Monday, February 24, 2014

Infertility

No official diagnosis yet, but the diagnosis on my lab sheet is pretty clear.  I knew it would be the case, but still, seeing it written out like that is kind of a shock.  I mean, it didn't take any time at all for us to conceive Nathan.  First month we tried!!  But this time, 9 cycles in and nothing but negative tests, I guess something happened between then and now.  Age is probably the biggest factor.  I'm almost back down to pre-pregnancy weight, so that shouldn't be an issue.  Or something bad happened during my c-section that we just don't know about.  That's the possibility that scares me the most.

I went to see a fertility specialist today.  Is it a "fertility specialist" or an "infertility specialist"?  I can't ever figure out which one it should be.  I guess it's both.  I spent the entire day completely nervous and anxious.  The only thing that kept me from going completely crazy with anxiety was knowing Jon and all the ladies from my October 2012 birth club "The Pumpkin Patch" were there with me in spirit.  Knowing some of the ladies had been through the exact same thing before really helped because they were able to reassure me and make me feel better about the upcoming appointment.

I had to fill out a ton of paperwork, and honestly remembering some of the stuff they asked about was difficult at that moment.  I really don't remember exactly when I had my tonsils out - I know it was like 12 years ago! When they took my blood pressure, it was high.  It's not normally high, but I was so anxious.  But there was really no reason to be nervous.  The staff members all were very welcoming and gentle.    The nurse who asked me the initial questions and took my vital signs was very pleasant and helped put me at ease.  We talked about the weather and seasonal allergies, and she asked about Nathan.  We talked about having a toddler for a few minutes.  Even though she didn't specifically say it, I could tell she was a mom, just by the way she talked about toddlers and they way they are.  That actually put me at ease a bit too, oddly enough.

So then she led me into a room and asked me to wait for a minute to see the doctor.  He was in very quickly, probably in a minute or two.  We sat down and talked together about a lot of things, previous history, history before having Nathan, what's been happening since I had him, any issues I may have been experiencing, all that.  He looked at my charts quickly and saw what cycle day I was on, and then asked if we had "taken advantage of the current fertile period" within the last 48 hours.  I thought that was a pretty funny way to refer to it.  When I said yes, he said "perfect, I can check to see how things look."

We moved to an actual exam room and he did an exam, during which he extracted fluid from the cervix for analysis.  He said the fluid looked very good, actually the word he used was "beautiful."  And he checked some other stuff as well, making a joke that there was one uterus and two ovaries, so that was good.  He said everything checked out well there.  I got dressed and he came back after analyzing the fluid and he said there were "plenty of healthy sperm" in it, so there's no issue there.  He told me we needed to "take advantage of another fertile day" and then started talking about lab tests.  He wrote up a slip for a progesterone test - a blood test - for 10 days from the appointment.  So I have to go in for a blood test on March 6 to make sure I did, in fact, ovulate this cycle.  He said either I would be pregnant or we would start looking at other tests at that point.

He said if I didn't get pregnant this time, he wanted to get a look at my tubes, to make sure nothing happened to them during the c-section.  Which, of course, is a great fear of mine.

So that was the end of my consultation.  It was not covered under our insurance, so the cost for that brief encounter and the tests was $250 out of pocket.  I have dubbed one of my credit cards "the 2.0 card" and that's all I'm going to use it for until I get pregnant or it maxes out.  It sucks to be adding to credit cards when we are working so hard to pay credit cards off, but I do want to use a card for this, since it will be easier to keep track of our expenses related to it this way.  Plus, I'm actually planning to pay off as much as I can each month so it shouldn't ever max out unless we end up doing a procedure that costs a lot all at once.

Do I feel better?  I actually do.  This visit was the first step, and it will open up some doors for us that were not open before.  If we need treatment, this doctor can do it.  And I liked the doctor a lot.  He was very reassuring.  He did mention my weight, and when I told him I was working very hard on that, he said "good for you."

Did I want to have 2.0 the old fashioned way?  Of course!  Getting pregnant that way is free!  But I would love to have a "made by love and science" baby if that's the way it has to be.  Either way, it's a baby.  Either way, Nathan gets a sibling.  And either way, our family will be complete.  Otherwise, we are going to have to get another dog.  ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Nathan (17 months old)

Dear Nathan,

Fun in the bath.
What a month it has been!  You have had adventures and have amazed us at every turn.  We watched the Olympics together.  You didn't cheer outwardly for USA, but I feel certain you felt it in your heart.  Your precious face and beautiful smile are captivating.  Your laugh is music.

We took you to the local zoo again - we had been there before, but you were too young then.  This time, you were captivated.  You had a great time feeding the goats their "zoo puffs."  I have some video of that too.  :)

After the zoo, we went to the beach.  You and your dad ran out toward the water.  It was pretty awesome to be able to go to the beach in February and wear t-shirts and jeans.  You loved the water and the sand, and were pretty unhappy about leaving.

A new trick you learned this month was to "trade" people for the things you want.  You find something random around and try to give that to the person who is holding the thing you actually want.  Seriously hilarious and cute.  I'm looking forward to what comes next, while enjoying what is happening right now.  I love you!

All My Love,

Mommy


Testing...

I have an appointment with a fertility specialist next Monday.  I'm so nervous about this.  It's a consult, and I guess he will decide when to do tests and what tests to do based on our initial visit.  I don't have any idea what to expect, honestly.  I'm on the verge of freaking out about it.  I keep thinking that maybe something went wrong with my c-section or post-op and that's why we haven't been able to get pregnant again.  And maybe we never will be able to.  And that really scares me.  And I'm afraid he will tell me to lose weight before he will help me.  I know I need to, I have really been trying, but it has been very slow.  I don't want to have to wait another six months (while I try to lose weight) to start treatment if that is what we will need to do.

I guess I'm being impatient, but I'm old!  It's pretty hard not to be impatient when you read all the stats about women 37 and older not being able to have children or having children with problems.  It's enough to make anyone crazy.

So we'll see what he says.  If you haven't already guessed... the pregnancy test last month was negative.  :(

This cycle (cycle 9) I put away the fertility monitor, the ovulation predictor tests, the basal thermometer, and the charting app.  I have no idea which cycle day we are on right now and I have no idea when I'm supposed to ovulate.  We're trying something a little different.  Who knows - maybe it will work?  I know one thing, I'm feeling much more relaxed this time around than I have been the last six months or so.  Much more relaxed.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Trying to Conceive...

Usually I don't talk about this stuff on here, because... well... it's personal.  I won't be sharing this post on my usual social media channels because I don't really want to call a bunch of attention to it, but I do think it's important to put it out there in case someone else is going through it too.

Jon and I have been trying for another baby for 8 months.  It's so strange, because with Nathan, we didn't really have to try.  We were successful the first month we really tried.  So I didn't have to experience the monthly disappointment, the moments of staring at those stupid little test sticks, just praying I would see two lines.  I didn't have to cry over our inability to successfully get pregnant like I have every month for the past 8 months.  He was easy.  This has not been easy.

I know, I know... some people try for a very long time.  And really, it's supposed to take a healthy couple up to a year to be successful.  But when you're 37 and don't want to risk birth defects, every month feels like another huge chunk of sand falling from the top of the hourglass.  That biological clock is ticking HARD right now!

The emotional aspect of this has been so difficult.  Watching other ladies (who I love and am very happy for) getting pregnant, seeing their bump photos and hearing them talk about cravings, seeing their sweet newborns on facebook... it's all a little overwhelming sometimes.  I sometimes want to go on a blackout so I don't have to see it anymore, but since facebook is a big part of my job, that's not really possible.

It got really bad a few weeks ago.  Someone had just told me she was pregnant and I had just heard about several other pregnancies - and I still wasn't.  And one of our fish had baby fish in our aquarium.  I had a meltdown, threw one of Nathan's stuffed animals across the room and yelled "is everyone but me pregnant right now?"  And then burst into tears.  :(  Jon had no idea what to do with me when that happened.  He's been so sweet through all this.

We are considering going in for testing.  Me first, because of my age.  My doctor wanted to confirm ovulation in January with blood tests and an ultrasound, but I have decided to wait until we know when Jon doesn't have to travel anymore, or at least less travel than he has been doing.  He was gone a lot of the month of December and some of January.  We think his contract is up in March, so that's something we are sort of looking toward.

It's not that we don't love Nathan.  We absolutely do.  But we want a sibling for him.  Someone he can play with and love and grow up knowing that someone always has his back.  Because I know how awesome it is to have a sibling.  And I know how much he will appreciate having someone to play with and get into trouble with and all the fun stuff that goes along with having a sibling.

So this is where we are our our journey.  8 months in and waiting to see what happens.  I'm currently about a week away from being able to start testing for pregnancy for this month.  We'll see how that goes...

Gain Flings!

So about a month ago, I signed up for a thing called Influenster.  It's this cool site where you take surveys and review products, and they will sometimes send you boxes of stuff to test and review.  Shortly after I signed up, I got a box (they call it a voxbox) from Influenster and Gain laundry detergent.  It contained Gain Flings, a really cool product for laundry.


These things are great!  They smell amazing.  They clean clothes very well, and leave them fresh and smelling great.  I love the convenience of them too.  Just throw one in with the laundry and let it work its magic.  ;)

I hope I get some additional voxbox deliveries in the future.  I really enjoyed testing this product and will likely purchase it when I'm finished using my free ones!