Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It All Comes Down to the Numbers

First beta at 12dpo was 48. Second beta at 14dpo was 190. I was very relieved and very pleased that it only took 24 hours to double. That number is higher at 14dpo than it's been in any other pregnancy I've had. I am supposed to go back today for a third so let's hope that the trend of good doubling continues.

We also got good number news from the mortgage guy yesterday. The appraisal on our house came back about $10,000 more than we thought it would so that is great news.

In not so good number news, there is talk about a pay freeze for federal employees so that would mean no extra money for at least two years. My raises at this point are pretty small so it's not the worst that could happen by any means but it still means getting less and paying out more because I didn't hear the President say anything about freezing the cost of my health insurance, or the price of milk, or gas, or my property taxes, or any of the other million and one taxes and fees I have to pay every year. Nope, those will just keep going up.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Tubes

Back to the lab today for another blood draw. Only two tubes so it was really a breeze. The first is to test hcg levels and the second is to test progesterone. I got the progesterone results from Friday back and they were good - 35. Of course, I'm using supplements but my understanding is that they are absorbed into tissue and not the blood stream so whatever my blood levels are is what my actual body is producing and not the supplements.

I'm praying for a more than doubling beta and also praying that the results come tonight. I don't want to have to wait through the entire day tomorrow to find out and I also don't want a call at the office if it's not good news. Additionally, since tomorrow is when I would be exactly 4 weeks pregnant I need to call and schedule an early pregnancy monitoring appointment with Dr. Coulam. I figured I would make sure my beta doubles prior to setting that up but I definitely want to call her tomorrow. Then I'll also need to make an appointment with the endocrinologist to have my thyroid levels checked and I suppose I should tell the RE who did the IUI that it worked.

Hopefully, if the beta comes back good then I can stop using the hpts. I did two more today and the lines are definitely getting darker each day. I only have one FRER left but I have more than 25 cheap internet strips left so that spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beating Out of My Chest

I spent most of the day yesterday worrying about how the lines on the hpts weren't getting a lot darker. If I were smart I would only use digital tests which give you nothing to compare anything with since there's no point in trying to compare one "pregnancy" word from another. But nooooo, instead, I use digital AND pink line tests. Oh, and not just one kind of pink line tests, but two. I have cheap internet strips and First Response. In an attempt to ease my mind I called Dr. Bear and asked for a beta. Amazingly, I actually slept last night, unlike last time around when I couldn't sleep waiting for the email saying the test results were available.

This morning I awoke to see the email. While logging onto the site my heart was pounding out of my chest and I felt as though it was going to explode. I was so nervous that the number would be super low and had a moment of relief when I saw it was 48. That seems respectable for 12dpo. Of course, one number doesn't mean anything since it's the doubling of the number that matters. And really, after having two pregnancies fail that both had nice, doubling betas I really don't put much stock in that either. But, I will dutifully report for a follow-up beta tomorrow and will be keeping my fingers crossed that the number more than doubles.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Thanksgiving Tradition

Two years ago I was five months pregnant with QT on Thanksgiving. Last year I was two months pregnant with Trey on Thanksgiving, only to lose him a month later. This morning I am officially pregnant again with what I am praying will be our live, happy, healthy, take home baby. I am going to skip the traditional picture showing all the hpts I've taken, and there are many, just because I know how little it really means. Yes, they tell me that I am pregnant, but they don't guarantee that I'll actually have a baby.

I found out yesterday. The test yesterday morning was so faint I couldn't decide if it was a real line or an evap line. There really wasn't a pink color to it. So, I took a FRER with me to work and tested later in the afternoon. A very faint, but definitely pink line appeared. I was overjoyed, bordering on giddy. That lasted maybe a full minute before the worry set it. What if I lose this baby too? If I'm pregnant that means Dr. Sherbahn isn't going to prescribe IVF meds for me and come January 1st I will no longer have insurance coverage for them. Will the universe be so cruel as to have me lose the baby on January 1st? I need this pregnancy and this baby to be okay. I need to find some peace so that I'm not going completely insane in the coming minutes, hours, days, weeks and months.

I know I'm telling anyone who reads this the great news but I'm not certain when I'll actually come out to everyone. I guess I feel as though we shouldn't tell the family until we've had multiple good ultrasounds. There just doesn't seem to be a point to announcing another pregnancy only to lose it early on and have to endure the "it was for the best" comments or the "you should stop trying" comments. And yet, I am the sort of person who just loves to spread good news and this is good news.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep quiet for a few weeks and then the morning sickness will set in and I won't even have to tell anyone since they will all figure it out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just One More Day

Tomorrow marks the end to my having to sit next to a woman who is pregnant around the same time I was due had I not lost the baby this past June. I know that even though she will no longer be pregnant every time she talks about the baby, shows pictures, etc. it will sting me a little bit for I will always remember that I should have a baby that same age. It's been almost a year since my first loss and I still have trouble hearing about babies that were born in June. Ugh. I should have an almost six-month old at home right now.

In more positive news, we semi-passed the home appraisal. We haven't found out what value the house has yet but at least all of our chipping storm windows passed muster. Well, all except one and we can just quick paint that one before the final inspection. A bigger issue is that we don't currently have a rail and railing on our front porch. The porch was replaced this summer and we were putting off getting a railing until a time when we have more free money. I guess it can't wait. But, all in all, I'm happy that all of our hard work scraping paint, re-painting a ton of windows, and all of our cleaning paid off.

Tomorrow I am 10dpo. With at least two of my pregnancies I got my first positive test at 10dpo. So, hopefully it's just one more day until I have great news to share!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crack Down

The husband and I are trying to refinance our mortgages into one, big, ginormous mortgage. The appraiser is coming Monday morning and so this weekend has been termed "crack down" weekend. Admittedly, the husband has been doing far more cracking down than I have been. I'm definitely a better cleaner but I tend to lack motivation. The husband is better at starting and keeping going and better at getting rid of stuff. I tend to start sorting through things and then get overwhelmed, am not sure what to keep and what to get rid of and the stuff I do want to keep I'm not sure where to put it. So far we've done a pretty good job of getting the kitchen counters de-cluttered, tidying up the kids' rooms and our bedroom, but still waiting is the living room and den. There is just no point in getting all the toys put away while the kids are up and about and wanting to play with them.

Despite really disliking anything to do with cleaning, I'm glad that the appraiser is coming. I need things like this to really motivate me to get rid of things. Without a reason to immediately get rid of stuff it's too easy to just keep stacking it up. I also find motivation in watching shows like Hoarders or Clean House. The husband always asks me why I watch those shows and I say it's two fold. First, it makes me realize that my stacks of unread magazines don't even begin to compare to the Hoarders whose entire house has been overtaken by junk. Second, the next time I'm going through a stack of magazines I think about how I don't want to become a hoarder and so I throw the magazines away even though they have recipes in them I'd like to try or articles that had good information. Let's face it, I'm never going back to those magazines and all that information is available on the internet anyway.

Speaking of the crack down, I should really get back at it......or maybe I'll have another cup of coffee and then get back to it. I'm 7dpo today and I tested yesterday with a super faint almost not there line so the trigger shot is basically gone. I so want to get up Thanksgiving day and see a clear positive test and yet I'm just not feeling it, once again, so I'm trying to not get my hopes up too high.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Regarding Vomit

Helpful hint of the day - when a child tells you they are going to throw up believe them.

I remember back in the day when I worked at a family shoe store and a mom brought in her school-age child for new shoes. The girl kept saying she felt sick and saying she felt like she was going to throw up. Her mom told her she was fine and kept trying to get the girl to try on shoes. Flash forward to me kneeling down to check the fit on the sparkling white canvas Keds when, sure enough, the girl barfs everywhere - all over herself, all over the shoes, all over my hair!

So, having been through that you'd think that when SB turned to me yesterday and said "mommy, my tummy hurts, I think I'm going to throw up" that I would have moved like lightening to get him to the bathroom. But no, instead, I told him no, you're not going to throw up and wanted to calm him down. Bad move because, sure enough, he barfs everywhere - all over himself, all over my bed (the pillows, sheet, comforter and blanket) and a little bit on me.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Change Makes For Better Response

Adding in the Follistim seemed to do the trick and I had a much better response this cycle. I went in on Friday for the ultrasound and I had one 17mm follicle on my right ovary and two 14-15mm follicles on my left, along with one other strangler which was probably too small to catch up. The plan was to trigger Sunday night but I got a positive ovulation test Saturday so we did the IUI this morning. I'm hoping that having multiple eggs will result in one being fertilized and implanting. Just one, that's all I'm asking.

The Madison RE who has been doing the IUIs suggested I take dexamethasone this month as a way to help prevent miscarriage so after much hemming and hawing I went ahead and started it. I know that there are studies showing steroids can increase pregnancy success rates but I also know that there are studies showing they can cause complication later in pregnancy. Dr. Coulam doesn't use them so then that makes me wonder if I should have started taking them. But, too late now, so I'm going to continue with it and see what happens.

Okay, I'm off to get going on the laundry, cleaning up the living room, thinking about painting some more (note I said thinking about, I doubt that I will ever actually get the point of doing any painting). Oh, and I hope to get some pictures actually off my camera and onto the computer. I've been thinking a lot about trying to include more pics in this blog which also leads me to that I've been considering writing more about SB and QT. When I started this blog I was struggling to give SB a sibling and now I'm struggling again. I've shied away from writing too much about my kids, or including too many pictures, because I understand that for those who are struggling to have their first may not appreciate that. At the same time, I've been thinking that for the most part I blog about the bad things, the hard times, the struggles and perhaps it would help if I focused a bit more on all the positive things in my life as well. So, we'll see how that goes. I barely find the time to write these posts so practically adding pictures will add time. Stay tuned and see what happens.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thank God for Sticky Notes

What would I do without the almighty sticky note? I've always been a list maker. It's not that I have a poor memory, although more and more so I do have a poor memory, but more so I make lists so that I have a visual reminder of things and I have something to cross off or throw away when I'm done doing whatever is on said list and that in and of itself gives me satisfaction. When the husband needs to remember something he wears a rubber band. Me, I'd have to make a note reminding myself to put on the rubber band!

So, anyway, lately I've been thinking about all the things I need to get done. The list is long:

- paint the front door
- paint the back porch
- touch up all the paint chips on the inside of the house
- laundry (mine and the kids)
- grocery shopping
- pay the bills
- get going on Christmas gifts
- make a plan for Thanksgiving, find recipes, etc.
- get my bedroom cleaned up (put clean clothes away, pack away summer clothes, etc.)
- clean up QT's room to rid it of odd extra blankets and old books
- clean off the dining room table
- clean the litter box yet again

Well, you get the picture. It's everyday chores to longer range plans. Lately I've been feeling as though I need a different kind of list. One that would help me to snap out of this funk that I've been in for almost a year now. One that would help me to be happier and less annoyed with just about everyone and everything around me. What would that list look like?

- get into reading a really good book
- watch at least one really funny movie a week
- go out for walks when the weather is nice
- go out to dinner with friends more often
- even more hugs and kisses from the husband, SB and QT
- go back to church
- start knitting or crocheting again
- get this blog some bling or something to jazz it up a bit
- start baking again

I don't honestly know that any of those things would work, except that they help me to take my mind off of trying to get pregnant again, at least for a little while, and I need that now because I feel as though it's all encompassing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'll Trade With You

Monday mornings are never easy, specially when it means returning to work where I sit next a very pregnant woman. You'd think that by this point I'd be used to it but nope, I'm not, and just looking at her is a struggle for me. This morning I listened to her talking about how she hasn't been sleeping well and how now her ankles are beginning to swell. I was so tempted to tell her that I would trade with her. I'll take the big baby belly, the swollen ankles and all the sleepless nights in the world if it meant I was pregnant with a healthy baby. I'll even take the pregnancies I've had in the past, meaning ones in which I was throwing up multiple times a day, every day for the entire pregnancy. Bring it on.

I've been pregnant four times so I know that it isn't always the easiest thing physically to go through but when you're complaining about things that are merely nuisances, and not really all that big of a deal, I start to get annoyed. After all, there are millions of non-pregnant women who don't sleep well at night or whose backs hurt or ankles are swollen. Those ailments aren't unique to pregnant women and at least for pregnant women there is an end in sight with a wonderful reward.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Suspicion Confirmed

I called Dr. Sherbahn's office this morning to schedule an IVF consultation. This was prompted by my receiving the stupidest letter I think I've ever received last night. Yesterday after I checked the new insurance plan brochure I was afraid that fertility drugs would no longer be covered. Well, any doubt that I had went away upon reading the letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield. It stated that in an attempt to make certain they were providing only best and most reasonable health care to their members they sometimes review accounts. I was receiving the letter because they say I had a history of being prescribed infertility medications. The letter went on to state that they will continue to cover these medications, however, for any woman under the age of 50, prior approval will be needed for the drugs AND they will NOT be covered if they are being used for artificial reproduction procedures. Hmmm..........when else would you be using fertility drugs but when you're doing fertility treatments???? I am so tempted to call and ask exactly when they will cover them but it would just make me madder than I already am to hear their lame response. It's like them saying they will cover chemo except when it's being used for cancer treatments. I hate insurance, I hate infertility, I hate miscarriages, I hate worry, I hate stress. That's a whole lotta hate. I don't want to turn into a little ball of hate.

Most of all I'm hating how now I am worried about this cycle working. I want nothing more than to be pregnant but I'm worried now that I will get pregnant this cycle, not be able to order any of the fertility meds, I'll lose the baby early next year and then we'll be right back where we were, not being able to afford the meds to do an IVF.

Dr. Sherbahn's office wants cd3 blood work done (which odd can be done cd1 - cd4) so I need to get that done today. With his office being over an hour away that doesn't make it the most convenient. I have a call in to my ob to ask him if he'll order the tests so that I can just get them done on my way home from work. I also scheduled an ultrasound so they can check my pathetic antral follicle count but now I'm realizing that I will have taken the Femara and will be using the Follistim when I have that done so that probably won't work. And, if it won't work, then I have to wait until December when this cycle is over to have the ultrasound which pushes back the doctor's time to decide what IVF protocol and, most importantly, what kind of drugs I would need. I don't want to be scrambling to get the meds in late December.

And, why is it that my ob's office can't just call me back? I left the message over two hours ago and my co-workers have been away from their desks almost that whole time but now that they are back and will be able to hear everything I say, I'm sure the office will call now.

Yea, I'm totally a little ball of hate.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is it Bed Time Yet?

We're in that time of the year when it's pitch black outside when I wake up and it's pitch black outside right around the time I get home from work. It just makes me want to curl up and stay in bed.

Even more so this morning did I want to stay in bed. I'm sick with a cold/cough/throat thing and yet I dragged myself to work because I don't want to use up my sick leave on something as silly as being sick. I need to save every last hour I can so that I have time to go to my million and one doctor appointments and, if I get pregnant, time to go to the million and two doctor appointments, not to mention having a decent maternity leave. I can't waste my sick leave on being sick!

I got some distressing news today. It's the health fair (doesn't that sound like fun?) today which for me really is just depressing. We have tons of health insurance plans to choose from, like seriously, there has to be at least ten of them and yet not a single one covers any infertility treatments. They will all pay to diagnosis you with a problem but none will pay to treat those problems. My plan has been to pretty much stick with what I have now since although they won't pay for IUIs or IVF they will cover the drugs EXCEPT that the plan brochure for next yea has one line that isn't in this year's brochure and that is "Not covered, infertility drugs used for ART procedures." So great, just great. The one benefit I have is about to go away and now I just have one more f'ing thing to stress about. Seriously, I'm in a panic and wondering if I should try and get a doctor to prescribe all the possible drugs I would need for an IVF cycle now so that in case we decide to go that route sometime next year at least I would have that part covered.

Can I just go home and go to bed now and not have to think about any of this?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And So It Begins Again

Big stuff going on today:

1. My new cycle started. I'm still disappointed that last cycle failed and I'm not feeling super excited about this one but hopefully that will change the further into I get. I'm repeating the 12.5 mega dose of Femara on cd3-7 and then adding in 150 of Follistim on cd8-10. I'm not quite sure what to expect. Last month I got my hopes up that the Femara would help me to produce multiple follicles but in the end I only had one. Will adding that little bit of Follistim that late in the cycle really help anything? Only time will tell.

2. Mid-term elections. I got up a little early and was at the polls right at 7:00a.m. when they opened. I always enjoy voting, even when sometimes it's hard for me to find someone I agree with to vote for. The husband went a little later and took SB with him and I guess he got a sample ballot and an "I voted" sticker and he was just the happiest little boy ever. I hope my kids grow up to be interested in politics, their country and the world around them in the same way the husband and I are. I also hope they share more of my views than the husband's ;-)

3. Scaffolding is being built as I type. We've been in our house almost five years now and although we knew it was a major fixer-upper project when we bought it I'm not sure we were really prepared for how much fixing there would be. Our first seven months were spent fixing everything - new bathrooms, new kitchen, every inch of wall was painted, the den ceiling was replaced, new wiring, new pipes in some areas, new water heater, etc. It was a lot of work and a lot of money but it all seemed worth it. I mistakenly assumed that once all that work was completed that we were done fixing for a while. Wrong!

Last year, with most of our storm windows rotting beyond repair we set about replacing all the ones we could. This year with one of our front steps disintegrating to the point that I was just waiting for someone to step on it and have the whole thing collapse and a lawsuit to follow, we made the decision to replace the front porch. Just an fyi, replacing a front porch is expensive.

Now scaffolding is being built so that hopefully our leaky chimney and entryway roof will finally be fixed. This will be third time hiring someone to fix the fact that water pours down the walls of our entry way closet whenever it rains or snow melts. I'm excited to think it may actually get fixed but even if it does that doesn't mean we're done fixing because once it's no longer leaking I need to have the now very water damaged plaster repaired. Just another fyi, having real plaster repaired is expensive.

Monday, November 1, 2010

No In Between

Do you ever find yourself driving to work on a Monday morning and wondering if you even had a weekend? As I drive my daily drive, making the same turns, the same stops, parking in the same spot, I begin to think "didn't I just do this yesterday?" No, yesterday was Sunday so I know I didn't but it's like once you're back in that work routine it's as though you never left.

I enjoy my work, most of the time. Sometimes it's challenging and sometimes not. Sometimes I'm very busy, other times not so much. But, I find it's a decent balance and I often get a real sense of accomplishment from it so I'm happy.

What I'm not happy about is my daily stress over what to wear. This morning I chose the navy pants, the ones that are too big for me, and so I will now spend the entire day trying to get them to stay up (there are no belt loops otherwise that would be the obvious solution). You would think that having pants be too big would make me happy but honestly, they aren't big because I've lost weight, I just bought them too big. I have a pair of khaki pants which I have the same problem with. Last week I wore a new pair of black pants that I bought which are just a little too tight and so when I wear them I also wear Spanx underneath. The day after that I wore a new pair of gray pants which also require Spanx. By the end of that second day my stomach was sore from being squished two days straight.

The obvious question here is why don't I just buy pants that fit. My answer: there is no in between. Either the pants fit me in the waist but are too tight on my hips and butt or they fit nicely on my hips and butt but are far too big in the waist. What's a chubby girl to do?

Maybe the better answer is to just buy skirts!