Tuesday, June 10, 2014

awesome day - followed by bad news

On saturday our long awaited swing set and baby trampoline arrived.  Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness was wrong!  It cost a small fortune and was well worth every cent.  The mini trampoline ended up being put together in my bedroom - and although it's supposed to be for people under 100 pounds - it has proved to be quite capable of taking my weight.  And now that two and a half years has passed since my vaginal birth, I can jump without peeing my pants! (if I have recently emptied my bladder!) - Never thought I would see the day.

The crappy news was that the very next day I got my period - which was bad enough, but then I went in for day three blood work and ultrasound, only to find that I have a massive cyst on my left ovary, so I can't take any meds this cycle.

Problem is, I have to travel to UK for a couple months right after this.  I found a fertility clinic to take me in London, they said they could of course take my sperm (Sages donor).  I called to have it shipped there and the US bank assured me that the UK no longer allows them to ship sperm because their vials are "Open donor" instead of "identity release" which is now required by the UK government since 2005.

 I have tried to appeal to the UK governing body controlling imported sperm, but  it looks like the application will be very difficult to do, and extremely time consuming.  Their committee meets only once a month to discuss possible exceptions etc, and the application has to be completed by the UK clinic not me personally.

It does seem a little rough that my second child should have a different donor than the first just because of some stupid rule.  The UK law states that the child is entitled to a name of the donor aged 18 - i.e. Jo Smith, but no contact info.  Whereas I have an open donor who has said he would be willing / wishes to have contact.  Either way my donor would have to sign the UK form, and without this the prospect of importing it looks bleak.

Additionally I am running out of sperm.  I contacted the bank to see if they could get him to rejoin the program.  Apparently this process takes for ever - in addition to the 6 months quarantine period.  It has been three weeks and the bank hasn't even contacted me  - despite my phone calls to take my 250 dollars in payment to see if they would even ask the donor if he would consider donating again.

For some odd reason (against statistical evidence to the contrary) I do believe my best chance of getting pregnant is to do natural cycles - and I need more sperm.  Currently I am only prepared to use the remaining vials on medicated cycles - to maximize chances of getting one good egg.

I just wish I didn't have to go away for the summer.  Looks like I'm going to miss at least three cycles  - at 43 that is just not good news.  On the plus side I am feeling in better health than I have for a very long time.  I am sleeping better, enjoying my life more.  Sage is doing great - and she doesn't have to quit breast feeding.  Work has gotten a whole lot better (nothing to do with me - but I am enjoying it while its lasts).  Perhaps I should try and go on a date.  Feel sure if I just had some hot sex...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

crappy news all around

I went in for my IUI today, #6 for  a new baby.  I was about to sign the form acknowledging donor number when the doctor told me that there was only ONE million moving sperm out of the vial - and many of theses were not moving forward.  (Nearly a Zero percent chance of pregnancy - but they didn't mention this).   I was so shocked.

The vial started out with a count of 32 million from the bank.   It was split at my RE's office at my last cycle, they thawed half - and I was told I was inseminated with 5 million (an OK figure).  When I questioned what happened to the rest of the sperm, they told me that actually the 5 mil was wrong - because most of those were dead too.

If they knew this to be the case why did they not tell me, so I could put the rest of this vial aside for an IVF attempt or donor egg cycle - which would only need  a handful of good sperm.

So in actual fact the last cycle busted because I had crap sperm numbers and crap motility - (and possibly a stale egg!), and this cycle will be a bust for the same reason.  I had No chance.  The RE did mention that we could tip the vial down the sink, but that my chances would be higher if we placed them in my cervix! (Even I could figure that out Thanks!).

In addition I am so annoyed because all day yesterday they did not call me to give me my progesterone results - and I waited on tenterhooks being sure that my insemination would have been yesterday (as it has been in every other case bar the first, which we all agreed was too late).  In the end I decided to drop into the clinic to find out what was going on towards closing - and it took them forever to get to me.  Even at that point if someone would just have answered my two messages and given me just the results of the test (which I am paying out of pocket for) I would have been able to overnight an additional vial in time for todays insemination.  (Of course I should have ordered this ages ago - but I was disorganized and also ovulated way earlier than i was expecting.)

Royally pissed off.  This all comes after having discovered only a month ago that for  nearly 4 months I have been taking the WRONG homeopathic medication.  I still can't figure out how the mess up happened - if it was the pharmacy, the homeopath or my bad note taking.  Turns out the remedy I was given to facilitate ovulation was taken in the wrong potency - one which would suppress ovulation.  Could this be the reason that I had two cycles back to back of 57 and 65 days! - I thought the hot flushes and lack of period were due to a long time overdose of B vitamins (unlikely but plausible).

The good news is that this cycle I was taking the right remedy and got a positive OPK earlier than I ever have before, day 9.5.  And my uterine lining on ultrasound was thicker than ever at a 10 (usually a 7-8 ish).  Oh and I won't mention all the lovely fertile mucus that appeared out of nowhere - for days on end!

In briefly speaking to the RE we agreed that I definitely need more sperm - so no more half vials (as clearly this clinic in incapable of doing it right) and I also need more eggs to maximize any chance I might have of making a baby with the remaining vials of Sage's donor.

Next cycle - no more breast feeding- I am dreading it.  I might pump and dump - once a day - or wean.  No trip to the beach - because it will probably be during the monitoring phase - or perhaps we can just go for a couple days - depends on when I get my period.
Then I have to travel  to UK so miss a few cycles (which is OK because I will probably have a cyst after taking Femera anyway).  Doc suggested taking Clomid because it creates more eggs (I would hate to have twins and could just not do it) - I reminded her that Femera had worked for me to make Sage, and lucky I had just looked at a table that showed Femera makes fewer eggs but a much higher implantation rate!

So I'm all set - sort of, and really bummed out.

In nice things to look forward to, I just ordered a far too expensive swing set which will arrive about the time I get my period - and a very inexpensive fall apart very soon - indoor trampoline, which will be much better for Sage to jump on than our bed.

Last very positive thing is actually very amazing. At nearly two and a half years old Sage had made a line drawing of a Parrot.  It looks Exactly like a parrot.  Must be a fluke.  Her first ever drawing a year ago was extraordinary - and now this!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Great skin!

Yesterday I got my teeth cleaned.  Upon opening my mouth both the hygienist and the dentist immediately commented on how much healthier my gums looked.  I know I have been doing nothing different except for the 86 mg of Zinc daily from Foresight Preconception (along with extra minerals) or the oil pulling.  And both of these have been very recent additions to my regime.  The oil pulling was suggested by one of the baby sitters and is supposed to have all sorts of heath benefits.  To be honest I would never have noticed anything different with my gums except that they bleed a little less. (But I have noticed the skin on my face looking better and my geographic tongue is much improved.)

Bad news is that I last night I slept very badly, waking in the night hungry and rather suspiciously hot - Hope this isn't a return of the hot flushes.  I was just getting used to sleeping well.  I am wondering if it doesn't have something to do with the garlic powder I have just started using.

Time will tell!

Monday, April 7, 2014

IUI No 5 for baby no 2

I have not had a period for over 65 days.  I rather suspect that my over supplementing on B complex vitamins with iron caused me to stop ovulating and miss a period and have hot flushes for 5 weeks - either that or the menopause.  Stay positive right!

My hair analysis from Foresight Preconception came in after a long wait and it was confirmed that I am desperately short of zinc and depleted in many minerals - most likely due to the distilled mineral water I was drinking for the past 7 years.  Try to be healthy and it seems I was kicking myself in the foot.

I noticed a while back that I had an LH surge ( but not quite enough to get a positive on the OPK) and no ovulation. I decided to go in for blood work and it was confirmed that my progesterone was incredibly low.

The next week I kept feeling that i might get my period and even had a speck of blood but no period.  I was at my acupuncturist and asked her if she could make me have a period.  She said "sure not problem works every time".  On driving home from her office I could feel all sorts going on in my feminine parts. - then I felt what could only be described as ovulation pain.

I thought it could not be - but the next morning decided to pee on an OPK - low and behold I got  the strongest positive ever.  I went running into the fertility clinic.  They agreed to do immediate blood work but said they could only schedule the insemination for the following day.  (a whole day too late)

I was very proud of myself and stayed calm as a cucumber and said "Of course I can come then but my egg ovulated yesterday, so it will be too late.  I prefer to wait for next cycle." After a twenty minute wait on the phone they got me scheduled for a few hours later the same day.

Then I had to insist they check my uterus lining my ultrasound BEFORE they thaw HALF of my very expensive and precious vial of donor sperm.  The last ICI vial had 16 million motile sperm post wash and 34 million pre wash - which I considered to be overkill for my one (clearly defective) egg.  The reason I have not been getting pregnant is nothing to do with not having enough sperm!

Apparently they thawed 10 million but only got 1.5 million motile sperm and the quality was Not Good. So another scraping at the vial gave me a total of nearly 5 million.  They refused to tell me how many they thawed the second time, but they did say there appeared to be a good bit left still frozen.

The head of the sperm lab was not at all keen to try splitting the vial - but after months of negotiating and cajoling she agreed to give it a go. (I discovered that this vial was frozen the same day as the last one, so I assured them there should be plenty).  If there is enough left in the vial to do an IVF cycle or  a donor egg cycle that will be good enough for me.

Count down,
Insemination,  I feel a very special energy around my uterus.  On breast feeding Sage 3 hours later I notice my nipples are already sore. I sleep really well. Have a wonderful dream that I am pregnant with a boy.  He is manly but not the fighting type.
Day 1. I feel awful, heavy, exhausted, huge pains in uterus area, not sure if I have an allergic reaction or if I have a stomach bug.  Cervix closed and high.  I call in sick from work for the day.  Doubled over in pain for an hour or so.
Day 2 After acupuncture I feel much better, cervix high and egg white fluid !!- (really?)
Day 3  On looking in the mirror I notice my skin looks rather good, extra smooth.  Distinct stabbing pains about 4 times in right side of uterus - or ovary.  a good day.  My nipples are still sore.
Day 4. Nipples less sore but whole breast area enlarged and actually painful close to under arm.  Either I will get my period very soon or I am pregnant.  In the afternoon, I lose my focus, so lye on bed for a second, and am awaked 90 minutes later by the babysitter needing to leave.  I notice the smallest ever spec of blood (too soon for implantation bleeding)  perhaps my period is coming.  Cervix suddenly low down and open.
Day 5.  I have implantation bleeding.  I am quite delighted - until it slowly dawns that actually I am having a full blown period!
I bleed for 6 days.

On the plus side my skin is looking better than ever.  I feel as though I look 5 years younger - but am waiting for someone to say it (un prompted)!

I realize my skin started improving as I added in the 86 mg of daily zinc from Foresight Preconception.  (This is a huge dose).  What surprises me is how quickly it worked - it wasn't as though I had been taking no zinc before.  There should have been 15mg in my prenatal.  Also I had tried taking sublingual zinc - between 30-50mg a day - but I found it hard to drink - and never noticed any improvement from it.

Worryingly I remain rather too optimistic.   If the zinc can make my face look so good - what wonderful things can it do for my eggs?   The hypnotherapy seems to be working - a little too well perhaps!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

New hope

I just found this awesome site/charity which helps people conceive through nutritional supplementation and avoiding toxins etc Their success rates are outstanding.  Just look at the table and see how few people have miscarriages after having completed their program.  Its almost unbelievable.

After a long talk with the lady on the phone, she told me most of their participants are in their late thirties and early forties.  They just had a lady age 48 get pregnant with her own egg!

I am sending in a sample (ok - of all of my pubic hair) to be analyzed.  She told me it was very likely my hormones were out (as my geographic tongue gets worse on ovulation - and now I realize this is the exact time my Sage gets sick - yes I am still feeding) and suggested in the mean time I take extra Zinc and be sure to have enough selenium and manganese too.

It should take a month to get my results and I can't wait!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Head in the clouds

After much debate as to whether I should save my seed until my tongue looks perfect (from the acupuncturist's stand point) or plant it before I get even older - finally managed to make my decision.  Firstly I should say that overwhelmingly everyone said - PLANT NOW - (many thanks for the comments), and thats what I really wanted to do, but then something happened.

I was out with Sage at the park meeting another SMC.  They got delayed, it was freezing and by the time they arrived I was ready to go home.  But then the sun came out and we warmed up.  I asked what she thought I should do and she said "DO IT NOW."   We played some more,  kicking the ball around with the kids, trying to catch them, etc.  Until suddenly she said "You know I've never seen you like this, full of energy, running around, having so much fun,  Perhaps you SHOULD give yourself a whole month of feeling good before you plant".  And the idea of waiting and feeling full of energy suddenly seemed even more appealing than feeling run down and pregnant.   Also I realized it would put me closer to spring when naturally everything grows.  So there was my plan.

Then I went home and it so happened that the next carer to come look after Sage was the lovely girl who met me the very first time when I was struggling with insanity and worse after Sage was born.  In fact she had to counsel me / I tortured her - for an entire night, when I was too ill to cope.  She immediately said "Another month of feeling well, could only be a good thing if you are to get through a whole pregnancy and delivery."  So there was no changing my mind.

The next day was my birthday, a great day, I turned 43.   Now I consider myself to be a fairly smart in life,  on the ball, up to date sort of person, so I was shocked to be reading a blog and find out that as of 43 I am now too old to even attempt IVF at all but 3 clinics across the US.  Why did my doctor never mention it to me during the whole last year , or even when they gave me the promotion for 2 IUI's leading to IVF.  She never said " but you have only 3 months to use this".  

Turns out the success rates for people at my clinic for ages 41-42 with IVF is only 9 percent!  Good job I had always thought of not wasting my money in town (I plan on an extraordinarily expensive trip to colorado!)

So now I try to remain positive that it doesn't matter that I am so old - because my perfect tongue and acupuncture will do the trick - or a medicated IUI cycle thereafter! Oh and my new thing is going to be hypnotherapy - I just have to get an appointment - she's booked for the next 6 weeks!

And I still haven't ovulated yet on this cycle - perhaps I am already too old to ovulate? - Or perhaps Sage has been breast feeding a little more than I have admitted even to myself.  I am now 3 or 4 days late for ovulation - one just too many extra feeds - and a couple unmentionable feeds in the night.

Only yesterday she wanted milk on awaking from her nap - I gave it to her, and the carer said afterwards "It must have been the milk - she was just so calm and easy to play with all evening."  How on earth do mothers do it without breast milk - I have no idea.  When my baby - ok she's 25 months now, feeds from me she is the easiest child in the world.  If however she has Camel milk (what we call goat or cow milk) she is just a regular impossible two year old!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What should I do?

My last IUI resulted in a chemical pregnancy, I had a little implantation bleeding (then my daughter got really sick and started feeding through the night for 3 nights) - and the acupuncturist was out of town for 10 days - and my geographic tongue got worse and worse by day.  (It was perfect at the IUI).  Then I was down to one line - BFN

My next IUI should be in a matter of days, my tongue has only just now returned to how a good tongue should look (after the last cycle bringing me down).  The acupuncturist says skip this cycle and give my tongue and body a whole month of feeling well.  The thing is I turn 43 this month and I know I don't have many time on my side - and next month there may be some other problem - flu - cold etc!

This next IUI will be my last natural one as I will start running out of Sages' donor.  If this does not work I plan for two medicated and then one IVF (at a famous and extremely expensive out of town clinic) and then a donor egg cycle.

I worry that if the reason the last IUI didn't work was due to egg quality then I shouldn't be missing yet another cycle - this month's could be a good egg?  If the reason was that I was breast feeding too much or something to do with my tongue- and then this can easily be fixed - the acupuncturist is not going put of town - but waiting another month might be better.

To make matters even more complicated the acupuncturist says if I have an auspicious dream then I should go ahead this month!  What is that?  (I suppose no dreams of the baby being a mass murderer for starters!)  And no matter what I decide she will support me.  The problem is - I don't know what to do, if I could get pregnant now I could go to a very awesome job interview out of town next month (this sort of job only comes along once in a blue moon, and I stand a very good chance of being seriously considered for it - having said that it isn't in the greatest city).  But I won't be able to go through the interview process (out of town) if I am planting the seed next month.

The cycle after that would put me giving birth at Christmas day.  I did this with Sage and finding any help from caregivers over the christmas and new year period is near impossible.  I would almost miss that following cycle (March) just not to repeat the experience which nearly had me committed to an asylum after Sage was born.

Please tell me what you think I should do! Plant the magic seed this month or wait one more cycle? (The palm reader assured me I will be heavily pregnant or already given birth by november of this year)  Stupidly I believe her - but if only she had told me which month to plant the seed!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

post IUI pregnancy symptoms!!!!!!! - well sort of

The day of the IUI,  I worry that I don't feel that sizzle in the tits that I have after so many other  (failed) IUI's and my pregnancy with Sage.  Also I worry that 14.5 hours after ovulation may have been too late for the insemination (sometimes the egg can live only 12 hours, and I am turning 43 next month.)

The night after the IUI  I have the WORST dreams EVER.  All of them are about me being completely charmed by a little boy who turns out to be a mass murderer.  I wake up because I am really thirsty.  I freak out and pray to god I am not pregnant or that the baby is a girl.

I wake up with another horrible dream about a nasty man, but upon rising begin to feel extremely well, confident and happy.   The day goes very well, but in looking in the mirror it is clear my geographic tongue has suddenly gotten worse.   I notice crampings mosty on my left side (where I ovulated) but some on the right too - I am begin to wonder.  At night I look at my tits (nipples) and wonder if they don't seem a bit rounder.

Two days post ovulation - I need to pee in the night, and have another dream about a charming man with the most gorgeous face.  IRW -I know I will be having a boy - the palm reader told me.

In the afternoon I feel suddenly weak / faint and Sage won't nap so  my mother plays with her while I lye down.  The cramping pains are still coming along - and I wonder if I am not peeing more often.

Later I decide to take Sage - and my mom to the nature museum.  Throughout the afternoon we bump into friends / acquaintances  who all have children younger than Sage - each of them in turn tells me they are pregnant with baby number two - who happens to be a boy.  I begin to wonder how if this isn't a sign.

I notice at bedtime that my groin is somehow swollen - the pains are coming from more the center of the uterus not the left  side so much any more.

A lot of cramping pains.  Upon waking I notice the joints in my hands really hurt.  (They did this a little during my pregnancy with Sage - and for about a year after (intensely) - I gave up eating wheat, and it got 98% better.  I freak out.  I notice for real somehow my whole breasts hurt, and it isn't that I have too much milk.  I know I am pregnant and I hear my mother's voice in my mind saying "you can never do this - abort the baby" I wonder if she isn't right.

Three days post ovulation.  I wake in the morning to a dream where the doctor shakes my hand and tells me "Mam the reason you have not been feeling well is because you are pregnant - most definitely so"  I mumble something about it being too early to tell but he says "Mam you are pregnant, imperial evidence says it is so, Congratulations."   I awake and am extremely happy and confident - I don't feel any symptoms, but I know it.  I am pregnant!

During the day I wonder, and I really pregnant with a baby who turns out to be a murderer - surely nothing is set in stone - before the birth?  But in all my dreams I am so charmed by this child/man - does it matter if the man who brings me the greatest fulfillment in life turns out to be an awful person.  A big debate / freak out is going on in my mind.

Aside from these unsettling thoughts the day day is a luxurious one,  I am lucky to get adjusted by the chiropractor and have a massage.  I feel fabulous.  For the first time in days my lower back stops hurting.  I feel no odd pains in the pelvic area at all.

The following night there are no dreams - the back ache returns, and I finally pull out my old pregnancy pillow - It works wonders.  How did I ever sleep without it?

Four days post ovulation, I feel great, a little weak on first rising but overall great.  In a scramble to get out of the door to get Sage to the eye doctor (i.e. running upstairs with  a 24 lb Sage to change a diaper) I get huge uterine contractions very low down - I do not worry - i had this through the whole of my pregnancy.  I am quietly confident.  The pains come and go all morning.  My geographic tongue is looking really awful - i am not sure if this is a good sign (something definitely going on - or a bad sign - my body is not coping well). Some slightly yellow vaginal discharge.

Five days post ovulation I feel no twinges for nearly the whole day. For a moment I lose my quiet confidence that I am indeed pregnant - this its the time when other cycles have gone out.   But either way this cycle has been so much better than my others - which somehow seemed to wipe me out and make me exhausted.  I may not be pregnant but I feel good.   Not long after I am in the bathroom to pee.  Most of the mucus has gone - I wonder if it isn't a little brown.  As I wipe I notice a very small amount of blood - YAY (implantation bleeding!) - I search for more - there is none.  Later that night I have a little more cramping.  I am hopeful again!

Six to nine days post ovulation, Sage gets really sick.  She coughs, she throws up - five times in one evening, my mother mentions something about us going to the ER.  I realize that things are not that serious, but it ends up with the Sage breast feeding from me every two hours 24 /7.  I worry that the prolactin will stop the embryo implanting properly - but I only find evidence on the internet to show prolactin stopping ovulation.  I feel I have no choice but to feed her, because I have no other good way to cope with her being so ill - the milk quiets her and lets her stop coughing and lets her sleep.  We go see the acupuncturist who spends much of my session working on Sage (with acupressure).  My (geographic) tongue looks dreadful.  We all know I should not be feeding Sage.

The time to test has come.  I am Not pregnant. I was for a short time after the implantation, for two days I got a very faint positive.  Now there is only one line.  I decide that the reason the egg did not plant probably has more to do with my egg quality than the fact that Sage breast fed through the night for tree nights.  But who knows?  At least I won't be giving birth to a mass murderer.

Now I have to decide if I want to take medications or try my very last natural cycle.  And I figure it might also be a very good time to talk to a therapist about some of my latent fears of having a second baby.