Monday, November 25, 2013

Side Effects

hCG side effects? Pregnancy side effects? Who knows! 

The hCG trigger shot I did is full of well, hCG, which is also know as the pregnancy hormone. It can last in your system for roughly 10 days. I'm assuming how I'm feeling is due to the hCG injection, but sometimes it makes me wonder...

Well, I am hungry ALL the time. It's been rough on my tiny stomach. Half the time I eat it doesn't sit well, but I keep eating anyway because I'm so hungry!

I'm still cramping every day since the IUI. It just comes and goes. I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not.

Surprisingly I've been emotionally stable. I'm sure my darling husband appreciates that.

I feel bloated all the time, but I'm used to it now so it doesn't bother me much. 

I'm tired. Usually I sit in bed for a while, but lately I'm out the second I lie down. 

Oh, and ZITS! Thankfully I've never had problems with zits/acne in my life. Until now. They're all over my face. And I feel like my entire head is covered in oil. Yuck.

Silly side note...I'm constantly looking at websites and blogs at my job. Every time I see "www." my brains sees "tww" aka two week wait. Ha! 

I'm so glad we are leaving for Cali for Thanksgiving. It will definitely help to pass the time. I get a little more hopeful each day. Chris too! It was adorable how excited he got last night thinking about if I really did get pregnant. Awh. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

My First IUI

Well it's about time I post my IUI experience. It's a good thing I waited a couple days because I have been on a roller coaster of emotions, but know I can look back on the experience with fresh eyes. 

The hCG shot definitely got to me. My raging hormones have resulted in countless unnecessary tears. Some women test out their trigger to know when it's out of their system, but I'm just trying to play it cool so I don't become obsessed with it and think I should still have the side effects because it's still in my system.

So here's IUI story #1 (wouldn't it be nice if it stayed #1?!) 

For those of you who don't know, an IUI stands for intrauterine insemination also known as artificial insemination. Basically my husband's sperm is inserted directly into my uterus, creating a more direct route with less obstacles. 

We arrived at 7:30am for Chris's SA (semen analysis) to get a collection for the IUI. They wash the collection so only the best sperm remain. It's crazy to think there are millions and millions of candidates, but it only takes one.

The whole morning my emotions were running high. Nothing felt like it was going right that morning and I already lost hope before I even went in for the IUI. At 9am I got prepped and waited and waited and waited. Finally my sweet nurse came in and talked me through the procedure. They simply insert a speculum (ouch) and then guide a catheter until they find the top of the uterus and then the sperm is injected. It's simple enough that my nurse did the whole procedure while we talked about Thanksgiving to try and distract me from all the pokes and prodding going on. It only took about 3 minutes. After everything was removed, they had me rest for about 20 minutes and then they sent me on my way with good luck wishes.

All throughout that day I had no hope. I kept saying, "We'll have to try this medication next time" and "Next time I rather do this". I was already setting myself up for a negative. But that's how I protect myself. I don't get my hopes up so I'm not crushed when what I hoped for doesn't happen. Needless to say, I cried and cried and cried all day. 
Hormones. Gotta love them.
I had moderate cramping for two days and just took it easy. I am now in what's know as the two week wait. Two weeks until I take a pregnancy test to see if all the pills, injections, ultrasound, and IUI were worth it. My goodness I hope so! All the appointments, medications, and sticking needles in myself is emotionally exhausting!!!

But this is why I'm glad I'm writing this two days later. I found my hope. It's small, but I'm hopeful. There are so many little things that have to go exactly right to become pregnant. It really is a miracle. And that is where I found my hope. I've stopped thinking about the medications and how big my follicles were and if the trigger shot worked. Now I just think of the miracle it all is. It's completely in God's hands. If it's God's will, I will become pregnant. There is nothing more I want to be in life than a mother. I want to have children and raise a family with my husband. The thought consumes every spare moment. It is always in the back of my mind. It is everything to me. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ultrasound and hCG Trigger Shot

On Saturday I had my follicular ultrasound. My follicles were still a bit too small, so my doctor had me do a forth FSH injection. He said the follicles grow about 2mm a day, so he set my IUI for Wednesday morning. I'm excited and nervous! Although I've learned by now that I should stop being nervous because every time I am it turns out to not be a big deal at all. 

Oh boy, now I'm bringing in the big guns!

Last night I took the hCG trigger shot. hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone that is used to aid in the follicle maturation process and stimulate egg release. Typically women ovulate around 36 hours after the injection. That puts me at exactly 9am Wednesday morning, the exact time I'm getting the IUI. Timing is very important since eggs only typically live for 24 hours.

On another note, we are doing well. I have slowly been putting up Christmas decorations (yeah, yeah, yeah, you probably think it's too soon...) and we have been addicted to the new show Reign. Life is good and we are enjoying our time together! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hard Things

Paralyzed. Just lost in emotion. 

That's how I feel every time someone I know gets pregnant. I say "congratulations" with the most genuine smile I can muster...but inside I'm completely crushed. It takes everything I can to fight the tears and pretend everything is okay. My heart breaks a little more each time.

A month ago I went to one of my best friend's baby showers. I wanted to go because I hadn't seen her in forever, but it was so hard. Passing around the baby clothes and talking about all things baby. I am so happy for her, but there came a point where I just needed to escape and get my mind on something else. It took a lot of willpower to keep a smile on my face that night. 

I'm so blessed to have a wonderful husband that understands my desire and longing for a child. He just holds me while I fall apart. Originally I was going to write like I was this really strong person confronting a trial, but sometimes you just need to cry. My heart goes out to those facing the same thing. 

We are so blessed to have a wonderful doctor. We are so blessed that we can communicate the desires of our heart with our Father in Heaven through prayer. It gives me the comfort that it will be okay.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FSH Injections

Needles. Terrify. Me. 
No bueno.

Everyday I watched my Dad inject himself with insulin and it would make me shudder. I prayed I never would get diabetes and have to do the same. I should have also prayed I would never have to take anything else that required stabbing a needle into my stomach. 

When my package arrived with my injections I was overwhelmed and scared to death. I couldn't get over the 1 1/2 inch needles that were included in the box. I thought I was going to have to use those needles until I figured out I only had to use the 1/2 inch needles. Thank goodness! The box contained enough for three 113 unit injections of Bravelle (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). 
Fun fact: Bravelle comes from human urine. Thank you kind donors for sharing your pee with me. 
The package also had my trigger shot for my IUI. The trigger shot is a ginormous dose of hCG that triggers ovulation. Since I don't ovulate on my own this will certainly be necessary. 

(Sorry about the bad hands were shaking from being so nervous!)

Last night I did my first Bravelle injection. After tears and loving support from my husband I began the process. I had to mix three bottles of the Bravelle with the sodium chloride to get an amount concentrated enough for my dosage. And then I just did it. I stabbed the needle in my stomach and pushed in the plunger and took it out. I felt like a druggie. I freaked when I saw a small amount left in the syringe and stabbed myself again fearing I didn't get enough in. That probably wasn't smart, but I'm still alive. 
I'm not trying to make light of this situation, but joking about it helps me cope. 

All in all was it that bad? No. Was it worth the tears and anxiety? Not really. Now I know the next injection tomorrow will be fine and I shouldn't have to worry. But seriously though...needles are not cool.

The things I will do for an Itty Bitty Ivie!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Month One...No Luck

I feel so much for the couples that go through years of treatment without success. 
Their strength makes them my heros. 
Last month I had 10 straight days where I used ovulation prediction tests and every time, first thing is the morning, I received a negative. Not exactly the best way to start my day! Before I thought negative pregnancy tests felt bad, but I won't even get to the point of a pregnancy test again if I keep getting negative ovulation tests! I didn't really think this would happen since everything else was going great. When cycle day 21 came without a positive ovulation test I went in for a progesterone blood draw. (They only had to poke me once this time!) The progesterone was very low and confirmed I did not ovulate. 
So the Femara alone didn't work.
On a good note though, my hypothyroidism is under control! After 4 weeks of synthroid my thyroid is it a 2.4. Perfect! I still have some good days and bad days when it comes to my energy, but I can tell the synthroid is working. 

That was a hard week, but next month is another opportunity, so I'm keeping my chin up!

(I would like to add that our kids are going to look freaking adorable)

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