Monday, December 31, 2012

CD 11 - Sick

Today is New Year's Eve, and someone or other in this family has been sick since the Monday after Thanksgiving. I am so over it. It started with my husband, then my son, back to my husband and now me.

Adding to the fun is that we're entering "fertile territory". Meaning we're on an ever-other-day schedule from now until after ovulation. Let me tell you, there is nothing less sexy than both you and your partner being all gross and snotty. Just sayin'. Equally unsexy is when the sick child across the hall starts to cough, moan and cry in his sleep. If I hadn't already taken the Femara and dealt with all the horrible hormonal headaches, I'd be tempted to shelve this cycle until next month. *sigh*

So today is CD 11. Last cycle I actually ovulated on CD 11, hence our getting busy now. I'm having no signs of early ovulation, however, which is kind of a relief. I need to start the progesterone soon after ovulation and I really would prefer it to be on my "normal" time frame. It makes me feel better when things at least appear normal.

My acupuncturist was closed this past weekend, which means I had to skip a treatment. Have I mentioned how much I love my acupuncturist? So freaking much. She's amazing and has helped me get my pain syndrome under control. We're currently working on my cycle and helping to support a healthy pregnancy. It makes me really antsy to miss a treatment this close to ovulation, but by the time I have my next appointment, we'll be ready to start supporting luteal phase, which is usually my downfall.

Here's hoping everyone gets well soon and my next acupuncture appointment gets here in good time!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CD Six: Christmas Wrap Up

I spent most of yesterday, Christmas day, with a horrible hormone headache. Not sure if should blame the Femara on that, or just the fact that it was day five of my cycle. It was pretty horrible. I wound up having to lay down in the middle of the day, despite the fact that the house was wrecked and my father-in-law was coming by.

Thankfully the sound of my son screaming for Grampa injected enough holiday cheer into me to force me out of bed, but it was still rough going.

We made the decision this year to have a quiet Christmas at home. We're going to my family's house tomorrow for the big family get together (three out of the four of us live in another state from my parents, so getting together on the day is tough). I wound up really regretting this decision, though.

Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it's the sense of anticipation surrounding this cycle, maybe it's just one of those things, but I was BUMMED to be spending a quiet Christmas at home. My FIL came by for an hour, but other than that it was the three of us and it really depressed me.

I'm hoping hard that next year we'll have a new baby and the whole extended family will make the trek north to New Hampshire to be with us, but if not, we'll just make the trek south. I don't think I can handle another year like this one.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cycle Day Three - The Return of Hope?

Alright. I admit it. I'm actually starting to get hopeful here. And this is bad, people, very bad. I don't want to be hopeful; hopeful means that if this ends like others I will be squashed even flatter than before. Because it's been a while since I even dared to hope. The last time we tried and I got pregnant, I was basically writing it off from before we even knew that implantation had taken place. I find that steeling myself goes a long way toward acceptance when the inevitable occurs.

So now I'm feeling hopeful, and also worried at the same time. Ick.

I finished up the antibiotics yesterday and began the Femara today. I also had acupuncture yesterday, and when she hit one of the spots to support fertility, I nearly jumped off the table; apparently I had such a strong reaction because that point was out of balance? So maybe having it pricked for an hour may have restored some balance?

I don't know, but it only adds to the hopeful feeling.

Other things adding to it include:

I finally have my pain condition under control. It appears to be a severe vitamin and mineral deficiency, so maybe I couldn't support pregnancies before, but I could now?

I've suspected that my progesterone levels have been low for some time now. So maybe taking the progesterone in the second half of my cycle is going to have the desired results?

I've been going to acupuncture faithfully for the last few months. She has helped enormously with some other health related things I've had going on, so maybe it will affect my fertility in the same positive way?

Obviously I still have nothing definite to make me truly convinced good things are going to take place in a few weeks, but I'm still feeling hopeful.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cycle Day One

We're finally here - the first medicated cycle. I've been taking antibiotics for the last three days (only tomorrow to go) as step one. I have to say I won't be sorry to see this part end. We aren't even sure they're necessary, but test after test turned up white blood cells where they shouldn't be, so cautionary antibiotics it is.

I am  having the worst.freaking.cramps right now and oddly enough, am sort of excited. Back before my son was born, I had excruciating cramps each month. Nothing touched them - it was torture. After he was born, they retreated to manageable, and in the last couple of years they've been barely anything at all. At the time, I was all about that - pain free cycles? Bring them on. Now, however, I'm wondering if it had anything to do with the miscarriages - like my hormones were off or something.

Maybe it's all the acupuncture, but the last two cycles have been nothing like what they've been for the last couple of years. I'm hoping that's a good sign.

Sunday is cycle day three and I start the Femara. Once I finish it, I start peeking on OPK until we get the high sign, then it's progesterone in my hot pocket until we know something one way or another.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I am a planner. I like to imagine something in its entirety, with every possible contingency known to man before it ever happens. I like to think that doing so prepares me for whatever the possible outcome is and lets me go with the flow a little.

Sometimes this works out beautifully, like the time I planned a trip for my husband and I down to Newport, RI. It included a scenic train ride where we had an entire cabin to ourselves, a great lunch and a really wonderful time. All my planning paid off and the entire thing went off without a hitch.

Sometimes, though, no matter how much I plan for something, it doesn't come to be. Case in point: my last eight pregnancies ended in eight miscarriages. You don't exactly plan for those, now do you?

Planning makes me feel safe, however, and I'm having a really hard time right now with the fact that I have a "plan" for this next cycle. On the one hand, it makes me feel good and safe: We have a plan! A series of steps to take! Steps that are in place to ward off any number of different contingencies! On the other hand, it's got me completely freaked out because we all know that there is no planning for these things.

So I'm trying for pretty much the first time ever, to not focus on what's going to happen. I'm focusing instead on other, little things.

I got five inches cut off my hair
We baked cookies
I scheduled some playdates (and then canceled them when my son came down with the croup - see above about no planning for things sometimes)
And I'm just trying to enjoy the holiday season (as much as one can with a hacking child in the room across the hall)

One of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn occurred shortly after my son was born: He is his own person and I can plan all I want to for him to do something, but in the end he's going to do what he's going to do. And all I have is influence.

All I have in this next cycle is influence and I find it very hard to accept.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Killing Sexy and Burying It In the Back Forty

I had to admit something to my husband today that I've been trying to hide from him for the last several months. All of these repeated miscarriages have completely killed my sex drive.

Think about it, first it seems like every time we have sex, I get pregnant and we lose it. This includes at least three times when we were using contraceptives. So I get scared and start wanting to have, um, sexy times that didn't involve The Act that could get me pregnant.

This in turn led to lots of my husband grumbling and pushing me for something I was scared of. So I start to dread even those "safe" sexy times. Pretty soon I'm just dreading the whole act, which in my mind is linked Dead Babies.

Needless to say this has been taking a toll on our relationship.

So apparently about a month ago, I told him that once I passed ovulation in this cycle (the one before we start trying again, this time with drugs!) that I would relax the barricade a little. I find, however, that now that that time is here, I'm having a hard time doing it.

First of all, this cycle has been so messed up (probably stress) that I'm terrified I'm going to ovulate AGAIN, and since half of our problem is inflammation that causes EVERY fertilized egg to implant, no matter what it's quality, I don't want to take any chances until we've taken some steps to at least TRY to ensure success.

He disagreed.

We fought.

I told him my big ugly secret.

And...things seem to be fine for now. But I wonder what's going to happen to my sex drive (and psyche) if we go through many more losses.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Relief...Sort Of

So I've managed to get enough first hand accounts from other women how have taken this drug (Letrozole) to feel like I won't be a complete, stark raving loony while I'm taking it. Which means that no matter when my next cycle starts, we will be going for it.

I'm so very relieved. I did not want to put it off another month. My last miscarriage was in September, and my RE has told me that we can go ahead and try every month, even if it results in a loss every month (happened last year - three cycles, three early losses all back to back). She wants us to give it 6 more months before we take on the insurance company for IVF, etc.

So despite her telling me in October that we could get right on it, we held off, wanting to get through the holidays. I've been very impatiently waiting for January to get here because I feel good about our current plan, and feel like we might have a shot of success after all.

I am not a patient person in the slightest so all this waiting was driving me bonkers. Now I have a green light ahead and I almost can't wait.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What. Now.

I have always had a super regular cycle. Even amidst all this RPL nonsense, on my "off" months, I have a regular, 28 day cycle. You could set clocks to my reproductive system, I swear it.

The last two cycles though, the last one and this one I'm going through now, have been wonky. Last month it was 27 days - not too out of the ordinary, but I spotted for nearly a week before it began.

Which brings us to today. Day 11 of my cycle, and I? Am ovulating. Three to five days earlier than what is normal for me. I'm totally perplexed. Not worried, necessarily; I do realize that a woman's cycle can be way out of the ordinary from one month to the next without any problem.

What makes me, let's call it "nervous" is that we try on the next cycle. The next cycle that was originally supposed to start on Christmas Eve, but now looks like it will start the week before Christmas. We won't be in the middle of the Two Week Wait (or even my Are We Losing Wait) during the holidays, which is really important to me, but I sort of expected to start medication, etc after the holidays - not during them.

I'm kind of nervous about how the hormones will effect me, and I really DON'T want them messing with my holiday. I could wait an extra cycle to start, but I've been counting down the days, and I'm not sure I CAN wait any more either.

I'm wondering if all the acupuncture I've been doing lately has anything to do with this. She's triggering points to "support" (I'm using a lot of quotation marks this post, aren't I?) my menstrual cycle, and the last round I went through with acupuncture resulted in something similar.

I'm hoping that this is all a good sign, and that the acupuncture is getting things back to where they need to be, even if that means a couple of wonky cycles. I had my hormones and FSH, ect tested recently and those are all normal, so I'm not too worried that it's anything terrible.

I seriously, seriously hope that all this nonsense is just a prelude to the BFP that finally sticks around.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Differences Continued

So several days after I wrote my post about my odd feeling that our next kid will be "different", I finally got around to telling my husband about it. Because I know he thinks that "feelings" like this are a bunch of hooey, I tried mentioning it in a really offhand way.

I basically told him about the blog post, using a tone of voice that implied that I had, perhaps, already told him about my odd feelings. He busted me, though, and asked me to be more specific.

After explaining what I meant by "different" and how I was totally OK with this, like for example if our kid had a limb difference, I would immediately call up our friend Amanda, who's amazing daughter Elaine is missing a hand, and ask for resources, he asked me a question.

"If you're so afraid of something like this happening, what keeps you going?"

I was kind of surprised by his question. First, because I had just explained that I was honestly OK with most "differences" that I have imagined happening, and second because of this:

Who doesn't want more of that in their life, no matter what form it ends up taking, or how long it takes to arrive?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Disruptions and Resumptions

I've practiced yoga for more than 20 years now. I started in high school, and have pretty much practiced continuously since then. Until about a year ago, that is.

After the first couple of miscarriages, I figured it was just, "One of those things". I ate healthy, exercised, had a healthy child; what could be wrong? After a few more, though, I started changing my view.

First I got super, duper healthy with my eating. I. Was. Perfect. Because I was worried that I had accidentally eaten gluten (I have celiac) and that was what was causing the miscarriages. Then I started cutting chemicals out of the house and using only natural products. I kept doing yoga, because I thought it was part of my "healthy lifestyle".

Then I read something linking yoga with miscarriages and in desperation I stopped going. Stopped going to one of the only things in my life that keeps me sane. That I do just for me.

After a few more miscarriages, I swerved the other way for a while. Ate whatever I wanted, didn't exercise. After all, if doing every "perfectly" hadn't worked, why bother? I even gave up on acupuncture after I miscarried after my third round.

Now, after 8 miscarriages and a clean bill of health from the RE, I think I've come full circle again. I've resumed my yoga practice, my normal eating habits and have been attending acupuncture regularly for the last few months.

I think I'm finally at a point where all these losses are no longer disrupting my life; they're just a part of it. And this makes me a little sad, because who wants all this pain to be "normal".

Less than a month until the medicated cycle starts. I'm almost hopeful again.