a little too much time to think. But when loved ones advise me to step back and let go, I simply cannot.  Here’s why:

  1. I have an ICI vial and wanted to know if it would be smarter to just use it at home or have the clinic wash it and do another IUI. The doctor apparently needed 2 full business days to get back to me, and that was after leaving 4 messages.
  2. The Ovidrel I just bought has a bold “REFRIGERATE UPON PURCHASE” sticker on it. Funny, b/c the last couple Ovidrel I purchased didn’t have these stickers, so I put them in the bathroom cupboard.  IS THIS WHY I AM NOT PREGNANT?
  3. My donor had 4.5 million sperm. Not the 5 million minimum. How do I make sure the next vial has more? And if it has less? Who can I blame if they only guarantee 12 million PRE-wash?  Hence my predicament in #1.
  4. Wife and I have to fill out yet another waiver saying we know Femara is being used for its off-label purpose. It said we had to get the form notarized. Really? Something else that a witness needs to see both of our hands sign? But no–upon confirmation with the nurse, just our signatures suffice.
  5. Femara is not available at my pharmacy ’til Monday. But what if I start my period Friday (today?). I will need to take it Sunday. Nurse won’t call me back.
    1. Sure enough, period started this morning and after blowing up my nurse’s phone, she had the scrip sent to a different pharmacy that has it in stock.
  6. I have to go to LabCorp to renew a few labs so the clinic knows I didn’t suddenly contract HIV. But the LabCorp that is conveniently next to my clinic flooded, so don’t use that one. I hope the lab work actually makes its way back to the clinic, since that was a fiasco when I went through this in August.

I feel like one of those awful parents that my coworkers and I dread working with at our school. Who wants to be micromanaged and hounded all day? But I feel like if I am not 10 steps ahead of these providers, things will fall through the cracks, and we’ll miss a cycle due to a sloppy mistake.

I woke up at 3 AM today since I have been sick with a bad cold and couldn’t stop spinning these items around my head. I vacillate between wanting to cuss out someone at the clinic (this is just a fantasy that I like to play in my head–I don’t think I would be capable), burst into tears, breathe a sigh of relief, and just quit trying to get pregnant.

For now, the dust has settled and my questions have been answered at long last.  But I can’t help but feel like that is because I have kept an iron grip on it all.

 

BFN.

Right now I want to find any excuse I can to be mad at anyone and everyone. Why do people in the baby making community insist on using these stupid acronyms? Why was my doctor so blasé when our donor’s last vial came out under 5 million motile sperm post wash? Why did public school sex education scare the crap out of me about having unprotected sex? I could go on…

To date, my wife and I have had (probably) 4 unsuccessful pregnancy attempts. September it failed because the sample only had 2 million motile sperm, and they suggest at least 5 for IUI success; October, we had an unmedicated natural cycle that flopped; November, we had a medicated IUI–where I produced 6 fat follicles, might I add–fail; December we took off for genetic screening (and neither wife nor I carry the recessive gene for galactosemia like our donor does, thank goodness); and this month we’ve tried again, medicated, but with only 4.5 million motile sperm.  And I took a pregnancy test this morning and…it was negative.

I get a blood test tomorrow to confirm there is nothing inhabiting inside of me, but that’s provided the Metro opens and I can get to the clinic.  See, we had a massive snowstorm and my car is completely buried…so there’s that.

Then I am checking my explanation of benefits, and can’t seem to figure out when we get covered IUIs. 6 attempts per live birth. Well, if we’re not seeing any live births, do we just keep going? I don’t really know.

I’ve dutifully eaten my pineapple core. I have eaten warm foods and eliminated coffee from my diet. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I exercise regularly. Get a decent amount of sleep. I am under 35.

I can’t play God. This entire journey is going to be filled with ups, downs, and surprises in between. So I just keep living life and forging ahead.  I hope my little blog helps other frustrated women out there who are trying to have a baby and running into roadblocks.  Many of you whose blogs I have recently discovered have really been helping me:)

 

 

Let’s have a baby!

My wife and I have been married a year and a half and are trying to have a baby. If you’re on our site, you probably are, too! On a whim, I’ve decided to start a blog about it and hope it might help another woman (or women).

I’ll start by saying all of those teen/early twenties years I spent terrified I was pregnant because a condom *might have slipped off* or things got a *little too hot and heavy, a little too fast* are making me feel really silly, in retrospect. Turns out it’s not that easy to get pregnant (well, not for me).

I will call my wife  “N” from here on out. N let me take the lead on finding the right sperm donor, which spared her a lot of time researching but led to a lot of obsessing on my part.  “Is this guy 6’1″ or taller? What was his high school GPA? Is his voice pleasant? Is he CMV negative?” (Pretty sure even with my past serious boyfriends that last one never came up).  Long story short, we found the PERFECT guy!

The problem with said perfect guy? The sperm bank advertised him as having plenty of samples, but he actually had none. Well, he had one, in Canada at some satellite site.  And it was a sample taken in 2002.  So the sperm count was 2 million, which I now know makes you about as likely to get pregnant as a straight couple doing the deed in their jeans would be…

Still, we went ahead and did unmedicated IUI #1–that resulted in a BFN. The disappointment was there, but I was prepared enough to know the odds weren’t in our favor.  Plus, during the 2ww I found an even better candidate.

The  next month we went ahead with unmedicated IUI#2 with the new donor and a healthy 9 million sperm count. BFN again. I hardly remember how I felt about that…because my feelings about IUI #3 eclipse everything.

I went in for an ultrasound and blood work, and my doctor put me on Clomid to stimulate my eggs and maybe up my odds of getting a BFP.  N gave me the trigger shot to induce ovulation, and you can imagine my excitement to learn I had 6 ripe follicles hanging out in my ovaries.  Now I was busy imagining N and I walking down the street with a tandem stroller and smiling as neighbors cooed at how adorable baby Avery and Naomi or Dominic and James (or were we more interested in Wesley?) were.  I could imagine my aunt passing the pumpkin pie to my father as  N would proudly stand up and say, “O and I have an announcement to make–we’re having twins!

So when N and I took the pregnancy test just this past Saturday and we saw a BFN, my heart sank.  Sure, 6 follicles didn’t guarantee multiples, but not even one baby?  I couldn’t imagine why the clinic sat me down and made me feel like at least one baby was guaranteed. Actually, working for a public school system I do know a little bit about CYA, so I suppose my question is answered.  But what about  my late period? Oh, I guess those progesterone supplements I have been putting up my hoo-hah every twelve hours explain my missed period. Who knew?

So here I am, typing away at my laptop while my Husky waits for me to feed her. N is in New York for work ’til Friday. I have a volunteer thing in two hours. It’s this kind of time in the day–after work but before the next thing–that I find myself struggling to keep my mind of all things baby and TTC.

In the meantime, I will wait for AF. I will try not to obsessively Google things like “pineapple core and IUI success.”  I will try to remember that God is in control and will ultimately decide when and if a pregnancy is in the cards for N and me.

But since I know I have trouble quieting my mind during what could be a longer journey than anticipated, I hope writing about it will bring comfort and support to other women out there who are feeling the same way.