It’s been a long time…

Hey internet. I know there are crickets out there, but I needed a place to come to get this all out. I kind of like it that no one views this blog anymore, because what I need to say I don’t really want a ton of people knowing.

So much has happened since that very last post here. I’m happy to report that I went on to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered our baby girl at 39 weeks and 5 days. She is the light of our lives, truly. And in 24 days, she will be one year old. Already. Holy cow.

In the past month or two, I have utterly and completely failed at taking birth control. I used to be so good at it, but I don’t know. Something happened to my memory. Anyway. C and I decided that I just would be off of it. Because really, if I did get pregnant it would AMAZING because, you know, YAY! No medical assistance necessary! And we want two bebes ideally anyway, and so, yea. It would be cool. Basically we aren’t in a place to seek out fertility treatment again, but we would be over the moon happy if something happened naturally.

Which is what brings me here.

The problem is that my body doesn’t do ANYTHING it’s supposed to do naturally. I knew this already, but it’s been a gut wrenching reminder lately as I’ve had so many “OMG SO MANY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS MAYBE I’M PREGNANT!!” moments, only to be letdown by negative test after negative test. So many tears, again. Already. And we’re not even *technically* trying. I forgot how disappointing and painful it is to have a body that doesn’t seem to work. I also forgot that so many symptoms of PCOS, and PCOS coming off of birth control, shockingly mimic pregnancy symptoms in a way. Like acne. And cramping. And some other gross things. And then there are symptoms that aren’t PCOS related, I’m sure, but also don’t seem to mean pregnancy for me either. So it’s a double whammy.

Because of the cruel reminder that my body likes to act pregnant but never actually get pregnant (without injections of medicine and a catheter in my uterus, at least), I’ve been pretty emotional and sad. Which is so, SO stupid because we have this one, beautiful, wonderful gift of a child that I would love to spend more one on one time with before adding another baby to our family. But somehow, feeling pregnant and then not actually being pregnant- despite knowing that ideally C and I would like another year or so with E before another baby- crushes my heart. Because deep down, I do want another baby. I want my body to WORK, DAMMIT. I want to be one of those rare instances. One of those lucky people who are like, “WHOOPS!!”

I’ll never have a “whoops.”

I want to be one of those PCOSers who get pregnant via fertility treatments, and then unknowingly and accidentally gets pregnant naturally after that first baby.

I’ll never be one of those.

I’m just not that lucky. Things like that never happen to me.

I told C earlier that this situation is both win-win and lose-lose. If I were pregnant, it would be awesome because YAY! WE DID IT BY OURSELVES! And, YAY! A sibling for E!! I

If I’m not pregnant, then it’s awesome because YAY! MORE PRECIOUS TIME WITH OUR SWEET BABY GIRL WHO ISN’T EVEN A FULL YEAR YET!

Win-win, you see. Win if I am, win if I’m not.

Then again, if I’m pregnant it’s scary because Eeeek! What about E!? We need more time with her! More time as just a family of three!!

And, if I’m not pregnant… heart crushing, spirit destroying disappointment. My body doesn’t do what a woman’s is supposed to do. I can’t get pregnant on my own. And really? I, deep down, want another baby.

Which sounds so greedy to me. So then I shame myself.

Shame on you, L, for not appreciating what you have. You have been gifted a beautiful, precious child. You have friends who are still waiting for that gift. How dare you ask for more? How dare you even THINK about wanting another baby. Cherish the one child you have. Every single minute.

Don’t get me wrong. I do. I adore that sweet girl. ADORE. I am so blessed. So fortunate. So, so lucky to have her. We are beyond grateful.

I don’t want to be greedy. But I also want my body to do what it was designed to do, naturally. I want that joy.

So that’s where I’m at, and I’ve got nowhere to really share these thoughts and feelings with. Mostly because it feels so wrong to feel them and share them when I know so many still struggling just to have one sweet baby.

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The NEW, and improved, Plan

Today was the ultrasound, and, (drumroll please), I absolutely have the PCOS. No doubt. All kinds of cute, but useless, 6-7mm follies hanging out down there doing… nothing. My estradiol today? A piddly 31. Seriously. We’ve got nothing. GET WITH THE PROGRAM, OVES.

Thanks to those of you who suggested options like F.emara. While I’ve heard good things about it, my doctor, whom I trust, didn’t even mention it (and I know he’s used it before with other people), which leads me to believe he thinks I need something stronger than just CloClo or the Fem. I’m absolutely okay with this.

So he started me on Gonal-F injections, henceforth to be know as GoGo injections. Sort of like, GO OVARIES, GO! (Haaaahaaa. I’m so funny in my own mind). GoGo injections and timed intercourse is the plan for now. I go in on Tuesday morning for another ultrasound and blood work. I guess from now on this will be a weekly event for me.

C gave me my first injection today. It wasn’t bad, and I could probably suck it up and give it to myself if necessity dictated it, but until that time, he’s master and commander of the injections because I just cannot for the life of me stick a needle in myself. Blegh.

I would be a sorry heroin addict, no?

Well, duh.

Today was a game changer guys. The funny part is, I didn’t cry. I didn’t get wailing upset. I just thought to myself, “Well. Big shocker. But not really.” And went about my morning.

This morning I received a phone call at 8:30. It was my RE’s nurse. Yesterday were my Cycle 10 labs (remember? The CloClo challenge? They were specifically checking to see if the CloClo was affecting my hormones like it should be). The nurse had that tone. You know, the one they get when they definitely don’t have any good news and are trying to ease you into it. She told me my labs pretty much indicate that nothing is going on down in Ov-land, then she asked if I felt like anything was going on down there. My answer was no. Then she told me that around right now? CD 10/11ish? My estradiol should be somewhere near, at, or around 100, IF my oves were responding to the CloClo properly. Mine? Was at 43. 43 y’all. That’s pretty pathetic.

Then she gave me my options. Option 1: Ride this cycle out. Some PCOS-ers are “late bloomers” and don’t respond until later in the cycle (I’m pretty sure she referenced you, Lauren! Not using your name or any specific details though- just saying they had another patient with PCOS trigger as late as day 28 or 29, so maybe I was a late bloomer too. She was trying to console me, I think. I totally wanted to say, “I THINK I KNOW THAT GIRL! WE’RE INTERNET PALS!” But I didn’t- because there’s a chance they have several girls who trigger late like that. Anyway, I digress.) So yeah- I could wait it out and we could do labs next week to see how my hormones are.

Option 2: Start adding in injections. She explained the risk of this was hyper stimulating the oves and having far too many eggs develop and having to cancel the cycle. It’s a fine line, she said, and you have to find the right balance of what works just right. Like Goldilocks.

Here are my thoughts: Option 1, while conservative, is likely going to be a no-go for us. Why? Because we waited. And waited. And waited. And delayed last cycle on my call, because I believed I was a late bloomer and surely SOMETHING would happen if we just waited long enough. We waited almost 50 days and in all of the labs drawn, including the last one, ovulation never even remotely occurred. I just don’t want to waste another 35-50 days waiting on something that doesn’t appear to be happening, and then another 10 or 11 more to jump start my period so we can start on a different regimen. That’s two months down the drain. Years of infertility go by quicker when each failed cycle takes two whole months. Injectables? Yea, they’re leaning towards the big guns. They can put an entire cycle in the trash if they work too well. But at this point we couldn’t even do IUI if we wanted because we still have no idea how to make my ovaries do what they’re supposed to do. I’d rather make them do TOO much of what they’re supposed to do and cancel a cycle knowing that THAT works but we need to scale down slightly, than go through a whole cycle to confirm what we probably already know- that the CloClo doesn’t work.

But that decision is currently on hold because THEN the nurse asked me if I’ve ever had an ultrasound done on my oves. The answer is no. I’ve never had an ultrasound done on my oves. In fact, no one has ever officially confirmed my shady diagnosis of PCOS handed down to me in 2005 with little to no concrete evidence (seriously y’all- like, nothing. Not even most of the correct blood work). My RE’s nurse is really very confident that I do indeed have the PCOS, given my completely non-compliant oves and my AMH level taken recently, but when she learned about my lack of ultrasound she immediately asked me to come in for one. She then bet me $50 that they’re polycystic. I’m not taking that bet. I know I’ll lose.

So tomorrow I get my first ever ultrasound bright and early at 6:15am, and some more blood work. Then, we discuss the options. I’m somehow incredibly not surprised by today’s developments. I’m just not. Of course I’m moving on to injectables. It would be FAR to easy to get pregs by just taking a couple pills, much less just having sex, right?

Round 2

Alrighty, friends. AF showed up late last night and is in full effect. It’s funny, because I don’t actually HATE my period. I’m not so sure why. I mean, the first two days of it are horrendously… messy (TMI!!! AHHH!), so it’s not like it’s because mine is easy. I guess maybe it’s because it’s never come on it’s own at any point in our baby making journey. It’s always had to be coaxed out by rounds of progesterone, so I’ve never felt that disappointment of it showing up when I’m praying it won’t. My disappointment prefers to come in the form of lab results. Whatever.

Anyway, so it came (which, haha, is good… because I went away for the weekend and FORGOT ALL MY MEDICATIONS- including the last two days of progesterone, so I was freaking out slightly about screwing stuff up).  So on Tuesday I will have CD 3 labs, start the Clo Clo and be on my merry way. Honestly y’all? I don’t even feel any kind of anticipation about this cycle. No hope. No fear. No nerves. Just a whole bunch of meh. I can’t get myself all worked up like I did last time. Mostly because I don’t want to end up crying in an empty bathtub for three hours when this cycle doesn’t work. So… I’d rather just be meh about things.

In terms of tracking this cycle, this is the plan: labs on CD 3 and 10 (Clo Clo challenge), and I think I will do temps- ONLY because C’s doctor friend who happens to be a woman who happens to LOVE ob/gyn stuff chatted with me a bunch over the weekend about all this and she thinks I should chart- not to hang my hopes on it, but simply to have more information for the future. Just to know. So I told her I would.

So there we are. Ready for a new cycle. Doing my best to just. not. care.

Hope you guys had a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Untitled.

Updated preface: There are some in the infertility world, or even in the non infertility world, who might consider the following to be an overreaction. That’s fine. However, I should not have to, and I will not, be sorry for how I feel tonight. Some of you might find disappointing cycles and receiving bad news to be old hat, something you’ve become able to manage. I have not. This is my first bout with this kind of bad news and disappointment. I am not good at it. It’s not pretty. And I’m not sorry. You can judge me for how I feel and how I am reacting, but please, keep your opinions to yourself. This crap is hard enough to go through without people shouting trite overtures of, “IT’S OKAY!! IT’S ONLY YOUR FIRST CYCLE!!” in my face. I reserve my right to be pissed off and upset and heartbroken and disappointed every time I get bad news like today, whether it be the first time, or the thirtieth time. I do not care if you think it is an overreaction. I’m not sorry. I’m a positive person 90% of the time. I like to look on the bright side. I know that tomorrow, I will wake up and carry on with my day and my life and everything will be fine. But tonight, I will sit here in my bathtub and eat pizza and cry however long and however hard and however ugly I want.** End preface.

I’m going to have to apologize in advance for however crazy and psychotic and emotional and effed up this post is going to be. You absolutely do not have to read this.  I’m writing it in the middle of a breakdown because it’s the only way I know how to deal right now. It’s the only way I know how to make myself stop hyperventilating.

My nurse called today at 2pm with the lab results. It wasn’t good news, to say the least.

First and foremost, I’m not pregnant. But I kind of figured that.

Secondly, the progesterone way stupidly low- .6 kind of low. I know. It’s painfully, you haven’t, kind of ovulated low.

Okay fine.

She said, I’m sure to give me SOME kind of solace, that we could wait until next Monday just see if my period came because sometimes the progesterone readings can be finicky because they fluctuate so much during the day (but I know they don’t fluctuate that much), and if not we could test again for pregnancy, and if that was negative to start with the provera. I told her, even though I know better, that I would like to do that, if only to see if the crazy period cramps I’ve been experiencing all day turn out to be worth anything. I know they won’t be.

I asked my husband to show me the test results this evening, because even though she tried to tell me they were all normal, I just HAD to know. I had to SEE them, so I could fully understand what she was telling me. I don’t do well just LISTENING to things, I have to see them with my eyeballs. I’m a visual learner. So reluctantly, he showed them to me. He explained the ranges of the results, and said that they even confused him. Granted, he’s not an infertility specialist by any means but still. My estradiol level reads like I’m in the luteal phase. My LH level reads like I’m going to ovulate. My progesterone reads like I’m still in the follicular phase. Nothing is right.

And I’m just… heartbroken. Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling. I’m mad that my body still isn’t working, despite so much medication. 2000mg of Metformin and 100mg of Clomid days 3-7 and my body didn’t work. I feel broken. Like I’m not a normal woman, probably because, well, I’m not a normal woman.

And today I began to understand why marriages suffer when there’s any kind of infertility involved. My husband, he just doesn’t get it. I think he tries. He REALLY tries. But he just doesn’t. Whenever I would tell him over the past week that I was just going to assume the worst, that I was going to assume that I’m not pregnant and so one and so forth, he would tell me that was a bad mindset, and that I should stop playing mind games with myself because they made me feel disappointed all the time. He said I should just be okay being in limbo. Worst. Advice. Ever. But I didn’t get upset with him, because truthfully he is the most even-keeled, rational person I know, and he was just trying to be positive. He didn’t want to see me so negative and down all the time. Today though. Today when we finished discussing the results and The New Plan, he went about as if everything was fine. He put the dogs away and started to get ready to leave for dinner with some of the other residents. He acted as if today’s results, while disappointing, were not the worst news ever and things were carrying on as normal. When I broke down into tears on the couch, he came over and asked if I was frustrated. But he said it in such a… positive tone. Not positive like he was happy, but positive like he himself was not frustrated, but knew that I was and so he was using his, “I’m trying to be optimistically supportive,” tone. He sat down and rubbed my back and kept trying to talk to me about feeling frustrated. But frustrated is not the word to describe how I am feeling. And his condolences were so trite. And all I could think about was how he was not helping, and how all that advice he gave me about “being okay with whatever outcome” was absolute crap, and how could he just go on and not be disappointed or frustrated with these results himself?! This affects him too. He supposedly wants to be trying to have a baby with me, and when we get news that his highly medicated, hormonally moody wife’s body still isn’t functioning right, he isn’t the least bit sad or heartbroken with me? I know that he cannot physically understand what it feels like to be in my position. He cannot physically understand what it’s like to not have a functional body. He’s the one with the amazing sperm count and excellent morphology and motility. He’s good at this, like he is at most everything. He doesn’t know what it’s like to feel broken. I know that that’s a big part of why he doesn’t know the right thing to say. He’s trying. But he just doesn’t know, and I just can’t be around him right now. I love him so ridiculously much, but it just hurts to much to be around someone who can’t understand how I’m feeling.

And I’m mad at the stupid charting. I’m mad at Fertility Friend for telling me I ovulated when I clearly have not. I’m mad that I got my hopes up SO high that my body at least did something right this cycle. I’m mad that I believed it. I’m mad that there is nothing, NOTHING I can do to know what’s going on inside my body without having blood drawn or an ultrasound. I have no idea what’s happening in my body and there is nothing I can do about it. I feel powerless and out of control.

I’m mad that all this acne on my face is just here, and it’s ugly, and it’s not going away because we are trying to have a baby. I hate the reflection when I look in the mirror without makeup. I used to go without makeup often. I preferred no makeup. I liked how I looked without makeup. And now I just feel so ugly.

I hate that the hormones inside my body have made me more emotional and moody that I can ever remember being. I hate that they make me snap at my husband at least once a day. I hate that they made me so sad that I’ve been feeling so distant from one of my best friends that I actually told her that I’ve been really sad she didn’t choose me to be a part of her bridal party. I hate that I told her that. I love her dearly and I know that was a wretchedly hard decision for her to make in the first place, and I know me telling her just made her feel worse and it was a DUMB decision that I’ve tried to apologize for but I know I can’t take my words back and it hurt her regardless of my apology. Gah I wish I could take so many things I’ve said when I’ve been emotional or moody back. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish. I feel like this process, these drugs with their side effects, I feel like they are going to make me ruin every important relationship I have.

Mostly I am heartbroken. I am heartbroken about all these things. I am heartbroken, and sitting in my empty bathtub with a hand towel and my laptop. I know, rationally, that today’s news was not the end of the world, or the worst news I could’ve gotten. But it was bad enough news for me today. I so badly wanted this to work.

I am a Christian and I believe that God all knowing and all powerful. I know that He knew that I would be sitting here in this bathtub, hyperventilating and crying until there are no more tears and pouring my heart and mind out to strangers on the internet. I know He knew I would have dysfunctional ovaries before I was even born. I’m not angry with Him for letting me endure this. I don’t blame Him or point my finger at Him. I know there’s a bigger purpose. I do have faith that something good will come of this. I have faith that He will answer my prayers somehow, in some way, one day. But today, He will have to forgive me for feeling so let down and broken.

Superstitious

I took a break from blogging for a day or two. Mostly because I started to feel like talking/thinking about all this ovulation stuff was starting to scare the actual event away. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on inside my body, but I’m allowing, and partially forcing, myself to be indifferent about it at this point. I got my hopes up towards the middle of last week when my temperature spiked up above my coverline, only to have my hopes crushed by the crashing back down of my temperature the next day, where it stayed for a few days in a row. I’ve read into every little detail and every little twinge that my body has made or done… Oh my, full breasts. Is that a sign of ovulation, or am I getting fat? Hmmm… that pain in my abdominal region, particular to the left side? Could that be ovulatory pains, or is it just gas? Wow, I’m really gassy (haahaa… TMI, sorry!), maybe that, too, is a sign of impending ovulation!

Basically my mind is my own worst enemy.

So, for a few days, I just, stopped. I stopped reading fertility forums. I stopped consulting books. I stopped, or tried my best to stop, questioning every sign and symptom. I feel like this is all building to some awesome finale at the end of this post where I celebratory, internet style shout: I OVULATED! But, my friends, no such ending is coming to you today. I am suspicious that something happened yesterday or today, but really only time will tell whether I’m right or not, and truthfully? As it stands? My thermometer, and every possible stick available to pee on, has it in for me right now. So my best guess is that I’ve experienced the placebo effect and I’m the same as I’ve been for the past 26 days. No worries though, guys, because this just means what we did this time doesn’t work, and maybe something needs to change next week. Come day 35, we’ll know for sure.

I’m Over It

Thanks for bearing with my venting the other day. I know this is only our FIRST try with meds and what not, and that logically it can’t possibly be that frustrating seeing as how we haven’t been doing this cycle after cycle, month after month for years now. It’s true. It is only our first cycle. But, in my defense, it’s my first cycle of any kind after 148 days of no period. 148 days of waiting to get put on meds to see if we can correct whatever is wrong with me because clearly, SOMETHING is wrong down there. So, yea, I was/am kind of putting a lot on this first cycle because dammit, I just want my body to work like it’s supposed to (please excuse the language). I don’t even need to get pregs this cycle anymore, I just want to ovulate like a good female should.

BUT, like the post is titled, I’m over it (for the most part). I’ve stopped using the OPKs because I’ve had zero success with them, and I can’t be bothered with all it takes to get a successful read, what with all the trouble involved in waiting the right amount of time, minimizing fluids, catching the right part of the urine stream, waiting for the stars and moon and sun to align just right… Whatever, I’ll just take my chances, have sex (for you, Brittany!) every other day, and keep temping in the mornings. If it happens, fan-freaking-tastic. If not, well, let’s just say I’m already planning my next doctor’s appointment. I’ve invested a lot of time, money, and worry into this cycle, and quite frankly, I’m tired. I just think it’s better if I tell myself the worst is going to happen, and ease the potential disappointment in the end.

It’s like when I joined the Lisa Frank fan club when I was 10 years old (yea. I’m totally admitting this publicly). I waited and waited and waited for my membership packet full of new stickers and pencils to arrive. I checked the mail religiously, daily, and day after day I was disappointed deeply because nothing ever came. So I started to tell myself every day before I checked the mail: “Lauren, it’s not going to be here. It’s never here. Seriously. It’s not going to be here.” Every day I proved myself right, but one day, ONE DAY, I opened the mailbox, and there it was. Finally. And I was ecstatic.**

Therefore, since it worked so well for me before, I’m going to tell myself every day before reading my temp, “Lauren, it’s not going to spike. It never spikes,” and maybe one day, ONE DAY, I will be wrong.

**Note: A far better, more grown-up, and relatable story would be when I was waiting on C to propose to me. I hoped and hoped and hoped every. single. weekend. we saw each other (we were long distance at the time) that THAT WEEKEND would be the weekend he would propose. Every weekend I was terribly, tragically disappointed when he did not propose (please also note that I wasn’t just a crazy person, we had discussed our future together and both knew this was where the relationship was heading, it was just a matter of timing and him asking). So eventually, come October 2008, I had a conversation in my head on the plane ride out to DC. I told myself, “Lauren, he is NOT going to propose to you this weekend. It’s just not going to happen. It never does. He is in the middle of second year of med school, and he has a million and one OTHER things to worry about than proposing to you. It’s not going to happen. Give it up already. It’s not going to happen.” The whole plane ride. I didn’t even sleep during the 3 hour flight because I was so busy psyching myself DOWN. I definitely came to terms with it after he and I briefly talked about engagement stuff at lunch on Saturday and he was all kinds of blasé about it . He wasn’t going to do it that weekend. And then? You know what? HE DID. Two hours later. I didn’t even see it coming. I was ecstatic. Obviously.

So listen, ovaries, I know you’re not going to give up that egg. I know you won’t. But one day, ONE DAY, you will surprise me, and I will be ecstatic. Until then, my ovs, I’ve got to chill out and stop keeping such close tabs on you. I’ll see you when I see you.