I am 35 years old, living with stage IV Endometriosis, possibly adenomyosis and struggled with infertility for almost 4 years. I also struggled with PPD and now struggle with PMDD. I am a mother to a son that was born at 18 weeks and too precious for this earth; and now a mother to a son born in August 2011. By journaling here, I hope to benefit both for myself and for others that are dealing with this disease and fertility struggles. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 29, 2008


This period has not been fun. The last one I barely had to use any ibuprofen...now I'm on the good stuff. I know it'll only get progressively worse from here. The question is, how long will it take? Hopefully we can get pregnant before I find out...

Friday, September 26, 2008

1 down, 2 to go...(and other endo news)

BFN (big fat negative pregnancy test) here. My cycle started today, and, all the lovely ills that normally accompany it. Haven't had much pain yet...that usually steps in around day 3. We'll see how that goes. Nausea continues, it PEAKED today right about the time I noticed the blood. Lovely. I'm so tired of being nauseous. We have two more cycles to try before we'll get the barade of tests at the RE. You are just so sure because you do everything with such perfected timing and frequency, but, it's really out of our hands beyond that.

Trying to eat better. We need to start exercising more...I know that'll help with my ills.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Power of prayer

***Update on my SIL: After a few days of tests and ultrasounds, looks like everything is okay for now. We aren't sure yet what kind of precautions, if any, she'll have to take for the next 6 months. But, it was great news that all the tests came back good. They said that this will put her at higher risk for pre-term labor. So, it'll be a long few months, but, hopefully not such a bumpy road. Thanks for all the prayers and thanks Jeanne for the encouraging words.***

My SIL is 12-13 weeks pregnant and tonight they had a scare. They are not really sure why, but, she was/is bleeding. She is on bed rest tomorrow and will have to go back to a clinic on Tuesday. They had an ultrasound at the ER and the baby was moving around okay and had a good heart beat. She also had good hormone levels. They are out of town because they were at a wedding, so, she's in a strange place with strange doctors she isn't used to. Obviously a stressful time. She has two other children, 5 and 3, both of which are very excited about the new baby. Please pray for this family. I hope they can find some answers and that everything will be okay. We love you guys!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Healthier Eating, Phase I

**Before I start this post, I forgot to update about my first period post-Lupron. It was...wonderful! As wonderful as bleeding can go anyway. I barely had to pop an Ibuprofen! As gross as I have been feeling lately, I just KNEW it was going to be awful!!! I needed that ray of sunshine on my often cloudy day. I'm on Day 11 right now...waiting to see how this cycle goes**

I'm SO tired of the nausea! I know I need to eat better. But, who feels like thinking about and doing all of that when you are so "blech"?!?!

  • What are your "diet" tips?
  • What changes have you made to your eating habits that has changed your health?
  • How can I dwindle meat products and add more veggies and fish?!?! (I'm used to tacos, spaghetti, chicken salads, meatloaf, etc)
  • Any recipe ideas?


Monday, September 8, 2008

Appointments and Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK)

The past few days I have just been "blah" feeling..and bloated. I look swollen! Ick! Tomorrow I am going to the naturopath and Thursday I have another manual therapy appointment. Those have been going well (!!)-my pelvic area is apparently a lot "softer", except for the left side where my colon troubles are. I've been pleased. Still plagued with persistent nausea. :(

In our quest for conception, I've just discovered these tools and just wanted to share some FAQ's (from http://www.ovulation-calculator.com/ovulation-tests/opk-faq.htm):

Ovulation Predictor Tests: Frequently Asked Questions

If used correctly, ovulation tests are excellent predictors of ovulation. However, in order to detect the LH surge with accuracy, directions must be followed exactly. The most common mistake made with OPKs is generalizing the methods of pregnancy testing to ovulation testing - which leads to errors in use and in the interpretation of results. To get the most out of ovulation testing, read our Ovulation Test FAQ.

Ovulation Test FAQ

Q: How do ovulation tests work?

ovulation test FAQ Ovulation tests detect luteinizing hormone (LH). Just prior to ovulation, women experience a brief surge in luteinizing hormone. Ovulation predictor kits help you pinpoint this surge and anticipate ovulation - your most fertile period in your cycle. Luteinizing hormone, in elevated amounts, is actually the hormone that causes you to ovulate (when the eggs bursts from the ovarian follicle), so that is why lh tests are so effective in anticipating your most fertile time.

Q: How do I interpret results? The same as pregnancy tests?

Ovulation tests function differently than hCG pregnancy tests. A positive result (indicating an LH Surge) is indicated by a test band that is of equal or greater intensity (equal or darker) than the control band. A negative result for the LH Surge is indicated when the test band is of lesser intensity (lighter) than the control band or cannot be seen. Click here to see diagrams of test results.

Q: What is the best time of day to take the ovulation test?

ovulation test FAQ Unlike pregnancy tests, morning (first morning urine) is not the best time to collect samples for ovulation tests, as LH is synthesized in your body early in the morning and will not appear in your urine until the afternoon. The ideal time to test is in the afternoon, around 2pm, though testing may safely take place from 10am to early evening.

Q: Should I take the test the same time every day?

ovulation test FAQ Yes, be sure to test at the same time each day. Also, reduce your liquid intake around 2 hours before testing as a diluted liquid sample can prevent or hinder LH detection.

Q: When should I beginning testing with the ovulation predictor kit?

ovulation test FAQ To determine when to start testing, you must first determine the length of your menstrual cycle. The length of the menstrual cycle is the number of days from the first day of menstrual bleeding to the day before bleeding begins on the next period. Determine the usual length of the menstrual cycle over the last few months. Then, refer to the Cycle Chart to determine on which day of the menstrual cycle to begin testing. Click Here determine when to begin testing?

Q: How long after my LH surge will ovulation take place?

ovulation test FAQ Generally, ovulation will take place 12-48 hours after the LH surge is first detected (using afternoon urine samples), though 36 hours is considered to be the average length of time following the LH surge.

Q: When I get a positive on an ovulation test, when is the best time to have intercourse?

ovulation test FAQ To increase the chance of conception, it is best to have intercourse the day of the LH surge as well as following three days after.

Q: Does the appearance of faint 'test band' indicate an LH surge?

ovulation test FAQ A faint line (or a faint positive test band) does not indicate a positive result for an LH surge. While the presence of a faint line on a pregnancy test may indicate a positive result, a faint line on an OPK is always negative.

Q: Does taking my basal body temperature tell me the same thing as an OPK?

ovulation test FAQ Basal Body Temperature only tells of your LH surge after it is over. That is why the BBT method cannot predict the LH surge. Ovulation tests will tell you - with pinpoint accuracy - when your chances for conception are greatest.

Q: Can OPKs be used as contraception devices?

ovulation test FAQ Ovulation tests are designed to help facilitate pregnancy. They are not recommended for contraception.

Q: Can clomid interfere with test results or cause false positives?

ovulation test FAQ Clomid may cause false positives if you test for ovulation too early in your cycle. Please consult with your doctor about how to use OPKs in conjunction with Clomid - or other fertility and prescription drugs.

Q: Does a light test line and a dark control line indicate a positive result?

ovulation test FAQ Ovulation tests are unlike pregnancy tests - especially when it comes to interpreting results. The results are only positive if the test line is equal to or darker than the control line.

Q: I had a positive result yesterday and today. Does that mean there is something wrong?

ovulation test FAQ Such results may indicate that your the tests detected the LH Surge on the way up and again on the way down.

Q: What if I experience a BBT thermal shift but the ovulation tests failed to detect my LH Surge?

ovulation test FAQ It is possible to miss the surge. If you have a test line that is fairly dark one day then very light the next, you may have missed the actual surge. If your thermal shift occurs, you probably ovulated. It may be a good idea to test twice a day when you feel that you are close to ovulating. Another possibility is that you didn't hold your urine long enough (resulting in a diluted sample).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fertility Abbeviations and Acronyms

Whoa...this stuff can be confusing! A lot of chat boards and blogs use so many abbreviations...I needed help. Check out this link if you need any translations:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand up to Cancer!

Did anyone see the special on TV tonight? It was a very touching program. It really made me appreciate what I do every day as an oncology research coordinator. It's hard sometimes focusing on the mission when you are piled in paperwork and your brain is spinning in deadlines. At the end of the day it's about someone's life; that we are hopefully a part of something bigger in the fight for cancer. It's amazing, and, I love being a part of something so touching. We've ALL been touched by cancer; friends, family...we all know someone with cancer or someone who has won or lost their battle. Please visit the website, Standup2cancer, and make a donation if you can!

God Bless!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time to chart!

I started my period this weekend. Coming up on day 3 and I am a bit nervous. It hasn't been too bad so far...usually the 3rd and 4th days are my worst. Tomorrow is my first day back since vacation, so, I'll need to be on my game. Along with some new diet changes (that I really need to set in place), we are planning to chart again. We charted for a while until all my endo troubles started surfacing. I'm eager to see how my chart looks this month. Also eager to start trying to conceive.

Here's a little tid bit about "charting". We use the sympto-thermal method. Obviously we are using this method to GET pregnant, not for prevention anymore!

Sympto-Thermal Method

The sympto-thermal method of natural birth control involves determining the few days out of a woman's menstrual cycles when conception can occur, and then avoiding sexual intercourse on those days. This method involves determining this fertile time in two ways: based on a woman's basal body temperature (it rises after ovulation) and by recording other fertility cues (such as mood and cervical secretions). The name "sympto-thermal" method, comes from body cues (i.e. symptoms) and a woman's temperature (i.e. thermal or thermometer).

How It Works: The Thermo Part

The sympto-thermal method requires that a woman take her temperature every morning before she gets out of bed and record the reading. Depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle, there will be slight variations in her temperature. These variations are most easily measured with a special thermometer that has a range of only a few degrees, known as a basal thermometer Before ovulation, the temperature is likely to be between 97.2 and 97.4 degrees F. After ovulation, it will rise by at least 0.5 degrees and is often above 98 degrees F. When the temperature stays elevated for at least three days, a woman may assume she has already ovulated. Intercourse for the rest of the cycle will not result in pregnancy. To determine the infertile time before ovulation, a woman needs to look at her pattern of previous cycles. Her last "safe" day is one week before the earliest recorded day of temperature rise, or 5 days after the first day of her period.

How It Works: The Sympto Part

sample chart
By recording other cyclic symptoms, in addition to basal temperatures, the infertile time before ovulation can be more accurately predicted (see Ovulation Method). Cervical mucus and firmness, mid-cycle cramping, breast sensitivity, and mood swings are all symptoms which give insight into the progression of a woman's cycle. With careful monitoring, it is not difficult to predict your fertile period, when intercourse is to be avoided. A blank NFP chart for recording these changes is available to view, download, or print.

Intercourse during the time before ovulation is less safe than the time after ovulation because sperm have been known to live up to six days. For this reason, some couples choose to have sex only after the fertile period. This practice, known as the post-ovulatory temperature method, is the most effective of all natural methods, with a failure rate of only 1% among perfect users. However, it is not recommended because it requires a very long period of abstinence.

Effectiveness of the Sympto-Thermal Method

Consider the sympto-thermal method if you are committed to following the rules strictly. This method can be more difficult to use for women with small infants, as getting up frequently in the night can make the temperature readings less accurate. Illness, travel, or alcohol consumption can throw off the basal temperature reading as well. This is why it is important to use as many body signs as possible to predict ovulation for maximum efficacy.