Monday, May 12, 2008

Clomid

A very basic update:

We're still waiting for my period to start; it's been over six weeks since the last one began (on March 28th). No, I'm not pregnant; that's just how my body works (or doesn't work).

It's been almost a year since we started trying to conceive so we're stepping things up a notch or two by trying Clomid (a fertility drug that helps stimulate ovulation) this cycle. We'll then continue testing at home to try to predict when the egg (or eggs) will pop and probably go to the fertility clinic for an intrauterine insemination where Delia shoots a load in the lab, they "wash" her sperm, and they shoot it directly into my uterus.

Normally they suggest trying clomid for three cycles before doing any extra lab procedures but Delia is waiting on this before she starts hormones. Also? I can't say that I wouldn't want to go ahead with the luhBOREuhtory procedures after this much waiting. Because there's something appealing to me about an aliens-in-labcoats science-y conception. On top of that the Clomid actually does a counterproductive number on women's cervical mucous, making it more "hostile" to sperm (basically it dries up your pussy); why keep plugging away at it in bed if the pussy is being sabotaged? Answer: because it costs $225 for sperm wash/prep and $175 for the insemination so maybe we *should* try it in bed one round first.

Now that we have done all of the usual tests and know that I still have eggs, they do still pop (sometimes), my tubes are not blocked, Delia's sperm is good, my blood work indicates everything is normal, and we've tried an assortment of tricks and techniques at home, there's not a lot we can do except either wait or take things to the pharmaceutical and medical levels. Delia has put her transition on hold long enough (and I fucking HATE waiting for something to happen) so we're going to go for the med-voodoo.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Blood Test

Again, I'm not pregnant.

My period started on Sunday. Want to know what really bad cramps feel like? Read all about my Sunday cramps HERE.

On Tuesday I had my blood tested; I got the results the next day and was told my hormone levels are "within normal range". You'd think they could tell you how wide this range is and which END of the range I'm at, but whatever. I guess normal is as good as it gets. The results I got were for FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which is released from the pituitary gland, and Estradiol (released from ovaries). I am still waiting to hear the results on the thyroid test.

As far as how I fare with needles, I think I'm fairly average. I am not scared of them and sometimes even enjoy watching OTHER people get poked by them, but I prefer not to watch them sticking ME. I do not like pain and watching it happening makes it too easy to exaggerate the sensations so I just look away.

As an adolescent I couldn't stand the thought of having blood drawn from my arm so I'd insist on finger pokes, which I now realize is THE MOST PAINFUL because of all the nerve endings. Part of why I shrunk from doing it the normal way is that I hated the thought of them digging around in my arm trying to find a vein, imagining my internal strings and tubes being wiggled around. Now I am fine with it as long as I don't have to look at it. That's a good thing, because I am a veinless wonder. The past two times I've had blood drawn they attempted it from my arm, but my veins eluded them so they had to draw from the back of my hand. I don't mind it, but the bruise afterwards makes me look like an old damaged lady. Gross.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

My First Appointment with a Fertility Expert

We made the trek to the fertility clinic on Tuesday for me to be seen this time instead of Delia going to the lab area to bank sperm.

For my first appointment we chatted, of course, and the doctor performed a transvaginal ultrasound (she slid a long, lubed-up, dildo-like transducer into my vag, rather than rolling one over my abdomen because of the placement of my non-pregnant uterus). The good news is that my uterus and ovaries look healthy and normal (though she did exclaim that my uterus is "tipped WAY back", but I already knew that and it isn't supposed to have any bearing on whether or not I'm fertile). She angled the transducer to one side to show me one ovary and then the other (with lots of black dots on each showing the competing egg sacs/follicles). I meant to ask for a picture (to scan and post here), but I forgot; the procedure didn't take long at all, but it was a relief to see that at least there's nothing obviously wrong with my ovaries or uterus. The doctor did a great job of gracefully inserting her tool into me, but no -- having a woman doctor penetrate me with her big long wand wasn't a sexy experience for me (though I could certainly concoct a fantasy based on the experience that COULD be sexy).

Of course she reassured us that trying for six months is not a very long time at all so not to worry; I'm still young (relative to the women she usually treats) but she understood that part of our hurry is that Delia's transition is on hold while she puts off starting hormones to maintain her own fertility so we can get pregnant. The doctor was really cool about that and asked (in a casual, personal, "I'm fascinated" way) to know more about when she decided to transition, expressing her admiration for the strength it must have taken to resolve to do that. This probably sounds like a cheesy after school special scene, but it wasn't.

She explained the steps they would usually take during my next cycle if we don't get pregnant this month; long story short, they'll test whether or not my tubes are blocked and depending on whether they are or they're not, they'll put me on hormones then we can also come back and get intrauterine insemination so that they inject the sperm right into my uterus. Apparently the chance of having twins is 5-8% with the hormones and 1% for triplets. Personally I think that is more of a risk than I want to take right now, but it's not quite as bad as I thought it would be.

We haven't really had time to decide whether or not (or when) we'll go that route, and my thoughts on that are grist for other blog entries when I'm not so pressed for time.

*****

I'm hopeful that this cycle will be THE ONE where we do it naturally; we've only been using the ovulation predictor test strips for two cycles, and may have been overdoing it with the fucking, reducing our chances of conception by screwing four of five days in a row and too early. This time we will wait until my LH surge happens and fuck the next day (there are a couple of reasons we weren't doing it this way before; again, grist for a different blog entry).

My LH levels seem to be picking up, so I won't be surprised if we get our chance tomorrow or within a few days. Delia hasn't shot a load since Monday so the sperm should be hearty and numerous.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Charting for the Fertility Experts

Still not pregnant, but we'll give it another shot sometime within the next week and a half.

I'm getting all my period-started and LH-surge dates written down to take to the fertility clinic tomorrow; it will be my first appointment there (though I've been there plenty with Delia for her sperm banking).

The last birth control pill I took was in June, and Delia decided to transition in May so it's time for us to get the show on the road or at least find out if that's even possible for us/me.

I have a lot of blog entries to write about this process we've been going through, but have been overwhelmed by the dailiness of life and other projects so haven't gotten around to it. I do intend to go back and detail some of what's been happening, how I've been feeling, and more of my thoughts regarding the intersection of fertility, infertility and pornography.

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