Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cheers to Chocolate, Wine & Better Chances

Nothing creeps me out more than needles! Ugh. You would think I'm going in for open heart surgery or something when I give blood. I don't know what comes over me, but I have a hard time breathing and start to tear up, almost every time....before the needle even goes in. Recently, when my husband had surgery, I almost fainted as they struggled to put the IV in his arm. 2 nurses rushed to my aid with a Sprite and took me out of the room. LOL  Something must have happened to me as a child that I don't remember, or perhaps it was just watching my mom suffer through cancer for 7 years and getting stuck to death time and time again. Everything else is wireless these days; Maybe one day in the future, they will test our blood somehow without needles. Until then, guess I just have to suck it up. :s

Looking back over my blood work from last year, I thought it might be smart to redo my CD3 bloodwork. This is bloodwork typically done to test 2 hormones: FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) and Estradiol (estrogen). It's very important that this is done on calendar day 3 of a woman's cycle to be accurate. I had it done last year in July 2011, and results came back "normal". However, it wasn't done on the correct calendar that time there was no calendar day, because I hadn't had a period since December 2008. Calendars didn't pertain to me! So, I figured it was worth re-doing, albeit a little late in the game, since I'm starting a new regimen now with the Femara. I feel almost like I'm starting this game ALL OVER AGAIN, but I want to make sure everything's normal with the baseline bloodwork.

I'm pretty sure my FSH will come back fine. I'm no expert, but FSH is only elevated when the ovarian reserve is low as far as I know. My RE counted 38 follicles (eggs) laying in wait at the last ultrasound I did with her and said my ovaries "looked like an RE's dream." My problem is not how many eggs I have. It seems to be the quality of my actual ovulation (late ovulation and poor progesterone response following ovulation).

However, I'm also interested to see how Estradiol comes back. It was near the top end of the range last time. High might sound good to some people out there, but you don't want your estrogen to be too high in relation to your progesterone. It's usually off balance in menopausal women or those experiencing estrogen dominance. It's a very intricate balance for all these hormones to work the way they're supposed to! Fingers crossed it all comes back normal.

Outside of that, I'm doing really well mentally, despite the fact that another cycle began on Thursday as expected. I normally get really down and sad on CD1, but I have been ok with it this time around. For one, I bought a new Acura RDX this week, which I've wanted for a looooong time. I'm sure a new car is enough to put anyone in a good mood. It will be a great family car once we have a family.

Secondly, the fact that we are doing something different by using Femara this cycle just gives me a renewed sense of hope for a better outcome. I am actually really excited! I just took my first two pills of Femara and will continue for the next 4 days. The last time I took this medication, I had no side effects, so I'm hoping it will be the same this time around. It also helped me produce two nice sized follies much earlier in my cycle than usual last time I took it, but my RE screwed the whole cycle up with another medicine she gave me...that's a whole other story. I'm still a little bitter if you can't tell!

Anyways,  I managed to score the Femara from Costco for only $5.99! Femara costs $150 at Target pharmacy, so nice savings there. By the way, I also bought my car through the Costco Auto Buying program this week, and it saved me $2000. Costco rocks!!! With so many new and exciting things on the horizon I thought it was worth celebrating last night. Hubby is overseas in Amsterdam, so this was my date last night...

Dark chocolate covered cherries with a small glass of pinot noir... Mmmmm. It doesn't get much better than that! Cheers to a bigger and better chance of becoming a mommy this month!


  1. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I totally agree with you. :)

    First off, those cherries look delish!!! So jealous! Annnnd I love the car! Also jealous. :)

    Good luck this cycle! I loved femara SO much better than clomid. What a world of difference! And doesn't it also make such a world of difference when you distract yourself from constantly worrying about a bfp and then that way when AF comes your not completely depressed. I think those are the best cycles. Plus it goes by so much faster that way. And I mean if that means buy a car then BUY A CAR! haha Hope you get your bfp soon!!

    1. Love it! Yes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, even if it means eating sinfully and buying cars.

      Day 2 of Femara, and I can't even tell I've taken anything. With Clomid, I'd surely be crying, sweating, and eating everything in sight by now. I'm sure my husband must like Femara more too since it doesn't make me cray cray! C'mon BFP!

  2. I'm super excited for you this cycle and glad you are redoing CD 3 bloodwork. FSH has been linked to "egg quality" along with Estridiol, so it's an important number. High estridiol can artificially suppress FSH, so I'm really glad you got both of them done and I'm curious to see the result. AMH is the one that checks reserve. Good luck to you!!! Oh, and your car looks awesome! Congrats to you!

    1. Yeah, I've got to admit, I find FSH to be kind of confusing, because I've always been told it is the first test to determine the quantity of eggs left first and foremost. I think that typically a lower quantity does sometimes equate to a lower quality of eggs being ovulated as well right...which is why FSH is usually elevated as a woman enters menopause as well. So I guess it is technically a marker for both quantity and quality? I think this link explains it in pretty simple terms and talks about how it's kind of related to both

      Just hoping the blood work comes back normal! I always have a high antral follicle count during past apts. with my RE, have passed the Clomid challenge test in the past, and I do respond to ovulation meds, so I'm pretty positive I don't have a diminished reserve and just hoping and praying all comes back as normal as I think it will. I'll post an update when I hear back.

      Just curious, since mine has never asked to test AMH, when would a doctor actually want to test that? What would signal them to do that in the first place...the ratio of FSH to estradiol, antral follicle count on an ultrasound, or something else?