Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Rob and I hosted a little Halloween get together tonight, and had such a good time. After living in Alabama for about a year and a half now, it's taken some time for us to find a group of friends. We both have wonderful co-workers, but neither of us tend to hang out with any of them outside of work.

Over the summer, we became friends with a girl who lives in our neighborhood-- we bought a new grill and we posted on our neighborhood board that we were giving away our old one. She responded. The day she came to pick it up, we got into a conversation about trivia and she invited us to come to a weekly trivia game with her. A few weeks later, we went and met some really great people. We've been going every Tuesday night ever since, but have never gotten together on any other night.

So, we invited everyone over for some chili, beer, games and scary movies. We never made it to the scary movie part, but we had a hell of a time eating, drinking & playing Scattergories. It was nice to have the house full of friends.

Plus, in a true Halloween tradition, it gave me an excuse to make my favorite creepy cupcakes:

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wishful Thinking

I'm choosing to be optimistic today about our path and where we're headed.

I'm doing my best to convince myself that after my appointment in December, we'll be on the right track, I'll ovulate, and within a few cycles I'll be pregnant. I reward myself for my optimism by shopping online for baby items. (You know, for the baby we don't have yet...)

Behold, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30 car seat:

I started drooling over this car seat almost two years ago when I first saw it-- long before I was trying to get pregnant. I love green and have every intention of painting our nursery apple green no matter what the sex of our child turns out to be. I feel like it's perfect-- accent with pink for a girl or blue for a boy. When I saw this Green Bubble pattern, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. I bookmarked it in my mind.

Fast forward approximately two years later-- now we're trying to have a baby and will (hopefully!) have a need for one soon. To my disappointment, they discontinued the Green Bubbles fabric after 2008. So, I've been searching online to try to find one.

Here's the thing-- I have no qualms about buying a used car seat as long as a) It's never been in an accident b) It's in good shape & c) It's within the time frame of the safety expiration date for the particular brand.

Enter the problem: Peg Perego's safety constraints are very strict. It's considered the safest car seat on the market-- one of the reasons I want one. They only certify their car seats for 5 years, saying that over time, the plastic can break down so it would be more likely to snap in an accident. Because of the short life of these car seats, if I'm going to get one, it really needs to be a 2008 model-- that way it would be safe through 2013. I need that buffer, just in case it takes us some additional time to get pregnant.

So, friends, if anyone sees one, on ebay or craigslist or in a store, will you let me know?

BTW, Here's the matching stroller, the PlikoP3:

No trouble finding these on ebay & craigslist, and I don't think they have an expiration date. So for now, I'm just on a mission to buy future baby's car seat.It would make more sense to wait until I'm pregnant to buy one, I know, but I fear that it may be long gone by then. Who knows? Maybe we'll end up needing it sooner than I think...

Wishful Thinking.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Always look on the bright side...

In the spirit of positivity, let me just say, "YAY! My doctor called with the results from my last round of bloodwork today!!" I would like to point out that last time, it took a week. Here we are, 3 days later and they have already called. Go, efficiency.

So here's the deal: I was told that all bloodwork looked normal. This time I asked for the specific numbers the first time, so I wouldn't drive myself crazy wondering, then have to call back. (The one thing I didn't ask were the incriments of measurement. Oh well.)

TSH = 3.397
T3= 29
T4= 8.9
P4 = 0.79

How my TSH went from 5.51 down to 3.397 in two weeks, I don't quite understand. When I mentioned it to the nurse she said that perhaps the first lab made an error. If that's the case, then couldn't the second lab have made an error? While I'm happy to see that the levels detected this time are much closer to normal, I'm not so sure I can let this rest. I haven't decided what to do yet, but I may ask them to retest the next time I go to the office. I'm still considering a trip to the endocrinologist.

As for my progesterone results, yep, that 0.79 is an indication that I didn't ovulate-- shocking, I know. (Levels should be around 10.0 if ovulation did occur.)

So, what does this mean? Well, the nurse told me that I need to chart one additional cycle. They'd like me to come in on CD21 again next cycle for another round of progesterone bloodwork (if I do end up ovulating late in my cycle, I'll certainly give them the heads up), then come in on Dec 1st for my yearly pap smear.

I was told that at this appointment we'd talk again and that the plan was to start Clomid. The nurse also gave me the heads up that they might be referring me to a fertility specialist.

How do I feel about this, you ask?

Well, I'm happy that the bloodtests are showing what I already knew-- I'm not ovulating and now this isn't in question. What I'm not happy about, is that no one seems to want to look into this any further to figure out why. Part of me is thrilled to know that there's a plan and that Clomid just may be the thing to help me ovulate. The other part of me wonders why we're not doing additional testing before starting fertility meds. I haven't had any ultrasounds to look at my ovaries or an HSG. Rob hasn't had an SA done. It seems to me that we would want these tests done first to rule out any other potential issues before pumping me full of these powerful drugs.

Rob and I talked about all of this today, and he would also like to get to the bottom of the issue of why I'm not ovulating, but he's comfortable starting the Clomid in Dec (might be Jan, depending on where I am in my cycle at the time of the appointment) if we decide to hold off on any further testing for now. The problem is that our insurance doesn't cover anything "infertility" related, so I have a feeling that I might have some long conversations with Blue Cross/Blue Shield in my future regarding billing codes, what tests are covered and what's not. The Clomid prescription shouldn't cost us much (except maybe time) but these tests could get very expensive if they are all out of pocket.

Instead of worrying about all that I don't know right now, I'm going to try to use this next month to make a list of all of the questions that I have about tests I feel are necessary so that I'll be very prepared for the conversation with my doctor. If anyone has any insight about what to include on that list, I'd love some feedback!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've made a few decisions today, regarding how I want to continue TTC from here.

1) I quit using the CBEFM today-- not forever, just for this cycle. Since it's become pretty apparent that I'm not ovulating, I feel like every time I pee, I'm throwing away money. At $1 per test stick, it's just not worth it-- I'll save them for a cycle where there's a chance it will matter. Before you optimists tell me not to give up hope, I will finish the box of cheap opks that I have. They have to be used within 30 days of opening them, so I'm not going to waste them. (I've used 15 CBEFM test sticks this month, so I'm simply stopping 5 days early. It will give up on me in another 5 days anyway-- the machine will not let you test for more than 20 days. How's that for optimism?)

2) If my ob/gyn returns my test results next week and offers a plan that is anything less than aggressive, I'll will try to make an appointment with an endocrinologist for a second opinion. As nice as my ob/gyn is, this isn't her specialty, and I want the best care possible. I've been slightly unnerved since last week when I was told that my TSH was at the high end of normal. After lots of reading, I've found that plenty of labs still consider a range of 0.5-5.5 "normal"-- however, these labs are quite behind in offering aggressive treatment for their patients. I'm not advocating taking meds that aren't necessary, but I feel like these elevated levels are directly related to why I'm not pregnant yet. I'm always exhausted, I'm always cold, I've gained weight, my body temps are low and I'm not ovulating. I wrote so much of this off as depression-- but now I'm quite certain that there's another issue that needs to be addressed.

The phrase that I keep running into over & over again on website after website is this: "Some endocrinologists believe that a woman with suspected thyroid disease may have difficulty getting pregnant and/or maintaining a pregnancy at a TSH higher than 2.0." 5.51 is where mine was last week. We've been trying so desperately to get pregnant for almost 8 months now, but is it really a blessing that we haven't had any success? I can certainly say that I would rather feel the frustration and sadness of not getting pregnant, than the emptiness and devastation of losing a baby.

3) I'm going to make it a point to enjoy this time with my husband. So much of our time together the past few months has been plagued by my worries, tears, fears & frustration. In fact, I started worrying about the problems we were going to have the month we started trying to get pregnant. I'm not saying that I'll be able to live worry-free in regards to trying to have a baby. I can't. But I'm going to try to celebrate our progress more and focus on our stagnancy less. I'm lucky that we are going forward with testing now, instead of waiting another four months until we hit the year mark. Instead of being irritated that I have to wait a week for my test results, I'm going to try to focus on the fact that my doctor is doing more tests to help pinpoint what is wrong, how to fix it and find the best way to help us conceive our baby.

I'm going to try remember that this freedom that we have to enjoy each other's company will one day be overshadowed by the needs of a little one: lazy Sundays in bed, trivia on Tuesdays, and dinner date nights will be hard to come by... and while I have no doubt that everything that we'll give up will be worth it, I know that I should savor these things while I can.

I have a feeling that we still have a bumpy road ahead...but I've made the decision to do my best to enjoy the ride.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Testing..1, 2, 3

I made a trip to the doctor today for my thyroid/progesterone bloodwork. Now I'll wait a week for my results. I'm sick of this back-and-forth already.

I can't imagine the frustration that women who go through fertility treatments deal with... the drugs and the constant monitoring, bloodwork, ultrasounds. I'm hoping I don't have to find out about this annoyance first hand. My doctor's office is difficult to get to. I park in a garage, then take an elevator to a main lobby. I then switch elevators and go to the second floor. On the second floor, I take a cross walk into a different tower, where I hop on a third elevator and head up to the 5th floor. The bloodwork took less than 10 minutes. The navigating in and out took almost 30. Ridiculous.

But, if this is what we must do to get our baby, then this is what we'll do. Today's bloodwork will retest TSH levels along with T3 & T4. Additionally, they will (needlessly) check my progesterone levels for a sign that my eggs have decided to jump ship from my lazy ovaries this month-- For your viewing pleasure, here is my chart as of today:

Do you see any indication on that chart that I've ovulated, much less that it occurred 7 days ago? Yeah, I thought not. CD16 I got my hopes up. Nope. Cd20 I really got my hopes up. You see how that went. OPKs are getting lighter every day, so I think Sat was the closest I'll get to a positive. (I even marked it as postive on my chart becaused I needed the self esteem boost.) I feel like giving the doctor's office another lesson in the correct timing of a P4 test. I made them a copy of my charts this morning and asked them to put it in my file. I even pointed it out to the nurse, "See? I haven't ovulated yet."

As much as I hoped having a baby would be easy for us, I had a nagging feeling that it wouldn't. What I didn't count on was that I would practically earn a medical degree trying to get knocked up...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You be the judge...

Are these positive??

I've never gotten a positive OPK, so I'm not sure. These are definitely the darkest lines I've ever gotten, so that's good news in itself, even if they aren't positive. Crappy temps this morning, but these made my night!

Update, 11PM: Took a digital OPK. Negative. I'm still encouraged by how dark those lines are, though... Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, October 23, 2009


When I got home from work today, I used an OPK. I've been in the habit of using the CBEFM in the morning and a cheap OPK in the afternoon so I don't miss my surge, should it ever happen. Rob came home and we decided to go to a movie, so we left quickly and I walked out of the house without looking at it.

After our movie, we came home and I saw this:

It's not positive, but I got so excited about how dark the line was-- I stupidly got my hopes up again. Then (::slap forehead::) I realized that it couldn't possibly be accurate after several hours(could it?), so I decided to take another one. This is what I saw:

Fooled again, by a stupid pee stick.

Job Opportunity

Job Position:
Parent: Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
(Rob will send in his resume for the position of Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop.)

Job Description:
  • Long term, team players needed for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
  • Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Must be willing to work variable hours which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
  • Some overnight travel required (including trips to primitive camp sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities).
  • Travel Expenses not reimbursed.
  • Extensive courier duties also required.
  • Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily until someone needs $5.
  • Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
  • Must possess physical stamina of a pack mule and go from 0 to 60mph in 3 seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not just someone crying wolf.
  • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
  • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
  • Must have the ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
  • Must be willing to be indispensable one minute and a total embarrassment the next.
  • Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • Must assume final complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Possibility of Advancement & Promotion:
None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

Previous Experience:
None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Wages & Compensation:
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

While no health insurance or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth growth, unconditional love and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

** Footnote**
There is no retirement-- EVER.

It's funny, even when you put it like that... It's a job I'd take in a heartbeat.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fertility Friend is No Friend of Mine

The past 4 days Fertility Friend has estimated that, based on CM and CP, that I was "Probably Fertile." "This is it!" I thought. "I'm going to ovulate!"

This morning, when I entered my temps and stats, it stated that I was "Possibly Fertile." No change in CM or CP, but my temp dropped 0.2 degrees today. I was so sure, after my temp rise yesterday, that I would see another rise today and I would be one temp away from those glorious crosshairs on my chart that indicate that I ovulated, negative OPK be damned!

But no, one temp drop was all it took and FF has moved on. Given up on me. Even a computer program is now doubting my ability to ovulate this cyle. FML.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little Bit More

I talked to my doctor again today and was able to get the specifics on my bloodwork results. The good news is, I feel better knowing the details about what they found. The bad news is that they didn't test some of the things that I thought they did... Here's what I know:

Prolactin = 13.82 (Anything under 24 is considered normal.)
Testosterone = 4.3 (Not sure if this is free or total, but was told this was normal.)
FSH = 5.07 (Normal ranges from 3-20)

and my thyroid results:
TSH= 5.51

According to Dr. C's assistant, their lab considers anything from 0.5-5.5 normal, so this is why she said I was at the top of the normal range. However, Dr. Google has informed me that this range is quite outdated. In 2002, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) announced a narrower range of what is considered normal: 0.3-3.0. By those standards 5.51 is well out of the normal range.

When I questioned what my LH was, I was told that they didn't check it. Not sure why, but I guess they felt it wasn't necessary, so I can't compare this with my FSH. Shit.

So, the plan is still the same: to redo the thyroid bloodwork next week and send to a different lab to analyze, including TSH, T4 and T3.

Here's the thing I'm still frustrated with: They want me to come in on Monday so they can do both the thyroid bloodwork and the progesterone test. To make sure there was no confusion, I stressed again that Monday is CD21 for me and I HAVE NOT OVULATED YET. Sure it's possible that I might ovulate before then, but I certainly won't be 7dpo, so I won't have had my spike yet. So, the results will come back with a very low number, and I'll get a call telling me that according to my progesterone, I didn't ovulate. ::sigh:: I KNOW.

I'm just going to have to wait it out and see what the next round brings-- hopefully once I get through these tests, we'll make a new plan that I can feel good about.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I finally heard back from the doctor this afternoon. Her assistant called to let me know that the blood results came back normal except for my thyroid, which was on the highest of the normal range. She wants to do another thyroid panel and send it to a different lab when I come in for my CD21 progesterone bloodwork.

Only it won't be CD21 for me, because it's supposed to be done at 7dpo and I didn't ovulate today... Who knows when that will happen? My CP and CM both suggest I'm fertile now, yet the monitor is still reading low, my OPK was negative and I haven't had a temp shift.

Now I'm left with so many questions about the results that I wish I had asked-- I'd like to know my specific levels for FSH and LH. Yes, they were "normal" but what was the ratio? Were they about equal? Was my LH higher than my FSH?

I'd like to know what my TSH levels were-- have they effected my Free Testosterone levels at all? I've heard that .4-4 is normal. (WebMD) What was mine?

I'll call tomorrow and ask for the specifics.

I feel so conflicted about the results. One one hand, I feel relieved that there wasn't anything that stood out as being a serious problem. On the other hand, I feel like I'm back at square one with no plan. I'll have to wait at least another week or two to see if I ovulate, then get the progesterone bloodwork done, the thyroid bloodwork redone, then wait another week or so for the results again...

For now, that's it. No meds, no plan, no progress. I burst into tears in the car on my way home tonight... I had hoped that today would provide me with some answers. Instead, all it provoked was more questions.


For several months, I've been following Colleen's journey over at Park Slope Purgatory. She's a wonderful writer and I immediately felt a connection to her because we're the same age, we started trying to get pregnant the same month, and as I read her posts I found that she was so often feeling exactly what I was feeling-- Worried. Frustrated. Disappointed.

Colleen had a good feeling about this cycle-- her posts the past few days have been adorably hopeful, sweet and anxious. As I read her post yesterday about her plan to test this morning, I found myself wishing with all my might, that this might be it for her. I was so nervous this morning as I typed in her blog address-- preparing myself to come up with words of encouragement if her test was negative. But...


I couldn't be happier for her-- after knowing how disheartened she's been the past few months, I know what this must feel like for her... because I know how I would feel if it were me. When a woman who has been trying for a while gets pregnant, there is a joy, a victory that I feel for her... Like she beat the biological clock! Colleen was already prepared to start testing with her ob/gyn in the next few months to figure out why she hadn't gotten pregnant yet. Now, she'll be making trips to the doctor for an entirely different reason.

Colleen, I can't thank you enough for your support the past few months. I'm so thrilled for you and can't wait to follow your new adventures! Congrats!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CD13 Chart Update

Boring. I know.

The best news about this cycle so far is that my CBEFM had me start testing later & has given me 6 days of Low readings from CD8-CD13-- It's the exact opposite of last cycle, which was full of High readings. Sure, I'd like for it to give me a High reading (better yet, a PEAK!) but I don't want it to lie to me and I'm pretty certain that I'm not going to ovulate within the next few days. (It is possible to go from Low to Peak with no High, but my guess is that I'm still a good week away from ovulating, if I ovulate at all this cycle.)

After my appointment last week, I've stopped using the saliva OPK-- my ob/gyn says that it's just not reliable, which was extremely unfortunate to hear, as we spent nearly 5 months using that as our only indication of when/if I was ovulating. Evidently the estrogen surges that create the ferning pattern can happen at times other than ovulation-- it's best to use an OPK that measures your LH surge. So now, I'm temping and using the CBEFM as well as tracking CM & CP. That should be more than enough.

More than enough to confirm if/when I'm ovulating, I mean. It may not be enough to get me pregnant.

I'm not sure what that's going to take.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Waiting Game

So much of the process of making a baby is waiting... I waited to meet the right man, waited to get married, waited to buy our first home, waited until we were "ready."

Each month, for seven months, we've waited for my body to ovulate, then waited for two weeks to find out if we succeeded or failed.

When I realized that things didn't seem to be quite right, I made an appointment with my ob/gyn, then waited for the day to come. On Monday, I got my bloodwork done. Today, I'm waiting for the results.

I hate to be that patient, but I called the nurse this morning to see if the results had come back. After all, the office closes early on Fridays, and I didn't want to wait all weekend if the results were sitting on someone's desk and they just hadn't gotten around to calling me. I'm anxious to see if anything came back abnormal. My doctor's assistant was really sweet and let me know that they hadn't come back yet, but that I should hear something by Tuesday at the latest. She said that most likely, the information will come to Dr. C on Monday morning, and that she'll sign off on the results that day, then someone will call me.

So, now, there's nothing left to do but wait. Again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

While Rob and I are still struggling to get pregnant and have never lost a baby, our families and friends have been touched by loss. Rob had a baby brother (Billy) who passed away when he was several weeks old and it's important to remember those who grieve for their lost little ones.

Below are some pictures taken by an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. The pictures are quite a beautiful way to honor the short lives of these loved babies.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blair's Heir

If you don't read this hilarious blog, about marriage, pregnancy and now babies, check it out-- it's one of my favorites.
Happy Birthday Harrison & Congrats to Blair and Nate!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little Light Reading

If you are interested:

PCOS (in a nutshell)
This will explain what PCOS is & how to treat it.

NYTimes article about Fertility Treatments & Consequences
Rob sent me this one this morning-- we've had some discussions recently about fertility drugs, multiples, selective reduction and what we would do if we were in that situation. While I'm confident that he and I could make a choice that's best for our family, it's murky water that I hope we never have to swim in.

In other news, I think that my ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor is starting to "learn" me. Last cycle it asked me to start testing on CD6-- this cycle it didn't ask for a test until CD8. Since I didn't ovulate last cycle, I think it realized that there was no way I was going to ovulate anywhere near CD6... (Fingers crossed I ovulate at all!) Also, my test this morning registered "Low"-- this time last cycle, I had already received three "High" readings. It seems to be learning what is high for me. Maybe I'll even get a peak this cycle!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Half Full

It's not often that I feel it (even less often that I say it) but today, I feel hopeful.

My appointment this morning did not get off to a great start. I sat in the waiting room for forever watching adorable moms-to-be breeze in and out of the office because my doctor was on call and was running very late. I overheard a receptionist tell her co-worker, "Well, I'm going to get pregnant next March. I mean, I just can't get pregnant in January!" I wanted to hit her over the head with a waiting room copy of "Cookie" magazine. And when I finally made my way back to the exam rooms, my nurse seemed confused as to why I was there. I was lead to my ob/gyn's office and was left to wait. Again. An hour and a half after my scheduled appointment time, my doctor finally came in and sat down to talk to me.

It was worth the wait.

We started discussing my cycles and she looked over my charts--looking at my temps, my OPKs, our timing. She started noticing that my cycles have been quite long, that it doesn't appear that I've ovulated every cycle and that when I have, it's been fairly late. This is when I brought up my concern about PCOS-- as we discussed some of the symptoms, she seemed to think that this could be a likely culprit for why I'm not pregnant yet.

She said, "There is absolutely no reason to wait a year when you suspect something might be wrong and the length of your cycles suggests that something is off. We can wait it out and see what your body does on its own or be aggressive about it." I explained that while I'm 29, Rob is 40 and we want more than one child. We don't want to wait any longer than we have to. She completely understood. So, we discussed the next steps.

Step 1: Bloodwork. Today I had 5 vials of blood taken for testing. Even though it's CD7 (not CD3), she was confident that this bloodwork would tell her enough about what's going on. She will check my FSH, LH, Testosterone, Glucose, etc. She would also like me to come back for a Progesterone (P4) bloodtest approximately 7 dpo if I ovulate on my own this cycle. I'll continue charting to see if I have a temp shift.

Step 2: If the bloodwork comes back as she expects it to (I should get the results in a week), we're going to start with Metformin, hoping that it might cause me to ovulate regularly, and get pregnant.

Step 3: If we don't have any luck with the Metformin, after 2-3 cycles, we'll move on to Clomid (possibly taking both meds together).

I feel relieved and I feel validated-- it wasn't all in my anxiety-ridden non-pregnant head that something might be wrong. And being given this news-- it's almost like a reset button has been pushed. Today, I feel like we're starting over. Is that weird?

Instead of lamenting that we've been trying for 7 months with no results, I feel like this next cycle has the potential to be a fresh start. Yes, we were trying before, but we weren't trying with my body doing what it was supposed to have been doing all along. It's a new chance-- a better chance & maybe it'll happen for us.

Today the glass is half-full. And that feels pretty damn good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Third Time's a Charm

Couldn't resist posting a pic of the first productive thing I've done in 4 days-- I finally finished a gift for my friend Emily to give to our friend Whit, who just had a baby girl named Bailey.

I made her two monogrammed burp cloths and a pair of reversible monogrammed baby shoes.

Hope she likes them!

Beginners Luck!

The Biggest Congratulations to my BFPB Amanda,who got her BFP this morning on her first "real" cycle!!

Amanda & Greg, we are so happy for you both and so excited!! We can't to hear all about your new adventures. Sprinkle some of that lucky baby dust on us!

Much love to you!!

Science Experiment

When we first started trying to get pregnant, I bought an Ovulite Saliva Ovulation Test-- I was intrigued by it because it's reusable and didn't require peeing on something every single morning.

It's the size of a tube of lipstick and it has a tiny slide that you put a drop of saliva on, let it dry, then look at it through the lens in the tube. There's a small green light that illuminates the slide and the shift of hormones during your cycle changes the pattern of your saliva.

Weird, I know. Really, what happens is that a surge of estrogen increases the sodium in your spit. So, early in your cycle (when estrogen is low), your saliva looks like a bunch of little bubbles. When you get close to ovulating and your estrogen levels increase, the increased sodium makes your dried saliva crystallize, which looks like frost on glass (or ferning) under the microscope.

I start testing right after my period ends and when I get a full ferning pattern, I usually follow up with a urine OPK to attempt to confirm I'm ovulating. The Ovulite monitors estrogen, while a traditional OPK tests for an LH surge. (Yes, all of this in addition to the fertility monitor and taking my temps each morning. Hey, I'm nothing if not thorough.)

I'm still spotting a bit from this last anovulatory cycle, but I decided to go ahead and start testing this morning. WTF-- a full ferning pattern!!? It's only CD5! I've never gotten a full ferning pattern before CD16-- there's no way I was ovulating this early. I did a urine OPK just to check and, of course, it was negative.

Anyway, out of a slight fascination with the biology of my body, I tried to document what the slides look like and the pictures turned out pretty cool!

I'm not sure if my hormones are messed up because I'm sick-- perhaps it's something to do with my prescriptions. Who knows? Add it to my list of questions to ask the doctor on Monday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still sick.

After a trip to the doctor, complete with chest xrays and bloodwork, I found out that an upper respiratory infection is the cause of my misery. I'm so thankful that it's not the flu-- this should be easier to recover from. I got a steroid shot at the doctor, went to pick up $120 worth of prescriptions (oh. my. god.) and now I'm back home in the bed, nursing a mug full of chai tea. I'm hoping that the steroids will give me a boost of energy this afternoon and that I might be able to get some work done-- if not today, then tomorrow. Two days out of the office is going to kill me and I haven't felt well enough to even work from home. I don't want to be behind.

But for now, until I feel a little better, I rest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm sick.

I've had a tickle in my throat since the beginning of the week & yesterday, I developed a cough that I couldn't ignore. I came home from work a few hours early to try to rest a little & I thought it was just allergies until I developed a fever last night...

Since then, I've felt achy, tired, with a sore throat, cough, runny nose and headache. I have no appetite and I alternate between being freezing and roasting. I must have come down with some little bug.
My fever has hovered around 99.8 degrees which doesn't sound too bad-- But my body temp is , on average, a little over 97 degrees (not a typical 98.6) so this is more of a fever for me than some people-- similar to 101.4...
Hopefully I'll start feeling better tomorrow.
::weak smile::

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Thank God. After a 58 day anovulatory cycle with progesterone and two days of spotting, I finally got my period this afternoon. Never have I been so excited to move on to the next cycle. This cycle has felt "over" for weeks.

With my upcoming ob/gyn appointment, I wondered if she might order CD3 bloodwork, as I'm concerned about PCOS. If she ordered this at the appointment on Monday, I realized that if next cycle goes like this one did, I may not be back to CD3 for months... I called the office and expressed this concern to my nurse who promised that they wouldn't let me go almost 60 days without a period again-- they'd put me on progesterone much earlier next cycle, if needed. Also, there's some baseline bloodwork that can still be done on CD7. She said, "Go ahead and come in on Monday and bring all of your charts and any data you've collected and we'll make a plan at your infertility workup."

"Your infertility workup."


The words hit me like a slap in the face.

Yes, I'm happy to be moving forward with this appointment. Yes, I'm eager to find out if there's something preventing us from getting pregnant or whether it's just been bad luck. Yes, I think that PCOS is a real possibility. No, I'm not ready to think of myself as infertile.

No one called me infertile. I get that. But it's the first time that word has been used in reference to a possibility about us and it scares me. It really scares me. I'm feeling the weight of the reality of this appointment now-- we're past the halfway mark in what's considered a "normal" time to conceive and we know that my body isn't cooperating. While some might be able to see the glass as half full and realize that we have 5 more months of trying before we're officially branded with the label of infertility (unless these test results find something sooner), 7 months of disappointment are heavy on my heart and I feel discouraged. What I believed would be a beautiful journey into parenthood has turned into a stressful struggle.

And I'm scared.

Swimmy, Splashy, Spotty

Heather Ross' Goldfish fabric is one of my absolute favorite fabrics, but I rarely use it in my projects because it's been discontinued, I only have a little left, and I want to save it for a special project. The few times I have used it, I've been very careful to save any scraps I could-- last night I was looking in my scrap bucket and I had an idea to make some onesies with some stray pieces of "Goldfish in Bags." I love how they turned out!

As for Spotty, that's not a Goldfish-- it's my new nickname. Since my body loves to tease me, I started spotting two days ago, but have still not gotten my period. Tomorrow will be 60 days--at least I have some fun projects to distract myself...

Monday, October 5, 2009


Rob and I didn't save the top layer of our wedding cake last year-- we were traveling for our honeymoon right after the wedding and didn't have a way to save it. So, for our anniversary, I thought I'd have a mini version of our cake made to celebrate. Here's a pic of our "real" cake:

I had been in contact with a bakery here about trying to recreate this and they were going to charge too much money to do it, so I went to Publix. I took the picture in to show them and the woman assured me that they could recreate the cake with no problem.

This is what I got when I picked it up yesterday:

And this is what it looked like by the time we got around to eating it, after dinner:

Ummm, this didn't quite turn out like I had hoped it would...after a l-o-n-g conversation with the bakery manager, I walked out with a significant discount. I made it to the car before I started crying. This was the only thing I did for our anniversary, and it turned out hideous.

We still ate it-- and laughed about it while we drank our champagne.
This morning, I can see that the cake is perfectly good.
It's just a little wonky.
Kind of like us.

Sunday, October 4, 2009