Saturday, October 29, 2011

It takes small victories

Well, I tested on Thursday. By the time I got up that morning, I was expected a BFN since my cramps had gotten worse and the post-sex spotting that I sometimes get near my period hadn't gone away like it normally would. But I did it anyway, and was not surprised when it was negative. *le sigh*
I spent most of Thursday feeling like I was being split in half right at the level of my uterus. And got my period sometime before lunch.
But, I'm looking at the bright side. It came on its own without ten days of progesterone pills and it came when I was expecting it to come based on ovulation testing. This means several things:
1. I did actually detect ovulation, either the up-surge or the down-surge since I didn't get a true positive, just an almost positive.
2. My body ovulated on its own, since it's unlikely that I would have gotten my period on schedule without ovulating.
3. My progesterone level, which had been soooo low on my 21 days blood work this summer, must have been high enough that the drop triggered my period.
4. I got my period between 13-15 days following ovulation which from what I can tell is rather normal.
5. My cycle was within normally accepted limits in terms of length (34 days). Long, yes, and I ovulated later (day 20-22), but from what I can tell that's within normal. For the first time. EVER.

So as much as I would have loved to have been pregnant, I'm honestly okay with just these small victories.
Hopefully, these small victories will be enough to keep hope alive through Matt's SA second opinion appointment on Wednesday. I'm just praying that goes well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The upcoming weekend

This weekend could prove to be exciting in one of two ways.
Option 1 (preferred option):
My pregnancy test I take on Friday morning will be positive. That would be awesome.
Option 2 (not as welcome, but still a victory of sorts):
I will get my period this weekend. This would be the first time that I accurately predicted and got my period when scheduled in my adult life, and the first regular non-medically induced cycle I've had since I went off of the pill.

Unfortunately, my body is giving me signs of both.
My boobs have been sore for a week now and I'm fluctuating between starving and nausea (although that's been better today). I've also been exhausted, like could just put my head down on my desk and sleep tired. I've also developed some backache over the course of today, which is really weird for me. I've had what feels like non-stop heartburn and the sniffles as well.

My boobs have been sore for a week now and I'm often hungry. I'm often tired when I get my period. I don't normally get a backache from my period, just bad cramps. The cramps haven't really shown up, some minor cramping yesterday, but nothing near normal. But they don't normally show up until immediately before I get my period, so there is still time for that. I've had some very light spotting yesterday, not even heavy enough to be considered spotting. It only shows up when I go to the bathroom, and it hasn't really shown up today.

So I'm still waiting. We're going to Chrissy's show on Friday at Magellan's so (if I haven't gotten my period) I'm going to test in the morning just in case. I think 14 dpo is probably far enough to give me a pretty accurate picture. Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


ETA: I realized that I already wrote about some of this, so it's repeated but more detailed here. No one except me reads this anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

So I think we caught it this time. I've been trying to be really good about using the ovulation tests and checking my mucus and just being aware of how I feel. I haven't gone back to temping yet; that was just annoying and got skewed each weekend when I didn't get up at 6AM. But the OPK was almost positive on Thursday afternoon. I know, I know, if it wasn't positive, it doesn't matter what it was, but I've read at a lot of sites that there is often a fade-in pattern where the strip will get progressively darker as it gets closer. All I know is it was the first time that it had been anything other than a faint line, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I also had some weird symptoms yesterday that point to ovulation. Weird in the sense that I've never noticed them before and to have them coincide with a darker OPK seemed too coincidental. I actually woke up in the morning from having sore breasts and around 11AM, I had this weird pinching sensation (it hurt!) on my left side followed by some cramping for about an hour or so. My CM has also been plentiful (annoyingly so) and of that sticky consistency that it's supposed to have right about this time. So all of the signs are there....

Matt and I were both too tired Thursday which is really when we should have had sex, but we had sex last night and I'm planning to do it again tonight.

I felt a little run down yesterday after our miserable failure of a field trip on Thursday, but overall I felt really positive. I'm not sure why. We talked with the doc on the way home, and while yes, the results of the SA came back abnormal, she doesn't think that they were all that bad. Everything was normal except for the shape of the sperm, and according to her, that's not a barrier to them being effective. A very different message from the one we received on Tuesday. Now the plan is for Matt to get a second opinion on the SA, and if that comes back with an all-clear OK, we'll start Clomid on the next cycle. Although, if I've actually detected ovulation, I'm not sure she'll put me on Clomid; we'll have to see how this goes. If I wait out the two week wait until I should approximately get my period and I get it, then two things are true: 1. Yeah! I detected ovulation accurately. and 2. Boo! I'm not pregnant. As much as I'd be bummed to not be pregnant, I'd be excited that I did ovulate and that I was able to tell when I ovulated, a victory unto itself. But if we do Clomid for three cycles or so and are unsuccessful, we move on to IUI.

At this point, our path can go one of two ways. We will either be pregnant in the next six months or working on a way to come up with the money for IUI. As much as I'm hoping and praying that we can do this naturally without resorting to a procedure, I'm just happy that we have a short-term and a long-term plan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roller Coaster

We had amazing sex on Monday night. Not that our sex isn't always good, but Monday was awesome. And then Tuesday morning, I found out that I passed this huge test that I needed to pass to be considered a highly qualified teacher. I was riding high.

Until 10:45AM. I called the women's center and listened to someone named April tell me that she couldn't see the actual report about my HSG, but the notes looked good, that my husband's sperm were abnormal, and that we were going to be referred to a fertility specialist.

Hold on, wait, WHAT!??!

I think I put it best in the words of my post of Ravelry:

I’m in shock right now.
We got the results of the SA. He had mostly abnormal sperm. Multiple abnormalities. Serious abnormalities. To the point where it is unlikely we are going to be able to do this on our own without medical intervention. And with the results of my HSG, we still don’t know what is causing my lack of ovulation.
So we’re looking at a referral to a fertility clinic. Anything having to do with infertility is not covered by my insurance AT ALL.
I was looking for answer, but I didn’t really think about this. A problem with DH didn’t even really cross my mind.
This sucks.

I ended up in my co-workers office, crying. There were students still in my classroom so I couldn't cry in there. DH was visibly shaken, and we both weren't quite sure where this left us. He kept asking if there was something he could change about himself to fix it. To add insult to injury, my best friend (who I am thrilled and super happy for) had her baby three weeks early.

We spent much of the evening that we were home talking about how we could happy without children or we could adopt or foster. Wednesday evening was spent doing much of the same. 
I spent the day today with high school students at the theatre where several of them embarrassed themselves and me. I was grumpy and pissed when I left work.

But I finally got in touch with my midwife, and she had a completely different story to tell. His SA wasn't all that bad and she highly recommended getting a second opinion to override the opinion of the on-site person-who-makes-that-decision. So she referred someone, and luckily, that person is in-network. Assuming that person gives us the go ahead, we're going to start Clomid on my next cycle. I'm not thrilled about pills, but I'd really like to get pregnant. At this point, we're willing to try as many thing as necessary.

On a positive side note, my OPK today was this close to being positive! We're gonna BD tonight, and hopefully I'll get a true positive this weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A lousy human being

Is it wrong to be secretly happy to not be the only person struggling with this? Conception, that is. Maybe happy isn't the right word..... I'm not sure what it is. All I know is that whatever I feel that I'm not alone makes me feel like a lousy human being.

I keep trying to be good about doing ovulation tests and all I keep getting are the same two lines: the dark control line and a faint test line that hasn't gotten any darker but hasn't gotten any lighter either. It makes me wonder why I bother testing at all. I've been testing pretty regularly for almost five months now and nada, zilch, zip and zero. Absolutely nothing.

Following ten years of birth control pills, we decided it was time for my body to regulate itself to get ready for trying to get pregnant. And my prescription coverage changed and they weren't covered anymore. I got my period four times in the year that followed. All four were amazingly awful, heavy and painful. When I met with my midwife in March, she scolded me for waiting so long to come in. "You weren't regular before you went on the pill; what made you think you would be regular after?" were her exact words. I love her, but jeez, the woman can be blunt. With strict orders not to go for more than 42 days without a period, I left full of hope that we could do this. 42 days came, 42 days went. I went back in June. Cherie prescribed progesterone pills to jump start my cycle and metformin to regulate ovulation. She also called in an order for a full blood work-up to see where all the hormones and other levels stood to rule out other issues. Everything came back within normal limits, except my progesterone levels, indicating that I didn't ovulate, at least for that month. Following that, Cherie (my midwife) ordered an HSG and an SA for the hubby. The doctor who did the procedure said that the tubes looked good, the right side a bit more resistant to allowing the dye to flow than the left, but other than that, the tubes looked good. My uterus is abnormally shaped, I guess they call an arcuate uterus. Rather than being shaped like an upside-down pear, it is more like a flattened Y, almost a T shape. It shouldn't cause a problem with conception. The nurse called today while I was in class to talk about the results of the SA and the HSG, so I'll be calling them back tomorrow to find out what the plan is for the next cycle. I almost wish they had seen something wrong in the initial findings of the HSG so we'd have something to fix. Or I hope that something is wrong with the SA so I can blame something other than myself. Not that I should blame myself; I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything to cause this. I just wish I knew why this was such a problem. I know they say it can take healthy normal couples up to a year to conceive under normal circumstances, but I'm not normal. At the very least, my cycle isn't. Well, no, I'm actually not normal, but other than this gynecological issue, I'm okay with that.

Going back to where I started with feeling *insert positive yet inappropriate emotion here*, it's nice to know I'm not alone. Well, maybe not nice, since I don't want anyone else to feel like I do and I can't imagine how people who have been trying for years feel. I guess it's comforting to not be the only one struggling. Not be the only one who feels like her body is letting her down. I guess that's where this blog is coming from. There aren't many in my life who understand where I'm at right now. One of my best friends got pregnant the first cycle that they stopped using protection, my good friends at work are all pregnant with their second or third kids, I see pregnant people EVERYWHERE.

I didn't expect this to become all consuming. Well, actually, I'm not too surprised. I have a rather obsessive planning compulsion. I need to be planning something at all times. I planned my move to OH, then planned the wedding from OH. After the wedding, I was in a funk until I decided it was time to move back to WI, then I planned that. After moving here, I started planning to move up in the company then planned to move out of the company and move into a better apartment. At work, I plan all the time and I've been designing my own curriculum since day 1. Once we started trying to conceive, I planned that. When that didn't happen within six months, I started planning to buy a house to keep my mind off the baby, thinking that maybe it would happen when I stopped worrying so much. Then we almost lost our jobs and the house fell through. So now I'm back to the baby. And planning to find a new job; I can't handle the stress of doing to two full time jobs, and not knowing if there will be a next year.

So I'm a planner. Yes, I have a small stash of baby things, and I keep hoping the next baby sweater that I knit will be for my own baby. Here's hoping, right?

I'm normally not quite so whiny. Things will turn around. I'll find out tomorrow that I'm smarter than a fifth grader (stupid Praxis test) and that my husband's SA was good and we'll have a plan.
That's what I need.
A plan.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here I go again.

I'm pretty sure I've started as many blogs as I've started journals in the last 5 years. But here I go again.

Hi!! My name is Beth. I live in Milwaukee with my husband of almost 6 years and our two cats, Zeke and Luther. Yes, there is a Disney TV show with the same name. No, we did not name them after it. Luther is named after Martin Luther, the amazing theologian and Zeke, well.... he came to us with that name. We just changed the spelling.

My husband is a fantastic guy. I was initially attracted to his voice when we met in college, and I have gotten to listen to him sing for over 10 years, including one Valentine's Day when he serenaded me in lounge of my college dorm and the year he wrote me a love song for Christmas. He does laundry and cleans the bathroom and is willing to help with cooking when I've just got too much work to do. He also is an aide at the school where I teach. Some days, he is a one-on-one aide for an autistic non-verbal little boy and other days he is a run-around-help-everyone aide who works on in library when he isn't running around. I like those days. It makes my life easier since in a weird twist of design, the music room (where I teach) shares space with the library. Go figure.

I teach music and special education. This is my fourth year teaching music and my second doing special education, and one day in the near future, I'm going to give up teaching music to do special education full time.  Well, I'll do just special education full time, rather than both of them full time. I love my job; I just wish I loved my school. I'm sure I will complain about that enough in the future, so I won't go into that right now.

We are members of a lovely church here in Milwaukee, and technically we sing in the choir. Right now, though, with grad school, work, and other obligations, we're planning to take a break from it. At least until after Christmas.

I'm in grad school. I'm working on my Masters in Special Education. It's going well. I finish student teaching in special ed this semester, one more class next semester, and then it's the big THESIS writing. Grad school hasn't been particularly difficult, more of an annoyance than anything. An expensive annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.

As for other obligations, I hesitate to refer to my knitting group as an obligation becuase I am upset when I don't get to go on Tuesdays. I started the group in 2008 to fill a void that I had found in the area. All of the knitting groups that I visisted after moving to Milwaukee were make up of women, very lovely women, but women who were significantly older than I. They loved to talk about their grandchildren and putting their mothers in nursing homes, while I could only comment on how my mother took my grandmother to the doctor and that I wanted children of my own someday. My second major obligation outside of work and school is the board of directors for the Lutheran A Cappella Lutheran Choir of Milwaukee. I serve on an internal committee to redesign their website and logo as well. It doesn't take too much time out of my daily schedule, but it feels rewarding to be helping to keep such an important musical influence in the area functioning. I wasn't able to make it to their spring concert, but I hoping/planning to attend this Christmas show.

I spend a great deal of time thinking about my husband and I's efforts to conceive. It was a tough battle to convince him that it was time to start, but we finally started trying the day after Thanksgiving last year. I told him that there would be problems based on my previous experiences with men (i.e. tons of unprotected sex with no resulting pregnancies throughout high school), my lack of regular cycles before and after taking birth control pills, and the knowledge that my mom started pre-menopause in her late 30s. And eventually he wisely decided that I knew my body better than he did, and might not be just a hysterical woman who felt like her clock was ticking. I 'believed' all of these arguments, I really did. But I am not sure that I expected to still be trying almost a year later. I don't think I believed that trying to conceive was going to be this difficult. I mean, 16 year old kids do it accidentally all the time! Why would two adults who were trying on purpose have a problem?

So I'm starting this blog to keep track of what we've tried, the trials to come, and hopefully as a living document for me to process my thoughts and emotions as I embark on this journey!