Saturday 26 October 2013

Twenty-nine days

I think that's what this cycle will clock out at, since I started spotting light brown today.

There are some optimistic notes to sound here, I think.

Twenty-nine days is better than 17, or 23, or even 25, and certainly better (at least psychologically) than the occasional dreadful cycles that drag on to 40 days.

Two positive OPKs this cycle, on CDs 16/17, about 10 hours apart.

Assuming (with a unavoidable modicum of POFfer skepticism) that I ovulated Day 17 or thereabouts, that's a 12 day luteal phase.

I can make my first phone call to The Period Hotline (yes, it really is called that, that's not one of my joke names) at The Fertility Clinic, reporting in for IVF. Which I will do if I get light flow by 3pm; if not, and it's only spotting today, I'll  hold off till I have full flow. I can't do an IVF cycle yet, on account of needing to take the DHEA/CoQ10 for several more weeks, but every period and phone call brings us closer to that possibility.  Any kind of forward motion brings a faint whiff of optimism.

Now for the movement in a minor key - 

Not pregnant. Not that I thought I was,  but hope (some version of it) springs eternal.

I had an appointment with Dr. Q. yesterday. She was optimistic, pleased with the cycle length, asked me if I'd tested for pregnancy. I said "No." She asked "Why not?" to which I could only mutter, with profound eloquence "I don't like testing." "You are afraid of being disappointed," she elaborated, helpfully. Yeah, something like that. She continued to be enthusiastic for me, beaming at my needle-forested belly and saying: "Let's hope there's a baby in there!" I was unable to share her eagerness, though I couldn't give any reason for it, other than beengoingthroughthiscrapfortwoyearsandnothingtoshowforit, and because I have a sense of when my body has, yes, not conceived, yet again. Or possibly not even ovulated, despite the positive OPKs.

Mainly, in this case, because I had almost no rise in temperature.

The chart makes it look not too bad, because  there was a small rise relative to my lowest BBT (36.07C). But other than the spike on CD 14, my temperature never went above 36.28.  Usually in my luteal phase it will rise to 36.60C or higher.

So I had no real hope, although something always springs to life, whatever is hardy enough to exist in the vacuum of air that forms before the wrecking ball strikes. I still have some of that, but mainly I've adopted a Stoic philosophy toward all this. On the good days.

I fully intend to have, if not a good day, then at least a purposeful one. There's laundry and yard cleaning to do, after all.

Friday 18 October 2013

Creepy Crow

I was walking to work today, and I saw a crow standing on the sidewalk ahead of  me. This was not unexpected, so I didn't pay much attention to it until I was almost beside it, and the crow hadn't flown away. My first thought was: the crow must be injured, because injured birds can't fly away. But not only was this crow not flying, it wasn't moving at all. It was perfectly still. Puzzled, I took a closer look. It looked like a real crow in every way, except that when I looked closely at one foot, there was a small piece of metal showing.

There was a fake crow on the sidewalk.

On either side of the street, the houses were decorated with almost extravagant Halloween decor: ghosts, zombies, giant neon spiders, witches, pumpkins. Nothing was as creepy as that fake crow standing in the middle of the sidewalk.  It made my stomach turn over a little (although it tends to do that in the morning, anyway.)

I eventually walked away, unsettled, unable to not wonder: what is up with that? Did the crow fall from somewhere? but then, how likely that it would land on its feet?  Was it some sort of decoy? Yah, for what? And why put it where people walk? Was this someone's idea of a joke? If so, how do you even come up with that? Wouldn't it be hilarious to put a very realistic fake bird on the sidewalk and watch people freak out?   Um, OK?

Now for the fertility-related content of this entry, which has nothing at all to do with the fake crow, at least not yet. (But I <3 a great metaphor, so just watch me figure out how to relate it all together by the end.)

I am (just possibly?) in the middle of a long-ish cycle. At least I think it's going to go longer. My last 3 cycles have been between 18 and 24 days, with ovulation, or attempted ovulation around CD 9-11. I spotted for much longer at the beginning of this cycle, so I had a  hunch that it would be different. Longer AF for me usually means a longer cycle. 

I've started charting BBT again and Dr. Q bugged me to use OPKs, so I started doing that too, starting at CD 10. Now,  I hardly ever get a positive OPK. I have a couple of theories for that: 1) crappy ovaries! 2) I pee so often that the LH surge isn't concentrated enough to detect. OPK instructions say don't pee for 4 hours before using the OPK, which is ridiculous because if I held it that long I would go septic or something.

So, this cycle I had negatives from day 10 until day 15. Day 16 was last Saturday, and a fairly awesome day so I forgot about the OPK till almost midnight. When I finally remembered I decided to go ahead and use it, what the hell. Positive! Well, wow. I took another the following day, at about noon. Still  positive. Mr. Turtle and I got together, fun times were had by all and I wondered if I should be a little bit happy and hopeful. Perhaps the appointments with Dr. Q were having some effect on my ovulation? Or I was having a lucky month? 

Well, I don't know about that. I proceeded to get bummed out when BBT refused to rise between Monday and Wednesday. It fell and rose slightly and fell again, never rising to what I consider normal for my luteal phase. I possibly had fertile signs again between Monday and Wednesday. I had run out of OPKs so I did not use any more of those. Of course I still had the OPK instruction booklet which informed me that certain things could have caused a false positive such as pregnancy (no) or menopause (fuck!).  I decided to think positively: maybe I was still in my fertile window after all. Mr. Turtle and I got together again for more good times. If nothing else, I needed to be held and loved and be given some reason for hope. Waited for BBT to rise. Still only a tiny rise.

In between all this wondering and half-hoping and having half-hope crushed (why does it still hurt when it's only half-hope?) I woke up and went to work and attended to my responsibilities, albeit with a depleted will to live. My fertile and/or infertile signs are as hard to understand as a fake crow standing in the middle of the sidewalk. (told you I could do it.)

Things got slightly better today. I went for my weekly appointment with Dr. Q. She was more optimistic about my chart than I was, saying the positive OPK on CD 16/17 was a good sign, and that another patient of hers with early ovulation issues had gotten pregnant the month that she ovulated on CD 17. My low BBT still makes me dubious if I ovulated at all, but the Ovacue readings have risen a little in the past couple of days so who knows, maybe it will go up yet.

Other than that, I'm glad that it's Friday, that I can go to sleep anytime I want to, that it's the weekend tomorrow, that I did some therapy shopping this afternoon on a budget, and that the fake crow was nowhere in sight when I walked home today. Maybe it flew away when I wasn't looking.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

And the good ship ART sets sail

....sets sail that is, for the dubiously happy land of "Anything is better than zero." As in, "Your chances of getting pregnant with IVF are 10%. But 10% is not zero."

But that's OK. Really.

In summary:
4th meeting with Dr. Cotter at The Fertility Clinic. Tests results were reviewed.

I am not a carrier of Fragile X. All genetic and pre-IVF screening tests came back Negative. Negative means Good when we're talking about tests for diseases  and wonky chromosomes.

I am very relieved that I am not a Fragile X carrier. I teach special ed, so I know what Fragile X looks like. It's not something I would knowingly pass on to a child.

Swiped the Visa for $300 and we are now on the IVF waitlist.

Couldn't fill my DHEA prescription because (of course) the clinic pharmacy closed before the end of our appointment. (Since DHEA has to be imported from the US or something, we can only fill the prescription at the clinic pharmacy.) But at least they let me drop it off and I should be able to pick it up early in the morning in a day  or two.

So, we are looking at 3 months on DHEA, and Flare IVF in January or thereabouts. And this is good. Because the plan is in motion. Flare IVF may not work. But we made the decision to try and we are moving forward on the path we chose. That's good enough for now.

The Archipelago (blogroll) has been lighting up with pregnancy announcements lately. And it really, truly makes me happy. Partly because it gives me hope, yes. But more because I feel happy for those ladies who have gotten good news on their long, long road.

But for those of you who are NOT pregnant, I am definitely not either and we are still in this together!

Sometimes I hate the journey of IF and wish it was over, or had never started. Other times I'm OK. Like walking at dusk watching the sun set and moon rise in an autumn sky, being at peace with what the day has brought.