Friday, February 18, 2011

Focus on Health

This cycle is all about being as healthy as possible. Major changes are hard to keep up, so I am going to try to add a few small things that will make a big difference. As a woman with PCOS, I can't just eat what I want and never exercise and expect everything to be okay. I have spent too many years ignoring my illness and treating my body like crap. I truly believe now that my eating habits and lack of exercise are the reason I am not pregnant yet.

Let's talk about weight for just a second. I am 5'7.5" tall. At my height, according to a few different studies, my ideal fertility weight is 150 lbs. As of this morning, I weigh 179 lbs. I've been yo-yo'ing between 175-185 lbs now for quite some time, which means that I am about 30 lbs over my ideal fertility weight. I think that's probably a partial reason for my infertility so far. On the other hand, I don't want to take four or more months off of fertility meds just to try to lose that weight. So what is the solution?

I can't change the past, but I can start today to try to make a difference. Exercising everyday doesn't mean that I have to do hardcore cardio workouts for two hours a day. It can just mean walking my dog for fifteen minutes. Anything above and beyond what I'm already doing is a step in the right direction.

Diet is just as important, if not more so, than exercise. This month, I am going to cut out all fried foods, soda, and sweets. My husband doesn't think it's a good idea for me to make such a drastic change, but I think I need to. Today, so far, I've eaten oatmeal (natural, not the sugary kind in packets) and a home-made smoothie with frozen strawberries, blueberries, plain yogurt, milk, and a scoop of Jay Rob Whey Protein. Tonight for dinner, I plan to make brown rice with grilled chicken. I'm adding whole grains, healthy sources of lean protein, fruit, and good healthy dairy. Also, I bought some Carlton's Finest Lemon flavored fish oil today. I usually take it in pills and just can't stand it. This new one is a liquid and wasn't so bad.

I'm looking forward to this cycle with positive thoughts. I'm thinking that this could be the month I get pregnant! I just started my Clomid today, so it's the perfect time to make these other changes to focus on health. Maybe with a little more effort, I can make my body the perfect place for a little baby to grow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 1 - Fourth Medicated Cycle

Day one is always such a depressing day. I've gotten several negative pregnancy tests in the past few days, so I was completely expecting this. On the other hand, actually getting my period is tough. Plus, AF just has to bring cramps with her. As if I wasn't feeling bad enough!

On the other hand, it's a fresh start. A new cycle with new opportunities for success. My mantra for this cycle is STAY POSITIVE! Starting today, I'm going to start each morning telling myself that I WILL be pregnant this cycle. I have a really great feeling about this. Like everything is starting to line up for us. I am armed with a new plan and a new determination to be healthy and pregnant. Here's my plan:
  • Drink LOTS of water. No more soda, try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible so no coffee for sure. Keep myself hydrated.
  • Daily exercise. I'm not talking about anything too drastic. If I try to do something crazy like going to the gym everyday or doing two hours of workouts, I know I'd just be setting myself up for failure. What I'm talking about is walking the dog everyday for fifteen minutes. Maybe an evening walk with my husband. I bought the DVD set for the Zumba workouts. I will try to do those workouts a few times a week. The walking is the most important thing, though.
  • Positive thinking. A daily affirmation that I keep with me everyday. Things like "I am going to be pregnant this cycle" and "I'm excited to see my belly growing". I want to picture myself with a healthy pregnant belly and how it will be to have that baby cradled in my arms at Thanksgiving.
  • Take my meds everyday! This is a sore spot for me. I went through so much crap getting used to the Glumetza, and then I just stopped taking my pills the way I was supposed to. It's completely my fault. I just got so tired of a restricted diet and wanted to feel good for a change. This medicine made me feel icky for two straight months and I just snapped. I started only taking 1000 mg a day and sometimes skipping days all together. BAD SARRA! Starting today, I'm back into taking the prescribed 2000 mg every single day, along with my prenatal vitamin. I also need to be taking fish oil supplements, so I am planning to go buy some tonight from whole foods. I know I'll have to go through some icky tummy stuff again, but I think it's obvious that without the meds, I'm going to struggle to get pregnant.
  • Eat right - and often. According to most books and sites about PCOS, eating several smaller meals a day is better than three large meals. In order to keep blood sugar regulated, it's better to eat something every three hours. I am going to stock up on healthy snacks and stick to eating more often.
  • RELAX! We've already booked a little mini vacation to the beach next weekend. Yes, it's February, but it's supposed to be warm. Even if we end up in the hotel room all weekend, it will be nice to get away - just the two of us. I am going to work to reduce stress this month.
That's my big plan for this month. It's a tall order, but I know that having a baby in 9 months will make it all worth it! This will be our fourth cycle on Clomid and our second IUI. This is our month!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

11DPO on Valentine's Day

It's just after midnight, and it's officially Valentine's Day. I'm 11 days past ovulation today, and so close to finding out the results of our IUI. I think I am going to just break down and test early. I already have my hpt ready to go for when I get up in the morning.

So far, my chart is looking promising! My temperature has been consistently rising since ovulation. Usually, my temperature drops drastically on 11 DPO, and I'm a little anxious to see what my temps will do tomorrow morning.

Just in case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a bit of a nightowl. Okay, I'm a lot of a nightowl! My husband and I stay up most nights until 2am, then we get up around 8am and take a nap in the afternoons around 5pm. It's a strange sleep schedule. One that I'm sure will change once a baby arrives. Heck, a lot of things are going to change when a baby arrives!

The question right now is just WHEN will a baby arrive? I'm hoping for a very happy Valentine's day surprise and a BFP! The only hpt I have in the house right now is one I got from Dollar Tree. It's one of the cassette kinds and lists the sensitivity at 25 MIU. I looked online to see the sensitivities of most early hpt's. Even the most sensitive ones are the same as the Dollar Tree one. I think there are some online tests that you can order that go as low as detecting 20 MIU, but obviously I don't have time to order some by tomorrow.

I've got such high hopes about the success of the IUI. I haven't been feeling any specific symptoms, but I've been feeling calm and happy lately. If AF arrives, I think it will be more disappointing this month than ever before. I'll update the blog tomorrow with the news. It's possible 11DPO is still too early to get a BFP, but I'm going to try it anyway. I'm expecting AF by Wednesday or Thursday, but I really hope I don't see her for 9 more months!!! Wouldn't that be the best Valentine's Day present.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My First IUI

Today was the big day! Our first IUI - Intrauterine Insemination. Here's how the procedure went:

*At 8:30 we checked in at the doctor's office. DH went straight in to a room in the back to give a sperm sample. He said the room had magazines and video and such to "inspire" haha. I can imagine that having to do that in a doctor's office and collect it in a cup would be really awkward and tough, but he did a good job. When the results came back, it showed that his sample had 105 million sperm! Of those, 31 million were high motility. Very good results that mean our chances of having a successful IUI are just that much better. The nurse said that they look for anything better than 10 million, but that 20-30 is ideal. We were just above ideal, so that's awesome!

*At 10:00 we were called back into the examination room. I stripped from the waist down and laid down with my legs in the stirrups. Our regular doctor was not available today, so another doctor from the sister OB/GYN office came to do the IUI. It was a little awkward because we'd never met him before, but he was very nice. The procedure didn't last long at all. He inserted the speculum, which is very much like what happens during a pap smear. It was uncomfortable, but not too bad. Then, he put the catheter inside, threading it through my cervix and up into my uterus. I only felt just little bit of a pinch, and then it was over.

DH held my hand the whole time and I was glad we were there together. After the doctor left the room, I laid on the table for 15 minutes. I felt a little bit of cramping right from the start, but they weren't as bad as what I usually experience with my period. After 15 minutes, we were able to leave. I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed relaxing. There was a little bit of blood when I went to the bathroom and a LOT of cervical mucus. I have read that the cervical mucus comes from so much of it releasing when the catheter opens the cervix. I also had a lot later this evening. I'm also still cramping a bit. Nothing too bad, though.

I am so excited and nervous to see the results of this IUI. I know that for a lot of people, IUI works the very first time. I really hope we are one of those success stories! The two week wait is going to be the toughest one yet, because I know this is our best chance. Some websites say that IUI with Clomid and a good number of sperm in the sample has up to 26% chance of resulting in a pregnancy. I had 3 healthy, mature follicles and the sperm sample was good. It's exciting and I know we've got a good shot. Now, I have to just relax and keep stress out of my life for the next few weeks. I can reasonably test on February 16th. I don't even know how it will feel to get that BFP!!! Amazing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Second Ultrasound

This morning I had my second follicle check ultrasound for this third medicated cycle. My follicles are definitely maturing. I had one 22mm follicle, which is big enough to trigger. But I also had two others that were at 17 and 16 mm's. The nurse said that there is still a good chance the IUI will work with only one mature follicle, but having more than one does increase the chance of getting pregnant without significantly increasing the chance for multiples. So, I had a decision to make. I could either trigger today with one follie or I could give it a day and allow the other two medium follie's to mature.

The only problem with waiting a day is that there is a possibility I could ovulate on my own tonight or tomorrow with the one mature follicle. If that happens and we don't catch the surge, it's possible the IUI could be too late. I've been taking OPK's every few hours, and there hasn't been a surge yet. I'm hoping the bigger follie will hold on just a little bit longer. Tomorrow, I will go in to the doctor and get my trigger shot. Hopefully, I will then ovulate within the next twenty-four to thirty-six hours.

Our plan is to go in for the actual IUI on Thursday, which should be exactly right. I hope. If I release three good, healthy eggs this cycle and we get the washed sperm into my uterus within 24 hours of the eggs releasing, I should have a really good shot at getting pregnant this cycle.

There is definitely a little bit of fear that we might end up with twins. I think I would be okay with it. Sure, it would be twice as expensive and probably twice as tough, but I think it would still be fine. It's three babies that bothers me, and the chance of that happening is extremely rare. I am so nervous about entering into the 2-week-wait. It's the worst time of the month, because it's so incredibly difficult. And since this is our best chance at having a successful cycle, I have a feeling it's going to be particularly tough.

Even though I'm not technically in the 2-week-wait just yet, I can feel it getting closer. I want to be ready with some ideas on how to stay centered so that I don't go crazy over the next few weeks. I will either get my period or get a positive pregnancy test by February 17th. I hope it's a BFP! How exciting would that be? It would be such a dream come true! I will think about the different ways I can keep stress-free over the next two weeks and hopefully post a new blog about it in the next few days. I will also blog about the IUI and what it was like.