When Life Gives You Lemons

Trying to make the most out of infertility, and life in general. This is my journey to conceive, after a miscarriage and D&C that left me with Asherman's Syndrome.

Monday, September 18, 2006

10 day wait, frustrated

So much for the 2 week wait. For the past 2 ½ days, I’ve been having brown discharge. This is pretty much consistent with me getting my period. For the past 3 cycles, I’ve gotten 3-4 days of brown discharge, followed by 1-2 days of reddish brownish very light flow. I am so frustrated. I guess this means I have a short luteal phase. I know progesterone supplements are the de rigeur method of dealing with this, yet when I had the IUI, I asked the RE about whether or not I need progesterone supplements and he said no. He said the research hasn’t’ proved that progesterone at this stage maintains a pregnancy and since my progesterone levels were tested and were fine, then I don’t need it.

So why the hell am I bleeding 10 days post IUI? I know it’s not implantation bleeding. I know I am not pregnant. Granted, I am not a doctor but I have lost all breast tenderness, and my BBT is back to being low. This makes my cycle a 23 day cycle.

I called the RE’s office this morning to tell them what’s going on. And of course I never get to speak to the RE; I only get to talk to whatever nurse is on call. Her first question, when is the first day of your period? I tell her that I’m an Asherman’s Syndrome patient, so I really don’t get a period, with red flow. So there’s no way for me to really know what cycle day 1 is. Her response, so come in for a blood test to confirm you’re not pregnant. Well, duh, genius, I know I’m not pregnant and it’s easy for you to say just come on it, as if I live around the corner. She doesn’t have to rearrange her whole schedule to go into the office. It takes me 45 minutes to get up there, and then it’s another 45 minutes to get from the RE’s office back to work. I asked when I should come in, and she tells me…when would you like to come in? Shouldn’t she be telling me?!? Doesn’t it matter what day I test on? They make such a big deal of testing on day 3 so shouldn’t she tell me…if you’ve started bleeding on Sunday, then come in Tuesday?!?! I am getting so annoyed feeling like I know more than my doctors do.

On top of this, my coordinator at work just resigned, so now I’m doing 2 jobs. My boss is completely inflexible and not sympathetic to what I’m going through. She’s a married woman who has chosen a life of no kids for her and her husband, so she can’t understand why someone would go though this much trouble to start a family, and she’s not cutting me any slack. I asked her to hire a temp and she said there’s no budget for a temp right now. The hiring process for a replacement has just begun, but it could take months. And it’s getting harder and harder to spend my mornings testing. I’m late to work by at least an hour and a half every day or every other day as is. It was hard enough when I was doing just my job, somehow I was able to manage, but now that we are down a person I don’t’ know how I’m going to handle the responsibility of 2 jobs. On top of this, I’m slowly beginning hhe process of looking for a new job and it’s impossible to find time to schedule any interviews.

Why aren’t the IUIs working? What am I doing wrong? I’m seeing an Ashermans specialist. I’m being treated by an office with good statistics for live births. I had an HSG which finally showed a healthy looking normal uterus, with only mild scarring left near the lower fundus and the cervix. But there was definitely an opening and a clear cavity. My FSH and E2 levels are all normal. I am told my lining got to 8 mm the past 2 cycles, and I got about 3-4 eggs on Follistim injections. I ovulate on my own just fine. My tubes are both open. I got pregnant pretty easily the first time around. So why isn’t anything sticking? 4 months of IUIs (one natural, 2 on Clomid, one with injectibles), plus 5 months of acupuncture, and nothing to show for it. I guess IVF is next, but I feel like I’m going to go through a round of that and still be nowhere closer to a baby. They should just give me an orphaned child as a parting gift at the end of all of this. A “thank you for playing, and for all your troubles, here’s a baby in need of a good home. Brought to you by our sponsors.” I just don’t know how much more I can take.

On a side note, we spent Saturday catching up with good friends of ours, and their amazingly cute 16 month old baby girl. It only solidified how much we want a child of our own. We know our friends went through a lot to be where they are and looking at their daughter makes it all worth it. It was beautiful out on Saturday, so we all stopped for gelato in the neighborhood. Outside of the gelateria, there was youngish couple with 17 month old boy/girl twins. We were all making small talk, waiting for our gelatos to be brought to us, and enjoying being outside on such a nice day. There was an older woman waiting on the gelato line as well, and when she saw the twin stroller, she actually said “Are those real twins or fake twins?” The mother of the babies handled this quite well and said, “they look pretty real to me.” Then the woman proceeded to say out loud (and as she was an older woman, I might out she was very loud) … “well, I know of someone who did in vitro and she got fake twins out of it so you are very lucky to have real twins in today’s world.” She just wouldn’t let up, the nasty old coot that she was. My heart just sank for this mother. She handled it quite well, and if it were me, I’d contemplate slapping this woman or saying something nasty like “is that your real personality or did you take your bitch pills today. We were all horrified. I can’t believe someone would say this to a person out loud. Granted, the older generation probably has limited skills when it comes to censoring themselves, but come on – who would say something so inappropriate and rude to a stranger out in public. As horrified as I was, I of course started thinking if we have to go through more advanced stuff, like ivf, I should be so lucky to have twins and these are the kinds of stupid comments I can brace myself for. I just don’t know if I have it in me. The comments I guess I can handle, but I don’t know if I can go through any more rounds of anything. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of obsessing and keeping track of what day I’m on and what meds I’m supposed to take and how much and when and what to expect afterwards. I can’t focus on my real job. I’ve had just about all I can take. B keeps saying he understands, and he feels badly for me but at the end of the day, it’s not as if he can go to the doctor for me. Or do my job for me. Something has to give, because I can’t handle being responsible for all of this. And yet I can’t afford to quit my job so I can focus solely on the doctor’s appointments and the TTC. So for now, I’m giving up on acupuncture. I don’t think it’s done jack shit for me and if it’s 12 less needles I need to deal with a week and get all worked up over, then that can only be a good thing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Back from Chicago and update

I seem to be quite the slacker the past few weeks. Work has been all consuming lately but that’s not much of an excuse. But alas, here’s a quick update.

We spent a lovely 3rd wedding anniversary in Chicago last weekend. What a great town. The weather held up for us and we were able to enjoy outdoor activities and really fine dining experiences. My RE was nice enough to set me up with an IVF center in Chicago for monitoring. It was hard to find at first, but once we got our bearings the office and protocol is pretty much the same thing I’m used to at my RE’s office. I'm just happy I was able to still go to Chicago and we didn't have to cancel our trip due to my monitoring schedule.

Everything was looking right on track this cycle. I stimulated well with the Follistim, and with the exception of a few minor crying/freak out nights, I tolerated the medication just fine. The actual injection part wasn’t as bad as I thought, especially given that B was doing the poking and prodding. It’s just that a few times after he gave me the injection, I would feel really sore and bruise almost instantly. My stomach still looks like 40 miles of bad road right now but I know that is to be expected. It looks like my lining got up to 8mm on cd 11 and I had about 4 decent follicles.

Yesterday was my IUI and again it was done by the youngish RE who went to HS with B. To add to my recent humiliation, he told me that B’s sperm count was a little low this time. He said it was nothing to worry about and was probably a result of abstinence. We are sure it was a fluke since B’s sperm has tested just fine the previous IUI’s. It’s probably relative to the lack of sleep and stress that he’s also been under. Meanwhile, we had baby making sex at 7AM the day before and I’m sure everyone can relate to how sexy, romantic, exciting and stimulating that experience was. I’m sure there are thousands of posts about the thrill of baby making sex, and perhaps one of these days I’ll write my own analysis.

Aparantly we were supposed to have sex the night after the hcg shot to trigger ovulation but we were just too exhausted and waited until the morning to perform on command. It wasn’t until that night that I realized my instruction sheet from the RE said we were supposed to abstain from intercourse the day before the IUI. Ooops. I guess I’m just not good at being told when to do the deed and when to keep my pants on. I never did complete my homework assignments in a timely fashion. I was always more of a crammer. The RE also mentioned that the lowish sperm count was statistically insignificant and had no bearing on our chances of success this month. Yet this information sent me into a tizzy and I walked out of the office crying hysterically. It’s just another setback, albeit minor, but it makes me thing that things are not stacked in our favor. Then I start obsessing how my frantic crying fit is what will be responsible for this cycle not working because I’m stressing myself out so much.

Since yesterday afternoon, I have had severe abdominal pains post IUI. I was not able to sleep more than an hour last night. I just couldn’t find a comfortable position. The RE thinks this is normal, b/c my ovaries are hyper stimulated and that it should go away in a week or so. He told me it might actually get worse before it can get better. He also said one of my ovaries is the size of an orange. I am barely able to walk right now. I am completely hunched over and I feel like I’m carrying a ton of bricks in my lower abdomen. This is not fun. Then again, perhaps this has nothing to do with my fertility issues and I'm just having trouble passing gas. Who can say anymore. All I know is that I want this feeling to go away.

We were supposed to have a cocktail party tonight to catch up with friends we haven’t seen all summer and I was supposed to have a 2nd interview for a potential new job. Oh well. Both of those things needed to be cancelled. I just can’t imagine being myself for either thing. I am really bummed. In the grand scheme of things I know this is not the worst thing that can happen. Being told my your RE that you’re “normal” and “within range” is a good thing to hear. I am just not good at dealing with discomfort. So that’s the update. It’s not terribly exciting, nor philosophical. My brain is just mush right now. 2ww – bring it on.