Unexpected but not unexplained anymore

Our clinic got my AMH blood test results back sooner than expected. The instant I saw the subject line: Results, I knew it wasn’t ideal.

My nurse started it off like this:

“Hi Lindsey. I received your AMH result and it is a little lower than we would have liked to see – this may explain why you having such difficulty becoming pregnant. It is basically telling us that you have a decreased ovarian reserve (which means that you don’t have as many eggs as someone else your age). It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a baby. Based on the findings Dr. H has recommended that we increase your dose of medications to try and get the most from your ovaries.” 

You know that moment when you read something you don’t really want to be reading, so you literally don’t digest any of it? Yeah, that was me. Hmmm, kinda makes me wonder if this is what happened with my Mom before… anyway… 

I wrote her back and asked, “Does this mean I have diminished ovarian reserve?!?!”  

She responded with yes. Clearly Lindsey. Re-read the paragraph! 

My AMH measured 14.99 pmol/l.  The chart below shows that I’m at the high end of low fertility.

Ovarian Fertility Potential pmol/l ng/ml
Optimal Fertility 28.6 – 48.5 4.0 – 6.8
Satisfactory Fertility 15.7 – 28.6 2.2 – 4.0
Low Fertility 2.2 – 15.7 0.3 – 2.2
Very Low/Undetectable 0.0 – 2.2 0.0 – 0.3
Higher levels, can be associated with PCOS > 48.5 > 6.8

I have the eggs of the 36-37 year old, when I only JUST turned 29.

However, there are still many positives to focus on:

  • I am only 29. We still have time to get pregnant
  • I’m only low, it could be A LOT worse
  • IVF will help us and that’s where we are headed

When I start stimming, I’ll be on Puregon and Repronex. After finding out these results, Dr. H increased my Puregon from 150 IU to 225 IU to start.

The irony of the situation is that my parents are SO RELIEVED that we have a diagnosis and are now fully supporting our journey to IVF. Was that really all you needed? I could have made up a diagnosis if I knew that! 😐 

So, here I am: I officially have diminished ovarian reserve. Our (in)fertility is female factor. 

Not sure if I enjoy being labelled. Unexplained was more mysterious. 😉

UPDATE (2014/10/22): After our 1st IVF cycle, it’s obvious due to the numbers of follicles produced (29 retrieved) that my AMH result was NOT a good indication of my ovarian reserve. Right now, we are back to unexplained with slight male factor (low-ish morphology).

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The things us (in)fertiles do

Well,  I’ve officially taken my first birth control pill for our IVF cycle.

Does taking birth control while trying to conceive seem like a sick joke to any of you?

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As for my AMH blood work,  I got it done locally on July 14th. The place that processes it only received it July 20 and it takes about 20 days for my clinic to get the results for the day it’s received. My nurse said it’s fine,  but I wasn’t aware of the huge delay for transfer between the local lab and the receiving hospital. Just another one of those (in)fertility hiccups. It’s a good thing I’m on birth control as we won’t need to deal with meds for another 3 weeks.

I’m patiently waiting for my nurse coordinator to email me back consent forms,  pricing options and our updated schedule.

We should be there a few days sooner than we had originally guesstimated.

Welcome IVF cycle. I’m so ready for you. 🙂

In like a lion, out like a lamb

CD 2.

Aunt Flo came in like a lion. I can only hope our IVF cycle goes out like a lamb brings me our little lamb.

I got my period yesterday afternoon. We were on our way to spend the afternoon with my husband’s family who are camping about an hour away from our place.

Cramps! Oh the fucking cramps! Gotta love putting that fake smile on and pretending you are fine, when it feels like someone is removing your uterine lining with a dull knife. My periods aren’t always like this, but I had a feeling this month would be “one of them”.

Anyway, I couldn’t completely hide my discomfort. Cramps make me have to pee and shit like every 10 minutes, but I managed to escape to the gross campground washroom about once every half hour to an hour.

Before we left, I packed myself a gluten/dairy-free supper as I knew my husband’s family would have NOTHING I could eat. And boy, was I right! The only thing on the entire table I could eat was a few cut up veggies and the potatoes. My mother-in-law knows about my diet restrictions, but like usual, she didn’t seem to care. Good thing I know them well enough to know I need to take care of myself.

Overall, I made the best of the afternoon. I laid in the sun for a while telling myself that the heat from the sun would subside my cramps like a heating pad would (positive visualization works right?). Then, I convinced myself movement would be better. My husband and I beat his brother and a friend in a round of bean bag toss. I also got to spend some time playing with my niece and nephew. I love the toddlers years. There is nothing that compares to when a child smiles and giggles.

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My husband and our nephew

The downfall of the day was that my husband got drunk. And somewhere in his drunken state, he decided that it made more sense to support his family than his wife. 
Why, oh why universe do you keep challenging me on the concept of support? 
He started by trying to convince me to have a drink all afternoon. I politely declined each time, reminding him that I’m 100% off the alcohol since my period has arrived.
On the way home, I mentioned how I was glad I took my own food out because there wasn’t anything I could have ate. I also mentioned how surprised I was that they feed their children so much junk food. In this moment, my husband turned on me. He told me I was rude and should have ate their food for supper. He said he didn’t understand why I was being so strict. He called me a complaining bitch and said he will be feeding his own children junk food. 
Whoa there. 
As you can predict, the evening blew up into a big fight between us. Anytime my husband is around his family, he comes home with this arrogant, defensive attitude. I know being the son of an alcoholic and a codependent mother calls for some unsettled feelings, but I also know that he needs to deal with his shitHe didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say last night. He just kept acting childish. I truly believe that his behaviour stems from some unresolved issues that he has lodged deep down inside of him. I also believe that I don’t need to be the brunt of it. 
I’ve ask him to go back to counselling. He will be around his family a lot this month as they prepare for harvest season.  He needs support to be able to handle his issues with them, and his fears as we start our IVF cycle. Perfect timing. I just hope he follows through with it. 
I’m praying for peace and calmness for the rest of our journey. And some strength for my husband!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

This afternoon, I was delighted to discover that My Perfect Breakdown has recognized my blog with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I’m deeply honoured to share my story with all of you. I hope my writing inspires others to remain hopeful on their fertility journeys, and in life overall.

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Award Acceptance Guidelines

1.  Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven facts about yourself that you have not mentioned in your blog before.

4. Nominate 15 18 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated. The original rules said to nominate 15 blogs, but I just couldn’t cut it down! I’m also tired and lazy tonight, so I hope you read this post and discover your nomination! 

5.  Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated.

7 Fun Facts about Lindsey (that’s me!)

  1. Straight up – I am a computer geek. I work in software development/web design/web writing/online marketing. I’m finally in a good place where I come home, unplug and reconnect with myself each night.
  2. I used to play both the piano and the clarinet. I was also in my high school jazz band.  Yes, I have heard that “One time at band camp” joke one too many times! One day, I would love to take up piano again.
  3. I worked at a fly-in fishing camp in Northern Ontario during University. I even used this experience to get myself published in an Canadian outdoors magazine.
  4. Ironically enough, my husband is NOT outdoorsy at all. He is athletic, but never spent much time doing outdoorsy things like camping, fishing, hiking, etc. This is a photo from when I took him canoeing in British Colombia last year. Even though I had to teach him to paddle, I couldn’t get upset with this handsome face. mikebccanoe
  5. I have NEVER been on a hot holiday. No joke. We did Mediterranean for our honeymoon but it was in October. Since my family lives all across Canada, I typically spend my vacations visiting family rather than travelling outside of Canada. I seriously need to work on this. 
  6. My seriously regret not seeing Michael Jackson live in concert before he passed on. Yes, I spent my elementary school days at the roller rink skating round and round while belting out the MJ tunes. Good times, I tell you. Life was simpler back in those days. 
  7. I am a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner. I just completed my Level 2 course last weekend. What does this mean? I can now send distant healing! If you are having an extra rough day, get in touch with me and I’ll send you some love and light. 🙂

My Nomination List

I’m fascinated by the power of online sharing. Often people ask me how I came across certain people, companies or products. Half of the time, I have no clue! I stumble upon something I like and I share it.

There are many, many bloggers whose stories have helped me immensely on my fertility journey. Unfortunately, My Perfect Breakdown stole some of my favs for her nomination list (just kidding – great minds think alike).

My nomination list includes (in)fertility bloggers who are either still on their journey or blessed to have crossed over to the pregnancy side. I’m positive you will find some inspiration and hope in each of their stories. I’ve included both sides of the spectrum (I said spectrum, not speculum) as I honestly feel like that pregnancy success stories fuels hope within the (in)fertility community. So, check them out, click follow and read until your heart is content. 🙂

My Life as a Case Study

F*%k Infertility 

WTF Ovaries

Waiting on our Welcome

Ladylove & Babydust

A hundred affections

Electric Mystery

Infertile Girl in a Fertile World

The Unexpected Trip

Stop Telling Me to Relax

Mama at Heart

You Just Need to Relax

LOVEcomaDANI

The Gayby Project: Making the Next Generation of Fabulous

One Day at a Time

Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright

Officially Pregnant

Dogs Aren’t Kids

Disclaimer: Participation is totally optional.

If you choose not to accept the award on your blog, I’m still giving you a virtual high five for being awesome!

If you don’t see your name on this list,  I had to cut the list off somewhere. I’m sure you are awesome too!  Leave a comment with a link to your blog below.

Back to the baby-making

I’m currently CD28 on a natural cycle.

Last month, good ol’ Aunt Flo didn’t show up until CD35. That evil bitch likes to tease and taunt me way too much. 

I’ve been spotting – ever so slightly – since last weekend. I tested Wednesday and Thursday, both BFN. Obviously no surprises there! 

I didn’t use any ovulation tests this month (we honestly just don’t get along), so I am not really sure when to expect my period. My average cycle is 31 days, which would be Monday. I’m praying that my period will arrive before then, so we can begin our IVF cycle! WHOHOO!

I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist 2x a week since the beginning of July. She’s SUPER impressed with the progress I’m showing. I guess avoiding gluten/dairy/alcohol while trying to work out, get enough sleep and maintain a well-balanced life really does pay off. 😀

My acupuncturist always goes WAY above and beyond. For example: I am only supposed to be seeing her for 1/2 hour appointments. She tends to keep me for an hour, if not longer. She also is only charging me for 1- 1/2 hour appointment a week. I told her I didn’t mind paying the full amount but she insists on easing the cost for us. She’s a true Angel. 

I’m taking a fertility meditation/yoga course this weekend. And… I am the only person registered. :/ Luckily, the instructor is a friend of mine so she’s agreed to go ahead with it one-on-one. She said if she holds in again in the Fall, I can take it twice for no extra cost. Great offer, but I will be pregnant before then! Keep up the positive thinking, Lindsey. We start tonight! I’m super excited for it!

After the very unnecessary events earlier this week, I’m finally feeling like myself again. It’s surprising how much a person can steal/deplete your energy if you let them. Lesson learned: that feeling is YUCK. I am not going back to that place again. It’s time to close the lid of the box labelled “Family drama” and reopen the one labelled “Baby-making”.

This ship has set sail leaving the family drama behind

Dysfunction.

I won’t deny it. My life has been filled with it.

Well, yesterday was enough for me.

I really didn’t want to write about what’s been going on with my sister, but for the sake of my own personal healing, I need to.

Since finding out she’s pregnant, I’ve done nothing but support her. She started spotting and was scared.  I told her that spotting is common in pregnancy and unless it’s bright red and clotted, she should be ok. I encouraged her to use positive visualizations to picture her baby in her arms in February. All because I truly do not want my sister to put undue stress on her baby. I want her to be happy and healthy. 

Unfortunately, she can not share in anyone else’s joy.

It hurt that she told me I was “too fat and not a good candidate for IVF” when she has not educated herself on the process. But it hurt even more, when I realized she was hiding her pregnancy from me when she spoke those words.

My brother called me yesterday because she was fighting with them about plans for her trip back to Ontario this summer. The fight was juvenile and unnecessary. The solution was simple. But she wouldn’t back down. She finished off stating that she doesn’t want to see them and meet their new son, her first and only nephew.

After I got off the phone, she started texting me about the fight. I tried to rationalize with her, but she turned on me.

She said that her intention all along was to get pregnant before me. (Wait a second here? We were taking about sleeping arrangements at the cottage – not your pregnancy?) She told me that I’m just a jealous bitch who’s trying to make her feel bad. She said I’m angry that for once she got what she wanted in life and I didn’t.  She wants the entire family to be nicer to her because she might miscarry.

She expects the entire family to cater to her demands.The spotlight has to be shining bright on her at all times. Or else, she creates chaos and projects her own insecurities onto everyone else. I pity her fiancé as I’m not sure the guy has ever seen her true colours. My sister needs major therapy to deal with her issues.

Unfortunately, I’m done saving her. I’m done being the big sister who always does what’s right to keep the peace in the family. I’m done being nice to her when she’s done nothing but treat me like shit my entire life. I’m done pretending it’s ok to please my Mother who is in denial about how volatile her younger daughter truly is. I’m done with the narcissistic behaviour, the compulsive lies and the excuses.

My birthday night ended with a phone call to my parents.

Ignore her“, they said.

How can I ignore what she just said to me when she knows how much we want to have a baby of our own? 

I cried my eyes out to my mom about not getting any support from them. I told her I just need my mom sometimes.  I just need her to listen, but it doesn’t seem like she cares about our infertility, let alone our upcoming IVF cycle.  I told her that they can not condone my sister’s behaviour. But, I know they will do nothing about it. 

Throughout all of this, I know one thing: I stayed true to myself. I was honest and open about my feelings. And I continued to support my sister, even after the horrible things she said to me.

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She’s deleted and blocked my brother, my sister-in-law, my husband and I from texts and Facebook. Guess that’s what happens when you know you are in the wrong and don’t want to hear the truth. 

I’m a bit upset with myself for breaking down (especially on my birthday night), but I needed to release the hurt. And move forward… with a few less people in my boat. Hope the view is nice from the shore. I won’t be going back to pick them up.

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Happy (early) blogiversary to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I started this blog 366 days ago, the day after my birthday.

Writing is therapeutic for me. It helps me rationalize my thoughts, find the good in situations and saves me lots of money in therapy (haha – not joking).

I never intended to become an infertility blogger. Since infertility dominated most of my past year, it obviously became the focus.

I am not the same person who started this blog.

My 28th year tested my patience, my strength, my body, my soul, my relationships and my perception of time. I never thought I would be childless on my 29th birthday, but I have no regrets for the way life has turned out.

I am grateful for all experiences – positive or negative – for they mould me into a better person.

The theme of my next year will be TRUST with a side of FUCK IT.

I believe we will have a child next year.

It’s time to put my needs and those of my growing family first.

It’s time to fly away from the nest of negativity, to learn on those who support me and cut loose those who don’t.  I am strong enough to go on without them, especially because I have all of you standing behind me.

I am forever grateful for the relationships that have developed over the past year. Thank you for participating in my raw, unfiltered, and extremely vulnerable life.

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