Friday, March 30, 2012

My first ever medicated cycle

It has always been my position that, for most women with PCOS, medication isn't necessary to conceive. TIME is necessary. If a women spends 4-5hrs a week researching reproductive cycles, fertility, PCOS, and charting, AND spends a year or more charting, testing, trying new treatments and discovering what works for her, most will get pregnant. Time spent "neither trying nor preventing" is completely useless and should be discounted when calculating total number of months ttc.

I knew I was one of those people who could get pregnant naturally. I didn't understand the impatience of others, and I worried that women who couldn't get pregnant the medical route were really missing out by never trying naturally.  I worried they might have gotten pregnant faster by going naturally, or everything they would have learned about their bodies would've helped the medical treatments work. During the 13 months ttc my son, I always had a plan for the next 4-6 cycles, and didn't see a need to accept my doctor's offer of clomid until I felt like I had tried everything. Turns out I found what worked for me and achieved a healthy pregnancy.

Enter secondary infertility. Spent five months ttc, all the while watching my son get older and older, knowing we were getting further and further past our goal of having our children two years apart in age. I finally achieve pregnancy, and they would have been 28 months apart. not bad, except my baby died at 9weeks, and we didn't find out about it until 12 weeks. I don't say that time was wasted, because it was time on earth spent with my 2nd child. I just now place a much greater value on time. I'm no longer willing to give time to my PCOS. My sense of urgency is almost manic. After 18 months spent successfully to achieve two pregnancys I'm starting my first medicated cycle.

We're doing 50mgs Clomid, pre-seed, digital ovulation tests, charting CM/CP, and a P4. So, it will be mostly unmonitored. I'm certainly at risk for multiples since I already ovulate on my own, but I really could care less. Maybe that's the only way I'll ever get two children close in age. At least I won't be spending 40+ days on just one cycle. I hope to O right on day 14, but with infertility there's no telling. I am quite nervous about the clomid side effects, long and short term, but I'm ready to get this done. I feel really positive about it, though I know there are no garuntees.  CD1 was March 26th, we're looking roughly at O on April 9th, P4 on the 16th, and POAS starting the 21st.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

13DPO BFN

Obviously, I've got to accept that I'm not pregnant. AF will probably arrive on monday/tuesday, and next weekend I'll be madly researching the best way to support a clomid cycle. I'm disappointed at the moment, but I'm going to try to enjoy the next two weeks as if they're my last two weeks non-pregnant. I'm going to eat healthy while I don't have food cravings and get back into running without fear of bleeding. It's tempting to jump right back into diet soda, but I feel I've made so much progress cutting back that I'm going to at least maintain 1 to none a day.

This weekend I'm researching homeschool activities to do with ds while we wait for preschool to start in the fall. He can count to 29 and knows his colors, and is getting better with letters and shapes. We do a lot of educational youtube videos, but I need to practice with him during the day. We used to be really good about using flashcards everyday, and I've fallen behind on that. I also would like him to color more with the goal of learning how to hold a pencil properly. I need to bring out the shape sorter, etc. I just want to establish a better homeschool routine before my focus shifts to pregnancy.

He turns 2 on monday. DH and I agreed that our kids would be at least two years apart. Here he is turning two and I'm not even pregnant. His sibling lives in heaven. His relationship with his future siblings here on earth will be different because he will be so much older. It's something I think about and regret everyday. I wanted my kids to be close in age. I wanted him and his sibling to be together. I wanted to take care of both of them. ds will be old enough when his sibling arrives to know whats going on, to want to help, etc.  I won't have two babies going through stages together or one after the other. I'll have a baby and a preschooler. It makes me so sad. I don't feel guilty because I did what I could, but I just feel sad that my son will grow up alone and with the added pressure of being the oldest. I know it will be ok, and I've many times been told the list of advantages of having two children 3yrs apart in age. I'm sure it's wonderful, but it's not what I wanted or thought best. 

Fighting infertility the first time was hard, but secondary infertility is the pits!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How I survive the two week wait.

Once you've been through a couple of these two week waits, you develop a system. Two weeks is a mighty long time to find out something so important, it takes a strategy to get through.  My system is complicated and has a lot of rules. That's kind of how my brain works and how I run my life as well. It makes sense I'd run a 2ww this way.

I divide my time up into zones, each zone has it's own set of symptom watching and responsibilities. Sometimes they change from 2ww to 2ww, so I'll just share my strategy this time.
  • 1-3 days past ovulation (DPO). During this time I meticulously note and document symptoms for the purpose of verifying ovulation. It was easier this time because I used digital ovulation tests and was fairly sure of O. I also had a lot of intense cramping on the left side all three days. I read this happens because polycystic ovaries have a particularly thick skin meaning ovulation can be somewhat traumatic and it can hurt while it heals, but otherwise isn't a problem. It's kind of nice to have further O confirmation.
  • 4-5DPO. Just wait it out. They say implantation occurs at 6DPO at the earliest. So, days 4 and 5 are pure waiting. No O signs, no pregnancy signs. All symptoms that occur during this time are probably due to normal rising progesterone levels and should happen every cycle at this time whether I'm pregnant or not.
  • 6-9DPO. To test or not to test? That is the question.  Women can implant any time between 6-12DPO (I've heard of women implanting even later).  It's possible for a bfp during this timeframe, but improbable.
  • 10DPO test day. Either celebrate or assume all is lost. Yes, this is premature, but I can't help myself!
  • 11-14DPO Continue testing to confirm bfn or bfp. If bfn, count down the days until you can resume non-preggo activities like drinking/exercise.
  • AF shows! Immediately forget the previous cycle. Plan the next one and be hopeful.
The 'when to POAS (pee on a stick)' debate is intense amongst infertiles. I'm in the minority by testing early. Many women take a 6DPO bfn as the end of the world. I don't. Not only that, but during that 6-9 day window you can drive yourself crazy with imaginary pregnancy symptoms. It's the pregnancy hormone HCG that causes those symptoms.  If you get a bfn, you know it's all in your head or caused by normal progesterone and can move on with your day without getting your hopes up too high.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I can't test on sun/mon mornings because I work 3rd shift sat/sun nights. I drink so much water at work my pee is too diluted to give an accurate test, and then when awake at home I rarely hold it for four hours. (It takes time for the HCG to build up, and I like to give it four hours.) On Tuesday I'll be 8DPO and probably drowning in pregnancy symptoms. I'll test then to clear my head, but won't expect an accurate result until Friday/Saturday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miracle in the Making



OMG!! First positive OPK of any kind in my life. AND we did the deed this morning. Hopefully the stars align and we can repeat tomorrow, but I'll still remain hopeful if not.

Now that reality is setting in I'm getting nervous. Ovulation on CD26!! That is so late. I've never ovulated that late that I know of. Pre-miscarriage my cycles were 30-32 days long.  I guess I didn't stop bleeding until CD10, and I spotted until CD19. Maybe it makes sense that ovulation is late. I can't believe I'm worried about another m/c before I've even confirmed a pregnancy!! What am I going to be like if I get a positive pregnancy test!

Oh, this post is going to be so disjointed, but after a few minutes texting my fellow IF'ers I feel excited again. They convinced me 26 isn't that late, and even if it was it wouldn't matter. WOW!! I might be pregnant again very soon. Brings tears to my eyes.

My angel baby was born on 1/2/12, and since then I've tried to remember him in my daily routine by arranging or buying things in 2's or 12's, choosing either of those as my gym locker number, etc. Just little ways throughout my day to let him know I'm still thinking of him.

SO, I put 3/11/12 conception date into babycenter's due date calculator and if I get a bfp this baby's due date would be 12/2/12!!! Can you believe it?! I know most often the special due dates/birth dates just don't happen, but I feel so happy and positive right now. Like my baby's thinking of me too and happy we're still trying. Even if I bfn, I'm just so happy for a positive sign. I'm in the two week wait!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Boring TTC Update: Post M/C Cycle #1

I don't know if my readers are chart stalkers, but let me bring you up to speed on my sad state of affairs. Here's my fertility friend chart for my miscarriage cycle.
The red blocks are all bleeding days, asterisks represent days with some spotting, and I got my first negative pregnancy test January 27th, which was cycle day 26. You can see that I bled for 36 days after my m/c.  That's a lot, even for a 9week old fetus. They say you must have no bleeding whatsoever for 20days before you can start a new cycle, but I had a negative test for more than that amount of time, and you'll see in my next chart that the spotting only continues.

I got a crazy heavy period on CD45, which of course started a new cycle. Here's my current chart.
Do you see the spotting? I have to come to terms with the fact that I'm spotting throughout my cycle.  I've googled the problem, and I see it's common for people to spot around ovulation or at implantation, but not throughout their entire cycle. I feel like I need a specialist, a reproductive endocrinologist, but I can't afford anything like that. So, I'm going to call my doc on Monday, and she's going to recommend going on birth control pills for a month. I'm going to refuse, and they won't have anything else to suggest. Honestly, I don't know why I bother. I just feel like something is more wrong than I'm currently capable of suspecting, and I'm now more worried that I will get pregnant this cycle than I am about not getting pregnant. I can't seem to go more than a few days without spotting. If I get pregnant, how can I possibly go full term if my uterus can't even handle building a lining? At this point in my life, birth control or pregnancy prevention isn't what I want or believe in.  I refuse to prevent a pregnancy.

It's already CD18, and I don't seem close to ovulation. This is especially concerning because it was a weird late O that I got pregnant last time, and that ended in miscarriage. I know plenty of people have successful pregnancies on late ovulations, but it just worries me. I feel like the egg won't be as good for some reason.

And lastly, I can't seem to remember to take my metformin this week. I forgot two pills again today, and yesterday I didn't take any at all. I also missed one earlier this week. This is unusual for me, and I'm really kicking myself so I know I'll do better next week. But, it's terrible timing. Right before an LH surge and my body isn't going to be in the best condition.

I don't want to end on a bad note, tho. I have lots of ideas to fix it on my own. It finally occurred to me to look for miscarriage advice in the natural pregnancy books that I own. I wish I'd done this earlier. I think I'm going to add False Unicorn root and some other herbs to my daily supplements and see if that helps. I've already been taking 200I.U. of vitamin E (natural lining builder) a day for the past few days, and I think I'm going to take 600IU tomorrow just to give it a boost. It also occured to me that baby aspirin probably isn't helping, so I'm going to stop that. I know spotting between periods can be a sign of low progesterone, as can 8 to 9 week fetal demise, but I'm really hesitant to believe that's the problem here. I have never had a progesterone problem, and they don't recommend using natural progesterone cream outside of the luteal phase anyway.  I've thought about adding wild yam supplements, but I haven't researched it enough. I'm hoping either one of these is a magic bullet, I get pregnant and pregnancy fixes the problem, or at the very least my body just needs more time to heal itself and this spotting issue resolves on it's own in the coming weeks.