Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, after 23 days of spotting, choking down gross herbs, and being stuck with acupuncture needles, I finally finished my pack of birth control pills and headed back to my RE's office this morning. I had very little hope that all 6 huge cysts would be gone. The most I hoped for was a reduction in size, or a few being gone, with a remaining cyst or two yet to resolve. But, to my shock, ALL of them are...poof! Gone! I don't really know what the magic element was in the cocktail of things I had going on for the last few weeks, but I'll take the result.

I start the injections again tonight...back in the saddle again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


You can handle it, right? A little TMI? I mean, if you can't share gross details about your body with your friends...well, I suppose many people don't. So, if you don't care to know, stop reading now.

Since I found out about my 6 huge cysts and needing to wait out this cycle, I have been dealing with an issue. That issue would be a never-ending period. I started my period on September 1st. It is now September 17th. That is 17 days. Reread that sentence.

I have been on the phone A LOT with my RE's office about this. In the course of many, many calls, they have basically said this:
1. This is because I was overstimmed last cycle.
2. The birth control pills they have me on may be contributing to some "withdrawal" bleeding.
3. To hang in there, be patient, and finish the pills. I have 6 left to go.
4. To call when I am done with the pills for a baseline u/s and blood work, to see if I am ready to go back to the injections. If the cysts are still there, then I have to continue to wait.

Now, you might be thinking, "That sucks. It must be so inconvenient." This is true. But, it isn't the constant need for feminine products and extra loads of laundry are not the worst of it. The worst of it is that I have been getting progressively more depressed about it.

It took me a little while to figure out what was going on. I mean, I started a new school year, which is stressful and exhausting. So at first, I thought my low energy and lack of desire to do anything but sit on my couch was just a result of the end-of-summer blues. Those things definitely are part of the picture. But, in a session with my therapist, and in conversations with Kev, I realized what the underlying cause of my creeping sadness was: this is bringing back awful memories.

In the period of time between my miscarriage and the discovery that I needed a second D&C, I had ENDLESS spotting, bleeding, etc. It went on from late August through October of 2010. It never stopped for more than 24 hours. It was demoralizing and disturbing at a time when I was already emotionally broken.

Having this new reminder of that time is just taking the wind out of my sails. It's not the: can't-get-out-of-bed-I-want-to-live-in-a-cave depression. But it is a: this-sucks-I-just-want-to-feel-like-myself-again kind of depression.

I know this current issue will eventually end. I know that logically. But, it isn't making the days any easier at the moment. So, I am doing my best to push myself to see friends, make plans, take walks with my love, and look forward to Aruba in December. Sooner or later, it won't take so much effort to do those things, right?

Cue violins.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Oh my goodness, am I exhausted. I went back to work last week, but Tuesday was the first day with students, and I have been on a sprint since then. The beginning of the school year is always chaotic and busy, but somehow I forget that every summer!

In the middle of all the back to school stuff, I started seeing a new acupuncturist. It feels a little bit like when you start seeing a new doctor or new hairdresser - sort of like adultery. But, I hadn't been seeing results from acupuncture for a long time, and I decided it was time to change things up.

My previous practitioner practiced Japanese style acupuncture, and I started seeing her in April of 2010. She is a lovely woman, with LOTS of experience. We grew close over the last year and a half, and I feel a little bit bad about seeing someone new. I didn't call her and let her know. I just haven't contacted her. Should I email her? It sort of reminds me of Sex and the City, and the post-it note breakup.

In case you have never done acupuncture, here is a little mini-education. I'm no expert this this is what I have been told.

Japanese acupuncture - more subtle approach. Fewer needles. Thinner needles. No manipulation of the needles.

Chinese acupuncture - more agressive approach. More needles. Larger gauge needles. Manipulation of the needles both manually and sometimes with electroacupuncture. Also includes the use of Chinese herbs in treatment.

So this past week or so I started electroacupuncture and the herbs. Let me tell you, it has been an experience.

My experience with acupuncture has always been positive, and that hasn't changed to switching to my new practitioner. The treatment usually doesn't hurt, although my tootsies and mitts are a bit sensitive. But, the electro part is pretty wild. They attach little electric leads to specific needles, on specific points, and then work up to a level of current that doesn't hurt, but is definitely felt. I mentioned to my practitioner that I felt a little bit like Frankenstein. She laughed and replied, "You wouldn't believe how many times people say that."

The herbs are a different story. Although she said I am not taking the MOST disgusting tasting herbs out there, these are pretty bad. They come in powder form. and are mixed specifically to the specifications that my practitioner ordered. I combine them with as little hot water as possible, and drink them down like a shot. I gag and cough every single time. I can't describe how gross I find them. But, since I am benched this cycle anyway, I figured I would give it a chance.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths I will go to to make this baby happen.

Now if I could just make the exercise and weight loss piece happen....

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Funny meeting you here..."

Since I started seeing this RE, I have been preparing for the day when I would run into either a colleague or the mother of a child in my school in her office. On one hand, the location of the practice is ideal because it is very close to work. On the other, it is very close to work.

So as I was signing in at the receptionist desk this morning, I looked to my left and saw another teacher at my school. She has been a work friend for a few years, but we haven't been close outside of school. Although it was initially a little awkward, we were both good-natured about the coincidence. She told me why she was there, and I began to tell her a little bit but I got called in quickly for my ultrasound. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye. But, while I was on the table, I realized that she might have misconstrued my appointment and thought I was pregnant.

I called her when I got home and we actually had a very nice talk. It turns out that she has only opened up to her husband, her mother, and our Assistant Head of School about her fertility issues. She said she was grateful to have someone who has first hand experience to talk to about her treatment. I would like to think it was a meeting that was meant to be!

In other news, my ultrasound didn't go well. I had a bit too much response to a bit too much medication during the last cycle. Because I developed so many follicles on the injections, the ones that didn't produce an egg are now cysts. 6 of them. 6 is a lot. They all need to shrink and re-absorb before I can do another IUI cycle. Although it should only take one cycle for this to happen, and I am actually concerned it will take more than that. But, for now, I am going back on the pill for a month, which is supposed to help the process.

I was surprisingly calm about this IUI failing. I found out at school, right before a work party. I was surrounded by people and in some ways, that was a gift. I just didn't have the opportunity to fall apart. I also had a sinking, gut feeling that this was not our month. When I called the hubby and told him that AF came, he said he had that same feeling.

Thinking about where I was this time last year, heading back to work one week after my miscarriage, I am pretty proud of my own growth. Although I wish things had been different, I have learned a lot about how to weather storms, find patience, have perspective, and look to others for support. Hopefully, I can pay a little of that forward with my colleague. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Square one

I won't keep you in suspense. I got my period yesterday. Yes, it sucked. I guess it was a good thing that is happened at school, while I was busy and forced to be social. There was no emotional breakdown this time, which I have to admit was surprising.

Anyway, back to square one. I head to the doctor's office on Friday for a blood draw and an ultrasound. As long as I don't have a cyst, I start all over again. I guess that 20% success rate was just not in my favor this time around.

Onward and upward.