After 2 or so weeks of being offline due to our computer crashing, I am so thankful to be back up and running. Isn't it amazing how much we rely on computers and the Internet? Back in the days before such technology, we never would have known what we were missing. But now, take away our computers and look out! Everything is thrown out of whack.
Not like I need a computer issue to make my life goofy. Just another one of those weeks here at fertility freak out headquarters.
Let's back up a week.
Almost a week ago, I started having what felt like some mild cramping off and on. My first thought was, "Great! Stupid period is on it's way." Even though it was a week out from my start date, I figured it could just be PMS even though I typically don't have a lot of PMS symptoms. Well, the symptoms were off and on and then seemed to switch to a different sort of ache. This went on until Friday when I finally decided to see my OB about it. Plus I'd been trying to find out about my blood tests so I figured it couldn't hurt to go in to see her.
You see, apparently the stupid lab that did my last FSH test a few weeks ago screwed up. They did NOT do the test. They only tested AMH or whatever that one is called. The hope was that with the Clomid my FSH levels would have gone down and that would mean that I 'passed' the Clomid Challenge Test. Don't ask me to explain. It's hard enough for me to figure out.
The RE's office and I had been in touch every day since Wednesday. They hadn't received my results. I called my OB's office and on TH, the nurse there said she had them and would fax them over. Later I found out she had read me the first FSH test numbers, not the most recent. Only after finally talking to my doctor Friday did I learn that the lab who did the tests mistakenly did not run it. So, that should put me in an interesting position as my RE was waiting to get a complete picture of all of my most recent test results to know what, if anything, to recommend next.
So, I'm at my doctor's office Friday afternoon. She apologized about the test, asked about my visit to the RE and re-summarized what's been going on. How I'm transitioning to menopause. Yippee. How I can still get pregnant, yes. How my numbers stink. How it is still possible to get pregnant and that I do have options including some other oral medications and injections to try. I guess the way I understand it from her is that my body is almost split? That part of my body wants to head on out to pasture, while the other part is still all happy making baby stuff--uterine linings, LH surges/ovulating, periods, etc. Don't you love how I explain things? :) I can only hope that the happy baby-making part of my body beats out the other side.
We also discussed my concern that our RE was putting me on the one side of the spectrum of "hopeless cases". These are my words, mind you. I needed to get my doc's thoughts on whether or not she thought he would work with me to pursue any and all options while "I'm still in the game." As I told her, "Look, if you're saying I can still get pregnant, then I'm still in the game. It might be a pretty lousy game but I'm still in it so I can't miss any opportunity." She assured me that my RE was a good Christian man who wouldn't give up on me as it's his goal to help women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. I guess we'll see.
I told her that this is a journey with an unknown future that I'm on. Perhaps I'll get pregnant, perhaps I won't. Perhaps I'll get pregnant and lose the baby or perhaps the baby will have some problem but still live. Perhaps I'll get pregnant and the baby will be wonderfully and perfectly healthy. Only God knows this. And only He knows what the plan is. I can only continue to hope and pray that His plan is for me to have another child.
Oh, well back to my aches. My doc pushed around on my stomach, tested my urine and said that more than likely the aches were either PMS or implantation cramping (if I were to be so lucky). Apparently she didn't feel they were of any great concern. She also suggested that they might be psychological seeing as how this week was a rough week leading up to my possible period. We'll look at my cyst in about 2 weeks but she didn't think it was that. I guess that's a good thing.
I'm still very thankful for my doctor. She agreed how much this process can take over your life and how anxious each day can feel. It's nice to know that she can empathize so much with what her patients are going through. She also cautioned me to not take any more pregnancy tests for about a week. I told her I had taken 2 early tests on Wednesday and Thursday and that they were both negative but a few days out from my period. She reminded me that a 'watched pot never boils.' I'm glad she and I can laugh.
Back to my weekend then. As hard as it was, I did NOT test on Friday, Saturday or even today...my period was supposed to start today but didn't. Unfortunately before anyone gets all excited, I just tested shortly after midnight (so I'm considering this the first day after missing my period) and the dumb test showed me only one pink line. I can't tell you how much my heart was racing as I went in to the bathroom.
You may remember in the past that I would always test early so as to help let myself down early and easily. I did this a few days ago but then when I stopped testing, I thought that perhaps, just maybe I had tested too early and that the Hcg levels were too low to be detectable. So, my plan was to go with what the doctor said...kind of.
Because I'm going out of town Tuesday evening and not returning until Sunday, I figured I needed as much info to give my RE tomorrow when I talked with them. They may put me on Clomid again to do the Clomid Challenge Test, or perhaps something else. I am to call them on Monday or whenever Day 1 of my cycle hits. If it wasn't for that call I need to make, I probably would have held off on testing. Why? Well...
I think this month I've just needed to hold on to as much faith and hope as possible. When you've been slammed by the statistics as much as I have in the last month, it's been so overwhelming and totally unbelievable that you need a lifeline--and you want to hold on to it for as long as possible. Who wants to think about running out of time to do anything, you know? It's just so frustrating. I think I just didn't want to know. That's why I was dragging my feet as I went into the bathroom a short while ago.
Do you know that all day today (Sunday) I was counting the hours down? Strange, I know, but for every hour that I did not see red, I was excited. I was more and more hopeful. I was still in the game for this month. The first thing I was thankful for was that my irregular cycle didn't act any more goofy as far as coming early--as the last three cycles each came a day early. And then when today came and went and nothing, I thought, "Man, maybe I DO have a chance this month!"
Yes, I'm not dumb. I know stupid periods can come late. But mine typically don't. They are usually right on time in my irregular cycle-sort of way. Watch the silly thing start around 4 AM or something just for laughs. Who knows. I guess it's just that when things don't go the way they normally do, you can't help but notice and wonder about them. You know your body pretty well, right? Well, I'd like to think I know mine. And when something different happens, it makes you think about it and say, 'hmmmm.' That's what happened to me this past week--those off and on achy-crampy things. And then no period today. Wouldn't your brain be going in to overdrive too?
So where does that leave me. Sad. Frustrated. Feeling heavy. I can't tell you how grateful I am that I didn't test earlier. Kept me in a better mood. Man, was I working my butt off in the last few days. It's almost like I was trying to keep myself so insanely busy that I didn't have time to think and wonder when/if my period was going to come. Being so busy helped me not to feel too much. Joy with my family--yes. Happy memories when I heard a song from college that made me think of my sorority sisters--yes. But, anxiety--no. I kept that buried under chore after chore. All day long today I was doing laundry, dishes, cleaning up the boys' toys, tackling other cleaning jobs that needed done, you name it, I did it. I even enjoyed watching a movie while I cleaned the living room. It made me happy. I'm glad I was happy. I've felt strong in these last few days and weeks which surprises me. Strong for my boys and for my husband and I'm grateful to God for that.
What's next? Well, I guess I'll call the RE tomorrow and figure out if he's going to try Clomid or perhaps something else and if he'll fax me a prescription or what with me going out of town. Could I be pregnant? I guess anything is possible but I feel less of a chance now. Unless my Hcg levels are still too low to be detectable, like the doctor said, who knows. Maybe that's why my OB said to wait a week? Boy, this could be one very stressful week if my stupid period doesn't come but if my test again and it still comes back negative. Sometimes patience just stinks.
Well, I just don't know what else to say that will sound halfway intelligent or interesting. I've been wrestling with emotions and keeping myself as upbeat as possible, as hopeful as possible and just taking one day at a time. I've been so incredibly grateful for my life--for Alex and my boys--for every smile, tear, hug and laugh. Sometimes I look at Sammy and Benny and can just see another child here in our midst--a little brother or sister with the same love in their hearts. It brings such a huge smile to my face when I think about that.
Trust me, I know that even if I get a positive pregnancy test, I'll still be in for a journey of a million and one very rough steps. I know that potential problems could arise and I've been thinking a lot about that. Would I be strong enough to handle another potential miscarriage? Or what about if our baby had some problem? I'd like to think that I would. Or more importantly, I'd like to think that perhaps this is happening in some ways to make me a stronger person, a stronger mother, a stronger Christian. I know God is with me and is leading me where He wants me to go. I just hope and pray that I can hear Him clearly. I found myself wondering, is that Him speaking to me? Is He telling me, "Look woman, your ovaries are ready to retire here soon so get it through your thick head, no more babies!" Or, is He telling me, "The doctors say you can still get pregnant, just that it will be more difficult. Have faith in Me." I can't tell you how much I hope that's what God is saying to me.
Well, dear friends, I guess that's it for now. You might be on the lookout for another post from me in a few days--will be it one with a miracle attached or simply more crabbing on my part? Whatever it is, I thank you all for reading, for your comments and your prayers. It helps to know that I'm not alone--that even if you haven't experienced a miscarriage or fertility struggles personally, that you're still out there willing to share in my journey. Of course my hope is too that my words help someone, anyone, who may need to know that they aren't the only ones feeling this way about things, that there is hope out there or even if you just need a good laugh or cry--I hope my words bring you that.
Here's to a good cry--that surprisingly I just don't feel like doing right now. I guess that's some good news right? :)