Monday, December 31, 2012

"Advanced" Maternal Age

Manic Mama turned 35 on Saturday.  I don't feel any different. . . but, I've now attained that dreaded label- "advanced maternal age".


In other news, I'm 9DPIUI (11DPT).  Chugging along just fine, thank you. 

My breasts hurt.  Not sore or tender. . . we are talking PAIN.  I've had cramping off and on for the last 3-4 days (especially with O).  What does this all mean?  Maybe nothing. . . Maybe everything.

I'm wondering if the breast pain is related to the gonadotropins?  I am on progesterone but in the past that hasn't caused this kind of discomfort.

My cervix still feels high, slightly soft, and closed. My BBT is still 97.7+ (when I take it).

My favorite part of Christmas- when I was updating my Grandma on our fertility cycle, she proclaimed, "well, if I knew it was possible I'd have more kids with Celiac, I wouldn't have any more, what a burden!".  Are you kidding me????  I believe she called it "food issues" not Celiac, but whatever.  My children are not a burden.  I enjoy the challenge of finding new, healthy, innovative ways to eat. Sure, some days it'd be a lot easier if we could eat SAD food, but then, we would be far from healthy and likely spending more in medical costs.  But I digress.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two Week Wait

After my CD7 scan revealed 4 mature follicles (17.6mm-19mm), we did one more injection of 225iu HMG/Lepori.  On CD8 at 10pm, I did the trigger injection (10,000iu Pregnyl).  At 9:30am on CD10, we went in for IUI.  Swimmers looked great (post wash- 34 million, 93% mobile, 3.0 progression; our pre-wash count @ 91mil/ml was the best we've had yet! I'm convinced that the 60 hour mark for abstinence is our best bet for the swimmers. . . we also did better the week leading up to IUI and was on a every other day pattern vs our normal every day).  The IUI itself took a bit of time (and discomfort) once again, thanks to my messed up cervix.  Finally, the catheter found the path in and all was good.

 I was given instructions to start progesterone suppositories on CD11 (today) but I'm waiting until tomorrow because we are at a water park and the thought of ooey gooey oozy progesterone suppositories + swim suit + public pool. . . well, you get the idea.  Normally, one would start progesterone at three days past ovulation anyway, so I'm not concerned, especially since my BBT was sky high today (97.83) confirming strong progesterone following ovulation.

I didn't realize that progesterone support was standard protocol following a gonadotropin cycle.  Something about messing with your bodies normal function, blah blah blah.  Progesterone is the witching drug if you ask me. . . although I shouldn't complain because at least Dr. A is kind enough to give us the suppositories vs injections of progesterone in oil (in the buttocks!).

I've spent the last 36 hours visualizing my eggs busting out, meeting up with the swimmers, and dividing as they travel down my fallopian tubes.  In a few days, prayerfully, one or more will find their way into the squishy lining of my uterus and continue to grow.

My instructions are to POAS 14 days from yesterday (January 4, 2013). . . we shall see if I can wait that long.  If I get a +, then starts the multitude of BETAs.

I feel really positive about this cycle. . . this is going to be in.  Things were perfect, including our timing and our swimmers. . . my lining is better than it has been in any previous cycle. . .

Part of me wanted to do another scan the morning of the IUI to confirm follicles and lining. . . but everything looked good on CD7, so there is no reason to think that would be different.  Dr. A is trying to help keep our costs down and not pushing for excessive monitoring.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fast Responder!

Today was my CD7 scan to check on how the old ovaries were doing. . . I knew they'd started to wake up because I was feeling some discomfort, especially in the hours after my injection. 

When I went in to see Dr. Awesome this morning, I had taken 4 daily injections of generic Menopur (HMG/Lepori)  at 225iu, 225iu, 225iu, and 150iu.  We were planning on another 4-6 days of injections (minimum) before trigger.  Well, as luck would have it, I'm evidently very sensitive to this medication and I have FOUR mature follicles already.  Three on my right and one on my left, all measuring 17.6mm-19.1mm. RIDICULOUS.   My endometrium was already a healthy 8.2mm with a triple layer, so it should be a nice and squishy landing pad in a couple days time (this is better than I have had in the last several cycles on trigger day!).

So, the plan is that I would do one more injection of 225iu this evening, then tomorrow at 10pm (Thursday, CD9) I will trigger and we will IUI around 10am on Saturday (CD11).

Within an hour or so of my injection this evening, my ovaries started protesting. . . evidently they weren't happy with another dose of drugs.  My 9pm, I could barely stand up straight and had to hobble out to the car and swallow three ibuprofen.  I made it home and am now snuggled up with the heating pad on my belly.  Thankfully, the ibuprofen took the brunt of the pain away.  I hope this doesn't mean early ovulation for me, I'll temp the next couple of mornings just in case.  We are suppose to BD tonight anyway (thankfully the meds are working!) and then abstain until our Saturday morning collection time.

Here's to baby making!  With luck, the New Year will bring glad tidings indeed!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Clear for Take Off

Scan this morning revealed ovaries doing exactly what they should be doing.  Yay!  This means no needle aspiration for me (at least not today).

Because of an upcoming long weekend trip, we are manipulating my cycle. . . I'll continue the BCPs until Wednesday.  Then on CD3, I will start injections of HMG Lepori (generic Menopur/Repronex).  We will do a step down protocol. . . 3 vials (225iu)/day for 3 days, then 2 vials (150iu) on the 4th day and a scan on the 5th day (or CD7).  Depending on that scan, we will decided to go up or down on the dosage.  If things go according to the norm (and when do I ever follow the norm?), we may be back at the clinic for hopeful baby making on Christmas day.

Dr. Awesome said, "remind me again how you feel about twins or triplets?".  :-)  And reassured me that even with 6 mature follicles the chance of conceiving high order multiples (and staying pregnant to the magic 10 week mark) was slim to none given our history.  However, we are slightly increased risk of triplets due to our past proven fertility but also have the fact working against us that getting and staying pregnant has been difficult. . . So, in a way we have a higher risk of being in that 10% triplet group and in another way we have a lower risk, especially of making it to the magic 10 week mark. He said to not be surprised even if we initially conceive three, if they don't all stick.

So, our plan is to proceed with up to 6 mature follicles at trigger (which reminds me, I need to order a refill!).  If I have more than 6, Dr. Awesome will do a needle aspiration to remove the extras (to reduce risk of high order multiples and NOT cancel this cycle).

That photo above. . . that's my life for the next couple of weeks.  I'm so excited to give myself injections. . . NOT. But, if it gets us a baby or two (heck, I'll even take three), then it's all worth it!

I feel really good about this cycle (ask me a week ago and I was ready to bag it all!).  If this one doesn't work. . . well, then we are out of the medical route for a while. . . if it does, I'll have conceived just under the 35 year mark. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Advanced" Maternal Age

What ugly words.

In a few weeks time, this Mama will be 35.  The dreaded age in the fertility world.  Is someone going to flip and switch and overnight, my ovarian reserve will decline and my chance of having a child drop dramatically?  Somehow, I don't believe it'll be that sudden, but 35 is the age when pregnancy and live birth rates drop. 

I certainly don't feel old or "advanced".  Most days, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

At 20, when I was struggling with absent menses and the inability to conceive (because, duh, ovulation is a requirement), I never really thought of it as a permanent problem.  I certainly didn't have the emotional upheaval I've had this time around.  Perhaps that's because for the vast majority of those cycles, I didn't ovulate so I never had to POAS and hope for two lines.  I simply went in for a blood draw on CD21, got the news I hadn't ovulated and was started on Provera to get menses flowing.  Repeat. Repeat.  Repeat. 

Once I was switched over to an RE. . . we had a backwards cycle of suppression to knock the clomid out of my system.  It seemed odd, but it worked.  I didn't do blood draws, instead I was told to monitor my cycles (my education wasn't very good, but thankfully I'm neurotic and visited the library checking out every book on BBT charting I could find).  Dr. RE told me to chart my temps and if I had a rise in temp for 18 days, I was likely pregnant and should test.  I did exactly that. . . so I didn't test until Thanksgiving 1999 when I had a BBT rise for 18 days.  It was positive.  It was only my 4th ovulatory cycle, but of course, I'd had an HSG the cycle before (who knows if it helped?), we were young, my husband had great swimmers, etc. . .

Anyway, the point is. . .back then, with primary infertility and age on my side, I didn't really worry so much.  I was naive enough (and wasn't on the computer sharing stories) to assume it would happen eventually.  Thankfully it did.

So, now the question is. . . are we not conceiving merely because I am 34 years old and hubs is 41?  Are my eggs old and not easily fertilized?  Is it just because my lining is too thin that we aren't implanting (hence the longish LPs)? Is it because we can't get our timing right and so we don't have enough swimmers on fertile day?  Is is because my cervix is still too damaged from the surgeries?  Is it because I don't have much in the way of CM?  Is it a combination?  Ugh. . .

And now, I feel old. . . and yet, I don't feel old at all.  Weird, that.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Suck Suck Suck

Beginning cycle scan today revealed. . . (drum roll please). .  a huge CYST on my right ovary.  No No NO!

What this means-

We have only the month of December to get this show on the road because as of January 1, my insurance benefits will be exhausted and we cannot afford to continue on our own at this time.

At first, my RE was all "we'll let you cycle on your own next time and then start the injections, blah blah blah". With tears in my eyes I informed him that would mean we are out for the time being as we can't keep going after the first of the year due to financial constraints.

So, the plan now is to take BCPs for 2-3 weeks.  I return on the 9th for another scan and we are hoping that the cyst will be gone.  Our other option is to aspirate the cyst with a needle inserted through my vaginal wall.  Dr Awesome informed me that he doesn't like doing that but since "you are hardy" he would feel comfortable doing it.  We didn't go straight for that because there is a risk of infection and the BCP could work.  As long as we are ready to start injections around the 16th, we should have enough time to get the monitoring and IUI in before year end.  *Fingers crossed and praying like a mad woman*.

I left the clinic with my tail between my legs and my boxes of injections in my hands.  There was no lesson in giving the injections or baggie of syringes to go with. . . I'm praying these injections don't end up going to waste, it's not like we have the option of returning them.

I also received some other wonderful news today, I'm too old for shared IVF (where some other lucky lady would receive half my eggs in return for help with the cost of the cycle) and we have no apparent reason to not be pregnant yet as we are both now textbook "fertile".  24 cycles people. . . even at my "advanced maternal age of nearly 35" that's not normal.  What's the statistic?  Something like 85% of women "my age" conceive within two years.

In other news.  I feel like I'm not allowed to be sad about our sub fertile status or mourn the baby we lost. . . because we have children.  Yes, we have children.  I have three and I am eternally grateful for them.  Hubs has two and we are eternally grateful for them.  This doesn't change the fact that I want a child with my husband.  I fear losing my husband and not having our child to see him in (irrational, maybe).  I am finally married to the man God intended for me.  My life is pulled together.  We are happy, moderately successful, and at least have enough money to make ends meet (and pay for things like orthodontia).  It is incredibly unfair that we cannot have a child.  I look around me and see all kinds of girls and women in bad situations having babies and laughing "don't drink the water!".

Am I greedy to desire this child?  I don't think so.  When I look into my amazing daughters faces, I see myself but I also see the man who hurt me in too many ways to count.  I know I can't erase that (nor would I if it meant sacrificing those girls!), but I want to look into my child's face and know it was born of love. . .

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I've known that my November cycle was a bust for 5 days. . . but, of course, my LP was 17 days AGAIN.  It's torture to know there isn't a baby growing and to have AF not show up.  The mind starts playing tricks, "well, maybe you ARE pregnant. . . maybe the tests were wrong. . . ".

And then, AF finally shows up.

I have 20 vials of HMG Lepori (European generic for Menopur/Repronex) waiting. . . but I was praying and hoping I wouldn't have to use them.  I honestly thought I had purchased them as a safeguard. . . I was wasting the money, but I was okay with that because a viable pregnancy was worth it.

So. . . knowing my cycle failed. . . having AF show up. . . has brought torrents of tears.  I'm scared.  Having the injections here and actually using them are two very different things.  I'm a bit worried about giving them to myself (in my rear, no less) but I've had no issues giving myself the HCG injection, so I'm sure I will be fine. 

I didn't know (until I researched more) that the menotropins are made from the urine of menopausal women.  Strange isn't it that we use a hormone from women who are done with their childbearing years to trick our bodies into being more fertile. 

My fear also involves what ifs. . . what if the injections work too well and I end up with too many eggs to continue with an IUI cycle?  We can't afford to switch to IVF if that happens and this is our last ditch effort since we will be out of funds for the foreseeable future after this cycle.  I also worry that if this cycle drags out too long, we will hit the point where our 50% copay comes back (Jan. 1).  We've already hit our out of pocket maximum this year so for the December cycle our insurance will cover 100% (excluding the injections) until I reach our lifetime maximum for infertility.  After this cycle, our insurance benefit will be maxed out and we have already exhausted our medical savings account.  So, it'll be back to the drawing board to figure out what's next.

I wish I had the option to convert this cycle to IVF if the need arises.  I don't know how much it would cost to convert at the point of retrieval (full cycle is $8,500 + meds).  My insurance might cover $2,000-$2,500 (depending on what's left of our benefit).  I'm guessing we'd still need to pay $5-7k for retrieval, fertilization, & transfer (more if ICSI is needed or if there are embryos to freeze).  Sure, we *could* charge it, but we are in the middle of refinancing our house to buy our in-laws out and we are carrying two mortgages (until we can sell the other house) and we are trying hard to pay off debt (my husband, the teacher man, just realized that over the last 15 years he has paid $32,000 toward his students loans. . . his original loan balance was $28,000 and we still have a balance of $20,000.  He doesn't qualify for the federal pay off program of $17,500 even though he's taught both special education AND worked in a poverty level low income school for 15 years, guess why?  Because he graduated a year too early for the program, so his slightly younger co-teachers are debt free and we are still slaving away at it, but I digress).  We also have one child who just started round one of braces and two more about to start.

What I'm getting at here. . . yes, we could *technically* charge the cost but it would be irresponsible to do so.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and figure out how to materialize the needed $.  We don't qualify for scholarship programs because each of us has biological kids (just none together).

Some say, "why don't you just adopt".  I would, if it were that easy. . . we have numerous factors against us.  First, the cost ($20-$30k).  Secondly, we have five kids between us and previous marriages, so those are both strikes against us in the selection process.  Third, my husband is over 40 now which is the age when parents become less desirable in the matching process.  Fourth, I came from an extremely difficult childhood. . . I've found the home study process for foster care to be so emotional grueling that I don't know if I can weather any more.  I put away all my old wounds and allowed them to scar over. . . the home study process is like slicing open those scars and letting things fester again.  I need to be emotionally healthy for the children we have and the children I take care of every day. . . I can't go through a traumatic process that may cause me to slip into a depression or have trouble focusing on the day to day obligations and needs of the 12-16 kids I care for every day.

I am seriously considering foster care adoption (if I can get beyond this emotional trauma part). . . it won't cost us much or anything.  But, I won't get a baby and while I will open my home to as many children as God sees fit, I need a baby.  I want my children to bond from infancy. . . I want to breastfeed. . . I want to watch my husband snuggle our little one to sleep (having watched him with the babies in my childcare makes my heart ache). 

I can say without a doubt that if someone handed me $20,000 and said "this is for adoption", we would find the baby that is waiting for us.  My husband has already stated over and over that he doesn't feel it's financially responsible to seek out adoption until we've paid down debt.  That's why I state we'd have to be given funds for that purpose only. . . as we all know, that will never happen.  So, in the meantime, I sit in this twilight zone. This place where I can't get pregnant and almost don't believe I ever will.

I keep having dreams that I suddenly find myself pregnant at 40 or 50, when my youngest is in high school (she's almost 8 now) and it causes me to question being open to children forever.  How would I react to the news that I was starting over after my children were almost grown and I was looking forward to grandparenting years?  My conviction is that I will remain open to children as long as I'm living. . . obviously, nature will play it's hand in time and I will no longer have the option of conception.  My husband, already 41, is on the fence about his age and having babies in the house.  We keep reminding ourselves that God has a plan, which we can never know, and He knows better than us in all things. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

What Infertility Looks Like

Today was trigger day.  I'm sooooo looking forward to the next cycle in which I get to inject myself daily with awesome hormones that will make me a raving lunatic.

Despite the blood, this was a painless injection.  The previous injections have been done by either my husband or a nurse at the clinic.  This was the least painful injection. . . as in didn't hurt a bit and no bruise/lingering sting like I've had before.  Just some bleeding.  I've noticed that I'm bleeding more lately with pokes. . . my flu shot bleed like crazy last month.  I'm not taking aspirin, so it's a bit odd, but not anything to worry about.

BTW- despite my complete failure to produce a living child these past two years, I'm considered "proven fertility" and "it's just a matter of time".  This should make me feel better.

After our BMS tonight, I placed the order for 20 vials of Menopur.  There's nothing like shelling out a whole lot of money to make an infertile dance a jig. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

CD11 Scan

I went in for a scan this morning to see how my follicles are developing.  OPKs are unreliable for me and timing is a big concern for us so we decided early was the way to go this cycle.

My ovaries look great.  I have four good sized follicles developing on my right ovary (otherwise known as my "good" side).  I didn't pay perfect attention to the follicle sizes, but I know they were all between 14 & 18mm today.  Monday afternoon I should trigger, we are thinking two more days of follicle development should put most of them around 21mm and hopefully allow my endometrium to thicken (it was only 6.3mm today).

This is the last clomid cycle for the foreseeable future.  My lining isn't doing well and obviously I'm not getting pregnant on clomid.  I'll place my order with on Monday for 20 vials of generic menopur.  December we will do injections only. . . and that will be our last treatment cycle.  We will have used up our insurance benefit and our medical savings plans.  We can't afford the cost of an IVF cycle which would be the next step.  (Wishing I had some great skill, like making beautiful quilts or stained glass so I could auction off items to help with the costs.)

I hate the idea of shelling out the money on injectables while I'm still in the middle of a cycle that *could* be successful.  I guess if that happens, I will be so happy that donating the meds to the clinic won't be an issue.   The good news is that by ordering the meds overseas through saves us a LOT of money.  My RE says many women in the clinic use meds from there and they are all the same as meds in the U.S., except a whole lot less expensive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

I'm 18dpo... no, I'm not pregnant, although it seems that I should be.  We don't know why my LP (luteal phase) is lasting so long (as it has every cycle since the miscarriage except the cycle I used a trigger).

Part of me says go ahead and medicate one more cycle. . . what's it hurt. . . my insurance will cover my November and December cycles in full since I've met my annual out of pocket maximum and I haven't yet maxed out my (very limited) infertility coverage.

The other part of me says I need to let it go for a while.  We know WHY we aren't conceiving (not sure if we have a successful implantation issue yet, but that's look like a possibility).

I've lost weight.  I'm eating well (80-90% of the time grain free, always gluten free).  I'm healthy.  My Celiac is in remission (if there is such a thing- my intestines are currently healed so as long as I eat gluten free, I'm healthy). 

My tubes are clear.  My ovaries are producing eggs each cycle (quite successfully).  I get wet (fertile) CM at least one day every cycle.  My cervix is open (which means the swimmers can get in now).

I'm still not pregnant.

Here's the deal, although I'm not sure my very experienced, totally awesome, RE even gets it.  Hubs swimmers get depleted.  We need 60 hours (minimum)- 72 hours (optimum) between ejaculates in order to get good, healthy swimmers (30-60 mil/ml).  Trouble is. . . hubs drive doesn't often accommodate that kind of spacing.  I feel guilty for putting him off, leaving his needs unmet, etc. . . and I don't want to be the "s-x warden".

This cycle, we did fairly well. . . and I was praying it was enough.  But the reality is, the weekend I ovulated, he was needy. . . so in all likelihood the couple of days before ovulation (when I was most fertile), he had very depleted counts (twice a day, people).  We know that 12-36 hour breaks lead to counts that caused canceled cycles (>10mil/ml).  This is natural, the human body takes 72 hours to fully mature sperm. 

I'm starting to think we may never have a biological child.  I can be okay with that but I want us to have a newborn. . . I'm okay with adopting a newborn but don't see how we could ever afford it.  I'm still praying that our names will come up on the embryo adoption list as that may be the most cost effective route for us to go.  Hubs is nervous about me going through the dangers of pregnancy for a child that isn't biologically ours. . . I'd prefer that to traditional adoption so that the children can be part of the pregnancy and I could breastfeed.

The reality is. . . if we had $15k, I'd opt for a cycle of IVF.  Even though my faith says IVF is morally unacceptable, I think I would do it (easy to say when I know it's not a possibility).  Or perhaps, I'd put that toward the $20K + needed for infant adoption and be assured we'd have a child at the end of the process (and that an unwanted child would have a very loving home).

I don't know.

What I do know is that on that weekend when we were suppose to be spacing BD to get good swimmers, I almost lost it in an emotional fit of tears when hubs was "pursuing" me. . . I wanted to cry and scream "we are suppose to be waiting!". . . but then, as if God spoke to me, I realized that my husband needed me and it was my duty to fulfill those needs.  At that moment, I was able to put it in God's hands. . . this was a big step for me.  I felt myself letting go. .  I said, "if it's God's will, we will have a child, because it's going to take a miracle".  I know without a doubt that it is going to take a miracle to create a child in my womb or to open our lives to infant adoption.  I can't control things (as much as I wish I could).

I'm trying to take a step back from control.  I stopped temping/charting this cycle once I confirmed ovulation.  I waited patiently until AF was late before I took a test.  This was not a medicated cycle (so was the only cycle I conceived in these last two years). 

I feel like at this point, I know my body well. . . I know my cycles well. . . I've been perfectly charting all my fertility signs for two full years. . . we've had all the tests done that we can. . . all I need to figure out is out to get my hubs to slow down his drive during the week leading up to my fertile window.   I'm seriously pondering not charting for a while. . . I know my cycle and can see my other fertility signs without actually charting. . . maybe that will take some of the pressure off?  Of course, I worry that without confirming ovulation via temperature I will cause hubs to miss out on more BD days then necessary.

I also know that if finances weren't an issue. . . I would pursue further treatment and/or adoption.  It sad to be up against a wall that you have no way to scale.  My choices are significantly reduced because I cannot afford treatment or adoption.

There are those who say, "be happy with the family you have".  I am, oh, how I am.  I love my family. . . I love the children we have. And yet, part of me is missing. . . that connection with my husband, that closing of the circle of our children. . . that sharing of a common child, one that is "real" sibling to our children and "real" child to both of us.  I feel a schism in our family, one that says "his" and "hers" instead of "ours".  I feel that "our" baby would change the entire dynamic of our family.  I want (desperately) that little one who I can look at and see my beloveds face.  I fear that if I were to lose my husband (as we know life is fragile), I would be left without any part of him. . . I would lose "his" children to their bio-mom.  I could only see his face in a photo album.  This I fear most. I hunger for permanency and our child symbolizes that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Silence. . .

Has been exactly what I need right now.  This cycle marks two full years of infertility this round. . . this is officially the longest I have ever spent trying to conceive.

I stopped temping once I confirmed ovulation this cycle.  I'm trying to relax and wait. . . either we conceived or we didn't, there's no use stressing over it.

Hubs said he was on board to go the NFP route to trying to conceive. . . that meant:

No intercourse during menses.
Intercourse every other day until CM changes.
Once CM changes, hold over intercourse until slippery sensation appears (most fertile CM).

This works well for a lot of women because you time intercourse perfectly.  Part of our problem is low count issues with frequent intercourse and my husbands voracious appetite in that realm.  Ideally, NFP would help us ensure good counts on our most fertile day.

The problem- hubs did fairly well with our restrictions until the weekend ovulation actually occurred.  My hope is that we had good swimmers in there when the egg popped, but who knows.

I expect AF over the weekend. . . if she doesn't show up, then I'll test sometime next week.  I'm not in a hurry.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Laughing Infertility Menace

It's like a cruel joke to see the digital "PREGNANT" staring at you when you know it's not true (or at least not registrable yet).  And why didn't that photo stay turned the correct way? 

This is what I get to look at as I test out the HCG trigger. . .

Why do I endure this torture?  Well. . . if I don't test out the trigger, then when I finally get that BFP I won't trust it because it could *possibly* be residual HCG from the trigger shot.

Why two tests?  The ClearBlue Digital aren't overly sensitive so I wanted to see how the Dollar Tree "Assured" brand stacked up.  In my miscarriage cycle, the Dollar Tree tests were as sensitive as First Response Early Result.  This time at 6 dpt both were positive, at 8 dpt ClearBlue was negative but there was the faintest hint of a line on the Dollar Tree test. 

I'm understanding what they mean when they say "A Little Pregnant".

In other news. . .

I'm 11dpt (past trigger) and waiting. . . I had a great temp dip on my chart yesterday at 9dpo and today my temp spiked up looking tri-phasic. . . we shall see what the next couple of days hold.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trigger Happy

Today marks CD13.  I have three follicles on the right ovary-  they measured at 27.4mm, 22.8, & 22.1.  My lining was at 9.2mm which resolved my concerns over the clomid affecting my endometrium.  The left ovary was lazy, but that's okay.  Three big, fat, follicles is plenty for me.

Dr. Awesome thought my LH surge may have already started with how big my follicles are.  I had some lines on the OPK yesterday but nothing that was positive by test standards.  I tested 3x daily from CD10-12.  Anyway, Dr. A was in a hurry for us to get some BD on since we didn't want to miss our window.  We triggered even though he wasn't sure it was necessary.  Last BD session was Sunday after a 72 hour break, so that should have gotten some good swimmers in there.  Today was icing, although the break may not have been long enough for the sperm count to be good (40hrs, we test best at 60-72 hours).  (There was conversation over if it was worth doing a LH blood test, but I'd possibly have to trigger anyway and the blood test costs as much as the trigger- so why not skip it since the trigger won't cause any interference with ovulation even it it has started.)

Hubs ran home from school and we managed to get a quickie in.  That's all it takes, right?  While he rushed back to school, I propped up my rear for 30 minutes.

We truly are that comedic infertile couple the movies depict. . . *sigh*.

Here's hoping tomorrow shows a temperature spike.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Infertility Sucks

I haven't had a proper drink in nearly two years. . .

When I have pain, I have to evaluate where I am in my cycle to determine if I can take ibuprofen. . .

Every time AF shows up I'm a weepy mess. . .

Everyone around me is pregnant. . . including teenagers who have no business having sex. . .

My maternity clothes are being worn by other women. . .

Before having sex, we must figure out where I am in my cycle and decide if we've had the appropriate length of a "break" since the last time we had sex (for sperm count). . .

My entire life revolves around a thermometer, pills, injections, charts, Doctors, ultrasounds, & vials of freshly collected semen with a short life span. .  .

Who knew ovaries could be so painful. . .

Many of the infertiles I've been following have graduated to pregnancy or finalized adoption. . . 

Money. . .

Moral dilemmas. . .

Choosing the sacrifice of NOT pursuing IVF. .  . (when part of me is screaming, a baby at any cost!).

Today I'm 17dpo.  I had FIVE beautiful, ripe follicles 17 days ago.  Today, I got a negative which means not one of those eggs met up with the swimmers.

AF will show any day.   On to another cycle.  Praying this one won't be wrought with disappointment. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nice Eggs. . . er. . . Follicles.

My infertile OCD kicked into overdrive yesterday. . . I went in for at scan (CD14) because I wasn't seeing movement on my fertility monitor and I was getting antsy.

The good (great?) news is that I do, in fact, have FIVE follicles ripening up that should ovulate in the next day or two. . . My left is sporting two (24.5mm & 13.4mm) while my right has three (18.5mm, 15.3mm, & 13.9mm).  The best response I've had previously (that we know of, I haven't had a scan every cycle).  S (Dr. Awesome's assistant) said that all five will likely ovulate but all five probably won't be mature enough to fertilize due to the smaller follicle size. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Waiting. . .

That's the story of my life. . . waiting for ovulation. . . the two week wait. . . waiting for AF. . . waiting to finally get a BFP.

Today, I'm cd11.  My Clearblue fertility monitor says I'm at "high" fertility. . . I'm expecting a "peak" reading within a few days.

Poor hubs has been deprived for the last 72 hours. . . tonight he gets lucky.  Today is our best shot at getting good quality swimmers where they need to be to lie in wait for the egg(s).  From tonight we will wait another 60 hours and repeat as needed until ovulation is confirmed.

I took clomid 150mg again this cycle, but I forgot (how do you forget?) to pick up my prescription on CD3 when I was suppose to start so I took it CD4-8 this cycle.   I had to go in for a monitoring scan at the beginning of this cycle or I couldn't medicate.  I decided it was worth the $450 this time as I wasn't willing to wait.  The good news is that I had at least 15 antral follicles between my ovaries and Dr. Awesome assured me that my time is not running out (despite turning 35 later this year).

In other news, I haven't lost any more weight. . . I find myself slipping into a plateau because I'm at a weight/size that I am okay with (even if I don't love it). . . I'm trying to restart hardcore today. . . I've had a lot of slips since our camping trip at the beginning of July. . . time to get back on track!  I'm convinced that the removal of sugar and grains helped us conceive in our miscarriage cycle, so I'm praying and hoping that helps again soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One of Those Days

This morning, I ran into a girl who worked out at they gym in the wee hours of the morning. . . I haven't been going to the gym since the miscarriage.  She happily asks, "Did you get your wish yet?". . .  I replied "no".  Then she beams and says, "I did!". 

She's 8 weeks pregnant. . . due two weeks after I would have been.  I realized as I stood there that I should be 10 weeks pregnant today. . . instead, I tested negative again today at 17dpo and discontinued my progesterone so that AF can show up.

I'm a mess.  When does this start getting easier?  When do I accept that I may never get to have a baby with my husband?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

16dpo and Progesterone Hang Over

Ugh. . . I hate the waiting game.  These darn medicated cycles drag out longer and longer.  We learned last cycle, when I conceived that a home test at 15dpo was negative and at 18dpo it was positive. . . was this because it wasn't a viable pregnancy, or is that how my body rolls?  Who knows. . . so I have to wait out until 18dpo this round on progesterone.  If I test negative then, I can stop the progesterone and wait for my next cycle to start.

Trouble is. . . I feel like crap.  I have a killer migraine.  I'm so darn tired.  This could be the progesterone. . . who knows.  I've taken two tests, at 14dpo and 15dpo.  I skipped today. . . maybe I'll test tomorrow.  I went by the Dollar Tree and picked up 7 of the Assured tests.  I used these in my conception cycle along with First Response Early Detection (the most sensitive on the market).  The Assured Dollar Tree test also showed positive when my HCG was only 18 and continued to show it when my HCG dropped over the next couple of days.  This tells me they are super sensitive and why waste the big bucks? (The First Response also showed positive.)

I have to decide if I want to shell out the $450 to have a base line scan once AF does show up. . . if so, then I can have another medicated cycle (oh the joys!).  If not, we do nothing and see. . . of course, we conceived on the non-medicated cycle but my progesterone was low and that bambino didn't stick. . . so who knows.

I asked if I can skip the baseline scan and just go ahead with clomid again. . . I know my body so well, I'd know if I have a cyst (ovulation nearly makes me cry. . . seriously).  They said no because they recently had one lady who tested negative. . . had what looked like AF. . . came in for her baseline scan only to find out she was actually pregnant.  I guess better safe than sorry is the story here, right?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cycling On. . .

Today I am 7dpo.  I'm pretty sure that I released multiple eggs this round as both ovaries were swollen and painful and the ovulation pain/pressure spanned over three days.  Since we are trying with only minor involvement right now I didn't have a scan.  I've been tempted to find a reason to go in for one just to see how many CL's are on  my ovaries now.  Not that it will make any difference. . . but my brain likes to know.

I started progesterone suppositories at 3dpo.  I'm miserably sick, but unsure if that is related to progesterone or maybe I have a bug?  Pretty sure it's too early to be pregnancy symptoms.  (Although the over active part of my brain says if I was pregnant with multiples then maybe it wouldn't be too early. . . and I had a good temp dip yesterday which is when I started feeling sick).

Once again this cycle I didn't get a + OPK.  My body is tricky like that.  I have to spend a fortune and test 3-4x each day if I hope to catch my surge.  Guess I'm one of the small percentage that OPK's are not accurate for.  Maybe I should start using a fern scope again since my CM and OPKs are not reliable indicators. . .

Looks like IVF is off the books. . . I had formulated a plan to possibly pay for one cycle later this year.  However, we've just found out our 10 yo must start orthodontia to the tune of $7,600.  She's scheduled for October when our FSA reloads.   That will deplete our FSA and that is the only way we can afford to pay for IVF.  Ortho for the kid we have trumps trying to conceive the baby of our dreams. 

I napped this afternoon because I'm feeling so crummy. .  . I had strange dreams.  In one, I was pregnant and violently ill (like I have been in all my pregnancies to date).  All I could get down was salt.  So, I sliced up carrots and zucchini into thin strips and dosing them with olive oil and sea salt.  Then I'd bake them up like chips.  I lived on those and kale chips and homemade lemonade with honey. . .  In my dream I was trying to convince myself that I needed protein but I could only manage to eat a bit of scrambled eggs in butter or almonds every now and then.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Early Miscarriage and Moving On

No one warned me that a miscarriage at 5 1/2 weeks would be quite so nasty.  I assumed (and no one told me differently) that it would be similar to a late menses. .  I expected heavier bleeding than I would have with a normal 28-30 day non conception cycle.  I did not expect the amount of tissue and clotting that happened (thankfully mostly all at once).  It is quite an emotional experience to be sitting in the bathroom and find globs of what you know should be a baby growing inside your belly. .  . enough said.

I've shed a few tears. .  .but I'm trying to remember that there is nothing we can change about losing this pregnancy and I'm grateful the loss was so early (instead of the 9 week ultrasound my friend just had which revealed no heartbeat or the 21 week umbilical cord separation that another friend suffered a few years ago).   If I hadn't broken down and taken a test (because, duh, I was 18dpo and every RE on the planet says- "18dpo and temps are still up, you are pregnant" unless of course you aren't and just have an awesome progesterone producing cyst) I wouldn't have even known I was actually, finally, pregnant.

But I digress.

We are moving in. . . because we have no other choice.  My RE encouraged us to try for 2-3 cycles on our own (possibly with ovulation help) since he felt so confident about my weight loss/dietary changes and the impact that would have on my fertility.  Evidently he was right. . . the combination did allow us to conceive, finally.  Prayerfully, we will conceive again quickly and have a sticky baby.

Because my progesterone was so low this time (6.28), we are taking clomid on CD5-9 (normally I take clomid CD3-7 but we had to wait for my final beta hcg, so today it is).  I'm taking 150mg as usual.  We will not be using a trigger, just timing intercourse well.  I'm suppose to use an ovulation predictor kit to help make sure that happens.  What I learned last cycle is that spacing BD did make a big difference. . . so darling hubs will be getting his groove on only every 2-3 days until ovulation is confirmed since we know daily BD depletes the swimmers.  This last cycle we got BD in 16x's in 32 days (which is still a lot) vs. our normal 30+ times.  And it's the first cycle we managed to get swimmer and egg together. . . 'nuff said.

Once ovulation is confirmed, I will be starting progesterone suppositories (half 100mg 2x daily) until negative beta. . . if we get a positive, then I will continue the progesterone for at least 12 weeks.

In the past when my progesterone has been checked at 7dpo, it's been decent (15-20) on medicated cycles. .  we haven't tested it in unmedicated cycles but my luteal phase and temps have been pretty good which normally is an indicator of happy progesterone.

We won't be attempting anymore treatment until at least October when our FSA resets and at this time we are still up in the air as to whether it'll be more IUI with injectables or onto IVF.  IVF is a hard one for me given what I believe about creation of life. .  .but it's amazing what we can convince ourselves to do in order to have a child.  I'm praying we won't have to make that decision.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Falling Betas

Yesterday, I went through periods of time when I actually believed we were going to have a baby. . . I pee'd on no less than four home tests throughout the day. 

Today I had Beta #2. . . my HCG level dropped from 18 mIU/ml to 9 mIU/ml.  That's exactly the opposite of what we wanted.  Today's level should have been at least 36 mIU/ml. 

My fertility clinic informed me "this is not a progressing pregnancy".  I'm to stop the progesterone support and return in one week to ensure my HCG has fallen back into the negative range <5 mIU/ml.

My heart is sad.  I really wanted this to be it. . . after 18 failed cycles, I was ready for happy news.  I've said over and over throughout the past months that a positive test doesn't mean we will have a viable pregnancy, but to face the reality of it is another story.

What's next?  I don't know. . . Once my body has cleared, I will likely start on clomid again to regulate my cycles and get a better ovulation, which will give me a better progesterone level (mine was low at 6.28 this time). 

I'm trying to remind myself that this means we can get pregnant. . . my eggs can be fertilized. . . slowing my husband down a bit in the S-E-X department can achieve the desired result.  That doesn't change the fact that I'm sad. . . I wanted THIS baby. . . I already loved THIS baby who by definition is only 36 days into what should have been a 9 month journey. . . I still think about the last baby I lost, also very early like this one. . . I was convinced that baby was a boy (I've only birthed girls) and bought a cute little boy outfit at the Gymboree.  Hours later, I found out my HCG was dropping. . .  Funny, yesterday I was telling my girlfriend how I thought this one would be a boy.  Maybe my body rejects the male of our species. . . or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.  (To give myself some credit, I knew all three of my bio babies were girls from day one. . . and I bought little girl clothing on day one of a BFP.)

Losing babies, even very early in a pregnancy is a sad & emotional time.  I didn't want to believe this could happen to me.  I know the statistics say 1 in 5. . . but I've already had losses, so I wanted to be safe.

I'm going to try to focus on losing even more weight and getting into the best shape possible. . . and praying hard that our little bean will be on his/her way soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Drumroll, please. . .

It looks like we are PREGNANT.  I can't believe I'm typing those words!!!!  I know that it's early and a lot can still go wrong.  This is the first time in 18 cycles that we've actually gotten fertilization. . . woohoo!

I tested yesterday at what I thought was 18dpo after having a negative at 15dpo.  I got a lightish positive on my First Response Early Result (the most sensitive currently on the market).  Dr. Awesome got me right in for a beta and progesterone draw.  My beta came back at 18 and progesterone at 6.28.  Both are on the low side.  I started progesterone suppositories yesterday evening so hopefully they will nip that concern.

Beta #2 is tomorrow. . . praying for a double.  What it looks like happened is that I actually ovulated later and was possibly only 9dpo yesterday. .  .which is very early for a positive test.   Either way, today I am 35 days since my last menstrual period.   I'm "due" somewhere between Feb. 14 and 23rd depending on date of ovulation.  Since I am a repeat c-section, I will have baby anywhere from Feb. 7-15th assuming we have a sticky baby in there!

Today, because I'm a crazy, sub-fertile woman, I pee'd on three more pregnancy tests.  Yeah. . . I know.  Another First Response Early Result from the 3 pack I bought yesterday and then 2 Dollar Tree Assured brand tests (they are less sensitive).  All of them were positive although none of the lines were jumping out screaming.  I'm taking that as a good sign that my numbers are increasing and tomorrow's beta will be happy news.

Here's my thinking on why my numbers aren't great. . . If I really did ovulate on CD25 instead of CD16 (my temp chart was wacky this cycle) then of course I would get a negative on CD31 and while CD34 was early at 9dpo, still possible to get a low HCG reading.   If I had ovulated on CD16 and my little bean had started to implant but not been fully able to (chemical pregnancy), then I would have likely had my positive on CD31 and been negative (and bleeding) by now.   Maybe it's just wishful thinking.  I feel pregnant so I'm taking that as a good sign. . . I love being nauseated! :-)

In the meantime I'm going to remind myself to not complain about being tired, nauseated, having sore boobs, or any other pregnancy symptom. . . because it's all worth it and a gazillion times better than continuing in infertile land.

Let me just say. . . it's been 8 years since I've gotten a BFP. . . even the faintest hint of a line.  I'm a giddy cow at this point!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rapid Weight Loss and Fertility

This week marked my annual women's exam. . . I scheduled it with my RE at the fertility clinic since I don't have a gynecologist in this area and didn't really feel up to having yet another stranger poking around my girl bits.

Dr. Awesome positively gushed over my weight loss these last couple months.  He said more times than I could count "rapid weight loss is usually a time of high fertility" and advised that we give things a few months before doing anymore treatment.  He asked me to come in seven days after my next ovulation for a progesterone draw to make sure I'm having good ovulation on my own and if things are good. .  . just hang out for a couple months and keep doing what we've been doing.

I *think* I'm glad that he doesn't have the same sense of impending doom that I do about being 35 at the end of this year.  He is still confident that we can get pregnant without IVF, of course, we all know that there are people that defy all the odds and can't get pregnant despite everything looking great and I tend to be one of the lucky ones who Murphy follows around. . .

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy eating fat and watching my little ketosis sticks turn pink.  I'm going to continue to exercise and get my body into it's healthiest place so that when baby does stick, I will be physically ready!

I just finished reading Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, who knew that Paleo was so close to Atkins. . . dare I say that Dr. Atkins might have been the catalyst behind the Paleo movement.  Of course, if you listen to people talk about Atkins it's obvious pretty quickly if they read the book (and follow it) or if they do their own modified version.  It's really not a high fat or high protein diet. . . it's a low carb, adequate fat, adequate protein diet.  I like it.  For lunch I had an extra lean ground turkey burger (Thank you Costco) cooked in a bit of Kerrygold butter (grass fed, yum!) topped with some herb white cheddar and followed by a side of sauteed zucchini.  Now I'm sipping iced coffee with heavy cream and Splenda (my one concession to not completely natural food).  The fat in my foods help me feel full and satisfied.  The iced (or blended) coffee helps me feel like I'm getting a treat.   So far, I'm down 16.4 lbs and 19.5 inches!

Here's to a healthier me and prayerfully baby to be!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Infertility Sucks. . .

It doesn't matter if you have no children or 12. . . not being able to conceive sucks.  I know this, I have been subfertile my entire life.  It took the assistance of an excellent R.E. to conceive my first child, so we can check primary infertility off the list.  I had a hysterosalpinogram and charted temps and had my girl bits violated more times than I care to count.  It took 12 medicated cycles to get a full term baby.  It sucked.  But, I was young (22) and hopeful.  Looking back, I don't think the thought ever really occurred to me that it might not work. . . that I might end up without a baby in the belly that went on to become a baby in the arms.   Something about getting knocked up and breastfeeding must have changed my body because 11 months in I was knocked up again. . .we had just started discussing visiting the R.E. again. . . I'd had ZERO menstrual cycles since our darling daughter was born. . . I had no clue I was fertile and evidently it only took that one ovulation.  It was a less than ideal pregnancy, but who am I to complain, I was PREGNANT!  Baby three was back to the drawing board, once again, I had no cycles for a looooooong time after baby #2.  Darling daughter #3 stuck after 6 medicated cycles.  Secondary infertility, check!

And here we are. . . seven years later.

I'm now 34.  I've had D&C's, cervical cautery, cervical dilation (2x), dye through the tubes (clear!), and a laparoscopy to look for endo (none!) and clear up some adhesions (nasty!).  I've given myself shots.  I've popped pills.  I've wept a river.  I've turned into a near homicidal lunatic (sorry honey!).  I've had catheters threaded through my scarred closed cervix (ouch!) to deposit my husbands goods.  More ultrasounds than I can count.  Painful, bloated ovaries (just when we are suppose to have sex and it HURTS!).  I take my temperature every morning before I roll out of bed and dutifully record it at Fertility Friend.  I analyze my charts for any sign that something is different this time.  I deny my husband sex (every 2-3 days vs. daily, which is his preference) because we have to get the sperm count up (and then I ovulate late).  I'm on the embryo donation list.  I'm planning a consult for IVF (where I never thought I'd be).  I'm running the numbers every possible way to see if there is some way we can drum up the $12k we will need for ONE attempt at IVF. 18 cycles. . . no baby. . . not even a chemical pregnancy which makes me think my eggs are rotten.  I've wasted more money on OPK's and pregnancy tests than I care to count. . . because I'm crazy and can't wait until AF is late to test (although AF has routinely been 2-3 days late since we started medicated cycles, must be due to multiple ovulation).  I've change my entire world.  For 18 months I haven't taken anything other than Tylenol (Advil in the first two weeks of a cycle only!).  I don't even take my allergy pills for fear they will dry up my cervical mucous (which isn't great folks!).  I don't drink caffeine.  I am not only gluten free. . . but now, I'm GRAIN FREE.  That's right. . . I no longer eat any grains or refined sugars.  I eat healthy real fats.  I take my expensive whole food prenatal vitamins. I would never pick up a cigarette like that very pregnant lady in the purple shirt I saw at Safeway the other day.

Tertiary infertility. . . is there such a thing. . . check!

Then I hear how a friends 15 year old daughter is knocked up. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Well, it's glaringly apparent that this cycle has not been a success.  Today marks 15 dpo and I tested.  Negative.   I'm moody, nauseated, crampy and generally BLAH.  So, we can safely assume my temp will drop tomorrow and AF will arrive.

I'm tired.  I'm tired of timing BD (and denying my DH when he is needing me).  I'm tired of charting and watching for the slightest change that could indicate success.  I'm tired of checking for cervical fluids and lamenting of the lack of fertile fluid.  I'm tired of trying to decipher if my cervix is higher and softer than it was the day before.  I'm tired.  And I'm moody, did I mention that?  Oh. . . and my boobs hurt.  Awesome.

I've lost 15 lbs in a little over a month.  I'm doing resistance training 4x/week.  I've changed my families eating style to Paleo (grain free, we were already a natural eating family).  I've broken my sugar and coffee addiction.  I'm working to reduce stress and inflammation.

All of this may be a moot point if our issue(s) remain an unfriendly cervix due to past surgery (and therefore cannot be changed) and low sperm count due to daily BD.  I'm trying to space BD out to once every 2-3 days from the start of this next cycle until ovulation is confirmed in an attempt to increase the likelihood of getting happy swimmers where they need to be at the right time.

But how darn annoying!  We have to have less SEX?  What?!?!?!  I thought sex made babies. . . sure works for the teenagers. :(

I'm wishing that we could afford IVF. . . I still don't see as how that would ever be a possibility for us.  I have three children coming up on braces. . . let's see. . . braces for 3 or 1 round of IVF, what's a responsible Mama to do? That said. . .I do intend to go to an IVF consult in June or July and talk about our options.  I do intend to work the numbers every which way possible and see if there is any way we can scramble and make it happen.  However, the realistic side of me knows it's not going to be a reality in our world.

Today, I stopped by a Heart Gallery display.  I'm mooning over a 4yo and her 7yo brother.  They look like they'd be a lovely addition to our family.  However, until the inlaws move on in the next year, we don't have room to accommodate two children in those ages.   Maybe by Spring, the right children will be avaliable and we will be ready.  We do have a 6 bedroom house, but the inlaws have two of the bedrooms, a study, and bathroom that's attached.  When that area of the house is avaliable and our 19 yo sister moves out this Fall (she's getting married, but that's another story), then we can shift kids around and we will definitely have room for more littles.  And DH and I might even get to move out of the "attic" bedroom. . .

In the meantime, I'm going to keep trying to de-stress.  How?  Good question.  I live with my inlaws, have my slightly obnoxious 19 year old sister in residence, have our 5 children (including their "other" bio parent), and I run a childcare.  Yeah. . . no stress.  Oh and did I mention that just about every one I know is pregnant.  Yeah. . . there's that.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In the Mail. . .

Today I found a Destination Maternity catalog in my mailbox. . . who sends an infertile a maternity catalog?  (Note to self. . . this could be my fault for preemptively purchasing maternity clothes during our first round of IUI, I'm just saying.)

I'm on CD22 or 7-9DPO (depending on how many eggs popped. . . I'm betting on at least one from each ovary this cycle).  I almost called for a scan just to see how many follicles I had. . . as if knowing the number would make me feel better.  The reality is, when I know how many eggs I have, I start obsessing.  Then I feel defeated and like I have broken eggs when none of them take.  So this is good for me.

I did not OPK this cycle. . . I did not have a scan. . . I did not have a trigger.  I did take clomid 150mg CD3-7 and I did continue to chart my BBT, CM, & cervix position.  I did try to space BD out to every other day during my fertile window in the hopes that this would give us a decent shot at sperm and egg meeting up.

I'm on the 21 Day Sugar Detox. . . it's working wonders.  Today I had a cheat, I made the decision to have a scone made with tapioca flour & hard cheese (both no-no's).  I started feeling crummy shortly after and still have a horrendous headache.  Carb hangover?  Ugh. . .

The good news is. . . I've lost 13lbs in the past month.  I'm also going to Curves 4x each week.   I feel less stressed.  My skin is already better from eating Paleo and getting the carbs & sugars out of my system (no mid cycle breakout!).

Technically I can test one week from today.  Not sure when I will.

Friday, April 20, 2012

CD 14 Update

Today is CD14. . . I cancelled my day 12 scan and trigger and decided to wing it.  I have ovary discomfort ramping up so I'm sure ovulation is getting close.  I'm not using OPK's this cycle as I decided to save myself the stress.

I've started working out 4-5 mornings a week. . . I'm hoping this and changes in my diet will lower my cortisol and if that's the problem then we will get knocked up.

Did I mention that I have scheduled an IVF consult on May 2nd?  Not sure if we will go anywhere with it. . .

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's Next?

Our "rest" cycle ended on Saturday with the arrival of AF. Oh the joys. I did O, it looks like CD16 with a positive OPK on CD15. Things get confusing because I had a big temp rise on CD14, dip on CD15 and it rose again on CD16. My LP seems to confirm a CD16 O. So, there it is.

Despite great timing of the baby dance, the use of Pre~Seed and Guaifenesin we had no luck. 16 cycles down without even the faintest of a positive pee stick.

I was really tempted to take another rest cycle. . . in fact, I waffled all the way up until I picked up my clomid prescription at 7pm tonight (CD3 and day 1 of clomid). I decided I would take clomid CD3-7 (150mg), have a scan on CD12 and do a trigger shot. Then we will do timed intercourse and pray for the best. This cycle will only cost about $500 (which insurance will cover half of) since we are having 1 scan instead of 2 and no IUI/sperm prep. Typical cycles have been running $1200 + meds.

We have an IVF consult scheduled for May 2nd. This is a "what if?" appointment. . . it's not a set in stone this is what we are doing thing. I'm still not sure we can afford it (or justify the cost if we decide we have the cash), and I'm not sure I'm morally willing to go there.

We are also on the wait list for donor embryos. This is a pretty cost effective option at our clinic. There are no legal fees (embryos are surrendered to the clinic for adoption). It costs $3800 + meds for one cycle (vs. $8850 + meds for one stimulation cycle). The problem is that the wait list is long (two+ years). For us, it's good that the wait list is long as hubs isn't sure he is on board with the idea. I figure if we still haven't conceived by the time our names come up on the list, he will probably be much more open to the idea. And once we've been given embryos, we don't have to transfer right away. . . we can wait for a while and even pass up the chance to the next couple if we decide against it.

So, that's where we are at. I honestly cannot believe that we aren't pregnant yet. Last Easter, we were a few months into our TTC journey and I was convinced we would have a wonderful Easter surprise. Instead, AF visited. Here we are a year later with the same outcome. This infertility journey has lasted longer than my first round (baby #1 took 12 cycles). Granted, I was a dozen years younger and the only apparent issue was anovulation. Now we have a whole host of "issues". Awesome.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No O in Sight...

Well, I'm on CD14 of my rest cycle and I'm still getting negative OPK's and haven't had a temperature rise as of yet. CM is looking scanty as usual despite the addition of Guaifenesin.

Wondering if this will be a wasted cycle vs. a rest cycle?

If no O by CD20, then I will call the RE for a script to start the next cycle.

Or maybe... O will happen in the next day or two. I'm using the OPK 3x daily because I seem to have a short Lh surge and don't want to miss it.

DD is getting tired of all this BD spacing. . . I'm not sure how long I'll be able to hold him to it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Naturally Increasing the Odds...

This week I've started on Maca, Royal Jelly (w/ pollen & propolis), Spirulina, and Red Raspberry Leaf tea. I'm still taking my Raw Code food based prenatal vitamins and getting bi-weekly acupuncture treatments.

Since CM is still an issue for me, despite the surgery to open up the scar tissue closing my cervix... I'm thinking of starting some guaifenesin today until ovulation. We are spacing BD out and will begin using PreSeed on CD10 until ovulation is confirmed. We know that daily BD depletes the sperm count, so our goal is to increase the count to a healthy level AND not miss our window of opportunity prior to ovulation. We are taking a BD break on CD8-CD9, CD11 & CD13. So, BD will be CD10 (72 hour break), CD12 (48 hour break), & CD14 (48 hour break). If ovulation hasn't occurred, we will continue with every other day spacing until we are sure I've ovulated. Then DD can go back to his voracious appetite. :-)

This cycle, I purchased the First Response Daily Ovulation kit. This kit tracks your personal LH level so it will detect the surge even if it is lower than established values (common, especially in women like me with PCOS). I'm having ovary discomfort already (started on CD8) so I expect a CD13-14 ovulation.

I'm also considering a mostly plant based diet (lacto-ovo vegetarian), my husband balks at this, so I'm sure we won't be 100% vegetarian around here plus I'm a WAPF follower and truly believe that a healthy diet should contain all whole food groups. I am hoping to replace the majority of our meals each week with meatless, plant based options. I'm thinking quinoa, artichoke, and sun dried tomato alfredo. . . who'd miss the meat in that dish? Tonight, we are having cheese & veggie pizza (homemade) with a giant garden salad and baked apples (it is Lent, so tonight must be meatless). When we do have meat, it will be local & grass fed.

We will still consume lots of eggs (our staple protein) and the best quality dairy we can get. I'm going to try to replace most baked goods/desserts (except maybe one a month) with fruit options... baked apples or pears, berries & cream, fruit parfaits, etc. . .

I feel like breakfast is already a pretty good meal in our house... we have scrambled eggs w/ gluten free oatmeal (or whole grain toast for the non-gf peeps). I limit cereal to once or twice a week with eggs. I'm weaning the children I didn't give birth to off cold cereal and it's a challenge. I think we can amp this up by adding in fruit and/or veggies.

I'm also going to get back into full baking with almond and coconut flours, alternative/low GI sweeteners, and coconut oil.

I have broken my one modern food addiction- coffee shop Snicker Mocha's (can you say sugar overload?). Coffee is the one thing I consume that isn't whole food/nourishing, so this was a big deal for me. I gave up caffeine months ago, but I was still addicted to the sugar.

If nothing else. . . the dietary changes will help keep me busy and give me a sense of empowerment through this time of rest from conventional treatments.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cycle 4 FAIL ... Time to Rest

Cycle 4 came to a screeching halt this past Thursday. I already knew we weren't pregnant, but like every infertile, I was holding out hope until AF showed.

To add insult to injury... DD and I were at a marriage conference at a beautiful resort this weekend. I had "my friend" the entire weekend... UGH. AND every single session of the conference, no matter where we sat in the ballroom... I was surrounded by pregnant women.

I'm happy for these women... I really am. I don't know a single thing about their stories. Did they conceive the first month of trying after spending their entire adulthood avoiding pregnancy? Did they struggle with infertility? Were they "surprised" by this pregnancy? Wanted, unwanted, planned, unplanned, 1st baby or 12th?... they all have what I long for. I feel guilty for being jealous of their pregnant state.

Sometimes, I feel unjustified in my hurt over infertility. I did bring 3 beautiful children into this world and I gained 2 more via marriage to Devoted Daddy. I am the Mama to 5 kiddos... I will always be insanely busy... I will never have to make the choice to "live child free"... I fit in during the parenting sessions of the conference... I'm an infertile with a full nest.

And I'm still incredibly sad. I long for a child that I can look at and not see my ex or DD's ex... a child that I can look at and see the reflection of this man I love above all else. This man who is my glorious gift after so many years of destruction and heartbreak. I long for a child that will provide all of our children with a joint sibling... a child that will "close the circle" between His and Hers. I would desire these things even if I didn't absolutely adore children... if I didn't love the feeling of being pregnant (even though I was violently ill every time)... if I didn't believe that children are a blessing...

Devoted Daddy is convinced that we will have a baby together in time... I'm losing hope. I know that God is real... and that He is good. I also know that we live in a fallen world where bad things happen. Maybe God's plan for us is to love the orphans... to foster and adopt children that are unwanted... maybe God's plan is that I need to learn patience and that things don't come in my timing...

Or maybe, we just have the rotten luck of faulty plumbing. I've put my reproductive organs through all kinds of trauma since my first bout of (resolved) infertility.

In other news, I asked to be added to our clinic's embryo adoption program. The wait is long (two years or more) because there are many waiting families and not many embryos available. DD and I know that enlarging our family via embryo adoption would mean that the resulting child(ren) would not be of our DNA, but we would be granting life to a child suspended in time... and we would love that child(ren) with every fiber of our being. The irony is... we can go through a FET with adopted embryos for $3800 whereas a round of IVF would cost us $8850 + $2-3,000 in meds.

On my mind... IVF. It was something I wasn't sure I'd ever seriously consider. BUT, here we are... four failed cycles later. We are resting for at least this cycle, maybe two depending on finances. I've crunched the numbers... we have about $2500 left in insurance benefits and on October 1 our FSA account starts over. We could increase that to the maximum which is $5,000 (annually). This would enable us to have $7500 toward the $8850 cost of IVF in October (two months prior to my dreaded 35th birthday). IF (and it's a big IF) we can save the remaining $1350 and start rounding up the medications... maybe, just maybe... we could give it a go. If round one doesn't work BUT we have embryos remaining, we could wait a couple months and pay $1250 for a FET.

I know without a doubt, that even if we conceived triplets on IVF #1, we'd have to proceed with FET of any remaining embryos at the earliest possible time. I cannot allow the start of life to stay indefinitely suspended in time or be destroyed. We'd have to give every embryo (no matter the quality) a shot at life. Our only other option would be embryo adoption... but I think I'm one of those women that is attached to my eggs and would have a great sense of loss over allowing them to be raised in another family... and if none became children, I'd wonder if they would have had a different outcome if I had chosen to transfer them... Because I'm crazy like that. :-)

I have a prescription here for 10 vials (75iu) of Menopur + 15 clomid pills + 10,000iu of Pregnyl. I can buy the Menopur cheaply via for $187.50, this is about a fourth of the cost of an American pharmacy. My clinic recommends the generic HMG and even gave me the order form, so I am comfortable using it.

However, I have to make a decision... try Menopur + clomid + HCG (in April or May) with IUI and potentially waste another $1500... or wait and save... and pray and hope...

Either way... I'm taking March off. Who knows, maybe we will get lucky on our own. I started the OPK today (First Response Daily), I like that this kit watches (and remembers) my personal levels of LH to detect my surge... since I have a short (and possibly weak) surge this is a good thing. I'm also diligently tracking my BBT, cervix position and CM. By taking March off, I can skip the day 3 ultrasound at my clinic and shave $470 off the next cycle. My RE only requires baselines in back to back medicated cycles.

Our next cycle will consist of a call on CD1 to let them know my new cycle started... clomid days 3-7, Menopur (if we decide to use it) CD7-12+, a monitoring scan on CD12 followed by a trigger (if my eggs are ready to go). Technically, this could be a tad cheaper than my previous cycles because of skipping the baseline scan... but if my scan on CD12 reveals follicles that aren't ready to trigger, I could end up with another scan (or two) before we can trigger.

Honestly, if money weren't a factor right now... I'd be forging ahead into the next cycle as we speak.

Monday, March 5, 2012

POAS Obsession...

I'm pretty sure every infertile has it (and plenty of those without IF issues)... I really tried to be more patient this cycle...

But I caved... I tested at 10dpIUI and got a negative... 12dpIUI negative again.

I know there is a good chance that I ovulated those three eggs between CD13 & 15 (IUI was on CD13, trigger CD12 AM), so my brain understands that this may have been too early to test... but the practical side of me is assuming I'm not knocked up and planning what comes next.

What I learned today...

Our Medical FSA will be exhausted after we pay for our current cycle until October 1 (new plan year). We have approximately $1500 left of insurance coverage for IF (paid at 50%). I called the clinic to get a coded list of all the billings since this journey started AND I called the insurance company to get a detailed list of EOB's since January 1, 2011. This way, I can compare all the IF payments and make sure we don't lose out on any benefits due to improper coding.

What else I learned today... One cycle of IVF is $8850 + meds ($2-$4K). A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is $1250.

In hindsight... I could have jumped in with one shot at IVF... between our insurance coverage and what we've spent so far, we could have funded ONE IVF cycle... If only we could know these things in advance... at my age, in my health, with my stats... I'm an "excellent" outcome for IVF so the chance of one shot working is high. At this point, we just can't afford it. Maybe, if we save our kiesters off we could afford a cycle in a year. However, by the end of 2012, I will be 35 and my success rate will drop dramatically.

I just don't see it ever being an option for us... neither is private adoption because the cost is insurmountable in our current situation. We have other things that all our extra money MUST go to in the next 12 months in order to avoid selling our home when the co-owners want bought out (looooong story) early next year.

If I had the option, I would increase my work load to net as much income as I could in the next several months... however, I'm regulated by the state and can't increase my load. Since DD is a teacher, his salary is capped (not to mention the pay cuts he's taken each of the last three years). So, barring a miracle this may be the end of the road for us.

I know that technically we aren't out until AF shows up (this weekend... while we are at a much needed weekend retreat).

Symptom wise, here's where I'm at:
Skin breakout, HOLY CRIPES. My chin is a cystic volcano mess. Ouch.
Heartburn (constant)
Slight cramps here and there (since 3 or 4dpIUI)
Sore breasts
Lots of watery and creamy CM
Sensitivity to smells
Not emotional (this is very odd considering the hormonal drug induced rage I normally have at this point in my cycle).
Craving LEMON, this has never happened before. It's been unbearable for the last 3 days. I bought a giant bag of lemons at Costco...

Barring the negative pee sticks on 10 and 12 dpIUI, I'd swear this lady was knocked up... given those tests I'm thinking this is all drug induced (and perhaps related to high progesterone from 3 follicles forming CL cysts).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Early Pregnancy Symptoms or Over Active Brain?

5dpo- vague lower abdominal cramping (like I normally get 2-3 days before AF), DD mentions a different taste and smell "down there", lots of milky CM.

6dpo- vague cramping continues, temp dip, lots of milky CM, increased sex drive (like during the fertile/ovulation phase). Tested out HCG trigger- negative.

7dpo- vague cramping continues, some left side twinges (CL?), lower backache, skin break out, peeing like crazy, good temp rise after yesterdays dip, still a wet feeling but less noticeable CM.

I can technically test in 7 days at 14 days past IUI... but part of me wants to wait until 17 days past since that was the length of my LP last cycle... With my first baby I tested at 18dpo... after 18 sustained high temps because I was young and when my RE said "if your temp is up for 18 days you are probably pregnant", so I didn't even consider testing before then. My 2nd baby was a bit unexpected as I'd not had a postpartum AF yet, so I was 6 weeks in (and extremely smell sensitive) before I tested. Baby number 3 I tested on the day AF was due and got a faint positive.

I'm trying to hold out. :-) I know anything before 10dpo is silly to test. My brain tells me to wait until at least 14dpo and my not wanting to be crushed says wait until 17dpo if temp is still up then test...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Things Crazy Infertiles Do...

When DD and I married, we figured a baby would be soon to follow. I'm not sure why I was that naive... I knew from previous experience (12 medicated fertility cycles) with baby girl #1 that I don't make babies easily. Perhaps the 12 years in between dulled my memory. Baby girl #2 followed on the heels of her slow in arriving sister with conception from my first post baby ovulation (11 months old, still breastfeeding) and then refused to move out despite her ginormous size and obvious lack of space. Baby girl #3 required 6 cycles of medicated fertility cycles following 6 months non medicated TTC after a spontaneous pregnancy and early miscarriage (chemical pregnancy).

Since my baby is now 7 years and 1 month old, we can count my last conception to 7 years and 10 months ago.

And, grown up me thought this time would be a walk in the park.

As soon as the ink dried on our marriage certificate, I began purchasing maternity clothes (used)... I justified that I couldn't pass up the great prices and surely I'd be pregnant any day now.

Then I started buying my cloth diaper system. I was convinced that I wanted Flip diapers and decided I'd accumulate my stash by the time the baby arrived without feeling any financial pain (1 or 2 a month and we would be good to go). Jenny over at What the Blog? has made me ponder multiples and a simple diaper strategy vs one size Flips...

One day I happened to be in the cute little baby boutique and consignment shop and came across a fabulous PPB nappy bag. It was $50 (retail $200). So, of course, I was obligated to snatch it up!

I may or not have purchased numerous cute bodysuits and a certain black and hot pink rockstar tutu... and maybe a couple of cute dress shoe/booties from a certain daily deal site.

There is also the possibility that I have a card stashed away to help share the exciting news with DD...

A few months back, I gave away most of my maternity clothes stash to DD's co-teacher (who has since already delivered that baby). My thinking was that it might help my mojo to divest my closet of big bellied clothing.

Then a short while later, a friend had a darling little angel girl and I stuffed a goodie bag with several of the darling bodysuits, tutu, and shoes.

I still have my diapers stashed away (and growing)... and a few other odds and ends.

I can't stay out of baby stores... possibly because I run an in home childcare and always need something for the littles I care for... possibly because I love babies... possibly because it's become an obsession...

Today I discovered I have three happy, fat eggs waiting to pop and do the happy dance with DD's sperm... what do I do? I start reading triplet blogs. The last cycle that I had 3 happy, fat eggs (of which none turned into a baby), I was researching triplet strollers and insurance. (I did find out that in the state of CA you can buy AFLAC insurance AFTER you are pregnant...and you don't have to live there to do that... good news for those carrying more than one baby.)

My brain knows that the likelihood that one egg will meet up with sperm is lowish... the likelihood that all three will... well, that's almost ridiculous given our history. Don't get me wrong, the prospect of triplets scares the bejeebers out of me, but it's also slightly exciting... maybe it's something only infertiles understand... 3 babies is certainly better than 0.

I'm ridiculous... I know. This cycle will probably end like the others... without a healthy pregnancy. But I can't help being a bit optimistic.

It's a GO

Today is CD12. Scan revealed 3 nice follicles. There is a 27mm biggie on the right and two on the left at 18 & 21mm. We came home and DD gave me the trigger shot. I think the shot stings a bit* but is really no big deal... (keep in mind, I'm one of the tough girls... high pain threshold).

Dr. Awesome asked me before the scan which ovary I thought was going... I said, both... my right and left have both been giving me pain but that yesterday my left out stepped my right a bit on the tenderness scale. After looking, he said "you sure know your ovaries".

He then went on to joke about triplets. How it'd be a walk in the park with all my other help at home... I could just lounge in my silk bed and let the older kids hold babies and bring them to me for nursing rotation. :-) I then added in how my body likes to keep my babies in forever so they'd come out nice and big... Dr. A said, yep 9 pounders around! Haha... as if.

I'm not too worried about getting triplets although I know there's a chance... but I've had 3 follicles before and didn't get even one to fertilize.

This is it... I'm feeling good. I feel really positive about this cycle. I know that in a couple days the HCG will kick in and I'll start to feel pregnant and my emotions will be all over the place, but for today, I feel positive. 1, 2, or 3... we will be thrilled and deal with whatever. DD may have a stroke, but we will get through. :-)

IUI at 9:45 AM tomorrow, 2/21/12. Praying like a mad woman! (BTW, we've been good at spacing BD so that we have a good swimmer count... BD on CD10, IUI on CD13, then BD at will).

*DD just disclosed to me that the reason my belly fat is feeling a bit stingy and bruised is because he {oops} pulled the syringe out at an angle and it kind of popped out... think needle dragging sideways instead of going straight in and out. Hmmmm... that explains the discomfort. Praying we don't have to get better at giving shots.

Keep in mind, this is the man that was worried about stabbing my intestines "or something"... my snorted response was "have you seen my belly fat?". It's just a little bruise people. Nothing to get excited about.

Oh, and the gas has started. Is it just me... right before ovulation I get GASSY. Not stinky like... just a lot of bloat and pressure and gas like a tire leak... I'm just saying...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cycle 4 Marches On... Hormones & Moods

Today is CD7 and I took my last dose of Clomid (150mg) today. My Pregnyl will arrive Friday. Monday (CD12), we go back to the clinic for a scan which will decide whether we trigger that day or wait a bit longer.

I've been a hormonal, emotional mess... it seems to get worse with each cycle (build up of medications?) and with the addition of HCG last cycle. I'm weepy... for the last week or so of my cycle I couldn't have a rational conversation... everything was overwhelming.

Anyway... time marches on... funds are dwindling. I'm pretty sure this is our last cycle for a while. I'll know more once the cycle is finished and I can look at the remaining funds. Either way, we will be taking a treatment break soon while we regroup and save. I feel like October will be the earliest we could tackle a fertility cycle again.

I'm really feeling the call to foster parenting. DD isn't convinced yet... but I think we may start tackling certification soon. Perhaps, my love for children is the very reason we haven't conceived... perhaps, God's plan is for us to love the orphans. I'm good with that.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cycle 4 Begins

Today is CD1... the start of our next cycle. We are going with the same routine as last cycle... baseline scan on CD3, clomid CD3-7, monitoring scan on CD12, Pregnyl 10,000 trigger injection when follicles are big and happy, followed by IUI 24 hours later.

The good news... we took in Devoted Daddy's swimmers for a check up on Monday, everything looks spiffy and we are good to go for this cycle... we just know that the 3 day abstinence is a MUST.

I'm still going for weekly acupuncture... I feel like I am getting more relaxed during treatment... almost like a heaviness over me, but I'm still semi-aware. Today, I didn't open my eyes at all during the treatment but I do remember sounds around me. It was a nice feeling.

I must say... the HCG trigger gave me some interesting PMS symptoms. My new cycle started 18 days post trigger (17 days post O)... so, my LP was longer than normal (could this be due to the higher progesterone with multiple follicles?). My ability to cope was limited the last few days to week... it's just not a good time to have a serious conversation with me. My sense of smell was heightened to an almost ridiculous level. I was tired... all the time.

I tested out the HCG shot on CD4 and CD5 with a digital test (I had freebies from my ovulation packs here). CD4 proclaimed "pregnant" (when I knew otherwise, evil device!)... CD5 was correct with "not pregnant". I tested again at CD11 and CD12 with First Response Early Tests... just in case we managed a miracle despite our low swimmer count... they were both negative, of course. When my LP reached 16 days, I was hopeful that I was in for a late positive... but my temp had dropped so I knew better.

Part of me wants to go on fertility vacation... quit worrying about it for a while. The practical part of me knows that I'm much to OCD and would still stalk my chart and obsess over the possibility... so it wouldn't be a break... it would just be no assistance.

That said... I'm surrounded by pregnant women lately. What's up with that??? Torture or signs of things to come... or just plain dumb luck...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cycle 3- Cancelled

Yesterday, CD12, I went in for an ultrasound. I had two nice follicles at 18 & 24 mm. We triggered at the clinic with an HCG injection.

This morning, I took the specimen in... two hours later we were back waiting for IUI... but the count was much too low... we didn't have enough swimmers for IUI.

So... here I sit. With engorged, painful ovaries waiting for ovulation... knowing that unless God throws us a miracle this will be a wasted cycle (and the most expensive one so far with the extra monitoring and injection).

I feel defeated.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And We March On...

Every single month AF arrives and I go into mourning. Seriously. It's like a death each time I discover I am not expecting YET AGAIN. We've technically been on this infertility journey for 15 cycles now... my baby will be 7 in a weeks time... I haven't conceived in 7 years, 9 months...

To make matters worse... I had to go baby gift shopping for my husbands coworker. I am happy for each and every new baby that arrives, don't get me wrong. But it's a horrible thing to spend hours shopping for baby gifts as you've started bleeding and discovered that there is not a baby in your near future.

And the money... ugh... life is so unfair when some of us have to spend a fortune to conceive a child. We are quickly going to run out of funds and have to stop treatments for an unknown amount of time.

I know I'm blessed... I conceived 5 times and gave birth to three beautiful children during my early-mid 20's. I am so incredibly grateful for these amazing children... and I gained two more via marriage... I have five amazing kiddos. But none of that changes the pain of infertility. It's funny... this bout has been much harder on me emotionally than the first time around... when I was a young (and yes, naive) 21 year old. Back then, I don't think it ever really crossed my mind that I might not be able to conceive and carry a child to term...

I've had my post-op appt. Dr. Awesome confirmed that we are good to go with cycle #3. The plan this time is a bit different since we missed ovulation and had IUI the morning after last cycle.

I will have a monitoring ultrasound on CD12... and an HCG trigger shot... then we will schedule IUI. There is a chance that I will have to go back in every 2-3 days to monitor if my follicles aren't looking promising on CD12, but it's better than risking another cycle fail due to timing. My body just doesn't cooperate with the OPK's (due to the PCOS?).

We are praying that a baby is in our near future... I have almost a whole set of FLIP diapers tucked away in my drawer now... I had a theory that if I bought them a couple at a time, I wouldn't have a big expense all at once. Great theory, but I was counting on actually getting to use the diapers. :-)