March-April Reading List

It's almost the end of March and I'm just now adding my first book for the month to the list. That, by itself, is a clear indication of how crazy busy work has been lately. I have to remind myself daily that the same thing happens every year right before Spring Break. I'm tired, frustrated, and too aware of all the things that I would have liked to accomplish this school year that have fallen by the wayside. So, without further ado, the only book I've read this month: 1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (A)--When I picked this book up at Target, the description sounded vaguely familiar. The front cover says, "Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same." I don't read non-fiction that often, especially books about science-related topics, but this book tells a story that is so hard to believe, it might as well be science fiction. A poor black woman who was dying of cervical cancer had a cell culture taken without her permission. Doctors began growing HeLa cells and discovered that her cancer cells were invincible. They now makeup a large majority of the cells that are used for many types of medical research. They've been to space, been blown up with an atomic bomb, and have even been used in cloning research. All the while, her family has not benefitted from their use and can, in fact, not even afford health insurance.

April Reading- 1. The Shadow of Your Smile-(B) by Mary Higgins Clark--I still haven't figured out what the title means, but I like the subject of this suspense novel from the queen of suspense. A $6 treat from Wal-Mart.


Once More, With Feeling

My appointment with Dr. S. went just about as expected. He ordered a progesterone check (to see if I ovulated) and a beta (blood pregnancy test). I got the results today and both were negative, as expected. A different nurse called with the results than I usually deal with and she was speaking softly and quietly when she told me the pregnancy test was negative. Bless her heart, she didn't realize that I've taken more pregnancy tests than Michelle Duggar and not one single solitary one has ever been positive. I certainly didn't expect this one to be. My temperature chart clearly showed that I hadn't ovulated so the beta was a mere formality before I could get the Provera to start a new cycle (above, at left). I will also be taking a double dose of Femara this go-round (right). How funny that nearly every medicine you take trying to get pregnant comes with the giant pregnancy warning sticker??

The kicker to the appointment was the stinging news that, if the increased dose of Femara doesn't make me ovulate, I'm done with Dr. S. and will be moving on to a doctor at Nashville Fertility Center, the same fate I was trying to avoid by switching doctors in the first place. While I honestly appreciate the fact that he isn't willing to waste cycle upon cycle trying to get pills to work, I'm not looking forward to the shots that will be my fate if this doesn't work. I'm scared to death that this won't work. Of course, that stresses me out when I think about it, which makes me stress about how stress is causing me to stress...

Dr. S. is not a fan of temperature charting because he says watching it every day tends to stress people out and that there is no need for charting in order to figure out if I've ovulated because his monitoring does the same thing more accurately. I've never been able to give up temping for more than a week or two but am seriously considering giving it up. If I do, I will also give up the ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), urine strips that detect the hormone surge that happens at the time of ovulation. This would also mean that when the nurse calls with blood test results next month, it would truly be a surprise...stay tuned.
In the meanwhile, what in the world am I going to do to decrease my stress level?!


Stupid Stinking Ovaries

Grrrrr. I'm mad at my ovaries today. I'm at the point in my first cycle on Femara that it's becoming painfully obvious that I'm not going to respond. I still have a tiny smidge of hope since it was at about this time in my first and second cycle on Clomid that I pulled out a surprise O. However, there is a general consensus on Dr. Google that O'ing late in your cycle can cause egg quality issues.

I knew this was coming, partly because nice surprises never happen to me and having the first cycle of Femara work would definitely be a nice surprise. Also because the bloodwork I had at my last appointment with Dr. S. showed that my LH:FSH ratio was out-of-whack, which is an indicator of PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). I got these results from the nurse on the phone and asked her about metformin (a medicine commonly given to PCOS patients) and she said the doctor hadn't mentioned it. I didn't push it, thinking (always the optimist) that maybe the first cycle of Femara would do the trick and I wouldn't have to worry about met and the tummy troubles that generally accompany it.

I'm going back to see Dr. S. on Friday to talk about what we're going to do next since I didn't respond to the lowest dose of Femara. I know this isn't a major catastrophe, but it has been harder for me than the failed doses of Clomid were. Maybe it's the fact that I'm further into the ttc journey and I'm just tireder in general. Maybe it's the hype I read on the internet about how well Femara works for people who didn't have any luck with Clomid. Maybe I'm just hearing the ticking of that darn clock now that I'm inching closer and closer to my thirtieth birthday. IF sucks.

Elsie Louise Mroch

Elsie Louise Mroch
the puppy who changed my mind