Trying to Conceive in the Military Community

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about fertility as my husband is in the midst of a nine month deployment and trying to conceive is obviously on hiatus. However, TTC and being a part of the military community is something that I struggle with. This issue may come off as if I’m complaining (which I kind of am!) or ungrateful (I’m totally NOT!)…take it as you please- this post is more for me getting it off my chest and venting 🙂

FYI- my last cycle started on November 8…it’s been a rough couple of months. My progesterone levels were lower than 1, and this past cycle obviously abnormally long (started my current one on December 26th. I swear the only thing I wished for for Christmas was Tyler staying safe and getting a god damn period, haha). I’ve done everything within my control to gain normal cycles-…I honestly don’t think the wine and cocktails I consumed affected my reproductive system THAT much… There seems to be a connection with my abnormally long cycles and extremely low progesterone levels…. Anyways, we shall see how the next few months ago. I have an appointment with my OBGYN later this month.

When Tyler and I started dating, there was absolutely no mention of him going back in the army as an officer. He was in his last year of undergrad (after serving 6 years in the military, going through two 12 month tours in Iraq, and getting out as a Staff Sergeant at the age of 24- pretty badass)… and had mentioned going to grad school. However, there was an obvious change of plans seeing that he is now a 1st Lieutenant, haha. We got married when I was 26 and he was 29…in a couple of weeks I turn 29 and he will be 32 in March.

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Point blank- we are old for not having any children in the military community. TJ has always had the mentality of not comparing himself to anyone else as he seriously doesn’t give a shit, but it’s something that is sometimes difficult for me.

SO many enlisted soldiers marry early and they conceive (thank God TJ and his ex wife didn’t)… and continue doing so. The wives often times blame the military on not being able to get a job or further their education which is ridiculous (MYCAA- will help you get at least an associates degree if you meet the requirements).

After our miscarriage in September of 2013, I became so much more aware of pregnancy things. Not just more knowledgeable about the topics of miscarriage and fertility, but more emotionally aware.

A week after my D&C, I went to a Hail and Farewell (basically a gathering at a location or restaurant to honor those who are leaving the unit and welcoming those coming in) with Tyler. I didn’t want to go, but I did… and it was hard. I found out that a fellow army wife was expecting… and her and another wife (who was due a week before I was due… and kept rubbing her freaking belly) spent pretty much the whole evening talking about pregnancy issues. I remained on the opposite end of the table, holding my husband’s hand, and sipping on a beer.

These are normal things to talk about, but seeing as they knew we had just endured a loss 1/3 of the way through a pregnancy, it made me give them the side-eye. Bottom line- it hurt my fucking feelings, and I cried the whole way home. And, I avoided most army-related events from there on out which may be immature or weak on my end as I truly want to be there for my husband, but it was something I felt like I had to do to continue moving forward.

Going to the doctor is a whole other issue. Here, at Fort Bliss, if you’re under Tricare Prime, you can either go to the hospital, William Beaumont, or be seen at the clinic (it’s a new, nice facility) on East Bliss. Tyler works on East Bliss and it’s closer to our house, so that’s where I’m typically seen (however, my new obgyn is at the hospital). Some days are better than others when I go for lab work or appointments, but sometimes it completely sucks donkey seeing young ass girls with children. Usually it’s a baby with a toddler that they can’t control and they seem to be like 22.

My doctors have even made comments about young girls complaining that they haven’t gotten pregnant within the first few months of trying… I’ll never forget the tone my old OBGYN had when I initially went in for infertility (and happened to be pregnant at the time!)…she thought I was much younger than I was, then changed her demeanor when she saw my birth date, haha 🙂

Military families are supposed to come together. Tyler deployed outside of his unit; therefore, I have had absolutely no support from a FRG. I don’t know if it is normal or not, but it has put a bad taste in my mouth about the “support group” we are supposed to have. I know a handful of spouses who have experienced a deployment since moving here, and they have posted a shit ton of get togethers, events, etc. with their FRG…and have seemed to have made lifelong friends. If I ever become in charge of the FRG at TJ’s future units, I’ll ensure that everyone is included… and checked in on 😉 But this is beside the point.

I feel as if I should create a club for army wives to come together with spouses that are deployed (there is one for spouses TTC, but not for deployed spouses).

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I think many people don’t know how to talk to those that are having trouble. I understand- before our situation, I would have no idea what to do or say! From what I have gathered through blogging and being open about our situation with family and friends- saying nothing implies that it’s not a big deal or that you don’t care. But it IS a big deal.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk about your pregnancy/baby. If you push me under the rug about a pregnancy….I’m sorry, but I’ll push you under the rug about the birth. Don’t hide news about a pregnancy! It may tug at my heart a bit and I will probably be slightly jealous, but I’m truly happy for you- and I’ll want to know details and hold the babes once it makes an appearance 🙂

I was not the “best of friends” with some people in my earlier years, but I have discussed infertility issues with them for the past couple of years and have watched them birth amazing babies… It really opens your eyes as to who your true friends are… but I’ll get to that in another post.

Not only have these few women brought new light into my world, they taught me to be my own advocate. I don’t think I’m getting the best healthcare right now….my husband may oppose this notion because “it’s free”. I understand that throwing women on Clomid may work for many, but it’s also dangerous as it can cause ovarian cysts, thinning of the uterine lining, and ovarian cancer.  My mom was on Clomid as her and my dad experienced secondary infertility after I was born (my brother and I are 5 years apart)… and she was even monitored back then! That’s why I get upset about our healthcare… but we’ll deal with it until we conceive or have to move onto Plan B.

To wrap things up, it will be interesting to see what happens. The thing I’m looking forward to the most this year is being reunited with my husband…my world will not be okay until I come face to face again and feel him in my arms… 🙂

Cheers to 2015!

* If you’re a part of a military community, have you ever experienced any sort of issues?

*What are you looking forward to the most this year?

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Books About Infertility

The 2 week wait (2ww) after a positive opk resulting in yet another negative pregnancy test gets discouraging as months carry on. There were 2 months late last year when I was absolutely sure I was pregnant.  How could I not be when everything was tracked and timed and I took all of the advice I was told or read about?! Obviously life has a plan of it’s own.

A handful of friends that are/have gone through similar situations and websites (which I know are not always reliable) helped me better understand exactly how complex it is to conceive. Some people are fertile effing myrtle, but others aren’t. I wanted a couple of books that explained various reasons that infertility occurs, how to cope with it, and real-life situations. After some research, I ordered the following two books on Amazon.

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This book focused on slightly older couples that had trouble conceiving or waited too long and had to seek other avenues (multiple rounds of IVF, adoption, surrogates, etc.). However, they stated that problems can arise at any age- every body is different. It did a wonderful job explaining emotions that come along with the journey month after month and how it can affect your relationship with your partner. Topics such as why the emotions are so complex (so many emotions surface during this trying time), why things have possibly went wrong, and how to grieve and cope with infertility are explored. I’ll be in the midst of my last year of my 20’s when TJ gets home. I’m not “old”, but we want a damn baby and don’t want to be hee-hawin’ around.

This book struck my emotional side, helped me feel less alone and as if I were abnormal, and come to terms with the fact that everyone handles things differently. I highly suggest buying it if you or someone you know is having issues- it was only a few bucks on Amazon!

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The Infertility Survival Handbook shared medical procedures in a more detailed manner. It thoroughly explained tests diagnosis, issues men may have and treatments, and how to decide which approach to take given your situation. It went on to discuss how to talk with family and friends about it (we all cope with things differently, and some people are more private than others…obviously I am not one of those people!), how to afford treatment (it’s expensive as shit!!! Maybe I should start playing the lotto…), how to understand your cycle, and what to expect once you begin treatment. Dealing with unsuccessful treatment is touched on lightly, along with exploring other options.

This is the go-to book if your dealing with fertility issues. So many questions are answered, and although it’s not as emotionally-driven as Unsung Lullabies, it provides so much helpful information. This baby-making is a complex process; I never realized it until I started researching everything and talking to others after our miscarriage.

Have you ever read any books on infertility/trouble conceiving? If so, which ones?

Did you ever have to use alternative options to have children (medication, trigger shots, IUI, IVF, adoption)? How did you feel about that?

How long did you try to conceive on your own until you sought professional help?

 

 

Update- October 2014. One Step Forward and 5 Steps Back

I was hesitant about doing a month by month check-in about what’s new with my cycle and progesterone levels because most people probably don’t give a shit, but then I realized that I write this blog for myself 🙂 It’s been a useful to regarding remember certain dates and cycle lengths and such, and despite not wanting to worry about all that stuff seeing that there is virtually no chance to conceive over the next several months, I know it’ll help us in the end. It gives me a thorough description of what went on each month which may be beneficial upon Tyler’s return and we have to figure out where to go from there. And, if I can help or be relatable to a few people along the way, then it’s definitely worth my time still! Anyways, I’ll keep this short and sweet and say this month blew absolute ass in this department.

I went to the clinic on day 23 of my cycle since day 21 fell on a Saturday. I looked at my results online last Friday and my progesterone levels were at .46. W.T.F. This is the LOWEST number I have ever gotten, and I was freaking crushed. I’ll tell ya, I miss my husband every single day, but in this moment, I absolutely yearned to hold him. Instead, I made a drink and watched one of my favorite movies, Big, haha. Classy, I know, and you wont ever hear me complain about feeling lonely during this time, but I truly felt alone that day. It took a day to get over my pity party, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t still annoyed. I know it’s pointless to feel this way though and it’s really nothing I can control.

Love this picture of Wrigley, haha.

The thing is- I thought things were going to get better. I’m not the most positive person on the planet, but I really, really thought positive. Last cycle was 31 or 32 days and my progesterone level was 6.9 on cycle day 21. Not amazing number but the best I’ve ever measured naturally! I cut my cardio down to virtually zero (I walk a shit ton at work though but obviously never get my heart rate up). I gained nearly ten pounds over the course of three months. And it didn’t do effing shit but made things worse, haha.

I was once again told that maybe it’s stress, and I asked what in the world I have to be stressed about? Aside from no baby in my arms, our lives have fallen into place for the most part. I was looked at as if I had three heads when I asked this…. oh yeah, my husband is deployed to a scary ass place, and my job can be stressful at times. Bu I truly don’t think these two components would stress my body out enough to produce pretty much no progesterone and haul ovulation, but who knows.

After a crappy last few days (tooth issues, horrible Day 21 lab results- lowest progesterone level I've EVER had while being monitored- like nonexistent, and an effing kitchen sink leak), I came home from work to a box from my mom filled with these goodies. She knows Fall is my favorite time of year...I love you! This made me cry although I'm a little unsure about the purple glitter pumpkin, haha  And thank you for the awesome mug, Kathleen!

I came home from work last week to find a box sent by my mom on our doorstep. She knew I had a few crappy days and knows I absolutely LOVE the Fall, so sent me a box of goodies! So sweet.

The obgyn I have been seeing since our initial pregnancy is out of office until the end of the year as she was pregnant herself (via IVF). I also was assigned a new PCM (primary care physician, which is like my general doctor)- I loved loved loved my old one so this is a bummer. The new one called the other day and told me to call the hospital and request an appointment with a new obgyn. She saw in my files that we were trying to conceive for a while, and it was noted that although my husband’s deployed, we want to keep tabs on my cycles during this time so we have a course of action planned soon after he gets home. Hopefully it doesn’t take me three flipping months to be seen 😉

It will actually be nice to get another profession’s opinion and insight. I’ve learned that you HAVE to be your own advocate. If you sit around waiting for shit to happen, it’s probably not going to happen. We should be leaving Texas about six months after TJ gets home, so we’d like to have a better idea of what’s up before having to start the process of moving and such. I’m not even sure if where we are going next has any obgyn’s that treat fertility more than just throwing Clomid at them! We may have to travel to get additional help if need be….but like usual, I’m getting too far ahead of myself, haha.

My favorite girl sent me this mug last week!

So, that’s that. I’m obviously going to keep my caloric intake up (I don’t count calories, just eat more!), but I’m also introducing cardio back into my life. Tyler and I discussed this and he’s down since this was my main stress reliever for years. However, it won’t be much- 10 miles a week or so. I think a couple of miles every few days isn’t overkill at all, and I always feel amazing after a run. I’ll still do weights as I never stopped that.

I’ve been asked about my diet and exercise routine over the past few years and how that’s changed, so I’ll probably get a post up about that sometime soon.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed this cycle isn’t like 60 days long or some crazy shit, but now that it’s already longer than 35 days long, it probably doesn’t even matter. I love October, and I have some things to look forward this month that will keep me preoccupied 🙂

Do you suffer from irregular periods or not ovulating every month?

Can this be hereditary?

Any advice or suggestions?

Quick Fertility Update- September 2014

This one’s gonna be short as there isn’t a whole lot to discuss. However, I do have slightly good news 🙂 As noted in my last fertility post, I’m going to get my progesterone levels monitored each cycle even though TJ is gone. We want to see if there’s a pattern or whatever without any medication….so it’s solely up to my body 🙂

Anyways, I got a call from my current doc early in the morning before work. I knew the number on my phone (PRIVATE)….and took a deep breath to prepare myself for the results.

My progesterone was at 6.8 on cycle day 21. I am NOT using at-home ovulation test strips while TJ is gone; however, in the past, I have and I’d usually receive a positive opk around cd17-19…then you add 7 days and go in and get your blood drawn then. I was happy with this score because it’s the highest it’s been without meds! All of my progesterone results were below 2 (I believe I had one at 3.2) the past 9 months.

My current doc said it may have been a combo of gaining a few extra pounds and stress relief. I gained some weight, but how the fuck am I under less stress now to make such a change seeing that my husband is in a war zone across the world? However, aside from the constant worry and unexpected stressors (our computer took a crap on me and I can’t get our weed wacker or lawn mower to start), I’m actually feeling less stressed overall. While I was in school, I was constantly doing work to get ahead and ensure I got A’s on literally everything- I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t a complete idiot after many semesters of not doing so hot back in the day, haha. This definitely paid off, but looking back I was in constant fear that I would fail again. After I graduated, I was freaking out that I wouldn’t find a decent job, and that I’d get stuck working somewhere that I hated making minimum wage. Obviously I have slight anxiety issues.

Those were things that I felt like I had control over- so I stressed. My husband is constantly in the back of my mind, but this is a situation that I simply cannot control. I don’t even know what the hell he is doing over there! Of course, I have my absolute shitty moments and cry my eyes out, but there is honestly nothing I can about it but remind him how much I love him and that things okay around here.

Anyways, cheers to some higher progesterone. Although we don’t know the direct cause, and it could have been a fluke (as our pregnancy was said to be), I’m eager to see what the next few months hold. The ultimate feat will be to see if I have a “normal” cycle- meaning less than 35 days long.

 

 

I will write a post about thing I’ve done differently in the past few months. I’ve gained a few pounds and stopped running long distances and doing high intensity interval training (I still do bursts of sprints, but it’s not balls to the wall every other minute like it used to be) which was recommended by my general doctor and obgyn (along with several nurse friends). This is somewhat of a touchy subject seeing that every one is so incredibly different when it comes to this shit. Some women can run fricking marathons and get pregnant.

If you’re running excessively and not conceiving, I’d really examine your training as it can deplete hormone levels (which should be monitored if you don’t pregnant after several months of actively TTC). This simply blood test every month (or sometimes multiple times a month) can tell you so much. If you’re hormone levels are fine, then obviously there is another underlying issue. There is a TON of information out there that links working out and conception… so if you don’t believe me, Google it 😉 In addition, hormone levels should be monitored when using any type of fertility medication. Ideally, vaginal ultrasounds should truly be utilized as well because meds can create issues, such as over-stimulation of the ovaries. Why put yourself at risk? I’d never take medication and not be monitored in some manner, but that’s just me 😉

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Parks are much different in El Paso 😉

 

Anyways, stay tuned for a post about that, as well as the emotional aspects that go along with it. I still plan on gaining about 10 more pounds by the time Tyler gets home (I’m sure well before then since it’s quite a ways away…wahh). Also, I’m happy to report that I started a natural menstrual cycle on cycle day 32! Not everyone has perfect 28 day cycles… and I’ll take anything around day 30. Now let’s see if it can stay consistent over the next several months 🙂

 Have you ever had to change parts of your lifestyle when trying to prepare or trying to conceive?

Have you ever been told to gain/lose weight and increase or decrease your activity level when trying to get your body on track for a baby?

Time is Not on Our Side

Time is a funny thing. Some days seem to drag ass while others don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on our “To Do” lists. I think I jinxed myself when I got the word “Time” tattooed on my wrist 8 years ago while on Spring Break…classy, eh? 😉 My ex and I (we were together 6 years at this point) had broken up for a few months, and I was in the midst of my floundering years; thus, Green Day’s Good Riddance’s song lyric, “Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go” was influential for me, haha.  Anyways, I’m flipping the bird with both hands at you right now, Time. I’ll explain why…

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I’m the wife to an army officer and that our first pregnancy resulted in a missed miscarriage at 3.5 months. We’ve been struggling to conceive again since. With my abnormal cycles combined with Tyler’s NIE’s (field training exercises) twice a year, our time is more limited than other couples, but we’ve been excited to finally see things rolling along. We expected him to be gone from September-October/November which was a little aggravating knowing things would have to be put on hold again if we didn’t conceive before then.

What we didn’t expect was for him to get orders for a 9 month deployment. Evidently, time is not on our side.

I wish I could rewind back to the evening he told me and re-do the whole scenario. Long story short- I was absolutely terrified, sad, and while this might sound odd or mean, really effing pissed off (not at him- at the situation). My initial thought was his safety. I don’t live up his butt or anything, but this man is my absolute life. I’ve been crazy in love, head over heels for him basically since the night he walked into my life.

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Bumper cars at the fair- first summer together! Loving my sexy outfit and hair 🙂

 

My thought process:

WTFFFFFF.

I’m scared for him.

How in the WORLD can we try to have a baby if he’s deployed?

I’m scared for him.

I’m going to be living in this armpit for 9 months with minimal friends and no family.

I questioned God last year and people’s attempt at comforting words such as “I’ll pray for you” and “It’s all in God’s time” is complete bullshit. If you’re there, why keep steering us off road? Why, dude? WHY???

I’m scared for him.

I don’t know much and I’m a roller coaster full of emotions right now, but I know a few things for sure.

I’m going to be as positive as possible.

I’ll have my moments of weakness and probably pitch a few fits (let’s be real, people), but I will exemplify strength and independence for Tyler.

Blogging will probably become my outlet and help make time go by.

I’m grateful for our dogs for comfort, the few friends I have here for support, a home with a security system, and a job to help time pass, and family from both sides.

I love waiting for everything in life! Just kidding 😉

 

I’ve been getting better with enjoying life in the present moment, but it’ll be interesting to try and enjoy the little things when I’m crapping my pants everyday in worry. This is NOT a pity party- thousands of spouses do this…it’s just a new experience for me, ya know?

We’re both extremely bummed about the entire situation. Everything literally happened within a matter of fourteen days, and we were really hoping for some pregnancy news by the end of the year. It’s his job though, an he’s damn good at it. And yes, I knew what I was getting myself into before I said my vows, but it doesn’t  take away the fear and sadness.

Ironically, since he left, I have let the baby thing go. I still plan on seeing my OBGYN (I’m in the midst of switching) and trying to attain normal cycles. We are still going to monitor my hormone levels each cycle and hopefully throw some ultrasounds in there to look at things more in depth when it gets closer to his return. If there are still no answers as to why I’m not ovulating (or spontaneously ovulating as my current OBGYN said), I’ll be referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) before he gets home. Although here is only flipping ONE in El Paso and the wait limit is like 18 years, so we shall see.

Until then, here’s to a quick and safe deployment for my big bear. I love you, babe.

Has there ever been a period in your life when time was not on your side?

Thanks for reading my emotional vent today 😉

 

 

On Being Your Own Advocate

Just to let everyone know- I apologize for strictly writing about fertility stuff and being so sporadic. I plan on diverting away from this realm a bit and focusing on other things in my posts…but first wanted to address this.

I’m on cycle day 34 and still no period….even WITH doing another round of Clomid earlier this month. I called my doctor yesterday (Monday) morning to leave a message letting her know and she returned my call this morning. I’ve had enough and requesting for a referral for a different physician.

I’ve bitched about her before, but my OBGYN has absolutely no bedside manner and is very curt…but I think it’s borderline bipolar. I never know what personality I’m gonna get and that’s frustrating. I asked if perhaps my follicle size and quantity and uterine lining have something to do with my irregular/absent periods. You NEED to be monitored via vaginal ultrasound to analyze this which I have only been ONCE. I was on cycle day 35 the day of my ultrasound and my lining looked as if it was around cycle day 10. Obviously something isn’t fucking right, doc. Provera did not induce a period for me, but birth control did last month.

I’ve gained nearly 10 pounds over the past few months, and while I know gaining weight doesn’t automatically make you conceive right away, it’s still annoying. I’ve been enjoying indulging in more food, but I miss my intense cardio that I’ve been limiting it for almost a year with no results. (I plan on writing a post about healthy eating and working out soon.

Obviously Clomid round 2 was a no-go. My 21 day labs (although it was day 25 for me as I did not get a positive at-home ovulation test until cd18) showed my progesterone level at 13. My doctor claimed this was good, but on my first round of Clomid my level was at 19.6. I know it can vary every month, but wtf? Seriously…have to have a natural low progesterone deficiency because every month I’m NOT on Clomid my levels are below 3.

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The truth.

Anyways, about my conversation with my doc. In a nutshell and without me being dramatic, she mentioned my age could start playing a factor. I appreciate her truth, but I’m not old…more testing would need to be done to check the QUALITY of my eggs. She also mentioned that my body is probably just more prone to stress and cannot handle it well, and once again, said she can only mention acupuncture, yoga, meditation so much. The thing is- I don’t constantly feel stressed. Yes, I have my moments, but there is no way that I’m just one big ass giant stress ball. If I am, then maybe I should be seeing a flipping therapist then (I’d love to if there were more hours in the day and they were free, haha).

The final straw was that she said that we need to seriously start saving our money for more invasive treatment as injectables are about $1000 PER CYCLE and IVF is about $7000. IVF?! I’ve done TWO rounds of Clomid, girlfran. I’m all about being real and honest, but are you fucking kidding me? I’m all for injectables. In fact, I’d like to go that route as it will ENSURE ovulation occurs. They also HAVE to monitor you via ultrasound to check lining and follicle size and quantity during this sort of treatment (this risk of multiples or OHSS- ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome increases dramatically if not properly monitored). Maybe my lining sucks, or perhaps I’m not producing enough follicles or they’re not maturing enough. An ultrasound can tell you so much more than blood tests.

However, Tricare (our insurance) does NOT cover this treatment. They only cover basic fertility oral medications and procedures. I’ll write another post about the different between Tricare Prime (what I’m on now) and Standard sometime…it can be very confusing!

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I requested not to be put on birth control or Provera to induce a period. I want it to come naturally…as long as it takes. She told me to call back in a few months if I still don’t have it and as long as I have 4 periods a year that I’m okay. This is NOT okay to me. I don’t expect to be every 28 days, but why the frick is there no semi-consistency? And call back in a few MONTHS?! LMAOOOOOO.

Did I damage my body so much from being on birth control for 10 years? After I initially got off birth control in late 2012, my periods were every 5-6 weeks- consistent enough…and I ended up pregnant. I had a period every 30 days or so after my D&C back in September, but starting in December, they have been very irregular/non-existent. I was told gaining weight and reducing exercise can help regulate periods….but it seems to be doing the complete opposite for me. Awesome.

I want more blood work done to check my hormone levels at various points in my cycle (pre and “post” ovulation, although I’m not ovulating on my own). I’d also like a few ultrasounds done to check out everything I mentioned earlier pre and post ovulation. I made an appointment with my PCM (primary care physician- basically regular doc) to put in a referral for a different OBGYN that was highly suggested. My appointment is not until August 19th, but that’s fine. I’m hoping I at least get better bedside manner from a second opinion. Figure out ME before even mentioning IVF and shit, ya know?

Anyways, sorry to vent, but this is what I’ve been hassling with on my day off. Fun stuff 😉

***EDIT*** I literally started a new cycle a few hours after publishing this, haha. Crazy!

What did your insurance cover if you ever went through fertility treatments? How did you finance it? Our (okay, mostly TJ’s) DVD collection may be able to cover the costs, haha.

Have you ever had irregular cycles? Birth control masked mine for way too many years, so I don’t know if my body naturally produces regular periods 😦

Any advice on being your own advocate?

 

 

The 2 Week Wait

For those of us that are trying to conceive, I guarantee that we can all agree that the 2 week wait sucks major dong. If anyone is confused as to what the two week wait is (men and those that got pregnant “without trying” may not have a clue- it’s the period of time after ovulation is supposed to occur and when your next cycle will start). Basically, it’s when you have no fricking idea whether or not you’re pregnant.

This can make women feel stressed and anxious. I’ve noticed that for me personally, I go back and forth with my emotions. I want to feel hopeful, but the realist in me doesn’t want to be too optimistic as disappointment will hit me harder if it doesn’t happen. For many months, I’d analyze every to see if I had symptoms of early pregnancy. Well people, that is a complete waste of time and energy and I don’t do that shit anymore.

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True dat.

It’s important to keep busy during the 2 week wait as it’ll simply keep your mind off of it. Praise the Lord that I’m working now or else I’d go nucking futs and probably have 287 decorated or painted mason jars and other various crafts taking up space in our extra bedroom. Margaritas the size of my head also seem to be calling my name during this time period, but I know it’s because I’m on edge. I’m obviously no doctor and I’m not going to discuss whether it’s right or wrong to drink during this time, but I’m pretty sure a glass or two of wine or whatever is fine. However, I’m refraining from alcohol (not that we drink much to begin with, but we enjoy cocktails and movie nights every once in a while!) because I want to and the Clomid is still in my system.

I go in Monday to for labs to check my progesterone levels to see if I ovulated or not. As I mentioned before, we are truly hoping for ovulation as that’s a sign that my body at least responds well to the medication. Nonetheless, Clomid thins your uterine lining which was NOT monitored the past two times I have taken it, so I have no idea how things are in that department right now. You need good lining for implantation by the way.

I used Clear Blue Advanced ovulation tests this month to see around what I potentially could have ovulated. I have a shit ton of the Wondoflo cheapy ovulation tests and while they’ve worked for me before, the line never got darker for me this month. Maybe it was a bad batch, but I had enough and stopped using those. I got a flashing smiley on cd14 and a solid smiley on cd17. I was pumped about that as it’s a good sign- the smileys show that your estrogen levels are changing which is essential for ovulation to occur. The Clear Blue are a bit pricey, but I plan on continuing to use these instead of the cheapies. I use the at-home ovulation tests to have an idea when to go in for my 21 day blood draw as I mentioned above (they call it day 21 labs, but you should get this done 7 days after your positive ovulation test as it will be more accurate). I’m actually going in on day 25 or something.

I’ve cut back on exercise, but I didn’t do any cardio except walking this week. This is somewhat hard as I have my brand new spankin’ treadmill staring at me in the face that the husband bought me for our second anniversary. Running is a stress reliever for me mentally, but my doc wanted me to chill in that department as she believes it stresses me body out. I’m on my feet walking around for 8+ hours a day at work, so that’s enough for me right now.

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So yeah…my advice is too keep busy and try not to think about it. Finding support in others helps as well. There are SO many online forums and Facebook pages with numerous women going through similar situations. They can offer support, advice, or simply be there to give you a good laugh. I’m even a member of two Clomid groups on Facebook and although I don’t actively participate on it, it’s definitely made me feel better! I was a witch the first time I took Clomid (back in March). I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me and Tyler probably felt like he needed to sleep with one eye opened, haha. But I found out that the medicine can cause your emotional state to sway because of the added hormones being put into your body. I’m happy to report that this round of Clomid did not do that to me 🙂 It did cause major bloating and I thought my ovaries were going to pop out of me mid-cycle, so hopefully that’s a good sign.

How do you cope during the 2 week wait?

Do you do anything differently?

 

Round 2 and One Year Later

Last time I posted, I mentioned that I was doing one month of birth control to try to induce a cycle. I’m SO happy to report that it worked just a few days after taking my last active pill! Luckily it landed on a Friday so I was able to call my doctor and she called in a prescription of Clomid as well as a Day 21 lab test (this checks my progesterone levels to see if I ovulated or not). I had to work 9-6, but Tyler’s on vacation still so he was able to pick it up for me 🙂

I’ll be taking it as I did last time (back in March…can’t believe it’s been that long)- 50mg from cycle days 3-7. I’m on day 5 today and have had no side effects yet aside from being extremely tired although I’ve been getting sufficient sleep. It depends on what my Day 21 labs say as to whether or not we’ll do a third round of Clomid, or move onto Femara. They are very similar fertility meds, although Femara tends to have less side effects and does not thin the lining of the uterus as Clomid does.

In all honesty, I’m just hoping for a normal cycle and for my blood test to show that I ovulated. With the combination of putting on a few pounds, not doing any strenuous exercising, and the Clomid I’m thinking positively about this. Conception would be pretty damn awesome too, but we’ll take what we can get right now 😉

Tyler’s been on leave the past week and a half and doesn’t go back to work until next Tuesday. Since having all that time off and me working, I mentioned him flying home to spend time with his family since we will not be going home at all this year. He said no as we had no idea what my cycle would be like, and with our luck we’d miss our window for the month. Thank God he took this into consideration and opted out! While it’s not a huge deal, TJ will be gone again from mid September until the end of October, so that’s another two months wasted. We have roughly 2-3 months or so to either shit or get off the pot with the oral fertility medications before moving forward. However, my cycles are sometimes jacked so who the hell knows! I could very well have another 70+ day cycle, so we are just taking things as they come. We’re enjoying our time together now, and I’m so grateful to be working (although the schedule isn’t ideal) to take my mind off this stuff and make us some extra dough.

July 7th is the one-year mark when we found out we were expecting. Sometimes I wish I were like my husband and couldn’t remember dates for the life of me….I don’t know how or why I remember such weird, random shit. Anyways, I’m actually glad this the past year has fully circulated. Based on the doctor’s calculations, we conceived around our first anniversary, haha. We learned so much during the time I was pregnant- things about pregnancy, birth, baby items, and each other. We got some pretty good arguments out of the way, such as finding out the sex and names. Yes, we will find out the sex. I was weary about it before, but after the miscarriage, I won’t be able to go without knowing. Names have not been discussed since the loss, but this is something we want to keep between us. I think if there is a next time around (I say if only because I’m crazy and don’t want to jinx ourselves), we will be a bit more emotionally prepared as the past year has brought us closer together than I ever thought possibly.

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It’s absolutely amazing to share your life with someone who loves you in your best and worst hours. While some days were complete shit, it’s made us stronger and definitely more educated in the reproduction and fertility department. And, I’ve been some pretty awesome connections along the way as well. A big thank you to everyone who’s reached out and given me support, advice, and guidance- you all know who you are!

Update on Fertility Treatment (or lack thereof…)

I’ve been meaning to give a quick update in this department for the past two weeks, but with work, class, and our Vegas trip, I haven’t really had the desire to write during my free time. Anyways, I’m going to make this short and sweet since there isn’t much to discuss right now unfortunately.

I mentioned in my last post that my doctor prescribed me Provera to induce a period. Well, it didn’t work. She concluded that it was probably due to the fact that my estrogen and progesterone levels were just too low (my estrogen was in normal range the last time it was tested in January, but this is when I found out that my progesterone levels were almost none existent). To put it in simple terms- estrogen builds the lining and progesterone makes it shed. Or, if you become pregnant, progesterone is a HUGE factor in keeping the pregnancy viable- low levels can result in a miscarriage, although they are typically earlier on in the first trimester.

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I was prescribed birth control for one month to try and jump start a period. Two steps back…but there was really no other choice than to wait and see if I ever started naturally on my own. Given that I was on birth control for about 10 years, she didn’t want to do this as we really have no clue what my natural cycles are. I sometimes didn’t even get a period being ON birth control! My previous gyno thought abnormal cycles even on birth control was due to stress. So yeah- I’m mid-cycle on birth control, and let me tell ya- I don’t miss it. My body is probably wondering what the heck is going on with the fertility meds, then provera, and now birth control….I won’t get into this now, but I do have some opinions on long-term use of birth control. I believe that it masks any issues you could be having.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been adding more calories to my diet. Low or high body fat/weight play a definite role in conception, so gaining a few pounds was necessary to see if this effects my hormone levels. Tyler thought this meant eating shit food everyday, but that is not the way to go! I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how people eat fast food and crap every day. I feel so lethargic and blah after indulging in too many meals out and whatnot. Anyways, I’ve gained 8 pounds in the past 6 weeks or so we shall see. Some of the weight may be from the birth control as I’ve literally felt bloated since I started taking it. I have no idea, but hopefully this will be the only month I’m on it.

SO…if I get a menstrual cycle from the birth control, we will try another round of Clomid. If that doesn’t work, she said she’ll try Femara (very similar to Clomid, but the side effects are supposed to be not nearly as bad). My doctor said she’s hopeful for us, but to start saving soon as we will have to seek help from a RE if the next two attempts don’t work. Oh, and she said that she believes the first time I got pregnant was a fluke, haha.

I must admit, the time away from tracking days and going in for blood tests only to get myself anxious about the results has been wonderful. I was completely effing over peeing on ovulation tests after getting positives for two week a few months ago. Thought I was gonna go out of my mind! The job has helped me take my mind off of things too- I feel more normal now than I have in quite a while. However, time is still ticking and we still have our ultimate goal in mind- a healthy pregnancy and baby. One day 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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Life Lately

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like days/weeks drag, yet time seems to go by pretty darn fast. I wanted to give a brief update on what’s been going on around here and fill you on some of our summer plans.

As I mentioned in my last post, Tyler got back from NIE on May 21st. It’s great to have him home, and I’m sure he’s over the moon to sleep in his bed with the AC on again. The wind was atrocious while he was away- like to the point where I thought I might have to wear goggles while outside. I couldn’t imagine sitting in the desert in 90 degree weather with sand being blasted against my face all day long! Anyways, he started another grad school class right when he got home, but this one is six credits instead of the normal 3; therefore, it’s double the work. It’s entitled “International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior” so I’m actually looking forward to reading some of his work. The last two classes were military intelligence stuff with is boring as hell and foreign to me 😦

You know how I’ve been moaning and groaning about the job market out here (not good) and endless hours of job searching all while feeling like I’m getting nowhere? Well mama was offered a job! It’s a management position with a well-known retailer, so there’s definitely room for growth which I’ve never had before. Plus, you HAVE to have a Bachelor’s degree to even be eligible for this position, so at least my degree will be getting put to use. They employ a MIT (Manager-in-Training program) which will enable me to learn the ins and outs of real management and leadership of an organization. I’m super grateful for this opportunity, and it’s come just in time for the repayments of my student loans! To be honest, I’m pretty damn proud. I didn’t acquire this job by knowing someone- having a family or friend hire me on . I did it all on my own, in a city that’s home, yet still unfamiliar in many aspects- woo!

Tyler never uses his leave (vacation) time. Since he’s been back in the army, he used it once which was this past Christmas. Well, he just found out that he has too much leave that’ll be lost if he doesn’t take his block leave the last week of June/first week of July. They get four weeks off a year which are broken down into two 2-week increments (different depending on your unit); however, you can take some here and there if need be. This is awesome and annoying because he’s gonna get 17 days off, but if he would’ve known about it sooner, I would’ve pushed for a beach vacation somewhere for a few days, haha. However, I’m looking forward to having a stay-at-home husband to do ALL of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and errands (grocery shopping, vet appointments, waiting for my scripts at the pharmacy for 2 flippin hours, etc.). 🙂

What else…I mentioned on here before that while I have my Bachelor’s degree from UTEP, I’m one class shy of obtaining my Human Resource Management certification through Purdue. Well, I’m taking the class this summer so I’ll have the cert at the beginning of August! I have a certificate in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, so I’m hoping this will add a bit more to my resume, too. Kinda sad to think that this may be my last higher education course ever, but you never know!

My little sister turned 21 over the weekend. I still feel like I’m 21 and Tyler loves Vegas so we put the two together and booked a long weekend to celebrate with her! She’ll fly in straight from Chicago and we’re driving up (about 10.5 hours away from here…shoot me). We’re stopping at the Hoover Dam upon my request on our way up, so that’ll be one thing to check off my list. Aside from the Phoenix area and the driving route to get there, I haven’t seen shit past pretty much Illinois in our country which is pretty sad (Lawton/Oklahoma City, OK doesn’t count- worst state EVER). If we more time, we’d stop at the Grand Canyon, but that’s on the list for next year.  Anyways, we’re both super pumped about this. Can’t wait to recap it!

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My Junior year prom, 2003. Kathleen was only 9!

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May, 2014.

So a little update on the fertility front. I was referred off post to get a vaginal ultrasound done a couple of weeks ago. William Beaumont (the army hospital out here) is backed up until August (uhh WTF?), so my doc had me go elsewhere. Anyways, they checked to see if I had any cysts (none!) and the lining/shape of my uterus. I don’t have any cysts (yay!), but the ultrasound tech said it didn’t look like I was going to have a period for another two weeks or so (I was already on cycle day 35 or so at this point, so this was aggravating). Also, I took another look at the records over the weekend and noticed that me endometrium lining was 5mm. This seems abnormally low given that I was at least 35 days into my cycle. If this is of concern, I’ll be annoyed that this issue has not been addressed yet. I’m doing to call my doctor about it this week, and if I’m getting the run around without any answers I’m going to request a second opinion. A thin uterine lining can be can be caused my low estrogen or damage to the uterus, typically from D&C’s. My doc keeps telling me my estrogen is fine, but I haven’t had it tested since late January.

Does anyone have any insight on this or am I reading too much into it? I researched the shit out of this on Sunday morning, and my lining should’ve been much thicker given how late in the cycle I was. Plus, if my lining is thin, it isn’t possible to a fertilized egg to stick. AND, Clomid thins your uterine lining even more which is why it should not be used for more than a few cycles. I’d appreciate your opinion about this if you’re familiar with it or are a nurse 🙂

Anyways, I still hadn’t gotten my period, so I called my doctor and she prescribed me Provera (basically progesterone) to jump-start things. It’s been 7 weeks since my last cycle, and I just finished up the pills (10mg for 10 days) the other day….hopefully it shows soon. The love/hate relationship I have with my period is ironic…and I never thought I’d say that out loud, haha.  The side effects of Provera weren’t nearly as bad as Clomid, but I still wasn’t feeling like my normal fabulous self. It made me extremely tired…like I think I almost fell asleep standing up last week. I took a few naps which I NEVER do. It caused stomach issues- at first I couldn’t stop and then I couldn’t go at all- and I drink plenty of water, eat lots of fiber, and have been running a few miles a week- all things to keep things moving along. Oh, and I was super emotional. I shed a few tears while seeing a baby sea otter that was hurt while jogging on the treadmill at the gym. Like come on now…I’m nuts, haha. So yeah, this medication better work. If she doesn’t show by Friday, I’ll call and see what the next step is.

Once I start my new cycle, we will try 50mg of Clomid again on cycle days 3-7. With my luck, I’ll be taking it while we’re in Vegas. That should be a real treat for TJ and my sister with my insane hot flashes and mood swings, haha. I honestly wouldn’t care though- we’re both eager to get the next round going. IF it doesn’t work this next cycle, my doctor and I are going to discuss adding a trigger shot to the mix. I won’t get into specifics about it now, but it’s basically a shot given to you when your follicles are mature enough to induce ovulation within the next 12-24 hours of it. Anyways, we shall see….

That’s about it around here. The dogs are doing well, but hating the extreme summer heat.

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Wrigley LOVES giving kisses!

Oh- we will not be coming home for Thanksgiving OR Christmas this year. Sorry family. As long as things pan out with this job gig, I won’t be able to take time off around the holidays, plus if Tyler saves some leave then perhaps we can finally do some traveling here and there. Our friends and family are always more than welcome here though 🙂 Have a great week!