Sunday, August 7, 2016

Baby Bomb

MARCH 7, 2016

DH and I have been TTC since Jan 2015, and it's not the first time someone I know has announced they're pregnant or had a baby, but this is the first time that it's really hurt.

The person I heard it from is a long time friend from my home country. She and I chat (type) a couple of times a month via an app on our phones so I knew she and her DH were TTC and she knows we've been TTC (but not that we have now started fertility treatment)... but I never considered she'd get pregnant first.

I never thought about them TTC (why would I, that would be odd), but I now realise that in the back of my mind I just expected it would take her a while, just like it's taking us a while.

I think perhaps the way she told me, the callous manner (I'm sure that's just how I took it), is why it's hit me so hard. We last spoke a couple of weeks ago and today she simply said "How's things" and when I replied with "same old same old" she just blurted out "I actually have news..... I'm pregnant and Baby X is due in September". I said congratulations of course, but that's all. We continued to talk and at least she never asked after our TTC but... I just cried.

Why is my body failing me? I know I'm having a bit of a teenage strop about it but it's just not fair! I could go into every other mean and spiteful thing that's running through my head about her husband and their relationship... but I know those negative thoughts are simply jealousy. I would hate for her to know that's how I feel about it. I feel terrible for not being as happy for her as I know I should be, but I'm just not ready.

I think in truth I've noticed our friendship changing a lot and I think this will drive a bigger wedge between us.

Anyway, I don't think I really wanted anything from this except to write down how I'm feeling so anyone else feeling this way knows they're not alone. It doesn't make us bad people, it makes us human. I just try and remember other people's lifestyle choices are not mine. Their reproductive choices do not affect mine, and just because someone else is pregnant doesn't mean I won't ever be or can't be. It doesn't mean I'm less deserving of a baby... not that that helps that immediate feeling of failure, but I hope to get there eventually.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Fertility Testing - August/September 2015

Before I begin, it's important to note that I'm overweight. I know I'm overweight and I've been anxious this whole time that no matter what I go to the doctor for (fertility or otherwise) that my weight will be a cause. I know I should lose weight and I'm working on it, but I didn't want to hear that I should try to lose weight first before they'd do any tests...

08/21/15 - Doctor visit (Goal: ask for fertility tests)

Happy to report my doctor never mentioned weight as a problem! She said normally their first step is to advise you to use OPK's to check for the LH surge and as I told her I already am/have she okay'd the next step. She also mentioned stopping the BBT and just focusing on the OPK's.

She gave me lab slips for:
- Semenalysis for DH
- Pelvic ultrasound on any of CD's 4 through 7 [check ovarian reserve]
- Blood draw testing for: AntiMullerian Hormone, Glucose (fasting), Insulin (total), T4 free and TSH.

She said that the blood tests should take about a week to get the results back so I'm having them done tomorrow as I'm CD24 tomorrow. I need to fast from 10pm onwards so I think a Saturday is the easiest for me to avoid questions from work.

They're also testing me for hypothyroidism so we'll see how that goes. I'm glad we're doing all the testing at once but as you all know I'm in the US so we shall see what this all costs (we do have insurance thankfully but the deductible isn't low ).

08/22/15 - Blood test (CD24)

Took 2 vials of blood. Was told they need to send off for them. Should take about a week to get those results

08/29/15 – Blood test results

- Antimullerian Hormone: 3.35 ng/ml
- Insulin total: 20.5 (I only fasted for 8/9 hours, instead of the 12-14...)
- Glucose: 95
- FT4: .90 ng/ml
- S-TSH: 2.05 international units/ml

All normal

08/31/15 - Period started

09/04/15 - Ultrasound & doc visit (CD5)

8am: Ultrasound to check my reserves. Started internal but had trouble finding ovaries. Abdominal one (fatter ended wand) found them much easier.

8:30am: Doc visit to talk about results. Saw Dr. Naylor. He didn't explain the results outside of "normal". Said he wouldn't order a "dye test" until after we'd been trying a year and after DH has received his sperm analysis results. Asked to test progesterone and he gave me test slip. Needs to be done 7 days after OPK peak (so CD27).

Results of Ultrasound were sent to me via the patient portal. 4 follicles on one ovary, 5 on the other which is normal for someone my age.


Rather than waiting until I have the Day 21 bloods (7 days after positive OPK so actually Day 27 for me on a typical cycle) I've decided to post this post now. The initial bloods cost just under $400.00 so I decided to wait for the rest until the start of the year and a new deductible.

The same for DH's sperm analysis... too close to the end of the year so January is our month (unless we get pregnant on lucky month 12!)

12 Months of TTC - A Reflection on the Process

It’s just crazy to think that this month represents 12 months since we started trying to conceive, and in another 12 months, who knows where we will be?! Will I be pregnant, or will we have a child or will we still be TTC and trying to find help with it?

I decided to write this post to talk about how I'm feeling right now, 12 months in and not even a hint of a positive HPT and to maybe show other people that they’re not alone if they feel the same or similar.

For the last few months I’ve honestly been trying not to think about it too much. Before beginning this journey I never considered that we might have to think about IVF or IUI as an option for us (especially IVF). I really thought it would just happen naturally, and admittedly, months before now.  Still, and I’m not really sure why, I just have this feeling that while it might take meds, it will happen for us and that having a child is just something that is in our future.

I look up videos that talk about how it felt to "finally" be pregnant in an attempt try and channel their positive feelings and to try and imagine how it will finally feel for us.  Most videos seem to be posted after people have finally got their BFP and it's rare to see ones posted in the middle of it and trying for that first child so admittedly I struggle to find someone who I truly relate to.  I'm sure that's because people don't think others want to read those negative posts, or watch those sad videos, but also because it's hard to admit how vulnerable you are and to really analyse how you're feeling when you're trying very hard to remain positive.

DTD for the first time knowing that we were unprotected, and attempting to make a child… that right there was just mind blowing.  I was filled with some many different emotions; happy and positive, but also a little scared and nervous. Finally pulling that trigger (so to speak) and realising that we’re on the cusp of a whole new chapter of our life together. First there was love, then there was marriage and now we’re working on bringing the baby carriage...

The first cycle out of the gate we put our all into it. I was taking pre-natal vitamins, doing OPK's and checking BBT. I was feeling really positive, because, after all, it's drummed into you that no birth control = pregnancy. I was utterly convinced that we had been successful that first month because I had nausea, bloating and heartburn etc.  I knew that period symptoms are often the same as pregnancy symptoms but it didn’t make me any less surprised when my period started, I was just SO convinced!

As the months passed I started to learn more about the process… how there are only about 3 fertile days per cycle with a 20% chance and that it’s “normal” for it to take, on average, 12 months to conceive. I learnt more about IVF, IUI, AI, herbal supplements and medications than I thought I’d ever need to know about. I also found out that it's perfectly normal to skip 2 cycles per year. While I personally haven’t skipped a cycle in the last 12 months (I did skip one in October prior to TTC), I did have 2 cycles where I was about 2 weeks late. When it happened the first time I read so much information online that said sometimes people don't get positive urine tests despite being pregnant so I had a blood test done and of course it was negative. The second time I didn't bother with a blood test and decided to wait until the next time my period was due... it only took 2 weeks.

In August I decided to have some hormones checked, including my thyroid as well as having an ultrasound to check my egg reserve. Thankfully, my tests came back normal but I did find myself hoping that they would find something small (and treatable with just a tablet) wrong… something to explain why there's been nothing and not even a hint of a something. 

So lately I try and think positive and wonder what I'll be like when I'm pregnant (see… optimist!). Will I be "crazy" hormonal? Will I get bad morning sickness? Will my belly get big out front or out to the side (the latter is how my mother carried me)? Will I have hip issues? C-section or natural labor? And of course I can’t forget the standard “I wonder what the baby will look like” thoughts. My husband and I are both brunette’s with blonde siblings. We both have hazel eyes but I have brown eyes in my family… it’s fun to predict J

I imagine what it'll be like to get that BFP... and I try and remain positive. I imagine how I’d make the announcement to our friends/family, whether I’d call my husband at work, go into work like normal or call in sick? Could I keep it quiet for the “standard 12 weeks"?... probably not! I'd probably end up telling at least couple of people who already know we're TTC. In fact, I actually have a list of people I need to tell and my approximate method/timeframe of telling them. There are some people I’d have to tell last because once they knew, everyone will know.

So, here I am, currently 4DPO in our 12th month of TTC and if we "fail" this cycle we'll continue with fertility testing next year (I still need to check progesterone and husband has his sperm test) and hopefully start a round of clomid to encourage ovulation.

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later updating with my “how I knew I was pregnant” story. But if not, I’ll be back at some point to continue the stories of the journey.

AI - artificial insemination
BBT - basal body temperature - in my case, orally
BFP - big fat positive, i.e. positive pregnancy test
CD - cycle day
Cycle - A cycle is counted from the first day of your period until the day before your period starts again (typically around 28 days, mine is more like 32)
DTD - doing the deed, i.e. "sex"
FB - Facebook
HPT - home pregnancy test
IUI - intra uterine insemination
IVF-  in vitro fertilisation
OPK - ovulation predictor kit
OV - ovulation
Rod - Implanon birth control rod
TTC - trying to conceive

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ovulation Tracking - Week 6 (Period begins)

Well this week of testing was kind of sucky. First three days I was still menstruating. My period ran like it used to, 5 days. Day 1 was light, 2 & 3 were medium-heavy and 4 & 5 were light again.

I skipped a day of testing every other day after my period. For no other reason that I didn't set the alarm property and kept forgetting.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ovulation Tracking - Week 5

I think I jinxed myself with my last post when I talked about not having a period, because this week, Aunt Flo came to town!

It started with a little spotting the night of May 11, nothing that I was too worried about. On the morning of May 12 I didn't have too many issues but by later that day, oh my god the cramping! It made sleeping that night difficult (even with meds) and the following day and night as well.

It wasn't anything more than I remember from before implanon, so it was expected, but the medication I used in Australia (Ponstan aka mefenamic acid) is only available by prescription here and I didn't see a doctor to get any (I did ask my ObGyn when I got my rod out but she wanted me to try the normal stuff first). None of the other meds helped (Tylenol, Aleve, Ibuprofen) so I'm hoping to see the doc before next month to get some Ponstel (that's what it's called here).

Anyway, I expect this to last about 5 days so May 16 should be my last day. May 12 is my "cycle day 1" and my app says I'm expecting I should ovulate around the 25th. Time will tell!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ovulation Tracking - Week 4

Week 4 is over and all negative. Day 1 is left over from ovulating which is why it's a little darker than the rest (but still not as dark as the previous day).

Initially I had intended to stop testing now (only testing for 28 days) but on speaking with my husband, we decided to at least test until I ovulate again (and a few days after) to get the best idea of the cycle because I have yet to have a period.

If I do end up having a period between now and when i next ovulate (predicted in 8 days according to my app) then I'll still continue to when I ovulate so that I can have a better idea of my cycle length.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ovulation Tracking - Week 3 (Positive OPK)

Well! After the drama of Day 1 of Week 2 (April 16th) and not being sure whether I ovulated or not, I now know for sure that I DID ovulate this week on Day 7!

It's really obvious (now that I've seen it) that the previous result was definitely not a positive BUT it definitely indicated something (a surge but perhaps not ovulation) because the symptoms from my day of ovulation on the 29th were very similar to the 16th, bar one major difference, painful ovaries... And my word was my left one sore on that day! It twinged while walking and I had a bath and took some ibuprofen before bed. It definitely reminds me of what pain I'm in for when I have my period (I always have a painful first day).

So, mark your calendars (okay well I will) approximately 2 weeks from that date, we're hoping to start my period (and I haven't hoped for that ever before!). This should indicate that the implanon hormones are definitely out of my system. Just seeing the positive OPK gives me hope that conceiving won't be the mammoth task I've convinced myself it will be.