Thursday, December 31, 2009

I said, "Yes!"

I've always hated New Year's Eve.

There's so much pressure to do something big, something expensive & when I was single, the pressure to have a date was worse than Valentine's Day. Every year I would stress about whose party to go to, what bar to be seen at, what I would wear. And as much thought as I put into the evening, you would think I always had a great time... but really, I didn't.

New Year's Eve 2006 was the first that I had ever spent alone and there was something incredibly empowering about it. I had just closed on my first house & New Year's Eve was Moving Day. I was exhausted by the packing/moving/unpacking/etc. and I just really wasn't up to making the effort. So, I didn't. I spent the evening on my brand new couch in my brand new house with my trusty old dog. The pizza delivery guy flirted with me when he delivered my dinner. I put on my pajamas and was in bed hours before midnight. It was the best New Year's Eve I'd ever had, up to that point.

A week later, I met the man who would become my husband. Everyone said that when I bought the house on my own, I would meet the man I would marry. They were right.

Nearly twelve months after we met, we planned a trip Asheville to wind down after the holidays. We planned a really nice dinner for New Year's Eve 2007 and as we were walking into the restaurant, Rob wanted to take my picture. I obliged:

We walked in, sat down and ordered a bottle of wine. The next thing I knew, a waiter came around the corner with a large bouquet of red roses and gave them to me, then walked away. Blushing & flustered, I opened the card-- it said, "I love you. Rob." I looked at him and said something like, "Awww, thank you, honey! You didn't have to do that!"

He looked at me and said, "You're welcome. I'm getting ready to do something else."

::my heart stopped::

Everything was a complete blur as he got down on his knee and said something beautiful about wanting to get married, wanting me to be his wife, wanting to have children together. (He had to repeat it all later-- I think I was just in shock.) He told me he loved me and then said, "Will you marry me?"

I said, "Yes!"

We hugged, kissed, cried and then he said, "Would you like to see your ring?" (He had set it on the edge of the table when he got down on one knee.) He opened the box...

He slid it on my finger...

(It looks so lonely now without my wedding band!)

I couldn't stop staring. Rob knew the style of ring that I wanted-- we had talked in the months before about it being important to me to have a ring similar to my mom's. My mom and I have the same birthday & our birth stone is a sapphire. My mom's ring is platinum with a princess cut diamond and sapphire baguettes. This ring is a perfect compliment and I was so overwhelmed I could barely speak.

I remember being so stunned and speechless that I didn't eat a single bite of the amazing dinner we ordered. I just couldn't believe this had happened. His proposal didn't come out of nowhere-- we had talked about getting married and he had asked me about rings, but I still just couldn't believe that the moment I had dreamed of forever was finally here.

(Photo from Stephanie Wallace Photopgraphy)

After dinner, we had planned to do a candlight tour of The Biltmore Estate. The only thing I remember about that beautifully decorated house was staring at my left hand in every single room. The lights on all of the Christmas trees made my ring sparkle. I was mesmorized.

Needless to say, 2007 quickly replaced 2006 as my best New Year's Eve ever.

Last year, we went out for a romantic dinner on New Year's Eve, but came home early-- we had a very early flight to New England on New Year's Day to visit Rob's family. This year, we had hoped to take a trip back to Asheville to celebrate the two year anniversary of our engagement, but it didn't work out. Now, with all of the house drama going on, I don't really feel like spending a lot of money. In fact, we'll probably just stay in, cook dinner and have a nice bottle of wine while we watch the ball drop. I'm fine with that. I don't want to go out-- I'm starting to think I like staying home even more.

It may not be fancy, but on the eve of 2010, Rob has challenged me to a Guitar Hero Battle.

I said, "Yes!"

(Rob and I, in the exact spot where we got engaged-- 10 months later on our honeymoon.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Definitely O'd.
I didn't have any fertile signs, but that temp shift is pretty clear.

It's easy to be disappointed that our timing wasn't perfect (like last cycle), but I'm trying not to dwell on that. There have been plenty of cycles where our timing was perfect and it didn't happen for us. So, who's to say that we might not get lucky when we least expect it?

I'm not going to visit Dr. RE for the progesterone shot unless I haven't gotten my period by CD43-- there doesn't seem to be much point. My typical LP seems to be about 15 days so I think that getting the shot might actually delay my period instead if bringing it quicker.

I still believe that our real chance to get pregnant will come when I'm ovulating earlier-- So, I'll call Dr. RE when AF comes so that I'll know if I should start the next round of Clomid on CD2 like last cycle. (She's already phoned in the prescription for me.) I'd also like to get an ultrasound done on either CD2 or CD3 to ensure that my lining is ok and I'm free of cysts as we go into the next cycle. My doc does not do much monitoring on the first few cycles of Clomid, but is open to performing any monitoring I want. I think that it's important, especially when I know women who have developed cysts and thin lining after 50 mg of Clomid like Egg did.

In other news, I should have an update about our house tomorrow. We had someone come over yesterday to measure the moisture in the basement, the walls and floor around the bathroom. It's really bad-- as in, they will probably have to rip out the entire bathroom (the tub, toilet, sink, floor, walls) to repair all of the water damage. The insurance adjuster comes tomorrow between 9-11am to assess our situation. From there, we'll find out how much money we'll get from the insurance company to fix all of the problems. My worst fear is that we won't get enough money to fix everything that is damaged. The best case scenario I can think of, is that we'll have enough money to fix the damage to the walls and floor, be able to put down the new tile we want (tile will have to be replaced if they rip of the floor), possibly tile the wall inside the tub and replace the sink. We'll see...
I'll update when I know something tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Maybe, Maybe Not...

Temps were up again this morning-- FF thinks I ovulated & I'm starting to agree.

Still a bit hard to tell, though... We're having a hard time getting a comfortable temperature in our house & last night it was unbelievably hot in here (we seem to be either freezing or sweltering!). Could be the cause of the high temps the past few days. Temps were normal while we were at my parents house for the holidays, but have been high every morning we've been back home. So maybe it's the temps in the house?


Maybe I actually ovulated on Saturday.

Doesn't really matter, don't really care. Even if I did ovulate, our timing couldn't have been worse so there's practically zero chance I'm pregnant this cycle.

Here's the positive part-- If I did ovulate, it was on CD28. Dr. RE prefers that I ovulate no later than CD21 so that my eggs and lining are optimal, so I still need to be ovulating a little earlier, BUT CD28 is a HUGE improvement over my past few cycles which have been between CD40-45. It makes me hopeful that 100mg of Clomid might be enough to push me into an acceptable range. I'm just ready to move on to the next cycle & try again!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Paging Dr. Google

With Christmas behind us and a week of vacation ahead of me, I have plenty of time this week to lounge in bed with my computer, catching up on e-mails, blogs and message boards. Unfortunately, I am also left with ample time to research the cause of our barren-ness. Which brings me to my latest Google obsession:


I was reading the Infertility message board on The Bump last night and skimmed a few posts about it. It's not something that I've ever really thought about... But last night I started reading some sites and studies and I was kind of surprised at what I found:

1) There is a connection between IBS and Endo. See here.
2) There is a connection between Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and Endo. See here.
3) There is a connection between migraines and Endo. See here.

Why does this cause me to raise an eyebrow? I've been diagnosed with IBS, IC & migraines.
Could this be pure coincidence? Absolutely. But, could there be a connection? Sure.

We have already decided to go ahead and do the HSG next cycle, but now I'm wondering if I should be challenging Dr. RE to consider a laparoscopy (they can do the HSG at the same time) to rule out endo. I don't really know anything about endometriosis, other than I have some of the symptoms and conditions associated with it, but that certainly doesn't mean that I have it. It's not something that Dr. RE and I talked about at my first appointment. I know that a lap is much more invasive than an HSG, and I certainly would dread the surgery-- but it's something to discuss.

Here's a CD30 chart update:

I wish I could say that the temp rise was me ovulating (better late than never) but I think it's just us cranking up the heat on these cold nights. None of my other fertility signs are remotely, well, fertile. I'm going to call Dr. RE's office tomorrow to ask if I can come in on Friday for the progesterone shot. I've taken progesterone pills before but I've never had the shot before--Does anyone know if it brings AF faster than the pills?

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We love our home.

When we got married, we started talking about buying our first house-- My parents and I had bought a house together in Charleston, and Rob moved in a few months after we started dating, but I think that he always felt like it was "my" house instead of "our" house. When we moved to Birmingham, we rented a cute house in a an adorable conservative family-friendly neighborhood. We really loved the location, but the neighborhood never really felt like us, and the house didn't seem like ours.

In Fall 2008 we started casually looking at houses. We had a general budget in mind, but we didn't really know what we'd be approved for. We spent lots of weekends winding around the streets of our rental neighborhood (houses were too small and too expensive) then finally branched out to a new area of town, one that was labeled as "up & coming" (ie liberal and diverse). You know this kind of neighborhood-- where one street is fantastic and the next you don't even want to drive down, much less live on.

One Sunday, we turned on to 6th Court South, and it was love at first sight. 5636 was having an Open House that afternoon and we were able to walk through the front door minutes after seeing it for the first time. Rob and I had agreed at the beginning of our house hunting journey that we wanted an older home-- we just knew that newer neighborhoods (as nice as they are) where every 5th house looks the same was not for us. This 1920's Craftsman Style Bungalow was a perfect fit for us. Sure, we gave up some of the convenient features of a new home (like a large master suite and brand new kitchen) but we gained character in original hardwood floors, a sweeping front porch with terracotta tile and a beautiful cast iron pedestal tub. Within three weeks of seeing the house we had made an offer & had signed a contract.

Over the past year, we've developed a love/hate relationship with owning a house. We love that we've been able to make it our own-- that any change we feel like making we can, and that any sweat equity is in a place that is truly ours. But when something breaks? We really miss having a landlord.

Issue #1: Leaky toilet. Our hall bath has an old toilet in it and when I say old, I don't mean 1970-- I mean like 1920's old. The tank attaches to the wall, and the bowl attaches to the tank with a pipe, similar to this. We started noticing that the floor was wet behind the toilet, so we had to call a plumber to fix the leak. Pretty Simple. Thanks Home Warranty!

Issue #2: Air Conditioner. In the hottest part of August (Close to 100 degrees and as we live in the South, the humidity was out of control), we noticed that the house was really stuffy. When really stuffy turned into sweltering hot, we called someone to come look at it. First they thought it was an electrical problem with the thermostat, then a problem with the unit outside, but neither fixed the problem. After three weeks of misery, our entire furnace (which was over 20 years old) was replaced. I don't think we'll ever forget both of us huddled in our (small) bedroom for weeks because we bought a window unit and it was the only room cool enough that we could stand to be in. It was a rough few weeks.

Since then, things have gone smoothly but as any homeowner knows, the list of To Do's never ends. We'd like to add some custom book shelves on either side of the fireplace that I think may have been there at one point-- it's a pretty standard detail on houses built like ours. We want to pull up the carpet in our bedroom (the only bedroom in the house with carpet) and refinish the hardwood floors underneath. We want to install a shower in that pedestal tub to make it a little more usable and we've wanted to re-tile both bathrooms.

We went out of town for 48 hours for Christmas-- just long enough for issues #3-#10 to occur. Ok, in all fairness, we knew something was going on before we left...but we're shocked at how much we're getting ready to have to deal with.

Last weekend when my parents were here, I mentioned to my Dad that our water bill had been really expensive the past few months (like $150!). He did some poking around and said that we must have a leak somewhere and that we really needed to call a plumber. Well, with money being so tight around the holidays, we decided to wait until after the New Year. Yesterday, I received a phone call from my cousin's husband who was watching the dogs and happens to have some plumbing experience-- he asked us to call him back immediately. When we got in touch with him, he let us know that we had a completely busted pipe. He shut off the hot water to the bathroom and told us he'd come over as soon as we got home to show us what was going on...

So, here's what's going on: Yes, the pipe burst, but it has been leaking for a long time. Specifically, this is the hot water pipe for our bathroom off of the kitchen (very unfortunately, it has the only shower in our house). The pipes are in a small utility room underneath the house and the water has not only caused significant damage in that room, but it has also caused damage in the cellar which shares a wall with that room. Insulation is soaked, wood is rotting, the cellar door has mold and mildew all over it. The past few months, we've been noticing that the tile in that bathroom has been loose and have been planning on having it re-tiled. Now we realize that the tiles are loose because the sub-flooring has been absorbing water like a sponge. Until we rip up the floor, there's no way to tell how much damage there is....

Oh, and after dinner last night I turned on the dishwasher and heard a terrible scraping sound. Broken.

I'm not totally freaking out yet. True, this is a crappy situation, but this is why we have Home Insurance. Sure, we'll have to pay a deductible, but they should cover the plumbing, the floor and wall repairs, the tiling, whatever needs to be done. (Looks like new tile in the bathroom may be coming sooner than I thought. I've been wanting a new sink in there, too, so why not go ahead and install one when they tear apart the bathroom?) Our claim adjuster has not called us back yet, but the person we spoke to on the phone even suggested that since that bathroom has the only shower (other bathroom has a tub) it may technically render our house "uninhabitable" and insurance may pay for a hotel. Rob and I both have the week off, so we'll be here as repair men have to come-- as much as I hate dealing with this during a week that's supposed to be relaxing, I think it will all work out.

Oh, and our Home Warranty should cover the dishwasher. We pay a $60 service fee and if they can't fix it, they replace it-- my dad said it's likely we'll get a new one, which would be great. We have a hodge-podge of black & stainless steel appliances-- I'm trying to switch them all to stainless as we need to replace them.

We were warned that buying an older home would not be without its problems-- that has certainly proved to be true this year. Buying this house together was a milestone for us in a year full of big changes. We love this house and can't wait to add to our family in it. While we faced some challenges in our first year living here, I hope that it's nothing compared to the changes that we experience next year.

We're home.

Happy One Year House Anniversary to Us!

P.S. Sorry for the tiny crappy picture-- It was the only one I had handy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quick Update

Dr. RE's nurse called me back yesterday to give me "the plan", which was essentially the same conversation I had with her Monday. I'm not to take the progesterone prescription that I have-- instead, I'm supposed to wait until CD35. If I haven't gotten my period by then, I need to come into the office where they'll give me a pregnancy test, then a progesterone shot.

I think the nurse already doesn't like me-- while Dr. RE was pleased and impressed by how much I knew about this process and the questions that I asked her, the nurse just seems put off every time I ask a question. She would like for me to blindly follow whatever advice they give me, whether I understand why or not. It bothers me, but I suppose she's just a bit desensitized by having to deal with women who desperately want to get pregnant all day every day.

So, I'll suck it up and do what she said, even though I have a few problems with it.

1) I have not ovulated yet. It's CD25. The lack of a positive OPK, my temps & the progesterone bloodwork proves this. Dr. RE said that she wants me to be ovulating before CD21 (preferably before CD17!). That didn't happen, so what are we waiting for? Obviously, it's still possible for me to ovulate later this cycle, but that brings me to my next point...

2) You want to do a pregnancy test on CD35? Unless I have just been blessed with the second immaculate conception, I'm not sure why we are wasting the time and/or money with this? Last time I checked my biology text book, it was impossible to conceive without ovulating. And just in case this nurse is holding out hope that I may ovulate sometime between now and then, I certainly wouldn't not be far enough along at 8-9dpo (MAX!) to result in a positive pregnancy test.

3) And last, why do I have to come into the office for a pregnancy test and progesterone shot? I have a pregnancy test at home, as well as a Prometrium prescription sitting on my nightstand. If they were monitoring me, I'd have no complaints about having to go in for an ultrasound or whatever... but having to pay the $40 co-pay for things I could do at home really irritates me.

Plus, I have two weeks of vacation time-- CD35 falls on the Saturday before I have to return to work, which means that they would like me to wait until Monday. When we were given two weeks off of work, we were all encouraged to handle any doctor's appointments or personal appointments during this time off. Now what? I'm supposed to make a doctor's appointment on my first day back? I'm not really cool with that. I'm either going to insist on a Saturday appointment or I will ask to come in on CD34.

I'm sorry I'm so cranky... I just believed that seeing the RE would be the end of my long cycles and I'm extremely frustrated that they seem to be content with me having 45-50 day cycles. When I called to let them know that I hadn't ovulated, I felt certain that the day I got my progesterone bloodwork done, they would help me move on. Instead, I'm being told to wait 10 days (for nothing) to go back to the doctor, then an additional 10-15 days to start my period (once I've had the progesterone). We're now looking at mid-late January before we can even start trying again.

Bah Humbug!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Bit of a Break

Today is the first day of a glorious Christmas vacation. My office is closed for the next two weeks and although I need to pop in to get some work done, the fact that I'm not expected to be there is a relief. We had a fantastic weekend with a house full of company. My parents came in town on Thursday and stayed until yesterday morning-- every year on the weekend before Christmas, we have a family Christmas party full of aunts, uncles and cousins.

My mom is the oldest of six kids and four of her brothers and sisters and their families live here, so family gatherings are quite an event! Most of us are very close, so getting together is always a blast. There's tons of food and a great gag gift exchange. Most of my cousins are now in their 20's and 30's, but the past few years have seen babies and kids added to the mix (my mom's youngest sister has a 4 & 5 year old and my oldest cousin has 4 year old quads. Yes, I said QUADS.), so the spirit of the party now resembles how it was when I was a child. So much fun.

After my parents left yesterday, my aunt and cousin came to stay with us for the night-- It was so great to visit with them away from the huge group we had been in the night before. My aunt and I have always been close due to our age (she's 11 years older than me & is younger than my husband!) and I've always felt a special connection to her kids. They moved to TX over the summer and I miss them terribly-- this was the first time I've seen them since we took the kids Blueberry picking as a final farewell in August. They've grown so much!!

As fantastic as it was to have a full house this weekend, I'm basking in the silence today. I spent much of the day in a fluffy white marshmallow robe in my bed, watching tv and catching up on blogs and celebrity gossip websites. I've taken several bubble baths (yep, more than one today!), I've wrapped Christmas presents and I had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. Mmm Mmm Good.

This morning, I went to the RE for progesterone blood work-- I knew it would be bad based on the fact that I never got a +OPK and my temps are still all over the place. I spoke with the nurse this afternoon and she gave me the results-- drumroll please....


Trying to look on the bright side of things, I guess I could acknowledge that it doubled from last cycle (which was 0.79), but considering that it should be around 15 for a Clomid cycle, I have to recognize that they're pretty terrible results... I'm not dwelling on that, I'm just ready to move on to the next cycle. Considering that my cycles have been around 60 days since the summer, I was hoping that the doc might let me go ahead and start a progesterone prescription today, but the nurse told me I need to hold off. She said that they usually don't want patients to start the rx until CD35.
It's 10 days of pills, then it usually takes about 5 days for me to get AF after I finish them... If I started taking them today I'd still have a 38 day cycle. If I have to wait until CD35 to take them, I'm looking at a 50 day cycle...I was so hoping that they wouldn't let these useless cycles go on & on...

I wasn't upset at all about my progesterone being so low-- I expected it. However, when I got off the phone and told Rob that I couldn't start my progesterone prescription yet, I was so frustrated I burst into tears. I can work past the disappointment of a treatment not working-- I can't stand the idle time (when we know something didn't work, but can't move on yet to try something else) in between cycles.

I'm trying to be patient, but I'm not doing a very good job.
The nurse said that she would talk to the doctor and make a plan, then call me back. She did mention though, that they would double the Clomid to 100mg next cycle (whenever that starts) and she asked for my pharmacy phone number.

I'm really reaching for a way to spin this into a positive-- at least there will be no stress about trying to get pregnant for the rest of 2009. No OPKs, no timed sex, etc. I can just enjoy the holidays, have sex whenever we want to and prepare for a fresh start in January. I can appreciate that.

I guess.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Final Answer?

I was prepared for this. I'm ok.
Today is slightly better than yesterday and I'm confident that tomorrow will be even better.

I was in such a funk Tuesday. Work was terrible and unbelievably stressful. I am the Director of Development for a non-profit theatre. I'm a staff of one. This is both a blessing and a curse as I have lots of freedom in my job to pursue fund raising the way I want, yet the weight of funding all of our shows and programs (and salaries!!) falls directly on my shoulders. After much lobbying over the summer, we were able to convince our city to include us as a line item in the 09-10 Budget for $80k. Well, our fair city is going through lots of turmoil right now, including a 20 million dollar budget shortfall. I woke up Tuesday morning to a lovely article in the paper that informed me that the city was considering making cuts... and the article mentioned us by name.

I can't describe the tailspin that occurred next... Panic in the office between my Executive Director and I. Months of paperwork had to be pulled. A trip down to City Hall. Advocacy e-mails were requested of our Board, our Youth Program Parents, our Members, our Patrons...I wrote the mayor, the city council, etc. The city's offices were flooded with support. $80k is a lot of money to lose, and not only do I consider what that loss would do to the quality of our productions, but also how it would affect the lives of the 17,000 kids we reach with our Outreach program each year. Hell, I worry about who could lose their job if we can't afford to pay them anymore.

Although we don't have an answer yet, it appears that we have lots of supporters on the city council and they are responding to our advocacy. This should help. We've also been assured that any money that gets cut may be written into next year's budget-- and since the city's fiscal year starts a few months before ours, it's possible for us to get all of the money we need by the end of the year (which is August for us).

Tuesday night, I had a bit of a breakdown. We knew this cycle was a bust and that the Clomid wasn't working. I said to Rob, "I guess I was just hoping that all of my worries were wrong... that the 50mg would work and it would prove that everything is really ok and that we really didn't need much help... but now I feel like..." Rob finished my sentence, "...we know that there really is a problem." I burst into tears and he just hugged me as I sobbed. I've made the mistake of reading several of the infertility articles in the NY Times lately (like this & this) and the nasty comments are crushing. They all came to mind on Tuesday night as I cried...

"If you can't conceive naturally, maybe it's Mother Nature's way of telling you NOT to pursue this."

"Excessive WASTE in medical bills! No one - not one person - is so valuable that such efforts should go into passing on their genes. It is over-the-top narcissism pure and simple."

"Much like baldness and erectile dysfunction, I find it incredible that so much money, time and brainpower is being spent "curing" a problem like this instead of cancer, heart disease or AIDS."

"I would suggest that infertility is God's way of telling couples that they should not have children."

"Having a child is a privilege nature grants you. Sometimes you're not selected for this privilege."

"Nature is a great editor of what should not be."

Obviously, I know that these comments are absurd and that the people who wrote them most certainly take for granted the miracles that their bodies create without assistance. But the fact of the matter is, I am not one of those lucky ones. And in my moments of weakness, these comments really sting. BUT, I REFUSE to believe that I'm not supposed to be a mother. I am so hopeful that our next cycle of Clomid gives my eggs the boost they need and that our journey to become parents will not be a (very) long one... Rob and I have started talking about IUI... I'm not there yet, but we've agreed that if we aren't successful in the next few cycles, we will probably go for it. I have some reservations about it (another post, another time, I'll get over it), but as Rob said, "We want to be parents, so we'll do whatever it takes."

Last night was a good night. I came home a little late (Had to go get my highlighted hair "fixed"-- they did it Tues night and messed it up. Messed it up again last night. Whole other story.) and made some dinner. I made fajitas, my go-to meal when I really don't feel like cooking. Rob and I had dinner together, then I went out for frozen yogurt with my cousin for some great girl time. I was so tired when I got home that I really wanted to start winding down for bed-- I decided to take a bubble bath (Thanks for the suggestion, Courtney!) and guess who decided to join me? My fabulous husband. Things have been a bit icky this week and this reconnection felt amazing. Bed followed, and even though it doesn't look like we'll be making a baby this year, we still enjoy the practice. (And what a great way to relieve stress!!)

Thanks to everyone who helped me get through a really difficult week-- I am so lucky to have people who understand what this feels like. Your comments and hugs mean the world to me!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Test # 8... $%*&!!!


I'm having a really shitty day.

I didn't expect today's test to be positive, but seeing that negative was just about the last straw.

I'm having such a stressful day at work that I was physically shaking this morning from the tension. I love Christmas shopping but the strain of buying gifts for everyone on both sides of our families is leaving our bank account in terrible shape.
I'm exhausted and I've cried at my desk four times today.

It's cold and rainy. I just want to go back to bed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Test #7

In anticipation of tomorrow's test (which I'm quite certain will be negative) I went ahead and called Dr. RE's office. I explained to the nurse that I was on CD16 and had not received a positive OPK yet and that I just wanted to know what to do tomorrow, as I was told to test through CD17. She suggested that I test one more day (CD18) to be sure, then stop taking OPKs.

I'll need to go back to Dr. RE for a progesterone test on Monday-- they want to make sure that I didn't miss my surge. I'm pretty sure I didn't:

Based on my blood work, they'll determine how much to increase the dosage of Clomid next cycle. I imagine that my progesterone levels will be very low-- last cycle they were .79 on CD21. These will be taken on CD23. Perhaps they'll be slightly higher because of the Clomid this cycle, but I can't imagine they'd be anywhere near 10-15 (which is what confirms ovulation on an unmedicated & medicated cycle, respectively).

Hopefully I can start taking Prometrium/Provera soon to get this cycle over with and try again!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Test #6

Test was negative again today-- I wasn't surprised. Temps have been up and down like an EKG for the past week and CM & CP don't suggest I'm fertile right now. I feel like I've been able to keep a good attitude so far this cycle-- While I wanted to remember that any day could be the day I got a positive, I also wanted to have realistic expectations about Clomid and what it might do for me. The last thing I wanted to do was go into this cycle believing that Clomid would be the miracle drug that would get me pregnant instantly-- I didn't want to be disappointed. The thought of a Christmas BFP crosses my mind less and less, but I'm still hopeful that I could ovulate in the next few days. If no positive by Tuesday, I'll go ahead and call Dr. RE to see when I can start taking progesterone. I'm not feeling down-- just ready to figure out if the 50 mg was enough... and if it wasn't, move on to next cycle and 100mg.

So, for my project yesterday... well, I had hoped to have more pics to post, but I only have one of the things I was working on complete. For years, I've wanted a Christmas tree skirt, but they are so expensive that I've never gotten around to buying one. Last week I was browsing some patterns online when I came across a free pattern from Amy Butler. Amy Butler is my favorite fabric designer and the buttons on this tree skirt? Adorable. I knew I had to make it.

I already had the green polka dot fabric for the trim and I used the same fabric for the skirt that we used to cover an ottoman and pillows in our living room. (It's a beautiful woven cranberry fabric called Patriot Cherry.) Anyway, the project wasn't too difficult, it was just very time consuming-- I was up until 1am finishing it last night, but I really like how it turned out! The only thing left I plan to do is monogram "Blakely" along the trim. (Please excuse the crappy pics.)

I was hoping to put up pics of the matching stockings that I'm making, but I ran into some technical difficulties tonight while I was working on them. There were tears and I stepped away from it. When I get that frustrated, it's best for me to just walk away. I'm hoping to work on them tomorrow night and I'll post pics when they're done.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test #5

Since I've been working such crazy hours this past week, I devoted my day to working on some projects that I have really wanted to do, but haven't had the time. I had a very crafty day-- can't wait to post pics of the final products tomorrow!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Test #4 or Halfway There

CD13. Still have 4 more days!
Happy Friday, All!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Test #3

Work is kicking my ass right now-- The Christmas show opens tonight at my theatre, so I've been working 12-14 hour days this week and will continue to do so until the end of next week. I don't have much time to write, but wanted to keep everyone filled in on my OPK test results.

So, if you see a post with a negative picture and no text, fear not, I'm not discouraged.
Believe me, you'll hear all about it if I am!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One Negative & A Few Positives

Today was the first day of Operation "See if Clomid Worked." It's CD10 and the first of seven days that I've been instructed to use an OPK between 11am-2pm. I've been preparing for this and I even treated myself to a new little Vera Bradley bag for all of my "supplies":

Inside, there is one Clearblue Easy Digital OPK, ten test sticks and 10 disposable cups. The little bag is cheerful yet discreet enough for me to carry stuff back and forth to the bathroom at work. I think I knew what to expect today, but as I watched the test symbol flashing and waited for the results, I got a surge of excitement-- what if it's positive?

Well, it wasn't. I'm not disappointed-- there are six more days before we determine if 50mg of Clomid was enough to give my eggs the push they need. I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be... but you never know!! I'm not feeling stressed about it and I'm trying to treat this cycle as if it will be a great success!

Speaking of great successes, I have taken my love affair with craigslist to a whole new level... In a previous post, I mentioned my obsession with the Peg Perego Green Bubbles pattern and how disappointed I was that it was discontinued... Well, I've been scouring craigslist (& ebay) for some time and I ran across an amazing deal-- The car seat and the stroller for $300. The stroller was not the PlikoP3 that I mentioned before (which I still may eventually get as a lightweight travel stroller)-- it was the Skate!!! I called the guy (it was listed in NY) and asked if he'd consider shipping it to me if I paid through Paypal. He agreed, we made arrangements and it showed up on my doorstep on Saturday night. I spent most of the day Sunday taking everything apart, hand washing the fabric, line drying it, then putting it back together. Now I can't stop admiring it.

It's a little silly buying things for the phantom baby, I know, but I'm so in love with it-- and we WILL need it eventually. I'm not superstitious and seeing it does not make me depressed about our infertility-- rather, it reminds me that our day is coming. We already have some furniture for the nursery and I'll continue to gather things as we find them-- by the time we get our BFP, we'll be well on the way to having everything we need.

So tomorrow, I'll take another test and continue to hope,

...that there will be a BFP underneath this tree!

Friday, December 4, 2009

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Clomid, Round One.
50mg, CD2-6.

You haven't made much of a fuss so far...
I hope you make your presence known next week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

That is the question

To chart or not to chart?

One of the things that Dr. M mentioned was that, if I don't want to, I don't have to chart my temps anymore. While she appreciates that my charts helped establish how long my cycles are and when/if I believed I was ovulating-- she said that we'll take a new approach from here on out.

This cycle is so regimented compared to all of my previous cycles-- it's like "TTC for Dummies." I love it. Pills for 5 days, digital OPKs for 7 days, done. I either ovulate or I don't. Smiley face or no. There will be no need for studying temperatures or interpreting shifts. There will be a pee stick test, taken between 11am-2pm each day from CD10-CD17. That's it.

Yet, I still feel like I need that backup-- I need to have some record of when I took the meds, when we had sex, when I got a +OPK. I want to get excited about watching my temps steadily rising. I need to see all of the stars align and have the proof that everything came together for us (if it ever does).

So, despite Rob's protests, I'll continue to set the alarm for 5am each morning, fumble for my pink thermometer & Blackberry and record my temps. Then I'll study my chart once or twice a day and wonder if it "means" anything.

I may have let Dr. M take the wheel, but I'm still riding shotgun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


"Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky!"
~Dr. Seuss

I've been thinking a lot about my positive experience Monday, feeling like I was lucky in so many ways:

a) I really felt like I connected with my RE.
b) I was able to get all of my labwork and ultrasound done at the appointment.
c) I was able to start treatment immediately instead of waiting until next cycle.
d) So many people left such encouraging, supportive comments for me!

Yesterday I heard back from the doctor about my CD3 bloodwork-- the doctor herself called me (which scared me at first) to tell me that my LH, FSH and E2 levels looked great.

Perhaps the reason I'm the luckiest though, is that I've experienced no side effects from the Clomid. I've heard so many stories about women who were angry, moody and emotional & had horrendous hot flashes. I felt slightly warm a few times yesterday but I don't think I can really count this as a hot flash-- I'm always so cold, the warmth was welcome.

3 days down, 2 to go... then I'll start taking OPKs on CD10, which is Tuesday. I'm so relieved that we only have to worry about our timing for about a week while determining if the Clomid "worked." (Dr M. said that if I don't get a positive OPK by CD17 that she may have me test a few additional days, but no later than CD21.) I can't express how exhausting it's been with these long cycles, waiting to ovulate, having to worry about our timing week after week after week. It's been so stressful-- there's been nothing more trying than "trying." So, I'm optimistic and confident about our efforts this cycle, because we've taken the guesswork out of it. We'll take the tests, time things the best we can if I get the +OPK, then sit back and relax.

Who knows?
Maybe we'll get lucky.