Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fact or Fiction

I promised myself I wouldn't blog tonight. I was going to wait until tomorrow, after the results of my progesterone test was in; so that I didn't just ramble and so I actually had news to share, but, sometimes, I am unstoppable.

I learned something today at work and I wanted to share it.

If you follow my blog, you know I have PCOS. My acupuncturist, who doubles as my boss, has been doing a lot of research on PCOS since she has seen an increase of patients battling infertility with a PCOS diagnosis.

She had some articles that talked about ovulation and detection of ovulation in women with PCOS. She says that women with PCOS will always test positive with OPKs because of the elevated LH levels that stay stagnant in the body. This I knew. But, she had an article that caught my attention and it was something I did not know!

When I ovulate I always feel side ache pains. They are deep and low. But, I also experience uterine pain. I have always thought that meant my period was coming, so for the next 14 days or so I waited for AF. This article says that women with PCOS may experience uterine cramping during ovulation; that the cramping mimic those of a menstrual cycle.

As I looked back in my notebooks I see that every ovulation I had the same symptoms; uterine cramping being one of them! I started feeling the uterus cramping on CD 19-20. I know I ovulate late on my own, but with Femara I am pretty sure I ovulate on time, or at least pretty close. The ovulation pains, which feel like sharp, pulling sensation, have been continuous on the left side since CD 15, maybe even 13. The last time we did injection treatments and had a follicle check before triggering. I told the doctor that I thought I was going to ovulate from the left side since that was where all my pain was. Well, I was wrong. The left side had zero follicles and the right ovary had one 19mm follicle. My left ovary is just a bit enlarged. Anyway, I found it interesting that all this time I thought I was imagining this pain, that it was all fiction, but it turns out AF and ovulation pains are very similar. Lesson learned.

The other thing the article talked about was stress. It said that spending all your time thinking about and worrying about the number and size of follicles, or Estradiol levels, we should be focusing on the desire. It mentioned belly massage over thought. The act of doing something rather than over thinking things seemed to produce positive results. So next time you start to worry or stress over numbers, stop. Start massaging your belly while focusing your energy on the desire.

Thanks for reading through my rambling.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Torturous Tuesday

You see, Tuesday is my Monday. The office is busy all the time and coming in on Tuesday with all of Monday's stuff to catch up on can really be a drag! Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of laundry I get stuck doing! I. Hate. Laundry.

I am a huge multi-tasker and I do all of my duties well, so sometimes it gets me in trouble! What do I mean? I mean, the more I do and get done, the more sh*t I have to do! I guess it can be called "productivity". I will use that at the next interview I go to when they ask what my strong suits are.. "I am a bad ass productive multi-tasker!" (Ok, maybe not in so many words!)

Which reminds me! I got a call back for a second interview from Friday! The position is full time, with benefits, and vacation; but I am just not sure the position is for me. I am great with insurance, but I hate talking on the phone. The position is for a customer service representative for a small, self-funded, health insurance company. Right off the bat they told me that the schedule was not flexible, which was a turn off for both my husband and myself. I have a really great schedule right now; and the jobs not so bad either, even with the sh*t ton of laundry, and I am able to have Friday afternoons off and Mondays off! So, if we are in Eugene for treatment or need to go; we have that flexibility!  Sometimes, you just have to push through the daily crap, go to work, do your job, and enjoy that moment when you get to clock out and go home! Home is my safe place.

Today I also started thinking about pregnancy tests. Ha! Welcome to the 2WW! I am DPO 3! I have not started imagining symptoms yet... though, I am sure that will come soon enough. I am still having a lot of pains on my left side, but then again, I have an enlarged left ovary, so maybe thats why! My last (+) OPK was CD 17. I guess we can call CD 16 or 17 my "O" day. I never know, its so confusing! I doubt that I ovulate this late, but maybe.
Recently a few people I have gotten to know have either had chemical pregnancies or found out that they are pregnant! I would give anything for a BFP! While I know the chemical pregnancy is a total heart break and not fun; I envy the fact that they even just got a positive pregnancy test. I would give anything for that.

I know the consequences of conception. Anyone in the infertility world has to. Each and every pregnant woman risks miscarriage. Bearing children has no guarantee. My mother carried my brother full term before he died in the womb. My friend had twins at 28 weeks, they both survived. You. Just. Never. Know.
I know to some it sounds crazy; I am sure people who have been there will tell me differently, but after all this time of trying, I just want to know my body can work! Even if it is just part of the time, some times, at the worst of times, the best of times or every time in between; I just need it to work.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let the 2WW begin

I can officially stop testing OPKs! Thank goodness. I am sure people are tired of seeing my results! I had a positive LH surge CD 15 and CD16 (I think).

 Tell me if you can see it.

So, I guess we can consider today DPO#1. I did test this morning (CD17) and there was a line, but, by the afternoon test you can see the line diminish. So, now we are on to the next step. The wait. Ugh. I think everyone I know HATES the 2WW!

Lets hope that I score BIG on my progesterone test on the 1st!

What are somethings you do to pass the time during the dreadful 2WW? I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

(In)fertility 101: Ovulation

I realized that not everyone knows what I am talking about when I say "Femara" or "injections. Not everyone knows the purpose of an OPK, or why we check progesterone levels on certain cycle days. People who are not familiar with the infertility world might wonder what the medications I talk about are used for, why we do "IUI's", and why we test for ovulation multiple times a day, for so many days. So, here I am to explain it; with a little online help! I am still trying to understand it all. Infertility is pretty darn complex. This post will most likely be updated through this blog's life; since new questions arise all the time, and since each cycle differs, there is always something new to learn learn. Because infertility is so complex and because each case is unique in its own way I will mostly discuss and explain MY experience. I will update this post as I receive questions, so like I said... this will be an "under construction" post for a while!

There is so much to explain -where do I start?

I had a friend ask me about OPKs and what they are used for. Lets start with that.

OPK (ovulation predictor kit) is used to detect the LH (luteinizing hormone) which is produce 24-36 hours before ovulation occurs. Ovulation occurs when the follicle is mature enough to release the egg... Following me? The follicle turns into the egg...

By detecting the LH surge it helps plan for timed intercourse, which increases the chances of pregnancy. The average percentage per month to conceive is 20%! TWO days! While ovulation predictor kits measure the LH surge that precedes ovulation, they can't confirm whether you have actually ovulated. Women with PCOS have a hard time relying on OPKs since the LH can stay in the system longer than normal. I have tested many times with false positives. 

A positive OPK will have two lines that resemble each other. Unlike a pregnancy test, the test line on the OPK needs to be similar in color to the control line in order to be considered positive. Usually with a POAS the line cant be slightly visible and still be a BFP!

That is where the progesterone test comes in. About one week after ovulation SHOULD occur, my RE has my progesterone level checked to see how well I ovulated; if at all.  

Progesterone levels should be about 10-15, if ovulation occurred in a non-medicated cycle, and 15+ with a medicated cycle. Progesterone is a female hormone in the body that is produced by the ovaries during the release of a mature egg. Progesterone helps the lining of the endometrium; which is the lining of the uterus (the womb). If pregnancy does not occur progesterone levels will drop and a menstrual cycle will begin. Progesterone in pregnant women usually is about 10x higher than a non-pregnant women.

The very first progesterone test I had done was during a longer cycle and without treatments; it was at 8. The first time I had my levels checked while on Femara it was 29.7!  however, my 2ww ended with a BFN.

Those are ways to detect and test for ovulation. Some women use saliva tests, I never have so I can't speak about them. 

(post is always under construction)

Go baby Go!

Just for fun!

My OPK was POSITIVE last night and that test line WAS there again on this morning stick! My temperature went from 96.58 yesterday to 97.58 today, but I had a lot of interruptions last night trying to sleep, since my dogs are so ill behaved. I am having pains on the left side again and hoping to feel more. Fingers crossed! Lets hope my DH can make it through these next few days. Neither of us are huge fans of TI!

On a side note, my DH is super happy about this ovulation... he really wanted to go fishing next weekend; and now he can!

Friday, January 25, 2013


"How you doin'"? 
It is CD 15 today and my OPK tested positive today (and I have the CM to go with it!). I was ready to throw in the towel because I am an impatient ass. So you can only imagine what joy I felt when I saw that nice, strong, dark line this afternoon! I actually skipped! When I talked to the receptionist at my RE's office I told her "You would think I tested positive for pregnancy by the way I feel!" She laughed. The RN said "Congratulations! That is a positive! (I sent her an email with a photo of my OPK) Now, the important thing is to have intercourse tonight, tomorrow and the next day." I said, "Oh,  we can do that!". Ha ha! Blood work is scheduled for the 1st (Cd 21) to see how "well" I ovulated! 

I am kind of excited, nervous, proud and shocked all at the same time! To most people ovulation is no big deal. Shit, half the time women I know don't even know what to look for when it comes to ovulation! Take my sister for example (I love you sis...) she thought that you ovulated for DAYS! I have another friend who inquires about my infertility stuff and she just goes blank when I talk about follicles, progesterone, or ovaries; she has no idea what any of it means, yet she is a mother to an adorable little baby!

So, yeah, today is CD 15 and I had a positive LH surge! This is my first attempt at TTC since stopping BCP 4 weeks ago. I am not counting on ending this attempt with a positive pregnancy test, but I am not counting it out either! My RN said it can happen, especially in women with PCOS. I am not thinking too far ahead... I am just gonna ENJOY this positive OPK and hope for the best!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

OPK Anonymous

Hi, my name is Teresa and I am an OPK addict. My last OPK was 4 hours ago.
I started testing way too early and I haven't been able to stop. Some times I test once a day, other times I test up to three times a day. I will test no matter where I am. It is a real problem. Lately, I have noticed that I have been compulsively taking pictures of each one and comparing them to OPKS from days prior; trying to find THAT one. This addiction is costing me a lot of money and giving me a lot of grief. 

I am definitely headed towards

Monday, January 21, 2013

Post get-a-way update

Hello ICLW visitors! Happy International Comment Leaving Week! I hope you enjoy my blog. I look forward to reading your comments and following along with you too!
Happy commenting!

We are home! Even after just a short weekend away, there is nothing better than coming home to our two fur babies and our own bed. 

Cottage Grove was fun. Cold. But fun. We didn't do much wine tasting since the vineyards were all 40 minutes away; driving all over I-5, in the fog, after wine tasting didn't sound very smart to us. So we opted from some shopping at Cabela's instead. I scored a super cool new coat and my husband got some fly fishing stuff, duh! We basically just hung out at the Village Green Resort. We walked the dead garden in the freezing cold, hung out by the fire in the lounge, watched some football (I am SUPER stoked about the teams going to the Superbowl!!) checked out the covered bridges, and what they called "downtown" or Main street. I doubt I will go back there in the winter again, but I bet the 14 acre garden is beautiful in the summer!

We did go to Saginaw vineyard and tasted about 8 wines. The Marechal Foch was awesome and the blueberry wine was interesting. While I was there I picked up these two really sweet trinkets to give away to a couple lucky ladies that are apart of a private Facebook page I am a part of. 

All the women in the group are struggling with their own battle of infertility. The group gives unconditional support, hope and constant compassion. We all share our stories, heart ache, and insecurities as well successes with one another. They have become my "friends". I thought it would be fun to send them something in appreciation. Last week the gal who runs the page and the author of "Who is this "Fertile Myrtle?" sent out some homemade soap to a lucky group member. Just cause.

Random acts of kindness RULE!

Today is also CD#11. I have been taking my OPKs daily and the line has gotten darker! I plan to continue testing until at LEAST CD 21. I am usually a late ovulator and with the PCOS I could have several positive false positives in a row. I am one of those that need to watch the line fade.Yes, it can get expensive, lol! 

 This is what the tests look like up to today.

I think this is still early to get a REAL positive, but isn't it funny how a test can test darker at 9am than at 415pm on the same day? Or are my eyes wishing something there, that isn't?
I never know what my darn body is doing- or going to do! It really is hit or miss. I will continue to test and see what happens. It is ONLY CD 11, Teresa! Don't give up and stop rushing it.
Lets hope that we see a REAL dark line in the test window soon and that ovulation happens!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let the testing begin

It is cycle day #8 today. I couldn't wait any longer so I started using my ovulation predictor kits. Today the line looked like this

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yes, I am premature

Today while I work I started have some "pain" on my sides. It was just some pressure pains; I am not really sure how to describe them. I am on my 4th day of Femara and I know its too early to ovulate, but better safe than sorry,  right!? Besides I got a smokin' deal on OPK's at Target the other day!

I remember the very first, and I think, ONLY time I ever felt ovulation. One day while sitting at my desk I felt this "pain" on my right side followed by what felt like a flutter from my ovaries. When we tested my progesterone a few days later its was at 29.7! I had for sure ovulated and the nurse even thought I could have released more than one egg!! Femara definitely did something that Clomid didn't! Lets hope it does something this time too!

And yes, I will post more of these photos.... Don't laugh.


Go away stress!

Today is my second to last day taking the Femara. One more day to go! I am all stocked up on OPKs and will start testing Saturday. Let me say that Femara is so much better than Clomid! Oh my, Clomid is evil. I had mood swings like you would not believe, and horrible hot flashes. I don't notice anything with the Femara and I don't think my husband does either.; at least I haven't heard him complain. He hated the Clomid effects!

Of course, right about now I am hit with too much stress. I feel like I am on edge all the time. Work has me bothered. I love my job (what I do), the hours are nice and pay is good. However, my schedule is looking to change. Our third front desk help put in her notice and so now we are down to two. I might have to close the office every night at 6pm. That means I will get home at 6:30-7pm and in bed by 9pm. My husband gets up early for work, so we are not night owls by any means. Besides, I left a full time job with great benefits, retirement, paid vacation/holidays, because I did not want to work late every single night. We see an RE in Eugene and my current schedule allows travel on a weekday since I have Friday afternoons and Mondays off. This new schedule will make getting to my appointments rather difficult. So, you can see why I am a bit distressed; and all at the wrong time! We have decided that I need to be my own boss. Ha! Wouldn't that be rad! I have also pondered the thought of going back to school. That was another reason why I took this job- so that I could get some more classes under my belt. 

Funny how things change.

I am hoping that this weekend's get-a-away gives me some reprieve. I need to relax and shut things off for a bit. I had a headache all night. This morning I am so tense because I just can't stop worrying about work! Normally I am worried about ovulating and what not... Maybe I am just a worry wort. ;-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I would die for that...

By: Kellie Coffey


Well, there may be a change of plans. I am waiting for a call back from my RE's office as I write this.

I had a cycle start December 28th and it ended January 1st. Once we decided to start trying again I stopped taking the birth control pills. I stopped them 9 days into my cycle. I didn't think there was an issue because the RN just said to stop taking them, she never said when. So, on CD 13 (Thursday) I noticed some spotting. It was very light and almost brown. This was mentioned to Sharon, and we said my cycle could very well start, and that I very well could ovulate. She said in fact that it tends to be the case with women with PCOS. She told me to let her know when I had a full flow.

I called on Friday to tell her that in fact the bleeding had changed. I had to use a tampon that one morning. But, the rest of the day was back to a very light flow with bright red blood and by the end of the night- nothing. Today, I again have very light spotting.

Since the Femara was $138.00, I don't want to waste it by taking it at the wrong time. I have a feeling the bleeding has something to do with stopping the BCPs. I have read online that stopping BCP causes the hormone levels to drop and that will cause menses to start; it can happen 7-14 days after stopping BCPs.

So, right now I am in limbo! I am okay with waiting this month out and just trying for TI. At the same time I worry how long it will be before my next full cycle.

I guess for now, I will sit back enjoy my ONE cup of coffee for the day and wait for a call back!

Happy Play-offs NFL fans! I am sad that Denver is out. What a HORRIBLE interception by Manning in OT! Ugh....

Doctor's office called back at 9am. This is CD#3- Moving forward with Femara #4 at 7.5mg for 5 days!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Femara Cycle #4

It's officially cycle day number uno! I stopped my birth control pills on Saturday the 5th (one week into my cycle). My last period was on December 28th. So, this is an early cycle for sure.

On Sunday, cycle day 3, I am suppose to start my Femara. I am taking 7.5mg this time. The last three times we did Femara cycles we used 5mg and only did a trigger shot and IUI once. I ovulated the first time on Femara remarkably well, my progesterone level was 29.7 on cycle day 21! That's pretty good.

The RN thinks since this is my first cycle off birth control and since I do show ovulation occurring with the Femara we didn't need to do a follicle check ultrasound, or IUI. She was basing this on our economic concern and the fact that I can ovulate and that is really all we need (and properly timed intercourse). However, if I WANT to do a HCG shot and IUI that is entirely up to me. I have this feeling inside that is telling me to just sit back, relax and try to time it right. But, timed intercourse and intercourse every other day for several days puts a lot of pressure on my husband, and an IUI is so much easier, less stressful, and we know the little guys go where they need to go.

So, the plan is to take Femara cycle days 3-7. Starting on cycle day 10, 11 or 12 (since I ovulate late) I will start OPK's. Once I see a slight change we are to "baby dance" that day and the next two days. She recommended every other day after that until cycle day 17. If we chose to do an IUI then we will do  mid-luteal blood work to see where I am in the cycle; we can also do a follicle check if we choose followed up with the IUI at my OB's office, here in town.

On cycle day 10, which is when I can start testing the LH surge, we will be out of town on a mini vacation. We are going wine tasting at a charming resort in Cottage Grove until the 21st; which is cycle day 12. I ovulate late so I may not get a positive surge until we get back but at least we can have a nice time relaxing, drinking wine away from home with one another during my most fertile time! How perfect is that timing?!

Fingers and toes are crossed. Say some prayers for us!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just a little something I came across...

I found this on another blog and wanted to share it with you: My friends, my family, my readers.

A Letter to Family & Friends 
- by Jody Earle

I want to share my feelings about infertility with you, because I want you to understand my struggle. I know that understanding infertility is difficult; there are times when it seems even I don't understand. This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood. I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you. I want you to understand.

You may describe me this way: obsessed, moody, helpless, depressed, envious, too serious, obnoxious, aggressive, antagonistic, and cynical. These aren't very admirable traits; no wonder your understanding of my infertility is difficult. I prefer to describe me this way: confused, rushed and impatient, afraid, isolated and alone, guilty and ashamed, angry, sad and hopeless, and unsettled.

My infertility makes me feel confused. I always assumed I was fertile. I've spent years avoiding pregnancy and now it seems ironic that I can't conceive. I hope this will be a brief difficulty with a simple solution such as poor timing. I feel confused about whether I want to be pregnant or whether I want to be a parent. Surely if I try harder, try longer, try better and smarter, I will have a baby.

My infertility makes me feel rushed and impatient. I learned of my infertility only after I'd been trying to become pregnant for some time. My life-plan suddenly is behind schedule. I waited to become a parent and now I must wait again. I wait for medical appointments, wait for tests, wait for treatments, wait for other treatments, wait for my period not to come, wait for my partner not to be out of town and wait for pregnancy. At best, I have only twelve opportunities each year. How old will I be when I finish having my family?

My infertility makes me feel afraid. Infertility is full of unknowns, and I'm frightened because I need some definite answers. How long will this last? What if I'm never a parent? What humiliation must I endure? What pain must I suffer? Why do drugs I take to help me, make me feel worse? Why can't my body do the things that my mind wants it to do? Why do I hurt so much? I'm afraid of my feelings, afraid of my undependable body and afraid of my future.

My infertility makes me feel isolated and alone. Reminders of babies are everywhere. I must be the only one enduring this invisible curse. I stay away from others, because everything makes me hurt. No one knows how horrible is my pain. Even though I'm usually a clear thinker, I find myself being lured by superstitions and promises. I think I'm losing perspective. I feel so alone and I wonder if I'll survive this.

My infertility makes me feel guilty and ashamed. Frequently I forget that infertility is a medical problem and should be treated as one. Infertility destroys my self esteem and I feel like a failure. Why am I being punished? What did I do to deserve this? Am I not worthy of a baby? Am I not a good sexual partner? Will my partner want to remain with me? Is this the end of my family lineage? Will my family be ashamed of me? It is easy to lose self-confidence and to feel ashamed.

My infertility makes me feel angry. Everything makes me angry, and I know much of my anger is misdirected. I'm angry at my body because it has betrayed me even though I've always taken care of it. I'm angry at my partner because we can't seem to feel the same about infertility at the same time. I want and need an advocate to help me. I'm angry at my family because they've always sheltered and protected me from terrible pain. My younger sibling is pregnant; my mother wants a family reunion to show off her grandchildren and my grandparents want to pass down family heirlooms. I'm angry at my medical caregivers, because it seems that they control my future. They humiliate me, inflict pain on me, pry into my privacy, patronize me, and sometimes forget who I am. How can I impress on them how important parenting is to me? I'm angry at my expenses; infertility treatment is extremely expensive. My financial resources may determine my family size. My insurance company isn't cooperative, and I must make so many sacrifices to pay the medical bills. I can't miss any more work, or I'll lose my job. I can't go to a specialist, because it means more travel time, more missed work, and greater expenses. Finally, I'm angry at everyone else. Everyone has opinions about my inability to become a parent. Everyone has easy solutions. Everyone seems to know too little and say too much.

My infertility makes me feel sad and hopeless. Infertility feels like I've lost my future, and no one knows of my sadness. I feel hopeless; infertility robs me of my energy. I've never cried so much nor so easily. I'm sad that my infertility places my marriage under so much strain. I'm sad that my infertility requires me to be so self-centered. I'm sad that I've ignored many friendships because this struggle hurts so much and demands so much energy. Friends with children prefer the company of other families with children. I'm surrounded by babies, pregnant women, playgrounds, baby showers, birth stories, kids' movies, birthday parties and much more. I feel so sad and hopeless.

My infertility makes me feel unsettled. My life is on hold. Making decisions about my immediate and my long-term future seems impossible. I can't decide about education, career, purchasing a home, pursuing a hobby, getting a pet, vacations, business trips and house guests. The more I struggle with my infertility, the less control I have. This struggle has no timetable; the treatments have no guarantees. The only sure things are that I need to be near my partner at fertile times and near my doctor at treatment times. Should I pursue adoption? Should I take expensive drugs? Should I pursue more specialized and costly medical intervention? It feels unsettling to have no clear, easy answers or guarantees.

Occasionally I feel my panic subside. I'm learning some helpful ways to cope; I'm now convinced I'm not crazy, and I believe I'll survive. I'm learning to listen to my body and to be assertive, not aggressive, about my needs. I'm realizing that good medical care and good emotional care are not necessarily found in the same place. I'm trying to be more than an infertile person gaining enthusiasm, joyfulness, and zest for life.

You can help me. I know you care about me and I know my infertility affects our relationship. My sadness causes you sadness; what hurts me, hurts you, too. I believe we can help each other through this sadness. Individually we both seem quite powerless, but together we can be stronger. Maybe some of these hints will help us to better understand infertility.

I need you to be a listener. Talking about my struggle helps me to make decisions. Let me know you are available for me. It's difficult for me to expose my private thoughts if you are rushed or have a deadline for the end of our conversation. Please don't tell me of all the worse things that have happened to others or how easily someone else's infertility was solved. Every case is individual. Please don't just give advice; instead, guide me with your questions. Assure me that you respect my confidences, and then be certain that you deserve my trust. While listening try to maintain an open mind. 

I need you to be supportive. Understand that my decisions aren't made casually,I've agonized over them. Remind me that you respect these decisions even if you disagree with them, because you know they are made carefully. Don't ask me, "Are you sure?" Repeatedly remind me that you love me no matter what. I need to hear it so badly. Let me know you understand that this is very hard work. Help me realize that I may need additional support from professional caregivers and appropriate organizations. Perhaps you can suggest resources. You might also need support for yourself, and I fear I'm unable to provide it for you; please don't expect me to do so. Help me to keep sight of my goal.

I need you to be comfortable
with me, and then I also will feel more comfortable. Talking about infertility sometimes feels awkward. Are you worried you might say the wrong thing? Share those feelings with me. Ask me if I want to talk. Sometimes I will want to, and sometimes I won't, but it will remind me that you care.

I need you to be sensitive. Although I may joke about infertility to help myself cope, it doesn't seem as funny when others joke about it. Please don't tease me with remarks like, "You don't seem to know how to do it." Don't trivialize my struggle by saying, "I'd be glad to give you one of my kids." It's no comfort to hear empty reassurances like, "You'll be a parent by this time next year." Don't minimize my feelings with, "You shouldn't be so unhappy." For now, don't push me into uncomfortable situations like baby showers or family reunions. I already feel sad and guilty; please don't also make me feel guilty for disappointing you.

I need you to be honest with me. Let me know that you may need time to adjust to some of my decisions. I also needed adjustment time. If there are things you don't understand, say so. Please be gentle when you guide me to be realistic about things I can't change such as my age, some medical conditions, financial resources, and employment obligations. Don't hide information about others' pregnancies from me. Although such news makes me feel very sad, it feels worse when you leave me out.

I need you to be informed. Your advice and suggestions are only frustrating to me me if they aren't based on fact. Be well informed so you can educate others when they make remarks based on myths. Don't let anyone tell you that my infertility will be cured if I relax and adopt. Don't tell me this is God's will. Don't ask me to justify my need to parent. Don't criticize my course of action or my choice of physician even though I may do that myself. Reassure yourself that I am also searching for plenty of information which helps me make more knowledgeable decisions about my options.

I need you to be patient. Remember that working through infertility is a process. It takes time. There are no guarantees, no package deals, no complete kits, no one right answer, and no "quickie" choices. My needs change; my choices change. Yesterday I demanded privacy, but today I need you for strength. You have many feelings about infertility, and I do too. Please allow me to have anger, joy, sadness, and hope. Don't minimize or evaluate my feelings. Just allow me to have them, and give me time.

I need you to be strengthening by boosting my self esteem. My sense of worthlessness hampers my ability to take charge. My personal privacy has repeatedly been invaded. I've been subjected to postcoital exams, semen collection in waiting room bathrooms, and tests in rooms next to labor rooms. Enjoyable experiences with you such as a lunch date, a shopping trip, or a visit to a museum help me feel normal.

Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor; guide me to find joys. Celebrate with me my successes, even ones as small as making it through a medical appointment without crying. Remind me that I am more than an infertile person. Help me by sharing your strength.

Eventually I will be beyond the struggle of infertility. I know my infertility will never completely go away because it will change my life. I won't be able to return to the person I was before infertility, but I also will no longer be controlled by this struggle. I will leave the struggle behind me, and from that I will have improved my skills for empathy, patience, resilience, forgiveness, decision-making and self-assessment. I feel grateful that you are trying to ease my journey through this infertility struggle by giving me your understanding.
Jody Earle

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You've Got Mail

I started this blog for myself and for close friends; that way they could follow along with us through our journey to parenthood, and so I could keep it off  Facebook (for the most part). Today however, I got an email from someone, a stranger, that saw a thread I left with a link to my blog on a status update regarding Hugh Jackman's battle with infertility.

This is what she said: (no editing has been done!)

'One of my friends shared the link to the Huge Jackman story about infertility and I saw your comment. I checked out your blog and found it refreshing...I have PCOS and have been struggling to get pregnant for a few years. I just wanted to say thanks...thanks for publicly expressing how I feel. It reminds me that I'm not alone!' ~A.M.W

And another one! 

"You certainly have a way of describing things in simple terms so that us peons can understand. I didn't realize how diverse the entire infertility world is as far as medications and treatments available. I know that you will find something that works and when it does, you'll be blessed with a child that you'll love that much more. All your blood, sweat, and tears will reward you in the best way imaginable. And thank you for not using a bunch of big words." ~ MAK

Monday, January 7, 2013

What can you say?

Today my sister told me that after browsing my Pinterest boards she was no longer talking to me about PCOS or baby making related topics. She said it is like walking on eggshells. She doesn't know what she can or can't say to me about it.

Boy, is she right. Well, kind of. Not really. But, maybe a little.

It's not that it's a "touchy" subject, it is just that people who are not educated on the two topics tend to give the right advice at the wrong time. I  know that expressions like "it will happen" or "don't worry" are positive and meant to be inspiring, but when said at the wrong time those three simple words cut like a knife. I can't speak for all people battling infertility or PCOS, but I can speak for myself, and when I hear those words I find myself wanting to shake the person while crying out "NOOOOO, it won't! It's NOT that easy!"People who battle with infertility usually have been fighting to get pregnant for months, even years!  So, even if it may happen, we don't want to wait anymore, we want to be pregnant NOW! Don't take my disgust with the phrases personally. It's not personal. It's infertility frustration.

Please, don't get me wrong. Each day I am grateful that I have so many people in my life who are rooting for us, and who are trying to keep us positive. I can't imagine what it would be like to feel all alone in this battle. I am glad I won't ever have to experience that empty, deserted feeling.

I hope deep down my friends and family know that. I hope they know that I appreciate their cheers, prayers, and hopes, that they send our way daily. 

Going through infertility and PCOS is a hard, painful road. I am sure that some where on this road we will find our child. It just won't be easy.

I told my sister that there are things to say and things not to say. She told me that I needed to make sure I posted those things on my updates, so people knew what they were allowed to say.

My sister.

She is funny.

I love her wit, and her smart ass sense of humor. I can always count on her for a laugh. I know that if I really needed a shoulder to cry on, she would be there. She might be there cracking jokes, but I know she would be right there. I know that deep down, she understands this suffering I am going through, and I bet she would wish it away if she could, even if she won't admit it. Right, Sis? ( I know you will read this!)

So, in short here are a list of things you can/should say:
"I admire your strength"
"I can't imagine how difficult, frustrating, upsetting this must be for you"
"Any child will be lucky to have you as parents"
"We love you"
"It's okay to feel hurt, or upset"
"Don't give up"
"So does the doc have your whoo hoo memorized?"
"You inspire me"

Things NOT to say:
"It will happen, just relax"
"Go to church"
"Just go on vacation and get drunk"
"Are you sure you want kids, you can have mine"
"Let nature"
"A friend of mine once...."

DON'T SAY THIS either.... 
A guy came into our office the other day and we started talking about fertility- not sure why.  He told me that I needed to have my cards read. He said that he and his wife were having problems too, so they had a reading done and one card said they needed to "fertilize" the earth. So... he said he went outside and did his biz on the ground and that month she was pregnant. WTF. First off, I don't want to hear that, or see you gesture "doing your biz", second... its gonna take a lot more than a card reading to get me pregnant.

You get the point?

Do you do it?

I am talking about meditation.

I never have. Recently I started looking into it. I work in an "alternative health care" office and they believe highly in meditation, relaxation and cleansing behaviors. It seems that I have a hard time with that type of stuff, even religion. I seem to require answers, scientific fact and we can't forget that I crave instant gratification! Obviously, none of those things ever helped me. That type of thinking always left me in trouble or unsatisfied, even mad. 

So, maybe I need to change my thinking; my stinkin thinkin. I found some mediation music online specific to fertility (so it says). Lately, I have this vision of  me: putting on some headphones, laying on the bed, alone, with the curtains closed, the door shut; there I am,  just laying there, drifting off to another place, fully relaxed, calm and open. Focused on my body and visioning what it is that I want.

I have decided to give it a try!

Is that meditation? I don't think there is a certain way to meditate. I see it kind of like praying. There is no right way to do it.

But, when I think of mediation I think of this:

Can't it mean this... 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quitters Never Win

Just when I think I have it all figured out.

I wanted to get off birth control and start trying again with injections; like the doctor recommended in September. He wanted to try the "drop down" method. But since the meds were unavailable at the time, and because we were thinking about IVF after our second opinion at Oregon Reproductive Medicine, we didn't go forward with the 3rd cycle of injection stimulation. We wanted our cycles to be maximized and the doctor didn't seem real positive with my response to the stimulation drugs. Since September I have been on birth control. While my periods are regular, and very light, I am unable to try to conceive which has totally bummed me out.

So we decided that we were going to start again this year, and here we are! I put in a call to the doctor today to ask him if we could start treatments again. Since we last spoke he looked through my chart again and decided that he thinks my cycles with the injections were "sub-optimal" and that if we were going to try that route again, we  should save our money to put toward IVF. 

Because of the PCOS, he is highly concerned with over-stimulation. I have, at the beginning of a cycle, anywhere from 39-60 follicles and maturing even half of those would be horrible! So, I get it. Even if I don't like it. 

He thinks that we can try more rounds of Femara with IUI's. I respond to the oral  medication the same way I was responding to the more expensive medications. I tend to produce 1 mature follicle on the right side with the oral meds as well as the injectable. 

I am suppose to stop my birth control pills and when my cycle starts I am to call into the office and they will call in the Femara. I am waiting to see if we can bump it up from 5mg to 7.5mg since my ovaries are very stubborn! 

Me? Stubborn? No way!

I feel positive. I mean, of course there are days (many of them) that I feel helpless and ready to give up- but today is NOT one of those days! I have heard and read about so many success stories these past few days that is it nearly impossible not to be positive and hopeful!

Keep your fingers crossed for us as we embark on this journey once again. A journey full of drugs, lab work, needles, pee on a sticks, doctors, questions, answers, tears and laughter.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I used to think...

Well it's 2013 and I am still consumed with thoughts surrounding my infertility. Everyone keeps telling me that it will happen when I just give up trying and give it to God. Those people don't know me very well. I am a control freak; a spoiled brat. I want what I want when I want it!!! I used to think that if I wanted something and tried really hard to achieve it, if I thought about it all the time that I eventually would change it. Infertility has taught me that's not the case. This is one of those things that I have no control over. I need to learn to accept the fact that I will have a hard time getting pregnant, but that doesn't mean I won't get pregnant! Right?

I used to think that I wanted to jump right into IVF, since I failed at: Clomid, Femara, injections, IUI's and acupuncture treatments.But, this year already has me changing my mind. My husband and I made a decision at the beginning of this journey that we would NOT put ourselves so far into debt that we were miserable. But let me tell ya, if he wasn't so conscientious about money, I would have no problem spending my last penny in order to TRY and conceive. I want what I want when I want it, remember. It is a good thing he keeps me in check. I am grateful to have him and his smart financial sense.

I used to think  that I would never get pregnant without IVF, or fertility treatments.But now I am wondering if maybe, just maybe, with enough effort, and time, I could!? I know of a few people who tried and tried for 7-8 years to get pregnant. Some had insurance and a diagnosis; other's didn't. Some tried fertility treatments, others didn't. But, they ALL did conceive, eventually, one way or another.When it comes to conceiving there is never a guarantee; that is why children are so precious, they are the biggest gift God can give. For now, he gave me fur babies. Two very annoying dogs that we love to pieces. I used to think that getting pregnant was easy. Pfff, If I only I knew then what I know now.  

I used to think that not having a period was cool. Now, I get so upset if its longer that it is suppose to be. So, I thought birth control was the way to go when we took a break from treatments. Now, I want off it. IF there is a chance I could conceive I think it is silly to be on birth control pills! Since we are not doing IVF this year, I think we need to try on our own. It can't hurt, right?

"This year I will be stronger, braver, kinder. This year I will be fierce."