Friday, September 25, 2009

Just Cause

It's been a long week, and no ovulation in sight. I am tempted to just call the doctor today and tell her to give me the drugs, but I will be good.

Since this actually had me giggling last night, I thought I would share it here:

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Couldn't there be a better way?

I am being good and following doctor's orders: ovulation tests every day, roughly the same time everyday.

I even was good and read the full instruction pamphlet. So, since I never remember to do the dumb thing in the morning, I make sure that I wait four hours from the last time I pee before leaving home before using the test at work.

Part of me wants to not bother. Just bring on the next round of drugs and let's get moving already!

Especially because of the test.

Having been through this before when we first started trying, I didn't even look at the tests that involve 2 lines. Why? Because you aren't just looking for a second line. Oh no, that line has to be visible and DARKER than the base line.

I just don't want to be squinting in the bathroom, running around looking for someone to verify if they think the pink is darker, and don't mind that the stick has my urine on it....

So I paid more for 7 tests that have a digital display on it. It pretty much guarantees you cannot goof up the test, and in 3 minutes you have something on the display to look at.

If you are ovulating, it's this cute little smiley face.

If not....

Well, this is what frustrates me. Because the display shows you an open circle. Basically, it's the outline of the smiley face but with no face or mouth.

So you are faced with staring at this empty circle. Which, to someone who really wants to get pregnant, starts to look like a gaping empty uterus.

Course, this could all be my imagination....

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Bear

During our trip to Virginia in May, we spent a couple of days with his family at their local mall.

My husband is a shopper. While he may not shop for himself, he does actually enjoy shopping for me. I have come to rely on his opinion when looking at things to buy for myself. And we have learned that 99% of stores will allow you to take your spouse into a dressing room with you.

Even Target!

That trip, there was no clothes shopping. But we did see something in the window that made us realize we were in trouble.

The Build-A-Bear shop had a display with costumes, and these were proudly viewable from outside the store:

We promptly went in and agreed to create Peter together. The person there didn't make us go through all the hoops they are supposed to, and in the end we were quite satisfied with our little webslinger.

On the second to last day there, after much discussion, we both realized we wanted to go back. He wanted Tony, I wanted Bruce. How did we justify the spending of money on stuffed bears?? Easy:

They'll be placed in the nursery with the baby and be their first real bears.

Since we are of the superhero loving persuasion, it seems perfect to have them there, and we didn't want to run the risk of them being dicontinued.

Fast forward to this last Friday....

After returning from the doctor's office, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I was so exhausted, and I hurt from crying. I quite honestly walked in to the house, put on pajamas, and curled up on the couch to rest.

And when I asked for Batman, A went and brought him to me. And then sat on the floor by my head to play video games where he could still be nearby.

I woke up over an hour later, still clutching the bear. And able to see that A was still seated right in front of me, on the floor.

He hadn't moved.

My favorite hugs from A are big ones, where it feels like he is squeezing the very breath from me in an enormous bear hug.

And he made me feel safer than any stuffed teddy bear ever could at that moment on Friday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not Quite....

I want to start by saying I really did marry the right man.

Friday morning, as he was leaving work to walk home, he called me at work and asked if I wanted him there at the scan. I told him that of course I did. And he said he would be ready.

I think he got more than he bargained for.

The follicle scan involved taking a rather long wand, which had the ultrasound device at it's head, and basically inserting in to me.

And he stood there, holding my hand, and watching the screen as my doctor explained what she was looking for.

First of all, my uterus was doing the right thing. It was a couple of inches thick, which means it was prepping for fertilization. When she said this I know my pulse increased because I suddenly was so hopeful. I was still realistic, she had even said that the only 50% of people see the clomid work on the lowest dosage. But the news that my body was prepping like it should had me excited.

She had explained that she was looking for a follicle at least 2 centimeters big. Since I know someone asked, a follicle is what a ripened egg is referred to. When ovulation is about to happen, the chosen ova enlarges and a follicle forms around it, which I understand helps it to be released during the actual ovulation process. What she wanted was at least 1 that was big enough so that we could take the next step. Because the clomid is working to stimulate my body into ovulating, there is a chance that more than 1 follicle will be present, and that could results in multiples if they are all released and become fertilized.

Next came the search for my ovaries. The first was found after about 3 minutes of searching. And there was a follicle. But it was only .75 centimeters and she said it just wouldn't do.

It took her 10 minutes to find my other ovary. Apparently I am going to be difficult, and next time I need to drink some water to help with the ultrasound next time.

Yes, there will be a next time as of this moment. Because there were no other follicles.

She said she was going to count this as a fail. There is still a very low chance that the follicle she did see will mature in the next few days and I could ovulate. So I have a package of ovulation kits, and I start using them on Monday. After 1 week, if nothing has happened, I need to call and have her prescribe a higher dosage of clomid and refill the drugs to jump start my cycle.

And we begin counting days until the next appointment.

She tried to be positive. She offered word of encouragement. Then she said we would talk soon and walked out.

And I cried.

I have cried on and off for the last 29 hours. I can talk about it now without being a complete wreck, which is why I felt I could write it down.

A just held me. He told me later in the car that he didn't know how to help me, but to just tell him what I needed, or go call who I needed to in order to get through this.

When we finally went to bed last night I told him he had done perfectly.

So for now, we are still waiting. I've reached a low I didn't think I could. Part of me feels like I have failed, that I am broken, that I have let down my husband.

He smiles at me and says that I am silly and he loves me.

We both have agreed my cousin is right: this baby will be so loved because of what we will be going through to make it happen. And it will happen. We will be amazing parents, and all this love will result in a wonderful family.

It just has to happen.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Middle of Nowhere

Have you ever seen the movie Michael?

This has to be one of my favorite John Travolta movies, and I have had it on the brain lately. I am stuck on the song that one of the characters writes and sings in the movie....

Sittin' by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere
I don't know where I'm goin' but I hope I know it when I get there.

Tomorrow is the scan and I can't help worrying.

I am the most positive person you will ever come to know. When presented with obstacles I normally find a way through them. Even when things look bleak, my husband is frustrated, and there looks to be no immediate relief I am always telling him that things will be okay. We will make it. It will work out.

I am so glad he isn't asking me that today.

The closer to that appoint I get, the more my emotions take over and the tears threaten to fall. I want to believe that we will hear positive news, that things will happen, and we will have a healthy baby of our own right off the start.

And it will happen when the time is right, I know that.

I just want it to be happening now.

A lot rides on this appointment. We will be looking at locking down a move date based on when the pregnancy happens, and I have to look at insurance for us and what will be best in the end. I think all that added pressure is making it worse, and it has me truly expecting to leave the appointment tomorrow, feeling crushed. Told that we have to wait another 4 weeks, at the minimum, as we try another dosage and see if it works for us.

I just want this to work....

And how this story ends, only heaven knows.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Phase 1: Complete

We survived the first round of pills.

I can honestly say that I found myself more emotional. Little things had me in tears, and it was hard to anticipate what would do it. One moment I'd be watching something on Food Network. Then they would critique things and I would get misty.

It was weird.

The only other oddity so far has been the dreams.....

Every night. The two of us and our children. The twins. Sometimes triplets. One night there were quadruplets.

While I would love to have 2, I'm not sure if this constitutes a dream or nightmare.

But I still can't stop thinking about Friday.....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the walk out from the pharmacy...

Me: oh boy....

A: what's wrong?

Me: Common side effects include breast tenderness, dizziness, enlarged breasts, flushing, headache, hot flashes, lightheadedness, mood change, nausea, pelvic pain or bloating, stomach pain, and vomiting.

A: .....

Me: Yeah, it's like the worst PMS trip possible times 1000.

A: What makes you think that after all that I'll want to even have sex with you?

Me: I think they figured that in. I take this for 5 days, then 5 days after I go for the follicle scan. Then we start trying.

A: So you have almost a week to make it up to me?

Me: Yup.

A: You are so making this up to me......

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Since I am sharing everything...

I just finished on the phone with the doctor.

I have a prescription to pick-up tonight.

And a follicle scan scheduled for September 18th.

Now it's just a matter of time....

Marital Bliss

We spent the 3 day weekend together, completely high on the idea of having time just to ourselves.

Yes, we have a roommate, but he is so easy-going that it's never a bad thing when we are all home together. We all laugh and watch the same shows, and when we get to giggling about things it never ends. Just ask my cousin about the KFC commercial and our giggling at the word "chicken" when said just right....

I don't know why, but every long weekend this year has seemed full of things and people and rarely any time to sit and just relax. This weekend was the exact opposite of those past weekends, and I can tell we needed it.

Well, it was picture perfect until yesterday morning.

I think I've mentioned in the past that I don't suffer from normal PMS type symptoms. But the 1 or 2, such as intense cravings and mood swings, are noticeable when things are happening.

I have never been so anxious to have my monthly visitor arrive, but at the same time so overwhelmed with urges for chocolate and potato chips and french fries covered in cheese sauce.

With a side order of potstickers and chicken fried rice.

And a soda.

Never, I repeat NEVER, go to the grocery store when like this. It leads to 20 minutes of wandering, with employees looking at you weird, as you pass the bakery, sniff at the warm food in the deli, and stare longingly at the ice cream behind its big glass doors.

All with my beloved husband following me and encouraging me to get what I think I need to get through the day.

I love that man.

Especially because this was AFTER driving to Target to return something. The drive out and back was something else. I could tell my mood was swinging, seriously hitting various places on the spectrum. If you could have just seen A's face when he asked me if I was okay. Each time he asked(and there were multiple times), I would smile and reassure him it was just me feeling "off" and it wasn't him. He'd hug me and say he just wanted to make sure he hadn't done anything to upset me.

I really REALLY love that man.

When we finally arrived home, with a mini chocolate creme pie and a small roll to eat a tuna sandwich with before I made guacamole.....

Well, let's say I realized that it was that time, called the OB/GYN to leave a voice mail, and am now waiting to hear back.

Clomid, come to mama!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wait...How did this happen again?

Next week, my amazing nieces will be 16.

Identical twins, they are my favorite teenagers ever. Moving next year will mean not being able to see them when I want, and that is the part that kills me when I stop to think about it.

I mentioned their birthday to a co-worker who knows we are moving. If the move goes according to plan, we will be gone roughly a year before returning to see them graduate from high school.

As a part of the Class of 2011.

Just 1 year shy of my 20th high school reunion.

When the hell did I get so old?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 10

A few weeks ago, my aunt was going to have surgery. I called a few days beforehand, when I heard something was up, just to check on her and say hi.

After chatting for a bit, somehow the talk of babies came up. And that's when I realized that either a) my mom and cousin really had said nothing to her, b) my aunt really is THAT good at pretending she doesn't partake in gossiping, or c) when she complains about her memory getting worse with each year she really is serious.

In any case, I told her we were having trouble getting pregnant, and she asked what was wrong. And then I realized that I may not have explained it that well here before.

So here is what I told her, in basic terms:

I have been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, what they call PCOS. What it means to me is that my system is just out of sorts. The extra fat I am carrying has helped cause extra issues, like my diabetes, and basically has my system all out of sorts. Thanks to that, my erratic hormones are preventing me from ovulating regularly. So, I have eggs sitting there, ready to meet with A's sperm in the hopes of producing a healthy child, but because of my bad habits my body is stopping that from happening on its own.

Both my Endocrinologist and OB/GYN have told me that if I can get the diabetes and weight under control, my system will regulate itself eventually, and things will happen. But it could be 1 month, 6 months, or even years before it is straightened out. I am 35 now, and I want a family with my husband. I want the chance in 2 or 3 years to have another baby and not be 60 when they graduate from high school. I want to maybe see them get married and start a family of their own.

Selfish, I know. But I want certain things.

So I was given another option by both doctors, which is essentially a "boost" to force my system to ovulate and release an egg that is ready to be fertilized and let nature work its magic. With the help of Clomid, things may work out.

And that is what I am waiting for now.

Last Tuesday, during the Great Doctor Marathon of 2009, I called in for my refill of a drug given to me in late April by my OB/GYN. This magic pill, taken over 10 days, will trigger a period. Since I magically managed to have a cycle in late July, the timing was pretty good to force this along. It's a generic of Provera, and the last time I took it my cycle started on the 3rd day. I let the OB/GYN know this, so her instructions were to take this pill and call her on the first day of my cycle. If the cycle started before the 10 days were up I was to stop taking the pill and call her so she could prescribe Clomid.

Clomid is the magic drug that I think I have been fantasizing about since March. This pill I will take starting on the 3rd day of my cycle. On the 13th day after my cycle begins, I will have my first ultrasound ever. If the follicles are there, and everything looks to be ready to do it's job, I get an injection. That injection will actually force the real ovulation process to begin, and the goal is to introduce sperm and egg within 24 hours.

Today is Day 10 on the generic Provera, the last day to take the pill that is supposed to start my cycle, and I haven't so much as spotted. I am supposed to give it 3 days from now to see if something happens, and this is starting to test my patience. I think it would be different if last time there had been a delay, but that wasn't the case and now I want the same thing to happen this time.

Why the anxiousness? I mean, besides the obvious?

Clomid has different dosage levels, and the rule is to start me on the lowest one. So, if it doesn't work out, we have to do this again in another month. And maybe even the month after that. One cycle at a time until we get the results we want.

I have never wanted my monthly visitor to arrive as much as I do now.

Every time I look at a calendar, I see it blocked off in 4 week increments, showing me the windows of opportunity for each month.

And all the empty space in between each cycle...

That just makes me wonder how long this will really take.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Exercise in Time Management

So, last Tuesday was the great Doctor Marathon of 2009.

In my brilliance, I had decided that since we both had follow-ups to do, and the doctor's office was about a 20 minute drive, that all appointments would happen on the same day. Within a 3 hour period.

Now, if I had actually remembered to log everything in my iPhone's calendar this would have been absolute genius.

Notice the "if"?

The Friday before I called the 3 doctors we already had appointments with and noted the times. I then called A's doctor and explained he was due for a follow-up and we had time on Tuesday. They found 1 opening at 10:50 am. I asked if he would need labwork first, and they said they would ask and call him.

I also made sure to leave a message with my endocrinologist about labs as well. She never gave me a slip, which is odd.

A got a call that yes, labs were needed. I never got a call at all.

Saturday morning we reported to the lab at about 9. And waited 45 minutes. While fasting. He was told to do so, I decided to just in case there was a lab order waiting for me.

Then we went and ate the worst possible breakfast ever: A opted for Jack in the Box's Denver Bowl and I had 2 donuts and a dozen donut holes.

I was weak. I'm sorry.

Back to Tuesday....

We left at 8am for A's first appointment of the day: 8:30 with Neurology. We pit-stopped so he could have another of those bowls (he loves ham, I don't, and that's the only place he is getting it) and arrived just in time. For the record, I packed yogurt and graham crackers for the morning. I was still atoning for Saturday.

Now, according to my hasty notes, he had to be at Neurology at 8:30, I had to be at Podiatry at 8:45, then Endocrinology for me at 9:45 and general medicine for Andrew at 10:50. The clinic has 3 floors, and of course we were all over the board, but that's okay. That's why there are elevators.

As A made his way to Neurology on the 2nd floor, I took the elevator down to the 1st floor and walked up to the desk to check in with Podiatry. Only to be told I was an hour early. Because the appointment was not until 9:30.

I immediately chalked this up to just getting the 2 appointments confused, told them I'd be back in 1 hour, and went back to the elevator, heading to the 3rd floor and Endocrinology.

Who informed me my appointment wasn't until 9:45.

And that's when I realized I was going to fail miserably with my little master plan.

I asked the receptionist if there was any way to be seen early, since I was there, if the doctor had a few minutes. She looked over the calendar, called to the back, and then told me that they had a consult to do that morning and the earliest would be my regularly scheduled time.


So I told them I was heading down to wait for my husband and would be back.

I walked on to the elevator, scrambling internally for a way to make this work. Without thinking I pushed the button for the 1st floor and walked out of the elevator only to realize I was back at Podiatry.

Double crap.

After mulling it over, and noticing the older women who volunteer as greeters staring at me, I opted for the stairs.

Yes, people. I climbed the stairs because I was afraid I was making people nervous. Not for health reasons, but purely because I felt like an idiot.

So, alive and breathing on the 2nd floor, I walked all the way to the end of the West wing of the building to park myself in front of neurology for all of 2 minutes when my phone rang.

Caller ID said it was the hospital. Which immediately made me think "the call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!", had me giggle for a second, and then remember I should answer that.

Remember how I'd just come from Neurology up on the 3rd floor? Well, the doctor finished the consult early and if I could be there ASAP she could see me right away.

I agreed on the phone just as the intercom paged me to return to Endocrinology.

Which led to me climbing the stairs to the 3rd floor. All in the vain hopes to get to that appointment before my husband finished with his just so we were back on schedule and that people wouldn't realize I was the loser being paged by the medical staff to return to Endocrinology

I see it's 8:50, and I jog up to the desk and get ushered right in. Endocrinology is happy with my sugars, still concerned about a couple of things, but all in all she said that as long as I can continue with the progress I have made that pregnancy should not be a problem. Can you give me an AMEN?!?!?!

(I knew you could!)

Just as I think that I am about to begin tap-dancing on the little table she asks about my lab work.

My wha?

Since she forgot to note the request in the system prior to the visit she decides she like me to go ahead and get lab work done that morning while I am in the building. It doesn't have to be fasting, just whenever I am done with everything else.

By the way, I did mention very proudly that my period came in July all by itself, just like a good cycle should. She was happy about this, saying again that I was on the right track, and that's when we got to talking about diet and exercise. (see yesterday's post)

Finally finished, I head to the lobby area and there is A with a plastic bag. Before he has a chance to say anything I make a beeline for the lobby area kitty corner to Endocrinology: Obstetrics and Gynecology. In less than 5 minutes I have a very detailed message left for my doctor where I pretty much demand drugs to get pregnant. But in a very nice and uplifting manner.

Then I check the time and realize I have 2 minutes to get back to Podiatry.

So we both head to the 1st floor, the receptionist there recognizes me and asks if I am there for real. I confirm and sit down. This appointment starts 5 minutes late, I sit in the exam room for 10 minutes, only to have the doctor look at my toes for 2 minutes and ask me how I want to proceed. I tell her my plan, she says sounds good, and I am off the hook until I am ready for the next procedure on my feet. (Nothing bad, just making sure that everything continues to look clean!)

Back outside, A and I finally get to chat about his appointment while heading back to the 2nd floor so the vampires in the lab can drain me and he can meet with his general doctor.

A was referred to Neurology because of migraines. Neurology prescribed a generic drug, which unfortunately did not work much better than Excedrin migraine. This follow-up was to see how things were going, and when A informed the doctor of this he became concerned. Until he checked the system.

Apparently the wrong dosage was requested. My husband was prescribed 50% of the normal dosage for someone of his size.


So, that prescription was corrected, and on top of that they looted the free sample drawer of the better drugs. The doctor wants him to test out the drugs before prescribing something to save a little money. He has also offered to prescribe a painkiller to go with the migraine medicine if he thinkg he will need it.

I am in love with his Neurologist.

As we round the corner on the 2nd floor we see the line for the lab. Which is making the trip on Saturday seem like a picnic.

And this is where we part. Me to wait, him to get down the hall to his doctor and register. This is also where I pull out my Nintendo DS to play Mario Kart while waiting.

Nintendo will be present in my delivery room. Trust me.

So, blood gets drawn, A gets the most glowing praise from his doctor about improvements in all his lab work and to come back in 6 months to be checked again, and exactly 3 hours from the time we parked we walk out the doors of the medical facility.

I do want to note that we have other follow up appointments already scheduled.

And as we scheduled them at the receptionist desks I pulled out the iPhone and added them to the calendar. Just so we get things right next time...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am calling a do-over!

So, September is here. Finally. The closer we get to Autumn the happier I will be.

Why is that?

Because I do not operate well under extreme heat.

After 2+ weeks on the EA Active 30 Day Challenge I had to stop. It was that or face heat exhaustion.

You see, we are renters. Not of a normal home. We are renters of a mobile home. A large metal box with no central air. And last weekend the Bay Area was in the middle of a heat wave.

Thursday was my rest day, Friday night I worked out because there was no way I was getting up early after a nice dinner out for A's birthday, and then Saturday our house felt like....well, there was sweat in places I didn't think could sweat.

Mind you, we had Summer on Saturday, then Sunday it felt like Autumn, and Monday morning greeted me with reminders of Winter coming.

Seriously. What is wrong with our weather?

I had pretty much decided I was not doing something right at my doctor's appointment last Tuesday. I had managed to GAIN weight in the 2+ weeks I was doing this program, and the doctor agreed that what I was doing was toning. The 30 Day Challenge is really not an aerobic program, meaning I wasn't really burning fat but instead was building strength and muscle.

Yes, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it doesn't help with the other things we are trying to do. Like get healthy and conceive a baby.

So starting last night the new workout is going back to the Wii Fit and doing Step Aerobics. The goal is to continue on like the EA Active had me doing, with 2 days of exercise, 1 day of rest, and doing a minimum of 20 minutes of aerobics on the workout days. I did learn some good basic exercises with EA Active, so I will be using my small 3lb weights to do this 2-3 times a week in the hopes to work my upper body.

Oh, and after skipping exercising for 2 days my weight went down. Does this make sense to anyone?

Next time:

Doctor updates, dealing with my monthly visitor, and the next step in baby making!