DysLexie's TTC Blog

Slightly crazed woman attempts, feebly thus far, to get knocked up by Spousal Unit. Zaniness ensues...

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Happy Ending

I left for a while to do other things but thought I should update.

I noticed that the last day I posted was New Year's Eve, the day of my ultrasound to see if I had any eggs ready. It was the day before New Year's Day, the day I got my hSG shot to trigger ovulation, even though I only had one egg (and a grossly enlarged follicle on the other side that would turn into a 6cm ovarian cyst). Two days before I would drive, alone (as the Spousal Unit was travelling in the opposite direction for an out-of-state business trip), in tears, to the clinic at 8:00 AM on a frosty post-holiday morning, with a semen sample I almost tossed out of the window out of frustration and anger at the thought of wasting much of the upcoming new year to more futile treatments and heartbreak.

And it was 12 days before I would float in the pool at my gym and stare at the ceiling and realize that my life was not so bad... after all, I was floating in a pool on a Friday night after work without having to worry about childcare or feedings or even letting anyone know where I was. And I was floating in a pool with my waistline and no stretch marks and all my internal organs where they were supposed to be. I was going to be okay. And not "I was going to be okay" in the way we try to trick ourselves into thinking we're fine with something not happening so it WILL happen... I was actually okay. Sad but okay.

...And then I went home and peed on a stick.

And then I was pregnant.

I had been looking forward to pregnancy my whole life but it was horrible. I mean, really horrible. As in "I didn't think we'd make it" horrible, including (but not limited to) 8 days in late spring on the heart & lung unit of the hospital with severe sudden-onset pregnancy-related asthma and a lung infection, a 100-pound weight gain (in part to the IV steroids), 4 1/2 months of modified bed rest, and gestational diabetes. It really sucked. My mom had to move in with us for 2 months because I was too sick to take care of myself. By 37 weeks, I was so sick that my obstetrician gave me an amnio to make sure the baby was fully cooked, induced me for 25+ hours and finally went in after him with a C-section.

Baby is perfectly healthy, and is as easy a baby as the conception and pregnancy was difficult. He sleeps 12 hours a night at 2 1/2 months and is a happy, loved child. I am filled with love to the point where the pain of infertility has dulled... but I'll never be the same because of it. I realize how close I came to never having him. Baby will receive all of our attention, love and resources, since the Spousal Unit and I have sadly decided that we would not be able to handle going through all of that again.

But why would you play the lottery again after you've won the jackpot??

And with this, my TTC journey ends.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Something-Is-Wrong-Wrong-With-Me Boards

On FF, there are all sorts of bulletin boards with specific topics where you can post. They have pretty much everything from "General TTC" to "Waiting to Test" to "TTC With Donor Sperm" (how's that for specific?). A while ago, yodasmistress started a great thread called "The Something-Is-Wrong-Wrong-With-Me Boards." (I wish I could take credit!) Here are some of the boards I live on:

I've been on:
TTC 6 mo.
TTC 12 mo.
Trying After Loss
Anovulatory Cycles
TTC Your First
Erratic Temps
Waiting to Ovulate
Waiting to Test
On Clomid
Male Infertility
TTC w/ Really Expensive Medical Intervention
...and waiting to see if I'm on the Endo boards too.

I should also be on the following:
On a Forced TTC Break Because My Ovaries Suck
TTC With Irritability
TTC Without BDing Because DH is Being a Jerk
Endless Cycles
TTC For So Long I've Forgotten Why
Hoping For a Good Excuse for the Belly I've Grown While TTC
TTC While Surrounded by Fertile Idiots
Charting Every Hiccup, Burp and Fart
Waiting to Test 25 Times This Cycle
TTC with Moodiness
TTC with Sinus Infection
TTC While Putting My Entire Life On Hold

Friday, December 22, 2006

Climbing back up on the $#@&* horse again

I had to stop for a while. Lots has happened... much of which I will blog about at a later time. I just wanted to get another post up just to, well, get back onto the horse again.

Back soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lesbians in the Fertility Clinic

In the spirit of "Snakes on a Plane," where the subject matter is dealt with so succinctly, as goes my blog title.

It was very interesting in the fertility clinic yesterday when I went in for abdominal pain and swelling. (I'm fine, just bloated, hormonal and bitchy - so stay outta my way!) The typical social hierarchy is thrown for a loop. The married couples (and I assume) trudge into the waiting room, eyes averted, blushing and silent. The single women (again I assume) walk in with a spirit of hope and independence, tempered with a little sadness, perhaps. But it's the lesbians who rock the party.

The two women sitting next to each other were excitedly poring over the "Conceive" magazines so conspicuously laid out for us barren folk. Giggling over the ads for maternity clothes, chattering about "their" charts, they seemed to be in a state of bliss. Usually when one's name is called, one slowly rises up from their seat and walks toward the nurse at the door with a glare as if to say "did you HAVE to use my real name?" These girls, however, hopped up out of their seats, giggling all the way.

They were so excited to be there. For them, it wasn't the end point of a series of failures; it was the logical first step of creating a family. I'm so happy for them. It's probably one of the few places in society where they have a more socially acceptable "reason" for being there than the heteros do. We're there because we're somehow damaged; they're there because they're taking control of their destinies.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Pain of Infertility.

Wow. Not sure what to write today. I know I've been lagging (with lots of stuff to update on!) and I'm sure I'll come edit this later.

Long story very short, we've been fast-tracked at the fertility clinic. I had my first IUI this morning at 9:00 and it was incredibly painful. It's not supposed to be. I'm still cramping 9 hours later, and my ass is killing me from the trigger shot yesterday. (I got so sleepy I didn't walk it off.)

The worst part is that the doctor waited until after to tell us the chances for this cycle are only 10-15%.

No. The actual worst part was knowing that Spousal Unit had to see me in such pain and couldn't do anything. He has no idea how much it helped for him to be there holding my hand.

I really don't want to have to do this again.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Does this fertility drug make me look fat?...

Oy Vey.

I can't believe I'm actually excited to see 141 on my scale.

I've always been a very skinny chick. Nice ass, I was told by many a male admirer in high school and college, but not much else going on. I was really hyper and active and energetic and never really had to worry about my weight.

And then I started TTC.

I went from 113 exactly one year ago to about 128 six months later, and then gained a bunch of weight while taking my first three rounds of clomid. I kept deluding myself that it would be just what I needed because I was going to get pregnant and going to get lots of morning sickness, and this would give me a head start on that ever-so-enchanting baby belly.

I went to Target to buy all new pants (size 10) for the summer because I couldn't fit into my old pants (size 6). *sniff* I was saved the indignation of having to try on new shorts because, quite frankly, I refuse to wear shorts when I look like this. I may frighten small children.

I weighed 148 as of 2 weeks ago. Holy crap. That's almost an additional half of myself. It's like I'm a quarter note and someone dotted me.

I had to get my friend Maria to take some pictures of me last weekend for my new website, and I was shocked. I don't remember seeing that extra chin in the mirror... is this camera broken? The lighting must all wrong. Does my monitor need to be adjusted?

I've been very carefully trying to watch what I eat, especially on this fourth dose of clomid (twice as much as the other cycles!). I've been really good about exercising (although I could be better) - I've even started running, which I have never been able to do in the past. Somehow, I've been able to whittle myself down to 141 as of this morning (naked, before eating, after peeing - twice - and exhaling completely). It's a tricky thing to try to lose weight when TTC, and especially while on clomid because ALL I WANT TO DO IS EAT!!!

It's not fair. I should at least be able to enjoy a baby (and the resulting big boobs) if I'm going to be stuck with a mombutt.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sperm in KY, Egg in FL

MapQuest puts the distance between Spousal Unit (at work) and me (at my parents' house) at 1,012.69 miles at the exact moment of ovulation today.

I spent the better part of my teens sneaking out of my parents' house to have sex and trying like hell not to get pregnant. Now fate is biting me in the ass. I am trying to get pregnant in my parents' house WITHOUT having sex.

I was so depressed at the end of last cycle that I was willing to do anything - ANYTHING - to make this next cycle a little easier to bear during the 2WW. I was so desperate that I thought it would be a GREAT idea to go visit my parents for 8 days. (Further proof that TTC makes you insane.) I was in a pre-menstrual haze when I bought my plane tickets and planned my trip. I was supposed to ovulate a good week before I left, which would mean that I would be in sunny Florida during the last week of my cycle - relaxing in the sun and letting my Mom deal with me when I got my period, thereby giving Spousal Unit a break from THAT ordeal.

Apparently my ovaries did not receive the itinerary I emailed them.

Most of my signs pointed toward a fairly regular ovulation when I expected it, even though my Fertility Monitor didn't detect it. I figured it was wrong. We had a good-bye quickie Thursday morning, and annoyed, I packed my FM just because I would have to reset it when/if my next cycle started. I kept peeing on the FM sticks every morning just because it gets out of whack if you stop using it without getting a peak reading.


This morning I was absolutely in tears when FF took away my ovulation date because my temps were so erratic. (Mad props to my Mom for not only comforting me but also listening - in probably more graphic detail than she would have preferred - to my TTC frustration rant.) But I am nothing if not resilient, so a few hours later, I had bucked up like the good little camper I am and was planning out how to ride out the rest of this obviously anovulatory cycle and ramp up for the next one.

And then I POASed. It was a peak.


And THEN...

I ovulated at 1:05 this afternoon while discussing digital cameras with my mother and father in my father's den. HOLY CRAP did it hurt! It was a rightie, for sure, and it took about 5 minutes for the egg to pop. I could hardly breathe. My Mom figured out what was happening but I had no idea what to tell my Dad. I was absolutely mortified. He kept asking me why I was grabbing my belly but I had no idea what to say. Finally Mom said "it's girl stuff" and he stopped asking.

The cutoff for the little guys to keep swimming is supposed to be up to 5 days in an ideal environment (which I doubt I have) for strong little men (which I doubt he has). The chance of conceiving is so slim that I'd be stupid to think it could work. BUT there is still a chance, which means I have to be a well-behaved TTCer. No double espressos with sushi before riding rollercoasters.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Needed: Crystal Ball

I am a control freak. There, I said it. Or at least, I wrote it.

I like being in control of my environment, of my future, of my life in general. Ever since starting TTC, it's gotten worse. I find a perverse thrill in charting - it's a wonderous thing to be able to see your body's processes laid out in graph form. It's easy to lull one's self into a false sense of control, though. While taking notes and charting signs, you see such a complete picture of what's happenED that it's easy to think you can see what WILL happen.

Today is CD8 (cycle day 8, or 8 days after AF wandered into town). My herniated lumbar disc still really hurts but I think it's getting better. I feel great when I get out of bed, which is a good start. I have no idea if I can safely (or successfully) TTC this cycle or not, and it's making me a little crazy. If I O (ovulate) "on time," which for me is an average of CD16, then it might be too soon for the smack to be out of my system. I did take a lot of advil at the beginning of the cycle, and that often delays O. But I'm going to Florida - without the Spousal Unit - from CD22-30, so if I O late, I might miss the egg. When I made the plans to travel, I was pretty excited to be away from home during that time because wating to test is SOOO hard (see: "Peeing on Sticks").

I used to think "everything happens for a reason and we just don't always know what that reason is until later." Now I'm beginning to believe that everything happens pretty randomly, but I can probably learn something really great from whatever the outcome might be. If I'm open and aware, hopefully I can find the "lesson" and become stronger and better because of it. I think that this experience could be a way for me to learn patience. Hmmm.

I can't see my future, and it pisses me off. I'm trying to be okay existing in shades of gray, but I much prefer the horizon in black and white.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

'Roid Rage!

Grr! I got a herinated lumbar disc last Friday and may have to sit this cycle out. Even if I can get the drugs out of my system before I ovulate, I cannot even imagine BDing (baby dancing!) with my back feeling like it does. I got some good drugs yesterday - in addition to my good friend Darvocet, I am on a muscle relaxant (Flexeril) and one of those goofy packs of steriods (methylprednisolone) that turns me into a bitch-on-wheels and keeps me up for 3 days straight. This is what I will look like soon:

With buns like that, who needs a baby?

Friday, June 23, 2006

My girl parts have superpowers.

Seriously - this is just plain weird.

I just realized today that every single time AF ( which stands for Aunt Flo - no! really ! That's what's every TTC site calls it! I'm not just being a geek!) has arrived since last September, we have had severe weather that day - almost always rain, usually with thunder and a great deal of wind. It's always enough for the local weather guys to break into regular programming to show off their new radar toys.

I know this because that's the day I most need my heating pad, and I'm always afraid we're going to lose power. I also know because I have fibromylgia, and the rain usually makes me ache all over... and I always curse my luck that I always get the double shot of pain with the weather and AF coming all at once. So, either my body is so in synch with the universe that Mother Nature and I are in turmoil at the same time, or...

My uterus controls the weather.

Maybe I should abandon my quest for a family and instead, travel the globe bringing rain and wind to those who need it. In the off season, I could also rent out my services to wealthy landowners or developing governments. Or, I could go on perpeutal BCPs and move down to Fort Myers with my folks and keep the storms away from the Gulf this year to give everyone a much-needed break.

My ovaries are pretty talented too. They act like a homing beacon and I can find things that mysteriously disappear in the house - like DH's car keys, wallet and cell phone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Peeing on Sticks

BFNs June 2006
I can't stop peeing on sticks.

"HUH???" you ask.

Like I just said, I can't stop peeing on sticks. The TTC parlance for "pee on a stick" is POAS, which is curiously conjugated as "POASing." The miracle of modern technology has made it possible to track the hormones in my body by POASing on various sticks at various times.

There is an absolutely unbelievable urge to know exactly what is happening in your body throughout your cycle when TTC.

Pregnancy tests are about as addictive as crack.
The commercials on TV inevitably show attractive, young, active, fertile women who are apparently soothed by the definitive nature of these tests. Use this simple one-step home pregnancy test (AKA HPT), they say, and you will know FOR SURE within a few minutes whether you'll have a beautiful and stress-free pregnancy OR will finally be able to take that much-desired nuclear power plant manager job in New Jersey. The reality is not quite so clear. Even though they say there is only one step, there are actually three. Here is how it REALLY works:

Step One: Pee on the absorbent end of the stick for a full 20 seconds more than the recommended time, just in case the urine at the top of your bladder has more hormones than the urine that comes out first. (Try not to pee on hands, toilet seat, stick handle or floor.)

Step Two: Stare at the test windows for the full 10 minute waiting period, pee a few more drops on it just in case you didn't pee enough the first time, hold it up to the light, hold it at eye level, hold it up in front of a window, toss it away after not seeing anything within the 10-minute limit, retrieve them from the garbage can 30 minutes later and hold it again up to the light, go outside to look at it in the sun, take a picture of it with a digital camera and publish the picture on FF so that hundreds of like-minded, obsessed women can pore over it, enlarge it, invert it and otherwise alter it on any one of a number of photo editing programs, declare that they DO IN FACT SEE A LINE and post emoticons of jumpy green men in jubilant celebration of your obviously impending pregnancy.

Step Three: Repeat steps one and two several times daily beginning 7 days past ovulation (DPO) and continuing until 3 days after period starts. Promise yourself you are not going to pee on anything this next cycle.

This cycle, I peed on an incredible 25 sticks, most of which are pictured above. (I wasn't kidding about taking pictures!!) That was a bit excessive, even for me.

Granted, the test results are not as black-and-white as you might believe. In fact, they are red and white and many shades of pink. If you look reeeeeeally closely at this test and tilt the monitor
just so, you can sorta see the very faint second line just next to the thick red control line. I used to laugh at women posting these kind of pictures... until I got my first faint line.

Fortunately, you don't need to wait until the second half of your cycle to get your PAOS fix! You can also POAS and put it into a special little computer thing-a-ma-jiggy called a fertiliy monitor. This is a little better for instant gratification because the computer will tell you in about 3 minutes where you are in your cycle by showing you one bar for low fertility, two for high, and the coveted three bars (with what looks like a cocktail olive but is actually an egg) on your peak days (as is hown by last month's reading to the left). Fun for the whole month!

There are entire websites based around POASing, including where to buy your sticks on the cheap and picture galleries of sticks at various stages of hormone levels... Wow, I'm like a crack whore.

But really, this cycle, I honestly won't POAS unless I am definitely late. Really. I mean it this time.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

History Lesson

Welcome to the TTC Blog of DysLexie.

Well, to begin, I'm TTC#1, C8, CD25, 8DPO, in the 2WW. I POASed today with SMU and got a BFNs on my HPTs, but I still have some EWCM and no sign of AF. I'm positive I Oed because I got a Peak on my trusty CBE FM. DH and I BDed right on schedule using the SMEP, and my post-O BBTs are still above CL (with a possible ID 7DPO). If I get AF instead of my BFP this time, next time we're going to try IUI, but I'm hoping for lots of babydust!!!

If you know what I mean, then you REALLY know what I mean!! If not, then here's the rough translation:

"I'm trying to get pregnant and having more trouble than I thought I would. Now I am completely obsessed and currently know WAAAY more about my biological processes than I probably should - and spend far more time documenting said processes than could possibly be healthy. "

Trying to conceive, or TTC, is not anything I ever imagine I'd ever be doing, especially not with such zest and fervor. Spousal Unit and I had actually discussed sterilization in our earlier 20's because we were sure we never wanted kids. I was on the Pill or Depo-Provera for almost 20 years straight until we decided to start TTC in September of 2005. In earlier lives, B and I both marched in the Pro-Choice March in Washington DC in 1990(?) before we even met, and I always thought of reproductive rights as "my right NOT to get (or stay) pregnant," and I guarded those rights fiercely.

And then my bio-clock started ticking. Ticking yet louder. The alarm rang, but I had other things going on (mostly fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition and early bad-weather prediction system - it requires boatload of fairly hard-core pain drugs, so getting knocked up was out of the question) so I pressed snooze. You know how, when you're having a really good - or at least entertaining - dream, you keep pressing the snooze button, and by the time your head clears enough to realize that CRAP! IT'S TIME TO GET MY ASS IN GEAR!, you just know you're already going to be wicked late and catch hell for it??? I mean, SO late that you know you've missed your train, and you don't have time to get ready, and you're going to be SOOOO LATE that it almost makes more sense to just stay home and use up a sick day?

Yeah, it's pretty much like that.

I am a bright, well-educated, mostly reasonable woman who loves her Spousal Unit and wants to create a family with him (he is so beautiful...), and who believes there must be something more to life than the adequate yet dull life we have set out before us. Is that so wrong?

This pull to reproduce is absolutely primal, completely beyond reason. It makes absolutely no logical sense to me to WANT to spend 9 months getting fat and moody(er), pass something the size of a watermelon out something the size of a cucumber, and then attend to its every whiny whim for 18+ years. WTF? But yet I choke down my folic adic pills and wake up early every morning to take my temp; I have given up caffeine, hot dogs, deli meat and tuna (well, okay, I've decreased my intake); I lost my cute, girlish, semi-athletic-looking figure to three months of fertility drugs; hell, I HAD SURGERY TO DETATCH AND REPOSITION ONE OF MY FREAKIN' EYE MUSCLES in an effort to ease my headaches and need for pain meds (and it mostly worked).

In February, I became Pregnant, and within a few days became Unpregnant. The loss I feel for that life and opportunity is something so acute and exquisite that I don't think the words exist in my brain. There are billions of women throughout time who have had similar or vastly more severe losses, and I cannot fathom how they could bear it. I'm at the point where I don't think about it much, or when I do think about it, it's like I'm telling a story about someone else. I'm starting to ache so I'll change the subject until another time.

I really wish I could stop and take a break; I really do. I'm so tired. I've started, slowly, to make plans for the future that DON'T revolve around possible ovulation dates, and I'm even thinking about buying a plane ticket for a conference in November WITHOUT calculating how many months pregnant I'd be IF this cycle worked out. That is absolutely HUGE for me.

Okay, introduction over. It's all fun and games from here on out, right???