Optimistic

I’ve been feeling optimistic all day that this month is our month. It’s kind of cool, because it’s the first I’ve felt optimistic in awhile. I hadn’t admitted it out loud, but ever since our diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve, C. and I seemed to be moving toward acceptance of the fact that we would need donor eggs in order to get pregnant… Anyway, it’s probably just wishful thinking, but I’m going to enjoy this feeling, however short-lived it may be.

In that spirit, here’s my list of reasons to be optimistic that this will work:

  • I’ve been dutifully taking my baby aspirin, CoQ10 (1200 mg), fish oil (1000mg), prenatal vitamins, and calcium (presumably upping the odds of nice, healthy, energetic eggs).
  • I’m on progesterone suppositories (that should help make a cushy uterine lining for my eggs to burrow into).
  • Despite his pain meds, C. gave an awesome sperm sample for the turkey basting (78 million swimmers, concentrated down to 30 million ‘winners’ who were direct-injected into the back of my uterus).
  • My plumbing got a good flushing during the HSG last month (only supposed to make a slight difference the month it happens, but as long as I’m being optimistic, I’m going to allow the possibility of a residual effect this month.)
  • Thanks to the injections, we had two good-looking eggs that presumably dropped (doubling the odds that one might actually be good relative to any other month).
  • The turkey baster – plus a bonus low-tech deposit the day after – should guarantee that there were swimmers around to welcome the eggs when they dropped.
  • I am 34. (Doctor said better to have my crappy hormone levels and be 34, than have my crappy hormone levels and be 42…even though my crappy hormone levels at 42 would make me more normal…)
  • I’ve cut back on coffee (<= 1 caffeinated cup per day) and alcohol (only one small glass since basting).
  • I’ve been uncharacteristically relaxed for this time in the school year (since C.’s accident, I’ve been accepting help from anyone who offered, and unafraid to say ‘no’ to annoying requests!)
  • C. and I are closer than ever, and I’m more convinced than ever that we would make fantastic parents.
  • I’ve been stocking up on ‘baby karma points’ by helping out a fertile friend on days when her husband is unavailable. I watch her baby girl (born just a couple weeks after the due date for our ill-fated pregnancy) while she puts her energetic 3-year old to bed.
  • Surely there must be some people who get pregnant on their first IUI (15-20%, if Dr. Google is correct), why not us?
  • I am just getting the hang of this whole infertility blogging thing, and will lose all my ‘street cred’ as an infertile if I get pregnant on the first IUI! (Does reverse psychology work on embryos?)

So there you have it! This could be our month. Fingers crossed!

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How we got here.

Hmm. How far back should I go?

I could start at the beginning… Once upon a time, there was a 21-year-old girl who loved school in general – and organic chemistry in particular – so much that she left her college boyfriend to move out to the east coast to go to graduate school. She didn’t worry about having kids yet. After all, she was only 21 years old, and would have plenty of time once her career was on track…

Hmm. Maybe that’s too early to start. How about when we started trying to get pregnant… After getting married last January, and recognizing that we wanted more than one kid and that we weren’t getting any younger, we started trying to get pregnant in early March. In month 1, this just meant ‘pulling the goalie’ and going for it. The next month we tried to time it starting around day 10 and continuing for about a week straight. The third month, a friend gave me her copy of ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’ by Toni Weschler. I read it in a couple days and figured out what we were actually supposed to be doing… We got pregnant that month, in my first attempt at charting.

Everything was great. We went on our perfect little honeymoon to Ireland (which we had put off due to my work schedule), where I restricted myself to the hard Irish cheeses, and only the tiniest sips of Guinness and Irish whisky. We came back and went to our 8 week appointment the next week, only to see that there was no heartbeat. The baby had stopped growing at 5 1/2 weeks…

But we were okay. We had gotten pregnant once. We knew that I was ovulating, that nothing was blocked, that his swimmers could swim,… Fast forward to December. By that point, we had had several cycles in which we timed things perfectly and no pregnancy. By this point, I’d read enough books about infertility to know not to put off seeing a specialist. So we made an appointment in January with the Kaiser Reproductive Endocrinologist.

And what now? After the standard tests, we know that C. is superman. (The nurse literally said his sperm test results were the ‘best she had ever seen’.) And at the ripe old age of 34, I apparently have the ovaries of a 45-year-old woman…

So we’re moving ahead with medicated intrauterine insemination (IUI, aka ‘the turkey baster’) next month, and probably in-vitro fertilization (IVF) after that. This month we have ‘homework’ to get ready for IUI, including a hysterosalpingogram (HSG, more about that later), and a 2-hour class on how to give myself hormone shots. Add another notch to the tally of stuff-I-never-wanted-to-know.

Tomorrow I take a blood pregnancy test (spoiler alert: I’m not pregnant) and pick up a prescription for antibiotics. Both are required before they’ll do the HSG on Thursday. Will let you know how it goes!

Here goes!

A few weeks ago, after getting the diagnosis of “female infertility” and confronting a variety of painful emotions, a friend of mine suggested that I read her friend’s infertility blog (http://tracysue.wordpress.com/). I did, and it was awesome.

And then, after deciding to move forward with treatment, I felt inspired to write my own little blog… I think a blog will have the benefits of:

  • keeping close family and friends up-to-date without having to tell the same sordid details over and over
  • providing an outlet for my ever growing trove of information-that-I-never-wanted-to-know about infertility
  • serve as a first step in helping me get connected up with the online community of IF-ers like me
  • provide inspiration/consolation/comiseration/some other-ation to someone else struggling with this

Okay, so the last two are probably optimistic, but maybe… Anyway, I’m hoping the benefits will outweigh the costs of this blog – namely, time. (Ahem, that is, time I should be spending prepping lectures, grading, cooking, cleaning up, shopping, reading, hanging out with my dogs and  husband, or countless other things…or so says the little voice in my head.)

Anyway, I’m choosing to ignore the little voice and give it a try. Here goes!