Symptoms of a Big Fat Negative?

So, today is treatment cycle day 23 and 6 days past my IUI.  All week long, I've dealt with cramps and acne courtesy of the progesterone.  I also experienced a much higher level of fatigue than I am used to.  It seemed like I was ready for a nap as soon as I came near a bed...or a couch.  And then, came today.  I woke up and.....nothing.  No cramps.  No sore breasts.  No anything.  A little while later came my mood swing.  I suddenly found myself in a mood of annoyance toward my husband.  Not that he was doing anything.  It was more what he wasn't doing.  I recognized that it was a mood swing and maintained my composure, but at the same time felt a bit sad.  I'm about nine or ten days away from my cycle and the mood swings remind me of my PMS symptoms before its arrival.  I've noted that I haven't had sore breasts or cramps beyond the progesterone and I wonder....did this thing work?

Am I pregnant?  Or will I see a big fat negative (BFN) on the 8th.  I hope for the former.  I would really love to carry S.'s child.

This two week wait is starting to bring out the question in me.

TWW and cramps

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I had a great time here with S. and our family.  I started pecan pies on Wednesday evening and woke yesterday morning about 6AM to make sure I got the ribs and turkey on. Yep, ribs.  We like to have a lot of options.

I don't know if it was because I was moving around so much or if it was because my body is just doing what it wants, but I spent a good portion of yesterday and some of this morning with some pretty strong cramps. These cramps felt like impending period cramps, so of course I had the "well, guess this isn't going to work". I tried to maintain a positive mood for the rest of the day, but these cramps can't be ignored.

I don't know if I am cramping because of the progesterone suppositories or because my body is notifying me that the IUI didn't work.  I'm trying very hard not to dwell on it, but I keep thinking that if this doesn't work, we'll have to scrounge together high amount to go forward in an IUI or even higher for an IVF which our RE actually believes will work better.  But it's so expensive and not covered under insurance.

Sigh.  I hope this works.  Has anyone ever had cramps (bad ones) during their TWW after IUI and received a BFP after?  Your input would be greatly appreciated!

-K

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my family to yours, we would like to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is the finalization of our Honeybee's adoption!  We are eternally grateful to God for all that He has done!  May your day be richly and wonderfully blessed in all things good and wonderful.  We will return back to you soon!



Things they don't tell you 1dpiui

So today marks Cycle Day 17 and 1dpiui.  I decided to record a vlog to keep you up to date with my progress.  Feel free to ask questions or email me at younggiftedandinfertile@gmail.com.


https://youtu.be/5wht1MsjZ3g




Only 800k?....

So, today was the day.  Today S. and I went to the fertility specialist for our IUI.  It was a bit of a process.  The semen drop off was scheduled for ten this morning, but in our area traffic is horrid.  I was riding with the sample in my bosom hoping and praying that we'd get there in time for the sample to be used.  I called the office and told them we were in route, running about ten minutes behind schedule, and they didn't have a record of me!!!! WHAT?!!!!!

After talking for two more minutes, they told us to come in anyway since we were already in route and they had some records in their system for me.  When S. and I arrived, he dropped me off so I could rush in with the sample and he could park.  The office had appointment time available and told me to have a seat.  S. came in shortly after and it wasn't long before I dropped off his sample with the tech.

A few minutes later one of the nurses called us into the consult room and told us that S.'s sample was sub-optimal.  Optimum sperm counts should be at or above 5M after the sperm wash.  S.'s sample was 800K.  There was also confusion as the office had called to confirm our appointment on yesterday, only I never got the call.  Turned out they were dialing my work number and never dialed my cell phone which was listed as the number to use on weekends and after hours.  Because of this the office thought that I'd only taken my trigger shot on yesterday and would have to reschedule for the next day.  Once I told them that I actually trigger per my monitoring nurse's guidance on Saturday, they were ready to proceed.  However, they did let us know that it would be a very low percentage in conception.  Sigh.  We are just going to leave that up to God.  That being sad, I did feel a few tears in my eyes.  They didn't fall though.

We were sent back into the lobby for a few more minutes.  I actually took my work laptop out to keep my mind off the news we'd just received.  Shortly thereafter, the nurse called me back and we were prepping for the procedure.  I voided, went to the lobby and called S., and then returned to the room where I disrobed from waist down and sat on the table.

It was just like a usual pap smear exam.  They'd warmed the speculum which was so appreciated.  The certified mid-wife nurse (whom I wasn't expecting) was engaging and thorough.  She'd viewed my pics before hand and knew I had a tilted uterus.  I was nervous about that because I have read some horror stories about IUIs and tilted uteri, but it wasn't bad at all.  A bit of cramping (very minute) and two minutes later, we were done.  S. was great holding my hand while the procedure was done.  The nurses had me lie on my back for five minutes and then they left the room.  S. and I prayed afterwards that whatever God's will, we would be good and would move forward as directed.

It was a painless process for the most part.  The cramps felt like ovulation cramps, which I'd been experiencing all day, so I can't blame the IUI.  I got home and was able to continue to work from home before I was overwhelmed by the need to sleep.  So, I slept for about an hour and a half and then woke up to make chicken and rice enchiladas.

So, we are officially in our two week wait.  We're supposed to BD tonight and then I am to take progesterone vaginally twice a day from tomorrow until told to stop.  Test date is Dec 8.  I'll be sure to keep everyone updated.

Have a great day.
-K


Weekend Recap: National Adoption Day!

This weekend our family celebrated National Adoption Day with a wonderful ceremony honoring families in the county who had finalized their adoption this year.  I was very excited to be able to go.  We started off with a speaker in our city's courthouse and then took pictures with the judges and speakers.


Celebrating as a family
The kids had the opportunity to sit behind the bench.  Superbug thought it a good idea to appear super serious in the picture because "judges are serious".  I love this pic.  And btw, I didn't dress them alike on purpose :)

Afterwards, we took a trolley to a fellowship hall where we were greeted with cake and icecream.  On each of the tables were gingerbread homes that represented our new forever families.  Honeybee really enjoyed the cake and icecream.

Mmmmmm


Superbug and I worked on the gingerbread house and had a reporter from the local newspaper take our photo.  We didn't think anything of it until Ms. Care texted me this morning and told us that we were in the newspaper.




How awesome was that?!  We topped out National Adoption Day off with a potluck dinner at our church. It was a yummy food and wonderful fellowship.

It was a wonderful evening and I am so very thankful that we were able to spend the day together and celebrated so wonderfully. So thankful to be Mommy to my two special little people.

Have a great day.
-WinterMommy


And it's a go!

Sorry to hold you in suspense.  I really should have shared everything with you when I returned home, but it was a ridiculously busy day in my household.  Between errands and celebrations and birthday phone calls, and no sleep...yep, it was a day.

So, here's where we are.  I went in to the secondary location to have my blood drawn.  They then checked my follicle size.  The first one measured 18.7 which is great!  Our optimum number is 18, so we're above that.  We saw one more on the same right side which measured 19.  So, we were given the go ahead to proceed with the IUI!  

I took my trigger shot of Ovidrel (250ml) last night.  Amazing how much easier it was to administer it once I'd already tackled the Gonal-F injections earlier this week.  It took me less than 3 minutes to do it and most of that was making sure I'd cleaned the area and had the bandage for the pinprick.  

My DH and I enjoyed some one on one intimacy and are now prepping for an IUI on tomorrow.  I'm a bit nervous.  I certainly hope it works on the first try.  That would really be a great and wonderful gift.

Today, S. and I have just been spending some time together enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day for sure.

Prayers and baby dust.
K


Do it again...

Sigh...well, I went to the RE's office to get my BW and US.  The follicles are growing, but growing slowly.  Extremely slowly...sigh.   The 15.5. had barely crossed 16.  The others were between 13-14.  Sigh.  That was disappointing.  I almost expected that because I hadn't been having the gnarly cramps that I usually have when I ovulate.  Even with the Gonal-F, my cycle has been fairly quiet.  Though all of this is new, especially since it's my first one.  Who knows what normal really is anymore.

My nurse told me that I will need to take another dosage of the Gonal-F tonight and then drive quite a ways away to get more BW and US tomorrow.  If we grow like we are hoping to, then our IUI will be Sunday morning.  If it doesn't, there's another order of Gonal-F to be made and another shot to take.

As I type, I take some of the cramping statement back.  I am currently experiencing an ovulation cramp.  Maybe tomorrow will be a good day after all.

Bloodwork and Ultrasound

So, I went in to my RE's office today for my blood work (BW) and Ultrasound (US) to see how my follies are doing after taking 4 daily doses of 50mg of Clomid and then one Gonal-F injection. My left side was pretty quiet ( a 6 and 3), but my right side was showing promise with one 15.5, one 11, and one 13. The doctor says optimum is 18 and it looks like the 15.5 will be the go to. She was pleased it was right side as my left tube showed a potential blockage on my HSG. I am to take another dose of the Gonal-F tonight and return for BW/US on Friday to see where we are. If everything is good to go, we're looking at a Sunday morning IUI.

Let's hope everything goes well.
-K



I just took my first Gonal-F shot

Warrior Woman!!! I am she!!  Lol.  Okay, okay.  It did take a bit of time to convince me to stick that needle into my stomach fat and then, after my husband contributed just by annoying me, I got it done. Honest reaction...felt like straight heat going in and then after I felt a level of nausea that lasted for about three minutes.

Now, I'm sitting here wondering if it is going to do whatever it is it is going to do.  For the record though...I still hurt.

The next step is to wait until the day after tomorrow when I go in for blood work and ultrasound.  I should know then if S. will be contributing a sample or will we have to go back to the drawing board.

I'll keep you posted.
-K

The Ovulation Wars: Love and Hate

It’s that time again. That time of the month where I go from sweet to near psychotic in seconds. Nope, not that time of the month. The other one. Ovulation. In my world of fluctuating hormones and infertility, the mere thought of ovulation is an annoyance to me.

Every month, it announces itself with a huge bout of nausea. I’m serious. Anything I smell or eat makes me dry heave. I feel nauseous all day long for several days before I actually release an egg. That symptom alone, well before any little pink stick, tells me that ovulation is near or occurring. I used to enjoy appreciate the symptoms because they let me know that it was a time to increase any intimate moments with my husband. Now, I can’t stand it. I have been monitoring my fertile cycle for three years. I know ovulation dates to a science. I can even tell which side is releasing an egg thanks to the ovulation cramps I receive. Still, in the three years of tracking, I have yet to conceive a child naturally. That’s okay because our family has been with the joy and love of our children H. and S.  Still, I often find myself asking God out loud, “what is the purpose of getting nauseous every month when there is no baby to contribute to the nausea?” I don’t know if I’ll ever understand God’s sense of humor on that, yet still I endure it monthly.

The thing that has me writing this post is the recent rapid surge and then rapid loss of libido. It’s driving me up a wall. I honestly imagine this is what adolescent males feel like. I sometimes find myself wanting physical intimacy all the time, for hours at a time. In my head, I’m so thankful I have a husband and that I get to go home to him to…well..um..talk intimately to him….only to have that feeling disappear the moment I walk through the door or before I even leave work in the evening. It’s frustrating! Not only for me, but I’m sure for other women who endure the same. Not to mention spouses of these women. How crazy must it be for them?


                                      My mantra during the particularly difficult days

Seriously, what the heck is going on with my body?! I've done some research and have found that my body is supposed to have a bit of a hyper sensualized response on days of ovulation, but this is far from a bit. I feel like I could bench press a bus. Everything is hypersensitive. Ears, skin. UGH! You would think this would be great in the world of trying to conceive. NOPE.

As I said, this has been going on for three years. I come home revved up and the moment I step out the car, the feeling leaves. Just like that…it’s gone. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is? If I were a cursing woman, this would be where a series of them erupt I’m sure. I did go my doctor about it and it turns out my hormone levels have a tendency to regularly rise to levels six times beyond normal hormone ranges! Yep, six times! I’ve had to take progesterone creams as a balancer. Works for a while, then doesn’t. During ovulation times, my hormone levels spike even higher than my normal levels. Which leads to the...fun…moments. The mood swings.

With the increased hormones come increased libido, increased mood swings, frustration, and short temperament. That becomes a problem. I don’t mean to be short when I come home on these days, but I honestly just want to be left alone. I hate this season of the month. I honestly do. And explaining it to my husband is just not something that works. He thinks I’m making it up or it’s in my head. UGHHHHHHHHHH. My body hates me.

Oh, did I mention the pain? Yep, about the third day in, I get these really gnarly and painful cramps reminiscent of menstrual cramps on steroids. Always on one side. They alternate month to month and they hurt. I mean stop me in the middle of walking and make me catch a deep breath stop. What in the world?! The doctors says the egg is preparing to release or has released and that most women don’t even notice. Well, apparently, I’m not most women. It hurts!!

I usually take an Aleve and it goes away for a while, but it’s a constant for sure. I often wonder if my uterine cyst has anything to do with the pain, but since the pain only comes during ovulation and occasionally with menstruation and hasn’t grown, it remains.

By the end of the week, this cadre of symptoms will have disappeared. It will be as if it never was there until my menses actually arrive and we experience similar symptoms all over again. Wow.

Only this time, the painful cramps and mood swings just announce that once again I haven't conceived.

Sigh. Such is life right now I suppose. Today happens to be one of the days where I am okay with that. I know if God has that in the plans for my husband and I, we will see it. Today is a good day. Others...not so much.

So...here we are. I have been outrageously open and have shared my frustration of ovulation with fertility issues for the world. Why? Shouldn't that be private? On one hand, absolutely. What's in your home should remain there. On the other, why not be open. Someone else is going through the same things I am and feel like they are only person experiencing it. Maybe my sharing my story will be a help to someone else. I know I've been encouraged by women who walk similar paths as I in adoption and infertility. Perhaps this will bring a bit of peace for them.

Have a great evening.
-K
*Reprint from companion blog with author's permission

Thank you...


Weekend Recap: More than just a cause



I really wasn’t expecting this weekend to be as fun and memorable as it was. Truly, I wasn’t. I knew we had a few plans, but the outcome went above anything I could have imagined. When I arrived home on Friday, FatherWinter informed me that we would be getting up early the next morning to attend a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. I was less than thrilled and didn’t really want to go, but he mentioned it was co-sponsored by our church’s HIV/AIDS Ministry and I was in.                                        

We arrived at the event to be ushered into a cafeteria where a video was presented about HIV/AIDS in the community, prevention, and stigma associated with the diseases. I’m familiar with epidemic. I’ve lost family members to it and have been faithfully testing every year since college. What I wasn’t familiar with were the recent statistics in my area. DC ranks #1 in the nation for HIV/AIDS cases. VA ranks #2 and MD is #3. That’s a very sobering statistic. The county the tournament took place had the unpleasant distinction of being #2 in the state for new cases. Not great at all. I watched Superbug attentively listen to all that was presented and knew we would be having a discussion later.

After the video was over, we went to the gym and began the tournament. Our church has four teams because we had so many participants! That was awesome, BUT we weren’t as great as some of the other teams. Three were knocked out early. The latter team was knocked out in the championship battle. So, we came in second place, but had a great time participating! 

Didn't quite make it this time...
Photo credit: National Geographic/IndianaJonestheexhibition.com
After the event, we took a journey to the National Geographic Museum to visit the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology. FatherWinter and Superbug really enjoyed the exhibit as you faced interactive “walks” with movie and informational video clips on portable devices. Unfortunately, my device was malfunctioning and wouldn’t show any of the movie clips. It showed all of the informational clips though and I learned quite a bit including the origin of “thugs” and the history of the “Thugee” tribe made famous in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. My favorite part of the exhibit had to be the recreation of the Ark of the Covenant. I think I examined that most of all. When we’d completed our visit, we found temps dipping and stomachs rumbling. If you're in DC in the next couple of weeks, I highly recommend the visit.  It really was very educational but a lot of fun at the same time.


Yesterday was just the best day ever.  First, we got to hear Superbug sing. :)  Superbug hasn’t sung in the church choir since he was about four years old. He recently expressed an interest in doing so again and FatherWinter and I allowed it, after having a discussion about commitment and discipline. He did a great job and we were very proud of him. After he completed singing, the family went to the Family Fun event that Honeybee's adoption agency hosted.  We had such an enjoyable time.  

Honeybee, Superbug, and I enjoyed a hayride around a beautiful farm. FatherWinter couldn’t join because he is allergic to hay, but he was fine. While we were riding, he was parktaking of the yummy snacks and beverages in the greenhouse. The ride was a bit nippy but not uncomfortably so.  After it was over, we came to join FatherWinter and Honeybee found the cake to be her favorite thing there.  She spend the rest of her time trying to convince others to share their cake with her. :)



No cupcake is safe!!!! Lol 
Enjoying her own small piece


Superbug made a new friend and they spent the afternoon playing football until the sun’s rays began their descent. After farewells and pictures, the family loaded up and went to celebrate one more family event—an anniversary.

We spent time visiting with our brother and sister in law celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary. While we didn't get to grab photos here, it was an enjoyable time and we were blessed to celebrate with them.

When we got home, we were so tired, everyone was out within 10 minutes of getting settled.  It was a wonderful weekend and we were very pleased to enjoy it as a family.  Next big event....we're going to try and hit Christmastown!!

Have a blessed evening!!
-WinterMommy

November has arrived...

Happy November! Without a doubt, this month is a very great one. It is a month of pure gratitude. I mean, Thanksgiving is one of the core holidays. It’s nothing short of being a month where, if no other time, you should carry a bit more thought about what you’ve been blessed with…and I’m not just talking materialistic.

It’s funny for me to think that a year ago I was sitting in a different office, in a different location, thinking long and hard about the upcoming legal proceedings for our Honeybee. Today, I’m thinking about how she will be running around and enjoying her cousins and lots of food in upcoming weeks. God is really a good God.

One of the things I didn’t focus on last year that seemed more than important to do so in this year was National Adoption Month. If you are unfamiliar with the month and its origins, I’ll be glad to share. According to Nationaladoptionday.org, “National Adoption Day is a collective, national effort to raise awareness of more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving families. In 2014, approximately 4,500 youth in foster care were adopted by their forever families over the 15th annual National Adoption Day celebration”.

This year, FatherWinter, Superbug, Honeybee, and I are participating in a couple of National Adoption Month activities sponsored by Honeybee’s adoption agency. In a few weeks, we are planning to attend a Family Fun event with other adoptive families. I’m really looking forward to it. There is something I find heartwarming about being able to fellowship with other adoptive families who know some of what it is like to experience your world. They know about the thoughts on nature versus nurture. They know about the rude things some people say because they simply are ignorant to adoption. I am certainly looking forward to spending time with other families and maybe making a few new friends.

I'm looking forward to a lot of things this month.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas Tree Lighting.  Volunteerism.  Arts and Crafts.  This is going to be a great week!

-WinterMommy

Weekend Recap: #GHOE

I recently returned from my alma mater's college Homecoming.  It was a wonderful trip.  Since FatherWinter and Superbug had a men' retreat to attend, I decided to take Honeybee with me to enjoy her first #Greatest Homecoming on Earth aka #GHOE.

 Now understand, I haven't been to my alma mater's homecoming in about three years.  As much as Aggie Pride runs in my veins (not to mention my family) that seemed abysmal.  I refused to allow that to happen again, so I had my riding partner (aka Honeybee) strapped in and we were ready to go!!!  Once we arrived in sunny Greensboro, I had to let the mantra that has been that of all Aggies be known (See Above!).  And then, I made sure my riding partner was sufficiently attired...


Had to make a quick stop at the campus bookstore

Afterwards, I decided to take a tour of the yard and see how much things had changed.  Boy, had they ever.  The small and outdated Student Health Center was now a sleek and highly advanced technological building wonder with a new look and new location.

All shiny and new?!  Where is the brick outlay?
This used to have a road directly through it and the dorm was in front of the light post

That was fun and a great trip down memory lane.  To continue it, I decided to take Honeybee on a walk along the same hallowed halls that her Mommy once trod.  Can I tell you how much fun that was?!  I even ran into one of my favorite professors and told her how I actually use the skills I learned in college--both professionally and personally.  I'm so thankful to be an Aggie.





There were great memories in being a student here.  I met some very great and wonderful people.  I established some wonderful bonds and loved very hard while I was here.  There is always something great about coming home.

After I got my fill of walking around campus and strolling down memory lane, I decided to take Honeybee and I to catch up with some dear friends of mine who still live in the city.  I hadn't seen them since my wedding, so we were well overdue to catch up!    

 
My best friend and I 
Pictured is one of my best friends.  She was bridesmaid at my wedding, is godmother to my son, shares a friendship with me from that spans high school and college.  It's always great to see her.  It was her first time meeting Honeybee and she and her husband spoiled her rotten :).

I visited with she and her husband for a while and then Honeybee and I called it a night.  That drive took it out of me.  But, since my Honeybee was knocked out well before I was.  I was able to sit and have a evening night cap.

College buddies!!!

Evening night cap...

Trust, I very rarely get this opportunity.  But I sat down, watched mindless dribble on television, and savored the quiet until the next morning's festivities, starting with getting my riding partner ready! 


In her blue and gold.  Future AGGIE!

We got together with the college buddies and spent the rest of the day finding great food, wonderful friends, and enjoying an amazing fellowship!

Smiling for the camera!

A #GHOE must!  Fried fish platter

You're looking at 20+ years of friendship right here!  Middle school to college. God is good!

She's all about kisses for the camera.


All in all, it was a wonderful trip.  I enjoyed the friendship, loved the fellowship, and LOVED all the food.  AND knocked off an item from our Fall Checklist!  Tailgating!!!  Woohoo!!!

Hopefully, next time I'll be able to take Superbug with me.  I'm sure he'll enjoy it!

Here's hoping you have a great evening.  We'll talk to you soon!

-WinterMommy