30

30.

That’s how many months we’ve been trying to get pregnant now. I was cautiously optimistic last week as my period was 4 days late, but alas it was not meant to be. These stupid omega 3 pills have extended my cycle by 3-4 days (which is good) but has been giving me false hope in the 2 months I’ve been taking them (which is bad). I had an ultrasound done today to check for any cysts before starting the next step, which is to go on Clomid and do the IUI next week.

The ultrasound was a pain in the ass since my left ovary never wants to cooperate. The doctor had to uncomfortably aim the wand since she couldn’t see it clearly. I have to go back to the doctor in a week so she can count my follicles to ensure they are the right length. If they are, I’ll do the trigger shot that night and then the IUI 2 days later. If not, I’ll have to go back again in a day or two later to get the follicles measured again. The doctor suggested that I do 3 rounds of the IUI and if all 3 fail, it will be time to re-evaluate our options again. I’m hoping it works because DH and I decided that IUI was the last step.

All Clear

My tubes are clear!

The HSG went way better this time. I took my meds as prescribed, including my Valium, and barely felt anything. In fact, I was fading in and out of consciousness during the procedure. I’m so glad I asked DH to take the day off. As far as next steps, I think we have to wait to see if I get pregnant this month before I start Clomid again. I’m a little nervous since I had the HSG at the tail end of my fertile window, so I had about a day left. I guess time will tell.  There was some pain the next day, but I avoided taking my prescription painkiller due to its sedative properties. The pain was more of an annoyance than anything else. I tell you what though, I had the best sleep ever after my procedure.

Calm Before the Storm

DH and I had a much-needed staycation this weekend. We both had colds this week (I caught mine from him) and we had another tough work week. Plus I was feeling stressed about my HSG that’s scheduled for tomorrow. We stayed at my in-laws’ (they went out of town) and it was nice to slow down a bit and get a break from the city. We visited a friend in the area and thanks to my gregarious husband, made new friends.

Today was a little tough though. We took advantage of being near a paved trail but the humidity was stifling. We have less than 2 months until our next 5k and wanted to ramp up training. I don’t think I’ve run outside all summer and I could feel it. I ran intervals but it was challenging since it was tough to gauge my speed. Plus I was running with DH, who would periodically speed up. While running back to the house, my shins began hurting so I’ll probably take the next few days off from running to heal. I guess the one positive is that I haven’t had shin pain in months.

As far as the HSG goes, I’m nervous. And annoyed. Annoyed because someone I know announced her second pregnancy in the last 18 months (!) and I have to get this stupid thing done just to try and have 1 kid. I also have to take strong meds to hopefully prevent spasms in my tube like last time. Good thing DH and I both took tomorrow off. We’ll see how it goes but I’m really really really not looking forward to this.

3%

I finally had my follow up appointment with the doctor today. DH came with me. I was already in a bad mood because I didn’t see my doctor until almost 45 minutes after my appointment time. The doctor suggested that DH get genetic testing done since my results showed I was a carrier for a random-but-rare disease. Due to being a carrier for this particular disease, it puts me at a higher risk for colon cancer so the doctor suggested I follow up with the genetic counseling company to see if the risk is high enough that I should start getting colon cancer screenings. As far as DH goes, we may not get the genetic testing done since the odds of having a child with this disease is pretty remote.

Anyway, the doctor also went over my odds of getting pregnant. Without any medical intervention, it’s currently 3%. Typically it’s 20-30%. The doctor said one hormone level was too low (which I knew) but another was too high. Plus, my egg count is below what it should be for someone my age. Because my last HSG showed that my right tube was blocked, the doctor suggested that I get another one done to rule out whether the tube was actually blocked or if it spasmed the first time. I told the doctor that my saline sonogram showed no blockage but he said it may help to get another HSG. I am absolutely not looking forward to that. So when that is over, the next step (assuming my tube is fine) I’ll do another round of Clomid plus the IUI. With the IUI, during a specific point in my cycle I have to get a shot of the hormone HCG to trigger ovulation. DH and I have to have sex within a day of the trigger shot, otherwise we wouldn’t catch my ovulation window. No pressure.

I just wish I could get pregnant on my own.

So, the doctor said future steps could include IVF or egg transfer, at which DH and I are drawing the line. The whole consult was overwhelming, mostly due to knowing that my odds of getting pregnant naturally are only 3% and we’re getting closer to our last option, IUI.

I was still in a foul mood after the appointment so DH and I stopped for wine at a nearby grocery store. Coincidentally, we got into the same check out line as friends of ours who are both going through infertility treatment and we see the same doctor. I told them that I had just came from my appointment and one friend said she was excited to find out how it went.  I’m sure she missed our giant bottle of wine on the conveyor belt.

Exhausted

To say this week was taxing would be a huge understatement.

Let’s back up to late last week. I got my genetic testing results. I’m a carrier for a random-yet-fatal disease. Unless DH is also a carrier we have around a 1% chance of having a kid with the disease. In the United States, there are less than 400 people who have it. The test suggested that DH get a genetic test as well but we may hold off due to how rare the disease is and the expense of the test. Other fun fact: carriers have an increased risk of colon cancer so I have that to look forward to. Friday, I got my blood drawn so I could get my progesterone levels checked. I found out during my appointment that my doctor was on vacation this week and the next appointment wouldn’t be until early July. I was crestfallen that we have to wait even longer to see what the hell was going on. At least I didn’t need wait for my doctor for the genetic test results.

This week has been absolutely exhausting. It’s been extremely busy at work and I’ve been coming home and napping almost every day. It sucks because I have zero energy to work out or even go out. Tuesday DH and I met up with friends and that was a bit of a struggle because I was tired even after a nap. We had a great time but I would up going to bed pretty early. Yesterday we had a dinner to go to but I ended up sleeping for almost 2 hours after work and could barely keep my eyes open for the rest of the night.

I guess I should have realized that the fatigue was a sign that my period was on its way. It started today and initially I was okay with it. However, a friend who I work with stopped by my office today to discuss her own infertility issues. We’ve shared our difficulties with each other before and she had questions about getting a HSG and the saline sonogram. I recounted my terrible experience with the HSG and worse one with the sonogram. It was challenging to talk about it and I started thinking about how last year I was hugely disappointed that I got my period right before Father’s Day. Last year I wanted to surprise my dad with the news that he would be a grandfather again and was devastated when my period came. With Father’s Day in a couple of days, I was kind of hoping that I would be able to do it this year but I’m honestly devastated. It’s been almost 3 years of uncertainty, tests, ineffective medicines, and disappointment. Talking to my friend today, she spoke of another friend who was going through IVF and my friend said she and her husband were considering it. IVF is off the table for us because of the expense, even after insurance. I just wish that my infertility wasn’t at the point that invasive treatments like are on the radar.

Days 9 and 10

Day 9:

Breakfast was a breakfast burrito, same as before. DH took half a day to go with me to my reproductive specialist appointment (more on that in a second) so he brought me lunch for a locally well-known sandwich shop. It came with a soda and bag of chips, so I ended up having the soda, chips, and 2/3 of the sandwich. For dinner, I had the remainder of my sandwich and a cupcake we picked up while getting groceries. Thanks to that heavy sandwich I didn’t have much of an appetite for the rest of the day and was under my calories.

Day 10:

Today was annoying. I had to go to a follow up appointment (again, more on that in a second) in which I had to fast. I brought a quick breakfast to work that consisted of an everything bagel and homemade hummus. Lunch was another turkey burger on a thin sandwich bun and a bit of barbecue sauce, and I had a handful of mixed nuts for an afternoon snack. Dinner was a stuffed mushroom with sauteed spinach, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Exciting stuff. I haven’t totaled my calories yet but hopefully I’m on target.

***

I had my consultation appointment with my new reproductive specialist yesterday. DH came with me and spent most of the appointment answering a zillion questions. I still hate being asked about if I’ve ever been pregnant and when the nurse asked how long we’ve been trying, I realized that it’s been about 31 months. I felt a bit deflated after that. Anyway, I’m not a fan of my doctor, especially since he started dictating my case right in front of us. Rude. He performed a pelvic exam and said everything looked good but I needed to come back today for blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. In addition to checking my hormone levels, they’re performing genetic testing to see if that’s why I haven’t conceived yet. I have to go back yet again in 3 weeks to get my progesterone checked. The ultrasound was really uncomfortable because my left ovary wasn’t visible. All of this is a pain in the ass but I’m hoping it’s worth it.

Well, Then

So I think this blog is going to shift more towards health and fitness stuff versus baby things.

I’m just over it. I had to basically harass my doctor’s office for a referral to a reproductive specialist since they couldn’t be bothered to do it. It’s unfortunate because my doctor is wonderful, but the front staff is incompetent.

The referral is now sitting about a foot away from me but I haven’t called to schedule an appointment. Not sure I’ll follow up with the referral because I don’t know if it’d be worth going through the poking and prodding again for nothing. My doctor’s words still ring in my ears; if after 2 rounds of Clomid nothing happens, then the odds are getting pregnant are greatly reduced. Pregnancy odds are already small; I think they peak at 30-35%.  Anyway, I haven’t talked to DH yet about the referral. He’ll support whatever I decide to do but I know how much he wants to be a father. I guess at the very minimum I’ll schedule a consult. But after our upcoming vacation.

Speaking of vacation, we’ll be gone in for about a week soon. I’m pretty excited because it gives me something to look forward to and it feels like DH and I need to physically get out of town for us to not over-schedule ourselves. In the mean time, I was hoping to lose about 10 pounds prior. It’s not impossible, but it’ll be more of an uphill climb since I lost about a week of exercise due to my period (fatigue, back pain) and side effects from my allergy meds (increased back pain). I got back into the swing of things this week though and ran a 5k (on a treadmill! -first time!) by accident. How did that happen, you ask? Well, I figured out a new strategy to keep me going while running on the treadmill. When listening to music, I go slower during the verses, increase speed during the bridge, and full tilt during the chorus. When I was about ready to finish running, I noticed that I was only 3/4 of a kilometer from a full 5k. That was the first time I had run since the 5k and I actually beat my race time by about 5 minutes. My legs were dead afterwards but I was proud of myself for my accomplishments. I’m considering running 2 5ks a week leading up to vacation since I proved to myself that I can do it.

My current fitness strategy is to work out a certain area (e.g., arms, abs, legs) for about 10-15 minutes, then run 1-2 miles. My goal is to work out 4 times week. As far as diet goes, that’s still a work in progress haha.

Updates and Things

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. A lot has happened since then:

-I ran my first 5k! It was rough. My allergies were awful and the night before the race, my period started so I barely slept. I felt amazing once I saw the finish line though. We’re already looking to schedule our next one.

-As noted above, I got my period. I’m feeling a bit frustrated with my doctor’s office because I was instructed to call when I got my period so I could get a referral to a reproductive specialist. I called the next business day and was told that I would get a call from a nurse practitioner with the referral, as my doctor was on vacation. That was 3 weeks ago. I’ll have to call again soon to get the referral. However, I’m feeling more unsure about how ready I’m feeling to have a kid. We’re so busy with work and seeing friends and I don’t think I’m quite ready to let go of that life yet. It’s weird how my desire to have kids keeps ebbing and flowing.

-I passed the national exam for my field!

Since You Asked…

Today someone asked if my husband and I planned to have children. To my surprise, I was candid about our struggle to conceive. I talked about how it’s going on 2 years since we started trying, doctor’s visits, meds, all that stuff.

The person I was talking to?

Our accountant. While he was doing our taxes.

I feel like I’m at the point that I don’t feel a need to hide our difficulties with infertility.  I won’t shout from the rooftops that I struggle with infertility but now I feel comfortable talking about it when asked.

I’m kinda proud of myself.

Marathon

Ugh, I’m so glad this week is over. Work seriously felt like I was running a marathon, to the point that I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful that it was Friday. There are a number of other things too that have kept me running.

First, buckling down on studying for my licensure exam. We’re officially less than a month out now. I’m a little nervous but studying is going alright so far.

Second, started the next round of Clomid. I had a bit of a moment of panic on Tuesday. It was day 3 of my cycle on Monday and I called as instructed the doctor’s refill line. Nothing. Called again Tuesday and informed them that I was late starting the Clomid. After some research it appeared that it was not a big deal but when the nurse called me later, she said I needed to come in to check my hormone levels. That day. It was like 11:30 in the morning and I told I couldn’t leave my job to get that blood test. She said that if the Clomid doesn’t work then I’ll need to be referred to a reproductive specialist. When she said that I felt like the ceiling started caving in. I mean, I knew that would be the next step but hearing it was hard.

Third, I decided to stop running this week. I’m not injured or anything but I wanted to take a week off and do other workouts. I discovered a neat one last week called FitStar* that links to my FitBit and it’s pretty awesome. The 5k is about 3 weeks away but I don’t do well with routine. I’ll take this week to reset or so but will keep active with other activities.

*Not an endorsement of FitStar. Just sayin.