Friday, November 30, 2012

Heartbreaking News....Miscarriage #2

As if I didn't wake up with an emptiness in my heart already today... It would have been my mom's 59th birthday today. If there was a ever a day I wish I could just pick up the phone and call her, it would be today. It's just not fair!!!  I have never felt so angry and cheated in all of my life. My heart is literally broken into a million pieces right now.

Yesterday, I noticed a tiny bit of spotting and called my nurse about it. This is a very common symptom in early pregnancy. It went away completely, but just to "give us all peace of mind over the weekend" she suggested doing another beta test today rather than waiting until Monday as originally planned. I wanted to believe with all of my heart that this was normal, especially since I was starting to have much stronger pregnancy symptoms....sore boobs, nausea all day long, bloating, etc.  However, last night when I went to bed I felt something wasn't right deep down in my heart. I couldn't sleep all night and tossed and turned like never before. As a woman, sometimes I think you just know when something is off.  I tried to tell myself that I am just worrying because I've miscarried before. After all, I had made a self promise that anytime I started to worry, I would instead be grateful.

I felt extremely nauseated all day today. Could it just be from the anxiety of waiting for these damn test results all the time? Or could it be a side effect of pregnancy? I kept telling myself that I didn't care which was causing it as long as I got good news today. I would take this horrible knot in my stomach every day for the rest of my life happily if it means that I'll finally realize my dream of taking home a happy healthy baby and starting a family.

Well no such luck. Did I really expect that this would turn out ok? I knew my numbers seemed low at my first beta test but everyone kept reassuring me that as long as they are increasing and doubling that's all that matters. But damnit, I just had a feeling from the beginning that this was going to end in heartache.

Sure enough, the nurse called with my results and informed my hubby and I that she had bad hCG is now dropping. For once, I didn't even write the number down, but I know it was cut in less than was 136 or something like that. These phonecalls are the worst, because you just sit there trying to think of something intelligent to ask or say, but instead the intense pain you are feeling just barely allows you to mutter a painfully high pitched "Whyyyyyy?"And of course, they can never give you a reason on WHY this is happening.

Who was I kidding? Apparently, God doesn't think I deserve a family like the rest of society. Apparently I haven't done enough good things in this world for others, or maybe I'm just not smoking enough crack or going out drinking enough? Lord knows that plenty of people are out doing shit they're not supposed to be doing and have no problems getting knocked up. Here I am doing everything RIGHT; praying and being faithful every single day, being grateful for the things I have, committed to my marriage, living in a safe neighborhood in a clean loving home, taking care of my body like it's the freaking Taj Majal,  spending a fortune on Eastern AND Western medical treatments, sacrificing my career and basically my whole life to make my body baby ready...and THIS is what I get?

What now? Do we get to try again for another full year, only have another pregnancy end in miscarriage? That sounds like a blast! I honestly don't know how much more of this I can take. All I know is that my heart is broken into a million teeny tiny misshaped pieces right now....the kind that you can never glue back together no matter how hard you try. It just won't ever be the same. How can it possibly be?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beauty Scavenger Hunt

I have been on somewhat of a beauty product scavenger hunt for over a year now, and I think I've finally cracked the code! While TTC I started eliminating all parabens, phthalates, etc. from my beauty and household products. Easier said than done I tell you! If you've done this yourself then you know how difficult it can be to switch ALL of your mainstream products to all natural ones, but it's just SO important. All that garbage can disrupt the endocrine system in a big way. There have been oodles of studies proving it.

Now that pregnancy is also a factor, I've begun looking even more closely at ingredient labels on beauty products. Turns out that just because a product is organic and doesn't contain chemicals it could contain things that are still contraindicated during pregnancy, like arnica. Arnica has been used for centuries for it's healing properties and there are a ton of amazing things it does. However, it can also cause uterine contractions. No bueno for anyone who's pregnant or those who are TTC and hoping they'll have an embryo implanting during the luteal phase of their cycle.  The last thing any of us need is our uterus contracting when we're trying to get a little bean to implant and stick around for 9 months.

Yesterday, I realized after getting all the way home from shopping, that the organic facial toner I'd just purchased contained arnica, and I was right back returning it today. I honestly wouldn't even know that arnica is contraindicated, but I probably spend more time than the average person researching this stuff. I'm sure plenty of mom's out there would roll their eyes at my attention to so much detail. I can hear all of the baby boomer moms now, "We smoked cigarettes and drank coffee and did LSD and all of our kids came out just fine!" lol

Yeah, well I'm one of those scaredy cat first time mom's and I'm proud of it. Really, it's just not worth it to me to be putting chemicals or some contraindicated plant ingredient in my body when there is any risk. Clearly I need to also start carrying my reading glasses with me to the beauty isle though, because my old ass can't read the small print on a 0.5 oz. bottle! I also don't have much time to keep returning products, seeing as how I am breaking out worse than a 15 year old right now. I needed help stat! Salicylic acid & benzoyl peroxide aren't allowed either, so I was at a loss. Someone save me from this never ending face saving expedition please!

Frustrated, I went online to vent to the ladies in one of my online forums, "There has got to be a better way!" Now, this is why I LOVE online forums...because low and behold another woman told me about a fantastic line of products formulated especially for pregnant women. Apparently the CEO used to be an exec at Clinique and was married to an OB/GYN. She realized that there were no complete product lines that were specially formulated for pregnant women, so she created her own. Genius!

Every ingredient has been tested and is pregnancy approved, so no need to research every individual ingredient on your own. And of course, it's free of any endocrine disruptors or teratogens (birth defect agents), which is why I think these products are awesome for women who are pregnant or TTC. It's called Belli, and I already love it after using it for only one day....

Someone was smart! Yay for the woman who created this product line!

What is good for pregnancy is also good for conceiving....I believe that. Had I known how easy this all could have been before yesterday I would've been using these products for the last year and half. Better late than never I suppose. I used the face wash and spot treatment last night and my face had already improved by morning. I just hear so many women complain about breaking out from being hormonal, so I figured some of you might really like this. Kind of nice that it takes all the guesswork out of the equation and you never have to wonder if what you're using is safe. You can buy it online or find it at a store near you with their store locator.

Some of you might have seen this before, but I also learned about this really cool search tool provided by EWG's Skin Deep where you can see the toxicity score and detailed information on many cosmetic and household goods. You just type any product into the search box like "Revlon bronzer" and see how various products score. That is a horribly toxic product by the way. Try it, and you might be really shocked at what is really in the stuff you are using. Even some things I thought were good like my favorite Mrs. Meyers liquid hand soap, really aren't so great. I'm trying to stick with products that score a 1 or 2 as a general rule. Of course not everything in my whole house will meet this standard, but I'm making an effort. This website is pretty eye opening to say the least! 

Anyway, just a really great tool that's easy to use if you're into this sort of thing. Would love to know if you have found any favorite products or helpful resources for keeping your body and home free from toxins. Feel free to share them here...especially if you have found an all natural anti-perspirant that actually keeps you dry and doesn't make your armpit stick to the side of your arm like a wet slug. It's so gross! Someone REALLY needs to get on that one sometime this century. Anyone? Anyone?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Me & Beta #3

This morning I woke up excited and also kind of nervous about what today would bring. For one, it is my 7 year wedding anniversary today. My husband had posted a sweet pic with a shout out to me on facebook, which made me smile as soon as I saw it....

11/26/05- St. James Islington (London), United Kingdom

That is one of my favorite pics from our wedding, because you can just see how much we love each other and how much fun we always have together. Then I realized that facebook wasn't even around back in 2005 and that we never shared our wedding photos with many of our friends. It inspired me to dig out the CD of photos from the big day and upload some in honor of our anniversary. Here is another favorite, because I just fell in love with this church. It was SO beautiful!...

Inside St. James' Islington- built 1875

Reminiscing about the day we exchanged our vows brought tears to my eyes. I have never forgotten how lucky I am, but seeing those pictures just made me think of all we've been through, and more importantly that my husband has been my absolute rock through it all. From looking at the pics, no one would even know that my mom had just passed away 3 months prior and that my step-dad had passed away 9 months prior both from ugly battles with cancer. Why? Because HE was by my side, and my face absolutely lights up when he's near me. I always know things will be OK as long as we are together.

It was really good for me to look at those pictures, because it made me realize that no matter how my Beta results came back today, I would be ok. I knew no matter what, we always survive the tough times, because we have each other. Honestly, thinking of that is what got me through the day without totally chewing off my own fingers from nervousness.

And then the call from the RE came. Well, the results didn't bring the much larger number I had conjured up in my head, but the nurse said the doctor is very content with my progression. She said, "Dr. Vaughn thinks this looks very promising, especially when you look at the whole picture of the progesterone continuing to rise along with the hCG." So here are the numbers as they stand at this point...

11/19- hCG= 22
           progesterone= 19.1

11/21- hCG= 85
           progesterone= 28

11/26- hCG= 396

           progesterone= 36

I have a really bad habit of being a perfectionist and being hard on myself.  I, of course, whipped out my calculator and did the math and the hCG is not quite reaching a doubling rate every 48 hours, but then again....technically it's supposed to double every 48-72 hrs. Since the latest hCG level didn't exactly measure up to the dream number I had in my mind (1,000+ would have been really nice!),  I totally grilled the nurse on the rate at which things were progressing. I just really want them to know they can be straight with me. I do not want anything being sugar coated! She basically told me I needed to STOP looking at various hCG charts online and that they are happy with how things are progressing. haha! Ok, ok, I'll stop.

It's just really weird when there is such a wide range of what is "normal" and you hear other women who are less than 5 weeks along with hCG in the thousands and mine is short of 400 you know? Nevertheless, I'm letting go of the worry and handing it over to God....yet again. I keep telling myself that it's not about the actual number so much as what is happening to the number, and it's RISING! The nurse also said that they want me to re-test everything one week from today and she scheduled a sonogram for 12/13 (about 7 weeks along). She made sure to tell me if they were concerned, they wouldn't be waiting a full week to re-test either. Alright, so that does make sense. They seem to have faith in me, so I am choosing to have faith too.

I know I have done everything I can to make sure this pregnancy sticks and will continue on just as I already have been. Besides that, I have some pretty important people in my husband and my God. Take that self doubt! I know I am in the very best hands possible, and I will try my best to remember that every single day I wake up and every single night when my head hits the pillow. Anytime I start to worry, I will find something to be grateful for instead....that's my plan and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beta #2 Has Arrived

First off, thank you to all of my awesome cyber buddies for being so supportive during an exciting yet understandably anxious time since my last post. Your comments were exactly what I needed, and they really got me through the past couple days. I am just amazed at all the generosity and caring going on. Believe me,  I know when you are TTC yourself it just plain SUCKS to hear about others seeing those two pink lines. Sure you are happy for the person, but you also just want to see those friggin lines your damn self! I can't tell you how many times I wanted to know when would it be my turn?? I have felt the same way more months than I care to think about, and I think it takes a lot of selflessness and a big heart for anyone still TTC to reach out and show support in routing on others who have received the good news....even if it IS somewhat easier knowing the person receiving news actually "tried" to get pregnant.

The past 48 hours I've been a little on edge after my low initial Beta hCG reading of 22...who wouldn't be with that number?  However, I just received word of some positive developments regarding those numbers. We are obviously not out of the woods yet, and truthfully probably won't be until I see a human baby appear from my loins (I hope I used that word right....I really don't even know what a loin is really, but it sounded right).

Here are the updated blood results...
11/19/12: Beta #1- hCG = 22
                progesterone = 19

11/21/12: Beta #2 hCG = 85
                progesterone = 28

We are feeling cautiously optimistic about the hCG almost quadrupling in 48 hrs. time. I've been instructed to continue taking Prometrium (progesterone) 200 mg nightly and will take another bloodtest on Monday 11/26...which also happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary.  Yep, lots of anniversaries this month. 7 is my lucky number, and at this point I am confident God probably doesn't want to ruin my wedding anniversaries for the rest of my life either. Praying hard still for more good news to come on 11/26!

As a side note, I also do wonder if I could be a day or two earlier along than we think. I could have easily ovulated one day later than we think (meaning the day AFTER my IUI). Unfortunately, my chart is pretty inaccurate as far as temps....definitely not your picture perfect pregnancy chart. lol

Guess I won't be joining the "Pretty BFP Chart Club" anytime soon.

My temps were running unusually high pre-ovulation, and so I didn't get a very huge spike to confirm ovulation. Just a bad month for temping for me. Even though my chart temps pinpoint ovulation on CD17, I had a tiny bit of EWCM on CD18. I never see EWCM after ovulation, so makes me wonder if I ovulated one day later than my chart says. Again, I don't trust those temps. My sleep has been very sporadic. I could be only 4 weeks today instead of 4 weeks 1's possible I suppose. BTW, for anyone who's into seeing what babydancing schedules worked for other people, I wanted to add that in addition to the IUI at 10 AM, we also BD'ed that same night. There is just no way to designate doing both IUI and BD on the same day with Fertility Friend. In total 4 times during the likely fertile window: 4 days before ovulation, 2 days before ovulation, IUI day of ovulation, BD again the evening of ovulation.

No matter, just happy the way things are going at the moment and trying my best to continue thinking positive thoughts. Please continue to pray for us if you have a moment in your day. I really do believe that when more than one person prays it can be a very powerful thing! It's working so far!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Little Egg That Could

The whole weekend I was pretty much resolved that I wasn't pregnant following our second Femara/IUI cycle, but I was going to have a good time anyways. We saw the movie Lincoln on Saturday and went ziplining on Lake Travis on Sunday. Weather was picture perfect, and we had an absolute blast!  You can't really go the lake (yes that is actually a lake, albeit one that is 51 feet below average fill) without having some sort of bar grub and a beer aftewards. We stopped off to do just that on the way home. Cheeseburger, fries, and about half of a nice cold beer. I think it's been at least a year since I've had that combo, and after all I wasn't pregnant, so may as well seal the deal on this lake day experience!

Ziplining on Lake Travis, Austin, TX

My RE's nurse said it would be ok to take my bloodtest a day early. It's really quite tortuous waiting to take these damn tests,  especially when you think you already know the outcome, so I decided I would get it done a day early. Now, I'm not a pee-on-a-stick-aholic or anything, but I still had a few HPT's laying around, and my pee cups were already stacked on the toilet just waiting to be used, so I went ahead and did a test. I'd done a test the day prior and it was completely stark white negative.  I usually don't test multiple times and just wait for the blood results, but something inside of me made me want to test.

Low and behold, it looked like there was a second pink line starting to form, albeit a faint one. I brought hubby in to show him, and he didn't say much. I have never EVER seen a pink line accidentally or gotten a false positive, but I really was not believing there was one there. So of course, I stuck in another Wondfo test strip in the same urine sample; Same result....faint pink line.  I continued to tell myself that maybe there could be a mistake. I was using cheapie test strips, and I did have one First Response Early Result HPT (basically the gold standard in early pregnancy tests) in a drawer somewhere. I dipped it too, and sure enough it was also showing a very faint line. I showed hubby my completed science experiment but he seemed a little unimpressed with my miniature HPT assembly line. He said he just wanted to see the blood test, because he doesn't want to be on some  emotional roller coaster. Just 24 hours prior I was adamant that I was NOT pregnant and now I was thinking maybe I was!  I know it's been a roller coaster, and I don't blame the guy one bit.

Off to the lab I went. I then proceeded to wait ALL day LONG for the result call to come finally at about 5 pm.  "Congratulations! You are indeed pregnant!" I started crying and shaking with happiness for about 3 seconds and then immediately grabbed a pen and asked "Can I please have my hCG and progesterone levels?" I learned from my last pregnancy and early miscarriage that if you don't ask, they won't tell you the actual levels and will chalk it up to everything's normal (even if they think things looks risky). Then you'll spend the next week being overjoyed when really it was a pregnancy doomed for failure from the get go. I know that is depressing, but it's the truth. They don't tell you unless you ask. They just say "It's normal, but we want you to re-test in 48 hours." As the nurse read my results my joy and excitement came to a stand still rather abruptly...

hCG= 22
progesterone= 19.1

I know enough about hCG to know that this number is on the low side of what is "normal" for an early beta test. Here are some guidelines from the American Pregnancy Association that made me feel a little better...

Now, I realize my initial test was taken at only 3 weeks and 6 days pregnant and possibly even 3 weeks 5 days, but it sure would have been nice to get a stronger result. From what my nurse told me,  they really like to see an hCG of 25+ in very early pregnancy and once it turns to 4 weeks even (as it does today) they prefer that number to be 50-100. More important than the initial number is what happens to that number. The key is that it doubles each 48-72 hrs. Let's just hope my hCG is going to double, because if it doesn't I could be looking at another early miscarriage. I hate to be thinking like Debbie Downer here, but I'm also not buying onsies yet when I know my initial test is that low. 

Hubby was not amused with my excitement turning so quickly to worry when I gave him the good news.  "Can we celebrate anything without worrying?" he says. Believe me, I'm tired of worrying too, but there IS reason to be guarded in this case. I would be doing us both an injustice if I got all celebratory, acting like everything was just gravy, only to be sad in a couple days if bad news comes our way. That would just put us on an even bigger roller coaster. I need to look at this realistically right now! I really wish I could be one of those women who find cute ways to surprise their hubby with the news. Maybe some custom printed m&m's with the word "daddy" would have been better? Oh well. He was already in the room when I got the call anyway, and there's really no time for that right now. The next 48 hours will be crucial. I took another Wondfo test today hoping to see the test line getting darker, but it looks exactly the same.

Wondfo's @ 12,13 & 14 days past ovulation & FRER @ 13dpo

I am of course, going crazy with anxiety and worry, but as of today, I am 4 weeks PUPO...Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. I just pray with all of my heart that I have a little egg that is going to prove all of my doubting to be completely unfounded.  C'mon little egg! Repeat after me....I THINK I CAN. I THINK I CAN. I KNOW I CAN! I KNOW I CAN!

My progesterone looks fine, and the RE wants me to continue the 200mg of progesterone each night as I have been doing since 3dpo. Then I re-test on Wednesday 11/21 (the same day I miscarried last year). How ironic huh? God wouldn't be so cruel to give me bad news on the same day two years in a row would He?  Please Lord, show me how compassionate and merciful you are. Let this be a healthy pregnancy. I don't know what lessons I could possibly have left to learn through this difficult journey. We are ready to be parents. I beg of you. I am on my hands and knees...PLEASE let everything be ok!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jinglebells or Jinglehell?

The jinglebells have been brought! A couple weeks ago hubby made a comment of "Almost time to put up the Christmas tree..." I could tell he was excited about it, and why shouldn't he be? We LOVE Christmas time in our house. My 91 year old grandma would be ashamed if she knew how early we start playing Christmas tunes and put up our decorations. Gasp! What is it with older people and their strong opinions about exactly when stores should start carrying Christmas items and when you are allowed to start getting in the spirit? Maybe it's just my Grandma, but she'd make hanging up lights before Thanksgiving illegal if she could. Cracks me up! Listen granny, if I am doing the work of putting up the decor, I am going to enjoy it as long as possible!

I must confess though, that this year I was NOT looking forward to dragging the trees down from the attic. As soon as the suggestion was made, my mind jumped right to last year when we put up the tree. I will never forget it; I was SO incredibly happy. I'd just found out that I was pregnant, and all I could think of was that we'd soon have a little one celebrating the holidays with us. It brought back memories of my own childhood, and I don't think I had ever felt more excited in my entire life. I was already dreaming up the types of traditions we could have as a family...opening one gift on Christmas Eve, serving HoneyBaked Ham for dinner, and attending church as a family.  I had all the classic signs:  metal taste in my mouth, extremely tired, and already having nausea. While that might sound like a drag, to me it was not. I found out that I was pregnant really early at 4 weeks (exactly 2 weeks after conception), and all the symptoms somehow made it more real and lended to my excitement even more. It was just so wonderful "feeling pregnant".

Only a couple short weeks later, I received news from my RE that she expected me to miscarry, based on blood work showing low progesterone and later decreasing hCG levels. Even with progesterone supplementation the pregnancy went downhill fast. It completely blindsided me. I guess I was just naive. I honestly thought the hard part for me would be getting pregnant and that as long as I did, there was no reason to worry about miscarriage. At the time I didn't realize how common miscarriage is, perhaps because a lot of people don't talk about it.   Come to find out later that about 50% of pregnancies in my age group end in miscarriage. Um, hello? No one sent me the memo that is for sure! Needless to say I spent the next month in the worst emotional pain I'd felt since my mom passing.

There were some days I didn't even want to get out of bed, but other days I was just forced to power through. I was actually right in the middle of my miscarriage when I was stuck on the set of a commercial acting for 14 hours straight. That same day we were also entertaining out of town company, and I was slated to make Thanksgiving dinner for 7 the following day. Yeah, fun stuff. Want to be really uncomfortable? Have out of town company while you miscarry and have them not make any comment or give you any condolences it's a big pretend game that it's not even happening, even though you all know it is.  I did have one person, hubby's uncle, approach me on Thanksgiving Day and tell me how sorry he was to hear what I was going through. It was only about a 10 second conversation, but I will never forget how much I appreciated just that simple little statement and hug he gave me. Just FYI, if you ever have a friend or family member who goes through this sort of thing, please don't clam up for fear of saying the wrong thing. They will only feel like you don't really care or would rather not make yourself uncomfortable by bringing it up. Here is what you say to them...

"I am so sorry you are going through this. I know there's nothing I can say to make the hurt you must be feeling go away, but I just want you to know I am here for you. Anything you need or anything I can do, please just say the word. I love you."

Simple right? Actually, you'll notice that quote works well for ALL types of tough situations. And if you can't remember all of that, then try writing it in a card and hand it to the person. Take a chance and let someone know you care, even if it makes you uncomfortable. I guarantee your hesitations are a drop in the bucket compared with the feelings the person miscarrying has, and they will appreciate the effort. And while I'm giving advice here, whatever you do, do NOT make up a bunch of craptastic excuses about how it "wasn't meant to be" or that is "happened for a reason." That will only get you a black eye.

I am pretty damn proud of myself for not breaking down in front of anyone once.  Anyway, the point is just that I have some really crappy memories from that time period, and now it's become hard for me to think about the holidays without also thinking of how great it felt to be pregnant....yet how quickly my wonderful new future was ripped away.  I know this sounds dramatic, but unless you've gone through it, please don't judge. On top of this, it would have been my mom's 60th birthday this month, and I don't think I have to tell you how much I could use my mom these days. I know, I know....whoas me.

As much as I would have liked to skip the holiday excitement altogether this year, I decided it would not be fun nor fair to sit around the next two months with no decorations and me moping about what could have been. I love my husband way too much to put him through Jinglehell, so suck it up and decorate I did...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Of course my mind went where I didn't want it to a couple times, but I just turned up Michael Buble' Christmas even louder and that seemed to drown out any negative thoughts.  I love that album! Seriously, it's a guaranteed mood lifter. By the time I was done I was SO HAPPY and felt like I had a completely renewed holiday spirit. There is just something about sparkly lights and ornaments that is bound to make you smile....kinda similar to holding an ice cream cone. :)

Pregnancy test is scheduled for next week on 11/20 (the day before I started miscarrying last year) so I'm just really trying to stay positive in the meantime and hoping for some good news. No matter what happens, I'm not going to let it ruin the holidays. I'm just not.  I have to remind myself that every moment wasted being unhappy about the past or even my current situation could have been a moment spent making a happy new memory with the person I love most in life.  Life goes on and so will I....and I will be joyful doing it if I can help it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Twin follies ready to dance! Let's do this!

Just as predicted by the RE, it looks like I'll ovulate tomorrow, CD17. I don't think it would take a rocket scientist to figure out knowing how my body responded last cycle, but it was a pretty good estimation on his part since we've been working together such a short time. He nailed it.

I was even getting impatient myself second guessing and thinking it was going to run later, but low and behold I got two +OPK's today, including a smiley on the CBE digital at noon. We went in for an ultrasound at 4 pm to see what we are dealing with exactly, and we were all very pleased with the results.

Right off the bat I noticed two follies on the left ovary that looked identical, almost like they were an exact mirror of each other. Sure enough they both measured exactly 21 mm. Nothing at all going on in the right ovary, but that doesn't surprise me... I seem to be a lefty most months. The cherry on top was seeing another 9 mm lining this cycle, which makes me over the moon happy!!! This is the second cycle in a row it's measured 9 mm. It must be the Femara tricking my body to produce extra estrogen...or the warm castor oil packs I do religiously....or the acupuncture I've done for the last several months...or the baby aspirin I'm taking daily. Who knows, but something is working! Maybe it's all been helping in it's own way a little bit.

Our IUI is scheduled for 10:15 am tomorrow, and we are praying that the second time is the charm. Of course, I can't help but immediately think of those two little follies as twin follies since they were so identical and nestled right next to each other. Oh, how I would LOVE to have twins and be done with it. Yep, a mini Matt & a mini Em is all we'd need to seal the deal on this family thing. I know what I will be dreaming about tonight. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Screw chicken soup....I need a bubble bath and chemical peel for my soul!

Sometimes the very best therapy (other than telling the whole world what you REALLY think) is to do nice things for yourself. I think we can all agree I was in a major funk during my last post. Sorry, I can't be Pollyanna all the time as much as I would love to be. Nevertheless, I've spent enough time doing nice things for myself this past week to practically make it a part time job, and it's helped in a BIG way.

There's simply no excuse to have a bathtub as big and inviting as mine and to not use it. I think I'd taken a bubble bath maybe twice in the almost 4 years we've lived in our house?  Time to break out the 3 C's: Candles, Calgon, and Colbie Caillat.  I had forgotten how much I love a good bubble bath. I really should do this more often...

Calgon, take me away!

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but most all of my aunts and uncles are complete looney tunes. True of my uncles is a professional Santa Clause. He has actually attended Santa Clause school, grows his white beard down to his chest year round, and carries business cards advertising his special ability to be merry. Now there is nothing wrong with being lighthearted and cheery especially around Christmas, but in his case, he takes it a little too far. In fact, he has been known to walk into public places like restaurants and give a boisterous "Ho, Ho, Ho!" out of the freaking blue while people are eating their dinner....right in the middle of summer.  I mean come on!  Who does that?! I only have one normal uncle, Uncle Bob, and for him I am grateful. My cousins and I are still trying to figure out how my very normal and endearing grandparents gave birth to so many wackadoos.

Hubby's extended family on the other hand, is so normal compared to mine! It's no wonder I jump at the chance to attend his aunt & uncle's annual Halloween bash. They live about 3 hours from us in Houston, but it is so worth the drive. Not only are they our only relatives within 1000 miles, but they are also super cool, and I would totally ask them to adopt me if I could. Hubby and I always dress up together, and this year we went as Mile High Flight Crew. We like to throw in a little risque flavor at Halloween. No, we aren't really members of the Mile High Club, but we can pretend!

Mile High Captain Mimi Later & Mile High Pilot Hugh Jorgan...get it? hehe

I know what you are thinking and yes, I am one lucky girl. ;) Here is one of us being silly...

Halloween Photobooth Fun

We were in bed by 1 am, but I still needed the rest of the day to recover after that one. Phew! Man, it is just really good to see family, especially when you don't have to worry about them doing crazy ass stuff to embarrass you. LOL  I can't wait for us to create our own little family and start lots of fun traditions and memories of our own.  I'm sure I have mentioned that before though, right?

We were home for the actual day of Halloween, but chose not to hand out candy. Honestly, I'm not trying to be anti-social. I'm sure that would have been a fabulous way to meet people in the neighborhood, but I just didn't feel like spending $50 on candy when I'm spending $5000 on fertility treatments, capish?! Remember, this week was all about doing stuff for MEEEEE.

I've opted to skip acupuncture this cycle and use that $ for a little preventative maintenance on the ole face as well. I haven't used any of my normal anti-aging regimens in a year and a half, because most things are contraindicated while TTC or pregnant. The effects of topical treatments like hydroquinone (bleaching cream) and Retin-A (anti-wrinkle cream) aren't really known but aren't recommended either. Growing up in FL has predisposed me to sun damage, which I will probably battle forever. With most sun damage and hyperpigmentation, even when you successfully get rid of it, it just pops back up eventually. Since I don't feel comfortable slathering chemicals on my face every night nowadays, I figured I'd do something that was a "one shot" type of thing and get a fairly mild/moderate PCA Peel prior to ovulation, when there is no possible way I am pregnant. Sure it feels like your face is burning off as they apply the solution during the treatment, but it's all worth it when a couple days later, you can literally see brown spots on your skin peel away, leaving fresh new soft & even skin revealed. It's pretty exciting stuff!

Today is CD14 and still no signs of ovulation in sight. Most "normal" people would be ovulating today, but not me. Even with Femara it comes late, but I am testing twice daily with OPK's. We have an ultrasound with Dr. Vaughn scheduled for Monday CD16, which is predicted to be the day before ovulation. At this time, we'll be able to see how my follicles and lining are progressing. If I ovulate 10 days after the last pill of Femara was taken (like last cycle) then this will be the best day to assess my response to the meds. We used the same 5 mg dosage as last cycle, so I'm hoping to respond just as well. If I do happen to get a +OPK before CD16, I'll just call to schedule an IUI in lieu of the ultrasound. I really don't think I'll get a +OPK this weekend though. I'm just not seeing any evidence of a test line showing up on the Wondfo OPK sticks right now....think I'm still a few days away from ovulating. We are babydancing leading up to ovulation of course, and I'm listening to my Circle + Bloom CD's religiously, trying to stay positive and visualizing all of the amazing things that are taking place in my body right now in preparation for a strong ovulation...just really hoping this IUI cycle will be our magic cycle.

November of last year was when I found out I was pregnant, and then miscarried later that same month. This month has the potential to end really well or really poorly. It's our 7 year wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving, but also the anniversary of some not so fun miscarriage memories.  We would really LOVE to get some exciting news this month. After 17 months of trying "by the book", I think we've put in our fair share of effort and deserve to become parents. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers if you are the praying type!