Monday, April 29, 2013

It's D Day!

So if you aren't a huge car nut like my husband, you probably don't know who this man is, or the significance of "D Day." Just go with me, ok? As a side note, I'd pay big money to have this man tell me it was D O Day, and that car isn't too bad, either. 

So it's D O Day! I was greeted by a smiley face on my digital OPK this morning which was exciting. I was really worried all day yesterday because I had a spike in temperature, but a negative OPK. I was afraid that we had somehow missed those crucial few hours, but it looks like we're right on track. We've sexed it up these last two days, and we will tonight, just to make sure. Then it's the dreaded two week wait. 

A few random things: 

At the beginning of ICLW and NIAW, I said that I was considering "coming out" about my infertility on Facebook. On Monday, I changed my picture to a NIAW related one, and left it at that. I had a few "likes" from friends and family who already knew what we're going through, but that's about it. All throughout the week, I felt like I should do something more. I was afraid that by going public, it would look like I was just trying to get attention. However, I felt like educating people was more important, so on Friday, I made this my status:
Some of you may have noticed that I changed my profile picture at the beginning of the week. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, put on by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in September, exactly one month after our wedding. I am "coming out" on FB in hopes that if someone else out there is also dealing with infertility, I can be a resource to them. I am also hoping to disprove some myths that are out there about infertility (like how IVF babies aren't really conceived in test tubes!) If anyone has any questions, I'm an open book and will gladly answer. Thank you to our small group of friends and family who are "in the know," and have supported us this far. ♥ 
Slowly, the "likes" started trickling in, and eventually I got a personal message from my old boss in Missouri. She said that it had taken her and her husband 2 years to conceive their daughter and they had to resort to injections to do so. She told me to keep my head up and that it would happen for me as well. It brought tears to my eyes that she would be willing to share something so personal with me. I also got a message from an aunt who said "Aislinn, very brave of you!!! I wish you all the success with your fertility issues, having had them myself I totally understand and have total empathy xxoo Stay strong and keep doing your research."

I haven't gotten any questions yet, but I hope that by putting myself out there, it will make my friends more willing to come to me with any they have. The few interactions I've had with friends and family since Friday have warmed my heart and made me realize how much support we really have.

Random #2: 

At my last doctors appointment, Dr. B said he wanted to start doing the full "infertility workup" on Keegan and I. As you all know, Keegan had a SA last week to kick things off. During my last appointment, Dr B told me to call back on cycle day 1 so that we could schedule my next appointment sometime during cycle days 33-35. Come cycle day 1, I called in and made an appointment for May 16, which would be cycle day 35. However, looking at my FertiltyFriend app which predicts my next period, I'll be on cycle day 6 of my next cycle on May 16 (assuming I don't get pregnant this cycle.) My question to you ladies is, do any of you know what Dr. B would be looking for during that time, or what test he would be preforming? Typically my appointments have been 6 weeks apart, so making an appointment only a month apart makes me assume he's wanting to check something out at the end of my cycle, I just don't know what it is. Since my cycle is somewhat unpredictable, I would feel comfortable making an appointment for the week before (approximately cycle day 28,) but no later than that. 

So I need some advice. Do you think I should call back and reschedule, saying that it looks like my cycle will be shorter than previously assumed? Do you think that any test/procedure Dr. B is wanting to preform can wait until the beginning of next cycle? I'm so hesitant to reschedule because it always becomes a hassle with having to talk to numerous nurses and explaining things. Any advice would be appreciated! 

I hope that everyone is having a good Monday (or at least as good as it can be for being Monday,) and a fabulous rest of the week! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The One Time We Did It In A Hospital Bathroom

I must say, our experience with Keegan's semen analysis isn't as sexy as the title makes it seem. All I can say is ladies, if your husbands ever complain about having to do it in a room with a leather seat, magazines and a DVD player, show them this post and they'll consider themselves lucky.

So, as most of you know, at my last doctors appointment, we decided to start my doctor's "infertility workup." I'm not 100% what that consists of, but I do know that it starts off with having to get a semen analysis for Keegan. I had been naging asking him to get it done for these last two weeks, so finally, he was able to sneak away from work yesterday.

Like I explained before, the hospital where I meet with Dr. B doesn't do semen analyses for whatever reason, so we had the option to drive to two different hospitals, both about 45 minutes away from our house. However, one hospital is only 20ish minutes from Keegan's work, so we decided that would be the closest. I left my work at 3, picked Keegan up at 3:15, and we were at the hospital by 3:40. When Keegan had called the lab earlier in the week to ask about their location, we were told to walk into the emergency room and ask where the lab was, which we did. After walking through a few doors and down a hallway, we came upon the waiting room for the laboratory, which was also the waiting room for x-rays. When we walked in, there was a woman with her two girls and one other lady waiting. One of the young girls had a brace on her arm, so we assumed she was here for an x-ray. Since there was only one other person who we thought was in front of us, we figured we wouldn't have to wait too long. How wrong we were.

Finally, after an hour of waiting, the receptionist behind the counter called Keegan up to the window. She asked what he was here for and he mumbled the reason under his breath so that the young girls couldn't hear. The receptionist took the doctor request, looked at it, then said she had to speak with the lab tech to see what their process was. She came back a few moments later and said that we had to go upstairs to outpatient services and actually check in with the hospital before he could give his sample. That would have been nice to know an hour ago!

Upstairs we went to get Keegan checked in. We sit in yet another waiting room and wait for about 10 minutes to get called back. The lady who checked Keegan in was really nice and joked around with us. When we got to the part about insurance, she said that only TriCare insurance covered semen analyses which means that our Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance from Michigan (yes, we live in Mississippi and have insurance from Michigan, long story,) wasn't going to cut it. Keegan goes to pay and realizes that he can't find his debit card. I figured he just left it at home, but he says that he paid for lunch with it a few hours ago, so it's lost between his work cafeteria and the hospital. I end up paying and we leave the office checked in and $75 lighter, (ladies, is $75 a good price for this procedure? I have absolutely nothing to compare it to.) Thankfully we found Keegan's debit card on a seat in the waiting room.

Back downstairs we went, only to find that there were 5 more people in the waiting room. With it now being about 4:30, I was sacred that we had been pushed to the back of the line and wouldn't be seen before 5 when the lab closes. Thankfully the receptionist recognized us and said that we were next on the list whenever a room opened. Another 10ish minutes later, and we were called back into the lab. Keegan starts walking while I stay seated, and the receptionist looks at me and says, "You can go back with him you know." I awkwardly stand and follow Keegan back.

The laboratory door opens for us and we're standing next to a desk with three lab techs looking at us (one of them male,) on our right and a bathroom on the left. The receptionist motions to the bathroom and tells us to collect the sample in a sterile cup. I look at her, look at the bathroom, look at Keegan and ask her, "In there?!" She gives me the cup and motions us in, saying there's a lock on the door.

We walk into the bathroom which has one stall and a sink. Locking the door, I turn to Keegan and bust out laughing. In my head, I had visions of the rooms that I had read about on other blogs: DVD players, magazines from the '70s, I think one husband even got to sit in a leather chair! Here we were, in a hospital bathroom, wondering how the hell we were going to accomplish the task.

To save you all from the...details, the task was completed (with me trying not to laugh the entire time.) We unlocked the door, expecting to see the three lab techs sitting at the desk ready to take the sample. However, there was no one there. I don't know if they were being courteous and decided to leave to give us our privacy, but there was no one around, including the reception desk. Keegan peeked his head into the lab, but there was no one there either. We heard voices, so we knew that there was at least two people still around, but we didn't feel comfortable walking into the actual lab without being invited. We weren't sure what to do with the sample. Every time I've had to pee in a cup, I've been instructed to leave the cup in the bathroom, but there were signs over the toilet and the sink saying not to leave samples there.

So we stood there for a few minutes, knocking on the door every so often, talking loudly, whatever we could do to try and grab someone's attention. Finally, a lab tech came back. Keegan handed her the cup. She actually held it up to the light and moved it around almost as if she were looking at a precious stone. She then looked at me, looked at Keegan and said, "Don't be so nervous! I've done one of these before!" We laughed awkwardly and high tailed it out of there.

All in all, it wasn't a horrible experience, just extremely awkward. On the bright side, it certainly gives us something to look back at and laugh about. On the way home, Keegan said he was more nervous now than he was before. I asked him why and he said he was nervous about finding out the results. He said he doesn't want to be deficient or broken. I think that if his numbers are off, he believes that people will think of him as less of a man. I told him that I know how that feels. How being the main problem in our baby making journey has made me feel less like a woman from time to time.

I doubt we'll here the results before my next appointment in May. If, for some strange reason, Keegan has to repeat the test, I'm going to make him an appointment at the other hospital. I know for a fact that the lab there has more experience with infertility patients, so they'll probably be more understanding.

I'm sure this goes without saying, but if you know us in real life, please don't bring this up to Keegan. I'm fine with talking about our journey, but Keegan is a bit more reserved, especially when it comes to talking about himself. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Love you all! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So I'm Lame (+ Interesting Article)

First of all, I want to apologize for being such a slacker during ICLW. I had a big event at my work last night that I was in charge of, so Monday and yesterday were spent getting ready for that. I promise to catch up on responding to comments and reading blogs today. I promise to have a more substantial post up tomorrow.

Until I get my life back in order, I'm going to let my friends on Facebook do my research for me! This morning I scrolled through FB and stopped when I saw a post from a friend with the title, "3D sonograms let blind expectant parents "see" their babies."

The article explains how "Jorge Roberto Lopes dos Santos company, Tecnologia Humana 3D, has been developing new ways to build three-dimensional computer models using data from sonograms and other imaging techniques after initially setting out to enhance prenatal diagnostic tools. The work took a new direction when dos Santos realized that printing these models would give visually impaired mothers-to-be a chance to meet their babies in utero."

Basically, while trying to make diagnostic tools better, dos Santos has figured out a way to make 3D models of babies in utero, allowing mothers and family members who are seeing impaired "meet" their unborn child.

Image on the right is the 3D figure of the unborn baby. 

Of course, this process is expensive and not covered by insurance. However, "dos Santos said his reliance on common imaging techniques, such as the MRI and the CT scan, keeps costs relatively low — about $200 for a full model of a fetus at 12 weeks, and about $300 for the face and arms of a fetus at 24 weeks."

If you were visually impaired, would you pay out of pocket to have a model of your baby made? What if it was family member such as your mother or grandmother instead of you or your partner? Do you think it would be strange to walk into someone's house and see a statue of their unborn baby on their mantle, or is it the same as having sonogram pictures on the fridge? 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy ICLW and NIAW!

Happy IComLeaveWe and National Infertility Awareness Week!

IComLeaveWe stands for International Comment Leaving Week and is organized by Melissa at Stirrup Queens. To learn more about ICLW, you can visit this page. National Infertility Awareness Week is put on by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and aims to increase awareness about infertility.

So, about us. My husband, Keegan, and I have been married since August 2012. Exactly one month after our wedding, I was diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance. From September until January, we didn't actively try to conceive. Instead, I worked on eating better (my low carb diet is the bane of my existence,) taking my Metformin, and trying to get my hormone levels in check. January we decided to start actually trying for a baby and have had three failed cycles. At my last appointment, my doctor asked if we wanted to do the "infertility workup" to make sure we didn't have anything else working against us. Keegan has agreed to do a SA which will hopefully happen this week. I'm due for another round of blood work, ultrasounds and a check in with my doctor at the end of this cycle.

When I don't have babies on the brain, I work at an art gallery, spend too much time on the computer reading blogs and playing video games and tormenting my cat, Mika, with the evil red dot.

Google image

Keegan is an engineer at a steel mill and his '71 Corvette is his second love. He is also a big gamer and music lover. We're both originally from Missouri but are currently living in Mississippi due to Keegan's job. To learn more about me, you can read how I'm going to be the hated parent on the playground, how I'm a pee stick-aholic

In honor of NIAW, I'm seriously considering "coming out" on Facebook about my infertility. Being only 23, I don't have a whole lot of friends who are growing their families (even though it seems to increase every day,) so I'm not sure how well it would be taken or how interested they would be. I'm going to change my profile picture to:

but I feel like I should also include a status to explain. It's not something that I'm going to post about all the time, I'd just like the knowledge out there that infertility is something that I deal with and I'm available to answer questions.

So, my question to you is, have you "come out" on Facebook? If you have, what did you do? Did you make a bold status update, or did you gradually include it in your every day posts? If you haven't why not? Do you ever plan to? 

I'm so happy that you stopped by my blog! I hope that you'll decide to stay awhile and we can deal with our pee stick addiction together. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex

Ok, not quite what I meant. 

I'll apologize right now. This post is going to be a long one. 

As women trying to conceive, we know a lot about sex. Not just different positions, but the more scientific stuff, too. I'll admit something, though. Before I was trying to make a baby, I didn't know a whole lot about sex. Sure, I thought I knew about sex when I was in high school. My friend and I were actually quite open to talking about it, but you know how most teenagers are, 75% of the information we were spreading around was incorrect. We knew the basics: if a man put his penis into a woman's vagina, she'd get pregnant. Or so we thought. 

When I first was diagnosed with PCOS and was told that we may have trouble getting pregnant "naturally," I threw myself into researching anything and everything that was remotely related. I read blogs, books, and more, all about our reproductive systems. At 23, I was actually really surprised that I didn't know that you could only get pregnant a few days out of your cycle. I guess since no one told me otherwise, I always thought that if you had sex, there was a chance. I knew that a woman releases an egg and that a sperm had to meet it to make a baby, but I didn't realize that an egg was only released once in a woman's cycle or that both the egg and sperm had short lifetimes in which they had the chance to meet. 

As I continued to read, I was surprised over and over again about what I thought I knew about sex and baby making, but in reality, I knew very little. I began to think about why I knew so little about my own reproductive abilities. Sure, I had "sex education" in school, starting in fourth grade with a female teacher taking the girls and a male teacher taking the boys and explaining what would shortly begin happening when our bodies hit puberty. We were given samples of deodorant and feminine hygiene products and went on our way. In 9th grade, we had a whole semester of health class which had a section about sex. We were shown pictures of STDs and very briefly went over how reproduction happens (obviously I didn't retain much,) but with a class full of mostly guys, we didn't get into too much detail so that the snickering would subside. Besides, that, I wasn't really taught much about sex. My mom gave me a book when I started my period that went into the changes that were happening to my body, but that didn't go into much detail. She also took me to Garfields, a restaurant in the mall, and had "The Talk" with me over dinner (complete with pictures of smiling sperm,) but I was more horrified about the fact that our cute male waiter was going to realize what we were talking about to really pay attention. 

Looking back, do I blame anyone for my lack of information? No. The teachers were doing their jobs with the limited time they had, and I'm sure giving the sex talk was the last thing my parents wanted to do. The threat of STDs and the stigma of being a "slut" ensured that I didn't have sex until I was about 18 and it was with my boyfriend of over 3 years. 

All this background leads up to the story that I really wanted to talk about today. One of my friends on Facebook posted a story about Katelyn Campbell, a senior at a West Virginia high school, who protested her school's abstinence only school assembly. Katelyn's high school recently hosted conservative speaker, Pam Stenzel, who travels around the country to advocate an abstinence only program. According to the article, Stenzel doesn't have the best reputation, but that's neither here nor there (the article goes into more detail.)

What I really want to talk about is the fact that kids these days don't seem to have a choice about how they're taught about sexuality. Katelyn's principal apparently threatened to tell the college that she has been accepted to that she has "bad character" because she refused to go to the assembly. I'll be frank and say that I think that abstinence only programs are worthless. Yes, I agree with the idea of telling kids that they shouldn't have sex until they're ready. But not teaching them about their bodies, how babies are really made, how STDs are really transmitted is just setting them up to fail. I was once a teenager (not to long ago!) and I know that even though you tell a teen not to do something, most of the time they will anyways. Peer pressure is a much more convincing argument than what your "un-cool" parents told you.

Living in Mississippi, I have heard so many horror stories about teenagers coming into local clinics because they're pregnant due to the fact that they had the wrong information. I was once told that a young woman held her urine for hours after sex because apparently "peeing after sex increased your risk of getting pregnant." She was at the clinic because she had a UTI. My boss, who once worked at a home for mentally disabled adults, told me that one of the registered nurses was telling people that the only way to not get AIDS is to have anal sex. A registered nurse! 

It scares and worries me how little sexual education there is out in the world. It really scares me that we are not arming our youth with the education they need about their bodies. If I had known that there was only a short window of time that I was able to get pregnant, I may have done things differently during my teenage yers. I wouldn't have had sex earlier, simply due to the fact that I wasn't emotionally and mentally ready. However, I may not have gone on birth control for so many years which may have lead to discovering that I have PCOS earlier. 

I truly believe that knowledge is power, so I'm a big advocate of giving our youth knowledge about their sex lives. So many people out there believe that by telling kids about their bodies will give them the ok to have sex. I don't believe so. I think that kids are going to have sex no matter what we tell them. However, if we tell them how to be safe while having sex and not scaring them into not asking questions, it will empower them to make safe choices for themselves. 

I fully acknowledge that I'm going to be the hated parent on the playground, especially if we stay in conservative Mississippi. I fully intend to tell my children about their bodies, what the proper names for their body parts are, how they work, and when they get older, how sex works, which I'm sure they will pass around the playground. I will still advise that they do not have sex until they are ready, preferably with someone they love. However, I'm not stupid. Kids make mistakes and I'm sure they will have sex with more than one partner before they are married. But, I want my kids to be informed. I want them to ask about birth control and condoms, and if I ever have girls, I want to teach them about their cycles. If they choose so, I will teach them about temping and how to read their body's natural signs as another way to prevent pregnancy. I want my children to be informed so that hopefully, they can start spreading correct information around. 

I'd like to open a discussion about this. What do you think about today's sex education? Did the sex education you received in high school leave you with questions? What are you going to tell you kids down the road? 

Note: if this discussion gets ugly, I will turn off or delete comments. I would love to have an adult discussion about this, but it's my blog and if names start being thrown around or people being rude, I will pull the plug. 

I will give credit to Wellesley College where Katelyn was accepted. They twitted (twittered? twated?) yesterday that Katelyn is welcome in the fall. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Need To Break Up With The Muffin Man

The Muffin Man and I are like BFFs. I'm also in a relationship with the Scone Man, the Pasta Man and the Potatoes Man. Don't tell them, but I'm only with them for their carbs.

Carbs and I have been bestest friends since I can remember, so it came as quite a shock when I was told by my doctor that going on a low carb, high protein diet would help my PCOS. Along with PCOS, I have insulin resistance which means my body doesn't break down the sugars I ingest, saving them as a spare tire around my midsection.

Some back story: At my first appointment, Dr. B prescribed Metformin to counteract my insulin resistance and started me out at 500 mg/day. It slowly increased to 1000 mg/day and then up to 1500. Up until the 1000 mg, Metformin hadn't given me too much of a hard time, just some mild nausea. I had also lost about 15 pounds over the course of a few months. However, once I started on the 1500 mg/day, all hell broke loose. I was so nauseous that I couldn't force myself to eat. If I did eat, my body wouldn't hold onto the food and it was coming out in as diarrhea an hour later (sorry, TMI.) In between appointments, approximately 6 weeks, I had lost over 12 pounds. My doctor was happy that I had lost so much and predicted a 50 pound weight loss over the course of a year. However, I knew that the only reason I had lost so much in such a little amount of time was the fact that I wasn't eating. I bought up my concerns to Dr. B, and even though he increased my Metformin dosage to 2000 mg/day, he allowed me to split it up into two 1000 mg dosages to try and decrease the nausea, and it worked! Over the course of about a week, I began to feel hungry again, something I hadn't felt in months. I was so happy that I was eating again that I wasn't sticking to my low carb diet. In another 6 weeks, I had gained back 5 pounds which was noticed at my last appointment. Dr. B wasn't happy about the weight gain and strongly suggested that I start back on the low carb diet and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

So, here's where you ladies come in. I need suggestions for recipes that are preferably low-ish carb. I know myself, and I know that there is no way that I could cut out carbs entirely. I know that I can't live on a diet of meat and vegetables; I'll do that for a dinner or two, and then relapse into my old carb eating ways. I need moderation. The other problem is that I'm a picky eater. I'm not as bad as I was when I was younger, but I definitely have my favorite foods. I'm not a huge fan of meat in general which makes the "high protein" part of this diet difficult. I'll eat chicken and beef, but I don't like pork, fish or seafood (much to Keegan's dismay.) I don't like lunch meats which means that sandwiches are a no-go for lunch. For breakfasts, I typically make mini-muffins on Sundays and have one or two for breakfast throughout the week paired with some fruit. However, Dr. B considers fruits and most vegetables as carbs as well which makes things all the more difficult.

I know this is a lot of information, and it boggled my mind when I first read all of things I can and cannot eat. I'm just basically asking if any of you have some favorite recipes, let me know. I've gotten to the point where I'll try anything once. I'd love to continue losing weight both for my health and vanity reasons, and I'm sure a low-ish carb diet would help Keegan as well. Because of my love affair with carbs, I've had a lot of difficulty with this diet. Carbs are easy and I know I like them, so I automatically gravitate towards them. I need a new BFF and cast Carbs to the side.

Thank you in advance! <3

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'll Be Thinking About You...

...the families, friends, runners and supporters of the Boston Marathon.

...the families of Newtown Connecticut who were honoring their loved ones at the race and had to face yet another tragedy.

...the Leong family who had to say goodbye to their son and brother too soon. Gavin is in "Heaven's House" now. friend Sarah who lost her Crapa after 13 years of fighting cancer. He died on his 85th birthday.

...Stephanie who got another negative after her third IUI.

...and for all of you fighting the infertility journey. Whether you just had yet another negative test, your betas aren't rising as they should, you're injecting yourself with hormones every night, or you've felt the pain of a loss, I'll be thinking of you.

If you have a spare moment, send some positive thoughts for those who are hurting tonight. The universe needs some more good vibes after all of the hurt.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cycle 4, Cycle Day 3

As expected, I'm not pregnant. Aunt Flow decided to make her self known at 3:30 Friday morning. I woke up with cramps that felt like my uterus was trying to claw its way out of my body. I took two Tylenol, hoping that the medication would allow me to go back to sleep, but no such luck. I was up until all morning trying everything I could to make the cramps lesson. When curling up with a heating pad didn't work, I resorted to walking laps from my kitchen to the master bathroom and leaning over the bed and rocking. I'm pretty sure that if/when I get to experience labor, I'm going to want to move around. The best part? Keegan slept through it all. Nothing is more irritating than doubling over in pain while your husband snores on.

Finally I took one of the prescription pain killers Dr. B had given me a few months back. These were a last resort because the first (and last) time I took them, they made me extremely nauseous. I didn't really feel like puking, but on the rare chance they would lesson the pain I was in, I took them. Thank goodness they didn't make me sick this time and I was able to fall back asleep around 5:15. Just in time for Keegan's alarm to go off.

So the plan of action this cycle? I honestly don't really know. I called Dr. B's office on Friday to tell them my cycle had started, as instructed, but both Dr. B and his nurse were out that day, so I was told I would get a call back Monday to schedule my next appointment. Typically my appointments are scheduled as I check out at my last appointment, so I don't know why I had to wait until my cycle started to schedule this time. It makes me wonder if Dr. B is going to want to do some monitoring appointments this time around.

Keegan has agreed to do the semen analysis and promised me that he will make his appointment tomorrow. Fingers crossed that his little swimmers are healthy and I'm the only problem in our relationship.

Besides that, I was told to keep on keepin' on for this cycle. Continue with our OPKs, diet and exercise and to call with a positive pregnancy test. For some reason, I don't believe it'll be that easy; if it was, I feel like it would have worked the first three time we tried.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Unexpected Next Steps

This morning I had an update appointment of sorts with my doctor which didn't go quite as planned. I went into the appointment fully expecting to talk with Dr. B about either trying a few more cycles naturally or starting on Clomid. However, he had a different plan.

At the beginning of the appointment, I was taken back for my date with the dildo cam, and was told that I still have a 1 cm cyst on my left ovary. This stubborn cyst has been there for my last three appointments, so since at least December/January. Neither the ultrasound tech, or Dr. B was too worried about it. The good news is that I had a corpus luteum which means that I for sure ovulated this cycle! I wasn't told which side it was on, but nonetheless I'm happy.

After a small sit in the waiting room, I was taken back to talk to Dr. B. His nurse came, took my weight, blood pressure, and my cycle charts that I had printed out. A quick flip through a magazine brought Dr B into the room. He first commented on the fact that he was happy that I had ovulated during my last two cycles which is a huge step forward. He nicely told me that I had a 5 pound increase in my weight and that I need to make sure that I'm sticking to my low carb diet (the bane of my existence,) and to work out at least 30 minutes each day. He then got serious.

He said that he wanted to talk about our next steps. He doesn't want to put me on an ovulation enhancing drug like Clomid because the Metformin is allowing my body to ovulate on its own. He then said that they typically don't do a full infertility work up until a couple has been trying for a year, however, we are a "special case" (I'm assuming because of my PCOS.) He asked if we were interested in doing the work up and said that it doesn't have to be done right now if we don't want to. I told him that I'd rather get it done sooner than later because I don't see the point of trying for another year if male factor infertility or blocked tubes would hinder us conceiving. Dr. B agreed and said that he was going to send Keegan for a semen analysis.

I was totally taken aback by this suggestion. I was expecting to do some more tests on me and have Keegan looked at down the road. The only "problem" with the semen analysis is that the hospital at which I see Dr. B (which is in our town,) doesn't do them. We (well Keegan,) either have to go to Dr. B's sister hospital in Amory, MS which is about 45 minutes away, or another hospital in Starkville, MS which is also a 45 minute drive. If we lived closer to Amory, the lab would allow Keegan to give his sample at home and then drive it to them as long as we could get there within 30 minutes. The lab in Starkville only allows samples to be given in the hospital. Since Keegan works about 20 minutes from Starkville, I figured that would be the easiest for him to get there either after work or at his lunch break, so that's where I had the request written for.

Since we hadn't previously discussed the idea of this, Keegan was quite shocked when I told him. I stressed to him that we don't have to do this right now, it would just give us piece of mind that there wasn't an additional problem hindering us. Throughout the day, we've been talking about it on Google chat and from what I can tell, he is most freaked out about the idea that people are going to be touching his man parts. I told him (while laughing to myself,) that all he has to do is ejaculate into a sterile cup and give it to the lab tech so that they can make sure his swimmers are nice and healthy. Sometimes I forget that he hasn't done all of the research or read all of the blogs that I have, so I can see how he automatically went to the "turn your head a cough" scenario.

It would be awesome if you ladies could leave some stories of how your partner's semen analysis went. I think that with time, Keegan will warm up to the idea (well as much as someone can,) and will see the value of the information we can gain from the process, but a few "it wasn't that bad," stories can't hurt.

As for me, Dr. B told me to call his nurse whenever I start my period so that he can schedule when I'll be coming back. I'm not sure if my next appointment will just be another follow up, or if he's going to run a few tests. I know that I'll have blood work done before the appointment so that we can check my insulin levels as well as my cholesterol because they was abnormally high the last two times. Basically, I just have to keep trucking along, doing what I've been doing until told otherwise. For the first time ever, my Metformin dosage wasn't increased so I'm still taking 2000 mg/day.

To end the appointment, Dr. B said that if I don't start my period by Wednesday, take another pregnancy test and call with the positive results. I looked at him and laughed. If the 5 tests I've taken so far haven't come up positive, I'm not expecting anything different on Wednesday.

So ladies, if you would be so kind to leave any stories or advice about a semen analysis, that would be great. I'm still not sure if we're going to go through with it, but it would be nice to know what we're potentially getting ourselves into.

I hope you ladies are having a less rainy day than we are!

*Edit:* Question regarding the pregnancy comment: If I was pregnant, wouldn't the ultrasound have shown that? I mean, I know that the tech went straight to the ovaries, but wouldn't it have been obvious? Or, is 13dpo too soon for there to be anything "substantial?" I'm leaning towards the idea that there's nothing there this early, but I just wanted to pick the brains of you helpful ladies! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

On the left, my first bottle of Metformin. On the right, my current one. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

200 Days

Last night I took the last vitamin in my 200 pill bottle. That means that I've been on this road for 200 days (well technically a few days more, but you get the idea.) I realize that the time I've spent battling infertility is nothing compared to the years that other women go through, but looking back, it's amazing how much I've grown in a few months.

When we first started this journey, I was so scared. I had heard about PCOS before, but I never in a million years thought it would happen to me. Now, thanks to some research and the help of the amazing community I've become a part of, I'm not as scared. There is still the little voice in the back of my head that whispers late at night that we'll never have our baby, but I'm able to quiet the whispering with the knowledge that I have an amazing doctor, support from my friends and family (and my girls on the internet!) plus the help of modern medicine on my side.

I'm stronger, wiser, and a little more jaded than I was 200 days ago. But I still have hope, and that's what matters.

P.S. - I'm officially calling this cycle a bust. I've been taking internet tests since Thursday morning plus a First Response yesterday and they're all negative. I thought I saw a faint second line Saturday morning which is what prompted me to buy the First Response test, but it was negative as well. I'm expecting my period to come on Thursday. I have an appointment sometime in the next two weeks (I have to call and confirm when it is,) and I believe we're going to be talking about the next steps then.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I Think I Have A Problem...

...I think I'm a pee stick-aholic.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

Now, I've never been one to take a pregnancy test before a day or two before my period is supposed to arrive, and I'd never take more than one once I saw a negative test, so I have no idea what is going on with me this cycle.

Like I said in my last post, I took a pregnancy test on Thursday at 6dpo and it was negative. Before, I would quit after seeing only one line, but I also tested Friday morning and this morning (Saturday). Both were negative. I don't know if I have this urge to keep taking tests because I didn't take as many OPKs this cycle as I usually do, and I'm going through withdrawl, or what, but I want to pee on all the things!

I only have three internet tests left, so logically I should save those for when (if) my period is late, but with how things have been lately, they'll be gone by Tuesday. Guess I should go ahead and order some more.

Think there's a Pee Sticks Anonymous?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

So, I tested tonight...

...and it was negative. Like stark white, no second guessing, negative.

I don't know why I tested. I'm only 6dpo so I know it's too early to tell, but I just had this urge to pee on something (probably because I haven't peed on anything in 5 days and I'm having withdraws,) so I did. Well technically I peed in a cup...but you get the idea.

I think this cycle was the cycle I had the most hope riding on. Maybe it's because things seemed so dark early on but turned around after I found out I had actually ovulated. Maybe it's because I've felt so different lately. The headaches, the bloating, the sore boobs, the 10 pounds I've magically gained, all of it made me feel so different which automatically means this cycle worked, right? Maybe it was the spike in temperature this morning that got my hopes up, I don't know. I just felt like this time would be the one. I know that it's early and that in a week or so I could get a positive, but my hope has turned back into a small pinprick. I probably won't test again unless my period is late (I say this now, let's see how I'm doing in a few days.)

If this cycle ends up not working out, I'm not sure what our next steps are. I've talked to my doctor about starting Clomid, but he doesn't seem too eager. I have a question for you ladies out there who have used Clomid. I know that Clomid helps you ovulate, but does it help those of us who are already ovulating on our own? At the beginning of our journey, I wasn't ovulating, but now that we've gotten my levels in check, it seems that I've ovulated on our last two cycles (at least I've gotten two positive OPKs and Fertility Friend has given me cross hairs.) Would Clomid just boost the number of eggs I release? Is it worth the time and money if I'm ovulating on my own? I just want to be more informed on the subject before I go to my next appointment and advocate one way or another. I know that you don't know my medical history and you're not doctors, but any stories and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Keegan doesn't know yet. I probably won't tell him until I get my period so that at least one of us can hold onto the hope.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekend Review and Cycle Update

So I'm finally getting around to writing about our weekend in Missouri. To sum it up, it was tiring and hectic, but that's normally the case with my family. Both of my sisters were home for spring break, so my mom had all of her daughters home for her birthday. Keegan and I were able to surprise my mom at her preschool which was awesome. I wish I had a camera with me because her expression was priceless. What made this visit more....interesting...than the others was the fact that the cops had to be called.

Some back story: My youngest sister, C, is in high school and along with that comes high school drama. She recently broke up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend of two-ish years. Apparently he didn't take well to the break up, and him and his friends have been egging and TP-ing my parents house (we think, so far there isn't any concrete proof.) Anyways, Friday night, my middle sister, B, was coming home late at night with her boyfriend and noticed a group of high school boys walking towards my parents house. This is strange because my parent's neighborhood is filled with either families with college aged kids, elderly couples, or families with babies. There aren't any high school aged kids around. So B automatically assumed that they were coming to egg my parent's house again. She started walking towards them and they bolted towards their truck which was parked down the road. B's boyfriend, J, followed the truck for a while to see where it would go. The truck drove around the general area a few times, not realizing they were being followed, and then doubled back to go back to my parent's house. J pulled up beside them and got a general description of the kids inside as well as the license plate number. The next day, my parents called the police with the license plate number and description of the kids.

Saturday night, my mom was letting one of the dogs out the front lawn and noticed some high school aged kids near our house again. Apparently she got so frustrated that she just started yelling at them in the middle of the road in her pajamas. My family is classy I tell you.

What is truly amazing about this whole experience is that Keegan and I were sleeping in the living room, right by the front door and heard none of this. I guess this shows how exhausted we were from the long drive!

Anyways, onto the stuff that I'm sure you're more interested in.

When I put in my temperature yesterday, I got cross hairs! Not as exciting as the first time I got them, but still nice to see that my body is doing something right for once. As you can see, we sexed the day after my positive OPK which was also the day before ovulation. The cross hairs plus sexing before ovulation has put a little glimmer of hope back into this cycle when before it seemed pretty unlikely. Now I'm in the two week wait at 5dpo. I don't think I have any pregnancy symptoms. I've had a headache from hell since last night, my boobs are tender, and I had a little bit of cramping, but those are also signs of my period coming, so I'm not getting my hopes up. So, now we wait. I'm not sure if I'm going to test. Part of me wants to, but part of me hates wasting money, so we'll see how I feel in a week or so. 

Hope everyone else is having a good week! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh...

I promise to have a real post about my weekend and how this cycle is going up soon, but until then, enjoy this comic that I found from an old post at Gypsy Mama's Misconceptions. I don't now whether to laugh or cry at how true it all is.