Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good News Turned Devastating

Saturday July 31st, I received a vm from the nurse at the RE's office.  She said she received the results of my b/w and that she hated to leave the results on vm.  She said my HCG came back positive, but the level was low indicating that I would miscarry.  She said over the next few days I would start to bleed and I would have to get a few more blood tests done to make sure everything was out of my system.  She said she was really sorry and that unfortunately this happens sometimes.  I was so devastated, but glad that she left the vm because I was able to let DH listen to it.  I don't know if I would have been able to tell him.  I was crying so hard.  I was so upset by that news.  I can't believe our prayers were answered, I was pregnant, but then our prayers were shattered and I was miscarrying.  To know that you are pregnant (or were) and just waiting to miscarry is such a terrible feeling.  Actually I didn't and still don't know how to feel about it.  They say it is an early miscarriage and most women don't even know about it.  They just think they are having a late period that month.  I wondered if that is what had been happening to us every month, but am pretty sure that it hadn't been the case now.  It is called a chemical pregnancy because it was only verified by b/w and not u/s (at least that's what I read). For some reason, this terminology makes me feel like it is not a real pregnancy / not a real loss.

Sunday August 1st, we had tickets to a ballgame.  Of course, I didn't want to go, but for DH's and DD's sakes felt I just needed to suck it up.  The worst thing was that I started bleeding right before we left.  Before the bleeding started I was holding out hope and praying that I would not bleed and end up finding out everything was going to be OK.  After I started bleeding, of course I lost the hope and just felt sad.  I told my niece about what happened and she was sad and supportive about it.  DH hasn't really said much about it so I really don't know how he feels about it.  He has been supportive.  My flow was heavy and crampy.

I called the RE's office on Monday, the 2nd.  They said that I would need to have at least 1 more blood test and scheduled it for Thursday the 5th.  She said the RE wanted us to take a break this month and that we could start TTC again after my next period.  She said that the good thing is we know we are on the right track.  A good friend that also has PCOS contacted me and I told her about what happened.  She has been very supportive, sending text messages, offering to babysit DD, offering to bring dinner over and sending me a very sweet card.  My niece and I told my mom about the miscarriage on Tuesday.

I was feeling pretty down until Wednesday.  Not only struggling with my feelings regarding the miscarriage, but then thinking about DD.  Somehow, she thought she was getting a baby brother.  Now what do I tell her?  I really felt like a failure that I couldn't give her a sibling.  By Wednesday, I was starting to feel a little better.  Thursday I went to have another HCG done and it came back negative.  The RE's office said to call them when I have my next period so we can start TTC again (if that's what we want to do) and to make sure we use contraception this month (just in case).  Saturday the 7th, we went by my sister's house and she said my niece told her what happened and that she is there for me if I ever want to talk about it.  I have received a lot of support from the few that know what is going on and it is very much appreciated.  AF lasted about 5 days, but came back 1 more day for spotting. 

I have avoided writing this post for so long because I am still confused and unsure of how I feel about it all. I have been trying to figure it out.  My belief is that life begins at conception, so this is a life that I have lost.  Right?  I think part of the issue is I wonder if I have any right to grieve.  I have read and heard stories about women having miscarriages after seeing their baby in an u/s or even women well into their 3rd trimester.  Surely they deserve to grieve more than me, right?  I didn't get to see my baby at all.  As soon as I found out for sure I was pregnant, I found out I was losing the baby.  

I have always heard that it is good to have the nauseous and sickness feelings because it means your pregnancy is strong.  That is a bunch of BS.  I had all those symptoms and feelings and it didn't mean a darn thing.  I still lost my baby.  Up until Saturday night I had some of the symptoms.  It seems like such a sick joke, all of it.  The symptoms, knowing of the positive blood test. 

I keep trying to tell myself to look at the positives.  At least I have been pregnant twice.  Once resulting in a beautiful healthy baby (my 3.5 year old).  And that it was for the best for this baby.  I have read that there was probably some type of chromosome abnormality and it was for the best. 

Not only have I been sad about the miscarriage, but then to have to bench this month< I was not happy about that.  I have actually come to grips with that part though.  I have actually told myself this is all for the best.  DD started school this month.  School ends in May. If we end up getting to start TTC in September, and get pregnant, the baby would be due sometime in June.  This would work out great because DD would be out of school and get to spend a few months home with me and the baby.  I really would like for her to get to be home with us for a few months before returning to school.   It feels weird writing this.  Almost like it is disrespectful to the baby I lost. 

Yesterday DD was playing with her cousin (who is around her age).  Her cousin said something about DD's brother.  I said DD doesn't have a brother.  She said well DD said she had a brother.  That almost made me cry.  Does DD know something that I didn't get to know?

All the Symptoms

Friday July 23rd, I took a HPT and received a BFN.  I had been craving chips and cheese dip pretty much all week, itchy boobs, pains in right and left ovaries, angry and hormones just raging. Thursday and Friday, I had heartburn.  I was having pains in my vaginal area, feeling nauseous, having food aversions (hardly anything sounded good to me), yet very hungry, and when I did find something that appealed to me I wanted to eat! I was also getting the urge to buy baby stuff / boy clothes.  I was also having problems with smells getting to me and having hot flashes. I took another HPT on Friday July 30th and received another BFN.  I called the RE's office and the nurse said I should've started my period by Wednesday the 28th, so they wanted me to go that morning to take a blood test for HCG level.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go that morning, but did go that afternoon.  That was an event going to the lab.  DH and DD went with me.  DD was acting up and kept playing with the water cooler and there was a little bit of a wait (which is not normal at this lab).  She spilled water on the table so DH took her outside.  Not long after they went outside, did they come back in because DH was stung by something and it hurt.  The spot was red and he was feeling his arm go numb a bit.  He was finally feeling better and I finally was able to go in to get my blood drawn.  The nurse from the RE's office called that afternoon / evening and said she wasn't able to get the results since I went in that afternoon. She said I would hear from them by Monday.

It was weird because DD was telling my niece and my mom that she was going to have a brother on July 28th.  Then on the 29th, she drew me a picture and said "Dear Mommy, thank you for having me a baby brother."  I was in shock and looked at my mom.  That's when she told me that DD told her and my niece the night before she was going to have a brother.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sperm Smuggler

I had my first IUI for this cycle on July 10th.  As I was carrying the specimen into the ARS / RE's office, I felt as though I was smuggling something.  That morning when DH saw me take the cup with his specimen and put it in my pants (to keep it next to my body), he laughed.  I guess I'm a Sperm Smuggler!  Anyway, I waited about 45 minutes in the waiting room for the sperm to be washed and cleaned.  Kathy was my nurse for this IUI round.  She said they got a good sample.  She said something like 5 or 50 million sperm or something like that.  I can't remember because of the pain that came soon after.  It hurt!  It hurt bad.  I was already really sore and in pain with my ovaries and then to have this catheter being put up me was no fun.  She said that part of the pain was the catheter hitting the wall because it had to curve to get to the uterus and the other part of the pain had to do with overstimulation and having a lot going on in my body.  It hurt much worse than the IUI from my last cycle.  It took everything in me not to jump off the table, but I just reminded myself why I was there and what the end goal would be (hopefully).  I definitely had a dialogue with God while on the table during the IUI and afterwards while I lay still hoping and praying and begging God that this works this time.  I came home and took a nap. 

Monday the 12th, I went in for the second IUI this cycle.  Once again I smuggled sperm into the ARS / RE's office.  It took about 40 minutes for them to wash and clean the sperm this round. I had a different nurse.  She said it was another good sample.  I actually had no pain with this procedure and it seemed over and done with so quick.  As I was laying on the table I did feel some pain, cramping and / or twitching.  As I lay on the table afterwards, I had a talk with God.  This talk was different.  Of course I was praying that this was our cycle.  That this was it, but something definitely felt different.  Later in the day, I was more crampy / twitchy than I was with the other IUI this cycle and last cycle.    

Tuesday the 13th I started taking Prometrium 100mg 3 times / day.  By the end of the day, it typically knocks me out.  Also something that is a little TMI, we also BD near my ovulation time too.  Hoping that one of those little guys would make their way up there and find their way in one way or another.

Friday, I forgot to get my b/w for my progesterone level done.  The lab was closed on Saturday.  I couldn't believe I forgot.  I remembered that I needed to go Thursday night and by Friday it completely slipped my mind.  Since about Wednesday, I have been having a pain in my boob area.  I have been having horrible back pain and been extremely fatigued. Thursday night DH made some popcorn and the smell of the oil made me sick, nauseous sick. Friday, I had pain in my lower abdomen.  Friday evening, I had pain in my upper stomach and was nauseous by the smell of peanut butter.  My stomach was kind of hard (but not from constipation). I have had diarrhea or gastro issues like gas (sorry TMI).  I have been extremely forgetful too. As I said I forget to get my b/w done, I have been mixing up dates for things in my calendar, can't remember one thing from the next and even put my pants on backwards (thankfully they were my pj bottoms).

I called the ARS / RE's office about forgetting to get my b/w done and Kim (the nurse) told me that it is  timed with the Ovidrel, so it would be too late to get it done.  She said not to worry about it because I am already taking Prometrium.

Monday night I was very emotional, crying over everything.  What first got me started was my stomach.  It was so nauseous.  Then I started crying because I couldn't figure out when DD's first day of school was.  Then DH told me my pj bottoms were on backwards and I started crying all over again.  Last night I couldn't sleep and was crying over DD going to school and anything else I could think of.  I have also been a little bit snippy, blunt or to the point more quickly with people.  I have also noticed more CM, frequent urination, extreme nauseous, insomnia, fatigue and hair loss.  I don't know what these symptoms are all from.  It could be from the Metformin, the Prometrium or because I have PCOS. Or it could and I am hoping it is because I am pregnant.  I have been wanting to shout it out that I am pregnant.  I don't know if it's because my body knows I am (already) or if it's because I am crazy and just being too optimistic / hopeful.  I did feel like that when I was pregnant with DD, so here's hoping.  I have also been counting my possible due date which would be early to mid April. DH counted it out too and we compared the due dates we came up with.  DH and I have been talking about names and the possibility of twins and when we would tell family.  The other day DD told me I was going to have a baby soon.  She has always talked about wanting a brother or a sister, mainly a sister, but to tell me I was going to have a baby soon kind of freaked me out.  She seems so sure.  We do not tell her about what is going on with our struggle TTC.  When she asks about having a sibling, we tell her to pray to Jesus about it.

Because of all the symptoms I'm having and because I am kind of driving myself crazy this cycle, I am going to test on Friday and then again the following Friday unless AF has reared her ugly head.

So once again, I am asking for prayers that this will be our cycle.  This IUI business is not cheap even with insurance paying for some of it.  So far I think we owe / have paid about $1000 for the 2 cycles we have done with the ARS / RE.  I realize that for some couples that is nothing compared to their struggle with TTC, but to us that is pretty expensive.  We live on 1 pretty minor income.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Out with the Old, In with the New

I tested on June 24th and got a BFN.  I called the ARS / RE's office and talked with the nurse.  She said they wanted me to go in for a pregnancy blood test to make sure. So I went in the next day.  She called me later that day with the results.  They were negative.  My progesterone level was good and she said the next time around they are going to start Prometrium 4 days after I ovulate.  She said to call when AF appears in full cycle to schedule appointments for the next cycle.  AF visited for a short visit that night, then went away until Sunday.  I called the office on Monday thinking they were going to have me come in that day, but they said that since AF wasn't a full flow until Sunday they would consider Sunday as CD1, so my appointment (u/s) was scheduled for Tuesday morning.  Tuesday, June 29th, I went in for my CD3 u/s.  I was a little taken aback by the u/s tech's first words to me.  She came in and said "aren't you supposed to be pregnant by now?"  I knew she was just joking and didn't mean anything harmful by it, but it made me a little uncomfortable and stung a bit.  Then she looked at the chart and saw it was only my 2nd month (2nd cycle) with them.  She said that I had some good things going last cycle - good lining, made a follicle big enough and I ovulated.  She started the u/s.  She said that I shed my lining, had no residual fluid and lots of eggs / follicles.  I met with the nurse and she gave me a calendar with the details of the plan for this cycle.  My plan for this cycle: Clomid for 5 days starting on June 29th.  Follistim injection on July 5th.  OPK on the 7th and 8th.  U/s on the 9th.  Ovidrel injection timed with ovulation.  IUI (2 rounds) timed with ovulation.  Start Prometrium 4 days after ovulation / Ovidrel injection.  Progesterone b/w one week after Ovidrel injection. The plan this time is similar in that I had the CD3 u/s, took Clomid for 5 days starting on CD3 and have a Progesterone b/w 1 week after ovulation.  It differs from last time because this time I will get Follistim injection instead of Gonal F and I receive it on CD9 where as I had the Gonal F injection on CD13.  I will also start Prometrium 4 days after ovulation. 

I started Clomid for 5 days that evening.  Instead of Gonal F, I had to purchase Follistim.  I received that injection on the 5th (CD9) in the back of my upper right arm.  Man, that injection stung and burned going in and even afterwards for a bit.  I was glad I went in to have the nurse give me the injection instead of trying to do it myself.  I don't know if I could've done it myself.  I took an OPK on Wednesday and Thursday with negative results for surge.  This morning when I went in for my u/s, I was having terrible pain and pulling below my stomach.  I told the u/s tech and she said something must be happening. I was actually fearful that I had ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (ohs).  Well thankfully that's not what the pain was.  My lining was 7.6, I had no residual fluid and 4 follicles that she measured in my Left ovary.  They measured 25.5, 19, 16 and 10.5.  In my right ovary, I had 2 follicles that she measured.  They measured 15 and 10.5.  I was very excited about this news.  I can't believe all the follicles that are at a good size.  The tech said they measure any follicle over 10, but that they didn't expect the 10.5 ones to do anything.  She said the follicle that measures 16 (in my left ovary) and the one that measures 15 (in my right ovary) could still get bigger, so we couldn't discount them.  The tech said that is the reason I am having so much pain.  She said that I should just take it easy.  After the u/s, I saw the nurse.  She said that they had to go over my risk for multiples and make sure I wanted to proceed since I have 3 good size follicles in my left ovary.  She also made it clear that just because I have 3 good size follicles, nothing could still happen.  I told her I understood and wanted to go ahead with the plan.  She gave me the Ovidrel injection.  I must just be a wimp because that burned going in, too.  I have an IUI scheduled for tomorrow and Monday.  I start the Prometrium on Tuesday and go for a Progesterone b/w on Friday. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

IUI, Post-Ov Ultrasound and Progesterone Bloodwork

Sorry I haven't posted an update about the IUI.  I guess I have just been trying not to think about it much and trying to focus on other things so I don't drive myself crazy.  June 10th, I went in for the IUI with DH's specimen in a cup tucked inside my clothes so that I could keep it close to my body (that's what they suggested I do).  The IUI was about 10 minutes long.  The nurse brought in the tube with the sperm and said there were lots of sperm in the specimen I brought in.  Yeah!!  She showed me the tube.  It was cloudy looking.  She said that was good and means there are lots of sperm in there.  She brought out a long thin needle thing, which is what she used to inject the sperm in me.  The procedure was fine except for when she hit my uterus.  We were talking and I stopped in mid-sentence.  She asked if I felt discomfort.  I said yes.  She said that she must have hit my uterus and needed me to tell her if I felt any discomfort  because she can't tell how far she has injected it / if she is hitting the uterus.  After the procedure, I layed on the table for about 5 minutes before I left.  I felt some pressure in my vaginal area, but other than that felt OK. 

I was pretty tired.  DD and I took a 3+ hour nap.  It was great! 

I went in the next day (June 11th) for a post ovulation u/s.  The tech said my lining was now at an 11.  Good!  She could also tell that an egg was released because there was fluid.  She said we had done everything we can up to that point.  She said 2 weeks after I had the Ovidrel, I can take a test.  She did warm me about taking it too early though, to avoid getting another BFN.  I am to call when I receive a BFP or if AF visits. 

DH and I drank a bottle of one of our favorite wines (because hopefully soon I won't be drinking any for about 9-10 months) and he toasted "to our growing family."  That was such a sweet toast!  I loved it and I love him.

June 15th I went in for b/w to check my progesterone level.  The nurse called the next day with the results.  She said my level was a little low.  They like it to be at least 20 and mine was at 13 (which was no surprise since my ob/gyn diagnosed me with LPD).  They want me to take 100mg of Prometrium 3 times per day.  She said that I should call the office by the 25th, unless I receive a BFP before that (then I need to call right away).  If I get a BFN and no visit from AF, they are going to do b/w.  I plan on testing today actually (the 24th).

Since then it has just been a waiting game and I have been trying to focus on other things and not think too much about it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

PostCoital Test

Wednesday I woke up with a horrible back ache.  It ached all day.  I went to the ARS' office for the postcoital test.  I guess I have been in the office enough, I didn't even have to check in. As soon as I walked in the door, the receptionist waved to me.  They were running late, about 30 minutes.  This was the first time I have ever had to wait.  It was no big deal.  Things / emergencies, non-emergencies come up.  The doctor was actually not in.  He was in Portland and then heading to San Diego for a conference.  After the nurse called my name and took me to the exam room and after undressing from the waist down, while I was sitting on the table, I noticed a very long pair of scissors on the exam table.  Actually I wasn't sure at that point if they were scissors or what they were.  They looked like scissors and I was kind of starting to freak out.  I almost took a picture of the instrument, but didn't want the nurse to walk in and see me bare butt taking a picture of this instrument.  The nurse came in and we started talking about the instrument.  She said that they probably shouldn't have put it out on the exam table first because it might have freaked me out.  I told her that I was a little scared of it.  She said that the exam would feel similar to a pap smear.  She said that she would stick the scissor-like instrument up me to get samples (4 of them) of my CM.  It didn't really hurt per say, but was uncomfortable and definitely lasted longer than a pap smear (at least any I have ever had).  She said that I had plenty of CM, which was good because sometimes when women take Clomid it messes / depletes their CM.  She took the 4 slides in to look at.  When she came back, I could tell that the news wasn't the best.  She said that my CM looks good, but there aren't as many sperm as they like to see swimming around.  She said they like to see 5-10 and only saw maybe 2-3.  The nurse said that at this point we could do 2 things: 1) could do IUI the next day and then continue with the plan or 2) continue with the plan.  She explained what IUI was - DH collects his sample in a container at home no more than an hour before my appointment.  I bring the sample to the office and they clean and select the "perfect" sperm which takes 45-50 minutes then they use a catheter to insert the sperm into me.  She said that this procedure costs $250.  She said normally for an IUI cycle, they would do it 2 times per each cycle, but since I had the postcoital test this cycle, we could only do it 1 time.  She said that there is a possibility (small) that I could get pregnant with the 2-3 sperm that are there and that it was up to us. She said if I thought DH and I would be at all interested to go ahead and schedule it and that I could always cancel it.  DH said that we should go through with it.  So in a little over 6 hours, he will collect a sample and then I will take it to the ARS' office and the IUI procedure will be started. 

I have to say when the nurse said that there wasn't enough sperm in the CM, I had mixed feelings. Part of me was like what, I can't believe that about my man.  Then I was almost relieved that this wasn't all my "fault".  Then I was kind of scared and unsure of what to do / think next.  DH said after I told him the news, he felt depressed at first.  He said that he started thinking "It's because I'm overweight."  "It's because I drink too much diet coke."  "It's because of the underwear I wore growing up."  Then he said that he told himself "Why should I do this to myself, I didn't think this way about DW when we thought it was issues with her?"  I told him that he has a glimpse of what I feel like every day.  Now he knows (kind of) what I feel like and how I feel.  The truth is it is not my fault or his fault.  I don't know why my body won't ovulate (regularly) on it's own and why he had low sperm count / numbers in the CM.  I don't know if we will ever know.  Maybe it is something that we did or are doing, but maybe it isn't.  Maybe that's just the way it is and no matter what we did or do, it will still be the same.  I know that God is preparing our hearts for a 2nd child.  When we are ready He will bless us with that wonderful gift.  It's on His terms and time table.  All we can do is pray to Him and keep loving each other.  We definitely can't blame each other or ourselves.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

That's Your Baby Maker and Ovidrel Injection

I used the OPK on Sunday and Monday and had no surge, so I called the ARS' office to schedule an u/s.  I was a little (OK, quite) disheartened that I hadn't received a surge.  I went to the u/s yesterday, which was CD16, and got great news!  While the tech was doing the vaginal u/s, she first checked my lining.  She said that it was looking good and was at a 10.  She said they like it to be 8 and above.  She then checked my uterus and checked for any fluid (which could have been left over indicating we missed my ovulation). Thankfully there was no fluid.  She viewed my right ovary and found a lot of small follicles.  Then viewed my left ovary and found the Baby Maker (as she referred to it).  She measured the biggest follicle and it was at 21 1/2!  Anything 18 and above is good.  I was so happy and excited when she told me how big it was.  She said that one is going to be your Baby Maker.  You can get dressed and go up to the front.  As I got off the u/s table and started to get dressed, I got so anxious, excited, happy, emotional, nervous, scared, etc that I started to cry.  I got a hold of myself, but was shaking a little.  I was so scared going into that appointment that things weren't going to progress.  I was feeling something going on inside, but didn't know what.  I guess I was feeling my body getting ready to ovulate!  I saw the nurse and she said that basically now they give me the Ovidrel injection, DH and I should get together that night or the next morning, come in on Wednesday for a post coital test, post ovulation u/s on Friday and progesterone b/w next Tuesday.  She gave me the Ovidrel injection in my right upper arm.  It stung a bit.  Needles are just unpleasant going into the body (at least for me).  I scheduled my appointments and left. 

Later, I was thinking that no matter what happens I thank God for getting me this far.  Knowing that my body (with the help of medication) has gotten to this point is somewhat of a relief to me.  Don't get me wrong, my ultimate joy will be when I hear those beautiful words: "you're pregnant!" and then of course when we hear our beautiful baby make his/her first cries / sounds! 

I am pretty nervous about the post coital test this afternoon.  I hope that everything is good and doing what they are supposed to be doing.  As stupid as this may sound, I just want to know when the ARS / nurse / u/s tech can tell us if we are pregnant.  I am not sure how much longer we have to wait to find out.  Then I think about twins / multiples.  Twins run in both of our families.  In my family both of my parents have twins in their family.  Then the Clomid, Gonal F and Ovidrel run the "risk" of multiples.  So does all of that multiply our chances of having multiples?!?  First I think, well I only have one follicle that is big enough to produce a mature egg, but then I am reminded that the egg can split to form twins, too. 

If you can't tell, I am a very impatient person.  I try to be more patient.  I try to be patient and listen to what God is trying to tell me or teach me during the waiting, but it's hard for me.  I feel like I have been patient long enough.  Yes, I understand that to some people TTC for 8 or 9 months is not very long.  I know that many have been trying for years and years.  I can't imagine that.  I don't know what I would do or will do if that is how long our journey is.  I know that things are in God's hands.  I have to put my trust in Him and know that His plan is what is best for me.

If you have a chance to say a little prayer for me and that the tests in the upcoming days all come up good and we get a positive result soon, I would really appreciate it.