Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Staring Down the Brilliant Dream (title stolen!)
After quite a long hiatus, and a fairly extensive bout of depression, I'm baaaaack!
You know it's funny, I only just now see what likely triggered my depression. After re-reading my last post and realizing when I started to feel less-than-myself, I can see that the disappointing loss of my known donor may have been at the root. This was then followed by a series of events that layered on top if it and just pushed me deeper and deeper inside myself. The timing is SPOT ON. I frustrate myself with my lack of ability to understand/recognize/acknowledge my own feelings. But hey! Here's to clarity! Have a glass of sparkling grape juice for me.
This last year has been crazy -- and not just in my head. We FINALLY moved after a 9 month wait on a "short" sale. We love our new house and the energy in it just feels so much more calm and centered -- even though we still have boxes piled in various places. 3 months in and the unpacking process has sort of petered out -- the boxes are starting to become part of the scenery.
We've got a garden growing! I attempted square foot gardening for the first time ever and so far it looks like I haven't screwed it up. There is magic happening and things are growing!
I'm in the market for a new job -- so if anyone knows of any legitimate work from home opportunities with good pay/benefits, please send them my way! Things are shifting where I am now and I'd really like to get out while the getting is good and before they leave us! Severance would be nice, but the job market here is quite volatile so I feel like I should get a jump on this. It looks like our team may be disolved in favor of the other team in Cavite, PHIL.
On the baby making front, things are looking quite sunny! I think I've mentioned previously that I am a birth doula. Well, last summer I worked for a lovely couple whose baby was the product of donor sperm. This was their second baby and after a few months they decided that they would not be having any more children.
We had talked about about their process of choosing a donor -- and my struggle with the lack of human experience from the equation. Sometime in October, they contacted me about whether I would be interested in their leftover vials. I was elated at the prospect and offered payment or a trade of lifetime babysitting. Instead they insisted that they did not want them to go to waste and went ahead and transferred them over to me! How do you thank someone for helping you make your dreams come true? I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with an appropriate thank you gift. A thank you card, doesn't seem enough. The words "THANK YOU", aren't enough. THIS is such a wonderful gift for me in so many ways -- not only do I not have to worry about the cost, but I get such a wonderful, amazing, human experience that I so desperately felt was lacking with an anonymous donor. While I won't know the donor, I will know this family and their children. I have the unique experience of having been present for the birth of their child. This child, born in the caul, as pink as I have ever seen, my 10th birth as a doula, is special in so many ways. She chose a family with such open hearts and generous spirits. I feel so incredibly blessed that our children will have the opportunity to have a connection to their extended genetic families.
It's true, the universe always provides.
So, yesterday, H and I went to our first Reproductive Endocrinology appointment. The goal was to figure out the plan for the first try. FOR REALZ PEOPLE THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING! I can't even believe it! So many struggles and ups and downs -- I was truly beginning to doubt whether I would ever get to this point. Whether my BODY would ever get to this point. I feel a little nauseous about it. It's so surreal. And terrifying. Is it supposed to be terrifying because I feel totally terrified. And elated.And apprehensive. And optimistic. Lookit me being all in touch with my feelings! Time for more sparkling grape juice!
So, since my cycles are still a bit unpredictable, we have opted to use clomid with ovidrel trigger shot. I know, I know, I said I would never use it. I fear the multiple pregnancy -- for so many reasons. Mainly that it will make for a complicated pregnancy and I'm REALLY aiming for a homebirth. Also, daycare for multiples is simply not in my budget. Also, not working is simply not possible unless we win the lottery. Or unless we would like to be homeless. Having said that, we will do a monitored cycle with the least amount of monitoring as necessary since this will be out of pocket. Thank goodness for FSA accounts!
The doctor offered the option of the Hysterosalpinogram and I opted to go for it. It ensures that my tube(s) are fully open and functioning, they have been known to increase the chances that you will become pregnant, and I won't waste the precious gift I was given because I wanted to avoid a procedure. This way all of the information will be on the table. I am poised to ovulate (allegedly) sometime in the next week or so. My cycle has run 40 to 45 days for the last two cycles. This will place me with CD1 sometime in the first weeks of July providing it follows the same pattern. The good news is that my luteal phase appears to be appropriately long enough to support a pregnancy.
So, the current plan is as follows:
CD1: call to schedule hsg for sometime between cd's 5-12; notify office that AF is here.
CD3: blood work: Cholesterol, HDL, Triglycerides, LDL, ALT, AST, Hemoglobin A1C, blood typing, CBC with Auto Diff, estradiol, fsh, inhibin b, prolactin, rubella antibody screen, tsh with reflex, varicella antibody screen, DHEA-S, Testosterone, HbsAG, HCV, HIV 1&2 ad RPR, CMV, baseline beta required to start
Some of these are to check on previous elevated levels (and to satisfy my own curiosity with how my eating and exercise is affecting my values) and some are required by the FDA before I can insem.
CD4: begin antibiotic in prep for hsg (assuming it will be on day 5)
CD5: HSG and antibiotic and begin clomid 50mg taken between 7 and 9pm
CD6: Antibiotic & clomid 50mg taken between 7 and 9pm
CD7: clomid 50mg taken between 7 and 9pm
CD8: clomid 50mg taken between 7 and 9pm
CD9: clomid 50mg taken between 7 and 9pm
cd10: ultrasound to check to see if there are any/how many follicles ready so we when know to time the trigger shot. The trigger shot releases the follicles (eggs) from the ovaries. Depending on results we may continue with another day or so of clomid and follow up with another U/s until we are ready to trigger.
CD11: 12 hours post trigger, 1st IUI
CD12: Begin first ever TWW (two week wait)
CD13-....... try not to think about it...... likely fail at not thinking about it.
We're starting with a very low dose of clomid -- normal protocol is usually 100 mg -- because it looks like I may be ovulating even if it is slightly irregular. We don't want to risk over stimulating my ovaries. All of my last hormone values in July 2011 were within normal range, so while I have been labled with PCOS, I don't have any of the classic symptoms of it other than the irregular periods. I don't have excessive hair in the wrong places, I'm not losing hair from the right places, I don't have acne. With better diet, I have been able to control my blood sugar. I think having been diagnosed with celiac and not eating gluten has really catapulted my health in a better direction. My reproductive system has really benefited from everything I have done in the last 3 years. It's amazing to see my cycles return and that all of this hard work has paid off. I was able to do it my way, not stay on birth control pills in order to cycle. I gave my body good food, avoided toxins, preservatives, artificial colors, poor quality processed foods, no hydrogenation, no corn syrup. Recently, I have been able to greatly reduce my white sugar intake simply because I'm just not craving it (thank you shakeology!). No coffee, no tea, no alcohol, no bottled water. I store most foods in glass, I avoid using plastic bags for things. I eat organic when I can. I aim to eat mostly grass fed local meat and poultry products. I consume only whole milk dairy products that are sourced from animals raised responsibly and without hormones or pesticides and which are pastured raised. I love my milk man! My biggest struggle has been including exercise regularly. I do battle with this daily - some days I win, some days...well...
Here we go!!!!
Currently CD20 and I'm the kind of crabby I get when I'm attempting to ovulate. So far all of the OPK's have been negative and my ovacue swears I'll be fertile tomorrow, but I seriously doubt it.
That's all for now! Time for bed!
****Title of post stolen from the Indigo Girls live album of the same name.