Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back in town

Well, I finally made it home from my business trip, just in time to get the house ready for Thanksgiving! And since I'm sleeping about 9-10 hours per night and taking a 2-hour nap during the day (when I can), that doesn't leave a whole lot of time. (I know, I really should enjoy this while I can. I have a whole new appreciation for what pregnancy must be like for a woman with small children.) I didn't have a chance to post what my latest test results were, but at 6 weeks 3 days, my progesterone was 18.8 (not good) and my hCG was 58,317 (good--it's doubling at almost exactly 48 hours.)

Two quick stories from the trip--first, I had to find someplace to give me my two progesterone injections. I felt a bit wussy, but I just wasn't up to two intramuscular injections in the behind that need to be injected over a 90-120 second period each (because the oil is so thick). I made tons of calls, but since I needed the injections on Saturday morning, I ended up having to go to the emergency room. So, I got all dressed up for my presentation, took a cab to the ER, and walked up to the window. The ER was quite interesting on Saturday morning. I explained the whole deal to the triage nurse, who took my information. Then they had me come back, checked my vitals, and took my medical history. Then I waited some more. Then, I was called back to see the doctor (who asked me, for the third time, "You just need a shot? Do you know how to do it yourself? Where do you need to have it?" I pointed. "Oh, your butt!"). The doctor thought all the rigamarole was quite silly for an injection (I brought the doctor's orders, the instructions, the medication, and the syringes). Then the nurse came in, then a second nurse came in so the first nurse could take her break, and then I got my injections. Then the second nurse took my vitals again, I paid the front desk, and I took another cab back to the conference and gave my presentation. The whole thing took two hours, which was actually much shorter than I feared.

The other goofiness on this trip was that I was very ambivalent about telling anyone I'm pregnant. I had dinner with two colleagues one night and ended up being the world-champion high-maintence eater. We picked a restaurant, sat down, and looked at the menu. It was all fish with a few meat dishes, all of which involved gorgonzola. I'm not a big fish-eater, and I forgot my wallet card that tells me what kinds of fish are low in mercury. And, of course, gorgonzola's out, too. I was planning out what I could eat (appetizers, salad, etc.) when one of them said "you know, if you guys don't see anything you like, we can go somewhere else." So, I said, "well . . . . OK" and the other guy said he'd been to a great restaurant . . . called the fish market. I vetoed that one, too. I'm hoping all goes well and I'll be able to tell them why I was so picky soon. Fortunately, I'm not throwing up, but I am nauseated off and on, and starting to have food aversions and cravings (vegetables--bad, fruit smoothies--gooood).

OK, it's back to Thanksgiving prep now! Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking good!

I just made it back home after a crazy day. I'm leaving on a business trip in the morning (and let me tell you, it's no picnic trying to find somewhere to have my injections done out of state and on a weekend--I know that there are better women than I who can give themselves progesterone shots in the behind, but I am not one of those women), so this will be quick. But the update is that the ultrasound looked good! The baby measured perfectly to the day (6.8mm at 6w4d, to be exact), and I saw the heartbeat! I asked the doctor if he could tell the heartrate. He said no but that it was fast enough.

The only negative was that my corpus luteum looked small (2cm in diameter, when he likes to see 3cm). Fortunately, I'm on TONS of progesterone. I may post a picture later, but they're so far zoomed out that it's really hard to see anything. Here's hoping that in a few weeks I'll have a more informative picture to share!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My poor nose

On Friday, I was having a very hectic day at work. I was running late thanks to the progesterone- (and pregnancy-) induced exhaustion, and went dashing from one meeting to another. Finally, the third meeting had to be moved from one room to the room next door. I ran to the originally scheduled room and wrote a note for anyone who might arrive late, and turned to dash back to the new room . . . forgetting the brick wall to my right.

I ran into a brick wall. Literally. And it hurt. A lot. I must have screamed (not to mention the loud thump as I hit the wall), and the four people already in the meeting came running. I had mashed my nose pretty well, and it started bleeding profusely. Fortunately, everyone was really nice about it and ran around finding ice packs and toilet paper and stuff. I freaked out about (a) being pregnant--what do they do for a broken nose? Will I need an x-ray? Medication? and (b) having to go on stage in the opera that night.

I sat through the first presentation, with my glasses off and an ice pack on my nose. When the first presenter finished, she said, "Charlotte, are you OK? Are you getting dizzy?" and one of the others turned to me and said "You know, Charlotte, this meeting really isn't that important." So I left. I called my HMO and made the mistake of saying "I was running around AT WORK and ran into a wall . . . " After transferring me three times, they came back and said "Oh, since this happened at work, you need to call your employer because this should be covered under workman's comp." Seriously? I have to call HR now and tell THEM that I ran into a wall and that the company would have to pay for it?

I waited until my regular doctor's office was back from lunch (they are not part of the HMO) and called. They told me that unless my nose was crooked, they wouldn't do anything for it even if it was broken (I had pretty much decided now that it wasn't), so icing it was the best option. So I decided to call it a day, went home to bed, and put an ice pack on my nose.

That was my big adventure of the weekend. So far this week, I've had my first OB appointment (all looks fine so far). Tomorrow, I have the first ultrasound. If things are going well, we should be able to see a heartbeat. Here goes . . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun with Progesterone

Thank you so much for all the kind comments! I really appreciate it!

Things have been interesting. I had my blood drawn for hCG and progesterone at P+16 and, of course, the hCG results came back (two days later). That test was run locally, but the sample for progesterone was sent to Omaha. I talked to the nurse there on Friday, and she said the results weren't in my chart yet. I didn't worry too much, since I'm already on a huge dosage for my progesterone injections. On Monday, the nurse called me back with answers to my questions, and I called my local doctor to schedule appointments and my next blood draw, but I completely forgot to ask about the progesterone test.

Yesterday, it occured to me to call the local doctor to see what the progesterone results were, since they sometimes reduce the dosage if the results are really good, and Mr. X was set to give me another set of injections Tuesday night. To make a long story short, it turns out my levels were pretty low (13.8, I think). Not only do I need to keep up the two massive injections each time, but I have to take oral prometrium every night. I'm so glad I checked!

So, yesterday, Mr. X went on a wild goose chase trying to find prometrium through our darn HMO's pharmacies. Last night, I read the package insert about side effects, and we laughed hysterically. There's a list of common side effects, then a list of "check with your doctor ASAP" side effects, and THEN there's the "contact your doctor immediately list," which includes these side effects:
  • fever or chills
  • calf/leg pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • unusually fast heartbeat
  • sharp or crushing chest pain
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • sudden leg pain
  • sudden severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting
  • vision problems or changes (including sudden, partial, or full loss of vision)
  • numbness of an arm or leg
  • severe stomach pain
  • one-sided weakness
  • slurred speech
  • mental or mood changes (such as severe depression, memory loss, or confusion)
  • coughing up blood
  • yellowing of eyes/skin
  • darkening of urine
  • stomach pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • lump in the breast
  • seizure
  • all limbs suddenly falling off*
I don't know why--those are all awful things--but it just struck us as really funny. I know it's just progesterone in oil, and considering it's been injected into my "hips" (those aren't my hips) plenty of times, it didn't freak me out. But, seriously, is there any symptom that's NOT on that list?

*OK, maybe I made up that last one

Friday, November 7, 2008


So, just for you, This Cross I Embrace, I did this this morning:

You might notice that this is an OPK, not a HPT. I don't buy HPTs, since the doctor said not to use them (not that he said to use OPKs, either!), and I heard that an OPK would work just the same. So when I went to bed at 1am, I put an OPK on the back of the toilet so I wouldn't forget in the morning. I figured that I'd probably be woken with a call from the doctor's office and that I'd do the test afterward. But I woke up at 6am to go to the bathroom (we are late risers at our house when we can be), and I did the test then. Usually (for me anyway), the comparison line comes in right away and then the test line slooowly fades in, but this time, the test line was dark blue before the comparison line even got wet! I stumbled drowsily into the dining room (I put the test on the floor, as you can see) and tried to take a picture, but Mr. X had adjusted all of the settings to manual, so it took me five tries to change the settings back to "I am a clueless photographer" and get a decent picture. Then I went back to bed.

When I woke up, I showed it to Mr. X (who was excited, of course), but since it was an OPK and I wasn't sure how accurate it would be, I really wanted that blood test result. I still hadn't heard from the doctor, so I called about half an hour ago, and they had just received the result! It was 582!

I wanted to tell Mr. X and my mom first, so I just got off the phone, and now I'm posting!

I'm really happy (and really sleepy!). Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and humor (the comments are cracking me up!). The end of this month will make 2 1/2 years since we started with my local NaPro doctor, and almost 3 1/2 years of trying. I believe my due date will be July 13, which is exactly ten months after the due date for our first baby who didn't make it. I'll be breaking out the novenas for this baby and for all of my friends who are waiting! God is good!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boo for Slow Labs

The lab didn't send the results back today. Boo! Hiss! Everything is status quo for now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still waiting

I went in for a test today . . . and have to wait until tomorrow for the results! I was a total pain (I was pleasant, of course, but asked a million questions), but my doctor's staff is too nice to tell me so to my face. :) The doctor's assistant did a blood draw for hCG (to be tested locally) and progesterone (to be sent to Omaha), and then gave me two big progesterone injections in my "hips" (though I say that those are NOT my hips) just in case. I asked the doctor if there was any chance of getting results sooner, and he told me (in a nice way) that they'd be in tomorrow and it's a good time to practice patience. :) I'm OK with waiting now that I've had the shots, because I know they've done everything they can possibly do at this point!

So, random (non political) election story from yesterday--as I said, Mr. X and I are mail-in voters (who drop off our mail-in ballots in person on election day because it takes us forever to figure out all the local stuff on the ballot). We almost finished looking up judges and amendments Monday night, and just had a couple more to check on Tuesday. I had a big opera rehearsal last night (and, oh, it was nice to be doing that instead of watching election returns--it was bad enough to hear periodic announcements backstage), so I would have to drop off my ballot on my way to the office.

After Mr. X left for work, I went to pick up my ballot from the dining room table, and saw that it was his ballot . . . with his name printed on the envelope . . . which needed a matching signature. Which also meant that he had MY envelope, 45 minutes away at his office, and he was in an all-day meeting. It wouldn't have been such a big deal except that I'd be gone by the time he got home from work, and he needed to get a replacement ballot because he made a mistake on his original ballot. . . which I figured would be much harder if he showed up at the polling place with an original ballot with my name printed on it. So, I had an extra hour and a half round-trip drive yesterday getting that straightened out. But we both voted in the end!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hmm . . .

I woke up two hours early today and took my temperature: 97.9. And then I remembered it was two hours early! At the normal time, my temperature was 98.5. Much better. If I make it until tomorrow, I can go in for a blood test.

I finished my adrenal fatigue questionnaires last night and noticed that the fax number for PPVI is on the bottom. Hooray! So, I'll fax those in today.

Now, I've got to finish my "mail-in" ballot (ha! I've yet to mail one in--I end up dropping it off in person every time). We were up late last night looking up judges online. The judges always get me! And we have sooo many amendments and ballot issues. It makes me really happy to have the option of a mail-in ballot so that I can look everything up and decide over time.

Happy Election Day (and I hope it really does turn out to be a happy one . . . )!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Still Hanging In

My temperature was 98.3 today, and the spotting seems to have stopped . . . So, we'll see . . . I think the only time I had an actual 14-day luteal phase was the time I did my hCG shot a day late. My period tends to start by 5 days after the last hCG injection, which would be today.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Status Report

I really had no hope at all for this cycle. But I figured that posting about it would surely bring on my period, right? :)

I'm just having weird stuff going on, though. And, of course, weird stuff has my mind racing.

Thank goodness this blog is reasonably anonymous . . . right?

So, current symptoms: I've got what I believe is my first-ever yeast infection. Oh. My. Goodness. Really not fun. I had no idea. And then, when I looked up the symptoms and treatment, I found out they're much more likely during pregnancy.

Today is P+13, so I was expecting my period to start tomorrow. But, just in case, I took my temperature this morning to see where things were. The basal thermometer's battery died halfway through, and it said 98.5. But who knows how accurate that is? I dug around and found a fever thermometer, and it was 98.1. So, great! No period today, right? I got up and went to the bathroom . . . and I was spotting. And I've been spotting all day--mostly brown. I have never had brown spotting before my period. Could the infection be contributing to that?

But, of course, I started thinking . . . hmm . . . spotting . . . that could be a pregnancy symptom, too, right?

I've been really tired and run-down lately (which I am, of course, interpreting in a new light now). But I could be coming down with something, and these could all be nasty symptoms of some bug that I have messing with my head. I'll know soon enough. If this is the start of my period, it would have been really nice if it started in textbook fashion! I really would have been fine with things just going along normally!

(I also forgot to mail back the questionnaire I got from PPVI on adrenal function. Darn it! If I have to call for my cycle review tomorrow, I'll see if I can fax it in. I would so hate to be a month behind in treatment because I forgot to send in the darn questionnaire in time.)

I'll try to write a post later in the week about the two awesome homilies I heard today, but for now, I must sleep!

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