Thursday, November 15, 2007

Exploding ovaries

Oh my gosh, my ovaries feel like they are going to explode. I'm beginning to fear that the Clomid has caused giant cysts to form. But, this is the way I felt the first month that I took it so part of me thinks it's normal. It's kind of a fullness. But, even with the feeling of fullness I am managing to still eat just fine thank you very much. I guess stomach fullness and ovary fullness are two different things.

I saw Dr. Bear on Tuesday and he prescribed progesterone gel for me to use in the second half of my cycle. It should make them longer. He also said that using it can't hurt you and so he felt comfortable giving it to me. Then, I'm scheduled for the huge battery of tests in January. He also referred me to another specialist. I didn't really feel like I "clicked" with Dr. Hayes so now I have an appointment with Dr. Janik, although not until almost March because she has a very full schedule. The only issue with Dr. Janik is whether or not she'll be in the insurance plan that I choose. We have a new plan this year, United Healthcare, which actually covers infertility treatments and so I've been considering switching to that just in case we need more than just the Clomid. When I made the appointment her office told me that she was out of network for UHC but the UHC website says that she is new network. So, I called and UHC says that she is new network. Still, I'm worried that once a claim is submitted they will change their minds and say that she isn't a preferred provider. I hate insurance junk like this.

I also hate that I'm thinking all the treatment is inevitable. I used to not think far beyond the current cycle because I always had that hope that it would happen but now it seems as though I'm just going through the cycle figuring that it won't happen. That's depressing.

Depressing too is that this weekend, for the first time ever, I was saddened by someone else's pregnancy announcement. Thus far I've felt the normal happiness and excitement when hearing such wonderful news. First pregnancy announcements still make me feel this way, I think because since I have a child I want everyone to be able to experience the same thing that I have. Second pregnancies are a different story however and I've now made the decision that I no longer want anyone to get pregnant with a second, third, fourth, fifth.......well, you get the picture.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

97.52 oh how I hate you

That's the reading on my basal thermometer every month right before my period comes. It's the temperature that I hate to see and that signals yet another failed cycle. It's the temperature that tempts me to call in sick to work and stay home in bed wallowing in self-pity and misery. It's the temperature that makes me question all of my decisions over the past 12 cycles. What are we doing wrong? Should I try harder, try less, see my ob/gyn or an RE, keep having acupuncture and taking herbs or just take the two cycles off? It shouldn't be this hard.

Save the daylight!

This weekend we did the big fall back an hour and I'm just curious about how exactly we are saving daylight by doing this. Sure, it's lighter earlier in the morning but it's also darker earlier in the evening. Personally, I'd rather come home and not feel as though it's already bedtime. When I wake up it's dark and when I come home it's dark. Ahhh, the long, cold days of winter are upon us.

Which leads me to the subject of all things winter. First, my heat is on the earliest it's ever been. I'm incredibly cheap when it comes to heating so the thermostat normally never goes above 64 and doesn't even get turned on until normally Thanksgiving. I take offense to the ever rising heating bills I receive and even more offense to the fact that I have no choice in matter and the greatest offense to having to see WE Energies advertise how wonderful their rates there. I ask you this, why does a monopoly have to advertise? Is there another company that I can buy my heat from? If so, please let me know as I would love to shop around for a better rate. So why is my heat on so early this year? Because other visitors to my home, who shall remain nameless, have been complaining that it is too chilly. Also, I feel somewhat obligated to QT that he not be freezing.

Second, how early is too early for Christmas? It's not even Thanksgiving yet and I feel as though we've just skipped right over it. Every store has all the Christmas stuff out, trees are up, wrapping paper is everywhere, what's next, Santa at the mall? Here is Milwaukee there is a radio station that began playing Christmas music 24 hours a day/7 days a week on November 1st. Am I the only person who finds that insane?

Third, will I be saying thanks on Thanksgiving for being pregnant or spreading joy this Christmas by announcing a pregnancy? Stay tuned.

Since there isn't much to say on the trying to conceive front I'll update the better eating front. I bought Superfoods Rx from the used bookstore the other day and really enjoyed it. If you're not familiar with it, the author lists fourteen "super" foods and then a few alternatives for each one so that you can have some variety. I hit the grocery store and stocked up on tons of superfoods and have trying to work them into my daily eating. It's been easier than I thought, mainly because I'm not focusing on calories or even so much serving sizes so much as just focusing on eating healthier overall. Yesterday I started the day with some steel cut oatmeal (Trader Joe's sells it frozen and it's awesome), to which I added some blueberries and flax, snacked on a handful of almonds, had albacore tuna on wheat for lunch with a side of cherry tomatoes and ended the day with tomato basil halibut with a side of wilted spinach. Okay, so I also ate a snack size Baby Ruth but you can't eat healthy all the time, right?

Monday, October 29, 2007

What kind of watch doesn't tell time........the OvWatch!

Having a slow rise kinda sucks. My temps go up a tad and then seem to get stuck for about three days before I get a big enough rise to consider that ovulation has taken place. Am I ovulating the day before the big rise, the day before the little rise or somewhere in between? I've been charting, usings opks and the Clear Blue monitor to try and pinpoint it with varying success. A while back I read about the OvWatch which claims to give you four days notice of ovulation. It looks like a sports watch and you just wear it for at least six hours a day or at night and then it will give you a reading. I decided to buy it as one more way to try and see when exactly I ovulate. Well, after spending quite a bit of money on this new device and wearing it for 15 nights, I just got my first fertility reading. So, according to the OvWatch I won't ovulate until day 19. Now I know that can't be right. The latest I've ever ovulated is day 16 and this month I got a postive opk on day 13. I'm pretty disappointed that the OvWatch turned out to be such a waste of money. OvWatch be damned! I intend on ovulating either today or tomorrow.

I'm feeling hot, hot, hot

Traditional Chinese Medicine prescribes hot foods for people like me -spleen and kidney chi deficiencies and a cold uterus. Doesn't "cold uterus" just sound horrible? To try and correct these imbalances I am trying to eat more hot foods like soup and less cold foods like salads or ice-cream. I figure though that something like a salad is still acceptable given it's good nutrients. My real downfall comes with room temperature foods like chips. I definitely crave chips more than I do candy, although with all the Halloween candy around I've been eating my fair share of that too.

Yesterday I ran into the store to buy milk and just milk and ended upcoming out with $70 worth of groceries. How does that happen? I'll tell you how, first, buy organic whole milk for your child at $6.29 a gallon,then, because you are trying to eat healthier and hotter foods, buy pumpkin bisque and veggie soup from the fancy section of the store, top that off with some organic, whole grain pasta frozen dinners, walnuts because everyone keeps saying they are a super food and round it out with honeycrisp apples at over $1 a piece, a pineapple, organic baby lettuces and organic fat-free salad dressing and you end up spending way more than you ever thought possible. I guess I feel a little better knowing that I side-stepped all the temptation and only bought good for me foods but it's still depressing to see how much I spend every week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's up to you New York, New York

Can you be happy and sad all at the same time? I think that's possible. You could be happy to get a promotion but sad that it means you will have to move. You could be happy to find out that someone else is pregnant but still sad that it isn't you. This is the way I've been feeling lately. I know many women who are trying to get pregnant and each time one of them announces their success I am thrilled for them but sad for myself. I want to be pregnant again.

So, the trip to New York was wonderful with the exception of getting many, many blisters on my feet and also getting my period right during the Van Morrison concert. I was disappointed but not devasted. I think being on a mini-vacation really helped. Maybe I should start doing that every month! Anyway, it was a whirlwind trip. Saturday we walked around Soho and had dinner at a very tiny (six tables total) Spanish restaraunt followed by lots more walking and dessert at a 24 hour bakery. Sunday we headed in the city and hit the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock, Tiffany's and finally Central Park.

Sunday night was the Van Morission concert which was exquisite. I've now seen Van five times and although this wasn't my favorite show, I'd probably rank it second. Van's music just has a way of making me feel at peace with the world. Who knew that a short, chubby, balding man could have such an effect?

My doctor upped the dosage of Clomid for this cycle so I'm now at 100mg. He also said that it would be okay to try to on days 3-7 instead of 5-9. Well, I've been researching Clomid for months and months now and have turned up a study that shows great results with taking it on days 1-5. It seems a bit crazy to take it so early but it was soooo tempting to do so after reading the study and I gave in to temptation. I took the last dose on Friday and am now just waiting to ovulate. I've pulled out all the stops this cycle. I am charting my temperatures, using my Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor, I bought an OvWatch and am using that, I'm taking the traditional Chinese herbs, getting acupuncture, taking a million supplements, drinking green tea, using ovulation predictor sticks and trying like heck to cut out caffeine and junky food. I'm falling short in that department though. I've traded my morning coffee for green tea but I just can't seem to get my diet in order. To my credit, I did bump up my fruit consumption last week but I still ate a whole lotta crap. Why isn't getting pregnant enough of a motivator for me?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Don't grocery shop when you're hungry

How many times have I read that little diet tip? Probably a thousand times and probably it was always written by a skinny woman who never had food issues. Today I did not follow follow this rule and ended up spending way more than I planned to spend at the grocery store and bringing home way more food than I planned to. Everything looked so good.

I've gained and lost weight over and over and over again over the years. My first big weight loss was in college when I did NutriSystem. Then, after I gained it all back I lost it again eating a very low fat diet. At the time Weight Watchers had a plan called Fat and Fiber and that worked, for a while. Yet again, I gained all the weight back until I had success with low carb and Atkins before my wedding. I ate anything I wanted on my honeymoon and never got my eating back under control and so I gained all the weight back. I made a New Year's resolution to lose it all again in 2006 but less than a month later I found out that I was pregnant. Oddly, pregnancy was the best diet I've ever been on! In those early months I just had no appetite and was throwing up all the time. I lost 15 pounds without even trying. I gained the 15 back plus another 10 and haven't lost any of it since having QT over a year ago. Now that's depressing.

Here's my question, why did I have no appetite for all those months? Was it the pregnancy hormones? Why can't doctors figure out what made me feel that way and then just inject me with that so that I just no longer really wanted to eat? Why o why can't it just be that simple?

Right now I'm mulling over going to get the Cool Ranch Doritos out of the kitchen so that I can enjoy munching on them while catching up on my reading. The only thing stopping me is all that Dorito dust that sticks to your fingers.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


You know those Mastercard commercials where they list off a bunch of expenses and then come up with one priceless thing that is just worth every penny you just charged (at 22% interest)? Well, as I was writing out my check to the acupuncturist for my needle treatment and herbs I started making up my own commercial in my head. It goes something like this:
Fertility Monitor : $100 off Ebay
Sticks to use with Fertility Monitor: $30 from
Opks to use in case Fertility Monitor isn't working correctly: $30 from local grocery store
Clomid: $15 from Walgreens
Mucinex to try and counteract bad Clomid side effects: $20 from Walgreens
Green tea for the same reason: $3.50 from local grocery store
Acupuncture treatment: $60
Custom made herbal formula: $40 from acupuncturist
Prenatal vitamins: $30 from Walgreens
Pregnancy tests: $30 from Walgreens
Seeing two pink lines come up on the test: priceless.
But you see, it's not priceless because it does come with both a monetary and physical price. For some women it's very expensive to get pregnant and for all women it's very expensive to have children.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

It's Monday and it was rainy all day. Fall is almost in full force. The leaves are changing color and crunching under foot. I just love this time of year. The air is crisp and you can't help but take a huge breath in and try to take it all in. Of course, there's a down side too, such as it being pitch black at 6:00am. It's hard enough to drag myself out of bed in the morning what with having a wonderful Tempurpedic deluxe, sink in and mold to your body, mattress, but now it's even harder because it appears to be the dead of night and yet my alarm is going off.

How did my Monday go? Well, I'll just say this, the fancy digital ovulation predictor stick reader that I paid $40 for fell into the toilet BEFORE I got to put the test stick into it. The water rendered it useless, which also renders the remaining sticks useless. There were two very dark lines so I'm taking it as a positive test even though the instructions clearly tell you not to try and interpret the lines. What do they know anyway? I'll bet they are made by men. No woman would make a product to help you get pregnant that involves two lines, and then tell you specifically that the lines don't mean anything. So, I should ovulate tomorrow or Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Okay, gotta run because I'm spending the rest of my evening with Dexter, that wacky serial killer everyone just hates to love.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Birthdays, Baseball, Babies

Today is QT's birthday. At 7:43 p.m. he turned exactly one year old. I can't even believe that an entire year has gone by and at the same time, I can't believe that it's only been a year. I feel as though he's always been with us for so much longer and it becomes harder and harder to remember a time before we had him.

As I type the Brewer's are on their way to losing. What a waste that will be since the Cubs lost so we have a chance to come within a game. The Brewers haven't had a winning season in over a decade. How is that even possible? I guess that I will always remember the Brewers that went to the World Series and gloss over the easily 25 years since then.

On to babies. I saw a new acupuncturist today and am really excited about it. She was very nice, really listened and asked a lot of questions. She will develop a plan which includes acupuncture, chinese herbs, supplements and dietary changes. I have been trying to decide if I should just try this for the next few months or if I should go ahead with the increased does of Clomid if I don't get pregnant this month. I was surprised when the acupuncturist said that she could come up with a good herbal formula to take if I decide to take the Clomid. I had just assumed that she'd be anti-Clomid. I have a few weeks to decide what I want to do and hopefully I won't even have to decide because this will be the month I get pregnant.

Back to birthdays. My husband gave me my birthday gift early. He is sending me to New York City to see Van Morrison in concert. Van Morrison is hands down my favorite artist. I've seen him four other times but this will be my first visit to NYC. My husband is not coming along but my other husband is. Yes, that's right, I have a second husband. I highly recommend that every woman find herself a second husband. Mine goes shopping with me, hangs out with me when my husband is at work or off fishing, babysits, and now takes me to NYC for the weekend. Yea for me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

East vs West

So, after feeling pretty good over my plan for the next few months I've kind of done a turn around. I bought the book The Infertility Cure which is all about treating fertility issues with traditional Chinese medicine instead of Western medicines like Clomid. I started having acupuncture done last month so the idea of trying something alternative isn't new to me but am I ready to totally turn myself over to TCM? I don't know.

The other day I was in the car and a Billy Joel song came on and there was a phrase that just really hit me: " on the highway of regret." How many people get stuck on the highway of regret, always looking back and wondering if they made the right choices and wondering what could have been if only. I don't want to be on the regret highway so the choices I'm about to make I have to be completely sure of. I am thinking about setting a time frame for trying the alternative Chinese medicine and if I'm still not pregnant going back to taking the Clomid. It's just such a hard decision.

Another aspect of it is that the Eastern plan is actually harder. It requires changing my diet, giving up my glorious cheese, pasta and most meat. How can I live in Wisconsin and not eat cheese????? (For the record, although I love cheese, I have NEVER worn a foam piece of cheese on my head. I may live in Wisconsin but I'm not that crazy.) I've been battling my weight since I was a teenager so dieting is not a new concept and you'd think that it helping me get pregnant would be the perfect motivation, but I eat for comfort and when I'm stressed and I've been feeling that way a lot, specially each month when I find out that I'm not pregnant. What a vicious circle!

Let's discuss something none fertility and diet related - the new television season! This week so many shows come back and new ones start and all I can say is thank god for my DVR.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Doctor on call

It can take a lot for someone to surprise me in a good way but my ob/gyn has just managed to do just that. While I am on Clomid I fax him my temperature chart after each failed cycle. Well, I did that this morning and just got off the phone with him now, at 9:30pm. How many doctors do you know who are calling their patients in the evenings, well after office hours?

Now onto the plan: He wants me to take this month off from Clomid. I've done three cycles now, each at 50mg, and have only seen a modest increase in my luteal phase length. What's a luteal phase you ask? Oh, to be so naive and innocent again. For the record, the luteal phase, or lp as it is known in the trying to conceive (ttc) community, is the number of days from when you ovulate until you get your period. 14 days is average, 12 is okay, anything under 10 is bad. Mine have been typically 9 to 11 days since having my son. If we're not successful this cycle then it's back to the Clomid but at 100mg for another two cycles. I don't really want to think beyond that as I want to try and remain as upbeat and positive about the upcoming cycle and not curse myself to failure by planning what to do if we fail. Does planning for failure ensure failure or is it smart to think ahead just in case? I shall ponder that question as I fall asleep tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh the Places You'll Go.......or not go as the case may be

If you've ever read the Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You'll Go, you'll know that it really is a good reflection of the journey of life. Sometimes things are great and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes everything goes your way and you're soaring high and other times nothing goes your way and you're pretty low. And, sometimes you are just stuck waiting. Waiting is portrayed as a very bad place to be as you are neither here nor there but stuck somewhere in between. Just think of all the times you've spent waiting for something, waiting to be 16 so you could get your driver's license, waiting to be 21 so you could (legally) drink, waiting for the phone to ring so you would have a date on Friday night, waiting to hear if you landed your dream job, waiting for the man who did actually call to finally propose marriage, waiting to get pregnant, waiting until you have enough money and are old enough to retire, waiting for the kids to be out of the house. Oh wait, I'm not that far yet, nowhere near retirement and kids being out of the house so let's go back to that waiting to get pregnant one, because that is where I am. I am waiting, actively waiting, but waiting nonetheless.

I did very little waiting to have my first child. Obviously I did the standard nine months of waiting once I became pregnant, but I only had to wait one month to get pregnant. We are blessed with a little boy who is mostly grins, giggles and goodness.

I had QT* in late September and we began trying for a second child in January. Why so quick you ask? Well, at the ripe old age of 35, times a wastin'. Did you know that once you hit 35 you are labled as being AMA? That stands for advanced maternal age. So, I'm advanced! Somehow, in this context, I'm guessing that advanced isn't such a good thing. I wanted to start trying again right away in the hopes of being pregnant before QT's first birthday, having my second baby when I was 36, leaving me hopefully time to have at least one more child. As of this morning, my hopes have been dashed and I'm in the dreaded waiting room, waiting to get pregnant again.

*QT is a nickname for our son since he is such a cutie