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TTC is hard, and basically sucks.

Newest posts are found just below this featured welcome.

Welcome.

Welcome to my little corner of the blogoverse, or blogosphere, or whatever it is that hip millenials call it. Welcome.

If you were looking to follow along an inspirational journey of trying to conceive, and all of the hope and wonder therein, then this is probably not the blog for you.

If, however, you were looking for something to sympathize and empathize with, for the documenting of the rollercoaster of extreme emotions and frustration and stupid things people say when you’re trying to get pregnant without success, for a journey you could actually relate to and commiserate with, well, then, this is it. Probably.

Because, ultimately, for those of us who don’t just get it on the first try, or who just happen to have a much welcomed “oops”, this journey is hard, and it sucks. It’s full of the full range of human emotions, including excitement, hope, fear, frustration, disappointment, anger, and resentment. It’s cycle after cycle of wondering, waiting, analyzing every twinge and cramp, every alleged symptom, of two week waits that feel like eternities. It’s watching every single friend and relative announce their pregnancies, share their amazing birth photos, and then announce another unexpected pregnancy they weren’t even trying for.

It’s the worst.

And it can be so, so lonely.

It can feel like you’re the only person in the world whose body just won’t work.

It can feel like you’re broken.

It can feel like you’ve been betrayed, by how easily relatives achieved pregnancy, by our entire culture that can’t even be bothered to teach basic reproduction accurately.

And no one should feel that sort of loneliness, not on this journey. I don’t want to feel that way; I assume you don’t either.

And though our partners can be and often are supportive, and are walking this journey alongside us, I don’t think it compares to how inside our heads we get, because we feel things. We experience the cramping that may or may not be gas. We experience the heaviness in our breasts that might be the same as last month when we weren’t pregnant, but of course, maybe it’s different this time? We experience the spotting on the toilet paper that could be aunt flow starting, or wait, is that implantation spotting maybe? Our partners often aren’t privy to these private moments and experiences. They can often easily go about their days without agonizing over everything happening or not happening in their bodies, not to mention their minds.

And so, I started this blog. A place mostly for me to get out all my frustrations, all my resentment, all the things I’m thinking but am too afraid to say for fear of hurting someone’s feelings, or, worse yet, hearing, for the millionth time, that I just need to relax and it will magically happen.

Feel free to come along on this journey with me. Feel free to leave your experiences in the comments.

Please DON’T try to offer advice or suggestions on treatments, improvements to our technique, or tests that need to be done. That’s not what this is about. There is a time for advice and suggestions, and there is a time to just allow people who are struggling to feel in their feelings and cry and scream and hate anyone who appears to have it easier than they do. This is the latter, and to try to explain down to them all the things they could be doing differently or instead (read: everything they’re so obviously doing wrong, because hey, after a year, it never occurred to them to time intercourse, or eat healthy, or go to the doctor) is incredibly invalidating. Please understand that this journey has so very little space made for it in daily life, so if this trick or that trick worked for you, great, but please don’t offer it here unless specifically requested. Being at this a year, there’s pretty much nothing I haven’t already considered, tried, or gotten started.

And maybe, hopefully, one day, this blog will allow me to document our success in achieving pregnancy. Maybe I’ll end up as one of those moms with a blog who writes about diapers and quick, easy recipes, and how to avoid scams when wanting to work from home.

But for now, let’s allow ourselves to honor the journey and all of its ups and downs, let’s allow ourselves to sink into the feelings of rage and frustration and desperation, and just be in it, together. Because some days, on days like today, trying to conceive is hard, and basically sucks.

 

Post op updates: A story of grapefruits and endometriosis

It’s been exactly 7 days since I went in for surgery. Overall, I’m feeling really good. The first few days were slow going, and I was sitting in that space of “this is it, this is my life. I’m going to have pain forever and will never be able to walk normally again.” Now I’m in the zone of “hey! I have energy again! But also my body isn’t quite there yet so let’s just take it easy for a bit longer.” I know I’ll get there. I just need to have patience, and if this journey of trying to have a baby has taught me anything, it’s patience.

I wanted to share all the details of the surgery with everyone, partly for anyone else who may have to undergo this type of surgery, and partly so people who have been following along with our journey can know what all was involved, what was found, and what we plan to do moving forward. If you want to just skip to the results and aftermath bit, just scroll down to the results heading.

THE SURGERY
If you’ve been following along up to now, I think I mentioned before that my surgery was done at INOVA Fairfax, which is a great hospital and I highly recommend for procedures like this. I had to arrive 2 hours before my surgery time, and by this point, all I could think about was eating. Surgery prep the day before included a clear liquid diet, so by 10:00am on Tuesday morning I was pretty hangry. I also got to spend 8 hours Monday night on the toilet as the other part of surgery prep was drinking down 10oz. of magnesium citrate, which is designed to clear your bowels.

And clear my bowels it did. If you ever find yourself needing to drink it, make sure you drink a lot of water with it, and be prepared for the sour flavor (I got the lemon flavor, but I think they’re all sour because of the citric acid). It’ll also probably make you feel a little nauseous. After not eating all day, it was the last thing I wanted in my belly, which I guess is good because it didn’t stay there for long.

And somehow, in the midst of my toilet adventure, I was expected to take a shower with Hibiclens, a special pre-surgical body wash.

I did it. Somehow, I managed it.

So yes, when I finally arrived at the hospital, I was squeaky clean, inside and out, and hungry.

Once I was checked in, they escorted the husband and me back to our waiting bay. I peed in a cup, changed into a cool hospital gown, I verified who I was, confirmed that I was hungry and clean, and once they were okay with that I was given some Tylenol and gabapentin for pain and anxiety (and they were all impressed that I took all 3 pills in one shot, but I guess they don’t know that I often swallow 6 Naproxen at once each month). They also gave me an injection of Lovenox to get my blood thinned out to prevent clots. I was actually really really grateful and impressed that when I requested to give myself the injection they let me. It was probably the most powerful and in control I’ve ever felt in a medical environment. Also the quickest I’ve ever given myself an injection (time was of the essence, so we didn’t have time for me to do deep breathing and meditation and all the other hemming and hawing that usually comes with me giving myself an injection). And since I was used to doing the trigger shots, which are advised to be injected slowly, I assumed that was the best course of action for the Lovenox as well.

I was wrong.

Ya’ll, if you ever have to give yourself a Lovenox injection, press that plunger down hard and fast, and don’t let your skin go until after you’ve removed the needle. I was not prepared for the burn. I never understood what was meant by a burning sensation after injections for the IVF folx I follow until that moment. It was a slow burn. Like someone dragging a hot metal pin slowly across the insides of all my veins within a 5 inch radius of the injection site. And it just got increasingly more painful as the seconds ticked by. It wasn’t unbearable, but it was unexpected and unpleasant and uncomfortable, though it became immediately more tolerable once one of the nurses brought me a glove of ice to put on it.

And I bruised immediately. And I still have that bruise.

Once the pills and the shot were out of the way, it was time to get my IV started. They started me on a saline drip since of course I hadn’t eaten anything for 24 hours and had spent the previous night evacuating my bowels, so it stood to reason that I probably was a little dehydrated. They also slipped some cool space boot looking things on my legs to keep my blood circulating. They pump air into the cuffs, giving your calves a gentle squeeze and essentially providing a nice leg massage to help keep the blood from clotting. They were pretty great until I was sick of them by Thursday (I had to keep them on any time I was laying in bed, which was 98% of my hospital stay, and eventually you just get sick of being tangled up in cords and your legs being hot and restricted).

And then finally, the rest of the time was spent waiting and meeting my surgical team — my anesthesiologist, the techs and assistants, and Dr. Bicher of course. Somewhere in there I signed consent forms. The gabapentin was starting to kick in, making me feel a little sleepy and dizzy.

And then it came time for them to wheel me back. They added something to my IV that made me even sleepier and dizzier. I vaguely remember telling the husband I loved him. The corridor sped past me in a blur and I remember them leaning me back the rest of the way on my gurney once we got into the operating room, and the huge lights pointing down at me from the ceiling. They put a mask over my face, and that was the last thing I remember.

I woke up to someone saying my name. Their voice sounded far away and like it was right in my ear at the same time, with background noise whooshing around it like water. I think I groaned? I know I asked for my husband. And then I remember feeling the pain from the surgery itself. IT WAS STILL LESS PAIN THAN WHAT MY PERIODS HAVE FELT LIKE, in case you need any more of a comparison of the pain I’d been dealing with for decades. They pressed a little controller with a button on it into my hand and told me only I could press the button, and that if I was in pain, I should press the button to activate my dilaudid. I think I pressed the button. I had tried to press the button. The controller slipped out of my hand and I couldn’t find it again, and in my drugged state, I thought they had taken it from me. I started to cry that “the lady took my button away. She took my button!” Thankfully by this time, the husband had arrived and had assured me that no one had taken my button, I had just dropped it, and he pressed it into my hand again, at which point, I pressed the button and felt immediate relief.

From there it was a quick trip up to my recovery room.

And do you know, those monsters made me get up out of my gurney and walk to my hospital bed? The nerve. I thought I was going to die, and yet somehow, I didn’t. I rolled into bed, pressed my button, and drifted off back to sleep.

The rest of the day I drifted in and out of my dilaudid induced sleep. My dad came by to visit, which was a huge comfort. Nurses paraded in and out, taking my vitals, checking my incision, and making sure I wasn’t in too much pain. They checked my foley catheter (which was way less weird than I thought it would be — I barely felt it, unless I moved or twisted a certain way, and tugged at the tube they had taped to the inside of my leg, and then it only felt like I had the urge to pee, which of course I didn’t, since it was all being drained directly out of me).

Wednesday was spent trying to walk. Once I could walk a certain distance, the catheter could come out. And if you’ve never had a catheter removed, it is strange. Not painful, a little uncomfortable, but a huge relief once it’s done.

The one thing I hadn’t expected that was probably the most uncomfortable was the shoulder pain. I guess during some abdominal surgeries, nerves in the diaphragm that lead up to the shoulder can get compressed, which causes a burning pain in the shoulder. It can also be caused by gas trapped in the area pressing on the nerves as well. I think in my case it was gas, since once I had cleared that mighty milestone of letting one rip, the pain in my shoulder finally began to ease.

And then Thursday it was time to leave. I could walk, pee, and pass gas, and my pain was holding steady at a tolerable 2 (unless I coughed, which is also the worst when you’re recovering from abdominal surgery, and nothing can prepare you for the ripping sensation when it happens. You’ve just gotta brace yourself and hold on for dear life, pressing a pillow into you as hard as you can tolerate in an effort to alleviate some of the pain.).

I was a little sad, but mostly eager to get home. I couldn’t wait to be in my own bed, resting. I was also looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep without being interrupted every 2 hours for vitals checks, or pain meds, or being encouraged to walk.

And so, here we are, a week later. Today was the first day I was able to make it downstairs to get my own breakfast. My energy is returning and my motivation to do things is back, but my body still needs me to rest, which is frustrating. So I’m taking it slow still, and trying to find activities I can do while sitting or laying down (which is a whole lot of Netflix/Hulu, writing, reading, and crafting). I’m just so glad to be on the road to recovery, and even gladder to have this surgery behind me, and the results I need in hand.

THE RESULTS
Which brings me to the next part — the part where Dr. Bicher informed me that my fibroid’s final dimensions were 13.2×10.9×9.5cm. That’s roughly the size of a large grapefruit. It also weighed roughly a pound and a half. She also found extensive endometriosis on the back of my uterus, stretching along to my left ovary. She graded it a 2 to 3 (endometriosis comes in 4 grades, with 4 being the most severe). She removed the endometriosis, and explained that part of its mechanism for causing pain and impacting fertility is the inflammation it causes. Between the removal of the fibroid and the excision of the endometriosis, I feel really confident about our ability to get pregnant moving forward. I’m also looking forward to a lot less pain. My period started right on time last week after surgery, and while I was on some painkillers, I had no menstrual pain. I had some discomfort still from my incision, but no menstrual cramping, no tenderness in my uterus, and none of the fatigue I usually have. I’ll be really curious to see how my next period goes. I literally cannot wrap my head around the idea of a pain free period. I don’t know what that’s like. I’ve never had one.

I should have my followup appointment with Dr. Bicher next week and in November we should have the green light to TTC again. My original plan had been to give us until the end of the year and then start IVF with CNY, but I think our chances will be more realistic if we give ourselves 6 months. It’ll give us more time to save up for IVF as well, especially after the medical bills from my surgery start rolling in.

I’m hopeful though. And optimistic. And I feel so validated. I want to go back to every doctor who ever blew me off and slap them in the face with my excised endometriosis. I suffered for 20 years with it, and no one, not one single doctor or medical professional, wanted to investigate my pain. None of them thought it was worth looking into, or even worth removing if it was there (especially not my RE, whose goal is to make as much money as possible and not cure my physical or emotional pain). I swear, if we’re pregnant by the end of this year, I am 100% writing a nasty letter to Shady Grove. That they wasted our time, our money, and our emotional resources by NOT bothering to investigate my endometriosis is a clear indicator that they’re motivated only by capitalizing on the pain of infertile couples. They see an empty womb, and dollar signs shoot into their eyes.In the meantime, I just have to hope and pray that neither my endo nor my fibroid grow back any time soon (both can grow back, though the endo I might get a few years of reprieve from, and the fibroid could come back in months, though hopefully not since I won’t be pumping my body full of hormones any time soon). I’m choosing to look towards the positive possibilities though. November can’t get here soon enough.

Prep time!

Surgery is August 20! We go on vacation next week, and then come back for crunch time for me to get all the pre-op testing I need to do done. I’m beginning to panic just a little over the timing, since my surgeon wants all the results of my pre-op stuff sent over 10 days before my surgery, but I wasn’t allowed to start it until this week (the testing has to be starting 30 days prior to surgery in order to be valid). And since we’ll be out of town for vacation next week, that leaves the first week of August as the only week I can get stuff done (unless there are miraculously appointments available this week, which, so far, hasn’t been the case).

I’m excited and nervous and ready to get this show on the road.

In other good news, I got the results back from my followup TSH bloodwork and for the first time in a year and a half, my thyroid is at the appropriate level of activity. My TSH was 2.31 — down from the 11.86 it was a few weeks ago. They say 2-3 is ideal for conception, so I’m hoping it’ll stay that way. TSH is also a part of my pre-op testing, so I’ll be curious to see what the levels are at in a couple of weeks too. I so hope they don’t continue to drop (which would mean I’d have to go back on my methimazole).

In less good news, I double checked my insurance coverage for ART again (my coverage updates every few months it seems, and with our phone consult coming up with CNY I want to make sure I have an accurate picture of things). It seems what I thought would be covered is actually not covered. My insurance covers 70% of infertility treatments after my deductible has been met, as long as those treatments don’t involve any sort of assisted fertilization (aka IVF). So basically it doesn’t cover anything that would actually help us (or anyone really. :/ ).

But this information actually helps me decide how I want us to proceed once we have the green light for TTC again. Since insurance isn’t going to help us, I think we’ll try on our own for the rest of 2019, and in January start IVF with CNY. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d want us to try on our own after my surgery to see if the lifestyle changes and the surgery and my stabilized thyroid would help our chances any, if we had a time limit to use any benefits we had. But since we don’t actually have those benefits, it’s a moot point.

It feels so good to have a direction again. It feels so good to be out of limbo and be working towards the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like I can have hope again. It feels like I can breathe again.

Good news and more good news!

I have updates! And they’re good! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve had any news to share, let alone good news.

I had my third attempt at a surgery consult yesterday (if you remember, the first couldn’t perform surgery, and the second one didn’t feel confident enough to perform it and not risk my fertility). Husband drove with me 2 hours into Fairfax during morning rush hour, and I was so thankful for his company. It was nice to have someone to talk to on the long drive in and back, and to be able to process with him right away.

We arrived 10 minutes before my appointment, and then still had to wait an hour to be seen. But it was all such great news at my appointment that I don’t even care that I spent 4 hours in a car with no AC when it was 95 degrees out and didn’t end up at the beach.

Dr. Bicher reviewed the notes Dr. Kaznoski had faxed over and did a quick pelvic exam. She explained that my fibroid is actually sitting on the back of my uterus, pushing my uterus and my bladder to the front of my pelvis (which is what feels hard when I palpate my uterus). It’s wedged in between my uterus and rectum, so it’s also been causing me some bowel issues. She said that it’s good we didn’t get pregnant with our last IUI, due to my fibroid’s size and location, and that it definitely would have caused issues for me and a baby.

All that said, she’s going to perform my surgery!! And she wants to get me in in the next 3 to 4 weeks. That’s exactly what I had been hoping for.

She also said that I probably do have endometriosis, and that when she’s in there she’ll look out for it, and remove any that she comes across. So hopefully I’ll FINALLY have some answers about that too.

So I have some pre-op prep to do (bloodwork, EKG, ultrasound), but I can handle it. I can’t wait!

Now, this is a major surgery. Because of the location, she has to do an open myomectomy, basically performing a c-section on me (without actually cutting into my uterus, since my fibroid is thankfully on the outside). It means I’ll be in the hospital for 2 days after surgery, and looking at 4-6 weeks of recovery. But we’ll only have to wait 3 months to try to get pregnant after surgery, instead of the 6 I had kept reading about. And that makes me SO happy.

Even better is that since I’ll have DEFINITELY met my deductible after surgery, my insurance should cover IVF if we want to pursue it as our next step. It means we can stay a little closer to home for just a little longer (and hopefully a little cheaper). I’m still keeping our phone consult with CNY that we have August 1, just in case, but maybe we won’t have to travel all the way to New York to get pregnant after all.

And who knows, maybe a pregnancy is possible for us this year too.

One more referral

So after my illuminating and validating, albeit disappointing, appointment with Dr. Leung, and waiting for a call that never came, I called Dr. Kaznoski myself to schedule an appointment (he’s the one that actually does gynecological surgery). I got to meet with him today, and I was pleasantly surprised by his calming and supportive demeanor, and his transparency.

Unfortunately, due to the size and location of my fibroid, and the likelihood that it actually isn’t pedunculated, he confessed that he doesn’t feel comfortable performing my surgery without risking my uterus altogether.

So he referred me on.

To a doctor in Annandale.

She’s a gynecological oncologist and surgeon, but evidently has way more experience in removing tumors (which fibroids are) while preserving the integrity of the uterus. Dr. Kaznoski spoke very highly of her and her skills, and thinks that surgery with her will remove the fibroid and keep my uterus intact so that we can go on to try to get pregnant.

I can’t say I’m not disappointed in having to keep waiting, and it’s beginning to feel like no one can help me, but I am hopeful that Dr. Bicher will be The One, and that we can finally get this fibroid out of me.

So now I just wait until they call me in the next week to schedule me (hopefully they won’t forget or not put the referral through correctly as happened when Dr. Leung was referring me to Dr. Kaznoski).

The downside is that so much time has passed that even once I hit my deductible for my insurance, it’ll be time for the new year to start, and it won’t even matter, so none of our fertility treatments will get covered. At this point, CNY is probably where we’ll end up if IVF is in our future (which it will be if, after I recover from surgery, we aren’t successful on our own for a cycle or two, since I’m done wasting time and money on IUIs).

So it looks like 2019 will not be our year. Maybe 2020 will be the year we finally get pregnant.

Infertility is a whole lot of waiting

I haven’t posted in a while. Not since the beginning of our last IUI cycle in March. It was a BFN by the way.

During that cycle, Dr. Khan had noticed that my fibroid had grown, so he recommended that if our IUI was a BFN, then I should talk to someone about having it removed. I was glad to have him acknowledge that it should probably come out, but disappointed, frustrated, and angry that it took him a year from discovering the fibroid in the first place to come to that conclusion, when I had expressed concern about it when he first found it. I just feel like he keeps wasting our time and money instead of tackling issues when they first crop up, or investigating as deeply as he should be into the cause of our infertility.

At any rate, I met with Dr. Leung, who is a gynecologist here close to me that also practices acupuncture. I was actually really excited to meet with him, and when I did meet with him I was not disappointed (well, a little I was, but not because of him).

He looked at the pictures of my fibroid ultrasounds that SGF sent over. He had a hard time getting perspective on the images because the ultrasounds only showed the fibroid and not the full picture of my uterus in relation to the fibroid, but he was able to feel it during a pelvic exam.

His conclusions? Several.

  1. He was perplexed that my fibroid hadn’t been discovered sooner. He agrees that if anyone in the past 10 or so years had bothered to examine me with my many complaints of pain, it would have been found much sooner, and probably been able to be kept at bay, or removed sooner before it was an issue.
  2. He doesn’t think it’s pedunculated (growing on a stalk) like the ultrasonographer suggested. He suspects it may actually be sitting on my uterus, which brings with it the risk of it having fused to the outside of my uterus. If that’s the case, surgery could put my entire fertility at risk because excising it could mean losing so much blood that my uterus becomes damaged and needs to be removed, or that so much of my uterus would be removed with the fibroid that it wouldn’t be a functional organ anymore, even with suturing. Only an MRI will confirm what sort of fibroid this is.
  3. He thinks Dr. Khan is as useless as I do for not investigating my menstrual pain, since it could be having an impact on our ability to get pregnant.

It felt so good to be validated by a medical professional. This one actually listened to me. He wasn’t offended or become insecure when I mentioned words like adenomyosis. He praised me for self advocating and doing my homework. I wish I had met this doctor 15 years ago.

Sadly, he no longer does surgery, so he’ll have to forward me on to another gynecologist, one who does do surgery, but I trust his recommendation. I actually have to call the office today to get the information I need (they called me last week and I missed it because I was at a work event). The surgeon will be able to present my options a little better. But the ones that Dr. Leung gave me were not awesome. The surgery comes with all those risks, and the non surgical option is to put me into a medical menopause for 6 months in the hopes that the fibroid will shrink, but that’s not a guarantee. I might still need surgery.

So I’m hoping the MRI will show that it is pedunculated, which will be a much easier and safer procedure (just cut the stalk and remove the fibroid).

My other concern comes from all the research I’ve continued to do on fibroids. I joined a group on Facebook, and the trend seems to go like this: ultrasound picks up one fibroid, the MRI shows 4 fibroids, and surgery removes 11 fibroids. So it’s very likely I have more than just this one, and who knows where they are and how they might be impacting our fertility.

In the meantime, I put myself on the auotimmune protocol diet (AIP) to hopefully heal my body and gut and hormones enough to make pregnancy happen, provided this fibroid gets taken care of. I’m currently in the elimination phase (no grains or gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, no nightshades, no processed sugar, no alcohol, no legumes or beans or nuts or seeds). It’s surprisingly a lot easier than it sounds (at least to me). I’ve been gravitating towards a lot of high potassium foods, which I found out is actually good for hyperthyroidism, so how about that. My bloat has decreased quite a bit and my skin has cleared up miraculously. No brain fog, high energy, and just overall feeling good. My thyroid nodule is shrinking and my heart palpitations have stopped (FINALLY), though that might just be my medication finally working properly, but my anxiety about my thyroid has all but gone finally too. I’ve heard good things about people being able to get pregnant by cutting out gluten and dairy, so I’m hoping this will really help us. I’ve also noticed that my premenstrual cramping is significantly and nearly non existent (though my boobs still hurt, so I guess they follow their own rules). I’ll be curious to see if my menstrual pain is at its worst still with AIP.

So yeah. That’s where we’re at. Just waiting to see what we’re gonna do about this fibroid. Either way, surgery or not, it looks like we won’t be able to pursue any further intervention until the fall at the earliest, and next year at the latest (depending on if I have surgery, which requires 6 months of recovery before TTC).

So maybe by the time I’m 34 we’ll have our first kid. We’ll see.

Almost halfway through

So I haven’t been updating much about this current cycle. I’ve been so incredibly busy with work and just trying to make conscious efforts to be calm and relaxed and invite the energy that I need to become pregnant into my life.

We’re almost halfway through our TWW for this IUI. Tomorrow will be 7dpiui, and I’m tempted to take a test just to see if the trigger is out yet (and then, if the test is positive, give myself anxiety over whether it’s a true positive or still just the trigger shot). I probably won’t, but a girl can dream. I wonder if it would embolden me to see the two pink lines, even if I knew they were just from our trigger a week ago.

I haven’t been obsessing, mostly because I don’t feel so good about our chances this cycle. When we triggered, I only had one follicle, and it wasn’t even fully ready yet (Dr. Khan likes to wait until we have at least 1 18mm follicle before triggering, and mine was only 17mm, but since my body was surging on its own that day, just like last time, we had to go ahead with the trigger or else miss our chance). Husband’s count was also dismally low as well (just under a million, when last time it was just under 5 million). Dr. Khan said he’s seen people get pregnant with less, so fingers crossed our one in just under a million was in that batch.

My endoc also lowered my dosage of methimazole, which means my hyperthyroid symptoms have returned, only a week later. I’ve been having constant heart palpitations and anxiety, but everyone assures me that you’re supposed to feel like crap — that means you’re better. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, our ridiculous medical model.

When I went for my first follicle check o the 18th, they also noticed that my fibroid had grown, and is now larger than my uterus itself. So if we’re not pregnant this cycle, Dr. Khan wants me to have it removed (and I do too, in all honesty). I feel ambivalent about the prospect, because it also means a 6 month hold on our TTC plans while I recover from surgery.

I have all kinds of feelings I’m trying to contend with at this point. I feel hopeful, or at least I want to feel hopeful, so we can finally be pregnant. But I’m also okay if we’re not pregnant this cycle because it means I get to have my fibroid removed, which means our chances of success will be increased. But then also there’s the 6 month wait afterwards. But if I have to wait 6 months, it means I’ll get to give the autoimmune protocol a try like I’ve been considering for the last few months, and 6 months is actually a really great amount of time to heal the gut, ensure that I’m getting enough nutrients to stabilize my hormones and support a pregnancy, and decrease all the inflammation in my body that’s probably not helping my thyroid or menstrual pain any. It’s just hard to balance my desire to feel good with my desire to have a baby, and also the knowledge that maybe once I do feel good I’ll be able to have a baby. I just want it all now. Right now.

Let no one ever say that I’ve not had the opportunity to practice patience.

New IUI cycle + Mercury retrograde = lots of deep breathing

Today is CD3 of our second IUI cycle, which means I found myself in Rockville early this morning for bloodwork and ultrasound.

I scheduled the appointment just as I had been instructed to do by my clinical team’s nurse. She never said to contact her specifically — she had said simply to call the office when we were ready to do our next IUI. So that was what I did.

Apparently that was NOT how they usually do things, so when I arrived for my appointment, they had me meet with a nurse (Nancy who is another angel on earth this month), who explained that they didn’t have a protocol for me because I hadn’t spoken with my clinical team since November.

I explained that I hadn’t been instructed to do that. And then I broke down in tears, explaining my frustrations with the lack of communication from my clinical team, the rudeness, the stress they put on me because they hadn’t explained anything during our first IUI (you may remember the drama of me having to hunt down a trigger shot the night I was supposed to administer it because no one had told me I needed to order it ahead of time). Nancy listened, and reassured me, and told me that what I had been through was unacceptable, and not my fault, and that she was going to take it upon herself to get me assigned to a new nurse (since apparently my current one had a track record of such terrible service). And then she introduced me to another nurse, a brusque British woman (her accent sounded vaguely Welsh) who gave me the pep talk I needed, and then gave me this hand written affirmation.

The Universe provides.

Of course then there was some misunderstanding about ordering my new meds and picking them up, but we quickly cleared that up (bless Nancy).

My bloodwork came back good, though I do have a small cyst on my left ovary. They aren’t concerned with it though since my estrogen levels are solid. So we move forward with the increased dosage of Clomid tonight for the next 5 days, and monitoring on the 18th. If all times well, which I believe it will, we’ll trigger on or around the 20th, which is the first day of spring, and also a full moon, a positive sign for fertility. Everything is matching up. It feels so magical and miraculous.

I’m feeling positive and hopeful. I’ve been focusing on positive affirmations, focusing on cultivating positive and creative energies, and letting myself be open.

My baby is coming.

My baby is coming.