Saturday, September 29, 2007

Actually, It's October 1st, Darnit!

I can't get the frickin' days right on my posts. My computer clock is set correctly, so I don't know what the problem is. It had resolved itself for awhile, but now it is back.

Today is 10 DPTrigger and 9 DPOvulation. And I am pleased to announce a BFN! The only time of my cycle when I actually want to see a negative test is when I am waiting for trigger to leave my system. Now, I can pee away and if I see a positive, then I know it's because good things are happening inside.

I am feeling lousy today, really crampy and I have a touch of vertigo. I'm pretty sure it's my progesterone suppositories, because it would be way too early for pregnancy to be making me feel this crappy. Or maybe I have the flu. Either way, I am not a happy camper.

Wow. I am crabby. This is no fun to write, so it's probably not a lot of fun to read, either. I'll try to be more witty tomorrow.

Tears In My Popcorn

Most of the time, I feel that I am "all right." I am sad when I see a cute baby, or hear a little toddler call for her mother. I am sad when people make thoughtless comments. I do a lot of my venting here, and I certainly have bad days when I think about my lost angels and just want to crawl into bed and never get out.

But I still go to work, I still keep the house clean, my marriage is on track, I have a lot of friends, I keep breathing.

Then, something really silly happens and I realize that my entire perspective on life has been changed by our inability to have children. Last night was one such moment.

We went to a friend's house for dinner and a movie. They were really excited for the movie part, because they had just rented the movie "Knocked Up." They had seen it in the theater and thought it was the funniest movie! Now, I had chosen not to see this particular movie in the theater. It was out around the time of our EDD with Gummy Bear, and I just thought it seemed too much.

Spoiler alert for those who have not seen it and want to - but I don't recommend doing so! This movie SUCKS for anyone going through infertility. The general premise is that a successful woman hooks up with a loser guy for ONE night at a bar and ends up pregnant. The scene where she takes the pregnancy test is particularly poignant for a POAS-aholic like me. The whole time that she is waiting for the results to come up, she is praying that it will be negative. Then, the little smiley face pops up and she thinks that is a negative and is relieved. Until her friend tells her that a smiley face is a "bad thing."

It gets worse from there, with scenes with ultrasounds, baby showers, the delivery. I suppose there are some good lines here and there, but with my twisted perspective on life, even the funny lines were sad. About half way through, there is a scene where he is feeling the baby kick, and I just about lost it.

Our friends know what is going on, but as fertiles (their beautiful two month old infant was sleeping away upstairs in his darling nursery), they just couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't find this movie funny. A part of me wishes that I wasn't so scarred by what life has handed us lately. But when you have been at an ultrasound appointment and have seen that still, lifeless form of your baby, where just days ago, a little thumping flash was and now, just stillness remains, I guess a part of you is changed forever. And some things just aren't funny anymore.

I Guess I'll Just Mail You The Blender

My sister just got engaged. I am so happy for her. Except for one small thing.

I am very close to my parents and younger brother. My sister is not. She was the youngest child until my parents had a surprise pregnancy - my little brother was born when I was 14 and she was 11. I was thrilled with the addition to our family. I have been addicted to everything baby since I was very little. I was in love with him from the beginning and raced home from school each day to take him on walks, dance with him to music, or give him a bath. He is now 14 and a freshman in high school - which completely boggles my mind - and we are still very close.

My sister, on the other hand, feels that her position was usurped by the little interloper. She has had a chip on her shoulder ever since. She and my mother don't have a great relationship. My sister is the type of person that you never know what to say to her, because even innocuous things can set her off. I would say that we have a "fair" relationship, and she is actually really good about the infertility stuff, so I am grateful for that.

Six months ago, she announced that when she got married, she was going to Mexico and doing it on the beach at sunset. No family would be invited. My husband and I had the traditional church wedding, with 150 guests and family and friends galore. This is so foreign to me. I can understand the lure and charm of a destination wedding, but to do it without family or friends present is what I can't understand. I had a heart to heart with her about how much this hurt my feelings. I know her wedding day is not about me. But I would really like to be there to witness her vows. She says that it is not personal, but that she just doesn't want my mom there. And she can't pick and choose family, so it's just her and her fiance.

I had made my peace with it until today, when she called me to tell me the Big News. I was happy for her and congratulated both her and my soon to be brother in law. I asked when they were booking their trip and she said that they had changed their mind and wanted to go to Hawaii. And that her future inlaws were coming. I am pretty hurt. Part of me doesn't want to go now that she has made it so clear that I am not wanted. But the other part of me recognizes that this is still my sister and I am so sad that I won't get to be there. Once again, I realize that this isn't about me. But it still hurts.

7 DPO. Lots of cramping today and I have had a headache for the past two days that I can't shake. But my husband's nose hasn't picked up the scent, so who knows. A week to go.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Not Exactly Dinner Conversation

Wow, this has been a week for run ins with The Fertiles. First, the phone call earlier this week and then last night: a table full of babies and pregnant women.

Our neighborhood associatation holds meetings once a year at a local pizza restaurant so that we can voice complaints, air concerns, and meet neighbors that we wouldn't otherwise see (it's a large neighborhood). We bought our house when it was new, so we know quite a lot of people already, having been here for four years.

In those four years, there have been quite a few pregnancies and babies. At first, I was happy about the othe pregnancies, and now, I am still happy, but it is painful, too. I handle it by distancing myself from the preggers and their babies.

So, last night was kind of a reunion of sorts. Five couples, one table, three couples holding babies. And then one of the girls, let's call her C, says, "I have big news. I'm pregnant - 11 weeks!" Lots of cheers and congratulations go around the table. Other tables listen in and before you know it, there are six women, all coming over, all pregnant, all comparing due dates. I was trying to act interested without crying.

Then, C turns to me and says, "Gee, Katie, we all thought you'd be the first one to have a baby since you were married first." Another neighbor chimes in, "Yes, and you're so good with children. When are you two going to have a baby?" And yet another, "Come on, have a baby, it would be so much fun!"

I give the standard response, "One of these days."

But is it enough for this group of preggers? Nope. "Oh, you really should have a baby," one of the husband enthused. "It's the best thing that has ever happened to us."

Another melon belly says, "Oh, yes. I know you're really into your career, but you're not getting any younger!"

"Well, we're actually trying. Hasn't happened yet," I hedge.

Immediately, all of the husbands turn to my husband with "tips" on how to get the job done. The women all start asking me if I am temping, using OPKs, if we can take a vacation.

Finally, I couldn't help myself. I blurted out, "Actually, we know how it's done. We have been pregnant many, many times. And we have miscarried many, many times. So, we'll let you know when we finally get lucky enough to have a baby."

Silence. Then an uncomfortable shuffling while people try to change the subject. Luckily, the meeting started then.

There goes the neighborhood.

6 DPO. Slight twinges and cramps today. Implantation or just progesterone? I hate the 2WW.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Calendar Girl

I just realized something. If I get pregnant this cycle, I will be only one week behind when I was pregnant with Gummy Bear last year.

Who is Gummy Bear? Gummy Bear was the name for our little baby that we lost at 11 weeks on December 12, 2006. When the 8 week ultrasound picture popped up, the first words out of my mouth were, "Awww, it looks like a little Gummy Bear." And the name kind of stuck.

I haven't written much about that pregnancy. It is still too painful, I think. It's been nearly nine months since we lost Gummy, but I still think about him or her every day. In my heart, I feel it was a little boy, for no other reason than the fact that I had a dream about a sweet baby boy two days before I found out that I was pregnant. That image has always remained whenever I think about that little gummy bear shape.

However, most people seem to feel that Gummy Bear was a girl. My mom said that I had a "look," which although clearly not scientific, she is right a lot of the times. I also was horribly sick with the pregnancy, losing over 10 pounds and ending up in the ER for fluids twice. I was about to go on an anti-nausea medication when we found out that we had lost the pregnancy. Most people associate really awful morning sickness with girls. We will never know.

The last ultrasound we had was at 9 weeks, 2 days. Little Gummy Bear's heart thumped away at 176 bpm. At our 11 week appointment, there was no heartbeat and the baby measured 10 weeks, 1 day. My doctor had jury duty, so the D&C was delayed by another five days. This all added up to a dismal phone call six weeks later in which a bored tech told me that "No culture had grown." We had no answers for our loss. As usual.

Being pregnant with Gummy Bear was the sweetest, most wonderful experience of my life. It seems as if every moment has been burned into my brain. We had our first ultrasound on Halloween, told my parents on Thanksgiving, celebrated our seventh dating anniversary at the ER when I hadn't kept anything down in 48 hours. This time of the year almost seems to belong to that pregnancy.

So. It will be okay if this month didn't work, right? Then I won't have to relive those echoes of the past.

5DPO. I know it's early, but I have convinced myself that it didn't work. And I am trying to be okay with that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Misty Water Colored Memories

I have a horrible confession to make. I have been married four and a half years and have never put a wedding photo album together. When we got married, my husband and I paid for the wedding ourselves. We also wanted to go on a nice honeymoon and were saving to buy a house. The end result was that the budget for our entire wedding was only $5000 and we had 150 guests.

We did a lot on the cheap, including getting married in the church where I grew up and having the reception in the church hall. Not exactly your Martha Stewart of weddings, but it was still a wonderful day. I have never felt so surrounded by the love of my family and friends. It was really quite a production pulling it all together and I am forever grateful for their support and assistance.

Everything went fairly smoothly the day of the event except for one pretty huge thing. Our wedding photographer was an idiot. Our pictures are awful. Now, I know what you are thinking: How bad could they be? Well, some of the pictures weren't too bad. But halfway through the formals she dropped her camera. That's right, folks, dropped it. And apparently did not have a back up. You can easily tell the pictures taken "before drop and after drop." The after drop ones (which include the other half of the formals and the ceremony) are all crooked and fuzzy. She managed to switch cameras for the reception, but then she overexposed the film, and everyone looks yellow in all of the pictures.

They were bad to the point that she even refunded me 50% of my money. But that didn't make up for the fact that I had about three pictures of the entire day that I actually liked enough to frame. So, I really didn't have enough material for an album and I certainly wasn't paying her any more money to put one together.

So, for these past four plus years, the box of pictures have been collecting dust. Today, I was in a Hallmark store and found these really neat scrap books, including a beautiful one for a wedding. I hemmed and hawed a little bit (it was $50), but in the end I decided that if we ever do have kids, I want to be able to share some sort of album with them. I also figured that I could manage to salvage enough pictures to make some sort of decent scrapbook.

I just got done with it and it actually looks very nice. It still isn't the professional quality album that I really wanted, but it was amazing what a little trimming and appropriate framing did for some of the pictures. I also used a lot of the non-professional shots that people took with the disposable cameras. Once again, a little cropping really did wonders. I feel a sense of accomplishments.

I need more projects. This was the first time in a long time where I wasn't constantly thinking about pregnancies and babies. I was just remembering the wonderful story of us. It was nice.

But now I am back. 4 DPO. This is the longest 2 WW ever - or at least since my last 2 WW.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm Sorry, I Must Have Bad Reception

I got the phone call that we all dread today.

"Hey, I know we haven't talked in awhile. I've just been slammed at work." The friend saying this has not called me since we last talked in December, two days after my D&C. She told me that she couldn't really handle all the "drama" of my constant miscarriages and needed to "take a step back."

I replied, "You must have been really busy. I've called a few times, I've left a few messages."

Long pause on her end. "Yeah, I know, I got your messages. Things have been crazy."

My response, "Well, it's good to hear from you now. What's up?"

She says, "Well, I am glad you asked. The thing is. . . I am pregnant!"

Long pause on my end. "Wow. . . I didn't even know that you were trying." This friend is not married and actually told me in that same conversation that she wasn't sure that she ever wanted children and that I should be happy that I wasn't tied down anymore.

"Yeah, well, we weren't trying, really. It just kind of happened. But we're getting married and I wanted to invite you to my shower. It's going to be a combo bridal/baby shower."

"Gee, that's great. Congratulations on the wedding and the baby."

"Thanks. I am not sure really whether to be happy or not. I never really thought that I would have kids. My fiance is actually pretty upset about the whole thing, but we both figure we should do what's right. Plus, I didn't even know I was pregnant until after the first trimester was over, so it was too late for an abortion."

When is appropriate to hang up on someone? When can you ask them to please just shut up? When can you ask them to give you their baby, since they obviously don't want it? Since none of these are ever appropriate, I suffered through another fifteen minutes of rhetoric with her, asking about her dress, the nursery, where they will honeymoon. She made sure to tell me that they are registered at the following places: Macy's, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Baby's R Us. I'll have to keep that in mind. I finally told her that I couldn't hear her well and that it must be my cell reception. We hung up, promising to keep in touch. We were both lying.

Sometimes, I just want to know what the frack is going on in this world. There are so many people that would give their left arm for a baby, and then there are those that aren't even sure they want the blessing they have. Why not let those of us that want to be mothers have children and people like my "friend" be the ones that can't have children?

3 DPO. A long time to go in this 2 WW. Agh.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Waiting Game

Ah, the Two Week Wait. It is really way too early to start counting days past ovulation. But in case anyone (me) is counting: 2 DPO.

It's too early even for me to start obsessing. So, I won't.

Instead, I will reflect on what happened to a dear friend of mine today. For once, I didn't get the short end of the fertility stick, she did. And I am so sad for her.

I will call her J. She is a relatively new friend. A friend of a friend who is turning out to have more in common with me than that mutual friend that introduced us. She has male factor issues that are of the variety that means they went straight to IVF without messing around with IUIs or anything of that nature. In other words, it's pretty bad.

She is part of a social group that I am not part of. In this group, there are five females besides J. This is her church group and they see each other multiple times a week and are close friends. They are all married and so their husbands hang out, too. There are three others besides J that are experiencing fertility battles. All three got pregnant by miracle, IVF, or IUI this last month. The fourth already had a baby and just started trying for number 2. She announced her pregnancy today. That's right. J is the only one of her closest group of friends that is not pregnant. And it is tearing her apart.

She started a suppression cycle last month and it was messed up. They finally decided to give the injectibles a go and that got cancelled today. J is devastated. Not only does she have to deal with the disappointment of a botched cycle and a whole month of waiting to try again, but all of her friends are pregnant. I cannot even imagine.

I hate infertility. I hate what it does to good women, who only wanted the most natural thing in the world. I hate the fact that it makes us question ourselves as wives, potential mothers, friends, even question ourselves as women. I hate the fact that it makes us feel so alone. I hate the fact that it robs us of our innocence. I hate the fact that it makes us play mind games with ourselves. Maybe if we didn't want a baby so badly, then we would magically get pregnant. Maybe if we just relaxed. I hate it for myself. I hate it for J. I hate it for you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Husband Wants A Plaque

Today was the IUI. Have I mentioned how much my husband hates doing his . . . ahem. . . thing at the clinic? Do any of our husbands enjoy this? I had been told by my doctor's nurse that he could do the sample at home and then we could bring it in. But when I was there on Friday for the follicle check, the doctor said that it reduces the effectiveness of the IUI by half. That settled that.

You know, I am not sure what is really so bad for guys in that whole set up. When else do they have us begging to take matters into their own hands, watch porn, and THEN get congratulated for the results? I do understand the embarrassment factor. Our clinic was pretty crowded today and there was a lineup of equally uncomfortable looking men waiting with their bags and plastic cups. But when I think of the number of people that have seen me in stirrups, or poked a condom encased dildo probe up my good girl, well. . . embarrassment has become a relative term.

After the sample production, we had almost two hours to kill and went and had breakfast. Then, it was back to the clinic, where we ended up waiting for quite awhile. It was so busy in there that they ran out of chairs in the waiting room. I j0ked with one of the other ladies-in-waiting that there must be a full moon or something. I just hope it's catching, because two of the women were there for their post-IVF betas and both ended up being pregnant. I'll admit that I was more than just a little jealous.

After waiting an hour past our appointment time, we were finally ushered back to the room. I took off my pants, put on the red socks, and pulled out a little something extra - my visualization item. This was my therapist's idea. She suggested positive imaging as a way for me to feel more in control of the various elements of fertility treatments. So, I bought a cute little Pooh bear hat and try to visualize taking our baby home from the hospital wearing it. I think the idea is a little cheesy, but then again, I AM wearing red socks and no pants at this point, so what the heck?!

Finally, the doctor came in and confirmed our identity. While waiting, my husband and I had talked about the odds of our sample being mixed up, but they made a pretty big point of checking and then double checking that we were the right people for the right loaded turkey baster. The doctor also told us our count - after wash, he had 25.5 million and 80% doing their thang as far as swimming in the right direction - which I guess was pretty impressive, because she high-fived my husband. He was also pretty impressed with his count, after she said that the minimum count for an effective IUI is 5 million and 18 million is the average. He asked about having a plaque put up in his honor. I am not sure if he was joking.

It all seemed pretty surreal after that. I got into the stirrups and we joked about my lucky socks. I felt a slight pressure, less than what I even feel during a pap smear. It took less than a minute for the actual insemination. Then the doctor pretended to sprinkle baby dust on my abdomen, elevated my hips, and told me to stay put for fifteen minutes. Such a potentially momentous thing, and like fertility treatments tend to do, it made it all clinical. I was suddenly very glad for my Pooh Bear hat. It added some feeling of sentiment back into it.

After that, we went grocery shopping and I cleaned the house this afternoon. We are supposed to "do the deed" tonight so that if we are successful, we will never know if it was the IUI or us. I don't really care, I just hope that this is it.

Lucky Socks

This morning, I went in and had a Day 10 follicle check. Two eggs on the left ovary are almost ready to go, at just under 18 and 14 mm respectively. Because they weren't quite the right size, we decided to delay the IUI until Sunday.

This also means that I am giving myself my first HCG trigger shot tomorrow morning. I am a little intimidated by this, although I know many of you are veterans. It's just that I am a little queasy when it comes to needles, blood, and pain. Especially when those last two are mine.

So. Poke myself with a small needle tomorrow. IUI Sunday. Wow. Here we go again. This time, however, I am armed with something that even the Mean Old Fertility Gods can't mess with: My red socks.

My friend Amy gave birth last November to twins. I can't hate her, though, because she went through two frustrating years of trying and tests before she was finally able to identify the problem (male factor) and get the IVF they needed to conceive. She always wore a pair of red running socks to her appointments. I visited her this last week and she handed over the lucky socks to me. Now, I will wear them to every appointment. Here's hoping that Amy's Red Socks give me the luck that I need.

Crying In Hallmark

I was in a Hallmark store yesterday, picking out a birthday card for my mother-in-law. I was reading the cards and trying to pick one with good meaning. It was then that I had a horrible thought.

What if I never have a daughter or son to buy me a Birthday card? Or a Christmas card? Or any card at all?

I felt the tears burning behind my eyes and tried to think about other things. But it was too late and too much. The tears started spilling onto my cheeks.

I put back the card that I had been looking at and got out of there fast. One of the store clerks yelled after me to have a nice day. I passed a pregnant woman out on the sidewalk on my way to my car.

I guess I can add another store to the list of "Public Places That I Have Cried In."

When Normal Isn't Normal

The RE's office called today.

All bloodwork came back within normal range. I am normal. My husband is normal. What isn't normal is that being so normal we should have had a normal pregnancy and normal baby right now.

You know how you can say word until it has no meaning? Normal. Normal. Normal. There is no meaning.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I wanted to thank everyone who has been keeping up with me and commenting. I have been a little quiet the past few days due to work and family stuff that is going on. Funny how life doesn't stop even when I feel that there is little reason for my world to keep spinning.

I also wanted to address the testing issue that many commented on. After our third loss, we did have all of the basic testing done; Day 3 FSH, endometrial biopsy, HSG, and a basic blood panel checking for anticoagulation issues, lupus, etc., and my husband had a sperm analysis. All of those tests came back "normal," and since our losses were all of the very early nature, our doctor really felt that it was just a case of bad luck.

Then, we had our fourth and then fifth loss. I had a D&C for that 11 week miscarriage and no tissue was available for successful testing. My husband and I both had a full chromosomal analysis. Again, all was normal.

Basically, everyone (and by everyone, I mean all of the OBs and RE that I have seen) seems to think that we have just had really bad luck. I have been encouraged to repeatedly get pregnant because the odds are very much on our side that eventually, we will get a healthy baby. Thus, we keep trying.

Another goal is to keep getting pregnant because if we don't get our healthy baby, we will get far enough along to do a D&C, this time in time for chromosomal testing. What my RE wants to determine from that is whether my body is killing healthy babies or if we are just having a higher amount that usual of chromosomally abnormal embryos, thus we could then consider IVF with PGD. Yes, I sometimes get frustrated. It seems sad to create a baby for the purpose of finding out why it died. But I can reconcile myself with that if it's the only way to discover our problem.

I got one set of blood work back today and all looks normal. This is frustrating. But I keep trying in the hopes that one day, we'll get lucky.

Can't believe it's cycle day 7.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If At First (or Second, or Third, Or Fourth. . .) You Don't Succeed. . .

Thursday was a bad day. That is pretty much all that there is to it. I went in for my blood draw in the morning and then back to my RE's office for an afternoon appointment. Now, in case I haven't mentioned this before, my RE is a good doctor, a great doctor, but her bedside manner is slightly. . . lacking. In the appointment after we lost our 11 week pregnancy, she came in, asked me how I was doing, and as I opened my mouth to answer, kept right on talking. She also couldn't understand why I wanted to take a break after that loss, even though I was starting a new position at work and also needed an emotional breather. She just doesn't "get" pregnancy loss, especially chemical pregnancy loss, but even our 11 week pregnancy didn't seem to phase her.

She is also extremely conservative and believes that we should only test for the things that we can fix. I understand where she is coming from and I agree to a certain extent that you can chase your tail with all of this stuff and find something "wrong" that isn't really wrong. But at this point, I would just like the comfort of knowing what that something wrong is. If we can't fix it, or at least not reliably, then it's time to move on to adoption. I am just not the type to give up and when all of the doctors keep telling me that all we have to do is try again, well, I oblige them.

I went into the appointment armed with an article on antibiotic therapy and recurrent loss as well as a list of tests that I got from a woman on a pregnancy loss board. I thought that I had had all of the testing done, but it turns out, I had not had several of them, including the tests for elevated Natural Killer cells and MTHFR. So, I did get a blood test for those, as well as for a few rare blood clotting issues and another lupus check (one test had come back slightly elevated, so she wanted to make sure).

The appointment went fairly well, except for two things. The first was right off the bat. My HCG level was 2.6. Good news in that the chemical pregnancy had worked its way out. I said something to that effect and how I knew that a chemical pregnancy wasn't an abortion and she said, "Good. Then there is no reason to be disappointed."

That kind of irritated me. I think she was joking, but she isn't the joking type. So, I said that I was disappointed, if not only about this chemical pregnancy, but the other losses before it. She nodded and said, "Yes, I know this has been hard on YOU." And she definitely put emphasis on the YOU. What is that about? I wanted to throttle her. I also wanted to ask how many miscarriages or chemical pregnancies she has had, because I am pretty sure that the answer is none.

That is one thing that I am pretty sick and tired of. It seems sometimes that because we can get pregnant, I kind of get the short end of the stick. Our doctors haven't really taken us seriously, even my RE seems to think that I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But we are both healthy. I am in my twenties, my husband is in his early thirties. We have been trying for over a year and a half. We don't have a baby. That's strange.

So, I flat out said that to her. "Look, Dr. M, I know that chemical pregnancies are common. But is it normal to have five of them and one miscarriage and no babies in a year and a half?"

She agreed that it is not. We went ahead with the blood draws and we decided to move ahead to a letrazole cycle with IUI. This will be our first IUI. The good thing about that 2.6 HCG is that my body is ready to try again. In fact, my day 10 ultrasound will be Friday, so we might be doing the IUI as early as Saturday and most likely Sunday.

The second thing is that I asked her if she thought that stress could possibly be having an effect on my fertility or the outcome of our pregnancies. She had a long answer, but basically, no. I was hoping to get some time off of work for this cycle and can only do so with a doctor's note. But then, she handed me a brochure for a stress reduction counseling program that the clinic sponsors - at the bargain price of $560 a couple. I hate contradictions. If stress doesn't play a role, then why have this expensive program that insurance will in no way cover?

Anyway. Deep breath. CD 5.

Here we go again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Deja Vu

This chemical pregnancy is almost exactly like the one that I had last August.

After we lost the third pregnancy and then had the appointment from Hell with my not-so-nice OB/GYN, my husband and I decided to just throw caution to the wind. I hadn't even had a period yet, so there was no way to know exactly when I ovulated, but we got pregnant again immediately after our third loss.

This probably wasn't smart and I've always felt a little guilty about this. However, it doesn't seem to make a difference whether we wait or not. The result seems the same.

I got the positive pregnancy test the day before my period was due. But once again, when I was done POAS, as the positive was coming up, I noticed that I was spotting. I never went to the doctor for a beta, but over the course of the next few days, I watched the tests get lighter and the bleeding get heavier. Finally, the tests were negative.

I took this fourth chemical pregancy with a sinking heart. I almost didn't want to count it in my pregnancy count, sometimes I don't, because I am embarrassed about getting pregnant again right away. But it happened and I really don't think that made the difference.

These early chemical pregnancies really suck. You don't even get time to get excited. You just get a taste of the happiness and then it is snatched away. And then you are left to feel guilty about the glass of wine that you drank or stopping the progesterone.

I am so depressed.

Mommy, I Want Off This Ride

I want off this rollercoaster.

This morning, I went in for my second beta. The nurse called back and dared to be chipper. She dared because my beta looked good: 56. More than doubled. Progesterone looked great, no spotting, no cramping. I even let her congratulations go by without offending me. Life was good.

For about thirty seconds. I called my husband, left him a happy, sing-song, "Call me!" message.

I went into the bathroom and. . . pink spotting.

Ah, you say. Pink spotting. Could be implantation. Could be normal. Could be nothing.

I, the eternal optimist, despite the way my stomach clenched at the sight of this harbinger of evil, decided to take the advice of the "normal" pregnancy books and went to bed. I lay down on my left side and tried to convince myself that the cramping and light back ache were from the progesterone.

An hour later, I went to use the bathroom. Bright. Red. Blood. With clots. My cramps have increased, my lower back is killing me.

I have a follow up appointment with my RE tomorrow afternoon and bloodwork in the morning.

I am so angry, sad, tired, drained. I have the most awful feeling that I am never going to be a mom.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Read My Chart Before Speaking

My doctor's office called this morning with the results from yesterday's beta. HCG level of 18. She said that the doctor feels that it is a chemical pregnancy and we will follow up with more bloodwork on Thursday. I also started a little spotting last night, which considering how much progesterone I was taking up until yesterday, is pretty amazing. The nurse who called with the results was good, she didn't say congratulations, so she must have at least read my chart before calling. I have been the victim of careless nurses so many times I have lost count.

What about the first nurse who told me that I wasn't even pregnant when my beta came back at 26? I didn't know anything about pregnancy then, but is she tried to pull that crap now, I would remind her than a beta greater than five is positive for pregnancy. Plus, what about having some sensitivity?

Then, there was the nurse that called me as I was still bleeding from my third miscarriage. When I answered the phone, she said sharply, "Did you know that you missed an appointment today?" I looked over my calendar and saw a scratched-out entry. It had been for my ultrasound. I told her I had miscarried and that I had asked the nurse to cancel the appointment when she called with the dismal beta. She was quiet for a minute then said, "Well, we still have to charge you a no show fee." I told her that they could charge me anything that they liked, but I wasn't paying it. She then saw where the appointment had been "cancelled," but the nurse hadn't done it properly in the system, which is why I got the rude phone call. Do you think that she apologized? Nope.

One nurse was trying to be nice for me and when I went in for a D&C, she abbreviated missed abortion to md AB on the form that I signed. Now, I knew what this meant and that it's a medical term, so I wasn't really fazed by it, although I did appreciate her sensitivity. But five minutes before I was to go into surgery, another nurse came back and shoved the paperwork at my husband and said that the other nurse had messed up and that it couldn't be abbreviated. So, in huge block letters was the word ABORTION. Just larger than life. I had already been given drugs, so I wasn't allowed to sign the consent, so my husband had to do it. He had never heard the term missed abortion and so he corrected the nurse. "We're not having an abortion," he told her, thinking they had given him the wrong form. The "lovely" nurse responded, "Listen, it's an abortion, just sign the paperwork so we can get this over with." Yeah. Lovely.

But my "favorite" example of this is when I was called shortly after the D&C of my 11 week pregnancy. The chipper nurse told me that the results of my testing had come back with no chromosomal abnormalities. While she seemed to think that this was great, my stomach dropped at that news - I wanted answers for our loss. She then asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby and we had decided that we did want to know. She told me, "It's a boy!" And for just a few seconds my mind got around that thought. A little boy, just as I had dreamed about. We would have had a son. It was a bittersweet moment until she followed it up with, "Congratulations!" For a second, I thought that she just had a sick sense of humor, but then I asked, "Are you sure that you are talking to the right person?" She wasn't.

Medical professionals, I beg you. Please read our charts. Please have some compassion. And I swear that if you call my babies products of conception one more time, I will really have to put your eye out with a dull pen.

Help a Blogger Sista Out

I am new to the blogging game so I am not sure what's going on. . . help me if you can.

Issue #1: Cannot add new links to my blog roll. I go, I add them, I edited out the doubles plus the spelling error on "What to expect when you're not expecting" and get the error message that my changes cannot be saved. Why?

Issue #2: My dates/times are screwed up. I have several posts under the same date/time, but they were made on different dates at different times. What's up?

Thanks much!

Doesn't Matter Why My Arms Are Empty

It's been over a year and a half since my first miscarriage plummeted me down the Trying To Conceive rabbit hole. I know there are a lot of people out there that have been trying for a lot longer than I have, but I am starting to consider myself a veteran. Lucky, lucky me.

An interesting question was posed to me some time ago, by another IF veteran. She was about six months pregnant with her twins conceived through IVF when I had my third loss. She asked me if I thought it was harder to have miscarriages or never conceive. I said that I wasn't sure, having never really experienced challenges with conception, but that I knew that miscarriages were pretty darn awful, that it really isn't a matter of which is worse, because it all sucks. About a week later, a coworker who was also having difficulty conceiving told me that she would rather conceive and then miscarry than never conceive at all. I've got to be honest, at the time, that really pissed me off, and I told her the same thing, that both are awful. And when she finally did get pregnant, a very small, very mean part of me wished that her words would come back to haunt her. Her baby was recently born healthy, and I really am sorry for my mean thoughts, but she just wasn't a very nice person, and I was jealous.

So, now I am four months into TTC. This time, we have a lot of help. And it's not working. So, I can answer my friend's question now. It is much harder to TTC and never get those double lines than to miscarry. This is a bold statement, I know. But the thing is that when you never get pregnant, then you never known the pure joy of seeing those double lines, of showing your husband, of seeing your baby's heartbeat on ultrasound. No matter how much I have cried, how much I have hurt, when I lost each of my sweet angels, the moments that I had with them are some of the greatest that I have known. Miscarriage sucks. But in the spirit of the old adage "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," it sucks more to never get the chance to love that baby so much.

However, I still come back to the same answer that I gave my friend and my coworker last year. It really doesn't matter what our infertility looks like, there really is no "worse". Me, who has been pregnant five times, or someone who never has gotten there. We are both still in search of our dreams. None of us have babies in our arms. And I hate it for all of us.

Now You See It, Now You Don't

I am not sure what to think about all of this, but I know one thing, I have been slapped around by the pee sticks for the past two days and I am getting pretty tired of it.

I had NOT ONE positive pregnancy test on Thursday or Friday. Saturday morning (13 DPO, 14 DPT) I had a faint positive on a +/- test (same brand was negative on Thursday) and then a digital gave me a positive.

Then this morning, I took another digital test for fun. . . and the results were not fun. Not pregnant flashed up.

I took another +/- test and that was also negative. So, here are my options (in order of most to least probable).

1) Chemical pregnancy (I am famous for these)
2) Trigger still in system, but somehow not picked up for those two days
3) Still so early that I have a low level of HCG that just is right at the line between being picked up and not, even on these early tests.

Obviously, my little heart hopes for #3, but it just doesn't seem likely this many DPO.

Well, at least I won't have to worry about people not reading this because I am pregnant.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Um, About that Last Post. . . Um. . .

I am almost afraid to type it. For three reasons:

1) Maybe it's not true. Perhaps it's still trigger and those four hundred (or so) BFNs of the last two days just weren't sensitive enough to pick it up.

2) If I am, then what if I miscarry again? I am so scared of that.

3) What if you, my kind and gentle readers, having just found my blog, read the words and find out that I am, and then go off to read other blogs and never come back because now I am one of "them"?

In case you haven't guessed (and I give you way more credit than that), my situation has changed since this morning. In fact, mere seconds after I posted that last post, I went back into the bathroom, and the second line had appeared. I am not kidding.

Now, here's the bugger. It was after ten minutes and the line was not in the middle of the plus, but a lot to the left. With shaking hands, I showed my husband and he said, "There IS a second line, but it's not in the right place."

Finally, I caved. I hate spending a lot of money on pee sticks, but it was time for a digital. I went to my emergency stash of high end tests (reserved for times just like these). It took a long time for the little hourglass to stop blinking, but when it did.. . . the word that we all dream about was there. I ran back downstairs and showed my husband and we had our little Hallmark moment.

Of course, I am pleased. But I am scared out my gourd. Remember that the getting pregnant was never the problem (and my apologies to those who do have issues with the getting part, I do not mean than in a flip way at all) for us, but rather the staying pregnant. We have never identified any issues that we can fix. This whole "Perfect Cycle" thing is really just my REs way of keeping our business. What makes me think that this will end any differently than the five pregnancies before it? Who am I to have that Hallmark moment?

Pregnancy has never ended happily for me. I pray with all of heart and soul that this time is different. But I am going to need a lot of support. This is where the journey really begins.

And to Polka Dot. . . You were right. Thanks for helping me keep the faith! It's your turn now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Morning Stretching With HPTs

Day 13.

This is kind of my D Day. Or B Day. Or whatever. This is the day I have always had my BFPs by. Always. So, in my mind, using these sensitive tests, I just know that if it's negative at this point, I am not pregnant.

And this morning's test refuses to cooperate with me. That darn minus won't turn into a plus. I have tried tilting the test. Nothing. I have tried climbing on my bathroom counter to look at the test directly under a bright light. Negative.

I then thought, "Hmm, natural light might help me see it better." So, I climbed into my bathtub (it's the in the corner of the bathroom and it's the only way to reach the windows) and pulled open the blinds enough to let a shaft of light shine onto the test and. . . minus sign.

So, there I was in the bathtub, with the negative test in my hand and I crouched into the empty whiteness and huddled there for a minute. I was praying, I was hoping, I was bargaining with God, I was WILLING that test to turn positive. And still it remains stubbornly one lined.

I am not pregnant.

Reason #129 Why I Switched OBs

After our July loss, I actually was "okay." I was sad, I cried a lot, but I didn't sink into that deep depression/anger stage that I had spent most of the past six months in. See, I am a proactive person. I am a planner. Definite type A. I want to know what the plan is and I felt that now that we had suffered through our third loss, this was it. We would get referred to a specialist, we would find out what was wrong. We could fix it, get pregnant, stay pregnant.

I was in for a bit of a surprise.

Remember when I was told about my beta for the last miscarriage and the nurse told me the doctor wanted to see me (I swear, I did not ask to see the doctor or for testing) and would want to do more testing? So, ten days after our loss, my husband and I went into the OBs office.

It was his first time going with me, and he was shocked that they would just have me sit in the waiting room with all of the other preggers. At least this time, they didn't forget that I was there, and she was only a half hour behind. They still didn't make an effort to get me in a room any earlier, so we sat there, both trying to ignore the happy melon bellies around us.

We got back to the room and I changed into the thin gown. The nurse came in a took my temperature and raised an eyebrow. It was 101.5 degrees. "Have you been having a lot of pain?"

I'd been having some mild back cramps and been feeling a little lousy for the past week, but I figured that was to be expected. I told her about my symptoms and she wrote them down.

Another half hour later and the doctor breezed in. She sat down in a chair and asked the pertinent questions about my last miscarriage. Date of ovulation, date of BFP, cramps during the miscarriage, etc. I then made the mistake of asking about further testing.

She sighed and told us that in her professional opinion, we had no problem. The only problem that we did have was that I was checking too early for pregnancy. She said that if every woman of child bearing age trying to get pregnant started checking at 9 DPO, everyone would have three "miscarriages," and that I needed to stop calling them miscarriages, because they were chemical pregnancies. She said a true miscarriage was only after an ultrasound showed the presence of products of conception.

"Okay," I said, my voice starting to tremble. "Then what do we do next?"

"Wait three months and try again."

WHAT?! This didn't make sense to me. If the pregnancies were so insignificant that they couldn't even be called pregnancies, then why were they important enough that it required three months of waiting. So, that's pretty much what I said to her.

She referenced some study about how women who got pregnant immediately after a miscarriage were 2 times more likely to miscarry than women who waited three months. "But those women had miscarriages. You said mine weren't miscarriages," I pointed out.

She didn't like me throwing her words back at her, but I felt that she couldn't have it both ways. They couldn't be chemical pregnancies when she wanted them to be and miscarriages when it was convenient. They were either one or the other.

"Well, there are emotional reasons that I recommend a three month wait," she said this with a definite undertone. "You are really not emotionally stable right now."

Now, she was right about that. I was upset by this point, not crying, but fighting off tears, shaking a little in my thin paper gown and the air conditioned room. I had come in here expecting support, perhaps some respect for what we had been through, and instead was pretty much getting told that it was my fault we were going through all of this.

She then proceeded to give me another brief exam. I didn't want to her to touch me at that point, it felt like a violation.

"I am concerned about your fever," she said after she had finished the exam. "It could be an indication of infection. If it gets above 101 degrees, you should go to the emergency room."

My husband stepped in, "But her fever already is above 101."

She took my temperature again. It was still 101.5. "Well, just keep an eye on it. If it is still above 101 by tonight, go to the ER."

And she was gone.

It turned out that I had a kidney infection, but it took going to my primary care doctor to find that out. While I was there, she told me to check and see if my insurance required a referral for a specialist. If it did, she would give me one. If not, then she suggested just getting my records and going on my own. I called my insurance company and found out that they didn't require a referral.

I had a plan. We would find out what was wrong, I would get pregnant, I would stay pregnant. Well, I would stay pregnant for 11 weeks, anyway. But that's another post.

Now You're Getting the Idea

I have a confession. I hope it won't won't hurt our relationship.

My name is Katie. I am addicted to pregnancy tests.

I have taken . . .gosh, this is embarrassing. . . four tests today. Yep, that's right. 4.

I took the first one this morning with FMU. I used a Dollar Tree test, which I have found to be extremely sensitive and reliable in the past. Very occasionally, however, you will get one that gets swirly with the purple dye, and you can't read the results. Highly annoying. So, that one really doesn't count.

I waited until I thought my bladder would burst and got a faint positive on a FRER. But it was pretty faint. I think my logic is this: If I can get the positives to start getting darker, that would be a good thing. If the positive would go away completely, then at least I could start waiting for a second line to hopefully appear.

I know, I know. My logic is pretty screwed up. But, following that screwed up thinking, I took a third test around dinner time. Negative. Hmmm.

So, I just took a fourth about 8 minutes ago and. . . negative again. I am trying to tell myself that this is a good thing. Now, if a positive shows up, I know it's NOT the trigger and can get good and excited. And, I am only 11 DPO, which would still be kind of early for a test to show positive. With most of my pregnancies, I haven't tested positive until 12 or 13 DPO, so there is still hope.

But I gotta tell you. I am really kind of bummed, too. A part of me thinks that in order to "smell pregnant" clear last Friday, I would have had to have implanted already, which means that I would be showing positive today. Which kind of renders my husband and his nose a little useless when it comes to pregnancy detection.

Okay. Breathe.

Is It Saturday Yet?

The insanity has really gotten started now. The last time we were able to use the trigger (the last two cycles, we have missed ovulation, so no trigger), the trigger was out of my system by 11 DPT when I tested with FRER. So, yesterday was 11 DPT and you know what I did. . .

Yep. POAS. Faint positive. This is how it went:

Me squinting at the stick and thinking: "Huh. Faint positive."
Me throwing the test in the garbage and thinking: "Can't really count it until Saturday."
Me digging the test out of the garbage and thinking: "But wait. Last time the trigger was out of my system by this point. Is the faintness because it's just leftover trigger or because it's still early and the HCG levels are low?"
Me throwing the test in the garbage and thinking: "This is why I shouldn't have tested until Saturday."
Me digging the test out of trash and thinking: "I'd better keep this in case I AM pregnant, then I should save this test as the first BFP."

This is why I really think that pregnancy tests should be illegal. Or have a one per customer limit. Or not be available at the dollar store. I think they lead to insanity.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Well, here I am folks, 10 DPO. Usually, I would have POAS at least once or twice (or more) already, especially with my husband's nose going crazy and the mild cramping I have had the past two days. Both good signs.

But I am trying not to get my hopes up too much. I think that both the "smell of pregnancy" and the cramps could easily be attributed to the progesterone cocktail that I take each day.

Also, I can't test yet, because I had a trigger shot, which can be in my body for up to 14 days. The first time I cycled, I tested from 6 DPO on, so that I could test the trigger out of my body and then (my plan was) to watch it come back. Of course, I wasn't pregnant, so it never came back. The trigger didn't leave my body until 11 DPO that time and I know each time can be different. This means that I have to wait until SATURDAY for an accurate test. BLECH.

And so, we wait.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Third Time Wasn't The Charm

In late June/early July of 2006, my husband and I went on a trip to Cancun. Cancun is special to us, because we went there for our honeymoon and absolutely fell in love with everything about it. We actually stay south of the city itself and enjoy the many activities that the region has to offer. This was our third trip and, we thought, our last before having a baby. We had planned the trip back in April as a way to cheer ourselves up. We took the trip around the July 4th holiday because we both had company days off and could maximize our vacation time. We didn't do it on purpose, but as it turned out, we would also be on vacation during our the "critical times" of our first cycle that we could try again.

We had a wonderful and relaxing time on the trip. And got pregnant.

I got a positive at only 9 DPO, just four days after we returned home. It was weird to be pregnant again. I wasn't even really excited at first, mostly just worried. I went in for a beta the next day, which was a Friday, so I had to go in for a doubling test on Sunday and then get both results on Monday morning. Sunday morning, I woke up and had brown spotting. I was upset and my husband tried in vain to comfort me. I thought for sure that the spotting would turn red by that night, but the spotting went away.

On Monday morning, I called for the beta results and. . . they had checked the wrong box on Friday and only gave me a qualitative beta test - pregnant or not pregnant- so we couldn't tell if the HCG had doubled or not. And Sunday's HCG level was only 44. I went in for another draw on Tuesday and waited some of the longest hours of my life.

On Tuesday, I got a call from the nurse who was very pleased to tell me that my beta was at 83. She offered to do a third beta, but I didn't want to go overboard with testing. I hadn't had any more spotting, my beta doubled, and I wanted to believe that everything was okay. The nurse said to call back in ten days, and they would schedule an ultrasound for the six and a half week mark so that we could see the heartbeat. I was so excited that I took my lunch hour to drive to my husband's office. I stopped at Target and bought a little bib that said I LOVE DADDY on it and put in in a bag. I bought a sweet card that talked about what a great father he would be and put in the card that our beta numbers had doubled. I surprised him with the gift and he was as happy as I was.

The ten days went by without issue. I started to feel vaguely nauseous in the evenings if I didn't eat enough dinner. I had a lot of cramping, which worried me, but didn't come with any spotting. I bought a pregnancy journal, started filling out all of the information, and spent a lot of time with my feet up, taking it easy. On the tenth day, I called to schedule the ultrasound for the next week.

My parents were visiting from out of town. By this time, they knew about our miscarriages, but didn't know that we were pregnant again. I had to work that day, but had taken the afternoon off to go the lake with my family. I rushed through my morning and stopped to use the bathroom before heading home. It was there that I saw the dreaded spotting. Trying not to worry too much, but failing miserably, I first called my husband. He didn't answer, so I called my doctor's office. I was put through to the nurse, who told me to come in for another beta. I rushed to the lab.

On the drive there, the cramping started, and once again, I knew there would be no baby. Tears were streaming down my face as I waited in line to give my insurance card at the lab. It got worse when I recognized that the technician who came to the window to help me was the same one who had drawn my blood for my second miscarriage. I didn't want to keep coming here, not for this reason. The technician saw how upset I was and put me in a draw room immediately. She was so sweet and even though the doctor's office hadn't put STAT on the orders, she promised that she would have the test rushed and results back to the doctor within an hour. After she drew my blood, she said, "My name is Marcia, and if there is anything that I can do for you, I want you to come here and ask for me." And then she gave me a hug, and not just a little hug, but a true hug that lasted a long time and made me realize that there are angels among us.

I drove home and my parents had already left for the lake. They left me a note to join them, but I didn't feel like going to the lake. I had already spoken to my husband, who came home early to sit with me while I waited. I was so tired and napped on the couch with the phone in my hand. When the nurse called, she told me that the HCG levels were at a dismal 89. Obviously, I was miscarrying. I sobbed and asked her what would happen, now that this was our third loss. She said that the doctor would see me and this time, order all the tests to check out what was wrong. She scheduled me for a follow up appointment with the doctor in 2 weeks as I sat there, sobbing. I hung up the phone and my husband tried to bring me in for a hug, but I was so angry, I couldn't sit there.

I got up and walked over to the counter where my prenatal vitamins were. I very calmly got out a cutting board and a meat tenderizing hammer. I then took one vitamin at a time from the bottle and smashed it, the little pieces of vitamin flying everywhere. It felt good, so I did it again. My husband tried to stop me after the first two, but I told him that I was going to use the hammer on something, so it should probably be these useless vitamins. He just stood there, watching me. It didn't take very long to smash the entire bottle and when I was finished, I looked around for more things to smash. But my husband finally took the hammer from me and wrapped me in a hug. My sobs echoed in our empty house. I kept asking, "Why me? Why us? Why our babies?"

There were no answers then. And there are no answers now.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Is Anybody Listening?

After our second miscarriage, my OB agreed to do some minimal testing to make the three month waiting period easier to bear. The simple blood panel, looking primarily for APS and lupus, came back with no abnormalities. So, now all we had to do was wait.

April was one of the darkest months of my life. My hormones were completely out of whack and I felt that my doctor wasn't listening to me. I just felt in my bones that something was wrong, and to wait three months just to have the same thing happen again seemed absolutely nuts to me. I was so angry. I had a repeat image of thrusting my arm through a window and the blood trickling down my arm. I didn't want to hurt myself, I just wanted to break things. I wasn't just angry, I was also incredibly depressed. I cried without warning, almost all of time, and had trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

I finally broke down and went to see my primary care doctor, a woman I had been going to for four years. She was wonderful. First off, she gave me a big hug and even shed a couple of tears with me. She ordered more bloodwork for some other tests she thought might be useful - without me even having to ask. We talked about my options regarding the depression and finally decided on a prescription for antidepressants. With one small hitch. She wanted me to wait one week, and see if somehow in that time, I started to feel better. When I took the prescription, I thought for sure that I would be getting it filled.

Strangely, I started to feel better the very next day. I think it had a lot to do with someone treating my loss as a loss and me as someone who needed medical assistance. I think a lot of the time, my suffering is made worse by the silence that I have to maintain around it. I can't talk to most people about our losses. My mother-in-law has never mentioned it to me and when I bring it up to her, she quickly changes the subject. My own mother will listen for a minute or two and then say, "Are you still seeing a therapist? I really think that you need to talk to someone about this." I get that a lot, actually. The "I think you need to talk to someone about this." I AM talking to someone. I am talking to you.

I know what they mean. They mean someone professional who can help me. And I do see someone, and it has helped. But I think it would help more if my friends and family, and perhaps more importantly, society as a whole, really listened, really tried to understand. I think a lot of the reasons why I get so angry, get so sad is because I feel like I have to hide so much of my grief and I am expected to just move on. If a living child had died, a parent would never be expected to go back to work a couple of days later and just get over it. If your sister died, no one would just look at you strangely and say, "Well, there must have been something wrong with her." If your aunt died, no one would shake their head and say, "It's God's will."

It would still be hard to miscarry. Nothing is ever going to make it easy. But it could be easier, I think, if we didn't have to hide so much of our grief and pain so that others didn't feel uncomfortable.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

You Smell . . . Pregnant

This is kind of weird, perhaps even TMI. But is there any such thing as TMI on a fertility blog. I think not.

My husband is able to tell when I am pregnant. And he doesn't need betas, an ultrasound, or even a pee stick. Nope. He only needs his nose.

It started with my first pregnancy. He actually didn't figure it out until the second time that I was pregnant and he smelled it again. He says that my breath changes when I am pregnant. I then am a little self conscious about it. Does it smell? Or does it STINK? There is a difference. He said that it is just . . . different. And leaves it at that.

I had kind of forgotten about the smell thing. Until last night, when we were at Safeway, shopping for dinner. He touched my back and leaned in and said, "Can I tell you a secret?"

I wasn't even thinking about pregnancy at that moment - promise. I was actually thinking about whether I wanted grilled hamburgers or chicken for dinner. Of course, that all changed when he looked furtively around to make sure there was no one else in earshot and said, "You smell."

I was a little annoyed. I mean, that isn't a very nice way to tell me that I have BO. And then I looked at his face and realized what he meant. He also clarified with, "You smell like you do when you are pregnant."

I got really excited for a minute, then remembered that one time, on another blog, someone else said that it was the progesterone that men can smell. Well, I am on enough progesterone to certainly confuse even the most discerning of olfactory senses. But then I asked him if I had smelled that way since my last pregnancy, since this is our fourth round of progesterone. He said no.

So, as you can imagine, this only adds to my insanity. 6 DPO. And counting.