Saturday, June 30, 2012

17 DPO results

I'm literally sitting and physically shaking with releif here. First, my home HPTs finally got darker yesterday evening, giving me some peace of mind and the ability to go out for a friends birthday party,in a Beer Garden of all places, where I spent the evening trying to dodge plumes of cigarette smoke (ARGH) while enjoying a spectacular outdoor view of South Manhattan.

Today's blood work

Beta = 324 (up from 137, doubling time of  38.65 hours)
Progesterone = 33.5 ng/ml (going in the right direction)

Right now, I'm holding off the Crinone (have not started it).  This news will hopefully tide me over this weekend. Sadly, my cousin cancelled her trip now and rescheduled for the weekend of the 14th, where I will be probably be going in for U/S # 1. I really want her visit to be a fun one, but she has been warned of the possible circumstances if things go south.

I have several pregnancy related superstitions from past experience a) I will feel reassured and relaxed before shit hits the fan, I'll never see the blow coming and b) I always receive horrible news before a holiday (my last 2 miscarriages were like 2 days before the 4th of July and Thanksgiving weekends, respectively). The only big holiday on the horizon is the 4th of July, so lets hope for a good beta on Tuesday.

Let us pray that neither comes to pass, and things actually work. I'll believe it when I see it, but now, I can heave a beautiful, heartfelt sigh of releif. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Ohkay, so my intention of holding out till Tuesday lasted till this morning, where I POASed  this morning and got a line that was looked almost the same as yesterday (15 DPO) and the day before (14 DPO). I then sat blindly staring into space for like half an hour, caught somewhere between hope, fear and bleakness. To say that this limbo is messing me up is putting it mildly. I then emailed my awesome Endo and asked him to put in a blood test for beta and progesterone tomorrow. I have to say, this blows. I can deal with a clear failure in my own way, or good news (no trouble at all :)), but this in-between stuff is what truly kills me. I bitched about my previous pregnancies, about having no indication that something bad was coming, but I have to say, the alternative is far worse.

You know that adage? Don't ask a question if you can't deal with the answer? well, I don't deal well with uncertain answers, but apparently, nor can I leave well enough alone. A non-doubling would probably reduce me to a mess for a few hours (with my cousin coming in sometime tomorrow). I feel horrible at the possible at the prospect of  hitting her with this mess, but I think with somebody around, I would manage to be decent company after. I hope. We usually have a blast together, and I hope we will manage one despite the circumstances, even if they are very negative.

I'm naturally a creature of impulse,with little discipline or patience. It amazes me that I have achieved as much as I have in life with this combination of undesirable traits, but, to counterbalance it, I have a pretty strong will. With work, I've forced my dreamy and  unfocussed nature away and dragged in the discipline it takes to achieve stuff, but the TTC process plays hell with my work habits. I've still been getting stuff done in the past 2 weeks, but its been a struggle. Its far, far worse when I'm afraid, as I am now. I'm being unfair to my job when I TTC, because I've definitely not giving it the attention it deserves.

Whatever happens here, I either have a viable pregnancy or not, I'm going to stop working for the next phase. If this pregnancy is non-viable, I'll go back to India, stay unemployed for atleast a few months during which I'll try my hand at IVF. If it IS viable, I'll still go back to India, chill and have all the time in the world to bite my nails and figure out what my next step is professionally. I'm glad that I have this option, and I'm really, really looking forward to not working.

My RE's office just called and offered me the choice of crinone or a (generic?) vaginal progesterone suppository. Which is better? Do either raise your blood progesterone levels?

15 DPO values in

I went in for a blood draw at 45.5 hours exactly.

Progesterone = 23.4 (fallen just a little from the last time)
Beta = 137

Last time was 71, so its almost doubled ( I plugged it into beta base, it gives a doubling time of 48.51). The median doubling time for this range on the betabase is 37.28 hours, so I'm below average here.

In other words, I'm not reassured, the only thing keeping me off the metaphorical ledge is the study I found. But it scares the crap out of me that the progesterone is falling, not rising.

This is what I'm going to do- I'll ask for supplemental progesterone (Suppositories, not PIO). Then, I'm stopping all blood tests till next Tuesday, which will be 21 DPO. I want to have a normal few days and I wont be able to if I'm constantly obsessing and worrying myself sick about this.

This can play out three ways (two of which are very bad indeed) and the 3rd is a happy outcome.

I pray its door # 3, but my plan is not to obsess and nitpick (wish me luck with that!). I'll know when I know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In which science makes me feel better

The first thing I did after getting my results back, was google vitamin D and beta (HCG). Unfortunately I used Google Scholar, which pulled up irrelevant papers(with the most citations first). Today, I used pubmed, and I found something that makes me feel a 100 times better- it was exactly what I was looking for.

Its this study, which basically shows that increasing concentrations of vitamin D directly downregulate Beta-HCG expression over long periods (24 hours) of exposure in cultured human placental trophoblasts.  More the vitamin D, more the inhibition. Interestingly, what the article also quotes is a study which shows that HCG is higher in women with pre-eclampsia, and of course such women tend to have lower blood vitamin D levels.

I know vitamin D is a hormone with a finger in about 3000 + pies, I'm glad to see that it may be in play here, whatever biological weirdness ensures, I can blame it on the increased D and feel better.

Because, right now, that is the bottom line-- I need to feel ok. By whatever means possible. This pregnancy will go however it is destined to go, but right now, I just want MY head not to be messed up.  My cousin is coming down this weekend, I want to be able to run around town with her, just be happy. Please, Universe, if that is not too much to ask for.

Off for repeat beta in around an hour. Lets hope I get the results today, and that it shows doubling.

feeling slightly more steady

Thank you all for your support. I honestly don't know what I'd do without this medium to vent in. I came home early from work, have been completely messed up the entire day, and hope that one day, I can look back at this and laugh at how alarmist I was. Really. 

A lot of you commented on maybe how being different from my earlier pregnancies might be a good thing. I'd want to see it that way, but the issue is, its kind of hard to imagine where lower progesterone levels might signify a better outcome. I know a lot in my physiology has changed after taking vitamin D (you change the levels of something that regulates over 3000 genes(to date) in your body, that is bound to happen), but its super confusing as well--- I've never tested progesterone since I got vitamin D replete, but a number of progesterone- related changes occured after I became replete- My luteal phages got significantly longer, my breast tenderness was very significantly increased overall, all of which you would assume was linked to higher progesterone blood levels. Instead,  the very first progesterone blood test I do (this one) shows the opposite of what one would assume, levels of this hormone are lower (!!). Oh, how I hate thee, biology.

About the beta- its not like my beta levels in the first 2 failed pregnacies were abnormally high, they were higher than around 80-90 % of all reported singleton pregnancies reported in betabase. And this fits with what other women who used my donor told me- thier early betas were very high too(and both of them went on to have perfect pregnancies)- I assumed its a donor related thing, maybe his gene set comes with an extremely strong promoter for the beta-HCG gene. I read somewhere that differences in gene promoter strength can account for the vast variation you see among different people. Either way, what I'm trying to say is, the high HCG's were not indicative of any issue, whatever the issue was in my 2 pregnancies, it was something that manifested much later (for example, pregnancy # 2, which had practically the same betas as pregnancy # 1, ended because of a genetic abnormaility). Both progressed perfectly till around the 7 week mark, and pregnancy # 2 looked textbook perfect till the 8.5 week mark.

So right now, I cannot help but look at my lowish, just above average beta and think that its an indication of something being wrong. The doubling should tell us something,I'm going in for a blood test tomorrow around 1-2 - which should be around 46-47 hours.

I can deal with things going wrong in any single instance. But, when it comes down to it, a) the question of what the hell is wrong with me and b) can it ever be fixed is what really messes up my equilibrium. But after reading around a 1000 stories of infertility and rainbows, intellectually, I know this: we may be in for a horribly long road, but somewhere, down the line, at some point, things actually go right.  You just need bucket loads of patience, and about a truckload worth of Kleenex.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And the fear is back (beta # 1)

I just heard from the nurse
Estrogen = 274
Beta = 71
Progesterone = 25.7

These are 13 DPO values. While both (progesterone and beta) both fall bang in the middle of the normal range, they are WAY lower than my other 2 pregnancies.

Last time: second pregnancy :15 DPO
beta = 457
Progesterone = 45

I also managed to dig up the values for my first pregnancy : 11 DPO
Beta = 50
Progesterone = 36

So, I'm not feeling good at all. All 3 pregnancies, based on when I got the first positive  pregnancy test (-ve in the morning of 10 DPO, positive by afternoon), implanted at the same time. Nonetheless, the beta values (and the progesterone too) for this round are significantly lower than the last 2 times. I'm going to ask for progesterone suppositories and pray that is not a terrible idea, because the last thing one wants to do, is encourage an ectopic or a pregnancy doomed by dragging it out.

If anybody feels like I'm being an idiot (I very well may be, given that these values are considered normal), feel free to point that out.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chillin like a villian

First, thank you all for your wonderfully enthusiastic responses to the last post, It made me feel very, very good to see that level of enthusiasm and goodwill. I'm going to be going back and reading those for a while to come.

I have not gone in for any bloodwork yet. This is more out of sheer laziness (over the weekend, my only option is to show up between 7 and 9 am at my RE's clinic) and a lovely, lovely lack of fear that something is wrong  right at this moment.  I have symptoms of both high estrogen (in the CM) and high progesterone. My betas, by HPT are clearly rising (see picture). I think I can safely say, based on visual evidence, that it is doubling over a 48 hour period.

The main reason I'm going in for a  blood test now is to get the progesterone numbers, I'm really curious as to what they would be at, and to determine if I need additional supplementation. My first pregnancy ended around 2-3 weeks after I weaned myself off supplemental progesterone at around 7 weeks. I don;t think its because of that, because my blood levels  without supplementation were nice and high at around 40, but you never know. Incidentally, I was only put on progesterone because after getting my positive beta, my BBTs began falling to around pre-ovulatory values and stayed there, it had scared the crap out of me.  In retrospect, I maybe thought it was because of thyroid insufficiency. My second pregnancy, I was not on supplemental progesterone, and the development was going beautifully, right on track, till the heartbeat just stopped. And that can be attributed to the Turners (Monosomy 45 XO) with around 90 % probability.

My last pregnancies were conceived in cycle patterns with a luteal phase defect (11 days)- now my LP is almost always 15 days. One of the questions I continue to scratch my head about- what determines length of LP? Is it just the amount of progesterone being produced? Or is it dependent on the progesterone receptor and/or downstream pathways triggered by progesterone in the maintenance of the endometrium? In my last pregnancies, my progesterone  was always high enough (over 40 ng/ml), but this was a pregnant cycle, and your progesterone production is bolstered by the HCG in your system, its a positive feedback mechanism.

Now, I wonder if the progesterone would be higher in this pregnancy (than around 40 ng/ml). Time permitting, I'll go in for the test tomorrow afternoon.  I'll also be looking at TSH, T3, T4, estrogen, Beta levels. I'm also going to try to convince somebody to throw in a toxoplasmosis IgG/ IgM test. I have a cat, and though she is exclusively indoor, I'm still the one scooping out her poop.

Science aide, its wonderful that I'm not scared. If you had to ask me to come up with one adjective to describe how I feel about this pregnancy, its 'numb'. I'm overjoyed that I am pregnant, I think I have not left any bases uncovered, but I cannot bring myself to think that I'm getting a baby at the the end of this. I'm not saying I think I won't, its just that my brain (and my heart) is refusing to go there and imagine it. I'm like, it it goes well, great. If it doesn't, we'll figure out why to the best of our abilities, and probably move to IVF with PGD as a next step. And I think, all said and done, that is a very sensible place to be. I'm just glad my emotional side is allowing it, for now.  And its funny, despite this equanimity, I still talk to my uterus, making my developing baby the most extravagant promises if he/she decides to stick around. Yeah, I'm already bribing my unborn child.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

10 DPO

Well, I have zero discipline.  But thankfully, in some areas, I manage to think ahead (In that I stockpiled on internet cheapies), and right now, I think the gods are smiling down on me. I can only fervently hope that they remain so benevolent for the next 9 months, and beyond.

I've been testing since 8 DPO. Yesterday (9 DPO), It still looked like a BFN, but if you stared at it for 3 minutes without blinking and held it an angle, you could see the faintest smudge of a shadow where the second line should be. That shadow which very well may have been a figment of my imagination kept me sane through yesterday. I'm glad I have a place to say this out loud without people thinking I'm nuts. Or, rather, I hope you won't.

Today, I had vowed to not test till evening, but my resolution cracked early, at around 7 am. Still a tantalizing hint of a shadow. At 2 pm today, I got that first, clear, yet super faint second line---can you see it? The test on top is actually supposed to be a more sensitive brand sold by , with a sensitivity of 10 mIU/ml, while the one at the bottom is thier regular one with a lower sensitivity of 20 mIU/ml, and their regular brand is actually better, IMO.

So right now, at this moment, I am pregnant. Today, I'm afraid of a chemical pregnancy. A week from now, if things continue to go well, I'll be afraid of an empty sac at at 6.5 weeks. Or twins. Twins mean I can't go back to India, because I can't chance a high risk pregnancy, with all the stuff that can go wrong there. After that, I'll be afraid of the heartbeat stopping before embryogenesis is complete. Then, comes the fear of improper development and a 5 month termination. Then, come all the multitude of the2nd and 3rd trimester fears.After birth, I'm sure there is a brand new set you inherit.

The innocence is gone. But thankfully,despite the fear, I still have the ability to truly enjoy this moment. This is a beautiful day, no matter what tomorrow brings. And I hope (and feel optimistic even) that it will bring good things. I'm so grateful that I've been given this chance.

Btw...I hope this post goes some way towards exploding the myth of FMU (first morning urine) being the most optimal to test in. I had a BFN in my FMU. But this early, beta production (and excretion in the urine) is mainly a function of time. The test at 10 pm is more likely to be darker than the test at 2 pm , which is more likely to have more beta HCG thnt the FMU collected when you just wake up

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I never usually get sick, especially since starting the vitamin D, the bugs that fell almost everybody else around me to seems to skim me by, or leave me with a much milder version of what everybody else has. Well, yesterday that changed. I was stupid and spent 4 hours taking pictures on a microcope- its painful stuff, you stay on your feet, adrenalin keeps you going, and the next thing you know, hours have flown by and you are just physically wiped out.  I walk out of there and  realize I have this seriously painful throat. ACK.. Take the combination of momentary stress, a day before spent with an enchanting 3 year old (they may be awesome, but they are also germ factories, given that they hang out with a bunch of other kids with relatively fledgeling immune systems), and a possible immune suppression because of pregnancy in the throes of establishment (oh please let it be so), and you have the makings for a nasty viral infection. I came home at noon today and slept all day, was frightened by a really strong neckache (please let it not be the flu), and still feel shaky, but thankfully, there is no fever yet.

I also had accupuncture this morning (where I was told my pulse was 'strong' indicating I'm really healthy, and have signs of high progesterone based on how sensitive some of my points were). I was curious as to where the points needled wold be----all in my forearms/feet, plus one in my forehead, aimed to increase bloodflow to my uterus to provide a really oxygen rich, vascularized atmosphere. If I am going to turn up pregnant, something like this could conceivably help a little in say, reducing risks of preeclampsia , given that one of the underlying causes of preeclampsia is poor placentation really early on.  This website was an interesting read in  this matter.

What made me happy today: about an hour of really sustained, strong menstruation-like cramps in the afternoon. I remember cramping like this from the cycles that I did get knocked up, its not usually ever there in my non pregnant cycles.

I pray that, no matter what happens, I can save myself a lot of grief/angst by not testing till atleast 10 DPO. Based on past experience, I got my BFPs  (super faint) in the evening of this day, though in the morning it was still negative. Right now, I'm just hoping I wont be sobbing into a pillow come Friday evening. It would be infinitely smarter to wait till Saturday to test, but I don't have the discipline for that. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Halfway through the 2 week wait..

I've survived half the 2ww. The  flood of 'symptoms' the past few days have been helping. Crazy sore boobs, some creamy CM,  lower luteal phase temperatures than usual indicating that despite the high progesterone, there may be slightly more estrogen than usual around -- Here is an interesting and relevant tidbit: Estrogen has a temperature lowering effect, while progesterone increases it. So the so called 'implantation dip' that is a big part of 2ww urban legend comes from here- the drop in temps is because of a surge of estrogen around the time of implantation (and the middle of any normal luteal phase too, which is why non-pregnant cycles can show the 'implantation dip' too--see pic on right) - the question is, is that normally occurring surge higher than usual if there is an embryo bouncing around? Is your temperature even lower than normal because of that?

I've also had lots of twinges and cramping and have also had some really strong heartburn on 4 and 5 DPO (helped by some spicy thai food, which I can usually chow down without feeling a thing), and today (6DPO), I had mild nausea and twinges of hearburn. Heartburn is a promising symptom- that was how my mom knew she was knocked up with my brother, and I definately felt it, very early on, in pregnancy # 2.

The sad part is, I felt quite a bit of this (not the heartburn so much, and lesser cramping) during the last try which resulted in a BFN. As I had some very strong and unusual cramping around 9 DPO that cycle Its always possible that there was an embryo that stuck around till maybe the end (9-10 DPO) and failed to implant, but its plain speculation. As is most of this post.

Last time, in the BFN cycle,I had acupuncture before ovulation , but not around implantation (7DPO) as my acupuncturist had suggested. This time, I'm trying it in reverse, have an appointment for tomorrow. I have to say, I've been horribly indecisive about this. Last time, I did not try it because I had gotten pregnant in 2 natural cycles, sans acupuncture. After that last cycle failed I could not help but pointlessly wonder that maybe my uterus had turned more hostile and acupuncture might have helped. Now that I'm trying it, I'm nervous it will somehow hinder instead of help , which is unlikely based on everything, but this is so a damned if you do, damned if you don't frame of mind I'm in, ARGH.

I've been searching Pubmed- acupuncture has mostly been studied on the day of embryo transfer- that is in many cases equivalent to around 5 DPO for the embryo, so its harder to compare to when I plan to have it, which is 7DPO. AT this point it either mildly helps or has no effect.  There is a group from china who does this to rats (poor rats) and find that it reduces inflammatory cytokines, but comparing that study to humans is so totally apples and oranges.   Has anybody had it around this time-7DPO? If so, I hope you can share your experience!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, for a lobotomy

Or one of those little zappy guns used in  the MIB movies to make people forget what just happened. Yeah, that would be prefect.  A close encounter with Will Smith would not hurt either.

I want to forget that I just had an IUI. I really, really effin do. So I can get through the next 10 days, doing my job, concentrating on LIFE, without constantly patting/excavating (TMI much?) my lady parts to try to figure if I have any goddamn 'pregnancy' symptoms.

I'm only at 2 DPO. The next 8-9 days are going to be a slow moving hell, if yesterday and today and any indications. This mental (and physical) hand wringing of Am I / Am'nt I is exhausting.
Recap: This IUI, like my first 2, was difficult. The one before this (which resulted in a BFN) had been suspiciously easy.  I would be a terrible candidate fr a newbie to practice on, apparently, but the stuff got where it was supposed to go, and stayed there, or so I was told. I was pissed off that this clinic does not hand out oral antibiotics after the deed (both my San Diego practices did)- I'd appreciate it if you guys weigh in on whether yours do. This practice has both pros and cons, but I'd like to know what the norm is.

The evening of the IUI itself, the usual sore chest symptoms started. I had cramping, indicative of an ovulation, that night (this is normal, I always have distinctive cramping the night of the day of ovulation) and the next morning too, though the latter is something I've noted only when I've had IUIs. I wonder if its the presence of the swimmers itself that can do it.

My temperature had increased the next morning, progesterone is obviously around.  Anyhow, the sore and tingling boobs symptom is in full swing (and is very high on the magnitude scale), but this in itself means nothing- I have this many, many cycles, and is just indicative of luteal phase progesterone being high. I was desperately hoping for great big gobs of EWCM ( I had this both the cycles where I did get knocked up, this is very usual and distinctive thing, never observed in my non-pregnant luteal phases, and jibes with the literature showing that estrogen is much higher in pregnant vs non-pregnant cycles), but, sadly no dice yet, other than a tiny smidgen of something resembling the estrogen induced slime when  I woke up this morning. This makes me think that its not worked, but of course, I could be wrong. I hope I am.

Yeah, the next 8-10 days are going to be utter hell. I can deal with a BFN, but the anticipation of one, and the fervent hope for a BFP, is much harder to deal with.  So, if anybody knows a way to induce selective memory loss (without hitting me on the head), holler!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

IUI day

My surge (judged by OPK) was close to full strength by around 7 pm last night, and this morning the line had darkened several shades. I went in for the ultrasound and blood draws this morning just because I want the numbers. The doctor who walked in did not even want to do the ultrasound, but reluctantly complied  on my insisting that it be done. She was so eager to be out of there (overall, I really cannot say good things about the practice I'm with now), I did not want to pepper her for details so I did not ask what the lining was at at, but my follicle grew 2 mm to 19 mm. That made me happy because that is largest follicle I've ever had, they have been at 17 mm the last 2 tries.

Not that it should mean much: I've said this many times, follicle size and quantity can never properly translate to quality, these are very likely to be 2 completely separate entities. The only way to ever measure follicle/ egg quality is to:
a)see how well the eggs fertilize and divide as embryos
b) Study of follicular fluid content: I'd think this is an area that really needs to be explored, to understand infertility better. People harp about genetics being the main cause of early (in the first 14-21 days) losses, but, in my opinion, they are looking at it the wrong way.  The fluid in the egg, which provides all the nutrients for the embryo to survive and proliferate for around nearly 8-10 days on its own, is more of the driving force at this early point. There is no reason for the genetics to come into play, because the embryo is just dividing again and again, with very few genes being expressed. In other words, very early losses, probably upto 2 weeks after fertilization are probably are due to cytoplasmic issues, unless the gene missing or damaged is from the small handful involved in  blastocyst formation, hatching, implantation etc. However: there could be a correlation between the two things (cytoplasm and genetics) though- an egg having a crappy cytoplasm is also likely to have had a crappy genetic division with more chances of aneuploidies.

Anyway, away from scientific speculation and back to me--bloodwork just came in.
-Estrogen has plateaued at 235 pg/ml.
Last time, from right ovary, was 265. Question for anybody in the know: what is the estrogen range at peak per single mature follicle? I found one website which said 200-600 pg/ml which makes me very sad, buts most say 200-300 pg/ml
-LH is a whopping 46.2 pg/ml.
Super strong surge, stronger than the last time (that was 31 pg/ml)

IUI is set for 1 pm.Will be saying many prayers as I head, once more, into this very scary breach.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Part II: All about the hormones (updated at the end)

Again, it does not *look* like a super pretty cycle that I am trying in. Its CD15 today.  I'm coming up to a surge possibly tomorrow. I picked this cycle because my Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor(CBEFM) switched to 'high' fertility a possible 4 days before ovulation, which is not too shabby.  To try to understand what that meant, I read the original studies looking up how the monitor works: There are 3 forms of estrogen: estradiol (strongest), estrone (middle strength) and estriol (weakest). The CBEFM measures the levels of a Estrone metabolite, which correlates very well to blood estradiol levels.  At some point, when the estrone levels increase past a certain threshold, the monitor changes from 'low' to 'high' fertility.

The good news, I've had 'high' fertility for around 3 days now, but the bad news is I have not seen a peep of the egg white CM yet.Apparently, estradiol (the strongest estrogen) drives the cervical mucous production. So when that gets super high, you get all that goopy stuff. It should be straightforward (lots of estradiol = lots of CM), but I have to wonder. Here is a question for you IVF ladies: There are times your estradiol levels must have gone through the roof, given the multiple maturing follicles: Do you always see the fertile CM during this time?

Because I've seen no CM yet, I was hoping  that ovulation would be delayed a day past CD17, but no dice, I've been monitoring my LH for the past 2 days, its on the rise and I think I should be in full surge by tomorrow (CD16). Which means the IUI is dayafter. ULP.

I am going in for hormonal monitoring and a U/S tomorrow. I have a feeling my stats (hormone levels, follicle sizes etc) are going to be very similar to my last cycles, and are considered bang normal by any RE, so my nitpicking and worry, is really for nothing. Something I cannot put my finger on is the problem.

In the last cycle, which was a BFN, I had a lot more 'symptoms' in the luteal phase which could
a) have been the result of a hypersensitive, far too imaginative psyche because absolutely nothing happened
b) been indicative of an embryo that probably bounced around for a few days, produced a smidgeon of HCG, before dying out because it could not implant, either due to uterine issues or because it was itself crappy quality and ran out of steam. Yeah- this covers most bases.

CD16 Testing and monitoring update:
EWCM made its exuberant entrance this morning (It always makes me SO happy to see it, yeah, I'm a little nuts but I blame this process :-))
U/S Monitoring:  The action is all in the left ovary (UGH- I have a hate-hate relationship with the left side of my body, will explain why sometime). Lining = 8.6 mm and 'beautiful'; Follicle = 17 mm (almost exactly the same as the last 2 times, albeit those measurements were on the day of ovulation, not from the day before).
Estrogen = 221 pg/ml-- normal for a single follicle,  I'm hoping it will be up a little tomorrow.

LH test results:
9 am blood work shows LH = 13. ie, looks like the surge is starting, but not there yet. 
2 pm check by OPK: Surge still not underway,  test line lighter than control.
7 pm check by OPK: LH surge is here. Test line now as dark as control.

IUI will be tomorrow. While I can apparently take a lot of shit and keep on going with barely a hitch in my stride, here is hoping the universe hands me something good instead.

Part 1: The Philosophical Outburst.

In probably 2 days, the next unmediated IUI will happen. Its will only be my 4th attempt to get pregnant, but it has been a long road (over 2 years) from the starting point. Had I been told how it was going to unfold at that starting point (5 months of pregnancy in total, 2 losses, long breaks in between, 1 BFN and a very uncertain future), I'm sure I would have collapsed in utter horror. I thought this was going to be easy, y'know? And, just looking at the bare bones, what I went through sounded just horrible on paper. I'd have thought I'd be a wreck.

But- having actually lived through these two years, I don't see it as bad, or even that depressing. While 2010, the year of my 2 losses, was no picnic, I've actually enjoyed the hell out of this last year which constituted my break from the process. My personal growth, kickstarted by my losses, was something that was necessary, and I thank the powers that be that it came about. I really like the person I am today, compared to the me two years ago. The catalysts for transformation are not comfortable, or even nice things, and the catalyst here was really miscarriage # 2.  There is one small part of me that wonders if I *should* feel worse over what happened (I lost 2 babies), and whether there should be guilt that I feel so very OK. And then, my rational side kicks in.

I've talked about what one really loses in a miscarriage, and our disproportionate, yet very human response to that loss. Today, I'm glad for the place I'm in and  for the most part, cannot regret that all of this has unfolded, that I lost 2 lives that could have been mine to protect and raise. Should I feel guilt over that lack of regret? No-- because I had no choice in anything. If I could go back and be the decider as to how things would unfold, my first child would be over a year old today. Period.  But--I am utterly powerless in deciding anything, my job is to accept and deal with whatever hand fate hands me, and that knowledge sweeps away the guilt.

The very best part is, the big picture fear is gone. Sure, there is plenty of little picture angst.  If I do the IUI on Tuesday, I'm going to have two weeks of nail biting and agonizing, followed by approximately 2 days of  misery and weeping into a pillow if its a BFN. But no matter what happens, there is a solid, secret knowledge that I'm going to be fine, that one way or the other, things will resolve in a manner that will not be considered catastrophic by myself. You know where shrinks tell you to tell yourself that everything going to be ok? I've actually managed to convince myself of it, and its not because I have faith that things will work out in the end and I'll walk away with a squalling healthy baby, its more that it is a confidence that I'll be able to deal with whatever comes about and be ok. And that, my friends, is just magical.

I have my usual share of little picture geeky misgivings/fears and theories. Was going  to combine it into one giant post, But I think it can be its own separate outpouring. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

In which I jump the gun

Thank you all for your advice- I might have taken the ‘don’t wait’ bit a little too much to heart- circumstances permitting, I will try again THIS cycle.  In 4-5 days.

The reason I decided to go for it was: this morning, CD13, I tested with my clear blue fertility monitor, I’m already at high fertility (ie, high estrogen). If I ovulate on CD17, (as has been the norm for the past few cycles), I’ll have atleast 4 days of high fertility, which is not too shabby.

I’ve not been preparing for this: I was on a break from my prenatals for 2 weeks of my last cycle, I consumed a lot of alcohol last weekend and had the worst hangover of my life, I’ve been merrily spraying clouds of ethanol around myself at work.  But—screw that. All the preparation and care in the world can get you nothing, while people who drink, consume no folic acid and live off a steady Mcdonalds diet with not a leaf of spinach in sight end up breeding like rabbits to produce perfectly healthy children.

I also don’t have any swimmers at my doctor’s office.  I just called my clinic and have one vial winging its way here to get here Monday morning. So, as long as I don’t surge tomorrow, all will be well.

The reason I was going to wait till July was, if all went well, I’d be only 4 months along at my brother’s wedding.  If I try this cycle, and things work out, I will be a whopping 20 weeks along.  Hiding it from the masses that constitute my ginormous family remains a priority.  The very first thing I did was google ‘20 week bump photos’, there is quite the range. There are women who look full term at 20 weeks and then there are those that barely show. Most people are showing by then though. I wonder how it would be for me: I’m super petite with fairly decent abdominal muscle tone, and nothing was really visible when I’d gotten to the 12 week point the first time around (though my baby had died at probably the 8-9 week point). But it is impossible to predict: I’ve been praying that spanx and an empire waist will do the trick, IF it comes to that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In the decision zone---EEK!

Its getting to that time that the bridge you've been dreading crossing is looming up in front of you. And most vexingly, my work situation is forcing me closer and closer to some less-than-ideal decisions.Without going into details as to why, I think I want to stay in my current job only till the end of August, at the very best.  I can still only try to get pregnant in my July cycle. Which means, I'll have to either have to face a transcontinental move at some early point in my first trimester, or I'll have to try to get pregnant once I've relocated to India.

The second option, on paper, does seem ideal. I can go back, have my vials shipped out (although I'm pretty irrationally afraid that they would get lost in transit), and I since I plan on atleast 2-3 months of blissful unemployment (my parents would happily support me in this state for years if need be), I can deal with the entire TTC/ first trimester period with zero work- or moving-related stress, which there will be oodles off if, I try option # 1, which is get pregnant next month and then move.But still, the other choice fills me with dread.

I want to try here. Next month. I don't want to wait 2-3 months to do this. I don't want to try again in a completely new atmosphere (India), even though logic says that, in many ways, it is better. But there is that utterly irrational fear of the unknown.

I want to try here next month knowing that I will have to deal with all the accompanying stresses of wrapping up my job and moving.  Knowing that the experiments I have lined up that will work with some of the most toxic chemicals. Of course, you take precautions to make sure your exposure is non-existent, but still.

What do I do? Color me scared, and somewhat conflicted.