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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our IUI

This cycle we moved ahead and decided to try IUI. It meant having the healthiest sperm for the job and shortening their "travel" distance. For us this seemed like a good direction to go in since our cycles thus far have been unsuccessful. We also added injections to the protocol. To say this cycle was emotionally taxing is an understatement at best. Every injection was an internal battle I had to wage against my mind. Sometimes I managed to get over the fear quickly and sometimes I had to just walk away and come back. We have several ultrasounds and blood work just to monitor the growth of everything.

We've been cycling now for just over 4 years. Through that time we have tried natural supplements, tried without preventing when we needed a break, and seen fertility specialists. At this point cycling has become almost a dreaded venture because I can never shake the doubt that this round won't work, just like the last, and every other time before. This cycle was the first in a long time that I've been genuinely excited about and had some kind of hope in. We were moving ahead and trying something new, and maybe, just maybe this would be the cycle that made us parents. I tried not to get to overly hopeful because I know how crushing it is when the cycle is over and the pregnancy test in front of you is almost mocking you because yet again you're not pregnant. This cycle I have been sick, in pain, and having other "symptoms" I usually don't have; all of which gave me more hope because they are also usually related to early pregnancy.

Today was technically test day but I tested a day early because I couldn't wait any more. Some friends of ours, who have also been struggling with infertility, just announced their IVF cycle was successful. When I read the news I was so incredibly happy for them and in this moment I had the most doubt I had ever had about this cycle. Something just told me this wasn't it for us; It just would've been too perfect my friend and I finding out we were pregnant at the same time. Honestly this is what moved me to test early against the wishes of John. The panic and anxiety were just too much and I couldn't wait any longer.

I tested yesterday morning and just had I come to expect in the past 24 hours it was negative. Another cycle done and we were no closer to being parents than we were before. My amazing Husband tried to soothe my hurt and comfort me, just like I needed. I told him I'd test today just to "double check" since today was our actual test day. I tried to ignore the pain of another failed cycle but randomly through the day things would trigger it and I would start crying. By the end of the day all I wanted to be cuddling with John on the couch and not think about anything and forget the day. When he came home that's exactly what I did. This morning I got up and without any hope I tested again only for it to tell me what I already knew. Even though I already knew this it wasn't any easier to acknowledge.

Right now we're not sure what our next step is but at the very least we'll be taking a month off from cycling just to decompress from this cycle.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

For Now

So John lost his job about 3 weeks ago which means we don't have the money to go to the RE right now. He's working really hard to find a new job and has talked to several people. I am trying to be supportive of in through this because I know it has been really hard on him. There isn't a lot we can do on our infertility journey without going to the RE.  So I've decided to do what I can right now.

I've been really bad about taking my Metformin. I am working my way back up to my full dose. I am supposed to take 2,000mg (500mg x 4) everyday. When I initially started taking Metformin I took 1 pill for a week and then added one and continued this until I worked up to the 2,000mg. So I went and refilled my Metformin and started taking it yesterday. I am taking 2 pills right now. I'll do this for about a week and then jump to the 4 pills.

I bought some prenatals. I was taking a regular women's multivitamin and I finally finished the vitamins. They don't have DHA but I am taking a fish oil supplement that makes up for that. I also got a cinnamon supplement that is supposed to have some of the same effects as Metformin. It is really a see if it works. There are studies on it but just like everything else some swear by it and some hate it. I am still taking my vitamin D. I don't know that I actually need to take it but it is shown ladies with pcos are at more of a risk of vitamin D deficiency than ladies without pcos. I am going to take the rest of the pregnitude that I have but once it runs out I am not going to buy anymore until John gets a job since it is about $35 a box. When we get things settled I will start it back up.

I re-downloaded the myfitnesspal app on my phone. I started tracking my food intake today. Today I have come in underneath my allotted calories; which makes me happy even if it is the first day. I also have drank nothing but water today (except for the milk in my cereal). So far just over 8 cups of water which is impressive for me. I'm not big on water so I am very proud of how much I have drank.

I am going to work on exercising more. I am a server in a restaurant so I am on my feet at work but I know I need more than that. I haven't exactly decided what I am going to do yet. I may do random exercises to work different parts of my body. When we figure things out I am going to look at going to a gym. We are more than likely going to be moving to Columbia (6 hours away) so I don't want to join one here and then us move. Plus I can't afford the extra expense. So I am going to work with what I have at home. I have several videos, some light weights, and a jump rope.

I am so motivated to get my weight under control. I have know I needed to lose weight for a while and I am excited to actually be doing something about it. I am hoping what I am doing will work. Now I just have to make sure I stay determined and committed to this new "mission" I'm on! Then when we move and John finds a job we will go to a new RE and get things really rolling again.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

I don't make new years resolutions. Usually it has been because I just find it silly and if I don't make one then I don't have to feel bad if I don't stick to it. This year I have decided to do some things better but I am still not calling them resolutions. They are things I should have already been doing and need to work on doing better. Really it is more about self improvement which will help me in the long run.
  • Taking care of myself completely
    • Mentally
      • I have struggled with depression since I was 15 but since I was diagnosed with pcos and we started our IF journey it has been worse. I have good days where I can go without thinking about our struggle and I have days where I feel like I am going to burst into tears at any minute. Even on my good days if I still am hypersensitive to anything child related. I cry at commercials with babies in them. It is insane. There is a college commercial where they are asking graduates who they went to school for and this man says his son. Who is standing right next him - he's a young boy less than 5 definitely. The boy walks over and hugs his and tells him he loves him...I cry every single time I see this commercial. Which is why I feel like I need to start taking steps to make myself feel better. Doing more things for myself that help me de-stress. For instance I have taken to aromatherapy to help with my stress levels and mood. I don't put a lot of stock in it or swear by it but I do like having the nice aromas in my house and they do help me relax. I've even found a mixture that helps me sleep. It is small but it helps and every little bit is nice. I've thought about going back to therapy but haven't committed to it yet. 
    • Emotionally
      • This really kind of goes hand in hand with mentally. I am tired of being on an emotional roller coaster. I know it won't stop completely with IF. I know I can cut it out the negative influences. For example in the past when I have talked to a certain person about my struggles with IF they make me feel stupid for being upset. They make comments that just make me feel worse. It is so hard to talk to people about IF if they have not experienced it themselves because they don't truly understand what you're going through. For example I have days where I hate my body. I have days where I fell broken and my body has betrayed me. I have days where I feel like I am less of a woman because my ovaries don't release eggs on their own. I have days where I feel like a bad wife because I can't give my Husband children without medical intervention. I cry and get even more depressed every. single. time. I take a pregnancy test and it is negative or I get bad news about a cycle - then all I want to do is lay in bed. 

        • People really have no idea and that is okay because I would not wish IF on anyone. If I talk to you about my/our struggle(s) all I really want you to do is listen and be supportive. Don't tell me it took you a while to get pregnant when it only took you 7 months. We have be trying for 2 years now - yes longer than we've been married (for this very reason). I'm sorry this one kind of turned into an IF rant. I get kind of emotional about it if you couldn't tell, but it is all true.

    • Physically
      • I really want to lose weight and I know I really need too. I weigh 235 the most I have weighed ever and it is really depressing to think about. I really want to get down to 150 which is at the top of the range for my height. Although I would be happy with being 160 which is where I was in HS. I know it won't happen quickly but I am going to starting full force now. I am going to start eating healthier (times and food) and exercising on a regular basis. I've been making excuses for too long now. While my job doesn't make it easy to eat at the right times it is doable. The main force fueling my motivation right now is knowing if I lose weight I will have a healthier and happier pregnancy when it finally happens. This is a huge motivation for me. Being healthier in general and having better overall health is just icing on the cake. 
  • Being a better wife and focusing on my Husband
    • He has been so amazing through our journey so far. He's been strong and supportive even when his heart was breaking with mine. Without him I don't know what I would do. He's an amazing man and I am so lucky to have him in my life and by my side. We've had a lot happen recently. Some bad and some good and I have tried to be as supportive for him as he has been for me. I only hope I am succeeding. In April we will have been married for 2 years and I don't even see an end in sight. I am excited to have a lifetime experiencing new things with him and growing together. He's the love of my life and he helps me be a better person. He is such a blessing.
I know this post was kind of depressing (except for the part about my Husband) but thank you for taking the time to read it. Here is to hoping this new year will be our year to start our family as well as our friends find this same happiness. We have connected with some amazing people who are struggling with IF and we wish them all the best. They have supported us and prayed for us even though we don't know them personally (some we do) and we want them to know we return the favor. I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for us. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving + Update

Thanksgiving Day!!

John and I hosted Thanksgiving at our place this year. My Dad and Stepmom were out of town this year which is where we typically go (if we go anywhere). John was so excited because this was our first time hosting Thanksgiving as a married couple. We cooked a huge meal and my brothers came over. We had turkey, ham, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes; for dessert we had brownies and pistachio pudding. We ate and watched Friends - we had an amazing time! Then we played Xbox together. My Mom wasn't able to make it but we missed her. I made sure to send leftovers home with the boys so she could at least enjoy the delicious food!

Things I am thankful for:

My Husband, John - he has been so amazing this year (well in general). We have been through a lot this year - some highs and some lows. No matter what he is there for me and takes care of me. He is so patient and loving with me. I know our infertility journey has been hard on him but he really has been so strong for me throughout this. I can't wait until we have our little miracle family because I know he will make a wonderful Father to our children.

My Family - They are amazing and I wouldn't be who I am today without them. They keep me crazy and sane at the same time if that is even possible. They are a crazy bunch but I they are amazing nonetheless.They have supported me and loved me through my rough times. I hope they know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

As for an update on our infertility journey. We have an appointment with an RE on Dec. 16th. We are going to talk to them about Femara. It is like Clomid but some women respond to one and not the other. I am hoping that if my doctor thinks it is worth trying this will be the case for us. If not then we have exhausted oral meds and will have to move on to injects. I am super nervous and stressed about this. However I know no matter what we have to do to have our little family it will all be worth it. If we do move on to injects we will have to decide on whether we want to try IUI or jump straight to IVF. I think John is leaning toward IVF because while it is more expensive it does have better success rates than IUI. I'm not sure where I am with it honestly. Ideally I would want to do IVF rather than trying IUI but I'm just not sure. The whole thing stresses me out. Right now I am just trying to take this one day at a time and not stress too much.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Follie Check

Today at 2:50pm we had our follie check to see the progress of what had happened due to us being on Metformin + Dexamethasone + Clomid this cycle.

Guess what was there!!

NOTHING...

Yeah freaking nothing. No follies.

Our doctor told us we have two options. We can go on break for a couple of months and I can start taking birth control + Spironolactone to bring my testosterone levels down even more. Then in a couple of months check my levels and if they are low enough we can try the Clomid again. If we don't want to do this he recommends we go to an Reproductive Endocrinologist so we can start injectables that are stronger and will make me ovulate.

John and I had a long conversation about what we should do. John thinks we should move on to the RE and talk to them about injectables. Quite honestly I do agree. I am not looking forward to injectables but in the end I know it will be worth it. He looked into our insurance to see what it will and won't cover in regards to IUI and IVF. We are going to wait for responses to the questions we sent to our health insurance provider and then make an appointment with an RE. Come up with a new plan and decided if we want to try IUI or jump to IVF.

I was pretty devastated when we initially came home but now I am feeling better. I am still really upset about the fact that the Clomid did absolutely nothing. That right now we are just stuck in this waiting game until it is time to start a new cycle. However the fact that our insurance is actually going to cover a good deal of our expenses for IVF makes me feel better. I am feeling hopeful for the future of our journey - even if I am not excited about injectables.

Now I am going to work on focusing on losing weight and taking better care of myself. That's all I can do and try to be positive because I know that negativity will only hurt me more in the long run.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Day At a Time

Today was better than yesterday but still not great. I went to work and had a pretty decent day but it seemed no matter what I couldn't shake my depressed state. Somehow almost every single song had some thing that made me just want to burst into tears. I felt like I was on the verge of tears all day long. A couple times I teared up and had to take the time to come down from that ledge. I can't after all be crying at my tables.

This morning before work I called and scheduled an ultrasound for tomorrow to see if the Clomid actually worked. So tomorrow we have an appointment at 2:50pm to see if any follicles are maturing on the Clomid or if nothing is happening. If nothing is happening it will be the end of this cycle of treatment. No more waiting around until CD 30 to see what happened. If nothing is happening I am going to talk to my doctor about Femara. Femara is used for the same purpose of Clomid but sometimes women with PCOS respond better to Femara.

Based on whatever my doctor says will depend on what our next step is. We will either do one of two things probably. Either we will take a month break and I will go back onto Spironolactone to try and reduce my testosterone levels again. Or we will do another medicated cycle with Femara if I'm not responding to the Clomid.

I am trying so hard to prepare myself for tomorrow. I am hoping for good news but at the same time I am trying to remain realistic. I don't want to get my hopes up and then have them crushed tomorrow. When really I know it won't matter. I can go over all of the outcomes in my mind and have thought about them and what they mean for us but in the end it won't matter. If we get less than good news tomorrow I am going to be crushed because it will be another fail.

So really at this point I am stuck in this waiting loop that is a nightmare.

Sometimes You're Going to Break Down.

So yesterday started off fine then went to not great to just a mess.

I woke up in an odd mood of sorts. I didn't feel personable just very socially distant; which is never a good way to start the morning unless I have the day off - which I didn't. I had to work all day. I got yelled at by my boss at work because I was on time...she insists we be there 15 minutes early for a pre-shift meeting even though we aren't scheduled that early. Whatever I knew I was supposed to be there early and something family came up so I was right on time - which to her means I was late. She pulled me aside and chewed me out for it in front of out brand new manager that I had never met. Thanks a lot. Number one I don't need that - especially since I am ALWAYS on time. Number two that makes me look bad when this was one time.

So on my break I'm on Facebook on my phone chatting with some girls from work about random stuff and I come across a status update from one of my best friends from Nwa announcing she is pregnant. Not only is she pregnant she is due in April so she is about half way done. She knows the gender of her baby - which is in the post. I immediately texted John who was at home. I told him the news and just said wtf.

Let me start this portion by saying this. I am very happy for her and her sister. Both are pregnant and both are very very good friends of mine. I love them like family and they have been there for me through a lot. I know both women will be amazing mothers without a doubt. Congratulations are in order for both of them. I love you both if you read this.

That being said this was not my reaction when I first read this post. I knew I was happy but all of the sudden I am trying to hold back tears sitting next to my coworkers because she has what I want so desperately. I teared up just a little bit but seemed to keep it together and tried to act normal for the rest of our conversation - even though I noticed I became more distant. Work picked up and I didn't think about it for several hours. At the end of the night I got to eat because I trained and as I am eating and everything is coming down and my mind can actually start thinking about other things besides work it starts to sink in and hit me. All of the sudden I realize I am about to freak out and I am still at work. One of the girls who I had been talking to came in and noticed I was upset. She mentioned she had noticed earlier but didn't want to say anything because the girl we were sitting with is new and doesn't know us that well. I told her I was fine and about the news I had read on FB. She gave me hug because she knows about our struggle and she just told me she was really sorry. It was very sweet and I really appreciated it.

I took some deep breaths and finished my closing work so I could come home to my wonderful Husband - who I hadn't seen all day. When I got home I was on the verge of just emotionally breaking down because I had been holding it in all day and finally I was home. Home were no one would judge me for being upset someone is pregnant and make me sound like an awful person and take it personally. Home were I can cry my makeup off in that ugly way and not care. I think I made it 5ish minutes of being home before I just hit a wall and it all came crumbling down. John noticed I was tearing up and he hugged me and just "It's going to be alright" and bam nothing but tears. I don't know how long we stood there in our bedroom but I cried and I cried. He continued to reassure me but just held me which is what I needed. When I calmed down for a moment he went back to continue fixing dinner and instructed me to get changed and go sit on the couch and relax. He is so sweet and amazing. I managed to make it out of the rest of my work clothes and just had to sit on the bed and I cried again. He came back I think two or three more times and I was still just crying.

I know I have a couple ladies that read my blog and completely understand where I am coming from and then I have others who read this blog to keep up with us and support us - and I love you all!

This announcement hit me worse than any other announcement has. I see them all the time. Someone just had their baby...someone else is having their baby...someone else just found out their pregnant; and usually while it makes me think about our situation and how much just absolutely sucks I don't dwell on it and it is relatively fine. This girl is my best friend. I know her very very well. This part is going to sound kind of bad and I don't mean it to be ugly. But she isn't married - which I am not condemning her for. My brain just goes into overdrive and freaks out because I am married. We do have room for kids and are actively trying to have kids. We have been trying for 23 months - yes we've made it to 2 years. Then from there I get upset because I wish we could just catch a break. I wish that things would just happen like they did for her with no care in the world. I wish my body worked like it was supposed too. People who haven't suffered from infertility don't truly understand the magnitude of how hard and painful this is. I go through times where I feel pretty good. I do whatever our protocol is and it's fine. Then I  have days where I wake up hating this cycle we're stuck in. Hating my body for betraying me and not working like it should. Hating everything that goes with infertility. Then I start looking at the fact that most of my closer friends have kids. My younger cousins have kids and they aren't married (again not condemning). Its just I look at all of it and it is just like why not us?

Needless to say yesterday ended up being awful. Thank goodness for my amazing Husband. I came home from work and he took care of me. He cooked me dinner of exactly what I wanted. He tried to get me to relax. He's just so wonderful and he was exactly what I needed last night - understanding and patient.
 

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