Bloody hell

Hi guys. It’s been a while. 

The last I mentioned I’d just been diagnosed with pcos. Which makes perfect sense. All the symptoms are so obvious, and currently driving me nuts. Since changing my diet it’s gotten better but not totally. 

I’m up to 3 metformin pills a day = 1500mg. The day after I went from 2 pills to 3 I started to bleed. 

I haven’t been doing opk this time and I’ve been sporadic with my bbt because I don’t ovulate on my own. I haven’t taken any ovulation inducing meds. My bbt says clearly that I didn’t ovulate. I didn’t have a single ovulation sign physically. So why am I bleeding?

It started as brown spotting which I kind of shrugged off. But now it’s deep red. Hell fire red. And not a little. What gives? 

Being anovulatory (meaning I don’t ovulate) I’ve had cycles much longer than this. But I’ve never had bleeding unless I ovulated. I’m talking about the past year since I’ve been of birth control. 

Has anyone else on metformin experienced this? 

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The tale of the IVF salesman

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Submitted for the approval of the infertile society, I call this story, ‘the tale of the IVF salesman’.
(If you get the above 90’s tv show reference then we need to be friends. It was the best show.)

Once upon a time, an infertile couple visited the strange land of clinic de fertility…

We had our first RE (reproductive endocrinologist) visit today. The whole experience was nice. I guess. I was so nervous all last night and today, and I don’t quite know why. I sweated so bad (which I hardly ever do) in our consult. I knew 90% of the things he told us.

But given our history he told us our odds of live birth are around or less than 10% naturally, 15% with IUI, and 40-50% with IVF.

I went into the meeting thinking I was going to try some femara monitored cycles with timed intercourse for a few months. Mr. Big and I decided in minutes while we were there that we would be going right to IVF. Mainly because our odds are crap and the last thing we want or need is another ectopic pregnancy. Our ectopic risk naturally or with IUI is pretty high. I have a gut feeling that it’d happen again. My remaining tube is clear, but the cilia may not work (probably don’t work) which means the egg would get stuck.

After the successful IVF sales pitch, it was time for the dildo cam. That’s internal ultrasound for those not intimate with one.

IVF salesman- “There’s your uterus. Looks good. Good size, good shape. There’s your lining. Nice and thick. Not too thin, not too thick. Just right. There’s your left ovary, and those are your eggs.”

Me- “Crap.” There were soooo many eggs (cysts). I already knew what he would say next.

IVF salesman- “There are a lot of eggs! You have PCOS. Look at them all! I can’t even count them!”
He tried. He got to 30, on that ovary. Another 20-30 on the other one.

He seemed rather excited. I’m not sure if it’s the worst pcos and most eggs he’s ever seen, or if he knew IVF was our only option and that thrilled the hell out of him.

The IVF salesman shot out a lot of other facts and plans for the future of my womb, and my many eggs. He knew he had us hooked. Well doc you had me at pcos! IVF is the only option! He gave me a Rx for metformin, which I filled and took in the middle of dinner as instructed.

Mr. Big still needs to get his swimmers tested.

I had many vials of blood taken from the resident vampire in the IVF salesman’s office. Those results will be in, sometime.

Assuming all that is normal, we will be going ahead with IVF in late spring. Much to the delight of the IVF salesman.

PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I can’t say I didn’t expect it. I mean, I have all the symptoms. Abnormal bleeding when I was a teen, lack of ovulation, infertility, acne (cystic acne), cystic ovaries, some hair where it doesn’t belong, I shed the hair on my head like a cat, I have estrogen dominance, depression, weight gain around the middle. I probably have high testosterone. I always felt like I have.

But just because I expected it doesn’t mean it’s easy to hear. I won’t go into the details of pcos now and what it means for the future. That’s another post. For now, I’m mad. Mad at pcos. Mad at genetics. Mad at IVF. Mad that I can’t have sex and get pregnant. That it’s come to this.

But I’m calm. And I’m happy. Happy that there’s still hope. Happy that IVF exists. Happy to have at least a start of a diagnosis. Happy to have a plan. Happy to be on metformin and stepping in the direction of controlling pcos which is very important.

I have a feeling my next post will be explaining pcos and what I plan to do to try and control it. To live with it.

Due Date

The last week of January is when our sweet pea would’ve been due. I should be holding an infant right now. I should be sleep deprived and a mess on the verge of losing my mind. But I’m not. I’m not anything.

I celebrated our sweet pea’s due date week with a period. After the best and most hopeful ovulation I’ve had since the ectopic. Because, why not? Right, Mother Nature? There wasn’t enough salt in those wounds.

But I didn’t even cry. I felt a sadness and longing sure. But, the tears didn’t even try to come. Part of me thinks I’ve just healed enough to handle all of that. But another part thinks maybe I’m just numb. I honestly don’t know. I got through the week. Somehow fairly easily. Maybe I just kept myself busy enough? Maybe I just pushed it far out of my mind? Maybe I was too focused on what the next steps will be? I’m trying not to stay in a depressed state of mind anyways so maybe it’s just for the best to not feel it. Or whatever I was doing.

Next step? My first RE (reproductive endocrinologist) visit at a fertility clinic. Yup. I’m officially there. Another thing that depresses me. Officially infertile.

Oh, and since this ‘cycle’ is limbo cycle because I’m not on meds while I’m waiting for the RE apt, I’m not ovulating on my own as usual. But hey it’s only cd 17. Can you feel my eye roll?

F it, I’m having a latte!

I’m an avid tea drinker. Used to be anyways. Earl grey and green and anything in between.

After my ectopic pregnancy I read that black and green tea have something in them that can cause the cilia in the Fallopian tubes to stop functioning. Resulting in an ectopic. Granted you need to drink a TON in order for that to happen. More than most people do. Like tea all day every day instead of anything else. Gallons. So no where near what I was drinking. But I stopped black and green tea once we started ttc again.

Caffeine is also supposed to be bad for fertility. Even in tea amounts.

Certain herbs and flowers (like the daisy family) in tea can also impact fertility. In regards to Fallopian tube function, ovulation, creating a hostile environment for sperm etc.

I found that every tea I had and had been consuming, with the exception of peppermint tea which I don’t like, had something in it I shouldn’t have. Or had too much caffeine. So I stopped. Cold turkey. I’m a grumpy sonofabitch in the cold winter morning without it. I haven’t found a replacement yet. I just need something warm that tastes good. Not warm milk because that will put me back to sleep. Not hot chocolate as much as I would love it. If you have suggestions please let me know.

After realizing that I wasn’t ovulating anyways, I kind of said F it. During my period, I have red raspberry tea. Before my supposed ovulation or lack there of I have earl grey or green. When it gets close to when one should ovulate, I quit again. I never have coffee or lattes.

But right now I feel kind of hopeless. I feel like, if it’s going to happen then it’ll happen. Regardless of what I do or don’t do.

So F it. I’m having a sugar cookie latte.

If it really doesn’t happen

Here comes a what if. What if the big O really doesn’t happen this cycle? Last cycle, with femara, by today(cd 23) I had a + opk and by tomorrow (cd24) I ovulated.

This cycle, with femara in the same dose but taken days 3-7 versus days 5-9 last time. This cycle I’m on my 4th day of blinky smiley faces. So high estrogen but no LH surge. No O yet. No solid smiley face.

If I don’t O, then it’s another waste. Waste of a bit of $, waste of resources. Waste of energy and time. Waste of hope. A build up of resentment at the universe for being in this damn situation. But hey, I ovulated twice this year! Can you feel my eye roll from here?

Do I wait it out? How long do I wait before giving up and inducing a bleed and starting over again? Do I do the next cycle on femara (probably a higher dose)? Do I just start the herbs now without inducing a bleed? Do I induce and then do herbs?

I have one more cycle on femara allowed before I’m cut loose and sent to a different doctor. A RE. Depending on cost of the visit and insurance, I was going to start herbs then. In 6 months if I wasn’t ovulating with herbs then I’d bite the bullet and see the RE. But right now I don’t know what to do. I have a strong feeling that I won’t get pregnant with femara. That the herbs will work. After a couple months of taking them.

So do I give in and just start now? Shouldn’t I start with a fresh new cycle?

Writing these questions out seemed to help. I think I’ll call my doc tomorrow and get her opinion. Probably induce a bleed and go one more round with a higher dose of femara.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and ovulate before then though. Come on solid smiley face!

Seriously!?

Well, I’m officially pissed off.

Judging by my chart and all negative opk tests when I’m on cd 17 I have the suspicion that even with the drug that’s supposed to make me ovulate, my stupid body still is going to refuse to do so.

I’m giving it until like cd 23 before I get more provera to induce yet another bleed to start yet another now hopeless cycle.

If I indeed don’t ovulate this time, the amount of loathing I will have for this body of mine will be unfathomable. I’m already in a vicious hate cycle with it. I lost my respect for it, so I eat, and then hate it even more.

I know the dose of femara will just increase the next cycle and HOPEFULLY that will do the trick. But who freaking knows right? Because why would my body do what it was designed to do? Why would it function properly? Why would I ovulate?

If I were ovulating and we were not getting pregnant I would not be as upset. Not right away anyways. I know there’s only like a 20% chance each cycle if you ovulate. But it’s sure as hell better than 0%! Right now I am infertile. I don’t just have infertility issues. I’m sterile. Or barren. Or whatever you want to call it.

I’m just pissed off. Each day that passes without the damn smiley face drains more hope. My frown gets bigger and droops more. Grumpy cat has got nothing on me!

 

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Thanks google for the pic. Found here.

 

There’s still a glimmer of hope that I’m jumping the gun and worrying for nothing. That maybe I missed the lh surge and did ovulate. That maybe I’ll just ovulate late. That maybe even if it doesn’t happen this month, next month it will. But that glimmer is getting dimmer each minute.

There’s a secret to being fertile?

This week I was able to do something rare, something I never get to do. I cancelled one of my classes to do a fertile secret yoga workshop. I did a class for myself. It was fabulous. It was a support group/yoga for fertility class/acupuncture/aromatherapy all in one. Fertile secret is an odd title. Like the fertile people know something we don’t, and they’re not telling. Rude.

We started off talking about what brought us there and what we were feeling in the moment. It was the first time I have been in a room physically with people going through similar struggles. People who understood every raw emotion. Just being there listening to them made me tear up. It was therapeutic. It made me want to do something like that every week.

We did some gentle yoga for fertility which felt great. It was mostly relaxing, except for the one couple in the room who kept whispering loudly to each other.

The acupuncturists came in and placed needles. I had the girl I usually see. I got a needle in the top of my head which was a first for me. Being in a room with others I wasn’t able to relax as I usually do. A couple of them fell asleep and snored softly. Glad I’m not the only one who does that. I felt the top of the head needle go in and it was a little uncomfortable for a few seconds. I did notice though that if my mind wandered and I got stressed at all I could feel the needles until I relaxed again. Once I relaxed, I was unaware they were in. Funny how that works.

I had a lavender oil cotton ball on my left shoulder, and a citrus one on my right. They smelled heavenly. I have got to find out what those oils were exactly.

I also recently received a yoga for fertility DVD from Dawn at Our Greatest Desire. Thank you so much! The live yoga for fertility classes in my area are booked and the times don’t work well with my schedule. These DVDs will help. I love that it’s a different section for each stage of the cycle! I was able to get one follicular in before moving on to my most important one, ovulatory.

Well, let’s hope it’s actually ovulatory for me this cycle. I know it’s early (like day 11) and very unlikely I’ll ovulate before cd 14, but not seeing that smiley face on my opk every day adds stress and sadness and kills my hope a little. Even though I know better. If I didn’t have to chart and opk (I’m not being monitored or anything) I totally would skip it. This is where the yoga will come in handy.

If you’ve been here, how did you deal? How did you keep the “what if the meds don’t produce ovulation” thoughts at bay? Because my realist mind has that nagging in it.

I just accepted this week that I no longer am fertile with a loss. I am dealing with infertility issues. After the ectopic I clung to the thought that I must be fertile at least because it was so easy to get pregnant with the ectopic. Mr. Big’s swimmers must be great. The only thing wrong with me was my tube which is gone now. HA! Acceptance, by the way, is overrated.

My Friday Ritual

Another Friday spent next to my phone waiting for it to ring. Like a school girl waiting for her crush to call and ask her out. But my crush is my doctor. My date would be rite aid to get femara (hopefully).

A question I have for all of you who chart bbt, how much higher should my bbt go when taking provera (progesterone)? When I was pregnant my temp (taken orally) was well over 98.
I don’t know what my temp would be post ovulation as I haven’t been able to chart an ovulation cycle yet. This cycle (vaginal temp) it’s almost 98 the past few days (on provera) and my coverline I think would be around 97.7 so not much of a rise. image
Last cycle (oral temp) my temp barely rose during provera.
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Progesterone raises your temp. So taking it for 5 days should raise it similar to an ovulation rise right? Or maybe it’s too low of a dose?

Yes I’m over analyzing because it’s all I can do. Because if I have any other cycle issues aside from not ovulating I’d like to know. So I can try to control my body and my situation which I can’t actually control. But the illusion of control is comforting. The illusion of being able to do something to help.

On another note:
My ex friend F unfriended me on Facebook which we all know in this era means a friendship is officially over. I thought I may have accidentally done it when my app was acting up so I texted her to ask and her classy lack of response confirms what I suspected. No warning. No reason. I haven’t even talked to her or about her since our coffee weeks ago.

I already grieved this loss. The girl I had been best friends with for over a decade has been gone for a long time. I do not want this new her in my life. So it’s no more a loss now that it’s ‘facebook official’. It doesn’t warrant anything more than a shrug from me.

I wasn’t going to do the passive aggressive thing that she did because I’m an adult and in the future when her 2 faced BFF and sister in laws stab her in the back again I still would have been there for her. (The same people she talks so much shit about behind their backs btw).

The people you spend your time with rub off on you. Especially her. When she separates herself from these people after they stab her in the back again, she will go back to the person I used to know. But I won’t be there.

Or maybe she’s always been this awful 2 faced girl and now the veil has been lifted and I see her for what she really is.

Regardless, closure is good. Still a little sad but relieving. It’s like a dark cloud has lifted.

I know what stress can do to the body. She put me through a ton of stress when I got pregnant. Part of me kind of wonders if maybe that didn’t have an effect on my tube function or lack there of. Not that it matters now. At least it won’t matter in the future. Less stress. Less drama. Better baby making/baking environment for me!

One of the last things I saw F post was baby shower pics from her new BFF. She referred to her new BFF as amazing. (Yes the same one she trash talked about to me so much is now ‘amazing’). Yes I know especially by now that pregnancy that ends in a live baby is wonderful. But getting and staying knocked up successfully on your first try is not ‘amazing’. (I talked to her before about ttc so I know it was her first try). She is the 3 out of 4. The majority.

You know who is actually amazing? Us. The infertiles who keep on going. The 1 out of 4. The 1 out of 50. Those of us who have gone through a loss or ten and still live on. A lot of us with hope none the less. We are amazing. We are extraordinary. We are stronger. We are deserving of our happy endings. Those of us who have gone through these struggles and come out on the other side with a rainbow or two are amazing. Those pregnancies and births are truly amazing.

Maybe upon seeing that on October 15th of all days just made me bitter. So maybe I’m a bitter bitch. (Sue me) But seriously. I can’t be the only one who would react like this.

Facebook is not for us. We should create an infertile facebook. Barrenbook.

So, that’s that. And I’m perfectly happy with it. My life feels less negative and less stressed already. It’s done, my rant is done, and time to move forward. Moving forward with several other friends (1 in particular) who have been so great through my horrid year. Friends who understand. Friends who are going through a lot in their lives physically and emotionally but are still by my side.

Although, since it’s about 7pm it’s safe to say my doc stood me up. 😦 I need to start the drugs on day 3 of my cycle so if she gets a hold of me mon (and gets the script in) we should be ok. That’s a big if though. Who knows if she’s even in the office mon…

Cone of Shame.

Kitty update: The cut is deep. She did a bang up job. I still have no idea how she managed to cut her tail. She’s in a cone of shame, also known as an e collar, for a week. This is the second cone, as the first wasn’t long enough. Sadly she is Houdini and can still reach her tail to lick it sometimes. But the cone definitely deters her so it’s not often. I got some bitter apple to put on her tail so hopefully she’ll leave it alone.
Have you ever seen a cat in a cone? It’s messy, clumsy, pitiful, itchy, and ridiculous. She has managed to get her poo all over it. Twice. She’s prepping me for if I ever have an infant.

On the ttc front, I’m still not ovulating. Surprise, surprise. I’ve been trying to get ahold of my doctor but the only times she calls are the times I’m working and can’t answer. I am a fitness instructor so I can’t exactly excuse myself mid class. That also means I work in the morning and the evening. I work when normal people aren’t. I haven’t been able to speak to her since before the HSG test. She has left messages saying to call her if I want to discuss test results etc. I do want to discuss results as well as get some provera and femara. Is there any way I can get those without a doctor? (In the US)

She left a message yesterday saying she’d try to reach me again today (the best day to reach me) but no call. I called earlier and no one answered, I was just put on hold for 7 minutes before I gave up. 😦 Obviously the weekend she won’t call and Monday starts my work schedule again. So irritated. I’m thinking it’s officially time to switch to a fertility clinic. But, they have limited hours and require I do a consult first which wastes more time. They are booking a ways out just for a consult. Not to mention I’m not sure if insurance will cover it.

I know what I need, don’t beat around the bush just give me the damn meds.

I feel like I’m in a cone of shame. I have this itch and no one will let me scratch it.

Also, I finally got up the nerve to watch Return to Zero. It’s a movie about a couple’s stillbirth experience and the aftermath. I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s heartbreaking, I cried. It’s infuriating. It’s relatable. It’s terrifying. Those of you who have been through that are so strong. You get points just for breathing. Every single day. ❤

 

*Update*

Finally got a call and answered! Got a provera prescription to induce a bleed, again. She hasn’t used femara before but is willing to respect my wishes and try. Hopefully she’ll be able to prescribe it. I’ll find out in a week.

Skunked Again.

You just know how your day is going to go when you wake up early choking on the smell of skunk.

Like a skunk was on the bed cuddling with me. The entire house, skunked. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. I’m seriously wondering if the skunk sprays our air conditioner outside. There’s just no reason it would infiltrate the house that badly. And it lingers still. I don’t even smell it outside.

In other non-news I’ve given up on ovulating. It’s cd 21 today. I know it’s entirely possible I could ovulate within the next week, but the odds are kind of against me. May the odds be ever not in my favor apparently.

My doctor basically said if I’m not pregnant and not bleeding (so in other words not ovulating) by cd 28 to call her. Waiting until cd 28 is the hard part. If my body’s not going to do this on it’s own then I’d like to waste no more time. My clock is ticking after that HSG. My clock is ticking anyways.

Do you feel like there’s a clock floating next to your head wherever you go that only you can see and hear? It grows louder each time someone announces a pregnancy…