Friday, May 31, 2013

Still Waiting...

I just thought I would update you all real quick as to where I am in my cycle in case anyone was curious.

Today is CD 22, and I have not had a positive OPK yet. My temps were holding steady at 97.18 for about a week and then dropped to 96.63 this morning. I had copious amounts of beautiful EWCM for a couple days and now nothing. I can honestly say I have no clue what my body is doing. 

Am I Disappointed? Yes.

Am I Surprised? No.

I started out this cycle feeling confident that I would get a positive OPK around CD 16-19. I started testing on CD 7, because I'm, well, strange. I did have ovary pains from CD 14-17 and thought for sure I was going to ovulate. Those days and thoughts have come and gone. I know that in the past I have ovulated as late as CD 43 according to my P4 but I am not going to keep taking OPKs until then; it is too expensive, however, I will keep charting. 

Since we are suppose to be on a "break" I don't want to stress myself out too  much but that is what I am doing. We were hoping we could catch a surge and time intercourse appropriately but it is proving to be difficult. A close friend mentioned that maybe I need to break from the pee sticks and some time to just be. She is right. I am breaking up with the OPKs for the time being. It's over.

That is all I have for now. 

Hope everyone is doing well! 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finding Purpose

For a long time I have felt like my life wasn't meaningful; like I wasted it away. I don't have a fancy college degree; although I am working slowly towards one. I don't have a high paying career, I don't even know what I want to be when I grow up; other than a mommy. To be honest, I hate working for other people and I get burnt out pretty easily.  It is not that I am lazy or that I am a quitter; because we all know that isn't true, just take a look at my TTC timeline, but I just get sick of doing the same thing without going anywhere. I want a job that I love, I want a job where I have purpose and meaning, a job where I can really make a difference.

Tonight at the dinner table I was telling my husband about all the things going on in the blogging world. I told him about all the of the new "likes" the blog's FB has gotten and how many new followers I have. I was telling him that I have encouraged a couple ladies to start blogging and I have done my best to lead people to them, I also expressed to him how wonderful it felt to be able to help others, as someone once helped me.

I jokingly said "I have a gift."
"Too bad that gift doesn't pay out" DH chuckles.

Then is dawns on me.

Maybe my purpose is not having this great paying job and fancy career. Maybe my purpose is this; to help those suffering, with nothing else but my compassion, love and sincerity. I mean, in reality, it is what makes me feel most alive and happy. I could settle for volunteering and helping others suffering with no problem at all. Money is not what makes me happy, touching lives is what makes me happy. Although, paychecks are nice, and of course they are necessary; they are not my purpose.

Growing up, my dad always told me I would be a great nurse because I am so compassionate and that I would also make a great lawyer because I like to argue and I can be pretty persuasive. I obviously didn't pursue those paths. Instead, I screwed around for too many years and did some pretty stupid stuff. 

Thankfully, those days are behind me now but they taught me valuable lessons. After I went through those things and over came them, I was confident I wanted to be a counselor of some sort. An addiction counselor specifically and I also wanted to help out in domestic violence shelters. My goal was to pay it forward. I wanted to help others as others helped me. If it were not for those people, I am not sure where I would be. 

The career path that pulls my heart strings isn't the most glamorous, or best paying, and I know it is not easy dealing with addicts, believe me, I know. But what if I am able to change a life? Even just one. Isn't that worth it?

I still wonder if I can do it, if I should do it. Do I have the skills to do it and will I thrive at it.

Is your purpose your passion or is your passion your purpose?

How did you find your purpose? Are you still looking for it?

Too many quotes? Sorry. I couldn't decide! ;-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Happy May ICLW! 

Welcome to all the newbies and hello again to all my regulars!

If you are new and want to read all about our journey you can find all that info in the tabs at the top of my page under "How we got here" and " TTC time line".

Currently, we are trying naturally. I am CD 12 today and I am having some ovulation pains. I think.
I have been testing the OPKs since CD 7 and so far we are negative. The problem with me starting to test too early is that I get very impatient... hence the screen name! ;-)

I am looking forward to hearing from you and I am excited to find new blogs to follow!

Wishing lots of baby dust to all!!

Before I leave you I want to mention a few things... 

First- Amber at Old Lady No Baby is gearing up for a FET on Friday- stop by and send her some baby vibes! I am so hopeful for her. Amber has become a dear friend to me and she really deserves to get her take home baby; not to mention a softball championship!

Second- Please swing by Its Jennifer Juniper and show some love and support. Jennifer is new to the blogging world and is struggling with infertility. She has not been diagnosed yet, but she thinks she suffers from PCOS. I know she would appreciate any advice, support or love you are willing to give!

Third- Not Pregnant and Pissed had a blog review written about the performance she was apart of this last weekend. It looks and sounds awesome! Check it out! 

Lastly- My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. I am thinking of you all

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ovulation and PCOS

I've decided to try and explain why ovulation is so hard to detect for women who have PCOS and use ovulation predictor kits to determine ovulation. I have gotten some questions about my testing habits and I do want to say that I normally only test once a day, but I had purchased a month supply of OPKs that needed to be used within 30 days, so I tested a couple times a day for a while. Typically I test once, in the afternoon, with several different brands. I only do that because I am obsessed and I don't trust any one brand.

Anyway, PCOS and OPKs; here's a short break down:

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Approximately 5%-10% of women of childbearing age have PCOS. Most women with PCOS don’t even know that they have it. In fact, less than 50% of women with PCOS have actually been diagnosed. 85% of women who suffer from PCOS suffer from infertility as well. Most women do not get a diagnosis until they begin trying to get pregnant. Some of the symptoms of PCOS may be overlooked until a woman starts trying to conceive a baby. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: unwated hair growth, fine or thin scalp hair, obesity, skin tags and missing periods.

PCOS is a medical condition that affects women’s menstrual cycles, fertility, hormone levels, and physical appearance. Women with PCOS produce high levels of insulin and higher levels of male hormones or androgens.

During the first half of a normal menstrual cycle, several follicles will develop. Each follicle contains an egg. As the menstrual cycle continues, only one follicle will remain. This follicle will produce the egg during ovulation. Once the egg has matured, LH levels will surge causing the egg to burst from the follicle. This is when ovulation occurs. However, the excess male hormones produced with PCOS affect the production of female hormones necessary for ovulation. A woman with PCOS does not produce enough hormones to cause any of the follicles to mature. They may grow and collect fluid but none become large enough for ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, progesterone will not rise.
Because hormone levels are affected with PCOS, predicting ovulation can be difficult. Some women with PCOS; including myself, usually have an anovulatory BBT chart. If we do ovulate, it may be very difficult to interpret the BBT chart. PCOS may also affect the results of ovulation prediction kits. OPKs work by detecting LH surges. Some women with PCOS have elevated LH hormones making it difficult to use an ovulation prediction kit. OPKs actually warn consumers on the box that the reliability of the test my be compromised if you suffer from PCOS, or use fertility medications.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Let The Peeing on Sticks Commence

It is about that time. Time to start peeing on some sticks. OPK sticks, that is. I am CD 8 today and yesterday I ventured to Target to stock up!

With my luck, 47 OPKs will not get me through a full cycle. Not only do I test several times a day (not because I was told to, but because I am an addict), with several different brands, I am known to have extremely long cycles after stopping fertility meds; but, for now, this is a good start.

I am kind of excited to see how my body reacts with out the help of meds. A part of me wishes we were still monitoring my cycles with blood work and ultrasounds, but at the same time, I am kind of glad that we're not. I am sick of knowing too much during my cycles, and since this is a rest period for us, it is important that I just focus on the OPKs, temps and plain ol' desire! 

The test yesterday was negative. However, since I have PCOS there was a slight line but not one worth noting. It was, in reality, a total negative. 

Does anyone else with PCOS have a hard time with OPKs and having the LH surge present at all times? It is a real pain in the ass for me!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Project Backyard

A few months back my husband decided to tear out the old sod in the backyard since it was basically all dead or dying. For a while there, we were actually going to leave it "all naturale"; my husband has this thing with watering the lawn, he hates it.

After lots of begging and pleading he finally agreed to lay new sod down. We have spent the past several weeks prepping the yard; this last weekend we finished it!

Here are some before and after photos...

What do you think?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ready. Set. Sit It Out.

Yesterday I would have started my 7th round of Femara but instead we are on sort of a break. It is sort of bittersweet for me. I know we need this break for many reasons but trying without the help of western medicine seems weird. Instead, we are going to continue to try naturally. That is, if I even ovulate or have a period again. Every time we stop treatments, including birth control, my cycles go haywire. My cycles go from 30 days to sometimes 53 days (or longer)! It is ridiculous! Then, when I call the RE with concern, they request a P4 check and it always shows some sort of ovulation, so I am forced to continue to wait it out. As if I haven't waited long enough! I swear, it is Murphy's law. Stupid Murphy.

I don't even know what cycle to call this now. Do I count from the time we started "trying" or from the time we met with the RE? Either way we are looking at over three years and four months of negative cycles. That seriously blows! Who knew that I should have won the "least likely to be a mom" award? Growing up, some parents thought I was a bad influence on their girls. I was a little boy crazy, and maybe a little sneaky, so they all thought I was going to end up pregnant at 16. HA! Little did they know that I wouldn't even be able to get pregnant at 31! If they only knew then, what I know now, I might have been able to continue some friendships; that is a whole different subject.

So, here we are, about to take on infertility by ourselves.  I know that it is pretty unlikely that we will achieve pregnancy with out the help of our doctors, but, stranger things have happened. To be honest, I am looking forward to a normal, spontaneous, sex life with my man. I mean, semi spontaneous. I will still use OPKs and I will continue to temp; because I am neurotic like that, but I have a feeling it will be more enjoyable knowing that we are not "invested" in it financially. These next cycles will be inspired by pure, raw, emotion, and desire; something I hope we still have!

We leave for Southern California in one month and I am so excited! A week of doing nothing but hanging out, lounging on the beach, eating, drinking, and whatever the heck else we want to do, sounds like a freaking great time, a much needed time! Mike deserves a break. He works so hard to give us all the things we want and need. He deserves more than just a week off. It is not enough, but it will have to do.

I hope that you don’t leave me while we take a break from fertility treatments. I promise that not all of my posts will be “life posts”. I will continue to write about my infertility journey, I will continue to purge my thoughts regarding this bitch of a battle, because we all know that our minds are consumed with IF, all day, every day, no matter where we are in the journey on the roller coaster. What you won't get from me are posts updating you with lab results, or ultrasounds or doctor's visits, but, I will post my OPKs! I need you to be just as confused with them as I am! Misery does love company!  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How We Spent Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day to all the mom's out there. Yes, I am talking to you as well. You don't have to have a child to be a mom. It has been said all over the blogsphere that we are already Mother's. We are already loving our child even if we haven't met them yet. So, here's to you and me!

I was not forgotten on this day. I have some pretty amazing people in my life. One of my very best friends sent me a card the other day letting me know that she was thinking of me on Mother's day. She said that she admired my strength through all of this. The sentiment made me cry. The gesture was so thoughtful.

Then, today, Mike woke up and made me breakfast before he went fishing. When he came home, he did not come home empty handed. He had gone to the store to pick me up some flowers and a card. He wrote a sweet message in the card, as usual, and signed it from him and Zoie. It is so nice to know that he loves me enough to remember me on days like this. It is nice to know that he understands.

I also got a Facebook post on my wall from Mike's best friend. Chad lived with Mike when we first met. He was the best man at our wedding.  He is such a cool guy and an amazing single dad. Anyway, Chad took the time to leave me a message sending me some love and wishing me a good day. It made me tear up. It is amazing to me how some people can really surprise you.

I am blessed. I am loved. I am not forgotten.

To celebrate our Mother's we had them over for dinner. I made a strawberry bruschetta for an appetizer that was pretty darn good! I used this amazing blood orange olive oil on the toast and topped it with some goat cheese, a scoop chopped strawberries, and then drizzled the top with a raspberry balsamic vinegar, then I finished it off with some sprinkled mint for color! They were delish! I made roasted potatoes, with garlic and shallots, and some roasted asparagus with grape tomatoes, lemon, feta and olive oil and Mike grilled up some tri-tip for dinner. Then, for dessert we had a chocolate silk pie. I didn't make that. Marie Callender did!

I showed my mom the letter I wrote to her on the blog. She couldn't even make it through it all without stopping to dry her eyes. She loved it so much she made me print it off so she could hang it in her quilting room. How cute. I love that woman!

Today was just perfect. We had a lovely visit and shared some laughs. It was a great day.  Oh! And they all loved our new yard, too! My Dad is the master gardener, no joke, so to have him tell us that we did a great job was like winning a gold medal!

I hope you all had a great Sunday!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Letter To My Mother

Dear Mom,

To express in words everything that you are to me would be like trying to fill the Grand Canyon one grain of sand at a time, and to be honest, I am not sure that is a task I would be able to complete. You mean more to me than words could ever express.

Everything I love about myself comes from you; my out going personality, my ability to strike up a conversation with a stranger, my contagious smile, my sense of humor, and maybe even some of my stubbornness, too. You taught me so much about life; everything from tying my shoes to how to be a good wife. I am proud of the person you have helped me to become.

Mom, you are the most selfless person I know. You are always there to help someone and you do it with out a single complaint. I have told you many times that you are an angel and I still believe it. Your soul and heart are so pure. The love you have for those around you is so unconditional. Anyone who knows you loves you.

I wish I could so something extravagant to show you how much you are appreciated, but I have a feeling you prefer the simpler things. So, let me take this time to thank you.

Thank you for never giving up on me even when the rest of the world did.

Thank you for loving me enough to show me tough love. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for you. Your sacrifice saved my life.

Thank you for never giving up on me when I went through that dark period; when loving me must have been like trying to hug a cactus.

Thank you for loving me through all of my rejections of help, love and prayer.

Thank you for your forgiveness.

Thank you for your unwavering support through out our journey through infertility. You don't know how much it means to me to have you lend a hand or an ear.

Thank you for listening to my pain after each negative pregnancy test and for crying with me afterwards.

Thank you for always being positive when I am negative.

Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement when I am ready to give up.

Thank you for always asking about Mike and how he is feeling. So many people forget about him because he is so reserved.

Thank you, for every thing you have done for me, thank you for every thing you have said, and for all the times when you said nothing and just listened.

Thank you for being my chauffeur, my cook, my nurse, my therapist, my confidant and so much more.

Thank you for all those times you let me borrow the vacuum.

Thank you for always being willing to repeat the same recipe to me time after time. You know I tend to lose things.

Thank you for always sending me home with way too many goodies every time I am over to visit.

Thank you for the long, endless, pointless, chats on the phone.

Thank you for always ending every call or visit with the words "I love you". You don't know how many times I needed to hear those exact words, from you!

Thank you for being such a proud mom, grandma and wife.

Thank you for showing me how to be a great mom. You are what a perfect mother looks like. I hope someday I can apply all the things I have learned from you in my own journey of motherhood. 

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for being my mom.

If I ever the get the chance to be a mother, and I am half the mother you are, I will consider my life a complete success.

Happy Mother’s Day.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Shake it Out

Last night I started spotting. Today, it's full flow. Today, is CD #1.

Looking through my symptoms journal, I see that history does repeat itself! 

You see, last year at this time we were camping on the Rogue River. I was 18 DPO. We had just finished a Femara cycle, followed up with a trigger shot and IUI. On Mother's Day, I woke up and headed to the bathroom after I noticed a fall in my BBT. Sure enough, AF had arrived.

I will never forget how positive I felt about that cycle. I was a few days late and my body was doing "new" things.  I was actually thinking that I might be able to call my mom on mother's day with the great news. I may have even played out the conversation in my head days prior. When I went to the bathroom and saw that it was over... I bawled. I sat there, alone, in a stall, bawling and bleeding. Was God ever going to allow me to be a mother? Was he punishing me for my past? Did he think I would be a bad mother? What did I do to deserve this? WHY!?!

A year later, almost to the day, I am in the same boat. We just finished a Femara cycle, with a trigger and IUI. I am DPO 16, and my cycle just started. It is almost Mother's day.

I am not religious by any means, but, lately I have had this strong push to believe in something; to believe in HIM. I spend more time having "conservations" with him. I spend more time holding onto the medallion of St. Gerard a little tighter. I spend more time opening the bible and finding passages to ponder. I spend more time trying to give my: grief, sadness, helplessness and doubt over to him. I am not saying that this is my cure all, or that I fully understand what I am doing, but I will say that I feel better spending some time doing it.

But, today, I would be a liar if I said I didn't feel the devil pulling at me. I can feel him trying to get me to be angry at God. I feel the devil trying to persuade me that these BFN's are God's fault; that he is doing this to me. I can feel the devil weighing me down. 

I can feel "him" weighing me down because have this overwhelming feeling that I want to blame someone. I want to blame God because so many people say "it is God's will", or "Maybe God has another plan" or "pray and to give it time". I want to blame my doctor's for the inability to get me pregnant. I have paid them a lot of money to figure out what is wrong with me and  to help me get pregnant. I want to blame them for the fact that we still don't know why I haven't conceived, or when, or if, I will conceive. But really, all I want to do is blame myself. I am to blame for my failing body. It is my body, my reproductive organs, that don't work. This failure is within me. I should be blaming myself. I am blaming myself. It is just easier to want to blame someone else.

Today, I am going to have to work extra hard to get out of this funk. I know that I can, and that I will. Because being here, in this dark place, is no fun!

There is always darkness before the dawn and after a storm comes the rainbow.

On a side note: The blogging world has once again brought me another fantastic connection. I recently met "Reese" from "Not Pregnant and Pissed". She is fellow Pacific Northwestern-er I helped convince her to start a blog. A place where she can purge her thoughts, feelings and emotions through this journey and hopefully gain lots of support along the way. Please take a moment to stop by and introduce yourself to her. I know she would appreciate the support! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gone But Not Forgotten

Recently, my husband lost one of his long time friends at the young age of 34. I didn't know him personally; I only saw him at a few parties here and there, since we shared mutual friends, but I do remember that he was always smiling and he had such a vibrant energy. His passing left so many hearts broken. So many asking the million dollar question: why?

Shiloh touched so many lives. The stories that were shared at his service were amazing. His friends described him as: passionate, a lover of life, a wine enthusiast, a healer and a peace maker, a giver, and a great hugger. My husband said he loved to be naked. Every day for Shiloh was an adventure. When I looked around the room there were so many different types of people, which goes to show that Shiloh loved you no matter what. He accepted everyone. Shiloh brother in law said "Shiloh lived life more in 34 years than people do in a lifetime". I believe it.

My heart is heavy for the friends and family that lost such an amazing soul, for the young man who lost his life so unexpectedly, but at the same time, my heart is full because I got to experience what kind of person Shiloh was and I got to feel the love he had for them in the stories they shared. And there was a lot of love in that guy.

Shiloh made an everlasting impact on those who knew him and those who didn't. He will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” ~ Bob Marley

Shiloh in Hawaii (photo stolen off FB from his dear, dear friend.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

22- Not The Lucky Number

We have now had a total of 22, yes, twenty two big fat negatives! Three years, four months and a week. That is how long we have been trying, and in that time, we have had to suffer the disappointment of that non existent second line TWENTY TWO times, while under the care of infertility doctors! I can't imagine how many more it would be if I hadn't taken rest cycles; add those in, and the year we spent trying before seeking professional help, and we are looking at close to 40 failed cycles!

I am a little frustrated that this cycle didn't work, but I am not surprised; I am actually quite happy with way I am coping with it. I took the test this afternoon after doing some yard work. The weather was beautiful and I was feeling really positive and happy. Since my BBT has been elevated and I am 13 DPO, I decided to go buy some HPTs and see what the result was. I did not have any feelings one way or another when I took it, although I was really hoping there would be a slight line. When I didn't see the second line, my heart didn't sink like it has 21 times before. I simply threw it away, recorded the results into my FF and went back outside. That negative wasn't going to ruin my day. Not today. Today, I was going to win. 

I am not pregnant. I will saddle up to ride this journey again, just not yet. For now, we are going to be free of doctor's visits, medications, labs, and most importantly, infertility bills! For now, we are going to enjoy the summer, the new yard, camping, beaches, vacations and family. For now, we are going to stop waiting and start living!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

P4 Update

I went in for my progesterone check today, CD 22. My last one was a week ago, CD 15, and it was a non-ovulatory number at .98. Today, however, it was ..... 


That was such great news! I should have ovulated right before the IUI; since we did not see a follicle, only a "beautiful" corpus luteum in the ultrasound. 

I am trying to keep my mind busy and off of the 2WW, which has now turned into the 1WW. I have been here before. Many times. We have had great timing, great P4's, and all cycles were followed by a BFN. So, until it is time to test, or until AF comes, I am going to be grateful that I in fact ovulated! I know that I had some help from the trigger this time, but that doesn't matter to me, because even with out it, my P4s have been coming back robust with the Femara. I remember when I would not ovulate and when my P4 was 8 or below. So, this is good news. One hurdle down.
Now we are faced with a choice. Do we stop trying with the meds or keep taking the Femara and hope that I continue to respond well to the OPKs in order to detect a surge and stick with TI; since the husband has such great swimmers?  I know we said we would stop TTC for a while... but, I feel like a fish out of water when we don't try! Any thoughts?