Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, blog!

This blog is officially 2 years old. Should I be sad I'm still not pregnant? Should I be disappointed I am not off meds? It is what it is. I am exactly where I should be. This journey is necessary. It will teach me something. It will make sense one day. It will have meaning. Will it?

I'm in Canada right now spending the holidays with my husband's family. Happily, for me, my baby brother is also here. He's been in Canada since June doing an exchange program.

I don't have a baby. Still, I shall be merry. Merry Christmas! And a happy new year. Hopefully, 2013 will bring me motherhood.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Still Here

I'm still here. I have healed. My surgery report says what they saw inside me was compatible with Stage 4 Endometriosis. I had a lot of it. I've had 2 cycles already and they were painful like the doctor said they would be. Hopefully from now on there will be no more pain.

It doesn't look like we will be celebrating a positive result over Christmas. I'm not pregnant. I have no idea when it will happen. I feel sad at times, but it seems I have let go a bit. I've been thinking a lot about adoption.

My birthday is in a few days. I'm turning 32. I was 29 when I started preparing for this journey. I naively thought it would be quick.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recovering like a Champ

I removed the sterol strips yesterday and my incisions look beautiful. I can't believe they took my appendix put through one f them! Wen the doctor said the stitches would dissolve, he wasn't kidding. There are no stitches. The 4 small insidious look more like scratches and I can tell I won't have any scars. Amazing.

Of course, meanwhile I learned Shakira is pregnant, and an acquaintance invited me for her baby shower. Those are always downers. Not sure why Shakira being pregnant bothers me. Perhaps I would like her to suffer from infertility as well?  Perhaps because she's 35 years old and it all seems so easy? Who knows. Anyways I remain in complete abstinence here, as I must wait 2 weeks after surgery to resume our "ttc" routine. My post-op appointment is this Friday.

Life remains beautiful and sunny in Northern California. Fall is here, with its many shades of reddish brown. I made gluten free, dairy free pumpkin cupcakes before surgery. They were delicious. I'm looking forward to making zucchini bread next.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Hopefully we'll have a pregnancy next year. If we're lucky, I'll get a positive pregnancy test for Christmas.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Updates, updates

I haven't written in FOREVER and I know, I know... My bad. I'm currently recovering from a laparoscopy - yes, it turns out I have endometriosis. We decided to go for surgery and here I am, recovering. I was operated at Stanford Hospital, on October 2nd, by the very famous Dr. Camram Nezhat, specialist in endometriosis.

I still have to hear from my doctor what he saw inside my pelvic cavity... The assistant surgeon would not tell us! He said there was a lot of endometriosis, but they removed it all - including my appendix- and I should have no trouble conceiving from now on. I really want to believe that, but you know, once you go through infertility, you're scared to death to HOPE. Hope, hope hope. I had so much hope with the IUI's and all.

Before the surgery, I researched a lot about endometriosis and diet, and it turns out a dairy-free, gluten-free diet, with no red meat and low sugar is ideal. I've followed the diet and I did notice improvement during the 2 cycles that preceded my operation. I am going to continue following the diet, perhaps even become vegan. I know it sounds extreme, but if that is what it takes, I'm willing to do it. I don't want to go through surgery again, if I can avoid it.

The year is almost over. Halloween advertisement is at its full force. Costco has Christmas decoration items for sale. This is probably my last winter in America- we intend to move back to Brazil next Spring. Will I be pregnant by then? I don't know. I want to believe I will, but it may take another 6 months before we conceive.

Depression wise, I'm still taking Cymbalta 60mg. Nothing has changed. I may as well need medication for the rest of my life, unless things change.  A very happy thanksgiving to my Canadian Friends!

God bless,


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

News almost a month old!

I haven't posted in a month and I feel really bad about it! Things remain as they are. I'm not pregnant, even though I ovulated and we kept ttc. A new cycle started last Sunday, so here we go again. I continue on the gluten free dairy free diet, even thoug my blood work came back just fine. No auto immune antibodies, no extra natural killer cells. I'm not attacking myself and I'm not attacking my husband's boys. Hubby is well, too. The urologist said is numbers are good enough, and everything seems to be in order down there! Nevertheless, we haven't conceived, so the question remains.... Next Monday I will have a pelvic exam done to determine if I have any endometriosis. I surely do not have any symptoms of endometriosis. But... We are trying anything these days! I've tried to be more positive and not hate every single pregnant woman I meet on the street. I want to believe I am exactly where God wants me to be right now in my life, in spite of infertility, depression, uncertainties... Now is the time to be happy, with or without my so wanted baby.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Low

My period came today, starring the shortest cycle I've ever had: 20 days. I'm a bit afraid all those fertility drugs messed me up. Hopefully next cycle will be normal.

Last night my husband and I were lying on the couch watching TV. When the show was over I leaned on his shoulder, we kissed and were affectionate with each other. It was almost time for bed, and I told him "wow, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got divorced! They've been married for 5 years. We've made it longer than them!". Sometimes I like to joke around whenever I hear another celebrity couple split up, saying we've made it longer than them. It's not the first time I've said something like that. However, my husband's response was painful and unexpected. He looked at me and said "but they have a kid, and we don't!". He even had a smile on his face! When I asked him why he would say such thing, he told me that since I was criticizing Mr. and Mrs. Cruise, he reminded me we don't have a kid. I asked my husband if he thought this was all a big joke. I once more explained I had never suffered so much in my life as I've suffered those past few months, especially with the failed IUIs. We got into an argument when he said I've been dramatizing this since day one . He said I'm not helping myself by joining infertility forums and "scratching the wound" every single day on the internet, on blogs and so on. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. I explained I didn't think sweeping my pain and fears under the rug and never talking about it would help me at all. Knowledge is power, the more I learn, the better prepared I am. After saying that, I simply left and went to bed. I think he stayed up another hour or so working on the computer.

Then, this morning, period comes. Yay! I hated my life. I felt so sad and alone, misunderstood, and devastated that my husband and I do not seem to be on the same page at all. 15 months trying to conceive, 3 failed IUIs and he thinks I'm spending too much time scratching the wound. This ugly wound called Infertility. I realize I've reached a new low.

This good friend of mine who has given me so much valuable informatin emailed me this morning. She said she talked to her neighbor, who's an OBGYN. She explained my situation, the IUIs, the HSG (Femvue) I did, and this doctor really thinks the problem is with the sperm. She advised me to go to GNC and ask the people there for a multivitamin with fish oil for my husband. So let's see. The urologist appointment is on July 13.

I saw lots of pregnant women today. How I wish one of them was me.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Waiting for That Day

My time will come
My shooting star will shine
My sorrow will become
The reason for a smile

My time is near
My tears will be dry
And love will bloom, my dear
I'll never ever cry

The bedrooms will be full
Of laughter and joy
We'll walk them all to school
Our dog, our girl, our boy.

We'll lead a happy life
Quite simple, by the sea
Our kids will grow and thrive
How grateful we'll be!

So while we wait and pray
With empty arms and sunken heart
We dream about the day
Our happiness will start.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Taking a break after another BFN

On June 11 at 4:40 am I tested for pregnancy and got another negative result. Three IUIs. Three Big Fat Negatives (BFN). Well, one can only imagine what this does to a person who suffers from depression. Believe it or not, I didn't cry. I just felt bitter.

So this cycle I'm taking a break from all the "fertility crap" (pardon my French), drugs, ultrasounds and bills. We spent 4 thousand dollars. I continue with the gluten-free, dairy-free, red-meat free diet that helps calm down an overactive immune system. I got my act together, talked to an acquaintance who offered to help me (she herself suffered from infertility and has a success story, in spite of a plethora of issues (from polycistic ovarian syndrome to endometriosis, autoimmune disease and sperm abnormality).

I scheduled a urologist appointment for my husband, a post-coital exam for myself, plus a primary care physician appointment so that I can ask my doctor to request some blood work, mainly to check for T natural killer cells (which could be killing the sperm and/or fertilized egg). I also bought a fertility monitor my this acquaintance recommended. It is called Clearblue Fertility Monitor and it does cost some couple hundred bucks. She says it will be the best 200 dollars I've ever spent, so I'll go for it!

Now the second opinion we're looking for. My friend recommended this reproductive endocrinologist. I called, registered, scheduled an appointment. The I asked how much the visit would cost. Why, oh why? 600 dollars. I understand it is a one hour visit, but still... 600? They give a 30% discount if we pay upfront. I understand any discounts are welcome, but still... Just to hear a second opinion?

I'm not sure when I'll be ready to do more IUIs. I know we have only tried 3 times, and we would have higher chances if we tried 3 more... Nevertheless, I would like to make sure there isnt any hidden issue with my body, immune system, etc. It would also be great to hear from the urologist that my husband's speem is just fine. If not, what can we do to change it. Acupuncture is also on my list of "to dos". I'm just waiting to see what our future exams turn up with.

The past few days have been tough. I have to admit Facebook can be daunting, painful, a total disaster when it comes to keeping myself together. There are always people announcing a pregnancy, or complaining about pregnancy issues (poor them, baby is pushing against their ribs! Or maternity leave in this country is so not fair. I'd give up a kidney to be pregnant). I've thought of deactivating my account. Then I thought of not logging in for a whole week. Unfortunately, I know that is not the solution. I get a lot of news from my family through Facebook. They're all overseas thousands and thousands of miles and several time zones away from me. Catching up with my immediate family, plus uncles, aunts, and cousins is so much easier on FB. I'm not giving that up just because that bragging little lady decided to let everyone know she has 2 hearts beating inside of her-hers and the baby. Anyways... That little "hide" button shall do the trick.

I've realized I've become this bitter woman wo resents other people's happiness. This is definitely not who I want to be. I am very happy for this other friend of mine who's pregnant as well. She's 6 months ahead, so her belly is really showing. I think I'm much better after the babies are born. It's the thing about being pregnant that kills me, because I wanted it soooo bad. I've dreamed of it, and imagined myself, my round belly, my giving birth. My children, oh, how previous they'll be. How pretious.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist today and I broke down in tears. My medication is working. Anxiety attacks are a thing from the past. I feel fine. But boy, is infertility tough? It's the hardest thing I've ever experienced, even more than depression, because everyone thinks they are experts about it. Oh, getting knocked up? Sure, we know how to do it! Take a vacation and you'll come back pregnant! Adopt! Why don't you adopt? Haven't you heard the stories of people who adopt and then get pregnant? Wy don't you do IVF? Didn't you hear Betty got pregnant with twins in her first IVF cycle???

I wish I had a coping machine. An actual device I could attach to myself whenever I felt things were getting too hard to bear. I guess I'll just have to do without it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cooking Therapy

Spinach quinoa risotto, with plenty of smoked paprika. Olive oil and garlic stir fried brocolette. Grilled peppery asparagus. Tomatoes with fresh basil vinaigrette. I cook and cook and cook, and stir and stir and stir, but this lump in my throat doesn't go away.

How did I get here? Third IUI since February. Hormones, shots, sprays, suppositories. Ultrasounds and more ultrasounds. And bills. And crying. And freaking out. And there's nothing freaking wrong with me.

I cook because food makes me happy, but now I'm on this gluten-free, dairy-free, egg and red meat free diet. Just in case my immune system is killing the sperm, or the fertilized egg way before I know I'm pregnant.

I gave up cheese, and milk, and coffee, and wheat. I gave up quiches and omelets. I think I'd give up a kidney, too, if that made me pregnant. I'd give up meat forever. I would.

I cook for my husband, mostly because I love him and I don't want this fertility thing to get between us. Sometimes I resent him. He complained fertility was all I was talking about. He complained about the bills. He complained about my doctors. He wants a second opinion. The other doctor confirmed the results: low motility count. IUI is the way to go. First with Femara. Then injectables. He complained injectables + ultrasounds are too expensive. I suggested acupuncture. He doesn't believe in acupuncture.

At times it seems I am the only one doing all the work. Sometimes I acknowledge it is not his fault. So I cook. I stir, and I grill, and I bake gluten and dairy free brownies with egg replacer and all.

Why doesn't this lump in my throat go away? Why aren't I hopeful? I want to give up. I want to take a vacation. I want to be okay with the fact that a lot of women I know are pregnant while I am childless.

I want to make more gluten and dairy and egg free brownies and have them with raspberries. And be genuinely happy for the 15 minutes it will take me to finish eating them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Laughing IS Conceivable

I found this funny blog by former stand-up comedian Lori Shandle-Fox while searching for infertility support online. I laughed so much. It helped me ease off the stress of the past few days. She's also written a book, Laughing IS Conceivable, which is available on Amazon, both e-reader and hard copy versions.

Back to my fertility routine, I had my third IUI done this morning around 11am. Four follicles, two in each ovary. Now the waiting game. 2 weeks until pregnancy test. If positive, call office and schedule ultrasound. If negative, stop progesterone suppositories, wait for period to start, and call office to schedule ultrasound. I don't think I'll ever have so many ultrasounds done in my life. Meanwhile, happy memorial day!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Life Is Beautiful

I didn't sleep well last night. I had gone to bed upset about this whole fertility treatment. As the bills started to arrive, discrepancies between the prices I was told I would be charged for the IUI and ultrasounds and what I was actually being charged produced a huge amount of stress both in me and in my husband. This morning I was scheduled to have an ultrasound and husband came along so that we could discuss exactly how much each procedure cost. I had already spent part of my morning on the phone with insurance, doctor's office, my husband, and the doctor's billing office. By the time we got to the ultrasound, at 11am, I lost it.

A constant flow of tears bathed my face and impaired my ability to utter any understandable words. When I could finally speak, I said things impulsively and felt the reproving eyes of my husband sitting on me. I decided I was going to let him speak when the doctor came in. As any cautious, practical, and rational man, my husband was angry that we were told each cycle would cost around $600, but we were actually being charged close to $1200. The medical assistant told us they offered a 30% discount if we paid up front. Nobody told us that before. She then said she would call the billing office and have our $2500 bill reduced by 30%, and all the following bills done the same way. Mind you we had already paid $539 to my doctor the previous week, and that $2500 bill doesn't include any of the sperm washes, which cost $275, or the first IUI we did back in April, which costs $250. To top it off, when I had the tubal flushing done back in March, I was told it cost $800, and both the doctor's office and myself called insurance and were told it would be covered. Yesterday I found out the tubal flushing wasn't covered -  and it actually costs $1500 (part of the $2500 bill).

The doctor who saw me today isn't my main doctor. She was very nice and understanding, and she explained to us what our situation and chances are. My husband's sperm is borderline low when it comes to motility, so IUIs do double our chances of conceiving. On the other hand, statistically speaking, chances of getting pregnant with an IUI amount to 20% only. I'm on my 4th cycle of Femara and going towards my third IUI (we missed our first cycle of IUI because of daylight savings time, remember?). We decided we will do 2 more cycles, totalizing 6 of medication and 5 IUIs. If I do not get pregnant after 6 cycles of Femara, this formula is clearly not working and the next step would be to move on to injectable medications that trigger more eggs per cycle and quadruple our chances of conceiving. These meds may cost up to $1000/cycle, and require extra monitoring - 4 to 5 ultrasounds. So we're looking at $1000 for meds, $900 for ultrasounds, $250 for the IUI and $275 for the sperm wash. If we do that for a couple cycles, plus all we will have spent with the 5 IUIs, we will have spent enough to have paid for an IVF. My husband understandably doesn't want to go that route.

Tonight I told my husband I loved him, even if we never end up having our own children. I know I'll be a mother, that's for sure. My own child or not, I'm getting a baby. We can't adopt in America because we are not citizens, but we will move back to my country and if I haven't gotten pregnant by then, I will adopt. After barely a year of trying to conceive, I've come to the realization I better not try to take the IVF path. I haven't got the nerves for that. Twenty thousand dollars and no guarantees? Depression and anxiety do not got with that.

I have 4 follicles this cycle. Two in each ovary. My lining is a bit thin, though, in spite of my using Evamist for the past 5 days. Tomorrow I'll do the HCG shot (hey, I'm a pro when it comes to sticking a needle in my tummy now!), and on memorial day Monday we'll have our third IUI.

Perhaps I never mentioned it here, but I see young children (including babies) on a daily basis. I am patient, caring, loving, firm, and all the other attributes that make a great mother/caregiver. I can make babies fall asleep in a blink. Toddlers love me. Preschoolers adore me. I used to teach K and pre K English back in Brazil. People would say I'm a natural. A baby whisperer. Someone born to be a mother. Fit for the job. Capable. And now wanting it so bad. One of my main doctors, upon seeing me so sad a week ago because I wasn't pregnant, told me not to be too beat up about it because these things take time. He told me I am young and healthy, thus I have time. I'm 31 years old. I'm 5'9 and weigh 135lbs. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I exercise, engage in social activities and have been happily married for the past 5 years. So I guess this doctor is right. I am truly blessed, and I have time.

So why does it hurt so much? Why do I feel loss? And grief? And hopelessness?  Why does the sunshine doesn't seem to bring me joy? And why, oh why do I have to feel so depressed every time I see a pregnant woman? Why don't I wait in God and let Him take away my worries and cares? Why so much suffering?

Catherine Howard, king Henry VIII's fifth wife, said "life is beautiful" right before she was beheaded. I saw it on season 4 of 'The Tudors", so it may be fictional, but it struck me. Life is Beautiful, and time is unrecoupable. It is the most unrecoupable of all things (also part of Henry VIII's speech on "The Tudors" season 4). That is what makes life so precious, because what has been lived can never be lived again; Time spent is always lost, gone, vanished. We are born merely to grow old and die, destiny of all living things. Our youth is short. Who can blame Henry VIII for wanting so bad to secure a male heir? Of course his daughter Elizabeth did just as well as any other king; nevertheless, this longing for an offspring is perhaps our way of securing our posterity. Part of us survive with the ones we gave life too, and their children, and their children's children, and so on. Children bring so much joy, oh, so much joy. Who can blame me for wanting that?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

As I Suspected

Spotting started this late afternoon. I cried a bit more at the doctor's - I had my monthly visit with my psychiatrist today. I'm going for an ultrasound this Thursday to make sure my ovaries are quiet so that I can start Femara again. IUI #3 here we go...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Persistence Pays off, or doesn't it?

Last month's IUI didn't result in pregnancy. Instead, I had spotting from day 23 of my cycle until the progesterone suppositories couldn't hold it anymore and my period came, one day before I was supposed to test for pregnancy. So this month our second IUI was on May 2. Everything looked great. My husband's numbers were great, my numbers were great, my uterus lining was "fabulous", and I even had some spotting 5 days after the procedure. Could it be a sign of implantation? Then, a few days ago, I started having cramps and some pain on my lower back similar to when I'm about to get my period. I've been testing and, so far, it's negative. Not even a faint line. I'm supposed to test this Wednesday, 2 weeks after the IUI, but I think I already know the result: not pregnant. Saturday morning, as I drove to church, I sobbed bitterly, in the safe refuge of my car. I hadn't cried that hard for a long time. My antidepressant is working wonderfully, so I feel pretty well, but the pain of not being pregnant AGAIN was too strong this time. Some may say I'm suffering in advance, after all, there are still 2 days to go, but sometimes you can just feel it, and as much as I want to be pregnant, I don't want to build up my expectations over negative tests and cramps from the past 3 days. It is clearly not happening this cycle. So in my mind I know we have to be persistent, we have to be patient and move forward. My husband always says persistence pays off. I so want to believe that. Today, though, I wish I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sad, discouraged, frustrated, tired. I need a best friend's hug, a good cry, a reason for hope. I need to hear from someone with authority that it IS going to happen, and happen soon. I just need to be patient - and persistent - and it will pay off someday. My question is: when? And can I endure the wait?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Journey Without an End

 I'm threading this path and it seems there is no end, and I'm alone, at times, alone in my longing, in my dream of becoming a mother. The IUI did not happen last month. It is tragic and comic that we missed the very strict laboratory hours due to day light savings time. It was a Sunday morning, March 11. The lab would be open only from 8 to 8:30. We woke up thinking it was 7am, but it was actually 8. We got to the lab at what we thought was 7:50am,  but... Yes, the lab was closed.  I called the doctor sobbing, begging her to find another laboratory, another way. She tried her best, but no luck. She told me to go home and try on our own to conceive. So knows? Maybe it would still happen. It didn't. I didn't cry when the pregnancy test revealed I was not pregnant, 2 weeks after our failed IUI attempt. I didn't cry, but it hurt. Silent punches on my face. Not pregnant again.

 Today, a cycle later, things worked better. We didn't miss the lab hours. The specimen was collected, and I patiently await for the sperm wash to be completed while I type these words on my iPad. I have 2 follicles on my right ovary. Two hopes of starting a family. If not, next month. There is always next month. Why does this journey seem to be endless? I don't know. Sometimes I fear the path ahead. Sometimes I'm sure everything will be all right. Sometimes I do not think; I stand still in time and history, as if it were possible to do so. I stop my existence and remain in limbo, waiting for the day I am blessed with the joy of motherhood.

I know, I am not still. I am religiously taking the hormones I am told to take: the medication that makes me release extra eggs, the spray of estrogen that guarantees my lining is thick enough to support the embryo's implantation, the injection on my belly that makes me ovulate precisely after 36 hours, making this IUI  more of an exact science, the vaginal suppositories of progesterone that help keep the embryo in, in case of pregnancy. I feel I'm being prepped and pumped like fat cattle ready for slaughter. I've gained a few pounds, more than I wished to. I feel my anxiety has turned from nausea to compulsive eating, at times. I fear the results of so many drugs in my system. Mind you, I do not have any fertility problems myself. Yet, the fact that I am healthy and fertile but need all the extra help makes me bitter sometimes. Not much, just a tiny little bit of anger. I love my husband, and it isn't his fault if his sperm count isn't great. It isn't my fault either. I tell myself I'll do whatever it takes. And if it means taking Femara, Evamist, hCG, Prometrium, well, so be it. I'll worry about breast cancer later. Or will I? Next step takes place soon. Soon after I finish typing these words, put away my computer, get into the car and drive to the laboratory, and then to the medical office where I may hopefully get pregnant with my very first intrauterine insemination. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's this Sunday

My first IUI  - intrauterine insemination - will take place Sunday morning, after 9am. I have 3 gorgeous follicles getting ready for ovulation; a 19mm, an 18mm, and a 14mm. I think they're measured in mm. I have no idea, hahahaha! Those were the numbers the doctor used - a 19, an 18, and a 14. My uterus lining was a bit thin, so I've used Evamist, for estrogen, which will thicken my lining. I've taken Femara  during days 3 to 7 of my cycle as well. Tonight, I'll give myself an hCG shot to trigger ovulation. 36 hours after tonight, I'll be ovulating and the IUI will be done. Hopefully I'll be one of the 20% of women who conceives with only one IUI. Hopefully. Oh, I had my tubes flushed and they were not obstructed or anything, so all looks good. Now they're extra clean - free way for those 13 million sperm to get things going! But I hope I don't get pregnant with triplets. Can you just imagine???
Nevertheless, If I get pregnant, I'll be puking with joy, and I shall never complain of back pain when my belly is round and heavy. I'll be the happiest pregnant woman on earth. I swear. Say a prayer for me if you follow this blog. Sunday morning, pacific time. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Artificial Insemination

I haven't written for a while as things are really busy, but all our tests are done and it seems everything is fine with me. The sperm, on the other hand, is not great. It isn't bad, but it's not great. So my doctor suggested that we do an intrauterine insemination. The sperm will be "washed", getting rid of the 2/3 of sperm that are not mobile, and concentrating the 1/3 that is (approximately 13 million). Then that "sperm juice" will be shot inside me at the exact period of ovulation (I'll be monitored by ultrasound to determine the ovulation date). This way, we have a greater chance of getting pregnant. Besides that, I will also take Letrozole, which will increase even more my chances of conceiving.

So, according to my doctor, we are not really categorized as "infertility" per se. 13 million good sperm is more than enough (a good number is 10 million). What happens is the other 26 million sperm that are not mobile sort of get in the way of the good sperm. I would eventually get pregnant, but it could take another year.

Cost wise, we'll be spending 600 American dollars for the whole process, including the sperm wash, the office visit and ultrasound to determine my ovulation, the insemination itself, and Letrozol, which is very inexpensive.  I'm taking Letrozole (brand name is Femara)  and not Clomid because it seems Letrozole is actually better than Clomid. I will also need to have a shot to speed ovulation so the doctors know I'll ovulate in exactly 48 hours and then we can schedule the insemination.

It all sounds very artificial to me (of course, it is artificial insemination after all). Nevertheless, I have a friend who got pregnant taking Femara and her baby is smart and healthy. Hopefully that will be my case, too.

I may be also flushing my tubes to make sure there are no obstructions. That will be done before the insemination.

So last week was the last time we tried conceiving naturally. Part of me really, really hopes I am pregnant without any help, but if I'm not, now I know why. Then next month we will take action.

I've been slightly more anxious since this all happened, and I've also had nightmares. Nevertheless, I am hopeful it all works out. We have a budget for 3 months of artificial insemination, if necessary. It all adds up, and simply conceiving a baby may cost nearly 2 thousand dollars. A friend of mine told me that it is all worth it, because when I finally hold my baby, I'll forget all that is past.

Concerning my antidepressants, my psychiatrist and I have a plan. I'll continue taking Cymbalta in a lower dosage for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, simply because if I suffer a miscarriage, I do not want to fall into deep depression. Once the first trimester is over, I'll slowly stop my meds and continue pregnancy without them. Depending on how I do, we may or may not put me immediately back on medication right after delivery. Hopefully I'll be able to breastfeed for a few months before I lack serotonin and cortisol. I'll keep you all posted!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Test 1 Done

Progesterone blood work done today, the 20th day of my cycle. Now Just waiting for the results to find out if I've ovulated this month.

Next step - around February 4 - possibly the 3rd day of my next cycle. New blood work will be done on this day to determine hormone levels (if they are in the levels to support pregnancy), thyroid hormones included :-)

Meanwhile all I can do is wait. Root for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy 2012

I'm back from my 3 week trip overseas and it was a blast. Especially the last week. We were in Salvador, Bahia, one of the oldest cities in Brazil, full of history, beautiful architecture, and warm turquoise blue waters. I loved being at the beach... it was great,

I would love to announce that I am pregnant, but unfortunately that hasn't come true yet. I was in Brazil, I was relaxed, I was on vacation, the weather was perfect, but it did not happen.

Yesterday I went to the doctor and we'll do a bunch of tests to figure out what is going on. The doctor was excited and told me we'll get this going. So I'm excited too. Even if there isn't anything wrong I may want to take some Clomid to release more eggs and raise my chances of getting pregnant. Or do a sperm wash and inject it so the sperm do not have to swim.

I'm doing some blodd work this Friday, the 20th day of my cycle, and then more blood work on the 3rd day of my next cycle. I already have hubby's kit for him to collect his "special men" and take it to the lab. Doctor wants to see us in no later than a month.

Let's keep positive! Hopefully I'll be pregnant within 3-4 months or so :-)