The OPKs and I didn’t get along, I’m just trusting my body on when I ovulate, because then I *actually* know. I’m not sure if it’s because they want specific temp pee and I never got it exact or if there’s something else, but the day I had EWCM (egg white cervical mucus – a sign of ovulation) although the line was darker than it had been, it was still negative according to the packet. Ok… I am adding to this paragraph a couple hours after I first typed it up because some other thoughts came to mind about what it could have been. The test strips I used say to test with any urine. I was doing them after Johnny got off work, whether I’d been up all night, or if I had gotten between 3 and 6 hours of sleep before that time (which has been more likely this cycle). I read somewhere before even starting the tests that a recommendation was to wait until you had been up for 4 hours or so before testing… I wonder if I would have had better results doing it that way. Either way I’m done with them. I think I’ll just listen to my body as it makes it pretty obvious when I ovulate.
So I’m in the 2WW now. And although the fact my last three pregnancies have all been a few months between, I feel good that we gave this cycle a good chance, even if nothing happens. Unfortunately Johnny had a stomach bug or was made ill by something he ate the day before I ovulated, and I was pretty sick the day of, but I’m still pretty confident that if my body cooperates this cycle has a good chance. So we shall see what happens, I’ve got about a week and a half or so to go.
Another sign I ovulated is that I’ve now got a bunch of ovary pain. I had some pain the day I ovulated, then it didn’t hurt as bad, I wasn’t comfortable, but I wasn’t crying or nauseated from the pain. I woke up this morning feeling like I have a cyst going again. I’m going to guess it’s either remnants from ovulation or it’s related to… corpus luteum (I think that’s the right words) and the 2WW where my body is getting ready in case there is a pregnancy on the way. I know last June I was pregnant and had a cyst, and that was the conclusion that was come to for why it happened. We shall see what happens on both the cyst front and the baby front.
I think I have some other things I wanted to post about, but I need to go get a prescription from the pharmacy, and they need their own posts….

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Sonja and Sara gave me the head’s up about Project IF a couple of days ago, which is also being discussed on SIF’s wonderful blog frog community (sorry about all of the links I just want to share these wonderful ladies and the community with you!) … it’s a wonderful project for those who are dealing with infertility and fertility issues. It’s also a wonderful project for those who haven’t dealt with them to learn about how the questions that are so wondered about by us. I dare you (whether you are fertile or infertile or somewhere in between) to not end up teary while reading the responses. There are some very powerful responses in there. Also (to quote the post about the project) Since I was honoured last year with their first best blog award at Resolve’s Night of Hope, I get to introduce and help organize Resolve’s spring advocacy project, which will choose this year’s winner of the Hope Award for Best Blog at the 2010 Night of Hope. (….) All blogs and bloggers who participate in Project IF will be eligible to be considered for the Hope Award for Best Blog, presented at the 2010 Night of Hope.

I posted 3 IFs so far…. I’d like to share them here as well.

What if I can’t get a pregnancy past 5 weeks? …. this is a big one since with four pregnancies so far 5 weeks is the furthest we’ve gotten.

What if I never get to say “hello” until I’m saying goodbye? This is an even bigger one… each time I’ve been pregnant I’ve found out as I was miscarrying… so I’ve never even adjusted to being pregnant before I’m already losing that pregnancy. In fact I haven’t even known until that horrible bleeding starts, so it’s already gone before I even get to say “hi”…. if that makes sense.

What if I never get to tell Johnny “I’m pregnant” before I’m telling him “I”m miscarrying”? That’s the way it’s been going… I don’t find out I’m pregnant until I’m miscarrying. This one is the hardest! Each time I’ve told Johnny “I’m miscarrying” and that’s how he’s found out also. The last one I think I said “Well I was pregnant” rather than “I’m miscarrying” but the pregnancy was still past tense. 😦 I am so sick of telling him this…. and even more sick of knowing it myself. 😦

So I went to walmart to try and buy ovulation strips a couple of days ago, only to find they no longer carry the ones I was planning to buy, and the next ones are almost a dollar a strip. They come out a bit cheaper than the Dollar Tree ones, but not by much. And the other ones are even worse (7 of them for nearly $20? I think not!)… so I came home to do some online looking. The ones I was going to buy are no longer available at all. On drugstore.com all of the available strips were more expensive than the ones at walmart or on walmart’s website. I ended up going to amazon and buying generic ones… I got 25 of them for $7 (and free shipping)!! But I think I’ll probably be at the point where I should start testing before I get them.

However, I don’t know when exactly I’m supposed to start (research makes it look like, if I go with my shortest cycle lengths I should start with cycle day 5 for testing? And keep testing until I ovulate? I hadn’t thought of all of these questions while in my appointment, and my doctor is only available a couple days a week (and it varies on the week due to some stuff in her personal life, I”m guessing health of a family member or something)…. it’s all scheduled out a couple months ahead of time, so it’s not like she cancels days on people or anything, but she’s not there the same days every week (from what I understand from the secretary) so I’m going to try calling in the morning, but not sure if I’ll get an answer. And is there a time I need to test? Like first thing in the morning or a few hours after I wake up? I’ve seen mixed answers online to that one, so I’m not sure what to do here!

So after I got home yesterday I set my things down and went to our bedroom and started filling Johnny in (he’d slept through my appointment, he came home from work in a lot of pain and with a headache, so he stayed home, I told him I’d really like him to go to my next appointment with me, I would probably need the support, but that I understood why he wasn’t going to that one). After we talked and cuddled for a bit we both got up and I read him the list and discussed things with him more in depth. He has also seemed more hopeful now. He started doing a bunch of research to see if there was a specific type of olive oil we should use, and when I took my aspirin the bottle sounded like it had less in it than it does, and he asked “Do I need to get you some more aspirin?” … we’re totally on board here and together. It’s amazing how much more we’ve been together this year… not that we weren’t last year, but I think we were both floundering after those miscarriages, and there were some issues between us after them (Which have been talked about), we have a much better understanding of each other in this area of life now, and with the doctor’s suggestions and comments we are that much stronger together. I can’t even express how much this means to me! I know this stuff tears a lot of marriages apart (an example I go back to, is although we hadn’t reached this point, so it wasn’t a huge contributing factor, my ex and I started having more issues once we knew there could be more fertility issues than he’d been diagnosed with, and there was just a lot of stress resulting from it), but Johnny and I just keep coming back stronger, and it times it gets me almost into tears about all of it. On top of the amazing support with Johnny and I and the doctor, I have a lot of amazing supporters between family and friends. You all mean so much to me, and I don’t know how to put it into words. Thank you!!
However, the main point of this post was just to say how amazing the hope the doctor gave me, and her “homework” for us helped, and how amazing Johnny is being with just a little more information. I know he’ll be annoyed at me for this post (he doesn’t like me bragging over him LOL!), but I feel it’s a worthwhile post, and I’m so glad that we’re on the same page!

So I had an appointment this morning with the ob/gyn I decided to see when my PCP said he wasn’t comfortable handling birth control or any gyn stuff (beyond paps) for me.
I got there early (well, really early, I was supposed to be there around 20 minutes early and was closer to 40 early) and checked in, handed my paperwork to the secretary, and let her photocopy my surgery reports and photos (which I have for both laparoscopies). I sat and read in the waiting room for a bit, and avoided looking at the pregnant ladies. Once the nurse called me back we did my weight and I cleared up some confusion on the forms I had filled out (the doctor had a couple of questions she wanted answered before seeing me). I’m 94 lbs (I took off my shoes and was just in jeans, socks and a tshirt) and my blood pressure has been back to where it should be (actually a bit low) the last few times it’s been taken, today was no exception. I was at 102/60 with my blood pressure (good thing I’m not on bp meds anymore lol)…. which is a little lower than I used to run, but still much better than I was doing when my lupus started becoming a daily thing. I think at it’s peak it reached nearly 200/150 or something like that…. it was pretty scary.
The doctor came in after all of that was done and she had read all of my paperwork. She is very nice, and also deals with endo pretty regularly (she seems to be the main surgeon in the practice, though not the only one there), she also says she feels comfortable doing a lap for me when it comes to time for that. She asked if I’d done Lupron before and I said no, but I was told by someone whose entire practice is endo patients not to do it, and besides that, with my lupus I’m not comfortable with it, so she let it drop. We talked about the miscarriages and what could be going on, and that it’s a good sign I can get pregnant. We discussed the fact that both the endo and the lupus could be causing issues, but that at this point she wants to try the basics out before we go more in depth. We then discussed pregnancy and what she’d normally do with infertility, and what we can cross off that list since I’m having pregnancies, they just aren’t going to term. Obviously we know at least one tube is open (though there is concern over scar tissue on at least one since I have had scar tissue and adhesions on the left one before), so she’s not going to do an HSG at this point. We do need to keep an eye open for ectopics as I am at risk (even without the scar tissue history I’d be at risk due to the fact the endo could start going there any time), but she’s not too worried about it, though she does want to do checks on me with pregnancies in the future, to be sure we catch an ectopic early if one happens. We don’t need to do a sperm analysis, obviously things are ok there since there have been four pregnancies with me, and at least two (I won’t say beyond the obvious two that resulted in Gamer and Duckling, for a few reasons including being uncertain of the number) with Johnny’s ex. We also don’t need to do fertility drugs as obviously I ovulate.
She wrote out a list of “homework” for me to do, which I’ll write out here (as well as discussion about the points if there was any).
1) OPKs (Ovulation predictor kits)
Intercourse when the surge of LH starts getting close to the max. Times 4 days (right around ovulation).

2) Abstain for 2 to 3 days before that peak hits.

3) Minimize lubricant (as much as we can as I due to some other issues I need to add lubricant… we got into a discussion about pain and the affect it has on that here), and use olive oil rather than anything manufactured, as some lubricants that are made for this purpose can damage sperm.

4) As soon as a period is missed start testing daily for pregnancy. As my cycle lengths can vary I should go with about 14 days post ovulation, and definitely start by day 28 since that’s the longest I normally go without a pregnancy being the case (though 2 of the 4 miscarriages have been before 28 days, so if I ovulate early in my cycle I need to go more with the 14 days post ovulation rather than 28 days of my cycle).

5) Consider 81mg aspirin or heparin/levonox with pregnancy. We are worried even though the clotting factor tests I’ve had done have been negative there is still a genetic risk, as well as lupus raising my risk in general, so I’m going back on 81 mg aspirin (which I am supposed to do anyway… >.>) for now, though there is some talk about possible birth defects, she’s not too worried with that low of a dose, and I’d prefer to try that first. If we need to we’ll switch to heparin during pregnancy (for example if aspirin doesn’t stop a miscarriage we’ll give heparin a try the next time around after I’m pregnant).

6) Consider progesterone suppositories. – We discussed this and she said she’s not noticed it making a difference until the pregnancy has started, so I’m to call once I get a positive test and she’ll start me on them.

I’m to call as soon as I get that positive test so we can start trying to keep the pregnancy going. And we are going to do an ultrasound at the first possible time (she said about 5 weeks from the last menstrual cycle is when they normally can start seeing them with a vaginal ultrasound). From there we’ll see where it goes, but I suspect she’s going to be monitoring me closely, at least for the first trimester as all of my miscarriages have been early. If I’m not pregnant again by mid July (she said to go ahead and start trying again in my next cycle) she wants to see me so we can discuss what we’re looking at, and of course if I’m pregnant again before then I’m supposed to see her at the 5 week mark.

I think I covered everything… I can’t remember anything else, and I know I at least included everything I wrote down and the list she gave me.

Oh, and she ended the appointment with “I’m sure we can get and keep you pregnant, don’t forget to see your homework and I’ll see you in July, if not sooner.” (Or something like that)

And no energy to put it all together in a way that would make sense… so I’ll sum it up.
Headaches still aren’t gone (started somewhere between Jan 1 and Jan 4… pretty sure it was the 2nd) and they ended up worse again in the middle of the week last week (It’s Sunday today right? That would make it last week? It was the 3rd of Feb or the Wednesday right around then that they got worse again).
Had a period only 24 days after the last one.. .so a 23 day cycle, while on birth control. Getting ready to ask doc to take me off the med that is making me stay on the birth control as it’s not making much difference and I’m really tired of pumping that crap in my system.
After no cysts (that E or I can think of) since right before the first miscarriage (so last June) I seem to have one again. I should say no definite cysts, at one point in the fall I thought I had one again but I never had the pain from it popping, so not sure. Definitely having all the normal symptoms this time, we’ll see if it pops or if it resolves some other way? But sudden horrible pelvic pain (post period, at a point in my cycle where I should be in THIS much pain), a weird cycle leading up to this, lots of swelling on the left side of my abdomen, pain that centers on the left ovary when the rest of the pain is more under control, and ovary tenderness in the last few days (which I was chalking up to heading to ovulation, since I do still ovulate on birth control, it just keeps my lining thin enough to not implant)….
In other news I have two blog posts I want to point my readers to. I had another one but I can’t seem to find it or remember what it was.
First off I want to point all Interstitial Cystitis patients to Jeanne’s blog post about educating Congress about IC … she received an email about it from the ICA and they want patients to email them their IC stories. (Sorry for scrunching this in here Jeanne, I just know you word it all better than I could and I want to make sure the info reaches more IC patients…)
Secondly Kate at Busted Plumbing is doing a giveaway at her blog which I recommend for all people with fertility issues or infertility! I had a great post planned out just for this, but I have not been feeling up to doing anything with it, though I do want to spread the word (Sorry for bunching your contest in with everything else Kate) so… Please go see what it’s all about and take part if you are interested.
I think that is all I wanted to post about over the last couple of days (including this morning since a couple of these things just came to my attention) … sorry that it’s a shorter post and for not giving more info about the links… I’m just really unsure how to explain all of it right now.