"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.”

Motherhood after Infertility and Parenting a child with ASD


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CD 10

Happy Sunday friends!

I finished up my 5 days worth of Clomid on Friday night. I didn’t/don’t have any symptoms which is great. I have some random pressure/pain in my lower abdomen and my left boob seems bigger and occasionally has a twinge of pain but I don’t know if that has anything to do with the Clomid. I am really hoping that I am not overstimulating…Today is CD 10 and on Tuesday (CD 12) I will be going in for my follow-up ultrasound and bloodwork. Then maybe Thursday or Friday we will be okay to move forward with the IUI!

Tomorrow I should get the rest of my bloodwork back from last week and I hope that everything is normal. After last week’s elevated liver tests (AST and ALT) I called and asked if I should continue the Milk Thistle (used for liver function) that I have been taking for a couple months. Dr. M said that I can continue taking what I am taking (Omega 3’s and prenatals) but to stop the Milk Thistle. So I stopped that immediately but I am nervous about the rest of the liver panel that should be back tomorrow. They said that if the rest of the panel is ok, I wont need to go to a specialist but if something else is off that I will need to go 😦 All the other tests should be back too. 

My mother came in for the weekend and while it was nice for her to be here, she made me a little more nervous than I already was/am. She kept telling me to prepare myself for it not to work and then in the next breath telling me to be positive. I know I have said it 100 times but I just want to get to the procedure. Then I can worry about it working or not. One step at a time. The only thing that I am doing to “prepare” is that I am going to make my favorite soup tonight and freeze it so the day of the procedure I can still eat healthy and wont have to cook. I can take it out of the freeze that morning and then E can heat it up while I stay on the couch. So I guess I am staying positive in the sense that I am planning for the procedure to happen 🙂 Lets hope that really does happen!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! The rest of the day today will be spent enjoying the wonderful weather, catching up on all the new fall shows that we recorded this past week and relaxing before this crazy week starts! 


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E is in a good mood

So today was E’s follow up appointment with the urologist today. We got the results of the semen analysis and there is an improvement 🙂 He went from 0% morphology to 2% morphology. All his other counts are in the normal range. I’ll take it! E is beyond excited about it. He is in the best mood he has been in, in a long time. It’s nice to see him so jovial. 

In other news, I can’t stop obsessing over my liver function numbers. I called my GYN who ran the first two sets of tests and compared them to the numbers I got back yesterday:

May 9th
AST – 38
ALT – 60

July 9th
AST – 36
ALT – 60

Sept 23
AST – 60
ALT – 133

They have essentially doubled and I dont know what on earth has changed. Dr. M said that I can still continue with the cycle. The rest of my liver panel results wont be back until next week. At that time, if any of the other levels are elevated he will send me to a liver specialist to possibly have a liver ultrasound and/or biopsy. I am confused though. If it is a concern (which it sounds like it is) why would he allow me to continue the cycle? It leads me to either believe that 1) he thinks that if the liver thing is an issue it could be treated in tandem with a pregnancy, if the IUI is successful or 2) he doesn’t even think that the IUI will have a chance at working. 

I don’t know. I am obsessing and need to stop. My mother and father are doctors and they both say that even an ALT of 133 can still be considered normal but that we would probably need to do a 4th draw to make sure it isnt an anomaly that they doubled in 2 months. I guess I am just going to wait for the panel to come back and see what they say. Nothing else I can do.

The clomid is going fine. So far, no side effects… fingers crossed that continues! 


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And we are a go!

I feel like I am in a wind storm. Everything is going so fast. I am totally happy but somewhat freaked out by the prospect of the possibility that this month could have a different outcome than the last 2 years of trying. 

I got to the office bright and early and they were pretty busy but you could tell that they have been doing this for a long time. It was super efficient! I had my ultrasound first and I had an amazing tech. She explained every little thing that was up on the screen. I have a perfectly formed uterus and the interior line looks right too. I do have a 1inch cyst on my right ovary. She said she wasnt sure if it was active or not so I am not really sure what that means. She said that the little black dots were follicles but couldn’t count as its too early to determine which ones would/could grow for this cycle but she said things look good. So I am happy about that.

After that, I was essentially interrogated about did I REALLY want the genetics testing. After signing two additional consent forms I asked what the big deal was about the test and the nurse couldn’t really give me an answer, just that they needed additional information for that test but whatever. Down to the lab I went, 7 vials of blood later and then I went to wait for the pharmacy to open. That is one of the awesome things about this RE being in a hospital… everything is right there  I was the first in line and they had my Ovidrel shot ready so I just paid and left!

At 3 this afternoon I got the call from the nurses that my FSH and Estradiol numbers were normal (4 and 36 respectively) and that my prescription for Clomid is in and I can start tonight!! I am to return on October 1st for the followup ultrasound. 

It probably seems silly to be so excited about the prospect of a different outcome but I am allowing myself to embrace it and take the bits of nerves, worry and freaking out with it. I passed the first hurdle today! I am going to put that in the win column and just take every step/appointment at a time and not think too far ahead 🙂

 


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Nervous with a dash of excitement

Tomorrow morning is fast approaching and as we are getting closer and closer the amount of nervous anxiety that is bubbling up within me grows more and more. 

Friday night E and I had date night. It was really nice. We went to Buca Di Beppo for some amazing italian. If you have never been, it is, in my opinion, a stereotypical over-the-top italian restaurant in terms of the decor. There are old fashion pictures covering every inch of the walls and it is just jam packed with stuff. I love the atmosphere and the food is delicious. As we were seated I looked up to see the artwork now infront of me and this was staring me right in the face…

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I started laughing and E looked at me quizzically. All I could do was point and smile. After looking he turned back to me and I just said, ‘maybe it’s a sign…’ I got into this whole conversation with him about ‘what if this actually works?!’ I told him that I have been trying really hard to be positive like he has asked me to and it has into genuine hope. I really think this is going to work and I am going to be devastated, crumbled up on the floor when/if it doesn’t. I said that it would be easier for me to be my pessimistic self and not have the heartache. I have had enough of that, I don’t want any more. 

I went to my pharmacy today to pick up the Clomid that they were suppose to have called in on Friday and low and behold the pharmacy doesn’t have a record of a prescription being called in for me 😦 Of coarse they don’t. So instead of saving some additional time tomorrow and getting back to work as soon as I can I am going to have to take more time out of my work day. Oh well… nothing I can do about it. I should have followed my guy instinct and called friday to double check but I didn’t. I will know for next time!

So, as I head into tomorrow morning’s blood work and ultrasound I am unbelievably nervous but also have a small glimmer of utter excitement. I at least want to make it to the IUI and not have it be cancelled. I want this cycle to be successful. I pray that this cycle is successful. If it’s not, I will pick myself up off the floor and do it again and again and again. If IUI doesn’t work, then we will move onto IVF. If this cycle isn’t successful, it won’t be the end of the world but it will hurt like hell. As long as I am prepared for that, I think I’ll be ok. 


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Finally!

So it feels like it has been forever since I went to the RE on 9/5… how has it only been 2 weeks? Really? Just 15 days ago we met with him for the first time and got this plan in place. Damn am I impatient and I know I have no right to be…

I have been spotting since Wednesday when I woke up and have been physically sitting on my hands trying not to be over zealous and call screaming “my period started! When do you want me?!!?!?” I was nervous over the fact that we were approaching the weekend and there was no way in hell I was going to miss my window. Absolutely not. I did end up calling voicing my nervousness and they gave me an action plan for if I get my “full flow” for each day leading up till Monday. I felt a little better but was frustrated with my body… come on already!!!

I woke up in the middle of the night and there was essentially nothing there. I was bummed but was able to fall back asleep about an hour later. When I woke up for the day I was sure that nothing would have changed and I would still be in my spotting phase but low and behold I would definitely count this as a “light” day 1! I called as soon as I could and left a message telling them what I am suppose to tell them and anxiously waited a call back. About 2 hours later a lovely nurse called and told me they want me bright and early Monday morning 😀 I am a little worried since that will be CD 4 but they said that they can get the same information that they normally get on CD 3, on CD 2 or 4 so I am a little less worried about it.

I have a TON of blood work scheduled to be drawn and then I will go for my baseline ultrasound. She is going to call in my Clomid prescription but was very stern about absolutely not starting it until I get a call monday afternoon with my u/s and blood work results. I guess some people can get excited and take it early… I would totally never do that… Also she said she was going to call in my Ovidrel (HCG injection to trigger ovulation) but not to my regular pharmacy. They have one on the hospital grounds and she said they have a cash price of $36! That’s amazing because the couple of pharmacy’s around my house said it would be around $125. The only down side is that their pharmacy doesnt open till 8am so I am going to have to stay a little bit longer after my bloodwork and u/s in order to not make an unnecessary trip out there (its about a 45 minute ride). But I think it is worth it to save almost $100!

I am so happy to be moving. So so happy. I have been working on staying positive and I think that E has been appreciative about it. I called him after I got off the phone with the nurse to tell him the good news and he seemed to perk up at me sounding happy. I have even been looking at cute baby things on the internet that I havent let myself do in months. For the first time in quite a while I feel a little bit of hope. Do I think that this first IUI cycle is going to work? I don’t know. I will be happy if I just get through the cycle and it isnt cancelled and then I will have two full weeks to wonder whether or not it actually worked. As much as I am telling myself that I won’t symptom spot or go crazy during the 2ww, I know I will. Even if I think it doesn’t work, I know I will drive myself nutty. The joys of infertility; driving women crazy since the beginning of time!


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Adjusting to the new normal

It has been 5 days since we lost Petey and it is still so fresh. I was finally able to tell my mother about how everything went on Saturday when we put him down without being so hysterical that she couldnt understand me. I miss him so much. The house isn’t the same without him in it. The other dogs are starting to adjust without him. They are looking for him less and less and seem to be adapting just fine. I still expect to turn around in the middle of my work day and see him sprawled out in the middle of the room or snuggling on the chair with atleast one of the other dogs.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures I took one day when I was working. He is the big boy in the middle 🙂

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It’s weird only filling 3 food bowls. It’s weird putting the little ones out back and not seeing my big boy follow them around. It’s weird that his ottoman is empty all the time (yes, he had an entire ottoman to himself, not just a dog bed). I miss his big head greeting me at the door and his incredibly strong tail hitting me and causing bruises on my thigh because he was so happy about something. I miss him smiling (he would lift his lips and show his front teeth) and bringing me a toy when he was so excited. I just overall miss him dearly. I hope he is in peace and resting comfortable, cancer free.

Adjusting to the new normal around here hasn’t been easy but each day the pain heals a little bit more.


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Good bye, sweet boy

Today we let our beautiful ~11 year old pit bull go. Over the last two weeks since his diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors in his stomach, liver and spleen he has declined rapidly and it was time. He had the look in his eyes that he was ready and his body was definitely not going to last much longer. He hadn’t eaten an actual meal in almost three weeks and was essentially a walking skeleton with fur and a big belly full of tumors. The vet assured me he wasn’t in any true pain but still, not having the zest to eat? I know I feel like shit when I dont even want to look at food. All I have done today is cry

Last night we put him up in bed with us for some extra snuggle time and he loved it. He just gobbled up the extra love and attention. He went to his bed around 11:30 and slept till about 7 when we got up for the day. It was pure agony waiting until 10:30 to leave for our appointment.  We got to the vet and E walked him in the huge open field next to the building while I went in and took care of the bill. I was a blubbering mess. When I was done they told me that I could go right into one of the rooms and we didnt have to wait in the communal waiting room, I was grateful for that. 

E and I got some quality last minute time with our boy. Hugging him, kissing him, telling him what a good boy he was. He seemed confused but enjoyed the scratches and kisses. The vet and an assistant came in and brought a nice fluffy blanket with them. The laid it out on the floor and we all got down with him. The vet asked if he had eaten anything and we said no, that we tried so many food options but nothing would entice his appetite. She smiled and said, “lets try cat treats… at this point it doesnt matter and most dogs go crazy for them.” Well, let me tell you, that dog ate 5 handfuls worth of cat treats. He loved them. After that, we started the process and right after the needle went in but before she started the medication he looked me dead in the eye for about 5 seconds and then turned his head and did the same to E. Immediately after his head started to be too heavy for him to hold up and so I supported it into my lap as I continuously kissed his forehead. 

It was so fast and he seemed so at peace I know we made the right decision to not prolong his life any longer. He was not his happy puppy self anymore, his quality of life was just not there. The vet and assistant left E and I alone then and said we could have as much time as we needed. We spent another 2-3 minutes with him and then trying to compose ourselves before leaving him there and coming home. 

The other dogs know something is up. Whether they know he isnt coming home or they are just reading our somber moods, they have been really well behaved and laid back. It was really hard packing up his crate and putting his food bowls away. E is taking it hard. I can’t remember the last time I have seen him cry, let alone break down like he did today. It sucks. Utterly sucks. 

My dogs are like my children. They are family members that rely on me for food and their care. They bring so much joy and, at times, so much frustration. In the grand scheme of things, they are with us for such a short amount of time. To love something so much and know that you have such a limited amount of time with them is heartbreaking to think about. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. My dogs are spoiled rotten and have such a wonderful home. They bring me so much love and happiness that the good will always outweigh the bad and I know I will always have atleast one furry friend by my side. 

So, good bye my sweet, gentle, lovable, giant. I love you so much and I miss you like crazy already. I hope that you feel no more pain. Please know your mommy and daddy will never forget just how amazing you were. 

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Impatient and trying to be more positive

I have never wanted my period to start so much in my entire life. I am only on CD24 but every time I go to the bathroom I anxiously await to see if it has started… talk about a lunatic. 

Since I dont have a normal cycle I have been mapping out when I could possibly start and when I could maybe trigger. I have a huge client presentation on October 15th that there is no way I can miss so I am hoping and praying that it somehow misses that day. Any other day for the IUI but that one. 

E and I also had a conversation the other day about me being so pessimistic. I am that pain in the ass person who comments about the worst possible outcome as the first thing out of my mouth. I think that same way for all of this infertility bullshit. Whenever I talk about getting pregnant I always say “if/when I get pregnant…” or “when I get pregnant, if I am blessed enough to ever get pregnant…” I don’t do it to get peoples sympathy, especially because no one knows about our IF issues, I believe it is some type of coping mechanism in order for me not to get my hopes up. To keep my hope in check. Why should I do that? Don’t I deserve to hope? 

E finally got tired of it and told me that when we talk about babies/pregnancy I am not allowed to say it to him. He said that it pisses him off that I have doubt that it will happen. That if I want to think that, that’s fine but not to voice it to him because it stresses him out. I originally took that as he just didnt care about how I feel but when I actually thought about it I really do need to allow myself to be a little more hopeful. 

I know that first time IUI’s aren’t common and that there are a multitude of things that could go wrong for the cycle to be cancelled. I have been dwelling on that. Every night as I lay in bed I think about everything that could derail this upcoming cycle. However, the majority of these things are out of my control. I can have hope and I need to allow myself to feel it.

I have started googling first time IUI success stories and reading other people’s joy has aided in me feeling more positive. It CAN happen. It may not happen for me, but it can. I feel to focus on that. Focus on the 20ish% chance that it could happen. The doctor was surprised when I asked him how many times we would do IUI before moving to IVF, before even starting this whole process but that is how I was planning. I wasn’t giving IUI a chance. 

I am going to try my best to focus on the here and now. There are things I can not change and I am going to try to let those things go. They are out of my hands. I can control my behavior and my attitude and that is what I am going to try to do!

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Letting loose

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Last night was the first time in about 6 years that I have had more than one full glass of alcohol. I was a huge party girl when I was super young and by the time I was 20 I essentially stopped drinking. On my 21st birthday I didn’t even have a drink! Occasionally I will have a small glass of wine that takes me the entire night to drink or a mixed drink but it is a rare occasion.

After the news from the RE and me obsessing about everything that could cancel this upcoming IUI I felt like I really needed to calm down and just focus on having fun for a minute and last night gave me the perfect opportunity. The neighborhood had a 21+”crawl”. It is essentially several homes “host” coctails and finger foods/appetizers and you travel on foot from house to house only spending about 20 minutes per house. There were 10 of us who hosted and then the whole rest of the neighborhood was invited totaling around 45 people. This crawl was country themed and E and I chose Japan. We served sake sunrise cocktails and edamame! The whole thing was so much fun. 

For reasons mentioned above I really want to have a good time and boy did I! I drank at almost every house and then at the last house was the after party. That’s where shit got crazy 🙂 dancing, drinking, eating, laughing. We all had a blast. I seriously had SO MUCH FUN! I had a total of: 2 rum punches, a carribean sunrise, 6 sake sunrises (I think my drinks tasted the best 😉 ), 4 jello shots and about 7 apple pie shots. I remember the whole night and I didnt even have a hangover this morning! It was like riding a bike, I can still hold my liquor damn well 😀 A bunch of us girls were even throwing some light tumbling moves which was fun and hilarious. E on the other hand had a rough night and a rougher morning LOL Poor guy did drink more than me but he has been sick ever since we got home last night around 1am. Poor guy. 

I feel much lighter. A little more of a pep in my step. I think I just needed a stress free night of not thinking about wanting to be pregnant and have a baby or the upcoming cycle. It was 21+ so there were no kids and none of the pregnant women in the neighborhood came so I only saw adults. It was quite awesome. I hope I can keep this attitude for a while longer because I like it! Now I just have to really get back to my nutrition program. Last night was totally off the wagon!


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New Year, New Hope

I’m Jewish and today is the New Year. We are officially in 5774! With this new year it looks like I have some renewed hope for what I want most in this world.

This morning I woke up way before I needed to which was frustrating but I just couldn’t turn my mind off. I laid in bed just trying to relax as much I can and then I got up, cleaned the entire downstairs, took a shower, got dressed in the best “I am ready to be a mom” outflit, put my make-up on and did my hair. I made sure to wear my hamsa necklace (a symbol for luck and protection). I was done a whole hour before we actually had to leave. Cue the impatient waiting (turned out to be the theme of the day).

We ended up getting out there super early so we got to explore downtown Charlotte for a little while and had lunch at a cute sandwich shop then headed to the hospital. E’s semen analysis was at 12:30pm and we checked in at 12 so we did a little waiting but I brought my kindle and sat back, trying to relax and enjoyed my smutty book. His specimen retrieval was non-eventful and then we had an hour and half to wait. We walked to starbucks but there was no way I was going to get caffeine or sugar before the appt so I just went over my questions to the RE. Back upstairs we went and just sat and waited. There were 25 minutes late for my appt but it wasn’t too bad.

I really liked the doctor. He was nice, open and really positive (which gets on my nerves the majority of the time but was nice to see in a doctor that was going to get me pregnant). We spent an hour and 15 minutes in his office talking… and thats all that was done; talking. No exam, no bloodwork, nada. I was expecting something other than talking for the appt but that’s ok.

Here is the very short version of the plan: on my next cycle we will be doing IUI.

If you want to stop reading now, please feel free. The rest will just be a recap of what we discussed and the different kinds of blood work we will be doing 🙂

One of the first things we discussed was my weight. When we walked into his office he had a stack of things to give me, one of which was apparently a weight loss packet. Once we discussed what I had been doing and I showed him my print out of the decreasing numbers he pulled that packet out and put it back on his shelf because he said I was obviously aware of it and was doing an awesome job at it 😀 he even stood up and shook my hand telling me how great I was doing and that he thought the number on my chart from the OBGYN was wrong when I walked in because I didnt look like I weighed that. That was great to hear. So, so, great.

The only thing he was a little concerned with was my liver function being slightly elevated both times my GYN took blood (and it was the reason they stopped the metformin a couple months ago). We are going to do another liver function test when we draw blood in a couple weeks on CD3 to see what it’s at and then if it is still elevated to go to an outside source and try to find out the reason.

I was expecting him to say that we would need to do a couple cycles of clomid cycles on our own before going to IUI but when he said we would go straight to it I was pleasantly surprised. I asked him how many IUI cycles we would need to go through in order to go to IVF and he said 4. I can deal with that.

So here is the detailed plans:

I am slated to have my period start 9/24-9/28 (if I am not absurdly late again and I am hoping for it to be much earlier since 9/24 would be CD 38 but not getting my hopes up).

On CD 3 I go in for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork:

  1. FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
  2. Estradiol
  3. Testosterone
  4. DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate – used to evaluate adrenal function and to distinguish androgen-secreting conditions that are caused by the adrenal glands from those that originate in the ovaries or testes)
  5. CA-125 (cancer antigen 125 – test for ovarian cancer)
  6. AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone – measure ovarian reserve)
  7. Hep B
  8. Hep C
  9. Liver function test
  10. Genetic screening panel

At that appointment I will be given the clomid prescription and start taking it from day 3-7. After that I will be monitored via ultrasound and inject a trigger shot (Ovidrel) when my ovaries are ready. E and I will have to have sex that night and then 30-36 hours after the trigger shot my IUI will be performed.

That’s if it isn’t canceled by my body not responding to the clomid and assuming my bloodwork comes back ok.

I am excited. An actual step and its not just a step towards testing. It is a real plan. A real, tangible, potential for possibly getting pregnant. I know that a million things could go wrong between now and then and the success rate for IUI is no where near IVF but it is a step and I hope and pray that all my hopes and dreams come true for this new year!

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