Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stand by

I am anxiously waiting for a call from Dr. S.  I picked up the CD of images from my HSG yesterday and it had a copy of the written results attached to it.  Once in the car I decided to take a peek, figuring I had a blocked tube at the worst.  It never ceases to amaze me how wrong I can be.

Unicornuate configuration of the uterus with a single, open, left fallopian tube.

In short, I have half a uterus and one tube.  It is a defect where one half of the uterus either doesn't form or only partially forms.  It occurs in about 1 in 4,000 women.  What does this mean for my fertility?  The risk for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and pre term labor are significantly higher.  I will also be labeled a high risk pregnancy and most likely end up with c-section if I get pregnant.  This is due to the fact that the baby tends to run out of room to move and is usually breech.  It is unlikely that I will carry past 36 weeks.

So here I sit, waiting for the phone to ring.  Millions of scenarios are running through my mind, a large percent of them do not end well.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Never simple...

I started getting anxious yesterday since I had not heard back from Dr. S about my HSG results.  Right when I had decided to call my phone starts to ring.  Of course it was Dr. S's office.  My heart started to race as I answered the phone.  It was not Dr. S, it was one of the receptionists.  She said they had received the written results of my HSG, but Dr. S wanted the images.  I needed to drop the CD off to them at my earliest convenience.

When I voiced my confusion she said I should have received a CD of images right after the procedure.  Well, that was news to me.  I could have been spending the two weeks before my RE appointment obsessing over pictures of my dye filled uterus and tubes.  ::sigh::  I immediately called the radiologist and left a voice mail with the medical records department.  If I don't hear back before 10 am then I will call again just to be annoying.  Dave and I will most likely be driving down there during lunch to pick up the CD.  Luckily Dr. S's main office is about seven minutes away from the radiologist.  Update:  Talked to the medical records guy and the CD is ready to be picked up!  We'll be driving down to get it during lunch.

So I drank a few glasses of wine last night.  We had six friends over for our weekly Board Game/Bad Movies night and it was a blast.  We played Cards Against Humanity, which is the adult version of Apples to Apples, and watched Titanic 2 and Sand Shark.  Since our Game Nights are gaining in popularity we need to look into board games that can accommodate more than 6 players.

Other fun news is that my temperature shot up this morning.  It seems like I ovulated yesterday which would put my EDD at November 19th if we are successful this cycle.  That is one day off my original EDD, but I'll take it.  We had great timing and I am feeling hopeful.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Waiting game

Still waiting to ovulate, currently sitting at CD 22.  Fun fact!  If I ovulate tomorrow and get pregnant my EDD would be November 20th.  Yep, I will have the same exact due date as last year.  When I mentioned this to Dave the other night he asked if I wanted to stop trying this cycle.  A few months ago I may have taken pause and considered the pros and cons of TTC vs. TTA in this situation.  After suffering a loss it is often said that you feel ready to try again when the want for a child outweighs the fear of miscarrying again.  Dave and I felt ready to try again very quickly, but that fear of another loss is always at the back of my mind.  Over the past few months, that fear is growing smaller and smaller.  Even more so now that we have moved on to fertility treatments.  Only two things will make me stop TTC, either doctor's orders or Dave wanting to avoid.

I would love to be a November mom, but if we have to wait a little longer for our beautiful rainbow so be it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Answers and more questions

Our appointment with Dr. S started at 7:30 so we had some time to kill after work.  It wasn't reasonable to drive all the way home, frantically prepare a meal and eat in 45 minutes, then head out again fighting traffic each way.  Dave found a great card and gaming store about 20 minutes from work and 15 minutes from Dr. S's office.

**Warning: Nerd Alert**  Dave has recently gotten me into Magic: The Gathering.  We picked up a set of two core decks for 2013 a few weeks ago.  I'm usually not into card games, but did enjoy playing.  The store we stopped at yesterday had a great selection of Magic cards and used video games.  Like two kids in a candy store we went a little nuts.  Ended up buying two fat packs (set comes with 9 booster packs and a ton of land cards), one each of Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash.  We also bought a Game Boy Color and a few games.

There was a nice little Italian restaurant next door so we stopped in for dinner.  Some red sangria helped calm my growing nerves.  Dinner was great and we somehow resisted the urge to geek out and start opening our cards at the table.  After dessert and coffee it was time to head to the office.  This was our first time going to the main office of the RE and it was in the back corner of a terribly confusing and poorly lit office park.  We were the last appointment for the day so we went back right after signing in.

Dr. S jumped right into our results.  He said almost everything had come back fine, but there were a few anomalies of interest.  Both of our disease panels came back negative, not a big surprise.  Dave's semen analysis was amazing.

Total count: 121 million
Motility: 85% (>40% is normal)
Morphology: 8% (>3% is normal)
They also did a sperm wash, which isolates the sperm and is standard protocol for an IUI cycle.
Post wash total count: 101 million
Motility: 100%

Dr. S actually shook Dave's hand saying he only saw 100% motility post wash maybe 3 to 4 times a year.  We were both really excited at that point, neither of us imagined his numbers would be so high.

It was time for my results.  Most of my blood work came back fine, except for Prolactin.  Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland and elevated levels can cause irregularities in menstrual cycles and suppress ovulation.  Normal levels should be <25, my level was 34.  The other bad result was with my CD 3 ultrasound.  As you may recall, I had to repeat the ultrasound on CD 4 since my lining had been too thick.  Well the uterine lining should be around 3 to 4 mm thick on CD 3.  My lining was 12 mm and 11 mm on CD 3 and 4 respectively.  Dr. S had not yet received the results for my HSG and promised to track them and call me the next day to discuss them.

So, the plan is to retest Prolactin and do another ultrasound on my next CD 3 to see if the issues have resolved themselves.  If my Prolactin is still high then I will have a MRI of the pituitary gland to make sure everything is fine.  If my uterine lining is still too thick we'll do an endometrial biopsy mid cycle.  I made the mistake of googling that, no likey.  Any treatments for HSG related problems are TBD.

Once everything is within the normal ranges I will start Clomid the following cycle.  Now I'm just waiting to ovulate, hoping this cycle will magically work out.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just breathe

Today is the day.  Less than nine hours from now we'll be sitting with Dr. S to go over our test results.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sail away

Can we just skip to Thursday, that would be great.  We have our follow up appointment with Dr. S that evening and I am waffling between excitement and absolute dread.  The excitement is for being able to move forward.  We'll know most of the factors and possibly come up with a treatment plan.  The dread is the fear of bad news.  With how messed up my cycles have been over the past year I am expecting something to be off with my hormones.  I am also on edge for the results of the HSG.

To battle these conflicting emotions I have busied myself with a much more pleasant activity, researching cruises for our June vacation.  We've been discussing a potential summer getaway for a while now.  Our original thought had been an all inclusive in the Caribbean, but Dave has been really liking the idea of a cruise.  He has never been on one before and we have not heard great reviews from friends about all inclusives.  The only cruise I have been on is a Disney Cruise with my family about ten years ago.  It was so much fun and they do a great job of having lots of adult only areas.  I spent a good part of yesterday researching different cruise options and dates, but we are both leaning towards a 3 night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas with a potential short stay at Disney World afterwards.

If we were to get lucky and I ended up pregnant this cycle I would be, at the very most, 19 weeks along come vacation time.  The cut off for cruises for pregnant ladies is 24 weeks so I'd be in the clear.  So this cruise will turn out to be either a babymoon or a much needed break from our normal lives.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweet dreams

My dreams are usually forgotten the moment I open my eyes.  Bits and pieces may linger, but will soon fade away no matter how hard I try to hold on.  So when I wake up and the dream remains firmly rooted in my memory, I can't help but wonder if it's a sign.  My dreams have come true in the past, though they are usually small, seemingly insignificant moments.  The feeling of deja vu washes over me and I have an almost out of body experience as the memory of the dream and real life seem to overlap and become one for a few moments.  It hasn't happened in a while, but I also have not remembered any dreams in a while.  That is, until yesterday.

I woke up nearly in tears.  For a few moments I didn't know if I was actually awake or still asleep.  Dave was fast asleep next to me and the cats were cuddled up by our legs.  Miria stirred, looked at me sleepily, stretched out, then curled back up to sleep.  Did I dare try to remember the dream I was just engrossed in?  Would it just slip away?  Would I lose the beautiful image that had brought tears to my eyes?  

The dream stayed, it planted strong roots and I can still easily recall every detail.  Dave and I were in the hospital, it was time to meet our baby.  Dream labor is awesome by the way, no pain at all.  After a few pushes our sweet baby entered the world.  They placed the small bundle in my arms and we got our first look at our beautiful baby girl.  She had a full head of wavy brown hair and the most stunning hazel green eyes, just like Dave's.  She was perfect, absolutely perfect.  Dave kissed my forehead and smiled, happy tears filled our eyes.  That's when consciousness pulled me away despite my struggle to stay and enjoy the bliss.

I choose to believe this dream symbolizes hope.  We will get our sweet rainbow baby someday.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One and done

If I never had to do a HSG again that would be wonderful.  The tech was very nice and reassuring, explaining everything thoroughly.  The doctor came in and the fun started.  Apparently my uterus is tucked up in a corner so she had a lot of trouble getting the speculum in the right place.  It took about ten minutes of severe discomfort before she finally had success.  Once the catheter was in place the dye was inserted.  There was no pain with the dye, just a strange sensation of fullness in my uterus.  After another five minutes of taking pictures it was over.

The doctor pointed out on the screen that one tube appeared open, but couldn't be certain if the other tube was clear.  She'll have the results to Dr. S within a day or two.

The catheter and speculum were removed and dye came gushing out.  Now that is a really weird feeling.  I have some light bleeding and cramping, but nothing too bad.  The kitties are keeping me company on the couch and Dave ordered us delicious comfort food lunch.

Tomorrow I have to call Dr. S and schedule our follow up appointment.  Hopefully we'll get in sometime next week.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Do over

It can never be simple, can it?  Yesterday morning seemed to go so well.  My troll veins behaved and the nurse was able to easily draw blood.  The dildo cam and I got well acquainted, but with minimal pain and no freak outs.  The whole appointment from start to finish lasted about fifteen minutes.

At 3pm I get a call from the office.  They have my ultrasound results.  My uterine lining was too thick, I need to come back in the following morning to repeat the ultrasound.  While it's not the worst thing in the world, it still sucks.  They were able to see me again before 8 at the office by work.

So we leave the house early again this morning and the snow is already starting to fall.  Luckily traffic was light and we got to the office on time.  The tech ended up being a few minutes late, but she got everything prepped and ready to go very quickly.  Insertion was a lot more painful this time.  Once in I had more cramping and discomfort than yesterday as well.  The tech told me to relax, my tensing was making the pictures blurry.  I closed my eyes and relaxed as much as I possibly could.  She finished up after a few minutes and that was it.

Fingers crossed my lining was not as thick this morning.  The office that is closer to our home is still about 30 minutes away.  With the amount of snow we are supposed to get tonight I don't think we could get there tomorrow morning.  Our complex is terrible when it comes to plowing, especially on the weekends.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Giddy up

Had my date with the dildo cam this morning.  It was terribly unromantic, but not all that painful.  The tech was really nice, she could tell I was nervous.  There was mild discomfort during insertion, but I was able to relax.  There was some pain when she was trying to get a look at my right ovary, but that was the worst of it.  Overall, not a terrible experience.  Honestly, the worst part of the visit was getting more blood drawn.  The nurse took two vials and I swear my arm started to wave a white flag of surrender.  It's still very sore, but will hopefully not have to get poked again for a while.

The main event is scheduled for next Wednesday morning.  I explained it a bit in a previous post.  The HSG (hysterosalpingogram) involves a thin catheter being inserted through the cervix.  The uterus and tubes are then filled with contrast dye and x-rays are taken.  The x-rays will show if there are any blockages in the tubes, check the shape of the uterus, and could possibly show abnormalities such as fibroids.  Dr. S prescribed three days of antibiotics since there is a small risk of infection.  He also wrote a Rx for a low dose Valium.  Hopefully it will be enough to keep me from freaking out during the procedure.

After that we will make another appointment with Dr. S to go over all of our results.  At that point we'll discuss the plan for moving forward.  Considering my 50% success rate for ovulating over the past 10 months I can only imagine he'll recommend medication.  Trying not to speculate too much, but I think the dildo cam and I will be having a few more dates.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dashed hopes and a small windfall

It was a long shot really, but it would have been nice to have a surprise BFP before we started our testing cycle.  We had decent timing, was it too much to hope for?  My temp shot up yesterday morning so I tested with a Wondfo.  Well, two of them since the first was a dud.  Yay cheapies!  Took a peek after the five minute timer went off and I was struck with a serious case of line eye.  A super faint shadow of a second line seemed to be taunting my mind.  My heart began to race, could it really be happening?  Had we done it?  Luckily my senses came back to me and I threw the tests away.  There was nothing there.  That was confirmed this morning by a large temp drop.  Didn't even bother wasting a test this morning.  No sign of spotting yet, but I imagine it will start later today followed by my period tomorrow.  

CD 1 marks the day I will make two phone calls.  The first will be Dr. S to schedule CD 3 blood work and ultrasound, yay.  The second call will be the radiologist to schedule the HSG, double yay.  I will also drop off my scripts for antibiotics and low dose Valium for the HSG.  After he receives all the test results we'll meet with Dr. S to discuss and come up with a treatment plan. 

Part of me is hopeful the HSG clears me out and we are able to conceive again on our own that cycle.  That causes the other part of me to panic since the EDD would be in November.  The 'what ifs' that part of my brain comes up with have been quickly dismissed.  

Besides the wonderful alcohol and delicious food it seems the universe decided I needed something else to make up for the impending CD 1.  First we won $4 on our Power Ball ticket.  Not bad.  Then my lucky #13 office Superbowl box matched the final score.  That's $400 in my pocket.  Awww yeah.  I'm taking DH out for a fancy dinner and buying myself something nice.              

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dave: 1, Meg: 9

That's how many vials of blood we contributed yesterday.  Clearly, I won [/sarcasm].  My arm is still sore and quite bruised.  We dropped off Dave's semen sample on Monday so we have about half of our initial testing done.  Just waiting on my period to start so I can get CD 3 blood work and ultrasound scheduled and also schedule my HSG.  Judging by my temps it seems I am 10 days past ovulation.  Hopefully my period will show by Tuesday.  Fingers crossed it doesn't start on Monday though since we have an off-site meeting all day on Wednesday.  

Of course, seeing two dark lines on a pregnancy test would be a perfectly acceptable alternative to getting my period.  If my suspected ovulation date is correct we hit O-2.  It's not spectacular timing, but we're also not completely out of the game.  I had the tiniest bit of pink spotting last night and a small bit of my brain and heart are holding out hope it was implantation spotting.  There has been no spotting since.  My temperatures are looking nice, but I tend to have "pretty" charts as long as I ovulate.

We came out to Dave's parents earlier this week about my miscarriage and our IF testing.  They were very supportive and understanding, having gone down a similar road.  They ended up having to go the adoption route in the end.  We also came out to our boss since our appointments will cut into work and I will have to miss work for the HSG.  He was also very understanding and wished us luck.  Having the support and well wishes of others has been incredibly helpful.  It has given us hope that 2013 will be our year.