Monday, December 31, 2007

I have an expensive habit.

I'm addicted.

I'm a junkie.

Pee sticks.

They haunt me.

I'm missing my ovulation.

I need my fix!

I'm on CD 19 and still no positive or peak. I'm really frustrated with this Clomid cycle and resulting cyst. I think my ovaries are ticked off and maybe on strike.

I'm testing about 3 times a day. With multiple OPK.

Clomid can interfere with the CBEFM. Sometimes you won't get a peak on the monitor because Clomid causes higher estrogen levels as it fakes out your FSH to keep producing. So I don't trust my monitor.

That means I'm using additional OPK to check. And boy am I checking!

I'm using the Answer test strips. ($19 for 20 tests) When those look positive, then I'm checking with the CBE digital. ($39 for 7) Um, I'm on the second box of the digis.
The trouble is the Answer brand have been looking pretty damn positive since Friday. But when I check with the digital, no go. Empty circle. No smiley face.

I have a pee stick collection. They are labeled by date so I can be even more neurotic. Yesterday, the line on the digital looked darker than it has all week.
I'm almost hopeful but it's getting so late in my cycle.

Pee Stick Collection

I actually threw some away earlier in the week. And after I admitted my problem here, I forced myself to throw some more away. It's really gross but I am compelled to compare the darkness of the lines.

I even called CBE to inquire about the lines on the digital OPK. The line closest to the pee end is the LH line. The other line is just a control line.

On the CBEFM, the line closest to the pee end is again the LH line. The other line is the estrogen.

I am seeing a darker line on the CBE Digital so hopefully that is a good sign. I have some secondary fertility signs too. Come on, ovaries!

"My Works" for my addiction

Do I chance ovulation after CD 20? My follicles are probably all over mature by now. My egg quality probably sucks.

Damn cyst. We're probably going to continue to TTC this cycle. Another miscarriage would be awful but wasting another cycle almost seems harder. Especially with BCP therapy lurking in the future if the cyst isn't gone.

Carrot Cake IHO MayBride!

I think there's some kind of fertility voodoo going on with Carrot Cake according to MayBride. I'm hoping it works!

This is a recipe I adapted from my friend, Martha.

I used 3 8 inch round pans instead of 9 inch pans.

Serves 10
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)
1/2 cup of golden raisins (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, applesauce, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans and golden raisins.
Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Some rumblings are a good sign

I'm on CD 13 today. Still negative OPK and CBEFM only on high. Bah humbug!

But I'm starting to get some ovary cramps so hopefully it's show time soon. Please, Lord! Please!

I have to admit that I peed through 7 digital OPK in four days. Bad, bad, crazy lady.

I'm really not sure how I managed to do that, but the bag that I keep them was empty. Maybe the elves took them?

Ok, so I'm a nervous wreck right now since the IUI was canceled. I'm afraid to trust my CBEFM since sometimes you can miss your peak while on Clomid. I went to the store and bought two, yes TWO more boxes of the CBE digitals. Those of you in the know, understand what an expensive purchase that was.

Did I mention that I'm being crazy? Like a loon? I will gladly donate the other box if I get a BFP this cycle.

Oh, and happy birthday to me. I'm officially 37. Although all my doctors having been calling me that all year. Geesh. "For a 37 year old..." and "Since you are 37..." GTF out.

Apparently there's something in the internet ether. 3 out of 4 of my close internet friends are pregnant. And the fourth is starting Clomid if this cycle isn't successful. I'm sure she'll be next!
I'm praying for those ladies with BFP.

GL to everyone reading. May 2008 be a better year for everyone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas, cookies, softball, and blackjack.

My cookies
I spent over 10 hours in the kitchen baking cookies the week before Christmas. We take cookies to work every year as a thank you. I made at least 12 different kinds of cookies and candies that day. Christmas Eve I made another 5 varieties. I'm officially sick of cookies.
My favorite recipe for these big batches is from Real Simple Magazine. The Cookie Base Recipe makes 6 different cookies. I change it up some more to by adding different ingredients to the chocolate chip dough. But my favorites out those are the Gingersnaps and White Chocolate Snowballs. Everyone goes always goes crazy over those two.
The absolute finishing touch on the Gingersnaps is a Snow Dream Ball.
You take 8 ounces of cream cheese and mix in 5 cups of confectioners sugar.
Mix in 1/2 cup of coconut.
Form into a cheese ball.
Press remaining coconut onto the outside of the ball.
It looks just like a coconut snowball. I serve it on my Hallmark Snowman cheese ball plate. Very cute, too bad I didn't snap a picture. You can spread it on crackers or cookies.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

This is our 4.5 foot tree that we put on top of a table to cheat on the height. From outside the window it looks like a full size tree. But the size is perfect for us since we live in a small town house. I would love to have a full size tree but it's really not practical right now. I have ornaments from my childhood on there which is a lot of fun to get out each year. The newest ornament came from my friend, Stephanie. She got me an angel ornament in memory of the babies that I lost this year. The saying matches the angel statue that I bought. I need to take a close up of it. Perfect gift. Thanks again, Stephanie!

Christmas morning we host breakfast for the misfits. It's the third year running. All the adults that live by themselves come over to our house so they don't spend the day alone. It's nice and Chris does 90% of the cooking. I just set a pretty table with all my Christmas finery and pass around cookies.

We had Christmas dinner at BIL's. We played softball for a while before dinner. South Florida makes for interesting holidays. It was a nice day out, not too hot. It was really just us taking turns hitting pitches. No one ran bases or anything.
We had a traditional menu, but my baked macaroni and cheese was a big hit. There weren't any leftovers!

After dinner, everyone opened gifts. Well, mostly we all watched the twin 5 year olds open gifts. They got some nice loot. My favorite SIL got me a lovely bracelet and some dangling earings. She knows my taste so well!

After that, the guys played blackjack. Chris has a professional casino kit with a real felt pad for the table, chips and everything. They played nicely together. The brothers and cousins are so competitive! Chris lost a few dollars overall. And Cousin Al was the big winner. He did cough up $5 for gas and toll money since he rode with us. What a guy! ;)

I guess that sounds bad to be gambling on Christmas?

We actually haven't opened up our presents yet. We each got ipods. And I know he got me a laptop backpack. Our morning was too busy taking care of breakfast for our guests.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Black Hole On Christmas Eve

My CD 11 ultrasound was today to check the follicle maturity before I triggered with Ovidrel. I knew there was a problem as soon as I saw the huge black hole on the screen.
My left ovary has a cyst that is too big for me to continue with a medicated cycle. It measures 34.6 mm. At 35 mm, I risk ovary torsion if I trigger with the Ovidrel. If you're too lazy to click, it's a serious complication that would require emergency surgery or risk losing the ovary.

The black hole monster follicle is too big and likely overmature at this point even if it still has an egg in it.

My other follicles aren't so great. I have one that maybe be mature in a few days.
So no Ovidrel to trigger ovulation and no inseminations.


13.4 mm
8.5 mm

34.6 Black Hole
19.0 Hopeful follicle to mature

Endo: 6.73 not very thick yet but I'm only on CD 11. I think it has time.

We are allowed to still TTC this cycle but no medications. No Ovidrel and no progesterone support. I'm to check for an LH surge and hope it comes in the next few days. If it doesn't happen soon that this cycle may be a complete bust. After I get an LH surge, then I'm supposed to schedule a progesterone blood draw.

We've gotten pregnant on our own 2 out of 3 cycles we TTC. So there's definitely a chance for us to be successful.

The nurse was nice. She said that IF my period started, I'll come back for another ultrasound. That was nice that she didn't say when your period starts. Every little bit of hope helps.

If the cysts are still there, then I'll go on a form of BCP to quieten my ovaries. I'm not looking forward to that. I don't have good experience with BCP helping cysts go away. In 2006, I spent close to 8 months monitoring cysts while on BCP. It took that long for them to go away. I feel like I don't have 8 months to waste now!

I'm ready to have a pity party instead of a Christmas or a birthday party. But the show must go on. At least we "celebrated" my birthday yesterday so we were able to enjoy that without any shadows over it. But it still sucks.

And my husband is secretly releaved. He was dreading doing the IUI business. Men!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Next cycle, please

I had my CD 4 baseline ultrasound today. I have two cysts leftover from the first Clomid cycle. I was prepared to hear that as I've been pretty crampy. One on my right ovary is 11 mm and there's another on my left. My nurse said they were small enough that they wouldn't prevent me from starting the next round of Clomid.

My next appointment is on Christmas Eve which will be for a CD 11 ultrasound. We might IUI on Wednesday and Thursday after Christmas.

Bring on the hot flashes!

Monday, December 10, 2007

"You do testes?"

I had my final beta this morning. A different nurse called me back for the blood draw. While she wrote down my cell number for the results call, I told her not to feel bad when she calls me. That I was pretty sure it was negative.

Imagine in a thick Spanish accent: She says, "You do testes at home?"

I say, "WHAT?" Meanwhile I'm thinking my DH would enjoy this conversation.

"You do testes already?" She repeats it again and I get that she is saying tests as in pregnancy tests. LMAO! My ear does not "hear" Spanglish very good. Too much of my life was spent in Ohio.

ME: "Yes, I got a negative this morning."

Nurse: "We have a lot of women get pregnant on the second cycle."

ME: Thinking this, not saying it out loud because she's getting ready to stick me. "Well if I'd known that, I could have only paid $32 for the Clomid. Taken it and called it done. Next cycle, please. I could have skipped paying $566 for monitoring and the IUI. This whole month would have been a lot cheaper, easier, and less painful."

I talked to another nurse, Tania, about the irritation from the progesterone suppositories. She said it's not a yeast infection and that Aquaphor from Eucerin is the best soothing treatment. I bought a huge container of it at Walmart today. I'm ready to take a bath in that stuff!

I'll have my test result after 3 pm today. But it pretty much has to be negative unless it's another pregnancy gone bad. There's no doubt when I ovulated.

3:09 PM and the results: Negative

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I've been tagged

Maria, thanks for the tag. Bless your little heart. Yeah.

1. For 30 some years I detested peanuts. I would not eat anything with peanuts in it. No brownies, no ice cream drumsticks, no cakes, no peanut butter. I've never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Even just the smell of peanuts would make me sick to my stomach. One time my ex-husband kept eating peanuts while we watched tv in bed. I asked him repeatedly to put them away. Every time he opened the jar, a huge cloud of peanut scent would waft over to me. It was making me so sick and distressed that I opened the window and threw the jar outside.
Crazy, yes. But no more peanuts. I talked to my mom about why I have such a bad reaction to peanuts. I'm not allergic, I just HATED peanuts. She told me that I almost choked to death as a child guessed it, a peanut!
This was back in the early 70's before the Hemlich manuver or clearing airway techniques were taught. My young parents snatched me up by my feet and shook my up and down until the peanut came out. I was too young or too traumatized to have a memory of it. But I think that explained my peanut aversion. Mom also said I choked on a piece of peperoni but it never slowed down my love of pizza.
I have to wonder if I was held upside down and shaken during the peperoni incident

2. I have a google MD. I'm also very intimate with If I have a symptom, I google. I've diagnosed myself accuarately several times. Well, I usually have a list of possible diseases and diagnoses. I always worry it's the worst case scenerio and it ends up being the simple and common condition instead. (Thankfully!) But I can get in the ball park. This drives my husband crazy.

3. My blue eyes are my own color. If I'm wearing contacts people don't believe me. I've had to remove a contact lense to prove it. I'm glad people don't ask if my boobs are real.

3. I used to weigh 240 lbs and wore about a size 22-24. I now wear a size 12 jeans. Before my first pregnancy I was almost in a size 10. Well I was in it, but it wasn't comfy. I would love to lose another 20-30 lbs but so far, it's not happening.

4. I have driven over one million safe miles. I have a plaque proclaiming this status. Woot, woot. Some of you may ask, a million miles? How does a person do that? I am amoung the few and proud woman driving professionals.
No, I'm not a race car driver. I drive a semi-tractor for a living with my husband.

5. Because of number 4, I prefer to stay home on the weekend. I hate going out.

6. At age 30, I moved over 1200 miles from home to start over after my divorce. The weather is nicer in sunny Florida than in chilly Ohio. But I'm still an Ohio State Buckeye. Forever.

7. I have more online friends than IRL friends. See number 4 again.

8. I fear that I'm not very interesting because I've run out of things to list.

The End.

Now, it's my turn!

We're playing a game of tag. I'm IT but I get to tag 8 new people.
The rules: Make a post with 8 random things about yourself. You're then supposed to tag 8 more people. And the game continues.

You're IT!

Emily Is it fair to do this to someone with a new baby?
Monica You have some free time until TNO's debut. If TIC will give you a minute of peace.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Is that Jeopardy music in the background?

I keep imagining the Jeporady theme music playing in the background during the 2 WW! I'm praying that we have the correct answer when the music stops playing.

In the form of a question: "What is a BFP?"

I have my progesterone blood test today. I'm counting myself as 6 DPIUI. 8 DPTrigger

For excitement I used a line OPK. It wasn't full on positive dark but there was still a healthy colored line there. So I guess I'm still metabolizing the trigger. I might POAS tomorrow just to see if it's negative yet.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Are my ovaries the size of softballs?

Or what?

This must be payback since I had none of my normal ovulation cramping when I was supposed to be ovulating from the trigger.

This cramping stuff started after my IUI and reached a crescendo today. I've got typical cramps in my ovary areas and now this pinching in the center started. I have no illusions that the center pain isn't related to my ovary size. I've had pretty massive cysts before and the pain didn't confine itself to just my little old ovary. There's only so much room in there after all.

This can be totally normal after ovulation so I'm not currently freaking out. It's just that all that constant rumbling makes it difficult to put all this suspense of the 2WW out of my mind.

I just hope it means there's some healthy CL cysts in there and not really softballs.

Overall I'm doing well. The germ factory (aka my husband) has finally sent a shipment of his finest product my way. I started with a sore throat in early morning that I kept trying to play off as allergies or the air conditioning bothering me. By evening time, I know I have his cold. No doubt about it.

Why would should any 2WW be uneventful?

I have some hope for a success but I think it's realistic hope tempered by the sperm count. At least we know my ovaries can respond well to the Clomid.
Take that Dr Creepy Skulker.