9.05.2011

curious minds want to know

hmmm...im not sure if anyone would ever this anymore but i have gotten a couple of emails requesting an update so here goes.

How far along: currently, i am 25 4/7 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +4 as of my last appointment 2.5 weeks ago BUT i weighed myself at the gym last week and according to that scale, i gained an additional 6lbs in 1 week?!?  i'm really not sure.  i have another appointment this friday so we'll see.
Sleep: no issues.  i was a side sleeper before so i don't miss sleeping on my belly or anything.
Best moment this week:
finally having strangers recognize i'm pregnant
Movement: all the time!  my husband can feel them when he puts his had on my belly
Symptoms: just getting tired more quickly while active
Food cravings:
no must have cravings but i'm loving fruit and ice cream
Food aversions: the smell of seafood.  i LOVE seafood but right now its just not appetizing.  i do eat cooked sushi though
Gender: boy!! 
Labor Signs: thankfully none
Belly Button in or out? in but very shallow
What I miss: wine, cocktails, raw sushi
What I am looking forward to: meeting my baby boy!
Milestones:
reaching viability last week



here's my baby boy:

check out his lips:

my bump:

4.07.2011

i don't know what to say...


i can't really believe it. i'm so excited, anxious, nervous, optimistic, happy all at that same time.  i still really can't believe it.  i couldn't have gotten through 4 months without the support and cathartic release that this blog has provided me.  through this almost 2 year journey, there were many, many, many days that i thought this day would never come.  i just hope this little nugget sticks!

below i'm going to detail how i came to find out that i'm PREGNANT (OMG, really?!?) in case you're interested.  i think this will also serve as my last post if everything goes well with the pregnancy.  i just remember how sometimes it was so difficult for me to get updates in my google reader from newly pregnant bloggers when i was struggling so hard with month after month of BFNs.  so, if you're interested in following my pregnancy journey, email me using the link on my blog/profile, and i'll update you to my new blog whenever i set it up.  again, thanks for following me on this journey!

how i found out:
so, after working a 30hr shift where i took care of many sick babies, one in particular who will likely die today after his family decides to withdraw care on him, i was feeling particularly beat down and exhausted.  it was a really rough night, and i may have slept a maximum of 30 minutes - 1 hour the whole night.  as i was leaving work, the thought popped into my head that, i hadn't peed since first thing that morning. (it was close to 1pm by this time.) i thought, i bet if i took a pregnancy test, my urine would be super concentrated, enough so that it'd turn positive if was pregnant.  (this is because i hardly ever drink enough water at work when i'm really busy which is a terrible habit.)  i kind of brushed off this thought because i was thinking i would start my period tomorrow like i do every month 14 dpo.  on the way home, i couldn't stop thinking about taking a test.  i finally convinced myself to take one just so i could get the thought out of my head and get some much needed sleep.  so, i got home, let the dog out and peed in my cup.  i dipped my internet cheapie hcg and forced myself not to watch it develop like i normally do but to instead quickly jump in the shower to get the stench of the hospital off me.  in the shower i prayed, not for it to be positive, but for me to accept whatever the results were.  i repeated over and over, "be joyful in hope, patient in adversity and  faithful in prayer."  i finished my shower and took a deep breath and quickly and ineffectively dried myself off.  i cautiously walked to the counter where i had left my test.  i could NOT believe my eyes when i saw those 2 beautiful pink lines.  i cried immediately, and i NEVER cry.  i stared at my face in the mirror.  i still couldn't believe it.  i fell to my knees, crying, naked and wet (sorry for the visual) and thanked God over and over again.  i then dipped my digital just to be sure and that pic is posted above! 

again, thanks so much for following me on this journey.  i wish each of you the best of luck!

4.03.2011

body image issues

hello lovelies!

i hope your weekend has been going well.  mine has been so nice and relaxing (especially since i didn't have to work this weekend) with the exception of my friday night melt down, more on that later.

yesterday, we went on our double date with my husband's boss and his wife.  if you recall from my previous post, they are struggling with infertility too and are actually doing their first round of ivf.  i thought it might be awkward, and i had some apprehension about going but it turned out fine.  we actually never really talked about infertility, which was kind of a relief.  my husband did second guess me for having a glass of wine while we were waiting at the bar for them to arrive, not only because we are in "limbo" as he likes to put it (i'm in the 2ww), but he thought it might be insensitive for me to drink around his bosses wife since she'd then be the only one not drinking at dinner.  i told him i wasn't going to not drink because of other people, and i'm so early in the 2ww, it doesn't even matter if i had one glass of wine.  so of course my husband cracks a joke during dinner about how i'm all about "drink til it's pink" - which i'm not sure where he got that saying from because i don't think i've ever actually said that to him.  we had a little awkward laugh and under her breath, i hear the wife say, "i wish we were still at that point" or something like that, and i felt a tinge of guilt.  :T but all and all it was a fun time and maybe if i got to know her better, i'd open up to her about what we're going through.  so as in the case of most things in life, it wasn't all it was hyped up to be.  :) 

like i was saying earlier, on friday night i had a major meltdown.  it was ugly and sad.  i was upset because currently, i'm the heaviest i've ever been in my entire life, ever.  now, if you saw me walking down the street, you'd probably say, what are you talking about? you look fine!  which, i can admit i can look okay if i wear flattering clothes and fix myself up but there are many, many more clothes in my closest that i can no longer wear because they are too tight and are unflattering.  i've always been thin my entire life and never had to worry too much about my weight.  if i gained an extra five pounds here and there, it only took a few weeks at the gym to work it off.  now here i am, approaching 30 this month, and i can't seem to get this weight off that popped out of nowhere.  it doesn't help that i am now back on service this month meaning, i wear scrubs everyday not realizing how much more weight i'm gaining until i try to squeeze into some jeans on the weekend.  :(  so anyways, i had a meltdown friday night, and i cried while my husband held and comforted me.  i cried because i'm no longer the trim, slim, active girl i was just a few years ago.  i cried because i feel like i don't recognize this body that i'm living in.  i cried because i feel like my body has betrayed me in more ways than one, first with not providing me with a baby and second for not responding to diet and exercise like it used to only a few years ago.  i cried and i cried.  my poor husband was at a loss for words because he had no idea where this was coming from.  he, being a man, of course wanted to "fix it" by telling me i was beautiful and that we would diet and exercise together to get me to where i wanted to be.  but the best thing he did was when he stopped talking and just held me while i cried.  i'm so blessed to have him in my life.

i think that those of us who struggle with infertility definitely have some body image issues.  we feel like our bodies have betrayed us, and it's a struggle to love this body that we see as "broken".  i don't have any magical answers to help us accept our infertile bodies but i just wanted you to know, you are not alone.    

3.30.2011

permission to hope



today, i'm giving myself permission to hope.

while i will probably hate myself later on if this isn't our cycle, i know i have to allow myself to hope. 

3.28.2011

on the fence...

hello lovelies!

i hope you had a great weekend.  :)  mine was pretty good despite working all weekend.

so, my husband told me over dinner this weekend that he has "come out" to one of his bosses at work.  this boss and his wife have been trying for 5 years to have a baby and are about to begin their first round of ivf.  they also have unexplained infertility, and they want to have dinner with us.  my husband set it up for this coming saturday.  i'm really not sure how i feel about the whole thing.  yes, i have been wanting to talk about what we've been going through with someone, but i'm not sure if i ever expected that someone to be a complete stranger.  i mean i know i write about our experiences and my feelings on this public blog but there is at least some sense of anonymity that i can hide behind.  this would be a face to face conversation about some of our most intimate feelings/frustrations with a couple i've never met.  in addition, they are way further along in their journey than we are.  i mean, they're about to do ivf.  we (by we i mean i) am honestly still in some denial about our infertility.  i think that some how by discussing our situation with someone other than ourselves, it makes it more real.  i'm not sure if that makes any sense but it's the way that i feel.  also in the back of my mind, i'm still hopeful that this cycle will be our cycle, that we can still get pregnant without assistance.  what would happen if we met with our new infertile friends and then we announce our pregnancy in the next couple of months?  would we stop being friends?  would we hurt their feelings?  this is one of my husband's bosses you know.  so i don't know.  i'm still kind of iffy about the whole thing but i agreed to go to dinner on saturday with them.  we'll see how it goes.

over the weekend i read this book:
i thought it was good.  it was like reading someone's blog from start to finish.  i could relate to a lot of it because the women who wrote it are diagnosed with unexplained infertility.  i would recommend it:
  • if your idea of foreplay is screaming, "i'm ovulating; it's time!!!" to your oblivious husband...
  • if your ovulation schedule is ruling your life and every trip to the drug store includes a bulk purchase of pregnancy sticks...
  • if you're running out of answers to the chronic questioning from the pregnancy paparazzi about your plans for parenthood ... 
it was a very quick and easy read.

so, have you recently "come out" to anyone?  i think it will be awkward but it might be easier that they don't know our family or friends so that word wouldn't spread like wildfire.  i dunno.  i'm still on the fence....

3.25.2011

its friday, i'm in love!

well, for most people who work normal hour jobs, friday means the start of the weekend.  they think of fun things to do over the weekend or chores that need to get done.  mostly they think of spending time with loved ones away from work.  sometimes, i get to be like most people.  sometimes i do get weekends off & i love it! other times, like today, friday could be monday or tuesday for all i care because i'm on call this weekend.  i am "in house" (translation - sleeping or hoping i get to attempt to sleep in the hospital) for overnight call tonight.  then i have to come in and round (translation - see and examine the babies) on sunday.  normally when i take call on friday, i have sunday off but this weekend i'm doing a favor for one of the other fellows who is having her baby baptized.  so in the next 3 days, i will have worked somewhere around 35hrs depending on how long it takes to round on the babies on sunday.  i'm not complaining (although maybe i am just a little) because this is what i signed up for.  i knew going into this field that it required overnight in-house call.  i knew that it meant sometimes not sleeping in the same bed as my husband at night, or not sleeping at all for that matter.  but i absolutely love my job.

when i was in medical school thinking about what i wanted to be when i grew up, i had no idea.  i wanted to be a doctor, duh, but what kind, who knew?!?  it was hard enough getting into medical school, now i had to decide what kind of doctor to be?  after careful consideration, i chose pediatrics, not because i love kids. don't get me wrong, i do. i chose pediatrics because in general, kids get better.  they haven't abused their bodies with drugs and alcohol.  it's okay to hug you patients when they are kids.  their poopie diapers aren't as gross as adults.  they adapt quickly to being in the hospital and quickly realize they can guilt you into playing board games with them.  the list could go on and on.

once i was in residency, i figured out that i liked being in the hospital more than being in clinic.  unlike most doctors that work in critical care, i absolutely loved my well child checks.  i loved seeing my patients grow and develop.  i loved to talking to parents about anticipatory guidance.  it was the rest of it - the ear infections, the coughs and colds, the constipation visits, vague abdominal pain, adhd - that just wasn't for me.

i have always liked critical care.  i like the acuity of it.  i like thinking about the physiology of the meds or the ventilator.  i love procedures.  i tried desperately to like the picu (pediatric icu), but it was in vein.  i hated it.  it was very emotionally draining for me.  i couldn't stand seeing the 5 year old little girl who was now brain dead because she was playing outside when a stray bullet struck her.  i couldn't stand watching the 17 year old boy who a year ago was playing football and basketball with his friends now too weak to get up from his chemotherapy crying like a toddler in his mother's arms.  it was just too much for me.  even i as i type this, the emotions from that time period still resonate with me.  the kids in the picu have a story.  they have a personality.  they have best friends.  they have a life.  for me, this was just too much for me to deal with for the rest of my career.

i chose neonatology partly because for most of the babies, being in the nicu is their story.  we know everything that has gone on in their lives since they were born.  there isn't the worry that maybe the mother's boyfriend shook this baby so hard that he stopped breathing.  no, he's not breathing because he was born 3 months early.  it still offered me the acuity of taking care of sick patients, procedures galore, but it also offered me the continuity of seeing that baby born at 26 weeks get discharged from here.  now, don't get me wrong, i don't do procedures just to do procedures.  but there is a definite sense of accomplishment you feel when it's your hands that have put a breathing tube in a baby so they can breath, when it's your hands that put a teeny tiny iv in a baby so you can better monitor their blood pressures, when it's your hands that helped to alleviate the pressure on the baby's heart by getting the air or blood out of their chest with a tiny chest tube.  it's a great feeling to know your hands have helped these innocent babies. 

yes, some babies don't make it, and it does break my heart.  some babies end up so devastated developmentally or physically that i wonder if we've done more harm than good.  but most babies do great.  most babies go home with their families and begin their own story far away from the scary nicu.

so basically, the point of this long post (sorry i didn't realize this i what i was going to post about today) is that i my life.  i my husband.  i my career.  i hope one day i get to share this love with a little tiny baby of my own.

happy friday y'all!

3.23.2011

the reading rainbow

hello! a few days ago i got a library card.  i have been meaning to get one since july but i guess better late than never.  there are so many books that i want to read, and it can become a pretty expensive habit.  what's nice about this library system is you can request books online, and then they email you when its ready to pick up.  you can request books from any library in the system, and they deliver your books to the library of your choosing! luckily for me, the nearest branch is less than a mile from my house.  every time i get an email about a new book to pick up, it brings a smile to my face.  :)  i'm not one to re-read book so borrowing from the library makes sense to me.

a few weeks ago, i bought a groupon for a barnes and noble gift card, $20 gift card for the price of $10.  monday or tuesday, i ordered 2 books and got free shipping.  i think the whole transaction cost less than $6.  today my shipment came in!  so exciting!

i <3 books - the feel, the weight, the smell of them.  while i know the kindle or nook are hot ticket items, right now i just can't seem to part from real, turn the pages books. 

below are the books i'm current reading/about to read:


  • almost home: stories of hope and the human spirit in the neonatal ICU - i'm reading this book because its an easy read, written from the perspective of a neonatologist.  it helps me to put in perspective why i'm working so hard and so many hours to take care of little tiny babies.  i can relate to a lot of the stories in the book and so far it's pretty good.
  • tick tock: this is written by a ob/gyn (i swear i don't only read books written by doctors!) who struggles with infertility.  i haven't read it yet (it was one of my b&n orders - this book wasn't available in the library either so i figured why not).  i hope it's good! 
  • room:  this is my other b&n order because the book is so new.  its a hard back.  its a story written from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who has spent his entire life living in this room.  his mother and he are basically held captive in the room and the mother does her best to make the room interesting and fun while trying to figure a way out to escape.  sounds intriguing!  i'm debating on whether or not to save this book and read it whenever my husband and i go on vacation in may.  just in case the books i have on my list in the library don't come in on time (i have to wait for others to turn them in. for some i'm #45 on the waitlist).  see, always a planner....
books i've read so far this year:
i think this list isn't bad for someone who frequently works close 80hrs/week while on service (5 months out of 12 this year) or otherwise slaving in the lab while reading scientific papers in my "spare time" that sometimes make me want to poke my eyes out they are so boring!
    books i've requested from the library and am waiting to get to read:
    yes, a few of the books have a common theme - infertility.  while i'm trying to keep a busy, well rounded life, this topic never seems far from my mind. 

    do you have any must read books - books for fun and for infertility?  i'd appreciate any recommendations!

    btw, i found out what's been going on with the comments i leave on other people's blogs.  sometimes my comments end up in the spam box and thus are never seen or read.  oh well.  at least i tried!


      3.21.2011

      when did when, turn into if?

      yesterday my husband and i watched the movie, switch, with jennifer anniston.
      it was an okay movie.  the quick and dirty plot is that jennifer anniston wants a baby but isn't married.  she hires a sperm donor to have a baby but her best friend switches his sperm for it instead.  years later he meets the son and realizes it's his especially after seeing some of his own mannerisms in the boy. it got my husband and i talking about how weird/cool it is that kids have similar mannerisms to their parents even when they don't know them or get a chance to meet them. 

      almost 6 years ago, one of my family friends, my bff's older sister who was like an older sister to me, passed away at the age of 31 after battling breast cancer.  she was diagnosed in october and died in may.  no family history of breast cancer.  she walked into her doctor's office complaining of back pain.  they ended up doing an xray and found lytic lesions.  she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.  her daughter was 6 months old.  she died the month after her first birthday.  her daughter is now almost 7 years old and i see so much of her in her mannerisms and actions.  she has the same broad beautiful smile, the same dainty way of running, the same fully belly laugh.  its amazing!

      my husband and i were discussing this and he asked, which of my mannerisms do you think our son would have?  an innocent enough question.  i heard myself saying, if we have kids, our son would probably have your smile.

      when the hell did when turn into if?!? 

      i swear i'm trying to be positive, to be hopeful.  to have faith.  i guess my sub-conscience has a different point of view.  its so difficult to want to be hopeful because of the fear of recurrent disappointment. 

      last night, my husband confessed that he's worried about me.  that i'm too stressed out about this whole ttc thing.  and i have to admit that i am.  i feel like its all consuming.  i can't help but think about it every day, several times a day.  don't get me wrong, i'm not sitting around in my room, curtains drawn, brooding about ttc everyday.  it may seem like it because its really all i write about in this blog. but really i have a very full and busy life.  its just when i'm alone getting ready in the morning before my husband's gotten up or at night when i'm trying to get fall asleep, a million obsessions swirl around in my head.  i use this blog as an outlet for my obsessions.  and i think it helps.  it helps to get them out of my head and see them in black and white.  it helps me to process it, and also helps me to have some perceptive.

      yes, we're still young.  yes, we haven't been trying as long as some other couples.  yes, there's nothing medically wrong with us.  yes, there's still time.  yes, i should be more hopeful. 

      i need to turn my if back to when.

      3.18.2011

      where do all my comments go?

      i know how much i really appreciate little comments that are sometimes left on my blog. it makes my heart smile. :)

      so i do make an effort to leave comments on other people's blogs, especially when i start following them. most of the time, i've been finding that my comment will show up briefly for a second and then it disappears. i'm not sure if there is something wrong with my blogger setting, if the blogger chooses not to publish them or if the comment gets thrown into the internet black-hole never to be seen again. i hope that the owners of the blog actually get to read my comment. i really don't care if it gets published or not but i just know how nice it is to get that email that someone else out there is going through a similar situation and can relate to how crazy/upset/sad you're feeling that day. so if i haven't gotten a chance to comment on your blog or it has somehow disappeared, i'm hear routing for you!

      3.17.2011

      2 posts in one day?!? i must be drunk!

      and i think i am. i'm finishing up my 3rd glass of wine. my husband has left to go have some drinks with one of his friends. which is fine, really because now i can spend time lurking on thebump.com or researching "unexplained infertility" via google.

      today we bought a bottle of wine celebrated our tests being "normal". normal hsg. normal CD3 blood work. normal SA. normal, normal, normal. but where does that leave us? really with a whole lot of questions and no answers. where do we go from here?!?

      i think i'm kind of in a state of denial. not quite ready to use the "i" word, infertility. sometimes i write it on comments on the bump or will google it online but i have yet to accept the fact that technically, we are infertile. over 1 year of unprotected sex that does not result in a pregnancy. that's us. not one double pink line. not even a hint of a little pink shadow. all i have see in a stark white space where my beautiful little pink line should be.

      if you've been reading my blog, you'll know that i've been of bcp since 05.09. that's almost 2 freakin' years! we started using opks in 06.10. every month its the same story, +opks, good timing sex-wise, and a stark white space next to the pink control line. its just so frustrating!

      so here we are with unexplained infertility. idiopathic is what it would be called in medical terms. where do we go from here?

      because my main coping mechanism is intellectulalization, i google what our next steps could possible be. what i found was essentially clomid + IUI. naturally i did a pubmed search using the key words "unexplained infertility" + "clomid" to find studies/review articles in the medical literature regarding this treatment. what i found basically reinforced what i thought initially. that if a woman is ovulating, clomid, with its anti-estrogenic properties, basically fools the body into developing more than one follicle and increases the likelihood of multiple gestations - twins, triplets, ect. now, i am not knocking anyone for being on clomid or trying it for unexplained infertility - to each his own really. but for me, personally, being a neonatology fellow and see what complications can come from multiple gestations, preterm birth, ect, right now for us, it's not a risk i'm willing to take.

      that leaves me wondering, do i want this bad enough? i mean, if others are willing to risk multiple gestation pregnancies and right now i'm not, does that mean i don't want it as much or as bad as they do? for now, i'm reassuring myself that no, that's not what it means. i have a very different perspective than most people. i take care of the 24-25 week twin gestation babies and see how difficult the course is not only for the babies, but for the families. i see them when they are 2-3 years old and see how far behind some of them are developmentally from their peers. i see moms and dads hearts break when we have to withdraw care on their babies because they just can't fight the fight anymore. it's so heartbreaking. i'm not sure my husband and i would be able to stand it.

      so for now, the plan is nothing. which is a very tough thing for me, being a planaholic. we will continue to hump like rabbits and pray that one day we will make a baby. at least that's where we're at right now. ask me the next CD1 and it could be a totally different story. i might be ready to put my feet in the stirup and be injected with my husband's sperm! but for today, we wait.

      meanwhile, tonight, i get drunk. :)

      normal

      i got a call from my ob/gyn today.  my husbands swimmers are good!  :)  so that means so far everything is normal.  all we have left is my progesterone level to check on april 1st.  after that...who knows...

      my husband and i talked about it and if everything does come back normal, we'll probably just keep trying or maybe even take a break for a little bit.  i'm really not sure.  i don't think we're quite ready to move onto more invasive measures.  what those would be, i'm really not sure.  for unexplained infertility, i'm really not sure what the next step is/could be.  i guess i'll find out when/if i make a follow up appointment with her. 

      at this point i'm just happy that so far, things so far are normal.

      i was so excited about our results that i skipped going into the lab to work and instead treated myself to a mani-pedi today.  its finally flip-flops weather where i live & i'm lovin' it!


      3.16.2011

      hysterosalpingogram. try saying that 3x fast!

      today i had my hsg. i won't leave you in suspense. it was normal.

      my appointment was at 1:00pm. of course being a natural planner, i pre-printed my new patient registration sheet off their website and arrived with it filled out. my husband went with me to this appointment. at first i wasn't sure i wanted him there. i wasn't sure that he'd even be able to go back with me. but after doing some research (aka lurking on trouble trying to get pregnant on thebump.com), a lot of girls said that they thought it was nice/would be nice if you didn't go alone. my husband's job allows him a flexible schedule so i asked him to go.

      we arrived 20 minutes early, starving from not having eaten lunch yet. i checked in at the counter and asked the lady how much my copay would be. (i called my insurance last week to see how much i'd be paying. i was told either a $35 copay for an office visit or 20/80 split for the procedure.) the lady at the desk tells me that she doesn't know how much my insurance would cover. she says the test costs $450 if you go through insurance, and i would be responsible for whatever they didn't pay. needless to say, i was on the phone with my insurance company in 5 minutes. apparently they don't cover an hsg unless you are checking to see if your tubal ligation is working or if you have a foreign object in you uterus (like an iud) that can't be found. i argued with the insurance guy for awhile but quickly saw that the conversation was going no where. long story short, we ended up pay $160 out-of-pocket for the hsg. we haven't met any of our deductible yet this year so either way, we were going to pay. whatev.

      30 minutes later we were called back to another room where a very sweet tech asked if we had any questions and explained to me what they were going to do. then we waited for the exam room to be ready. 15 minutes passed and we go into the room. i change into a gown, bottoms off. the table looked like a ct scanner bed. there were no stirups. a few folded sheets were in place for me to prop by butt on.

      i met the radiologist. he would be the first male to put a speculum in me. weird. i called ahead and knew that the radiologist would be doing the procedure, not a tech. i've always gone to female ob/gyn but looking on the website all of the radiologist were male so basically i was shit out of luck. he was more personable than most radiologist (no offense any radiologist out there). he left to wash up, meanwhile the sweet tech kept talking my ear off.

      he gowned up and started the procedure. i informed him that my cervix was situated to the left so he wouldn't have a hard time finding it. the speculum was as uncomfortable as any speculum exam would be. he found my cervix and did 3 betadine swabs of it then he placed the catheter through it. it hurt. not just a little uncomfortable, but actual pain. on a scale of 1-10, i'd say it was around a 4/10. then he inflated the balloon. that was the part i think that hurt the most. i'd say around 5-6/10. (during this time, my poor husband is just sitting in the back of the room with a lead apron to protect his swimmers. i can't see him because he's directly behind me.) i turn my attention to the screen that is displaying my lady parts. it shows a catheter inside me.


      he injects dye into my uterus. it feels like pressure, not really pain but i'm still in a pretty decent amount of pain from the catheter balloon. the radiologist and i are both watching the real time screen of the dye in my uterus. it was actually pretty interesting. here's the first picture we saw.


      the catheter is in too deep on the right side. he deflates the balloon some and now the pain isn't really too bad, maybe a 2-3/10. most of the discomfort comes from the speculum. this is my next picture.


      everything looks fine. normal shaped uterus. both tubes are patent. you can't see the bottom of my uterus because of the catheter balloon. then he had me uncomfortably try to lay on my right side, the my left side to take some pictures of the posterior of the uterus. i won't bore you with those pictures. everything looked normal. catheter and speculum are removed. i wash up and get dressed. i feel crampy pain but nothing too terrible. my husband and i wait in the waiting room to get a copy of my film. (yes, they still use actual film in this office. hello, it's 2011! go digital!! i had to use my scanner light box thing and take a picture with my camera to get these on my blog.) after our appointment my husband and i grabbed lunched and talked.

      we were both relieved that it was normal. his first question was, "what now?" i told him i guess we wait for his semen analysis results (which we should get by next week the latest) and my progesterone level on april 1st. i think i forgot to mention that my CD3 blood work (FSH, estrogen, TSH, prolactin) were normal. they were. yay! so i guess now is just a waiting game.

      during the ride home i was thinking...

      how did we get to this point? why do we have to do tests and blood work while it seems like everyone else is just popping out babies left and right?

      i hope everything else is normal too but what if its not? what would we do? how far are we willing to go to have a baby? would we just try a little longer? how aggressive do we want to be?


      so many thoughts going through my mind. its like a whirlwind up there...

      3.14.2011

      when do you want to have a baby?

      this is the question my mom asked me over the phone yesterday. we have this agreement, my mom and i, that i call her every sunday. she really looks forward to my call and gets pretty upset with me when i forget or don't make time to call. i know some people talk to their moms everyday. first of all, i'm not much of a phone person to begin with. secondly, i don't have any idea what i would talk to my mom about every day. i love her but my life isn't really that exciting. there's not much to say. i get up, go to work and come home most days. anyways, so sundays i try to remember to call her. most of the time our conversation is brief but it is nice to hear updates from her about what's going on back home. last night for some reason, she asked me about having a baby, more specifically WHEN did i want to have this said baby, as if it were up to me! i gave her my generic answer,"whenever God wants me to have one." but she kept persisting, "so, are you ready now? do you want one now?" i again said, "i don't know mom. we'll have one whenever God wants us to have one." she said, "well, if you're ready now, i'm going to start praying that you get pregnant." and we left it at that.

      it's kind of weird sometimes how moms know what you want/need without you saying so. when i abruptly decided to pursue a neonatology fellowship during my third year of residency, i told my mom after i had already lined up 2 interviews. she surprised me by saying, "oh good! i've been praying that you'd want to do neonatal ever since i met this lady on our vacation a few months back what was a neonatal. i'm so happy!" (fyi, my mom is non-medical & speaks with an accent, thus the use of the word "neonatal".) i had not once talked about doing a fellowship, let alone neonatology, with my mom but all this time before i even knew i wanted it, she was praying.

      weird, huh?

      during our sunday conversation, my mom was at my aunt's house so i didn't tell her how long we've been trying, that we are now on to blood work, tests and more tests. my husband and i decided that we would only tell her about the tests if something were wrong. there's really no point in burdening her with it now. it feels good to know that my mom is praying for us to have a baby. i just hope it doesn't turn into a weekly, "so are you pregnant yet?" question. we'll see.

      on another note, below are a couple of pictures of the baby in our lives right now. how could you not love his ugly face?!?





      happy tuesday everyone!!

      3.09.2011

      at least we have a plan...

      so i went to my ob/gyn this am with my husband to discuss our fertility issues. overall it went fine. i knew exactly what she was going to say we needed to do. it was just a little frustrating that we are actually to the point where we need testing. so here's a run down of what we've got planned this month written out by my doctor. btw, today is cd 1 for me. freakin' awesome.



      1. semen analysis - my husband will do this some time next week
      2. CD3 (scheduled for fri 3/11) blood work - FSH, prolactin, TSH
      3. CD 22 or greater (scheduled for fri 4/1)- progesterone 
      4. HSG some time during CD7-10 (scheduled for 3/16)


      she coded my visit as "irregular periods" so we could bill the insurance for the lab work but the HSG and semen analysis will be out of pocket expenses for us.  i think the semen analysis is around $120 and the HSG is a steal at $200 or so.  Most places I think charge several hundred up to $1,000 for it so I guess that's a good thing.

      i like my ob/gyn. she knows i'm a doctor so she doesn't sugar coat things which i like. she's very matter-of-fact with me but at the same time, she took the time to explain to my husband in layman's terms what she was looking for in his semen analysis. so overall it went well i guess. at least we have a plan for now.

      oh, i also asked her about getting a digital fertility monitor & she didn't think it was necessary for me. we are both pretty sure i'm ovulating and my lab work this month will provide more information than it would. so for now, i'm holding off on that.

      so after that appointment, i had to go back to work. right now is a research month for me, meaning i spend most of my time in the lab unless its the weekend or i'm on call. i decided to spruce my little corner of the lab up a little bit. i LOVE office supplies! so here's my little office supply corner. i haven't filled out my "this week" pad yet but will start using it next week.



      and because i'm feeling pretty infertile, i brought some plants to bring some life into this place.


      i picked a cactus and a succulent because they're pretty hard to kill. i won't always be here in the lab when i'm on service so hopefully they'll hold up!

      here's the view from my "office" in the lab. :) its a cloudy day today but at least the sun is trying to make its way out.


      so that's the update from me! hope your wednesday is going well!

      3.06.2011

      reflection sunday

      so, religion is something i typically don't talk about, not because i don't think it's appropriate or that it's not important in my life, it's just something that i think is very personal and private to me. additionally, i don't want to alienate anyone who might read this blog who may not be religious. (i'm so excited by the way that i have more than 5 followers!)

      (almost) every sunday, we go to church. and i pray. i pray for the health and safety of my friends & family. i pray for my loved ones that have passed. i pray direction. i pray for patience. i pray for faith. i pray for a baby. sometimes when i'm feeling particularly down or lost, i just pray for the desire to want to be patient and have faith.

      sundays help me to reflect on the week that has passed and focus and be rejuvenated for the week ahead. this coming week, i have my appointment with my ob/gyn to discuss infertility. it's an appointment that i am both looking forward to & am dreading. what if she tells us just to keep trying?!? what if she wants to do a million invasive tests that we don't have money to pay for?!? what if there is something wrong we can't fix?!? what if, what if, what if...

      i broke down and took another pregnancy test today. i think i'm 12dpo, although i might be 10dpo. BFN. i've promised myself not to take another one until wednesday morning before our appointment if i haven't started by then. i'd be officially late & i think it'd be important to know if i happened to be pregnant during our infertility appointment!

      10 years ago, i never would have imagined that i'd be living here, so far away from family & friends, doing my neonatology fellowship. but this is definitely the life i am supposed to be living right now. i love my job & can't imagine training anywhere else. in 2005, i started my first 3rd year clerkship in the nicu. it was the first time in medical school that we actually got to touch a real patient. i was terrified and didn't know how to write progress notes or present, let alone how to interpret labs and xrays! now here i am, spending most of my time (outside the lab that is) in the nicu. and i love it!

      my point is, the road to getting here has been tough, and the result was unexpected and better than i could have imagined. i've been blessed with a great husband and stinky dog that love me unconditionally. i'm finally happy in my career. i honestly believe that there is a point to all of this - the struggles of ttc. i just sometimes wish it didn't have to be so hard.

      so today i pray for the desire to be patient, to have faith & to have hope as i'm struggling more today than others. i am also praying for baby N, one of my favorite patients (even though i know we're not supposed to have favorites), who will be laid down to rest today.

      3.03.2011

      the other shoe dropped

      so I've been doing pretty well. dealing with planning a baby shower, accepting that my doctor's appointment will probably not be a "yay, i'm pregnant visit" but more like, "okay what's wrong with us & is there anything we can do to fix it?"

      well today, against my better judgment i took a pregnancy test even though i KNOW it's too soon. (i'm likely 7-9 dpo. i got +opk 2/22-2/24. so i'm not 100% sure when i actually ovulated. it sucks that i can't temp because of my crazy hours at work. i'm never sure that i'll get 3 consecutive hours of sleep when i'm on call overnight.) what a surprise - BFN!! and i just found out my cousin & his wife are expecting their 2nd child. they got married a month after we did. *sigh*

      FML!!!

      2.28.2011

      bootcamp

      so, im in the 2ww. ugh.

      i signed up for this bootcamp class, unlimited for 4 weeks. it was eh. i mean i did sweat but i think i was expecting it to be harder. i'm not in the best shape of my life but i do need a challenge. the hardest part was abs which i suck at but the rest of it was not that hard. at least i did something i guess.

      currently, i'm planning a baby shower for my bff. she's due in july. i'm actually excited about planning it & not bitter, which surprises me. i'm thinking of doing a make-a-onsie station, maybe some cakepops or a balloon wreath.




      :)

      2.26.2011

      pyschic or psycho

      so, this is a little embarrassing. i contacted a psychic. via email. ahahahah!


      i didn't pay any money or anything. apparently this psychic will do free readings but according to her email she is currently working on free prediction from nov 2010 so i figure it may be a while or never before i get a response. i will admit i was tempted to pay the 10 bucks to see what she says but, really, i could use that on a couple of nice lattes instead.


      i must be going psycho!!

      2.20.2011

      just in case?!?

      so, one of my bffs is getting married!  i'm so excited for her.  she's been waiting a long time to get married and i'm ecstatic!  she's has asked me to be a bridesmaid which is such an honor.  her wedding date is set for late october.

      the first thought that pops into my mind when she tells me the wedding date is, wow, if i get pregnant this month, i'd be almost term and probably won't be able to travel.  should i order a larger size bridesmaid dress just in case or will i be jinxing myself and will a larger bridesmaid dress just be another reminder about our fertility woes?  i'm not sure what to do.

      i do know that we will continue to ttc even if it means missing her big day.  while i feel some tinges of guilt, i know that she'd totally understand if i did get pregnant.  at least, i think she would...

      2.19.2011

      it could always be worse.

      friday at 3am we coded a baby for 1 hour before she died.

      while ttc has been a struggle, things could always be worse.

      i've been following this blog for a while now. while i don't know sarah personally (i went to med school with her sister), her positive attitude and bright smile inspire me to live in the now and see the beauty in everyday life.


      http://sarahchidgey.blogspot.com/


      stop and smell the roses.

      2.14.2011

      love & what not

      happy valentine's day for anyone out there reading this blog still. i hope you're feeling loved today.



      (i have a boston so i love this pic!)

      i've been doing much better ever since i made my appointment with my ob. i feel a little more relaxed now that we have a plan in place. i'm a nicu fellow, planner is my middle name.

      this weekend was beautiful. the sun was shining. i went for a run. while i was disappointed that i didn't run as long or as fast as i wanted, at least it was something. and yes, i am keeping up (mostly) with my 30 day shred. i missed one day since i've started it. i'm feeling better about myself and i think that's helpful when ttc.

      yesterday, i made the following cupcakes for our valentines dinner tonight. it's salted caramel chocolate cupcakes. they are really good (if i do say so myself). below is a pic from my iphone.


      i'm thinking of doing a 365 photo challenge (one photo a day). i have nikon dslr that i love but haven't been showing much attention to. we'll see. i have lots of plans (30 day shred, half marathon, 365 photo challenge, make a human baby) but who knows what i'll actually be able to follow through with!

      another thing i'm working on right now is my fellow research project. today i flushed embryos out of a hamster's uterus and looked at them under a microscope. they look a little something like this:

      it's so amazing how a little ball of cells turns into an entire living being!

      i can't wait to have a little ball of cells in my ute.

      2.08.2011

      the "i" word

      today i made an appointment with my ob/gyn for next month. yesterday, after having worked 30hrs and being exhausted, i broke down and cried. i never cry. my friends joke that i'm heartless because i didn't cry at my wedding, even after my husband made the most amazing heartfelt speech at our reception. there's nothing wrong with crying, i just never do it. so when i did, my husband knew i was really down. he encouraged me to make an appointment with my doctor and promised he would accompany me to it.

      so today i called. made an appointment for next month. when the receptionist asked, "what's the purpose of the appointment?" i said, "well, i want to talk to her about having difficulty conceiving." she said, "okay, infertility. thanks! see you then!"

      *sigh*



      on another note, jillian michael's 30 day shred kicks ass! it's hard. 25 minutes of working out with no breaks. i'm a little sore today but will try to work harder during my work out today. i have a lot of frustration to work out!

      2.07.2011

      challenge yourself

      so, it's currently snowing where i live. i've been wanting to start training for the half marathon but i'm not crazy enough to run outside in the snow! i've been hearing a lot of good things about some work out videos & so i'm taking the leap & starting a 30 day challenge, jillian michael's style!


      while you're supposed to do this workout 30 days straight, i think i might have to modify it a bit because of my call schedule. i won't work out the days i am on call but will work out post-call. i think that's a pretty good compromise. it'll be my "34 day challenge".

      i also have heard good things about things about this "insanity work out". while it looks cheesy on the cover, i heard it kicks butt!


      my plan is to do the 30 day shred followed up by insanity. we'll see how long this lasts. i tried P90x but never last longer than a few days! i want to get back to my old self, my healthier happier self who wasn't obsessed with TTC. while we will continue to TTC, i want to enjoy today.

      plus, i wanna be a hot mama!

      2.04.2011

      to tell or not to tell

      first of all, thanks to each & every one of you, even it's just a handful, who read this blog & comment or lurk. i personally read a lot of blogs that i never comment on so no judgment here! (although, shamelessly, i + comments)

      tonight, as my husband is out of town & i have already drank 2 large glasses of wine, i've begun to contemplate if i should or should not let any of our friend/family know we are TTC.

      as of now, we haven't told anyone we are actively TTC. we already put so much pressure on ourselves about the whole situation that we thought telling anyone else would just add more pressure. our response to the dreaded, "so when are you having a baby?" has been very vague. "some time before i finish fellowship (within the next now 2 & 1/2 years)." as the months tick by, i'm afraid this answer won't suffice for too long.

      while i created this blog as an outlet for me to vent/express my thoughts, its not the same as having a heart to heart conversation with someone. i'm not sure why i am so hesitant to tell my friends. (i know i'm hesitant to tell my mom because she has a big mouth!) i think part of the reason is that i think that if i say the words OUT LOUD, to someone other than my husband, then i'm admitting that i think there might be a problem.

      21 months off birth control & no baby. that's almost 2 years. i'm pretty sure that's a problem. at this point, i'm really not sure what would be worse, to know there's a problem & not be able to fix it OR never find a reason. my husband wants to give it the old college try. really REALLY try for one year and see what happens. meanwhile, i feel like we are wasting time.

      if i really wanted to talk to one of my friends about our journey, i don't really think they would get it, really understand what we are going through. only 4 of my closest girlfriends are married. one of them already has a sweet daughter. it took them 8 months to get pregnant but after 6 months of "seeing what happens", it took only 2 cycles after using OPKs to get a BFP. my friend that just got knocked up did so 5 months after she got married. the other 2 married girlfriends aren't even thinking about it yet (that i know of).

      the thing is, i don't want pity. i don't want my friends to feel sorry for me. i want someone who knows what i'm going through to empathize with me. so that's when i turned to the bump. at first i lurked. i posted a couple of times. i found some blogs to read. but then i started noticing how sometimes, the comments on there were just snarky/rude/bitter. i didn't want to become that way. so i quit. at least i tried to quit. i admit that i will on occasion lurk but when i do, i eventually end up reading a thread where someone gets attacked and i remember why i wanted to quit in the first place. i think the bump can be a great resource. i bet probably more helpful once you are actually pregnant. for TTC, i think there is a lot of misinformation (medically speaking) that has women obsessing over every single "symptom" or change in temperature. i'm sure for others the bump has been great, but i think its just not for me. so that leaves me with just my blog & you!

      who have you told about ttc, if you are? did it make things easier or better when you did? if you haven't told anyone, why haven't you?

      this post is getting ridiculously too long. sorry. i'm sure i had a point in there somewhere.

      on to the next one

      so, it's definitely on to the next one for me. yesterday a friend, my husband & i shared 2 pitchers of margaritas. at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. it was just what i needed.



      i've decided to make an effort to stop putting my life on hold. i've decided to sign up for a half marathon. i've run a couple of half marathons in the past, a few 10Ks & 5Ks but i have to admit that i've totally been slacking when it comes to my fitness. i always have an excuse - 1) i'm post-call. 2) i'm on call. 3) it's dark outside. 4) it's too cold. while some of these excuses may be valid as far as running OUTSIDE, there's always the gym! i've decided to focus on getting my sexy back instead of saying to myself, "it's okay to have gained 10lbs since starting fellowship because you'll be gaining even more when you get pregnant!" well, i'm not pregnant so i shouldn't have this poochie belly/muffin top!




      thanks for stopping by & reading this. hope you have a great friday!

      2.02.2011

      i want off!

      i want off this damn roller coaster!!

      the ups & downs are killing me. one minute i've convinced myself that i am pregnant. the next i'm sure i'll never have a baby. today I'm 14dpo. today i got a BFN. today I have to work 30hrs & be surrounded by babies. today my heart hurts.

      1.30.2011

      got guilt?

      i know logically that it is irrational, but do you ever feel guilty for not ttc earlier?


      i guess i could give a little background story. my husband & i have been married for only a little over 2 &1/2 years; however, we've been together since we were 14 years old. yes, there were times when we broke up & dated other people, but we basically grew up together. there was a time when we were in high school, 16 years old probably, & we thought i could be pregnant. we prayed & prayed that i wouldn't be. i wasn't. (looking back, i probably wasn't really even late but the idea of getting pregnant was so terrifying back then.)

      in college, i was doing what college kids do, & was in no way ready to think about getting married, let alone have kids.. in medical school, i was so busy just trying to survive that i hardly had time to take care of myself & it never even occurred to me to think about having kids then. plus, i also wasn't married yet. my intern year of residency, we finally got married. i wanted to enjoy being a newlywed. we had been long distance for the majority of our relationship, up until this point, and i just couldn't get enough of "us" time. i wanted to travel, go to nice dinners, be able to go out on the town with friends. and we did all of that. we have seen some amazing places and have made great memories.

      in may 2009, we went on a vacation to go scuba diving & enjoy some fun in the sun. at that time, i was on the patch because i couldn't remember to take the pill everyday even though i had religiously took it in college & med school. i didn't want to have a patch tan line, so that month i tried the ring. it was fine, except during sex. well, that's a problem during vacation! so we threw it out and from then on, i was pretty much BCP free. (there was a month in nov 2009 that i was on the patch again b/c i didn't want to have a baby around the time of starting a new job/studying for my boards.)

      we did the whole, "whatever happens, happens" approach. nothing happened.

      in jun 2010, so over a year after i had stopped regularly taking birth control(7 months after i had stopped completely), we had another trip planned. it was 2 weeks in the sun by the beach. we had sex every day. the timing was perfect!

      we didn't get pregnant.

      later that month, we move to a new city, start new jobs. its stressful. i'm studying for boards, learning a new system. we continue to try. i pee on stick which tell me i'm ovulating. my cm is telling me that i am. i start lurking on thebump.com.

      nada.

      so here we are, 7 cycles of "really trying". while i'm still hopeful for this cycle, (i'm 11dpo), part of me wonders if i was being selfish waiting all of these years. whatif we would have started trying right away when we got married, would we have a baby now? whatif we got married earlier? whatif, whatif...

      the whatifs and the guilt is bearing down on me.

      i know that 7 cycles may not be that long to some but to this type A personality it definitely is. i am a doctor. i know my body. i know how the hormones work. i memorized that stupid graph in med school. our timing for the most part has been really good, yet so far, no baby.

      why is it that all of these babies in my NICU are being born to crackheads & crazy people, "by accident" but in over 20 months, i have never "accidentally" gotten pregnant?

      statistically speaking, even if only 20 percent of people with perfect timing get pregnant, we should be pregnant by now!

      if i would have known it was going to take this long,
      i woulda, shoulda, coulda....

      1.29.2011

      celeb sighting!

      in an effort to keep anonymous, i edited this photo to block out my face but i saw taylor swift today! she was literally standing in line behind me at a local coffee shop. she was super sweet and really tall! i went there to try to do some reading for work, hence the hideous backpack strap. she quietly walked up and stood in line behind me. i recognized her right away but didn't ask her for a pic until a few people had already bothered her. i felt like a 12 year old girl asking to take a picture with her but she was so nice about it. :)



      have any of you had any celeb sighting?

      1.28.2011

      note to self: don't test early!

      Driving home today, I got the urge, the urge to POAS (pee on a stick). I tried to talk myself out of it. I'm only 9 DPO (days post-ovulation). But I couldn't help myself. I have 6 free IC (internet cheapy) pregnancy test. So I made a deal with myself. If my husband was home from work when I got home, I would NOT test. If he wasn't then I would. (This is because I knew it was silly to even think about getting a positive pregnancy test.) Well, surprise, surprise...




      it was a BIG FAT NEGATIVE!! (BFN)

      Dear Self,

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, WAIT TILL ITS LATE!!!

      1.23.2011

      2ww suck!

      the dreaded 2 week wait. Uggghhhh! I finally got a +opk on Wed along with good physical signs of ovulating (EWCM). Our timing has been good this month but after watching the great sperm race, it made me realize that what i'm really hoping for is a miracle.



      here's to hoping!

      1.19.2011

      babies, babies everywhere!

      everyday i'm surrounded by babies. i go to deliveries and hand beautiful babies to their happy, smiling parents.

      i can't wait to one day get handed OUR baby instead of always handing babies off.

      1.18.2011

      Insomnia

      I can't sleep. Even though I worked worked a 30 hour shift where I got very little sleep & I only took a 3 hour nap afterward, I'm wide awake. So far this month I still haven't gotten one positive ovulation predictor test. I usually test positive anywhere around cycle day 12-17. My cycle is usually 28-32 days, usually more consistently 30-32 days. I'm so frustrated. We're still TRYING to make a baby, meaning having sex except for yesterday because of work, but what's the point if I'm not even ovulating! Today my husband and I talked about making an appointment with my doctor. I asked him what we would do if we found out there was a problem. We don't have the financial means right now to do fertility treatments. He said at least we would KNOW and not be so stress. I guess he's right but KNOWING and not being able to do anything about it is also scary. It'll be another couple of years before I finish my training so that I can actually make a real doctor's salary. I just hate thinking of having to wait that long if something is wrong...

      Today my best friend found out she's having a girl. I'm happy for her but also a lot jealous. I know I shouldn't be but I am.

      1.14.2011

      sometimes life isn't fair

      the other day, i had to counsel a family to withdraw care on their baby. the father nearly broke my heart when he cried out, "it's just not fair! i'm a good father. i take care of my kids. so many people out there have kids and don't even take care of them, and here i am taking care of mine and now God is going to take him from me. IT's JUST NOT FAIR!"

      sometimes life sucks. and it isn't fair.

      hug your loved ones while you can.

      1.11.2011

      have a little faith...

      i know that having difficulty conceiving can be frustrating and stressful but today, i'm taking a step back and realizing it could be worse. i'm in a happy, loving marriage with my hot husband. we are both healthy, have jobs, a roof over our heads and food on the table. i think that this process is forcing me to have some PATIENCE and FAITH. while it's difficult, in the end, it will be worth the wait.


      1.10.2011

      hi, i'm blog envy & i'm NOT a sex addict

      Do you ever get tired of having strategically planned sex?

      One time, a couple of months ago, my husband came home on his lunch break so we could have sex before I had to work that evening, just because we didn't want to miss a day of sex during our "fertile window". needless to say, it wasn't hot, sexy, passionate sex. it was more of a "let's just do this quick before either one of us is late for work." Sometimes when we are having not-so-hot sex, I think to myself, "this isn't the way i want our baby to be conceived. I want to make our baby with love and passion and spontaneity." Then I remember, we've been down that road, and it didn't work either.

      I sometimes wish we could take a break from this strategically planned sex.

      But I want a baby MORE.

      1.09.2011

      Where to begin...

      Remember when you were 16 or 17 years old and were terrified to death about getting pregnant? You thought that you could get pregnant just by having foreplay. Remember in college when you actually smart enough to religiously use birth control pills but were still worried about possibly being pregnant if your period was just a little late? You did everything you could to be smart and responsible to NOT get pregnant.

      Fast forward a few years and you are new a responsible adult, in a committed relationship, married even! You have full-time job and you're finally ready to have a baby. Well too f*ing bad. Mother nature has other plans for you. She wants you to chart your temperatures, pee on sticks and have strategically planned sex.

      Meanwhile, EVERYONE around you is getting pregnant, WITHOUT EVEN TRYING! Some friends/coworkers are even on their 2nd or 3rd kid. You try to keep him in check but it's times like these that the little green monster comes out and . . . 



      you feel like shit.


      Welcome to my blog