I bring this month’s episode of “Fuck everything!” from the hotel I have been sharing with my mother in Washington state. Oh ya, that’s right I was temping and sneaking into the bathroom at the crack of dawn to take pregnancy tests so that I wouldn’t have to talk to my mom about the joyous topics of known donors and at-home insemination techniques. That was fun…Tests were negative and then I got a big temp drop. I was still hopeful thinking “maybe it was an implantation dip!” But then the next day my temp was also low and I knew that any second I would get my period.
As luck would have it, my mom and I were taking my nephew to a water park. We had a good time and it was a great distraction from the fact that I really wanted this cycle to work because now we really do have to make a decision about continuing to use our donor or going with a sperm bank. And whether we want to try more intervention such as IUI or IVF. This was my 3rd attempt, so in 3 more attempts without success I will get the lovely label of infertility. I’m feeling the pressure of time.
Anywho I’m sitting here sucking down the biggest cup of tea that Starbucks sells, contemplating a sushi lunch and trying not to rage quit TTC.
Ok, so I took my trigger shot yesterday morning at llam. Since then, it’s like my abdomen has steadily filled with… something. I am really uncomfortable at this point. My ovaries feel like they are the size of baseballs. My stomach is visibly larger than normal. I read through the side effects and it seems it’s all normal, but damn. I’m ready for my ovaries to shrink back down to raisins thank you very much.
Anyone else out there end up with baseball-sized gonads using the Ovidrel trigger shot? Did anything help?
In other news, the timing for the inseminations has been really good. My temp rose yesterday morning after an insemination the night before. Then it went back down some this morning so I’m undecided if I have already ovulated. If not then the timing is even better! One more insemination tonight and then I head back home tomorrow. I’m so ready to be home! But I’m really happy with how everything is working out this cycle.
Yesterday morning I saw the RE for my ultrasound and I had two mature follicles. One was 22.9 mm and the other was 17-something mm. There were two other small ones, so 4 altogether that were measurable. My antral count was 9 on my day 3 ultrasound at the beginning of the cycle. After obsessively searching the internet and talking with the RE after my day 3 scan those numbers are low especially since I am taking medication to stimulate my ovaries. From what I have gathered this is more of a concern if I want to pursue IVF. So I am going to try my best to table this concern and deal with it if and when it becomes an issue.
But I imagine you all didn’t come here to read about that. You probably want to know if this cycle is going to work out for an insemination or not. RE said I was “triggerable” at my ultrasound so it’s a go, folks!!! I flew to my donor’s city yesterday and did an insemination last night. I triggered this morning. Coincidentally, my OPK before triggering was blazing so I’m hoping that things will go well this cycle. He is coming by later today for another insemination as well as tomorrow. Then I will fly home. Hopefully in 2 weeks I will have exciting news. 😀
Having multiple sclerosis used to be a big deal. I am coming up on 6 years since diagnosis and I used to reflect upon it with a lot of sadness. It was very hard to adjust to being “chronically ill.” Sometimes I get frustrated because having MS has limited me in some ways. And sometimes those limitations feel unjust because they are limitations that others put on me.
Like when I wanted to learn to SCUBA dive and my PCP made me put in writing that I understood that diving was dangerous and even more so with MS so that she would agree to sign the medical release for me. Or when I looked into getting a work visa in Australia and learned that they would reject my application based on my diagnosis alone.
Despite the fact that on a day to day basis you would never know I have MS, there is a subtle yet palpable loss of agency that comes part and parcel with this diagnosis. And sometimes that is difficult to reconcile when I feel absolutely fine. In terms of making a baby I have run into this a couple of times. For instance, I will be considered a high risk pregnancy. Though that could amount to nothing more than some extra scans and labs it also means my autonomy during pregnancy and birth is tenuous– it’s easier for hospital staff to override my decisions since I am high risk. A home birth is likely not possible. It’s hard to accept that when I feel capable and strong.
Today I do not feel nearly as capable and strong. I feel frustrated. Because the combination of letrozole and underlying MS fatigue has me couched. Literally. It’s 11am and I have so many things I want to do. My mind is saying get up and get moving but my body wants more time to gather the energy. This internal struggle is maddening. And it gives way to doubt. Will I be a good parent even on days like these? How will I manage fatigue while I am pregnant if just the meds to get me pregnant have rendered me a useless couch polyp? And furthermore, will I survive the newborn phase or will I spend it in exhausted tears?
I am thankful that most days are not like this. Most days I feel fine, normal. I can pretend I am healthy 95% of the time. It’s just that 5% that smacks me in the face every once in awhile to remind me that MS is real, I am chronically ill and that I do in fact have limitations from it.
Whew, so I went and got my ultrasound yesterday and tonight I start Letrozole. For good measure, I am also starting up the vitex again and have ramped up my supplements which I have been lax about taking. Given all the issues I’ve had it’s felt a little hopeless. But now we have a plan! We have all discussed it with each other. We even have a back up plan. It’s like, we are really doing this thing. Finally!
So, as of now, I will go back to the fertility center on July 31st for a second scan to see how my follicles are developing. If it all looks good then I will go see the donor and do as many inseminations as possible before he leaves out of the country the evening of Aug 3rd. I will trigger ovulation based on the RE’s recommendation during/following the inseminations and then we will have the longest 2 week wait of our lives.
I really, really hope this works. I’m excited this time without a hint of the anxiety I felt before. I still hate that I missed the last 2 cycles but maybe the silver lining is that I had an opportunity to process what I needed to and I feel really confident about trying.
I’ll update once I have a confirmation from the ultrasound on the 31st that the plan is a go. 🙂
And I’m finally spotting. Wow. I’ve never been so happy to be starting my period (yay for planning the next cycle!). TTC does funny things to you…
I am still waiting for CD 1 so I can begin planning my next attempt. Only problem is CD 1 is seemingly never going to get here. Every day I have to wait means it’s less likely for ovulation to happen before my donor leaves on a business trip to China August 3rd. So far, I am at either a 13 day luteal phase which is record-breaking for me, or I ovulated super late on CD 20 which means I’ve got at least 3 more days before my next cycle shows up. Fertility Friend can’t figure out my cycles and keeps changing it’s mind on when I ovulated so that doesn’t help. I took a pregnancy test because I did do an insemination in May and with things being so wonky I figured “hey, you never know.” It was negative. So here I am, waiting…