Tag Archive | ultrasound

Not Good

The last few days have been hard, and disappointing.

Reason One: I have not felt well and I don’t know why and it’s odd. After a fever for five days, my temp dropped back to “normal” by medical standards…except it’s not normal for me. My BBT is in my post-ovulation range or even slightly higher, which means I either ovulated already (not likely?) or something else is going on. After my fever disappeared, though, I developed some intense nausea and bloating. Starting Christmas afternoon, the last two days have been spent feeling miserable, with me unable to do anything but sit on the sofa and beg my husband and mom to answer my call for water, or a blanket, or whatever. And on top of that, I have other suspicious symptoms: three swollen and painful lymph nodes in my neck, no energy at all, and very dark urine (even though I’m not dehydrated and normally have very pale urine). Is this a mild flu? Is it something more serious? Or is it nothing at all? It’s all very confusing and weird and I don’t know what to make of any of it. I’m going to watch my symptoms through the weekend and will call our family doc on Monday if they persist.

Reason Two: My u/s yesterday was another big fail. No progress. It was, once again, hard for them to get a good view of Lefty, but it doesn’t look like there’s any lead follicle that’s ready to go. The tech did seem confused because my lining was so nice and the one follicle she did see, she couldn’t get a solid measurement on and wondered aloud if I had already ovulated, but I highly doubt it. The RE that was in-office for the day wants to cancel this cycle and have me make another appointment to see my own doc. Which is fine, but I will definitely be asking for a phone consult versus meeting the doc in-person. There’s no reason I should waste 4-5 hours getting to and from the doc just so she can see my pretty face and tell me things that I already know and we’ve already discussed. I asked about continuing with this cycle for a few more days to see if I’ll ovulate anyways (just as I did last month) and then have my Honey give me the trigger shot when I get a positive OPK. The nurse thinks this is probably okay, but will check with Dr. Young and get back to me today.

My great fear is making a wrong decision about the next step. As far as I can see, I have three viable options: A) Should I just go forward with the 150mg of Clomid for another cycle? After all, it always takes two rounds of 100mg before my body responds. Maybe it’s the same with 150mg. But can I handle these daily headaches for another cycle? And is this too much Clomid I’m taking? I’ve been on it for so long now and I think, technically, I’m now past my “lifetime limit.”  B) Should I add Follistim after finishing my five days of Clomid? I think this is what my doctor wants, but I’m nervous about the cost and the daily injections and, whenever possible, I prefer to go the less invasive and simpler route. And there’s still concerns about frequent headaches and overdoing the Clomid with this option. C) Or should I switch to Femara and give that a go? I’m nervous about trying a new drug because I don’t know if my body will respond. What if it doesn’t and I waste a cycle (or two! or three!) trying to figure it out. We spent many cycles trying to find what dose of Clomid worked for me and I don’t want to be in the same position with Femara. At the same time, though, maybe a new drug will be just what my body needs to kick it into gear and make this thing happen. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than injectables and I may get a break from the headaches. But really…I just want to do what’s going to give me the best chance at having our next baby as soon as possible with the least amount of grief.

Guys, I’m so disappointed. I really thought I would respond well to this higher dose of Clomid. Now, with all that’s been happening in my body this week, I just feel like I don’t know anything. Everything is so far beyond my control and it leaves me shaking with fear. Please, please, please let something change in the new year.

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More Odds ‘n’ Ends Brought to You by the Letter “F”

Please forgive these somewhat scattered thoughts. My head aches and I have a lot I want to cover, as quickly as I can. (But you all know me, and that’s not often quickly at all…)

Failure: That’s how I might describe this cycle, and certainly today’s CD15 ultrasound (the FIFTH medical appointment I’ve gone to in FOUR days, between my daughter and I!). Follicular progress? None. Practically no growth whatsoever. Possible shrinkage, but that left ovary is a bit shy and they have a horrible time finding and seeing her, which means measurements for the follicles on Lefty are approximate at best. Today, my largest follicles were 11.0 and 11.5. No bueno. And while I haven’t given up hope completely (see last month’s cycle for proof of what can happen), it’s hard to stay positive. And it puts a big ol’ black cloud over the upcoming Christmas festivities. I was hoping for hope and optimism this Christmas, instead I have dread and uncertainty. I return on Wednesday for one more u/s to see if there’s been any change. Really, really praying for it tonight and in the days ahead.

Frustration: I’m losing patience with Clomid. It maddens me so that my miracle drug, the one that has never caused me any grief and gave me my precious daughter and a second short-term baby to boot, is now failing me. I want to try Femara first, but my doc is already talking Follistim, which is going to cost us some mighty dough. Sigh. There are days when I am thisclose to just throwing in the towel altogether and giving up.

False Positive?: I rarely get a false positive on an OPK, and I’ve never had one this early in my cycle, but today that second line was very comparable to the control line. I’m not super confident in the accuracy of it because my urine was extraordinarily dark (from drinking, oh, one glass of water all day yesterday because I was too freaking busy), but it’s suspect. Is it wrong? Is it because of concentrated urine? Or is it that my body is preparing to release an egg before one is mature — and could that be my problem with the last four cycles as well? Is that even possible my body would do that? Or could the u/s techs just be completely wrong about my follicular measurements? So many questions! My OPK tomorrow may give some answers…I hope!

Family: For those of you who care to know, I did get to have breakfast with my family this morning. We (my mom and I) were an hour late (because of a pointless ultrasound, mind you), but we still got to spend a fantastic hour with them. Every time I see these people, I am reminded how lucky I am to have so many in my life whom I love and feel so loved by. Anthony Brandt once said “Other things may change us, but we begin and end with family,” and for me, how true that is.

Face: Mine is clearing up. It’s very weird. I had great skin in my teens, but have struggled with cystic acne through most of my 20s. And now, for the last month, I’ve had hardly any pimples at all and no cystic ones. For the last several cycles, I was breaking out especially around ovulation and my period, but didn’t see one pimple appear around CD1 two weeks ago. I love it, but still wonder, what gives? Is it that I’m just getting older (turning thirty next year!) or is something changing hormonally? Hmmm…

Fever: I’ve had a low one for the last three days, 99.5 to 100.6. No other symptoms. I went to Urgent Care last night because my GP was worried about a UTI, but everything is coming back negative so far. We’re still waiting on blood work, but the on-call doc seemed very concerned about a suspicious fever. I’m supposed to go back tomorrow if it persists, but only plan to do that if the fever is above 100.0. What really irritates me is that, even if I do ovulate at this point, I will have no solid confirmation because my BBT is already elevated. I did ask the nurse at the fertility clinic about a fever, though, and she seems unconcerned about it affecting eggs or my ability to conceive this cycle. So I guess that is one small thing for which to be thankful.

Well, I think that will do for now. Hope everyone’s last couple days have been more relaxing and less eventful than mine!

CD13 U/S

I just returned from my CD13 ultrasound…crying. It actually went well, but I’m a bit of an emotional mess right now and it doesn’t take much to set me off.

The good news is that things are progressing. I’m not ready to trigger yet, but it appears like my body is responding to the high dose of Clomid. On Righty, the largest follicle is 10.3mm. On Lefty (which always likes to hide and required some painful digging to find it today), the largest is 12.5. In comparison, on CD12 last cycle, the largest follicles were 8-9mm, so I was happy with 12.5. My lining was 9.3mm, which is okay I guess? The tech said it was good. Not quite the 11.5 from  last month, but that was on CD16, so it still has a little time to grow some more.

The bad news is that I have to return for another u/s, and I have to do it on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. because that’s the only slot they have available all day. I don’t even think I’m going to be ready then, but that’s not even the problem. What is the problem? I’m supposed to pick up my dad at the airport at 8 a.m. and, immediately following, I am to have breakfast with my aunt, uncle, and several cousins. This aunt is one I see about once a year because she is a missionary in Thailand and only makes it back to the States very occasionally. My cousins I see about as often because they’re scattered across the U.S., going to school, working, and whatnot. And now? I might not get to see them at all. Which is what started the weeping in the middle of the fertility clinic. The front desk staff looked on as I sobbed on the phone to my mom. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m just so sick of all of this. Once again, infertility has found a way to wreak havoc on my life. And I know I just need to accept this. Get over it, right? We all have to sacrifice something in order to achieve our dreams, but right now… Well, right now I just want to feel sorry for myself.

CD16 and I’m Annoyed

I’m annoyed, as you may have guessed from the title. Annoyed because my ovaries are being lazy.

I went in for another ultrasound today and it looks like my follicles are hanging out right around 6mm or so. Which means come of them have shrunk. Which means the Clomid either isn’t working for the first time in a long time OR things will change in the next few days and I’ll ovulate very, very late. Um, I’m not really happy with either option, y’know?

The good news? My lining is thick and “beautiful.” Which is fantastic, except a lot of good it does me if there is  nothing there for implantation. And likewise, I’ve been worrying about my Honey’s funny-shaped sperm, which now seems pointless if there’s no egg for them to meet with.

So now what do we do? A question I had to wait all day for an answer to because our clinic took that long to get back to me. It looks like, this cycle, it’s au naturale. That is, my body hasn’t responded to the Clomid, but Dr. Y is hoping that, by some miracle, I will ovulate on my own anyways. Funny, right? And when this cycle fails, I will use progesterone to bring on a period and my Clomid dose will be increased to 150mg and we will go from there. The good part of this is that, for now, I am done with the ultrasounds, the 7 am appointments that take me an hour to get to, and trying to fit it all into my busy birthday party and holiday schedule.

And God, dear God, please let the ultrasound tech use the right billing code for this so that my insurance will cover all ultrasounds past, present, and future. Because if not? Well, then I’m not sure what to do. We might be stuck. And I do not want to be stuck after just starting to feel like we are finally moving forward again.

CD12: U/S & SA

I have to laugh because if any Joe Schmoe from off the street was to read the title of this post, I’m sure there would be a big “Huh?” echoing through the room. But you guys know what I mean. Right?

And as my title says, it is day 12 and I had the first ultrasound of my first monitored cycle today. And it was pretty much as expected. I’m not ready to trigger. Not even close. The largest of my follicles are 8-9mm right now. So I will be going back for another u/s on Friday, but my guess is that I won’t be quite ready even then and will have to return yet another time. Ugh. I’m just really hoping this doesn’t drag out until Thanksgiving, when we will be out of town visiting the in-laws. Because then we’d have a problem. On a positive note, though, the u/s tech did say my lining is nice and thick (though she didn’t say how thick or if there is the triple-striped pattern), so that’s something to be thankful for. I guess I’m one of those lucky ones who has not suffered any Clomid side effects. Like, at all.

Also, my husband’s semen analysis results came back today. And they are:

Count: 50 million/mL

Morphology: 1

Motility: 60%

I’m no SA expert as we’ve only done this once before (and even then were never given the numbers), but I think these are good. Question mark? I’m a little concerned about the morphology because the online patient portal says that he has 1% abnormal and should have less than 4%, but isn’t the result usually given in percent of normally shaped sperm (in which case, it should be above 4)? Or am I just totally confused? There were some other things that were tested as well (pH, viscosity, forward progression, and more), but they all came back as normal. One number was slightly higher than it should be — immature forms (SABs). There should be less than 3 million/mL of those and my Honey’s results are recorded as exactly 3 million…but I don’t know what that means. Or if it’s important. Or if it’s a big deal. Having gotten up at 4:30 a.m. today, this is really just all too much for my brain to handle right now. Anyone have opinions about these results?

And now, we wait some more.

Struggling

I’ve been struggling lately. While I can go about my day just as I did a few months ago and I can feel joy and hope again (which seemed impossible in April and May, just after my loss), it seems my moments of sadness are progressively becoming more frequent and more prolonged. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Isn’t distance from my loss supposed to bring me healing?  That’s what they say.

But today I think I solved the mystery, or at least a small part of it. Two years ago, on this very day of 7/7, I learned I was expecting a girl. My daughter. My Cupcake. Up until that point, I was certain it was a boy. I mean, I was doubtless. I knew I was having a boy. And when I learned that I was wrong, and would get to have the little girl I always dreamed of, I asked “Are you sure?” and made the ultrasound tech laugh. She assured me of her sureness and my heart melted. A girl! It was a wonderful surprise and the most beautiful and perfect day.

Of course, that is not what makes me sad. Sentimental, yes. Melancholy because that baby girl is no longer a baby, yes. But it doesn’t make me sad.

What does make me sad is that, in just one short week (give or take a few days), I would have been going back to the same radiology lab with Teddy Graham kicking in my belly and learning if he was the precious boy I (once again) believed he was, or another sweet girl.

Some days, like today, my loss still hurts as much as it did two and half months ago. I feel it so raw and deep, as though my heart has been pulverized. And there’s no fixing a mushy mess of a heart. There just aren’t any pieces to put back together.

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Boo-hoo. Poor me. I miss my baby. I’ll never be happy again. My life is horrible. Please feel sorry for me. I’m sure those of you who read this regularly are tired of my whining. To be frank, I’m kind of tired of it myself. But the grief-thoughts persist in my head, playing over and over and I need to put them somewhere…hence, this blog.

So thank you to all those who choose to listen to me complain.

And I’m sorry if it sometimes makes you want to barf as much as it does me. I will try to do better.

Okay, that was a lie. I cannot promise I will do better because I can only write what I know and what I know right now is that I’m still mourning, and maybe I always will be, and there are days when it’s going to hurt like hell and I have nothing good to say. I also know that, even with one living child asleep in her bedroom, infertility still sucks if you don’t feel like your family is yet complete. It’s just as hard this second go-around, and I will moan about that too, but with as much sensitivity to those who are still TTC #1.

What I can and will promise you is that I’m also going to try to be more open…to let you into the good parts of my life…to let you know the “me” that isn’t all about infertility and loss and TTC. I’m not good at opening up, even on an anonymous blog to my virtual friends, but I will try.

Yes, I will try.