LH Surge Testing Starts Again

I began using the ovulation kit to test for LH surge (indicating ovulation within 48 hours) on Friday, day 8 of my cycle. The Shady Grove nurse said to start testing on day 10. The ovulation kit said to start when my period ends, which was Thursday. So I went with the more conservative advice. And started on Friday. In the name of even further conservatism, I’m using TWO ovulation kits, bought from different stores and different brands. That way I mitigate the risk of possible faulty tests. I can’t afford any mistakes with this.

Today is day 10 and there’s been no surge yet. That’s to be expected, as I should only see a surge on day 12 or so – which would be Tuesday.

If all goes to plan I should be inseminated on Wednesday or Thursday (Thanksgiving). I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing on Thanksgiving than conceiving my baby.

Still No LH Surge

That’s right, *still* no LH surge! Today is day 16 and still no LH surge. I normally get a stitch-like pain in my side, signaling ovulation and beyond some vague uncomfortableness around day 13, I haven’t had that either.

The strange arrogance-like confidence I mentioned before has disappeared too and I find myself in a dark, dark place. It’s really scary and lonely in here. I don’t feel like I can talk about it with anyone and so I bear this on my own, over this “happy” Halloween holiday…grrrr! Even my dear hubby, when I told him the latest status just looked at me blankly and said “everything will be fine”. That’s the last thing I want to hear, when clearly something is wrong!

Of course I could be doing this all to myself, couldn’t I…stressing about it so much, that’s it’s affecting my cycle. Because that’s not unheard of, when it comes to stress and my cycle. But it’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? The more I stress, the more I tell myself not to, the more I can’t stop and the more I stress. Result! Messed up cycle!

Of course, it could also be that I started testing too late in my cycle (day 12), who the *bleep* knows!

I’m really NOT in a good place! All I wanna do is take a sleeping pill and sleep until this nightmare is over. I certainly don’t want to be “celebrating” Halloween, not able to have any of the goodies and candy because I’m trying to lose weight so I can be inseminated when I don’t even appear to be ovulating!!! And because I’m stressing, I just want to *pig* out on goodies…and I can’t.

Oh, did I mention I’m really in a bad place right now?!

Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test

This is the test I am using to predict when I’m fertile – the Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test (*great* website, by the way!).  I had Amazon deliver it to me for an affordable $40-ish (no shipping charge as I have Amazon Prime). It might be cheaper in the stores, not sure, but I loved the convenience of Amazon delivering.  No hassle.

Another reason I liked this particular test is because each test strip is individually wrapped.  There are 20 in the pack.  On other tests I have seen, they put all the strips in one bag and once opened you have to use them within a month.  Which is annoying, because I doubt I’ll use all 20 strips in a month.  I had to throw the last pack away, without ever using it, because I opened it up “just to look” and never ended up using them.

I read up a little more online and the advice is to test mid-afternoon as your body releases LH in the morning.  And come to think of it, I now remember Shady Grove telling me that too.  So I’ll be retesting in a few more hours.

See that little smiley face on the window?  That’s what I want.  For the last 3 days it’s been an empty round circle.  So chant with me…”little smiley face”, “little smiley face”, “little smiley face”….

No LH Surging

No LH surge this morning :-(. Still not panicking, but a little concerned – today is day 14.

But wait! As I’m writing this, I’m calculating in my head…perhaps today is day 13, not 14…dammit…I need my calendar!

I saved this post in draft to go double check my calendar. It’s definitely day 14 today. Ok…”breath”…I’m telling myself…”nothing to worry about just yet”….

Please cross all your fingers and your toes for me.

In other news, I’ve been taking an antibiotic since Sunday for my HSG test that was this last Monday. Saturday night is my last pill. I swear it’s increasing my appetite and making me gain weight! Does anyone know whether this is a side effect? I’ve gained about 3 lbs in the past week and this while working out and sticking to a low carb diet. The same game plan that’s previously helped me lose 35 lbs. And now suddenly I’m gaining? Something’s up. Not happy about this :-(. That’s another thing adding to my worry. I have to be a maximum BMI of 43, otherwise they won’t do the insemination. And with scale variations to account for and to give myself wiggle room, I really cannot afford to gain any more.

Working myself into more worry….gonna stop writing now.

Please cross all fingers and all toes and anything else you can cross. I need all the good luck I can get. Thanks.

Ovulation LH Testing

I’m nearing the 14th day of my cycle (tomorrow, Friday 10/29) and according to the “natural IUI cycle”, which is what we’re doing, I should be testing my urine every day to figure out when there is a LH surge, indicating ovulation and highest fertility. Although my actual IUI cycle is only next month, I decided to test for LH this month too, to make sure I know what to do and feel comfortable with the process for when it’s most important.

By the way, a “natural IUI cycle” is when there are no drugs used to enhance fertility and no minute monitoring of my cycle. It’s pretty amazing to what lengths they can go to, to help woman have babies, you know! If they were monitoring my cycle, there would be almost daily blood tests to test hormonal changes and ultrasounds to check follicle growth and finally releasing of the egg, signally supposedly ideal conditions for insemination.

But we’re not doing any of that. Just a regular cycle, no drugs, with me doing urine ovulation tests every day. When my LH levels spike, they do the insemination. If that doesn’t work, we’ll reassess.

So I tested yesterday and today. After going through the gross peeing into a cup (eeeewwww) and figuring out how the test device works, nothing, nada. Just normal levels. A simple O on the digital reading. No smiley face :-(. Heck, at least it wasn’t a frown on the device! Because as much as that would be clever and amusing, it would probably be hurtful too.

I’m not panicking yet, though. My actual ovulation day is only tomorrow, or it should be anyway. So, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow morning and Saturday morning.

In the meantime Hubby’s been “getting some”, you know, just in case the little buggers manage to find their way through the vasectomy scar tissue to a welcoming girly egg ;-).

Babymaking Hormones Just Fine

The nurse just called.  My hormone blood work is fine.  Ummm…yeah.

I feel such a sense of arrogance for being so certain that I do not have any fertility issues (other than male infertility, that is – which is not mine), but I just can’t help it.  I just feel so certain all my lady bits are fine.  Ok, so I *am* 39 and I’ve never been pregnant.  But that’s because I’ve been ultra careful and conservative about sex, never taking a chance with pregnancy.  The facts are: I have regular 28 day cycles, I bleed pretty much the same amount every month, I have monthly ovulation “stitches”, generally on the 14th day and I’m very healthy, despite being apparently “morbidly” obese.  The tests are merely confirming what I know already – and wasting my precious dollars.  There’s a huge part of me that is so certain I will conceive with the first insemination…I so hope I won’t have my certainty dashed and my heart broken.

So the next step is a HSG test to check if my fallopian tubes are open.  That will probably be scheduled for early next week.

I was hoping to be able to do the first insemination by the end of next week, which is when I next ovulate, but Shady Grove will not do the HSG and insemination in the same cycle.  So that takes us to the end of November.  Wait 2 weeks for magic to happen and test…I should know by Christmas whether I’m pregnant.  What a wonderful Christmas present that would be!  I’d better be a good girl for Santa ;-).

That also gives any brave man willing to try, the opportunity to practice impregnating me until the end of November.  That last part is a joke, folks!

Day 3 Baseline Blood Work & Ultrasound.

Today I went to Shady Grove for my Day 3 baseline blood work and an ultrasound.  What that means in lay-speak is that today is the 3rd day of my cycle (my period started on Friday at 8pm.  Day 1 is considered full bleed by 5pm) and they need this blood work (E2, FSH, LH, TSH, PRL) to determine whether my hormone levels are adequate for this time of the month.  The ultrasound is to check out the shape and health of my uterus (which is normal – yay) and how many follicles on my ovaries I have.  Apparently, a woman of child-bearing age produces new follicles every month and an egg is produced from one of those follicles.  They needed to find at least 10 follicles between the 2 ovaries.  I have 6 on one and 8 on one, so 14 in total – which is a good thing.  The technician said that clearly I am not menopausal.  This morning’s adventures cost us $650.  I could have told them I was not menopausal for nothing.  Well, I did, actually.  But I guess they needed science to confirm what I knew anyway.

So there you have it.  So far, my lady bits appear to be functioning normally.  Yeah, duh.

I’m awaiting a call from the clinic to let me know the results of the blood work and to discuss the next stage of the process.

One thing hubby and I still have to do is pick out the donor.  It’s nerve wracking, to be honest.  So many choices!

So yes, much has happened between September 2009 and now, October 2010.  The biggest 3 things are that we decided to drop the IVF idea (due to reasons that are boring, yet upsetting and which I’ll cover at some other point), we decided to use donor sperm and IUI (instead of hubby’s non-existent sperm) and I’ve lost 30 lbs.  And so the story continues.