Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick-or-Treat 'Till You Drop

This is by far my favorite time of year. The last three months that are packed with everything delicious, from the color changing trees to the dropping of crispy leaves. Add to the mixture the fun and excitement of Halloween, picking out costumes, and decorating with everything spidery and ghoulish. As if that weren't enough, you have the feast of company and food at Thanksgiving. Then the biggest gift of all, the celebration of the birth of Christ, along with which comes the season and spirit of giving. I just love this time of year.

We have spent the last four days dressing up, partying, and trick-or-treating. Friday was the Halloween party at my work. All of my teammates and I donned mullets and our best Red Neck gear. We had business in the front (our cubicles) and a party in the back (a BBQ behind the building). I do have pictures of me wearing my best mullet, but they are still on my phone so you won't be graced with them here. At the end of our Halloween festivities at the office, we had trick-or-treating for the kids. Let me tell you, I never realize just how much Baby Bean's hands can grab until it comes to candy. I think she can grab more than me!

That night was also my husband's work Halloween party. He works for the corporate headquarters of a major amusement park, so we couldn't pass up their party. They had a pavilion for their party and provided dinner, complete with hot chocolate and theme park characters. Let us not forget, they also had free face painting! Oh, and a goody bag with a stuffed animal and seven full-sized candy bars.

A very tired Baby Bean
Baby Bean loved riding the rides. We took her on the swinging ship, and every time the ship would go forward and tickle her tummy she would get this horrified look on her face and every limb would shake. We thought for sure she would never go on the ride again, but as soon as it stopped she shout, "Again! Again!" So we went on it again. The whole time she looked like was freaking out and ready to cry. But again, she wanted more when the ride stopped.

Saturday morning I went with one of my besties an her three boys to our local pumpkin patch where the kids got to ride ponies, barrels and hay rides as well as play in bounce houses.

Baby Bean on a sweet pony
Barrel rides rock!
That night we took BB to dinner, and then trick-or-treating at an outdoor mall (awesome way to advertise and get people in your store!). BB got easily 1/3 of her plastic pumpkin filled with goodies that night.

The moment you have all been waiting for, BB in her Halloween costume!

Mini Mouseketeer
After the trick-or-treating, another one of my (very pregnant) besties came over to watch BB while her dad and I skipped across the street to our neighbor's annual Halloween party. In the picture below my husband is wearing everything I wore to work the day before, except I didn't wear the hockey mask.

Fat Egyptian with funky hair and a psycho murderer
I found out today that you can wash and style those wigs. Huh. I could have actually made that wig look awesome, but instead I wore it straight out of the bag. Lesson learned.

And remember my other bestie (I have four besties, okay?) who takes BB's pictures? Well, this was her costume.

Black Bird and Fat Egyptian
Yes, she made that costume. 100% all by herself. It was her idea, and her creativity. Yes, I am always so proud to call her my friend. For real. When everyone exclaims how awesome her costumes look, I am proud to say she is my bestie.

Tonight I took BB out trick-or-treating and had some of the most precious moments of my life. About half way through BB looked up at me and said, "Thank you for taking me trick-or-treating mom." How precious is that?! Then she kissed my hand and said, "I love you mom." I wanted to melt into a puddle of mom. SO WORTH EVERYTHING! Oh my gosh I love my baby girl.

And a few more pictures because I can't help myself. This next one is the first time I curled BB's hair. I did it for family pictures that my above pictured bestie took yesterday (those pictures coming later).

Curly, GORGEOUS hair
The sad thing about that hair, BB cut it at daycare today. Yep, my daughter cut her own hair. The school told me she plays with scissors because they teach them life lessons, and using scissors is a life lesson. Luckily my little hair stylist gave herself a nice face-framing cut complete with layers. I'm not kidding. She took off about 6-7 inches on one side. I wasn't mad at all. To me, it is an inevitability with little girls. It could have been much, much worse.

And finally, BB wore her school uniform for the first time today. I know lots of you have been itching to see her in her uniform, so here you go.

The first day in a uniform
That's it for me tonight. I tried to catch up on blogs on Friday, but as you can all tell by this post, I haven't had much time. Catching up is the first thing on my To Do list though, and will happen soon!

Happy Halloween y'all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Predictable Unperdictability

I took my husband with me to see Dr D yesterday so that we could map out a plan WITH him, as opposed to me walking in his office and trying to tell him how it was going to be. Even though I've been through the IF ringer for years, I still don't know as much about this game as he does, so at the end of the day, I have to defer to his judgement and expertise.

Yesterday was another predictable unpredictable cycle. I was on CD11 and already in the process of ovulating. Yeah, holy cow. I usually don't ovulate until CD19, so I was 8 days ahead. The earliest I have ovulated before yesterday was CD13, and that only happened once. The bummer was the follie that was going was the not-so-good one. But the good news was the good one was 21mm and ready to go. Dr D triggered me to get the good one to go too, and told Hubs and I to "go home and get busy." Even though I didn't plan on it, we ended up having another triggered cycle (my butt still hurts from the shot).

We then talked about the success of medicated versus natural cycles. Obviously I was upset about the one good follie from this cycle, versus many follies. I asked if getting one follie on letrozole was better than one follie on my own, and he said yes. That doing the meds increases the chances of pregnancy. I asked him why I had to do injectibles when I produced 5 good follies (with the potential of 3 more) on chlomid, and he said the injectibles make the cycle more likely to be successful. I don't know if it is because it makes the eggs better quality or the lining stickier or what. I do know I have to go in next Tues for a progesterone shot because he says it will make the lining stickier. Then I start the progesterone supplements that day until I can take a pg test 14 days from yesterday.

Knowing that the younger the eggs the better your chances are, I guess I can see how letrozole making me ovulate on CD11 versus CD19 would be better. And of course the progesterone is supposed to make the lining nice and sticky for potential embies, and with my situation, I need all the sticky help I can get.

We then talked over our battle plan and here is what we all three decided on:
  • Hubs is going to do the SA in the next week.
  • I will do a hysteroscopy in January.
  • If we decide that Hubs is part of the problem, we will do IUIs next Feb/March.
  • If Hubs isn't part of the problem, we will try on our own after surgery.
  • We MIGHT do another letrozole cycle next month if this one doesn't work, depending on where the days land around TG. Obviously cycling around holidays gets complicated.
I wanted to be done, but you all know how it goes. There is always SOMETHING that throws a wrench in our perfect cycling plans. It would be nice if that wrench was a pregnancy, wouldn't it? If I get pregnant off this cycle, that whole bulleted list above is moot. (Please be moot!)

I haven't asked this before, but everyone cross your fingers and say a little prayer for us this month. I am really hoping it works out for us and I can be done because I'm pregnant, not because it was time to give up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I went to see Dr D yesterday and once again left with my ears and tail drooping. This cycle is a SNAFU. I am so upset. Sometimes I think Dr D forgets what he is doing with each of his patients and why, which is completely understandable. I mean the guy is the best in the area, and he sees lots of patients. But I wish he would read his notes before coming into appointments just to refresh himself on what we're doing with my cycle and why.

My plan for this to be our last medicated cycle has been tossed out the window, as has the IUI.

So Dr D told me last week that letrozol worked just like chlomid and that I would produce multiple follies without all of the side effects, so I went ahead with it, expecting chlomid-like results. In my sono yesterday Dr D was all excited because I had one follicle. WHAT?! I make one follicle on my own just fine every month. I think he forgot that bit. We are doing chlomid/letrozol to INCREASE the number of follies and our chances of pregnancy.

Then he told me I was lucky and was ahead of the curve because I actually had two. Wait, WHAT?! Then he told me that one of them didn't look so good, and of course it was the bigger one, so he's hoping that the better, smaller one pulls ahead and ends up being the one to release.


I am going through another medicated cycle that just got tossed out the window, and I'm pissed!

When I told him about our desire to do IUI, he told me that would have to wait until next cycle because he would want to do injectibles to give us our best opportunity, which I don't understand because I had 8 follies last month. Why do I need to boost my follicle count further with injectibles? Regardless, with one egg this month, IUI is out of the question.

Dr D offered to get us free meds to do injectibles and to eat the fees associated with a medicated cycle, which is great. Except I draw the line at injectibles. Have all along. At first I told him sure, but then I told him I wanted to talk to my husband first because I am not so keen on the idea myself.

Hubs and I had a talk over IM as soon as I got to work and we have decided to pull the plug on this cycle (like we have a choice). I told him I didn't know what to do because I didn't want to cycle past this year, and that I wanted this cycle to be our last because I didn't want to cycle over the holidays and be a crazy hormonal wacked out B****. Hubs was able to talk me down from going postal (thank you letrozole... for nothing), and said that we would take the rest of this year off to make whatever changes we needed to and get whatever tests/surgeries we need out of the way and then try again next Feb/March.

I feel so defeated. I wanted this to be the end, but now I'm looking at another 5-6 months of this crap. I don't want to do the surgery until next year so that I can meet my max out of pocket for the year in Jan, and also pay for all of it with my flex-spending. But I didn't want to do any more medicated cycles. If Hubs' SA comes back below normal (which he has finally conceded to doing because I REFUSE to do IUI with injectibles if he isn't part of the problem), we'll end up doing IUIs, which means crazy wacked out Elle next year.

I have another appt with Dr D in the morning and Hubs is going to go with me so that we can map out our new plan WITH Dr D, instead of my presenting him with our ideal every time I go in. Then he can tell us what we need to do, and we can get everything scheduled.

Every time something like this happens, I often think of the line, "The best laid plans of mice and men...." I resigned myself long ago to the fact that circumstances change plans and we just have to deal with it. *sigh*

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hail Mary Pass/Guns a'Blazin'

I give up on not posting about cycling on this blog because things keep getting more and more interesting around here. Plans keep changing and forks keep getting thrown in the road. The overall plan hasn't changed, just the steps taken before the finale have changed.

I went to see Dr. D on CD2 last week. As I was driving there I wanted to cry. One more medicated cycle. If that doesn't work, surgery, and then we're done. The end. Since May I have been looking forward to being done with all of this, and that hasn't changed, but I wasn't prepared for how bad I would feel to actually walk away. It is always easier to think about things that won't happen for a while than it is to face them when the time comes. I can think about taking pregnancy tests in the future, but when it comes time to take one, I freak out. Even if I give myself 24 hours notice, I panic.

Anyway, so I was driving to the clinic and starting to feel really sad that this was actually it. It was kind of depressing. Dr. D came into the room and asked how I was doing. I told him I was really discouraged because this was the end for us. We talked about why and how we thought the last cycle didn't work, and we agreed it was because I had to miss the crucial window.

Dr. D then asked me how I felt about letrozole. I had never heard of it. He told me that he normally uses it for PCOS patients who don't respond to chlomid. While I respond well to chlomid, it depletes my lining, and then I have to do estrogen to beef it up. He told me letrozole does the exact same thing as chlomid, in that it produces multiple follicles, only it doesn't have the same side effects. Unlike chlomid, there are no set amount of cycles you can do before it starts hurting your chances either. Apparently it is normally used for breast cancer patients and is not approved by the FDA for reproductive purposes, but it has been used this way as early as 2001. Dr. D told me he has been using it since 2003 and gets 25-30 pregnancies a year from it. I talked to Hubs about it, and he said go for it.

I had also requested that Hubs undergo an analysis just to make 100% certain he is not part of the problem. When I explained why I wanted it done, Dr. D agreed it is worth looking at. Well, apparently my husband would rather go straight to an IUI than have an analysis done, so that is what we're looking at now. He said he would rather make one donation, have it spun down, washed, super charged, and put right where it needs to be, especially because they can bypass volatile grounds.

I asked my husband if he was sure, because IUIs aren't cheap, and he said the way he saw it, this is our last medicated cycle. We might as well go out with guns a'blazin'. Our true and final Hail Mary Pass.

Yes, this will be our final medicated cycle. I remember now why I didn't want to do medicated cycles. I am so ornery even I don't want to be around myself. The letrozole has given me monster headaches and taken my patience level to almost nothing. This is EXACTLY why I didn't want to do medicated cycles ever again. I can't count the number of times I have had to apologize to Hubs and Baby Bean in the last couple weeks. Tonight I put BB to bed and told her I was sorry I was so cranky lately. The sweet little doll reached over and hugged and kissed me. Then she put her hand on my face and rubbed my cheek and told me she loved me. My 2.5 year old did that!

It is funny to me how many people are excited we are doing an IUI. Almost everyone I tell treats like I just told them I was pregnant. "Yay! That is so exciting!" Really? Cause I want to vomit I'm so nervous and scared. I'm not excited. Its a lot of money, and what if it doesn't work? This is it for us. I have a hard time being giddy about that.

So that is where we are right now. I'm cranky as hell and scared. But I try to distract myself with Christmas shopping for Baby Bean, and that has worked wonders. This little girl is going to have an awesome Christmas.

Monday, October 17, 2011

All About Baby Bean

This past weekend was pretty good. I spent a couple of hours yesterday cleaning Baby Bean's room, organizing her clothes, pulling out her fall wardrobe lineup so I could take stock of what we had and what I needed to buy for chillier temps, packing away the stuff that didn't fit anymore, and cleaning her closet.

I have also come to the determination we no longer need her changing table for its intended purpose. Why? Because the girl is potty trained!!! She no longer even wears pull-ups at nap time. She wears night time diapers at night still, but that's it. Its funny because my whole life I thought I  would cry when my babies outgrew diapers, but I am amazingly happy about it. The only downside is Baby Bean always seems to have to go potty just as dinner comes every time we eat out. That and I hate public loos. But we do what we have to do.

Baby Bean is also very opinionated. The hardest part about that is she can never make up her mind. It is a battle dressing her daily because she never wants to wear anything you pull out. Clothing and shoe shopping are just as fun. "Do you like this one?" "No, put it back." About a month ago I took her to Tar.get and found these little tutu-like skirts. I asked her if she liked them, and she took them from me and threw them in the back of the cart. I laughed and said I guessed we were buying those. I went and bought her shoes this weekend without taking her because she would poo poo every shoe I asked her if she liked. Instead I bought the shoes I liked and that best fit her wardrobe, and then took them home and told her I had a surprise. That worked! She thought the shoes were a present, and so she liked them.

Baby Bean also learned how to ride her D.ora Big Wh.eels. Up until about a week ago, she couldn't figure out how to use the pedals. She has definitely got it down now. Her daddy and I took her to the park twice yesterday, and she rode her bike the whole way there and back. We had such a good time. We took Sadie with us and let her walk off-leash the whole time. She would keep an eye on Baby Bean when she would get too far ahead, and also keep an eye on me when I got too far behind. She then stood sentinel at the park.

Another milestone is about to be hit in Baby Bean's education. She goes to a Montessori school, and her teachers tell me she is bored in her current classroom. Now that she is potty trained, she can transition to the next room. In her current room she gets to wear whatever she wants every day. In the next room she will have to wear a plaid jumper uniform. I still have to buy all of the uniforms, but I will worry about that once she is fully transitioned, which should take a week or two. For now she spends an hour or so in the next room every day until she builds up to being in that room full time. Her teachers are always telling me what a bright little girl she is. I have to admit, I'm proud. So is her dad.

As for her recent baby prediction, she straight up told me one day last week on our way home from work/school that I was going to have another baby. That is when it hit me that one of the mothers of the other kids in her classroom must be pregnant. My husband confirmed as much that night. It sure would have been fun if she had been making a prediction though!

The past few months I have been working even harder to make every minute with her count. I realize I might not have any more children, so it is even more important to be present in the moment with Baby Bean than ever. I might never have another 2-year-old, so I need to completely soak up these moments and not take any of it for granted. My little girl notices. She is totally a mama's girl. :D

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Perfect Means Nothing

I just finished the perfect cycle. Five follies ready to go with the potential of two more. Perfect lining. Perfect everything. Dr. D was so scared we would end up with triplets. He wanted to cancel the cycle. I told him it was our Hail Mary Pass. If we didn't get pregnant off this cycle, I never would. It doesn't get any more perfect than this cycle.

I'm not pregnant.

I don't think I'm handling it well either. In fact, I'm stuck at work, crying at my desk wondering what the hell I do now. Do I try another cycle, or do I go straight for surgery? Maybe this cycle didn't work because there were reasons we missed the last day of our fertile window. It sucked. It sucked a lot. But there wasn't anything that could be done about it. I knew my chances of getting pregnant had dropped dramatically. But that Hope is a real B.

This past week has been brutal and full of Dr. Google. The estrogen patches delay AF for me. Progesterone delays AF. The two give you full on pre-pregnancy symptoms. All week I've been telling myself none of my symptoms mean anything. That I couldn't count on any of them. All week I've been dreading taking the test, but knowing I HAD to take it because it was the only way to know what my next step was. If neg, stop all meds and wait for AF.

The thought of testing throws me into full-on panic attacks. They make me feel the way I do after I have a near miss. My heart rate accelerates, my adrenaline pumps, my muscles tighten and I can feel the lactic acid moving through them, my ears ring, and my pupils dilate. All of that happens at the THOUGHT of taking a test.

I hate that a whole cycle hinges on that moment. A whole month's worth of hoping despite the fact that you know you shouldn't. Its all fine and dandy to think you will be fine if it is neg, but it is completely another to have that stark white test laughing in your face.

My husband flipped a coin in regards to what our next step is. It came back tails: surgery. He said the way he saw it, we were basically flipping a coin either way. Yeah maybe it didn't work because we missed that last day. But maybe it didn't work because there is something going on that is preventing. So maybe I have the surgery and the problem is fixed. And maybe I have the surgery and still can't get pregnant. Its all a coin toss to him.

Either way, I have two cycles left until we are done. Two more cycles, and we are out of the game forever. And I am going to have to fight my doctor for the dose I want for those cycles. He wants to take me from 100mg of chlomid that gave us 5-7 follies, and put me back at 75mg. All the while telling me that I may not respond to the 75, and telling me that I may end up mad at him. Dr. D, I'm only doing this twice more. Please don't screw me over and not stimulate me enough again. I've already lost one cycle to understimulation.

I've tried to call Dr. D's office to get an appt next Tuesday, but the nurses keep calling my appointment a consult, as opposed to needing to be checked over. And because it is considered a consult, he has no openings for the day I need to get in. They don't understand what I'm asking. They don't seem to get that time is of the essence. I will call Dr D's cell phone if I can't get an appt next Tuesday. I will call him over the weekend and plead my case with him. I tried to take the proper channels and pay the copay, but his nurses are being stupid.

I can't wait to be done with this crap. I can't wait to have it all behind me for good. I am so glad I have my battle plan, and I am sticking to it. I am months away from being done.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Sold My First Puppy and Baby Bean's Prediction

The puppies are 8 weeks old today, and Molly went home with her new owner on Friday. I only cried when I took her away from the three other dogs. I made sure they all gave each other goodbye sniffs, and then took Molly to meet her new owner, who also happens to be a coworker. I was a little sad to hand her over at first, but then I felt at peace with it. Molly went to a really good home with a really good guy. I couldn't have picked a better home for her. I know she will be very well taken care of and very loved.

Molly and Bolt at the vet
I still have Bolt for at least a few more weeks, if not until Thanksgiving. My MIL is taking him, but she is moving soon, so she asked me to hang onto him until she gets settled in her new place. I had absolutely no problem with that. I have enjoyed the little fella. In fact, he got his first bath tonight. I plopped him in the tub with his mama, who loves baths, and washed them both up. Bolt was not a fan, but he tolerated it really well. He shook like a leaf the whole time, so I got him scrubbed up and out of the tub first. He sure is cute when he is a clean little fluff ball! I also bought him a collar and tag last week, and it is so cute.

I have absolutely enjoyed having puppies. I love it. I plan on doing it once a year for a while because it is just too much fun. The verdict on whether or not Sadie can have more pups is still unknown. I talked to the vet last week and he likened her condition to endometriosis. I just laughed that, "Of course" laugh. The vet says as long as we can stop her bleeding, it is safe to breed her, but the hard part will be getting her pregnant to start with. I'm sure I don't need to say what thoughts were going through my head. All I can do is hope we can fix this. If not, at least I have my Sudsie Sadsie.

This week I was getting Baby Bean ready for daycare when all of a sudden she asked me where my other baby was. I told her I didn't have any other babies, and that she was my only one. She told me, "Nuh uh. You have another baby." I told her not that I was aware of. She kept insisting until we walked out the door that I did.

Today I took her to the store to get a new blanket for daycare because the one she has been using for the last two years is a baby blanket, and far too small. On the way to the store she started counting off the members of our family on her fingers. "This one is Mama, this one is Daddy, this one is Baby Bean, and this one is Kay Kay." I asked her who Kay Kay was, and she said her sister. The whole rest of the way to the store she talked about her sister Kay Kay. For the rest of the night whenever I asked her what her sister's name was, she would say Kay Kay, and when I asked her who Kay Kay was, she would say her sister.

Would I love it if she was being prophetic? Yes. But do I dare get my hopes up that my child knows something I don't? No. It would be great if she did though. It would also make a great story. Time will tell.

I guess that's it for me tonight. It's bedtime, and I have work in the morning. Weekends are never long enough. Night!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Something Isn't Right

Okay, I'm really not happy with myself right now because I am doing another cycle post. Rest assured, I still don't care about this cycle. I'm just tired of the crap involved with it, and remembering why I hate cycling. But before I get into that, I have to say I am noticing an unhappy theme in my house.

I finally called the vet today, which I should have done weeks ago, because Sadie is still bleeding. She is 8 weeks post partum  on Wednesday, and surely it isn't typical for a dog to bleed that long. I mean, most women don't bleed that long post partum. I think I was afraid to call before today because I was so afraid to hear what I didn't want to hear.

The vet said he thinks she has a uterine infection and prescribed some antibiotics for her. He told me to bring her in when she is in her next heat cycle so he can "flush her uterus." I don't know what that means or what it is going to cost me. But he said if she doesn't respond to the antibiotic or she gets another infection, I may have to spay her.

That last sentence is what kills me. Now I know Sadie probably doesn't care. She will probably never know any better. But *I* do. And I have been fighting to have children for years. So the thought of taking that away from my dog is a knife in my heart. If she had never been pregnant or had a litter, it wouldn't be so hard. But she did have a litter, and they all died. And she knew it. She still isn't 100% because she knows she lost something. So for me, an ex-infertile, taking a litter away from my dog is crushing. To think I might not be able to breed her again, hurts me. I don't do it for the money. I couldn't care less about the money (obviously, considering I spent a month's take home pay trying to keep her safe when her litter had to be born via c-section and then in emergency vet bills). I do it because I love giving my dogs that experience, and I have to say, I love the puppies too.

I am so afraid I know what is going to happen, but I am praying so hard it doesn't come to that.

As for me, well I am in so much pain I couldn't handle sitting in my chair for the last hour and a half of work today. I was literally on my knees at my desk, just trying to make it through the day. The last time I remember hurting this much is after my laporoscopy 4 years ago this month. This discomfort is very similar to that discomfort. It builds slowly throughout the day until I can barely stand it and want to puke.

I called Dr. D's office and his nurse told me that it was most likely because my ovaries were still really enlarged. I guess it takes them a few days after they release their eggs to go back down to normal size. But after all of the discomfort I have been in today, I am not so sure that is the problem. Each step I take sends a pinching sensation through my abdomen and to my leg. Sitting at my desk for hours on end not only makes the pain build, but then it feels like the pinch moves around the way a baby kicks from the inside, only painful and not fun.

On top of that, Dr. D wants me to go on progesterone for the remainder of my cycle. The prom.etrium he puts me on has to be taken twice a day, and it makes me feel like I've taken a sleeping pill. Its great for at night, but not so great during the work day. So I asked for a different intake method, but guess what? It costs 5-6 times as much. I told my husband that I sure am spending a lot of money on something I don't give a crap about.

As for this cycle, once I ovulated, I lost all hope for some reason. I triggered on Thursday, and by Friday night I felt like it didn't work. Any hope I might have had was washed down the fallopian tubes with my eggs. But I am okay. I don't feel bad or upset or bitter. It is what it is (I hate that phrase, by the way). I have a feeling next month I will end up doing a hysteroscopy. I want that done so that I will know once and for all if I am done done. Like I have no choice. Like there is no hope. Even if Dr. D doesn't find anything, I will only do two more medicated cycles, and then its quitso. I did everything I could. Everything up to that hard, fast line I have drawn, which is I stop at injectibles. This has been the plan for months, so even though I'd rather be done now, I'm sticking to the plan. Stupid plan.

I'm sorry this post is such a downer. Maybe you would all like it if I ended it with an adorable puppy picture. Here you go!