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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Hope floats. Or in my case, it ovulates.

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The last few days have been a big lesson in feeling ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that something is NOT working, and then being proven wrong. Yes, yes, I know I got a positive OPK yesterday morning, and yes, I felt a sharp pinch on my right side yesterday evening-ish, and yes my temperature was up this morning…blahblahblah. Even after all of these signs, I have so little trust in my body that I just couldn’t believe that Clomid would actually do what it was supposed to do. I thought I would feel different…Shouldn’t I have had, like, killer side effects? Sore boobs? Major headaches?All I got were a couple of very minor hot flashes. Plus, this is CD 16 we’re talking about here. This is when NORMAL people ovulate. Not people like me with cyst landmines on her ovaries.

The kicker was my appointment with the shiny new RE today (#holygodilovethiswoman). I know she is the first RE I’ve seen on my quest…but I think she might be “the one”.   I dub her, Dr. Sparkles. Her office is impeccable. Run like a well oiled machine. And she was the nicest, most informative doctor I’ve seen in God knows how long. Not only is she extremely well educated in PCOS, she was not condescending about my knowledge on the subject at ALL. I cannot STAND when I get a doctor who says, “Wow! You really did your research, didn’t you?”. Of course I did my research, you little dip shit.  I’m only shelling out THOUSANDS of potential dollars on this freaking disorder.  But I digress. She was beyond wonderful about answering any and every question.

After our consultation, she wanted to take a look at my ute and ovaries. I had let her know that there was a slim chance I’d actually ovulated yesterday on my right side. Before even getting to my ovaries, she exclaimed, “Well you certainly made a beautiful lining this month!” Excuse me? I thought you just uttered “beautiful” and “lining” in the same sentence while pointing the vag wand at my uterus.

10MM of plush cushy lining beeyotch!!!!!! BOO YEAH! Take THAT PCOS.

She then meandered over to my right ovary, and sure enough–there was a large pool of fluid right where I popped an egg!

Me.

Popping an egg.

I ovulated.

Sorry, I’m just flabbergasted.

I changed a lot of things this month, so it’s hard to tell if it was the Clomid specifically, or the Clomid in combination with Met, diet, increased exercise, and no caffeine or alcohol that helped this along.

As for the odds this month…we’ll see! Hubs and I had sex once Monday night (so, a little less than 3 days before ovulation), once Thursday morning (12 hours pre ovulation), and again this morning (12 hours post ovulation)…doc wants us to go again tomorrow morning just in case…

The plan as of now is to continue with the 100mg Clomid because it’s cheap and seems to work all right. She says I have about 25-30 active follicles on each ovary which would give me a VERY high chance of overstimming and a 40-60% chance of twins on injectables. Most “normal” women have about 6-10 follicles on each side. I’m basically freakishly fertile, except I produce cysts instead of eggs. We’re looking into whether or not insurance will cover my ultrasounds and bloodwork as “diagnostic” during a monitored cycle, in which case that would save considerable amounts of money. Overall, her prices seemed very comparable to others, although the price of their bloodwork is on the high side ($85/hormone!) Ultrasounds are $250, and an IUI is $375 (including wash). Does this seem about right? If I get my period, she wants to do an HSG and an endometrial biopsy since PCOS-ers are more prone to endometrial cancer. She says that this should be covered as part of my PCOS care, and she’ll bill as such.

The sort of weird unexpected news is that my 2ww is falling right smack dab in the middle of a business trip to Cannes for work in which tons of wine and rich foods will be served. Guess I’ll be sitting out on the drinking…GAR! I was looking forward to a glass of French wine. Also, does anyone know how plane travel could effect implantation? I’m thinking it’s nothing to be too concerned about, but wondered if anyone knew?

The moral of the story is…I guess I don’t know my body as well as I think I do. And little rays of hope that I may not be completely barren after all are a nice way to start a weekend.

So, yeah. This happened this morning.

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This is an LH test, party people. NOT the other kind of test. Just wanted to preface that!

Ok, so forget the fact that my bed head looks like I’m a truck stop prostitute after a long night…

I just got my first positive OPK. I think. The test line may be like a millimeter of a shade lighter than the comparison line, but only if you squint.

Early this morning (CD 16) I experienced a very “full” sensation in my lower abdomen and cervix–the kind of fullness I get right around ovulation time. Which is weird, because up until now, I’ve had exactly zero symptoms. I’ve also pretty much given up on temping. I decided to give it a go and prove to myself that this was all in my head and give myself a cheapie ovulation test.

I come back into the bathroom five minutes later to find two solid, dark lines on the test…Three days ago, there was nary a whisper of a test line on my OPK.

Look, let’s get one thing straight. My body is still a freaking mess, and I don’t want to get my hopes up AT ALL, but this is the first time I’ve ever had two dark lines. I am too cheap to splurge on more expensive OPKs, so the cheapo pee sticks are all I have at home for now. I may swing by CVS and pick up a better one today.

Here’s where I do a mini freak out, because I haven’t ovulated in over a year, never once while we’ve been “trying”, and assuming that this isn’t my body’s cruel attempt to fuck with me yet again (which I’m still fairly certain might happen), I am in a bit of a panic mode about when Hubs and I need to sex it up. We didn’t do it last night, but we did it Monday night and Tuesday night. I get home pretty late tonight after my night class, so perhaps we should do it this morning before work? If something’s going to happen, I assume with a positive OPK, it happens in the next 24 hours?

Clomid can go f itself

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What has two thumbs and doesn’t respond to Clomid?

This girl!

No proof yet, but it’s CD13 and I’m experiencing no twinges, fluids, or body temps that would indicate anything is working. I just “feel” this cycle is a bust…my body still feels shut down (P.S: can I just ovulate ONE FUCKING TIME this year??? Too much to ask???)

So, today I made the first steps towards acknowledging that my problem is bigger (and more expensive) than I or my laid back gyno can figure out. I made appointments with 2 RE’s and will probably make two more tomorrow just to meet with each of them, see their clinics, and figure out who to go with. I’m ready to get this show on the road with someone who can actually make it their full time job to knock me up.

Goal is to have a doctor locked and loaded in November, and then some shit’s going down. Mama’s not playing anymore.

For those of you who have REs, what would you recommend I ask them in our initial meeting? What have you found is important in an RE, or in a clinic that you’re going to? Any advice would be welcome.

Ovaries…don’t MAKE me go Bald Brittney on your ass!

Bitches won’t ovulate with Clomid, 2,000mg of Metformin, and an absurd wheat/dairy/sugar/alcohol/caffeine free diet? I’m one head shave away from some serious cray cray.

 

Manly Mondays: Welcome!

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Welcome to my first official “Manly Monday” installment, brought to you by me (duh) and inspired by the Hubs. The lovely Stupid Stork posted this concept for a weekly entry a couple of weeks ago–fab idea, Stork!  It is here that I will introduce you to the sweaty nether-regions of my marriage, as never seen before! You will not be hearing a lot of sweet sugary things about my manly man, not because there aren’t any to share, but because the point of Manly Mondays is to share those stories which may be a bit…off the beaten path. Buckle up kids.

I wish I had more time to write a post exclusively on the essence of Hubs, but that would take a while. Bottom line: Hubs is the smartest guy I’ve ever met. Seriously. He will kick your ass in Scrabble, play any song on the piano by ear, and do math equations in his head that I’d need one of those scientific calculators to complete. He’ll do all of this, and then pee on the toilet seat because he “forgot” to lift it, which contradicts and yet somehow elevates his cerebral qualities. There is nothing better than accidentally sitting on your husband’s cold piss as you’re barely awake in the morning. Let me tell ya. He knows I do not find this endearing in any way, and has made efforts to correct this habit of not lifting the “girl” toilet seat to pee, but I still get an ass soaked with urine every now and then.

Speaking of urine, Hubs and I have never attempted a golden shower, but we have discussed the possibility, and mutually agreed that it would have to be done in the shower if it was ever attempted–which will most likely not be until we’re at least in our 50s, and bored as shit.

You never want to be caught negotiating or haggling over the price of anything with Hubs. You WILL sell him things for waaaay less than the ticket price. I experienced this for the first time when we were buying our mattress. It was originally marked at $5000, but the generous store was taking 50% off! A steal! I was ready to make a deal right then and there. Hubs gave me his signature slow sideways glance, and for the next 30 cringe-worthy minutes proceeded to haggle with the mattress guy using some mathematical mattress calculations and tax percentages that the poor guy couldn’t keep up with. He whittled the cost of our mattress down to $1,000 including tax and shipping.

Hubs and I high five each other. A lot. It’s our cute way of acknowledging that the other kicks ass. Examples of this include: His mattress negotiating abilities, finding a $5 coupons for Gelsons, successfully managing to work the leaf blower, or waking up at 5AM to wait in line and buy Book of Mormon tickets (he’s a straight musical theater junkie–like me!). We also high five a lot after sex (did I mention Hubs and I have hawt sex? Not just hot. Hawt.) Unfortunately, my libido is not always up to the task (if Hubs had his way, we’d be sexing it up daily, I’m a twice a week kind of gal). Hubs has the libido of a 12 year old boy who just discovered porn, which I am eternally grateful for since I loose patience easily, and had a boyfriend in college who would drink a lot and then be unable to perform.

Hubs is the most emotionally open man I have ever met. He wears his heart (and basically every other one of his feelings) on his sleeve. He is not afraid to cry, and did so at the end of Annie Hall the other day, which made my heart melt.

Hubs has classifications for my pubic hair, depending on how lazy I am about its upkeep. He categorizes it into porn magazine decades: 70s bush is hairy scary (I’ve only let it get that way a few times) 80s bush is still pretty hairy,  but definitely manicured. 90s bush is very short or clean shaven, and early 00’s bush is totally bald (FYI–I have never gone early 00’s with my bush. Tried it once in my early 20s, and I just don’t have the vagina that works with that style–sort of like when I tried “Rachel” hair in 1996. Big disaster.)

Clomid Danger Zone

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Ok, so maybe my last entry was a little…doom and gloom. Or as Return to Go’s Kristin so eloquently commented, “…you are entering what I experienced as the Clomid danger zone.” To which I immediately start singing Kenny Loggins and referring to my ovaries as Goose and Ice Man.

I know I painted this hopeless picture yesterday, but there have been some bright spots through all of this:

1. Since being comfortably on 2,000mg of Metformin for over a month now (zoinks, Scoob!) my belly fat has noticeably dropped, and my chin hair count has dropped significantly, making me look less like Chaz Bono. I mean, I always wanted to grow a goatee in the 90s, but seriously. At the beginning of last year, I began tallying the chin hairs I plucked on a regular basis. Right off birth control pills, when my testosterone was relatively low at 35, I plucked about 5 per week. Two months ago, when my testosterone levels were at 78 (thanks, cysts), I was plucking about 25 thick hairs a week and had pretty noticeable lip hair. This week, I have only plucked 5 chin hairs thus far, and they have all been pretty fine hairs. I treat this as a win. Met appears to be helping to turn me back into a woman.

2. My Elimination Diet plan is going very well. Aside from the annoyances of craving sugar (still) the plan has been so much easier to follow this time around, since I know a bit more about what I like to cook. Hummus and chicken are OUTSTANDING by the way. When I get sugar cravings, a piece of fruit is often enough to satisfy them. No, I’m not insane enough to think this makes up for the fact that I couldn’t have carrot cake at work yesterday.

3. Skin is looking better with all of the water and tea I’ve been drinking.

4. It’s official! I’m running the Malibu Marathon in November! I know it sounds crazy to feel excited about running 26.2 miles, but for me, it is complete and utter exhilaration. Marathons are a test of mental will just as much as physical will, and the rush of relief when you cross that finish line is so so sweet. It’s what I imagine a BFP might feel like at this point.

 

One full year

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Hello peeps. Sorry to have missed ya for a couple of days, but I was celebrating the Jewish New Year in style. And by “style” I mean synagogue. Ok…I “may” have gone to the mall on one of the days that I was supposed to be at temple…but hopefully God will let that one slide.

With fall around the corner, shorter days, earlier sunsets, it feels like a good time to mark a transition into a new beginning. This September will be one full year since I’ve ovulated. One full year of hoping, tracking, worrying, celebrating, “trying”. It’s very hard for me to look back on this year and not feel defeated. Could I have done more to help Hubs and I conceive? Could I have dieted harder, or exercised more? Less? Is something that I am doing, eating, breathing causing my system to fritz? There has not been one. single. day that I have not woken up this year thinking, wondering, hoping, praying, worrying…that today could be the day things all turn around. I am trying to celebrate my small victories but they pale in comparison to the big fat failure that is my ovaries.

I don’t know if it’s possible for me to say, “This year, I will stop worrying so much about when or if I will get pregnant.” I can’t make promises like that to myself. I want peace from this, and yet, I cannot be at peace with a life without children. I have no answer for how to achieve peace when my internal world is going through all sorts of physical and emotional turmoil because of this. Accepting that I am not in control feels like an impossibility when all I read, see, and hear about are others who “took Metformin and cycled” or “tried Chasteberry, and it works!” In reality, who KNOWS what was going on with their bodies that made them cycle. Rationally, I know this…but hearing these stories makes me feel like there is a “right choice” out there for me, and I’m just missing it at every turn. Every choice I make about what I eat, when I sleep, what pills I take, or how much I sweat during a workout all feels tied to fertility in some way or another. It’s enough to drive a person mad, and you know what? I am mad. Pissed. Furious. I’m so damn mad that I have to be going through this.

It wouldn’t be true to say that this year, I’m turning over a new leaf and exchanging my toxic anger and rage for some blissed out peace on earth “one-ness”. I can’t say that this year, I’m going to let it all go and just “be”. And part of me feels that if I just learned to “let it all go”, I would cycle, and the fact that I carry this anger is fucking everything up. What is in my control, what is out of my control…it’s all confused right now, and frankly? I don’t want to be at peace with letting the Universe guide me. Who is this all mighty Universe, and if it’s so great, why won’t it fix my broke ass piece of shit reproductive system?

I wish there was a take-away from this post about how I’m going to improve myself this year, or 5 Easy Tips to Forgetting that You May Never Give Your Husband Children, but it all feels like bullshit right now.

Of course, maybe this gloom and doom is the Clomid typing. I finished my last round of 100mg Clomid last night. I’m on CD8 , fighting to be optimistic about this cycle. Puppies, rainbows, unicorns, ovulation.

It’s 90 degrees. In my house.

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No air conditioning and record breaking heat in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley = me, bitchy as hell, and on the internets at 3AM.

Insomnia and the internet usually produce a really bad combination, as I often pay a visit to my friend Dr. Google or Fertilebook at this time. It is during these wee hours of the morning that I simultaneously discover that not only to I have IBS, a hernia, adrenal cancer, and systemic candida, but also that my friends, friends of friends and their dogs can all get pregnant, and like to announce it to the world in very crafty ways: “Snookie and I have something in common…” and “I guess the pullout method doesn’t work” are two I’ve seen recently. Unfriend.

I did have a momentary lapse on Facebook this morning (saw another “someone’s going to be a big brother” post–seriously? If you’re going to easily pop out two kids in 2.5 years, please just post “I’m fertile, bitches!!!!!” We get it.) BUT I didn’t Dr. Google anything health or fertility related. Yay! Instead, I did some further looking into a story I heard on NPR last week. It was about a man named Charles Cushman whose entire collection of 14,000 amateur photos were found in a box in an attic. These photos were taken between 1939-the 1960s, I think. The kicker? He shot them in color. Color film did exist back then but it was very expensive. I have now spent the last 2 hours going through the Indiana University archives. It’s so haunting to see images of people clearly from the 30s and 40s shot in color, and yet I am utterly fascinated by this. It’s as if black and white somehow defines our memories of that era…to see the images in color, almost as if they could have been taken last week, is both incredibly cool, and jarring to the senses.

His story is pretty interesting, especially the parts about his relationship with his wife. Check out the NPR story here.

For all of the images in the collection, go here

Here are a couple of my favorites, although there truly are too many to count. All of these were taken in 1939.