Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great news

So. It turns out...

...that I have ovaries that are pretty much equivalent to those of a twenty year old. (um...what?)

My RE told me today in no uncertain terms that he's not able to say this very often, but I fall into a very small demographic of 40-somethings who are quite...um...gifted, reproductively-speaking. He said he'd be thrilled if someone my age showed four follicles in each ovary, and I am currently showing six to seven in one and way more than that, apparently, in the other. He measured the volume of each ovary, and where most women my age measure about three (not sure what the units are, cc's? no clue), I am measuring nine, which apparently is awesome. So things are looking very, very good. Based on what he saw today, he said, I can almost count on a pregnancy. Egg quality, obviously, is still in question, and there's nothing I can do about that, but besides that, everything else looks really good. I'm kind of amazed, actually.

My heart went out to another woman who came in today--the only other woman today besides me who wasn't doing IVF--whose OPK's didn't show a surge at all. She had an ultrasound a few days ago that showed a follicle of 16mm, and her ultrasound today showed that she'd already ovulated. So she missed it, and she had no inkling from her OPK's. I now know from experience how frustrating it is to miss a cycle altogether. I can only imagine how frustrated she must have felt.

Such an odd experience, sitting in the waiting room today with about four other couples who I was pretty sure were there for IVF. Everyone sitting there so somberly, very few couples even exchanging words with one another. It's serious business, that IVF stuff. Not for the faint of heart, for sure. I saw a couple of the women leave with what looked to be armfuls of boxes of meds. Unreal. I found myself feeling very thankful that IUI is still an option for me, and this was before my RE told me about these young-acting ovaries of mine. I also felt a bit bummed that unlike them, I'm going through this without a partner, but you do what you have to do, I guess.

I also couldn't help thinking today about the fact that I would LOVE to lose at least forty pounds, and that like a lot of other women, I am not happy with the way my body looks right now. But when it comes down to what my body is able to do, namely to grow a baby all the way from conception to birth and possibly do it again at age almost-forty two, I honestly have no room to complain. I'm so blessed, truly, and I don't want to forget that.

So the rest of the plan for this month is to start my letrozole this evening and continue for the next five days, followed by an ultrasound on October third to check the state of things. So it's entirely feasible that I might have an insemination on my forty-second birthday, October eighth. On this upcoming birthday two years ago, I had my anatomy scan, and was told that I'd be giving birth to a baby girl...who is the absolute light and treasure of my life. Blessed, indeed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

There is a method to the madness after all

Well, I feel much better. Got some clarification from the RE himself. NOW I get it! He's absolutely right that when I conceived my daughter back in 2009, I didn't do back-to-back iui's, and specifically, back-to-back meds. Now that I am trying to do so, their policy is to rule out ovarian cysts beforehand, because the meds can exacerbate any cysts, and cysts can definitely reduce pregnancy rates. Much less cause all sorts of pain and delays in trying again. He left the decision up to me, though he definitely advises against going right into another medicated cycle without ruling out cysts. Sunday is CD5, and he doesn't buy into some people's fears about the risk of birth defects from using Femara after CD3...it's often used day 5 through 9. So now I have an ultrasound appointment at 8:50 am on Sunday to rule out any ovarian cysts and to give me a prescription for the Femara. He has a few IVF patients coming in on Sunday--when the office is technically closed--so there's a little bit of time for me as well. Now that I understand the madness, this "requirement" makes much more sense to me. I was offered an ultrasound appointment today, but since K is still under the weather, it's not the best idea, plus their office does close at noon today, which would mean too much of a hustle for us. So it's looking like Sunday is our best bet. And I think I'm okay with it, now that I understand why.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I need anger management therapy

...because I seriously just beat the living shit out of my curling iron by banging it against the top of the bathroom sink. Don't ask.

I got a message from my (ridiculous) RE today that he won't call in my prescription for letrozole (Femara) until I come in for an ultrasound. (Why??????) He's never required this before, and that's another fifty bucks down the drain. Tomorrow is CD3, and they have NO openings because every Friday they close at noon. Of course.

So...it looks like my choice this month is to either do an unmedicated cycle--if he'll even DO an insemination--or don't inseminate at all. I had no intentions of doing an unmedicated cycle, but if it's that or don't do it at all...

I was home with K today because she's fighting an ear infection, and her fever was over 103 at times yesterday and today. She's now on antibiotics, but so far they haven't seemed to kick in yet, at least as far as her fever is concerned. Right now her temp is 102, and I just gave her some infants' acetaminophen because she can't take more ibuprofen until at least 10:00. Needless to say, since I certainly wasn't expecting a call from my RE about some unnecessary mandatory ultrasound, I didn't check my messages until after their office had closed for the day (3:30). They can definitely expect a call from me tomorrow morning. And not a pleasant one, either.

This really sucks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Here we go again

Yes, it's on. Tomorrow is CD1, with today being a sort of pseudo CD1. And wouldn't you know it, because my cycle is now starting again, I felt all sorts of hope today. It was just...a good day. I am bound and determined to move forward with T42, and as they say, pull out all the stops. I feel more grateful that I am able to do this at all. I will be dusting off my OvaCue fertility monitor tonight, and finding my basal thermometer (who knows where that's been hiding). I'm not convinced that OPK's will be reliable, so I am going to back them up with other ways to monitor how things are progressing. I have to put a call in to my RE tomorrow to ask him to call in my prescription for Femara, and also to make sure we're all systems go for another try. I kind of dread talking to him after last month's disappointment, but I do feel confident that I won't end up in that same situation this month or next. I will not settle for NOT having a trigger shot, that's for sure. I can't wait to get back in the game.

In other interesting news, my friend Lisa's friend Deidra had a big day today, and unfortunately it's too late to call tonight to find out how things went. Deidra and her husband had been foster parents to a little boy since very shortly after his birth, and they were in line to adopt him after fostering him for the past year and a half (if memory serves). Well, this past June they ended up having to return him to his biological mother. So devastating. They did take him for a couple of weekends this summer, and he was inconsolable every time they had to give him back to his bio mom. Just this past week, however, bio mom went back to jail. Now they have several agencies pushing for them to be allowed to legally adopt him, saying that it's in the little boy's best interest, and today was the court date that might just change the rest of their lives. I'm dying to find out what happened today! And I have every finger and toe crossed that this couple is supposed to add this little boy to their family. I still have faith that sometimes, things happen just the way they are supposed to happen. I truly hope that this is one of those times.

My heart goes out to my friend J, who has to make the very difficult decision whether to go for (adopt I guess is the correct term) two grade B frozen embryos now, or wait quite a few months and take the chance that perhaps more viable embryos might come available at that point. These two grade B embryos come from a couple with two failed IVF's behind them, followed by a successful natural (surprise) pregnancy. Apparently they've been dealing with male factor infertility. She feels very apprehensive about the fact that they did two unsuccessful IVF's, and she's unsure about their grade B status. I don't have any other specifics about the condition of the embryos. If anyone has any thoughts or advice about this situation, I'd sure love to hear them.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Wishing all of you lots of green lights and great songs on the radio during your morning commute tomorrow. :) (which I actually have had for two days in a row now, lucky me!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New arrival!

Welcome to the world, Abigail Kate! Her happy parents are my cousin Matthew and his wife Emily. Abby was born at 8:00 this morning at 7 lbs, 8 oz.

The cool thing about it is that Abby is the second baby girl--indeed, the second baby, period--of her generation (besides my girl K) who has my last name. And I love the idea of a second little girl with this same last name...maybe just the idea of carrying it along into the future. I know that our (Matthew's and mine) late grandparents, Irv and Naomi, are watching over us and enjoying our little girls. I just wish they could have met them in person. I love how Abby is clutching her mommy's finger in her tiny fist! I can't wait for both K and I to meet her!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I just have to get this out. Because right now it's pretty much simmering inside my brain, and I'm sad, and I'm alone (except for my little one, who is sound asleep, and this time she doesn't count since she's not an adult who might "get it"). I'm not really open to very many people about my T42 status, either, so here I sit, feeling very sad. Since it's my blog, I'm going to get it all down "on paper" and hopefully I'll feel a little better.

I just want to get into the game. I want to get into the game and see what happens. And now I have to wait another looooong month till I can try again. My RE told me last Thursday that unfortunately they're closed over the long Labor Day weekend, yet I discovered that his website specifically states that someone is always available on weekends and holidays for scheduled needs such as inseminations. So why don't I qualify? Is it because I'm single? Because I'm "only" doing iui and not IVF, a much more expensive procedure? An iui is such a quick thing, too...after the thaw, which usually only takes twenty minutes or so, it's only a few minutes and it's done. Not like my RE would have to give up an afternoon or something. So I did my OPK's this weekend and I'm quite sure I've completely missed the window. Not even a second line today, and based on my follicle measurements last Thursday, one follicle was probably 24mm today and the other 19mm. Unless they grew faster because of the Fem.ara. So most likely I've ovulated by now. And I'm not thrilled about paying my RE another fifty bucks tomorrow just to have him tell me "Sorry, it's too late." So I don't think I will. Up until now I'd considered calling in the morning to make an appointment for an ultrasound, but now I don't think so.

I fully realize that my feelings and reaction to this turn of events are purely emotional. Truth be told, I'm both angry and hurt that they wouldn't consider doing an iui for me over the weekend. I'm especially angry about missing out on the good timing this try might have afforded me, a delivery in early summer that would have allowed me to stay home with a prospective baby for most of the summer without maternity leave considerations. I can and will try again next month, this I know. But missing this cycle was so completely avoidable, not my fault at all, and the truth is, I didn't get at all what I wanted this month from my fertility clinic: I wanted to do a trigger shot and I especially wanted--obviously--to do an insemination. I took my meds faithfully between days 3 and 7, to no avail. Luckily they cost almost nothing thanks to my insurance. I seriously considered all weekend switching RE's, and I might still do that. I just feel like he wasn't there when I needed him, like any other TTC'ing SMC, and who's to say it won't happen again? My cycles won't coincide with any other holidays over the next few months, thankfully. But what if I need to inseminate on a weekend and he won't do it? I just think it's really crappy. Today I decided, just so I feel at least a little proactive about this whole thing, to call around and see who else in my town does iui's. I know I'll get over this disappointment, but right now it just...hurts.

To my surprise, I'm sadder than I expected. I just really want to get pregnant again. I just want to at least get into the damn game and not be sitting on the sidelines. I guess there's one silver lining, at least--I now know that I truly want to have another baby. I'm not sitting on the fence anymore. And just writing all this out, I do feel a little bit better. As my mom always likes to say, tomorrow is another day. And I'd add, October is another month. Less than a full month away. I kind of want to tell my RE a little about how frustrated I feel about the discrepancy between the availability stated on his website and how it played out for me, but I'm not sure how I would phrase it. Right now I'm pretty angry with him. I guess time will tell.

New big girl bed!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's all in the timing


Well, things are really up in the air regarding this iui cycle. It looks like I might surge over the long weekend, and my RE does NOT do iui's over Labor Day weekend. Soooo... I will try my best not to stew about it and feel anxious about potentially throwing my hard-earned money away on a doomed cycle.

I currently have two follicles measuring 11 mm and 16 mm. My RE won't trigger until 20 mm, and iui's are usually done around 24 mm. I have NO idea how fast a typical woman's follicles mature. Maybe it varies from woman to woman. Today is CD11, and in the past my OvaCue fertility monitor has pinpointed day 15 for my most fertile day. CD15 falls on Monday. BUT I also just read about Fem.ara delaying ovulation by a couple of days, so that might work in my favor. My plan as of right now is to buy a bunch of OPK's and use them starting tomorrow, just to see what they show. Right now it looks like an iui on Tuesday might just be the ticket, depending on what my OPK's look like. I've never had a whole lot of success with OPK's...on the cycle that worked, my RE triggered on CD13 and (I think) he did the iui two days later.

I just really don't want to miss my window, since the timing this month for a summer delivery would be perfect.

I am on the fence over whether or not to cancel this cycle and wait till next month...