Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moving forward

Yesterday was tough.  Thankfully I had a super busy day at work to keep my mind occupied.

I also called my doctor yesterday.  After talking with DH, we decided it is probably time for me to get checked out.

I haven't written about it here yet, but lately I have been wondering if I might have PCOS.  I have a friend who has it, and she was actually the first person to mention that maybe I should get checked for it.  I honestly never really thought about PCOS before, but when my friend started telling me her symptoms, I realized... I have every single one of them.

Even though my friend had mentioned it, I never seriously considered the possibility of me having PCOS until this past weekend.  I randomly came across some information about PCOS online, and was shocked to discover how familiar the symptoms sounded:  long, irregular cycles, excessively oily skin and hair, dandruff/dry scalp, acne, excessive facial hair, obesity/weight gain/carrying excessive weight around your middle, and difficulty getting pregnant.

I have always had irregular periods (when not on birth control), even in junior high and high school.  Since I started charting, all of my cycles have lasted 35-50 days until this most recent one, which lasted 33 days -- my shortest ever!  I have also always had excessively oily skin and hair.  Like, extreme grease... Even when I shower in the morning, my hair looks completely oily and disgusting again by the afternoon.  I also have to blot my face constantly throughout the day, and no cleanser, moisturizer, or powder I have tried has ever managed to cover my oil slick of a face.  Also, since coming off of the pill, I have noticed that I have horrible acne.  And not just on my face, but my chest and back also.  But perhaps the most striking symptom I noticed while reading -- and seriously, THIS was the clencher which made me seriously consider PCOS -- is that women with PCOS tend to gain weight only around their midsection (i.e. waist and hips) and have a difficult time losing this weight no matter how much they diet and exercise.  I have always only gained weight only around my middle (the zone I lovingly refer to as my "spare tire") for as long as I can remember.  I always thought this was a plus, because even if I gained a few pounds, my legs never got fat and I could usually cover up my belly chub with loose shirts. ;-)  But especially since I was pregnant, I have noticed this "spare tire" region has gotten especially large and impossible to lose, no matter how much I watch what I eat.  And obviously, I am having difficulties in getting pregnant and have already had one pregnancy loss -- two more symptoms.

After experiencing the revelation that there might actually be something wrong with me, I decided that I would call my doctor if it turned out I wasn't pregnant again this cycle.  When it became obvious yesterday that I clearly wasn't pregnant, I called my doctor and told him about my symptoms and my concerns about possible PCOS.  He agreed I am definitely showing some symptoms and wants to see me next Monday.  He asked me to bring my charts, and said he would be happy to run some tests to get to the bottom of this.

I am just so thankful my friend brought this up, or I never would have thought to ask.  I am also thankful I have a doctor who takes me seriously and is willing to hear me out.  I am still bummed that we had yet another unsuccessful cycle, but I do feel just a little bit better knowing we have a plan for moving forward.  I truly do hope there is nothing wrong with me, but if there is, I hope it is something manageable so that we can treat it and move on.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CD1 - so upset

Its over.  I started having EWCM yesterday (I usually get it before AF), and then I had some cramps last night and I knew what was coming.  Then I had some brown spotting before bed and I knew that was it.  Of course I had a gigantic temp drop this morning, along with my period. 

I'm so, so upset.  I cried myself to sleep last night, knowing it was over.  Every time I get my period, my heart breaks all over again thinking of what I went through with losing Baby M.  And every time I get my period is another emotionally painful reminder that I'm no longer pregnant and still not pregnant again.  I used to get bummed when I'd get my period before I was pregnant with Baby M, but for whatever reason it is so much more painful for me now that we've had a loss.  I know it breaks DH's heart to see me cry and to see me sad every cycle, and I absolutely hate that too.

I know it sounds stupid, but I was SURE that I was pregnant this cycle.  I really, really was.  I have never been more sure that I was pregnant, not even the cycle I actually was pregnant.  And I cannot believe I'm not pregnant YET AGAIN.  I'm feeling really upset and extremely defeated right now.  We have had perfect timing EVERY CYCLE.  I realize this is only half of the equation, but seriously?  There is nothing more we can do!  I'm just completely at a loss right now.  I don't know why God won't send us another baby.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

12 dpo - BFN

Two more BFNs this morning.  Two because I dipped my first test and definitely saw "something"... there was definitely a shadow or something where the second line should be.  (This is exactly what happened the last time we got a BFP -- the line was so so faint it looked like a shadow of a line, but it was definitely there.)  I excitedly dipped a second test, hoping to replicate this second almost-line... but to no avail.  No matter how hard I looked, and no matter how many different light sources and angles I looked from, I just didn't see the same "something" on that second test.  :-(

So now I'm feeling pretty bummed and am really starting to lose hope for this cycle.  I just hate this because I was SO excited and really, truly thought that this was our month.  I mean, I get my hopes up every month, but between our awesome timing this cycle plus my chart being practically a carbon copy of my last BFP chart, I REALLY thought this was it for us.  I know I'm only 12 dpo and certainly not out yet, but it seems like if I was actually pregnant I should be getting some kind of faint faint line or something by now.  At least I didn't have a temp drop this morning, so I still have a shred of hope.  But I'm finding it really difficult to remain optimistic at this point.

I also had a depressing thought this morning.  While throwing my pity party, I realized that our EDD, January 18, 2011, is also the one-year anniversary to the day of when we started TTC.   I can't believe we have to have both of those milestones on one day.  Of course, I also can't believe we are coming up on a year of trying and still have absolutely nothing to show for it.  When we first started TTC I naively thought we would already have a baby by now... Not that we would still be trying and facing the same disappointment month after month.  I realize I will still get two (or possibly three, if my cycles cooperate) more chances to become pregnant before January, but my hope is fading fast.

I'm just feeling really defeated by the whole process at this point, especially after being so sure that this month was going to be our month.  :-(

Saturday, September 25, 2010

11 dpo - BFN

Another day, another blazing white BFN... or three.

Now before you judge me, hear me out.  Like I said the other day, I only had two more of my internet cheapies left.  One was defective looking (the wicking part was sticking out the side).  Yesterday my new order of internet cheapies arrived.  And I opened them this morning to discover... they were packaged exactly like my OPKs I order from this company.  I was immediately suspicious, but opened them anyway... to discover they look exactly the same as my OPKs.  (My previous HPTs I ordered from this company are clearly marked "hcg" on the end of the strip, and these were plain pink like all of my OPKs.)

Needless to say, I was angry at this apparent mix-up and was planning to call Amazon and demand they send another order of the correct tests.  But since I had already opened this strip, I thought I'd use it anyway.  I also used a dollar store cheapie I still had, as a control, in case this new test was in fact an OPK.  Then, I decided that since I had that defective old internet cheapie, I might as well dip it too!

Well, all three of them came up very clearly negative.  Which I'm not surprised about the dollar store test;  I found they are significantly less sensitive than the internet cheapies last time I was pregnant.  The defective internet cheapie also seemed to work properly.  And, despite my previous anger, I guess Amazon did actually send me HPTs instead of OPKs, because even that one came up stark white.  (Theoretically, if we have LH in our bodies at all times, I should have gotten at least a faint line on that test... especially with concentrated FMU, right?)  So, my apologies to Amazon for my previous rage.  Although it sure will be confusing now that every single one of my internet cheapies looks exactly the same!

And last but not least... at least my chart is still looking good!

I'm wondering if that dip might be an implantation dip?  If so, I would expect to finally see a BFP either tomorrow or Monday.  The last time I got pregnant I had a dip at 7 dpo and got a suuuupppeeerrr faint BFP at 9 dpo.  In fact, DH and I didn't even call it a positive until we got another slightly less-faint second line at 10 dpo.  So... if my math is correct, and in the chance that a baby did actually implant on Thursday, then tomorrow or Monday I should be getting the good news!  Either that, or I will get my temp drop (I usually see it at 12 dpo) and be seriously bummed.  Lets hope for the former! ;-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

10 dpo - BFN

I tested again this morning (and with good FMU this time!), but alas... another stark-white BFN.  My temps did increase again today though, so I'm taking that as a good sign.  Hopes are still high.  I'll of course be testing again tomorrow!

On another note, my Amazon internet cheapies arrived this afternoon!  Yippee!  Just in time for more testing tomorrow.  :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9 dpo - BFN

I tested this morning and got a BFN.  I'm honestly not surprised though.  Not only am I still super early to be testing, but I also woke up at 3:45 am to use the bathroom, so when I tested at 6:00 am my FMU wasn't nearly as concentrated as it could have been.  My chart still looks good though, and I'm still quite hopeful.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will try testing again tomorrow!

Also... last night when I went to get my test out for this morning, I realized that I only had two internet cheapies left!  Thankfully, I have the Amazon app on my phone, so I ordered 25 more tests from Amazon as I lay in bed.  They should be here by Saturday.  :-)  Thank goodness for free two-day shipping!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Public service announcement

DO NOT EVER Google "mucus".  Just don't do it.  No really, you will seriously regret it and never be the same if you do.

I just posted a glossary of TTC terms (on the right-hand side of my blog), and was using Google to spell-check and make sure I spelled "mucus" correctly.  Wow.  I am really, really regretting that decision right now.

You're welcome.

(And if you do Google it anyway, don't say I didn't warn you!)

8 dpo and hopeful

So I  am now 8 dpo and trying really hard not to get my hopes up.  No, scratch that, I have given up on trying not to get my hopes up.   It seems like every cycle I try to not get too excited, it just hits me that much harder when I end up not being pregnant.  So I am letting myself get excited, and my hopes are high that THIS will be our month!

And really, how can I not be excited?  Just look at that chart!  Actually, this chart looks eerily similar to my chart the month I did have my BFP.  Both cycles my post-O temps very gradually increased by .1 or .2 degrees each day, and some days held steady at the same temp as the day before (other than a small implantation(?) dip at 7 dpo my BFP cycle).  All of my other charts -- both before I was pregnant and after my miscarriage -- have been much more erratic, with my post-O temps shooting up, then dropping by a few tenths of a degree, then shooting up again, etc.  The only time I have ever seen my temps rise so slowly and steadily is when I was actually pregnant... so of course I am hoping and praying that is what this chart is showing as well!

Also, this cycle is the first cycle since I was pregnant that I have had any kind of pre-AF/possible pregnancy symptoms.  Before I got pregnant I always had a few "phantom symptoms"... sore boobs, cramping, bloating, feeling more emotional, etc.  Since my miscarriage, I haven't had ANY pre-AFsymptoms -- I just see my temp drop in my chart and then my period starts, and then symptoms set in a few days later.  With this cycle, I have already been having swollen and slightly sore boobs, crazy bloat, and I have also caught myself being more emotional.  I'm of course really hoping this is a good sign too, and it definitely is only causing my hopes to get up even more!

I was originally going to try to wait until 10 dpo (Friday) to test, but I'm thinking I will probably have to test tomorrow morning.  Even though I know it is super early, I did get my first BFP at 9 dpo last time (even though me and DH didn't realize it at the time, because the line was SO faint we thought we were imagining it until I tested more clearly positive the following day).  So it is hard for me to not want to start testing at 9 dpo, since I know I could get a BFP that early!

Wish me luck!  :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yay for CHs!!!

Now, we wait...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TTC Humor

One of the lovely ladies on TTCAL posted these the other night, and I thought they were absolutely hilarious... Mostly because I can completely relate to (almost) all of them! lol  
In case you missed it, here are the lists:

How to Pee on a Stick:

Step 1...Pee on the stick. (must be sure to hold it under urine stream for a heartbeat longer than recommended just to be sure).

Step 2...Stare at stick while you continue peeing. Feel heart jump when urine passes over the spot where the line would be and it hitches for a second, then gets a dark line...then keeps going, taking your dark line with it to the test window.

Step 3...Place on bathroom counter. Pretend not to stare at it. Let's try to give yourself busy work to keep from looking at it. In fact, your toilet now gets cleaned once per day.

Step 4...Tell yourself you are expecting a BFN. Then start to mist up when you see that it is, in fact, a BFN. Stare at the blank spot for a full minute before picking it up.

Step 5...First, go to window and check it under day light.

Step 5...Now, stand on toilet to be closer to light in ceiling. Check strip.

Step 6...Close one eye. Squint other eye.

Step 7...Turn on several lamps around house. Hold strip under lamp. Check strip.

Step 8...Hold strip OVER lamp. Check strip.

Step 9...Hold strip in front of lamp so light shines THROUGH strip, just in case.

Step 10...Pull stick apart. Hesitate for a heartbeat when you realize you are holding the still wet "wick" in one hand, then continue the destruction.

Step 11...Repeat Steps 5-9.

Step 12...Throw stick away.

Step 13...Pick stick back up out of trash.

Step 14...Repeat Steps 12 and 13 the rest of the day!

You Know You're TTC When...

The Big 'O' no longer refers to orgasm, but instead to ovulation.

You show everyone who will look at your bbt charts.

Every twinge is a potential sign: ovulation pain OR perhaps implantation.

It no longer strikes you as the least bit odd to check out at the pharmacy with both HPTs and tampons in your cart.

You schedule your social events around your ovulation day.

If your OPK comes up +, you cancel all social engagements that night so you can BD & lie with your legs elevated and butt up in the air afterwards.

You talk using mysterious acronymns that only your ttc buddies understand: ttc, BD, ewcm, bbt, opk, 2ww.

Your morning motto is: "Don't talk to me until I've taken my temperature".

You take your temperature more than once a day (committed TTCer).

You refuse to finish decorating that 3rd bedroom in your new house, because you can't stand the thought of getting it just the way you want it only to have to tear it apart next month in order to make room for the nursery you'll be needing.

You put off buying any fall/winter clothes, because you hope they won't fit by the time the weather gets cooler.

You clip coupons for OPKs and HPTs.

Your doctor says, "Now take these home and inject this needle into your stomach every day" and you don't even flinch.

You spend more on OPKs, HPTs, and fertility supplements than you do on clothes.

The thought of nausea makes your heart skip a beat!

You make a mental note of what day of your cycle it is before you say "ok" to a drink.

You get sick but make sure you can take the medicine in case you are pregnant...and would rather stay sick if you can't take the medicine.

You finally look forward to mornings! Another opportunity to take and record your temp!

You refer (and think) of your husband, not as his real name, but as the letters "DH" in real life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Not to Say...

I am reblogging this from http://lossotomayors.blogspot.com/.  I have seen this list before, but it is definitely still applicable.  And although I don't necessarily feel that all of these statements apply to me, it is a good list and I would like to pass it along -- in the hopes that it might help someone who knows someone suffering from a loss, or someone who may be suffering themselves.

What We Wish You Knew About Pregnancy Loss:  
A letter from women to their friends and family 
by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer 

I assert no copyright for the material. Please use it as you see fit to help women who have endured this terrible grief. Thank you.

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them.   The lists tend to be remarkably similar.  The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.

This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss.  While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss. 

When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners:  don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children.  No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope. 

  • Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it."  I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her. 
  • Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?"  It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken.  I wish it had never happened.  But it did and it's a part of me forever.  The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine -- or yours. 
  • Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you."  I didn't want her to be my angel.  I wanted her to bury me in my old age. 
  • Don't say, "I understand how you feel."  Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel.  And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently. 
  • Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse.  The last thing I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby.  These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair.  Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me. 
  • Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up.  If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared.  If I'm talking about it, it means I want to.  Let me.  Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone. 
  • Don't say, "It's not your fault."  It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed.  The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse.  This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it.  I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood.  I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine. 
  • Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway."  I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford.  I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant.  I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby.  Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die -- I never would have chosen for this to happen. 
  • Do say, "I am so sorry."  That's enough.  You don't need to be eloquent.  Say it and mean it and it will matter. 
  • Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you."  We both need to hear that. 
  • Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby."
  • Do send flowers or a kind note -- every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved.  Don't resent it if I don't respond.
  • Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call.  If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either.  Help me by not needing anything from me for a while. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wonderful news! (BFP - not mine - mentioned)

I was waiting to write this post until the new momma announced on TTCAL... And since she has, I can finally share her news!

My TTCAL Buddy, liveforhim, found out on Friday that she is expecting again!!!!

I am so, SO completely thrilled for her!  We both lost our first babies within a week of each other, and after "meeting" on the MC/PL board, we have become great friends over these past few months.  We talk nearly every day, and she has been there to encourage, comfort, and pray for me during some of the most difficult days of my life.  I truly do not know how I could have gotten through the experience of losing Baby M without her!

We have both been anxiously waiting until the day when we were both pregnant again.  I'm so excited it happened for her so quickly, and it gives me hope that I too will be expecting again soon.  :-)

Congrats again, my friend!!!!!!!!  I'm sending tons of prayers your way that this will be your take-home baby!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coming out

I told a new friend about me and DH's loss last night.  She was of course amazingly sympathetic and supportive, but I still felt a little weird telling her.

I don't know why, but I am always hesitant to mention Baby M to new people.  DH and I had only told two people -- friends of ours who are married to each other -- that we were even pregnant.  We hadn't even told our parents yet by the time we lost Baby M.  We struggled for a week or two, debating whether we should even tell our families.  They didn't even know we were trying for a baby (although I later found out my step-mother suspected I was pregnant all along... how she knows these things is beyond me!).  I knew that my parents, at least, would be thrilled to know they were about to become grandparents.  We weren't sure how DH's parents would react, and frankly, I was afraid of getting a less-than-supportive reaction in my already fragile mental state.  We did ultimately decide to tell them, and I am so glad we did.  Its like we were finally coming out with our terrible secret.  It was a relief for me to know that other people, people who would love Baby M as much as us, now knew about our baby and what we were going through.  In a weird way, it was also comforting to experience their sadness;  it was nice to know that DH and I are not the only ones mourning the loss of what would have been.

Since "coming out" to our parents, we have also told several other friends about Baby M.  Thankfully, everyone we have told has been supportive, and most have been amazingly compassionate and sincerely interested in hearing about Baby M and our experience.  For that, I am so, so thankful.  It has been so therapeutic for me to be able to discuss what happened.

But still, I never know how much I should tell people.  I know dead babies can be an uncomfortable topic for anyone, perhaps even more so for people who haven't experienced a loss.  Plus, I have spent countless hours reading, researching, and discussing what happened to us.  I am intimately familiar with the physical and psychological process of losing a pregnancy, and I am comfortable discussing our experience in graphic detail.   But I'm never sure how much of this information "other people" (i.e. people who have not experienced a loss) want to really hear about our experience.  I usually just say that I was pregnant, but we lost the baby, and then wait for the other person to ask questions before volunteering any other information.

So far, this approach seems to be working.  However, I find myself struggling with wanting to share every detail but also trying to hold back, for fear of saying too much and scaring the other person away.  I hope that eventually I will be able to find a good balance.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"For This Child I Have Prayed"

I found this wall plaque at my local Hobby Lobby this past weekend.  I absolutely love it.  I couldn't resist buying it for our future baby's nursery.  :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Allow myself to introduce... myself

After reading some of the wonderfully inspiring blogs of my fellow TTCALers, I thought I might give this blog thing a go.  Not because I think my story is a particularly inspiring one, but mostly just to have a place to air my thoughts and to share my experiences with others going to through the same thing.

So, here we are.  If you read my "about me", you know I'm a twenty-something married to the best DH ever.  No, really, he truly is the most wonderful person I know.  I don't know how I could have ever gotten through the horrible experience of losing Baby M without him.  He is truly my rock, and I thank God every day that I have him in my life.  

Even before we were married, DH and I were so excited to start our family.  Naturally, we assumed we would get pregnant right away and live happily ever after with however many children we were blessed with.  We started trying for a baby in January 2010.  We were thrilled to discover we were expecting Baby M in May 2010, after five months of trying.  I actually got my first BFP on Mother's Day.  We were ecstatic, to say the least!

I called and made my first doctor's appointment right away.  Because I have longer-than-average cycles, I told my doctor I was a week behind the date his nurse had assigned me using her stupid little "pregnancy wheel".  My doctor ordered an ultrasound to confirm, and of course Baby M measured to the day according to my calculations.  I was only 5 weeks 1 day, so my doctor ordered another ultrasound for two weeks later to check our baby's heartbeat.  

DH and I anxiously awaited our second ultrasound.  I was so very, very excited until Ultrasound Day rolled around.  I even told DH that I was feeling a bit nervous as we walked into the clinic.  Of course, I had no clue that we would actually get bad news.  I will never forget the feeling of my heart dropping when the ultrasound tech told us she couldn't find a heartbeat.  I don't think anything could have ever prepared me for the announcement that our baby was dead.  Baby M had passed a week before, and I was none the wiser.  I was still experiencing minor nausea, my boobs were still swollen, and my bloat was still out of this world.  I hadn't even had any spotting or any other inclination that anything was wrong.  

I remember going home from the ultrasound that afternoon feeling numb.  I couldn't believe our baby was already gone.  The baby we had waited for and wanted so badly.  The baby we had only just begun to know.  I loved Baby M from the moment I knew of his or her existence, and now he/she was gone.  

I decided I didn't want a D&C unless absolutely medically necessary.  I opted to wait for a few days to see if my body would catch up and "take care of things" on its own.  It didn't.  On June 7, 2010, I opted to take misoprostol to induce a miscarriage, in the hopes of avoiding surgery.  Thankfully (if you can even say that word regarding pregnancy loss), the misoprostol worked.  I passed Baby M at home, with DH by my side.  

Losing Baby M was by far the hardest thing I've ever gone through.  During this experience, a good friend of mine comforted me by telling me that all Baby M knew was love;  he or she never had to suffer here in the world.  I have carried that message with me, and it continues to bring me peace.  I know that Baby M is in heaven with God, looking down on me and DH.  And I know that one day, DH and I will finally be reunited with our first miracle.  

Love you Baby M.  <3