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Friday, January 31, 2014

Reproductive Systems Be Like: Psych

So I got the call and it is a big fat negative.
What it feels like trying to get pregnant
We actually did feel like things were different this time.  And I think the nurses that have called me the last two times are thrown off that I don't break down into a Scarlet O'Hara type hot mess upon hearing the news.  I simply take a moment, suck back the tears and say, "Ok, what's our new game plan?"  I can cry when I'm in a dark, isolated, soundproof location like any emotionally repressed Catholic-raised person would do.  The nurse said that we will continue the Clomid plan and to call on the first day of my next cycle (let's pray another cyst hasn't formed).  I then brought up that I think, with the issues of PCOS
When you're reading a pregnancy
test and you think you see a +,
but it's like looking at one of those
pixelated paintings they had in the mall
that when your eyes crossed you saw
the 3D picture (which I lied b/c I could
NEVER see them).
and my irregular results from the OPK this cycle, that I would like to bring out bigger ammo.  So we are going to add on follicle monitoring (observing the growth and maturity of the follicles to pinpoint the right moment of ovulation instead of relying on a stick that I pee on) as well as a trigger shot.  Combined with the Clomid, the trigger shot 'tells' your body (it injects a massive does of HCG), "Listen Honey, you better release an egg or Kate's gonna go Jaoquin Phoenix crazy".  So... Next steps- wait for next cycle, call insurance to verify coverage again, day 3 take Clomid and start monitoring.  But- this also means I'm gonna have some new material for the blog, so that's the silver lining of today's news.  Inappropriate gifs will abound.

So yes, I am sad.

Yes, I am incredibly disappointed (both in the negative test results and in my body, which makes me feel like a failure for not working correctly).  But we must look forward, right?

And as for this weekend.. at least I can drink. Enough said.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Being Strong the Night Before: This Post Endorsed By Michelle Obama's Arms

Hey team.  So tomorrow's the day we find out if second time's a charm.  I decided to do this post a little differently.  This time around I feel like I'm a pro (no, I'm not) and that I know everything that's coming around the bend (you're welcome for getting Pocahontas' "Just Around the River Bend" stuck in your head #disney).  None of that is true, but we are in semi-familiar territory.  This time I knew not to think every little cramp in my abdomen was a "thing".  This time around I had better things to do than to stare at the size of my chest in the mirror wondering if the girls were getting bigger- well, ok, so I did do that when I was housebound during the snow storm...  Some things that I did do: I allowed myself to think that it could happen, even daydreaming about future events I would attend as "pregnant Kate".  I spent a little bit of time looking at baby clothes and nursery ideas.  And I might have cried at a Ford commercial and then yelled at trashcan because clearly it caused the garbage bag to get stuck and rip, spilling the contents all over the ground. Yeah, I might have.

But I also remembered last time.  To be honest, we both, kind of, felt like it was going to happen for us on the first try.  That we would be that lesbian couple that broke the odds.  Then we would walk out of the reproductive clinic in our sensibly shoes under a saber arch held by the tallest members of the WNBA followed by a trail of adopted animals.  But it didn't happen that way.  And we dealt with that, and then dealt with the side affect of Clomid- creating a cyst that prolonged us trying again for another month.  Then a VERY confusing ovulation testing experience (most likely tied to Clomid) so I was left hoping that the results were right and not skewed from the meds.  And then another two week wait.  Whoever makes a woman wait 2 weeks with raging hormones for the potential of having a baby while also allowing us no booze is sadist.

We've also had a lot of support- it increases with each post.  The amount of people who have "come out" about their struggles to get pregnant and who were willing to share their story with us is astounding.   So bravo to you, ladies.

This time there were things I experienced that were very different than last time... things that seem like good signs. But I'm Irish and I believe in jinxing things so I've stopped myself from thinking about that too much.  I'm also a little pessimistic about my body as it has been a bitch to me my whole life so I don't give it a lot of credit.  So let's just do this.  If when I get that call tomorrow and they give me good news we can feel like this...

And if we get bad news again I'm allowed to feel like this...

Monday, January 20, 2014

TWW, The Sequel: Reloaded & Back With a Vengeance

Watching for ovulation.
So we were inseminated on Friday.  This cycle was a little different than the last.  Typically, when using Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation tests, you get 1-2 days of a flashing smiley face telling you that your fertility is high (for straighties who get their "junk" for free it means you can start trying now to optimize your window) which serves as a heads up.  After the 2 day flashing smiley you then should receive a solid smiley face indicating you are at your peak and should ovulate sometime in the next 12-24 hours.  Well I didn't receive my solid smiley face until I'd had 4 days of flashing smileys which really threw me for a loop.  After much research (internet you are both my bff and my worst enemy) I learned that Clomid can lead to jacked up readings on your OPK tests.  Shit.
emma thompson

lword, tlw
How I feel about stressing over sperm
motility. #really?!
We hope, much like anyone else in this process, that we got the timing right.  We also learned that the specimen that was thawed for our Friday insemination was lower motility.  Not below standards, but not super high.  Our fertility doctor said that it was fine to use and after last insemination where we ended up combining two samples (which didn't work any better) we thought it would be fine.
sag awards, jld, julia luise-dreyfus

We are now on day 4 of our TWW (two week wait) and it is so much different this time.  Last time I thought any little move would "shake things loose" and had an initial fear of peeing because "what if I peed it out"... If you haven't figured this out by now, trying to have a baby makes you cray cray.  I'm going to reiterate this for anyone else in the TWW reading this.  There are no definitive signs during this time to tell you you're pregnant.  So, no, it's just gas from that burrito you ate.  I don't mean to be an asshat, but I spent many a night scouring the internet with the same questions.  I also am ashamed of how little I knew about my own female anatomy.
snl, kate mckinnon, justin beiber

It hasn't gotten this bad.
So this time I'm not treating myself like "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble." I'm still avoiding alcohol and unpasteurized foods and limiting caffeine, but this time I'm hitting the gym (gently).  I am in a crafting crazy mode again-  this time I'm knitting- shut up with the old cat lady jokes.  And, as luck would have it, I'm going to be traveling for work on the day I'm supposed to go in for my pregnancy blood test so we're going to have to wait a couple extra days to find out for sure. We'll call this one the T+WW.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

TTC: If At First You Don't Succeed, Put Those Legs Back In the Air

reese witherspoon, julia louis-dreyfus, golden globes, golden globes 2014, selfie
My reproductive system as performed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
tina fey

So our first attempt was a BFN and that was a hard pill to swallow (and anyone TTC knows we swallow a lot of pills) <rim shot>.

taylor swift, jennifer lawrence, golden globes 2014
What It Feels Like When You Don't Know
When Your Next Cycle Will Start

In our last post we told you about how Aunt Flo wasn't making her appearance and, to be honest, after the hormone induced craziness of the past couple of months your mind starts to think... science could be wrong- blood has never proven anything ever and there's a chance that I still might be pregnant because everyone knows "being late" is the surefire symptom, as proven by the 1950s.

Well, AF finally came. I'm not pregnant (duh). The doctor started me on another round of Clomid and, like last time, it was horrible (refresher: Clomid is a medication to help encourage ovulation). The two biggest side effects I noticed were hot flashes and the inability to stay asleep.  The hot flashes were just beautiful little fairies that breathed the fire of a thousand hells on you at 3am.  But it's cool because you were already awake at 2am unable to go back to sleep until 15 minutes before you alarm was about to go off.  So that was convenient.  #sarcasm  Luckily that only lasts for 5 nights, but I want to publicly apologize to everyone I encountered on those 5 glorious days of fatigue and sweat stains (<--new band name, I call it).

I started doing ovulation testing Monday and today we got a big ol' smiley meaning I'm at my peak of ovulation.

So we are all set to try again with another IUI on Friday the 17th!
emma thompson, golden globes 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hormones- Am I Right?

Hey team.  First of all, thank you all so much for your support through all of this.  Really.  You're all gems.

So where did we leave off? In mid-December we got a BFN (big fat negative) on our first pregnancy test and had great plans to hit the 3-buck chuck and chicken wings hard.  Mission Accomplished.  We were then waiting for my next cycle to begin so we can start the OBM (operation baby makin') process all over again.  Problem was, Aunt Flo was nowhere to be found.  I called the reproductive clinic and they had me come in for blood work.  They informed me that certain hormone levels were raised and their assumption was that I had a functioning cyst.  This would postpone a cycle from starting and is commonly tied to fertility drugs.  After failing my first attempt at conceiving the last thing I wanted to hear was, "Just keep waiting."

Then, as we all commonly do when you receive medical news, I started researching the crap out of it- despite the fact that I've clearly learned that the web is a vortex of self-proclaimed authorities who couldn't find correct grammar with a follow-spot and a SEAL team.  With absolutely no self-control I then started looking for "natural" ways to help kick start things.  I firmly believe we could all make our millions putting colored flour in a capsule, titling it with a name that ends with a legit medical sound - fakermine - and saying it promotes "fertile wellness."

Simulation of Kate waiting.
A week later there was still no sign of AF so I called the clinic again.  I was told, again, to keep waiting.  It was now calendar day 46 and no period in sight.  So I called again (they're so sick of hearing from me) and the nurse scheduled me for more blood work on January 6th.  She said that she suspected, since I still hadn't gotten my period, that I actually hadn't ovulated at all and that my positive OPK result was due to the Clomid hormones.  Crap. What a waste of very expensive sperm, not to mention my sanity. Then yesterday I was out running errands and it happened.  <woohoo> Never in my life have I been so excited to get my period.

And, in typical Kate fashion, I called and left a message at the clinic promising baked goods and inappropriate humor to whomever called me back to talk next steps.  Poor Nurse Becky called me back this morning and said that since I did start my cycle they believe I did ovulate (phew) and that it isn't uncommon for women on Clomid to have elongated cycles as the drug stimulates (heh) follicles encouraging ovulation and some get hyper-stimulated resulting in a functioning cyst.  It's the cyst that then starts producing a constant stream of estrogen and only when it stops will your cycle begin.  And so after this female reproductive PSA nugget I just dropped on you I also was inspired to make you this:

So, what's next? Well, more waiting. I'll start taking Clomid again tomorrow night and start testing for ovulation on day 10 of my cycle. If this all goes similarly to how it went last time, we'll be inseminating again around January 18th/19th. Stay tuned, folks.