Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IUI #1/Bye honey, I'm off to get knocked up!

So I guess I should report on my IUI that I had on Sat.  Let me back up a little first.  I had an ultrasound on Wed. which was CD13.  I had 3 follicles that I think were a little small but the Dr. thought were still growing and a few days away from maturing.  She said the Letrozole (femara) is doing it's job.  For some reason she asked me what day would be good for me to do an IUI.  From my understanding at this clinic they refuse to schedule an IUI until you get a positive on an OPK.  I had not gotten a positive yet.  I explained that I was super busy (I always am but even more so than usual) for the next two days and that I was really hoping that I wouldn't ovulate until CD15 or later because I didn't know how I could possibly fit anything else into my schedule.  She miraculously suggested we just schedule the IUI for Sat!!!  I didn't inquire about their policy even though I was massively confused and just blurted out "that would be AMAZING!".  We set up a trigger shot for Fri morning before I went to work (I actually had to go in late) and then made an appt. for B to make his deposit on Sat at 8 am and I went in for the IUI at 9:30.  It all sounds good, right?  It's never that simple as you all know.

I had tested with an OPK on Wed (CD13) in the morning and it was negative.  I had been testing since CD10 both in the am and the pm because the last two cycles I would get a negative in the morning and then around 11pm it would be positive.  So I thought that would be a smart thing to do.  So this Dr. (not my official Dr. just the lady reading the ultrasound) told me to test in the afternoon and not to test more than once a day because sometimes you can get a false positive if you test that often.  Uh, WHAT????  Maybe I am stupid but that doesn't make any sense to me!  Explain that to me if you can please....anyone?

So she goes on to tell me that if I go home and test that night or the next am and get a positive then I HAVE to come in to do the IUI on Thurs which was basically impossible for me to do.  She suggested either crossing my fingers and testing on Thurs am and hope to god that it's still negative or just wait until Thurs afternoon to test.  It was confusing.  That might not have even been what she told me to do.  So I didn't test at all.  I went home and had sex with B that night in case I ovulated before Sat. and just waited for my Fri/Sat appointments.  That's just the best I could do this time around.  I don't have jobs where I can just take a half day or even call in sick and I had rehearsals and theater commitments that there is no way I could get out of.  So I might have ovulated on Thurs. or Fri. and missed it...besides our natural attempt which we pretty much can guarantee doesn't work.  Which means we did the trigger shot and IUI for no reason.  Or we did it perfectly.  Who knows.  Shit. 

The trigger shot and IUI were a piece of cake for me.  The shot in my ass (I was kinda excited cause it was the first time I can remember getting a shot in my ass!)  wasn't bad and I basically felt next to nothing during the IUI.  The Dr. (different Dr. than the ultrasound one) who did my IUI was really cool and told me that all the Dr.s have a "baby board" where they compete to see who has gotten the most women pregnant.  She said she is currently in the lead so I had the Dr. with the most successful outcomes!  When she left I said, "thanks for maybe knocking me up!"

So now yesterday (and today just a little bit) I have been feeling a little crampy. Yesterday was noticeably crampy.   Just like when I feel some ovary pain during ovulation.  Or even how my period cramps are now since my surgery which are mild in comparison.  It could be 3 different things.
#1 I am ovulating now - but that's impossible with the trigger shot right?
#2 I did get roughed up in my performance sat/sun nights.  We really wrestle and knock each other on the ground in one section.  Maybe it stirred up whatever is going on inside me?
#3 Implantation cramping?  I HATE even thinking it.  I don't want to get my hopes up in the slightest bit.  Been down that road WAY too many times.

Anybody who has done IUI before have any thoughts?

On another note, I had the extreme pleasure of evesdropping on a conversation between a group of moms today.

Mom 1) Oh I would just love to get pregnant again but I just dont want the baby!
Mom 2) I totally understand, I loved being pregnant!
Mom 3) My husband doesn't want to have another baby because I just couldn't have sex with him for the whole 9 months.  I just felt like it wasn't my body, it was the baby's.
Mom 2) I know!  I didn't want to have sex with my husband with both my pregnancies.

God, fucking shove something through my ear drums RIGHT NOW YOU BITCHES!

And just for fun I will share that when I came home from work I got to watch my dog shit out my panties.  Thanks dog.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A blog review!

Just found this review!  
I am the dancer in white with the blood that she is talking about!  Awesome! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Offrenda

This weekend I had our first IUI.  But I will save that for another post.

I am performing this weekend!  I am a dancer and try to perform as much as opportunity allows.  We started the rehearsal process for this weekend's show last fall.  I managed to rehearse a few duets with my best friend and then in Nov. I broke my foot.  I broke it while teaching a modern class at the dance studio where I teach....thank god for L&I!  I performed at an event in my walking cast (my costume is a long floor length dress) in the beginning of Dec. and continued rehearsals in my cast.  I had so many Dr appt.s and Physical Therapy it put fertility treatments on the back burner for several months.  It was a super shitty time for me.  I was (and am) grieving the loss of my Pit Bull, trying to cope with the emotional toll of our infertility and then, bam! broken foot. 

The piece we are performing is about princesses, warriors and queens.  It explores what it means to be a woman warrior without the sexual constraints that are usually cast upon that role, ex. we are not wearing metal bras and chastity belts.  Throughout the process we had many group discussions and writing assignments examining what it meant to us personally to "be" a princess, a warrior and a queen.  We talked about the "wild women" and what that mean in our own lives.  We read folk stories from around the world that had a female warrior as the main character.

One section of the dance starts with us fighting each other, wrestling, knocking each other down onto the ground and sticking out our tongues and hissing ferociously at the audience (imagine Maori warriors).  This progresses into screaming and screaming and screaming until we all end up crashing to the ground.  It is really emotional for me and I find myself in tears every time.  It is supposed to represent our frustration and anger which I feel like I have pouring out of me these days.  We then move into our own individual squares of light and have simultaneous solos.  These solos are called our "well solos" and we are supposed to be in the bottom of our well.  We have hit rock bottom, now what?  I end up sobbing and looking like an idiot once again.  The whole section I am thinking "fuck yes!,  I AM in the bottom of my well,  how the fuck do I get out?"  Hopefully the emotion that is coming through will add something to the performance, otherwise I get idiot of the year award.

Me as the "Bloody Queen".  Lately I usually look this pissed off.

Ok, now I finally get to my Offrenda.  I have to say I am so excited for mine!  In an adjacent room to the theater each dancer is setting up her own Offrenda.  An Offrenda (from my understanding) is like an alter.  This alter is paying homage to the hardships in our lives we have experienced and overcome.  At first I was really struggling with how I would create my Offrenda.  I wasn't sure if I should put pictures of my dog and step-mother in law who died several years ago and go it that direction or what??  Then it came to me.  It was perfect.  I love it and cant wait to have people see it.

This is my Offrenda:
The Offrenda is contained inside the wooden baby doll cradle my father made me when I was about 5 year old.  It has a canopy with a heart cut out just over where the doll's head would lie.  There is also a heart cut out at the foot of the cradle.  The cradle rocks.  At the head of the cradle I put the fertility goddess that my mother had the whole time I was growing up.  I made her give it to me about a year ago but it hasn't done shit for me yet.  The fertility goddess is in a seated position with hands on her knees and between her legs a baby's head and arms are shooting out.  She fits perfectly under the canopy of the cradle with the cut out heart framing her head like a crown, it's just too perfect!  I filled the rest of the cradle with dirt and set a candle at the feet of the goddess and her baby.  I will set out 3 little dishes filled with different seeds, each representing the Princess, Warrior and Queen.  I have instructions written out for the audience members to choose a seed and plant it in the Offrenda and then gently rock it while saying these words (watch out, it's cheesy but I didn't want to say think good thoughts!): Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart, light of my soul.  I will feel you.  I will bear you.  I will hold you in my arms.  I told you, major cheese balls.

My Offrenda (sadly you cant really see the baby coming out between her legs)

I realized that THIS is the most hardship (Ha! I just accidentally typed hardshit...I may have to start using that)  I have ever experienced.  I have never felt this prolonged of a deep sadness, anger, hopelessness.  I have never before felt like I had such little control over my life and my body.  THIS is the biggest obstacle I have ever faced and I WILL conquer it like the princess, warrior, queen that I am.  Now I have to go get ready to scream my ass off and melt onto the floor in a snotty sobbing mess in front of 100 plus people.  Merde to me!

Ps. picture of my Offrenda to follow as soon as I get it set up in the theater.

Pps. We also collectively made a "Scapecoat".  We wrote down all the derogatory words/names/phrases that we have been called in our lives, by other people and/or names we call ourselves.  I think you can find one of my words on the front left.  Also a very therapeutic exercise!

Our Scapecoat

Monday, May 13, 2013


Hmm, this could be interesting! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Retail Therapy

I actually had a pretty good day all things considered!  There were some shout outs amongst my community of friends directed to all the people who don't have children of their own but still do a great deal of nurturing and parenting nonetheless....myself very much included in this group!  It made me feel a little less bitter that at least some people have some awareness for other people and their shitty situations!

I slept in a little bit and then made some coffee and of course called my mother.  She spent the majority of the phone call talking about government take over and the patriot act (but that's a whole other story) so that was a fun way to wake up....     B and I then had our weekly date of taking our 9 month old Pit Bull puppy to doggie school.  It's pretty fun and even though Shilo (our pup) usually embarrasses us with her complete disobedience and obstinacy, I enjoy spending the time with her and B.  Our dog trainer handed us chocolates for mother's day and told us that we are parents to our pets and should be acknowledged for the love and care we put into our animal babies....I thought that was really sweet.  

Shilo 9 months (we adopted her from a Pit Bull rescue org. in Jan 13)

After doggie school I decided to go to target because among other boring household items I needed to buy yet another box of OPKs.  Today is CD10 so I am supposed to start peeing on the sticks again.  I hate how expensive they are!  I always cruise around to just see what they have (I never just grab what I came for and check out, it's always at least an hr and half affair)  and guess what I found?  The most awesome Pit Bull drink cup with a straw!  And I actually was looking for a drink cup with a straw because B just bought a juicer and we plan on drinking a lot of juice for the next long while.  I used to work in a vegetarian juice bar/restaurant and I still remember a ton of the juice recipes.  I also found Pit Bull air freshener that I am excited to hang in our cars!  I scored 2 pairs of sunglasses for summer as well.  I have to buy sunglasses every year because I always buy cheap glasses from places like Target or Fred Meyers and they inevitably get scratched in my purse or the kids I nanny for step on them, etc.

My awesome Pit Bull drink cup, air fresheners, sunglasses and fresh fruit to juice for dinner!  Happy mother's day to me!

After shopping I came home and forced myself to go on a run.  We live 2 blocks from a beautiful running trail and I am trying to get back to the running routine I had before I broke my foot in Nov.  I was in an air cast boot for 2 months and when I got out of it all the bones in my foot were frozen in place.  I have done a ton of physical therapy and soft tissue massage since Jan.  It got in the way of fertility treatments because I had orthopedic Dr. appts., Physical therapy appts. and massage appts. taking up all my time and focus.  Anyway, that's over and I am now back to dancing and running at pretty much the same level I was before my injury.  So I took Shilo for a 4 mile run (we stopped a lot to work on some dog training) and got some exercise which ALWAYS makes me feel better about everything!

Now my husband is begging and whining for me to give him a hair cut and I guess I have to since he gave our old senior dog a bath and that was our deal.  Do I know how to cut hair?  Nope.  He is just too lazy/cheap to go to a salon/barber shop.  I have been cutting his hair for almost 11 years and so far there have only been a few really bad cuts, ha ha!

p.s I tried to get B to let me take a picture of his new hair cut but he denied me....sorry!  It turned out to be a pretty good one!  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Even in my dreams...

I have pretty vivid dreams on a regular basis.  Sometimes I dream about someone I haven't seen or heard about in a really long time and then I will run into them the next day.  Doesn't happen all the time but it's happened enough times for me to notice.  My mother believes that I am psychic.  She thinks that it's a family trait passed from her mother to her and now to me.  My grandmother and my mother are from Ireland.  It's more normal to see fairies and talk to spirits in Ireland.  It's just part of the culture.  I should also let you know that my mother literally watched 40 hrs of alien cover up testimony last week so I take what she believes with a grain of salt...or the whole shaker.

Anyway, I had a dream a few weeks ago that I just cant stop thinking about.  Here it is:  My husband and I are at a grocery store and we are standing in line at the checkout.  There are two checkout lines, one for regular people and one for the elite, priority customers.  We are in the elite line.  (this makes sense because my husband works for Wholefoods and we get an employee discount so I think that's what that part of the dream was about).  I feel really guilty that we are able to be in the special line and check out right away because we have to walk past the long line of people standing and waiting in the other line while they glare at us.

I am pushing an umbrella stroller up to the check out counter and I cant see the baby or child that is sitting in it.  When we reach the counter I peer around the stroller to see my baby and it's a doll.  That's right, not a live child or baby but a rag doll.

I have been thinking about this for at least 2 weeks now.  Even in my dreams I don't get to have a baby.  My stupid brain is too smart for it's own good. 

Last summer my beloved dog (this dog meant EVERYTHING to me)  got cancer and after 3 different surgeries including an amputation we still had to put him to sleep.  It killed me.  I was already having the worst year of my life with our TTC getting more complicated and emotionally draining.  I couldn't (and still cant!) believe that, at least up to this point, not only could I not have my own baby but now my animal baby was getting taken from me way sooner that expected.  It was a serious blow to my soul.  If I believed in god we would have had some serious bitch fights.  

After my dog died all I wanted was to dream about him.  I went to sleep every night thinking about him, hoping he would visit me.  I wanted to pet him and kiss him and watch him run around with that giant mouth drooling and smiling.  I did dream about him but every time he appeared in my dreams he was dead.  He was either really sick and dying or like a zombie dog.  It was awful.  I was so mad that even when I was asleep my subconscious still knew he was dead and wouldn't let him be healthy and happy.  How shitty is that?

Anyway, I haven't been able to stop picturing that rag doll sitting in the stroller.  Anyone else have weird dreams like this?  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Buying pregnancy tests....and tampons.

I actually haven't even bothered buying or using a pregnancy test in probably over a year.  I was so tired of the crushing disappointment every time I saw the negative symbol I just decided to wait until I got my period...which has always shown up.

Last Friday I was waiting for my period to arrive but I knew the weekend would involve friends and drinks.  So not wanting to miss out on blowing off some steam and enjoying myself (every one's favorite advise is to relax, right?) I decided the responsible thing to do would be to buy a pregnancy test and see if it would be ok for me to drink alcohol....or maybe it would be the best weekend ever because I would finally see the little allusive plus sign that has been haunting and teasing me for the past 3 years!

On the other hand,  if I got a negative I knew my period was about to show up any day and I was out of tampons.  This is how I ended up standing in line at the checkout with a box of pregnancy tests and a box of tampons.  FML.

I took the test on Friday and as I have come to expect, it was negative.  I made the best of the situation and drowned my all too familiar sorrows with a delicious handmade (by my multi-talented husband) fresh squeezed grapefruit margarita.  So good! 

The weekend came and went and no sign of my period.  By the way I should mention that lately my husband has been asking if my "red flower has bloomed" because we started watching Game of Thrones and that is a line the Queen asks Sansa when she gets her period, lol!  He makes me laugh.

By Monday I felt a little ovary pain.  My periods are so different since my surgery in July.  I used to have the worst cramps, I would be incapacitated and throw up they were so terrible.  As soon as the surgery was done I have barely felt any cramps at all!  It is amazing and makes the surgery totally worthwhile just for that relief alone.  So I felt a little something happening and was thinking "ok I'll get my period tonight or in the morning for sure".  Well I didn't.

My husband asked if we should take the other pregnancy test but I told him no.  I didn't see the point in wasting another test when we can just wait it out.  Especially since the test on Friday was clearly negative.  So I held off until tonight.  I came home from work tonight at 7:30 and decided to just pee on the stick again because where is my fucking period?!  Since Mon I have felt nothing in the way of cramps or anything else.  So weird.

I peed on the stick and again it is negative.  As usual I feel stupid for letting that little bit of hope creep in.  I mean I got a negative on Friday, what was I thinking had changed since then?  Maybe it's the Letrozole that I am taking?  It didn't delay my period the first month.  I will probably get my period in the morning.

At least I have the tampons. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where do I even begin?

I need a place to vomit all my feelings, rants, complaints and greatest fears.  I have never been good at keeping a diary or journal but I have recently been feeling like I need to process what I am going through emotionally while on this horrible infertility journey I have been on and in anticipation of pursuing more fertility treatments I certainly can't afford therapy!  So here it goes.  Oh, I feel I should warn you that I am a realist and a little of a "glass half empty" kind of a person so don't expect many positive, warm fuzzy musings.

I met my husband when I was 17 but we were just in the same circle of friends for 4 yrs before we started "dating"... really we went from not dating to living together within a week!  I was 21 and he was 22.  We went to art school together although we studied different mediums.

We got our first baby (a puppy), after being together for 7 months.  A year and a half later we got another puppy.  After 7 years of "shacking up" we got married in August of 2009.

I grew up with a lot of siblings and always knew I wanted to have children.  Children have been a huge part of my life and now I work with kids for a living.  I am surrounded by them all the time.  My mother is the oldest of 12 kids, my dad the middle of 5.  My dad's sister has 7 children.  My mom's siblings all have a couple kids.  It has been a running joke in our family that us girls better be careful because we are so fertile.  Except for me.

When my husband was (finally!) ready to start trying to conceive we had been married for almost a year.  It was summer of 2010 and we had just moved out of our super tiny apt. and rented a much larger house with a yard for the dogs.  The plan was: when we had a house with space for an art studio and an extra room for a baby then we would get pregnant and start our family!  Great plan, huh?

What really happened was nothing.  And then nothing.  Followed by more nothing.

A year went by.  I wasn't worried or stressed out.  Maybe a little annoyed.  I was determined to be laid back about the whole process.  I had a friend or two who had a little trouble conceiving and they were emotional wrecks every month.  I was not going to be like them.  They all got pregnant within a year.

We got loads of advice from our friends and family.
Here is a sampling of my favorites:  Just have sex everyday!
                                                          Relax!  You are too stressed out!
                                                          Stop trying to plan it, it will happen when it happens.
                                                          Stop running, you exercise too much!
                                                          Stop being vegetarian, eat some meat!
                                                          You work too much!
                                                          You are too busy!
                                                          Go on a sexcation!  

Somewhere in the first year after about 6 or 7 months of trying to conceive I went in for a regular annual exam with my Dr. and talked to her about our failed efforts.  I also told her that I had been experiencing some mid cycle spotting and that although my periods had always been regular it seemed to me like there was a very wide window in which they would happen.  My cycle would be anywhere from 28 days to 36!  She said that was normal and the mid cycle spotting could be related to a polyp but I would need to go in for an ultra sound to determine that.  She also said that mid cycle spotting can happen during ovulation so it could be as simple as that.  She suggested that my husband get a semen analysis to make sure everything was normal with him and encouraged me to start using the ovulation predictor kits to really nail down when I was ovulating.  That way I would know if it matched up with the mid cycle spotting.  

So about a year after we started trying to conceive my husband had his semen analyzed and the results were normal.  The Dr. recommended what he dubbed "Carpet Bombing"....seriously, that's what he called it.  Basically when we think we are ovulating we should have intercourse every other day so that we give his sperm a chance to build up and be the most potent.

That's about when I started to feel a little sinking feeling a dread creeping into the back of my mind.  

Because I do have a pretty busy schedule and I am a major procrastinator it took a few more months (try like 6 ish) before I made an appt. to get an ultrasound.   It was the worst experience!  It sounds so dumb but I am not good at drinking water and they told me to drink A LOT!!!  I was in sheer panic in the waiting room because I was so close to pissing my pants.  I am sure all the other patients waiting for their ultra sounds thought I was a total tweeker from the way I was twitching and gyrating around on the couch.  Twice I had to go to the bathroom and let out a little bit of pee even though the mean nurse behind the desk told me I shouldn't.  I was so close to tears by the time they called my name and led me back to the room.  The tech lady was much nicer and quickly did the outside ultra sound and then let me use the bathroom before continuing with the vaginal ultra sound (sorry, don't know if there is a more technical term).  The Dr. came in and the first thing he said was "Wow!  You have a full bladder!"  This was right after I had peed for literally about 7 minutes straight.  The result of the ultra sound?  Inconclusive.  Yep.  Infuckingconclusive.

I retreated back to just trying on our own. 

Luckily I had a friend who at the time was also on her own fertility quest and had begun going to a fertility clinic.  I was able to commiserate with her about all the ups and downs and I got to witness the support she was experiencing at the clinic.  I decided that was what I needed to do next.  I really needing someone to hold my hand and walk me through this.  I didn't know what the next steps were, what the next tests were....I needed someone to lead me through it.

Around March of 2012, over a year and a half of trying later, we made an appt. at the fertility clinic.  I fell in love with our Dr. immediately!  After looking over our history and listening to me describe my periods she broke the news that based on how painful my period was and the mid cycle spotting combined with our current state of infertility it is more than likely I have Endometriosis.  She said I needed to do the ultra sound where the dye is injected through the uterus and fallopian tubes to give us a better picture of what we are dealing with.  At that same time we also did blood work which alerted us to the fact that I had a very slightly low thyroid so the Dr. put me on meds to get my thyroid at the ideal level to conceive.  A few weeks later I went in for the dye ultra sound.  It was a completely different experience from the first ultra sound and I was totally relaxed and felt taken care of...pampered even!  As soon as the dye circulated around my Dr. started pointing out spots where the dye wasn't going and explained to me that these were most likely polyps in my uterus that were preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting.  The good news was my tubes were clear and I could see the dye flowing through them.  The not so good news: I needed to have surgery to remove the polyps.   

Finally an answer!  Not what I wanted to hear but I felt vindicated that all the comments about me exercising too much, or being too stressed out and too busy, or that I should eat meat, was all a load of horse shit!  I knew it was all along but now I had proof.  There is a real physical reason why we haven't conceived and it has nothing to do with my lifestyle choices.

In July 2012, in the midst of dealing with our beloved dog having to go through an amputation in an attempt to save him from cancer, I went in for the surgery.  I imagined it was going to be like getting my wisdom teeth removed while getting a pap smear....when I got prepped I realized quickly that even though there was no incision it wasn't as casual as that!  I started to get a little freaked out as they started putting IVs in my arms, heart monitors on my fingers and suction cups all over my ribs and chest but my husband was right next to me until they wheeled me back into the surgery room and then lights out!  I woke up feeling a little groggy but not nauseous and not sore.  I recovered very quickly.  My husband on the other hand passed out from the emotional exhaustion as soon as we got home! 

We were told that the surgery was successful and they removed more than 20 polyps!  We were told to go home and try again on our own for 3 months with my now "perfect uterus" and see what happens.

And nothing.  And more nothing.  Followed by more nothing.

Due to me ovulating while my husband was out of town and the holidays and yes, my major procrastination, we didn't go back to the clinic until February of 2013.  Our Dr. moved us on to the next step which was to put me on Letrozol.   We decided to do 2 months of just the drugs and then if still not pregnant by the 3rd round we would add an IUI.  If that doesn't work we will try a 4th month of drugs and IUI.

That's where we are now.  I am about to start the 3rd month of drugs and will schedule our first IUI for later this month.  I was supposed to get my period last weekend so took a pregnancy test on Fri....honestly to find out if I could drink the really expensive Tequila my husband brought home!  The test was negative.  On the bright side the Tequila was fantastic!