Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Update on infertility testing

Have I mentioned that my new therapist is hilarious?  She talks A LOT for a therapist and bosses me around, rather opposite of professionals I've talked with in the past who made me get to the conclusions myself.  It doesn't sound like a good situation but it's working for me and I'm learning so much.  We talk about assertiveness and sometimes I wonder if she's waiting for me to tell her that it's my turn to talk.  This week I was rambling and said that I completely failed with bringing Toren into this world and she stopped me and expressed how she wants me to stop saying things that indicate that I blame myself in a situation where no one is at fault.  She made me rephrase that sentence ("ok, that pregnancy was a complete failure", which satisfied her enough) before we could move on. 

As juvenile as that exercise seemed, I feel better.  I keep looking for a cause or a reason and there are none known.  But that doesn't mean it was my fault and even if I did do something that caused his internal organs not to grow, causing him harm was certainly never my intent.

So I'm not going to tell you that I completely failed with my cycle day 3 lab work and ultrasound...

The sonographer was nice and said she would talk me through what she was viewing on the screen and made a couple of jokes about situations where something surprising is found and things get quiet and the doctor is fetched right away.  I can't remember how she phrased it, but she was funny and cute and relaxed me a little, even while I was thinking about how I am one of those people where a surprise was found via ultrasound and the sonographer stopped talking and the doctor was called right away and that moment was the start down a very sad and life changing path. 

With wand in place, she asked me if I was still bleeding...
Me: "Well yes, but it has stopped for right now.  I think worrying about this test has scared it away."
Tech:  "You also exercise a lot..."
Me:  "You can tell from my uterus?"
Tech:  "I read your chart."
So we had another laugh.  I guess she was saying that exercising could disrupt my cycle.  She asked because there was fluid in my uterus.  Bleeding never did re-commence, which is very unusual for me and I will probably mention it before getting the HSG tomorrow.

Things did turn quiet during the test though and at the end she showed me a few images of my ovaries, each of which has a cyst.  A few hours later I received a call explaining that my lab work came back odd - as in uninterpretable.  Estradiol was 215 (while I don't know the specific reference range for the lab used, a range I found on the internet is 11-212) and FSH was 2.11 (in November FSH was 12.5, I don't think that huge drop is due to taking CoQ10).  On the phone I was told that a cyst can cause odd hormone levels.  I need to repeat all of the CD3 tests next month.

Of course I did some (ill advised) internet research and learned (maybe correctly, who knows!) that a high estradiol value can indicate a cyst, which I know is present, and the estradiol can inhibit FSH, which looks like that is happening.  High estradiol and very low FSH can also indicate ovarian failure, which is also probably happening. 

I'm having the HSG and kept my appointment in early May to discuss the results, even though we will probably just discuss how the cysts are interfering with things and no plan for infertility treatment will be discussed.  SnuggleBunny and I agreed to do all of the testing because even if it turns out to be a waste of time and money at least we would have explored it entirely and will not wonder about what might have happened if only we had done this or that test.  I'm doing these tests not to get a baby but to avoid regrets.

I spoke with my chiropractor, because he listens to me and considers my body as a whole and he did some tests for my adrenals, worrying that they were overtaxed from prolonged stress.  My adrenal glands do seem to be functioning well enough but I'm now taking a new supplement to promote adrenal health anyway since the vitamins won't hurt anything and it makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING other than just waiting to see what the cysts do over the next month.

I guess *I* didn't fail the CD3 tests... but they all need to be re-done.  Instead of getting closer to answers something unexpected was discovered which needs to be addressed first.  It is frustrating.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I told my mom that I was having more fertility testing done and she was very surprised and pleased.  She thinks I'm having a baby.  She said something interesting though, that she didn't know that I wanted to have a child.  For me, it's been YEARS of waiting (that whole divorce and find a new partner bit) and trying, and YEARS of disappointment and worry and feeling sad.  Apparently I make it look easy!  So to her it probably feels like we haven't even tried at all yet, so certainly there will be a baby with just a little bit of effort.  To me it feels like the road is narrowing and just around the bend it may stop completely.

I never told her that I changed my mind about having children (since I didn't) and she never asked about it, through years and years.  We don't talk very often though and I have only visited her 3 times in the past 6 years.  Not a word has been breathed to anyone else in my family.  I guess I want fewer witnesses to this potential failure.  I guess I didn't feel very supported by them concerning Toren.  My family members would always donate to my March for Babies fundraising but never asked about it after I stopped doing the walk.  They probably think I'm "over it" when what I'm over is feeling miserable walking along with all of the people and their rainbow babies while wondering where mine is.

Anyway... it's nice to know that SnuggleBunny and my mom feel positive about how these upcoming appointments will turn out.  I'm very nervous and upset and have hardly been able to focus on anything for two weeks, which shows. 

Here's a list of things I'm thankful for during this time:
* People being positive for me
* Roller coasters (weather permitting, I'll be going back to the amusement park this weekend for more screaming)
* Gardens
* Budding irises 
* Birds building nests and singing, singing, singing!
* Dinner with girlfriends
* Cooking, cramming as many vegetables into meals as I can
* Eating by candle light, in the dining room and out on the patio 
* Pregnancy safe skin treatments that are showing great potential (until this lousy PMS breakout anyway)
* And even ridiculous ex-husbands for providing distractions and stories to laugh over with girlfriends

CD3 will probably be on Monday so more information about if I'm producing any eggs is less than a week away.

Monday, April 8, 2013

That last post was not nice and I want to clarify that I'm not making fun of her.  If you want to show off your rose garden, go for it!  The funny part is just that I so desperately want to have no contact with my ex-husband but it got to the point where I wondered if NOT avoiding him and NOT ignoring his attempts at "friendship" would be get me closer to closure.  I'm trying out not being unfriendly (which is different from friendly). 

And then I get invited to his girlfriend's vajayjay's birthday party.

What is an appropriate gift?


There is no way for him not to annoy me.  There's too much history and too much hurt.


So today I laughed at myself and at this absurd situation and at how much of a prude I am sometimes and it was all okay.

Then I was in a rush to have dinner with friends and quickly showered at the gym after squeezing in a workout, reapplied make-up and struggled to look presentable with flaky skin from acne medication AND new breakouts and suddenly it all felt like my fault again - I was never fun and confident enough to do a panty-free photo shoot so my marriage ended.  It often feels like I was left because I wasn't adventurous enough.  Even though he creeps me out now and I do not, do not, do not! want any sort of relationship with him, I still feel like tossed out garbage.

I'm working on it.

Post divorce issue

To recap, my ex-husband (who turned out to be one of those creepy, hey-girl-send-me-ur-photo guys online) made things really difficult for me, and moved away (yay!) only to move back (boo!) and I'm sick of avoiding him so we did run into each other and I didn't stab him and now we are friends on face.book.  What could go wrong?  He invited me to his girlfriend's birthday party and the photo on the invite is of her with her legs spread and her unclothed personal areas RIGHT THERE.

OMG make this stop!

I can't stop laughing at how absurd this is.  Pervy nudity doesn't offend me in general, or in this case really, it's just he has a way of turning something cute and sexy into something a little off and cringe worthy.  I am so embarrassed that I was married to him.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

RE appointment

On Monday was my first appointment at a fertility clinic.  Even though I haven't done fertility treatments yet, it still feels like family building has been a long road and I'm so tired.  My hopes were way down after the results from last November (AMH < 0.16, and I don't remember the FSH value but it was not pretty) and since I can't afford anything super expensive right now (like IVF with donor eggs) I was mentally prepared for a conversation about things to try in a year, after I've saved some money and decided which direction to go.  When considering donor eggs versus adoption, I lean towards adoption; I don't see ever being able to afford adoption (or anything else ever again) after failed IVF cycles.  Also my pregnancies have been the opposite of enjoyable experiences and it would be a relief to never even risk going through something like that again.

All of that rambling is to say that I was expecting to hear that I had few options and was prepared to ask for a birth control prescription so at least so other hormonal issues could be corrected (worsening adult acne and headaches).  However, my doctor said while AMH is a marker for ovarian reserve she has seen cases where it wasn't as bad as the lab values looked.  So we are doing more testing and the plan goes like this:

1.  Day 3 ultrasound to count follicles plus another hormone panel for me, and a semen analysis for SB.  If it looks like there are some eggs and sperm to work with then...

2.  HSG to make sure there are no problems there before trying any treatments, and the chances of conception can be increased for several months following a HSG.  My doctor described it as "crampy" and doctors always downplay how much things hurt so I'm not doing this test unless it looks like fallopian tubes will be useful in our situation.

3.  Follow-up appointment in early May to figure out what we are going to do.

It took a day for the post-appointment grumpiness (I'm so ready to get out of family building limbo) to turn into a more positive feeling.  Now I'm just swinging back and forth between being excited to have a baby (ha!), and frustration because I'd like to know what future to prepare for, and sorrow because there's the potential for more heartbreak.

I don't see a baby coming out of this but I'm doing everything asked of me by cutting out all caffeine and NSAIDS (did you know a bit of inflammation is necessary for the egg to pop out of the follicle and anti-inflammatory meds can inhibit that?), keeping up with vitamins and supplements (added an omega-3), and seeing my dermatologist to see if there's a non-retinoid medication that could help me.  And instead of being angry with my body I'm taking time every day to relax and do something enjoyable (lots of yoga and kickboxing!) - I am going to be good to myself through this stressful time!


I'm meeting with my therapist later today and even though I chose her because one of her specialties is PTSD treatment it's still hard to talk about pregnancy with her.  It's weird.  It's so hard to talk about pregnancy or Toren with anyone outside of here.