Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm still here!

I know I have really been slacking in the blogging dept....and I don't really have an excuse.

AND I'm leaving town tomorrow morning for a girls trip away with my mom, grandma, and two aunts to my Aunt Kathy's lake house. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I can feel the lake breeze now.

So, if I have internet access, I'll post some updates regarding my trip. If I don't...then you'll just have to wait until Monday :)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What IF teaches you....

Well...maybe what IF has taught me.

-My marriage is so much than I ever thought it could be.

We are breezing through something (IF) that has the potential and the track record of ruining marriages. We are as solid as a boulder and nothing that we have been through has put even an ounce of stress into our marriage. It has made it stronger, able to weather any storm. It has formed a trust between Ben and I that I never thought I would be able to share with anyone. It has shown me what love really is and all the potential it holds. For that, I am blessed.

-I am stronger and braver than I ever thought I would be.

I started out as a girl who would faint at the thought of a needle even coming close to her, who would cringe at even the thought of her annual gynecology appointment because someone might *gasp* see her naked(!), who didn't speak up when she didn't understand something at a doctors appointment, who knew nothing about the way her body works, who has been through the tragedy of losing a child and lived to tell about it.

Almost 2 years later, I am now a woman who knows her body, how it works and why it does the things it does. I am now a woman who doesn't even blink during one of thousands of blood draws or hormone injections. I am now a woman who has the "pants off and on the table" drill down to a science. I am now a woman who is an advocate for her own health. I am now a woman who can serve as encouragement and support to other women who are facing the same struggles I have.

-You really learn who your true supporters are when you face hard times.

It's funny how those who you thought were in your corner slip into the woodwork when you most need them because they are uncomfortable about our situation (I'm the one getting probed by dildo cams....I should be the one who is uncomfortable!). And at the same time, your friends who you thought you had lost touch with or the uncle you were never that close to step up at just the right time to offer support or encouraging words.

-Patience is a virtue.

I have never been patient. I've never had to be. I've always gotten what I want, when I want it. IF is teaching me a much needed lesson. (By the way, IF, I get it! I've learned!)

-You can never be mad at your husband.

Maybe this refers back to Point #1. Maybe it doesn't. When dealing with IF, you can't be mad. Going to an RE appt mad at each other probably won't look good on your part. You have to have lots of sex (in our case). You don't want to hit the sack with someone you are mad at. You have to put on a brave face together in public, especially at work events or family functions. You can't enter as a team if you are mad. You learn to look over the little things, talk out the big issues and move past the biggest fights quickly. You have to.

-You have to look at the big picture.

IF is just one aspect of our lives. One tiny aspect. It makes up less than a fingernail of who I am as a person, or who we are as a couple. This isn't forever. This is temporary. This isn't life long or terminal. This is fixable. This is what it is. If you let it consume your whole life, it will. If you put it on the back burner of your mind, but keep it in the front pocket of your heart, it won't consume you. It will remain just a small aspect of your life.

Infertility sucks. It makes you feel broken. It makes you gain weight (thanks hormones and medications). It pushes you to what you think is your breaking point. It forces you to smile at your friends baby showers while you feel like your heart might just shatter right inside your chest. It makes you desperate.

But it also makes you brave. It makes you stronger. It can build your faith. It can make you fall even more in love with your spouse. It makes up just one of the many speed bumps in your life. It is what it is. We are going to have a baby. In due time.

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger....right?


"Where there is great love, there are always miracles!"

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

Psalm 113:9
He gives the unfertile woman a family, making her a happy mother of children. Give praise to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The IF Roller Coaster

I'm not going to throw myself a huge pity party.

My chart does indicate some form of ovulation this cycle, so that is great. I did have a late response to the Clomid (CD19), but should we need to move onto another cycle (24, but who is really still counting at this point?), we will up my Clomid does and move my start date from CD5 to CD3.

And that's where the roller coaster starts. There are moments I am so filled with optimism I really feel like I could split down the sides. This is our cycle, I can feel it in my soul. We triggered 2 follies, we did everything right. This.Is.It.

Then, I am scared. What if this isn't it? What if we have to start over. Again. My heart feel so heavy at times I really think it might just fall out my butt. Dislodge from its safe cavity in my chest and fly out my rear end. I am really trying so hard to stay positive and optimistic, but it is really hard some days.

So I think I just need more prayer. I need some of this burden lifted off of me. I don't know why I feel so guilty over this whole stupid pregnancy loss/IF situation we find ourselves in.

MY body failed with Buddha.

MY ovaries are what is holding us up.

MY body is not cooperating.

It's MY fault Ben isn't a father of a 6 week old right now.

It's MY fault my parents aren't grandparents.

It feels like the weight of the world sits on MY chest and I need to get my act together and just have a baby already.

I know these are totally irrational. I know I need to slap myself and get out of this funk. I know I am on this path for a reason. I know God has a plan that is so much bigger than I could ever imagine and the day we see His plan come full circle will be the best day of our life. I know we are so blessed to not be dealing with MFI issues or severe issues on my end. I know we have so many other things we are thankful for every day. I know this is just a speed bump. I know this is temporary.

Pray for me? Please? Or, if you see me out and about, slap me and tell me to get my act together.

I am not a victim of IF. We will beat this. We will be the victors.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Here We Go!

First, thank you so much for all your prayers! They worked!

Instead of just the one mediocre follie, we were able to trigger TWO yesterday at our appt! TWO! Holy Crap! The US Tech said "You are a medical miracle! I have never seen a follicle catch up that fast!"

In case you forgot, I had one follie measuring 14mm, and no others that were worth anything, so we (our RE and Ben and I) agreed to focus on the one and hope it didn't fizzle out. The next largest one I had was 8mm as of last Thursday. The follie needs to be between 18-20mm in order to trigger and create a viable pregnancy, and follies tend to grow at about 2mm/day. So even in the best case scenario, the 8mm follie shouldn't have been bigger than 16mm on Monday at our appt.

Both follies that we triggered were over 20mm! That is amazing. I'm not a medical miracle, I'm a child of God who has some amazing people praying over her.

And now to address the #1 question that is asked when I say that we triggered two follies. It means twins, right? Not even close. In order for this to result in twins one of two things would have to happen:

(A) BOTH eggs would have to fertilize and implant (fraternal twins).


(B) One egg would have to be fertilized and would then have to split creating two babies (identical twins).

Before the rumor mill gets going full steam ahead, we are not planning on twins. We are not using fertility treatments in hopes that it will result in twins. We are hoping and praying for one healthy baby and are using fertility treatments because we had to in order to get and stay pregnant. Even a singleton pregnancy takes a lot of work for my body, so that is our focus. There are also no guarantees when using fertility treatments. There is no guarantee that the combination on drugs I have taken or am currently on will work. The success rate is about 15-20% per cycle, so all we can do is pray that we are blessed enough to be in that margin this time.

So why am I so excited about having two follies? Easy- it gives us more targets. Ben's SA's have all come back within normal limits, so there are no concerns there, but it is easier for his sperm to meet up with one of my eggs if we have multiple targets. Our only goal is for one sperm to fertilize one egg and have a healthy, full term pregnancy. If God has other plans for us, we will deal with them when they are presented.

As for the hcg trigger injection...wowzers. The injection itself didn't hurt. The aftermath. Ow. My hip is still hurting over 24 hours later! (In case you forgot what the trigger is, it is basically an hgc injection that goes into the muscle and forces my ovaries to release any follicles it has ready at the moment.) Basically, right now my body is full of pregnancy hormones, which makes me feel really sluggish and tired. I'm starving, but have no appetite. I am emotional, in a weepy, crying way. BUT it is all worth it.

Ben begged me to let him do the injection, but I was not about to let him! I love him dearly and he works in the medical field, but if it hurt, I wanted to be mad at the nurse, not him, haha. (If we get to the point where we have to start doing them at home at specific times, I will let him, but for right now, I'll let the nurses handle it.) But the nurse who did it was awesome. I stood facing Ben, with my arms around his neck, he wrapped his arms around my waist, I relaxed as possible, closed my eyes and counted to ten. And it was over. Simple as that. So for those of you who have yet to do your IM shots for the first time, the shot itself is not bad, but your hip will be sore for a while. It's definitely not something that hinders your ability during the day. I work with infants and toddlers and am up and down out of the floor all day and have done fine. I promise, it's not near as bad as I thought it would be (and I am the world's biggest baby when it comes to needles!).

And now you're caught up. I am feeling very positive. I know we are on God's path for us. I know we are going to the best of the best in this field right now. I know we are doing everything the way it needs to be done right now. I am praying harder than ever before that this is our cycle. If it's not, it will be an emotional blow, but we will only have 2 days to pick up the pieces and start preparing for our next cycle. There are no breaks for the infertile (unless you have a cyst the size of Montana on your ovary and your RE forces you into a break, haha).

We still covet all your extra prayers. We are ready to be parents again. Buddha is ready for a sibling. Our parents are ready to get "great news" again. We are ready for anything God will throw at us. All in due time though...right?


PS- This is an except from a blog I wrote last week:

If my prayers are answered (which they always are in God's time), we will have a few of the stragglers catch up and we will at least have two follicles to trigger. We'll see. Time will tell, right.

I prayed for at least two follicles. I got two follices. Now tell me God doesn't answer prayers!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

You Googled What?

As I mentioned in this post, I can see how people find my blog, where they are from and how often they visit. While I was scanning through my feed, I stumbled across this gem

Portland, Oregon arrived
from google.com on "speak of the indescribable: The Adventures of Snotty, Snobby and Potty Mouth" by searching for creamy snotty cervical mucus.

Holy. Freakin. God.

How on Earth they got linked to my blog (especially that particular entry) by searching for "creamy, snotty cervical mucus" is beyond me, but it did provide me with a great afternoon laugh. I challenge anyone to find where I ever mention cervical mucus of the "creamy, snotty" variety.


Silly Google.

Anyway, we have had a great weekend! I hope yours has been just as good! Yesterday I took a car load of crap clothes and housewares that we haven't worn/used in years (literally) to a local charity, had lunch with my younger brother (an adventure in itself), ran a few other miscellaneous errands. When I got home, we I worked in the front yard and got it mowed and looking good. To be fair, Ben did do some weed eating, but it's his weekend to work so I let him take it easy. I'm such a good wife.

Today we plan on doing nothing. We slept in (which was awesome), and spent the morning just relaxing (which we need to do more of). I might mow the back yard (which will take all afternoon, it's huge)...but I might not. The day is young...

Tomorrow I go back for another follie scan. My chart keeps hinting all signs of upcoming ovulation and my OPK's are getting darker by the day ( not positive yet, but getting there). I am hoping one of two things will happen tomorrow:

(A) I will have already ovulated and will get to skip my injection this cycle.


(B) The 14mm follie I had on Thursday will have grown, a few of our stragglers will have caught up and we will be ready to trigger and get this show on the road.

What I am hoping will not happen is that the one follie we had that looked promising will have fizzled out and we will have nothing. But that won't happen....right? It doesn't matter. God is in control of this situation and of me and if that is the case, then I have been blessed with an amazing RE who is a leader in this field and he will come up with an alternate plan of action for us. It's all good. It's all under control.

I have really been focusing on positive thinking lately and I really think it is starting to make a difference in my outlook and my attitude. So I am staying on the positive train (come join me).


PS- Hello from Roxanne, the World's Wildest English Bulldog! She enjoys belly rubs, cool baths, playing in her baby pool, long walks being carried on long walks, riding out the car window (pictured above) Pupperoni, afternoon naps, fine wine and strolls down the beach.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Bad, Not Great...

So the appt wasn't a total bust, but it was far from a great success.

I needed at least 1 16mm follicle in order to trigger today. (If you don't know what the trigger is, it is basically an hgc injection that goes into the muscle and forces my ovaries to release any follicles it has ready at the moment.) I had one follicle measuring 14mm, and a few stragglers that they didn't measure because they appear to be too small to be anything significant at the moment. So no trigger (yet). We go back on Monday for a repeat scan to see if we have gotten any farther and to see if the smaller follicles have gotten any larger.

The whole point of Clomid (in my case) is to:

(A) force my pituitary gland to think my body isn't producing enough hormones to produce good follicles, thus pushing my body to make more of those hormones in hopes of creating good follicles (make sense?).

(B) hopefully make my ovaries produce more than one follicle so Ben's swimmers (which are fine, no MFI issues at the moment) have a better chance at making contact with an egg.

(C) make me crazy.

It really is a combination of all three.

Long story short, my body didn't really respond any better to the Clomid than it does when I am not on it. I usually have one mediocre follicle around this time anyway, so, at the moment, it doesn't seem like Clomid really pushed my body to do anything else. But, like I said, we have a repeat scan on Monday. As a general rule, follicles seem to grow at about 2mm/day, so as long as our leading folly (measuring 14mm) keeps growing, we will have one good egg to use this cycle. It's better than none, right? If my prayers are answered (which they always are in God's time), we will have a few of the stragglers catch up and we will at least have two follicles to trigger. We'll see. Time will tell, right.

We did talk to our RE today about what we want from these cycles and how important it is for us to be monitored closely. Our main goal while on these hormones and medications and injections is not only to produce a baby, but also to be responsible. We want to avoid multiples at all costs. This does not mean we would not be thrilled with twins, but multiple pregnancies are known for being more risky, involving more bed rest and closer monitoring. I already have enough issues, so I would really rather not add high risk pregnancy to it. But God has a sense of humor...we'll see how it plays out. He (our RE) was very supportive and in all his years of practice, he has only had one set of triplets and his rate of twins runs between 5-10% out of all his patients. Not bad odds, right? However, we did fall into the 5-10% of couples who miscarry and the 5-10% of couples who deal with infertility. At least we are consistent.

But in good news, we did have one decent follie. I need to remember to be thankful for that one. After all, it only takes one. And my uterine lining still looks good. Clomid is notorious for thinning the lining, making it near impossible for an embryo to implant. It needs to be over 5mm in order for it to be considered "good" and I measured in at 6mm today. I need to remember to be thankful for that, too. And I have lost 7 lbs during this whole cycle of treatment, which shocked the bejesus out of me. It is almost unheard of to lose weight on these drugs, so woo-hoo for me!

We are (trying to) stay positive. We already discussed our plan of action for next cycle, assuming this one is a bust. Our RE is amazing (seriously, I love him) and is so supportive of our concerns. No question is a stupid question, and he talks in real people terms, not medical jargon. If this cycles isn't our cycle, we will either

(A) bump my Clomid dose up to 150mg and start it on CD 3 instead of CD5 and see how that goes.


(B) use injectables (Gonal-F) to make more follies next time. Gonal-F is more powerful, but has a better success rate than Clomid.

We'll cross that bridge when we get to it though. Who knows, maybe this is it for us.

Time will tell.

It sure is a frustrating game in the mean time.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Tomorrow is (IMO) our most important appt yet. We will find out if I:

(A) Responded to Clomid at all. The lack of side effects is making me think it didn't work, but the lack of symptoms may also be due to the obscene amount of Gatorade I have been drinking over the past 6 days.

(B) If I have any follicles (eggs) ready to go and if they are worth anything (big enough to meet with a sperm and create an embryo).

(C) When/If we can do my trigger injection.

(D) If the Clomid has created any more cysts on my ovaries (not what we want).

It's honestly overwhelming. This is why I get so frustrated when people just assume you go on Clomid and BAM!-you're pregnant.

It is so not that easy.

There are so many factors that a (good) Dr (OB or RE) needs to look at while you are taking Clomid. If my RE wasn't paying attention and was just writing Clomid scripts left and right, I would have lost my right ovary bc of the size of the cyst that was on my right side at the time. Being on Clomid is expensive. Between all the copay's (which I will never complain about, we are so, so blessed to live in a state that mandates insurance co's to provide IF coverage-many IF couples are not as lucky as we are), the thousands of ultrasounds (which again, we are so lucky and they are covered through our insurance) the Rx's, the "outside expenses" (Preseed-highly recommended, esp during O-week sex marathons, Fertility Friend subscriptions and all the other things that slip through the cracks). It is expensive, yet I will not complain. This is why we went to college, got good jobs with great pay. We thank God every day that we are fortunate enough to be able to afford our treatment.

Women who need Clomid, or any fertility drug for that matter, don't take it for craps and giggles. They take it because they need it in order to (hopefully) kick their ovaries into gear. They aren't fun pills that guarantee a viable pregnancy. They guarantee nothing.

It get's under my skin so bad when people don't even try to make an effort to understand what taking all these meds can do to your system, your hormones, your marriage and your life. Side ways, snippy comments make to couples dealing with IF regarding the choices they are making to start their family are so unnecessary. We aren't asking to be set up on a pedestal and worshiped, we just want privacy. If we want to talk about what is going on, we will bring it up.

I don't need to be asked every single time I see you "Have you started your injections yet?"

As a matter of fact, I haven't. As a matter of fact, I have told you several times I won't start them until the third week of this cycle. As a matter of fact, I know you know I am not in the third week yet, so why do you continue to ask? If I want to talk about the injections that I am nervous about and dreading/looking forward to at the same time, I will bring it up. So quit being so farking nosey? Okay?

IF can consume a couple. Their marriage, their professional life, everything.
I take that back.
It can consume you-if you let it.

Ben and I were feeling the pressure of this cycle this weekend. I felt myself thinking about the money we have sunk into this 30 day time frame of our life, the time we have invested in that 30 day time period, the number of times I have heard "Pants off and on the table" in that 30 day time period, how comfortable I am getting flashing my privates to strangers (mainly my RE and his staff, but you catch my drift), how freakishly comfortable I am starting to find their squishy exam table and heated foot plates on the lovely stirrups and how on EARTH did we find ourselves here?

So we snuck away to my MIL's for two days. Best.Decision.Ever. My MIL doesn't live on a resort property, have a large inground pool or 24 hour roomm services at her house. To be honest, she lives in Logan, WV. Some call it the arm pit of WV. ::giggle:: I love going there; Ben swears it's because I didn't grow up there, but I say I love going there because it's not home. It's an escape. While we are there, I don't worry about failed cycles, injections or upcoming Dr appts. I don't wonder how many more cycles we will have to go through to get that magic BFP again. I don't care about the meaningless drama two opposing friends are sparking between each other (I promptly blog about it and move on, duh). I just enjoy spending time with Ben and his family. We sleep in. His mom cooks us amazing meals. We watch TV. We play with the dogs (my MIL is awesome and always welcomes ALL THREE off our rowdy crew). We relax. We take a deep breath. We hit the reset button and prepare to return to our normal (is there such a thing as normal?) lives back at home. We aren't labeled by our IF for a few days. We are just Ben and Cate. Owners of three insane dogs. Lovers of movies. Eaters of his mom's veggie pizza. Sarstic quip exchanging punks. Tickle/slap/punch fighting opponents. We are just us. And it's nice.

Part of me loves it just being the two of us....but there is still that part of me that wants a physical representation of the love we have for each other- a child. We're getting there. One (baby) step at a time.

So, as always, keep us in your prayers tomorrow. I'll try to update quickly from my Blackberry when I leave the office, but we will see if I am smart enough to figure it out. We would love for this to be our winning cycle, but know things will happen in God's time, not ours.

And, as always, let me know what I can pray for you about. Leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail (addy is to the right--->).


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

That Just Happened...

Someone just threw down the "she needs therapy" card.

Right in front of my own eyes.


It wasn't directed at me, yet it was still unwarranted.

Come on ladies. Can we get it together for five freakin seconds? Can we stop being at each others throats for five freakin seconds? Can we stop being so judgmental for five freakin seconds? Can we stop playing the victim in every scenario for five freakin seconds? Can we be...I don't know...supportive and accepting of each other for five.freakin.seconds?

It gets so effing old listening to women go back and forth, taking cheap, deep shots at each other. The side in the alleged "wrong" apologized. They took back their words. Yet other parties can't walk away without having the last word and here I sit, stuck in the middle.

I don't know about you, but I don't have time for these petty arguments and childish banter. I hit a good stretch where I didn't have any drama for months, seriously months. I have a low tolerance for those who constantly play the victim, thrive off of drama or have a constant need to be the center of attention. So how on EARTH do they keep sneaking back in?

I think the need to make a few social cuts has been a long time coming, but my threshold is just about to break. Either grow up or get out of my life. That's really all I have to say at this point.

::too pissed to offer Hugs OR Kisses tonight::