Going for a non-fertility related ultrasound

Since I’m currently on hiatus from the clinic while I recover from the ectopic pregnancy surgery I’ve been taking care of other health issues that have been ignored the last couple of years. I went for a physical, had my teeth cleaned, and today had an ultrasound on a strange lump I noticed in my leg.

Turns out the lump is likely just a benign fat deposit and nothing to worry about. But going to an ultrasound lab 3.5 weeks after surgery to remove my pregnancy was painful. 90% of the people in the waiting room were pregnant women and their husbands/partners.

I can usually celebrate other peoples pregnancies without too much grief for myself but today I just couldn’t do it. I had to sit in the waiting room for close to an hour while women showed off their ultrasound pictures and their bellies to all around. I couldn’t help but think about my pregnancy that wasn’t viable and it made me really sad.


September 10, 2008 at 3:05 am 1 comment

The difference between love making and baby making

After 2 years of TTC and umpteen shots in my butt, sex has become more work than I ever imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sexually healthy woman (at least I think so) who enjoys getting into the sack with hubby. Unfortunately as the realization of fertility issues takes hold those fun times turn into managing the logistics.

For example, making time to meet-up every other day for a week during prime time regardless of how busy or tired we might be is a quick way to turn what is usually passion into a functional act. Knowing the position that works best to keep all the sperm inside and (hopefully) swimming to their destination and doing it in that position all week long. And my favourite, remembering to take an egg out of the fridge earlier in the evening so it has time to warm up to room temperature. Trust me when I say that bringing cold egg whites into the bedroom is a quick way to put out the fire.

So it was with some relief that the last few weeks have been all about pleasure and nothing at all to do with baby making. During our IVF cycle in July we found out that the eggs that were fertilized were the ones that had ICSI. So obviously there is something preventing our sperm and egg from fertilizing naturally. I’ve recovered physically from surgery fairly quickly and after a couple of weeks felt the flames of desire again. And what a relief after 2 years to enjoy lovemaking again with no thoughts of egg whites or ovulation charting.

September 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm 1 comment

My fertility reading diet is now over

It amazes me how much we all read as we make our way through fertility challenges. At the beginning I read masses of information about how to optimize chances of conception. And then I read masses about reproductive technologies and what to expect. I even went offline (gasp!) and got books from the local library. And then I just stopped. I figured I’d consumed as much information as I could and I just had to think about something besides fertility for awhile.

In the few days after I had surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy I was feeling so lost and sad that I turned back to online resources. I joined a support group and read about others experiences. I read about the odds of having another ectopic pregnancy. I consumed information like when I first realized conceiving wasn’t going to be as easy as everyone made it sound when I was sixteen and discovering those boys weren’t so stinky after all.

Cleaning up my office on the weekend I found a note I’d made to look up a book by Julia Indichova titled, Inconceivable: A Woman’s Triumph over Despair and Statistics. I forget where I heard about it or who recommended it but there it was written down on a sticky note in my to-do pile. The local library didn’t have a copy so I bought it online and expect its arrival in a couple of days. Would love to hear what you thought if you’ve read it!

August 26, 2008 at 2:33 am 1 comment

No, I’m not pregnant yet

It has been months since I’ve posted here on this blog. Life got crazy and busy and I ran out of energy for writing. But today I logged into my account and noticed this comment:

love your sense of humor. I am hoping you have been able to concieve. Please blog an update if you are indeed successful. Thank you rom an unknown older woman who ran across your post with the google question, “how long can sperm survive.

Maybe because it’s Friday or maybe because for the first time in months I’m hormone free (more on that later) but I felt like writing a post. So here it is. The post to say I’m still here and I’m still not pregnant.

Since March I’ve done another 2 IUIs and finally in June we decided it was time to try IVF. It worked and for one short week I watched my beta level increase normally. And then it didn’t. It plateaued, went back up, plateaued. Finally the ultrasound confirmed my fear: ectopic pregnancy.

The fertility clinic sent us to the hospital for a shot of Methotrexate. More info about how Methotrexate works here – http://www.webmd.com/baby/methotrexate-for-ectopic-pregnancy. The hospital performed another ultrasound and could see the heartbeat. That meant surgery was required instead of the Methotrexate. An hour later I was under the knife and they removed my right tube. Thankfully they could remove it with laparoscopy instead of laparotomy, ie. cutting my whole stomach open.

This all happened 2 weeks ago and I’m still feeling raw and emotional. Physically I’m healing fine. In my head I know the positive thing is that I got pregnant and I can get pregnant again. I think it will take a little while before my heart truly believes it and is ready to try again. When we’re ready we do have 2 frozen blastocysts so thankfully don’t have to go through the full IVF process again.

August 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm 3 comments

Baby-making according to the calendar

This month we’re kicking it old skool style and trying to conceive the old-fashioned way. You know…getting between the sheets in our own bed for a little tumble without a needle, speculum, or catheter in sight.

I’ve recovered from the laprascopy but the timing didn’t work to make this a “clinic month” so we’re left to our own devices. Back when we started this whole baby-making endeavour we had sex every other day between days 7 and 17 of my cycle. Now I know I don’t ovulate until day 14 at the earliest so I figured we didn’t need to start the ‘planned’ meet-ups until day 10. But turns out we ended up having some fun on the weekend anyway 😉

So last night hubby gives me the “wink wink nudge nudge” signal and yet again I find myself looking for a way to postpone until today without making it sound like all love-making has been scheduled according to the calendar. It’s a tricky thing as baby-making does require some planning and scheduling. But at the same time I hate to lose the ‘fun’ of it and make it seem like we’re just “sticking to the program”.

In the end I told him straight out that we’re in prime-time and 2 days in a row is a no-no but I’d be happy to meet him and his mister the next day. So now we’re both on the same page and we’re both good at counting so I’m sure it won’t be an ongoing issue. But if anyone has any ideas on how to keep the spark while sticking to the program I’m all ears!

March 5, 2008 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Laprascopy Follow Up Appointment Postponed

I was supposed to have my post-op appointment yesterday but the doctor had to reschedule. I’m still a couple of weeks away from getting my period and being ready to start a new cycle so I guess it doesn’t really matter. It will give me a couple more days to think of any more questions. Here’s my list so far:

  • Should we do another IUI cycle now that the endometriosis has been cleaned out? or jump right to IVF? I’ve read different views on this. Some say it’s best to jump right into IVF while your chances are the best and you feel strong.
  • With all 4 IUI cycles I’ve done I end up with just one follicle. I start with multiple follicles but one becomes dominant and the others don’t grow to maturity. So far I’ve tried Clomid and Bravelle. Does this mean 1 follicle is likely to happen with other medications? And what does that mean if we decide to try IVF?
  • If we want to do IVF how does that work? Do we start on day 3 like IUI cycles? How long is process on average from start to finish (I need to know what I’m in for!)
  • Thoughts on acupuncture. I’m becoming more and more interested in looking at alternative healthcare and integrating it into my reproductive efforts.
  • How much endometriosis was removed. I don’t have any sense of this at all. The doc told my hubby they removed 4 spots but I’d like to know if they were large, small, and whether size impacts odds of conceiving.

March 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm 1 comment

Infertility Survival Handbook – A Must Read

During my recovery from laparoscopy surgery I’ve had lots of time to read. I finished up the Infertility Survival Handbook written by Elizabeth Swire Falker and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Stefanie for the referral!

Some parts were very specific to the USA and weren’t really that interesting to me, a Canadian. I could see how it would be useful to understand different health insurances and how to look for a clinic if you lived in the States. But it did make the book very US-centric and less helpful to international folks. Not a criticism by any means as that might have been the intent of the author, just pointing it out in case other non-US folks are thinking of picking it up.

I found the explanations of procedures really helpful, even the descriptions of tests I’ve already had. There’s something reassuring about reading an experience you’ve had and thinking “Yep, that’s exactly what it was like”. It gives me confidence that the descriptions of procedures I haven’t yet had are accurate.

I learned a lot about various blood tests that I haven’t undergone yet. I’m not sure if they’re commonly done up here but at least I know what to ask about now.

The best piece of advice I got was to create a ‘take care of me’ basket. The author has a different name for it (I’ve already returned the book to the library so I can’t look it up) but the idea is to prepare for your ART cycles by having things on hand that pamper, sooth, destress, and relax you. Two things I love about this:

  • It reminds me that it’s OK to feel like crap. Fertility drugs do take a toll and too often I try to keep going like normal and discount the affect they’re having on me.
  • Incorporating small pleasures into my days when I’m feeling like crap will be nice. Something to look forward to and a reminder to focus on me and my well-being.

I’m not sure when my next cycle will start but I’m already planning my take care of me basket!

March 3, 2008 at 10:28 pm 2 comments

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