Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Checking in

Every now and then, I feel a pang that this cycle did not work, but on the whole, I'm just fine. Being pregnant is terrifying. And while I look forward to it with every fiber in my body, I'm also relieved that right now, I'm not dealing with that first trimester limbo. Mostly, all of this is just me, adjusting. I'm an innately happy person, it seems, and whenever the cart is toppled, my psyche instinctively works to right it. Of course, this is not a big task this time, and I pray that it does not get handed the big challenges of continued recurrent pregnancy loss or chronic infertility.

I'm still seeing the guy I mentioned. Its now entered that transition phase between dating and a relationship. I've always felt like I was living out Goldilocks's life with the guys I've met, they just did not have the mix of qualities to keep me engaged, in which case, I'd date them for a while with the distinct knowledge that this was only short term, that while I was having a good time, I wanted my space and definitely would not consider spending the rest of my life with them. In the extremely rare instances (all of twice) that I've met guys who have had some of the qualities I was seeking, absolutely nothing came out of it. It shocks me to think that I've hit my 30s without ever having been in love with somebody. All of this is why I've never had any doubts about going the single parent route.

This guy, surprisingly, he does have long term potential.  He is definitely smart enough for me, and he is definitely nice enough, and god knows, he really likes me.  Honestly, this has just come out of nowhere. But its still a very long shot-- right now, I have a very definitive blueprint for where my life is going (I'm planning to leave the country in a few months!!), and its far too soon to fill him in on any of it and see how he will react. Plus, I'm a bolter. I've been independent forever and my natural tendency is to find issues that, to other people, might not be deal-breakers and run out the door.

Right now, the thing I'm mulling over- do I tell my mom I'm seeing somebody? I usually tell her everything, but right now, my parents are on board with plan B- the last thing I want to do is muddy the waters and get her(and my dad's) hopes up about something that is a super long shot anyway. But on the other hand, I've never been able to keep anything important away from her anyway.  The good news is,if it ever came to the point of her approval,I'd get that easily.  Although this guy is not indian (japanese-causcasian FYI) , he is the kind of person that people just instinctively warm to, I think. Plus,it cannot hurt that he is both an engineer and a doctor, an amalgamation of a traditional indian parent's fantasies :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moving on

I did something I thought I'd never do- I went in for a beta test when my home HPTs were completely negative. I did this because I wanted to see if there were super low levels of the hormone indicative of a embryo that never implanted. No dice, my test was 'negative', which my endocrinologist (not the RE, so he is not used to reading these tests) thinks translates to zero. The lab does not post numbers, apparently. Grr.

I'm doing just fine though. I'm not happy, but nor am I unhappy. Day 10 and 11 were the periods of shock (and sadness) that this had not worked. Afterwards, my reaction to each negative test was literally a shrug.

The only (irrational) fear I feel is...OMG, what the hell did I break? Although this was not working perfectly before, it was working-- I had gotten pregnant both times, and in amazingly reproducible patterns. A lot of things are different right now. From all the many things that are different, my overactive brain has to do its best to identify the most likely suspect, if only for my own peace of mind. My intuition (which, in the past, has alternately come through or crashed and burned) says this suspect is again, Vitamin D.

Because this governs so many different processes ( it regulates the expression of 1000s of genes in the body), this is a tricky one. I was reading a review on vitamin D and cancer, and the author said  a 'U' or 'J' shaped association existed between risks for certain cancers and vitamin D levels. This means, while your risk is higher when you are deficient and lowest when you are at a median range (say 30-45 ng/ml), it can actually go up again when you go too high. The same could very well be true for various processes involved in early pregnancy, from hormone (estrogen) production to implantation processes, to even the immune system regulation.

I've strongly advocated testing after supplementing, and I forgot to take my own advice-- I did not test for over 8 months. My levels were 86, nearly double of what they should be, and very close to toxicity (which is considered to be above 100). Anyway, I have a few months to twiddle my thumbs and recuperate before my next try, in which time I work to cut my levels by half, at least, and give my body time to adjust to that change.

Right now, I have to wait for my brother to set a date for his wedding. I'm strongly pushing for October, in which case I could try again in June.  In the meantime, as my friend said, this also means I'm going to have a stress-free spring in New York.  Its going to be my last one in this wonderful city, so I might as well make the most of it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Summary from the Healing Salon

Mel @ Stirrup Queens once said that the major goals of ICLW, from her standpoint, was the improvement of your language and communication skills. I've found this to true in my case as far as commenting goes, during ICLW, it is not easy to write an involved and personalized comment at any blog you stop off at, serious effort has to go into that. One of the reasons I signed up to host a Healing Salon is that it would present a difficult writing exercise. Writing the introduction was difficult enough, it seems harder to summarize. While the debate over PAIL pushed none of my emotional buttons, it did present intellectual questions and issues.

Here are some summaries, which have helped me understand the situation better.

--While everybody has no problems with the concept of multiple blogrolls on different websites, some have pointed out that to them,  PAIL is more than a  mere blogroll,  it represents a community as well.

--The other thing that was highlighted was that all members of PAIL would not have the same set of intentions. Some would see it just as a place where they can meet people in a similar situation, ie, a blogroll. Others might want to focus more on the communal aspect of it. Some may want to focus all their blogging energy in reading posts on mothering. Many others might continue in the same way they do now, they follow people in multiple situations in life- either those who are TTCing or those who are parenting, or those who remain childfree.

--On censoring, while everybody said it is not necessary and nobody wants you to do that, everybody does it to a small extent. I've done it on multiple little issues myself, but never on the big stuff.  When I was pregnant, I posted ultrasound pictures. If my pregnancy was making  me feel uncomfortable, I talked about it. We blog for multiple reasons, but two important categories are, catharsis and  the celebration of something very hard-won, and while tact is called for, those should never be compromised just so we 'do not hurt a reader's feelings'. That turn of phrase always gives me pause, however, because other people's feelings are not hurt because of somebody's 'happy situation', for lack of a better phrase, rather, that situation acts as a trigger for somebody's innate sorrow. Those triggers are everywhere, when you feel that raw, the world is a literal minefield.  In my opinion, it is firmly up to the reader to protect themselves. 

While there was largely a consensus on the multiple blogroll and the censoring issues, what really struck me is that 2 people can gaze at the same picture and see very different things, for example, on the 'exclusive club' issue. Such is human nature, and that cannot be changed. We are never going to agree 100% with each other, that is not necessary and would possibly be incredibly boring.

My take from all this? Live and let live. There are no villains here, just people with differing opinions. This situation arose because we tried to make it too complicated. As a virtual community, our ONLY goal should be to be there to offer support, to whoever we can, wherever we can and accept the same from whatever source that offers it to us.  It should not be required that all of us have to compulsorily hang out at the same watering hole to do so, we can wander if we want, we can make new friends if we want. Give people their space, let them do whatever they want to do. That is my incredibly simplistic worldview. I know everybody cannot agree with it, but, if you do, I am of the opinion that it can save you a lot of pain. Is that not the bottom line?

After this, I hope this discussion is closed for good and we have all retreated a little wiser. This was overall, a great, civilized, restrained discussion across the board, and I thank everybody who participated.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Need advice (on acupuncture again)

This is one of those deals where I ask you what you would do, were you in my shoes. I'm 7DPO. In the past couple of days I've started getting mildest rumblings of heartburn, and occasional, very mild nausea. Mind you, I've had stuff that feels like nausea once in a non-pregnant cycle too. I attribute all my pregnency-esque symptoms (breast tenderness, the very occasional nausea) in such cycles to high progesterone. Now, I think I'm feeling more than I did then and more regularly, but it is hard to say that with real certainty.

My acupuncturist wanted to see me on around the time of implantation. Now, given that each session costs a 100$, I go only when I feel it is has a decent enough chance at helping me. Whatever my issues in the past, they have clearly not been with implantation, my lining has always looked good, and implantation has been early—probably day 8-ish, with enough HCG being produced to generate a positive test by day 10. The only reason I’m even contemplating making a last minute appointment, is that I have not had any sustained cramps yet, only momentary scattered twinges.  Day 7-9 has been my range for sustained noticeable cramping in the last cycles, so I’m a little nervous that the huge wave has not begun. Of course, it may just mean that I’m not pregnant, but in case not,  I’m wondering whether it is worth going, to use the kitchen sink approach, both to calm me and also *possibly* help in case there is a little embryo swimming around that could use a hand to stick.

If you were not be hopelessly undecided like I am, considering my past history and the evidence supporting an implantation promoting role for acupuncture, what would you do?

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Discussion Forum (Healing Salon) on the Topic of PAIL.

There are a mind-boggling number of blogs dealing with the topics of adoption, loss and infertility. I think the credit for the evolution of this mini-universe should largely go to one blogger, Mel, who blogs at Stirrup Queens. In organizing this virtual universe, she has created multiple 'rooms' and any blog formed can be listed  under various categories, including infertility, adoption and parenting.  A while ago, Elpheba at Yolk : A blog about Eggs and Sperm created the PAIL blogroll, the purpose of which was to allow people in the situation of parenting or pregnancy to find each others in a similar situation.  This, surprisingly (to me) kicked off a heated and sometimes ugly dialogue on various issues, which took place at the Stirrup Queens blog. After the dust settled, Mel proposed that to move forward, a rational and civil discussion of various questions be bought up by bloggers in different situations.  I volunteered because there are many points I feel strongly about. 

To introduce myself- I am a single woman, in the process of trying to conceive  my first child using donor sperm.  My journey has been complicated by 2 late first trimester miscarriages. When I first read about PAIL, it barely made an impression on me, my only thought in passing was,  Well, that is a good idea.  I thought this because I'm all for people in a certain situation to find people in the same boat, to garner readership and support.   When the PAIL debate broke out, on reading it, the following questions seem the most relevant to me. While I express strong opinions below,  I hope I have stayed respectful, civilized and rational while outlining the following points and I urge you to do the same while responding.

One of the points bought up in the debate was that a similar area already existed on the SQ website, so why create the new one?   My question: While I can see why Mel could be put out by the duplication,  what is wrong with multiple blogrolls?
    My take: Mel has taken a lot of time and effort in organizing the situation room, so I understand why she would be taken aback at another website offering the same thing. But from a comparison of the parenting room on Mel's website vs the PAIL blogroll, my impression is that the latter is much better organized, because it is newer, more up to date and has multiple categories. But this is a small issue. It can settled by civilized discussion between the two parties, with no need for all the multiple tangents people went off on. At the end of the day, my bottom line is to be able to connect with more people, and 2 blogrolls at 2 different websites  achieves that more efficiently than 1. 

    There is this general fear that something you say, may offend/hurt others because of the situation they find themselves in.  The general sentiment that people will offend others and lose readers and followers once they start taking about positive pregnancy tests/baby bumps/ parenting appears widespread.  This (correct me if I am wrong, members of PAIL), was perceived as one of the many reasons behind the formation of PAIL. My question is, do you think you should have to censor yourself, in any situation, to spare the feelings of others?
          My take: There should be no censoring. There should be no hiding of your joy in any situation or hesitancy to discuss anything, though tact is always a good idea. In life, there is always going to be somebody with something you don't have. I'm single. If I flinched or got unhappy every time I saw a married couple, or saw wedding/honeymoon facebook photos, or saw blogposts where partners support each other though infertility/loss, it would be a horrible situation.  Married folks, you have something I'd really like to have. But I do not expect you to stop talking about your happy marriages or the support you get from your partners in the rough times. The same rules should apply to infertility, should they not?

          While the fact that PAIL was an 'exclusive club' was bought up as a bone of contention by many. This sentiment seems illogical to me, because PAIL is merely a blogroll. People going through TTC cannot join the parenting blogroll on Mel's website, so why the furor when that a similarly-themed blogroll is merely created at another web address? Its just another web address, to my thinking. They are not doing it to get away from the world of IF, they just want to expand their readership.  My other question on the same theme is more philosophical and not really related to the central issue at hand, but its begs to be asked-- why get hurt/angry about an 'exclusive club'?

            My take on the latter:  I don't fit in many places, the categories are myriad- rich people's clubs, couples-only clubs, parenting clubs and PAIL-- there are so many cliques in life I am barred from, but the fact that they exist do not hurt me. My two cents is, you are really hurt at the fact that you are excluded from that club, but the members of the club are not the guilty party.  They did not form the club with the sole intention of keeping you out, they formed it because they needed something/wanted to celebrate something and both reasons are perfectly legitimate.

            Why is there the miss-assumption that the members of PAIL are going to stop participating in the world of infertility?
              My take: People can exist on multiple blogrolls. They can be listed in discussion boards, websites, there are a 1000 ways to advertize. A blogroll is merely a way to connect with others in your situation. Just because somebody's blog is listed on PAIL does not mean they are going to  forget about/stop supporting people in the infertility process- I'm  trying to understand why people might think that and also point out that is a wrong assumption.

              Summary: I've raised questions on the topics that have perplexed me and  I hope some clarity emerges from discussing them.  At the end of the day, both PAIL and the various ALI blogrolls are here to stay, and I cannot see why the same blogs should not be listed on both websites, with the writers supporting people in both TTC and parenting situations. While one cannot make everybody happy and will read a fraction of blogs out there, it should not be forgotten that we are a community with common goals and intentions. Whether we blog for comments, for support, for the cathartic act of spelling out what is bothering you, all are legitimate reasons and should be respected. This is a storm in a teacup, a mountain created out of the smallest molehill- we need to move on speedily from this, hopefully, somewhat the wiser.

              Sunday, March 11, 2012

              Its too much

              I had just finished writing a blogpost about something as inconsequential as a possible BFN , when I saw this news --A @  TheJourneytoBabiesG lost her beautiful twins to PROM/placental abruption.  Please go give support and love.  

              The kookiness at 5DPO

              I'm hyper-sensitive to anything happening in all my lady parts.  My 2 girls are nice and sore-- I whack them if I go several hours with no twinging. I've had some pretty sharp pains and sensations that feel uterine in origin at 3-4DPO which made me ecstatic. Apparently, women who get this can turn out to be pregnant. Whoopdedoo.
              The chorus of the John Mellencamp song "Hurts so good"  has been featuring prominently at in my nutty head these past few days. I've been having some moments of mildly painful sensations that make me grin like a goofball through the winces. If I feel nothing through long stretches of time, I'm  convinced nothing has worked. If I feel any pain or any sensation out of the ordinary, it buys me several hours of reassurance.

              As a scientist, I scoff at this. 'Symptoms' mean jack-squat, especially when you are hypersensitive, over-imaginative and have several signs of high luteal-phase progesterone even in cycles when there is no chance that you may have conceived. But it does have value in that  it keeps me sane because it buys me those stretches of complete normalcy till we come to testing time.  So please, the powers that be, make it so hurt so good.

              I know that if I don't get a positive HPT by day 10-11 then its game over. I can handle that- you've got your requisite time of crying and adjusting to the new reality that you have to do this again, and then, if you are me, then you return to an even keel fairly quickly and you go on to the next portion of the plan. Hopefully. But in the meantime universe, please keep the twinges coming.

              Here is another thing I've been grappling with for a while--- my original plan was to return to India when I am around 5 months along, after the detailed anatomy scans are completed and deliver there.  My mom, who has worked with neonates for a good part of her career, and she dropped a bombshell on me a few weeks ago- she strongly wants me to finish my pregnancy here and then return. She feels this because New York (especially the university I am with) has, apparently one the best premie units in the country.  India, she feels, based on her experience, is adequate with the level of expertise of the very top doctors (that I will have access to) but fails badly with the quality of nursing care.  This is something that pisses me off so much.  Trained qualified nurses hightail it out of India the first chance they can get, because they don't get paid well, nursing as a profession is undervalued severely.  

              I've asked my mother to do more research to get a better idea of how things are there, because staying here, while practically possible, is not something I want to do. As you can clearly see, despite my trying to control it, pregnancy makes me neurotic. Being around people constantly, with that loving bedrock of family, goes a long way is dispelling my neuroses and keeping my mind off things.Sigh. Effin decisions.

              Thursday, March 8, 2012

              So far, so good

              Its the 2ww, I'm not going out of my mind, YAY. The days (all 2 of them) have gone by relatively quickly. All is well, other than a disinclination to work and a propensity to haunt the blogsphere.  A big, very long-term project of mine wrapped up last week and the past 3 days have been amazingly leisurely while I start prep-work for the next phase.  The free time came in super handy when I had to run out for an ultrasound, an acupuncture session and then an IUI all in one workday but I could have used some work stress thereafter, with an idle mind definitely being the devil's workshop.

              With all this time on my hands, I've been following the PAIL debates. Its a shame so much negativity has spilled out of this community at the idea of a separate blogroll that is not maintained at Mel's website. For my part, I don't care where it is, and I think PAIL is sensible idea. I will not be joining, not until I have fully crossed over to life with baby, and god knows how long that will take, but in the meantime, I do not see this as 'an exclusive club' from which I am currently barred entry. I see it as having nothing to do with me, but rather, as a place where people can connect with others at the same stage in the journey, to find support in the parenting process. More active blogs are still in the TTC process than those who have moved on, it seems. The people on the other side need a space too. 

              Parenting is hard. While all of us, while going through it may feel that infertility may be the hardest thing we have ever faced, it is possible that at some time or the other, parenting will challenge us to an equivalent or greater degree. I still remember my mother crying over me crying at the loss of my pregnancy # 2 and she said to me, "J, do you have any idea of the scope of what you are signing up for? The pain you feel now, may be nothing compared to the pain your children may one day make you feel". My mom is a smart cookie, and she is probably right.  Nothing makes us as vulnerable to worry, fear or pain as being a parent.  It does not become easy after you cross over-- its rewarding yes, which is why we put ourselves through torture to get there, but it is NOT easy.

              Moreover, I do not think that the people who started that blogroll are trying to ostracize anybody or have one single malicious intention, they are just trying to find a place where they can connect more easily with people in the same place. Its about practicalities- its not about trying to 'leave people out!. Finally, I've come across the sentiment that people who are on that blogroll are 'moving on' with their lives and just want a place to do it where its 'only them'. This is so wrong. People can have blogs listed on multiple blogrolls. They can stay on the SQ blogrolls as well as be on PAIL and a dozen others, if they feel like it.  They can follow people in different situations. Just because somebody has moved on to PAIL does not mean they are going to stop following somebody still trying desperately for # 1, or ignore uncomfortable postings of loss or cycle failures. There is a lot of room in our hearts. Somebody who has been through the pain of IF is never going to stop caring about somebody still in this hell. Even if I pop out a passel of children (ha), I will always be there for anybody I see, on the blogsphere or IRL, who has gone through or going through the trials of IF. Empathy is an incredibly powerful emotion, and unless you are a complete tool, IF makes sure you get a bucket-load of it.

              Getting off my soapbox now.

              Switching gears back to the 2ww: Symptoms so far- EWCM yesterday, and right now I feel like estrogen and progesterone (which have opposing effects on BBT and CM) are going to war within me. I always have sore boobs in the luteal phase, and right now they feel a tad (probably my imagination) sorer than normal.  Inching towards the the ready-to-explode stage. While this does not mean I am knocked up,  the fact that I have symptoms of high hormone levels is promising (estrogen and progesterone have been shown to be significantly greater in the cycles where the sperm does nail the egg). It can very likely amount to nothing. but right now, this is giving me the ability to stay calm. Symptoms rock, even if they turn out to be no more than a product of my overactive imagination.

              Monday, March 5, 2012


              I CAN have an IUI today. Its scheduled for 2:30 in the afternoon, I went in this morning to draw blood for E2 and LH, and to take a quick look-see at my uterus. My stats look practically identical to the last time where I TTCed where I 'felt' I'd barely had much of an estrogen  peak- 17 mm dominant follicle, and a "nice, thick" lining of 8.5. I groaned when the doctor told me that, he was completely taken aback-- but it scares me that it looks like the last time. Which is not rational at all.  I got pregnant, with a beautiful-looking, albeit short-lived embryo that just happened to have one chromosome missing. That genetic abnormality cannot be correlated in any which way to the size of the follicle or the thickness of the lining. One could imagine a correlation to the E2 level, but that is ridiculous hand-waving at best. But as we all are well aware, fear and rationality go in completely opposite directions.

              I just got a call for my blood work, and its not too illuminating since I have not had serial blood tests, and have no idea how this measures compared to my super-pretty cycles, but feel free to weigh in. From all accounts, I will ovulate at some point today.

              Estradiol= 262 pg/ml (I have only one dominant follicle, on my right, so this is in normal range)
              LH= 31 (Definitely in the surge. Apparently anything above 9 is considered one)

              While trying to understand how this can be used to interpret egg quality, this was the most useful resource- wish I had read this earlier, I would have gone in happily for multiple tests. If I ever do this again, I'm going to monitor myself.

              The one piece of good news- I'm ovulating from my right ovary. The last try came from the left. For good reason, I think the left side of my body just has more health issues- I have limb-length discrepancy, my right side is an entire inch longer than my left, which means I need to have correctional shoes (GRR).  When I did facial electrolysis years ago,  the hair on right side never grew back, but that on the left kept coming and is still there. Overall, I think the left side has crappier metabolism and is more prone to PCOS, so I'm happy its not in play here.

              I had another acupuncture session. I'm taking wheatgrass pills--based on the aroma, I thank god I got those, not the juice. IUI set for this afternoon.

              I've yo-yoed between feeling reassured and irrationally terrified that I'm letting history repeat itself. People keep stressing the importance of doing this with a 'positive' outlook--well screw that. Telling you that is counterproductive- you only get nervous that you are not positive enough, just adding to the stress levels. Babies have been conceived in times in incredible stress and negativity- take rape victims for example. Plus, I'm sure a lot of people at the end of an infertility slog, who are in the cycle that, unknown to them, is going to give them that take-home baby, are anything but positive and non-stressed. So if you are one of those folks, please speak up, I could use the reassurance. Any feedback on the estrogen level would be welcome as well, this is the first time I've done one of these tests.


              Which is french for SHIT!! I was expecting my surge to start tomorrow morning. I've been monitoring for its arrival  like a KGB agent. I checked thrice yesterday, morning, afternoon and midnight, and this morning, where my test line was still lighter than my control line, and this just now.

              See to the right the results- the test line was lighter than the control line at 11 am this morning, but by 5 it had visibly darkened, being as dark as the control line.

              This means my surge began this afternoon. I have not scheduled an IUI for tomorrow- I called in the evening, but everybody was gone. I'm with NYU fertility, I wonder what they do in situations like this.

              Its also an irregular cycle for me, but is it bad irregular? Who the hell knows? I have had around 1 full day (atleast) of high estrogen before my surge began.  My CM has only been creamy till yesterday, but today it changed to eggwhite. I've definitely had better natural cycles, though this is not the worst either. If my surge had begun tomorrow I'd have had far fewer worries.

              I'm probably going to go in tomorrow for an IUI (if they'll let me, given the late hour). Sigh. When I wanted to do this again, I wanted things to look extremely reassuring. They never seem to be, not when I actually want them to be. But its bloody hard to wait- I wish to god I had gone the last time things look good, last month. But when you hunker down and wait for that 'perfect' cycle to show, its like waiting for the kettle to boil, its not going to happen on your watch.

              So the games may begin again- will update when PUPO, assuming they let me go tomorrow.

              Saturday, March 3, 2012

              It looks like things may proceed as planned.....

              Since my last attempt at conception, where I tried in what I thought was an awful cycle, got pregnant, and lost it to a chromosomal abnormality, I've decided that the next time I conceive I was I want it to be in a *very* good looking cycle.

              The cycle before this was like.....Chris Pine. Crazy pretty-looking, in the pre-ovulatory phase.  This cycle is kind of like... Ewan Mcgregor. Its solid, its kind of nice-looking, but cannot compare to the few Godzilla-like fertile cycles I've had, wherein, even in the days I was blissfully unaware of anything fertility-related, I would have noticed that something was brewing below. Unfortunately, those cycles have shitty timing.
              I've been having just the creamy CM for days, just enough to let me know that the estrogen rise is happening, but not hitting me on the head with it, like in the last cycle. EWCM is not here yet, and I'm atleast 72 hours (hopefully) away from ovulation. Today, I used my Clearblue fertility monitor for the first time this cycle- I was so expecting to see the 'Low fertility' (= low estrogen), instead I got 'High Fertility' (= high estrogen). A happy dance happened :)

               The reason I had utterly hated the last cycle I conceived in was that I went directly from 'Low fertility' to 'Peak fertility'(= high estrogen + LH surge) --- there were no days of high fertility, where your uterus and ovaries bathe in estrogen before the surge begins. This cycle, I have that, hopefully for 2 full days of that before my surge begins. If my OPK gets positive later today or even tomorrow, I'll have to bench myself, though I'd be on the fence about tomorrow.

              Onto bloodwork results:  I had gone to see an endocrinologist 1 week ago, who is awesome and definitely gets a review written up in the 'good doctors section'. He ordered every test I wanted, and a few extras, and we got the results back.

              The salient points:
              • I should have been taking my own advice of getting Vitamin D levels regularly tested when you supplement. To be fair, I had tested twice and it looked like 4000 IU/day was kept my levels at around 35-40 ng/ml,which was just about prefect IMO. Maybe there is an accumulatory effect over time, and quite likely, the 8 days I mostly spend bikini-clad on a ship (slathered in sunblock, but still managing to tan meaning UV rays WERE getting through) had an effect too- my D3 (1,25 hydroxy version) was 86. Ack!!!! WAY too high. I'm going to cut down now and start retaking the same dose once pregnancy establishes.
              •  TSH is nice and super-duper low at 0.65 mIU/DL, and my T4 levels were just over the high end of the normal range. Perfect for conception.
              •  Anti-TPO antibody titer is slightly down, from 107 around 16 months ago to 90 now. I've been taking selenium (80 mcg/day), plus a nearly equivalent amount in my prenatal. Many studies show that which is supposed to lower Anti-TPO levels. This is an excellent link for anybody who has thyroid issues, I urge you to visit it.
              •  AMH is down a bit, from 5.6 to 4.3. I had expected this, because my AFC has gone down in half, from 30 + to around 16 ish, so its logical that AMH (that is made by the follicles) would go down too.  I'm happy with just this slight drop.
              •   DHEAS is still high, and has gone up to 331 from around 250 in the last tests. This is the only part I cannot understand.
              Interpretation: My thyroid function is now as well behaved as it ever is going to be. I believe that becoming vitamin D replete- see above link- as well as the selenium intake had much to do with this slight change.  Over 1 year ago, the following tests suggested PCOS (High AFC (30+), High AMH (5+), high DHEAS). Now, the only thing that is left is the high DHEAS, which, in itself may not be a bad thing necessarily.  Also, I used to get annoying skin breakouts, which is a PCOS-related issue, every now and then. Interestingly, for the past few months (hammering on wood), my skin has looked as good as it ever has- no breakouts for months. Praying that typing this out here does not bring them back, just to prove me wrong.

              Things look good. Right now, its a go for early next week.

              I had my first acupuncture session- thank you everybody who came up with recommendations- I went to the first name suggested, and so far, so good. Liz Carlson (of Clarity point Healthcare) was very nice. Its too soon to say if it has worked, but hey, I did wake up to high estrogen today. I have another appointment on Monday, just to play it safe.

              She also suggested that I take wheatgrass. I've been reading up on this and so far it seems like a good idea- I really like the fact that its supposed to help detoxify heavy metals from your body. I need advice- pills or juice shots? How disgusting do the shots taste? I kind of like pills because you don't have to go looking for a juice bar or a farmers market on a regular basis. For any of you who took wheatgrass,  what form did you take it in, and how regularly did you take it?  Plus, did any of you continue to take it into pregnancy?

              I'd also promised a writeup on Thyroid and fertility/pregnancy, I'll add that directly to the 'Science of Infertility section'.

              I noticed commenting is a little wonky today, it takes a while for comments posted to become listed- are people also having issues using Disqus?