Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sluggish Farewell

I guess I have some side-effects after all.

I've been feeling extra tired the last few days, and just generally all day long, I wish I could take a nap. No matter how much I sleep, I feel exhausted, yet at the same time, I am wide awake when I go to bed. Last night I felt a big wave of sadness, as all sorts of thoughts I hadn't thought in years came back to me, and I couldn't stop myself from thinking about all the unsolvable problems in my life. This was all happening at 2am while I stared at the ceiling, wide awake, while DH snored peacefully next to me.

Mentally I feel better now, though I'm still feeling very sluggish. I guess these are the side-effects of the Clomid? Still, after reading what others have gone through, I guess this really isn't too bad.

I just hope I don't have a depressive mood swing while in the midst of our trip. We've been trying to plan a real vacation that is more than a weekend away for just the two of us since before we were married! Now with three years coming up on us (next week!), we're finally getting the chance to do it.

After the vacation, we'll be going home for the wedding of the young bloggy lovers. Should be interesting. :)

And while I'm gone, happy birthday to both of my countries, and ya'll enjoy your BBQs and fireworks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

So Far So Good

And I hope it stays that way!

I started the Clomid (Serophene) yesterday morning. I haven't experienced any side effects yet, and I really hope I won't at all. I was leaning towards waiting a month, after reading everyone's comments (thank you very much!!), but DH said let's go for it. I'll take the last pill before we leave on Thursday, so hopefully if any side-effect is going to happen, it'll just happen before we go...or better yet, nothing will happen at all.

Yesterday we went strawberry picking, which I've been wanting to do for the last three years since I've been in Canada! There are so many berry farms all around our city. I just love strawberries - who doesn't? So far we've had strawberry smoothies, strawberry and spinach salad, and strawberry shortcake. Today was the first time DH had ever had strawberry shortcake! (He liked it, and it turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.) I didn't think it was just a Southern thing, is it?

This picture doesn't do the strawberries justice (most were much redder and riper), but we forgot our camera, so this is what our friends sent us. Nothing says summer like strawberries! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Change in Plans - Starting Clomid

I called the clinic, and they said to go ahead and start the Clomid on Day 3 (tomorrow - Sunday). She said it was fine if I just get the bloodwork and u/s on Day 24 and skip the Day 14 monitoring, since we'll be out of town at that time. My question this a good idea? This is my first treatment, so I'm still a little clueless. What is the purpose of monitoring while on Clomid? Isn't it to check on follicle growth? So won't it be pointless to check that after I ovulate (ie, on Day 24)?

Also, does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to deal with the Clomid? I'm kind of hesitant about it. DH and I are going on a real vacation (more than a weekend getaway) for the first time since our honeymoon, and I don't want to turn into a zombie or an evil witch (like I was yesterday...stupid AF). Is there anything I can do to minimize side effects? Any other good tips? I know a lot of people say to take it in the evening, but if I do that, I'll still be taking it during our trip, and I think I'd rather finish it off here before leaving. If I start Sunday morning, I'll finish taking it before we I'm hoping that whatever side effects are going to happen, will happen while I'm taking it and not afterwards...should I expect effects to linger even after I'm done taking the pills?

Thanks a lot ladies! I don't know what I'd do without your support!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Before I Could Even Get Too Excited

Good old AF came. She's a day early, but hey, I'd rather a day early than a day late. One less day to get my hopes up for nothing.

Except that I was a little excited. Okay, so actually I was really excited about all the acne that I have developed in the last few days. Because normally I have pretty decent skin, and one of my friends said this was her first sign of pregnancy, and this has never happened to me before. I guess it was all the depression chocolate. Great. Now I'm not pregnant, and I look like I stepped back in time 15 years. [Stepping away from the chocolate...]

I worked hard not to over-analyze signs or symptoms this cycle, but you know how it is - it's subconscious. I didn't actually count out 9 months, I just automatically knew that it would be February if I got pregnant this month. It was hard to not think that the nausea from the meds was stronger than last time, so maybe it meant something more. It's those imaginations that just run wild and take over your subconscious.

I want to think new cycle, new hopes! But we can't even start the Clomid this month because my doctor wants to monitor me while I'm on it, and I'll be out of town during that time. Sigh. I guess we've got one last go the old-fashioned way before we get started down the high-tech path.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

May You Fill with Milk

First, thanks to all you ladies for your great advice. I've got a good bit of thinking to do now, and I'll probably be looking into PCOS more. I'm sure I'll be back with questions soon. :) I also wanted to clarify for those of you who were concerned that I'm not seeing an RE - I am seeing an RE, well, I think she's an RE, I don't think that's what they are called in Canada, but I'm going to a fertility clinic. The OB just happened to be doing a rotation through the fertility clinic and was also present at the appointment.

So, I've been MIA because I'm still exhausted from the weekend, which we spent in New York. Actually, we spent about 30 hours in New York and 18 hours driving. We left at 2am on Saturday morning and arrived back here at 3am on Monday morning. Yes, we are crazy. :)

It was a see the family trip, the kind where we both argue and get mad at each other over how much time to spend with each other's respective families. I have almost all my aunts and uncles, my grandmother, and many cousins on my dad's side who I grew up with there. DH has one cousin who he never talks to. So...wouldn't you say we should have spent more time with my family too? :)

All in all, it wasn't too bad. We've haven't been since last summer, so I was bracing myself for the baby questions. Good thing I braced.

DH's cousin's husband greeted us outside as we parked the car. "Well, looks like someone in this family finally gained weight!" As though I don't already feel awful for being the fatty of the in-law family. I acknowledge, yes, I have gained some weight. I reach in the car to get my things out, and he peers in and bellows, "So, where's the baby?" Ummmm, yes, I'm fat because I got pregnant and had a baby and didn't bother telling anyone! He said some other baby comments, but I was too stunned to even process them or remember them.

And that was how the weekend started. So I was prepared for more. But let me tell you how awesome my family is that not a single person said anything about babies to me the entire time! Not even my grandmother, who I was sure would say something after she shared the good news of yet another cousin who is having a baby this year. Not a single baby question or comment! Clearly, my family is awesome.

So on the way out, we stopped to have lunch with DH's family. I had let my guard down, because hey, the weekend was almost over, and I had already seen everyone once, so I figured baby talk was done. Wrong. DH's cousin's husband is a very...flamboyant man (DH's word choice). He says outrageous and offensive comments that he thinks are jokes. He gets away with it because everyone does indeed laugh along...why, I don't know.

We're wrapping up a nice expensive lunch that DH has somehow unknowingly treated everyone to (great for the budget), when the cousin's husband gets up and makes a toast to us - To DH and me, may they have children soon! Okay, this wasn't too bad. Then, when DH was up paying the bill, he turns to us all and starts saying something in a foreign language that I don't recognize, and I thought, well, at least none of us know what the heck he's saying. Of course he then had to translate. He stands up and says in a big booming voice, loudly enough for the entire restaurant to hear, "May your body fill with milk, and may you give birth to a son!" For extra dramatic effect, and just in case every single person present hadn't heard him the first time, he repeated himself a few more times, following up with much loud laughter. Everyone near him including my in-laws laughed along with him.

At that point, while I knew that of course my body was still physically there, with a strange smile pasted on my face, I felt myself sinking under the table, or at least wishing that I could. I had braced myself, yes, but not for something like this! This man beats all. Thank God we were leaving then, because I don't think I could have stayed any longer.

So ladies, that was my weekend in a nutshell. I leave you with the parting prayer...may you fill with milk...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Diagnosis: Unexplained

I'd just like to say...I knew it.

Well, of course I couldn't be 100% sure. But I had a pretty good feeling that that's what we'd be hearing today.

And I could eat my words (yesterday's post) about not wanting to walk out with a prescription for Clomid. Because halfway through the appointment, I was so afraid I was going to be walking out with nothing at all, and I was desperately trying to think of a way to at least get the Clomid.

Basically, everything came back normal. DH's SA was good, but the motility is just a teensy bit low. The doctor said this isn't an issue and can fluctuate from sample to sample. And me, well, apparently I should have had many children by now. Because not only are all my hormones in line, my uterus, ovaries, and tubes are clear and beautiful, and they measured 41 antral follicles.

So, diagnosis? Unexplained. There's no apparent reason we have never conceived. Prescription? Go home and keep trying!

Well, of course I wasn't about to take any of that. After 14 cycles of careful charting and timing, there's no way that I'm just gonna keep doing nothing.

They (there was a rotating OB in there who was kind of annoying me because he insisted I was at the peak of my fertility, when I, and any other person who knows anything about fertility, know that my fertility peaked 10 years ago) said the next step is IUI with injectables for superovulation and a more detailed SA to double check on the motility issue, and if those don't clear things up, IVF. But they said they don't recommend either of those steps for several more months.

At that point, they clearly thought the appointment was over. But I just couldn't leave without any action plan. So I asked the doctor what about Clomid for now? She said yes, that would be fine - she didn't think it was necessary, but it shouldn't hurt.

So the plan is 3 cycles of Clomid, with the first cycle being monitored by u/s to make sure the Clomid is doing it's job. She actually prescribed Serophene, which I understand is just another brand name of the medication in Clomid.

The only result that was not as expected was the high antral follicle count. Which they actually miscounted. Because 28+13 doesn't equal 51. But I'm not the one that realized was my mom. Moms are the best. :)

But even 41 is higher than anything I'm seeing as a reference range for AFC. According to the doctors, this is a great sign. They don't think there is any chance of PCOS because I have such regular periods. But I'm wondering, is it actually good to have such a high count? And just because I have regular periods, does that mean that I definitely don't have PCOS?

I guess I am looking for an answer. I'm grateful nothing is wrong. But on the other hand, if something is wrong, then you can fix it. Since nothing specific is wrong, basically, we're just going to keep doing what we've been doing, plus Clomid...and I'm really hoping we don't have to go too far down the road of treatments...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We are FINALLY going in for our follow-up with the fertility clinic tomorrow. I'm saying finally, because the initial appointment was three months ago! The stupid hysterosonogram (btw...I managed to get a UTI out of it too!! I'm just lucky like that, you know, in that lucky 1% who get after-effects that aren't even described on the explanation sheet) kept getting delayed, which is what pushed the follow-up back.

Anyway, I should have posted sooner to seek out your advice, all you wise ladies who are further in the journey than we are, but I was too busy running to the bathroom and cramping up to do so.

Any advice on what to expect? What questions I should ask? What you wish you'd done at this point? I don't want to just nod my head and say "yes, ma'am" and walk out with a prescription for Clomid and orders to return next year if we don't get pregnant by then. I'm afraid if I slip up and say "yes, ma'am" that's what will happen, because Canadians don't seem to like being called "ma'am."

Thanks in advance ladies!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Little Things

All day long I was craving veggie lasagna...out of the blue, no reason, but I really wanted it. Of course I had no lasagna noodles, but the beauty of having a friend who lives downstairs dawned on me, so I went and got some noodles from her. After dinner, I returned the leftover noodles and shared some of the lasagna.

DH was on the phone then, so I didn't call before I went down, I just went and knocked on her door. It was kind of late, so she was in her robe, and for the first time, she looked really pregnant. She's due in two months, so it's no surprise. She just looked like a really cute pregnant lady, round all over and waddling, with a nice, big belly.

Sometimes it's the little things that hurt, that sting like a paper small, but hurts like anything. Last night I was sitting and thinking about how I had pictured my life...I always imagined I'd have four or five kids. My friend downstairs...that was supposed to be me, but by now, I was supposed to be on #3. It dawned on me last night that if I ever do have a baby, that doesn't mean I'll be able to have several more, like I always dreamed I would. I'll never be trying to time births 2.5 years apart. I'll be lucky and blessed to even be able to give birth and have one baby, let alone five.

At this point in the game, I'll be grateful for one. But sometimes little things bring the old dreams back, and it's hard to realize that I have to let go of them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meme Time

Thanks to all you lovely ladies for your sympathy and advice! I am feeling better today. I still can't stay upright for too long without the pain returning, but it's not as sharp as it was I guess it is an air/gas bubble...crazy what a little bit of extra air can do!

VA Blondie tagged me a couple of days ago, but I just wasn't feeling well enough to do this till very first meme. :)

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then go to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. What was I doing ten years ago?
It was the summer before my senior year of high school, and I was in the midst of researching colleges to get ready to apply in the fall. I was volunteering at an early childhood intervention center (my third year to do so), where I fell in love with the kids and the cause, and decided what I would be studying in college (university for the Canadians): early childhood education and special education, concentration in early childhood.

2. Five things on my to do list for today
Ummm...given my current condition, there aren't too many things on my list for today...there are instead many things I was supposed to do, but can't because I'm not feeling so well:
  1. Go to my BIL's graduation. (DH is going without me)
  2. Go to a community barbecue. (DH went without me)
  3. Train my replacement at work. (will do when I'm feeling better)
  4. Return a few phone calls. (not feeling up to it...maybe tomorrow)
  5. Cook the fish DH bought a few days ago. (done)
3. Snacks I enjoy
What don't I enjoy? Man...I wish I didn't like food so much. Honestly, there's very little I don't like, but I especially like anything chocolate and anything with cheese (but not together of course!).

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire
Move back home and buy a house in the same town as my parents. Donate to as many charities as possible, especially those who serve people in countries that have recently been hit hard with disasters. Donate to all the causes that are near and dear at home - IF, autism research, and more. Set up a trust fund for my brother, so he'll be completely taken care of for the rest of his life. Have an IVF right away (jk!).

5. Places I have lived
I was born in the Big Apple and lived there for my childhood. Then we moved down South to Bible Belt, USA (I'm not Christian, but I LOVE the South). Got married and moved up here to the Great Arctic North known as Canada.

6. People I want to know more about.
  1. Alicia
  2. Dreams Come True
  3. Loren
  4. Mrs. Spit
  5. Mya
  6. Steph

Friday, June 6, 2008

Big Fat Pain in the...Shoulder??

Thanks so much for your well-wishes and for thinking of me. I'm happy to say I have a lovely uterus, clear Fallopian tubes, and two lovely ovaries. I'm also happy to say I made it through the procedure just fine, and honestly, the worst part was the speculum. Minor cramping upon insertion of the saline solution, a little bit of spotting till now. Uncomfortable, but really not painful. Thanks for everyone's great suggestions; I did take pain-reliever beforehand, and the pad was definitely a must - I felt like I was "bleeding" saline solution the whole way home.

I'm pleasantly surprised by a lack of cramps or pain "down there," but I'm thankful I'm not having any...because I don't know if I could tolerate it on top of the massive, paralyzing pain I'm having all through my right shoulder and side.

I've googled all sorts of search queries, asked my doctor parents, called the clinic...but I have no idea what to do for the pain. Immediately after I got into the change room, I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder, which I thought was odd. Out in the waiting room, where I was told to rest for 15 minutes just to make sure everything was okay, the pain spread to both shoulders. DH suggested that I was probably just tensed up during the procedure, since I was so nervous about it. He rubbed my shoulders and back, and I felt better, and we got in the car and drove home. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I realized something was wrong. I had sharp pain all the way down starting at my neck and down through my shoulder which was intensifying as I was walking. Came home, called my mom, lay down, called the clinic. The doctor's office said sometimes the gas/air bubbles used in the procedure to see the tubes escapes into the body and moves upward. Hence the massive pain whenever I am upright, and the even more massive pain when I try to move around. They said it could last from one to three days. Prescription: lie down flat on your back.

Now, I know I said I was looking forward to relaxing and being pampered by DH. But I most definitely was not looking forward to three days on my back. The pain is excruciating; I've never felt anything more painful in my life.

Nothing I read online, no one's blogs, no one's comments, no literature from the clinic mentioned this at all. Have any of you ever heard of a reaction like this? Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions on relieving the pain?

HSG/SHG/SSG/Whatever the Heck It is...Today

It's hysterosonogram day! Though I'm not actually looking forward to it and am feeling kind of nervous, I am looking forward to it being over, so we can keep moving forward. Hopefully it'll be over in a couple of hours from now. I told DH I wouldn't be feeling well, so I'm looking forward to relaxing and being taken care of for the rest of the day...a great chance to catch up on blog reading and commenting!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NCLM...for the Brave of Heart and Blogging

It's been about a week, and I'm loving it. I love all the new comments (you guys are all awesome, thank you for your advice and for lifting my spirits!), I love finding new blogs and people who I feel are really speaking to me, and I love the sense of community and belonging that I'm feeling.

But I'm not really loving that this morning I woke up in a panic after having dreamt that I didn't leave enough comments for yesterday! Or that I have become glued to the computer, sitting here hours after I'm done with work and school. DH says I quit my job so I could focus on my new blogging habit! Which of course is totally untrue. But it does seem as though all the free time I gained after quitting has been directly channeled into blogging, reading, and commenting.

Since I'm a relatively new blogger, maybe I just don't have this down quite right...I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be spending all day reading blogs and commenting, right? :) Problem is, I'm enjoying myself - it feels so nice to finally fit in somewhere, to read about people going through what you're going through, to comment freely and from your heart about what you care about. But I think when I get excited that DH is coming home late so I can blog without feeling guilty, I've taken things a little too far.

So, any advice on how to manage my new-found "habit"? How do you keep up with blog friends without spending all day reading everyone's stories? Any tips for effective blogging from all the experienced bloggers out there?

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Bit of a Slump

Well, I survived.

It wasn't too bad. The beginning was a little tough, since the first two people to arrive were the new moms (and their infants of course), and I started feeling almost claustrophobic, like I was suffocating under the presence of tiny infant cuteness. Thankfully, then T (who's 14 weeks today :) arrived, but she's so awesome and didn't announce her pregnancy, and that just made me feel a lot better.

I was pretty proud of myself for participating in discussions on cloth diapers vs. Pampers and slings vs. baby backpacks. I did well on those.

But after that, news of 3 pregnancies the next day has got me kind of down. It feels like everywhere pregnancies are popping up, and we're being left behind in the dust. I just feel...well, mopey and sad. Too mopey and sad to even blog about being mopey and sad.

I just feel like running away and hiding. And pretending like I don't have to think about not having a baby every single day.

I just feel tired. And we've just barely begun.