Thursday, July 29, 2010

some thoughts

I have been thinking about this post for a while. I read quite a few blogs related to infertility, baby loss, and miscarriage. After my suspected chemical pregnancy in January, I started googling like a maniac, and came across some of these blogs. Reading the stories of struggle, heartbreak, loss, joy, and success really opened my eyes. To say I was naive about these topics before is an understatement.

As the months went on and I began having (what I thought were) regular periods, I stopped reading as much, because I felt kind of guilty lurking on blogs while I was ovulating and obviously just about to conceive (ha). Then came the CYCLE THAT WOULD NOT END, the tentative PCOS diagnosis, and the realization that I probably haven't ovulated since my first cycle off of bcp.*

I went back to some of the blogs, scouring for details on PCOS and clomid and anything I could find. I started commenting after a while, hesitantly, here and there, on blogs where I felt it would be ok for me to comment, even though I am not that far along in my journey, even though I might be "fixed" with a little provera and clomid...

Here is what has been on my mind: I want to comment on all the blogs. I want to support all the women I read about because I care. Also, the few comments I have received here have meant so much to me, that I want to give that support to as many other people who may need it.

But I don't comment as much as I want to because I am afraid I will hurt someone, rather than help someone. Many women have been fighting this fight for years, and have been through things that at this point, I can only guess how it would feel.

The hard part about where I am right now, is that even though I might have an easy fix in my future, I don't know that right now. In this moment I am terrified. Since I have become aware that something is wrong I have been so, so scared. And really confused. I don't know what I am doing. I don't know if I should have asked to be monitored on my first cycle of Clomid, or if I should just go straight to an RE if clomid does not bring on ovulation. I do not feel equipped for this battle.

I wanted to put these thoughts out there to work through my own insecurities and to apologize in advance if I offend anyone. No one has made me feel unwelcome or unwanted, and I realize that if I want to comment, I should just do it and stop worrying- but, I second guess myself and usually err on the side of safety.

* ...If I did ovulate at all in January, this is confusing to me because of the chemical pregnancy... my Dr. indicated that my HCG levels were "borderline" or something... still not clear on this. I just know there were some faint, but definitely positive hpts, there was an appointment made for a blood draw, and then the hpts got fainter, and one day negative. This all happened over a short period of time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

cd 8 and waiting

One of the hardest things to get used to in this process is all the waiting; waiting for my next doctor appointment, waiting each day to take my temperatures, waiting for the temps to reveal a pattern, waiting to take provera and clomid, waiting for my period to start and then end, waiting for ovulation, waiting waiting waiting. It is making me crazy.

With each new step, not only is there waiting, but there are new fears, such as: omg I am taking provera, am I sure I am not pregnant?; omg I don't think provera is going to bring on my period; omg clomid is going to make me nuts and ruin my weekend; omg what if clomid doesn't make me ovulate; etc.

Yesterday was the last day of my period, finally! It would be pretty awesome if I never had to have a provera induced period again because it sucked worse than my usual period.

I started taking the clomid last Friday, and will take my last pill tomorrow on cd 9. I started feeling achy twinges on the right and left of my pelvis today. I am sure it is much to early to feel anything ovulation related, but I definitely took note of it. I haven't noticed any severe clomid side effects, thank goodness. I had a mild headache and some extra weepiness yesterday and today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

cd 3 (TMI)

Now that we have actually decided on a course of action, time seems to be flying. Today is the third day of my proveraperiod and it is not pretty. I always have very heavy and very painful periods (which makes me wonder if PCOS is really "the culprit"), but this period is different.

Usually, my period hits me hard the first two and a half days, and then the next two and a half to three days is more manageable. This time, it is the other way around. Last Friday I started with cramps and yellow cm. Saturday brought brown, clumpy, intermittent spotting. Ditto Sunday. On Monday, the actual flow started. It was light with mild cramps. Yesterday was medium with moderate cramps. Today, it has been heavy with extremely painful cramps.

Friday will be CD5 and we will start the clomid! I made an appointment for CD23 (August 10) to have my ovaries and blood work checked for cysts/hyperstimulation and ovulation! This time I will be seeing my regular Dr., who I really like. I am going armed with a list of questions and a request for further diagnostic testing (for some reason I do not think clomid is going to work right away).

Monday, July 19, 2010

cd 1

After spotting for two days, today I finally have an actual flow! Although it is light, which is abnormal for me, I am counting it as CD 1. I am assuming the spotting/lightness is because this is a provera induced "period."

Four more days and I can start clomid.

Thank god that 95+ day (annovulatory) cycle is over. It was making me crazy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

temp drop

This morning my temperature dropped and FF took the cross hairs away. I definitely breathed a sigh of relief. It sucked to see the little egg disappear... but hopefully I will see one again in my near future.

I am feeling crampy and yuck this morning, so I hope my period starts soon. I am looking forward to CD5 when I can start the clomid!

In case other people are taking provera for the first time, here were my symptoms while taking it and in the few days after: slight nausea, poor sleep, hot at night, pain in my boobs around the nipple areas, and dizziness. I told the horrible NP these things and she told me that provera would not cause it, but I am convinced it did. Some of the symptoms are normal for me to get around my period and the provera seemed to enhance them. (the dizziness, hot flashes, and interrupted sleep pattern are not normal PMS symptoms for me).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

cycle update... just waiting

I took the fifth and final Provera pill on Sunday night and am still waiting for a period. The day after I started the Provera, my temperatures shot up and have stayed up. Fertility Friend totally freaked me out by putting up dotted cross hairs (I have never seen this before) with ovulation occurring the day I took my first pill, July 7th (which I did not take until the evening).

Since Provera can cause birth defects and should not be taken while pregnant, I of course have been freaking out a little bit (a lot). After plenty of inappropriate googling while at work, it appears taking Provera can raise your BBT, which makes sense. According to FF I would be 8 dpo today. I took an internet strip HPT and a clear blue digital today and both indicated I was not pregnant. It is kind of weird to feel relieved by that news, since that is what I have been hoping for since January!

. . . . . . . . . .

P and I had a talk about whether we should try the clomid during the next cycle. It is hard to get him to express his opinion on big topics in our relationship. I think he worries that his opinion on a topic will make me feel pressured to do what he wants. I love that he cares so much about me, but it is frustrating sometimes when he repeatedly tells me that we can do whatever I want to do.

After I convinced him that no matter what his opinion was, I would not feel pressured, he told me that he would rather try the clomid sooner rather than later. His answer surprised me. It is not that he doesn't want children- because he does, just as much as I do- but because I was sure his answer would me to wait a few months to give my body time to possibly ovulate on its own.

I think I thought this because this is what I wanted to hear. It is safer somehow. Although it freaks me out, I know in my heart I agree with him. I want to try the clomid and see what happens.

I think I have been trying to convince myself to put the clomid off because I am afraid it will not work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Semen analysis results

P's sperm are "perfectly normal." THANK GOD! Of course, in keeping with my gloom and doom attitude lately, I was convinced the results would not be good.

Maybe I should take this as a sign that this isn't going to be impossible! (aka stop being such a drama queen)

Monday, July 12, 2010

In need of PCOS/clomid advice...

The nurse practitioner (NP) at my OBGYN's office last Wednesday told me to chart the cycles I took clomid (she clearly wasn't listening because I explained to her that I HAVE been charting...); however, I have read on quite a few of your blogs that often ultrasound is used to detect ovulation for many PCOS patients.

My temperatures are all over the place, and I am afraid charting will not clearly reveal ovulation. Does taking provera and clomid level out temperatures? If I return to the OBGYN (to my regular dr and not to the NP of course), should I bring this up?

Semen in my purse

This morning I started my day in a new and exciting way: with a little sterile cup of semen in my purse.

P did a great job of getting his business in the cup; although, we were both nervous that it was not enough. He thought maybe the cup "threw him off."

The lab tech at the fertility clinic new I was a newbie when I whispered to her that I didn't think there was enough of a specimen. She assured me that the specimen was of "normal volume."

Walking through the waiting room of the fertility clinic was very different than my OBGYN waiting room. I know this is a fairly obvious observation, but up until a few months ago, I think I would have been too clueless to notice. I felt more at ease there, unlike how I felt last Wednesday at my OBGYN's office... at the fertility clinic I felt more and less emotional.

More emotional because I could not believe that I felt more at ease there, and less emotional because there were no knocked-up-on-the-first-try, smug pregnant women. Sitting among such women last week was really hard, because I was so jealous. I just wanted to be one of them.

After my crappy visit with the NP last week, I have been thinking about skipping my three clomid cycles with the OBGYN and heading straight to an RE at the clinic I took P's specimen to this morning...

Yesterday I took my last of five Provera pills and am now waiting for a "period." I am still not sure whether we are going to start with the clomid this month, or wait to give my body a month or two of healthy eating and exercise to ovulate on its own. Am I naive to think this is possible?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How it went...

Today was dissatisfying. My appointment was fast and uninformative. The nurse practitioner (NP) told me that my blood work suggested PCOS because my LH was 18.7 and my FSH was 6.3. She explained that although my levels were in the normal range, that my LH was three times the FSH level, which indicated PCOS.

The appointment felt very rushed. She did not talk about more diagnostics, but rushed right to prescribing me Provera and Clomid. She gave us a flier for a lab for P's semen analysis and told me to call and make an appointment when I get a period. She told me to chart my cycles to make sure that I ovulated. After three cycles, if I am not pregnant, she said I would have to see "the men in black."

I didn't ask enough questions, such as whether my ovaries should be checked for cysts, considering all of the symptoms I have been having. She did not seem at all interested in the symptoms I told her about.

I am unsure of what to do. Should I just take the meds and get started, or should I call and make an appointment with my regular physician (who is patient and informative and awesome)? I also wish I discussed waiting a few months to see if ovulation would be triggered by starting an exercise routine and losing weight.

I started the Provera today anyway, because I want to end this cycle (which is over 85 days long at this point).

. . . . . . . . . .

As for P's semen analysis that was scheduled for this afternoon with his new primary care physician, it did not happen. I called after my appointment and cancelled because the whole point of the appointment was to get a script and send us to the lab. I did not realize this until the NP explained that the primary care physician did not do semen analyses, and would just give us a script, etc. My insurance does not require referrals, so we cancelled the appointment to save paying the copay for no reason. The NP gave us a specimen cup and we made an appointment to drop it off Monday morning (July 12th) at 8:30 AM.

Our medical appointments are today...

and I am nervous.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday weekend, charting, update

The weekend was nice and relaxing. I saw my brother and it went really well. I explained what was going on with us and he felt really bad about the timing of it all. I told him I was already planning knitting and quilting projects for my new niece or nephew.

. . . . . . . . . .

Charting has helped me feel less anxious about this process overall. I feel more informed. But, my chart is all over the place. Fertilit.y frien.d keeps telling me I am waiting for ovulation. No shit!

I had a promising looking dip three days ago, which might have been ovulation. Still waiting to see what happened.

. . . . . . . . . .

Although FF is still waiting for ovulation, I have been having some questionable symptoms. (TMI warning!) Since Saturday afternoon I have been having some sharp twinges and achiness on the right and left of my lower abdomen. Yesterday I had some yellowish/brownish spotting, just once. Since then, the achiness has moved to the middle of my pelvis. This morning I woke up feeling like I had done crunches or sit ups. This could all be nothing, cysts, or...

I am trying to wait as long as possible before testing. Since my cycles have been unpredictable (nonexistent), and FF has not indicated ovulation, I have no idea when I would have ovulated, if I did.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Warning: emotional dream involving a baby

The night before last, I had a disturbing dream. I woke up very sad and confused. The feeling has remained with me, so I decided to blog about it. It is emotional and graphic. Please stop reading now if you are not up to it.

In the dream I had a baby; no pregnancy or labor, just a baby. I did not want the baby because the thought of taking care of it and being responsible for it stressed me out, so I put it in a little wooden box in the basement to keep for later.

Time passed, and the thought of the baby was constantly nagging me in the back of mind, no matter what I did to distract myself. So I went down to the basement and got it out. I was relieved to find that it was still alive. All of a sudden, love for the baby hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like a switch was flipped and now I loved the baby, wanted it, and despised myself for leaving it in the box in the basement for so long. I could tell the baby knew I had abandoned it, and it made me sad. Although the baby seemed to forgive me, I knew that it would never forget what I had done.

The rest of the dream was spent trying to nurse the baby. At first, things went well, and nursing was the most amazing experience I had ever felt, but after a little while, my milk got thick, like greek yogurt. It was uncomfortable and the baby was having difficulty eating. I was frantic. I tried to find a way to feed my baby and kept trying over and over to nurse. I felt angry with my body; I had finally realized this baby was mine and that I wanted it, and now my body would not feed it.

And then I woke up feeling heartbroken and torn up inside. That feeling will not go away.