Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tick, Tick . . . um, Boom?

So I haven’t written anything in a while, because there hasn’t really been anything to write about. At least, that was true for the first couple of weeks. I’ve learned that, once you have a failed cycle, and you need to wait for the next one, it’s kind of like sitting in a boring class (we’ll say Math, as a random example), and watching the clock tick the minutes by. Unlike the two-week period after doing an IUI, where you are anxiously wondering whether it worked, and worrying that it didn’t, the period after you know it fails consists largely of a dull routine of getting up every morning and peeing on a stick. So, every morning is one more Tick on the clock, until one morning, Boom! You have a positive result and it’s time to do the next procedure.

But, what happens when there’s no Boom? The Boom is what it’s all about. You rely on the Boom to make up for all the Ticks. And when there’s no Boom, what the hell do you then? Guess that’s what I found out this month. I kept doing the ovulation tests every morning and, by Day 16 of my cycle (very late for ovulation, especially for me), I still had not received a positive result. No Boom. I also had not had any symptoms of ovulation. Of course, that means, no IUI. But, I was leaving for Los Angeles the next day, to try my luck again pitching my screenplays, and I knew this was my only chance this month to do it. So, despite the fact that there was no Boom, I called and scheduled the procedure anyway  (I lied to them that I had gotten a positive result, but I did come clean to Dr. K later).

So, procedure done, I headed off to LA. I continued testing, and I never did get a Boom. For perhaps the first time in my life, I didn’t ovulate. Sucky timing, that. Another month lost, and confidence shaken. If I didn’t ovulate this month, what about next month? How can I rely on ovulating in future months? Am I going to be able to get pregnant? I know it’s probably a bit of an overreaction, but if stress made me not ovulate, isn’t this just adding more stress? Does that mean it will cause me not to ovulate again? And what if the lack of ovulation is a sign of something else?

Well, I got a period on Friday, and did my Day Three Bloodwork today. And the result is that I have high estrogen levels. I’m really starting to wish that I had insisted on having the bloodwork last month, even though the nurse said it was unnecessary. Maybe we would have discovered this sooner. Anyway, there’s a lot of reasons my estrogen may be high, and I’m already starting to worry about what it might mean, especially with mom’s history. The doctor said it could be a sign of more cysts. Tomorrow I have to go in for an ultrasound and more bloodwork.  I also have to make an appointment for an HSG test, to see if there is any blockage in the fallopian tubes. So, two uncomfortable procedures in one week. What choice do I have, really?

To be honest, all I keep thinking is, did I wait too long? Did I somehow just slam head-on into the wall of infertility, right when I finally got everything together to do this? If I had done all this a year ago, would it have been OK? I know that’s borrowing trouble. I should just wait until I actually get the tests done. But I’m a first-class worrier, and I know it’s all I’m going to do until I know something for sure.

Is it really too much to ask for a Boom?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School, and Back to the Drawing Board

I should have posted this a few days ago but the start of school (and its attendant chaos) got in the way. The important news? The first cycle didn’t work, so we have to start all over again. Gotta say – never been so disappointed to get my period! I tested Monday, at Friends Lake, because I thought it would be nice to get the news there, with Keith, if it were positive. But, it wasn’t in the cards. I actually kind of knew before I tested that it would be negative because I started the day with spotting, which suggested my period was imminent. But, because spotting is still possible, even when pregnant, I tested anyway.

I don’t know if it was because I had the spotting, and was thus expecting a negative result, or what, but I was not as upset as I thought I would be. To be honest (and I try to be!), I thought I’d be crushed, and that I would cry. But, really, I was disappointed, but not at all crushed. I mentioned that to Keith, and he said it was because I know this was only the first try, and not my only chance to have a kid. He’s probably right, but who knew I could be so reasonable about something like this?

It was probably also a bit of a reality-check for me. The odds of getting pregnant on the first try are small, and I was acting like all I had to do was set up a plan and a schedule, and nature would follow along. Especially at my age. My doctor and I have discussed it, and I have read enough articles ( to know that fertility decreases as you age. My doctor, bless him, keeps saying, “You’re not old, but reproductively you are.” And I know that’s the case. I need to get pregnant sooner rather than later, especially if I am entertaining any thoughts of having a second child down the road (which I am).

That, of course, brings us to the next step. In consultation with the doctor, we have decided to do one more natural cycle. If that still does not work, then he would like to start an oral fertility drug (probably Clomid). If I were younger, he would probably take it slower and see if the natural process found success over six months or so. But I’m aging every day, and can’t really afford to wait.

So, fertility drugs – the first thing everyone thinks about is twins (or more!). And that brings up an interesting discussion for me. First of all, according to Dr. K., the chance of twins occurring naturally is 3.5%. With fertility drugs, that doubles to 7%. That means I still have a 93% chance of a”singleton birth,” as they call it. But, with my Dad being a twin, and twins running in his family, I guess that gives me a higher chance of having twins myself. And I’m conflicted as to whether that’s a good or bad thing. Well, no, that’s not completely true. The only bad thing I can think of when it comes to twins is having to deal with raising them alone. But I’d figure it out – I’d have to. And I’ve actually always wanted twins (a boy and a girl – as if I can plan that!).

Twins would also resolve a number of issues for me. First, it would eliminate having to plan another pregnancy in my forties to have a second child. Second, it would make it easier for me to figure out my work issues (I could go back to teaching full time sooner if both kids were in school together). Third, it would answer the conflict I am currently experiencing as to if, and when, I should move out of the City. I talked about it earlier and it’s not my first choice, but I don’t see how I can stay in the City without a sudden influx of cash. And, up in Riverdale, I could get a larger 2-3 bedroom apartment for much less than my current place. With one baby, it would still be a debate. With two? I’d definitely have to move! Finally, twins would help me resolve one last issue. I have always known, since Mom passed away, that I want to get a pre-emptive hysterectomy to try and lower my cancer risk. If I have one child, I would wait until I was sure that I wasn’t going to have anymore. But, if I have two, then I would just go ahead and do it and get it over with.

Anyway, that’s a whole heck of a lot of speculation. Right now I just need to focus on the next cycle (in a little over a week), and hoping it works. Well, that and finishing a screenplay for my LA trip in two weeks. And teaching four classes at two schools. And grading papers (I hate grading papers!). Yeah, see, life doesn’t stop just ‘cause you’re trying to get pregnant!