Friday, December 28, 2012

More of the Unexpected

I want to start this by saying that I absolutely adore my mother-in-law.  I truly do.  I am very lucky that my in-laws have always been so amazing to me.

I have talked to her at length about my miscarriages and all of my medical appointments, etc.  She understands that all of this has been difficult on me.  It has been so wonderful to be able to talk to her.

My mother-in-law worked full time and then part time before having her first child.  She stopped working when she was six months pregnant.  After having her son she did not return to work until her two kids were in high school, 15 years later.  She then worked part time for three years until the family moved across the country and hasn't worked out of the home since.  

That being said, I was sincerely surprised to hear her being less than supportive about the idea of me being a stay-at-home mom.  I was a little bewildered by her reaction when I had mentioned that we were considering it while in conversation today.

For the last couple of days she has made many mentions of how hard it was for her to be married to a work-a-holic (which my husband has also turned into) and taking care of the needs of her two kids and her husband while staying home full time.  In the past she has even made a point to mention that she didn't get pregnant, after years of trying, until she reduced her hours.  It almost sounded like she was encouraging me to reduce my hours too.

That is why I was so surprised to see her concern and hear her reservations about me possibly staying at home.  She was very polite and subtle but I could tell that she was bothered by it.  

We sort of changed topics and moved onto talking about something else but I can't help wondering why she was hesitant.  She did mention something about "you know, if your husband makes enough money..."   Is that the concern?  Does she think I'm just a free-loader?  Then she even mentioned something about my dream job.   "Would that make enough income?"  I was definitely taken aback by THAT.  Gee, thanks for making my dream job feel insignificant and not worth pursuing just like parents and teachers did to me as a child.

I'm just shocked.  And hurt.  I just don't know what to think about it all.  I could be reading too much into her reaction and words, of course.  Maybe she is just concerned that my husband doesn't make enough money.  Does she even know how much we make?  She might just be concerned about our stability and future lifestyle.  Lifestyle - what an interested sidebar that could be in this situation.

Rainshower:    The unexpected has, yet again on this trip, sent me to a self conscience place.  I now have one less person to confide in, I fear.  I'm in self preservation mode now.
Rainbow:         Fortunately these decisions are between my husband and myself.  I know who will be breaking the news to her when the time comes, and it will not be me. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surviving the Holidays while TTCing

I am sure many people TTCing during the holidays have very familiar feelings to the ones I am having this month.

For family gatherings I prepared myself for the inevitable questions about having kids and prepared my ‘go to’ reply:  “We are getting there”.  I expected to have pangs of jealousy and be emotional when I saw my many cousins’ many children.  I expected to be cornered by an aunt and being told, “you aren’t getting any younger, you know”, just as my Grandma had said years ago.  My reply was and will still be a gasp from shock and a sarcastic “Gee, Thanks” comment along with a displeased facial expression. 

I expected these things and many more.  Many of the things I prepared for above did happen.  It is the unexpected things that get you, of course. 

What I did not expect was that within 20 minutes of arriving at my parents’ house my sister-in-law was going to tell me that another one of my sister-in-laws was pregnant!  “Gee, thanks”, I thought.  I think I was able to not act as blindsided as I originally was, but who knows.  My “gee, thanks” thought was directed towards my Mom.  My Mom does know about my difficulties staying pregnant and the fact that I am having surgery next month in an attempt to be able to stay pregnant.  She knows that I have had a really hard time over the past 18 months with three miscarriages, the difficult-to-get subclinical hypothyroid diagnosis, and the emotional toll it all has taken on me.  Yet, she didn’t feel the need to tell me this?  She didn’t feel the need to warn me?  This is just typical of my mom.  “Gee, Thanks”, I think to myself.  I am alone, on an island again, as usual.

The next morning I took it upon myself to say “All right, out with it.  Is anyone else pregnant?”  Her matter-of-fact reply, “Yes, Abby is pregnant.  I think she is due in April”.   “Gee, Thanks Mom.”  She just cannot see that this is all so painful for me.

I am happy I took it upon myself to ask because, obviously, she didn’t think that this information would be helpful to know prior to coming face to face with a pregnant belly.  Sigh.

Some people, even those the ones that are the closest to you just do not understand.

All things considered I think I faired pretty well this time around.

Rainshower:  More people are pregnant – what a shocker (sarcasm). 
Rainbow:        The good news is that I was able to survive the holidays thus far.  The odds are in my favor that I can get through the rest of it ok.

Note:  We are on a forced break from TTCing until I recover from my uterine polyp surgery in late January but I still associate myself as being in the “TTC” category. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pregnancy announcements -Act One, Take Two

It wasn't that long ago that I wrote about the onslaught of pregnancy announcements and here I am back at it again.

I'd like to first say that I AM very happy for these people, but it does sting.

There has been THREE pregnancy announcements in less than a week. It has been a bad week for this to occur considering the discovery of my uterine polyp and the subsequent surgery it will require.

The first one was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Yes- I'm counting it because it has been reported everywhere since it was announced WHILE I WAS MEETING WITH MY RE TO DISCUSS MY POLYP & SURGERY.

The second one was my High School friend who is pregnant with her third living child. She will have 3 under 3 by the time this one is born.  I feel very happy for her especially considering her first child was stillborn.

The third, the icing on the cake for me was my old boyfriend and his wife. That one was the biggest punch in the stomach not only because it's my ex, which I still talk to (his wife too), but because they announced it via Christmas Card Photo.  She was holding up a onesie on the inside of the card as a surprise to everyone. It really knocked the wind out of me.

What makes this worse is that there is SO many celebrities who are pregnant or just had a baby. I can't escape the announcements, no matter where I go.

I'm having a pity party about it all.

I'm still a year away from a baby. And I'm still gutted about that.

Rainbow: At least ill be able to try again soon after my polyp removal surgery.

Rain shower: This time of year is always hard on me, baby or no, pregnant or not.  Can it be April yet?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving 2013 baby?

So I just did the math. The soonest we could have a baby would be Thanksgiving 2013 (if we get pregnant in the first cycle after I have recovered from surgery). Fingers crossed that Clomid helps make this possible.

It's a lot to potentially be thankful for but at the same time it always seems as if this 'future baby' is always one year away. Always a year. After a miscarriage it's always a year too because of the waiting to start trying again. I'm just tired of always being a year away from parenthood.

I'd like to be 6 months away. Past the greatest risk of miscarriage. After seeing a heartbeat.

This journey -my saga- is just so frustrating.

Lucky me. I'm having surgery (sarcasm)

I'm having surgery just as I expected.

Don't get me wrong - I like the idea of getting this 6mm x 6mm uterine polyp removed BUT I have to wait until the end of January to have the surgery. I have to wait because the soonest optimal time to have the surgery falls during the week of Christmas. I will be out of town and my RE will not be working either.

MORE DELAYS. It is frustrating. The soonest we could get pregnant would now be February, I think.  I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but I've been at this for quite awhile (June 2011) and I happen to be having another birthday soon. 33-ugh. I had hoped to already have a baby by now.

After the 2nd or 3rd miscarriage I told myself that I wanted to be pregnant by the time I turned 33. I'm not too sure why I came up with that but I have a feeling it had to do with me wanting 2 kids and wanting to at least be pregnant with the 2nd by the time I'm 35.

35 is not just an arbitrary number. It has to do with egg quality and miscarriage statistics. The older you get the older your eggs become and the greater chance of a chromosome abnormality and dramatically higher miscarriage likelihood. Like I need a higher chance of miscarriage, right?

Bloody hell.

However, surgery is a good thing. It will HOPEFULLY solve my miscarriage mystery. I'd just like to get there sooner than later.

Lately I've been kicking myself for not bailing on the first RE sooner. I feel like if I had the sonohystogram instead of the HSG I would have found this stupid polyp already and I wouldn't be working against the '35 clock' like I am now.

Rainshower: Time is ticking. I'm turning 33 soon.

Rainbow: I'm getting this polyp removed. I will be starting 2013 with a clean slate and a clean uterus.  I have come a long way since my 3rd miscarriage.  I need to remind myself of that.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I have a polyp... Now what?

This morning I had a sonohystogram done. I expected to be told everything looks fine just like ALL of the other tests I've had done (including an HSG). To say I was surprised by the outcome is an understatement.

All I know is that I have a 5-6 mm polyp at the top of my uterus. In the back, I think. The ultrasound tech didn't say much but she inferred that it will have to be removed because it is in prime implantation area.


The sonohystogram was more uncomfortable than the HSG I had done with my first RE. Odd considering it was supposed to be easier by everyone's description (my RE, his nurse, ultrasound tech and the Dr. Performing the procedure).

I cramped far more than with the HSG. I have a retroverted uterus (it tilts backwards 'quite a bit' according to the technician). I assume that because of my tilted uterus they had to attempt it multiple times with two different catheters (I'll leave out the details about why I think that is).

The worst part about her multiple attempts was that right before they abandoned the first catheter the ultrasound tech 'saw something'.   That is not what you want to hear during this procedure.  The hope is that they see nothing.  Something - not good.

I had to lay there worrying and cramping, my mind racing, while they used a different catheter which happened to be the same one used with the HSG procedure.   Not the greatest experience.

I contained my emotions. I didn't cry. I pretended to be unfazed by the outcome. I think I was in shock, really. I never considered the possibility of them actually finding something. Mostly because everyone has been so confident that there is nothing wrong with me.

I feel sadly vindicated. I feel lucky to have found a doctor who is ordering these tests.

My first stop after the procedure was google, of course. The procedure to remove the poly is called an hysteroscopic polypectomy.

It requires anesthesia. Boo.

I'm a little freaked out. Luckily I have a follow up appt with my doctor next Monday so we will see what he has to say about it all.

Rainshower: More delays in getting pregnant. I'm terrified of going under anesthesia since I've never even broken a bone.  Surgery has never been mentioned before.

Rainbow: Maybe this polyp, along with my elevated TSH, is the problem. Lets get that sucker out of there.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pinterest's New Secret Boards are allowing me to Baby Obsess (not good)

Oy vey! I'm in trouble.

I'm stuck on Pinterest pinning all-things-baby to my secret 'future baby' board.

You see, before Pinterest had these secret boards I pinned baby stuff, among other things, to my 'Someday' board so that my followers didn't know that I'm as baby obsessed as I really am. Now that no one can see my obsession I'm even more obsessed.

Actually I think people may be getting an inclining that I'm baby obsessed because I've had a few family members that follow me ask my mom if I'm pregnant. Whoops. I was trying to pace myself and pin baby stuff between pics of tropical vacations and Great Danes. I guess I wasn't doing a very good job of that... Or perhaps no one was paying attention to the fact that it was my 'someday' board.

This obsessive secret pinning is going to to even MORE trouble when we are TTC and I'm in my TWW. Yikes.

Oh the things to look forward to!

Rainbow: I can now pin all of the things that I have so far avoided out of fear of being found out.

Rainshower: One of my tools to combat the dreaded two week wait has been taken away. I used to use Pinterest as an a distraction and now they have enabled me to further obsess.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Conflicted Feelings over becoming a Stay at Home Mom

I want to be a stay at home mom. I never thought I would have wanted to be a stay at home mom.

I worry about that choice.

I worry that my future daughter will not respect me as a hardworking woman and will not strive to become self sufficient.

I worry that my children will be spoiled by my presence and not appreciate all that I do for them.

I worry that my children may become too dependent upon me or that they will be too dependent upon the things I do for them and they will not be equipped as an adult.

I worry that other people will judge me.

I worry that I will disappoint those people that have always thought of me as a role model for their children.

I worry that when I WANT to return to work I will be unable to pick back up where I left and make a decent amount of money.

I am a worrier. Can't you tell?

My mom worked full time so I just thought I would too. I grew up being told 'you can be whatever you want when you grow up and do whatever you want to do'. I always thought I would be able to have it all: a great career, a big paycheck, a cute family, pets, house, tropical vacations, etc. I never thought that the pressures of a 24 hour a day world might someday force me to rank the importance all of these things. That I would not have enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do (while being who I wanted to be for the people in my life). Adulthood has woken me up to the fact that I have to choose what is most important to ME and let the rest fall. I cannot physically and emotionally handle 'it all'.

I have always thought being able to be a SAHM was a luxury. That it was nice if it was financially possible for people to do so. Now living where I am and making what I make, at the end of the day, I wouldn't be taking home much money after all of the expenses. (I do recognize that my 'not much' is different than someone else's.) Day care around Boston is one of the most expensive in the nation - it is in the top 3! It really makes you think about things much differently when you have that to consider. All that sacrifice, hard work and stress for what? The ability to take a nicer vacation every year? (Provided there is any vacation time left to use after a kids fever/cold take up your vacation time). I don't even LIKE my job anyway. I have no room to advance where I'm at and have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to get another job.

When I met my husband he felt strongly that someone had to stay home with the kids. Poppycock, I thought.

His mom stayed home until the kids were in school then worked part time. My mom never stayed home. I turned out just fine.

Well after a few years and many conversations about our childhoods I came to realize his was rosier than mine but I thought that it had far more to do with our different income brackets. That is until later.

Now I think that his childhood was rosier than mine partly because of the greater means of his parents but also because his mom stayed home. He could do more 'things', spend more time together. He wasn't saddled with the responsibilities I had at young age. He was allowed to be a kid. He had more opportunities to figure out what he was good at and encouraged to follow that path. I truly believe that a lot of it had to do with his mom staying home. She wasn't as stressed and tired as my mom was working full time while raising us alone. She could notice and nurture his talents and guide him toward activities that would help him flourish. Not me. I was shuffled around constantly. Grandma B, Grandma V, Aunt L, Aunt D & Uncle P all had their rotation. I am not trying to judge my mom at all. She did what she had to do but I want my kids to have a different experience.

I will be honest, there was a time I DID judge SAHM's. I was in high school. My aunt stayed home with her 4 kids until they were all in school all day. I DID judge her when her husband asked me something to me about my aspirations. I was full steam ahead with my 'go to college and do better than my parents plan' so at the time not working didn't seem like an option to make that possible.

I feel terrible about that now. I feel terrible because I truly had NO idea what it is like to be an adult. The deep sense of responsibility that comes with it.

Rainbows: At the end of the day my ability to stay home is a luxury and I am thankful I have the choice of doing so.

Rainshowers: I have a hard time accepting that my life hasn't worked out exactly as I pictured in high school. My high school self would not even recognize me now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fertile Stars in Alignment When Not TTC

Why is it that during the cycles we are NOT trying conceive I get ALL to signs of impending ovulation but not when we are actually trying? (Let the acronyms begin)

I had EWCM. A positive OPK suggesting an LH Surge. My BBT chart was perfect and FF even gave me definite crosshairs rather than dashed crosshairs. Daylight savings didn't even effect my BBT.

Go figure.

Rainbow: I ovulated. It is confirmed. Woohoo.
Rainshower: Knowing that I'm just about to ovulate and resisting the urge to try for a baby is a challenge.

Oh, The Politics

This election year has been interesting to say the least. People have been divided. People have also been quite open to talking about politics with anyone who will listen and even the people that do not have any interest in listening.

In seeing all of the politic dialogue on Facebook lately, and on Facebook in general over the years, it has really driven home the fact that I was always completely different from everyone I grew up around, even extended family members.

I grew up in a conservative, religious area and I am neither of those things. I was the minority without even knowing it. I looked like them yet I was very different but never knew why. Facebook has really opened my eyes to these differences and I cannot help but wonder how different high school could have been for me had I known about these fundamental differences. I could have had an easier time seeking out people that shared my viewpoints and perhaps high school wouldn't have been so loathsome. I would have understood these people better too.

About a month ago Oprah wrote a letter to her '16 year old self'. It got me thinking.

What would I have told my 16 year old self?

I would have told myself:
Right now you are surrounded by religious conservatives but it won't be like that forever. You wont even have to go too far to find less conservative people to befriend. Even the people that you don't think are conservative really are.

I would have told myself:
Try to seek out people that are less conservative and religious. It will make a difference. You won't feel as though you are constantly filtering your thoughts, dreams and feelings about social policy.

I would have told myself:
You will eventually meet people more like-minded and feel more at ease with yourself, your friendships and your path in life.

I would have told myself:
If you think it's difficult now, just wait. Enjoy the carefree time you have even though it doesn't feel carefree now.

I would have told myself:
Relax a little. You are allowed to have a little fun, spend a little of that hard earned money.

While I felt alienated, isolated and alone in high school it did have a positive effect on me. I learned how to listen to people even though I didn't agree with them and to reply to them in a very diplomatic way.

It also allowed me to understand more about where these people are coming from, why they feel this way. Knowing this has helped me to be less judgmental about their beliefs later in life. I accept them and there off-the-wall facebook posts whereas they were never able to accept me. They made me a better person. Hopefully I made them think a little when I occasionally spoke up.

My husband often wonders how I ended up being as open minded and accepting while surrounded by close minded people. I think is has to do with the fact that my mother let me grow up to make my own choices and my own opinions about things that other parents preach to their children. I am specifically talking about politics.

I learned about politics in school and on the news, not at home. The elementary teacher outlined the differences between democrats and republicans and that was that. My mother never spoke about politics in my presence. TO THIS DAY I HAVE NO IDEA IF SHE IS A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT.

People are astonished to learn this. I mean jaw-dropping astonishment.

My mother isn't exactly a Chatty-Cathy. She keeps most of her opinions to herself. I'm not sure she kept the topic of politics from me out of her quietness or by design but it is one of those things that has allowed me to be me and I am very thankful for that.

This is one of those things I'd like to do for my children as well.

So at the end of the day, while my conservative extended family members may be outraged by my choices in life and the path I've chosen for myself, I am entertained by their extremely conservative facebook status updates and rants in the wake of the election of Barrack Obama. Just entertained - not outraged. I am accepting. I accept that I cannot change them. So why do they still try to change me?

Rainshower: High school stunk but it helped me become who I am today.

Rainbow: I am finally surrounded by more like-minded people. I finally have a couple of friends that I feel I can talk openly to and it had made a big difference in my sense of belonging.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh yeah... I finally told my Mom

Until now, after three miscarriages, I had not told my Mom or any of my family about everything that I have been going through.

I may seem astonishing to many people but to me it wasn't one of those things I talk about with my mom. She accepts me for who I am and I accept her but we don't really have a relationship that makes me want to immediately pick up the phone and share news with her. Or call for advice. Or call for comfort. I enjoy spending time with her but we just don't have a 'typical' mother-daughter relationship.

What is a typical mother-daughter relationship anyway? That's a loaded question. I'm sure what many people think of is the quintessential picture perfect relationship. I'm not too sure that it exists for most people. We all have baggage. We all have different upbringings and experiences that shape us as children and parents. There is no such thing as a typical parent-child relationship.

After my first miscarriage I didn't think to tell anyone. It was supposed to be a one time thing.

After my second miscarriage I was too devastated and upset to tell my Mom. I was busy trying to pick myself back up - not share my heartache with everyone.

After my third miscarriage I was almost worried to tell her. You know - because I had THREE miscarriages in the last 13 months and had not told her about any of them. Guilt was setting in. Why was I guilty, anyway?

So I waited. I waited until after I saw an endocrinologist about my thyroid. I waited until after the results. Until after there was a plan of sorts in place. Until after I started medication.

At that point I had lined up appointments with an entirely new medical team. I was starting a clean slate and felt the clean slate needed to include divulging everything. Ridding myself of the guilt. A selfish reason really. But it was my news to share. My heartache to bear. I was finally ready.

Due to previous experiences I had with my mother not knowing what to say to reassure me when I was looking for soothing, I decided it would be best to just lay it all out there. No stopping for a breath, no waiting for a reaction. I was sort if like a bull in a china shop with the news.

It sounds harsh, but again, it was an act of self preservation. I could not bear to think that she wouldn't say ANYTHING like when i was upset in the past.

I was afraid I would hear nothing but silence on the other end of the phone. Afraid that my world would crumble knowing that again she isn't able to say anything to soothe me.

I was pleasantly surprised. She said a few things as I was rambling along with my story, my feelings, my doctors, my plan, my heartache, my wishes to keep it all quiet. She said she was sorry. She was interested in what I was doing medically.

I felt fine when we ended the conversation. I wasn't heartbroken.

We haven't spoken about any of it since. That is our relationship. It is all unspoken.

And my husband wonders why I have a hard time expressing emotions.

Rainbows: I got it over with. I wasn't heartbroken. My relationship with my mom hasn't changed a bit.

Rainshowers: I have a nagging feeling that my mom's feelings were hurt though she would never say so. I am paranoid I hurt her BECAUSE she would never say so.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween. Happy, Indeed

When I scheduled my appointment to meet my new Reproductive Endocrinologist I wasn't really thinking about it being Halloween.  I wasn't thinking about ALL of the cute little kids that would be trick-or-treating.  I WAS thinking about the next available time slot.  Halloween?  -Sure I'll take it.

Unfortunately I woke up with a cold this morning.  Ugh.  Then it was back-to-back meetings at work.  Ugh.  Painful meetings.  Crushing deadlines.  Panic.  Working this weekend.  Ugh.

As I began to think about my upcoming appointment I thought "oh, great, today is miserable so far.  My appointment is sure to follow suit."  Boy was I pleasantly surprised :)

I left my hectic office and ventured into the city for my appointment.  I managed to park, find my way through the maze of corridors, check in and settle into the waiting room without incident.  Yes - A step in the right direction!  I was taken to the back to get my weight, blood pressure taken and then placed BACK into the waiting room.  I appreciated this because I wasn't left to sit in the sterile exam room awaiting my fate (something I realized made me uncomfortable while meeting my new OB).  The waiting room here is set up much differently than the previous RE's office.  It was separated by a half wall and partitioned into a smaller area where I was sitting.  I came to realize that I do not dread this waiting room nearly as much as the last RE's office because of the partition wall.  I think they made a conscious effort to shield people like me from the rest of the bunch.  Thanks.   Much appreciated.  I sounds strange but it really helped.

When I met the doctor I could immediately tell he was the no nonsense type.  A good thing for me-exactly what I hoped for.  He started right in and began asking questions.  He was unemotional during my description of my miscarriages which is nice for me because it allows to to stay unemotional as well.  Making sad faces at me only makes me sad.  And makes me cry which only produces more sad faces.  Vicious cycle.   

I felt comfortable enough to interject during his descriptions.  I think I threw him a little curve ball when I said that I had already seen another RE and didn't have a good experience.   He handled it well and was pleased to look over the lab work that I have already done.  

Thankfully I felt vindicated when he said that my TSH levels could in fact be a contributing factor in the miscarriages.  He even made a note about it being even higher than the 3.34 he had in front of him.  He wants the TSH under 2.5 before getting pregnant.  PLUS, he believes in treating with progesterone.  JACKPOT.  Someone that isn't poo-pooing everything I was concerned about.  

What he wants to perform a sonohysterogram, which is to get a better look at my uterus.  He said that the sonohysterogram is more focused on the uterus and not the tubes, unlike the HSG.  Something new.  Interesting.  Happy-happy-joy-joy.

He wants to take a look at my uterus to rule out fibroids/cysts/anatomy issues.  Fingers crossed all is well otherwise that would involve surgery.  Boo. (See what I did there?  Halloween.  Boo.  haha.  Lame, I know.)

We have a followup appointment scheduled for Dec 3.  At that time he will review the results of the sonohysterogram and talk next steps which will include clomid and progesterone (unless an issue is uncovered during the producure).  Clomid for a stronger egg(s) and increased chance of conception and progestorone to help the uterine lining.  Sounds great.  Similar plan to the last RE but different at the same time because of the reasoning and approach.

The bad news: he doesn't want us to try to conceive before the sonohysterogram.  He doesn't want to run the risk of another miscarriage (which will just delay getting pregnant again).  As he said he wants the sonohysterogram results and Rx to "set us up for success."  Music to my ears!  The last RE was just pacifying me with progesterone and throwing clomid at me to try to get me pregnant fast.  What a nice change of pace.

While I am a little disheartened that we will have to wait until late December or even early January to start trying again I am reassured by the experience I had today.  I feel welcome.  I feel listened to.  I feel relieved that he believes that my TSH levels may be a contributing factor.  I am OK with waiting because for the first time in a long time I feel that I have appropriate doctors in place and that I am being properly cared for.  I am finally at peace.  Really.  Such a weight has been lifted over me.

I am very relieved that the appointment went well and that I can now great my trick-or-treaters with genuine smiles instead of trying to hold back the tears.  

There is hope here.  That I am certain of.

Rainbow:       I think I love my new no-nonsense tell-it-like-it-is RE.  What a difference a year makes :)
Rainshower:  I have a crumby cold during a very busy time for me at work.  Boo.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blahville, USA

Yup. I'm in Blahville. I've been there for a few days now.

I'd like to get out of Blahville but it beats being in Hellville, so I guess I'll take it.

I've been so incredibly busy in October that I think it all caught up to me. I'm exhausted and I think it's contributing to my visit to Blahville.

Another contributing factor? I am meeting a new Reproductive Endocrinologist tomorrow. I have all sorts of thoughts and emotions about all of that.

I'm nervous about how he will be with me. His demeanor, his approach, his medical beliefs. I'm nervous that our personalities won't mix. And in this baby battle I have learned that personality conflicts can be quite detrimental to the medicine. I'm also nervous that he will want to do tests that would require us to wait on trying to conceive again this cycle. I have my heart set on trying this cycle so that could be a real blow.

I'm looking to the horizon and planning my trip to Blissville.

Signing off from Blahville, USA-for now.

Rainbow: We are heading in the right direction. We are moving ahead. At least my mood isn't terrible.
Rainshower: Nervousness can be paralyzing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Pregnancy Announcements

The impending Hurricane Sandy has brought with her a rash of pregnancy announcements that are hard to handle.

While I am always happy for people announcing pregnancies, the announcements always cause me a twang of pain.  A facebook friend, a friend from High School is pregnant with baby #3.  I also suspect that my cousin is pregnant.  Yes - I define this as a 'rash' of pregnancy announcements.  I guess adding all of the celebrity baby announcements doesn't help either.

I suspect that I am a little bit more vulnerable about these announcements lately because my husband and I are getting ready to start to try to conceive again very soon.  I am getting anxious about it, I think.  

I am anxious it may take another 6 cycles to get pregnant.

I am anxious about having side effects from the Prometrium prescription.

I am anxious that if I do get pregnant I will have another miscarriage.

I am anxious my new reproductive endocrinologist will not be helpful.

I am anxious my thyroid levels will not be lower than before.

I am all around anxious.  Add a hurricane to the mix and it is a little overwhelming.

Rainshower:  I am anxious
Rainbow:      The hurricane isn't heading straight to us.  We will be impacted but are on the outskirts of the path.  Fingers crossed that I don't have to work tomorrow.  I could use another day to myself right now.


Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm in a funk- a Post Dr. Appointment funk

I met a potential new OB today. She was recommended with the help of my Thyroid Doctor (who I really like) and another staff member in her practice. Both of these ladies thought she would be a good match for me and my multiple miscarriage situation.

I have been reading 'Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn'. In the book it talks about questions to ask a potential caregiver. I went prepared for a meet-and-greet which is what the appt was scheduled to be. I had questions about overall practice policies, birth practices, consent & refusal, hospital affiliations, frequency of checkups, etc.

A meet-and-greet is not what I got.

Don't get me wrong I think I like her. I think. She spoke very thoughtfully and expressed an understanding about how difficult all of this is on me. She did not, however allow me to ask any questions. In reflection, she did not understand my expectations. She was of the assumption that she was my new doctor and that she needed to gather the pertinent medical history and ask me if I wanted to see an RE.

I DO want to see an RE. She gave me a referral.

I think I'm in a funk because being back in a doctors office is like reopening wounds that are still healing. It is difficult. It is painful. It is also because I just have this overwhelming ever-present feeling that no one wants to hear me talk. I have things to say people. I have questions to ask. Do I have to be pushy to get these things accomplished? I guess so.

At the end of the day I think I like her. She didn't directly answer any of my questions but she was warm, reassuring and careful in her worded approach. These are all things that are MUCH better than the previous OB I was working with during my first two miscarriages.

Next step: a trip to a NEW Reproductive Endocrinologist.

I'm a little hesitant in the Doctor I ended up with, not because of his credentials (or anything professional for the matter) but because both my Thyroid Doctor and Potential OB both referred me to an RE who is booked until the New Year. I'm not waiting that long if I can help it. We want to try this next cycle (I should ovulate around Nov 3 or so). I want to be on Clomid and Prometrium. The Doctor i am seeing is still within the referred doctors' practice and is probably her boss so I'm ok with going ahead with him. I think it will be nice to have a male RE anyway.

Perhaps it's just the idea of being disrespected, heart broken and let down AGAIN by a medical professional that gives me all of this dread in seeing any new RE, period.

We shall see. My RE appointment is Halloween. Trick or treat. I'm hoping for treats :)

Rainbows: I may have found a anew OB and my funk may be lifting already.

Rainshowers: it seems as though ANY doctors office is going to stir up negative feelings and emotions. I guess I need to figure out a way to deal with it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nervous & worried about trying again

We are getting to the point where we are ready to start to try to conceive again. Woohoo.

I really enjoyed the break both physically and mentally. And honestly I've had a lot on my plate on the house front so it was nice not having to worry about catching an egg or analyzing pregnancy symptoms or peeing on sticks all month long whether they were ovulation or pregnancy tests.

Well now the worry about 'catching the egg' is about to commence again. As much as I'd like to be calm and mellow about it - I know I just can't. It's not my nature. I try. But at the end of the day you could call me a 'worrier'. My brothers high school friends called me 'mom'. Is that enough of a indication about the depths of my worry?

This sort of worry wafts over me randomly during my work day. Sometimes it is overwhelming worry. Sometimes it sticks with me for hours, sometimes just minutes. Sometimes I obsess about it. Today isn't one of those days but rather just a pang of worry followed by feelings of hope.

I'd love to be pregnant over the holidays. I'm not typically in the best of spirits after Thanksgiving until March so being pregnant during that time frame would be a nice way to keep me positive. On the other hand my second miscarriage was right after Thanksgiving and was by far the most emotional miscarriage I had. this was probably due to fact that it happened within the time of year I cannot stand (due to the weather and reduce daylight hours)

Rainbow: At least I'm not worrying about having a 4th miscarriage.

Rainshower: I'm about 27 days away from ovulation so this bout of worry is more than premature :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's been awhile and I'm kind of excited

I’ve been busy.  Early autumn has shaped up to be a very busy time for me.  

I was relieved after my endocrinologist appointment.  My relief was quickly replaced with a wake up call.  I’ve put off a lot of things this summer that needed to now happen ASAP.  The most pressing issue is our boiler.  Long story short – our vintage boiler was ‘condemned’ by the gas company back in May out of safety concerns.  Thankfully it was May and it wasn’t an emergency situation.  Unfortunately it was May and needing heat seemed so far off thus allowing me to put off the less than glamorous task of boiler shopping.  I’m awake now that it is officially fall and it is starting to get cold, especially at night.  The wheels are now in motion for heat thankfully.  

I’m awake too from my delayed miscarriage grief.  The sort of grief I didn’t think I would experience when I found out I was miscarrying without knowing I was pregnant and without becoming excited over a positive pregnancy test.   The grief slowly crept up on me I guess.  I think the hormones had something to do with it but who knows.

Regardless, I’m starting to feel better.  A little more like myself.  

We are going to start TTCing again in the next couple of months.  I have an appointment with a potential OB and will also be requesting a referral to a new RE for an opinion about how to proceed. 

The thought of TTCing again has me excited.  It is a welcome relief to the hampster wheel I felt I was on during the last go-round (6 long, impatient cycles passed before our surprise miscarriage). 

Rainshower:  I am of course nervous that we will be on the TTC hampster wheel for what seems like eternity…and of course that we will have yet another miscarriage (which would make #4).
Rainbow:  The idea of TTCing is again exciting.  It feels like we reset button has been pushed which is a welcome change-of-pace. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Endocrinologist Appointment went well

She was nice. She was sympathetic. She let me talk. She listened. She did an ultrasound. She said I was 'rational'.

She doesn't believe that my thyroid is a factor in my pregnancy losses. She wouldn't treat my with meds if I were not trying to have a baby. She is treating me with a low dose medication because it can't hurt. She doesn't believe that the meds will help with my thyroid symptoms (fatigue, joint pain, thirst). She knows that treating me will make me feel better so she is obliging.

She recommended a new OB and RE. She made sure I scheduled a 'new patient' appt with the OB before leaving.

She doesn't feel the need to wait until trying to conceive again.

She will check my TSH levels again in 8 weeks.

She put my mind at ease.

It was glorious. I feel great even knowing that she is simply pacifying me because she knows that half the battle is having a good support system and supportive health providers.

What a welcome change.

Do I believe that my TSH levels are not the problem? I don't know but I feel better knowing that the level will go down and that they will continue to be monitored. Success.

Today was a good day.

Rainshower: none here today.
Rainbow: I feel so much better knowing that I will start meds soon.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Endocrinologist appointment on Tues

My appointment is less than a week away! I am very excited about that because I don't have to wait long to be seen.

The endocrinologist I was considering seeing wasn't available until DECEMBER. I can't imagine waiting that long with my thyroid symptoms and 'baby on the brain'.

I was hesitant to just go with a referral from my primary care physician. But now I'm a little more at ease because she has worked on a study and subsequent journal article with the guy booked through December. Woohoo. I have a good feeling about this.

This is when it pays off to live in New England-land of medical research.

I have continued hope that I can be treated and start trying for a baby soon (hopefully by November if everything goes well)

Rainshower: I'm impatient to get treatment.
Rainbow: I'm happy that my Endocrinologist seems more inclined (on paper at least) to treat me for sub clinical hypothyroidism. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thyroid antibodies - negative

Yup. No thyroid antibodies are present. Next stop - a thyroid specialist.

Ugh. I'm getting frustrated now. Hopefully I'll be able to get an appointment sooner than later.

Rainshower: More waiting to feel better and have a baby. I'm getting so discouraged.
Rainbow: At least the results are all in now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Disclaimer - I've had a few drinks:)

I'm at home enjoying a few beers after a long couple of days of playing catch up.   I've been catching up on the housework I've been putting off over the last couple of weeks.  I even managed to do a little painting... it's been productive.

On the other hand this is not something that I should find myself doing over the Holiday weekend - woah is me, right?

I wish it didn't have to be this way.  I wish my husband was more involved in the day to day duties aside from mowing the lawn and taking out the garbage.  I wish I was well enough not to be complaining about all of this.  I wish that my fatigue and joint pain didn't force me to have to use a long holiday weekend to catchup on housework because I know I have the time to recover from pushing myself on Saturday and Sunday.  

My husband and I are sitting around catching up on Mad Men.  That 1950's-60's time period seems so appealing to me.  Being pregnant was a 'condition' - wouldn't that be nice?

It seems as though where ever I turn I am reminded of pregnancy and babies.  There are constant reminders everywhere.  Even when I've had a few beers.  Especially when I've had a few beers.

FYI - I haven't been drunk since June.   I barely ever drink.  I drink once a month, if not less.
All this drinking is doing is making me anxious about my blood test results from Friday.  Will the results be available Tuesday?  Will I be thyroid antibody positive?  What will my Doctor say?  Will she treat me for a Hypothyroidism?  Will treating Hypothyroidism really solve my Recurrent Miscarriages?  

There are more questions than answers really.    

Rainbows:       It was a long weekend and thankfully I have been able to get catch up on      
                        the household duties that have been sidelined by Hypothyroid symptoms.
Rainshower:    Alcohol, all of a sudden has not been kind to me.  Making me a paranoid, 
                        nervous drunkard.  What am I saying?  This is to be expected with alcohol.  
                        My apologies.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thyroid results are in...

My thyroid tests are in and they are unexpected.  

On Tuesday I went to see my Primary Care Doctor.  Thankfully the appointment went well.  I went armed to do battle with all of my research and surprisingly didn't have to fight.  She ordered tests for TSH, T3 and T4.  The results came back Friday.

December 2007 - TSH was 1.78
December 2011 - TSH was 4.34 (the result that started all of my TSH & Miscarriage research)
August 2012      - TSH was 3.36 (I expected it to be in the 5's with all of my symptoms
                                                       - the most debilitating being fatigue and joint pain)
                                                       A helpful Hypothyroid symptom checklist
                          - Free T4 was 0.89 ('normal' range is 0.8-1.8, 'optimal range' is 1.2-1.3)
                          - Free T3 was 3.7 ('normal' range is 2.3-4.2, 'optimal range' is 3.2-3.3)

A good source for putting these test results into perspective, and where I found the 'optimal ranges' above can be found here:

When I called for the results I spoke to the nurse who gave me no indication of what they think of my results.  She only mentioned that they wanted me back at the lab to get the antibodies test now. 

As far as I can tell these results are consistent with a slowly failing thyroid.  I think I fall into that controversial 'sub-clinical' category which is a little frustrating.  

Rainshower:        Being impatient I'd rather have sky high values and get on medication 
                            sooner than later but at least I'm heading in the right direction.
Rainbow:             My fingers are crossed that my primary care doctor read all the research I
                            left with her about miscarriages being linked to TSH levels above 2.5, the
                            new TSH normal ranges, etc. and will put me on meds soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Surprising Doctor Visit - it actually went well

I had an appointment with my primary care physician today....well a PCP in the practice, not mine because she is 'on a leave of absence' or as I predicted no longer works there. It is for the best really since I never really liked her.

Anyway, my stand-in PCP was nice. I went into the appointment very well prepared with my research. Prepared to fight. Prepared to have to point to the highlighted portions of my research.  Surprise, surprise no fighting required.  I was honestly stunned by this.

They, the PCP and student doctor, seemed to be very receptive to my research about my TSH level and sustaining a pregnancy. I even expect her to actually read the studies and journal articles I passed along.

Long story short my TSH level in December 2007 was 1.78 as compared to the December 2011 level of 4.34.  I'm not sure how to interpret the change in values but it seems like a big change to me.  They did NOT comment about the rise in level but DID order bloodwork which was the main goal of my visit.

I was told that if my levels weren't 'normal' they would call me for a follow up appointment. I am ok with that. It gives the Dr. time to read my research and get a handle on her interpretation and next steps.

I am so happy. Happy that I didn't have to argue as expected.  Happy that my bloodwork is complete.  Happy that I am moving in the right direction.  I will be calling the office on Thursday or Friday to get the lab results. We will see where that brings us.

Rainbow:      It was such a welcome relief to have a doctors appointment go well for a change.  It was so unexpected that I even teared up and thanked them for actually listening to me.  It has been so long since anyone has actually listened to me.  It felt wonderful.

Rainshower:  Not a cloud in sight today.  I hope this weather pattern continues:)

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm obsessing today

Obsessing about hypothyroidism, it's effects on a fetus, it's long term effects on me.

I'm obsessing about getting the appropriate testing through my primary care doctor. I'm obsessing about what to do with those results.

I'm obsessing about finding a new PCP, OBGYN & RE. I want to wipe the board clean with all of them and get a fresh start with all new people. People that I grow to trust. People who will listen to me. I just need to FIND those people...a daunting process that is difficult.

I fear than my appointment, at which I will be requesting bloodwork, will not go well. I fear he will just send me off with a referral slip to see an endocrinologist. There is nothing wrong with that other than the appt will have been just ANOTHER waste of time, like my last RE appt.

Getting into a thyroid doctor will certainly require a waiting period. Then there is the waiting on medication to go into effect.

This waiting SUCKS. I just want to be pregnant:( I would welcome the obsession/anxiety that pregnancy brings over the obsession over the unknown that I am currently enduring.

Geesh, the feelings I have waiting for this next appointment are on par to the feelings I have during 'the two week wait'

Rainbow: I'm heading in the right direction. I just need patience.

Rainshower: Patience is easier said than done.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Next Steps

After a difficult follow up appointment with my Reproductive Endocrinologist I’ve had a couple of days to think about moving forward.  My husband and I have a talked over a plan based on the appointment and considering the possibility that I have a mild case of hypothyroidism.  Here it is.
1.     Thyroid testing –
I have an appointment with my primary care physician on August 28.  At that appointment I will pour it on thick to get the testing I want.  I want a FULL workup of my thyroid – TSH, T3, T4, Thyroid Antibodies.  I will let the doctor know how much I’ve been through in the last year and how much I have been let down by both my OBGYN and RE and hope for his sympathy.  If that doesn’t work I will be laying on the tears.  That should do it.   After all, I DO have hypothyroid symptoms.  With the results I will:
·      Compare my TSH test from a couple years ago to the December 2011 test and the new test to see if it has risen.
·      IF my T3, T4 or antibodies are abnormal, or my TSH has risen, I will be looking for a referral to a Endocrinologist to consider treatment.
·      IF my TSH levels haven’t risen and T3, T4 and antibodies test normal I will consider it a non-issue (for now at least).
2.     Clomid -
After the thyroid testing and when we try again I will be taking Clomid to help speed up the process and hopefully get a fully developed egg.  (My RE suggested this so that it doesn’t take another 6 cycles to conceive next time)
·      My husband really wants to give this a try.   He thinks that if I drop two eggs and both are fertilized we have a better shot at seeing one of them to term.
3.     Prometrium –
I will also be taking Prometrium after ovulation in case I have a luteal phase defect and to help make my uterus extra inviting.

Rainbow:        If feel better knowing that we have a plan now.
Rainshower:   It stinks to have to look for a rainbow after a terrible rainshower (my Reproductive Endocrinologist appointment).  This process is exhausting.