Friday, January 28, 2011

Apparently I'm meant to be a mommy

My very good friend Mary knows about my troubles with infertility. She has got to be my best friend here in the middle of Nowhere, NM and may in fact be my only friend besides my co-workers.

You've got to cling like hell to what you can find out here. (Just case any of them ever read this.)

She too had troubles conceiving. She had 3 miscarriages between her 2 children who are now 5 years old and one year old. She had to have fibroids removed from her uterus to get pregnant in the first place. She understands my situation. She gets me...

I actually like it when she approaches me with something "new" she found on the internet (red raspberry tea leaves, evening primrose know, the things I've already been trying for months) or something she remembers about when she was TTC. She is the one who comes over for a glass of wine and mint chocolate chip ice cream on CD1 when AF barges into my life again.

But what I like best about our friendship is that she also sends me little motivating text messages.

She sent me text message the other day repeating verbatim what her 5 year old son Wyatt said to her and now I'm relaying it to you:

"Wyatt says he wants to get a mommy hamster and a baby hamster. We asked him what he wants to name them. He says he wants to name the mommy hampster miss Michele [me] cause he really likes miss Michele and she doesn't have any kids of her own so she needs a kid to take care of. And he wants to name the baby Fluffy."

So now H and I have to hump like rabbits and breed like hamsters!!! -do hamsters breed rampantly, cause if so, I'm ok with being called a hamster, or rather a hamster being named after me.

As a side note, it's a little worrisome when other people's kids start to notice that you are barren!!!!!!

Second side note, the more you say/type hamster, the less it sounds like a word.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fertility Patch

I stock up on fertility supplies by ordering from the internet. There is nowhere in town to get what I need, and also, it is more time efficient given my work schedule.

So my stuff came today and was delivered to the house to be opened by my husband before I got to it.

I was down to just a few OPKs and wanted to try a few other items...again, another topic for another post...but this order came with a few freebies.

The freebies included 2 cheapo pregnancy tests (that means I won't buy any extra  for this month) and what I can only assume is a fertility patch.

They make nicotine patches to help people stop smoking, and they make pain relief patches to help relieve pain, and they make birth control patches to help keep women from getting pregnant, why couldn't there be an easy to apply highly successful fertility patch?

I do realize there are actual patches women trying to conceive might use, but something is a little different from the one I received in the mail for free.

At first, I thought it was a sticker, but it turns out it is actually a temporary tattoo. They symbolism tells me that it is either to encourage or remind us to hump like rabbits. I can't decide if I should put it on or not, there is something oddly motivating about it though, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

H's first Sperm Analysis

Sorry this post is so long...I just thought that this was borderline ridiculous...tell me what you think.

I'm pretty sure I was more worried about this than he ever was.

Yesterday H drove the 100+ miles to the VA clinic to pick up his collection container. Yes...they made him drive that whole way just to pick it up so that he could drive back today to drop it back off even though they knew damn well all along that he would be coming back to provide his specimin on site. It's too far to do the job at home and then transport it in, there is no way he'd make it in an hour. They said there was a room available there for the men to use if needed...I'm not sure what I imagined, but the actuality proved much different than expected...I got a full report when I got home tonight.

H left this morning at 5 so that he could make it to the clinic and back before class. He managed to set one of the dogs barking so that I had to get up...but that is a different story for a different time. He arrived at the clinic at 7, waited to be called until 7:40 only to be told that the "room" he was to use was around the corner. He was directed to the bathroom...yes, the bathroom. Where by that point there were 4-5 other men waiting to use "the facility". H's best guess is that most were providing urine samples...but some seemed to take longer than most.

After some online research, H was happy that I made some recommendations the evening before. I advised that he bring his own literature so that he didn't have to flip through those that would be provided and guess at what unknown substances may cover their pages. Lukily he did because there was none provided and H took his discretely in a non-discript blue folder resembling something that might carry medical files. I also recommended he take some of the pre-seed to use for lubricant which he transported to the clinic his coat pocket...I know what you are thinking...Stop right there...H refused to go if he couldn't use lubricant. After (again) googling the shit out of it, pre-seed seemed to be the best option and I advised H's using whatever method he deemed fit to get the job done.

Now I would think that having several men before you and waiting outside the door to complete after you...and likely knowing exactly what you were doing in there, the pressure would be on. However, H said the deed was happily done in a matter of a few minutes and the audience outside the door was none the wiser. He placed his sample in the paperbag he had been provided at the pick up and took it back to the lab desk.

He then completed the homework assignment I had given him and asked the required question of when the results would be ready. They had asked several times if this was post-vassectomy (obviously a more common procedure at the VA) and didn't seem to understand his urgency...that I had an appointment next week. They told him it would take 3 to 14 days or more...WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!! could they have possibly been more vague?!?!?!?!

I had initially called my doctor's office to move my appointment, but now think that maybe I keep it. My doc's office hasn't called back yet. I'm assuming he will still want to do blood work and maybe some other crap, but I'm not sure. I do know that he wants to go over my BBT charts, but am unsure of what exactly else will happen. Any opinions? Should I keep the appointment? I do ovulate that day, and I want him to check the scarring on my cervix. I want him to see if he thinks it is high, soft and open as it should be.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So...I asked Dr. Google

I stumbled on a recent blog post that hit home with me and outlined a condition I might have. I've followed this blog for some time, but mostly it covers conditions I likely (but don't know for sure) don't have and therefore, I don't read it very often.  For whatever reason, I decided to update myself on that blog.

The post covers cervical stenosis that typically results from scarring. It occurred to me as I was reading that I might have the condition.

Skip this next part if you don't want all the details:

In August, 2008, I described to my Gyno that I had been having pain during intercourse for some time. He indicated that I had cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) and put me on vaginal antibiotics that sort of helped with the pain, but it never really resolved.

The following year in August, 2009 I had my first abnormal pap smear with cervical cell dysplasia. This basically means that potentially pre-cancerous cells were found. The abnormal pap was followed by a colposcopy to remove the abnormal areas found when a vinegar solution is applied to the cervix. My gyno recommended cryosurgery even though the colposcopy came out clear (no additional abnormal cells were found) cryosurgery can also be a treatment for cervicitis. This was recommended right before our wedding so we put it off for a few months. When I finally had the surgery (they apply either gaseous or liquid nitrogen directly to the cervix to freeze it), it wasn't really painful or uncomfortable during the procedure. However, the procedure is basically a burn to the cervix so it "weeps"/drains for a long time, about 2 months. ...Sorry if that was TMI. During this time, no sex and no tampons which leaves you with the general icky feeling, but I did it and the results were great, fantastic as a matter of fact. No more pain during intercourse and the cervicitis seemed to have cleared. We started TTC as soon as I was healed/about 3 months after the procedure and I had a normal pap smear in May, 2010 and again in November, 2010.

Although HIGHLY unlikely, it is possible I contracted HPV without knowing it. However, I maintain that the soaps/shampoos/tampons/pads/laundry detergent I was using (I'm not sure which) caused the irritation and have since switched entirely to organic/natural products to avoid having this problem again.

If you jumped over that last part, pick up here:

With such a great resolution to my initial medical problem, I never once thought to question potential side-effects of the cryosurgery. Of which, I now know include cervical scarring and cervical stenosis which could lead to infertility!!!!!

I can't wait for my Dr.'s appointment next week so I decided to ask Dr. Google. I'm pretty sure other people do this too...wait...hold on...

Do other people do this?

Is this just an infertile thing?

Is this just a me thing?

I have a semi-medical background and Google the shit out of any condition I think I might have. When self-diagnosing, I usually talk myself down to the least serious of the possible diagnoses. In this case, however, I really hope I stumbled upon the condition I might actually have as it seems it is rather easy to treat, you just move directly to an IUI and skip all the nonsense of hormone therapy.

The countdown is on: 7 more sleeps until my next Gyno appt.

Home again...home again

Decided to share this story now that I'm awake, winding down from a long day and worried.

So I'm finally home again. I made it back after an 8 hour day at a conference, and a 5+ hour drive back home (I was the driver with 3 passengers...sounds like fun huh?).

I was excited to be home and be with my husband. He was, of course, in bed when I got here, but I woke him up anyway. It was great to be back, 2 days in a hotel is enough and to have to work on the weekend makes it all that much worse.

We had a nice little romp in the sack before going to sleep and I started to fall asleep thinking wow, turned out to be an OK day.

You know, it was the good kind of sex, not the baby-making kind, not the it's a holiday/birthday/anniversary-of-some-sort kind, not the I-don't-really-feel-like-it-but-I-know-he-does kind, not the I-might-be-charting-this-all-wrong-let's-just-give it-a-shot-in-the-dark kind. It was the remember-before-we-decided-to-start-trying-to-have-kids-first-couple-of-dates/early-marriage kind.

It was good and sweet and happy. I was just starting to drift off when he shakes me awake and says "Oh no, they said I'm not supposed to have sex for 3 days before my sperm check on Tuesday!" Of course I was never informed about this caveat and was blissfully unaware while the deed was being done.

We've decided that there is no way we are rescheduling, he has to drive 100 miles to get to the VA hospital, where he is to have this done, and we had to schedule the appointment 2 monthes ago (They don't do SAs anywhere in town and he has to go through the VA to have it covered anyway because it was a pre-existing condition his current insurance won't cover and was caused by physical training during his military experience).

We will also likely opt to do what my Gyno calls a "secondary sperm check" (or something along those lines) where we have sex prior to an appointment with him, he removes a sample from my cervix and examines it himself under a microscope. I'm not sure of the typical proceedures involved in a sperm analysis but they must be significantly more sophisticated than this "scrape and look" technique. This was initially a choice when the SA was first looking like it was going to be a 4 hour drive away, but it now seems as though it will be a back-up plan given the current circumstances.

I have no idea when to expect the results back from the SA, but H has been specifically assigned to ask so that I know if I need to move my appointment from January 31 to a later date. Everything moves a little slower in New Mexico.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Really...Is everyone pregnant

I know I've heard others say that when you can't get pregnant yourself, then everyone else seems to be pregnant...but seriously, are there really that many pregnant women out there all at once, or have I just never noticed before?

I'm currently at a conference for work in Tucson, AZ. My field contains many older men and women and many young women about my age. Typically infertility is not too big of a problem in this environment because the topic of infants doesn't come up.

Side note: I'm an audiologist, I work with hearing loss and hearing aids. Not much of a baby topic usually except for the occasional kid I see for hearing aids. I am officially off diagnostic hearing test duty so I don't have to test the thousands of kids we see each year with ear infections. I have graduate students to do that work for me and it keeps me away from all the sickness, healthier in general and again, I'm trying to help keep myself as fertile as I can and kid germs are the worst.

At the last conference in Baltimore, MD back in November, the table of strangers I was sitting at instantly bonded over the fact that each of them had two children about the same age, 3 years old and 9 monthes old. There were three of them talking and I was between them. I couldn't participate...we have dogs and when I've tried the comparison thing between dogs and children before, people tend to get offended. So I sit there and nod along. About halfway through the weekend, I realize that the speaker is pregnant, just enough to show, but not enough to ask if you don't know the person well. It was a large conference of about 250 people so I didn't really have to interact with her.

At this conference now several months into her pregnancy, she is now obviously pregnant, I'd guess about 5-6 monthes along. She is the main presenter. She is an entertaining presenter and comments about her pregnancy enough as she speaks to maker her a likable, kind, funny person and interesting enough to keep everyones attention. Under different circumstances I'd want to be her friend. The way she talks, it seems as though you know her. Right now though, I hate her. She is the bane of my exisitance. I know that pregnancy came to easily for her to as someone mentioned that she was just married last summer to one of the higher ups in the company that is putting on the conference. I sat through her lecture for 8 hours today.

The good news is that my non-pregnant self got to enjoy sushi while here in Tucson and also, there is only one more day of torture before I return to the Dumpo to carry on with my regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kick Rocks

I am still trying to come up with a new years resolution. I've never really been a resolutions type of person and usually forget what I resolved to do in the first place by mid February. But this year...THIS YEAR..I have my sights set and my blinders on. I am focused...I resolve to...well....try to stick to a few of the things on the following list (in no particular order):

I will refrain from telling people to go kick rocks when they tell me they think I should just relax.

I will not give the stink eye as often to people whom in public can't keep their kids from pulling things down from the shelf, screaming at the top of their lungs, and just in general being pains in the ass.

I will still be polite to any friends and acquaintances who inform me that they are pregnant (and got that way within the first few months of trying)

I will not kick and scream when we get poor results on any medical testing done this year.

I will not resolve to get pregnant by the end of the year. That seems like I would be setting my sights too high and setting myself up for disappointment. However, if I should happen to become pregnant this year, I resolve to be ecstatic about it!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The old crib

I was just thinking about this the other day. Not for and reason...just popped into my head.

My parents moved across the country the week of my wedding in 2009. The move had been planned for awhile and was going to be the 3rd home my parents had lived in in my lifetime. It was job related and my father wasn't ready to retire.

They did however decide to downsize and found a 4 bedroom home instead of 5 and one that didn't have a basement. I think they over-estimated how much junk they had. The items from the old house filled their 3 car garage while they emptied the house of garage sale items they had accumulated while waiting for the official move (they lived in the new house for 2 years without any of the furniture/junk from the old house)

While I was visiting them in California at the new house (a business trip took me to the area) a few weeks after my wedding, I found myself helping them sort through and relocate things from the garage into the house. Part way into the day I came across a large metal item that looked like something like a piece of a chain link fence. I could not identify what it was at the time, so I put it into the "Donate" pile. We continued to sort and I never thought twice about the item.

Later in the day, my mom came out and relocated the unknown item into the "Keep" pile and the following conversation ensued:

Me-"Why are you keeping that thing?"

Mom-"Don't worry about it, I just am not ready to give it up"

Me-"But what is it?"

Mom-"It's mine and I still want to keep it"

Me (Obviously not ready to give up so easily)-"But why?"

Mom-"Ok...It's the bottom of your brother's, your sister's and your old crib, all 3 of you used it and I want to keep the crib for when you bring my grandbabies to visit"

My older brother is 30 and married and my younger sister is 26 and single and living with them for the time being. (By the way, I might have a small case of middle child syndrome, in case it comes up in the future) None of us has kids.

I almost started to cry. My mom, and my dad for that matter, have never asked/worried/pestered us about when we will start trying for kids. I know that others don't have it so easy and are asked each month where they stand. I am lucky to have parents who instinctively know better. However, she will always be prepared in case the need for a crib arises.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What the heck is Varicocele

I know I mentioned it before and you've probably googled it already, but I thought I'd list the highlights.

Varicocele is varicose veins in the testicles.

Varicose veins are veins with walls that bulge out. They can happen most anywhere in the body. Blood pools in them because the valves that pump blood back to the heart no longer work properly.

In H's case, his were caused by lifting heavy weights with his legs and may be contributing to infertility. H is a personal trainer and weightlifting is a hobby.

According to my gyno, the testes can usually monitor their own temperature, but with extra blood flow from the varicocele can get too hot and kill all the sperm.

40% of infertile males have this condition.

It is more common on the left side, which is H's case.

The bad news is that surgical correction of the condition may not remedy infertility.

An inguinal hernia can be misdiagnosed as varicocele. H has both...maybe

I guess we'll find out after January 25 when he goes for his sperm analysis (SA)

On another, happier, note, I still think I ovulated this month!!!

Nearly there

I'm 12 DPO and holding. But my temp on my basal body temperature (BBT) dropped a little. So I might be on the decline toward aunt flo (AF).

I guess the good news is I likely ovulated.

I always get the sense that I'm tracking it wrong though.

Did I temp at the exact same time as yesterday?

Was the temperature the same in the house? Could that affect your temperature?

Did I sleep with my mouth open? Can that artificially lower your temperature?

Did I pee on the ovulation predictor kit (OPK) at the right time of day? Was the test line as dark as the control, or about the same?

This silly guessing game is enough to make you crazy!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

12 Two Week Waits

I'm currently in my 12th two-week wait (2ww) and 7 days past ovulation (dpo).

I haven't yet decided if I will use the popular fertility acronyms in my blog or not.

I also can't decide how long to wait to test. I get anxious and want to test, but I'm cheap and only have the internet ones under my bathroom sink, and I know they would be inaccurate this early. I go with the phrase "I won't invest, so I shouldn't test". I know, corney. I'm impatient, but I know it would be a waste to test with the cheapies that will give a false negative so easily. I won't buy, a First Response, Early Response (FRER) due to the cost.

I figure every penny I can save on stupid tests can be put to into doctor's bills in the future...I wonder how long this will last.

Nowhere, NM does not actually exisit

If you haven't already, I bet you still will google map Nowhere, NM. If you do, you will realize that it doesn't actually exisit.

You just checked?!?!?! Didn't you?!?!?!

The names this town has been called include the nice "The Dumpo" to the not so nice "The Shithole". However, I once referred to where I now live as Nowhere, NM to a cashier at a store when visiting the in-laws. The girl said "Oh, I lived in Hell Frozen Over, Alaska". Nowhere, NM stuck with me from then on.

I did not end up here long-term on purpose. I grew up in IL and H grew up in CO. He was stationed near here in the Air Force and I did an internship here for graduate school. I though "I can live anywhere for a year" and he had no choice. When he seperated from the Air Force after 6 years in service and I was offered a full time job at the same practice where I did my internship, we decided to stay. Even though that means that H will be driving everyday to school over 60 miles each way, we decided to stay. Although there is only a Chili's and an Applebees in town (the fast food restaurants and local dumps don't count) and recently the IHOP has become the place to eat, we decided to stay.

Of course, there are also some positive things about where we live. No winter...It doesn't get below freezing very often, if at all. The cost of living compared to my income has worked out in our favor and allowed my husband to go back to school and us to get by on my income alone. My husband loves to hunt and has all the freedom he needs to head out into the desert.

Our main problem will arise if/when we need medical intervention for infertility. There are 2 gynocological practices in town. There are no reproductive endocrynologists within 100 miles.

Hopefully things work out in our favor on this one.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nice to meet...well...Me

So, I decided to write a blog. I have been following other blogs about infertility for several months. Now our journey to conceive has drifted from the path of the straight and narrow onto the winding road that is the world of infertility. If not the fastest way to a baby, this winding road might at least be more interesting (for others to hear about) with an infinitly better view of the world.

With this new path, I have decided that I need an outlet for my emotions as well as a universally understanding support group and network of peers (cue the blog).

Where to start...
We suspect infertility, my husband (in this blog referred to has H for him or he or even just the husband) and I have not been formally diagnosed. We both get checked out at the end of this month.

H has had varicocele and an inguinal hernia. Both of which he currently refuses to have fixed though they cause him pain.


What to expect from my blog:

Will I be honest? yes
blunt? usually
tactful? sometimes

Will I be funny?...maybe

If I'm not outright funny, I at least hope for amusing so that you will continue to follow me and comment as you see fit.

I even appreciate lurkers as I was a lurker for sometime before commenting, then commenting led to following, then following led to writing my own blog.

Oh...and I easily get side tracked and lost in a tangent to my main point never to return. Please excuse this when reading my musings.