May 29, 2006

Good Sign or Bad Sign?

Usually I’m pretty good at reading my body’s reproductive signs, but my body seems to have thrown a curve ball at me this time. I think I ovulated last Saturday, so if that’s the case, I’m 9dpo today. And I seem to be bleeding a bit.

I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

When I went to the bathroom earlier today, I didn’t expect to see anything, so I was surprised when I wiped and saw blood ranging in color from brown to dark red to lighter red. The next time, it was light pink and there was less of it. The third time, less than the second time and all brown. There haven’t been any clots or anything in the toilet, it’s only when I wipe that I see something.

In my mind, I keep trying to make a case for implantation: During the times I do ovulate, I always get my period 14 or 15 dpo, not sooner. And, I don’t think I estimated the ovulation date a week late, because that would mean that I ovulated on cycle day 5, which is really early for me and I didn’t notice any signs around that time. And, I’m taking progesterone suppositories twice a day, so that should make my period come later, not earlier. And, and, and…You get the picture.

Then, of course, the case for it not being implantation comes up too: The first time, there was probably too much blood for it to just be implantation. Or, 9 dpo is too late for implantation spotting. Or, maybe I didn’t really ovulate at all, even though I thought I did. Or, maybe I did ovulate, but since I forgot to take the progesterone on Thursday morning and Saturday night (I haven’t missed any other doses for the past 8 days), my body thought my progesterone was falling and this is my period. And on and on I go…

I’m going to try not to obsess too much. (Really, I mean it!) Whatever is, is, and there’s nothing I can do about it other than keep taking the prenatals, folic acid and baby aspirin until I know for sure. I was going to wait until next Monday to test since we have plans for next weekend and I wanted to just put it out of my mind. But that was back when I figured the progesterone would buy me a couple extra days of time.

So, whaddaya think? Good sign or bad sign? Test early or hold out ’til next Monday? If you have any "there was so much blood it had to be a period, but actually it turned out to be a pregnancy" stories, now's the time to share them...

May 25, 2006

‘Plan?’ Who Said Anything About A ‘Plan?’

Remember that whole “hash it out and come to an agreement” plan to decide whether or not R and I are going to try naturally this month?

Well, um, about that. I decided to forgo that approach. Instead, it went down like this: On Saturday, I noticed some signs that I might be ovulating. I walked into the office where R was on the computer and said, “Wanna have sex?” Seeing as how that question is asked far too infrequently in our house, he jumped at the chance.

Now the way I see it is he knows what that can lead to, and he was perfectly free to say no. So I didn’t actually “trick” him into anything per se, I just made him an offer that was tough to refuse. All’s fair in love and baby-making, right?

Afterward, there was tacit acknowledgement of the ultimate motivation behind my offer when he helped me shove a couple of pillows under my bottom, which has been the ritual cap to our routine for the past three-plus years. We still haven’t spoken of it out loud.

I started the progesterone suppositories on Monday night. Tuesday morning, after nine hours of some of the most solid sleep I’ve had in years, I seriously contemplated calling in sick because I was still so tired I could barely drag myself out of bed. When I almost fell back asleep on the toilet after finally getting up, I considered skipping the morning suppository. I finally did take it, and then spent most of the afternoon wanting to shut my office door, lay down on the floor and nap.

I took the suppositories for four IUI cycles, and I don’t remember them ever making me that tired before. But the sleepiness seems to have passed, because I didn’t sleep much at all last night.

I haven’t quite decided when to test. June 3 will be two weeks to the day that I think I ovulated, but we’re going to be out of town that weekend, and I don’t want to deal with it then. I’ll probably test on June 5, and drive myself nuts for a few days with repeat tests if we don’t see the answer we want. Since I went out to the store to buy different brands of tests last time, I’m well-stocked for the POAS game.

May 12, 2006

It’s Official

I got the call from the doctor’s office this morning. My beta on Wednesday had dropped from 5 to 2. Not a surprise.

I’m doing okay. Ironically, R and I are having the opposite reactions of what I would have predicted. This pregnancy, as very brief as it was, seems to have made me happier and more optimistic about our chances to have a real, live baby at some point. I think it’s because now the first pregnancy doesn’t seem like quite so much of an anomaly.

There have been three times we know of when my ovaries have coughed up an egg while R had normal sperm counts and we weren’t in a treatment cycle. Two of those times, I’ve gotten pregnant, and we think I also got pregnant the third time (which happened two months after the first pregnancy) but never had it confirmed through a test. So it’s kind of nice to think that my body seems to be able to at least accomplish the first steps of the baby-making process like a normal body should.

Now, if only we could get it to continue. If we want to try naturally again this month (assuming I ovulate, which is not a given by any means), our RE wants me to restart the Metformin now, along with baby aspirin and mega doses of folic acid (for the blood clotting issues). Then I would add in progesterone suppositories as soon as I suspect I’ve ovulated. And if by some miracle we get a positive test again, I am to start taking the heparin injections immediately.

I’m fine with giving the above scenario a try for a month, because if I don’t get pregnant, or if we have a repeat of this month, we’ll just continue to plan to do our first IVF cycle in July. R, however, is not happy with that idea. He used to be the optimistic one of us – and on most days, about most things, he still is – but he’s sinking lower with the blow of losing this baby. He took the first miscarriage very hard and for a long time didn’t want me to get pregnant again because he didn’t want to risk the emotional pain of another loss. Now that that’s happened, he really, really doesn’t want to risk it a third time, and he thinks that would happen if I get pregnant again the natural way.

So he would rather just wait until the IVF cycle, because he thinks that will have a better chance since the drugs will help with egg quality, lining thickness and progesterone support. But the cycle is still more than two months away, and I’m anxious to try again now. We’ll eventually hash it out and come to an agreement, I’m sure.

May 10, 2006

‘Just For You’

Two years ago today – the Wednesday before Mother’s Day – R and I lost our first baby when I miscarried. It happened that afternoon. I had spent all day on the couch, with my legs propped up, praying that the cramping and bleeding would stop. R was at work. I wanted to just be by myself, to spare him the pain of sitting there watching me and knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable.

Today, two years have passed, we’ve had one suspected pregnancy, three failed adoptions, and Monday’s surprise news of another pregnancy.

And, like two years ago, here I am again on the Wednesday before Mother’s Day: bleeding and (I suspect) miscarrying. I went in for another beta this morning, but I don’t expect it to be good news. I didn’t see the point in asking them to order it “stat,” so I won’t get the results until tomorrow or possibly Friday morning.

On the way back to work from the doctor’s office, I pulled out the Lionel Richie CD “Just For You” and stuck it in my car stereo. The CD’s title song had come out in early 2004, in the months before that first miscarriage, and it was getting a lot of airplay. I doubt it was meant to be about miscarriage, but the lyrics really spoke to me. They still do, and I’ve come to think of it as “our song” for the babies we’ve lost. Click here if you want to listen to a clip of it.

Just For You

Golden days
Night was play
Pain was all a world away
We went to school
We learned the rules
We trusted all they had to say

Then life took a turn
We all had to learn
And we cant go back again

And my heart is breaking
Just for you
Just for you
And my arms are open
Just for you
Just for you
Just for you

God was God
And dreams were dreams
Life was all cake and ice cream
Truth was true
And lies were lies
And we thought love would never die
But the world moved on
My illusions gone
And I don't know who to blame

And my heart is breaking
Just for you
Just for you
And my arms are open
Just for you
Just for you
And these tears I'm crying are for you
Just for you
Just for you

I'm looking for protection
Give me shelter from the storm
I just hope this light inside me
Keeps me strong

And my heart is breaking
Just for you
Just for you
And my arms they're open
Just for you
Just for you
And these tears I'm crying are for you
Just for you
Just for you

Just for you
Oh my heart is breaking
And my arms are open
Oh these tears I'm crying are just for you

May 08, 2006

Um, I’m Not Quite Sure What to Think

First of all, thank you to those of you who are still checking up on me. I’m doing okay.

I haven’t posted lately because the focus of this blog has been about infertility, and since I haven’t been feeling well, all of that has been on hold. It’s been difficult to read blogs too, because I’ve felt like the uncoordinated kid who’s looking over the fence at the other kids playing baseball - not only am I not “in the game,” I’m not even on the bench. That probably sounds silly, but it’s how I’ve been feeling.

Physically, I’m feeling better. Still not 100 percent, but definitely better. I’m waiting for some final test results this week, but the gastroenterologist expects them to come back normal. If so, I think he’s going to call it irritable bowel syndrome. There’s no cure for IBS, although there are drugs that can address some of the symptoms if needed, and dietary changes can help. It’s something that can come and go or be chronic – every case is different. I think my case is fairly mild compared to others I’ve read about, and hopefully it will go away completely soon.

* * Ok, I should probably post a warning at this point. What follows doesn’t exactly have R and I swinging from the chandeliers yet. But if you’re feeling fragile you still may not want to read beyond at this point. * *

I thought I might have ovulated within the last week or two, but it was hard to say for sure. The last period I count as an at least semi-normal period was in the end of February, so my body hasn’t been in a reliably functioning mood lately.

Then during the past several days, my chest started to get increasingly sore. That’s not one of my normal PMS symptoms, so I started to get a little suspicious.

You can see where this is going. But before anyone gets too excited, I’ll cut to the chase: My beta came back at 5.

I know that means I’m pregnant, but we’d feel much better about it if there was another number after the 5. And, I’m spotting. Although I've been spotting for four or five days now, and the chest soreness – which started around the same time – still seems to be progressing. I would tend to think that if the spotting means this is already in trouble, I wouldn’t be getting more sore, but who knows? It is very possible that I am only at the very end of the third week or beginning of the fourth week, in which case a 5 wouldn’t be totally and completely unreasonable.

My PCP’s office did the test, but I haven’t actually heard from the doctor yet. (The lab tech has gotten to know me during these past few years, so I was able to talk her into giving me the results before the doctor had officially reviewed them.) I also called my ob/gyn’s office and the fertility clinic we’re planning to go to, but neither of them have called me back yet, either.

I expect I’ll be doing another beta on Wednesday. In the meantime, I’m going to try not to obsess. Because at this point, the only thing we can do is pray.