Friday, March 29, 2013

A time for everything, everything in its time...

I went ahead and tested this morning knowing that if a "+" appeared it would be only because of divine intervention and a miracle. Of course, it didn't. I was not upset at all because I already knew. It sure did make it easier knowing sooner this time. I hadn't stressed about it any this week. I mean I was heartbroken over the weekend. But after grieving another failed attempt, I did have a pretty great week. It was nice knowing that there was nothing to stress about this week and nothing I had to do. It's also been easier to stay positive knowing that we are going to a different doctor, a better doctor and probably a more aggressive plan with better chances. Don't get me wrong, every now and then the "what if this doesn't work" question pops in my head. But I have been working really hard lately to trust in God's plan for us and not let worry replace this trust. I am not fully there yet but I think I am getting closer! I know that if we do go on to IVF that I will have to give it all over to Him and depend on Him to get us through it and not myself. So I am going to continue to work on this, I have to!

Today's reading from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

Petie and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. We are so lucky to live where we do. It really is beautiful, quiet and peaceful. I just wish that Mr. Weather would cooperate so that we could enjoy our surroundings every day. I am getting so impatient waiting for it to be warm and stay that way. I need my flowers to bloom and smile at me everyday when I get home and there to be green leaves on the trees. 


I am excited for this weekend, the weather is supposed to be perfect for Easter Sunday! I am also excited because I get to see my beautiful niece, Layla. I haven't seen her since Christmas but I have been watching her grow in pictures. Here's a recent picture her mom posted (hope you don't mind +sylvia humphries) She's so darn cute and I can't wait to get my hands on her!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

St Louis Appointment!

I am getting pretty excited because our appointment with the world renowned, genius in his field, Dr. Silber of St. Louis is in 9 days! I made the appointment on March 4th after finding out that our 4th IUI attempt was unsuccessful. Feeling frustrated it was time for a second opinion. I already had an appointment with my current doctor in Little Rock on the 7th to discuss what our next options were. So we decided to give them one last chance while we waited on our other appointment. The doctor gave us the options of doing another IUI with a different medicine this time, Letrozole, or move on to IVF.

He explained that Letrozole is like Clomid, minus all the side effects and minus the possibility of the uterine lining becoming thinned but it is more expensive. After hearing this, I was some what peeved that I hadn't been offered this drug sooner. I mean if Clomid thins the lining of the uterus the doctor should tell you that upfront, give you the option to save money or spend the extra $50 - $70 for a drug that doesn't thin the lining and has been known to have basically no side effects! I really do believe if given the option I would have chosen the Letrozole starting with the first IUI. For one I had already taken two rounds of Clomid and secondly I would have never chosen a drug that "could" thin my uterine lining. Obviously I would want my uterine lining to be at the best of it's ability so that an embryo could attach if formed!

So anyway after discussing it with Ryan for about two minutes, we decided to give it one more shot while we waited for our appointment in St. Louis. We knew before hand that we had no plans of doing IVF in Little Rock. We had heard that Dr. Silber in St. Louis was at the top of the IVF field and had decided if we had to do IVF we would go there. After all, St. Louis is only about 30 minutes farther than Little Rock for us and we love St. Louis. We make at least one trip there every summer to watch the Cardinals! (At least if we were doing IVF this summer we could maybe catch a few games to pass the time.)

Anyhow, the doctor told me that my uterine lining was thinned the last cycle and that with the new medicine we shouldn't have that problem. He also wanted to add FSH injection shots this round. I thought bring it on. I am willing to try anything new even if I do have to give myself a shot. (What us infertile women wouldn't do!) I left Little Rock feeling somewhat positive. At least we were trying a new medicine and adding the FSH injections as well. They scheduled me to come in on the 15th for an ultrasound to measure my follicles and make sure they were growing properly. If they were on track, they would send me home with the Ovidrel shot and tell me when to be back for the insemination. I was figuring I would get the shot, take it Friday night and be back on Sunday morning.

This time there was no instruction to start the OPK tests. However, when I got home after work on the 14th I decided to take one just in case, call it an infertile woman's intuition. In my mind I thought it was too early, only day 12 of my cycle but took it anyway. I was shocked, it was positive. I called the doctor to see what he wanted me to do. He said that Ryan would need to come with me just in case it was time but that I needed to test again in the morning. So I tested again, positive again. I had my ultrasound, my follicles and uterine lining looked good. He said that I had one measuring at over 20 mm (perfect) and I had not ovulated yet. He wanted to go ahead and do the insemination. I was excited because that meant no Ovidrel shot and no trip back on Sunday.

Thinking we would have to be back on Sunday, we had already planned to make a weekend of it. So I booked a hotel for two nights and we went to the horse races on Saturday. The weather ended up being perfect and we had a great time. But obviously my body wasn't busy making a baby during this time. :(

So back to what I originally started talking about, my appointment next Friday! I am so excited to get a second opinion even if that opinion is to do IVF (traditional or mini-IVF). I finished our paperwork this morning and had our records transferred. I cannot wait to meet Dr. Silber and his staff. I have heard wonderful things about the entire clinic. I am excited to have one doctor and one nurse assigned to my case. A nurse that will have access to my file and know what is going on with me, a nurse that I can call and ask questions. A nurse that can actually answer questions and will call you back. From what I hear they are very professional, personal and compassionate. Something I have yet to come in contact with on this journey. Crazy that you can go to a reproductive endocrinologist for six months and you still feel like no one in the entire office cares if you get pregnant or not! You would think they would want to be successful at their field?? Hmm.. all I know is I am moving on to better things and praying, praying, praying that this step will be the step we need! I am also looking forward to the break for April, no drugs, no inseminations and hopefully a lot less stress!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Big Day!

Well today was a big day for our family. Today was the day I found out whether I was going to have a niece or a nephew! Yup, my little sister is pregnant and I only found a week and a half ago. I know this was partially to spare my feelings. I am not gonna lie and say that it didn't feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest when she told me I was going to be an aunt and that she was 17 weeks pregnant. Her due date is August 18th. I was pretty sad about it but only for a couple of days. After today I am so much more excited! Something more exciting about knowing, planning, shopping.

My sister and I actually bought a couple of onesies on our shopping trip this weekend. They were both boy onesies, but we agreed they could pass on a girl with a hair bow. We were really thinking it would be a boy. Only because she had an ultrasound at 12 weeks because the doctor was having a hard time finding the heart beat. When he looked he said he thought he saw a penis. So in my mind I thought that would be harder to get wrong than saying it was a girl. Her appointment was at 2:00, she sent me the following picture about 30 minutes later:

I kept saying all morning that I would be shocked if it was a girl but really I wasn't. I mean the odds were stacked against them. My mom had three girls and he has two girls from a previous marriage. Anyway I am so ecstatic either way! Now I can shop and start sewing! Here is a picture of her sucking her thumb. SO SWEET!

Kolette and I had already decided we were going to have a baseball or nautical baby shower since we just knew it was a boy. I guess we are going to have to start planning something girlie! But I already know it won't be an explosion of pink, neither of us are fans!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blood Test

Well my friend called with my results Friday night. My level of HCG was less than 1. She said more than likely I am not pregnant. She said that I could go ahead and go for Sunday's test but I didn't have to if I didn't want to. I've been thinking about it and reading online some. It's still Sunday morning but I don't think I am gonna go in. Plus I might as well save that money for the IVF pot. I am still going to take my progesterone (just in case) and do a urine test next Friday. Although I would say my faith that it would be positive is about the same as my test results (less than one percent).

Kolette, my twin sister and best friend in the world, and I took a spur of the moment shopping trip to Jonesboro yesterday. I woke up and decided I couldn't spend all day inside. Since it was cold and dreary out I wouldn't be able to work outside. Working outside and getting my hands dirty is the best stress reliever for me. But since that would require bundling up in a ton of clothes, I opted for another great option: RETAIL THERAPY!

We had a great day and laughed a ton. Just what I needed! I am so thankful to have her in my life. She is always there for me and up for whatever crazy ideas pop in my head. We didn't spend too much and ended up buying more things for other people than we did ourselves, which always makes you feel better. I did find some Toms ballet flats on sale for $18.00! I was so excited. We bought our other sister, Rayleen, and our mom some stuff too. I bought Ryan a silly hat at Spencer's. I really didn't want to but Kolette insisted and I knew he would love it. But it is a river only hat! We ended the day by gorging ourselves at Olive Garden.

Now it's off to get ready for church!! Guaranteed to make me feel better about and trust in our journey and thankful for all our blessings!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Brief History and Blood Testing...

5/23/2012: 1st consult with OB after 12 mos of trying to conceive; blood test and semen analysis, all normal (also our 3 year anniversary!)

5/31/2012: HSG test, results normal; decide to see if we could be one of the lucky ones who get pregnant shortly after a HSG test

July & August 2012: both months took 50 mg Clomid

September 2012: no drugs, 1st consult with RE in Little Rock

October 2012: start 50 mg Clomid again

11/02/2012: 1st IUI; 200 mg progesterone after until time to test

11/15/2012: pm pregnancy test, faint positive! (shocked, excited, nervous, too good to be true?)

11/16/2012: am pregnancy test, a little darker positive!!

11/17/2012: am digital test, "pregnant" (in writing, yay!)

11/25/2012: m/c :(

12/11/2012: 2nd IUI, still 50 mg Clomid before, 200 mg progesterone after

1/12/2013: 3rd IUI, still 50 mg Clomid before, 200 mg progesterone after

2/15/2013: 4th IUI, 100 mg Clomid before, 200 mg progesterone after; then Estradiol, trigger shot on 2/13

3/15/2013: 5th IUI, took Letrozole this cycle days 5 - 9 due to thinned uterine lining; FSH injections days 10 - 12; OPK positive on night of day 12 and morning of day 13, progesterone after

And that leads us to where we are now! The wonderful 2 ww (week wait)!

Blood tests.... I have confided in a good friend, who happens to have gone through infertility herself and happens to be a nurse practitioner! We had our annual blood screening yesterday at work. I text her the night before asking if there would be anything in my results that could maybe point to pregnancy. She said nope. Dang. She went on to ask me if my RE would perform blood tests. I told her they didn't do that, instead I just wait two weeks from IUI and test. After talking back and forth about how the blood tests work, she gave me the option to come in for testing on days 7 and 9 (counting from the date of the IUI). Today is day 7! So I thought why not, if the results are a zero today (meaning more than likely not pregnant) I would know about a week sooner. Which will be heart breaking like any other negative, but at least I can stop wondering. So I go today after work and again on Sunday. I am not sure if I will know anything today or over the weekend, doubtful. But hopefully I will know something Monday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Little Background Info

Where do I start? I will just be direct, the main reason for starting this blog is to document our journey/struggle with infertility. In recent months I have found inspiration, wisdom and faith from other blogs. Some of which are still in the "battle", but most are through it and are now sharing about their growing families. I look back on past posts from these blogs and think how neat it is that they documented their journey from infertility to parenthood. These blogs have helped me keep the faith and prepare me for what might be next in our journey. This leads to the second reason for starting the blog: to hopefully help or inform others about the "battle". If I just help one reader (even if it isn't any time soon), the blog would be a success for me.

Now for the background info. Ryan and I married in May of 2009. We had a beautiful wedding and were so excited about what the future held for us. Ryan was still attending college then. Like every other young couple, we started talking about our plans. We were both in agreement that we would wait to have children until he was finished with school. At the time we were married I thought this would be in the spring of 2011. However, Ryan decided to change his major shortly after we were married. He entered the teaching program in the fall of 2010 and was set to graduate in the spring of 2012. You know how you always hear people say something was missing? Well that feeling started creeping in after about 18 months after being married. So we had the baby talk again. We then decided that it would be okay to have a baby right before Ryan graduated or the summer after (instead of waiting to start trying after he had graduated). So in the summer of 2011 we began our journey....

We decided as soon as we got back from vacation we would start trying. I did my research and knew that doctors recommend to quit taking your birth control a couple of months before you start trying to have a baby. I wanted to do everything the right way. (I admit I am a bit OCD, my husband would laugh and say a lot.) So I quit the pill two months before vacation and we used other means to prevent. I mean I didn't want to get pregnant before vacation and be sick the whole time! I was so excited while we were in South Carolina. We talked about it a lot and I kept asking Ryan if he was sure he was ready. He assured me he was and I would get butterflies each time we spoke of it.

After vacation it was on. I couldn't believe we were actually going to start. I would try to picture myself pregnant and I couldn't. (This faded over time of course.) I wasn't so naive that I thought we would get pregnant the first month or event the first 6 months. But after six months of trying I did start to worry. I had a good friend who struggled with infertility for two years before getting pregnant. (Now she has two beautiful, energetic boys.)  I kept telling myself 80% of women are pregnant within 12 months. Surely I would be in that 80%. I don't guess I have to tell you that I wasn't.

That is really when the battle/struggle/journey started. We went to our initial appointment with my OB/GYN. He gave us our options, which I knew before hand (again research, research, research). Ryan had his test and it was fine. I had the initial blood tests and the HSG test to check for blockage in my tubes. All tests were fine. I was happy. Our next step was either take Clomid or set up an appointment with a specialist. We decided to try the Clomid. I was so nervous thinking I could have twins. Gasp! I am a twin and love being a twin but didn't think I would have enough patience to raise twins. (This too faded over time and the idea was welcomed and even wished for.) The doctor said that he would let me do three rounds of Clomid. After two rounds were unsuccessful, I decided to go on to the specialist.

Six months later we are still seeing the specialist. Still hoping, still praying, still trying to stay positive. I will post more about the last six months later.