Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday Morning

I came home from work last night and took a nap for maybe an hour. I just needed to give my nervous system a break. After I got up I realized that I just felt blocked inside so I decided to do some qigong. My acupuncturist told me that I needed to be careful what I did since certain types of qigong movements can cause you to miscarry. I haven't practiced in months but I had to try something, nothing was moving in my body. I did a portion of the Jade Body routine I learned at the beginning of the year and right away I started getting that shivery feeling of energy starting to move in my body. I felt a lot better afterwards. Later after dinner and a movie we had a bath in our new jetted tub and soaking in the warm water helped me feel more relaxed.

My breasts hurt. They have continued hurting, but not in the same way from day to day. Last night the pain started building again and this morning they are killing me, almost like that knives sensation again. How fun. How completely distracting.

Here is a list of my symptoms as they peaked and what I've noted over the past week:

Fatigue -- was needing to take naps from the week after AF was due until Tuesday after Memorial Day when I strangely didn't need them anymore.

Sore Breasts -- On and off but became significantly less a week ago Wednesday though the pain picked up again today.

Swollen Belly -- peaked Memorial Day weekend and gradually has receded so that you can't really tell but I'm still more bloated than normal.

Hair growth -- My chin hair (yes, it's true) was growing so quickly up until last week that I needed to tweeze every day because a new hair would show up. It was freaking me out.

Nausea -- only faint boughts, last episode was at the beginning of this past week

Thirst -- I normally don't get thirsty very much but I've noticed that the increased hormones make me more thirsty. I wasn't thirsty for much of the past week.

Increased need to pee -- I was having to pee lots all the time, though thankfully not at night. That wasn't really happening this past week.

Who the heck knows. My partner wants me to go for the scan on Wednesday. I asked him if just he and my uterus could go and that I would stay home. Either that or that I be able to be drunk when I go in so I don't have to deal. I'm not a big drinker at all (to such a degree that many of my friends don't think I drink at all) but it is just that painful and stressful to be dealing with all this.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Intercourse Frequency -- Why more might be better

[I hadn't posted this info before and I want to get it out there. I know its not entirely topical at the moment but I hope you don't mind the diversion]

Since we have a bit of a sperm morphology issue we first tried the every other day routine recommended for MFI. But after having no success and then playing around with the numbers it seemed to us that loading up the EWCF with sperm prior to ovulation would help get more swimmers in there and ready to catch the egg. We've used this strategy both times we have gotten pregnant.

I looked up more research and articles related to ejaculatory frequency and I found some interesting things that I thought I would share:

"The characteristics were examined of 87 consecutive semen samples obtained from participants of an intra-uterine insemination (IUI) programme. The population investigated comprised 65 normozoospermic, 13 moderately oligozoospermic and nine severely oligozoospermic individuals. The samples were produced after 4 days abstinence for the first IUI and after a further day of abstinence for the second IUI. Semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count and total motile sperm count for the whole population decreased significantly between the first and second samples. [b]The characteristics of the second sample were significantly decreased only for the normozoospermic group.[/b]"
The effect of ejaculatory frequency on semen characteristics of normozoospermic and oligozoospermic men from an infertile population.
Matilsky M, Battino S, Ben-Ami M, Geslevich Y, Eyali V, Shalev E.
[Note: Normozoospermic is normal counts, oligozoospermic is low counts. The numbers seems to jump down more if you have normal counts -- the higher you are the harder you fall.]

"there was a significant positive relationship between the time taken to produce a specimen and sperm concentration. We conclude that the duration of preejaculatory sexual arousal is an important predictor of ejaculate quality for specimens produced by masturbation and that variation in the duration of preejaculatory arousal may contribute to within-male fluctuations in semen parameters over time."
Duration of sexual arousal predicts semen parameters for masturbatory ejaculates.
Pound N, Javed MH, Ruberto C, Shaikh MA, Del Valle AP.
[Note: we should be doing our best to get our guy intersted evidently if we want his best "effort"]

"Sperm numbers and semen volume increased with duration of abstinence. Abstinence did not influence pH, viability, morphology, total or grade A motility, or sperm DNA fragmentation. A short (24-hour) abstinence period negatively influenced chromatin quality."
Influence of the abstinence period on human sperm quality.
De Jonge C, LaFromboise M, Bosmans E, Ombelet W, Cox A, Nijs M.
[Note: Chromatin is what they are testing for in the SCSA test]

"The results have demonstrated that the motility and normal morphology of spermatozoa do not change significantly with ejaculation frequency. Also, while the volume of the ejaculate and the total number of spermatozoa decreased during a period of frequent coitus, an individual's depletion and recovery of his spermatozoal reserve could not be accurately predicted. It is suggested that coital frequency during the woman's periovulatory period could be modified by the partner's response to this test. Furthermore, while it is acknowledged that the variation in results from a 'routine' semen analysis is large, data obtained after depletion of the extra-gonadal reserve and recovery over a set time may have more value and could be the method of choice for the future."
Studies of human seminal parameters with frequent ejaculation. I. Clinical characteristics.
Matilsky M, Battino S, Ben-Ami M, Geslevich Y, Eyali V, Shalev E.

It just seems to me that the every other day BD routine might not be right for all MFI folks and that it is worth it to try upping frequency to see if it helps improve things for you. Since morphology and motility don't really necessarily seem to be affected it might be better to try out some sexy lingerie and a strip tease and learn some tantric breathing techiques to slow him down a little.

It's worth a thought.

Here's a chart showing why this might work:

I took two different hypothetical total counts and then reduced subsequent by 30%, just a random level that I pulled out of the air. Obviously real life generation rates could be better or worse than that, but note that based on this model having more sex results in a greater number of total sperm deposited.

Two other gals that I know online who were TTC post vasectomy reversal both tried this strategy and it worked for them the first try as well.

Some other random bits of info:

  • The best sperm can live in a test tube at room temperature for a week
  • it takes about 20 sperm to help weaken the zona pellucida enough to have one be able to penetrate the egg to fertiize it
  • on the day of ovulation your body has already produced some progesterone which helps ripen the follicle. This progesterone can change the quality of your CF so that it is less hospitible to sperm so timing BD on the day of your peak day (the gooey EW day) or prior is probably the best.
I have this song in my head, it's one that we did across the floor exercises to in one of my modern dance classes...

"here I go again on my a drifter I was born to walk alone"

I did a search and it is by WhiteSnake (Here I Go Again), oh the glories of bad 80s rock music.

Another one that has been going through my head is a very special adaptation of the Monchichi song from the commercial. ("Monchichi, Monchichi, Oh so soft and cuddly"), my version goes like this:

"My baby, dead baby. Not so soft and cuddly."

(It's my blog, I can say what I want. I never did own a Monchichi by the way, they came out when I was out of their target age range and I don't think I would have enjoyed them at all)

Yesterday's special phrase, my mantra of sorts for the anniversary of my first BFP coupled with the news of my second failed pregnancy was:


Oh and for the complete and total irony of the situation, since I had that fibroid surgery and I'm not allowed to go through labor for fear of rupturing my uterus and killing my baby (well, someday I might get that far) the only time I ever get to experience labor is through my miscarriages. How pleasant.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Good things, bad things and random things

Here are some of the things I've been thinking about:

Good things:

1. our embryo developed into a sac or something this time, it wasn't another blighted ovum
2. we got pregnant on our own
3. we got pregnant on the third cycle trying after my surgery
4. we got pregnant again before the anniversary of my previous BFP (or ovulation date)
5. I got pregnant before I was 35
6. I likely will be able to miscarry on my own
7. My pregnancy was in my uterus so at least one tube isn't blocked, maybe even both
8. I have wonderful buddies online who help give me support

Random things:
1. I can now finish working on the office renovations which is mostly painting work
2. I can stay focused on work for longer (well, trying to stay focused at least)
3. I get to keep my girlish figure for a little longer
4. I can look forward to some more time running around with my dog without sore boobs in the near future
5. we didn't tell anyone in real life so no one knows
6. I've been over this ground before so it isn't totally unknown territory

Grumble things:
1. I won't be able to get pregnant again until after I am 35
2. The gap between our potential babies and their cousins grows wider
3. We didn't get to see a heartbeat again, let alone an embryo
4. I don't feel like I'm in a good place to see my mother and deal with her illness
5. "I've been TTC for 3 years and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"

I feel angry today. I once read that anger was one way that our bodies/minds deal with stress. I must be really stressed out. It wasn't until I got to work that I felt it, like biting people's heads off. I'm going to try to hold my tongue since it isn't anyone's fault that I feel this way.

We went for a walk last night in a neighborhood park with our dog. It was nice and I wish my partner would come with me more often. I left the front gate open and after running an errand and stopping back at the house this morning the dog was gone. She's done it before and has her little routine for roaming the neighborhood but I hated having to leave for work and know that she wasn't safe at home.

I woke up at 4:45 in the morning and was up until 6:30 and then went back to bed. I'm trying to focus on just waiting for AF to come as I feel certain she will. Well likely its not going to be the same but I figure I'll just wait it out even it if takes three weeks since I would prefer not to have my third d&c in a year.

I'm feeling like I don't want to have a repeat u/s next week. It isn't going to provide me with good news, it has no therapeutic value and I'm going to have to pay for it. Why bother if the only thing to see is a further disintegrated sac with some schmutz in it. I hope I start bleeding soon so we can get it over with.

We are oddly a little relieved, as I posted just one day before my BFP some weeks ago, this isn't the best time. I'm trying to get my business back on track and I really need to focus on it right now for a little while more. Also, I was right in the middle of doing some painting prep work in our office and I wasn't going to be able to finish which bothered me but I was avoiding exposure to the paint fumes and toxins.

It's weird to know that when I started feeling better last week is likely when things stopped happening. So I'm making a mental note -- pregnancy is supposed to make you feel more uncomfortable, bloated, exhausted and in pain and having less of those symptoms is a bad sign.

I had a thimbleful of hope going in for my scan yesterday but I guess it was knocked over and now hope has dissipated.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I had my scan and there was a gestational sac with a little bit of schmutz in it but it dated 2 weeks behind (5w 4d instead of 7w 2d). I'll have a repeat scan in a week just to be sure but based on my beta numbers at 14/16 dpo and all its not looking at all favorable at this point.

I talked to a nurse about it and she thought that perhaps the delayed ovulation might have resulted in a poorer egg. I told her about how I had been having hormonal weirdness all year since my surgery which was why I tried the vitex under supervision of my acupuncturist.

She said that likely I will miscarry on my own, but the jury is still out. There is a vague (almost nil) chance that it was late implantation but that doesn't really jive with my beta numbers.

My symptoms haven't increased in over a week, in fact they have levelled out. I've been across this bridge before -- d&c, bleeding, cramps, etc. But this time would surely be less physically uncomfortable without the fibroid.

Oh well. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My partner told a longtime client today. She cornered him to ask about what happened with our pregnancy last year since she hadn't seen him. She said to him "you didn't have a baby did you?" He told her no but that we would find out tomorrow if we have another chance. It made me feel a little emotional to know that it was hanging out there in the wind, a few random people wondering here and there. Sheesh! I hope we don't have to go through that again.
My scan is in 24 hours (3pm PST). I can't wait for it on one hand and in denial on the other. I think to myself that maybe I can just ignore and things will happen or not. Right? I'll either have a miscarriage or a won't. I'll either have a baby in 8 months or I won't. Seeing the scan will just mean that I have to do something, feel something and part of me doesn't want to feel anything.

I feel a bit pregnant but nothing compared to last time when I was exploding with my fibroid. Realistically if there is an embryo inside of me it is the size of a pea or something, with the sac around it. Fairly small over all. My pregnancy symptoms have been pretty easy over the past week, my breasts still hurt but gone is that feeling of knives stabbing into them, my uterus feels a bit full, sometimes at the end of the day it actually feels extra swollen. My abdomen has adjusted to the hormonal bloat. I'm a bit moody -- alternating feelings last night of frustration, anger and wanting to cry. Overall it just feels like a bad case of weird PMS - is that how pregnancy is supposed to feel?

I talked to my partner last night about not wanting to tell anyone about our pregnancy and he said that he felt the same way. We're kinda of feeling like letting people find out if/when it gets noticible. We have no plans either way for telling or not telling -- I guess we'll just have to see how our appointment goes tomorrow.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I just remembered from a few weeks ago something that I thought you might find interesting. I had that BFP come up on the HPT and brought it into the bedroom. My partner and I just stared at it for a while and I remember we talked about the fact that it was probably a chemical pg and that there was a good chance that it might go away the next day. It didn't of course, but that just goes to show you how much we feel like this isn't for real.

We talk about it a little bit. We both want to have it go well but losing that pregnancy last year was really hard for us both. I woke up early this morning and remembered thinking to myself that if our scan goes badly will I be able to not feel so sorry for myself this time. I just don't know.