Monday, June 30, 2008

Needles and Nurses

I used up my lunch break today to go to the doctor's office for blood work. They have to check my progesterone level to make sure that I ovulated. I will get the results back on Wednesday, at the latest.

I have to say that I LOVE my doctor and his staff. They haven't done me any favors or gone completely out of their way to accommodate me or anything. They are just so...nice. My doctor is really friendly, without being creepy, and he is really professional, without being disconnected. His staff has always been so nice and so easy to work with. When I had to set up an appointment for B's semen analysis, I called my doctor's office and left a message for his assistant to call me back with a referral. I don't think that 20 minutes had passed before she called me back. The best part is that she was glad to help and didn't make me feel at all like I was putting her out. Today, when I went for my blood work, the nurse who drew my blood was just as chipper as can be. She was so friendly and commented on how cute my veins on my right forearm are. Apparently, when I have a turnicate on, my veins form a large, perfectly shaped heart. Who knew?!? I HATE giving blood and have actually passed out a few times when I have donated blood in the past, but she made me so comfortable that I didn't even think about it. She was also very skilled, because you can't even see where she drew the blood. I bruise REALLY easily and scar pretty easily, too. Every time I've ever given blood, in any amount, I leave with a huge bruise on the inside of my elbow. Right now, my arm is perfectly clear of any bruising or redness. Kudos to Women's Health Specialists in Jensen Beach, Florida!!! Dr. Pare is awesome and so is his staff!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Barbecue and Babies

This evening B and I went to a baby shower that was really more of a barbecue with presents. The couple having the baby is from our church and she is an elementary teacher and he is a police officer, fresh out of the academy. They are having a girl and her name is going to be Liliana Reagan. I think they will be wonderful parents!

I was so glad that it was for families so I could take B with me. Things are always more fun when he is there. He had a lot of fun playing with the kids that were running around. I love to watch him play with kids and hold babies, because he is really good with them and thinks they are as cute as I do. It's really bittersweet to see him around kids, because he shows what a wonderful father he is going to be, but when we will he have his chance? I know that he wants children as badly as I do when I see his face as he holds a baby. For such a big guy (he is 6'9"), he sure is a teddy bear. ; )

I'm trying to be really positive, since we are doing everything we can right now to get pregnant. I know it's going to happen and I believe it will be soon. But, whether it is this year, next year or a few years from now, I KNOW that it WILL happen and that he will be an INCREDIBLE father.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Think This Is It

My temperature dropped this morning and I had ovulation pains all day yesterday and a bit this morning. My cervix seems to be in the right position and the fluid is definitely egg white-ish. All of this combined makes me think that I am finally ovulating! YAY! I will take another OPK this evening to confirm, but I have heard that it is possible to get a negative when you really are ovulating after you have taken Clomid. I think it's important for me to be able to read the signs my body is giving me.

On Monday, I have an appointment to go into the doctor's office for bloodwork to check my progesterone levels. This will tell them if I ovulated or not, so they know if they need to change my dosage of Clomid for the next cycle.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To O or Not to O

That really is the question. I take my basil body temperature every morning before I get out of bed, then quickly log it on my chart. I have started using an online charting method from FertilityFriend.com (link to my chart at bottom of blog) that can help you figure out your coverline and when you are ovulating. My temperature is usually under 97 degrees at about 6:00a.m., but, since I took Clomid this cycle, it has been quite a bit higher and had gone up and down a bit, too. The drastic spikes in my temperature are being translated by Fertility Friend as me already ovulating, but my other symptoms are telling me that I am about to ovulate. It is all very confusing. Hopefully, I have not ovulated yet, but will in the next couple of days, so that I will have a chance to use the Pre-Seed this cycle. In the meantime, I will keep charting and taking my ovulation prediction tests. We'll see if Fertility Friend changes my ovulation date.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Every Dog Has Its Day...

...but today was not mine. I have been so "hormotional" (thanks Andrea for that word- I use it all the time now!) today. I have a tendency to stress about uncertainties. I need to know what is going to happen, so I can plan for it. B and I have been waiting to hear about this job out of state and the waiting is driving me crazy. Mix the stress of that with my hormotional mood swings = tears, nausea and irritability. Poor B was the one I called and took it out on. : (

But, like every dip in the road, I came right back up (which confirms that this was a hormone induced mood swing) and am feeling much better and more cheerful. I did get a good surprise when I got home from work, my Pre-Seed that I ordered came in! Hopefully I will ovulate soon, so I can try this stuff out. ; )

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ovulation Prediction Tests

Maybe I am the only one, but I have been so confused on exactly how to read the Ovulation Prediction Tests' results. I know that when you take a home pregnancy test, if there are two lines, no matter how faint, that is a positive result. Apparently, Ovulation Prediction Tests do not work the same way. I've read the instructions several times and they say that both lines have to be really dark. How dark is dark enough? I went on Fertility Friend to chart my morning temperature and I saw a link to pictures of Home Pregnancy Tests and Ovulation Prediction Kits. Perfect! It was SO helpful! I guess the instructions were right, because it IS possible to get two really dark lines. I've been using these tests for so long and wondering if I just don't know how to read them, but it probably helps if you actually ovulate, to get clear results. Since I haven't ovulated in almost a year according to my doctor, that would probably explain why I haven't ever seen a positive result on one of these test. Well, I am all set to ovulate this cycle. I am bound and determined to get those two dark bars and I feel more confident now that I know what I am looking for.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Some Humor to Lighten the Mood

I have been getting a little too detailed and serious about things, so here are some jokes about infertility that should help lighten the mood:


Why does it take 50 million sperm to fertilize one egg?

Because they won't ask for directions either!


You know you are trying to get pregnant when:

Someone asks you today's date and you reply "Day 21" . . .



The Results Are In!

Yesterday, we met with the doctor to go over the results of the semen analysis. I'm going to warn you now that there WILL be TMI ahead! That being said, I will continue.

As soon as the doctor came in, he sat down and said, "Well, this is only about the fourth time I've seen this in my entire career." (Given that he is an older gentleman, I would imagine that that is a long time.) B and I looked at each other, our eyes wide. The doctor, noting the look of panic on my face, quickly followed up with, "But all of the numbers look great." Ok...so what's the problem then? He went on to explain that B's ejaculation is about three times more than the average man. The average man releases 3-5mL, while B releases 10mL. This is not a good thing, but there is no explanation for it and no medicine to fix it. Sounds like a problem, right? It is, but there is a very simple method to work around it, that I will explain later.

First, I want to give the specific test results. Sperm Count: over 85 million, Motility: 80-100%, Morphology: less than 30%. Perfect numbers! YAY, B!

Here's how we handle the "problem"(this has worked in the three other cases the Dr. has dealt with. they all got their BFPs)... The first couple of spurts contain most of the sperm, the rest is just fluid from the prostate. This fluid is diluting the sperm and preventing them from entering the cervix. The solution: pull out after the first couple of spurts. Well, that's easy. No pills. No procedures. We can SO handle this.

Luckily, I haven't ovulated yet this cycle (any day now!), so we still have time to put this into use and really try for the BFP (big fat positive- for those of you who don't know the really cool infertility lingo- lol).

The funny thing is, just before the doctor came in, B looked at me and said, "If there's something wrong and I can never have a child, I'm okay with that." Then, after we left the doctor's office, he told me I could go brag about him! ; ) He is so cute about it! Even though I know he really would have been okay with bad news, his "problem" was a boost to his masculine confidence (and, perhaps, ego, too!).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stupid People

I was reading Andrea's blog this morning and she mentioned that the pharmacist noticed the instructions on her antibiotic and asked her if she was trying to get pregnant. When she replied yes, the pharmacist then asked if she was on birth control. What?!? I am amazed by the stupid things people say sometimes.

It reminded me of something that happened at the hospital in December of 2004, when I had my first miscarriage. The doctors had just finished my D&C and I was just waking up as the nurses wheeled me into recovery. One of the nurses saw that I was finally coherent and started chatting me up. She asked if this had been my first pregnancy and I replied yes. "Have you been trying long?" "Yes, a couple of years." (Keep in mind that I was only half awake and my speech was still slurred from the general anesthesia.) She proceeded to say, "My husband and I have been trying for a while. What worked for you? How did you finally get pregnant?" At the time, being half awake, it didn't hit me how inappropriate and insensitive she was, so I just told her to relax and it would happen. I added, "I can't guarantee that you'll carry full-term" (pointing to myself), "but you'll at least get pregnant." Later that day, while recovering at home, I remembered what the nurse had said and I got angry. I was so offended that I started crying.

I know that people rarely mean to cause offense, but it's really hard not to take it that way when your hormones are completely out of whack and you are stressed out from trying to conceive or dealing with a loss.

For those of you who have not had to deal with infertility or a miscarriage, here are a few guidelines when talking to someone that is or has dealt with this:

#1: Never ask questions like, "What are you waiting for?" "Don't you want kids?", etc.
#2: When someone tells you how much they love your kids or that they want one just like yours, never respond with "Want mine?"
#3: Never complain about pregnancy symptoms or always being pregnant or make comments about how all your husband has to do is look at you and you get pregnant.
#4: Don't complain about your kids in general.
#5: Never give unsolicited advice about getting pregnant, and at all times avoid saying, "Just relax and it will happen."
#6: Be compassionate without showing pity. Nothing can make an "infertile" woman feel worse than knowing that you feel sorry for her.

If anyone else has a rule to add to the list, just let me know!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stress and Infertility

I suffer from stress-induced anovulation, so I have done a little bit of research about what is happening in my body when I stress and how I can better manage that stress. I hope you find this helpful, too.

According to Toni Weschler (author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility- the BEST book ever!), stress can affect the functioning of the Hypothalamus, the gland in the brain that regulates appetite and emotion, as well as the hormones required to release the egg. It is important to note that positive stress can affect it as easily as negative stress.

She goes on to say, "If you're trying to get pregnant and you're under stress, your cervical mucus may give you a warning that something's wrong. Rather than noticing increased cervical wetness as you approach ovulation, you might find patches of wetness interspersed with dry days; it's as if your body is trying to ovulate but the stress continues to delay it. You won't know that you've ovulated unless you're using a method of detection, such as ovulation predictor kits or charting your basal body temperature and cervical mucus. Even then you may not be totally sure that you've ovulated."

Since it is impossible to completely eliminate stress, I am trying really hard to deal better with the stress I do have, but I have a long way to go. Here are some steps that can help in managing your stress:

1. Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical reactions.
Notice your distress. Don't ignore it. Being aware of what triggers your stress can help you to know how to handle it in the future. Determine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about meaning of these events? Determine how your body responds to the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset? If so, in what specific ways?

2. Recognize what you can change.
Can you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can you reduce their intensity (manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)? Can you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the physical premises)?Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change (goal setting, time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful here)?

3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.
The stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger...physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a disaster? Are you expecting to please everyone? Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do you feel you must always prevail in every situation? Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you. Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the "what if's."

4. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress.
Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Electronic biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension, heart reate, and blood pressure. Medications, when prescribed by a physician, can help in the short term in moderating your physical reactions. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution.

5. Build your physical reserves.
Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week (moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging).Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Maintain your ideal weight. Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants.
Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can. Get enough sleep. Be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.

6. Maintain your emotional reserves.
Develop some mutually supportive friendships/relationships. Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you, rather than goals others have for you that you do not share. Expect some frustrations, failures, and sorrows. Always be kind and gentle with yourself -- be a friend to yourself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Ready for the Big O

I am planning to start taking Robitussin tonight, along with my Evening Primrose Oil, which I've been taking for the past week. I am curious to see how long it will be before I ovulate. My temps have been all over the place, but my cervical fluid has been pretty good.

I think it is time to start taking the ovulation tests, too. I read somewhere that you should not take them first thing in the morning, though. Apparently, you are supposed to do it at the same time every day and not drink anything for two hours prior to taking the test. If you drink a lot of water to make yourself have to go, it will water down the results and you won't get an accurate result. (The same holds true for taking a pregnancy test, except that you ARE supposed to take that first thing in the morning.) I plan to take my ovulation test in the evening.

I am getting a little nervous about Thursday, though. That's when we go to see the Urologist to go over B's test results. I'm sure they found something wrong. Otherwise, why would the doctor insist on seeing B to go over the test results? That has me worried.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Infertility Dictionary

My friend, Andrea, posted this on her blog and I just had to steal it from her. I tend to be really serious when it comes to infertility, but I am realizing that I need to have a sense of humor about it, too. I can definitely relate to MORE than a few of these! Enjoy!

Sniglets are funny made-up words/definitions for those things in life that just don't seem to have any "official" terminology. The world of infertility provides lots of hilarious inspiration.

General Infertility Sniglets:
Psycho-symptom-atic Syndrome: a psychosomatic condition afflicting women during the two-week waiting period; marked by a tendency to incorrectly attribute every bodily twinge and twitch to the early stages of pregnancy.
Yearnation: the overwhelming urge to urinate while recording your morning basal body temperature reading.
Peetience: what you learn to aquire when starting to chart your basal body temperature.* Bladder Praying: praying that your bladder will fill up so that you can take an HPT - because it's day 29 and you KNOW FOR SURE THAT THE TEST RESULTS ARE GOING TO BE POSITIVE THIS TIME.
Pregsplotion: the sudden abundance of pregnant women in your vicinity within hours of your negative pregnancy test.
Coitus timeruptus: the practice of timing intercourse to correspond with the timing of ovulation.
Doggus interruptus: when your dog interupts sex.
Cattus interrupus: when your cat interupts sex.
Coinus interruptus: the impact of infertility treatments on one's pocketbook.Mucusology - the inexact science of attempting to determine the timing of ovulation.
Freeballing: the step beyond boxers taken by truly devoted husbands with low sperm count.
Freeballitis: chaffing and raw skin associated with freeballing.
Briefectomy: furtive removal of all tight-fitting briefs from your husband's underwear drawer.
Rigorous mortis: loss of interest in sex due to lack of spontaneity in timing.Male sex drive - something constantly in motion, but shuts down completely from his wife's cycle days 10-16, because, after all, what's the use...
Transfurryence: treating your pets like human babies.
Clearpit Easy: bottomless pit into which women hurl buckets of money while repeatedly testing for pregnancy way too early or while testing for an LH surge.
Looteal phase: the period of time between cycles when all of the insurance statements/doctor's bills come in from the beginning of the cycle. Also a time to save $$ for the upcoming cycle.
Assincline: the odd-looking practice of elevating a woman's buttocks after intercourse in order to maximize the sperm's ability to swim for the egg.
Gluteus Unrelaximus: side effect of the uncomfortable act of propping up the buttocks after baby-sex.
Multiplous avoidus: the act of reminding the nurses yet again (!) to avoid the "infertility" diagnosis on insurance forms.
Day-one-dering: wondering why oh why you have to deal with "day one", yet again!Pitspermitis: the crick in your armpit which arises from carrying that plastic bottle of semen from home to the clinic.
Preggozone: the magnetic area around all infertile women that draws expectant mothers into close viewing range; the first day of any cycle has the greatest magnetic field, closely followed by any day on which an infertile womans fails a pregnancy test.
Snow White Complex: the mental state following your careful examination of white undies and panty liners for indications of mucus or menstrual flow.
Miss Mannerism: the habit, when people ask you nosy questions about when you're going to get pregnant or make rude comments like "want my kids?" of looking a combination of shocked and puzzled and saying something like, "Why ever would you say such a thing?"Graphic Imagination: tweaking, massaging, reorienting, or redrawing your basal body temperature graph/data in an attempt to see either a temperature rise or the magic triphasic pregnancy pattern.
Inferguilty: how you feel when you're having a bad day and you read someone's post announcing their pregnancy and you are overcome with the urge to kill them.
Clomidfiend: a woman under the influence of Clomid-induced mood swings; someone who wants to blame anything and everything on the drug.
ClomiWITCH: a woman uner the influence of clomid. She can becoime the WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST!!!!!
Justwaition: 1. the two weeks between ovualation and a pregnancy test. 2. a period of time just before gestation.
Hormotional: easily rattled emotional state brought on by hormone surges; especially symptomatic of women on fertility drugs.
Hormonally Challenged: the politically correct term for a woman who is having mood swings due to infertility treatement.
Pregnition: the act of starting on fertility treatment.Inputty - what your brain turns to after reading too many newsgroup messages at one time.

Copyright � 1996, 1997, 1998 by Rebecca Smith Waddell and Lisa A. KramerAll rights reserved. The text from this page may be distributed as long as copyright is attached and the use is not for profit.

My Last Day of Taking Clomid (this cycle, at least)

Today was my last day of taking Clomid, but the side effects are just getting started. I keep having the worst hot flashes! I have a new-found respect for menopausal women! For those of you who have not experienced the joy that is the hot flash, I will describe this phenomenon. Picture this: You are freezing, actually putting a coat across your lap. You notice a couple of minutes later that the room has gotten considerably warmer, so you remove the coat. A couple of minutes later, you feel your face getting really hot and your hands seem to be radiating heat. Perspiration is just starting to form on your face as you feel the heat eminating from your torso now, too. This lasts for several minutes. Luckily when it dissipates, you feel it immediately. And that is what it feels like to have a hot flash. Even though it is one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever, it is definitely worth it to be able to ovulate. Next stop: Baby Dancing! YAY!

Clomid & People Don't Mix

Ok, I'm sure it is just the Clomid talking, but people are driving me CRAZY! I was ready to poke somebody's eyes out at the grocery store this morning. I stopped to get some Gatorade and pretzel sticks, which should be quick and easy. NOT! Between the cashier's not so witty comment about "where the party is" and the old man behind me giving me a lecture on how beer is better than water, somebody was going to get hurt. Everyone should be proud of me, though. I held in my temper and politely smiled at both of them and headed out to my car... to scream.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my "future father" husband! Even though B doesn't have any human kids doesn't mean we shouldn't count his furry, four-legged kids. I love to watch him play with our dog and two cats. He is so sweet to them, that I just KNOW he will be an AMAZING father when the time comes.

B, I LOVE you and I am SO thankful to have you in my life!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

CD 7

Today was just another day. I got up, ate breakfast, took my medicine and went about my business. I did start getting hot flashes yesterday, though. Ick! I have never had a great internal thermostat. I am almost always cold, but this whole "cold one minute, hot the next" thing can drive a person crazy! (if they aren't already there. ha ha) I can deal with it, though. : )

The downside to my day was opening the mail. I got an invitation to a baby shower. Of course, I am happy for this couple, but I can't help but feel jealous. Does that make me a bad person?

Friday, June 13, 2008

What I Really Want

This is a poem I wrote about dealing with infertility:


What I Really Want

I want...
To feel a life growing inside me.
To bear a child to carry on my legacy.
To hold that child close to me as I sing a lullaby.

I want...
To hear the soft cries of a baby in my home.
To be the one to silence her tears.
To hold her hands as she takes her first step.

I want...
To not be pitied.
To not dread Mothers' Day.
My arms to not ache when I hold someone else's baby.

I want...
People to not assume that this is a choice.
People to stop asking me "What are you waiting for?"
To not cry when I hear that question, yet again.

I want...
To understand why this has to be.
To be happy for those that can have a baby.
To accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

Most of all, I really want...
To hear a child call me mommy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Acupuncture? Really?

My friend has been telling me that I should see an acupuncturist to help with my fertility. Acupuncture? Really? What good can come from someone jamming needles into my back?!? I'm definitately not one of those people who believes that "everything should be all natural" and "medicine is bad, holistic medicine is the only way to go". But, she swears by it, so I thought I would at least Google it.

As it turns out, Acupuncture is actually recommended to women who are trying to conceive. Who knew? I pulled up the following information on www.americanpregnancy.org.


Treatment of Infertility Using Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body which reside on channels or meridians; these are pathways in both the exterior and interior of the body. These points, when needled, can regulate the way in which the body functions. Acupuncture helps by addressing problems that affect fertility such as under-functioning (hypothyroidism) or over-functioning (hyperthyroidism).

Can acupuncture be used to treat infertility?
Acupuncture, frequently combined with herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture and herbs will not work to address tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. However, in this situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, it is shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.


When should acupuncture treatment begin?
Acupuncture is similar to physical therapy in that it is a process oriented method of medical intervention. It is better to do more than less. Patients are commonly treated for three to four months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment seems to have a therapeutic effect.


In a study by Stener-Victorin et al from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Centre, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer. Clinical observations from the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.

When should I stop getting acupuncture?
Typically most miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Therefore, treatment of patients may often last through week twelve to help prevent miscarriage.


Are the acupuncture points different after an insemination, IVF, or donor-egg transfer than before?
Your acupuncturist should not place needles in the abdomino-pelvic area after insemination or transfer. There are 6 contraindicated acupuncture points which should be avoided when the patient is pregnant or pregnancy is suspected. These include Gallbladder 21, Stomach 12, Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, Bladder 60, Bladder 67 and any points on the lower abdomen.


What are the risks of using acupuncture?
There are minimal risks when using acupuncture for fertility treatment. A risk of miscarriage may develop if incorrect acupuncture points are used when a woman is pregnant. This is one reason why those wishing to include acupuncture in their treatment regimen should only be treated by an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. Acupuncture is not contraindicated for anyone regardless of their pathology or what medications they are taking.


What types of fertility patients typically get acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation.


Is acupuncture a licensed profession?
In most states acupuncture is a licensed profession. You can visit
www.nccaom.org to find a licensed and Board certified acupuncturist in your area. It is important to recognize that being licensed and Board certified does not imply expertise in reproductive disorders.

My First Day of Clomid

Today is the first day of my first round of Clomid. I am taking 50mg, which I took with breakfast because I was so excited to take it! The side effects haven't been too bad, so far. I haven't been having any hot flashes, yet, but that is probably because my office at work is like a refrigerator! The only thing I have felt is dizziness. I feel the room kind of spin every so often.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Not Just Me

I got to thinking, today, about all of the other couples out there that are experiencing what B and I are experiencing. How many of them are there? I pulled up www.cdc.gov and a few other websites and got some figures. Apparently, we are not alone in this.

In the US, alone:
  • There are approximately 6.1 million women, between the ages of 15-44, with impaired ability to have children.
  • 9.3 million women are using infertility services.
  • 2.1 million couples are infertile.
  • 10.1% of the population that is of reproductive age are infertile.
  • About 1 in every 6 couples deals with infertility issues.

The good news is:

  • 3 million babies have been born as a result of infertility treatment.
  • Clomid has a 30%-60% success rate!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Comments & Feedback

I hope everyone is getting something out of reading this blog, or enjoying it, if nothing else! I just wanted to tell everyone that this is NOT just about me! I started this whole thing to give women a place to come and vent about the woes of trying to conceive and learn from each others' experiences.

Consider this an indefinite OPEN INVITATION to say what you think and tell us your story.

Let me know if you agree/disagree with me!

Let me know what topics you are interested in hearing about.

Feel free to give advice.

Share your own experiences!

We want to hear it all!

Can Caffeine Affect Fertility?

I don't drink caffeine, personally, but I know a LOT of people that do. I thought I would post this for those of you who are trying to conceive (and maybe having a difficult time) and can't live without their coffee or cola. I ran across this article on http://www.babycenter.com/


Does caffeine affect fertility?


That depends on how much you're getting. Consuming moderate amounts of caffeine — less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day, or what you may get from one strongly brewed 8-ounce cup of coffee — doesn't appear to affect a woman's fertility. (That's according to a 2003 report from the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction at the National Institutes of Health.) On the other hand, at least one large study recently found that women who consumed 300 mg of caffeine or more a day took longer to conceive than those who got less or none.


To be safe, it's probably wise to limit your caffeine intake. Your doctor or midwife may even advise you to cut it out completely. Caffeine has no nutritional value and can even cause your bones to lose some calcium, an important nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. There's also some evidence that getting more than 300 mg a day can raise your risk of miscarriage.


If you decide to give up caffeine, ease off slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. You might want to start by switching to a half decaf, half caffeinated drink. If you're a real java junkie, try cutting back to a cup a day — most experts think that amount is safe.


Once you've acclimated to life with little or no caffeine, you may find steamed milk with a shot of flavored syrup to be a nice coffee substitute — and the calcium will do your body good.


How much caffeine is in my favorite foods and beverages?


Caffeine is in all the usual suspects (coffee, tea, and cola) as well as in chocolate, other soft drinks (including some orange sodas and root beers), and energy drinks. Believe it or not, there's even some caffeine in most decaffeinated beverages. It's also in a variety of over-the-counter drugs, including some headache, cold, and allergy remedies.


The amount of caffeine in coffee and tea varies widely, depending on whether they're brewed or instant, weak or strong. Check the chart below for caffeine amounts in some common foods and beverages. Remember to look at the portion size you're getting as well. The chart lists the amount of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee, but the smallest serving at some coffee shops is 12 ounces.


Getting Test Results

B gave his sample for the semen analysis last Wednesday. They already have the test results, but we won't be able to find out until B's follow-up appointment at 3:30 on June 19th. Why must they toy with our emotions?!?! I really shouldn't be made to stress like this. I need to be concentrating my energy on ovulating!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shout Out!!!

I would like to give a shout out to my discussion group on BabyCenter.com. They liked the name of my blog and decided to use it as the name of our group. (I'm so flattered!) They are a WONDERFUL group of ladies that are all going through some form of infertility and being treated with Clomid. I am always talking to B about them. He calls them my Support Group. You know, he's right...they really are my support group. Thank you ladies for welcoming me with open arms and giving me a place to vent my frustrations and tell my woes! It feels like a family and I have some unbelievable "sisters". Hearing their stories has brought tears to my eyes and I admire every one of them. They are such strong individuals with such kind hearts. I am so grateful I found them...or they found me (thanks Andrea!)

CD2

Well, the cramps have all but gone away and I am left with the emotional rollercoaster that is "The Period". Normally, I get pretty weepy around my time of the month, but because of the Norethindrone I was taking, all of my symptoms have been really magnified. Let me just say that today is not a good day to tick me off! I am not a fighter by any means, but today, everything is getting to me and I find myself getting angry instead of weepy. This is pretty abnormal for me and I'm not sure how to deal with it. So far, the Waiting Until I Calm Down Before I Give a Response Method is keeping everyone else safe. The only problem is that I am left ignoring almost everyone! ; ) Poor B has to deal with me when I get home from work, too. I will really try to be sweet to him. He has been so great about everything lately. He deserves to have a sane wife!

I plan to go by the drug store this evening to pick up some Evening Primrose Oil and some Robitussin. I'm gearing up for the side effects of the Clomid I will take from Thursday through Monday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Clomid and Cervical Fluid

Since I am on my first round of Clomid, I am gearing up for the Big O (ovulation). For those of you not familiar with Clomid, it induces ovulation, but can have a side effect that works against it. Clomid is known to dry up or thicken the cervical fluid needed to keep those little soldiers healthy and swimming. To prepare for this counterproductive possibility, I am doing some research on how to create a better quality fluid. The ideal consistency is identical to egg whites. The list of remedies to this problem includes:

Guaifenesin/Robitussin (2 tablespoons on days preceding ovulation/may start the day AFTER last Clomid pill is taken- MUST be Original- an expectorant/not a decongestant)
Evening Primrose Oil (1000 IU per day from cycle day 1 to ovulation)
Water (drink at least 6 glasses a day)
Grapefruit Juice
Red Raspberry Tea (1000mg daily/can also help lengthen Luteal Phase)
Vitamin C along with Grapeseed Extract
Green Tea (studies have shown that women who drink 1 cup every day double their chances of conceiving)

Do you have any suggestions? Did I miss anything? I'd love to know what worked for you!

Cycle Day 1

Well, Aunt Flow is here and back with a vengeance! *Warning for all Men: TMI Ahead!!!* I usually don't have much pain associated with my cycles, or a heavy flow, for that matter, but this time seems different. I started having major cramping a couple of days ago, but it only came in waves. This morning I woke up to severe pain in my pelvic area that was so deep, it made my lower back hurt.

B was so sweet! He got the heating pad for me and made sure I had everything I needed before he headed out for church. (I was in so much pain I just couldn't go with him)

Whoever invented Midol should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!!!! That stuff is AMAZING!!!! With as much pain as I was in, I didn't think ANYTHING would work, but, sure enough, about 20-30 minutes after taking two pills, the pain just stopped. I am in love with that little blue and white bottle. ; )

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Would Die For That

I found this on You Tube and it really touched my heart. I wanted to post it to let all of those women out there, suffering from infertility, etc., know that they are not alone. We are all suffering together.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Journey Thus Far

My husband (we'll call him B) and I got married in July of 2002. B was 26 and I was barely 21. We were a couple of college students with big plans and a small pocketbook. We were fortunate enough to buy our first home right away. It was a modest brick home with a cottage comfort, which we thought would be quite cozy, especially once the baby arrived.

No, there wasn't a baby on the way, just the dream of one. We planned to start trying for the baby after we had been married for six months. B wanted to be married for at least a year before our duo became a trio. I never went on birth control, because of the horror stories I had heard about the pill having long lasting effects. We found other ways of preventing the pregnancy until we were ready.

Six months of marriage came and went and B agreed that we could start trying. So, we tried for several months without any luck. We weren't too concerned, since we had not been married very long and I was still very young.

In the meantime, I saw my OB/GYN for my annual appointments and was told, each time, that everything looked good and it would only be a matter of time. He was right. At the end of 2004, we got pregnant. I was about 8 weeks along before we found out and, of course, I had to tell EVERYBODY. The next 2 weeks were absolute heaven.

B had to go out of state for a job interview and I stayed home, daydreaming about the miracle that was growing inside of me. Just before I left for the airport to pick him up, I noticed some light spotting. I tried not to worry about it, but I had a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I shoved the thought to the back of my mind and headed out to pick up B.

The next day, the spotting got darker and I insisted B take me to the emergency room. The doctor confirmed my pregnancy and ordered an ultrasound while he got the results of my blood work. While lying on the bed in the dark room with my husband holding my hand and the ultrasound technician looking for our tiny miracle, the sinking feeling in my stomach grew. The technician was unable to find the baby inside or outside of the uterus. After being taken back to my room, the doctor came back to let me know that my HCG levels were too low, only measuring at 7 weeks. I was told that there was something wrong and I would have to go see my OB/GYN the next day.

My OB/GYN looked at my records and informed me that I would need to undergo a D&C on Monday. After going through the procedure on Monday, we went out of state to look for a new home where B had accepted a job. Bad idea! I should have sent him alone. I was in SO much pain, I wanted to die. As if losing my baby wasn't enough pain!

Time passed and we successfully relocated. About a year later, I suspected I was pregnant again. I had all the same symptoms, but I was so scared to test that I waited. Another week passed by and I was positive I was. I didn't want to tell B until I was certain, because he wanted this as badly as I did. I planned to test the next day, but I never got the chance. Once again, my body failed me. I lost the baby naturally. At least there was no surgery involved this time.

Time passed and in I decided to find a new OB/GYN that was more familiar with infertility, since it took us such a long time to conceive. The doctor I visited at a nearby women's health center (that advertised they specialized in infertility) ordered an ultrasound and blood work to test my hormone levels. He asked me to come back in four weeks, the tests being scheduled before then, to go over the results and talk about the next step. Before my appointment with the doctor, one of the nurses called me to tell me that my test results were both normal. I was looking forward to meeting with the doctor to find out what I should do next. On the day of the appointment, he walked into the exam room and sat down. With a furrowed brow he said, "Well, you know that your test results came back normal, so I'm not really sure why you are here or what I can do for you." Really? That's it? Not only are you rude, but you are giving up on me, too? I was so traumatized by that experience, I could not go another doctor for 2 years.

During those two years, B and I decided to try to adopt through the state. We took the course and filled out all of the necessary paperwork. Approved! All we had to do was wait for a call from the state, letting us know that a child (or children) was waiting to come to our home and join our "Forever Family". In an attempt to speed up the process, I looked at the state's adoption website, at the pictures of children waiting for homes. I saw a beautiful pair of brothers, 3 and 1. I called the number listed and inquired after the boys. The young woman told me not to bother calling about the kids, because the ones on the website were "special cases". Of course they are special! They are children; aren't all children special?!? When pressed, she refused to give me any information about the boys or who I could talk to about them!

B got very sick, shortly thereafter, and we had to set aside our plans to adopt.

After a while, and much improvement of B's health, we decided to resume our efforts to conceive. My body did not want to cooperate this time. In August of 2007, my body stopped ovulating. I tried to wait it out and just see if it rebooted itself. No such luck. I was doomed to have to see another doctor.

In January, I decided enough was enough and I rushed to get in to see an OB/GYN. This time luck was on my side. I found a very competent doctor who was able to diagnose my problem with carry a child. It is so simple and easily treated. I have low progesterone. Who knew?!? Now, for the anovulation...the doctor prescribed Norethindrone, a progestin. It restarted my system, but about the time I was set to ovulate, I got a call telling me that my brother had passed away in a car accident. We left the next day for his funeral and the stress of all of that prevented me from ovulating. At the end of March, I got a refill for the Norethindrone and restarted my system. This time, without any help from stress, my body did not ovulate, again. Looks like another trip to the doctor. I was able to get in to see him right away and after hearing the update, he told me, "It looks like we need to get you on a fertility treatment." He prescribed another progestin and Clomid (to induce ovulation). Before I left his office, he said, "Next time I see you in here, I want it to be because you are pregnant!"

B got his exam done last Friday and submitted his sample for his semen analysis this past Wednesday. We will get the results from that at his appointment on June 19th.

So, here I am today. I finished taking the Norethindrone Wednesday night and it will be a few more days before my cycle starts. If you have read through to this point, welcome and I hope you will follow us on our journey to parenthood.
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