Tag Archives: RE

Not very elegant & graceful (but trying)

I have not written much lately! After I had my impatient/totally discouraged–breakdown a week ago Thursday (that seems like a million years ago, but it’s only been 11 days, crazy), I talked to my Mom about our treatment status. (I hadn’t discussed IF stuff with her for a few weeks.) She was mostly helpful and understanding. She could hear my extreme frustration with this cyst situation and calmly advised me to be “elegant and graceful” in the face of this setback. Which is kinda creepy 1950s-ish speak, but she also has a point. I haven’t had very much “nice” to say about my situation lately, so I’ve opted to chill out on the blogging just a bit.

Two months has given me waaaaaaaay too much time to reflect on how our next cycle will go. Given my history, I’m pretty much assuming I will always get a cyst and have to take a couple of months off after each medicated cycle…which gives me about four chances a year to get pregnant! That puts a lot of pressure on this upcoming cycle. Because if it doesn’t work, it may be summer before I’m trying again. (Did you see how I just went from hypothetical to doomsday?! I can’t stop doing that lately!)

I’ve also been hyper-, hyper-aware of how my left ovary feels. I must admit, I still feel that dull ache that I’ve noticed since I started the Provera last month. I’d like to believe that it’s all in my head, but I have a feeling that darn cyst just isn’t going down. But, I keep reminding myself, Dr. C said in his email that we’d consider draining it if it’s still there when I finish up the BC. I’m just gonna have to be firm and aggressive and demand that he follows through on that! I’ve been seeing the RE since October, it’s time for me to cycle again!!

Anyway, aside from my halfway-successful attempts at being “elegant and graceful” during this second break month, I have had some fun times, too! I met up with A, Al, Basic Girl and and Erin on Friday night for an awesome bloggies dinner. These women are smart, fun, funny, kind and beautiful. In short: awesome. I know if we’d randomly met in real life, I would be friends with each and every one of them—and that is pretty darn cool. We had lots of good laughs and great conversation at dinner, it was so good for my soul. I think we finally had to call it a night at 10:30pm….but we easily could’ve chatted for another few hours!

I also had a lovely Valentine’s Day with hubs! We spent yesterday running errands around town and getting the house in order, then cooked up some Sheperd’s Pie for din. (Mmm.) It was mellow and perfect.

And that, my friends, is about all that’s up with me. Two more weeks to make it through before we figure out how to deal with this cyst. I. Can. Do. This. Right?

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By the numbers

31 How old I’ll be on April 7. And how old hubs is.

27 The size of my cyst last Thursday (in millimeters).

16 The number of BCPs I have left to take until I can try again. (Hopefully. I realize nothing is a given.)

15 The number of miles I’m running per week these days.

12 The number of days my LP lasts.

7 My lucky number.

6 The number of out-of-town weddings we’ll travel to from April to July. There’s also my March work trip and hubs has a bach party coming up. So 8 trips, really.

5 The number of months I’ve been seeing Dr. C.

4 How many times I’ve taken Provera.

3.4 The thickest my lining has been in a medicated cycle.

2 The number of times I’ve taken Clomid.

1 The number of times I’ve ovulated.

0 the number of times I’ve had an actual shot at getting pregnant.

Hello bloggies! Guess what?! I am going stir crazy over here with this extra month off. I have moments where I feel calm and okay with this slow and crooked path I’m on. Then the wind changes and I feel super-scared about my cyst (which I can definitely still feel, it’s a little owww-ish) and painfully frustrated to be doing NOTHING. Basically just…blah. Last month I had the HSG and the consult to help me feel like I was taking control of this situation even while I waited to cycle again. This month, I’ve got nothin’. Our crazy travel sked doesn’t begin until March (too bad it didn’t coincide with this break!) so I’ve got a month of grey, cold February-ness to hunker down and get through.

On the upside, we had a really nice weekend. Last night hubs and I made a TON of delicious Superbowl food just for the two of us. I was not feeling like socializing at an SB partay, so we stayed in and went crazy cooking. (Prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and fresh mint leaves, spinach and artichoke dip, baked buffalo wings with homemade blue cheese dip, peanut butter bacon bread. Mmmm. Lefties galore!) We got some errands done. We went out to dinner on Friday. I got my hair cut! We saw Crazy Heart. It was a good weekend. 🙂 I just hate that there’s a constant whirring in the back of my head….literally contemplating the numbers above….counting down to when I can start cycling again….and wondering what’s up with my cyst. Ugh. Make it stop! Just let me live my life!

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Suckage

The cyst is still there. In fact, it’s even bigger (27×22, eeesh). Not sure how that happened since I’m “stagnant” in the hormone department. I guess it just has a mind of its own. They’ll call me back with my E2 numbers late this afternoon, but the u/s tech said even if it’s not emitting hormones, it’s unlikely Dr. C will move forward with a cyst that big. I asked if they can put me on BC or something (which I’ve heard can help cysts dissipate) and she said that was a possibility. I hope they’ll call in an Rx. Wish they’d done that last month.

So I’ll wait for that phone call, but I think we all know how this one ends: off month(s?). Who knows how long this will take to go away. No wonder I’ve been a mess worrying about it the past week. I was right: random dull ache in my ovary every so often = legit cyst, not my mind playing tricks on me.

I have a birthday dinner for a girlfriend tonight after work. So. Not. In. The. Mood. To be honest, I’m not in the mood for anything. I spent a month busying myself and perking up and feeling hopeful and trying to get into the right mindset for a great cycle. What the heck am I going to do with myself now? How can I make the best of this? I see no silver lining.

And now we’re one month closer to the kickoff of an insane flurry of wedding trips. California in March, Florida in April, then NYC in May, then another trip to NYC later that month, then Virginia in June, then KC in July. So, it’s a bit of a mess. I was so hoping to get in one good cycle before travel threatened to take us out of the game for a while.

My Mom always says to me, “The average time it takes couples to get pregnant is nine months, so keep that in mind!” As though I’m right on track. Yeah, well, those are couples who are ovulating every month. We don’t get to BFN & try again. We BFN and have months to dwell on it, without any chance of forward progress. All from a tiny little dose of Clomid! I have been seeing Dr. C for five months and this is what I have to show for it: one month not ovulating, one month of extremely thin lining and three months of nothing-ness. It’s just….ugh.

I am so so sorry for such a downer post.

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CD1: Hoping for an “on” month

Proving yet again that my body has a mind of its own, my period showed up overnight. YAY! (Cue the cheering crowd with a football-stadium sized ROAR of excitement!) It’s here a day earlier than last time I was on seven days of Provera. Which is just fine by me: I’m really happy and excited to get rolling again.

I’m going in for basline monitoring on Thursday morning. If the cyst dissipated and my estrogen level is down, hubs and I get to begin a new cycle. And if we get that green light, it will be our second-ever shot at making a baby. Kinda crazy considering how long we’ve been at this. If you couldn’t tell, I am filled with hope!! 🙂

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RE consult. Done.

Yay! This morning’s appointment was good! I still heart Dr. C, it was not just HSG-relief–prompted affection. 🙂 I love my hubs for coming with me and meeting the doc who is trying to change our lives. I love hubs for asking good questions and making me laugh and keeping us on task.

We are forging ahead with 50mg Clomid + Estrogen + Ovidrel + IUI as soon as I get a clean, cyst-free baseline. (Please let that happen next week. Please. Please. Please.) Dr. C thinks that I’ll respond well to Estrogen. Ideally, my lining is 10mm as I approach triggering. (Ha! it’s hard to imagine going from a 3.2 to a 10.0, but if I can get anywhere close to that neighborhood, I’ll be thrilled. Also, sidenote: WTH is up with him actually caring about lining? The nurse made it sound like lining was not even on his radar last cycle. That was FALSE. He totally cares about lining.) Ideally, I have two follies that are at least 18mm and then he has me trigger. And if alllllllll of that goes according to plan, we will finally have a shot at this. YES!

After that, it sort of turns into a choose-your-own-adventure. If I respond well (lining-wise) to 50mg + Estrogen BUT I don’t get pregnant THEN we’ll continue with that protocol. For a few more cycles. We do not move onto injects hastily, as I thought we might. We stay the course with Clomid.

If my lining still sucks with 50mg + Estrogen, THEN he’ll possibly try Femara. My follies seem to like Clomid though, so he’d rather hone in on my lining this way.

If my lining blows on both Clomid AND Femara OR I don’t get preggo from either in another few cycles, THEN we’ll talk injects. Although, at that point, he sometimes counsels his patients to do IVF. It all depends. We’d have another consult. I’m hoping with all of my poor racing heart that it doesn’t come to that.

So, it was a lot of “but, if’s, what’s and THEN’s.” As you know I am pretty much plan-of-action–obsessed, so this was good. Hubs was there so I even if I forget something we talked about today in a haze of hormones or whatever, he can remind me what Dr. C said. We’re all on the same page.

We also talked about the random little questions that have been nagging me. Let’s just get to the bottom of this once and for all: Am I exercising too much with my thrice weekly jogs? (Nope. Just don’t start training for a marathon.) Did I do this to myself with 10 years of BC? (Nope, BC just masked a problem.) If I sat around for a year, would I ovulate on my own/will I be able to ovulate on my own EVER? (Nope, probably not.) Should hubs and I abstain from sex the day before we IUI? (Nope, he counsels his patients to have lots and lots and lots of sex.) Should I not exercise or run during the 2ww? (Nope, exercise is, again, fine. Especially because it keeps me sane.)

So that’s the news with me! Now I just count down the Provera pills and then wait around for AF and try to find a Zen place through it all where I’m not hyper-aware of my left ovary (where the cyst was). I aim to channel all of the awesomely positive energy BasicGirl has been showing lately, and face whatever is in front of us with grace and optimism. 🙂 See? Smile. Done.

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I have the bits and pieces

RELIEF.

Honestly, even after I read a half dozen horror stories describing incredibly painful HSG experiences, what had me most nervous was the possibility of blocked tubes. I run marathons and have pushed myself through some intense physical pain, so I figured I had developed a high enough threshold to survive the HSG. (Not that I wanted it to be painful or discounted ANY of your absolutely horrible experiences, just….you know, trying to be tough and remind myself I can survive anything for a few minutes.) All I could think was, Just let everything look okay.

AND IT DID! 🙂

The elusive Dr. C did the procedure! The man I write about every third post! I haven’t seen him since our initial consult in October. I have been a little down on him lately, maybe subconsciously blaming him for my body’s reaction to Clomid? And if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I have taken the liberty of emailing him twice. (oops.) When I walked in the room he was like, “Oh, my email buddy!” Me: “Errr, sorry!” Dr. C: “No, no, I love emailing with my patients.” Me in my head: Was that sarcasm?! Eeek.

I LIKE HIM AGAIN! He is funny, smart, confident and put me at ease. (I need confidence…I need someone saying this shizit is going to WORK!) He said he’d talk through the entire procedure and I should let him know if I was in too much pain and he would stop.

First he inserted a speculum and cleaned me up down there. (That part was like a pap, no biggie.) Then it was time for the dye. I didn’t even feel the dye going into me, I had to ask if it was happening. I felt a very mild burning sensation in my tummy area, but I honestly only noticed it because I was hyper-focused on how I was feeling. [Side note: I don’t ever feel ovulation, my OPKs never work, my breasts never hurt before my period, and since I’ve been off BC I have barely-there menstrual cramps….what is up with my bod? Is it numb?]

I heard him call out to the dude in the other room taking pics that my left tube had spilled…maybe 15 or 30 seconds later, so did my right one. YAY! Then we went through the images together and he said everything looked good.

He made a comment about how my uterus is deep and forward (something to Google later) and how that’s fine and normal. He also mentioned my cervix looks beautiful. Whatever that means?! OKAY! I’ll take it!

So, once again showing myself to be a totally inappropriate patient, I took the opportunity to talk with him about our treatment plan as soon as I was off the table (yes, wearing nothing but a hospital kimono-style robe and Converse high tops.

He asked, “Where are we now?”

Me: “We’re on an off month because the 100mg Clomid gave me a cyst.”

Him: “Right, well, you can call me a few days before your period and we can discuss what to do next.”

Me: “I actually booked a consult with you for next week to discuss just that. I was wondering what you think is best for me given how I respond to Clomid with thin lining?”

He flips through my chart and says, “Yes, you have thin lining. I took you down to 50mg to minimize that, we can get you to ovulate at that dose. That’s also why I’ve put you on estrogen.”

Me: “Okay, but if that doesn’t work, then what? Do you do Femara? Injectibles?”

Him: “I have used Femara on patients but I personally feel it doesn’t work as well as Clomid. You taking Estrogen with Clomid is almost the same as taking Femara. If Clomid doesn’t work this time, I would take it up a notch and go to injectibles. If you’re not ready for that because of finances or for any other reason, we can try Femara—but think of it as a very baby step up.” [Bloggies, clearly I’m paraphrasing, this is the gist.]

Me: “Okay, but you think we should give Clomid one more try and then re-evaluate?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “Well, we may not need that in-office consult next week afterall, you’ve answered my major questions.”

Him: “You can email me questions anytime.”

Me: “Thank you!!!!!!!!”

Him: “Are you okay? You seem a little shaky.”

Me: “I’m fine!” [I might’ve been shaking with relief? Or maybe I just was unexpectedly okay with the whole procedure? Or maybe it wigged him out that I jumped off the table and chatted him up? Haha. I dunno. I felt fine. And I was psyched I got some Qs answered.]

Hubs, the good egg that he is, was nervously waiting for me in the radiology lobby. He seems a little worried that I will abuse my new email privileges, but I promise I won’t. Hubs also said that as long as Dr. C and I were chatting, I should’ve asked him to subscribe to my new Twitter feed and to check out my blog. Hahaha. 🙂

To recap: HSG results looked fine (only side effects = super mild cramping as I sit here typing), I like Dr. C very much and I will start Provera Mon, Tues or Weds of next week and hopefully start this 50mg Clomid + Estrogen + Ovidrel + IUI cycle in early February. I haven’t ruled out next week’s in-office consult. Clearly I have a lot more questions and maybe it makes sense to see what kind of injectible plan he’d put me on, etc….and I like the idea of hubs getting to meet him and ask questions, too. But at the same time, didn’t we just discuss all the major stuff on my mind? What would you do?

Another question, while I’ve got you here. (Haha.) Has anyone heard of tube-clearing benefits of the HSG procedure? Does it really make it easier for the spermies to get around? I know my problems are a) not ovulating and b) thin lining, but I’ll take a boost anywhere I can get one. 🙂

Finally, and I’m sorry this is buried at the very bottom of such a long post, but I figured I’d jump right into my drama today: If you are an ICLWer, WELCOME! Perhaps it’s fitting that I launch ICLW week with a requisite HSG recap. 🙂

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Control, how I miss you

Today I feel more like myself than I have in a looooong while. I met some girlfriends for Mexican last night. I got up early and went running this morning. (YAY!) I wore my favorite red and yellow plaid shirt to work today. And I am SO excited for the weekend (even if I’ll be working from home for most of it…better than my office cube) and pretty thrilled I have Monday off work. It’s the little stuff, right?

I hope I can keep this happy vibe going!

This morning I got a ridiculously awesome invitation to take a work-related trip to California from February 13–15. On the one hand, it’s a SICK, pretty much once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me personally and professionally (not to be cryptic, but it involves meeting an Olympian!). On the other hand, I have no idea where I’ll be in my cycle at that point and I don’t want to be out of town when I need to be home in case of monitoring. Sigh. If push comes to shove between this once-in-a-lifetime opp and getting preggo….I choose getting preggo (er, trying to). And that feels weird…or wrong…or just stupid.

The plan is to be on five days of Provera starting January 28, which, if I cycle like last time, would make my period arrive on February 6. That should actually give me the all-clear for being away cycle days 8–10, since I don’t trigger until CD14. (That’s if I’m on Clomid, all bets are off if we rachet it up to injectables.)

But but BUT….I’ve tried controlling my cycle with Provera in the past and learned that it doesn’t really work. This is all complicated by some other upcoming trips that we DO have to take. It’s not just a matter of postponing baby-making for a month so I can go do my neato Cali trip, we could be in for several months in a row of bad timing due to travel, so I’m reluctant to let go of February. Hubs has his little bro’s bachelor weekend coming up (either end of Feb or mid-March). And then we’ll be at his wedding in April. We have FIVE, yes FIVE, more out-of-town weddings from April through July. Whether this Cali work trip is an actual option is not a sure thing at this point anyway, they’re just feeling people out. So we’ll see….I’ll cross the bridge if I do come to it.

Man, I miss the days when I had control over my schedule—no IF complicating everything.

And now to completely change the subject: Thank you all so much for your thoughts and comments on the HSG procedure; I really appreciate it. Sounds like it’ll either realllllly hurt, or it’ll be no biggie. 🙂 So just in case, I’m taking Thursday afternoon off work. Dr. C is actually doing the procedure, which the RE office says is unusual but great. Once I heard that I got excited about asking him some questions about my treatment plan before our consult….but A pointed out that I’m going to want to focus on my yoga breaths during the test, not chit chat about Clomid and my lining. 🙂 Fair enough! I’ll post the recap later next week.

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