Tuesday, June 29, 2010

discussin' the gameplan

Tomorrow The Coach and I have an appointment with our RE to discuss our gameplan...our plan of attack...figure out a new strategy on how to beat this opponent.

Cross your fingers for me...I'm interested in what she has to say and, at the same time, scared of what she may end up saying...

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The Coach has been on the road recruiting...he was supposed to have a 6am flight this morning, getting him to his final destination airport at 8am, and he'd was supposed to be home about an hour later. I told him last night to call me when he was on the plane, before take-off. That would have been 5am my time. I woke up, randomly, at 5:30 and realized I hadn't heard from The Coach. I called him immediately, fearing the worst...he answered in his I'm-still-fast-asleep voice. 30 minutes after his flight had taken off. He was still asleep at the hotel.


They couldn't get him on a flight anytime soon so he won't be getting home until tonight. So much for date night.

The Coach flies, on average, 3-4 times a month. His return flights are never, ever, EVER on time. The vast majority are delayed by a few hours or canceled all together. If I'm being honest, his flight this morning [which did leave and arrive on time] is the only one I remember being right on the money in probably 8 months.

Too bad he wasn't on it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

365 days

Makes a year. That is exactly how many days it has been since we had our initial appointment with our RE. One year ago today. And we have nothing to show for it. Life is a b*tch.

I know I've been slacking with this blog..truth of it is, I'm in a funk. A big, bad, ugly, nasty funk. I feel like I'm on a 24 game losing streak--that's how many BFN cycles we've had since we started this journey. 12 of which were with this strength coach that was supposed to help us bust it open--bring home a victory. Yea..not so much.

Nothing fun or exciting has been going on. BCP suck, work sucks, The Coach hasn't been home all week--camp ended late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning he jetted off to a recruiting event.

This funk blows.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

birth control pills

Want to hear something ironic? The Coach and I have been trying to have a baby for just over two years now and we've been with our RE for just over a year. Previous to us trying to have a baby, we didn't really use any method of birth control (pull and pray, I suppose) because we always knew we wanted kids and if it happened, it happened. We weren't planning for it but we also weren't against it. So I was really only on birth control pills during the very beginning of our relationship. So, what I'm getting at is...I've been on birth control pills more while we've actively been TTC (with a fertility specialist!!) than I was when we weren't trying to have a baby.

Ironic stuff.

So, I started birth control pills again on Friday. There was no way I could get in for a baseline for this cycle, meaning I couldn't cycle, so, in hopes of getting rid of any cysts--which I'm sure I have--that were the result of our last [canceled] cycle.

In other news, The Coach starts session #2 of camp today so I'm hoping to get to spend an hour with him between today and Wednesday. Early Thursday morning he flies up to New Jersey for a recruiting trip. I'll be working on planning our Chicago trip this week..considering I don't actually have work to do at work. My uber type A personality is loving putting this trip together!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

of course this would happen

Scheduling did call me back last night. Only to tell me it is impossible to cycle this month. You see, my clinic's main office is 2.5 hours (each way) away from my house and office. Their satellite office, where I go 90% of the time, is only an hour from my house, 45 minutes from my office. So, of course, that's where I wanted to go for my baseline (at 7am, I might add).

The scheduling lady kindly informed me that my NP will be out of the office Thursday and Friday but she could certainly set me up with a baseline appointment at their main office. Er, no. That won't work. You see, my post-op appointment is this afternoon. Here. In town. The only available time they could get in for my baseline would have made it impossible for me to make it back here in time for my post-op. My surgeon didn't have any other appointments available for today or tomorrow (he's in surgery all day tomorrow). And I have to see my surgeon before I can start any treatments because he has to clear me. But if I do see him today or tomorrow, that puts me too far into my cycle to start meds. And I can't take off of work at all on Friday to go up to the main office because my assistant is out on vacation Friday and one of the two of us must be in the office at all times. No exceptions. FML. No way to make it work. This cycle has gone up smoke, just like the last. And of course, wouldn't you know, next cycle won't work out either because we will be on our vacation. So we are looking at August as the soonest possible month to cycle. Again, FML. That's going to put us too damn close to our looming 7 month break because of The Coach's season for my comfort. Fabulous.

Looks like I may potentially be getting pregnant in 2021.

This happened once last summer when were cycling as well. I had to go up to the main office on a Sunday for a follie check (local clinic isn't open on the weekends). They said I needed to just do one more little follie check on Tuesday before triggering... No problem, right? WRONG. The NP was out of my local office that Tuesday so I had to go back up to the main office. Essentially take a half day off of work for a freakin' ultrasound. That lasted 2 minutes. And Tuesdays were damn near impossible for me to get out of work..I really had to work my magic with my boss on *that* one. The nurse was shocked that my NP just happened to be out of the office that particular Tuesday..."You know, in my 8 years of working here, she's never been out of the office for a full day. Not once!" Hmmm..interesting..considering that has now happened to me TWICE in 3 cycles. I mean, I'm not suggesting the poor woman never get a vacation day, but seriously, maybe have one of the REs (who do visit the local clinics) make a drip down on the days when the NPs are out of the office.

Just a thought.

So I'm now going on birth control. Because I'm sure, 110% positive that I have residual cysts from our last cycle that also went up in smoke so this is me "self medicating" I guess. Not that I (or my nurse) see any harm in it. I mean, with my luck, what are the chances my surgeon would even clear me for pregnancy anyway?

I'm failing miserably at this game. My opponent may run-rule me. Sweep the series. Knock me the f out...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


First off--this going back to work thing after surgery is tough stuff. I'm absolutely exhausted after work every day..so I haven't gotten around to updating lately. So sorry!

Second..today appears to be CD 1...which is odd, considering yesterday was only CD 21. Hmmm...I called the RE this afternoon to schedule a baseline for tomorrow morning but they haven't gotten back to me and they close, well, 12 minutes ago. So I guess maybe I'll be going Friday? Which is ok, since I have my surgical post-op appointment tomorrow and need to be cleared by my surgeon before my RE will let me cycle. I just thought I'd sneak a baseline in there first, since I'll likely have cysts.

In other news...The Coach and I are planning a vacation! I'm so, so excited! We never, ever get to go on vacation because of his job but this summer WE ARE! We are going to Chicago for a few days and then going to a nearby wedding the following weekend. Garrett's Popcorn and Pizzeria Uno here I come! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

camp time

Ohhh joy...love camp time. The Coach and his co-workers put on various camps throughout the summer for middle/high school players. Camp #1 starts today. The Coach left the house super early this morning and won't be home until around midnight..which, really, isn't all that different from a "normal" day. This camp goes through Wednesday night..but The Coach said (if I'm up to it) we are going to have date night on Friday night!...right before camp #2 starts.

I'm going back to work tomorrow. I'm concerned that I will get very tired and struggle to make it through. As much as I hated being in the hospital, having surgery and being in such horrible pain...I can't said I minded being away from the office for over a week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

big day..

Considering I haven't kept any solid food down for over a week now, we put a call in to my internist last night. He recommended that I continue to suck down the Sprite and suck on the popsicles and then add in very low fat solids. So, my wonderful friend and neighbor agreed to drive me to the grocery store today. We went to our local Kroger, which I'm in love with. I grabbed a rotisserie chicken, pears, applesauce, soups, more Sprite, animal crackers, plain rice and baking potatoes for plain baked potatoes. Then we decided to hit up the new Publix that opened--I've heard great things but I'm so in love with my Kroger that I knew it would be hard to sway me. At Publix I picked up some watermelon, string cheese and oatmeal. By the time I got home, I was exhausted so I still haven't tried to eat any of it. I hope something works. It was a big trip out with lots of walking around but it felt really good to get some activity in. I'm planning on plain chicken and plain rice for dinner tonight. Fingers crossed it stays down..

BTW--Publix was nice but I still prefer my Kroger..it is hard to beat!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sleep, sleep, sleep

That's pretty much all I've done since I've been home. I wake up in the morning, move my phone, my Sprite, my pillow, bottle of pain killers and myself from the bed to the couch and fall back asleep. I catch a few minutes of some daytime TV (Golden Girls, What Not to Wear, The Doctors, Whose Wedding is it Anyway), and fall back asleep.

I had my first solid food in a week last night and it didn't go well. At all. I'm considering calling my doctor. I feel like I should be able to keep food down by now...

The Coach is super busy right now with camp--two solid weeks of camp starts on Sunday. Camp is frustrating because he is actually in town but I never see him. In the past he has always had to stay up on campus (in the dorms-ha!) during camp but this year he doesn't have to. So he'll get home around midnight and be back up at camp by 5am. But camp also brings us a nice chunk of change so that's a plus.

I really need to call my RE to find out when we can cycle again but I just haven't been up to it yet. And maybe, if I'm being honest with myself, I'm afraid she'll say to take next month off. So I'm putting it off...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm going HOME!

I'm absolutely thrilled to be leaving this dreadful place! Surgery was, obviously, a huge success! I went in around 4:30 yesterday afternoon and was back in my room around 9:00. I really haven't been in much pain post-surgery, just a little tender and sore where the [4] incisions are. But the pain is absolutely NOTHING like the horrific pain I felt prior to the surgery.

My surgeon came in my room early this morning and said he had cleared me to go home so as long as my internist agreed, I'd be free. He told me that my gallbladder was enlarged to over 3x the normal size and it was one of the worst looking ones he had ever seen. It was obvious it hadn't been working for a very long time. He said he felt comfortable telling me it is highly unlikely I will ever feel such pain again in my life--not even giving birth--natural birth! Whoa..

I had just taken a sponge bath (oh joy) and was standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth when my internist came in to see me. He was blown away at how good I looked. He couldn't believe I was standing and moving so well. So of course he approved my release.

Now I'm just waiting..I was supposed to get real food for breakfast but the cafeteria didn't get the memo so I'm thinking they will wait until after lunch, after I have my first real food in 7 days, to let me go home. Just to be sure everything goes well. Then The Coach is going to come pick me up and we have to go get my Rx for the pain killers and a few groceries for me..popsicles (my throat is very sore!), pudding, Sprite and maybe gummy bears =)

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers over the last few days. I really appreciate it all!

I beat this opponent...now on to beating infertility!!

Monday, June 7, 2010


I had a HIDA Scan today (that lasted for 3 hours!) and soon after I was finished my internist told me I'd be having surgery today. They are removing my gallbladder and making sure everything else looks ok. Apparently I am a very "misleading, confusing, abnormal case"...so after three days in the hospital I finally have a diagnosis and treatment plan!

The surgeon should be up here sometime this afternoon and then I'll be taken to the surgical area of the hospital. No idea what time that will be...

My RE also called me to check on me--the ER doctor called the clinic on Friday afternoon to find out about the IUI and since my RE was gone for the day, he spoke with one of the other REs in the practice. Apparently the ER doc was convinced I had a serious case of hepatitis...so my RE was happy to find out the problem is not hepatitis. She said if everything goes as planned with the surgery, we can cycle again with my next period.

I'm so ready to get this going. I'm so over this pain. 16 hours without morphine was way, way too much for me to handle!

Game on...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

still hospitalized

And I have no answers to share. All I know is this opponent SUCKS. This team I'm battling is kicking my ass...

My blood work from early this morning shows that my liver enzymes are decreasing (and getting closer to normal range) but are still a long, long way from normal. They are concerned with how slowly the numbers are decreasing and how far they really still are from normal. My pain today/tonight is as bad as it has ever been if I don't get my morphine right at the 3 hour mark.

I have another test tomorrow..some other type of abdomen screen..can't remember the name. And tons of blood work. And then my consultation with a surgical specialist. I'm assuming they think surgery is the only way they'll get any idea of what is really going on and try to stop the pain.

The Coach spent most of the day up here with me..we watched a lot of TV (mostly college baseball and softball) and took a nice walk outside. I feel so awful because this is his FIRST weekend off since New Year's weekend and he had to spend it here with me..poor guy.

I'll be sure to update y'all when I know more. Right now all I know is I'm nearing that dreaded 3 hour mark...

Oh nuuuuuuuurse......

Saturday, June 5, 2010

well, scratch that

Didn't trigger. Cycle canceled. I'm in the hospital instead.

Of course things were just going too good to be true. Par for the course.

I've been having horrific pain in my upper abdomen/upper back since Wednesday afternoon. Finally on Friday, after being at work for about an hour, I couldn't take it any more. I called The Coach and he took me to the campus clinic. They immediately referred me to the ER, thinking my gallbladder was the culprit. Thankfully the clinic called the ER to let them know I was coming and it was serious so I got in immediately because there was no way I could physically sit in the ER for any amount of time. Way too painful.

I had tons of blood work done, an ultrasound of my tummy and a CT Scan. The u/s showed some gallstones but no blockage or issues with the organ. CT Scan showed a great looking liver, pancreas and kidneys. I was told I could go home, trigger and do the IUI. 5 minutes later the ER doc came back and said the last of my blood work had come in and my liver enzymes were extremely elevated and I needed to be admitted. They called my RE and she said absolutely no IUI. So after spending 9+ hours in the ER I finally got a room at about 9:30 last night. I still don't have a diagnosis. My internist can't figure out why I'm having this pain. She said if the pain doesn't tapper off--which it hasn't yet--, she would likely set me up for a surgical consult before releasing me.

I was given tons of morphine and lots anti-nausea meds and put on a clear liquid diet. I haven't had (and kept down) any food since breakfast on Wednesday. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night, typical hospital stuff, and had another blood draw at 5am. My internist spoke with me about the results, saying my levels are normalizing but are still no where close to being normal. She said I'd be in the hospital until Sunday afternoon at least.

Now, be jealous..breakfast was a cup of lemonade, a cup of apple juice and a Sprite. Lunch was a cup of broth, Sprite and a Popsicle. I know you are just drooling. Luckily I don't have much of an appetite so it doesn't bother me when The Coach comes up to my room with a bag full of greasy cheeseburgers and fries from Checkers. But I just asked my nurse if I could try a full liquid diet for dinner (instead of the clear liquid) and she said she'd page my doctor to see. I'm hoping so! Some oatmeal or pudding sounds really, really good.

And right now I'm absolutely exhausted so I'm signing off. To say I'm crushed about canceling our "perfect cycle" is putting it lightly. I'm thinking it may be a sign....I was healthy as a horse for the 7 months of our break and 5 days prior to our IUI, I land my ass in the hospital. Hmm...seems to me that's a sign if there ever was one...

Friday, June 4, 2010

tigger tonight!

For an IUI on Sunday morning. Woo-hoo!! I'm absolutely thrilled! My u/s this morning showed three perfect sized follies and uterine lining that is "picture perfect..the textbook definition of good lining". So tonight The Coach gets to jab a huge flippin' needle into my ass..exciting stuff! :)

Because the IUI is over the weekend, we have to travel to my clinic's main office and we need to be there by 7:30 so The Coach can give his sample. Means we have to hit the road by 5am.

It is time...get the team on the bus, we are hitting the road, going to the game, it is time to put our game faces on! Third time's a charm, right?

I certainly hope so...

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I just got back from my first monitoring appointment this cycle. The results...3 follies growing! Lots more that are small and likely won't mature (whew!). Right now I have 1 on my right ovary, 2 on my left. A 16 and two 14s. So one more night of stims and back up to the clinic bright and early tomorrow--7am with a 1 hour drive up there--for another ultrasound. Right now it is looking like I'll trigger tomorrow night for an IUI on Sunday.

The city where my RE's main clinic is located is a good 2.5 hour drive each way from where we live. They, luckily, have a few satellite offices around the state and one is about an hour from my house, 45 minutes from my office. However, my "local" clinic is closed on the weekends so if I ever need to go in over the weekend for monitoring or IUIs, I have to travel the 2.5 hours to the main office. So it looks like we are heading out on a road trip on Sunday. I'm really ok with this though...I absolutely love my NP at my local clinic..she does all of my monitoring and has done both of my IUIs and I adore her. But I am kind of excited about the possibility of someone else doing my next IUI. Not that it would really make any difference but in my mind..it could be a good change.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and well wishes--they seem to be working! Keep them comin'...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

so what exactly is wrong with you?

I've touched on some of our diagnoses in the past but I figured now is as good of a time as any to fill y'all in on exactly what we are dealing with in this battle. We are one of those lucky couples..the kind where both The Coach and myself have infertility problems. Double trouble, right? I'll start with him..

The Coach
So since we knew of my history of ovarian cysts, at the start of this journey, we just assumed that that was our issue. Our one and only. Ahhh to be so naive. At our initial appointment with our RE The Coach had to give a ton of blood and had a Semen Analysis (SA) performed. Those results took a few days to come back but we thought for sure there wouldn't be an issue. I was the issue, The Coach was not. Well, when we finally heard back on the results of the SA we were a little shocked. His overall count was good (30 million)..above average and well within the "normal range" at our clinic. Check! His motility was great (64%). Check! His morphology on the other hand, was low. His was at 9% and our clinic wanted to see at least 14%. Hmmm..doesn't seem so bad right? Essentially the morphology is the size and shape of sperm. So, with The Coach's results, that meant only 9% of the sperm in his sample were correctly shaped and sized. He had enough players to play the game but instead of bringing the football team to the game, he brought the baseball team. Lots of athletes just not the right size and shape. You get my drift. The RE wanted to do a few follow up SAs..just because the results can change so drastically. In his repeat SAs we only saw his morph go down (7% and 4%). The Coach was on all types of vitamins and supplements and he'd even cut back on his beer intake and his steamy hot showers. All things our RE recommended.

Well, after we got the SA that showed 4% morph, I made an appointment with a urologist that specializes in Male Factor Infertility. When The Coach went to his first appointment with her she diagnosed him with a double vericocele within minutes. A vericocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum. It can affect the sperm which causes MFI. She recommended a double vericocele repair surgery. She had an opening the following week. The Coach went under the knife the last week in August 2009 to have this repaired. His post-surgery SAs have shown a much higher morphology (pretty much normal) and his count--which was never low to begin with--has went up as well. Surgery has been deemed successful. That said, I still consider us to have MFI because no one knows how long these increased numbers will last. Hopefully it is permanent but we won't know for sure.

The Coach's Wife
Now on to my laundry list of problems. First of all, we all know of my huge cysts. I've had to have them removed via surgery. Most have been about the size of a cantaloupe. During my first ultrasound with my RE, the u/s tech thought that I had PCOS like ovaries. PCOS typically shows lots of small follies/cysts in a "string of pearl" type pattern. This isn't really the case for me though. Unless I have a large cyst, I don't have any cysts. And I never have lots of follies at my baseline ultrasounds. My Nurse Practitioner, who performs my ultrasounds at my RE's satellite office, isn't convinced. So I potentially have PCOS. Hasn't been confirmed. Isn't totally being denied. On top of that, I also had some disappointing results from my Cycle Day 3 blood work. My FSH levels are high. Not necessarily truly high but they are high for my age. So now really is our best time to try to conceive because in a few years, it will likely be too high. My clinic isn't super concerned about my FSH level because, like I said, it still is technically within the normal range for now, but because of my age, it is a huge concern for the future.

Back in July of 2009 I had my HSG done and I wasn't expecting to have any issues arise from that test. After all, my problems are with my ovaries not my tubes or uterus. Wrong again. The HSG showed some sort of mass in my uterus. It needed to be removed by surgery. Another surgery. Again. Hysteroscopy, D&C, and polypectomy. My surgery was scheduled for two days after The Coach's vericocele repair surgery. The mass was removed but the results were inconclusive. It wasn't a polyp..just some type of mass. I also have hostile/lacking CM. This was discovered through a post-coital test. This was not the least bit surprising to me since I've never had CM..I honestly didn't even know what it was. Because of those results, TI will likely never work for us. Thus the continuing IUIs.

Those are all of our issues. That we know of. For now. I never feel confident that something else won't pop up..it is rare for us to get good news/results so I'm always waiting for the next shoe to drop. What a way to live, huh?

And...tomorrow is a big, exciting day! I have my first day of monitoring tomorrow for this cycle. Hopefully I have 2-3 good follies and have not yet ovulated. If you have any good vibes or thoughts to spare, I could use them! I'm a little panicked about what tomorrow may bring. But also excited and hopeful that all will go well! T-24 hours...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

my fears

So I've spent the last 5 days just being so excited that we are actually cycling again that I feel as though I'm not really "in reality" with this whole treatment. I spent the last 7 months just saying to myself "when we cycle again", "if only we were cycling"..as if cycling is the end all, be all. Like there is no chance of this not working. But now, after 4 days of stims, and everything settling in, reality is coming back to me. Of course there is a chance this may not work. We've done this before, we've traveled this road, we've played this team and we lost. On more than one occasion. And now that is all coming back to me. The sting of seeing that - HPT. The pain of hearing the nurse say "I'm sorry..." when she calls with my beta results. I know those feelings all too well. And the realization that there is the possibility of dealing with that again soon, just sucks. But, I'm still remaining hopeful. I still have fight. I still believe we can be the victorious team in this battle. So I put that fear aside for now.

My real, true fears right now are these two things:
1) I will have too many follies to move forward
2) I will have already ovulated when I go in for monitoring on Thursday.

Now, fear #1 is pretty unfounded. I've never had too many follies to proceed and the possibility that I will now is highly unlikely. But I am a huge advocate of canceling cycles if you feel that there are just too many to move forward with. After all, in some cases, every follie really can equal a baby. My previous cycle with Follistim I had 1 mature follie when I triggered. We have upped my dosage a little bit in hopes of getting 2 follies. We did this because of our MFI. With MFI it can take more than that one follie to achieve pregnancy. And also because I'm 7 months older. Now, I know what you are probably thinking..."7 months older?..The Coach's Wife is BSC." But, with my diagnosis, 7 months can actually be a long time and can play a significant role in my "fertility age"...even at the ripe old age of 24. Because I wouldn't feel comfortable moving forward with more than 2 or 3 follies so I'm hoping and praying that we don't have more than that on Thursday.

My second fear has some substance to it. My very first medicated cycle (July 2009--almost a year ago now-wow!) was canceled because I ovulated too early. I went in for my first monitoring appointment on CD9 and I had just ovulated. The Coach was across the country recruiting (planning to be back on CD11) so he made last minute plans to get back here to try some TI just in case. Of course it didn't work. On CD 9 with my second round of Clomid, I was good to go. And CD9 with Follistim was fine as well. I did trigger that night for an IUI on CD11 so I'm hoping that's what happens again this round. So..fingers crossed for 2-3 mature follies and NO ovulation on Thursday. The anxiety is getting to me...

But as I said, I'm still hopeful. I still have it in me. I have even looked up a ton of quotes about hope to look at throughout the day, keep in the back of my mind and use as my Facebook status. And I want to share one with y'all today.

"“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself..how did I get through all of that?”

Hope. You have to have hope. Hope that you can make the team. Hope that you can help your team. Hope that you can help yourself. And hope that you, with your team, can win the battle.