HISTORY

Treatments
BABY #1- 6 Clomid cycles, 2 IUIs with Femara, 1 IVF with 3 embryos transferred, 2 more IUIs with Femara & Follistim, and finally 1 IUI with Follistim.
BABY #2 - 2 Follistim cycles and natural conception

Timing
Decided to start a family May 2005. After testing & un-related delays, began first treatment cycle Oct 2005. First pregnancy confirmed Sept 2007. Second pregnancy confirmed Mar 2011.

For other IF couples
If you want to skip back to our infertility adventures, please see the history on the right hand margin. There you can find our journey from 2005 through 2007.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

aches & pains

I've noticed some extra little aches & pains lately. Of course, women going through infertility are constantly wondering what this or that little twinge might mean. But the last few days have been more than usual. I realized tonight that I've only had this particular type of pain (bloating, gas & some other discomfort) was after IVF. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. I think I had a mild case of hyperstimulation then, so maybe thats what this is (though this is more of an irritation where at IVF it was downright painful). Or maybe its nothing. Of course, OHSS clears up if you do not get pregnant, and stays longer if you do (in general)... so maybe it's a good sign. Or possibly I'm just an obsessive chic as us IFers tend to be .. I just can't tell anymore.

Monday, July 30, 2007

It was too good to be true

I knew it was too good to be true. My lovely drug, Avandia, is going through all sorts of hoopla. I wasn't worrying about it since the risks seemed minimal & unrelated to me. But after a warning message from my insurance company when I went to refill, I figured I'd finally better ask my doctor. Of course, I just left a message for the nurses who talked to the doctor. They called back & said he wants to switch me to glucophage.

OH NO! WOE IS ME!

I really do not want to go back on glucophage. I was always sick on it. Even though I was supposed to gradually step up the dose, I never could make it to the final dose. This was one of my top two complaints that led to switching doctors. So I'm going to give it a shot.. and keep one eye on the Avandia news (see here). At least Dr. Meyer is giving me a lower dose, so maybe it won't hit me as hard. But I'm not excited by any means. He wants to see me back in three weeks to checkup and see how I'm doing on it. (Of course if I'm preggo I'll be back sooner for more monitoring).

Countdown: 7 days to HPT

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ouch... my ovaries!

This afternoon I was chatting with my MIL on the phone and we got to talking about my latest cycle news. I mentioned that I was having minor pains, just twinges really. I said 'my ovaries hurt' and she laughed. Not at my pain, but at what I had said. She really thought that was funny, and to be fair, it is a pretty unusual thing to hear someone say.

For you boys out there who don't know, women aren't usually aware of their ovaries.. kinda like your liver or a kidney. It's just an organ that you know is in there doing its job (or in my case quietly not doing it's job) and unless something specifically goes wrong, you're oblivious to it. But sometimes in fertility treatments, the ovaries become enlarged (overstimulated) and they can be downright painful. They call that OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation). Of course, OHSS is more likely in patients with PCOS (lucky me).

It's possible that I might have a very mild case of OHSS, but even if not, my ovaries are making sure that I don't forget about them over the last few days. They've been just tender enough to make me take notice and occasionally led me to feel like lying down (more comfortable). Before IVF, I honestly could not point out the exact location of my ovaries. I knew roughly where they should be, but had never had any feeling in that area. That certainly changed this year starting with IVF. But if it means these guys (ok maybe I should call them gals) are working, then I'm all for it. No pain no gain right?

Countdown: 10 days to hpt

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Creativity lacking

I've been reading a lot of other fertility related blogs lately and I've noticed one thing. My posts are boring. No really, my posts are lacking the creative aspect so common in the best of blogs (esp in my post titles). On top of that, my writing skills could use some work. I'm not talking about basic grammar or spelling. I mean, I am a well educated, college grad with better than average communication skills. But not quite up to par in the 'newspaper article' style writing that most blogs emulate. I'm sure my little brother, aka the literary genius of the family, could give me a few pointers there.

Of course I have excuses. That's one thing about me, I've always got an excuse! I blame this particular issue on being lazy pretty much. And sometimes on being tired, grouchy, moody and just otherwise all hormonal (Ok so some of that is just me naturally, but I've got the IF excuse in that department!) or just plain procrastinating so that I end up trying to punch out a quick post before bedtime.

That being said, I really started this blog for my close family & friends.. not for the general populous. I'm not out to entertain or educate. Ok well maybe a little bit on the educate side. But I never really thought anyone outside my close circle would see this. I recently learned that's not true. I've had visitors from as far as Dubai & Sydney. Plus I've started passing around the link to this blog to more and more people as I grow more & more comfortable talking about IF and our particular experiences.

If you want to read about IF from much more talented and quirky women (and maybe a man or two), check out my blogroll (aptly named 'other adventurers' - I felt I had to spruce up my blog widgets a bit after all my reading - peer pressure, ain't it grand?).

So to get to the point, be aware that sometimes, I just want to document what happened that day. And that might be a bit boring. Sometimes its more for me than anyone else. It's been convienent to have this handy dandy log of our whole journey that I can access from anywhere.

Oh .. and the countdown is still on. 11 days to HPT

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2ww

Two weeks sometimes can seem like forever. That's certainly the case when you are in the dreaded 'two week wait (2ww)' of infertitity treatments. I cannot believe it's only been two DAYS! To pass the time, I thought I'd share a funny shot of myself with my cousin who's about two. (This post is all about the number two. Do you feel like you're watching Sesame Street?). I'm laughing because he would burst into laughter as soon as the flash went off and then put the serious face back on. Of course it's not all fun & games. By the end of our lunch, I was wearing more applesauce than I ate since he decided that he could try to eat my applesauce with his fork. He's not quite skilled enough for that yet.

Monday, July 23, 2007

IUI #4 today

This morning we went in for our 4th try at IUI. Everything looked good and the IUI went pretty easily (less discomfort this time). Not much more to say about it .. now we start the two week wait.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

IUI on Monday

My IUI is scheduled for Monday morning. I was not expecting it to be so soon. I went in this morning for my Day 10 ultrasound and they said everything was looking good and that my follicles were at the right size & number. I had guess-timated that it would have been the later half of the week. So I take my HcG trigger shot (Ovidrel) tonight at six and that should make me ovulate just in time for IUI on Monday. My uterine lining was a bit thin, so I do have to start taking estrogen (estradiol) three times a day. With my old doctor, I was given an estring when the lining was thin, but either way the point is that I needed more estrogen. I don't know which works better, but the estring was easier. I'm not used to taking pills 3x a day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

When are you going to have kids?

Since the day I got married, random people have asked me when I'm going to have kids. I'm sure most of you have experienced that at some point in your marriage (or maybe even as early as your engagement). If so, you'll probably get a kick out of this Newsweek article, Stop setting alarms on my biological clock. And for those of you that are still not ready, maybe your in-laws, nosy neighbor or slightly too enthusiastic 'new mommy' friend may benefit from reading this article! Though I will say there's a fine line between not being ready and waiting too long but each of us has to make that decision for ourselves.

What's in a name?

Amy. Alex. Apple. There are so many names for parents to shuffle through when they are about to have a child.

Last night, at my sorority alumnae dinner club, the conversation turned to babies as it inevitably does for girls our age that are married, engaged and/or pregnant. Neither of my two pregnant sisters that were at dinner have chosen a baby name yet, or even narrowed it down. I couldn't help but think about how we've already 'named' our first born boy and are pretty close on girls names. I don't know if this is normal for those going through infertility.. but last year, when I was obsessing about my infertility and treatments, I had taken to writing down all the possible baby names (including first & middle combinations) that I would possible want to name a child (or twins or triplets... always keeping in mind the possibility of multiples with fertility drugs). My favorites were discussed now & then with my husband, but most were just for my own entertainment and distraction.

As I was driving home from dinner, it struck me as kinda funny that I'd gone through all that months & months ago. Long before either of these two sisters were pregnant. I've barely even thought of it since then, because in my mind it's almost a done deal. I just need to get pregnant and find out if it's a boy or girl. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Subscribe via email

You can now subscribe to receive updates from my blog via email. Just put your email address in the box at the top of the page and click subscribe. (You will have to confirm your subscription). Then every time a new post is added, you will receive an email. (Well not immediately, but within about a day).

Tears and Hope

Apparently this is a week for infertility-related webstuff to be passed along to me. I'd like to share this website tearsandhope.com. Click on the video that says Empty Arms. It's very pretty with the sound, but if you can't listen to it (maybe reading this while at work).. the point is still made without the sound. The couple that put this page together did a great job of combining written word, song & pictures to explain to others how infertility can feel.

Monday, July 16, 2007




Kellie Coffey I Would Die For That Lyrics

Jenny was my best friend
Went away one summer
Came back with a secret
She just couldn't keep
A child inside her
Was just too much for her
So she cried herself to sleep

And she made a decision
Some find hard to accept
Too young to know that one day
She might live to regret

But I would die for that
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that she had
I would die
For that

And I've been given so much
A husband that I love
So why do I feel incomplete
With every test and checkup
Told not to give up
He wonders if it's him
And i wonder if it's me

But all I want is a family
Like everyone else I see
And I won't understand it
If it's not meant to be

Cause I would die for that
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that they have
I would die for that

And I want to know what it's like
To bring a dream to life
For that kind of love
What I'd give up
I would die
For that

Sometimes it's hard to conceive
When all that I've got
And all I've acheived
What I want most of all
Before my time is gone
is to hear the words
I love you Mom

Friday, July 13, 2007

IUI cycle #4

My cysts from last IUI (May) have cleared up so I've got the green light for another IUI cycle. Today is day 2 and my baseline scan looked good this morning. The medication on this cycle will be just like in May. I'll take Femara for 5 days (start tomorrow & finish on Wed). Then I'll start Follistim injections on Wed night and keep that up until doc says stop. I'll have another scan next Sat (7/21). Each cycle can vary a bit, but last time I had my IUI on day 16. So I expect IUI to be around 7/27.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Reproductive Immunology

Today a friend in the UK (whom I "met" via fertility message boards), posted a link to an article in a UK newspaper about a treatment she is starting. I wanted to pass this article along, because I plan to pursue immune testing as a possibility if we have to resort to IVF again.

Dr. Beer was a pioneer in the field of Reproductive Immunology and I talked a little about his book (Is your Body Baby Friendly?) in a previous post. His book is very new, actually published after I started my fertility journey. This was one of the first books on IVF that I found to provide real explanations for couples who continue to have infertility & IVF failures. (You should see all the post-it notes & highlighting in my copy). Most of the patients who go to Dr. Beer's facility (Dr Beer has passed away but the center he founded still provides these treatments) have usually already had 3 or more IVF failures or miscarriages. The article explains in fairly simple terms what the theories & treatments are to prevent another failure so I won't try to explain it myself. I hope to have the testing done before we make another IVF attempt (if IUI does not work within the next two tries, then we will have to move on to IVF again). Unfortunately, Dr. Beers ideas are not accepted by the entire medical community.. so I do not know how feasible it will be. But in my opinion, it would be better to have the tests done than keep trying if something is wrong. Even if all the tests come back all negative, at least you know that is not the cause of your failed attempts. One of the biggest frustrations with infertility is not knowing (at least for me anyway).

The woman in this article wrote about an 8 page introduction in Dr. Beer's book..
Daily Mail - My body tried to kill my baby

I also listed a few quotes from the book.

"Pregnancy risk assessment is advocated in many areas of medicine. We must now add 'immune risk assessment' to find the unfortunate people who end up spending a fortune in money, time and emotion, and get nothing in return. I strongly believe that we can identify these couples even before a first IVF failure."

"Unfortunately, if you mention these ideas to your doctor you must still be prepared for them to laugh at you and not take you seriously. Yet these same doctors would take autoimmunity seriously if it affected your thyroid gland, insulin-producing cells and joints. It's only infertility and recurrent losses that they consider have no biological causes outside of those that can be treated with fertility drugs."

"Studies have reported that many couples consider infertility to be at least as, or more stressful than divorce or the death of a loved one, with up to half of infertile women feeling depressed and anxious" (I've also heard it compared to the stress of dealing with cancer).

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tatooine

May the force be with you.

I'm not really going to write about Star Wars on my fertilty blog, but thought Tatooine was a good title for this entry. Tatooine is the home planet of Anakin & Luke Skywalker (and Princess Leia) and I've always thought it was a funny name for a planet. You'd think everyone on the planet would be covered in tattoos. (Yes I'm a dork, and I'm ok with that).

Which brings me to my subject, my new tattoo. Yep, for those of you that didn't know, I got a tattoo. I've had a lot of people ask me why. Why now (at 28 years old)? Why that? Why there? (Esp. family) I don't promise to answer all of those questions now (maybe not ever), but I will talk about it a little.

It is my first & only. It's a small tattoo but readily visible. It's about an inch wide decorative eternity symbol in all black. (And I'm going to go back to get it touched up a little). I got it on June 16th at Monkey Ink in Garner and Jack went with me. Yes, it hurt, but not that bad. After all the needles & pain with IUI/IVF, this was not a big deal plus it only took about 2 minutes.

Some may think that both the timing & the design are random. But they'd be wrong. I've wanted a tattoo for many years but various things stopped me (money, design, not wanting it to show in my wedding dress one day, etc). I saw this design several months ago and thought it would make a good tattoo so I kept it in mind. The cysts that I had on my ovaries made this month a good time (can't get a tattoo while you are pregnant or think you are). The more I thought about the design, the more I thought the symbol could mean a lot to me. (Plus it looks cool). I'm not going to go into what it means to me, but I will say it's related to where I am in my life and in my illness (yes infertility is an illness). So it very much is not random.

I don't expect everyone to understand, approve, or like it. And that's ok. I got the tattoo for me. And I put it on my wrist because that is where I liked it.