Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We've had an awful Christmas vacation so far. It all started with a broken plane when leaving town. We were rebooked about 4 times. We were scheduled to leave Tucson around 10am and didn't leave until 4pm. When we were last booked for a flight, they couldn't get us all the way to Missouri that day and gave us vouchers for a hotel and meal in Dallas. We got to Dallas and when we went to retrieve our luggage that was to be checked to Dallas, there was no luggage. We wanted to go stand by on the last two flight to Missouri but had to run back through security and all the way through the terminals to get to the gate. We missed the first flight but the gate agent said there were multiple people that weren't going to make the next connection. By this point, it was 9pm and all restaurants in the terminal were closed and we hadn't had food since 11am. Of course on my new diet the snacks available in the shops were not kosher with what I was allowed to eat. After a long, frustrating wait we did make it on the last flight of the day and made it to Missouri by 11pm.

Once in the airport, we didn't have luggage which wasn't much of a surprise. I stood in line for a hour to report the missing bags then headed to my Mom's house. We got in about 1am after making a pit-stop for a midnight dinner at McDonald's. I was back up at 6am to go with my niece to her horse riding lesson. The stables are only 20 minutes from the airport so despite my lack of sleep, I needed a ride to the airport to check the first flight of the day. The luggage was there and things were looking up...or so we thought.

When we finally got back to my Mom's house and began to unpack one bag had been rummaged through and all of our stocking stuffers for the girls of the family were gone. Stolen. Some jackass went through our bags and took a ziploc full of cosmetic stuff.

I just moved up to 3 Metformin caplets a day so all this stress and crappy meals have led to a very unhappy tummy. To add to all of that, my period showed up Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to me, right?

I suppose I should be happy and thankful that my body is working on its own and with just the Metformin. It's just hard to look on the bright side when a Christmas BFP would have meant so much to our family. It looks like I'll be seeing Dr. H as soon as we return to AZ!

Monday, December 3, 2007

HSG Day!

Today was the day!

I was supposed to arrive to the lab 30-45 minutes early. I had to take 600mg of ibuprofen an hour before the procedure and 2 Valium's about 30 minutes prior. I was feeling pretty good when it was time to head back. Y was with me since we didn't know how the Valium would affect my ability to drive home.

Dr. H was called when I was all signed in and ready to go. I stripped and put on one of those lovely "flash your ass" hospital gowns. They had me climb up on one of those big x-ray slabs and place my feet in some very awkward stirrups.

Dr. H came in and everyone was suited up with the lead vests. While he was prepping the catheter he explained that the blood work results came back and I definitely have PCOS. I'll be starting the Metformin later this week. Everything else in the blood work looked good though.

The catheter going in was a little uncomfortable but the fluid being injected did cause a fair amount of pressure. The following is confirmation of just why I love Dr. H so much:
Dr. H (as the catheter is being inserted and his head is buried in my crotch): How're you doing up there?
Me: I'm doing okay!
Dr. H (head still in my crotch but peeking over the sheet): You're going to feel some pressure as the dye is injected.
Me: Okay.
Dr. H: Still doing okay up there?

Meanwhile, I'm thinking I appreciate his concern but carrying on a conversation while his head is buried in my crotch is not the most pleasant experience.

Y was standing next to me the whole time and we both got to watch the dye go through my fallopian tubes and into my uterus. Everything looked great. There seemed to be no blockages and everything looked normal.

We'll see how I do on the Metformin since it's too late in my cycle to start any fetility meds. I'll return in January or February to see if I'm ovulating on my own or if I'll have to go back on Clomid.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Annual Tune-up Day

Because I haven't been poked and prodded enough lately, I needed my annual pap smear. Dr. S was great, as always, and was very encouraged that we were seeing Dr. H. Her words were "He'll definitely get you pregnant!" I told her I was having an HSG in a few days so she spent some time going through what would happen during the procedure. She did warn me it could be uncomfortable and some cramping may occur but many couples have lots of luck getting pregnant shortly after. Here's hoping that holds true for us!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Eight vials later....

and we should have results soon. I went for blood work today. I had no idea there would be a geography quiz involved. Apparently I'm supposed to know the difference between Northern European, Southern European, Asian, and Indian. I know my grandparents were from Germany but how was I supposed to know off the top of my head if that was Northern or Southern European!? They need to start placing world maps in the draw rooms!

I'll know for sure if PCOS is the definite diagnosis and if I'll need to be placed on the Metformin.

The lifestyle changes are going well so far. We've stocked the house with whole wheat products and replaced most of the sweets with snacks I can eat. I'm surprised my switch to water has gone so easily. I really don't miss the soda. I had been caffeine free for a year and a half. The HSG should be next and I'll update more then.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Clomid - 0, Infertility - 3

Happy Thanksgiving to me! AF arrived today. Why couldn't she have waited one more day!?

I go for blood work tomorrow and I've called Dr. H's office to schedule the HSG. I should hear from them on Monday. Maybe we can hope for a Christmas BFP!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Lining's Thickening!

We had our follow-up ultrasound today. Why do I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing lots of action from the ultrasound wand?! From now on, I'll lovingly refer to it as the dildo cam.

My lining had thickened up today. It went from 3mm on Thursday to 7mm today. The follicles had also grown. The lining is still a little thin but by the time I ovulate in 4-5 days it should be good enough for a fertilized egg to implant. We're going to try on our own and hope for the best. Let's hope the best isn't twins or triplets!! Yikes!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We had our first RE appointment today. The appointment was overwhelming to say the least. I just have to say I'm in love with Dr. Hutchison though - he's very thorough, has a great bedside manner, a good sense of humor and explains things thoroughly.

Anyway, we did the history and when he realized I was on cycle day 10 of my 3rd Clomid cycle he wanted to pull out the internal ultrasound cam and take a look at things before moving on. After some painful prodding (apparently my bowels were blocking the left ovary and had to be manhandled to get out of the way) I have two very large ovaries. They're both polycystic looking. But, I do have two dominant follicles on the left ovary at 14mm each. Unfortunately, the Clomid is thinning my uterine lining. It's only at 3mm and should be around 8. I'll go back on Saturday to check the follicles and lining again. If the lining thickens we can either try naturally or increase the odds and do an IUI (Interuterine Insemination). If it hasn't thickened, I probably can't get pregnant this time because there's no place for the egg to latch on. He suspects that actually happened last cycle.

So for the bad news. I have several symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), but he feels mine is more a metabolic disorder due to my Dad's diabetes and hypertension. Meaning I'm insulin resistant and my body is producing too much insulin causing my ovaries to produce too much testosterone. Oh yeah, my BP was high today, too (maybe Dr. A wasn't too crazy after all). Anyway, if this cycle results in a pregnancy I'll be put on Metformin (a diabetes drug) to reduce the chance of miscarriage and gestational diabetes. If it doesn't, I'll likely be put on the Met anyway.

If I move on to a new cycle (around Thanksgiving), I'll have to do a bunch of bloodwork. My last was 6 months ago and he wants more up-to-date info. I'll also have an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) to check my fallopian tubes, too. That's where they'll inject a contrast die into my uterus and tubes. The best part of that will be the 2 Valiums I get to take prior to the procedure!

I have to cut out all sugars and refined carbs pretty much permanently. That means no potatoes, rice, pasta, ice cream, breakfast cereal, yogurt, soda, fruit juice, sweets and a few other things. This metabolic disorder is a precursor to diabetes - it doesn't mean I'm diabetic but, like my Dad, could end up getting it later in life if I didn't try preventing it now. He also wants me to exercise a minimum of 1 hour a day. Cardio every day. Weights 3 to 5 times a week and crunches on a yoga ball. I have to work up to 200 crunches a day. Yikes! All of that should help the metabolic disorder and my blood pressure. I go back in two weeks after the exercise regimen starts and check on the BP again. While I am overweight he wasn't worried about it. My weight, BP and ovulation problems are due to the metabolic disorder. My body is telling my ovaries to produce testosterone instead of healthy eggs which is causing me not to ovulate correctly and produce small follicles. The increased testosterone and my insulin resistance is causing my BP to increase and the weight issues. It's all my parent's fault. The odd are stacked against me on this one.

So I have no idea what the heck I'm going to eat now. I was close to tears when I realized no more potatoes, rice and pasta. I know all of this is so I can be healthier and have a healthy pregnancy and baby but it's a lot to take in all at once. If we're not able to get pregnant this cycle, he did say we can plan on being pregnant in 6 to 9 months. I like his optimism!

So, I have a bunch of meds to take. I'm on a mercury-free Omega-3 supplement 4 times a day. The mercury could harm a fetus so that's why I have to go with the mercury free. I'll also be taking a new prenatal with folic acid and an additional folic acid supplement. Once some more tests are run I'll probably be put on the Metformin and, if needed, on blood pressure meds so I won't have complications during pregnancy.

So I'm a bit stressed. I have NO idea what I'm going to eat now and have to try to find wild rice and possibly some whole grain pasta. I'm supposed to completely cut out the stuff but the word 'minimize' was there, too so I think I can have some potatoes and carbs occasionally. If I'm taking the Metformin though it will make me physically sick if I eat those foods. He flat out told me I'd end up with diarrhea and vomiting if I ate those things while on the meds.

I'll know more Saturday if we're moving forward with this cycle. If not we'll just wait for the next one to start and start the testing. He said if my lining gets too thin he may have us take a month or two off so that when we do start again things will be good. It'll be tough to make the diet changes but it has to be done.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm jumping for joy!!!

The RE's office just called! There was a cancellation and we're getting in just a week, ONE WEEK, after I called!

We are scheduled for a consultation November 1st at 2pm. I'm so excited and nervous at the same time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Clomid - 0, Infertility - 2

So we failed again.

I'm growing even more impatient. So much so I called for an appointment with one of the two Reproductive Endocrinologists in town. I know I was supposed to wait the four cycles on Clomid but I also know it takes a long time to get into a specialist's office. His receptionist was very nice but because of the upcoming holidays I won't be able to see him until January 6th, unless he has a cancellation.

I have a book of paperwork to fill out on myself, as does Y. His is a bit shorter than mine though. I'm going to continue on the Clomid Dr. S prescribed just so we can be doing something until we can see the RE.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Clomid Crazies!

I've read about the craziness Clomid can induce on a woman. Side effects from hot flashes and nausea to crankiness (that's a nice way of putting you'll be a complete bitch on the pill!). I scoffed at these anecdotes of people turning into crazy women on Clomid. My first cycle I had a few minor hot flashes but really nothing to complain about. Remind me not to scoff. This cycle I've determined I'm never going through menopause. I can't deal with the hot flashes!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Clomid - 0, Infertility - 1

We had a fantastic time at Disney. We took our time and did what WE wanted to do. We had an amazing Sunset Safari experience at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since we were the only ones on the safari, our special dinner afterward was made even more amazing! Unfortunately, the trip ended on a sad note. AF arrived on our last full day at Disney. I was so sad that not only did we have a failed cycle but the cramps were miserable! It was not the way I wanted to end our vacation.

I was hurt beyond belief that morning. We had decided to go on one of the timeshare speeches for the Disney Vacation Clubs. The lady we had immediately asked if we had kids. That question was like having my heart ripped out of my chest and having it stomped on. I was so close to tears but Y came to the rescue. His awkward response should have been a clue that that question shouldn't have been asked but alas, the lady was clueless.

So on to the next cycle and our journey continues. We were so hoping that the disappointment would be over but we'll continue on.

On a more positive note, my cycle on Clomid has shortened to 31 days from the 50-62 day cycles I'd been having for the past 4 cycles. I would say that's a good improvement!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An impatient infertile

So Y had his semen analysis done in June. We were worried, due to his leukemia as a child, that his counts would be affected. Thankfully, he's normal...at least in the semen department anyway. ;)

Dr. S put me on 2 months of Loestrin Fe. Yeah, I'm a bad patient. It didn't shorten my cycle at all and I'd had enough of no sex drive and major hormone issues. It's coming up on a year since we started trying. It's time to try something else. Technically it's been two months...just not two cycles on the birth control pills. Who would have thought a person trying to get pregnant would end up on birth control pills....if that's not ironic, I don't know what is!

I called today for the Clomid prescription. We'll see what happens!! This would be a great time to be successful. Not only are we about to hit a year of TTC but we're headed back to Disney World for our first non-family vacation.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Our Story...

We stopped preventing in July 2006. Once I had my pre-conception visit with my new OB/GYN, Dr. A, in September we "officially" started trying. We were happily trying figuring it wouldn't take long considering my Mom and sister had no problems getting pregnant. Boy were we wrong.

By the time January 2007 rolled around, my cycles became increasingly longer and I began to suspect that something wasn't right. I called my OB/GYN for a follow up to discuss my concerns. I should have followed my gut instinct after my initial visit with Dr. A. I felt like she was rushed and could have cared less about me as a patient. That, and the fact her nurses couldn't take a blood pressure to save their soul. Because of that I was yelled at numerous visits because I could have preeclampsia. Umm, I'm perfectly aware of that but I HAVE TO BE PREGNANT TO HAVE THAT WORRY!

Dr. A wasn't convinced anything was wrong and wasn't willing to do the blood work just yet. Instead, I was sent for a transvaginal ultrasound. Of course, I had to wait for AF to arrive before I could schedule the ultrasound. Finally, mid-March comes and I'm finally able to have the ultrasound. I'm still not 100% sure what she was looking for but from those results I was told: my uterus looks normal, my ovaries looked good with lots of young, healthy follicles, and my lining appeared normal.

I returned to Dr. A's office two weeks later where I was told "everything's normal". I asked if blood work could be taken to see if anything was wrong. You have to understand the thoughts of anyone TTC....if it doesn't happen after 3 months you start freaking out and researching everything. In my freak-out I began reading up on PCOS and suspecting that was my issue since I had several of the "symptoms". Anyway, she refused to do blood work. When I asked why my cycles were irregular she said, and I quote, "Maybe irregular is regular for you." I'm sorry, I'm paying you to consider my concerns and I'm pretty sure "irregular is regular" is NOT a diagnosis. I left that office and never looked back.....

I decided to get a new OB/GYN. Dr. S had a good reputation so I decided to give her a try. Since it takes a while to be seen as a new patient, I decided to visit our PCP, Dr. E, to discuss my concerns. This was in May. I explained my concerns to her, an Internal Medicine Specialist, and she immediately says "I think you may have PCOS. Let's do some blood work to confirm." Hallelujah! I'm getting somewhere and it only took 5 months to do so! 36 gallons of blood taken later (I might exaggerate a bit), the results slowly came in...according to those results I didn't have PCOS.

June arrives and I finally get to see Dr. S. She's a tiny little thing but I instantly feel comfortable with her. She asks a ton of questions and listens to my concerns. She says, "I really think you have PCOS. Let's run some more tests and get your husband tested as well." She prescribed 2 months of birth control pills to regulate my cycles and then 4 cycles of Clomid. If those didn't work, I'd move on to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. And so begins our current journey......