I actually got through the whole morning without journaling today :roll:
Anyway, it was weird in that my temp went up again and I'm still barely bleeding. I stayed calm, though, and eventually the bleeding got a little heavier. It's red, well, dark red, but I really do think it's AF. It started to feel like AF yesterday afternoon finally.
I'm worried that AF will hit really hard this weekend. We're flying out of town for a wedding. Oh, won't that be wonderful, cramping so bad I can barely walk and needing to change my pad every 30 minutes. What the heck will I do on an airplane? I can't not go; those tickets were way too expensive to just not go. I want to see my family. I'll just wear a heating pad (Thermacare) and pop the Aleve. Maybe the worst of it will just happen tomorrow or later tonight? Of course, after clomid, it can be wicked for more then one day. Who knows? Or I might just bleed moderately for days and days.
My doctor upped my dosage to 100mg. I didn't even find out until I was paying for it at the pharmacy. I have no idea why since I O'd just fine the last two clomid cycles on 50mg. I thought my LP was really good considering I'm still barely bleeding and my LP was easily 14 days. What more does he want? It's not like more meds will magically make me pg. Plus, I was too dry last time as it is. The green tea and Mucinex and vitamins just don't do that much. If it wasn't for the pre-seed we wouldn't of even been able to BD when we did. I dread finding out how 100mg affects me. Will I go off the deep end with depression? Will I be a total b!(@# for awhile? What will the hot flashes and O pain be like? What about the insomnia and the days of crying? Just as I learn how to cope with the plan it changes. Today I was PMSing like crazy (no surprise from this lovely post) and that news didn't help at all.
One thing we're going to try this time is just stick to the plan with BD timing. No more changing it around. Besides, our timing was great last time and nothing. It doesn't really matter as long as we try. I'm just glad we can do what we want for the next couple weeks. Not much fun with AF of course but I had a libido surge after the clomid was done last time so that was something. One other thing I'm going to try is up my water intake a lot at least the week before O. It's unpleasant but it did help a lot the first clomid cycle. I had tons of EWCM. Of course I had to go to the bathroom a ton but whatever. The only hitch in that plan is that I can't have water with me at work and I can't keep running to the bathroom either. So I really can't drink as much water as would be optimal. I'll try to drink at least 4 full glasses (two before work and two after) plus two glasses of tea. Other than that I don't plan to change anything unless the doctor recommends it.
I wish I could say I was excited about this. Last cycle was so hopeful! Now I just dread what this (clomid, TTC, the whole thing) does to me. I have nothing really cool planned for a long time, as far ahead as I can see. I've got work and a few social events.
OK, so I think I have a better grasp on my friend's comment that God opens and closes the womb and why it bothered me so much.
I believe that it is more like God opens the womb or allows it to be closed and that, sometimes, it is a disease that is keeping it closed. God does not give disease, just allows us to be victim to that disease or heals us of it.
When I think about it that way then I see the humility in infertility. I see the vulnerability, the poverty, the longing, the powerlessness, the emptiness. It is very similar to the family stuck in poverty, waiting to be lifted out, or the sick elderly person. No couple can be too proud if there is that hole in their life.
So it seems that the only attitude that is going to get me through this is to embrace the humility and not fight it. Fully acknowledge the vulnerability and alienation.
I may have turned at least a small corner this morning. I felt different, anyway. At least my perspective is maybe changing a bit.
The first year of TTC is bound to be the most difficult. It is a time when you can't believe it won't happen quickly. You have soooo much to learn, and, as the months go by, have decisions to make. How far will we go in our TTC efforts? What is acceptable or not? How long do we want to TTC? What tests do we want? Every month feels wasted if it doesn't end in a BFP. You spend a lot of time thinking about babies, pg, charting, etc. You wonder about how you would decorate the nursery, what morning sickness would be like, and how you would tell DH. We added researching adoption into that mix. It's a lot to think about and I can better understand now why it was so obsessive. I think I'll still go back and forth into that stage from time to time but I've moved through most of that. I no longer think about midwives or our nursery. I no longer want some cutesy way to tell DH or my family.
This year of TTC, though, is bound to be different. I can see myself spending the next several months following doctor's orders and getting tests run for easily 6 months as well as doing clomid that long. I hope to have many more answers to the basic questions by February and then taking a break since my body can only handle clomid for so long.
Then I can see myself going back on clomid again next June. Then I'll try to get the more rare tests done, like chromosomal issues. I may get another HSG to see if my tubes are still open.
Of course all of this is with the assumption that there is nothing wrong, that I just haven't gotten pg yet. So far there is nothing but PCOS which the clomid fixes for a cycle at a time. Plus I still O even without clomid so PCOS itself shouldn't keep me from getting pg. I could go three years and it never be more than unexplained infertility at least in my understanding.
On the other hand, we may find out something more is wrong, hence the tests. If so then the decision-making process starts all over again, as well as the grieving process. That kind of thing has to be dealt with when/if it happens.
By the end of the third year, on our third wedding anniversary, it's likely that one of three things will have happened: we'll be pg/parents, we'll have discovered that we'll never conceive naturally (without IVF and therefore, for us, never conceive at all) or we'll still not be pg with no clear reason why.
At that point, I can see us having a party for all our friends and family to celebrate three years of marriage and to make the special announcement that we are beginning the process to adopt.
I'm sure I'll go back and forth between being unbearably impatient to move on and being OK with this. However I can see it now. I also can see myself, if we find out this year that we can get pg and that there is nothing wrong besides the PCOS, trying to enjoy ourselves despite the uncertainty. I can see us not being parents for at least two more years and still beginning to enjoy our marriage and our lives. I can see myself finding projects and, over time, finding friends whose company I enjoy and with whom I can be myself. I don't need the image of me being a mom to complete the picture quite as much. I like the idea of waiting longer before pursuing adoption.
In fact, I just had another idea. DH and I are already planning a nice vacation/family reunion for next summer. After that I'm going to see about planning a fun cruise/vacation for the summer of '09 to celebrate that third anniversary. Plus, I doubt we'd be actively TTCing much the spring of that year. After all, after all that time TTCing how much more could we do? How complicated would it be after so much time having gotten used to it and having already learned what we need to know? So anyway we can plan lots of fun things for that spring and summer before we turn to the new stresses of adoption. By the end of the third-year testing I can see us being more at peace with this and having accepted the uncertainty and letting go of TTC.
Obviously the timing of this might change and anything could happen in the meantime to make all of this forgettable, even laughable. However the fact that I can, even for one day, imagine myself as still not a mom after three years of trying without breaking down at the thought is my point.
As for getting back to the present, I'm still waiting for AF to kick my rear-end. I will be so mad if it happens tomorrow or Sunday but I don't see it happening today either. The thing is, if I don't get a strong AF by Sunday then I'm not going to take my clomid yet. I'll see what my temp is Monday morning and, if it's still high like this morning, I'll test one last time before beginning the clomid. I'm confident that AF has arrived but this is weird. Temp still up and barely bleeding. I'm totally OK with AF being here but I don't want to take the clomid unless I'm absolutely sure everything is OK. I can't think of why AF would still be so light. Yesterday and the day before I started bleeding more in the late afternoon so hopefully it will happen stronger today.
AF came with a vengeance but I was very lucky in the timing. The worst cramps were during the only three hours of the whole weekend in which I was lying around in our hotel room. I was able to rest, take some Aleve, and cuddle with DH. God is good!
The wedding was a lot of fun. DH and I felt so in love with each other. I can't really explain exactly why we felt that way when we did (hello, I was on AF of all times) but it was so nice. I think a lot of it was going away somewhere and just having fun. I got nice and buzzed and was kissing DH at the wedding reception in a way that, now that I'm totally sober, I feel almost weird about. I hope we weren't too disgusting :lol: I mean, it wasn't indecent but it was around my family. No one cared or anything, though, and we were just having fun. It's about time! One aunt did almost bring me down at one point. Just as I had finally forgotten about fertility for the first time in months she had to bring it up. I was so mad and then got even more angry when I burst into tears. However it ended up being a great talk, very cathartic. I'm close to that aunt and she's dealt with fertility issues herself so it wasn't random. Surprising at first, but she was prepared and DH and I held up well.
I talked to DH about our Three-Year Plan and we both think it's a great start. I want to spend the next 5 months focusing on not getting pg "this cycle" (whichever cycle it is) but instead on doing everything we can for six months. That means not getting upset if we don't BD with perfect timing for one cycle or not looking at this little symptom or the exact length of the LP another cycle--if not this cycle then we'll have another chance next month. Yes, I may be devastated if I'm not pg by December but I hope to handle it OK in the months leading up to then. If not, OK, I start over again when I'm ready.
Then, in the Spring, I want to start a scrapbook for DH and I. I've been waiting to make one for when I'm pg and make it a baby book. However that's not right. We need to celebrate each phase of our marriage. We'll have lots of fun, go places, and take pics. I also want to find another project, maybe a volunteering thing or even just a project around the house but something that makes me feel creative (along with the scrapbook). In a further effort to move my mind away from TTC for those six months I'll get off of the TTC/adoption boards. I'll only chart what I want to chart and we'll only BD when we want to, no timing involved. No clomid, no avoiding antihistamines just because it might dry me up, no symptoms obsession. Yeah, this is a goal and it might not happen but it's an attitude that I can cultivate. The over-all hope is that I'll let myself let it go and not feel guilty for not trying so hard each cycle. After a year and a half we'll need a long break. My body will need to recover from all that clomid. At the end of that break we can see where we are and what tests we want to pursue or, if I'm not ovulating, if we want to do the clomid hamster wheel again. We'll go back to full-on TTC again for six more months, the final time of serious TTC. Last-ditch effort, no-holds-barred (except for our morality) TTC. Again, we'll practice the long-term approach of doing all we can but not worrying about every little thing every single cycle because there is another cycle next month to try again. Then we'll take the Spring off, have fun again, and start getting ready for both a big trip to commemorate the end of TTC and the party to announce the beginning of adoption planning.
Of course I have to listen to God throughout all of this. I want to follow God's timing, not ours. This is a start and I need to be flexible enough to follow the Spirit.
I also realized more why the phrase that "God opens and closes the womb" bothered me so much. I now think about it as "God opens the womb or allows it to remain closed right now". I know, semantics, but it makes me feel less like like God is the Divine Sterilizer and more like God is good and wants me to be a mom eventually. Being on clomid is a lot of work and I have to have my hopes up and to be proactive for it to be worth the work and side effects. Yes, I know it won't make me pregnant. However, it's worth it to ovulate and, therefore, have a chance that pregnancy might happen. I have to feel like I have some say. After all, no woman gets pregnant without giving God permission in that a woman must have sex to get pregnant. I know that's so simple it's silly to even say it. Yes, God opens the womb but the woman and man still have to play their part, to cooperate to bring life into the world. Even Mary, the only virgin who God divinely impregnated, was asked permission first. And, yes, women get pregnant who don't feel like they gave God permission, of course. A woman on contraceptives might feel betrayed by God if she gets pregnant anyway. God is in control and infertile couples know that better than some--no technology takes the power out of God's hand either to get or prevent pregnancy. I'm just saying that those who want to get pregnant do have to do our part. Women like me who don't ovulate often or in a healthy manner (too late for a strong luteal phase) have to do even more, like take medication, at least sometimes. And, yes, God could do a miracle. I have no doubt about that. But often he uses more mundane ways to work His will. So that is how I explain how I could use clomid and still believe that no one is making anything happen. Heck, even ovulation on clomid isn't a guarantee. Plenty of women don't even O on clomid.
Speaking of clomid, today was my first day of taking 100mg. I hope this goes OK!!!
I'm almost done with the clomid.
The cool thing is that I haven't even really thought about it yet. It helps that I haven't had any s/e either. That is weird but very cool. I took it before bed this time and maybe that helped? The hot flashes will likely kick in very soon if I'm going to have them but who knows. I go in for my u/s a week from yesterday.
Yesterday was nice. I was busy but I didn't think much about fertility. I realized how much of last year I spent daydreaming about baby-related things. Now, though, I find myself getting bored with that. Thank goodness! Could I possibly follow doctor's orders alone (take meds, BD on certain days, etc.) and spend the rest of my thoughts elsewhere? That would be such a blessing. I even got into a hobby yesterday and realized how long it's been since I did something like that. Pathetic in a way, but, to clarify, last fall I finished three major scrapbooks. They were all very well done (if I do say so myself) and expensive. I poured my heart into them and spent over a year and a half all together on them. After all that I needed a long break. So I don't feel too bad about not really doing any hobbies in the past year since I had spent almost two years prior to that obsessed with one.
Right now I'm rereading the HP books and working on my children's book/movie collection. I rearranged the books on my bookshelf to fit more on. Small move but it's something. I spent a couple hours engrossed in something that didn't involve a baby.
On a sad note, though, I feel like I'm losing three girl friends, none of whom have a baby. One is getting engaged and said she'll move away after her wedding. Another got a job elsewhere and the third, well, her and I just don't communicate as often as we used to. It's sad. These three women are irreplaceable to me and I like spending time with each of them. I can still see them but it will be a lot more work. Making friends at my age (good grief, I'm too young to even say that phrase) is way harder then I expected. Is this kind of loneliness normal? I kinda figured that, once I got married, it would get easier not harder. I do have that wonderful companionship and friendship with DH of course, so I'm not lonely there. But being married in a house without kids is sometimes an awkward phase. I don't fit in with the moms and I don't really fit in with the singles in their apartments.
So I just pray that God provides. He always has and I do have my dear friend that I email. It would be so nice, though, to just sit down with a woman or two and chat about our lives. No pretense, no pasting a smile on my face when they pass the baby, no nodding and smiling when they go on about their career issues (particularly if it's a women who doesn't want a baby just a career), boyfriend drama or landlord complaints. I don't mind all that and I know we all need someone to listen but it would be so comforting to have more in common with people then I do right now. I'm at that in-between stage where I would actually enjoy talking about landscaping but I'm not ready to talk about babies. I'm not really a housewife but I'm not on a career path either. It's OK where I am but one close friend who gets it just might alleviate a lot of the burden and make this journey more pleasant.
I thought about trying to start a group for infertility at my church. Not only would that likely be an uphill battle, though, but I also am leaving that place where I even want to talk about it. What more is there to say? As of right now I'm just waiting on God. According to doctors I'm "infertile", a medical diagnoses, a disease to them, that they can treat. But, put in a Biblical perspective, nothing is "wrong" (that we know of, that would change if tubes were found to be blocked or DH's swimmers were found to be not healthy in which case we treat that specific issue and go back to waiting). That distinction, that difference between medicine's POV and a Biblical POV is a tough line to walk. I want to cooperate with doctors and they are not the enemy. When it becomes as intrusive as an u/s of your ovaries, though, it's hard to not let the tool of medicine become a way of life that colors your whole perspective. When I spend my time, even online, with women who are TTC I fall into that what-is-wrong-and-how-soon-can-we-fix-it mentality. Fixing it becomes an obsession, a challenge. When I let that go, however, I can get that peace back (well, maybe glimpse it for the first time). By leaving that, though, I lose yet another source of friendship or at least comfort that I'm not the only one grieving this. I still can't seem to let a day go by that I don't scan the boards even though I have little if anything to contribute. I think part of that are the few women who I have come to genuinely care about even if they'll never know it. I just have to see if there is an update on them be it adoption or TTC related. It is good to have that sense of compassion for others but it's so superficial in that if they were to lose their computer that's it, no more sense of friendship. Yes, it's a comfort, but how much more would it be to have that one-on-one friendship?
I've been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I think this is the end of this journal or at least time to express most of my thoughts elsewhere. I just can't keep coming to pg. org until I'm pg or adopting, at least for awhile. I'm starting to look forward to our TTC break almost as much as I look forward to a BFP. The hardest part of the decision to move on from here was not catching up on with ladies here. I hate to miss anything. But I don't really feel like I belong and I just can't keep reading about TTC if I expect to take a break from it.
I did learn from this journal, however, that I love having this outlet to share. I've started a blog and I'm working on listing it on a Catholic blog site. It's going to be a positive reflection on the TTC process as a Catholic Christian. I'll still express my sorrows and disappointments but with less pressure from reading about other women who are TTC. I know I can always come back here if I have a question or I need to feel like I'm not the only one. This isn't good-bye, just to say I won't be on here as much (until I move on past TTC one way or the other).
It's so weird to actually say this, but I got a positive pregnancy test today after 15 months of TTC. It was my third clomid cycle.
As for what I did differently, there was nothing. I drank green tea and used pre-seed, like several cycles before. I took Mucinex once or twice. We BD'd every-other day from CD 14 to CD 18 (I O'd CD 19).
I was so sure that I wasn't pregnant this cycle. I had no symptoms at all. Plus, I had some bright red spotting and cramps on 12 DPO and greyish-brown CM since then so I figured it was pre-menstrual spotting. The only PMS symptom I didn't have was acne. I had had some bloating and cramping during the first week of the 2WW but it went away around 7 DPO. Our intercourse timing was OK, but not great, and I hadn't had much CM, fertile or otherwise, around the time of ovulation.
This cycle wasn't different enough from all the other ones to think I would be pregnant this time. I know, though, that fertility and conception is in God's hands, not mine. Nothing I can do will make me pregnant as the last year+ has shown. All I can do is try to get my body healthy, BD, and pray.
Mostly, though, my gut feeling is that I wasn't pregnant. I was preparing myself to move on and day-dreaming about how we were going to have fun as a childless couple this year. My best friend got pregnant this cycle and I was both happy for her and sad for me. Now we get to go through this together like we wanted. How great God is!!! This would have been bittersweet for both of us if only one of us got pregnant. We were prepared for it but this is so exciting.
I'm shaking so bad! It, of course, doesn't seem real. I almost threw the test away since it didn't show positive right away and I just knew it was negative anyway. I'm glad I didn't! Of course, based on all the months before, I would have snuck a peek at it later anyway. Heck, I probably still will just to make sure it's still there:-)
How did I tell my husband? I woke him up early and told him I urgently needed to show him something in the bathroom. I was shaking so bad and I must have looked scared. He thought it was a plumbing problem, LOL! I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining the line. I told him I wanted him to give me a present to celebrate and he said of course he would:-) He's such a sweetie. He's going to be a great dad!
We lost our baby Thursday night.
It started with my "usual" agonizing cramps. I've had them for over two weeks now and the pain always went away after a bowel movement.
Thursday night, though, started with the "normal" constipation but turned scary. After trying I would lie down and get up and try again. This happened three times. The last time I got up alone instead of calling for my husband to help.
I remember getting out of bed that time but not much right afterwards. My husband later told me he heard a thud that must have been my body hitting the bathroom door frame. He came running and I woke up lying on my back in our bathroom. I missed the bathroom countertop by inches.
He helped me to sit up and, as soon as I was up, I vomited into a trashcan he was able to grab in time. Then he helped me to the toilet. He left to go get me some more water and, next thing I know, I'm face-down on the floor in front of the toilet with a gash on my shoulder from my arm sliding down the wall.
My husband helped me to sit up and by this time we knew we were in trouble. He called my midwife who told us to go to the emergency room. He tried to lift me to carry me to the car but I had no control at this point over my arms and legs and passed out in his arms. He set me down against the wall and called 911. I regained consciousness quickly and just sat propped against the wall.
The ambulance got me to the hospital in no time and they quickly figured it was ectopic. They wheeled me to a room with an u/s machine and the doctor saw that there was nothing but blood in my uterus. The baby was in my left tube which had ruptured. They also saw that I had blood pooling in my abdominal cavity.
They got me into emergency surgery and removed my left tube. They also suctioned out over one liter of blood from around the organs in my abdominal cavity.
I'm currently in the hospital and will be here for at least another day. They've given me two units of blood and my vitals are good now. They're sending me home likely tomorrow.
My husband barely leaves my room and his family has been here several times already and will be coming back. I'm getting great care both from the hospital staff and loved ones.
My husband and I are, as you can imagine, in shock. I worried about miscarriage plenty but never even considered the possibility of ectopic. I thought that, by close to 9 weeks, the risk was over. I didn't have most of the major symptoms like heavy bleeding, fever, and continual cramping. Now we think that the progesterone suppositories masked some of the symptoms as it stopped the bleeding. How do you know, though? Of course I needed to stop the bleeding. It is so easy to second-guess every decision made by my midwife or I. I can't do that to myself.
I do know the next plan of action after I recover--I'm going to my RE to get my right tube checked out. If it's healthy then we'll just let it happen and will likely try again eventually. Clomid was an unpleasant experience but it is the only way I've had a healthy ovulation and, therefore, a decent chance at pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, Clomid increases a woman's chance of ectopic from the usual 4% to 7-10%.
We do know that, if I get pregnant again someday, that we'll get an u/s asap. If the pregnancy is ectopic then the doctors can sometimes flush out the baby and save the tube. The worst-case scenario if they find out about the ectopic pregnancy before it ruptures is to remove the tube. Of course, the worst-case scenario if they don't find out until the rupture is my death. If we hadn't called 911 when we did that would have been likely for me. By the time I got to the hospital I was feeling new pain, like shoulder pain, and having trouble breathing. Clearly, now that I have a history of ruptured ectopic, any pregnancy will have to be discovered asap and I'll need testing for both the ectopic issue and the progesterone issue. I talked to my midwife and she said she can do all of that if I get pregnant and choose to go with her again. At least ectopic pregnancies are easy to diagnose with u/s. As for the cause of ectopic, the only thing they know about is a damaged tube. It doesn't seem to be connected with egg or sperm issues from what I know.
If, however, if testing shows that my right tube is damaged, then it would be crazy in my mind to work hard to get pregnant again. We've now gone from trying to get pregnant to trying to keep me alive. If it happens we'll get tested right away. We'll pray it's healthy and take care of it if it isn't.
This next year is going to be one of grief and one of looking at options. I may change my mind but I'm no longer anxious to get pregnant. It breaks my heart that I may never carry my husband's baby but even that does not overcome the experience of the past month. I had a bad feeling all along. I tried to deny that instinct. I told myself that I was just being negative, that my heart was hard and I needed to just be happy about being pregnant. I was just so anxious that something was wrong, more so than seemed normal even with pregnancy hormones. Now I know to listen to that instinct. Pregnancy should not be so painful.
At the same time, getting pregnant made me want to care for a baby more then ever. I loved talking about it with my husband, getting the house fixed up and having that excitement. Every decision about food or exercise took on new meaning and every sacrifice was so worth it. I loved being a mom and I still do even though I'll never hold this baby in my arms.
I've gone back and forth about adoption a lot in the last several years and right now the idea is coming back. I have no doubt that God called my husband and I to be parents together. We're not going to rush into anything as we need to get me some testing and we need to grieve our loss. In time, though, depending on test results, and my ability to ovulate on my own or my feelings on clomid, adoption may be just the right choice for us.