Friday, August 31, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 21

To update you on the state of my mental health since my care provider skipped town, I have an appointment with a REAL LIVE PSYCHIATRIST coming up.....but it's not until September 19th because that's the earliest they can fit me in.  So I will drive up to Urgent Care tonight after work and see if the doc on call will just write me a script for some Zoloft to tide me over until then.

Nothing is urgent right now but it's been three days since my last pill and I really don't want to push my luck.  And, yes, I acknowledge that it was totally irresponsible of me to let my prescription lapse without noticing but, hey man, cut me some slack.

On another note - and I know fellow mental health people will back me on this - I can't help thinking about weaning off the Zoloft.  It's been a couple of days.  I feel fine.  I am fantasizing about weight loss and not having an embarrassingly low tolerance for alcohol if I stop taking it.  And why take something that may potentially not be 100% safe for pregnancy if I don't need it?

But I know how foolish that is.
I worked SO hard to wean off additional meds I was on two years ago.  And over time I managed to get my Zoloft dose down to 50mg which is a lot less than I used to be on.  I tried to cut it out entirely.  I seriously did try.  But it wasn't the right course of action for me for MANY reasons.  I really don't want to go down that road again...especially not cold turkey and especially not on the cusp of an IVF cycle and potential pregnancy.

That's just crazy talk.  Charlie Brown kicking the football.  I know that just because I feel fine doesn't mean the anxiety won't come back.  The half life of Zoloft is something like two weeks so it is still in my system.

Anyway, that's what's going on there.  I'm looking forward to nice long weekend.  I have nothing special planned for a change.  Just relaxing and doing some reading.  Just finished Gone Girl - you must read this right now.  It's $13 which I almost never pay for an e-book but I couldn't even sleep it was so good.  Probably the most gripping novel I've read since The Lovely Bones which came out a decade ago.  And I read a ton of books.

Also my sister's kid is due any minute now.  Yay.  Boo.  All of the above.  If you told me back in February I would still be unpregnant by the time this kid showed up I would have punched you in the face.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trying Not to Panic

Confession time.  I haven't had an appointment with my psychopharmacologist in 10 months.

Psychopharma-what you ask?

It's the Nurse Practitioner who prescribed me my Zoloft.

I don't know how many non-crazy people know this but you shouldn't be on any SSRI long term without seeking the help of a trained professional.  And your general practitioner (or your OB even) doesn't count.  I know millions of Americans don't follow this rule (and I used to be one of them) but it's true.  I won't go into long boring details about the reasons behind this because it doesn't even matter in my situation.  My GP won't treat my anxiety anymore.  She referred me to someone long ago. 

And I hate her but that's a WHOLE other story.

The person I was originally referred to I never actually met because did you know that to see an actual psychiatrist you must be like literally the most crazy person ever?  No really, it's true.  I had to wait weeks just to get into this guy's office and then I met with a Nurse Practitioner.

Nothing wrong with Nurse Practitioners.  It's just really really hard to see a real deal psychiatrist around here apparently.  But it was okay because I loved this Nurse Practitioner.  He was awesome.  I was in a rough place at the time and he totally helped me out.

Until I got a letter from the office he worked at dropping me as a patient.  Huh?

I would later find out that he had left the practice under somewhat mysterious circumstances.  And TODAY I found out that the original guy I was referred to (the psychiatrist) was just ARRESTED for sexually assaulting his staff.  Holy shit!

None of this actually explains today's problem but since that time my Nurse Practitioner who I followed to a new practice has apparently left that practice.  I would know this if I had been going to my monthly appointments but since I already had a talk therapist and he kept signing off on prescription refills I didn't bother.

I tried emailing him yesterday explaining that I need a refill of my Zoloft (I ran out today) but he hasn't responded.  I have tried getting appointments and the old (new) practice and another place.  Ack!

I'm fine though.  Just anxious about being anxious.  Can an RE prescribe Zoloft?  Stay tuned for actual fertility related news when this crisis settles.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 18

I am SO over this whole waiting around for my IVF cycle to start thing.

I have tried to start writing posts lately...about my meeting to discuss the cycle, about the conclusion we reached about the numbers of embryos we want to transfer, how my family is walking on eggshells around me with the imminent arrival of my sister's new baby.

But then I get to the blog and try to write it all down but it even bores me to talk about it so I have no idea how boring it would be to an outside audience.

I just want to move time faster.

Or at least speed up time so that Vampire Diaries is back on the air.

So that's where I am lately.  Just bored.  Six more days of birth control and then hopefully a nice light period instead of a crazy ten day gorefest.

Then IVF and then maybe pregnancy?!!!

I really need to research prenatal vitamins.  I've tried a couple when we first started trying but they hurt my stomach and I started just taking a multivitamin and some folic acid.  Any recommendations?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Just Got Mommyjacked!

I posted this photo on my Facebook wall because it's so hilarious and true.  I never close my bathroom door all the way because my cats consider it a personal affront to do so.  My younger cat doesn't realize he can walk into the partially closed door and it will open so he does a ninja kick into the air and comes barging in every time I'm having my morning pee.  My older cat soon follows and I watch them roll around on the bath mat and chase each other in and out of the bathtub.  As soon as I flush they excitedly race out the door because they know my next stop is their food bowls.

It's our ritual and one that I was sure a few other cat parents would relate to.  My cats follow me to the bedroom at night and wait for me to wake up in the morning, sometimes jumping up on the bed to rouse me.  They are my constant companions and I love them.  But it's also really just a funny picture I wanted to share with Facebook. 

A few people "liked" my status immediately.  And then a friend of mine (who is not a cat parent I must point out) commented "or a parent of a small child."



If you're not familiar with the term mommyjacking, it was made popular by the web site STFU Parents and refers to instances "when an enthusiastic mother turns someone else’s status update into their own personal baby-talk forum.”  

I don't mind babies on Facebook.  They really don't bother me so much.  I cheer when my friends announce milestones or post cute pictures.  Pregnancy announcements are a little harder but I manage not to take them personally (because it's not!).

My Facebook post was about my experience as a parent, yes a cat parent, but a parent nonetheless.  I have been told that tiny humans like to accompany their mothers into the bathroom too.  I'm not naive to think I won't experience the same phenomenon if I am lucky enough to achieve parenthood.  But to take my funny parental anecdote and make it about yourself - your parenthood experience - is the reason why web sites like STFU Parents exist.  Not everything you see or read is about your children - nor should it be.  My funny picture is now just another reminder of what I don't have in my life.


I will add, however, that I shouldn't be surprised this happened since the same Facebook friend also posted the following status a while back: "Two great events in history today.  Bin Laden was captured and 'Baby' rolled over."


Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak

I'm really gonna do it, guys.  I'm going to finishing writing my novel about a woman who is trying (and failing!) to get pregnant.  And you know why?  Because even if it sucks it will be much better than 90% of the crap I've read in the eight months I've been searching for (fiction) books about the subject.

And before you think - oh she's just a bitter wannabee - these books can't be that bad, let me tell you about my latest read.  Brenda Novak is a best-selling author allegedly.  She's obviously doing something right.  Her writing wasn't bad per se, but oh wow, the storyline.

A Baby of Her Own which I got for free on Friday for my Kindle is now retailing at $1.99.  And, as most Kindle lovers would guess, you get what you pay for.  It is the story of Delaney, a 30 year old librarian who is pondering pursuing single motherhood.  Her friend suggests donor insemination but Delaney quickly dismisses the idea as too expensive. Somehow - while at the Honky Tonk Bar (yes) one night - they decide to drive off to Boise and find an unknowing sperm donor (uh huh).

Delaney is a virgin!  No one knows that, not even Rebecca.  Enter Connor Armstrong.  An heir to a real estate mogul who has been banished to Idaho by his hopeful grandfather and terrible uncles.  He has one year to work on a project or he will be cut off from his inheritance.  He is determined to stop his reckless ways and avoid loose women.

Cue one night stand.

Cue magical pregnancy.

Etc. etc. vomit gross eww.

Not only was this book so contrived and predictable some parts were just downright strangely offensive.  Case in point - Connor's uncles have never liked him because he was a "rape baby."  Yes, you did read that right.  Those two particular words appeared at least a dozen times in the book.  Also when referring to Connor's mother, Novak is sure to remind the reader over and over again that she was adopted.  For a while I thought maybe we would learn more about the rape or adoption but you never do.  I guess it was just an easy way to show how illegitimate Connor was to his family.  Doubly unwanted.  Super duper offensive.

Anyway I read this so now you don't have to.  You're welcome!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can you overdose on birth control?

I felt like crap today.  Have felt pretty emotional for days but today I had the worst cramps and just generally feel like death.  I was up late last night so this afternoon I wanted to make sure I remembered to take my birth control.  I really suck at remembering to take them for some reason and usually end up taking it in the morning instead of at night.

So I look at the pack and count "Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, wait, today is Sunday, where is that pill?"

I took it already.

Sometime between last night and this afternoon I accidentally took two birth control pills.  There's all sorts on info on the drug maker's web site about forgetting to take a pill, but nothing about taking two at once.  Luckily some googling has told me it's not a big deal and to take another pill tonight as scheduled.

It's a good thing I don't care about preventing pregnancy and am just taking these things to hopefully reduce my cysts of doom.  Wouldn't it be hilarious if I got an "oops" baby?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Intercourse Count: 44 Times

I thought it would be fun to see how many times I've had sex in the calendar year.  I try to mark every occasion on my Fertility Friend chart.  I'm not really sure why as we learned months ago that sex isn't going to bring us a baby.  But I guess in the really rare (like less than one percent a cycle) chance that it does happen I want to know the possible date of conception for obsessive compulsive purposes I guess.

So...44 times as of tonight.  Wink wink.  It only works out to be about six times a month which is frankly a little less than I'd like, but my husband does travel a bunch for work.  For the most part I'm happy with our sex life.  It actually took a lot of pressure off our lovemaking when we knew sex would no longer be our chosen method of conception.  Sex is just for funsies.

Is it weird that I want to keep up the log even after I (hopefully) get pregnant?  I just think it's a good idea to be aware of your intimacy.  I know a few times we've gone like ten days without doing it and I've felt a little embarrassed when I realized it had been that long.  I know parenthood will likely affect our intimacy but I can dream that we'll at least be one of those "once a week" couples.

How's your sex life during infertility treating you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One or Two Embryos: Part One

I have twenty more days on birth control, but who's counting?  I figure now is the last time I will have to figure out where I (or we!) stand on our decision to pursue single embryo transfer.  And I have a lot of work to do!

First, back up, let me explain.  DH and I decided a while back that if we had to do IVF we would pursue single embryo transfer.  I'm only 32 and have no known egg issues and infertility coverage with my insurance.  It seemed like the best course of action because 1) we wouldn't be losing out too much money if the first cycle didn't work; 2) from my research the success rates aren't all that much better transferring two as opposed to one; 3) I suffer from anxiety and am concerned about how I would react to new parenthood times two; 4) I know a twin pregnancy isn't high risk per se but I spend too much time on fertility blogs and web sites to not be aware of the risks to Mom and babies.

That's just four reasons.  There are actually a ton of arguments going back and forth in my head, including "well if it took this long for one, you may as well have two" and "at least it's only one pregnancy" and "at least they'll be out of diapers at the same time," etc.  I really don't want to be so cavalier about this issue especially since I am actually quite astonished at the number of women who don't consider single embryo transfer and those who actually wish for twins.

On some days I think having twins would be awesome.  We only want two children ideally so this would build out family all in nine short months.  No more TTCing ever would be such a relief.  But then I have premature mommy guilt about not having time to bond with each individual child throughout their milestones.  And I also worry about preemies and other health issues twins can face.

Other days I think transferring two embryos is just a stupid idea.  Oh to be the child born from IVF who finds out they could have just been a regular kid had their parent not roll the dice on them so to speak.  I am just so scared of my kids resenting me.  I actually had a friend who is a twin whose mother considered giving her up for adoption (just her, not her brother) so maybe that's coloring my opinion.

Anyway, it seems totally last minute and I'm pretty sure I stand by our single embryo transfer plan that I already met with the doctor to talk about but....I can't help but have doubts.  Are the success rates really not better?  How risky is a twin pregnancy?  I feel like I see twins everywhere nowadays.  How many twins hate being twins versus how many like it?
So look forward to some posts where I examine scientific, philosophical, and other opinions on deciding how many embryos to transfer in the coming days.  I have a lot to think about.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 4

IUI#3 was a BFN, which I realized when I bled through two pairs of pants on Saturday while out of town.  Camping.  Kill me now.

Got depressed.

Got over it.

Got into a fight with my friend who has an eight week old baby who told me I should appreciate what I have and have a good weekend with my husband.  I actually politely tried to explain to her how insensitive her comments were and she went on and on about how she believes in the power of positive thinking and, oh wait, are you actually holding a newborn when you are telling me to be grateful?  You are dead to me, friend.

Got excited to start my IVF cycle and got my meds overnighted so I could start stimming tonight...only to find out that I developed four ovarian cysts and had to delay for at least another cycle.

So I'm back on birth control.  But I am SO THANKFUL that I have massive bleeding from my vagina.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

12 days past IUI = BFN

Still negative. It was just a cheapie Dollar Tree test because the hubs vetoed my last minute FRER purchase ("why ruin our weekend?") but I've officially given up hope on this cycle.

Oh well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Days Past IUI#3

11 days past HCG trigger shot.


I knew I shouldn't have tested but in my last two IUI cycles I still got a faint positive for 12 and 13 days past the trigger so I was curious to see what would happen.  It wasn't first morning urine but still two stark white negatives is pretty disappointing to see.  I'm headed out for a long weekend tomorrow and testing will be hard to due (camping) so who knows if I will try it again.

Beta is Monday afternoon.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in Internet Doctoring

I just realized I never updated all the estrogen weirdness that happened on my last medicated cycle.  Well long story short, when I didn't respond to Clomid the second time around I asked the doctor to prescribe me Femara instead.  I started taking Femara right in the middle of my cycle since my levels were still baseline.  At my first monitoring appointment there was a nice big follicle so I triggered and came back the next day for my second IUI. it turns out my estrogen the day of the trigger was only 20.  It should have been TEN TIMES that to indicate a mature follicle.

I scheduled a consult with my doctor after the IUI to talk about what may have caused the low estrogen and he said that he wasn't sure but we would find out in two weeks if I ovulated or not.  I got my period 19 days later so I assumed I had ovulated but I never really found out if it even happened or if getting my period was just a coincidence.
So with all the weirdness of this current cycle I made sure to schedule a progesterone check seven days past my IUI.  Apparently my clinic doesn't usually do this test and people sort of looked at me funny when I explained that I wanted it.  But whatever.  I need to know if I ovulated.

Okay, that's partly a lie.  I wanted to see a HUGE number because I've heard (anecdotally of course) that a high progesterone level 7 days past ovulation could be an early sign of pregnancy.  And a low sign could mean that you didn't ovulate or you don't have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy.  I wanted to rule those last two out but mostly I wanted some sort of sign that this cycle would end in a BFP.  I'm already taking progesterone suppositories (yay!) so a low progesterone shouldn't be an automatically scary thing but I would still like to know!

Dr. Google tells me that any level above 5 indicates ovulation; 10 is what doctors want to see on a nonmedicated cycle; and 15 and above on a medicated cycle.  I also read that some doctors would like the progesterone to be at least 20 when you are on injectible medication like I was this cycle but I couldn't find a reliable source for that so I don't know how credible it is.

Anyway, my progesterone level today is 15, which should make me feel relieved but instead I feel bummed.  I was hoping it would be pretty high and would show me I had a SUPER ovulation but it seems mine was plain normal. 

I really need to stop Dr. Googling.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Zero Weeks Belly Shot (TMI!)

Okay so this is GROSS but I had to share it with some people who a) don't know me and b) would appreciate the sheer grossness of it.

During my stimming my belly took some abuse from all the shots but this bruise takes the cake.  I showed it to my nurse because WTF and she said it was likely from me not holding my belly while I was injecting myself, but I did hold my belly. 

Oh well.  If this cycle works, it will all be worth it, right?  Right?  But don't worry, I am grossed out by naked belly shots of pregnant women so this will be the last one I share.  I'm usually not that bloated either.  Stupid drugs.  If you look closely you can see my first ever stretch marks!  Something to look forward to I guess.

Sorry about the happy trail.  PCOS equals rapid hair growth.

Speaking of this cycle working, I am feeling weird phantom symptoms which, I know, is ridiculous because I'm only 6 days past my IUI.  Last night I was having martial relations (for fun!) with my husband and I could have sworn his soap smelled different.  And I was totally craving soup today.  Actually yesterday but I didn't get to eat soup until today.  I think I dreamt about soup.

So I'm crazy, bloated and bruised.  You're welcome Phantom Baby.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Novarel Needle Warning

I am happily three days past IUI#3 and am now ready to give more details to the cautionary tale of how I screwed up my injection and lost $150 worth of Novarel over the weekend.

Not to toot my own horn, but over the past few weeks I have become quite an expert at stabbing myself in the belly.  After all I had to administer over 30 shots this cycle.  My husband did the first couple of shots but after a few days he went out of town I started doing them myself.  I stabbed myself on the front seat of my car several times.  Prep, mix, pull, stab, push.  So easy.

My husband and I like to sleep in on the weekends.  Well, he sleeps in.  I lay in bed reading blogs and checking my email on my iphone and occasionally try to snuggle.  Last Sunday I pealed myself out of bed at 10:20 to prepare my trigger shot so that I could take it exactly 24 hours before my IUI.

I remembered the last time I saw my nurse she asked me if I needed instructions for the trigger shot and I declined them because I felt I had such expert injecting skills.  The truth is I had never actually given myself the trigger shot because I always had an appointment the day before my IUI and brought my trigger with me so that the nurse could administer it.

I was standing in the kitchen opening the box to the Novarel when I noticed that the water vial was A LOT bigger than the powder vial.  How much water should I mix?  Shit.  I raced off to my doctor's web site to check out the instruction videos.  Okay, one milliliter, that's what I would have guessed.  The video also showed the nurse switching between the mixing needle and the injection needle yet there was only one needle in the bag that came with the Novarel.

Looking back, at this point, I should have done more digging to see if I could use the same needle to mix as inject but I had always just handed that same bag to the nurse and I don't remember her using two different needle tops.  Back to the kitchen I went.  I mixed the medicine, prepared my stomach and pressed the needle to my desired spot.

Then I pressed the plunger and felt liquid dripping out.


My mistake was I was so used to giving myself needles that I had stopped watching what I was doing.  I have bigger boobs and I basically have to move them to see my stomach so once I picked out the piece of skin I wanted to stab I don't really look again.  But as it turned out, I pressed the plunger down without piercing my skin and the medicine just fell out onto the floor.

Fast forward the hysterical phone calls and the drive to the one pharmacy I found ON A SUNDAY that had Novarel which they were willing to sell me out of pocket.  I told my husband he had to administer the shot.  He made me call the on-call nurse EVEN THOUGH I HAD SPOKEN TO HER FOUR TIMES EARLIER THAT DAY AND I FELT LIKE A FREAK.  She told me how to mix the shot and administer it and said using the same needle was fine.

Except it wasn't.  My husband goes to stab me with the needle and it's dull.  We figure out the problem ourselves.  Once the needle pierces the rubber top of the vial it is too dull to pierce my skin.  We find a fresh needle, transfer the medicine and voila!

After some Dr. Googling, I found others complain about this issue - interestingly enough on a web site devoted to anti-aging medicine for men.  Woahkay.  But anyway, that is my cautionary tale.  If you don't have a mixing needle for your Novarel, use a fresh needle for the injection.

The End.