Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I took matters into my own hands today and went to my doctor's office to find out why my FC hadn't received all of the blood results yet. Turns out everything was received and faxed to the clinic on April 14th. I had the wonderful receptionist fax everything over there today. Then called the FC to let them know that the blood work was being faxed. Nurse F. gave me a call back and scheduled the follow up appointment on May 15th - only two weeks away!

The downside is that she just noticed now that the blood work results from April 2nd shows that my Rubella immunization shows "inconclusive". So now I have to get re-tested. If I'm shown not to be immunized then I will have to get immunized, wait a month and then be re-tested. Of course, the "Negative Nelly" in me is thinking already that I am not immunized and that I will have to get immunized which means any plan we have for ART will have to wait until the immunization issue is sorted out. Did I mention they've had these results for a month?! And that I could have taken care of all of this prior to the May 15th appointment if I had known?!

Oh well, really, oh well. I am just happy to have a next appointment. I am anxious to hear what Doctor Handsome has to say and what the plan will be. Will he mention DE (donor eggs) because of the high FSH, will he suggest going straight to IVF (geez I hope not 'cause we can't afford that right now), hopefully we can do a couple monitored medicated cycles and then maybe IUI before we jump into the IVF procedures.

On a different note - tomorrow I go see Dr. W. (my naturopath). It's going to be my first acupuncture session. I'm not nervous about it at all because so many people have told me that it doesn't hurt at all. If there's anyone reading - what were your acupuncture sessions like?

I really need to get one of those visitor counters, or whatever they're called, to see if anyone is actually reading this. I am writing purely for myself so that I don't drive all of my RL friends and DH crazy with my worrying and obsessing.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I had my first meeting with my naturopathic doctor today. I heart Dr. W. She was amazing. She asked all kinds of questions, really listened when I gave my responses and she seemed to genuinely care about what she does. I was very impressed with her. And, above all else, she has given me hope. We have a plan of attack. No dairy, no caffeine, acupuncture once a week, 2 fruit/day, and I have to start temp'ing again. When I left she said, we'll do the acupuncture every week until I get pregnant. There weren't any "ifs", she is very positive and I can do with a little positivity right about now.

The biggest thing I found out from this session is that I have been in denial about the amount of stress in my life. I said my stress level was medium to high, but then realized that with 3 panic attacks in the last year that my stress level is really almost off the charts. The approach that Dr. W is going to take is to address my fertility issues first, but with a secondary treatment of the stress I'm feeling.

My first acupuncture appointment is on Thursday, I'm really looking forward to becoming a giant pin cushion. I finally feel like I have someone in my corner working with me towards getting pregnant. Of course there's H., but he's all "don't be so negative. I know this is going to work out" which is great, but doesn't really allow for me to express myself.

Small sigh of relief. Hope is on the horizon.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Me + POAS = Disappointment

In my infinite wisdom this past month, I bought an OPK. I have never used one in the past, but figured "hell why not". So I bought the little digital one that promises a smiley face when you are about to ovulate. But here's the thing. I'm no longer ovulating. I know that I am not. I haven't since at least December. My cycle is truly and totally f*cked. The cycles are long then short, long then short and repeat. I think this one is going to be a long one. I love and hate that hope remains a part of me. I bought the OPK because I was hopeful that this month would be a "normal" month. Then I got the FSH news and now I keep "failing" the opk's. I want the smiley face, my hope wants the smiley face, but my head and heart know that there's not going to be one.

Just like the numerous HPTs I've taken over the past year and a half or so, I continue to fail the POAS test. BFN, I should have that tattooed on my woohoo. Then I can just look down and remind myself - don't POAS, it won't be good news.

Of course, this won't stop me from peeing on whatever passes for a test. OPK, HPT... as long as it has an acronym I'll pee on it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Coming out and stuff

Well, I came out of the infertility closet today. I told two friends that are also co-workers about my high FSH. I think it will be good for me to be able to talk about it with some RL people rather than just to myself (or the 3 people that may be reading along) via this blog. It felt good to talk to them; I have wanted to confide in a few people lately and I didn't know how to start the conversation. Out of my group of friends there are only a couple of us that actually want kids. So, talking about fertility issues is not really high on their lists of priorities.

Also, I have this theory as to why so many IF ladies become so seemingly bitter about non-IF pregnancies and pregnant women. It may not be popular, but there seems to be so much secrecy around the subject that it makes women internalize everything. Not getting it out of them builds up the bitterness. Well, maybe I should just speak for myself and say that I realized that by not talking about my IF issues that I had 1. been allowed to live in denial (it's not true if I don't express it) and 2. let the issue build up to be almost all consuming. I realized I don't want to be that bitter, cynical infertile that mutters 'bitch' under her breath every time she sees a pregnant woman. I can see how easy it is to go there and I am going to fight it every step of the way. Yes I want children. Yes I will be devastated if we do not have children. I will feel guilty if I can't give my husband the family that he longs for.... BUT I will survive it, I will move on. I have a great life, a great husband and two great puppies, a loving family, and a fabulous group of friends. I have been lucky in life. So, if I am never able to have kids it will not be the end of my life. I am not going to live in secrecy like there is some huge shadow that I should be ashamed of. It's not fair. I did nothing wrong to deserve to go through infertility treatments - other than wait until I was 36 to start trying to have kids. This is simply a natural process - a screwed up, unfair, horrible natural process. I am going to do everything that I can to get myself pregnant and to stay pregnant, but if the day comes when we say enough is enough I hope I will be able to walk away with a little dignity. Oh and for the record, I am envious every time another pregnancy is announced around me, I think to myself how unfair it is that for some it's so easy and for others it's soooo not, but I try not to begrudge them their happiness, I try to be happy for them - 'cause that's how I roll.

The reason that the conversation even came up with my friends was that I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor who specializes in fertility for Monday. I am very excited about it even though it will be acupuncture and I hate needles. There is so much great material out there right now about the benefits of acupuncture. I am hoping that it will help get my hormones in check.

Edited 04/25 to say: Last night I told all of my girlfriends my dirty little secret. It felt good to have all of them in the know, but also quite scary. There's no where to hide now and I'm sure I have opened myself up to unwanted questions and a whole lot of assvice (I already got, the "you just have to relax" one - yah, simply by relaxing my FSH level will lower, my cycles will regulate themselves and I will magically start ovulating again). But, I much prefer having to deal with that than being isolated from everyone, not being able to share my hopes and fears.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It was 12

I got the call back from the clinic yesterday - my FSH level is 12. Anything under 10 is a good number with anything under 6 being ideal. I was so disappointed. I had a feeling that the number was going to be high, I am 37 after all, but I hoped that it would be 9 or 10 even.

So, now I'm stuck waiting for the rest of the stupid blood work to come back. Then we can have the appointment that will tell us how dire everything is. Less than 10% chance of getting pregnant naturally, increased risk of miscarriage blah, blah, blah.

I felt so defeated yesterday, felt the chance for a family slipping through my fingers. I was at work when I got the call and immediately went to the bathroom and sobbed. Thank God no one was in there. You know that saying "racked with sobs" well that was me. I managed to pull myself together and go back to my desk, but I just couldn't focus so I ended up leaving a little early.

H. was home when I got there and he knew something was wrong. Through my tears I told him what I had found out and then all of the info I'd gotten from Dr. Google. H. tried to be supportive when I broke down, but he just doesn't get it. I feel broken. I feel like I'm being punished for past mistakes. I regret that we waited so long to have kids. We were really trying to do the best for us, our relationship and our future family. Had we known that we would be faced with potentially thousands of dollars of treatment, needles, possible IUI or IVF, we would have made some very different choices. Hind sight is 20 20.

I am willing to do whatever is necessary to get pregnant, stay pregnant and have a family. So is H. Financially, I don't know how we're going to do it. Is it really smart to go further in debt to have kids? I know it's worth it, but is it practical?

So, now I wait for my appointment to hear what our future holds. Please let their be children in that future.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tick Tock

I still haven't got my FSH number from the clinic. (left another message today). I am in this holding pattern and it's driving me crazy. I am not a patient person; once I start something I want it to be finished. H. says I like to be able to cross things off my list and to a large extent he is correct. I feel like we're fighting time and that when we went to the clinic that we'd be given a plan to work with. But, that's not the case, we're still waiting for outstanding blood test results - immunology tests that can take up until a month to be processed. The blood tests were done on April 1st, so the results still aren't due back for another week or two.

I am so scared to know the FSH level - if it's over 10 then we know we have an uphill battle. Over 20 and we're screwed. But, here's the thing, I just want to know. I want to be able to deal with whatever we have to deal with. I think if we get that label of "unexplained fertility" I will definitely go nuts because that wishy-washy non-explanation will do me in.

On a slightly hopeful note, I started using my OPK yesterday. No smiley face yet. So far this month I'm not having the weird cycle where right after AF ends, the egg-white CM flows. And, it's not like the other long cycles I've had where the CM goes completely missing. I'm hoping against hope that this is a "normal" cycle. 25 days or so, O on day 10 or 11. H. already is on notice that he should get a lot of sleep and keep the boys on notice - there could be some actual scheduled BDing in our future!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Under Attack

Yesterday, I thought I was going to die. From eating spicy food. No, I'm not kidding. I went to The Bay to the take out counter and bought a chicken roti. Yum! Except not so yum, because when I got it back to my desk and ate a few bites I found that it was excruciatingly hot. I like spicy, but not that spicy. At one point, I took a particularly fiery bite and it actually felt like it scalded my throat. I started coughing, had big gulps of water and then when that didn't ease the flame, I frantically grabbed a piece of milk chocolate from a co-worker's desk in hopes that the "milk" part would douse the spice. No such luck. Then my mind started working overtime. I thought my throat was closing, my temperature spiked and I was feeling dizzy. Then when I looked around and realized that none of my co-workers were at there desks I started worrying about what would happen if I passed out; cue the heart palpitations. I was in the launching sequence of a full blown panic attack. I recognized the signs and was able to talk myself down. But, man, it can be scary!

Up until a year ago I had never experienced this feeling; I don't know what changed, but I've had 3 in the last year. Not full blown, just the beginnings, but wow! I don't know how people deal with these.

Obviously, I'm not handling stress very well. And, right now I have a ton of stress in my life. The big IF is of course a concern, but I have other things as well e.g., debt. We are up to our eyeballs in debt. It's not so bad that we can't pay our mortgage and monthly obligations, but it is starting to stifle our lifestyle. Then there's work. I hate my job. I love the people I work with, and there are interesting aspects to my job, but I've been at this company for almost 9 years. It's time for a change. Plus, they have really crappy benefits - no maternity topping up, no Group RRSP, no massage therapy (but they do cover acupuncture, and physical therapists - grrr, we used to have massage, but they took it away because too many people were using it - yes, really) etc. But the real thing weighing so heavily on me is my H. He was laid off last week and then he swore me to secrecy. Nobody knows. If i talk about how I'm scared that we are working without a net it ends up in an argument. And, he's been so depressed about it that almost anything we've talked about in the last week and a half has turned into an argument. Argh, so despite the promise I made, I'm writing about it here. Just to get it out. You don't know us in "real life" and I know you won't tell anyone. So there it is.

Anyway, my blood work is done and I know that the results have been faxed to my FC. I called my Dr.'s office (not the FC) to see if they would give me the FSH number over the phone. Nope - have to see the dr. if I want the number. Boo. So, then called the FC. All the nurses are on lunch and one of them will call me when they review the blood work. So, I guess I go through the weekend without knowing the number. I guess it doesn't really change anything, but I was so ready to go to Dr. Google with it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Holding Pattern (bit of a whinge)

I don't want to be infertile. I don't want to be poked and prodded; to 'force' ovulation, to give needles to myself or pop pills.. and suppositories. I want to say to H. "Let's just relax, have a glass of wine and have a well-timed lovemaking session" and *poof* 9 months later we'll walk out of the hospital with a happy, healthy bundle of joy.

It happens that way for so many people. I don't understand why it can't happen for us. Of course, I understand the realities - I'm 37 years old, my eggs are old. I have annovulatory cycles blah blah blah. But I do still ovulate on my own, well up until 3 months ago I was still ovulating on my own. H's SA results (217 million, 60% morph, 80% mot) were fabulous. I thought that our timing was pretty darn spot on. Why didn't it work? Not a single GD BFP.

Now I'm in this stupid holding pattern. Waiting on FSH results and also for the HIV and Hepatitis tests to come back. I'm not even sure why the last two were necessary, but I did them because I will do whatever I'm told if it means I'll have a baby at the end of all of this.

I want to get this show on the road. Give me the pills, the suppositories and needles. Send me to an acupuncturist and herbalist. Christ, tell me to stand on my head while reciting Shakespeare while H. dances around me naked. If that will get me pregnant I will do it.

I'm ready. H is ready. We want our baby.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amendment to Bill C-10

Not a fertility related post.

The Canadian federal government has essentially passed an amendment to the Income Tax Act - Bill C-10 (it is now sitting with the Senate) that gives the government censorship control of Canadian films. Currently, Canadian TV and Film projects are eligible for tax credits from the government; Bill C-10 will allow the Canadian government to give tax credits to only those TV/Film projects which they deem appropriate. The Harper government back-doored this amendment. But that's not all. American tv/film projects made in Canada are also eligible for the tax credits. The amendment will not apply to the American projects. So the Harper government is basically fucking Canadian culture for the profits of American projects.

I hate Stephen Harper and his government, his right-wing, fundamentalist, American approach is sanctimonious and underhanded. The Americans are winding up their final term with the worst president in their history. I can't wait until the term for the worst Prime Minister in Canada's history ends as well.

Edited to say: When I refer to the "American approach", it should really read George Bush-esque.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I’m not going to go into the gory details of my SHG; here are a few of the highpoints

Ø today, there will be a person from the ultrasound software company sitting in to train everyone on the new software
Ø oh, and the ultrasound technician was also training someone new (who wouldn’t love a big audience when you’re having a catheter inserted in your cervix?!)
Ø the next time your bladder is as full as can be lie backwards over the arm of your couch and have someone push on your abdomen with a cold, gooey covered poking device – then try not to pee
Ø cooter-cam – ‘nuf said
Ø I never imagined I’d hear these words “gee your uterus really didn’t like that, it spit the balloon out at me”
Ø But the best part was, hearing them say both tubes are clear and the uterus is fine

So, I got a clean bill of health that way, but it was not all good news. I may be perimenopausal – this year my cycle is all out of whack. It makes me even angrier now that the lab screwed up my blood work and didn’t do the CD4 FSH test. I told the dr. that I was on CD7 and he said that from the state of my cm that my body thinks I’m much further in the cycle. Then they said that there weren’t as many follicles as they would expect to see if the cycle was advanced. So, I’m really not sure where I go from here.

The most ominous thing that this doctor told me was that I should start thinking about my fertility chances in terms of months rather than years. Of course, I was too freaked out by the procedure to think to ask what that meant so now I have to wait until the results are in next week to talk to my own doctor about it.

I left the procedure and went to work which was pretty dumb. A few hours later I felt bloated and crampy and ended up going home. Overall, the SHG wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I wouldn’t want to do it again.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lesson Learned

Well, I had my first appointment fertility clinic today. The clinic is tastefully decorated, with comfortable seating in the waiting room. The staff were all very nice. The Dr., well, I'm just going to call him Dr. Handsome, was really nice, very patient and explained everything to us.

H. and I had our bloodwork done on Monday and H. did his SA (semen analysis) last Wednesday. So, the bulk of our results were available for the clinic today. Well, except my CD4 FSH test - the lab forgot to do that one. Argh! Oh well, I'll just have to repeat it next month anyway.

We got the results of H.'s tests. There was a small part of me that was hoping the problem was with H. simply because I didn't want it to be my fault that we can't get pg. The bulk of my feelings were hoping that he was fine because it seems a lot easier to correct the female's issues than the males. Well, his boys seem to be powerful - count was 216/mL - they look for 20/mL or greater. Motility was 60% and morphology was 80%. All very good numbers. The only issue was the volume - he only produced 0.5 ml and they expect between 2 and 5ml worth of ejaculate. Dr. Handsome is thinking that it could be retrograde ejaculation - where the semen flows back into the bladder. Believe it or not Sudafed may help with this issue.

At my appointment the Dr. said he thinks the next step for me would be to have an SHG (sonohysterogram) where they inject saline into your uterus to check the health of the uterus and tubes. They're looking for polyps and blockages. Well, I have the appointment tomorrow morning. I'm a little worried about it, but I'll deal. It just feels like everything is moving so quickly now.

It's my birthday on Saturday; I'll be 37 years old. 37 and still not a mom. When I was a kid I didn't want to be married and settled down until I was in my 30's - I didn't give my fertility a whole lot of thought at the time. I just naturally assumed that when the time came I'd be ready - both mentally and physically. I didn't make it a priority in my 20's to find a man and settle down. I had fun, I had friends and if a guy came along that was great and if not that was great too. Perhaps that's a lesson learned that when I have a daughter I can pass on. That fertility is a precious and fleeting thing. To make it, if it is important to you, a priority on your list of things to do.