Tag Archives: exercise

The RE and this month’s results

30 Nov

We had our appointment with the Reproductive Endocrinologist last week and it went really well. He’s a good listener and seems to have a great sense of empathy for his patients. That seems so hard to find these days, doesn’t it? At the appointment we talked a lot about what our methods are and how the process has evolved for us so far as well as our philosophies on medical intervention and fertility drugs. He agreed that we seem to be doing most everything right and made a strong recommendation to change the pattern of days that we try. Initially we were inseminating every day for 5 days and then I was told to change that to once every other day for a span of 5 days. This RE suggested that we try once a day for three consecutive days beginning maybe a day before ovulation if we can time it that way. Apparently the every other day technique is more of a recommended strategy for heterosexual couples that are TTC with intercourse, not through insemination. (Cue *eyeroll* that the advice had come from this doctor)

Above all, I was really happy that this doctor heard my plea that I felt as though it was time to take action. I was happy that he was willing to make suggestions to modify our method, but I really needed to know that we were on the track to solving this. If we’re dealing with infertility and it’s me, I need to know. He recommended that we do some blood work to check my hormone levels about a week after ovulation and get our donor’s sperm count lab tested and go from there. Luckily, it was exactly one week since I’d ovulated that day and we could do my blood work on the spot. The control freak in me cried “Hooray!” and I walked out with a pretty pink band-aid and a follow up appointment in a month. So we went on with our life and our two week wait. To tell you the truth, I hoped that we’d tempted fate and that a positive pregnancy test result would be followed by the bill for those blood tests in the mail in about a week. It’s like finding the thing you were looking for right after you’ve gotten home from buying a replacement for it.

Thanksgiving came and went. My Mom THOROUGHLY stressed me out over stupid crap and just when things seemed to be calming down, I went to the bathroom Friday afternoon and noticed that I was spotting. I couldn’t believe it. Typically some light spotting 6-12 days is usually thought to be implantation bleeding and weird as it may sound, it’s a pretty good sign. The bleeding occurs because the fertilized egg is implanting itself into the uterine lining and about 4 days after that HCG can become detectable (which is the stuff that makes a pregnancy test turn positive). This type of bleeding isn’t rare, but only about 30% of women experience it. I never had before and therefore was never really looking for it anymore. We tried to keep a level head about things but admittedly, we were both pretty pleased with such a well-timed good sign.

I went crazy. My POOR wife. I thought my other waits had been bad and although this was not as bad as my very first one I wondered every single second if I was pregnant. On top of the spotting (which continued off and on through the weekend), I was tired, a little queasy at times and my temperature stayed up. I had experienced some twinges in the same spot in my lower left abdomen for a week. It wasn’t unusual to have them, but usually not in the same spot so consistently. We decided that we’d take a test on Monday morning since we were both off work. We knew it was early, but I thought  we might get lucky if we used a really sensitive test and could get a very faint line.

I woke up and took the test but no lines appeared. Despite the negative result, the symptoms continued though so we hung onto hope that it was just a little too early. That afternoon the spotting continued and I was still feeling pretty bummed about the test so we went to the gym hoping I’d get a little endorphin pick-me-up from it. I teach spin classes regularly so through this whole process I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing how hard I can push myself so I don’t risk overexertion while we’re TTC. With a full class, the spin room got pretty hot so I took it easy and hydrated a lot but found myself getting abdominal cramps towards the end of it. I eased up even more but it didn’t seem to help. After class I realized I had really started bleeding quite heavily and had gone from spotting to heavier than a normal period. It stopped for a few hours when we got home so I went to bed hoping that the worst was over and planning to try to take another test again when I woke in the morning. I still had 2 days before I expected to get my period anyway so I hoped it was just intensified bleeding from all the activity.

I went to bed last night and woke up again less than an hour later and was really disoriented. I remember feeling like I didn’t know what was going on or where I was but my wife said I was asking a lot of questions and just looking generally confused. I think I was in some sort of between-dream-and-awake place but I was drenched in sweat so she turned a fan on over our bed and encouraged me to go back to sleep. I don’t know if that was related to what was going on but it wasn’t a regular occurrence for me to wake up like that. The heavy bleeding had returned by this morning and I woke up with strong stabbing cramps. It was much worse than my heaviest period but backed off by midday but the cramps still have not. I’ve had a couple bouts of hot flashes today that last 5 minutes or so but then they go away. I’m near launch for a HUGE project at work right now and while I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a very stressful time. I had to do an hour presentation today to about 30 people in the room and about 50 viewing online. Being in front of people was just the absolute last thing I wanted to do today but on the bright side, the day flew and I had no time to think about much else other than my work.

So it appears that we’re out this month. I’m not sure if what I was experiencing earlier was actually implantation bleeding and then something happened? Did we have it, then I lost it? Could this be from stress? I certainly hope it didn’t have anything to do with the spin class since I do them regularly and I’m pretty cautious about my limits. We try not to get our hopes up but it feels pretty devastating when something like this happens. We felt so close and now back at square one again in just the span of a few days. We are comforted by the fact that we already have another appointment on the books though. Hopefully, in a few more weeks we’ll be able to shed some light on the situation and figure out if we are achieving a chemical pregnancies and how we can make them stick.

I also just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to those reading this and still following our journey. I can’t express to you how awesome it is to know we have a supportive group of people behind us when it feels like the world is against us. There are some days (like today) when knowing that you guys are rooting for us and thinking of us really helps pull me through and keeps me from melting down. We’re determined to have our family and are so grateful for the energy and motivation you provide. WE LOVE YOU GUYS!


Dear Body, WTF are you doing?!?

1 Nov

So, I’m 4 or 5 days late. (It depends who you ask if they count the first day or not. I do.) I am never late. Since I started tracking my cycles so that we could conceive, I have not been late by more than a few hours. The day that I ovulate has fluctuated a few times, but never the arrival of my period.

At first, as you could imagine we were really excited about this. This past weekend we were out of town and I packed a few pregnancy tests just in case I would be late. Can I just say that for some reason, having to take a pregnancy test in a hotel room feels kinda slutty? Anyway…Our policy is that we don’t test until I’m late so I don’t often get to take a test. I bought some huge bundle of cheap ovulation and pregnancy test strips from Amazon a while ago. The store brands get expensive and the reviews were reliable, so we decided to give them a try. The ovulation strips had worked out just as well for us as the pricier ones so we were happy with them.

On the first day that I was late, I took a test. It was negative.

On the second day that I was late, I took another one of those tests…again, negative.

I was kind of freaking out and didn’t take a test on day 3.

I started to wonder if these tests were not as accurate as the ovulation ones. When I got home from work yesterday we ran some errands and I wanted to pick up some of the more sensitive home pregnancy tests. I like the First Response Early Results test. You’re supposed to be able to take one before your period is late and it can detect lower levels of the HCG hormone. I had never been this late before so I don’t think I had been that nervous to take a test since our first month. We got home and I took it but it was also negative. I even let it sit for an hour LOOKING for another line to appear….Nope.

Today is day 5 and I knew that it’s common to get the strongest test results first thing in the morning. It’s when the most HCG would be present for a pee test, so I did that. Well…

So then what is actually going on with my body? This is completely frustrating. Is this because of stress? My diet, exercise routine and other major factors in my life are pretty much the same. I have a call in to my doctor already so I’ll mention this when I talk to her.

A few months ago I requested to have my levels checked and she said that’s not something they do until we’ve been trying for 8 or 9 months to get pregnant. Well, this will be month 8 so I’m pushing for that. I’m just getting increasingly concerned that if it’s taking this long and now with irregularities in my cycle, something else could be wrong. I hope she calls today and I get an appointment to start talking about what our next steps will be. This does not feel like progress at all.

In the mean time, life has actually been getting really stressful and I’m going to have to cut some things out and draw my lines in the sand. Management has changed at the gym where I teach spinning classes and the environment has grown really negative in the past three months there. The classes are a great way for me to make some extra money and work out while maintaining a free membership, but I’m just not enjoying it and they’ve been stressing me out a lot lately. If it comes down to it, I guess I’ll have to resign. My health is much more important.