Tag Archives: Progesterone

Do twins run in your family?

Actually, yes, they do. There are three sets of fraternal twins on my Mom’s side of the family (though not since my grandma’s generation). But obviously I know that’s not why hubs and I are pregnant with twins.

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When I told my two bosses we were pregnant last week, one of their first questions was, “Do twins run in your family?” And then when the news began spreading around the office, and various co-workers stopped by my cube to say congrats (soooo surreal but wonderful!), that question was asked at least another half-dozen times.

I know some of you bravely share your IF struggles with others. And I think that is AWESOME! Perhaps you will be frustrated or saddened by this revelation, but the truth is that I am not one of those people. For me, IF has been a very private journey (in my real life, of course not on this blog). And I simply DO NOT want to share my reproductive history and sex life with coworkers or random strangers or even most of my friends.

So when people ask if twins run in my family, I say something like, “a couple of generations ago there were twins on my mom’s side!” or just “yes, actually, they do.”

I also say “YES!!!” when people ask if twins were a surprise. (Seriously? Yeah, of COURSE they were. Does anyone “expect” twins?) But I’ve decided that people who ask that are actually asking if I underwent fertility treatments in a less invasive way than “Did you undergo fertility treatments?” And by the way, people ask that, too—several coworkers and a friend so far. “Did you do IVF?” “Did you take Clomid?” etc. It’s amazing what people will ask.

I am learning that when you’re having twins, that’s just how it goes.

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So far I’ve kept pretty darn quiet about our 10 months of infertility treatment. Our parents know. One dear friend of mine knows the whole saga (she is not connected at all to my college friends and 100% keeps it to herself). Another friend in NYC knows I couldn’t get my period after going off the pill (I confided in her when we were visiting friends last Thanksgiving, back when I thought 100mg of Clomid the next month would be my answer—ha!) so I’m sure she’s put this all together. My older brother knows we had some help. And that’s it. (Besides you awesome bloggies!)

But then on Monday my SIL (hubs’s brother’s wife) sent me a really sweet congratulations email. She’s a physician’s assistant and I guess that automatically means she’s been schooled in fertility stuff. Because over the course of emails she asked if twins run in my family. I said yes and figured that was that. But then in the next email she outright asked if—even though they run in my family—they were conceived “au natural or if we used Clomid or something.”

It was really nosy and I was taken off guard. But it’s also, like, well, she’s in medicine and she’s family and she wasn’t asking in a mean or ignorant way, but in a curious and loving way. And it’s one thing to blur the details or evade the truth with strangers and coworkers. It’s another thing to lie to family. You know? It rocked my internal ethical code, as much as I wanted to lie. Plus, it crossed my mind that hubs’s Mom knows about our struggles (as of last April) and while I trust her, I wonder if she couldn’t help but hint at our issues to her kids?

So I said to my SIL, “We did have some help, but were so lucky it didn’t come to IVF. Please keep that between you and BIL.” And then she wrote back congratulating me again, apologizing if she had been prying and promising not to discuss with anyone else, and that she was interested because of her career in medicine.

I still don’t know if I did the right thing by opening the kimono, so to speak. It has really been bothering me. And I can’t figure out if that’s because she knows my secret or if I’m bothered that it bothers me so much.

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I’m so protective of how these sweet babies were conceived.  I want to shield hubs, myself and—most important—both of them from the stupidity that is out there. And maybe I’m perpetuating that stupidity and stigma by not courageously sharing our story. But I am shy, I am very private, and this incredibly dark and difficult time has been something between hubs and me. I’m not ready to let the whole world in on all of the miracles we have been blessed enough to benefit from—low-dose HCG, Gonal-F, trigger HCG, ultrasounds, blood tests, progesterone supps, IUIs, the brilliant Dr. Awesome, amazing nurses, and on and on and on….

The truth is that these babies are honest to goodness miracles and we are so so so so so blessed and grateful and bursting with happiness because of them. No stranger/friend/family member/coworker can take that away from us.

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Very very interesting

Remember how I wanted my estrogen to fall? It did not. It rose from 305 to 410. My LH is up a bit, too. And my lining grew from 3mm to 4mm since Friday.

Remember how I wanted my cyst to get smaller? It did not. It grew by 1mm.

Remember how I said this is the weirdest, lightest period of my entire life? Dr. K has a theory about that.

She’s the attending doc, who’s on call for two weeks while Dr. C is on vaca. She thinks my body may not be ready to call this cycle off. I had a mini-consult with her during this morning’s ultrasound and spoke to her on the phone this afternoon after my blood work came back. She thinks this might be a viable follicle—a slow-grower leftover from the Clomid. She’s having me come back on Tuesday for more monitoring to see if my estrogen and LH continue to rise. If they do, she wants me to take the HCG trigger. And then IUI. And then take progesterone. She said this is extremely unusual. And that implantation would be a long shot with my thin lining (which the Provera didn’t help, but didn’t hurt much either). She wants to check it out.

She also has a theory on my thin lining….that I’m estrogen deficient and that it’s possibly due to endurance-level exercise in my past. (I have majorly chilled out on exercise after a decade of marathons and triathlons.) For that reason she might recommend a different injectable (Menopur instead of Gonal-F, since my LH is chronically low and Gonal-F is an FSH-only drug while Menopur has both FSH and LH). I asked her if it would make her or Dr. C uncomfortable if she looked at my medical and TTC history and met with me and hubs for a consult in April. She said it would be perfectly fine and she thinks it’s a great idea.

No matter what Tuesday brings, I think this is what we’d call, a bone. 🙂 Right my friends? A doctor who is looking at my case with fresh eyes. One who has a plan. And who thinks outside the box (potentially trigger on CD30 to salvage the wonkiest cycle ever?! Awesome!).

So, for 36 hours, I have hope again. (Is that okay? Am I setting myself up for another crash on Tuesday afternoon?) How amazing would it be if I could trigger and IUI for the first time? C’mon estrogen & LH….RISE!

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Thanks guys!

This is a little shout out to Clomid and Ovidrel. Thank you both very much! You did your job. My 6/7dpo Progesterone number is 35.7. That means I definitely ovulated. For the first time in more than nine years. NICE!

I didn’t feel ovulation. I never had symptoms like EWCM or cramps or any of that stuff. But unless the lab mixed up my results (which has absolutely crossed my mind a few times), THIS IS MY DOSE! Hubs thinks I’m a little crazy-town for being excited/surprised by this number. “Isn’t that exactly what the trigger shot is supposed to do?” he asked. Ummm, yes. True. But I’m not exactly used to my body “doing” anything!

Of course I realize it’s still a huge long-shot I’d get knocked up this cycle thanks to that lining issue. But I am encouraged that we’re at least (hopefully, no jinxies here please) moving in the right direction. Please keep it up body! It’s all about teamwork with you, the Clomid, Ovidrel and hubby’s swimmers.

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Post-holiday update

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I definitely did. For four days straight I did not think about preggers stuff AT ALL. Well, with the exception of hubs giving me the trigger shot at about 10pm on Christmas Eve night. He was such a champ! (If it worked, I should’ve ovulated sometime on Friday or Saturday…we’ve thoroughly enjoyed covered our bases and only had one, ahem, “day off” since CD9! ) We had a ton of snow in Kansas City and took full advantage of it by sledding after opening presents on Christmas Day. Ahhh, so fun. We also ate like KINGS for four days straight. Yum. 🙂 It was a really wonderful trip.

My work offices are closed this week and I am so excited to have a full week at home. Normally, we travel to both my in-laws’ and my parents’ homes at Christmas-time. This year, in an effort to save some moolah and cut down on the stress of traveling, we only went to my parents (we alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas each year). It definitely has reduced the blah-ness that is going back and forth from airports.

So what will I be doing with my week off? I plan to organize my closets and dresser drawers. I have three freelance projects to start. I need to clean out my files and book shelf. I want to hit yoga a few times. I’d love to go see some museum exhibits I’ve been meaning to get to. That ought to keep me pretty busy! Oh, and we are hosting our dear friends S and J who live in Texas on Monday and Wednesday nights. They are coming with their 17-month-old daughter, A. I am holding my breath just a bit, because I’m anxious S will announce that she’s preggo. I’m trying to mentally prepare for it.

Speaking of a mental test, I guess I am officially in my first-ever two week wait. That assumes the trigger shot worked, and I don’t know if it did, but it’s definitely the best shot I’ve had at ovulating since we started TTC. I forgot to temp this morning but yesterday it was only up SLIGHTLY. I’ll keep at it and see if I notice any shift. I really hope the 100mg Clomid plus Ovidrel worked and I finally ovulated.

A few of you guys have asked about starting Progesterone suppositories to thicken up my lining in the comments. The answer is no, I’m not on them. Dr. C doesn’t think a thin lining will make or break implantation and he opted not to prescribe anything. My Googling suggests otherwise, but there’s nothing I can do about it. So I’m hoping he’s right, and I have some sort of chance this cycle. But inside , to be totally honest, I’ve already written this one off. It just seems like a long-shot that my lining thickened up enough to support implantation from 3.2mm. My guess is that he will put me on Estrogen at the beginning of my next cycle. Which I’m hoping we can move right into, instead of having to sit a month out with another cyst. But this stuff is all out of my control, so I’m doing my best to put it out of my head!

Not a super exciting post, sorry bloggies, but I think I have a little case of post-holiday blues. I already miss my Mom!

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A weak week…

Happy Saturday! It was absolutely beaaaautiful in my hometown today. I hit the lake path and had a lovely run under a brilliantly blue sky. I did not feel fast, I felt snail slow, but that was okay: It was a pretty meditative run. As most of them have become over the last few months. All sorts of stuff was going through my head. I’m not exactly bummed about my Progesterone level. I didn’t expect a nice high number. But still, I can’t help but be a little sad that the powerful 50mg dose didn’t do the trick. Isn’t it funny how you can prepare yourself for the bad news, but it still stings?

To recap: Based on what the nurse’s message said, my RE does think I ovulated, my period should come in seven to ten days, and they’re upping my Clomid for the next cycle.

I had a lot of follow up questions for her, but the nurse didn’t call me back on Friday. So I’ve been putting in some quality time toward my PhD in Google. It seems some labs call anything above 2.5 an ovulation, though this level suggests something called “weak ovulation.” (They want Clomid ladies to register a 15ish level 7DPO.)

With ovulation, I thought you either did or you didn’t. I didn’t know there are varying degrees. Apparently you can have enough LH circulating in your body to trigger the release an egg, but if the “surge” isn’t big enough, this can happen before the egg is mature. Seriously? I don’t know why eggs are released before they’re mature. I don’t get it. But, if this happened, it could explain why I never got a positive OPK, why I never “felt” ovulation, and why I had zero CM during this cycle. And so let’s say I did have a gentle ovulation. (I’m imaging my ovary is a sink faucet and instead of gushing water into the basin, it just lets a drip fall.) If the egg isn’t mature/big enough, it doesn’t make enough Progesterone to prepare the endometrium for an implanted egg. So even if conception occurs, the fertilized egg has no chance getting comfy in the womb.

Since my Progesterone level is so low, I’m worried I’m not going to get my period. I haven’t had a period on my own since the first semester of my senior year of college, so it’s hard to trust that it’s going to come this time. If I had a weak ovulation (again, WTF?) or didn’t ovulate (as some labs/REs would surely say), then can I really expect my body to menstruate? My hubs, who has a very science-y mind, thinks the answer is Yes. “It’s the same process as when you’ve taken Provera,” he reasons. “You have enough Progesterone in your system right now that when it dissipates, you’ll get your period.” Oh, how I hope he’s right! Bring on the cramps, bring on the bloating, bring it all…I want my period so I can continue on this journey!

I’m going to do my darndest to not freak out and patiently wait the seven to ten days (now six to nine, but who’s counting?!). I suppose I really shouldn’t stress out because even if my period is a no show then I can always go back on my old friend Provera. But, you know I don’t want to do that! I want my body to do this thing—finish a cycle!—on its own.

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