appointed time · baby dancing · Infertility · trying to conceive

And then the opk was positive

Yesterday the OPK was absolutely, 1000% positive. Blazing. Jumping off the test. No doubt about it. I saved the image of said positive test and edited it to read “THIS is a positive” in case I forget again and think other tests are positive when clearly they are not.

And as luck would have it, we haven’t had sex since Sunday. We got a session in last night after the positive, and we plan to go for the next several days…but my temperature is already starting to rise so I probably ovulated last night.

I flipped out. I’ve continued to test just because I feel better once the negatives actually look negative…and the lack of temperature rise made me question if ovulation had occurred…but to confirm that it hadn’t yet occurred did not make me happy (especially given our unintentional 3 day break).

I was mad. I was discouraged. I was disappointed. I still am. I’m not handling this very well. I was so excited to possibly get to test on my birthday…so hopeful that this cycle would be it after the HSG and the great timing we had around in what I thought was my window…and now, if we’re lucky we may have gone once in my window and most of the semen leaked out afterwards since I had to get up for worship practice (TMI, sorry). And my two week wait just started over.

I know that God can make anything happen regardless of the number of times we BD’d in my fertile window. Perhaps this will still be our cycle and this will be his way of making it completely obvious to both of us (well, me) that this was absolutely nothing that we did.

Because if I ovulated last night…scientifically the odds are very much against us getting pregnant this cycle. But if this is God’s appointed timing, then science doesn’t matter. I guess that’s the lesson I need to rest in during the next two weeks.

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive · ttc

On an infertility consult: part 1

Yesterday we had our appointment at the infertility clinic. I’m breaking this into two posts because I want to process the appointment and my general emotions…but then my husband’s response and how that has played out for us needs it’s own space.

The appointment itself was mostly encouraging and helpful. She asked all the expected questions about our history (together and individual) and habits, looked over my color-coded cycle data (and remarked that [a] “you are very organized” and [b] “you guys really have been *trying* for a full year”); and then went on to explain the causes of infertility and her recommended plan for us.

Basically she ordered a bunch of tests (labs for both of us, semen analysis for him, an ultrasound and an HSG study for me. Thankfully I was only on day 4 so all of this was able to be started yesterday and the HSG is scheduled for Wednesday), explained some of the numbers she was looking for with the labs, and then went on to say that assuming everything came back unremarkable/negative the next logical step would be IUI (intrauterine insemination). After a few cycles of that, if still unsuccessful, then we’d move to IVF. Apparently we can plan for the first IUI in January if we want…I’m surprised she didn’t just go ahead schedule my delivery too.

A few things that are very encouraging so far:

  • She looked over my cycle data and believes that I am indeed ovulating; due to my average cycle length and the normalcy of my menstruation. That was a relief
  • She didn’t find anything glaring in either of our histories/habits that seemed to be a red flag that is impairing our fertility
  • My ultrasound showed a normal uterus and two normal ovaries; both with 8-10 developing follicles
  • My FSH and estradiol levels both appear to be in the normal range; along with my TSH. Still waiting on a few other labs.

I am grateful that she is moving so quickly with all the tests. Potentially we could have a fairly thorough analysis of our individual fertility within a few weeks.

I definitely didn’t expect her to lay out the whole course of infertility treatment on day one. I was not ready to be talking about IUI as an almost immediate option…I just wanted to start the process of getting worked up so that if there were any minor issues able to be ‘fixed’ we can get started.

Honestly, at this point, just knowing that everything is fine (if it is) would be a huge relief. I don’t mind (so much) waiting if I know that it is just a matter of it not being the right time. Obviously it always is God’s timing whether by IUI or IVF or none of this, but I also believe that sometimes there are steps we can take to remove some types of obstacles (i.e. a blocked tube, a failure to ovulate regularly, low hormones, poor sperm quality…etc) and that’s not necessarily walking outside of his plan.

More on how all this feels to my husband (and consequently how that has helped adjust my own attitude a little) in a later post.

 

Infertility · trying to conceive

A stats and timeline post

This is my data from the last year plus of trying. Just for kicks…just in case some random fertility specialist happens to find this and can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong based on this. Just kidding. Mostly.

July 17th, 2017; start of period. First BD’ing, wedding night August 7th.

  • August 28th: First positive pregnancy test. Repeated positive at the MD’s office, repeat home tests positive on the 30th and September 1st.
  • September 3rd: Heavy bleeding/cramps, most likely miscarriage. Confirmed September 5th when ultrasound showed no evidence of pregnancy.

September 3rd-October 12th: “cycle.” Likely not ovulatory due to recent miscarriage, no tracking

October 13th-November 12th: 31 day cycle. Still not tracking, assumed we would be able to conceive again fairly quickly

November 13th-December 22nd:

  • 40 day cycle.
  • Likely ovulation on CD 27, confirmed by BBT shift.
  • 13 day LP

December 23rd-January 24th: purchased AVA watch at start of cycle, began wearing it around the end of period.

  • 33 day cycle.
  • Likely ovulation CD 21 based on a positive OPK this day and a temp shift CD 22.
  • 12 day LP
  • AVA thinks ovulation occurred CD 20

January 25th-February 28th

  • 35 day cycle
  • Ovulation CD 20 or CD 25: OPKs positive CD 20 and 21, no temp shift until CD 26
  • LP 14 days or 10 days depending on ovulation
  • AVA confirms ovulation CD 20 per ‘biphasic shift.’

March 1st-March 30th

  • 30 day cycle
  • Ovulation CD 20 based on very dark OPK on CD 19 and temp shift CD 21, also AVA’s prediction
  • LP 10 days
  • AVA thinks ovulation occurred CD 18

March 31st-May 4th

  • 35 day cycle
  • Unclear ovulation: positive OPKs CD 20 and 21, watery mucus CD 21, no temp shift until CD 25 but AVA indicated that ovulation occurred CD 21 (with biphasic shift confirmation).
  • 14 day LP, negative HPT May 3rd (assumed I was late due to recent shorter LP’s

May 5th-June 19th

  • 46 day cycle
  • Ovulation per temp shift CD 32
  • 14 day LP, negative HPT June 19th AM.
  • AVA found biphasic shift/put ovulation on CD 21 (making LP 25 days….)

June 20th-August 2nd

  • 44 day cycle
  • First temp shift CD22, likely ovulation per second temp shift CD 33, but first positive OPK CD 29, 4-5 days of positive OPKs this cycle
  • 11 day LP; though unsure because ovulation unclear
  • AVA thinks ovulation was CD 31 (making LP 13 days)

August 3rd-September 1st

  • 30 day cycle
  • Ovulation likely CD 19, positive OPKS CD 17 and 18.
  • 13 day LP
  • AVA confirms ovulation at CD 21 (making LP only 11 days)

September 2nd-October 2nd: took a break from tracking everything, 31 day cycle

October 3rd-present: started fertil-aid mid cycle.

  • currently on CD 31, positive OPK CD 23 so likely ovulation CD 23 or 24; 9-10 DPO.

So basically nothing is regular. Cycle length, luteal length, ovulation day.

I can’t depend on AVA, I can get up to 5 days of clearly positive OPKs when you’re supposed to get maybe two, and I have never had any fertile mucus other than a gush of watery somewhere in my fertile window.

Good luck to us.

journal entry · trying to conceive · ttc

On hope

Hope while TTC is a rather strange thing.

The thing I hear consistently from others who have tried for a long time is “as soon as you give up hope, that’s when it will happen.” I guess in a way that makes sense, because the point at which you give up trying and tracking can be the point at which your body is finally able to do its thing naturally.

But I don’t believe in giving up hope. There’s always hope; God is always able. This journey, this struggle…isn’t too big for God to handle. Giving up hope isn’t something that Christians are supposed to do.

So I don’t lose hope overall. Despite my deeper fears that this isn’t going to happen, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still hope it will.

Yet within each cycle I struggle to maintain the right amount of hope. When AF arrives I’m sad, angry, frustrated, etc; and those fears that it’s never going to happen set in…then that passes with the period and I get hopeful again; I mean, without hope, there’d be no motivation to try. Each new cycle is a new chance, right? Then my body does weird things and I have a hard time determining when (or if) I even ovulated…which leads me to be less hopeful that this will be the month (since if I didn’t ovulate at all there’s no chance, and if I ovulated at a different time than I thought we may have missed our shot by not having sex when I was *actually* fertile). Then that passes and I think; “Well, this is all in God’s hands anyway so if it’s meant to be this month it’ll happen.”

So my “two week wait” turns into a juggling act of wanting to believe that “this could be it, it has to be…just wait a couple weeks and you’ll get that positive” and knowing that the more hopeful I get, the more disappointed I’ll be when the test is negative and AF shows.

The hope comes from my belief that this is in God’s hands…and this is what keeps me sane during the wait but it also sets me up for more sadness. The hopelessness comes from my lack of clear indicators that I even ovulated (and the numbers stacking up against me…months trying, age, etc)…and this makes me depressed during the wait…and ultimately doesn’t make me any less sad when it turns out to be true.

So perhaps that’s the answer right there. Keep hoping. I can’t see what’s happening inside of me. I can’t control what’s happening inside of me. But I believe in a God that is able. So when it’s time, it will happen.

I just need to add in trust and contentment to the mix to make the disappointments less acute.

journal entry · trying to conceive · ttc

Reminders and motives

My husband has a knack for saying the right things to help me navigate this journey. He wants to be a dad; but he is able to be strong when I break down and he helps me refocus on the things that are true.

  • He reminds me that God has done something beautiful with our story and that this is just another chapter
  • He reminds me that God has already blessed us both so richly in bringing us to each other after both of us experienced having a spouse who no longer wanted to be married.
  • He reminds me that he is happy for now just being with me and thankful that we have each other.
  • He reminds me that we still have so much ahead of us.

So that alone should be enough to snap me out of my funk. Which it usually does, and that’s why I keep talking to him when I have bad days or weeks.

But the last few times it has come up he has asked me, ‘what is motivating this desire to be so strong and to take so much of your attention?’

My first and most obvious answer is, “I just want to be a mom, I’ve wanted it so long and now it’s finally a possibility.”

Another answer is just that honestly, it’s been a lonely season (and husband being extra busy at work the last few months hasn’t helped)…so having a baby to focus on would distract me from some of that loneliness. And yes, I know that’s a horrible reason; but at least it’s not the only one.

But the other day I verbalized what I think may be the deepest reason of all.

I’m afraid it’s never going to happen for me. 

I’ve always had very irregular cycles, so I’ve expected for most of my adult life that I would have some difficulty conceiving. But as I’ve begun tracking my cycles and monitoring parameters and all that…I worry that my body just doesn’t have the right balance of hormones to produce and sustain a pregnancy (I’ll probably go into all my stats another time).

So I have to keep going back to the reminders at the top. But recognizing and verbalizing this deeper fear…maybe that will help me in the journey.

In the meantime; I realized I can’t not track at all. Not having any idea if I might be ovulating is making the waiting so much harder because I don’t know how long I even have to wait. So I started opks yesterday on cycle day 20. I think it may have been positive. Today it may have been a little lighter. Who knows what that even means. But at least I feel like I have an estimated end date for this cycle and that makes it a little easier to hurry up and wait.