Tag Archives: lining

It’s the same old song

Every morning, en route to my office, my bus drives right by Grant Park, a beautiful lakefront park in downtown Chicago. Hubs and I will be there baking under the steamy August sun this Sunday, as we are every first weekend in August, listening to our fave bands and discovering new ones at Lollapalooza.

This weekend is also the one-year anniversary of the first home pregnancy test I ever took. (I’ve only taken four since then, all because Clinic #1 required them.) It had been weeks and weeks since I’d been off birth control and while I was 90% sure I hadn’t ovulated and wasn’t pregnant (I’ve never ever ever had a symptom, remember?), I wanted to make absolutely sure before indulging in some beers at the the concert. I remember standing in my bathroom early that Saturday morning, hopping from one foot to the other, waiting to see. UP popped the control line, in a flash. And of course, that was all there was. One lonely line. Hubs gave me a hug, then I took a walk around my neighborhood and thought and thought about my next steps. I knew something was wrong.

I was fine afterwards, it wasn’t a shock or anything. But late that night, after a couple of beers were in my system, tears began rolling down my cheeks while hubs and I watched the Fleet Foxes play an aftershow at a bar. It was this endless well of emotion that I didn’t even know was inside me, and I was tapping it for the very first time.

I wish I could go back in time and give that woman a hug. She had NO idea what was in store for her and how tough her year would be. Provera. TSH test. Referred to RE. Consult with Dr. C. The Clomid bust months. The crazy-thin lining. The HSG. Second consult with Dr. C. The cysts. Consult with Dr. K. The hours and hours and hours of Googling.  The bench months. The early morning monitoring appointments. The blood draws. The canceled cycles. The injectables. The failed IUI. Consult with Dr. A. The second failed IUI. The third IUI. The jealousy. The fear. The anger. The regret. The frustration. The guilt. The shame. The heart-crushing longing to see two lines. So many tears.

And now I can’t help but wonder, as I look forward to my weekend at Lolla….do I need a hug now? The truth is, I STILL have idea what’s in store for me. Will I ever get to move forward, and leave this purgatory?

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And here we are

We triggered last night (twelfth night of stims, not too bad!) and will IUI tomorrow. We officially have one good follie on the left, with a “maybe” on the right (if it works really hard to catch up). I had a bunch of follies hanging out in the 12-13ish range and there was talk about canceling or converting to IVF. So, we triggered quickly to save the cycle. Phew.

I love Dr. Awesome. I love his knowledgeable, compassionate nurses. I love his online patient portal where hubs and I can access my daily monitoring results. I love his protocol. I love that he is checking my P4 in a week. I love that I have a Beta test scheduled and don’t have to take an HPT. I love his aggression with my treatment. I love his caution. I love everything about clinic #2. Continue reading

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HIGHS and l..o..w..s

Monitoring was fantastic. 8.1mm lining. (The tech had to measure it a few different times to give me that great number, but hey, I’ll take it.) Rightie got up to 18! Leftie is going nutso with a 20, 18.5, 18, 17.5. I swear on the walk into work the entire world was so super duper sparkly I needed sunglasses. I kept thinking to myself, THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS! I even thought about how if THIS didn’t work (my thickest lining yet and four follies, amazing for me), we should just go directly to IVF because no IUI cycle would ever work.

I had a cartoon-size smile on my face all day.

Before you tell me I could become octo-mom, let me tell you about my blood work. My E2 is 292. If you’re thinking that number sucks, you’d be correct. The rule of thumb is 200 E2 per mature follie. Which leaves me with….maybe one follie? And my LH is officially so low that it’s not even measurable.

Ugh.

So. I’m triggering tonight. And they want me to come in TOMORROW a.m. for the IUI. It’s odd that they’re not doing the standard 36 hours post-trigger IUI. Especially since I’m most definitely NOT surging on my own (low LH, see above). I can’t help but suspect they’re rushing me so no one has to come in and deal with a patient on July 4th. I’ve got calls into the nurse and Dr. K. I’m sure they won’t change the protocol but maybe they can give me a tiny piece of hope back.

The ups and downs absolutely kill me.

***Update***

What do you know, Dr. K agrees with me and we’re doig the IUI on Sunday instead of tomorrow. The on-call RE’s reasoning for doing the IUI tomorrow morning was that my E2 seems to have plateaued (sad). He wants to catch any viable egg before it goes bad, so to speak. Dr. K sees his point, but would rather IUI 36 hours after trigger. They are hoping that out of all those big guys, one holds a good egg. So after 15 days of stims and 4 follies measuring 18mm or bigger, I have maybe one good egg. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please let it be the one.

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Starring….LEFTIE!

Hello bloggies. I had an excellent monitoring appointment this morning. My lining is up to 7.0 and….wait for it….triple stripe. HUZZAH! I am slightly concerned that the u/s tech realizes I’m a crazy, emotional fool who will turn into a weeping puddle if my lining report is not good, and that she’s inflating my numbers or taking four or five measurements just to appease me. But, whatevs. It’s totally working, I’m appeased. 🙂

It turns out my left ovary is working some serious OT this cycle. That’s great and all, but….crapola….the same thing happened last time I cycled (a super active left ovary with one to two viable contenders and a ton of little guys bringing up the rear). I’d really love the 14.5er on rightie to catch up. I’m happy with my lining, I’m happy about my follies waking up, but I’m still finding it within me to worry my left side is my….bad side.

Rightie: 14.5, 10.5

Leftie: 16, 15.5, 14, 12, 12, 10.5, 10

E2: 236

LH: 0.5 (it’s kind of ironic how the more consectutive days I take my PURE LH INJECTABLE, the lower my LH number)

I am to stay the course. 75iu of Gonal-F every night and 37.5iu of Luveris every morning. Back on Friday for CD17 monitoring. That’ll be 15 days of stims, folks. I’m going for a record in blog-land!

I swear there is other interesting stuff going on in my life right now, but, let’s be honest, this is all I think/obsess/daydream/worry about. One story for you, before I pretend to care about work for the next five hours. Last night as I was swigging my water while taking my cocktail of nightly supps—three L-Arginines, a Vitamin E, a Pre-Natie, a baby aspirin, a fish oil—dressed in a cropped-ish tank top that exposed my bruised tummy and a baggy pair of drawstring khakis that hubs not-so-affectionately calls my “prison pants,” he came around the corner, paused to examine the visage of beauty in front of him, and finally remarked that I looked “bloated.” What I heard was, “fat.” [Blame it on the Luveris, the inject that not only gives me bruises and stings like a $&*#@ going in, but also lowers my LH and makes me crazy.] Well, he was right. It turns out I am bloated, and I’m glad I finally have some follies that prove it. I hit the gym extra hard this morning but I realize my bod is a bit of a lost cause at this point in the cycle. Just saying….it is a lesson in self-acceptance to look pregnant when the one thing you most definitely are NOT is pregnant.

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A fly on the wall

There is a staging room at clinic #1 where women wait for their ultrasounds during early morning monitoring. While one woman is getting her u/s done, you are shown into the room, given a sheet, and then you undress and wait in a curtained off stall. The ultrasound room is riiiight next door so you can hear exactly how the woman in front of you is doing, where she is in her cycle, etc. Then she comes out, you get called back, and after she changes someone else is shown into the room to wait for her turn while your ultrasound is completed.

Today there was a couple in front of me, getting their “10 day” ultrasound. (Not to be confused with the VERY different CD10 ultrasound.) I sat on my little stool and tried everything under the sun to distract myself from hearing what was going on in that room….I played Wurdle, checked email, etc etc. But darnit if those walls aren’t as thin as paper…I could hear every single word. The congratulations and hugging between the u/s tech and the newly pregnant woman. The congratulations as Dr. C came in to do the u/s. The talk about symptoms (No spotting, great! Feeling nausea already, great sign! A little crampiness, perfectly normal!). The measurements (on sked). The lining (thick and healthy). The heartbeat (110bpm). The calculation of due date (February 22). More hugs and congratulations as she left the room. My eyes uncontrollably welled up with tears.

Bloggies, why in the world do I respond that way? I should feel hope that success was literally sitting a few feet from me. I should feel relief that clinic #1 is getting patients pregnant. This woman is a fellow infertile and lord only knows what horrible-ness she and her husband have suffered to get to this point. It’s not jealously. I think it’s mostly fear. Fear that I will never, ever know that joy and happiness. Fear that I’m too busted to ever conceive. Fear that I will never be pregnant. Fear about my lining. Fear about my egg quality. Fear about conception. Fear about implantation.

Fear that the closest I’ll ever be to a “10 day” ultrasound is the stool in the staging room.

*****

In, ahem, better news. My lining woke up over the weekend! He’s back up to 6mm. (Yeah, my lining is a “he,” go figure.) I even have some measureable follies! I’ve got one 12mm-er and a 10er on rightie. Leftie has four little guys clocking in at 10mm. My guess is we will continue my slooooow and steaaaaaady stimming protocol (37.5iu Luveris in the a.m., 75iu Gonal-F in the p.m.) and I’ll be injecting for a while longer. I am getting a little tired of the injections (I’m on my 11th day of stimming) and monitoring, but my lining could definitely use extra time to improve so I’m assuming it’s a blessing that I’m a slow responder.

Friday did open up Pandora’s Box with my lining weirdness. I had pretty decent control over my intense lining anxiety after I got up to 7.6mm last cycle, but Friday brought the dangers of thin lining back into the spotlight. I’m afraid I’ll lose a couple of millimeters again by the next monitoring appointment. Or that he’s maxed out at 6mm. I don’t feel confident or home free with my lining. Hubs suggested instead of going into “worry” mode, I try to embrace the good news when I get it. And it IS good news. Going from 3.6mm to 6.0mm in three days is awesome for me. Truly! I am very, very grateful today. Hopefully as the follies continue to grow I can fluff up even more.

*****

Dear woman in front of me in the u/s line this morning,

I am incredibly happy for you! The joy you and your husband expressed took my breath away. I have read about early pregnancy ultrasounds in blog-land, but the reality was even more special and miraculous than I had imagined. It was incredible to hear the intimate details of the miracle of life you are carrying. I wish you all the very best for a wonderful pregnancy.

Oh, one more thing. I hope and pray that you left me some baby dust in the staging room. 🙂

xoxo,

Egg

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It was nice knowing ya, Yoda Egg

CD10 monitoring this a.m. My lining went from 5mm to 3.6mm. My jaw sorta dropped in disbelief at this news, which inspired the tech to re-measure it. “4.1!” she exclaimed happily. Riiiiight.

How the frack does my lining go down by 1.4mm when I have the bruises and holes in my stomach from 15 injections to prove that I should be producing copious amounts of estrogen?

I’m worried that my 7.3mm lining was a complete fluke last cycle. I’m afraid that the tech mis-measured it and it was really much thinner. I’m scared that my lining problems are back. I don’t know you guys, this lining thing has me reeling a bit.

It’s like, just when I think I’ve got my body figured out (cysts, okay I can endure them; slow-growing follies, fine, I take a long time to stim), it throws something else at me. Seriously, what the heck body? Geeeeeez.

Then I made the VERY big mistake of texting my Mom an update. She texted back, “You should’ve cycled with clinic #2.” Thanks, Mom! That makes me feel awesome. (Also, I think she’s wrong. Dr. Awesome wanted to use the same dose of Gonal-F and no Luveris. I’m happy we’re giving the Luveris a chance. I don’t think the Luveris thins my lining. This is my body’s fault.)

I feel like going home and just crying under the covers for a couple hours and then taking a long walk to get myself together. But that’s not happening. Work is incredibly busy and stressful on Fridays and I’ll be here late. I’m hoping the nurse has some words of wisdom when I get my dosing update, but I can already see how that convo will go.

Me: “So, what’s up with my lining, why did it thin out?”

Nurse: “I know, we’re surprised, too! Sometimes that happens and no one knows why.”

Me: “I haven’t been bleeding, where does the lining go?”

Nurse: “Hmmm, good question. You’ll have to ask the doctor.”

Me: “Why am I not making enough estrogen to thicken my lining? Should I be on a higher dose of meds?”

Nurse: “I really have absolutely no idea how any of this works and I’m not allowed to comment or speculate or soothe you. My job is to draw blood. You’ll have to ask the doctor.”

Me: “Okay, can you have Dr. K call me back?”

Nurse: “Ohhh, sorry. She’s not on call today.”

The upside of all of this is that my follies are still too small to measure, except for one on rightie, who’s at 10.5mm. So here’s what I’m repeating to myself: Once they start growing and I’m making more estrogen, my lining will fluff up again. It’s much, much too early to freak out or be down. Things can only improve from here….

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Slow & steady

CD12 monitoring update! One rightie follie at 14mm and two lefties at 13mm. And a bunch of 10mm-ers have entered the scene. (Gulp! stay chill and let the leaders continue maturing, little ones!) My lining apparently got a big head from all the praise he received on Wednesday. (Yes, my lining is a “he.” I don’t know why either!) He’s up to 6.4mm, which isn’t much fluffing over two days….but it’s in the right direction and I will not be greedy about this. I am thankful for any lining at all.

My follies are taking their time, but I am very happy with their progress. Dr. C and Dr. K want me to be a slooow and steaaady stimmer and that’s exactly what’s happening. There a dozen cliched analogies I’ve considered that keep me positive about the way I’m being stimmed. You know, like how people who start out too fast in marathons are the ones who bonk and hit the wall at mile 17; it’s the folks who pace themselves carefully who arrive running through the finish line with smiles on their faces. Or how cookies that are baked in a too-hot oven are the ones that are burnt on the top and cold and squishy inside. Much better to cook them evenly and all the way through. Right? RIGHT!

Now that I have some follie action, I would really like to get to IUI land. There. I said it. (I hope that doesn’t jinx me.)

Okay, so even though I think about my uterine lining and ovaries nine out of every 10 minutes (can you imagine me if I ever manage to make it to a 2ww?!), there are other things happening in my world. Dinners with friends, a ton of cool projects at work, a cocktail party on Saturday night, errands this weekend (noooo freelancing, yip!), house stuff, yada yada. And here is my latest and most favorite distraction, my new background music while commuting:

I’ve mentioned before how hubs makes me two CDs filled with tunes and artists I don’t already know for Christmas every year. Josh Ritter is one of those artists that made it onto a CD a couple years ago, and he just came out with a new album, called So Runs the World Away. I am totally digging the song “Change of Time.” Buy it on iTunes, you will not be disappointed!

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