I thought I would like doing a blog about my fertility journey. That it would be a good outlet for me to express my feelings to people other than my husband/sister/mom etc. I’ve found it more of a burden than anything else. Including myself I have 4 followers, none of whom make comments on my blog posts, share stories, or commiserate. All things that I thought would happen when I started this. I feel like I’m talking into outer space sometimes, like there’s a great big void that my words go into and disappear before anyone reads or acknowledges them. I’m really just not getting any fulfillment from doing this. So, I think it’s time to say farewell. It’s been real people. Adios!
I haven’t updated here recently because there’s not much to say. I had a blood test done on Friday to test for pregnancy and it was negative. Good old AF came the next day, right on schedule. We’ve been trying for a year and a half now so it shouldn’t upset me so much but for some reason, this time it upset me. Well, not upset exactly, but more like disappointed. In my mind, I was thinking that the combination of Clomid, Follistim, and hCG SURELY was going to be the magic combination that finally worked for us. I don’t know why I thought that but I did. I even took hpt’s on Wednesday and Thursday, and I almost NEVER take those anymore because I just can’t stand seeing them turn out negative every single time. That just goes to show you how hopeful I was this time.
So, we’re going to try an IUI this month. My husband is not happy about that, he feels like we’re “playing God” and that it shouldn’t be this way. I agree that it shouldn’t be this way but I’m just so concerned that it won’t happen without some medical assistance. He feels like he’s doing something wrong, even though I try to assure him that he’s not. This whole situation is so emotionally draining and difficult. We’re both frustrated beyond belief and secretly part of me worries that we’re never going to be parents. 😦
…..is all I have to say about this week. Nothing new happening. I have my blood test scheduled for Friday at 9am, so I’m just waiting on that. Christmas was good though! Ate a lot of good food (too much), exchanged presents with my family, and enjoyed 5 days off of work in a row. It was glorious! I’m back at work for today and tomorrow and then I have another 5 day weekend, and I return to work again on January 5th.
I don’t think we’re doing anything for New Years Eve this year. My hubby has to work both 12/31 and 1/1 so he’ll be going to sleep pretty early. I’ll probably stay up and watch the countdown with my dogs. I wish that I would find out before NYE if I’m pregnant or not, so I would know if I can crack open a bottle of bubbly for myself. NYE will be 12 dpo for me, so it’s possible that a hpt could be accurate on that day. I may take one in the morning just for kicks. If it’s positive then I’ll know for sure I can’t drink. If it’s negative, then I’ll probably still not drink until I find out for sure after the blood test on Fri.
As a side note…has anyone heard about drinking pineapple juice during the luteal phase to help boost your fertility?? Check out this article that I came across: www.parenting.com/article/what-eat-conceive
Essentially, pineapple contains something called bromelain which has been show to mildly support implantation through it’s anti-inflamatory properties. I’ve done a bit of reasearch on this, and apparently most of the bromelain is in the core of the pineapple, which you can eat. That just doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me, so I’m sticking to the juice. I decided to drink some every day during my luteal phase until either AF shows up, or I get my BFP! Cheers!!
It’s been a quiet few days. Nothing new on the fertility front to report. I’m in the dreaded two week wait right now. I go in to the office on Friday to check my progesterone level but that’s it for this week.
On a side note, I’m almost ready for Christmas! That’s a good thing, ya know, since its like two days away and all. I’ve been on a diet for about 4 months now, and while I haven’t weighed myself recently I know I’m still down from my original weight. It’s hard to keep up the diet around the holidays though! I had 2 donuts from DD this morning and I instantly felt guilty. Like, I hadn’t even finished chewing the second donut before I started regretting eating them. Oh well.
Well I am happy to report that the Novarel shot that I gave myself last night was easy, virtually painless and no big deal! Yay! I totally psyched myself out for no reason. My sister gave me a REALLY good tip (that I hadn’t heard anywhere else) to clench the muscle first so that you can actually feel where the shot needs to go. Because it’s an intramuscular shot, it has to go not just under the skin but into the muscle. That tip helped me so much because I think if I hadn’t done that I would have injected in the wrong place.
Mixing the injection was interesting, and a bit complicated. You get two vials, one with “bacteriostatic water” and one with the Novarel powder. You insert the needle into the water vial and withdraw 1ml of water. Then you inject the water into the vial of powder and swirl it around until it’s completely dissolved. Then you switch out the needle for the one you’re going to inject with. Withdraw the medicine from the vial with the new needle and do the injection. I was so worried I was going to screw up that whole process, but I got it figured out.
They tell you to hold the needle like a dart and put it in quickly. Once I had the needle in my hand it took me about a minute to work up the courage to stick it in. Once the needle is in you hold it in place so it doesn’t move around, pull back slightly on the plunger to check if any blood comes in, and if it doesn’t then you’re all clear to inject the medication. Easy peasy! I thought for sure I was going to do it wrong but in the end it was very easy. I felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment after it was all over!
This morning I took another OPK and sure enough, thanks to the trigger shot, it was a very strong positive! Just for laughs I also took a pregnancy test so that I could see the positive result show up. It was pretty amusing to see that, even if it wasn’t real! (The trigger shot is hCG, aka the pregnancy hormone, so when you inject it into your body, any pregnancy test you take will show up as positive, even though you aren’t really pregnant yet.)
So I go in to the doctors office next Friday to check my progesterone level, but that’s about it for this cycle! Now we just let nature take it’s course and pray that we are blessed with a baby this time!
Well I got the call from the nurse with my results from this morning. My estrogen level today is 775, and I have 3 follies that are maturing nicely. One measures at around 17, one at 16, and one at 15. So they want me to take the trigger shot (Novarel) tonight. Eeeeeek!
(It did get delivered today with no problem and my husband was nice enough to put it in the fridge for me!)
I’m totally psyching myself out about this. I’m sure it won’t be as bad as I’m imagining it to be, but STILL. I have to give myself a shot in the butt! Ahhhhh! My sister the RN told me to hold the needle like a dart and to do it fast, that it will hurt less that way. I think what I’m afraid of most is doing it too slow or too hard and causing myself so much pain that I freak out and don’t follow through and finish the injection.
I can’t keep thinking about that though. I need to just focus on getting it done. Then my hubby and I are supposed to BD tomorrow and Saturday. Then the dreaded two week wait begins. Fun times!
Last night I gave myself the second dose of Follistim. I think I was so nervous for the first one that I didn’t really feel much pain or anything–it really didn’t hurt at all. Well, I don’t know what happened with this second one but MAN did it hurt! I know they say to put the needle in at a 90 degree angle and I think I had it tilted a bit so I don’t know if that made a difference. The first one I did on my right side, about an inch away from my belly button. Last night I switched to my left side, but did it about 2-3 inches from my belly button so I don’t know if the difference in placement makes a difference either. Oh well, I’m glad I’m done with those for now at least.
Next comes the Novarel injection. It’s supposed to be delivered to my house today, although I don’t have a tracking # for it, so I hope it gets delivered with no problem. I’ve had many issues in the past with packages not getting delivered to my house when they were supposed to, so I sincerely hope this one goes ok. The Novarel is my trigger shot for this month, which (if it’s the same as the Ovidrel) I’ll take in the evening of the day when I get a positive OPK. Today is cd14, and I did take an OPK this morning but it wasn’t positive yet. It was close though, so I think it may be positive tomorrow or Saturday. I am so NOT looking forward to this shot though. My husband freaked out last night at just seeing the tiny needle for the Follistim, and I know he won’t be able to handle the bigger needle for the Novarel. Which means that I have to find a way to give myself the upper butt area injection on my own. I’m having visions in my head of a gigantic needle jabbing into my skin…..ouch. I wish my sister was in town right now (she’s an RN) so she could do it for me. I’m worried that I’ll chicken out!
This morning I went back to the doctors office for another ultrasound and blood test. The ultrasound tech told me that I had one follie at around 17 on the right, one around 15 and one around 12 on the left. So that’s good that they’re getting bigger. Hopefully they continue to grow in the next day or two. My husband doesn’t really share my views on this, but I would be perfectly happy to have twins. If that did happen, I think we would be done having kids after that. So I’ll be really happy to release more than one egg, LOL! Who knows if that will happen though. Anywho…I’m just waiting now to get the call from the nurse with my results from this morning. I expect to hear something by this afternoon, but I don’t expect any earth shattering news.
Well I got the call yesterday afternoon from the nurse that everything is looking good so far. My estrogen level was 503 (I guess that’s good?), my right ovary had a follicle measuring 13.9, and my left ovary had one at 12.7 and one at 12.3.
So. Now the FUN part! I have to give myself two injections of Follistim (FSH), one yesterday between 6-9pm and another today at the same time. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t great either. I knew from my experience in October with my husband giving me the Ovidrel injection that it wouldn’t hurt too much. However, my husband really does not like needles and really didn’t want to do that again, so I took it upon myself to get it done. Unlike the Ovidrel (which was in a pre-filled syringe), the Follistim comes in a little cartridge that you insert into this pen type thing, and then you dial the dosage that you need, screw on a disposable needle, give yourself the injection, and then discard the needle and the pen is ready for use the next time. The “piercing of the skin” didn’t hurt too bad since the needle was so tiny, but afterwards it stung for about 10 minutes or so and then I didn’t feel it at all. I was instructed to give myself 75 units each time. The cartridge holds 300 units, so I guess I could get 4 doses from it. So, one Follistim down, one to go!
Next comes the Novarel injection (aka hCG). This one sounds a bit more scary, it’s an intramuscular injection, which means it has to go INTO the muscle at the top of my butt. Yay. The nurse warned me it would be a bigger needle too. Double Yay. I’m not sure which day I’ll be taking this since it’s the trigger shot for ovulation, but I don’t expect myself to ovulate for another 3 or 4 days (today is cd13) since I started on Clomid late this cycle. The Novarel is coming to me in the mail from a pharmacy in Lincoln Park, so I should be getting it tomorrow.
So tomorrow I’ll go in to the office for another ultrasound and blood test to see how my estrogen and my follies are progressing, and I guess we’ll take it from there! If I’m totally honest, I wish we were doing an IUI this cycle instead of just the fertility meds, but this is what the doc suggested so I’m going with it.
So this month marks 18 months of my husband and I trying to concieve (TTC). Way back in July of 2013 we found out that my Dad had stage IV pancreatic cancer. My husband and I weren’t even married yet (our wedding was about 4 months away), but we decided to start trying for a baby immediately in the hopes that my Dad might get to meet our baby. Unfortunately, we didn’t get pregnant in time, and my Dad passed away in June of 2014. We still kept trying though, and in July 2014 we started seeing a fertility specialist. I won’t get into all the details of the initial tests and consultations because they aren’t important, so let’s move on to the treatment.
July 2014 I took my first round of Clomid, at 100mg per day. That’s also the month I started having ultrasounds and blood tests fairly frequently, for the purpose of monitoring my ovaries and follicles while on the Clomid. My body responded well to the Clomid but I didn’t get pregnant. Same thing again in August 2014. September 2014 we were going to do an IUI, and I followed the same protocol as in August. Unfortunately, I was “over stimulated” and at a high risk of multiples (triplets anyone???), so we had to cancel treatment for the rest of the month. October 2014 we reduced the dose of Clomid to 50mg per day, and added a trigger shot of Ovidrel on ovulation day. My husband and I were on vacation in Florida on O day, and I was nervous about giving myself a shot so I had him do it for me. Unfortunately, still didn’t get pregnant in October. November 2014 we decided to take a month off from everything, so no Clomid, no shots, no ultrasounds, nothing.
Now we come to the present month! My cycle for December 2014 started on the 5th, and I went in for my baseline monitoring (blood and ultrasound) on the 8th. My husband and I had a consultation with our doctor on the 11th to go over everything that has happened up to this point and our options for the future. We decided that I would do one or two more rounds of just the fertility drugs before moving on to a procedure of some sort. The difference for this month is that I will do Clomid, plus injections of FSH, and a trigger shot. So on day 7 I started taking Clomid again (50mg), and finished on day 11. Today is day 12, and I had another monitoring appointment early this morning, and picked up my FSH from the doctors office. The nurses were kind enough to give me samples so that I wouldn’t have to pay for the FSH (fertility drugs are expensive!). I’m currently waiting for the call to get the results from my ultrasound and blood this morning, and to find out the exact plan for taking the FSH, and the hCG shot later on. The ultrasound tech said my ovaries looked good and that I had 8 follicles on each side, with one or two larger ones per side, so I take that to be a good sign. So now we just wait for the phone call!