Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long overdue update

Well, baby is due this coming week and he's doing just fine. I, on the other hand, am sick of being pregnant. I've been having contractions on and off for two weeks and am getting sort of worn out. I really hope he's here soon! We have the nursery done, have the cradle set in our room, and are ready to have him home and healthy with out. I will post again once he's here!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our Big News . . .

Baby is PERFECT! And . . . IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!

He was sooooo cute today - he was asleep but had the hiccups and was bouncing all over the place. The tech took one look and said "Look at your perfect baby, I have another dr. who has to see this!" She went and got a 50 y.o. (about) male dr. who is training to do NT scans and he walked in and said "Awwwwwww, wook at the pefect wittle baby!" At that point, I knew the scan was going well! :):) Anyway, his measurements are perfect and my risk is 1 in 2888 for Downs and 1 in 5500 for Tri 13/18, so no CVS or amnio for me. She also said his brain, skull, kidneys, and heart look absolutely perfect, as does the placenta, which is anterior, and the amniotic fluid. HB was a perfect 160. I asked if we could get the money shot and she totally did - she got a shot looking down his belly with his little feet and legs in the air and she cracked up and said to me "what do you think it is?" I took one look at the screen and said - "I think that's a BOY!" We checked from the other direction and there was no downward pointing stub, so it's pretty sure it's a boy! I am so excited and DH is over the moon!!! I don't have a good scan of the money shot, but I will post it when I get home - I'm at work so could only scan one pic before getting bounced off the scanner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Allllllllllllll-day sickness

I have NO IDEA why it's called morning sickness. I wake up, I feel fine. I take a shower, I feel fine. I eat breakfast, I feel fine. 20 minutes later, I feel like I'm on a 15ft boat on 20ft seas. Alllllllll day. Riding in the car is hell, which is not good as I have a 40 minute commute to my office. Walking helps, sometimes. When it doesn't, it's worse. Sea-Bands do help some. Ginger helps. Eating (weirdly) helps. But nothing makes it go away. Sigh. Oh, and I am so tired I can barely function. But I can't sleep when I want to throw up. It's not fun - like a three-month hangover without all the booze. BUT - baby looks good so far. We have another ultrasound on Thursday but here is a picture from last week:


Our little blueberry was measuring 2 days ahead and had a lovely heartbeat of 136bpm. So, my due date is Nov. 22.

E is thrilled, his parents are thrilled, and when I don't want to puke or sleep, I'm thrilled. More updates soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Someone asked what symptoms I've had so far - a better question is probably what symptoms I haven't had. So here is a list:

- Much larger breasts - I've gone up both a cup and a strap size. I will probably go up at least one more.
- Tired, tired, tired - I went to bed at 8:30 last night
- Morning Sickness - no pukies yet but they are coming - I feel pretty close a lot of the time now
- Blue Veins everywhere - legs, chest stomach, back, ugh!
- Headaches - these are better now but the first week was hell
- Food aversions and cravings - right now I want all the sweet potatoes I can eat, Chinese hot and sour soup, and rose ice cream from Ici, this amazing little place in Berkeley. I cannot stand the idea of anything green that's cooked (salad is fine), chicken soup, noodles, and anything seafood.
- Cramps - a few of the scary kind, more of the normal pinching, pulling, tight feeling
-Spotting - yep, the scary one, but it's been light and it goes away, so so far so good.
-Hot flashes - especially at night, making it hard to sleep. Baby powder on the sheets save me. Have I mentioned that it's been in the 40s and 50s at night and we don't have the heat on?
- Bitchiness - ooooofffff!!! And can you say moody???? An ASPCA commercial was good for 40 minutes of crying the other night. E is thanking our friend Dave for the phrase "I was only kidding."

Other than that, well, pretty much it's all good. Now baby just has to hang on for 34 more weeks!

Big News

Sorry I've been so quiet but we have big news - we found out on March 14 that the surgery and acupuncture have in fact worked and we are expecting our first on Nov. 24th! It has been a bit of a roller-coaster so far. My betas are as follows:

11 dpo (days past ovulation) -14 (a little low but well within average)
13 dpo -41
14 dpo - 57 (a little slow to go up but ok)
16 dpo - 123 (great #)
21 dpo - 2731!!!

That 21 dpo number is well within the range for multiples - we could be having natural twins, although I would be shocked if we were!

I've had some mild spotting, and my initial hormone levels were a bit low, but these #s show that at least for now, all is very well. I think the spotting was from overdoing it, so I just have to take it easy for the next few weeks.

Our first u/s will be in two weeks and hopefully we will see the heartbeat. We will definitly know then whether it is one or two. I cannot wait for that exam, because once we get past that and all is well, our chances of a miscarriage drop dramatically. I must say though, these numbers are way, way, way above what they were last time, so I am cautiously optimistic this time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

This is just embarassing

So some friends were discussing our TTC and AF related inventories in our various houses. This is mine at the moment:

Oh, my list is just sad:


-Natura-Care (non-chlorine bleach, environmentally friendly) panti-liners
-Natura-Care tampons 1.5 boxes
-Natura-Care slim maxis with wings

TTC Paraphanalia:

-Three thermometers (yes, three, one I trust, one for backup, and one that is total crap)
-5 kinds of chinese herb pills for various points of the cycle
-A sort of sage-stick thing that you burn and then hold above your ovaries to warm them - its a TCM thing - love it so my acupunture goddess gave one to me for use at home
-B-6 Supplements
-Trader Joe's and Whole Foods pre-natals - I switch during my cycle - TJs is better before O, WF after O for my stomach
-2 tubes pre-seed and several paks of the pre-seed stuff that is for external use
-1 fertility microscope that doesn't work for me

Peeing Implements:

5 left-over Answer 20pk OPKs
4 CBE Digi OPKs
7 CBE non-digi OPKs, which I found in a box the other day and had forgotten about
4 FRER Gold digi HPTs
3 FRER regular HPTs
3 Answer HPTs
Several paper cups
One plastic cup

I do not even want to think about the investment this represents. Moreover, this doesn't even begin to represent all the books, magazines and newsletters I have lying around.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Catching Up

Wow. It's been awhile - sorry! The surgery went well and I am recovering fairly well. Now, of course, I've wrenched my knee and can't walk, but hey, I get to sit on the computer all day, and my cat is thrilled - he is snuggled next to me sleeping at the moment.

This cycle is being a bit strange, but I guess that is to be expected. I have had more EWCM than ever (you either know what that means or don't want to), but am not showing other signs of ovulating yet. And when E and I babydance, I'm spotting a bit. I figure that is still from the surgery, as I know it is supposed to take six weeks before you are really healed up. So now just waiting to see if we catch the egg this cycle, and if not, hoping it is a nice short one so I can be onto my clomid/IUI cycle. I have the clomid in the medicine cabinet. I can't wait!

In other news, I am still getting magazines like Babytalk and things like Enfamil in the mail from when I was pregnant last year. I don't know HOW they managed to get our new address. Really, they shouldn't ship this stuff out - especially given the rates of miscarriage. I wonder if they know how upsetting it is to get this - a nice weekly reminder that I don't have a baby. If I ever have to use formula, I promise it will not be enfamil now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Well, I did it - I made it through a surgery without a complete freak out. I won't say it wasn't that bad - the recovery room time was awful and I'm still very sore, but the surgery itself, in the words of my doctor, was "excellent."

The surgery was scheduled for 2pm on Monday. I had to stop all solid food on Saturday night. I had some yogurt on Sunday morning (as per the ok of the pre-op nurse) and then had to drink liquids and broths for the rest of the day. By that night I was starving. Monday morning, I slept late and then got my bag ready to go to the hospital in case I had to stay over. I took the train into the city and E met me at the station and drove me to the hosptial. We went up to the admitting room and waited about 20 minutes until they took me back. They had me in this waiting area with about 15 other beds with curtains all around. They had me change into my gown and put in the IV, which stung like CRAZY!!! I started feeling a little queasy so they gave me a warming pad over my stomach and that helped. E was allowed to be in with me at that point. He wanted to take a nap. I did too, frankly, but was too nervous.

About 1:30, they came and got me and wheeled me into the anesthesia prep area. Here I met the anesthesiologist, the nurses, and the resident who was assisting my surgeon. They finally gave me something to help the nerves and it made me a little dizzy but I was ok. Then it was into the operating room. I actually remember all of this, which is apparently unusual. In the operating room, they made me move onto the table and then we had to wait because my surgeon was late getting there. So we waited about 10 minutes, then they did the "time out" where everyone confirmed what surgery we were doing, and then the anestheisologist told me I would start getting sleepy. The next thing I knew, someone was waking me up from a really good dream and saying something about my tubes being clear. I stayed in the anesthesia recovery room for about 40 minutes, lying in the bed, and I was fine. They gave me morphine and then took me into regular recovery, where it all went downhill.

In that recovery, I had to sit in a chair. Moving to that chair made me dizzy and gave me horrible nausea. So they gave me something for the nausea and it turns out - I'm allergic to it! I noticed my hands were swelling and then I leaned forward and E called out to the nurses "Should she have these welts on her back?" Yep, came out in a rash all over - little red welts all on my back, arms, and chest. So benedryl was given and then I was SLEEPY! Oh, and of course, part of the allergy was that the anti-nausea stuff made me throw up. It took ages before I could stand up without wanting to barf or pass out. So I got to stay in recovery an extra hour or so. I finally decided I could go home, but was still sick. However, by the time I was home, I was just happy to be here and started finally feeling better. I woke up an hour after I went to bed (maybe 30 minutes after I got home) and had a bit more of the rash, but just one more benedryl took care of it and no problems since.

Happily, by yesterday, I was feeling much better in the nausea department. I'm sore, defintily, especially around my belly button, and my cats are ticked at me that they can't snuggle on mommy like normal (their favorite place is to lie on my tummy and purrrrrr). I am a little swollen in my belly, but haven't really had much in referred gas pain, which I understand is pure luck.

As for the outcome of the surgery - the cyst was an endometrinoma, but I had NO other signs of endometriosis at all, so the diagnosis is now endo free!!! Also, my tubes are perfect apparently, which is great news. Finally, the best news is that the cyst removed easily and my entire ovary is preserved. So now I am just waiting to be able to start IUI, hopefully in the next cycle, but maybe one more, depending on word from my RE. If we don't start IUI, we will try on our own, of course. So just keeping my fingers crossed that we see a BFP soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I hate jell-o (or complaints about surgery prep)

So tomorrow is surgery to remove a cyst from my left ovary, check for endometriosis and to check whether my tubes are open. E is driving me home and taking the next day off. Everyone - doctors included - have said I will be miserable for three days. Then accounts vary. My doc says no lifting of more than 5 lbs for two weeks and 10 lbs for 4 more weeks. Ummmm, right, so don't carry my purse for two months. Most women have said you're pretty sore for a week then are back to most activities but will be slow for a couple of weeks. A few people have said they were pretty out of it for two weeks. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. In good news though - as they can check my tubes during the surgery since they use a different dye to which I am not allergic, I am having this done and will know yet more about my fertility when it is over. Loads of people say that once you do this, your fertility is much higher. Wooohoo!

So far, I've been to the dr. three times in the past two weeks - once for a follow-up with my RE to say that yes, in fact I do need the surgery, and to get all my pre-IUI bloodwork done; once to the pre-op department for the "scare you to death before surgery" physical and consult and yet more bloodwork; and once for the "it's going to be awhile before you feel normal" consult with the surgeon,who also happens to be my ob/gyn. This is supposedly not that big a surgery - I can't imagine what you have to go through with the major stuff. Forgot to mention - I've never had surgery before - only had my wisdom teeth out. I'm trying not to be nervous - I just keep telling myself this is good preparation in case I have to have a c-section once I do get pregnant. Once surgery is over and Auntie Flo shows up, it is on to IUI. Now that is a procedure I can get excited about. I've even picked up my clomid already.

Oh, and just for the record - I hate jell-o. Like, I can barely swallow it without gagging (congealed gel made from boiled animal bones and sweetened with something - YUCK!!!!) Now, I'm prepping for my lap tomorrow and all I can eat is jell-o and broths - the joyous clear fluid diet. URGH. In everything I've read about this surgery on the fertility chat boards, everyone left out this lovely detail - you basically have to clean out your system like you are having a colonoscopy. Google "Fleet Phospho-Soda" and you'll see what my day is all about. C'mon girls, you let me down here! Just kidding, but for the rest of you - now you know.

I will check back in after surgery, but as my laptop weighs more than five pounds, I may be out of touch awhile. Hope you are all having success on your journey!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pins and Needles

I had my first acupuncture appointment today. Weridly, it was pretty cool and very, very relaxing. I went in and she took a loooooooong medical history. Then I had to stick out my tongue. That was a bit weird. Once all the history and beginning diagnosis was done, she had me lie on a massage table that has a knee bolster on it and a flat pillow for my head. She put small pillows under my hands and wrists and then took my pulse in both wrists for quite a long time. Then, it was time for the needles. Now, you need to know that I am a TOTAL wimp about needles, but I figured after all the blood I've had drawn, I could do these. I was right.

The needles are super-fine and when she told me the first one was in my ankle, I said "really?" That was a mistake as she then moved it so I could feel it, and feel it I did. I just about came off the table as pain shot up my leg and down my foot. The best way I can describe it is feeling like she had hit my funny bone but in my ankle. That pain was clearly NOT the point and she quickly adjusted the needle so I could feel it but not be in PAIN. The next needle was just a bit uncomfortable but not painful. She did eight needles in all, and only one other hurt at all, and it wasn't the needle that hurt. Instead, the point triggered a cramp in my toe and it wasn't bad. By the time she placed the last needle, I couldn't even feel the first three.

After the needles were in, she told me to breathe into my lower abdomen (if you've ever done a yoga class, you know what this means) and to relax. She left me to just meditate for 15 mintues, checked on me, then left the needles in another 15 minutes. It was completely painless but I felt pressure at different points in my body that would last a minute or two and then move on. These were apparently normal and showed I was "responding" to the treatment (we'll see). She took the needles out and I got off the table and was very, very relaxed. I sort of felt like I was floating. Not stoned or high, but just sort of physically lighter.

So, will I go back? Yep! If for nothing else than this is something RELAXING to do in this TTC journey. Plus, I actually can tell a difference with the herbs already. I feel cleansed and I have more energy. Lots of women swear this made the difference. I'm glad to have something positive to do that may be helpful and actually makes me feel better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pills, Pills and More Pills

Let me preface this by saying I HATE to take any medicine I don't need. I've been known to switch to plain old Tylenol two days after breaking a bone rather than taking the prescription stuff. I also was never big on taking vitamins every day. THAT all certainly changed when I started TTC (trying to concieve). My daily regimine at the moment is:

16 little bb shaped pills of chinese herbs twice per day. Yes, that is 32 per day!
One Prenatal vitamin
One B-6 vitamin
If on Clomid- one Clomid per day for 5 days
When on Progesterone, 3 capsules per day for 14 days

In a 30 day month, that's 1607 pills! I feel like a drug addict now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Story So Far

I thought I would give a little more background on what we've been through so far. Feel free to skim the details!

DH and I got married in 2001. At that time, we weren't sure we wanted kids at all, but we both agreed that it might be something we wanted in the future. In 2003, after both of my best friends had babies on the same day, DH and I got the baby bug. I went off birth control and we waited to see what happened. Many months later, no baby. My doctor started some basic blood tests, all of which turned out to be perfect, except my progesterone, which at that time was "slightly" low.

In the meantime, DH was getting ready to graduate from college (he went on the GI bill), and his parents were preparing for a move overseas. We decided it wasn't the time to be trying and agreed to take a few months off. Six weeks after DH graduated, my mother passed away suddenly. Needless to say, I was in no shape for a baby any time soon after that. However, we agreed to stay off birth control and if it happened, it happened. Of course, it didn't happen.

In October, 2006, our close friends announced they were trying to get pregnant and were having problems. In the meantime, another couple announced they were pregnant after two months of trying. Realizing time was going by an others were ending up with babies, DH and I agreed it was time to start again, and I was back to the doctor for new tests. Of course, my doctor's immediate reaction was "You've been off birth control HOW LONG?!?!" So I was off to have many many vials of blood drawn, and DH had to give a sample of his swimmers. In the meantime, we were referred to the Reproductive Endocrinologists at Emory University in Atlanta, where we lived at the time. I also started charting my temperatures. (Feel free to see my charts at www.fertilityfriend.com/home/laragc)

In February 2007, we had our first appointment with the RE. This was just an informational meeting, and she wanted to get yet another SA (semen analysis) and some further blood tests from me. She decided against an HSG (they inject dye into your uterus to see if your fallopian tubes are open) because I am allergic to the dye. We had our next appointment scheduled for late March. Somehow, just meeting the doctor apparently scared my ovaries and E's swimmers into action and I got a positive home pregnancy test that cycle. Unfortunately, when I went back to the RE, she checked my blood HCG levels (or betas), but not my progesterone. On my second test, we found that my beta was not rising properly. Still no progesterone test. A week later, I went back for an ultrasound, and we saw a heartbeat, but I miscarried the next day.

Two months after the miscarriage I started my first cycle of Clomid. It didn't work and my next cycle they found a cyst so it was on to birth control pills to try and shrink the cyst, and at my next exam, they thought it had worked, so on to Clomid cycle two. Unfortunately, I ovulated late that cycle and we didn't get to try because we were in the middle of moving to the San Francisco area.

After the move, we spent several cycles waiting for our new insurance to kick in, getting tests done yet again and just got to our new RE, "Dr. N" this past week. Our test results also showed we both have some issues. My progesterone levels are showing weak ovulations and are so low as to possibly have contributed to my miscarriage. E's swimmers are slightly sub-prime both in morphology(shape) and motility(ability to swim). Apparently, with this combo, we have approximately a 1% chance of conceving naturally each cycle (a healthy couple has about a 20% chance).

Despite these issues, Dr. N was very positive, and spent quite a lot of time talking about what we wanted to do next. E and I both agree, the next steps should be IUI and Clomid, followed by IUI and Injectibles. However, we are now on hold because at that same appointment, Dr. N did an ultrasound to count follicles and found instead that my cyst on my left ovary has returned and looks like it has endometriosis. Now, I am waiting to find out if surgery is the next step to get rid of the cyst and to check for any further endo.

That is where we are so far. Thanks for reading my story.

Welcome to my Blog

I am L, and my husband E and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm in real estate and E is an engineer. We have been trying to have a baby for many years, this time starting in October 2006. We got pregnant in March 2007, but lost Sprout at 6w3d in April. Since then, our fertility journey has taken many strange turns. Suddenly, we are facing a whole new group of challenges. In the past two weeks, we found out that E's sperm is just "ok," with slightly low motility and morphology (swimming ability and shape); that I may have endometriosis and probably need surgery; and we decided to add Chinese Medicine to the mix of treatments. Because I know our journey is not unique, I thought I'd start this blog so others going through this could comment and could have another journey to compare to theirs. I'd love to hear from any of you going through this. I will post more as the days go on and I look forward to meeting you all.