Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Plan

I guess first things first... all my tests came back "normal" or within normal ranges. That said, The doctor felt it would be prudent to start me on baby aspirin since it won't really hurt but could possibly help in a lot of ways. For me... this means I also have to take a PPI (think prilosec) to protect my now abnormal stomach from getting an ulcer. No big deal, just something extra for me to think about.... something to be a bit more careful with. He also said he would like me to go ahead and start on DHEA which is an over the counter supplement. He said it is the "big deal" in IF treatment right now. It may not be in 5 years, but it is right now and it won't hurt but has been shown to help.

We talked about my theory of not ovulating strongly on my own, thus not having a good corpus luteum which then does not do a good job at sustaining a pregnancy until the placenta takes over. He agreed it could definitly be an issue and agreed with me when I suggested doing just 50mg of clomid to help boost with ovulation. He even thinks it is possible only half a 50mg will do the trick, but left it up to me to decide.

He attributes my previous miscarriages to the hyperplasia, as all my previous specialists did, and feels like it is possible this past loss was just something that could happen to "any healthy woman of childbearing age with no real reason except that it happens." He said he is very proud of me for the hard work I have done to make myself healthy and feels like I have a normal, healthy body which is perfectly capable of getting pregnant and carrying to term. He feels like I will ABSOLUTELY get pregnant and have a baby soon. In his opinion I no longer have PCOS... he said my ultrasound after the miscarriage showed MULTI cystic ovaries not POLY cystic ovaries and my labs were normal. He feels like there is NO WAY I could respond so well to only 50mg of clomid (a progesterone level of 47 mid LP) and have full blown PCOS. Impossible in his medical opinion.

We talked about Aaron's latest semen analysis and the connection to going off SSRIs and he was thrilled for Aaron. He looked over the studies quickly and said it made perfect sense and explained it further to us. He noted how some people absolutely cannot go off their SSRIs like Aaron was able to do. But if Aaron is surviving OK without the SSRIs, it is obviously making a huge difference in his sperm production. He thinks it will likely continue to improve, but the fact Aaron was able top get me pregnant with the improvement already shown is great. He wants us to try on our with with timed intercourse for a few cycles since we have been able to get PG on our own already, but if not successful after a few cycles we will move forward with IUI (intrauterine insemination). The GREAT thing about an IUI now versus a year ago is the cost will be incredibly less. I will not need more than 50mg of clomid ($10-$15) only one u/s ($130) and the IUI ($80) as opposed to 2-3 vials of menopur A DAY ($15 a vial), 4-6 ultrasounds ($130 each), an hcg trigger shot ($15) and then the IUI ($80). That's about $225 now as opposed to $700- $1000 last year. So I guess you can say losing 130 pounds is quite profitable!! hahaha

We talked about taking progesterone after ovulation. He doesn't feel my issue is really related to progesterone since I had great pregnancy symptoms up until the miscarriage. BUT, he will give me progesterone if I want it. It's another one of those instances when it may not help, but it definitly won't hurt. He said for some people it is purely psychological as well... makes the woman feel more comfortable, confident and less stressed which all can help her health in general. Kaiser does not typically give progesterone unless it is connected with IVF, but he is head of the Infertility department and said he would do it for me. They don't even usually do a mid Luteal Phase progesterone draw, but he put in a standing order for blood progesterone levels so I can check it when I want.

We also talked about possible immunology issues and taking prednisone to combat this. He is not one that necessarily "believes" in reproductive immunology, but he is also willing to give me the prednisone if that is what I really want to do. He asked me to first do some labs, then we would talk about it further. He said he even did ivig for one woman who wanted it done... I assured him I would not push him that far! haha

Let's see.... what else? It was a looooooooooong appointment.... over an hour, so I am probably forgetting something. I will edit if I remember anything else.


- baby aspirin daily (with prilosec)

- DHEA supplement daily

- clomid days 3-7

- Mid LP progesterone draw. I can take progesterone if I am not comfortable with the level.

- further blood work possibly leading to daily prednisone.

I think that's it!!

Oh! And I started getting fertile cervical mucus a couple days ago and he gave us the green light to try to conceive!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good News RE: MFI

If you have been following my journey you will know that Aaron has severe male factor infertility (MFI). He was on clomid for a year and his numbers only got WORSE. After the last semen analysis in September, Aaron randomly searched "Prozac and low sperm count" and found a couple studies that showed a marked decrease in male fertility with the use of pretty much any SSRI (anti-depressant). This made the decrease in his fertility make PERFECT sense. The first year of our marriage he was not on any SSRI and we got pregnant 4 times (I miscarried them all, but that is a separate issue). Then after a year on SSRIs his sperm was tested and we found it was REALLY low.... only 1 million/ml (5 million total). In the last year he was on clomid to try to help his counts, but at the same time his psychiatrist was upping his dose of SSRIs. In this time his count went down to 200,000/ml (800,000 total). So, when he found these studies he immediately took them to his psychiatrist and urologist (both had NEVER heard of SSRIs causing MFI) and they weaned Aaron off his SSRIs completely. It has been a little over 3 months now since being weaned off the SSRIs and he just got rechecked... his count was 3.7 million/ml (13.5 million total)!!! That is a HUGE increase!!!

So, PLEASE if your husband/significant other (or, for that matter anyone you know that might be having fertility issues) is on any form of anti-depressant and has MFI (or you are having problems getting pregnant and not sure why) look into this connection further!! I will have Aaron get me the links to the studies for you, but these are not from small universities. They were from Cornell and Harvard.

We think his counts will only get better from here, but as the NP said at my last appointment "the proof is in the pregnancy!" Even though his count is still much lower than normal (over 40 million is "normal"), it was enough to knock me up.... now we just gotta figure out how to keep my eggo preggo!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moving On...

This week has been up and down with emotions. Most of the day I am ok... I am lucky to get to spend so much time with my God sons who I adore. It's when I get home to Aaron in the evening that grief hits me once again. So, Aaron has had to deal with me in this. For the most part he has been pretty patient and understanding when I get emotional. I think he worries about my mental health, as I am sure a lot of you do. But, I want to reassure him and all of you that I will NEVER ever hurt myself again.

On Monday I went to my ultrasound appointment as scheduled so the doctor could make sure the miscarriage was completed. Other than the nurse greeting me with a "congratulations!" when calling me in, the appointment went well. I guess she didn't take the time to look at my chart and realize I had lost the pregnancy, I'm sure she felt like crap after that... I know I did! Everything looked good in the ultrasound... the miscarriage was complete, my lining was thin (which is always a good thing to see with my history of endometrial hyperplasia) and my ovaries did not have any cysts. We talked briefly about some blood work I wanted done and scheduled an appointment with the head of the department (this appointment was actually with a nurse practitioner.) One thing she said that I really appreciated was that the "proof was in the pregnancy" in regards to Aaron's sperm counts and the connection to SSRIs being a cause of male infertility. It was nice to hear this after the many appointments at Kaiser's Center for Reproductive Health where the subject of donor sperm and IVF seemed to be the only options they would present to us. I left the appointment feeling like there is hope we will figure out a plan to keep this from happening again.

On Friday I went and got a whole bunch of blood work done to check for clotting disorders, thyroid, STDs etc- all things that can cause multiple miscarriages. My thyroid has always been considered normal but over the optimal range for TTC. I plan to ask to be treated for this when I see the RE on Thursday. I also want to use clomid to get a stronger ovulation and healthier copus luteum. The corpus luteum is what produces progesterone and sustains a pregnancy until the placenta attaches and takes over. So it is essential to have a strong ovulation and healthy corpus luteum. My ovulation is so crappy on it's own and I believe this could be part of the problem. I am also going to talk to the RE about possible immunology issues. I am scared of the cost of blood work for that though... yikes. The blood work from Friday was $130. Aaron will be doing another semen analysis on Monday which costs $30. The office appointment next week is $35 and the ER visit from the other night was $50. That's a lot of money when you don't have any. *sigh* Just means some bills won't get paid but what can we do???

I just want to say thank you again to everyone for your kind words of support and for all the prayers. I even recieved some beautiful flowers from my cousin that make me smile every time I see them, so thank you Christina. I will continue to update after we get blood results and talk to the doctor.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

End of the Beginning

After a day of crying off an on, talking to family and receiving lots of love from friends I am ready to write down what happened yesterday leading up to my very sad miscarriage.

Yesterday I reached 6 weeks in pregnancy. I had to be up really early to get to my poli sci class I am taking so I did not get a chance to take a belly pic, but I did weight and measure. After a week of lots of throwing up I was not surprised to see my weight drop over 3 pounds, but I was kinda shocked that my waist measurement went up a whole inch! I even measured three times to make sure haha!

I had a particularly rough day in the nausea and vomiting department and was feeling pretty crappy. Thank goodness, my God sons are very good for me and let me rest a good portion of the afternoon. After a particularly violent episode of vomiting all I wanted to do was sit and rest, so I watched some TV and just kinda vegged out. Aaron had already gone to bed when I finally decided to drag myself off my warm comfy spot on the couch to join him. I felt the same as I have every night for the last 2+ weeks... tired and and bit sick to my stomach. I didn't much feel like I had to use the restroom but thought I should so I wouldn't have to get up in a couple hours. This is when I saw the blood and started screaming and crying. Aaron woke up and came running. He saw what was going on and frantically asked if I needed to go the ER. After a couple calls (to my mom, his mom and Kaiser Labor & Delivery) it was decided that I definitly needed to go in.

We made the drive in the fog through lots of tears, mostly mine. I was trying to hold out hope that it could be due to implant of the placenta or placenta previa but I knew the odds were against anything other than miscarriage. By the end of three hours in the ER it was confirmed that my blood levels of pregnancy hormone had dropped and I had lost the baby. We didn't cry... just kinda sat there quietly shocked that not even 10 hours previously I had been violently throwing up and discussing with friends how this is a good sign for the viability of the pregnancy. Nothing even hinted that this was going to happen, which I suppose is a good thing. I am thankful for every day of the two weeks since finding out I was pregnant. Did I enjoy throwing up multiple times a day... absolutely not! But was I happy to be pregnant and willing to endure vomiting for the reward we hoped would come? Absolutely!

Aaron and I are sad, of course. I'm Sad, disappointed, and left wondering if there was anything I could have done differently. Ultimately I know this is not the end of our story. We were able to defy the odds and achieve pregnancy without intervention when the doctors said it could never happen. I believe it can and will happen again and that God will bring us the child we are waiting for. This will happen for us... I just know it!

Thank you everyone for all the love and support you continue to pour on Aaron and me. We can definitly feel the "peace the surpasses all understanding" which can only come from our loving Father. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this journey to parenthood.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How's That Work??

I have had several people confused about how to date a pregnancy... I have said conception of this baby was on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and that I am 5 weeks pregnant. But, Christmas wasn't five weeks ago..... so how does this work??? Well, let me explain!! :-)

Pregnancy is conveniently dated in weeks (40 weeks) starting from the first day of your last menstrual period. The first two weeks of "pregnancy", is when the follicles that carry the eggs are growing in the ovaries. Typically there is one dominant follicle that grows to maturity. Two weeks (14 days) into the woman's cycle the egg bursts out of the follicle and is pulled into the fallopian tube. This is ovulation. Fertilization of the egg happens within about 24 hours of ovulation then implants into the uterus approximately 7-10 days later. After implantation occurs the woman's body starts producing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone doubles every 2-3 days and is able to be detected by home pregnancy tests several days after implantation. Pregnancy last on average 266d days from fertilization (38 weeks) or 280 days (40 weeks) from the last menstrual period if the woman has regular 28 day periods. In other words... the embryo is two weeks younger than the number of weeks traditionally assigned to the pregnancy. So, although I am medically considered "5 weeks pregnant" the embryo is only 3 weeks old! To confuse the process even further, not all women ovulate on day 14 of their cycle. I ovulated on day 18 of my cycle with fertilization likely occurring on Christmas day (day 19), which makes the embryo 3 weeks 1 day old. This dates the pregnancy, as a doctor would date it, at 5 weeks 1 day. Clear as mud??? hahaha

Now that you know this, you can understand why I was laughing out loud while watching Meet the Fockers when two of the main characters find the wife is 2 weeks late for her period making her 6 weeks pregnant and decide they can get married in two weeks and tell her father they conceived on the honeymoon. Ummm.... no. The due date would be 6 weeks off which would make it impossible to pull off. An 8 pound, 6 weeks "premature" baby would be a little unbelievable! ;-)

Don't you feel so much smarter now?? hahahaha

I know it is early in pregnancy and I know you can't tell I am pregnant yet (believe me, Aaron told me I am crazy to take pics already). But, I took weekly pics at the beginning of my weight loss journey to document the changes that were occurring in my body and I will be doing the same in pregnancy! I will also be documenting my weight and waist measurements. I have been told I should not gain more than 15 pounds in pregnancy post- bariatric surgery, so we will see how it goes. I am more worried about LOSING too much weight as it will be hard for me to get in 1500 calories a day (1200 for me and 300 extra for pregnancy)!!

Here are the pics!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Journey to Today

Aaron and my journey to have a child began two days into our honeymoon when I started a new cycle. Oh joy... cramping and bleeding on our honeymoon?? Such fun! Haha We weren't trying to get pregnant, but we also weren't always using protection either. We found out on Feb 13th of '07 that I was pregnant! I was excited and Aaron was scared out of his mind! Everything seemed to be progressing normally. I even had to get some maternity clothes a few weeks later because I was so uncomfortable in my regular clothing. At my first ultrasound appointment (11 weeks) we found out I had a missed miscarriage. It was DEVASTATING. We named the baby Jonah Dominic, which means "a dove belonging to God." I had a horrible time dealing with the loss and, long story short, made a serious attempt on my life at the end of June. I took 90+ blood pressure pills, wrote a note to my family, went to bed and did not expect to wake up. God totally did a miracle and saved my life. I honestly should have died or AT LEAST had some major organ damage. I didn't. I DID have a stay in a mental hospital and it was honestly the best thing that could have happened. MORAL OF THIS PART OF the STORY: it is so important to deal with the loss of a child, even if it is an early loss and people around you think you should just 'get over it.' I did not let myself grieve and that was the worst thing I could have done.

Moving on... I started temping in July of '07 (basal body temp) and found right away that I had wacky cycles. I called my Dr and got some blood work done and also got her to give me Metformin. She wanted to just throw me on Clomid, but I knew (with the help of some APA friends) that would not be a good idea. With PCOS (I was diagnosed with PCOS several years previous to this at my first OB/GYN appointment), the first thing one should do is get on Metformin ASAP. Metformin is a medication typically used to treat diabetes and since insulin resistance is a big part of PCOS, it has become standard treatment for women with PCOS. Metformin also helps reduce male hormones which are also something that plagues women with PCOS. So, I have been on Met since July or August of '07.

Shortly after this I started bleeding..... and bleeding... and bleeding. Seriously, 65/70 days I was bleeding. At one point I was bleeding so heavily that I was using a DIAPER as a pad. We found that somewhere in all that bleeding I had a chemical pregnancy, which in simple terms is a very early miscarriage. Shocked the hell out of me. That was in September ‘07. I continued to bleed through September and October. In November it stopped and I ovulated. I again got an early positive pregnancy test (9Days past ovulation, I think) that turned into a negative a few days later. That time I had to induce a miscarriage with Provera (synthetic progesterone) because my body was not completing the miscarriage on it’s own. Then, once again, I was bleeding. It went on, and on, and on. During this time I changed OBs THREE TIMES in hopes to find just one that would help me. Ya.... that didn't happen. In Jan of '08 I was scheduled to get an ultra sound (because I demanded it) to check for endometriosis, but our insurance ran out right before I had it. I continued to suffer with this horrible bleeding and pain that was getting progressively worse. In March, I had yet another chemical pregnancy and at that point decided it was time to avoid pregnancy until I could get someone to help me figure out what was wrong with my body.

This brings me to April ‘08. I had been having heavy bleeding off and on for a long time at that point, but one day I started bleeding so heavily that I passed out at work. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I was passing HUGE clots. Clots so big my cervix was actually dilated to a 2 to be able to pass them. But, in the ER all they have to do is stabilize you and then they can send you home. So, by the end of the day I was still NO WHERE. Aaron found out about a low cost clinic in town and made me an appointment. This Doctor was VERY concerned and wanted to do some tests. FINALLY! A Doctor who wanted to figure this out! I was prescribed Provera to stop the bleeding and had an endometrial biopsy a few days later. She was concerned all the bleeding was indicating a problem with the lining of my uterus.

A couple weeks later I got the devastating news that I had Complex Endometrial Hyperplasia (CEH). It is a condition that is precancerous. I was told at that time that I would take Provera for 21 days and then stop for 7 to get a withdrawal bleed and repeat this for three months. If the hyperplasia was not gone after this I would have to have a hysterectomy. This was a totally old school Dr that did not have a clue about the new studies concerning CEH.... In three months (August '08) I had another biopsy and there was absolutely no change in the condition. I started freaking out thinking I was going to have to have a hysterectomy. Thank GOD there was a different OB treating me that day! He knew of this med called MEGACE and told me it is a new treatment that he did not know a lot about, but I should try it first. Megace is a cancer medication.... it made me feel like crap 24/7 and I lost a lot of hair. While on the Megace, we got insurance again (through my new job at the time) and I made an appointment with an OB/GYN/RE. I saw him in November '08 and had yet another biopsy. This new Dr had treated two other women with CEH in the last year and both of them had the CEH resolve and got pregnant. I was so excited... until I got the biopsy results. It was WORSE. The lab could not tell if it was atypical (which is the last stage of the disease before it turns cancerous) or cancerous. I had to have surgery (D&C) to get a larger sample to make sure it was not cancerous. This new doctor started me on the highest dose of Megace and he upped my Metformin to 2000mg. THANK GOD- it was not cancerous, but still very serious. Atypia means it is just one step below cancerous... I continued the Megace and Metformin until March '09 when I had yet ANOTHER biopsy. THE CEH-A WAS TOTALLY GONE! No trace of it at all! HOORAY!

Now the baby making was on full force! 150mg Clomid for 5 days in the first cycle- no viable follicles. Tried it again- same outcome. 150mg for EIGHT days- had 1 slow growing follie that made a VERY weak ovulation. I was planning to do ovarian drilling (a surgical procedure where they literally drill microscopic holes into the ovaries) until we had to change insurance plans to Kaiser which meant I had to start all over again. *sigh* I did all the paperwork and initial appointments with Kaiser in September and October of '09 and thought we were moving right along. Until the dreaded semen analysis (s/a). Aaron had one done in July with the previous insurance but we never got the results. Come to find out... it was HORRIBLE- 1.5 mil TOTAL, ugh. You may be thinking “1.5 million sounds like a lot” but it is not. A normal ejaculate will have at least 20-60 million sperm.) They repeated it- 500,000 TOTAL. The Doctors started Aaron on Clomid, 50mg a day for THREE MONTHS STRAIGHT. Clomid tricks the man’s mind into thinking his hormone levels are off which is supposed to kick the body into overdrive, thus causing him to make more sperm. In January '10, his s/a was a little better as far as mobility (forward movement) and such, but was still only 1.5 mil total. We decided to go ahead with an IUI- or at least that was the intention. I started on injectable medication and was just SURE it would work. ummm.... nope. The doctor estimated that I had 75 +/- small follicles after stimulation. Because of my severe PCOS, I had many follicles being stimulated but none of them were growing anywhere NEAR large enough. I was told at this point it would be near impossible to get me to stim even for IVF w/o having a severe risk of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS). Plus, due to my weight it would be near impossible to even get to my uterus through my fat not to mention and my ovaries hide behind my uterus which would make it even harder. I was told to "try to get on Biggest Loser because I have such a compelling story" or look seriously into weight loss surgery. I REALLY wanted to do biggest loser, but Aaron would not have it. He said he did not want to be apart from me for that long. So, I started the process for weight loss surgery. It was a very hard decision to make because I knew I would have to wait a good amount of time before trying to have a baby. My surgeon was very understanding and sensitive to our situation and told me when I made weight goal I could go forward with trying to conceive again. He estimated it would take about 1 year. That’s a LOOOOONG time to wait after everything we had gone through, but it was THE BEST decision for my health.

On April 12th '10 I started the pre-op diet and did really well, but I still decided to go ahead with weight loss surgery. On June 21st I had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy ('the sleeve') where they take out 80% of my stomach leaving a small sleeve of stomach. To date I have lost approximately 130 pounds and gone from size 26 to a size 12/14. I reached the medical weight loss goal at the end of October and my own goal of being less than 200 lb at the end of November.

Aaron continued on the Clomid for a full year since his infertility urologist said it can take up to a year to see the full results from the Clomid. He did his latest s/a and it showed only 200,000 swimmers- NO GOOD. The infertility urologist called and told Aaron our only options were to do IVF or use donor sperm. Aaron did some of his own research and found out SSRIs (anti-depressants) can cause male factor infertility. This was HUGE shock to us and all Aaron’s physicians… infertility specialists included. In the studies he found men with normal sperm counts would go on SSRIs for three months then do another s/a. The study showed a significant decrease in sperm count. After three months of discontinuing the SSRIs their counts were again back to normal ranges. This made complete sense with our circumstances since it seemed pretty obvious that Aaron’s sperm count had to be pretty normal in the first year of our marriage since he was able to get me pregnant 4 times. Aaron wasn’t on SSRIs at this point, so the correlation seems to make complete sense. He stopped taking his Prozac and we were planning to check his numbers again in January to see if going off the SSRIs helped.

When I reached the medical weight loss goal in October I was cleared to not prevent pregnancy, so we were excited to see if the weight loss would make a difference in our fertility. My cycle did not return on it’s own like I hoped it would. I did a round of Provera at the end of October and we had our first cycle back to trying/not preventing in November. I ovulated and we hoped to be successful and give our family the great gift of us expecting a baby, but unfortunately that did not happen. It was a beautiful cycle, everything seemed to go perfectly and my chart looks gorgeous. The second cycle was not quite so pretty… actually I was not even sure I ovulated! I had a nice downward trend to my temps leading up to Christmas day and a nice jump on Christmas Day, but my temps were all over the place and I didn’t have my typical post-o symptoms. On day 8 after ovulation I still wasn’t quite convinced I ovulated. I was having some abdominal tenderness which I typically get around ovulation so I decided to use an OPK (ovulation predictor) to see if I was about to ovulate. When I went to grab an OPK test strip, I noticed one of my pregnancy test packages was open, so I though “what the heck” and did both the OPK and pregnancy test. I was shocked to see a very faint line on the HPT! I thought for SURE it must be a faulty test. When I used another HPT a couple days later and got a negative I thought that definitely confirmed it was just a defective test or had been exposed to the air causing it to give me an evap line. I decided from that point I would wait until I was 14 days past ovulation to test. Friday, 14DPO, came and I woke up to POAS. I was pretty positive it would be negative and I still wasn’t even convinced at this point that I had even ovulated! Anyway, I tested.... I went and checked it within a couple minutes and didn't see a line. I took a picture to show all my TTC friends who were excited to hear results, went ahead and dipped a different brand of test since I knew they would tell me to test again, left it to develop. When I came back again a minute later there was a line on the first test! O-M-G! But, I was convinced it was an evap line. I took pictures and showed them to all my friends who were CONVINCED it was the real deal. So I went and used the same brand of test again to prove to them they were wrong, but instead I proved them right! There was indeed a line! Later that day I tested again on a couple more tests and they were a little darker and then once more again when Aaron was home from work. All tests had lines on them and they were getting progressively darker. I called my Doctors office right away on Friday morning and was told to get a blood pregnancy test. I was told I would not get results until the following Monday so I waited to get blood work until Saturday since I was CONVINCED I would have to do a repeat test again on Monday to make sure my hormones were progressing like they should. Of course, I had to pee on a few more tests over the weekend… Ok more than a few! I have a total of twelve positive tests! LOL but the most important test was yet to come…

And that brings me to today. This morning I woke up knowing I would get positive results from the blood test, I mean… 12 tests can’t be wrong, right?? But, it still made me cry to hear the nurse say “Your test is positive! Congrats, you are pregnant!” My hormone level was so good I do not need to do a repeat draw, which is perfectly fine with me!! The less pokes the better! I have an ultrasound scheduled for January 24th where we hope to see an itty bitty chickadee growing and even possibly a heartbeat. Aaron and I are praying hard for a viable pregnancy and we ask for you to do the same. I will be followed closely by many different doctors through this pregnancy, which is awesome, but The Great Physician is who Aaron and I place our faith, hope and trust.

Thank you EVERYONE for being such a positive force in Aaron and my life. Everyone has been so amazing in your support and love through all the amazingly hard times and the more recent positive victories. Please Keep Aaron, me and our little chickadee (due September 16th 2011) in your thoughts and prayers. We will, of course, keep you posted as the journey progresses.

Pregnancy Symptoms and other clues:

* I had a dream about a baby girl on Christmas Night
* Aaron's mom, Janis had a dream that we had a baby boy sometime sin the week after Christmas. She told us about the dream on Saturday night only a few hours after I got a line on the first tests and wondered if I could possible really be pregnant. I jokingly told her to ask what the baby's name is next time she dreams about our baby since we have had such a hard time coming up with any boy names! hahaha
* For our anniversary Aaron for me a bouquet with four roses in it. We have always given each other THREE roses to signify the two of us keeping God as the center of our relationship. When I saw the FOUR roses instead of THREE roses I started crying and told him I hoped this year I could give him the gift of that 4th rose (meaning a child).
* I started having some abdominal tenderness on new years day. It feels like my bladder is always full even after I urinate. And, no.... it is not because I need to poo!
* My boobs started feeling tingly around 9DPO and then at 12DPO that turned into very tender breasts. They are SUPER tender and hurt.
* Emotional/ mood swings
* Increased Appetite. I am not hungry, really. I just can't stop eating!
* I am FREEZING... ALL. THE. TIME! especially in my extremities

Two of the positive tests:

Me holding one of the positive tests:

(This blog entry was actually written Monday January 10th but publishing was delayed...)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas, New Years or Not at All??

I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't convinced I ovulated, so I wanted to consult all my friends out there and see what your thoughts are....

Like I said before, I wasn't having my typical post-O symptoms (tender breasts, fatigue, etc.) and my temps were kinda all over the place. But, leading up to Christmas day I had a really great downward trend with my temps and a nice rise. The only thing is that the rise was not up where my typical post-o temps are... but, I am not sure that matters much. Anyway.... here is my chart with Option 1: ovulation on Christmas Eve. ps- if you click on it you will see a larger version.

Now.... here is what I am wondering.... did I actually not ovulate until New Years Eve??? If you look at my chart you will see open circles on CD (cycle day) 21 and 22. This is because on those days I was sleeping over at my parent's house and got very little sleep. I went to bed very late and was woken up by my niece and/or dad several times. So, I didn't get a lot of sleep which could affect my temps. I thought I already Oed and was busy with family so I wasn't checking my cervical mucus (CM) to see if it continued to be fertile. I did check on my anniversary and it was fertile, but this is not necessarily abnormal. Since I have PCOS and often have elevated levels of estrogen I often have fertile CM (estrogen is the hormone which affects the changes in CM.) Anyway.... if I discard these two temps that could very well be inaccurate, you can see a nice clear rise on New Years Day which could then indicate ovulation on New Years Eve. This is what my chart would look like if I adjusted it to reflect ovulation on new years eve

All that said, there is still one more possible option.... it is completely anovulatory meaning I did not ovulate at all.

So, what do you think???? I know there are some of you out there who have been through fertility treatments, tracking cycles and everything else so I want to hear what you think :-)

And here are my current "symptoms":

* I started having some abdominal tenderness on new years day. It feels like my bladder is always full even after I urinate. And, no.... it is not because I need to poo! Although, tonight I was cramping pretty bad and thought AF was going to be showing up and it turned out I just needed to use the restroom. TMI WARNING: when I push it feels like my uterus is going to fall out! hahaha

* My boobs started feeling tingly a few days ago and then last night that turned into tender nipples. They are still tender today.

* Emotional/ mood swings

* Increased Appetite

Monday, January 3, 2011

Out of Hiding

Hi everyone. Sorry I have been MIA from this blog. To be honest I havn't exactly known where to go from here with the blog.... I have made all my weight loss goals and don't really think I will be losing much more. Plus, the TTC (trying to conceive) portion of my journey can sometimes get to be a bit TMI. After thinking about it a lot over the last few weeks I have decided it is best to just keep up the blog and be honest about our journey the same as I have been all along the way. This may mean I am sharing information that you don't understand or simply don't care to know. So, please.... if you have questions- ASK THEM! If you don't want to know about our efforts in TTC- DON'T READ! hahaha!

So, here is the scoop on what has been going on..... last cycle was our first back to trying/not avoiding pregnancy. I actually ovulated, which is HUGE for me. In our four years of trying to have a baby, we could count on two hands the amount of times I have ovulated and most of those occurred in the first year and resulted in pregnancy. (In case you don't know.... we had multiple miscarriages before finding out I had complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia.) In the nearly two years since finishing up the hormone therapy to treat the hyperplasia I only had ONE confirmed ovulation. ONE. That cycle, I did the highest dose of clomid (a fertility med) for EIGHT days (the typical treatment is five days), ovulated much later than I should have, was on progesterone supplements (progesterone is the hormone women produce in the luteal phase after ovulation) and still only had a progesterone level of 8 when checked mid luteal phase. This did indicate ovulation, but the Doctors prefer to see a number over 15 when medicated. ANYWAY, I gave you all that info just so you would have information for comparison to this past cycle... I ovulated on cycle day 19, which is well within normal ranges and my progesterone levels were a whopping 47.3!! And that was without progesterone supplements in the luteal phase! WooHoo!! I was soooooooooooooo excited and all my TTC friends were CONVINCED my eggo was preggo! LOL! I was really hoping I was because that would have been a FABULOUS gift to give to Aaron and our families. Alas... my dear aunt flow showed up and had to ruin the party.

Right now I am once again smack dab in the middle of my luteal phase which means..... (are you all paying attention and catching the lingo yet?? LOL) I ovulated again! And actually.... I ovulated on Christmas eve or early Christmas morning. Well, at least.... that is what my chart indicates. I guess I should (quickly) explain charting? What I (and hundreds or other women who are TTC) do is pretty simple. I take my temperature every morning before I get out of bed. The resting temperature of a women in the follicular phase (prior to ovulation) is less than it is in the luteal phase (post ovulation). By charting my temperature every day I am able to see when and if I ovulated. That said... I am not completely convinced I ovulated because my temps are all over the place and I am not having typical post-ovulation symptoms. I have not done a mid luteal phase blood draw to check on my progesterone levels simply because I do not have orders for the blood work from my Doctor. But... if my aunt flow comes to visit again in the next week, that will confirm ovulation. If she doesn't... you guessed it.... I didn't or I'm pregnant! (quick lesson on women's health.... a women only menstruates if she ovulates. Bleeding while on hormonal birth control is NOT menstruation. That is a withdrawal bleed brought on when the synthetic progesterone hormones are stopped.) So, the future is yet to be seen at this point. I'm just pretty excited that my body seems to be working and getting with the program!

One last thing... on the weight loss front. I am currently floating between 189 lb and 193 lb and now wear a size 12/14 or l/xl. I feel really good. :-)

oh- and here are my charts from the last two months so you can see what I am talking about! LOL