Shots! Shots! Shots!

My mood has been all of the damn place. I finished the Clomid over the weekend and yesterday I went back to the doctor to get my follicles measured. One was thankfully the right length so we had a green light for the trigger shot and IUI.  My mind was all over the place about whether the shot would work, the expense of fertility treatments, and other random things. Yesterday was supposed to be my next day to run but since my mind was so scrambled I did some strength training instead and walked. It helped my mood a little bit but as it got closer to the time to administer the shot, I was pacing and doubting again. The shot itself wasn’t bad. I had to do it next to my belly button and actually didn’t hurt. Once my nerves settled a bit afterwards, DH and I baby danced. DH is about as nervous as me about this whole process and he had some performance anxiety. I was trying to reassure him but in my mind I was flipping the fuck out, considering we literally had one shot. Things worked out in the end, fortunately, but I had a bit of an existential crisis afterwards. I started to worry about how it felt like having a child was one step closer to death, questioned whether I was actually ready for motherhood, lamenting how much we’ve spent trying to have a baby, etc etc. Completely irrational stuff.

Today I felt worse. My mind was calm but physically I felt ready to crawl out of my skin. My emotions were so heightened that I could barely do my job and I wondered whether it was stress, the extra hormones from the shot, or both. I had to really focus on my reactions to things so as to not snap at anyone or cry. I guess the best way to describe it is feeling extremely physically uncomfortable. If I have to do this again I’m taking 2 days off from work: the day after the shot and the day of the IUI.

Anyway, I made it through the day without killing anyone but now we wait for the actual IUI. DH will go in before me to make his sperm donation and I go in after so they can do the insemination. I’m concerned because I didn’t have to take any pain meds beforehand, but I read that a catheter is used. I guess it’ll be fine, but I hope it’s not painful like my HSG. I really hope this works because I don’t want to go through this again.

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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.

Final Countdown

The human mind is kinda amazing. I’ve been consistently running twice a week now directly after work. I’m usually wiped after work but telling myself that it’s just 30 minutes has been making a big different. I’m still doing intervals but starting last week I decreased my walk time and increased my run time. I still have all my run data from this year saved in an app and my pace is almost a minute faster than when I ran my first 5k in March. Our next 5k is about a month away and I’m excited. I’m considering trying to bump up my runs to 3 times a week but my legs are a bit sore from yesterday. I’m hoping to get my pace down by another minute, especially since we’re looking at another race in December. Not sure if I’m ambitious or a glutton for punishment at this point.

Here We Go Again

After our run last week, I had some minor shin pain. Due to the HSG and an extremely busy week at work, I took a week off from running. DH and I ran yesterday and I was a minute over my usual pace, in part due to an event we literally ran into, and due to wet pavement. I also tried to slow down when I began feeling shin pain but it was challenging since DH was the pacesetter. I asked him to slow down a few times but he’d eventually unconsciously speed up again. I gave up after a bit and tried to keep pace, but I’m paying for it today. It’s annoying since we’re less than 2 months from our next race, but I guess I’ll just be on the bike or elliptical this week and probably next. Such a pain in the ass. These last 2 runs probably messed up my shins too because I’ve been predominantly running on the treadmill due to the heat. After I recover from the shin pain I’ll give outdoor running another shot but hopefully all will go better. I’m super excited about this race though and we’re looking at race #3 in November!

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.

Almost

Last weekend I came across Runner’s World and found an interesting running plan. DH and I have decided to do another 5k in September so I need to start training again. The plan consisted of walking briskly for 2 minutes, jogging lightly for 5 minutes, then alternating 10 minutes sprinting for 30 seconds then briskly walking for 90 seconds, with the idea of gradually increasing time sprinting and decrease time spent walking. What follows is a 2 minute casual walk to cool down. I got pretty excited and decided that I would try out the plan on Monday. That didn’t happen because I forgot I had to meet a friend after work. Tuesday was a no-go because I had to work late, but I finally got to do it on Wednesday. Running went very well, except my obnoxious neighbor came in and wanted to chat. In the middle of my work out. As I’m wearing headphones. I don’t know if he has poor situational awareness or just didn’t care that he was interrupting my workout (I think it’s more of the latter), but it was very distracting. However, after I brushed him off I was able to get back on track. What was kind of cool is that I had planned to take yesterday as a rest day. It was another stressful day at work and I had intended to come home and relax a bit with a glass of wine, but I instead walked for almost an hour while listening to a podcast. I kept my speed around 3 miles as to reduce injury risk. I’m hoping to start with running twice a week then increase it to 3 times. A friend invited me to go to spin class with her in a few weeks so I’m pretty excited for that.

So the exercise part of things are going well but nutrition suffered a bit this week. I started tracking my meals again and did well Monday and Tuesday, not so much Wednesday. Breakfast this week consisted of burritos (scrambled egg, black beans, turkey sausage, yogurt cheese, salsa) and lunch Monday-Wednesday was a salad. However, Wednesday some of the top brass at my job came to visit and pizza was provided. I had one piece in addition to my salad and later in the day, another coworker and I discussed the odds of there being more left. My coworker brought back a slice for me and initially I was going to save it for DH, but he’s on a FODMAP diet for the next week and a half. So I ate it but it helped that I ran later in the day. Lunch yesterday was a really delicious bowl that DH and I agreed will be added to our regular meal rotation. We were inspired by a Hawaiian restaurant that we went to last week. The bowl consisted of quinoa, grilled chicken, feta cheese, white bean beans, black beans, and a honey-coconut milk-sriracha sauce. I added a bit of Greek yogurt to help balance the heat. I planned to have another bowl for lunch today but we ended up ordering out at lunch. Dinner has been more of a mix since it was provided by my in-laws. We went to their house for dinner last weekend and they gave us a ton of food since they were leaving town for a while. We’ve had leftover chicken marsala, crab cakes, and planning to have cod this weekend. My weight has been off this week due to my period starting (yay) but I think I should be back on track next week.

Speaking of annoying things like my period, I scheduled my HSG for about a week from now. I took the day off because I anticipate being emotionally wiped like last time. We shall see. At least I was prescribed a stronger painkiller this time.

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.

Lesson Learned

A few months ago, one of DH’s relatives came to town. We hadn’t seen him in quite a while so we went out to a bar and tossed back a bunch of drinks, including shots. The next morning, I was feeling okay, until I ate breakfast. That didn’t stay down. I vomited several times, thinking that it must have been the flatbread I ate the night before (it was pretty terrible). I almost went home from work.

Yep, this happened on a Tuesday night.

Fast forward a few months, and the same thing happened, except I realized that it wasn’t bad food. It was the liquor. I’ve hit the point in my life in which I can’t tolerate straight liquor. I couldn’t keep anything down (ironically, not even Pepto Bismol) until mid afternoon. I guess it was for the better since ingesting shots isn’t the greatest idea, especially when trying to be more health conscious. Also coincidentally, DH and I were with family we hadn’t seen in a while.

This weekend was a bit frustrating not only due to getting sick, but because I couldn’t exercise much. My folks were staying at a resort and we used their pitiful gym. Kid you not, every piece of cardio equipment was broken and just 2 weight machines worked. DH and I found a path that we though was .75 miles but was more like .2. I haven’t exercised this week because I’ve been battling borderline-severe acid reflux. The liquor + bad food over the weekend + vomiting kicked it up pretty bad. I haven’t been able to sleep and I haven’t been drinking coffee as to not worsen the reflux. I think I’m finally better after leaving work early yesterday. Such a pain, but now I know to be a lot more cautious.

***

Friday, I have my next doctor appointment. I’m supposed to get my progesterone levels checked and I think next week I get all my test results back. Fingers crossed we finally get some answers.