Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Binks and Bear!

Binks and Bear
Bear looks so serious standing at attention.

 No more pictures - just give us the treats, please!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 dpo - Halfway Point

Not much going on over here. I'm at or around 7 dpo - about halfway though the 2ww. I think it's possible that FF has my CHs off by a day, but they're probably correct based on my non-temp indicators. Either way, I think it's pretty clear that I ovulated and that's enough for me.

It's not as easy to break the habit of temping as I thought it would be. I decided that I would keep temping on the days that my alarm is going off. I'm skipping all of the other days. It's nice because A) I can sleep in a little bit longer which is always good and B) it makes it more difficult for me to remember what DPO I'm at so I've been obsessing less which is also good. I'm happy with this routine for now.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more exciting. Seth comes home AND it's Halloween and I can't wait to get Binky and Bear back in their costumes!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Plan B(aby)

If Plan A was fall in love, get married and have a baby (plus or minus some extra steps like travel, graduate and find a job), we fell a little short. By now I've accepted that that's not the way it happened or will happen for us. I'm more okay with that than I have been in a long time. I'm not sure where the good feelings are coming from. Maybe it's because I like my job so much and can see myself keeping this type of job for a long time. Maybe it's because going through all of this has made me realize even more how lucky Seth and I are to have each other.Who knows? But I feel good and I'm just going to roll with it.

It helps that we finally have our "Plan B" or "Plan Baby". On Friday, we had our appointment with Dr. M. It was great. He said that he was going to go through all of our options and then have us tell him what we're thinking and feeling. As he went through the options, I felt really relieved because he was sort of backing up everything that Seth and I had been feeling. He said again that he doesn't feel like Clomid/Femara + IUI makes sense for me. He said that injectible drugs + IUI could be a good option, but since we don't have any MFI issues and I have endo it really wouldn't boost our chances too much. It also costs about $2000-$3000 per cycle and comes with a high risk of multiples or cancelled cycles due to overstimulation. After he went over the different aspects of IVF, we got a chance to have all of our questions answered. Seth asked him at what point post-surgery does he start to think that natural conception probably won't happen. Dr. M said that if nothing happens by 4-6 months, he suspects that there is something else going on - too much microscopic endometriosis, a tubal problem, ovaries not releasing an egg or something like that.

So IVF it is. Seth and I feel really good about it and we told Dr. M that we're ready to take that step. Like I said before, we want to wait until January. Partly because we're traveling a lot for the holidays and partly because that will give us 4-6 full cycles to try on our own after surgery. In January, I'm supposed to call the IVF nurse to set up my pre-IVF appointments. I'll take birth control bills for a month (it's weird that the first time I'll ever take BCPs will be because I'm trying to get pregnant) and then the actual IVF cycle will hopefully be in February.

If I don't get pregnant on my own first, of course. We're only on our third cycle. Even if this cycle fails, we still have three more shots. I'm not looking at these cycles as our last chances; I'm thinking of them as bonuses. We're ready to do IVF. We feel like it's our best chance and we're prepared for the consequences and financial burdens (I'm not sure it's possible to prepare for the physical and emotional toll though) so if we happen to get pregnant between now and January - awesome! We will be beyond thrilled, of course. It just feels really good to finally have a back-up plan. Now if/when I start another CD1, I don't have to wonder how long we'll keep going on like this. Will we ever have a decent shot? Will anything ever be different? Now I know. If all else fails, we'll be taking some huge steps towards actually getting pregnant in just about 3 months. I can handle that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

IUI? IVF? I don't know.

Just two more days until our appointment with Dr. M. I'm simultaneously dreading it and excited about it. I think I'm more anxious about this appointment than I have been about any of the others, even the surgery-related ones. I guess it feels like all of the testing and research we've been doing over the past 6 months or so has been leading up to this appointment and this decision. It feels like there is so much at stake now.

Seth and I sat down over the weekend and went over everything. We went through all of the information we could find on endometriosis, endo and fertility treatments, and costs of treatments. I feel pretty good after talking through it with him. At the very least, I feel like we're on the same page we set the limits that we needed in order to be ready to make a decision after talking to Dr. M. For example, I know that I'm not interested in Clomid+IUI. The chances of success are shit for people with endo and Dr. M has mentioned several times that he has seen more negative side effects from Clomid in "slender" women (I haven't had much luck gaining weight yet). We also went over all of the information about IVF. If Dr. M thinks that IVF is the way to go, we're ready for that too. While we're hoping that we qualify for some sort of discount or multi-cycle package, we're prepared to pay the price of IVF if it's the best option for us.

Seth is easy. He says he's not interested in IUI at all. Dr. M will have to give him some good reasons to change his mind - for instance, maybe he recommends an IUI cycle to see how I respond to drugs. Me? I second (and third and fourth) guess everything. I think I agree with him. I just have a feeling that IVF is the best option for us. But I'm a scientist. I can't make decisions based only on feelings. It's killing me that there is not straightforward, correct answer or solution to this problem.

The two biggest things factoring into our decision are the fact that our/my diagnosis is endometriosis (obviously) and finances. With endo, time is not on your side. Since no one knows how quickly it grows back, most doctors want you to be pregnant or get on BCPs. I'm afraid that if we try IUI and it doesn't work, we'll have wasted these months right after surgery where my body is supposedly at it's best. If we do a bunch of IUIs that don't work, it will take us a lot more time to save back up for IVF which will waste even more time. Then I think we must be crazy for even considering IVF without trying something else first. Although, we did try surgery and if we do decide to go with IVF we'll be giving ourselves a full six months after surgery to get pregnant without assistance. That's not nothing. And 21 cycles of trying on our own isn't insignificant either.

I don't know. I wish that I could sort of check-out of the next two days and have someone else make the decision for me. Just let me know when it's over.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

We are the Champions

Yesterday morning, Seth took Binks and Bear to the state park for their morning walk. The park ranger told him that there would be a Halloween parade for dogs at 2 PM, so we decided to go. I was really looking forward to trying out their costumes! We got to the park around 2:30 and Binks and Bear were so pumped. It was kind of hard to get their costumes on properly, but we made it work and they looked super cute.

Binky and Bear

We got to the pavilion and I think we missed the parade which was probably for the best - it was really fucking hot yesterday. All of the dogs were assembled under the pavilion and they were taking turns getting up on a picnic table to show off their costumes. There was some serious competition - two super cute Old English Sheepdogs in Halloween gear and two black Poodles that were dressed up as chefs. Binks and Bear got their turn on the table and then it was judgement time. The whole event was organized by the Junior Rangers Club (mostly girls around 10-14 years old) so it was really cute. They made trophies out of recycled materials and homemade organic dog treats for prizes.

Finally, they announced the winners. The sheep dogs won the "Match your Owners" category (owner's were in festive clothes too) and the poodles won "Best in Show". Then they said they announced that the winners for the "Cutest Pup" category were Binky and Bear! Woohooo! You know it!!!

I was so proud. Proudest mama ever. They fucking rule. They got to take another turn on the champions' table to get their trophies and prizes. All of the junior rangers gathered around to pet them and of course Binks and Bear take the opportunity to give out kisses.

Their trophy says "Cutest Pup of them All"

It always makes me so happy and relieved to see how good they are with kids because they don't get the chance to be with kids often since we live so far away from family.

I'm looking forward to Halloween next week! We'll have more time to get their costumes on properly so I can take some better pictures are home - the 30 or so that I took yesterday just weren't enough!

My prize-winning pups

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rally the Troops

Here we go again. I'm about a week away from my average/predicted ovulation day so now the fun part begins! For a few days, I get to feel like we have some sort of control over the situation. That's always nice.

This is my third cycle since I had surgery. Statistically, most people who get pregnant after surgery without treatment do so in the first three months. I know it's possible, but I'm not expecting to get lucky this time either. Only a very small percentage of people with endometriosis have improved fertility after surgery. I'll never understand why people say they didn't expect to get pregnant so quickly. Why not? ~65% of couples are pregnant within the first three months. Why would you expect to be in the minority? That's silly. I'm not expecting to be in the minority this time either. We're still going to do whatever we can though. Which means we're going to do exactly what we've been doing the past 17 cycles!

I'm still having a lot of pelvic pain. I'm really disappointed actually. I thought things would be different after surgery. Apparently there's a small percentage of people (yay another minority - I AM so lucky) that don't really have an improvement in their symptoms. It's possible that I'm still healing of course, but the pain feels exactly the same as it did before surgery so I'm not too hopeful on that front either.

That's kind of why we're leaning towards starting treatment sooner rather than later. The odds of natural conception after surgery to remove endo are pretty low to begin with. Add my pain to that and we're just really afraid to wait. No one has any idea how quickly the endo with grow back. I don't want the surgery and the MRSA to have been for nothing.

We know we want to do something, we just don't know what yet. Our meeting with Dr. M is one week from today. We want to go into the meeting with some ideas of want we want and also some limits so that we feel ready to make a decision at that appointment (we're 100% OOP now, so every meeting counts). At some point, I'm going to make a big lists of all of everything we're thinking. Lists help me sort out my thoughts and I'm also hoping that people will feel comfortable giving their opinion or advice, even if they're not in the same position. I like hearing different perspectives.

But not today. It's FRIDAY!!! I don't really have a whole lot of work to do before Monday, so it should be a nice relaxing weekend. We have no plans, which I'm sure sounds boring to some people, but it sounds glorious to me. Just two more classes this morning and then I'm done!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Turn on the Light

Today is CD1. Cycle 18. Bring it on.

I'm sad, for sure. I cried for a few minutes last night when my cramps got so bad that I knew I was out. Now, though, it's really anger and fear that I feel most often. I'm so angry that this is happening. I'm angry that I have endometriosis. I'm angry that I never used BCPs - maybe that would have made a difference (and maybe not). I'm angry that we waited to start trying (even though I know it was for the best). And I'm just so scared. I have no idea if we'll be able to have children or how or when it will happen if we are able to do it. I'm afraid that we'll make the wrong decision.

Seth and I talked again about temping. I am ready to give up on it, especially after this last cycle got my hopes up so much. Seth said that he had a good feeling when my temp kept rising too. I feel so bad - I should have kept it to myself. Anyway, I told him how it was really getting to me and I reminded him that Dr. M thinks that with my cycles being so regular just doing the OPKs is enough. We're still a little nervous though. If we're going to do treatment we want to feel like we did everything we possibly could first. I think I'll just temp to confirm ovulation (between the end of my period and ovulation it's only about a week anyway) and then I'll stop. If this helps me feel better, we'll try this method for awhile.

I'm hanging in there though. Partly because I really don't have any other choice and partly because I've been spending the weekend with my three favorites. (Four, if you count all of the phone calls from my mom - she knew I expected to get my period and I think she kept calling to chat so that I didn't feel lonely. I love her.) On Friday, Seth and I took Binks and Bear to the park for dinner. I dropped Seth and the boys off by the front gate and then drove to find a table while the dogs pulled Seth through the park on the skateboard. It's great exercise for them!

After dinner, Seth skated away with them while I got the car. As soon as Bear saw me he started sprinting. It was so cool to see them running toward me in my side mirror. One of the these days, I'll post a video of their runs. They're amazing.

I love these guys - and Seth- so much. I don't know what I would do without them. Some days I think that I can't do this much longer - I'm not strong enough - but I know that as long as I have them and my family and my wonderful friends, the good days will outnumber the bad ones for us. We will get through it. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


I can't take it! This cycle is the biggest mind fuck I've had since we started TTC. Here I am at 13 dpo and my temperature is still rising.

My average LP length is 13 days and my temperature starts dropping around 9 or 10 dpo. Not this time.

I tested yesterday and today and they were both 100% negative. Not even a teeny hint of a line. I'm not feeling super hopeful at this point. The HPT accuracy chart says that 68% of tests are accurate at 13 dpo. I guess I could be in the 32%. Why not? I'm in the 15% who didn't not conceive in the first year. Maybe I'm just really "lucky". I'm just too scared to feel hope. If you showed me this chart 15 months ago, I would be bouncing off the walls with excitement. Now I know better.

So. I'll just have to do my best to keep my mind off of it! I'm so glad that it's the weekend. Tonight we're planning to pick up dinner and take Binks and Bear to a nearby state park for a picnic. It's a really nice park - it's right between the beach and the canal and it's full of big trees so I always feel like I'm back home in the northeast. Plus it's starting to feel like fall at night here so hopefully it will be a nice night to be outside. 

Tomorrow I'm finally going to get a chance to run some errands. I've already prepared by first lecture for next week, so I can take a break this weekend. I've been going through some serious Target withdrawal. We're also going to give Binks and Bear their baths this weekend at some point, so I think it's going to be a busy weekend but definitely in a good way! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We've begun our initial descent

My optimism was pretty short-lived. Right after I made the mistake of admitting that I was feeling hopeful, my body kindly smacked me right back to reality. I've had cramps and extreme rage since Monday afternoon. I've also had really bad pains on my left side. I thought surgery was supposed to fix that? Maybe two full cycles isn't enough healing time? My temperature started dropping yesterday. We've begun our initial descent into Cycle 18. I expect CD1 will be this weekend.

As if that didn't suck enough, I'm pretty sure that Seth has a MRSA infection. When he was getting ready for bed last night I noticed that he had a GIANT "bug bite" on his leg. Okay, we live a sub-tropical climate and we were outside all day Saturday - mosquito bites are common. But this thing is huge and I know from reading all of my MRSA safety materials that people commonly mistake MRSA infections for spider bites. I looked at it more closely and it has an even bigger pink ring around the main "bite". Fuck fuck fuck. I'm so worried because this is much bigger than the one I had. We're hoping that if we explain the situation, our doctor will be able to squeeze him in early this morning to get it checked out. Fingers crossed.

In other news, good news (or as good as this type of news can be), I think Seth and I are finally on the same page and ready to make a decision about our next step. We watched a video on endometriosis and IF and talked through all of the research and we really feel like IVF is going to be the best option for us. We're still going to be open-minded about what Dr. M has to say when we meet with him in two weeks, but it feels good to know that if he also thinks IVF is the way to go, we're ready to make the jump.

Update: I checked the suspicious "bite" again this morning. The pink rim is still there, but it doesn't feel hot and there's no drainage either, so maybe it really is a bite? Seth wants to keep an eye on it and if it doesn't change or it gets worse, he'll see the doctor on Friday. I know I'm a worrier, but I think he is too relaxed sometimes. It's so annoying :P

Monday, October 7, 2013

9 dpo

My chart is killing me. I should know better by now. I feel totally normal. No unusual symptoms at all. I have no reason to get my hopes up - but my chart looks nice!

Isn't it lovely? More often than not, my temperature starts dropping by 9 dpo but there it is, nice and high.

I have to go back to last October to find a chart where my temp is this high above my pre-ovulation temperatures at 9 dpo. Hopefully this week goes by really quickly. I have a bunch of cheap HPTs so I could test early, but I don't know if I want to do it. It's not so much that I hate seeing the BFNs anymore (I just expect that), I just hate getting a negative and then watching my temperature plummet the next morning. I feel like a such a fool.

Ah well. For now, my temp is still up and all I can do is hope that it stays that way!

Friday, October 4, 2013


I get a really strong urge to slap anyone who tells me to be patient.

I was very patient the first 6 months we were TTC, despite having excellent timing and constant pelvic pain.

I was very patient for the 3 months between when my OB first suggested that I might have endo and when I finally made an appointment with the RE.

I was patient for the two months that it took to get an appointment with the RE.

I was patient for 3 cycles after I had the HSG, even though I had a weird left tube and no explanation for the pelvic pain.

I was (slightly less) patient through 2 weeks of post-surgery recovery, a MRSA infection, and 3.5 weeks of antibiotics.

And now I'm waiting (no quite so) patiently just hoping and praying that I'll fall into the small percent of people who are able to conceive without assistance after the lap surgery.

Don't tell me to be patient. Impatience is not my problem.


Yesterday, I had a bit of meltdown. I made an appointment with Dr. M for 3 weeks from today. It will be at the end of my third post-lap cycle. Dr. M recommended that we try on our own for 3-6 months so we want to talk about our options. My research indicates that my chances are not greatly improved with IUI. On top of that, if we spent the money on 3 or more IUIs and they failed, it would be a long time before we could even consider IVF. We're thinking that we'd rather wait a little bit longer to start treatment, save our money, and go straight to IVF. We're not experts, though, so we wanted to talk to Dr. M and get his opinion.

For some reason, I just felt really sad and unsettled after making the appointment (it didn't help that the receptionist was being a dildo). I've been kind of beating myself up lately - am I being impatient??? Should we just keep waiting? How long do we wait? Why should we keep waiting? Isn't part of being an adult accepting that you don't always get what you want when you want it? Are we being ridiculous for considering IVF after only 18 months and 22 cycles (by the time we got there)? Like people have told me, we don't NEED to have a baby right now, but we WANT one. Is that not a good enough reason?

I am so afraid of waiting, but I'm also afraid that we'll pull the trigger on treatment and it will fail. I am hoping and praying that we won't need to make that decision, but I need to be prepared for it if we do. I'm not leaving that appointment without a plan.

Until then I just need to keep trying to take everything one day at a time. We don't really have any other choice do we?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Holy fucking shit. I am so exhausted. I knew that teaching was a lot of work - there are tons of teachers in my family. But knowing and respecting the amount of work they do is a lot different than experiencing it. This is crazy! I only teach 7 credit hours, but I must be spending at least 3 or 4 times that amount working outside of class (plus my part-time job at the lab). I get home from work in the afternoon and I just want to do this:

but I can't because I have to start preparing the next lecture and finish all of the grading for my labs. I just want to sleep!! Or, you know, do something for fun. Or even just empty the dishwasher. Or finish the laundry. But there's no time!!! So instead, I end up like this every night:

I feel like no matter how much work I do, I just cannot stay ahead of it. There just aren't enough hours in the day to finish everything and weekends don't exist right now. I look and feel like complete ass. On the bright side, I still don't hate my job! Exhaustion is a huge improvement from the way I felt about my last job which is saying a lot. I don't even really care that I don't get paid that much. I can pay my bills and I'm happy and that's good enough for me right now. More sleep would be really awesome though. One of my friends told me that the most tired she has ever been was when she got her first job out of college. She said it took her about six months to adjust to her new adult working schedule. Hopefully, my adjustment happens soon.

In fun news, the game/concert on Saturday was great, Binky and Bear's costumes arrived and they're much nicer than I expected for $5.99 (but too big so I have to exchange them), and I got CHs this morning so I'm back in the 2WW! Other than that, there's not much going on unless you'd like to hear my lecture on the theory of plate tectonics. I'll probably be missing for awhile until I get everything under control. I get to do my blog/TB/FB stalking in the early morning hours before there's anyone to play with but at least I can keep up with everyone a teeny bit!