Monday, November 29, 2010

Random

A few things that I have been up to lately . . . . .


Shopping Online, I LOVE Cyber Monday!

Working, we have been very busy lately (which is a good thing)

Pondering an unmonitored medicated cycle.

Getting ready for our company's Christmas Party, we go ALL out!  This year we are having it at a museum that will be decorated to look like a club!  I have my dress and figured out how I am doing my hair, so now I am ready to go!


                    Photo Courtesy of The Frazier Museum


I also have my friend's church's Christmas Tea, which I love!  Here are some pictures from last year's candy dreams theme, this year it will be Charles Dickens (I am soooo excited), I will post pics this weekend!


                   My Picture from Last Year, Amazing Isn't It?


These are some of our decorations!



And listening to Christmas music!  Unfortunately this morning they were playing that Wham Christmas song on the radio and I still have not been able to get it out of my head!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Little Reminders

Overall I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  We had some great family time, relaxation, and friend time!

However, I still had those little reminders, no matter how hard I tried to avoid/ignore them.

First on Wednesday night we went out with friends, two couples.  One couple with a 1.5 year old and the other with a 6 month old.  They don't know about us "trying", so I smiled and kept my game face on, but this is a quick summary. . . .
1. Somehow one of the girls must have misheard something and said Oh my god, you're pregnant, congratulations and then everyone else chimed in.  I truly do not know where she got this from, but she heard it in her head.  So I spent the next 20 minutes explaining to people that no, I was not pregnant.
2. Another girl kept telling me how she wished she hadn't have waited so long to have a baby and what a joy her baby is.
Again, I am not mad or frustrated with them, they have NO idea that we are trying.  In fact, they think we want to wait a while longer (because up until 1.5 years ago, we did and have never told anyone anything different).  But it was still a little hard, just because I wanted to have a night of fun, rather than think about all that.

On Thanksgiving day, my brother's girlfriend brought it up.  She also has no idea, so no fault, but just something I didn't want to talk about.

Today, my best friend's daughter's birthday party.  This time no one said anything or made any any remarks to me, but it was a little hard, because when you think of having children you think of their birthdays and Christmas, and Disneyworld.  So it was just one more reminder.

I am not in a bad place, but I guess just a little worn down.  And it's one more reminder of why I have recently (about a year) become a hermit.

And maybe you are wondering why I have not told so many people.  I don't like having to deal with the types of above mentioned comments, but I would rather put my brave face on and laugh through it than have people handle me with kiddie gloves or pity me or make decisions about what I can and can't handle.  Also, I feel like if they make these comments and don't know, then I won't be mad at them.  BUT if they do know and act like an asshole or be ignorant, then I know my feelings will be hurt and I will be mad at them.

I hope no one has any horror stories from this holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for . . . . . .

I am caving in and doing the Thankful post.  I do have a lot to be thankful for, I just have been so busy lately that I haven't had the chance to think about it.

I am thankful for
1. My husband, he is the best.  He knows how to handle my moods, can always make me laugh, and never judges me (no matter how awful, ridiculous, or feisty I am being).
2. I am thankful for my family.  We are pretty close knit.  I live very close to three of my brothers, dad, and step mom.  Unfortunately, my mom, step dad, and other brother are in Virginia.  Though I am grateful that we are able to visit often.
3. I am thankful for our house, I am very proud to have become a homeowner at a young age.
4. I am thankful for both Ray and I having jobs.  The economy is tough and I am glad we both have jobs that we enjoy (for the most part)!!
5. I am grateful my two kitties and pups!  They know how to cheer me up!
6. I am grateful for the ability to travel.
7. I am grateful for both mine and Ray's and my families' health.
8. I am grateful for the support, insight, and information I get from blogger, this is better and cheaper than therapy!
9. I am grateful my step mom is such a good cook, tomorrow we are having individual Cornish game hens with a cranberry glaze and oyster stuffing, mmmmm!

Hopefully I can add a baby to that list next year for me and some of you!

Happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Next Steps?????

It is so hard to decide what your next steps are going to be when going through IF, especially unexplained IF.  I can appreciate that we have only been going through this for a short while, compared to many other bloggers out there.  But it is still tough to make such large decisions, with such little information.

So far we have ruled out all of the main factors except for endo.  I do think I have endo, but not severe enough to go straight to a lap.  I have the heavy, long periods, TONS of cramping, major lower back pain when on my period, etc.  But since nothing was showing as damaged in my HSG or ultrasounds, there shouldn't be a HUGE concern, should there?

Also, should we just dive into IUI or keep trying on our own for awhile, since we could just be, as my doctor calls it, unlucky?

There is a part of me that thinks Clomid for the next three months might not be a bad idea, but since I have no trouble ovulating, would Clomid really be worth trying?

Sorry for the whining, I am on CD2 and sad and hormonal and confused.  I guess I am off to visit Dr. Google to get some of these questions answered!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November ICLW

Welcome to anyone who is reading this for ICLW.  I have only been blogging for about 6 weeks or so, but have been reading IF blogs for about six months now!

I realized how helpful reading blogs have been, so I decided to start writing one!

Here is a short version of our story. . . . .

DH and I dated for five years (exactly) before getting married on 5.12.07.  We wanted to enjoy marriage, focus on careers, travel and have fun before TTC. 

We started in July of 2009 (we waited until after our annual DMB concert).  Now 17 cycles later we are still trying.  We have been through the basic tests, blood work, ultrasounds, two SAs, HSG, and a visit with the Urologist.  So far nothing. 

Our plan is to have DH test for DNA Fragmentation and take male pre-natals.  We will probably try Clomid in January and February and if nothing then, do IUI in April or May.

That's about it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Have I Mentioed I Love Rachael Ray?

In an effort to not make this a blog just about infertility, I thought I would talk about some of the recipes I have tried and liked!

I plan my dinner menus out two to three weeks in advance (I am anal and Type A, I know).  Anyways each week I try to make one "new" dinner or bake something.  These have been my past few attempts and they were all delicious!

Lemon Chicken Fricassee with Biscuit Topping
This was delicious, but a bit too lemony for Ray, next time, I will use the juice of half the lemon.


I was so proud of my homemade biscuits, that I actually took my own picture!


Bean Taquitos with Cucumber Salsa
This was wonderful too, the only I did different was added browned ground turkey with taco seasoning.  Ray is a meat guy and would not have been happy without it!

                                                         Courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray
Light As Air Chocolate Mousse
Also delicious, the magazine says it is "Lite", as in relatively healthy.  I am not too sure of that, but it is good!

                                                        Courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do and it takes my mind off of other things so I appreciate it even more!

In other news, hubby and I are going to dinner and to see Harry Potter tonight! 

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great News . . . No not PG

We had a GREAT visit with the urologist today, other than the fact he was an hour and fifteen minutes late!

Before we get into any of the info, I have to include the pictures we took while waiting for him (we were bored and amused/frightened of these things).

This is what we first noticed, alot of unwrapped condoms!!!  We just kept trying to think of what in God's name those would be used for?????

We got our answer after more exploring . . . and boredom.

What that glove is covering is a rectal probe ultrasound thing.  DH was a little concerned, to say the least. 

Thank goodness they did not use it on him, but seeing that thing puts the vaginal ultrasound into perspective.

So back to the news of the appt.  The doctor was great!  He came in and started the appointment with saying you will be my easiest appt today!

We then went over the two semen analysis and Ray is above average in all categories (in a good way).  The doctor said there is no concern.  He explained that the viscosity should not prevent us from getting pregnant. 

He suggested Ray get his DNA Fragmentation tested, anyone else done this?  It is pretty easy, it's an at home kit where you swab your saliva and send it in.  It's about $150 and he said well worth, because if they find that it is, that will have a major impact on getting pregnant, even with an IUI.

We are also putting Ray on a 6 month supply of "male pre natal vitamins". 

So essentially the doctor told us we can keep trying on our own or try an IUI.  He said that based on what we have found from our testing (both mine and Ray's) there should be nothing stopping us from getting pregnant.  He also said he really thinks we should try awhile longer or do a couple of IUI's before doing lap.

So, for now, no new info!  We are just going to keep trying and decide on when we want to do IUI.

QUESTION- When is too early to POAS?  Is it bad if my willpower will only let me make it to 13dpo?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Going to see the Urologist Tomorrow

I am excited about moving to the next step of this process.  I want to see the results of both of DH's SA and talk to the doctor about what they mean.  My Dr. said he has high viscosity, but she isn't that aware of that term for SA.  I haven't found a ton of info on it either.  I also don't know how High it is and if it also had a high liquefaction time????

This time around, I don't know much of anything . . . I also don't know what to expect.  Is he going to run tests, tell Ray to take certain vitamins, tell us to go ahead and do IUI?

So here is my question for anyone reading this, what do you expect during a visit with a urologist and what questions should you ask?

This is what I have so far . . .
1. Can you please give me copies of the results of the SA?
2. What do the results mean in terms of increased difficulty in getting PG on our own?
3. What can we do to improve it?
4. What are the next steps?

Thanks for any advice you may give!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My lack of willpower

We have had a nice few weeks of nothing on the IF front (in terms of tests or appointments).  But on Thursday we are going to the urologist.  I am excited about finding out more about DH's spermies.  There isn't all that much on information on high viscosity sperm.  The main things I have seen are that you just have to do an IUI or use Mucinex.

Yes, we did try Mucinex this cycle and we are in the 2ww.  I remember when this first started and I would hear the crazy things people had tried and thought, they are out of their minds.  Well I am now one of those people!!!! 

Mucinex is meant to thin out mucus in the body, so some forums online say their doctor recommended it?  I have no idea, but it can't hurt?

As for the 2ww, I have gotten calmer about this over the last 1.5 years and tried not to read into everything.  I typically have ALL of the symptoms of PMS (cramping, sore boobs, feisty attitude, fatigue, and emotional) so it is really reason to fall into the trap of thinking I am PG.  I have learned to ignore it. 

However, I have had one out of the ordinary symptom this cycle.  On CD 19 or 3dpo, I burst into tears at the dentist's office.  Like I said I can be emotional when PMSing, but I normally don't get emotional until a couple of days before my period, not this early.  And it was for no reason!  I don't like the dentist in general, I have "soft enamel" so no matter what I do, I always have cavities (emphasis on the multiple).  Anyways, I do hate the dentist, but not so much that I cry in public. 

I am not a crier (except at movies) and I NEVER cry in front of people (except Ray).  So the fact that I was crying over a cleaning is a little weird.  I was so upset, that I didn't even go back to work, I just took the day off.  And the hardest part about it all, was a coworker asked why I didn't come back and I just felt like I should be honest with her and tell her I broke down at the dentist's office and I still don't know why.  I asked her if she ever had that happen.  She said only once, when she was pregnant. 

Well there goes all of my willpower to not get my hopes up this go around.  I can probably POAS as early as Saturday, but I am going to try not to! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grateful

Well, after our whirlwind of IF testing and treatment in the last few weeks, we get a break.  This is not a break chosen by us, but I am grateful for it.  We are going to an excellent urologist, but he was totally booked up for four weeks.  Thus the wait.

During this time I am trying to gain perspective.  I am trying to step back and recognize how much I  have. 

I have an AMAZING husband, a super supportive family, great friends, a good job, a nice house, and furbabies.  Even before IF I would have to stop myself from always wanting more, not fully appreciating what I have.  Now it is a little harder to do, because I don't think it's unreasonable to want a child (whereas before I would want a bigger house, or more money for clothes shopping).

Either way I am taking the next week and a half to fully appreciate what I have, rather than worry about IF.

On a side note, I am so excited about the holidays coming up.  I love this time of year, spending time with family, lots of days off of work, and getting people "THE" perfect present!!!!!  I am actually all done with my shopping, except for my one brother (he's 15 so he changes his mind at least three times before he decides what he wants)!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

There are sooo many things to think about

So 1 step down and how many more decisions to balance?  My OPK says I am ovulating in 24 to 36 hours.  So I should be thankful that I ovulate on my own, but now I have to decide on BD times.

I have read you shouldn't do it more than once every other day, it decreases potency.  On the other hand I don't want to do it too late.

It is all so confusing.  I think I am going to tonight and then on Tuesday morning?  Any thoughts or other recommendations?

Also, I think I am going to watch Gulianna and Bill.  I have heard so many others appreciating what they are bringing to light with their IF journey (the struggles, IVF, and loss).

When Ray and I started this, we said we wouldn't do IVF.  There are too many things . . . cost, risk, drugs, and freezing babies implications.  Now this is not to say I judge others, I don't, I just don't know if it is right for us.  And it is not to say that if we are faced with IVF or nothing that we will stick to that decision, but that is where we are now.

Either way I think G&B would be insightful into the process and loss.  I have been fortunate enough to never miscarry.  I just can't imagine how you would overcome that, I all ready struggle with IF as it is, I can't think of the intense joy of getting pregnant and then the crazy low of losing that baby. 

The countdown to Ray's urologist appt begins, 11 days.  The only thing we are doing is he is taking Mucinex, which thins out mucus.  LisaB recommended this and so have a few others, so fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Finally a Weekend to Relax!

After a long stressful couple of weeks, hubby and I have decided to do nothing this weekend.  Well, I guess we planned one thing, going to watch my godson's football game.  He is six and his mom said it is total chaos, but lots of fun to watch.  So other than that, we will just be spending time together.

It will be nice to spend some quality time with just him!  I feel like I haven't been present (mentally speaking) the last couple of weeks.  I have been in my head thinking about things, reading blogs, or researching.  I am going to post this and then avoid all thoughts IF for the rest of the weekend!!!!! 

Let's see if I can actually do it!  Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cook for a Cause

A Blogger, who I follow, just posted this on their blog and I wanted to do the same!  Check it out!

The Lost Stork Foundation is a new non-profit organization that is committed to helping infertile couples realize their dreams of parenthood through financial grants for adoption or fertility treatments. It was started by fellow blogger Meghan Swann! They are currently selling cookbooks to raise money for their first grant awards! Please stop by their website here to buy a cookbook or make a donation. They're only $10 each. Who knows, you or someone you know may benefit from their grants in the future! You can also help by spreading the word about the Lost Stork Foundation and its mission.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I hate bills, especially IF ones

Tonight was a rough one for me.  The last few weeks I have been getting bills randomly in the mail pertaining to our IF testing.  I guess that is the bad part about knocking some much out in a month. 

I did a lot of research about the HSG before I went and did it and found out, even if my insurance didn't cover it it would cost $638.  Not good, but something I decided I could handle.  Well I guess I did not plan for all of the other insanity they tack on to the bills.  The total came out to $1494!!!!  Are you kidding me?  I just starting crying immediately. 

I am not a cry er, this is not my typical reaction to anything (except as I am learning, IF).  I think part of it is because I can't control it or plan it, no matter how hard I try, but it is also because it seems so unfair.

There are so many people I know who have great insurance and can have a baby for less than this "surgery" is going to cost me.

Ray and I don't make a ton of money, and we work really hard to save it.  We live below our means so that we can save and prepare for the future.  However, we have spent just under $2400 since this began in late September.

I don't know if I can handle this.  I try to stay positive and maintain a good outlook.   I spend my time educating myself, rather than worrying or complaining (ok, so I do complain a little).  But my biggest concern is that this will damage my marriage. 

I can literally feel myself withdraw a little more every time we have a back-fire or get bad news or get a bill.  I can't handle my marriage suffering over this.  Ray is trying, but I think he struggles to understand this new version of me.  We have been together for just under 9 years, so he knows the normal me, but not the IF affected version of me.  I am going to have to make a point of not letting this impact us.

Has anyone else struggled with dealing with this, but not letting it affect your relationships?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A little more of our background

As promised, this is a little bit more detail of the steps we have taken so far.

Our first doctor's appt was with my OB.  I really like the practice, everyone is helpful and they have everything there, since it is attached to a hospital.  We just went in and talked.  She said it didn't sound like there were any obvious problems, or anything that she could immediately identify as a problem. 

She moves fast, by the end of that appt we had scheduled an HSG, a SA, and blood work and an u/s. 

The 1st thing was my HSG, I was really nervous because so many had said that this was a very painful procedure.  I took three Alleve before the procedure.  It was NOT painful, a little crampy and uncomfortable, but nothing bad.  Like I told the nurse, the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing was the INSANELY large pad they made me wear.  Hopefully this is not TMI, but I only wear thongs and did so that day, which left me with this huge pad that kept sticking to my jeans as I was walking.  I felt like I was walking like a duck!

The doctor was really nice and showed me all of the x-rays and said that the only problem was that there was an adhesion at the front of my uterus.  He said he was having a hard time getting to my uterus, so he could only imagine that it would be difficult for the sperm to as well.  He scraped that away and I left all good.

Four days later Ray did his analysis.  He is so wonderful, he didn't complain or even act weird about this.  I kept asking him, how do you feel about this (because I had heard about men who weren't open to this at all) and he kept saying this is so much less worse than what you have been having to go through.  He said if this is what it takes for us to have a baby then I can go do my business.  He did say he would not touch any of the magazines there!!!!!

Next I had my internal and external u/s.  She said everything looked ok.  I had my blood work at the same time.  This is when there was an issue, because I had just ovulated two days earlier and you aren't supposed to test for progesterone until 7dpo.  I went back a week and a half later and everything was fine.

Ray had to go have another SA done, because his viscosity came back high.  His second analysis came back with the same results.  We are going to a urologist on 11.18.10 and we will see from there.

I think we will have some big decisions to make at that point!