Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not holding it together

Well, this "doing things the natural way" is a bust. Now that I have calmed down from the realization of what a total bust it is, I am ok with having tried it first before moving on to more drastic measure. But it is a major bust nonetheless.

I am on CD 33.
I have consumed about 59873492387643 supplements.
I have subjected myself to 4 accupuncture sessions - they are not my thing.
I have survived a bladder infection, which apparently had spread into my kidneys.
I reached into my vagina 789834754875 times to check CM.
I have super-secretly peed on OPK's in my office restroom.
I still have not ovulated.

In fact, ovulation is nowhere in sight according to OPK's and CM (or lack thereof). I am so. bloody. frustrated.

I had a breakdown at the ND's office today and am never going back, for the following reasons:

- He keeps saying "all of my other patients... bla bla bla". I AM NOT ALL OF YOUR OTHER PATIENTS! I AM ME!
- He is prescribing herbs which I told him I have already tried and which made me anovulatory (this is probably why I haven't ovulated. DUHH).
- Today, he actually said "it'll be fine once you stop thinking about it so much. You'll probably get pregnant when you go on vacation". ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Could you BE any more cliche than that? This is the last straw, you blithering idiot.

I am so done with this bullshit. But I do not regret having tried it. If I had not tried it, I would not be at this point of absolute rage and frustration, and I would not be ready to just swallow the Clomid, which is precisely what I intend to do. Calling the OB first thing tomorrow morning to get me some magic pills. Booya.

Arghh!!!! @#%$(*%$&*@#%@#*^%@#!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fail/Win Tally

Fail: I have a (UTI) bladder infection.
Win: The UTI is the result of an irresponsible sex marathon.

Fail: It is CD 27 and I haven't ovulated yet.
Win: We can't BD right now anyway due to the stupid UTI.

Fail: I am swamped at work.
Win: I am taking 4 days to drive down to the Oregon coast next weekend.

Fail: The weather is shitty outside.
Win: I feel better about being stuck inside working.

Fail: I have 7 free yoga passes that expire in July and only 7 days left to use them.
Win: I will be enjoying yoga for 7 days straight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I pride myself on being a grateful person. I frequently marvel at the thought of how fortunate I am to have all that I have and be living in this place and time. Sometimes it gets to the point where I feel unworthy and can't really enjoy things as much because I keep thinking about how I don't deserve them.

Lately though, I have found myself having little moments of spoiled ungratefulness because for once in my life I can't seem to get something I want. This happened last night and I can't believe how ridiculously my mind was behaving. I came home from work at a reasonable hour and hubbs had already prepared a gluten-free pizza for dinner (yums). We ate pizza and watched Game of Thrones (great new HBO show) for an hour, and then decided to go out and do something while the sun was still out (it has been raining all. freaking. summer.). So we put the top down on the car and drove out to a driving range to hit a few golf balls (the firm golf tournament is coming up and I need to learn how to hit a ball so that I don't completely embarass myself).

So there we are, driving along the pacific ocean shoreline on a sunny July day, without a care in the world and hubbs pops in a Peal Jam CD (the Yield record, which is, IMHO, the best sex marathon CD ever - but that story is for another day). Anyway, "Wishlist" comes on and I start singing along:

I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The Christmas tree, I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds
For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down

I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up
I wish...
I wish...

Sigh... when a song like that comes on of course I start wishing for a certain thing that seems to be evading me, and I start getting all weepy and depressed. And then I slap myself (figuratively, because I'm driving and need both hands) for being such an ungrateful bastard. How crazy am I to be in this perfect, blissful moment and be thinking about the one thing that is missing? Not only is it ungrateful, it is needlessly spoiling a good time.

When stuff like this happens, I have to consciously remind myself of how awesome my life is. And I think sometimes even when I do that, I fail to take into account that many of the things I have are totally bonus items on top of what I originally hoped for. For example:

- I have a husband: didn't think this would happen til I was much older, and definitely didn't ever imagine him being as amazing/brilliant/loving as he is.
- I have a home: didn't think it would be as spacious and centrally located as it is, and that I would have almost 1/3 of the mortgage paid off by the time I was 26. Seriously, that is ridiculous.
- I have a family: they are not perfect by any means, but we are a pretty great team. They always help me, and I try my best to help them.
- On top of all this, I also have the cutest cat on the planet.

Overall, I have accomplished pretty much all of the personal goals I had set for myself when I was younger: becoming a self-sufficient career woman, finding a great man, owning a home, adopting a cat, learning how to sail and play the piano (I am at the beginner stage on these, but making great progress), completing a triathlon, visiting Europe, New York and Hawaii.

True, I have had to work VERY hard for some all of these things, but they were also made possible by the positive people and circumstances around me.

What is left to want? Just that one thing I can't seem to get. And honestly, I don't think I would trade that one thing for all of the others I do have, so I guess if I were to die today and had to do the final accounting of life experiences, I wouldn't be in the red. That is the bottom line.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pokery - Round 2, and the Waiting Game

Ok, second round of acupuncture was much better than the first, even though he actually put in way more needles this time. In addition to the ones in my arms/legs I also had a bunch in the lower belly region (ironically, hubbs used to refer to this area of my body as the "fertile belly valley"... sigh).

I can't say I was super comfortable, but there was no pain this time, and generally very little discomfort. Still having a difficult time not moving for 30 mins, but we can work on the necessary mental stamina.

It has been about 2 weeks of this treatment with herbs and acupuncture, and I don't expect immediate results when going the natural route, but I am starting to fear that it is actually having the opposite effect than intended. I am now on CD 20 and I typically start to get some stretchy CM around this time, but right now all I'm getting is thick creamy stuff. I know that might be reading way too much into things at this point, but hell, what is an infertile girl to do but over-analyze?

I am starting to wonder whether trying to shorten my cycle to 28 days is even desirable. The last three cycles it was consistently around 45 days, so couldn't that just be my "normal"? If I am ovulating and have a normal luteal phase, what is the basis for absolutely requiring it to be 28 days? Perhaps so the ND can make a few bucks off me? Hrrrrmmmmm.

On the bright side, this creamy CM indicates that ovulation will not occur for a while which is good because I have no sperm source until next week. When hubbs returns he will be around for like 2 months straight, so we should (fingers crossed) be able to time things right this cycle.

In the meantime, people need to keep posting blog entries for me to read to distract myself from how long this is taking! Think about it - if I ovulate on CD 35, that means that today (CD 20) is actually like a typical CD 1. Can you imagine having to wait 20 days for your cycle to actually "start" after every period? It's amazing I haven't gone entirely mad (yet).

This is my life clock. It is slow right now:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

He got me right in the shins

Wow, I don't remember acupuncture hurting this much. I suppose it didn't "hurt" so much as ached. He put a needle in each foot, ankle, hand and shin (sort of towards the upper part of the shin near the knee cap), and also a needle at the top of my head (wtf). Then he told me to "just relax" (grrr!!!) and try to fall asleep, and left me there for 30 mins.

Relaxation was not really an option. I felt awkward because I couldn't move from that position and I am a very fidgety person. I can't just lay in one place without my back starting to hurt, so I was trying to stretch myself in various directions without messing with the needles. Then, every once in a while, one of the spots would randomly start to pulsate and ache a lot - I don't know why, I didn't do anything to trigger it. I could especially feel it in the ones in my shins because my knees were slightly bent over a pillow, and I guess the blood was flowing fast downstream into my shins.

I was so glad it was over. But even then, for the rest of the day I could feel those spots on my body ache a little. Is this how it is supposed to feel? Am I being a wussy, or does this guy suck?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On the regular

I have said before that I do not believe there is such a thing as TMI (too much information) in the world of IF blogging. We look to each other for emotional support, but we also look for what other people are doing and what does/doesn't work so that we can hopefully solve our own problems.

Having said that... the topic I am about to discuss is not exactly IF related in the most direct way, and is probably top of the list for gross bodily functions. Still, this is an anonymous blog, so there are no real repercussions for saying whatever I want =)

I would like to talk about poop. More specifically, I would like to talk about how much I enjoy pooping on a regular basis. Before starting my gluten free diet and taking some probiotic supplements, I used to be a 3 times per week kind of girl. Now that I am dropping trou 1-2 times per day I cannot believe I lived for so long without the regular pleasure of emptying my bowels. I cannot believe how many years I carried on in a totally bloated, plugged and gassy state.

I would also note that it's not just about quantity. The quality of your product is really quite important. To me, the perfect poop is soft enough to exit smoothly and with little flexing of the cheeks, yet solid enough that only one toilet paper wipe is required. The perfect poop technically doesn't even require a wipe - it comes out in its entirety, leaving no trace behind... on your behind. Of course, a wipe is obligatory in order to ensure the perfect exit and provide a sense of pride and accomplishment.

The complete transformation of my pooping is a source of great encouragement. It means that I can change the way my body has behaved for years; that I can alter something that seemed to just be the "way I've always been". If I can do that, then maybe all of the other things my body seems to have been doing wrong for the last 26 years can be fixed too.

And now, please excuse me, I feel a turtle head pokin' out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Baby holding virgin

I have never held a baby. Ever. In fact, I don't think I have ever come in physical contact with a child below the age of 3.

Today a lawyer on my floor had a visit from his wife and 3 month old son. They were downtown for an appointment and decided to drop by. Every single female in sight flocked to see the baby. They probably weren't even told there was a baby, their wombs could just sense it.

Anyway, the lawyer let one of the assistants (a mom of 2) hold the little baby boy and she was standing holding him for a good 10 minutes beside me. I thought to myself how ridiculous it is that I have never held a baby, and maybe I should ask to hold him so we could get this monkey off my back. But then I changed my mind. I didn't want to hold him. And it wasn't just because it would be a painful reminder of what I can't have (yet), but more because I kind of like being a baby holding virgin. It would be kind of cool (in a totally useless way) to hold my own baby for the first time when I finally hold a baby.

I was not a virgin before marriage, but I have only ever done it with hubbs. Maybe it's something to do with that? I don't know why this appeals to me, and I admit that it is kind of weird and perhaps poor preparation for parenting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

So... I dunno

I meant to post a total recap of my ND appointment on Friday as soon as I got home, but I couldn't decide how I feel about it. It's been a few days now, so I guess I feel undecided?

Basically the news is that we know how my body is failing, but we still don't know why. Here are the things the hormone panel test revealed:
  • My hormone levels, both estrogen and progesterone, are very low. I didn't know this. I always figured I had some kind of hormone imbalance, but assumed I had too much of one thing and not enough of the other.
  • Because I do not have enough hormones to stimulate the ovaries, it takes a long time for me to ovulate (around day 35). Nevertheless, I do spontaneously ovulate eventually (yay!). I knew I ovulate (duh, been pregnant twice) and that it happens very late.
  • However, low progesterone throughout my cycle prevents me from sustaining a pregnancy, resulting in early miscarriage. Not sure about this one... if I have low progesterone, why is my luteal phase always at least 12 days?
Here is a picture of one of the charts I got from the lab analysis, showing my very low hormone levels:

As you can see, both E and P are just flat until around day 30, and P is especially low.

In addition to this test, I have already had day 3 bloodwork done as well as several ultrasounds, and thyroid tests. What I gather from all of these tests is that I am ovulating and there is no physical obstacle to conception. I do not have PCOS, endometriosis, blocked tubes, or ovarian failure. These are amazingly wonderful things. The only thing we need to do now is figure out how to jumpstart my body into producing more of everything! More estrogen to grow the follicles, more progesterone to support a pregnancy, more, more, more!

The ND gave me three supplements to take in addition to all the vitamins I am already taking. Two of the supplements are herbal concoctions of various chinese herbs (think dong quai, vitex, red raspberry, etc.). The products are called Progesto-mend and Estro-mend (I think I will name my next two cats that). I am to take these between day 12 and 26 in order to encourage my body to act as it should during that time in my cycle. Around day 12 it should start gearing up for ovulation, then it should ovulate, then it should sustain the cycle with sufficient progesterone until around day 26 and then it should flush everything out by day 28. Sounds like a plan.

The third supplement I am to take every night is called Pregnenolone. This shit is actually a bit scary. It is a natural steroid that has been used for some time to encourage hormone production. It is sometimes used to treat arthritis, symptoms of menopause, and adrenal fatigue. It is technically "natural" and sold over the counter, but this stuff is a steroid nonethless, and I am very alert to possible side effects. Still, it is much less potent than, say, Clomid. I've been taking it for 3 days and nothing to report so far in terms of side effects, but also no evidence that it is making a positive difference yet.

Finally, in addition to the supplements, I will be getting poked with some acupuncture needles. I've tried acupuncture before for back pain and it didn't make a huge difference, but whatever, I'll give it a try.

So that sums up the plan for the next little while. I am optimistic but also impatient. I keep getting "good news", as in "we don't see anything terribly wrong with you", so why the eff is this taking so long?