Archive for November, 2007

Coffee and Anaprox: Breakfast of Champions

So that’s it. This cycle is officially over. I woke up with raging period cramps and my flow started a couple of hours later. Ever since I started having a period I’ve had incredibly painful cramps. Not to get too graphic but I keep a paper bag in the bathroom as the pain is often so intense I start hyperventilating. Which is really lovely when you’re in the midst of throwing up. Anyway…enough of that nastiness…

My current doc doubled my dosage of Anaprox and the cramps are a LOT more manageable as long as I’m sufficiently medicated.

When we started TTC I cut way back on my caffeine and alcohol intake. After a year when we started seeing a specialist and visiting the clinic I made more changes to my diet (keeping it very PCOS-friendly).

There seems to be a lot of different opinions about how much of a pregnancy diet you need to follow when TTC. My family doc told me the cord between mom and baby wasn’t developed for the first 2 weeks so there’s a very low risk to the fetus if you eat/drink something inappropriate before knowing you’re pregnant. That seemed fine at first but once we started going in for IUIs and putting a lot of time and money into getting pregnant I decided to avoid things like soft cheese and sushi after ovulation. Probably because it made me feel like I was doing all I could.

I also had an appointment with a nutritionist who knows a lot about PCOS. I’m pretty good at sticking to the PCOS diet most of the month. Again, I want to do everything I can within my control to maximize our chances.

The thing I miss most is coffee. Strong, black, bitter coffee. So once a month, on the first day of my period, I indulge.  I try to drown the disappointment that comes with getting my period…yet again…in a nice strong brew. Today was that day.

So I’m highly caffeinated, achy with cramps, and bitterly disappointed.  A real treat for all those around me.

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November 29, 2007 at 10:14 pm 3 comments

Reading the signs

I started spotting. No other symptoms that AF’s arrival is imminent which is very unusual for me. This whole cycle has been peculiar. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into every last gasp my body makes.

No period zit, no chocolate cravings (well beyond the usual constant desire for chocolate of course), no grumpy mood, and no cramps (so far). That last one if really unusual as I always get cramps and they’re usually very painful. In fact I take Anaprox as soon as the cramps start and remain doubled over in agony until the medication works its way into my system.

I’m a little stressed about when AF will arrive as I’m out of town this weekend. I usually go into the clinic on day 3 to start the whole process. I’m not sure if I can go in on day 4 or 5 and still do an IUI this month. I’d hate to miss a second month at the clinic. Yet I’m also out of town on Dec. 15th which is likely to be prime insemination time. So the whole thing might be a moot point.

All the unknowns that are out of my control. Ugh. And all this travel. Double Ugh. I’m working hard at keeping my calendar completely free of any travel Jan-Mar.  It’s hard because I’m expected to do a certain amount of business travel and work doesn’t know we’re TTC.

So it looks like I’ll be seeing AF soon…sigh…

November 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm 1 comment

Are those period pangs I’m feeling?

Every month I get the usual telltale signs a week before my period starts. For me it starts with a slight twinge in my lower belly. Nothing painful, just a slight drawing down feeling. In fact it’s so slight that I didn’t use to even feel it. It’s only since I’ve been TTC and obsessing over every little twinge in my body that I’ve really noticed it. Now it has become a sign that the 24 hours of PMS and “chocolate IS a drug!” moodiness is coming. And then I’ll be fine for a few days until I’m hit with the full-on cramps and bloating.

So now I’ve described my pre-menstrual feelings in such scintillating detail (aren’t you glad you’re reading!) I have to say that this month has been different. And when things are different I obsess more than usual…something my hubby doesn’t believe is possible 😉

Two days ago I was feeling a bit blue and wondered if it was the PMS hitting as it was about 1 week before my period is due. But it didn’t get anywhere near the expected “just leave me alone and let me be sullen and silent” state. Then last night I had a ‘more than usual’ desire for chocolate. We didn’t have any in the house and I decided it wasn’t worth running to the corner store as the need wasn’t that bad. “WASN’T NECESSARY TO RUN TO THE STORE”. Quite different from my usual “sprint like an olympian and to heck with the old ladies I knock over” attitude!

Just before getting out of bed this morning I felt another twinge in my lower belly. So it seems my period is coming but much tamer than usual. I’ve read lots of women’s stories about how they get slight cramping and a little bleeding even though they are in fact pregnant. As it was an “au natural” (ie. not at the clinic) month for us I’d be surprised if I was pregnant. And yet, like usual, I can’t help hoping and wondering. And of course continuing to feel every last pang in my body. Although I’m pretty sure that what I just felt was a hiccup…but you never know 🙂

November 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

Miscarriage rates higher for woman with PCOS

I just read a really interesting post over at the Life Begins blog. It refers to a study titled, Misscarriage rates following in-vitro fertilization are increased in women with polycystic ovaries and reduced by pituitary desensitization with buserelin. What a mouthful!

The long and short of it is that women with PCOS “had a significant reduction in the rate of miscarriage when treated with the long buserelin protocol, 20.3% (15/74), compared with clomiphene citrate, 47.2%“. This is referring to women who have undergone IVF.

I’m still on the IUI track but this article made me wonder if I’m facing a higher risk of miscarriage in general because I have polycystic ovaries. According to this Inciid FAQ it looks like that is the case. “According to some studies, the risk of miscarriage in women with PCOS is 45 percent or more”.

45% – Holy Cr*p!?!?!

That’s a really high percentage. I currently take metformin and it sounds like some doctors are keeping their PCOS patients on it during the early stages of pregnancy. It sounds like early miscarriage is often related to elevated LH levels and women with PCOS often have high levels of LH. I’ve never asked my doctor what my LH level is but sounds like it’s a good question when I’m in for my next cycle.

Two other articles also reference that 45% stat. I haven’t thought too much about the risk of miscarriage as it seems silly when I’m not even pregnant yet. But that 45% number is a good reminder that getting pregnant is just the first step!

November 21, 2007 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

Sending a care package for new baby

My best friend just had her first child. I’ve known this woman since we were 9 years old and we’ve helped each other through relationships, breakups, new relationships, and the many other milestones of our lives. She had her own challenges with conceiving so I’m thrilled she’s welcomed her son into her world.

I’ve read a few blogs about woman ttc and finding it hard to welcome their friend’s babies. Resenting their success and breaking down while selecting a baby gift for the new mom. Maybe I’m still new to this whole scene (2 IUIs) but I enjoyed putting together a care package I thought my friend would appreciate. She’s the one I talk to most frequently about my own frustrations with trying to conceive so the bond is strong. I wanted to celebrate her new role as ‘mom’ as much as I want her to let me cry when I get my period yet again.

Most of my family is overseas so I haven’t been around babies much or attended many baby showers. So the whole shopping experience was new. Holding those teensy tiny shirts made me a little dreamy as I look forward to the day I’m shopping for my own new baby. But I didn’t for a minute feel resentful. I hope I can always celebrate my friends successes without letting my own frustration interfere. Who knows…it might get harder as more time goes by.

November 19, 2007 at 2:47 am 3 comments

The TTC booty call

I expected to ovulate a couple of days ago while I was 4000 miles (give or take) away from my hubby. Since we started trying to conceive I’ve found it tricky to fit business trips into the calendar. At the beginning I didn’t stress too much about having to occasionally be on the road during the peak time for ovulation. But since we’ve been seeing a fertility specialist and going through procedures at the fertility clinic it’s a lot harder. This month was one of those times that I just couldn’t make it work, which meant skipping the clinic and being away from DH when my follicle was expected to drop its load.

Since I figured we’d missed the proverbial boat (or in this case the journey of the egg) this month, I was surprised to notice the signs of ovulation today. I never get the pain in my back some women feel but I nearly always notice the clear stringy discharge indicating the “moat is being lowered” (as my doctor says) and ovulation is close at hand.

Of course tonight my DH has plans with the boys and is going out right after work. It’s unusual for him to go out on a Friday night so I hate to change plans…but this is ‘clear stringy discharge’ we’re talking about…who wouldn’t want a piece of that!

I talked to him at work and he’s rushing through his day so he can squeeze me in for a quickie…ah the romance!

November 17, 2007 at 2:09 am Leave a comment

How long can sperm live inside me?

That’s the question I am wondering at the moment. I’m leaving on a business trip at the crack of dawn tomorrow and expect to ovulate in the next few days. My DH gave me and my libido a proper farewell. I’d go into details but this isn’t that kind of blog…if you know what I mean 😉

I’ve read that sperm can live for up to 5 days after ejaculation. Of course this assumes the sperm is inside and happily swimming towards the fallopian tubes. Can you imagine the mess if the sperm that spills out onto the sheets spent 5 days wriggling about until calling it quits?

To find the answer I asked my friend…you probably know him…he goes by the name Google. Here’s what I found:

This wikipedia Q&A says that 5 days is the max and that assumes you have optimal cervical mucus, not the hostile cervical fluid that exists the rest of the month. According to Early Pregnancy Tests the sperm need to make the first leg of the journey (swimming up the vagina and crossing the cervix into the uterus) in a few hours. If that happens and all other variables are in place (health and quality of the sperm) the little guys might last 6-7 days. On this madsci.org discussion forum a person who says he is a Phd and ob/gyn indicates that sperm in the cervical mucus of a woman’s body can last up to 7 days. And the Mayo clinic says that sperm remain alive in the mucus of the cervix and can fertilize an egg for 3-4 days.

So it seems the cervical mucus plays a very important role. I only notice the discharge of friendly mucus for about 24 hours during my cycle and I definitely didn’t have any of it today. So I expect the sperm deposit made today won’t last the 5 days (I return after 4 days) as conditions aren’t ideal. Argh! Frustrating that I’ll be all alone when conditions are optimal later this week!

November 10, 2007 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

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