Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two year anniversary

This week Matt and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. For my part, it has generally been an excellent two years. We've been very happy. We've settled into our little home. We've grown together.

I remember before I met Matt and I thought about the ideal settling down situation, I used to think if I married, I'd like at least two years married together, before complicating the situation with having children. I guess I dreamed up this perfect scenario when I was younger, because it is only been during this week of our second anniversary that I've really remembered it. So this week I've reflected on some of the good things about this extra time we have together without children.

Primarily it is a selfish thing. I've had two years of not having to share Matt with anyone. And for the both of us, we've been able to continue to enjoy, although less regularly, some of our vices (mostly resulting in terrible hangovers). I expect having children would have certainly slowed us down a lot more.

We've also gone through the incredible high and subsequent low of our first pregnancy and miscarriage. I am emotionally fairly solitary when it comes to the unhappy spectrum of emotions. I prefer to deal with these things on my own. But over the last year I've had the quiet support of my husband. Going through this together has certainly brought us together more.

One clear advantage is the balance sheet. Last year we lived large and this year we've been able to afford (just!) for Matt to study full-time, working only during the holidays. The skills we have developed this year to better manage our finances will also be handy when we do have children and have only one income again. But I'm already planning for what we will be able to fund next year when the both of us are working full-time again.

Of course celebrating two years of marriage also marks two years of trying to conceive, but this hasn't been top of mind this week. Instead I've been focussed on the benefits of those two years with just the two of us.

PS: Tomorrow I'm going to head in for another blood test in preparation for my Tuesday appointment with the fertility specialist.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The peaceful time

Right now, I'm in what I call the peaceful time of my cycle. I absolutely know I'm not pregnant and am over the disappointment of last month with my sights firmly set on the next fertile window, which should be rapidly approaching.

On Thursday last week my second blood test definitely confirmed I was not pregnant - even though I was already certain of it - and that my period had now officially in hormone terms commenced.

I mentioned clomid in my last post. The fertility specialist has suggested I continue to take it just to ensure I do ovulate each month. This entails taking one pill for 5 days at the beginning of your cycle.  The fertility specialist told me to start taking my clomid on that day. I've got just the one tablet to go.

I've also made a follow up appointment with the fertility specialist to discuss the issue of the later part of my cycle. I'm guessing another drug will be involved in helping my luteal phase be more suitable for conception. I don't see the specialist until 2 November.  I anticipate more blood tests will required also.

I like this time. It is peaceful mentally.

Also, I'm really grateful for all the messages I've been getting in. Thank you to everyone for your support and good luck to those on their own baby making missions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So what's been going on till now?

I rang the Doctor's office late on Tuesday night, unfortunately a little too late to get the results of my blood test. The answering machine gave me an after hours number to ring, and that message gave me another 'urgent' pager number. I decided the results of this blood test can wait until the morning.

On the dot of 8am today I rang and was told that the blood tests show my period hasn't started properly yet. I don't what this means for the whole fertility deal yet, it just seems weird and has me wondering what's been going on for last however many months. 

When did my period starting stop being my period starting?

Since my first pregnancy miscarried and having a suction DNC (curette) in August 2009, my cycle has not been what it used to be. My cycle could vary from 26 to 40 days in length. When you are trying to get pregnant there is nothing you would like more than a nice regular cycle. The irregularity is bad, but it is the long cycles that mess with your head, make you do a million pregnancy tests, get your hopes up to the highest heights and then send you crashing back down.

I reported all this irregularity to my GP, who referred me back to my original obstetrician, who said I needed to be patient. After another month or two of patience I went back to my GP who I have been seeing for about 10 years. In tears again my GP said all this patience was ridiculous, given the emotional distress it was causing, so she prescribed Clomid to try and aid in a speedy pregnancy.

So I've had the clomid for a few months and the irregular cycle has settled down, but now I find out that everything is haywire anyhow.

So how does this result make me feel? Better than I have in months. I feel better because someone is looking into it. The doctor wants me to repeat the same blood test tomorrow. And I hope that the results tomorrow shed more light on what the hell is going on. I certainly hope even though I've got no idea what is going on, that the doctor will.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How do I know it's my period?

My obstetrician was particular about my waiting 12-months. She tells me the high percentage figure of healthy couples that will conceive naturally in this time period. Given the fact that my husband and I had conceived once naturally in 2009 she assured us that patience was necessary. 

Having lasted about 10 of the full official 12-month waiting period, last month I managed to get a referal to see a fertility specialist.

Our appointment was a great 15-minutes in front of a professional who like the obstetrician said given the results of a few test we'd already undertaken so far there wasn't too much to worry about. My weight could be a problem, so perhaps I should try and loose some and step up the exercise program (which he acknowledges this sometimes more difficult than it sounds). 

He sent us away with a lot of blood tests. These tests to be done by me over the course of the month would allow the doc to follow the rise of fall of certain hormones. We left with the certainty that this month the 'love' doctor would give us the nod ensuring our baby making efforts were concentrated around my most fertile window. It wasn't much, but it was enough to bring back hope. At last we were doing something, we had some support, we had scientifically accurate information about my oestrogen, LH and progesterone levels and a phone number to ring. 

With science on my side, I have also stepped up on my part. I've renewed a gym membership and have been getting a lot more regular exercise. I've also been seeking some alternative therapies to help me with some of the emotional difficulties I've experienced around my failed pregnancy and my general well being.

Today I decided that I would ring the fertility specialist to report that my period had started 7 days after I ovulated. Having done swathes of internet research I knew this was bad news. A short luteal phase doesn't allow the body enough time to get pregnant - or something like that. The doctor wasn't there when I rang, but with the receptionist informed of my concerns, I was advised I would either receive a call back later in the day or that I should call again in the morning.

I was pretty bloody happy when the doctor rang me back in the early evening. I found myself talking quickly and openly about spotting and light bleeding and how it all started just 7 days after the date of confirmed ovulation. I was however surprised by the doctor's response, "how do you know it's your period?"

I've been having periods for let's say 23 years. Yes, this bleeding is light, but it has been going for 4 days and doesn't look like easing up. Last month was just like this, long period, but slow getting started with lots of light days. I have done a few cheap internet pregnancy test, but they all come up negative so I don't think it is implantation bleeding. But when it comes down to it, I guess I don't know, I just assume it is.

The doc sends me to the pile of pre-prepared blood test forms that I left his office armed with from our 15-minute meeting and tells me to get a 'quantitative hcg' test. This test will confirm if I'm pregnant or not and all the other results of oestrogen, LH and progesterone levels will confirm if my period has started, or not.

I'm so glad I weaseled my referral a month or two early and that finally I am getting some help. Tomorrow morning I'll be there when the Sullivan Nicolaides doors open at 7am for another jab. And in the afternoon I'll ring that number to find out whether it is my period or not.