Round 4

I had my consultation with my doctor today regarding our next steps since the 3 IUI cycles failed. Turns out DH’s sperm count was on the low side and my egg reserves are also abnormally low, which may be why we’re struggling so much. The doctor gave me a list of supplements for DH to take in addition to me taking my prenatal and fish oil daily.

As for what to do next, the doctor recommended that I do 2-3 more IUI cycles plus Clomid at a higher dose. I had been on 100mg but I’ll be going up to 150mg. I feel slightly relieved that there is a middle step between 3 failed IUI cycles and IVF. We’ll see what happens this time.

Advertisements

Fast and Furious

I’ve had my Garmin 225 for about a week and I love that thing. There have been some growing pains though. I did my first outdoor run over the weekend and before the run I had created an interval routine of 50 seconds sprinting/70 seconds brisk walk. When I set up the intervals, I thought it was 10 run/10 walk, for a total of 20.

Nope.

It was 20 run/20 walk. I made it to interval 16 before my legs were exhausted. It was a little frustrating but I was proud of myself for how far I made it.

A feature of Garmin’s app is a challenge group. DH’s friend invited me to the group last week and you are ranked within the group according to how many miles you run or walk weekly. Being competitive, after we finished the run I wanted to walk the same route to gain extra miles. I made it to third place, out of 8 people.

Another feature is a display of my cadence and pace. Pace is getting better but my cadence needs work. One thing I consistently keep doing is starting out too fast then slogging through the rest of the run. After doing a little research, I’m shortening the intervals to 30 seconds run/30 seconds walk to train myself to slow down a bit and maintain a steadier pace.

I’ve used my watch 3 times, 2 treadmill runs and 1 outdoor run. The treadmill has actually been easier because I just throw on my headphones and go. I don’t like wearing headphones when I run outside and on Saturday it felt like I had a million distractions in addition to being mindful of when my watch vibrated to signal the start of the next segment.

I took off today and yesterday to rest my legs and get some things done but I’m hoping to get back into it tomorrow.

White Flag (Part 2)

Today was okay. I was still checked out for most of the day, mostly because I made the mistake of reading about what IVF involves.

Holy shit.

In an oversimplified nutshell: lots of medication, lots of doctor’s appointments, and still moderately low chances of success. What made me most nervous was the cost (up to $10,500 per cycle without insurance; up to $5,000 with insurance) and that I would have to be put under anesthesia for the egg retrieval. It’s still surreal that we’re at this point.

In the meantime, I figured I’d throw myself into hobbies, such as running and knitting as a distraction. I bought the Garmin Forerunner 225 (happy late birthday and early Christmas to me!) and I can’t wait to set it up. My original goal was to run 8 miles a week but I think I’ll up it to 10. As for the knitting, I’m still working on a project that I started almost a year ago.

It’s a baby blanket.

White Flag

Last night started out awesome. DH and I played some video games after long days at work and when I went to the bathroom later, I noticed a piece of uterine lining when I wiped. It felt like the ceiling caved in on me but I tried to play it cool as to not affect our night. I continued to discreetly go to the bathroom and check for more discharge after that but I finally got too overwhelmed. It became reality that our third round of IUI failed and that our last option would be IVF, which we don’t want to do. I haven’t sobbed that hard in a long time. I felt like I was honestly mourning the loss of being a mother and DH becoming a father. DH came to console me and was pretty reassuring.

I was numb today. We were busy with visiting family and friends but all interactions felt forced. And it sucked because I know if I weren’t so distracted by all this I would’ve had a much better time. DH suggested that I was checked out due to being up so late last night but I think I was starting to accept that this IUI round failed. And it’s our last one.

I honestly don’t know what to do now, especially as of 45 minutes ago my period started. I’m inclined to give up. I’ve already lost all hope of becoming a parent naturally. Adoption is not totally off the table but I can’t even entertain that idea right now.

New Plan

DH and I spent a few days in his hometown (much needed!) recently and while we were there, we met up with one of his friends from high school. His friend got into running earlier this year and we were comparing notes on times and distances. That conversation, plus DH gifting me with a subscription to Runner’s World has inspired me to up my running game. For now I’m going to continue with running about 8 miles weekly but I’m saying goodbye to my Fitbit. As handy as it has been, I don’t care much about my sleep as it’s improved after I stopped drinking coffee (more on that in a second). I also have a good sense of my calories so I’m not seeing it as beneficial anymore. Instead, I want to invest in a good fitness tracker so that I can more easily track my pace. So far I’ve been looking at Garmin models. We’re planning to run our next race in probably February so I’ll have plenty of time to improve my speed. I’m excited and feel more focused!

As far as the coffee thing goes, I had my first cup in 23 days while we were on our trip. It felt like I had swallowed lit candles. My acid reflux hasn’t been that bad in quite some time and I suspect it’s because I stopped drinking coffee. Makes me sad since I do enjoy coffee but going back to abstaining may continue helping my sleep and keeping my reflux in check.

Round 3

So I had an appointment yesterday to check whether I was ready for the next round of the IUI. I had 2 good follicles but one of my ovarian cysts had ruptured. The tech wasn’t alarmed (of course I was); however, she said the cysts were there due in part to the Clomid and there was nothing to worry about. Since things were a go, I did the trigger shot in the office and returned today for the IUI. It was an annoying day because DH and I thought that he would go in and do his thing at 8:30 then I’d go in at 10:00 for the IUI. I found out yesterday afternoon after my other appointment that both appointments were an hour later. It was super inconvenient to shift around our work schedules and it almost felt like they’re taking advantage of our determination to get pregnant by having little flexibility with appointment times. Anyway, it’s done and we’ll see if it worked or not. If not, we have to go back to my doctor to see what to do next.

Round n Round

So after I calmed down at the end of last week, DH and I had a discussion about our treatment options. We’re going forward with the next cycle of the IUI and if that fails too then I think we’re going to take a break for a bit. When I talked to my doctor over the summer, he said that we may start looking at IVF if I have 3 failed IUI cycles. I’m drawing the line at IVF because of how damn expensive and invasive it is. I haven’t done a ton of research on financial assistance for fertility treatments but I came across Resolve. They provide grants to help defray costs, but I’m not down with having to pay $50 to apply for something I may not get.

This cycle has already started out incredibly stressful but I’m trying to hold it together the best I can. I went to the doctor on Monday for the pre-IUI prep sonogram. The sonographer found some cysts on my ovaries but said it wasn’t cause for alarm because they were not big enough to prevent me from starting Clomid again.

…I was quite alarmed.

The women on my mom’s side have a history of ovarian cysts and they all had their ovaries removed by age 35. So I have a rather short window. The next sonogram is next week and scheduling that was stressful in itself. If I’m ready, typically I’d do the trigger shot later that night and the IUI a day and a half later. This time, DH and I are going on a trip so we’ll have to scramble a bit. My doctor said that if I’m ready next week, I’ll get the shot in office immediately after the sonogram then do the IUI the next day.

What sucks so much about this whole process is the uncertainty about timing and how much it’s interfering with my job. Yesterday I called a meeting with my manager (a guy, let’s call him “Tom”). Tom and I have known each other for years and hung out (before he became my manager) so I felt comfortable letting him know what was going on. I didn’t want to raise suspicion about my frequent doctor visits so I let him know that I was doing fertility treatments. He was super supportive so I felt better about having to potentially take a chunk of time off next week for the IUI since I have no idea what time it’s supposed to happen. One of my good friends said she could cover me the entire day, but it’s also the day before I go on the trip so I’ll have to come in late. I hate how I have to work 10 times harder right before time off.

It also sucks how it’s even impacting our trip. DH and I are traveling to visit family and I can’t be around his nieces and nephews right now. Thankfully, DH’s brother is understanding.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens next week, but my hopes are pretty low considering we’ve already had 2 failed cycles.

 

Here We Go. Yet. Again.

I may have mentioned this before, but there’s this one scene from an old Simpsons episode where Homer wants to roast a pig, but Lisa objects. The pig is on a spit-grill thing and ends up rolling down a hill. The pig hits several obstacles, with Homer running after it yelling “it’s still good! it’s still good!” Eventually, the pig gets jammed into a dam and the water pressure launches the pig across the sky.

That’s how I feel when I think I’m pregnant. When I see some brownish spotting, thinking that it was implantation bleeding. When I have light cramping and think it could be implantation cramps. And then when the cramps get worse and the bleeding heavier, it’s that moment just like when the pig is sailing through the air, that all hope is gone .

My period started today at the worst possible place. Work. I was prepared, just in case, and there it was. Devastation is an understatement. So much started going through my head but I had to bottle it since I had to get through the work day. Funny part about bottling things is that they find a way of getting out.

I went to the gym immediately after work to do some light cardio and help work though some of the cramping, but when I was in the shower it felt like the ceiling caved in. Everything that I had contained from this morning came out. All the feeling of shame, frustration, anger, embarrassment, all of it. I’m choosing to wait to tell DH until he gets home because I’m sure he’ll be just as upset. I’m aware of how irrational this is about to sound but I feel like I keep letting people down. I’ve been more comfortable about talking about our fertility struggles with close friends but I feel that the more people who know, the more people will be waiting for us to get pregnant. It’s hard not to feel like a failure, and it’s hard not to want to scream at every person who appears on the news (there have been at least 2 within the last day in my area) who have been arrested for child abuse or neglect.

I’m reeling right now and not sure what to do next. I guess we’ll go for round 3 of the IUI but this may be it. All I wanted for my birthday was to conceive.

 

Mixed Signals

I am on Day 3 of no caffeine. And I’m actually holding up okay. I’m getting much more sleep, which was one of my goals. However, there has been other weird shit going on this week.

First, my boobs. They have been hurting so much this week that even my softest shirts feel rough if I don’t wear a bra. I won’t let DH anywhere near them, which he’s not thrilled about but he’s empathetic. We worked out on Monday and running on the treadmill was more awful than usual.

Second, my desire for beer (and alcohol in general) is almost nonexistent. This one I’m baffled by. We have a lot of beer still left over from my birthday a few weeks ago and even though I’ve had some, it’s not more than a 4 ounce taster size. I feel like I could never drink a beer again and I’d be fine. DH was slightly alarmed when he offered me a rare-release beer and I only had a small amount. However, my Dear Husband has been more than happy to consume whatever I don’t. And the change was pretty sudden, too. It feels like a switch was randomly flipped. I started wondering if my enthusiasm for beer had waned due to trying to change my eating habits, but I was also thinking about this as I was chowing down on peanut butter M and M’s (sidenote: those things are so good). So that’s probably a no.

Third, I’ve been having pretty bad lower back pain and some mild cramping. Which I figure may be period symptoms since I’m 5 days out. It’s not typically this bad though.

So I’m not saying that all this stuff points to a certain word that starts with p and ends with regnant but I’m perplexed. Especially by the beer thing.

Reset

So now that birthday shenanigans are totally over, it’s time to reset my health habits again. The fall is pretty difficult since there are so many birthdays and holidays, and we typically go on vacation in the fall. We have 2 trips coming up in the next 2 months, including one in about a month, so I really want to zero in on better habits and ideally lose about 10 pounds. A big part of that is working on my sleep schedule. According to my fitbit I average 6.5 hours of sleep during the week and 7-7.5 on weekends. I think stress from work coupled with recent bad eating habits have thrown things off. We have a bunch of tea, including chamomile, so I’ll see this week if that will help me to get to sleep sooner.

I’m also going to start tracking my food again to make sure I don’t lose focus. Usually when I have a solid deadline for losing weight tracking my food helps. Breakfast this week will be smoothies with half a bagel. The smoothie is only 166 calories and one of my problems before was eating too little, so I tossed in half a bagel. Morning snack is a serving of Triscuits. Lunch is a turkey burger with a side salad and my afternoon snack is carrots and hummus. Dinners this week include stuffed mushrooms and breakfast for dinner.

In terms of working out, I’m going to shoot for 3 times a week, with 2 days of cardio-focused workouts and one day of strength-focused workouts. Hopefully I can stick to all of this, but the biggest challenge will be sleeping more. Stay tuned.