Monday, February 3, 2014

Oh Uterus, Why Do You Hate Me?

Argggh. I wanted to write a post about Egg Boot Camp. I wanted to tell you what that is to me, and how it's going. But I ran out of time this weekend to write and am now entering the dreaded Annual Review Season of writing IEPs and coordinating paperwork for the big yearly meetings in the spring, and so my blogginess is destined to slow because my time is sucked away from me. So now, on this Monday after Superbowl Sunday, I find myself facing an issue that is more pressing than the self-imposed restrictions and suggested additions in terms of supplements that are Egg Boot Camp (I will write about that next, I promise, because it's actually kind of interesting).

The issue body never ceases to amaze me in how much it hates me.

One of our things moving forward is for me to have the Beta-3 Integrin test, which is basically a carefully timed endometrial biopsy sent off to a lab in order to test for a particular protein, beta-3 integrin, that is essential for implantation. As in, without it (or sufficient levels of it), implantation is impossible. And it's fixable with Lupron Depot or letrozole added to the protocol, but the test is dependent on timing. (For more information on this test, go here. I am a nerd and prefer to read the side "For Physicians," but you can read the one "For Women and Families" and get good info too.) I first heard about the test from CCRM, and then researched it and asked our doctor (we have decided on a clinic! Go Buffalo!) about it, and he went way above and beyond and researched it further and spoke with the doctor who developed it to see if it would be worth doing in my particular case. I LOVE THIS DOCTOR. More on that in a different post on the completely overwhelming process of three second opinions and deciding on which clinic to go with, which proved both easier and more difficult than we thought all at the same time. Sigh.

Anyway, the difficulty with the E-tegrity test for beta-3 integrin is that it must occur during your luteal phase. Meaning, the period between ovulation and your period. OH WAIT. I DON'T FREAKING OVULATE. So, Dr. Fabuloso (not sold on the code name, but whatever) contacted Dr. Lessey, who developed the test, to see what you can do to address that. The first answer: Clomid to induce ovulation. Hmmm. Issue #2: I DON'T RESPOND TO CLOMID. I've taken it 6 times, 4 for IUIs many fruitless moons ago, and twice for the Clomid Challenge Test, and I have created a follicle exactly... once. The first time. When I was a (relatively and decidedly faux) nubile 33. So, no go on the Clomid, because if I did it and it didn't work, it would cost me another month before go-time on this, our Final Fertility Treatment Frontier. Two other options were discussed: proactive treatment with the Lupron Depot with the understanding that we could be treating nothing, or, the winner, treating me with Crinone at the midpoint of my cycle to fake my uterus into thinking that it has ovulated and impersonating a luteal phase. That one was approved, there were reports on cases testing for other similar proteins using that method that supported it, and I was to start Crinone on Wednesday to get ready for the test on Saturday 2/15. Crinone because I REFUSE TO USE ANY MORE PIO thanks to the nerve damage and numbness/pins and needles/sensation of sitting in ice water that I still feel in my hips and thighs.

So what ever could be the matter?

I started spotting on Saturday night, which then turned into what appears to be a light period and definitively NOT spotting anymore, EVEN THOUGH I AM ON DAY 14 OF MY PILL-FREE CYCLE AND A NORMAL PERSON WOULD BE OVULATING NOW.

Oh body, why must you cockblock me at every turn?

So, lucky me, I get to sneak into my OB/GYN's schedule tomorrow morning to get an ultrasound and bloodwork done to make sure that I am actually midcycle and that my uterus has not gone all wonky on me and decided to do things out of order. Because I cannot have this test if my cycle has gone wonky. And I will lose time and have to reschedule it if things went awry. And, I have to miss the first two periods of school tomorrow because I have to wait and get squeezed into the schedule where I wasn't up until literally five hours ago. I am insanely grateful for the fact that my RE in Buffalo can coordinate with my OB/GYN in Rochester and get this set up so quickly. However, I am also insanely angry that my body can't handle being off medication for TWO FREAKING WEEKS before it gets all wacky. I mean, WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? I am hoping it's just wonky bleeding and not related to anything at all, but then again, why would I be bleeding in the middle of things? Why does it suck so much to be a woman? And for the love of all that's holy, why, WHY can't my body just be normal for a month? I am trying to be so good to it and it is just spitting a big fat raspberry in my face.

I am frustrated. I am worried that something weird is going on. I am concerned that I will need to reschedule the test and it will delay our cycle-cycle and it will interfere with our February Break plans to visit my in-laws in Maine. I am not thrilled that I am unexpectedly having to make awkward calls to my assistant principal letting him know that I can coordinate coverage but that I have a last-minute ultrasound. And then realizing that I'm not sure I made it clear that I'm NOT pregnant and that this is part of my four-and-a-half-year-long saga of trying to have a baby and in the meantime getting a lot of paparazzi shots of my dysfunctional ovaries and empty uterus. Do I somehow work that into a hallway fly-by? "By the way, I'm not pregnant, my body just sucks enough that I can't even manage a test to see if there is one more reason why I can't get pregnant yet?" Awkward. But no less awkward possibly than inadvertently bamboozling my AP into thinking I'm pregnant and just haven't announced yet, and wondering if he's staring at my belly and wondering what's in it. (Chicken wing dip. That's what's in it.)

So now I must get to bed so I can get up early and stalk my doctor's office to camp out in the waiting room like I'm trying to get into a concert, instead of waiting for a dildocam exam where I'm not on the schedule and who knows how many pregos will be waiting there with me. Goody goody. The irony is, all of this is for a highly technological test that could help solve our issues but leaves me feeling like my body isn't even receptive to TESTING. And then I'm reminded of that SuperBowl commercial about technology and how amazing it is and while it was wonderful to see all the medical technology all I could think is "all this wonderful new technology and STILL no one can get us pregnant or tell us definitively WHY we have had to struggle for so long." I actually was in tears of frustration, because while "anything's possible," there are some things that just seem to be outside innovation. But maybe that's just my irritation at having a technology-resistant reproductive system speaking.

I guess all I can do is wait and see. Practice my deep breathing and meditative skills as I try not to flip out if my body is truly sabotaging me. Try not to hold on so tightly to plans that inevitably will have setbacks and change (I really should be used to this by now). Think as positively as I can and try to love this body that hopefully will do something amazing after it's done being completely and totally insubordinate. In the words of my pithy RE, "Tell your uterus to behave itself!" If only it was that simple. If only I could just write a behavior plan for my uterus and solve everything. Sigh.


  1. Uggg...that sounds so frustrating. Good luck to you at your appointment. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you!! And good luck with all the IEP rewrites...that's no small task!

  2. I never produced anything on Clomid either.
    I am hoping you get good news at the ultrasound! Keep us updated. I'm rooting for you, as always.

  3. Oh the fun of body's with a mind of their own. I hope your appointment reveals good news and that you can stay on schedule. Wishing you luck and thinking of you.

  4. This is so frustrating. Every damn step of this process is frustrating. I hope that you got some good news at the doctor's office and you can move forward as planned. Technology is great and is giving us all a chance at a family, but honestly and explanation for why things are the way they are would be so welcome.

  5. Thanks so much for the support, ladies! I am overwhelmed with lovin' feelings!

  6. Wow, Jess. Hope everything goes well tomorrow.