+2000 hcg!!!!

My hcg level yesterday was over 2000! They wanted it to be just over 1000. Am I having twins?! My 7 week ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks from tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see our baby!

Whirl wind of emotions

It’s been almost a month since I last posted, and A LOT has happened in that time. I finished my 5 Clomid pills (CD4 – 8) , gave myself the trigger shot on CD13, progesterone draw CD20, hcg blood test CD27. Getting the trigger shot in the mail (mail order pharmacy) made this whole thing very real for me. Taking the Clomid was just like taking birth control pills, nothing to it really. But the trigger shot was an actual needle I needed to inject my body with. Thankfully my Clomid side-effects were minimal: minor headaches was all I experienced. I’ve heard it’s better when you take it at night (which I did) and that the side-effects get worse with each successive cycle.

I went in for an ultrasound on CD12, and I had two big follicles (20 and 21 mm). Definitely had some cramping/uncomfortableness in the ovary area around CD10 – 16.

My CD20 progesterone was 30, and they wanted it above 15 so that was great news. And, drum roll please… my hcg was 304! I’m going back tomorrow for another blood test – hopefully my hcg has tripled or quadrupled.

We heard back about my high hcg (pregnancy!) on M’s birthday which made this news even more special and memorable. I was finally able to give him this Star Wars themed onesie I bought about 10 months back (one of those months I was convinced I was pregnant). We have both been filled with so much joy the past few days. Hopefully we have more good news tomorrow!

It’s exciting (and terrifying) to think I could be pregnant with twins since I had two mature follies. So far I have had some early pregnancy symptoms – constipation, tiredness, swollen/tender breasts. My stomach has been a little off, though no nausea yet. I feel like I’m getting full on less food – need to start eating more small meals throughout the day. I know I’ll regret this, but I’m somewhat looking forward to a little nausea. Somehow this will all feel more real when I’m sick to my stomach at all hours of the day.

I’ve been trying to still workout a few times a week, keeping up with my regular workout routine except for running and jumping. I’ll probably end up telling the coaches at the gym in a couple weeks, just so they’re aware of why I’m taking things a little easy. When I say I’m going to bike instead of run or ask about something to substitute for burpees, they are very concerned and ask what’s wrongs. I’m a terrible liar, so I haven’t been able to come up with any good excuses yet. I just awkwardly stammer about taking it easy…

I’m planning on ordering a few pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding/baby books in a couple weeks. I’ve been doing a little research on some good books to read. I’m so happy and excited right now, but I know there’s a 15% chance of miscarriage so I want to be a little cautious for the new couple weeks.

A few of our friends know that we’ve been trying and that I should be finding out any day now if I’m pregnant. Now that we are pregnant, I’m a little wary of telling a lot of people at first. Though I suppose if something bad happens, it will be nice to have some support from those who know what’s going on.

I took my first belly picture today for the 4 week mark. I would like to document each week just to see the change. I’m so excited for what is to come. I know it’s not going to be easy, and I’ll want to complain, but I do have a special appreciation for the miracle of life after trying for a year and a half. Thank you science and Dr. K for making this miracle possible for us!

There are so many things we want to do before Baby arrives – house renovations, traveling, buying a second car. M has been so busy at work lately, I know he is stressed with work and thinking about all the prep we need to do for Baby. We do have plenty of time though, 36 more weeks to go!

Down the rabbit hole

I wish I was a more eloquent writer, but that’s not really in my job description. I think my blog writing abilities will improve over time, but for now it just feels like I have so many thoughts and no real good way of connecting the dots and making it all flow nicely. For that, I apologize. Oh well, I’m not gunning for blogger-of-the-year here, I just need to release my thoughts!

Today is CD4, Tuesday to everyone else. First dose of Clomid down the hatch. I felt like Alice in Wonderland when she drinks the magic potions to make herself shrink or grow until she was just right to fit through the door and continue on her way. Please make my ovaries work just right.

It’s been a busy few weeks, which has been good to somewhat (not really) keep my mind occupied with non-infertility related activities. We rowed in a boat race a few weekends ago, football season started, and we went down to visit my parents & a friend’s bridal shower.

It was really good to see my friends and my mom (dad was out of town for work). Of course I was asked multiple times about when we’re having kids – I just brushed it off because I didn’t want to be a Debbie downer in the middle of the shower and say “Actually, 40% of couples have trouble conceiving. If it were up to me, we’d have a baby already. Wha wha.” One of my friends just had a baby – 8 weeks old – and he is just so adorable. I held him for a little while, and soothed him when he started to fuss. I. Am. Ready. For. This. I can’t help but feel some why-her-and-not-me resentment. M and I have great jobs, we own a house, we are prepared (as much as you can be). But hey, biology doesn’t take that in to consideration. Mufasa.

It was really good to see my mom. The last time I saw her was this past May. I’ll let y’all in on a secret – my mom has early on-set dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. This along with endo runs in the family, so I’ve got that going for me. My mom’s health, along with my infertility, has made for a tough year and a half. Both are really difficult to talk about without bawling, and I hate crying in front of people. Thus, I haven’t told many friends about either of these major life happenings.

I’ve been having some stomach pains at the beginning of last week and again yesterday & today. I’m wondering if I have an ulcer, or I’m just a little bit of a hypochondriac. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes, and then I’ll make an appointment with my doc.

This weekend will be busy, which I’m looking forward to. Walk to End Alzheimer’s, checking out some blown-glass pumpkins, football, conference presentation prep, maybe beach. I’m debating just announcing on FB that I’m walking for my late grandfather and my mom, but we’ll see…. I am super excited about the glass pumpkins; cannot wait to get do a little fall decorating!

Vicious Cycle

It’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a hard couple of weeks. I met my RE last week, and I was really looking excited about our first meeting for some season. It’s good to know that we have a plan, but it really isn’t anything I wasn’t already expecting. I don’t know what I was hoping for this meeting to be, but I just felt disappointed.

So here’s our plan: next CD3 (which was this past Wednesday) I go in for baseline blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. If everything looks good, I’ll start Clomid with a hcG trigger the next cycle. We’ll try 3-4 rounds of Clomid, and if I’m still not pregnant then it’s laparoscopy time to see if I have endo. And then we’ll reassess.

The ultrasound was pretty trippy. I’ve never had an ultrasound before. I can see how amazing it must be to see your baby for the first time on an ultrasound. The nurse took measurements of my uterus, endometrial lining, ovaries, and follicles. I haven’t gotten the report back yet so I don’t know if my lady bits are “normal”, but I’m happy that at least I have ovaries and follicles. At least I have that going for me.

So now we wait. This process involves so much waiting and not know while we wait. Hopefully the Clomid works. My RE said the hardest part of this process is seeing how much disappointment your heart can take. Honestly, I don’t know how couples try for years and years. The past year has been really difficult and we’re only just getting started.

Pet Peeves

I’m really happy for my fertile friends and their adorable babies. Honestly. We even baby-sat a couple weekends ago. I had a blast reading books and changing diapers. And baby pictures plastered all over facebook do make me smile (and then make me a little sad for my situation). But it’s hard to swallow when it’s someone who struggled with infertility and proceeds to complain about morning sickness, swollen ankles, and now that he’s born, say that you want someone to help hold him because he will only sleep in your arms.

I hope each month that a bout of morning sickness nausea will consume me and I’ll be puking in the bathroom at work. I can’t wait to have a son or daughter to hold in my arms. Pregnancy and birth and taking care of a baby is no picnic, but when I finally have the miracle baby I’ve been wanting for so long I hope I never forget how lucky I am.

Rant over. Friend no longer in my news feed for the time being.

The cure for everything: salt water… sweat, tears or the sea

I absolutely love this quote; it could not be more true. After being in a serious funk since mid-July when I got my FSH results, I feel like I’m finally coming out on the other side. Hopefully a little more resilient.

Saturday we took the dogs to a 3k dog-friendly walk downtown. It was a great event, and the dogs had a blast! Then I baked the most delicious chocolate chip cookies to bring to a friends birthday party later in the day. Man, I love baking. We’ve been trying to eat cleaner, 80/20 paleo (for the most part…). And holy cow, real cookies taste incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I found a killer chocolate chip paleo cookie recipe. But it’s not the same as buttery, gluten-y cookies.

Sunday is beach day, our church. The weather was great, the water was murky but cold. We got to break in our new beach toys – M pushed me on my paddleboard into the waves so I could surf. Friends from the gym met us out there, and it really was just what we both needed.

With my HSG yesterday, I wasn’t feeling up to gyming it so I went today instead. I really do love the gym we found. I’ve enjoyed seeing myself get strong and fitter since I started last November.

I should be working to make up the hours I missed yesterday for my appt, but instead I baked cookies while listening to Dawes. My new obsession. “Most People” is really resonating with me lately.

“Most people don’t talk enough about how lucky they are,

Most people don’t know what it takes for me to get through the day,

Most people don’t talk enough about the love in their hearts”

I am extremely lucky. I have a great job that I thoroughly enjoy, most of the time. I have an amazing, loving husband. And two sweet fur-babies. Last summer we were able to move to the beach, and we found a great house, across the street from the best park in town, with plenty of room, and room to grow. I just have to be patient.

Both tubes are open!

My first gut reaction was joy, so I’m trying to hold on to that for as long as possible. I know having the HSG is just the first rung on the infertility ladder. But both tubes are open! Now if I can just get a follicle to develop and release an egg to meet the sperm kickin’ it in my fallopian tubes…

For posterity, and for anyone out there who may have an HSG and wants details, the whole test wasn’t that bad. An hour before I took 800 mg of ibuprofen which I think helped with the pain and cramps. The speculum and I have never been friends (Maybe I’ll get used to it as time goes on. I expect this infertility thing to cause a lot of speculum encounters for me…). That part of the procedure was the typical mount of awkward, uncomfortable and a little painful. Then came cleansing my cervix which I didn’t feel at all. Next was the catheter. This part sucked, 5-10 seconds of intense pain and uncomfortable-ness.

Then they had to get my in position below the xray machine. While involved me sliding up on the table, moving my knees out, sliding back some more. This was uncomfortable with the catheter and speculum in, but it wasn’t terrible or painful really. Actually pushing in the dye wasn’t painful, though I was distracted with watching the xray monitor.

The nerd in me did enjoy seeing my uterus fill up (it’s so tiny! just a little bigger than a quarter) and the dye moving through my fallopian tubes and spilling out into my abdominal cavity. The radiologist will get his official report to my doctor this week, and hopefully everything looked good!

I don’t have another appointment set up with my gyno. I plan on calling this week to hear about the official HSG report, and maybe she’ll recommend a round of Clomid or something in between now and my appointment with the reproductive specialist.

I think if my tube(s) had been blocked, I would feel devastated. I’m so thankful that I have this piece of good news to hold on to. Getting my period this past month was so difficult – it keeps getting harder and harder each month. M and I talked about taking time off from trying until my appt with the specialist because it is so hard on me every month. M has this mindset that he can’t be upset because we don’t know what’s wrongs, which I wish I could get behind. But the HSG results gives me a little happiness boost. When he gets back from a work trip, baby-making is back on!

I also had another acupuncture appt last Friday. E (acupuncturist) put needles in my belly this time (the first time was at the end of my cycle, so she went easy just in case), and she found something interesting. It was hard to put the needles in, there was redness around the needles (only the ones in my belly), my belly was just very stiff, and it felt almost like there was a vertical cord running up and down my belly (I don’t really feel it, but E does…). Not really sure what this all means, but she’s going to focus on this area at my upcoming appts. E told me about another patient who had a similar belly thing going on and it turned out she had a hernia as a baby and needed to have surgery at 2 days old. After some acupuncture, her abdominal area was freed up and she ended up getting pregnant!

I’m going to end on this semi-happy note. I feel good about my decision to have the HSG and start acupuncture. And I can’t wait until Wednesday when M gets home, so I can get back on that pogo stick (40 Year Old Virgin anyone? I spend too much time with guys who quote movies.).