The Fertility Carousel

Reaching for the brass ring on the fertility carousel (again!). (Because I already caught the brass ring on the infertility carousel and I want to get rid of it!) Two years of trying to conceive, but I finally got baby E. Now we begin going around and around again. Infertility sucks.

Reverse the posts to view newest at the bottom (chronological order)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cycle 28, Day 1

Ok, I think I'm good again. Feeling emotionally stable. Didn't cry at all last night, so there have been no tears since I got a little teary yesterday morning (that's like 36 hours without tears, heck that's practically a record!)

But really, emotionally stable sums it up. I can talk about it again (at least at a surface level) without crying, or even getting a tight throat. I was somewhat worried about starting a new cycle, that just the sight of it would set me off again. But as you surmised from the title of this post, I have started a new cycle and I'm happy to report no psychological setbacks (yea me!)
I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and I'm taking the whole day off. Also on the relaxation front, I'm going to yoga again this afternoon and I also have a massage schedule tomorrow afternoon.

I need to talk to the doctor about next steps. She's supposed to have reviewed my chart. I need to develop some questions to ask her. Is there any benefit to doing back-to-back cycles on injectible fertility meds? Is there benefit to skipping a cycle?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

still upset, griping about money, emotional guilt, and I hate my nurse

Ok, so I’m still not in a very good mood spirit place right now. But it’s getting better. Slowly. I got a little teary once or twice this morning before I got in to work, but no crying eyes at work today (unlike yesterday). I left work early yesterday and went to a yoga class. I think it helped some. I’m thinking about taking Friday off to see if I can de-stress some more.

I don’t know why I take this so badly. (Do I take it worse than others? Does everyone weep for days over every failed cycle? Does everyone going through this feel like they’re dying a slow death as each month goes by?) As I finished sobbing last night I realized that I may very well be near the end of the road – which set-off a second round of sobbing. I can’t keep doing this forever.

I read other blogs, and I see success stories that detail the experiences of 7 IUIs and 3 IVFs – and I’m happy for them, but that’s just not feasible for us. Our insurance doesn’t cover any of this. Nothing. From clomid onwards, it’s all been on our own dime. (there was one exception, they did pay for about half of the HSG test and I am grateful for that even though I’m not sure why they paid that).

Now we have decent jobs, but we don’t make 6 figures even when you combine our salaries. So without insurance, we have to limit our attempts. And it doesn’t seem right that finances are the limiting factor. But that’s the way it is. (OK, yes, even with unlimited funds or amazing insurance, there would be a limit because my emotional well-being isn’t good enough to go through this 10 times, but it still sucks.)

And while we’re on the subject, the grand total is up to $4119. Wow, that’s depressing. The total just for IUI#1 was $2439.

Back to the “I can’t keep doing this forever” topic… I feel guilty that I keep crying on Rob. I know, I know, who else would I cry on? It’s his job to support me “for better or worse”. And he’s good at it, he really is. But how often can you hold someone as they cry and not start to resent being an emotional sponge? And I know he says that he’s disappointed too, but I’m not really sure he understands (or I wonder how he can understand because I don’t always understand my strong emotional reactions to these setbacks). I don’t think this is causing a strain in our marriage yet, but I worry that it might. You don’t have to search very long to find stories of marriages being torn apart by the stresses of infertility. But we have discussed it and we think we’re doing fine so far… but it is a worry (Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m a worrier. I know, I know, I shouldn’t borrow trouble…)

To top it off, I’m pissed as hell at my doctor’s office. At the nurse really. She can’t draw blood for crap. She can’t remember important things (like don’t call me at work to give me the beta test results). She shows no compassion. And she doesn’t do what she says she’ll do (I’ll make sure the doctor calls you on Wednesday and we’ll set up your next appointment then… yeah right, the office closed early, no phone call, not even to set up an appointment)! Grrrrr. Like I’m not already in a pissy and emotionally unbalanced mood?? Hello???

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

the real answer

"How are you doing?" they ask. "Fine," I mutter while thinking 'you stupid ass, how the fuck do you think I feel?'

Here, I'll help you out, pick one or more of the following, add to a cramping stomach. Mix well and let sit until it starts to ferment:


Monday, August 28, 2006

IUI#1 = negative

It didn't work.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I'm so nervous I feel sick.

I'm pretty sure i'm not pg. My boobs aren't nearly as sore anymore, so I think my symptoms are fading.

We started talking about adoption again tonight. We agreed that it's time to start moving on that - not going through with it yet, but it's time to go to an orientation and start exploring it more.


For goodness sake, if you come and read my blog, please leave a comment - it's getting lonely in here!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Still waiting

I'm not super antsy yet.

But I'm getting there.

The wondering kept me up last night.

One more week until I take a pg test.

I keep having all these weird feelings and twinges. I'm hyper-aware of my innards. I can feel a pull or a tug inside me - is that a sign? Or is it just gas?

Do I have pregnancy-like symptoms (sore boobs, sensitivity to smells) because I AM pregnant? Or because I've been shot-up with the pregancy hormone HCG? Can the HCG trigger shot give you symptoms? I've convinced myself that it can. That that is what I'm experiencing. That nothing positive has happened yet. I can't let my hopes get to high lest the fall kill me.

How melodramatic does that sound? :p But how could I pass up a chance to use the word "lest"?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The wait

Not much going on now.

I just have to wait.

And wait.

Tonight I start on the progesterone again, but that's about it.


I don't feel as anxious as I have some months. Probably because I'm not on the clomid emotional rollercoaster any more. But also because I feel like I've really done everything I can to make this month work.

Ironically, almost all of my doctor's visits happened on a weekend, so right after I told my boss that I'd be coming in late a lot - I'm not. Oh well.

Back to waiting.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A second ride on the magic catheter.

Well the 2nd IUI is done now. A bit more crampy than the first one, more uncomfortable. Don't know if that's because my cervix had already been poked at the day before and was therefore irritable. Or perhaps I didn't notice as much yesterday because I was expecting hideous pain a la the HSG test.

I made Rob go with me even though he'll have to make up the time at work. Not strictly necessary and somewhat bitchy of my I suppose. But I wanted him there. Call me old fashioned, but I'd like him to at least be in the room when we conceive a child. He was kind enough to provide me with 10,000,000 good post-wash swimmers. As you can see from yesterday's post, that's a good solid number - yea Rob!

Yesterday and today I've been a bit crampy. Strange small pains seem to be making their way throughout the trunk of my body. Nothing too severe, and it is fairly random, but also fairly constant. Also a fair bit of constipation type cramping (and I'm not usually that kind of girl!)
I've read that any pain or cramping after an IUI is supposed to be "ovulation pain" rather than a result of the IUI. I don't think I believe that. After all, I ovulated for 7 months on Clomid and never felt a thing, and certainly didn't feel anything this constant. Besides, I felt like this after the first IUI, and that happened *before* I ovulated. It not horrible pain so I guess I'm a little befuddled at why anyone would want to claim that it's not a result of the IUI.
Oh, we've also come up with some theories on why the IUI doesn't hurt as much as the HSG test did.

1) The time of the month. HSG test is done in the first week or so of the cycle when the cervix is naturally closed. The IUI is done when the cervix is naturally opened up a bit to allow swimmers to pass through.

2) My gyno sucks at HSG. I can't verify this one as I've only had one. I do like my gyno, but she's a fairly new doctor and doesn't do many of these. I personally think that she should have pushed me to go to an RE much earlier. Maybe in more experienced hands it wouldn't have hurt so much.

3) The ballon catheter used in HSG is narrower than the one used for an IUI. Again, I don't know this, it's just a theory. But if one's bigger, it'd make sense that shoving something larger through a small hole would hurt more.

4) The HSG test opened up the cervix and "loosened things up". The gyno had suggested that this might happen and said that it could make it easier for us to get PG. Of course, that didn't happen, but it doesn't mean that the cervix doesn't move a bit easier now. No way to prove this theory.

5) All of the above worked together to make IUI a much more pleasant experience than HSG.

Feel free to vote on your favorite theory (or offer any actual knowledge on the subject!)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


So today I had an IUI.

I was really worried that it would be like the HSG test (a little cerivcal stenosis is a terribly painful thing!). But it wasn't. It was quick and easy once we got in there.

We decided that Rob should "do his duty" up at the office rather than at home since we'd be cutting it close to get in there on time. I'm glad we did because we ended up getting there early - and the office wasn't open yet. So what if we'd done it at home and still gotten there early?? I would have been in tears crying over a cup of dying sperm, that's what! Thank goodness it didn't come to that.

So, Rob's duty done, we had an hour to kill so we got some chai's and went cruising around Tomball. No, there's not much to see in Tomball. Yes, it was a horrible waste of gas. But so what? It calms me to drive I think.

Anyway, Rob provided us with 31,000,000 good swimmers. WOW! Good job, love! If you don't think that's impressive, read this:

From Fertilty Plus

A count above one million washed appears necessary for success, with a significant reduction in pregnancy rates when the inseminated is count is lower than 5-10 million (in other words, in most cases one should consider 5 million a lower limit for success, 10 million for cost-effective). Higher success rates are with washed counts over 20-30 million, while increasing counts over 50 million did not appear to offer advantage.

So! What do you think about that?

Anyway, we go back in Monday morning for a second IUI.

My one doubt/question is that I've read at the Fertility Plus website that most IUIs are done 24-48 hours after the HCG trigger shot. But mine was done less than 12 hours later.... of course the second one will be within that window, but the best shot of sperm went first didn't it? (Assuming that it takes 3 days for the swimmers to really recharge.)

But wait!!! Breaking news! I've just found a study that says IUIs at 12 hours and 34 hours produce the best odds. Woohoo!

Anyway, you can probably see my emotions are all over the place.

Wish me luck if anyone reads this!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Had my check-in this morning in Tomball.

20, 20, 18.

So it's time to go.

I'm going to trigger at 10:30pm tonight.

Oh my god. I'm so anxious. Rob asks me why... isn't this what we've been doing it for? Well duh, but it's REAL now. Not to mention that I'm putting all my (metaphorical) eggs in one basket (along with 3 real ones). And if this doesn't work, then I know the emotional roller coaster is going to plummet to previously unknown depths.

So we do an IUI Sunday morning and one on Monday morning.

Happy thoughts and baby dust to me.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Almost there

Had a check-up today.

Follicles are 18, 18, and 16... plus "a lot of smaller ones" that the RE didn't bother to talk about. (She did measure them, and the number appears on the screen, but the screen is so itsy-bitsy that I can't freakin' read it).

So I'm close. Might even tell me to trigger tonight they say...

But no, when the nurse called this afternoon she told me to go in to the office on Saturday at 8am. (Ug. I don't even get to work at 8am. Yeah, I know I'm lazy, but geez that's early. Yes, yes, I can hear you now, babies won't let you sleep until 8am. I know.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I told my boss.

I've been worrying about what to do about work. How and when to tell people what is going on. How much to tell.

My co-worker S knows everything. She's in her late 20s. The two guys we work with are in their 50s and 60s - not to mention that they're engineers and very old school. Not exactly the types I want to discuss my reproductive health with, if ya know what I mean.

But I started thinking about it a lot on Thursday... I didn't want my frequent abscences/lateness due to RE visits to be noticed. I didn't want my boss to think I'm interviewing.

So after a whispered conversation with S. She helped me come up with some things to say if he needed any details, all of which I've forgotten by now, which is a shame because they were handy phrases to avoid any sort of medical discussion. But I digress.

I asked our boss, P, if I could speak with him. We don't have offices, so I had to ask him to come into a conference room.

I was so nervous that I was probably already turning red at this point. I told him that I needed to have a series of doctor's visits and that I would be coming in late frequently in the next few weeks. He * very neatly* cut me off at this point - obviously didn't want to hear any more details any more than I wanted to give them. He only said he hoped it's not serious and I said, "no, just something that needs to be done." At this point I could feel a flush coming up my face, so I escaped to the bathroom to cool down.

Whew! It went pretty easy, but planning for it was nerve-racking!

Over half way there

OK, so I was telling someone about what I've been going through and I mentioned how emotional Clomid had made me. I said that it was such a difference now that I'm off it, and that the crying pretty much stopped immediately.

Well, maybe not all the tears. I have gotten teary the last couple days for no good reason. Not big sobbing crying fits, just a few tears trickling down my cheeks.

And more perhaps more importantly, I've felt a little… different… lately.  I feel like my emotions are being depressed. But I don't think that's the right word. I'm not feeling depressed/down/blue/funky… I feel a bit removed from my emotions right now. Almost like when I started taking the Wellbutrin so long ago (ok, just over a year ago, but I've been off since December '05). Like I'm seperated from my emotions and wrapped in a down comforter. It's not a bad feeling, just rather odd.


Anyway, Rob pointed out that last night was repronex injection #6 - so we're over halfway there, and that's a nice feeling. Last night's shot wasn't so bad, I think we found a good spot for it. I only mention it because shots 4 and 5 really stung a lot when the meds were going in. Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention yesterday that the nurse looked at the hot-to-the-touch, blotchy red areas the shots create. And I told her I felt like I'd been beaten. She said "Oh, that's not bad at all". Great. So my butt is supposed to hurt.

My mother-in-law, N, also called for an update last night. (yes, she knows all, as does my mom). I gave her all the gory details and was telling her that Rob is doing a good job giving the shots. Apparently I hadn't mentioned before that it's a 1.5 inch needle, because that provoked an "oh my goodness!" from her… really not a good feeling to get that gasp of shock from someone who's a nurse.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day 8 checkup

OK, so I'm back from this morning's RE visit... and we have FOLLICLES!

On the left I have: 11, 11, 12

On the right I have: 11, 13, 14, 15

The RE seemed pleased. It sounds like a lot to me, but I'm not sure what number we're aiming for. And since some are bigger than others, they won't mature at the same time will they?

I won't find out if my Repronex dosage changes until this afternoon when they get the bloodwork done.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday update

My hind end hurts. Have I mentioned that?
No fever this a.m.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Adding up the cost

Let's see, we previously arrived at a cost of $1915.

HMG $329
HCG $45
Needles $10
RE montitoring $300

So that's another $684, bringing our total to $2599.

We'll add another $600 to that by the end of the week since I have 2 RE visits scheduled.
We'll add another $1100 to that the week after - if all goes well - for another RE visit and the IUIs.

Everyone tells you babies are expensive. But at least most people get pregnant for free.

Got the shot!

Yeah, R got home sooner than expected. He called when he was close to the house and I started prepping the meds and stuck an ice pack down my shorts (um, don't worry, I'll wash it, really, don't even think about it next time we're on a picnic).

I found out something about the ampoules that hold the water for disolving the meds - the water sneaks up to the top and basically has been hiding from us. The nurse had said we wouldn't need all the water, but we've been using it as fast as we've been using the powder because there wasn't 1cc in there - or so we thought. oops. Hey at least we figured it out on shot 3 and not shot 10!

Beginning Repronex

I went to the RE on Friday morning. Everyone on my work team was working from home, so my absence won't be noticed. (How to explain the many doctor appointments in the next few weeks has been worrying me)

The nurse took blood (from my hand, I swear this woman is nearly incompetent when it comes to drawing blood - I know I'm not an "easy stick", but I've given blood many many times without the problems this woman has drawing blood from me.) Then the doctor took some snapshots of my ovaries to get a baseline (otherwise known as an internal ultrasound). The nurse drew some circles on my butt to show Rob where the injections should go.

So my first shot was Friday night. And I freely admit that I freaked out. I was almost naseous with fear. We finally get the medicine ready and I'm on the bed ready for the shot and I wigged out one more time. Yes, I started crying. I made Rob go get an ice cube to numb the area and started trying to relax again. But honestly, when he did it, I had to ask him if it was in. Yeah, it was that painless. I could feel a slight burn as the medicine went in, but nothing compared to a flu shot.

Saturday was a different story. My ass hurt. Bad. It feels like someone beat me with an axe handle. We had errands to run and everytime I got in the car I was wincing and gritting my teeth.

Saturday night's shot went well too. But today.... my ass hurts even more. Both sides still hurt. You can't see a bruise, but it feels like I've been beaten. I'm also exhausted. I have no energy. I have general muscle aches and pains all over - like you might get when you're coming down with the flu. I also have a low-grade fever. (100 F). I've also had some chills even though it was 80 degrees in the house. I have a mild headache that's been with me all day. I've been taking Tylenol and haven't done much today, but I still feel like crap.

I'll call the doctor tomorrow. The fatigue and headache are common from what I've read, but the fever is not.

So far we've done both shots around 9pm. Rob's running late, so it'll be more like 9:30 I think. That should be ok though I hope. The nurse suggested we do them between 7-9pm, but I assume that we are still being fairly consistent and that's what is important.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Welcome to Cycle 27.

Well, so much for the power of proper incentives… Welcome to Cycle 27. Today is Day 1. I think… at least I'm pretty sure... I actually started spotting last Thursday, which would mean that cycle 26 was only 20 days long. But last night my body kicked it into gear and there's not much doubt that the "flow" only began yesterday. So yeah, I'm sure, today is definitely Day 1.

I haven't posted in 2 weeks. I did manage a number of calm days in there. Some small waves of depression lapping at my mind at times, but mostly okay.

The medicine arrived, safe and sound and in a timely manner. Searching out the proper needles was a bit more tricky, apparently they aren't that common and I ended up going to a small pharmacy to find what I needed after striking out at multiple CVSs and Walgreens.

But the calm days are over. I cried for a minute when I realized I had started. Only a little bit from the lack of pregnancy this month (the usual reason I cry), but mostly because I'm scared of all these injections and doctor's visits. Terrified. Panicked.

Anyway, it's back to the doctor's on Friday morning for my baseline bloodwork and ultrasound. First injection is Friday night.

Rob and I had a little talk last night. I guess somewhere along the way, I had started thinking of this as a one time deal. But of course it often isn't a one time deal. People do round after round of injections and IUIs or IVF. We agreed that if this cycle isn't too horrible (i.e., the scary shots aren't too too painful), then we'll do it 3 or 4 times.  I've said that I don't want to do IVF… but I think I'm starting to waver on that.  We've come so far and we've jumped through so many hoops, I guess it's hard to remember why we'd stop now. The decision to not go that far is starting to seem arbitrary, a line in the sand that is becoming blurry.

We'll see.

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