Sunday, November 27, 2011

My, How Quickly Things Change

I went for my 6w2d ultrasound right before I left town for Thanksgiving.  I was obviously very anxious and worried about what I would see since five days prior, I had learned that I was carrying two babies.  My RE quickly found a flickering heart beat and then noticed that the other sac did not grow.  I had a vanishing twin.  I hate to say that I was happy about it because I did lose a baby, but I was happy not to be in the position of carrying two babies and having the agony and pain of giving one of my babies to my friends.  In some respect I felt bad that I couldn't help my friends, but at the same time, it was a relief that I didn't have to be put in that position.  For the first time since I had seen the first ultrasound, I was really excited that I was having a baby!

It was strange how everyone who knew that I was pregnant with twins, all breathed a sigh of relief when I told them I had a vanishing twin.  Everyone worried about me having to separate my two babies and what that would do to me.  While I think they understood why I was doing it, they also were trying to figure out how "we" could make it happen so I could keep them both.  It was the first time when it felt like I/we could celebrate the fact that I successfully conceived a baby! 

I told my mom and her friend as soon as I got in town.  I pulled out some ginger ale, Saltine crackers, bagels, and peanut butter.  It took them a while for them to figure it out because her friend, with whom I was staying, told me that I didn't have to bring my own food.  When I kept asking if she had ginger ale and Saltine crackers, they still hadn't put it together.  As soon as they did, they were so excited.  My mom quickly asked me if there was only one and boy did I have a story to share with them!  When I told my mom's husband, he was over the moon about a little grandchild entering the world next July!

My RE released me which was kind of sad, and I will be going to my regular OB in a few days.  I'll get to see my baby again.  : )  There better not be any surprises like a second heart beat!  I'm not sure I could take that again!  It's strange to think there is a little human being growing inside me, and that soon I will responsible for this little being for the really, really, really long time.  While I am a little nervous about being a SMC, I am also so excited to meet this little creature that I made.  I know I can do this and my child and I will have a great life together. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Must be in a Dream!

It's been a while since I have written/updated. I ended up having a hysteroscopy last month which showed nothing out of the ordinary.  I was both happy that there was nothing serious preventing me from getting pregnant but sad because I was hoping he'd find a little something that could be easily fixed.  I've often heard that some people get pregnant right after a miscarriage and some people get pregnant right after a hysteroscopy.  I asked the nurse if this was true, and she kind of brushed it off as being a "myth". 

I had my IUI the day after my half marathon.  I triggered the night before the race and worried that all of the running would make my eggs pop out sooner than they were supposed to.  Like the previous couple of cycles, I had three eggs.  Because I had to take extra hCG due to my luteal phase defect, I've not been able to rely on HPTs because they could be a false positive.  My first beta at 11dpo was 15.  Last cycle (the one where I miscarried early, my beta was a 16), so I knew this wasn't looking good and that I was in limbo.  I had to go through the whole weekend worrying/wondering if this was another doomed pregnancy or just the remnants of the hCG.  I was testing all weekend long, and noticed the line was getting darker, so I knew this one stuck! 

14dpo: 37 (It had doubled, but it's supposed to double every 48 hours and it had been 72)
16dpo: 75 (While it doubled, it is a lot lower than the average and RE would like for it to have been well over 100)
18dpo: 182 (Typically two blood draws are done, but with my numbers so low, he wanted to continue monitoring me)

At 20dpo, I woke up in the middle of the night with excrutiating cramping.  I immediately thought I was miscarrying, and I was trying to figure out if I could get myself to the hospital because the pain was so bad.  It subsided about 30 minutes later after I put a little heat on my abdomen.  I called RE the next day and was sent in for another beta to see if the number might be decreasing after that episode.  Interestingly enough, at 21dpo, my beta was 650.  We were very cautious because at 21dpo, the average beta is 1248, so this was definitely on the low side, but the good news was my numbers were continuing to double!   

I had my first ultrasound at 5w4d.  Imagine my surprise when RE immediately saw two sacs!!!  I laid on the table just saying "Sh%$" over and over again in disbelief as he looked at each one and saw a yolk sac.  I think we were both stunned because my beta numbers were barely strong enough for a singleton, let alone twins. 

I came out of the exam room, and everyone in the office was waiting by the door to see my u/s pictures.  The look on their faces when they saw two was priceless!  No one could believe it.  While they were excited and hugging me, I was in complete shock.  I held it together until I got in my car.  My sister had no idea that I was even pregnant, so I texted her a picture and wrote, "Hi, Aunt Kristin."  I then called my good friend, Meggan, who didn't believe me.  Her response--- laughter!!!!  I started crying... not from excitement or happiness but out of fear.  My sister finally called me back, very surprised and stunned, and after telling her everything, and moments later, she laughed!  Nice to know both of them responded this way!

When I decided to take fertility meds, it was with the understanding that if I ended up getting pregnant with twins, my good friends would adopt one.  We had several long conversations about this.  They've been trying for years to get pregnant and have had a few failed IVF cycles.  Last month they just started filling out their papers for adoption.  They both finally accepted the fact that they will not have a biological child and were ready for the next step.  When I saw my second baby, I immediately thought that this was their baby.  I didn't think twice about that, and I was partially relieved that I always had a plan.  The difficult thing is that I never truly imagined I would get pregnant with twins!  Heck, this was my eighth try, and I couldn't get one to stick let alone two! 

I've been living in this dream where I can't seem to wake up.  I've cried since I found out.  I even cried while I was blowing drying my hair yesterday. I believe that one is a blessing (mine) and one is a gift that I am supposed to give to my friends.  This was the "master plan" and while it's controversial (as is being a SMC), it's what's best for me and my babies.  I can give my friends the most amazing gift of their lives.  I can fulfill their dream of being parents.  They can finally have a baby living in the nursery they decorated a year ago.  They can be a family.

While in my dream world this seems so easy, in reality, it's killing me.  I have contacted a therapist who deals with adoption, birth mothers, etc. to help me make this life altering decision.  I cannot be influenced by my friends and family because this is my decision alone.  While I have their support, I know they worry about me and if I can really do this.  I know they want me to keep both. But really, what choice do I have?  I know as a SMC, I'm already stretched financially, so two would be next to impossible.  I want my child to be exposed to the world and play soccer or take ballet, go to Disney World, visit museums, see movies, etc. but having two will keep us "homebound" and unable to experience these things due to finances.  It's not fair to my babies.

I know this has been really long, but there was a lot to update.  My friends who "will" adopt do not know I am pregnant with twins, and I don't plan to tell them for a while.  I do know that I want to tell them sooner rather than later for my sake and sanity.  I want to be able to remind myself that I have one baby, but that I am carrying another one for my friends.  It's the only way I can emotionally prepare for what will happen when I deliver them. 

I go for a second ultrasound on Wednesday, which will be 6w2d.  We will hopefully see the heart beats.  It is that day where I will share the news with my mom when I visit for Thanksgiving.  I have not one, but two, things to be thankful for!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lucky Number Seven?

I've had seven, yes seven, IUIs!  I went into #7 believing this would be my last try, so I really went for it and did back to back IUIs.  I am emotionally and physcially drained.  My stomach is bruised from all of the injections, I have gained weight (despite all of the running I do), my ovaries hurt from growing more/bigger follicles, and the whole process is emotionally exhausting.  However, I felt good about this round.  I was right... sort of...

I received my first BFP at 11dpo.  I continued to get BFPs and was two days late.  I was so excited that I actually got pregnant.  However, at 4w3d, I began bleeding so heavily and had the worst cramps ever.  I had an early miscarriage.  I was so sad.  This chemical pregnancy made me rethink because I actually DID get pregnant.  It was that moment that I decided I couldn't quit.  I took action quickly because time is of the essence when TTC via injections.  Within two days, we came up with a plan.

My RE has suspected luteal phase defect (which we are treating) and adenomyosis.  Both can make implantation a bit of a challenge.  Instead of calling it quits since I did conceive this time around, my RE and I decided to go forward with a hysteroscopy to really look at my uterus.  I also wanted to push with another cycle, so RE is also going to start me on meds so I don't have to take a break because of the hysteroscopy. I like that he responds to what is happening with me and does whatever he can to help make this work.  While I have to sometimes be a little more proactive than I'd like to be, he at least works with me and I feel like we are a team.  I really hope that we will have some answers after the hysteroscopy.

This is going to be my marathon month, literally and figuratively!  I am running a half marathon next weekend, getting my hysteroscopy tomorrow, starting injections tonight or tomorrow, hopefully conceiving at the end of the month, and hopefully closing a million dollar deal with my customer.  It's going to be a busy, crazy few weeks, and I am eager and excited for the craziness!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's been a long time... a really long time!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sitting here not pregnant five months after starting this journey!  It's been really tough and I haven't wanted to write much about it.  I'm not even sure I could go back and remember everything that has been going on.  Let's try...

I finally decided to try injections so that I could produce more than one egg... increasing my chances of successfully conceiving. While that was a very tough decision because in my opinion, doing so messes with nature, and I was not happy about putting those kinds of medicines in my body, I came to peace with it because it seems to be the only chance I have to get pregnant. I fear having more than one baby, so with a conversation with my friends about their inability to conceive, I am 100% sure that if I have twins, they will adopt one of them (if I have triplets, they'll adopt two.).  My babies will have better lives that way because I can't afford two, nor do I have family living nearby to help.   Besides, what a great thing to do for two great people!  While I know giving one to them would be very difficult for me, I know that it is the right thing to do.  I am confident in that decision.  My babies will know about each other, and while my friends and I live a few hours from from each other, they will be in each other's lives. While part of me really wants to help them, I don't want to have to go through carrying twins and giving one to them because emotionally, that is going to be very difficult.

I've lost track how many times I have done IUIs... five?  six?  Yikes!  Anyway, I've had a spotting issue that I've been thinking might be contributing to the problem.  I typically spot about 7 dpiui and my BBT begins to drop about 10 dpiui. From what I have read, this makes implantation difficult.  I pushed my RE a bit to look into this and he did a different type of ultrasound (I can't remember the name of it).  Anyway, it appears as if I have Adenomyosis and with the issues with spotting/BBT, I've been diagnosed with Luteal Phase Defect.  With regards to the Luteal Phase Defect, progesterone and B6 haven't been working, so my RE has put me on hCG injections two different times after my IUI.  Last cycle, I had no spotting!  Because of the hCG injections, my RE needs to check my beta to see if the numbers are increasing to determine if I am pregnant.  My beta last time was low but positive.  RE thought by the time my blood was drawn, the hCG would be out of my system.  Two days later when I had my blood drawn again, my beta dropped.  Ugh!  That's so frustrating!

I have started the injections again, and my follicles are growing very slowly this time around.  I'd like to think that they are getting nice and healthy!  I'm not sure why this is happening especially since I have been stimming longer than "normal" and with higher doses, and when I don't do the injections, they grow faster.  My "typical" day of doing my IUI is not even close to being accurate this time around which is strange.  I kind of had an idea when my IUI would be and that date is way off.  Hmmm...

In the meantime, I have started running again after my horrible/painful injuries seven months ago.  I have my final half marathon next month (well, walk/run since my doctor won't allow me to run the whole thing), and I always planned on running it whether pregnant or not.  I figured that it's good to work out before and during pregnancy, so I jumped back in to get myself back in shape and healthy again. I've been training while focusing on my heart rate since I know when pregnant, heart rate needs to stay low.  I've always had a high heart rate, so it's been a challenge to keep it down, but I'm getting better.  I feel like running/working out is just another thing that will help me get pregnant. 

So there's a bit of an update of where I am in this frustrating journey.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Such Trying Times...

It's been quite some time since I updated my blog.  Since I don't update during the TWW, I am limited as to when I can write in my blog.  I've had several IUIs... all to no avail.

I went into the TTC chapter of my life thinking that it'll happen (with just a bit of fear/worry that it wouldn't).  I am sitting at my desk wondering if I should throw in the towel now and stop fighting for my dream to be a mother.  I don't think I ever fully realized how emotionally draining this is.  Lately I seem to be fighting back tears any time I think about it because I'm tired of getting BFNs.  I am emotionally spent.  My heart breaks every time it doesn't work.  While one might look at this as making me a strong person, I have to wonder if being a mother is even in the cards for me.  I am at a point where I need to decide if I am done trying or if I am willing to go against my beliefs and do some type of medicated cycle.  While IVF is off the table for me, adding some medication to help boost my chances of a successful IUI are an option even though it goes against everything I believe.  I never thought I'd be in this predicament.  I was so hopeful that I'd be pregnant by now.  I'm tired of my life literally revolving around a calendar and counting the days leading up to ovulation or DPO.  It sucks.  It sucks badly!  I want a baby, and for some reason I can't seem to make one.  It's the emptiest feeling and indescribable for anyone who has never been in my shoes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Rollercoaster Ride has Sadly Ended

Like my first IUI, I wrote about second IUI.  Unlike the first IUI, I will not copy and paste it all into my blog because unfortunately I miscarried very early into my pregnancy.  I don't want to remember all of the details of what happened especially since I was so happy and excited through the majority of the time I wrote about it.  I was so confident that it was going to work the minute I walked into the RE's office. Everything seemed very different the second time around, so I was sure it would be successful.  I wasn't sick at all after giving myself the trigger shot which was great because I made it through the dreaded TWW feeling well.  I know the precise moment the embryo implanted because I had just a little bit of spotting at the "right" time.  I remember exactly when my main pregnancy symptom subsided because while walking my dog, my boobs seemed to have suddenly deflated and stopped hurting.  I remember the drastic drop in my BBT the next day and then the horrible bleeding that began shortly after my morning got started.  I remember the excrutiating, painful cramps that overtook my body while I was out working with my customers. I remember calling Meggan in tears to tell her I thought I was losing my baby even though she didn't know I was pregnant (imagine her confusion). I remember how horrible I felt thinking that I caused the miscarriage because I was really stressed about work one day or because I had a foot massage when I got a pedicure. 

I had a chemical pregnancy very early on, and it was explained to me that shortly after implantation, my uterus kicked the embyro out.  I realize that a miscarriage weeds out the unhealthy babies, but that still doesn't help 100% when realizing  that I did actually conceive a baby and lost it.  I find hope in the fact that I actually got pregnant, so I know my "plumbing" works.  I find hope in the realization that I timed everything right with regards to the trigger which I thought was so off the first time.  While I find hope, I am so scared to do this again.  It's so difficult to go through this because I've got one chance with donor sperm while a couple can try for several days to maximize their chances.  I fear for another miscarriage.  I fear for another failed attempt.  But at the same time, I forge on because that is the only thing that will make my dream come true. 

Meggan and the girls on that Facebook page are the only ones who know I had a chemical pregnancy (and anyone who reads this blog like my sister), and at this moment I plan to keep it this way. This is the exact reason why I made it very clear to my friends and family that I wouldn't tell them anything until I get my BFP.   I grieve for my first baby, and I have removed myself from my world for a little bit while I recover emotionally and physically.

While I emotionally, mentally, and physically prepare for IUI #3, I hope and pray that the third try really is the charm because I'm not so sure how many more times I can do this.  I was much more invested with IUI #2 and much more attached to it because I was so sure it was going to work.  I need to find that hope and confidence once again to ensure that my baby will stick next time.  It is time for me to move on...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Waiting Game

The process of trying to get pregnant is a waiting game, and it is testing my patience.  Right now my world is ruled by the calendar.  I am always waiting for something every single day.  I am either waiting to ovulate or waiting for my period to (not) start.  Regardless of which one I am waiting for, I am constantly in the waiting game, and while my friends and family don't know when my next IUI will occur, I just tell them that I am waiting because that's no lie.  It's so discouraging.  Here's hoping round #2 is successful so I can wait for something much more exciting... my baby!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meeting with the RE

I met with my RE to discuss our first attempt.  I shared my concerns with him about the timing of things. He explained that it's really hard to pinpoint the exact moment ovulation occurs which is why we have to work within a window.  I understand that, but I want to feel confident that we are doing things in the window and not after the window has closed.  It's really crazy how this is literally about timing and how the timing is so short.  I'm beginning to wonder if we will get it right so that I will have a baby.  Anyway, I will trigger 36 hours before the IUI instead of 48 like we did last time.  I feel good about that, and I appreciated the fact that he is listening to me and working with me.  As explained previously, I'm doing this 100% alone with no one knowing anything, so I'll be in "hiding" again probably from here on out since the process will start again sometime soon.

On another note, the quality of my donor was not the best.  The motility is on the low side which is another thing working against me.  I bought five vials and two are still at the bank for me to sell back if I don't need them. The bank doesn't guarantee motility, but they do guarantee count.  I never knew that.  This is frustrating.  I hope the next vial is better than the first vial, but if not, I may have to change donors. What a bummer!  I guess I am now really understanding why getting pregnant is harder than one might think.  It's a rollercoaster!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moving on to Round #2

Now that the cat is out of the bag and my few friends and family know that my first attempt at an IUI was unsuccessful, I am ready to move on to round #2!  I took my time dealing with and accepting the bad news, but I am more ready than ever to do what needs to be done to make this successful.  I have emailed my RE with my thoughts and concerns with the timing of things.  I am hoping that when I have my next appointment with him that we will change things up. 

I've always been very proactive with everything in my life, and I like to be educated and knowledgeable about everything.  I understand my body and the timing of things well enough to believe that we were too late.  We need to discuss this.  As obsessive as it might seem, I would actually like to do the hCG injection and have an ultrasound 24 hours later to see if the egg has released.  If it has, then we will defrost the sperm, wash it, and inject it as quickly as possible.  If the egg has not released, then I want to go back 12 hours later to see what is happening.  It might be excessive and I don't even know if this can logistically be done due to the office obviously not being open 24 hours, but I want to get it right this time.  Unlike a couple who has sex before ovulation, during ovulation, and after ovulation, I've only got one chance, and I need to get it right. I don't know if my RE would be willing to be this on top of things, but I feel like he gets paid, so why not. 

I'm keeping this round completely to myself (aside from my great FB page friends who are on this journey with me!).  No one will be waiting for a date this time around.  That way if it doesn't work, I don't need to report back to anyone.  While I feel like some people still judge me for my choice of being a single mother, the majority of them are so supportive and excited about me being blessed with a child.  Sometimes I think my friends are more emotional about this than I am.  I guess I am just realistic and am trying to be as even keeled as I can.  Right now, being overly emotional is not an option because that only makes this whole thing that much harder.  All I know is that this baby will really truly be loved by many. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Back (for a little while anyway)...

While my first attempt did not result in a happy ending, I nonetheless kept track of it...

Today is supposed to be Day One of my period. I have always been right on schedule before the pill, during the pill, and after going off the pill. The one time in my cycle that I needed things to go right with my period, they don’t. I am freaking out a bit because I may end up needing my IUI over the weekend now that I am “late”, and I’m not sure if they work on the weekends. This is frustrating!

It’s a new day, and it’s another day without my period. I feel like my body is playing games with me, and I don’t want to play. What if it’s a sign that I shouldn’t be doing this because it’s not going to work? The more I focus on thinking this way, the more stressed I get and that is a bad thing for me right now. I’m afraid that the day I ovulate will now occur on the weekend, and the doctor doesn’t work on the weekends unless they are in cycle. My friend, the embryologist, said that my doctor won’t jeopardize my cycle just because the IUI might fall on a weekend. I’m making myself sick and crazy, and I can’t take it. Just breathe…

I finally got my period, and while I was happy, I had a bit of a curve ball thrown at me. My sports medicine doctor has been trying to figure out why my feet/ankles keep getting as injured as they have. He asked if I had even had my hormone levels checked and coincidentally I have! We discovered that while my testosterone is in the normal range for conceiving a child, it is on the low side when it comes to how my body responds to trauma (running). Low-normal testosterone can lead to bone fractures and tendon/ligament issues which is what I have been dealing with for over one year. With approval from my RE, I will be applying a testosterone cream daily. I was nervous that this might slow down my plan of trying to get pregnant. According to the nurse at my doctor’s office this cream is supposed to help me feel so much better. I didn’t know I felt terrible aside from my feet issues. She explained that I’ll sleep better which will be nice because it always takes me at least an hour to fall asleep. Anyway, perhaps my doctor is on to something. He has always felt that my feet issues are a result of something internal, and perhaps this is the missing piece to the puzzle.

I am scheduled to go in for my follicle study tomorrow which will be day 11. I wasn’t feeling “right” today, so I decided to buy and OPK. There was a faint positive which kind of freaked me out because it’s so early in my cycle. I’ve been in touch with the RN at my RE’s office, and she said I’m okay to wait until tomorrow as planned. I’m kind of freaked out because I wonder if I might now do the IUI without the trigger shot. The RN told me it would be a first if I did an IUI tomorrow with no trigger because it is so soon. I told her there’s always a first and that I tend to defy the odds. So, I will do the OPK again to see if the line is stronger. It’s really hard to believe that tomorrow could be the day (even though the RN said that it most likely isn’t). I’m getting really nervous!

On another note, my mom has been asking me for a detailed account of what I have been doing every day. It makes me laugh because I won’t give in to her silly games! She tries, but I always win. She reminded me one time that I was the one who didn’t tell her I got my period for the first time until several months after I actually got it. She never knew. Tonight when I was talking to her, I let it slip that I had been in the doctor’s office. I think I may have covered it up. My friend, Meggan, told me that she sometimes wonders if I have had it done. We talk daily, so I know it’s always in the back of her head.

I gave myself the hCG injection today. It wasn’t a fraction as bad as I thought it would be. It’s hard to believe that I might get pregnant 48 hours from now. I have a feeling that this isn’t going to work first time around. It’s not that I am being negative because I’d be thrilled if this was successful after the first try, but I guess I’m being realistic since the odds are against me. I’m also a bit concerned with the timing of things. For some reason I think my doctor is doing it too late, but I can’t question him because this is what he does for a living. I can’t even begin to think of how the TWW is going to be. I have plenty of HPTs to try out, and I know that I’ll test sooner than I should. I think I may be addicted to needing to know, and testing (even if it is too soon) will feed my addiction. : )

I have been so sick all day! I swear I feel like I am pregnant even though I haven’t had the IUI. I am so sick to my stomach and my abdomen (ovaries) really hurts. I’m fearful that we missed my window and that I have already ovulated a long time ago. It’ll really bum me out because as I wrote yesterday, I felt like I was doing the trigger too soon. I sure hope that my RE and nurse are right with the timing because this sick feeling is really horrible, and I wonder how many times I can do it.

I went to my doctor to make sure everything still looks okay because of the pain I was having. He explained that the nausea can be due to the increase of hormones as a result of the hCG injection. He also said the right ovary could be hurting because of referred pain in the left ovary which is the one that is ovulating or because there was fluid in? around? it. I have actually ovulated, so I am scheduled to get my IUI in 50 minutes. I am really nervous because my life could change so drastically in a matter of one hour! Part of me is convinced that the timing is “off” so this isn’t going to work. I feel like I have missed my window, but my RE says we are very much in the window. I am putting my trust in him, and if this is meant to be, then I will in fact be pregnant.

I did it! I have actually had my IUI. When I walked out of the room, I said to the nurses, “I guess it’s too late to change my mind.” They started laughing. I was so nervous beforehand, but then I got so excited thinking that this could be it! I only have to wait eight days until I take a HPT. If it’s not positive, I retest on day ten. If it’s negative on that day, then I am most likely not pregnant but I know I’ll test up until I get my period just to make sure. I’m not sure why hope would be lost only ten days after I ovulated. I came home and read two books for my baby, “Welcome, Little One” and “Just the Baby for Me” (which is a children’s book about being conceived with donor sperm). I just have to believe that if it’s meant to be then it’ll happen.

Well, it’s been almost 24 hours, and I wonder if a sperm wanted to play with my egg. It’s funny how I don’t know if that happened, yet it’s most likely been determined by now. I am still really nauseated, and if this is a precursor of what’s to come if I’m actually pregnant, then I am screwed. How could I be so sensitive to an hCG injection? It’s all worth it if in fact I am pregnant, but feeling this way for no reason would really suck!

I woke up at 3:15 AM after having a dream that my sister had a baby. My sister already has two kids and doesn’t plan on having more, so it was strange that the dream was about her and not someone else… like me! I didn’t know that birds started chirping that early in the morning, so I was listening to them because I couldn’t fall back asleep. I then began to worry thinking about if I have twins. I freaked out because it is something I know I can’t do. I am doing a natural IUI to avoid multiples, so I know the likelihood is so slim, but for some reason I began panicking about it. I then came to the resolution that I would give one to my friends, Lesli and Stephan, because they have been unsuccessful with IVF and are moving on to adoption. Wouldn’t that be wild if God gave me two so I could give them one? While I could raise two, I wouldn’t be able to afford two. My family doesn’t live in the same state as I do, so I will be me raising my child all by myself, and the cost of daycare is already astronomical for one! Anyway, giving one to my friends would be amazing, and I know how much they would love my child. It’s the only thought that would comfort me because I am so freaked out about it! I still have nausea, but the pain in my pelvic area is subsiding. At 3:15 AM when I woke up, I was starving! I’ve had saltine crackers by my bed so I can eat them to settle my stomach so I ate some at 3:15. I finally fell asleep at about 6:00 for maybe an hour. Ugh! It’s too soon in the game for all of this nonsense!

We had bad tornadoes touch down last night. One hit about five minutes from where I live and another one hit the airport which is about 15 minutes from me. The devastation is amazing as neighborhoods have been flattened! The airport is closed indefinitely, and people have to begin rebuilding their lives. It’s a tragedy that I feel blessed to have not been directly affected by it.

On a good note, I am finally feeling better. The nausea, bloating, and cramping have subsided. Evidently this is not a “normal” thing to occur when doing a trigger shot, so I’m not sure why I responded so poorly. I dread having to do that again if I am not pregnant this time around. I’m not so sure if I can handle that again. I say (type) that now, but I know I would of course go through that again, but it was truly so horrible! The fact that I’m not telling my friends and family about the timing of things is bad because I have no one to talk to about how lousy I feel, except my embryologist friend who works at my doctor’s office, and even she tells me this shouldn’t be happening. I still don’t regret not telling anyone. In fact, if I’m not pregnant this time around, I’m not sure I’ll even give them a day when they will know something (which I pushed beyond when I will know for sure to throw them off). I don’t even think I’ll tell them anything about a second time (I so hope there isn’t one) because then I don’t have to even tell people if it was negative since no one will know when/if I actually did an IUI. I pray that right now there are a bunch of cells getting ready to attach to my uterus and making themselves really comfortable!

I’m officially half way through my TWW!!! I’ve caved. Yep, I have! Even though I know POAS will result in a negative result, I have done it anyway. Somehow that eases my mind because I know that I am not pregnant because I tested. It gets me through the day and I know I can POAS in the morning. I had a rough night again with regards to sleeping. I was up at 3:00 AM until about 5:00 AM. I had a dream that two customers (who aren’t my real customers because I didn’t recognize them from my real life) knew that I am trying to get pregnant. They asked me when I will know, and I said in a day. One of my customers looked at me and said I was for sure pregnant because I have the pregnancy “glow”. I woke up starving and realizing that there is no “glow” because I am starting to feel yucky again. I keep telling myself that it’s from the hCG injection and the progesterone because in reality, the likelihood of me actually being pregnant is so slim. My RE made that clear the very first time I met with him. I don’t want my body playing games with me and making me feel awful for no reason. I’m exhausted today, but that must be because I didn’t sleep that well. I was feeling very nauseated and crampy again which could be the onset of period cramps. Tomorrow is the first “official” day RE told me to take a “real” test (not the cheap online ones I’ve been using). It’s kind of crazy that I might actually get a positive result (even though the likelihood is small since it’s still so early!). At least this will all be over one way or another in seven days.

I took my first official pregnancy test today per RE. I’m only 8dpiui, so I thought it was super early. Nonetheless, I did it, and of course it is negative. I’m not stressed out about it though because I’ve got six more days to test until my period. I have times where I think I am definitely pregnant and other times, I think I’m not. I am extremely cranky today! The stress of all of this and quite possibly having to do it again with the hCG injection that made me so sick for six days is sounds so awful. I told my friend (who still doesn’t know when I did the IUI) that if this doesn’t work this time around, I will not give another date for people to hear from me. I don’t look forward to possibly share bad news with them. Moving forward, to me, it’s easier to just tell people when I actually get pregnant rather than give them a date when they will hear from me. I’m a very private person, and I felt like it was too public for my liking even though no one knows when I did it and I pushed the date when I would tell them way past when I will actually know. Lesson learned. This TWW really does suck!

On a different note, I have a date with a guy on Saturday. It’s a friend of a friend. We talked last night, and I was kind of freaking out because while we were talking about meeting for dinner, I was thinking that a baby could be growing inside me right now. The thought of liking a guy while I either am pregnant or trying to get pregnant really messes with me. I’ve wanted to be in a relationship for such a long time, but it’s been very difficult for me to meet a guy with whom I actually wanted to go on a second date. The chances of me liking this guy are so slim, but I still get nervous about the timing of things…

Well I am 10dpiui, and as expected, I got a negative pregnancy test. I realize it’s still early, but RE’s office said it is negative by this day, then I should expect my period in a few days. Do I still give up hope? I feel fine, so it’s probably over, but nonetheless, I still want to have hope. I can’t say I am sad, but I am disappointed because as I’ve already written, I question the timing of things. I feel like it was done too late especially when I read or talk to others on a private Facebook page about the timing of things. I will definitely need to talk to RE about this because I’m more concerned about the timing then I am the actual negative result. I know my odds are so slim, and I’ve got four more chances, but I’m not sure I can handle the trigger shot again.

Well, the guy was nice, but certainly no love connection (at least on my part). He’s super smart and a little too serious for me. At least now I don’t have to worry that this dating thing is going to mess with my agenda. Phew! I’m now 12dpiui and while the people on the Facebook page tell me to have hope, it’s really hard for me to do. I should have had a positive HPT by now, and I don’t. I’m ready to start my period so I can try again. I really do need to talk to the RE about the timing of things because I definitely thing we were way too late and I missed the small window. That probably bums me out more than the fact that it’s not positive because I feel like I wasted a try and went through all of the stress and feeling so sick for absolutely no reason. That makes me sad.

Well, my period arrived with a vengeance and right on time! I have to say that I’m not really sad because I was pretty sure my first IUI would be unsuccessful. I’m not sure if I am supposed to be sad or if my reaction is “normal”. What I do know is that I still want a baby! I am very relieved that my period arrived when it is supposed to and didn’t get messed up. I have heard that the progesterone I was taking could in fact delay my period which would have messed up when have my first ultrasound and the next IUI. I am also now going on a high dose of prednisone to try to get this inflammation down in my fractured ankles. It’s been over eight weeks since I fractured them, and they are not healed and the swelling gets really bad sometimes for no reason. While I am still in physical therapy, the doctor and physical therapist cannot figure out why my ankles are so pissed off. So soon I will be back in the TWW. Besides, who wants to have a baby in January? : ) I’m okay about this. I really am. I guess this is has been a test of my strength and faith, and I haven’t lost either. Onward!

I have gone "public" and shared with friends and family that I am not pregnant. I sent an email and now they know. While the TWW sucks, I am excited to give this another try. It's hard and sometimes lonely, but I know that nothing comes easy, so why would I think this adventure would?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Signing off for a Little While

I've decided to chronicle my journey this month separate from my blog. Since my sister is the only one who knows about this blog, and I don't want any of my friends or family to know what is going on, I have decided to take a break from blogging. I will continue to keep track of everything and then copy and paste it all in the blog when the time is right. I'll be back... hopefully with good news! (fingers crossed!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1st is Kickoff to Baby Making!

I can't believe it is April already! April seemed so far away when I really started exploring this new adventure in my life. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous. I'm terrified at the idea of this happening, but at the same time, I am beyond excited that it could happen. While I am not trying to have a baby the traditional way (father, mother, baby), I am content with my decision to do this "alone". I certainly don't feel like I am throwing in the towel with finding a husband to complete my family. I think perhaps the path my life is supposed to take is a little backwards, and I'm okay with that. In fact, I think if I already have a child on my own, the pressure of finding a man who wants to have children is nonexistent. If he and I choose to have another child that's great, but if we don't, then that's okay too.

I sent an email to my friends and family explaining how I want to handle this very delicate situation. I titled it "Rules for Conception". It explained that I will not be talking about this potential baby of mine anymore. I gave a far out date that explains if people don't hear from me by that date then I am not pregnant. It's the only way I think I can handle the stress of it all because I don't want people counting down the days with me. Fortunately, I found a private Facebook page for women like me, and because these women are pretty much strangers, I can tell them anything and everything as they have become a huge support for me!

The only "issue" is that my sister is the only person who knows about this blog. Either I don't write in it anymore, or she keeps this secret of mine quiet and never discusses it with me or anyone else. I can't imagine not writing about this adventure during the most important time, when I actually do my first IUI. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"John's" Sperm are Flying Across the Country (but shouldn't they be swimming?) : )

I've taken the second to last step in this IUI journey (the last step is actually doing the IUI). My vials are on their way to my doctor's office and will be waiting for me when it is the right "time". I have decided that my friends and family who know about this will not know when I am actually doing the IUI, but they do know it's in April. I've given a couple of people dates in the middle of May, and have explained that if they don't hear anything by then, then it was negative. I wonder if I'll be able to keep silent during the 2ww, but I'm going to try. I don't want everyone waiting to hear if I am pregnant or not because that's too much pressure on me. I may tell people if I did get a BFN, but it will be when I'm ready not necessarily when people expect me to find out. That's my plan now for now, but I'm not sure if I'll stick to it. Onward...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Naming my Baby's Donor...

As I sat holding my Meggan's newborn baby the other night, we were trying to figure out if she has her mom or dad's features. I made a joke about doing that with my baby and saying, "He/she has my eyes and 11429's nose." We laughed about it. When I told my friend, Laura, the story the next day, she decided my baby's Donor needs a name. She decided that based on the title of his profile that he should be named John. I don't have a John in my life, so all of a sudden my baby's daddy is now John. Naming my baby's daddy somehow made it more personal and less clinical. Now when I hold my baby in my arms, I can say, "He/she has my eye's and John's nose." I think that was a great idea my friend had!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcome to the World (and my Future), Baby Girl!

My good friend, Meggan, had a baby girl yesterday. I was lucky and privileged enough to have gotten to hang out with them last night. She handed me that sweet bundle of joy and said, "You will have one soon." She told her newborn daughter that soon I will have Charli (Charlotte, my girl's name) for her to play with. My heart melted. Could it be? As I held that baby and stared at her sweet little face, I began freaking out inside. This could be me in less than 12 months! Meggan told me how in love she was with her daughter already, and I want to know what that is like.

Meggan's parents (who came in town), her two sets of in laws, and her sister-in-law were all in the waiting room for the delivery. My family lives in different states, so I will not be lucky enough to have all the support that Meggan has. I know that I am going into this solo and cannot and will not expect help from others. I can't because that is just not right since this is a decision I am making, but any help I do get would be a gift. I am told that if anyone can do this, I can.

Meggan has been very open with me about everything with regards to being pregnant, having the baby, and the "after effects" of the baby being out. She definitely hasn't held any of the grusome details back! I was there when she had to get cleaned up from all the blood she was losing. I was there when they checked her incision and changed the bags of ice that were strapped to her abdomen. I was there when they made her lay on her side, and saw the effort it took to get her in the least painful position. I was there when they made her painful, c-sectioned body sit up on the edge of the bed for the first time. It's all seems so overwhelming, and while she said it all kind of sucks, she also said it is all worth it.

When I got home, I texted a friend of mine who has three children (one is 6 weeks old), and she reassured me that everything I am thinking and feeling is normal. She told me everything I needed to hear. One of her text messages was, "There are tons of single parents out there. You have so much love to give this little one and she will be so lucky to have you as her mom." I am absorbing everything so differently with being around this newborn baby. I look at her differently than any other baby I have ever held in my arms. I look at this baby as my future and while it'll be challenging, it will all be worth it! The days on the calendar are quickly flying by!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Proud Owner of my Baby's Donor's Sperm!

Picking my baby's daddy has been stressful to say the least. My first pick ran out of vials, which forced me to find a new guy. I had chosen my first runner up and noticed that he suddenly was getting low on vials. Needless to say, I panicked, and needed to make a decision... fast- especially since my second runner up all of a sudden didn't have any vials left! I had always thought that I would order two at a time, but this didn't seem like a good risk since he was getting low and was retired. I learned about a "plan" the bank was offering which was to buy five vials and the bank will store them for free for a year, I get free shipping for my first shipment, and any remaining stored vials at the bank could be refunded for 50%. The last thing I wanted was to not be successful the first couple of tries, run out of vials, and need to pick a new guy, so I bought five! Yep! I am now the proud owner of five vials of sperm. Now, I have to decide how many vials I'll send in the first time-- two or three?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Baby's Donor has Run out of Sperm???

I was pretty sure I had chosen my baby's Donor until I learned after logging in to his profile, that there are no more "donations" remaining. Really?! How can that be?! I mean, I know how that is possible, but I can't believe it happened without warning. According to the website, he had over 25 vials available less than a month ago. All I can think of is that there are going to be a lot of his kids running around this planet. I guess he's not meant to be my baby's Donor, and I must choose another daddy which seems to be all of sudden really stressing me out!

On another note, I ran my third half marathon this past weekend which resulted in a pretty bad injury. It looks as if my days of running half marathons are over. I am/was scheduled to run another one next month, and since it looks like this is not going to be possible, the big question from everyone has been... will I be trying to get pregnant sooner? One of the reasons I was postponing getting pregnant sooner was because of my half marathons in February and April. Since I don't plan to run the April race, I could do this sooner than originally planned. I'm already beginning to stress out because I have to choose another baby daddy, get paper work done on my end, have the doctor's office fill out paperwork on his end, etc. Time is flying and the clock is ticking! I need to really get moving on the next chapter of my life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Looking for a Good Number

I met with the reproductive endocrinologist last Thursday. While I sat there listening to the odds, I began feeling a little hopeless. He did not paint a very pretty picture for me, and while I told him I appreciated his honesty, I was still a little sad. My percentage of achieving a pregnancy doing a natural IUI cycle (no drugs) is 8%. If I do hormone injections, it goes up to 15%. While I don't want to chance multiple pregnancies, this option is not something I want to start with. He explained that most people choose the drug option, and that I was definitely in the minority. If I wanted to continue with my plan, he told me the next step would be to do an ultrasound and look at my follicles. I asked him what a good number of follicles would be and he said he'd be happy with ten.

After I met with him, I visited my friend who works there. She asked me where I was in my cycle, and since I was in the right timeframe for the ultrasound, she asked the woman who does scheduling if I could be squeezed in that day. I did some work, and for two hours while waiting for my appointment, I worried that this plan of my could come to a screeching hault after the ultrasound. To say I was nervous/worried was an understatement, but I just wanted to know. The doctor came into the room, and I suddenly realized that that was the moment that would determine if there would be a next step. While doing the ultrasound, he pointed out the follicles. I got excited when I saw them because I saw a lot. I got more excited when he told me I had 15-20, and that he wasn't going to count all of them. He said he'd be happy with ten, and I doubled that! I was thrilled, and so proud of my good old ovaries because they were actually cooperating.

After my ultrasound, I talked to my friend who works there and told her the good news. We talked about the options (drugs vs. no drugs), and I might be a little more open if I'm not successful with a natural cycle after a few tries. Like my OBGYN, this doctor thought if it didn't happen in four natural cycles, then I'd have to do "intervention". My friend then told me the goods news... I have unlimited IUI cycles through my insurance! Evidently I have great insurance, and even IVF is covered.

It was a day filled with great news, and a day closer to my dream. I believe I will get pregnant with a natural cycle. Eight percent is low, but people my age get pregnant all the time, and from all tests done so far, I see no reason this can't happen. On the other hand, the odds are so stacked against me that I am super nervous. I just don't want to get my hopes up, but this is something I want so badly, and I can't imagine not bringing a child into this world. It's going to be a rollercoaster, but I'm ready for the ride!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everyone's on Board!

The final person I had to tell was my mom. I had a feeling she would be okay with this, but I had no idea how ecstatic she would be! One would have thought that I had called to tell her I actually had a baby. Anyway, she said she's never had a problem with anyone having a baby on her own, and that I will for sure be able to make it work. She reminded me that years ago, she said she would take me to a sperm bank if I wanted to go this route. She was surprised to learn that the sperm bank now comes to me in the comforts of my own home via the internet.

I read the profiles of my final two donors, and she picked the front runner that my friends, sister, and I picked out last weekend. When she saw the picture of when he was a child, that sealed the deal. Have I found my donor?

As we were ending our three hour call, I happened to walk past the TV that was on but the volume was down. The names of guests for a late night talk show were appearing on the screen, and Grayson Chance appeared. That's my boy's name! (I had to Google him because I had no idea who he is.) It was very creepy and as I told my mom, she said, "That's your sign!" Is this actually going to work? If so, I guess I'll be having a boy. : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Pick my Baby's Donor" Party!

Last night my good friends and I got together to Pick my Baby's Donor! My sister participated via Skype to join in the adventure. I first went to wine tasting where I got to design my own wine label to launch the momentous occasion. I sure hope that in a year or so, we'll be drinking that wine celebrating instead of me throwing it off my balcony and watching it break into a million pieces.

We hooked up the computer to my projector and launched the website on the wall so we all had a good view. With pizza in our bellies, wine at our sides, and chocolate cake and ice cream waiting for us in the kitchen, we began the long process while sitting comfortably on sofas. (My sister had wine along with a piece of string cheese at her side and stolen chocolate from my nephews. A preview of my life to come, she informed me.)

I'm not so sure any of us imagined what a challenge this would be. At one point we had to remind ourselves that we are not searching for a husband or a "real" daddy, but just someone whose sperm I will buy. : ) I was surprised at how difficult it was to find the "right" one. After looking at a lot of profiles, I finally bit the bullet and paid to get the additional information. All along, I have been one who believed that the way he looks isn't as important as who he is. After all, I was reminded that I am the one who will shape my child as he/she grows, so it might be more important than I think to pick someone whose appearance won't hurt my eyes. I agree, but I still want good qualities/genes in a person to make up who my child is. After much discussion, I paid the money to get additional information... mainly baby/young child pictures. Once we were able to see pictures, we immediately loved each donor a little more or a little less. While I don't consider myself very superficial, I have to admit that seeing pictures helped a lot.

After a few hours, it seemed as if we didn't get very far. While we narrowed to three strong contenders and five runners up, I knew that I wouldn't have THE one picked out going into this last night, but I was hoping to get down to two or three. No such luck. So the question is, how in world do I choose my baby's daddy? With refreshed eyes and a calm/cleared head, I will look at my five contenders again ( and again and again) in hopes that something I see helps me narrow my choices down one by one. The good news is I've got some great potential daddy sperm for my baby. The bad news is I've got too many from which to choose.

P.S. If you can't read the wine label, it reads: Plan B A Toast to Hope and Chance 2011. (Hope and Chance are the middles names I have chosen for my baby.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

All Systems Go!

Two big things happened yesterday: I told my sister what I am doing, and I went to my OBGYN to talk to her. The result... good things on both accounts!

My doctor told me that there appears to be no reason why I can't get pregnant. She recommends no drugs (which is the way I want it to be) because at this point, there should be no reason to need them. It's freaky when I think about how quickly I will have to pull the trigger to make this happen. I will go in for an ultrasound on day 11 and every day after until my follicles are the right size. At the right time, I will do an hCG shot to force the egg to release. I will then order the donor sperm, have it shipped overnight, and go in 24 hours after the shot to have my IUI. Wow! I think I'm going to feel like this will be a shot gun baby! We will attempt this four times. If I am unsuccesful getting pregnant, then I would have the opportunity to intervene with drugs. My doctor understands that doing that is not something I will consider, so I've got four tries to make this happen!

The other big news is that I finally told my sister. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be. She wasn't that surprised because I had mentioned doing this in passing years ago, and while she got silent to take it all in, she was excited and supportive about this adventure. I think the idea of being an aunt is exciting to her. I know how much I love being an aunt, and while I am my nephews' favorite aunt (pretty much because I am the only one in their lives), she will be my baby's favorite aunt as well (okay, because she will be the only aunt!). She told me that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and that I'll never look back and wonder "what if". She gets it.

I've been trying to decide if I will tell people when I am actually doing this. I don't like the idea of people pretty much knowing the anticipated day of peeing on a stick and waiting for those results. My sister told me she wants to know, so if I choose to tell people, she will be one of them. The thought of waiting those long days wondering if it was successful without anyone knowing sounds agonizing! It's funny though because I don't know exactly when people have sex when they conceived their children, so it seems strange that they will know precisely the moment when, the location where, and position in which : ) I conceived.

While talking to my sister, I said that I had never been so sure about doing something, and those words really made this seem like this is without a doubt the right thing. All systems go!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Confusion with Ovulation

How difficult can it be to read an ovulation test? Yesterday I thought I got a positive. I was kind of shocked and excited since I just went off the pill. When I happened to look at the instructions again, it said the second line should be equal or darker to the first line. I'm not sure it was. I tried again today, and there wasn't a line. WTH? Was it a positive yesterday, and my window of opportunity has closed over 24 hours? (Not that it matters because I was only doing this to see if/when I ovulate.) Have I not ovulated yet? Who would have thought this would be so difficult? I guess I will try tomorrow to see what happens. I know, it's a cliff hanger. : )

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moving Right Along

Bloodwork has to be timed perfectly. Because my out of town meeing was cancelled, I was able to get my blood drawn on the "perfect" day. I have made an appointment with my OBGYN one week before I meet with the reproductive endocrinologist. While discussing this with a friend, we decided it make sense that my doctor know of my plans, and perhaps IUIs will be covered by insurance through her. If so, why not start the process with her? When I talked to her nurse about getting that bloodwork called in, I explained that I am meeting with both doctors to see what they advise. She asked me if I had been trying to get pregnant for long and my response was, "No, I have been trying to find a husband/daddy for too long." She laughed and reassured me that there are a lot of "me" out there. It made me feel better and not so abnormal. Somehow the fact that I have taken some big steps recently doesn't really freak me out. I'm excited for what will hopefully occur later this year. I keep reminding myself that at least I will never wonder "what if".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Launch...

Well, I've taken a big step! As of yesterday, I have stopped taking the pill. Yikes! I've been on the pill for years, and I wonder how my body will respond now that I do not plan on taking it anymore. Also, I have scheduled an appointment next month to have a consultation with the doctor who will (hopefully) do my IUI. I am hopeful that my OB/GYN will call in an order for bloodwork ahead of time so I can get that part over with before I meet with the other doctor. I will also begin tracking my ovulation (I hope I actually ovulate!) to help with the timing of things. While I have been searching sperm banks, I don't plan on paying for more information about the donors until after I meet with the doctor and he tells me this is all a go. I have saved some based on basic information, but won't waste time or money if this is not possible for some strange reason. Things seem to be moving quickly now and my head is spinning. I know that I don't plan on doing the actual IUI for a few months, but getting my ducks in a row is making this all so real, and since time flies, the actual first try will be here before I know it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Small Step Closer

I had lunch with my embryologist friend today. I had emailed her asking her if she could meet me for lunch because I wanted to talk to her about something. Due to my schedule, we met two weeks later, and I therefore left her hanging. When I finally broached the subject with her, she said she had an idea that this was going to be our conversation. It helped a lot to talk to her because she gave me some suggestions about what I need to do right now. I thought I'd have to make an appointment to see the doctor soon. She recommended I go off the pill and wait a few cycles to see if I still have a regular cycle like I did before going on the pill. That never even crossed my mind. She also explained what this whole process entails and had opinions on sperm banks that I was looking into. So... I'm off to really get going with this process! Even though it's not actually going to happen for a few months, I'm getting my ducks in a row. This is exciting, but I am getting scared of the reality of the whole thing.