So I CAN get a positive ovulation test!

I decided to take the timing recommendations in my ovulation test directions more loosely this cycle and instead of between 11am and 4pm I did them when I thought things might be happening, and I did it! I got a positive! Right before my husband had to go out of town. So we got in a couple of tries in between the HSG and his trip… I know, I know, it won’t make a difference, because nothing we do does… but at least I feel like I’m not messing things up this time!

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On a less enthused note… The last few days I’ve been feeling more and more like just giving up… and it’s only February… we were supposed to rally for this whole year! I am feeling like the chances are just so minuscule it’s probably not worth the effort. I mean it took IVF before, and we were so lucky that one of those tiny embryos became our healthy baby girl…

I do feel armed with a lot more knowledge this time around, about the various options we have, about the need to advocate for ourselves, about my own body- what I’m capable of going through, and the fact that I now know I can sustain a healthy pregnancy- something I definitely wasn’t confident about before. At the same time, the odds against us succeeding just feel so overwhelming. I won’t let myself throw in the towel yet, but it’s hard. I wonder if we are meant to be a family of 3, and could we really handle another baby anyway, can I physically do it all again now that I’m pushing 40- the minimal sleep, etc? I don’t know. Like I said before, I won’t be devastated if it doesn’t happen, but I do want to feel like we did our best (short of going through IVF again at this point).

Thanks for reading, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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To sonohysterogram or not to sonohysterogram…

That is the question.

My OBGYN has suggested and gotten me approved to do one. This procedure should provide a much better view of my uterus and lining to see if there are any issues like scarring or polyps or something else resulting from the hemorrhages, retained placenta and D&C I had after my daughters birth, which could explain the clotting I’ve noticed in periods. I don’t know the cost yet, so that could be a factor in our decision as well, but it should be (at least partially) covered by our insurance.

So, pros for doing it:

It will tell us if my uterus looks ready to support a pregnancy or if I might need a surgery or something to help it be ready (or I guess that there’s something wrong that can’t be fixed is a possibility too).

Cons for doing it:

‘Wasting’ another month, because it has to be done in the same window as the HSG (days 7-10), so my OBGYN won’t have me take letrozole again in the same cycle. Keep in mind these next few months are key due to the potentially increased chances of pregnancy after the HSG this cycle.

So, do I ‘waste’ next month and do the test or just opt for the letrozole and hope for the best?

Thanks for reading 🙂

HSGot it!

Yeah… it’s getting late (ok it’s 8:12pm, but it feels late!), and I’m definitely getting sick…

So today was HSG day. I’m glad to report that it went way better than the one I had in 2013! I’m still kind of amazed because that one was so traumatizing… and I was feeling pretty nervous about this one since it was at the 2nd choice location and all. But they were really genuinely nice (much nicer than I remember the people were the first time around), and concerned about my comfort and making sure I had whatever I might need (towels, hand wipes, pad), they were quick, and while it was still very painful at a few points, it was bearable, and then it was done! They even made me a CD of the photos right there on the spot! And, insurance must have covered some of it because they charged me $228.17 instead of the cash price of $650! So yay!!

The location even ended up working out really well because there was a great library right across the street where my husband and little one went to play while I did the procedure (she had an early nap so they came along). There was a bit of a wait, but luckily I had brought along some grading. All in all, I’d have to say it was a much better afternoon than I’d imagined! The yoga date didn’t end up working out, but probably for the best given that I definitely caught my daughter’s cold (there’s no more denying it- and I just sneezed all over my laptop- yuck!), so instead I had a yummy vegan Thai dinner not far from the imaging center with my little family.

As far as what they saw in the images- no big surprises. Tubes are still open, they couldn’t tell much about details of the uterus that might be related to the clotting, but as far as this test, everything looked good. So, what now you ask? So did my OBGYN! I realized he had already called to talk about the test results while we were at dinner. He asked me to call back to talk about next steps. And what will I say? I’m not sure yet… Things I’ve thought about are… 1. doing another imaging-type procedure to get a better picture of the uterus to check for anything odd related to the clotting or possible scarring from the D&C- the nurse for this procedure suggested maybe an MRI or some kind of saline sonogram/ultrasound? 2. doing a uterine biopsy/injury to help promote implantation in the following cycle, 3. just sticking with the letrozole for the next few months to see if the HSG might have boosted our chances of pregnancy. And that’s pretty much all I’ve got. I feel like there’s more I should be considering, but what? Maybe an IUI? I’m not sure about going down that road… I’ll keep thinking about it I guess… I do want to make the next 3-6 months count as that’s the range of our increased chances from the HSG.

Here is a photo I snapped of my lovely open tubes, showing that there is no structural barrier preventing us from making another baby… clearly there are other challenges we are still not fully aware of, but I’m not sure we can ever know what those are…

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Thanks for reading!

Time to get psyched for another HSG… yay?

As of this morning the chances of scheduling an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) early next week looked pretty grim (needs to happen on cycle days 7-10, which is Sunday-Wednesday for me). The first choice place my OBGYN referred me to was all booked up. On to the next- not as desirable because it’s less likely our insurance will cover it the way they bill it at this one. But after a couple of long phone calls, 2 ending with phones cutting out, I finally spoke with someone who helped me get a spot, squeezing me in at the end of the day Monday (day 8). So if our insurance doesn’t cover it we’ll be out $650 (I’m pretty sure we can use our HSA $, but still…). Not ideal, but at least we don’t have to totally waste this month. On the other hand, now I have to get myself geared up to do this horrible test again!

I know for some people the HSG is no big deal. For me it was awful. Part of that may have been the fact that I had a resident (I believe), not the usual Dr. do it last time, and it just seemed to go on forever and cause excruciating pain. As far as worst infertility procedures, I’d rank it right behind the egg retrieval, where I was paralyzed along with being in pain. Of course, after experiencing natural labor and childbirth, maybe it won’t seem so bad this time around? And maybe I’ll get lucky and have someone really quick and efficient? Hey, I can dream can’t I?

Amid the stress of just getting it scheduled, I didn’t get a chance to ask anything about how they do the procedure. My husband found an interesting article about how using an oil based vs. water based contrast solution can increase the chance of pregnancy within 6 months after the test (40% vs 29% respectively). I’d like to know which solution they use, fingers crossed it’s the oil. Of course things didn’t work out for us after the first one, but who knows what solution they used…

I’m still tentatively planning to call on Monday morning to see if the other place had any cancellations (fingers crossed!) and see if I can find out what kind of solution they use, whichever place I end up doing the test.

It wasn’t an easy choice to decide to do this again. But my husband and I talked about the alternative- just keep trying a few more months (at least) with the letrozole? Which is fine, but if my tubes are blocked I’d rather know sooner than later and avoid unnecessary drug doses. And if there is any chance of the procedure helping our chances of getting pregnant, might as well get it in now- right?

I searched my past blogs to see if I had any notes on the HSG, but since I started the blog well after that lovely experience I don’t have the details recorded. Their instructions were to take ibuprofen 45 min before, arrive 30 min before, and expect to be there for about an hour. Oh, and I have to take a pregnancy test before I go in. Not too worried about any surprises there!

Anyone with other helpful tips, lay ’em on me because I’m hoping it goes better than last time! Maybe I should try to plan something to look forward to Monday evening- healing yoga class date with a long time infertility friend perhaps?

Here’s a picture of a leafy sea dragon from a recent aquarium trip… because, why not?!IMG_2871 2.JPGAs always, thanks for reading, and best of luck wherever you are on your journey!

Ugh…

Yeah, you guessed it. I got my period right when we expected (Monday) based on the day we assumed ovulation. It was super crazy heavy yesterday, like I don’t know if it’s ever been so heavy, and then today practically nothing so far. But my stomach has been hurting all day- that full of air need to burp a thousand times feeling- and to top it off, my 3 year old came down with a cold. Just a dainty cough yesterday, today full on runny nose, cough and sneezing all over. And of course this is my first week back to teaching. And I have to decide about taking the femara (letrozole) again starting tonight. Grrrrrr! Just feeling yucky about everything.

To add another layer of complication, my husband has to travel for work just about exactly when I would be ovulating -if this cycle goes like last time. I haven’t decided for sure about the HSG and don’t know how much it would cost or if I could even get it booked in time for this cycle.

I’m just not sure I’m mentally or physically up to doing the femara again this cycle. But of course the thought of wasting a whole month for a lame reason sucks too. Ugh…

Ovulation Mystery Solved… I think!

My acupuncturist suggested getting a progesterone test about a week after we think I ovulated to see if the level was high enough to indicate that I did, in fact, ovulate. So I went in for a blood test on Monday morning and got the results back quite quickly with a whopping 19.6 ng/ml! We were looking for anything higher than 8-10 so 19.6 is a good number!

Since it’s been a while since we were doing this seriously, I kind of forgot just how long the 2ww feels… hard to imagine that I basically did bed rest for this amount of time after our first (and to a lesser degree the second) transfer! With a 3 year old, clearly that would be impossible!

I didn’t do the third acupuncture appointment (around implantation time), because my acupuncturist didn’t really recommend coming back in. I’m not sure if that was because of the botched ovulation monitoring or what. But I’m going to let myself cling to a little, tiny droplet of hope that things could have possibly all worked out, given the two great looking follicles, the ovulation confirmation, and… well… I guess that’s about it!

I’ve been trying to stay somewhat positive! And really think about welcoming what I hope was a fertilized egg turned blastocyst etc. into my body, into our family and into our hearts. Adding another kid to the mix sure would mean a lot of changes and it’s not easy to really wrap my mind around what that would look like and how it would feel. So I’ve really made an effort to think about making space for another little one to join us.

On a less fun note, I had a little cyst that formed under my skin in my hip area a few months ago and of course got infected, which required a ridiculously long antibiotic stint and finally some draining to clear up… or so I thought. Over the weekend the infection came back. I haven’t had an appointment yet (Friday), so no antibiotics yet… I’ve been applying tea tree oil to the skin over it, as well as some hydrogen peroxide, ACV, grapefruit seed extract, a heat pack, drinking some turmeric lattes… but mostly the tea tree oil and heat to try to help keep it at bay and possibly help clear it up without the antibiotics…?? Although I’m sure they’ll be prescribing some on Friday. 😦 If I end up doing an HSG next cycle it would be great if that coincided with the antibiotics for my hip! Otherwise, I can’t think of much positive spin to put on this! Also, I don’t think I’ll know the outcome of this cycle by Friday, so that’s unfortunate too… I read that excess testosterone can contribute to formation of these cysts, but for now I’m still taking the DHEA.

Just my luck! Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a photo of my daughter and I doing one of the Home Depot free kids building workshops from a couple of weeks ago 🙂 Random I know, but better than a photo of my infected cyst… am I right??! IMG_2786 2.JPG

Ovulation??

So, I’ve been really good about taking and reading the ovulation tests on the 5 minute mark this time, and what do I get? Well, no clear positive! That’s for sure! And it’s day 14… What is going on!?! Everything started out as expected, light colored lines getting darker, on day 12 and 13 (tested twice), almost the same color as control lines… and then today, the day I expected the clear positive… it’s light again (see test photo- I did a second one later in the day today that’s not in the frame which was also light, so it wasn’t just a fluke it seems). ARGH!!!!!

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I was going to do an acupuncture appointment on Saturday but then we decided to move it later to get closer to fertilization, after a positive test, and now I don’t know what to think anymore. Did I miss it? Has it still not happened yet? Is it not happening at all? What happened to those 2 great looking follicles? WHERE ARE THE EGGS??! Should we keep having sex? Do we give up and call the whole thing off?

Last month my cycle turned out much longer than expected (30 days instead of 26 as it had been for the last several), so I assumed I missed the ovulation and stopped testing on day 12 and didn’t get a positive (which actually should have been a few days later). But the month before I only tested 2 times and got a positive on day 12. I just don’t get it.

Feeling very frustrated and confused… and up until today I thought things were going well- ha!