Monday, July 23, 2012

The HSG Test (aka the "open tube test")

I just got my HSG test! And no, HSG is not a hormone. But HSG sounds a lot less invasive and uncomfortable than its real name, Hystero-Salpingo-Gram.

Hystero = uterus. Salpingo = tube. Gram = another magic wand invading my privacy.

So, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure, I will fill you in on all the deets. I had to schedule the test between days 6-10 of my cycle. And I had to not pee before I got there. I think that thinking about not peeing makes me need to pee even more.

My wonderful husband got off of work so he could be with me.  How sweet.  The first thing they did when we got there was walk my husband to a little time-out area and said he couldn't follow us.  So much for that.

So I change into an awkward gown for the procedure, and a nurse with a russian/german accent walks me to the procedure room.  On the way to the room, she asks me about why I'm on metformin. I say it's for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). She nods her head, then squints her eyes, and says, "You don't look like a PCOS patient."

There I am greeted by an asian guy in his mid 30's who just finished his residency. By his awkward demeanor, I assume that he specialized in imaging, not ObGyn.  The first thing he says after he looks at my chart is, "For someone with PCOS, your face doesn't look very hairy." I say nope. He nods, then squints his eyes, and says, "Did you ever used to have facial hair?" Nope. Apparently the testosterone kick from the little cysts is supposed to make your face hairy... But the dozen other girls I know with PCOS don't have hairy faces either. Awkward.

Well, apparently there were a number of swabs and things that they had to do before they actually got to the main feature.  Before every single thing they did, the asian doctor would say, "Ok, I'm gonna ...blah blah... on three, two, one," and then he would do it.  What is he thinking? That I will be more relaxed with a T-minus countdown?  Apparently there's three things in life you count down for: rockets taking off, bombs exploding, and poking me in the privates.

So finally he gets around to the actual test. One of the tubes squirts a dye into my uterus until it's so full that the dye leaks out into my tubes.  After that they take a picture.  If my tubes are all glowing and full, they are good and open. If they don't glow at all, then they're pinched off.  Lucky for me, they're big and open!!! I was happy for about five seconds, and then I realized that I'm still not pregnant.

So they let me change back into my clothes, and said to be careful because their weird dye might slowly leak into my pants over the next few days (thanks, Doc). Then they brought me to my husband who was faithfully waiting in the time-out area.  As we walked to the car, he told me that while I was gone he had gotten a new high score on an i-phone game. And that he loved me. And made me laugh by telling me to imagine the doctor with a magic wand the size of a q-tip to poke into his private and do a mini-scan. Which made me wonder, why does all this awful stuff happen just to girls?

I wish I was just pregnant.  Our infertility specialist said that doing the HSG test during a cycle increases your odds by about 5%.  Here's to hoping.

Also, my husband and I decided that if we don't get pregnant this cycle, we're going to a water park as a vacation/treat.  If we do get pregnant, we're burning my bulk box of tampons in a celebration bonfire.

Sister K

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Progesterone Worked!

After our first failed attempted at clomid our doctor prescribed progesterone for 10 days, which bulked up the lining in my uterus. Then when I go off the hormone the lining "sloughs" off. The first time I was on this medicine it took about 5 days after finishing it for my period to start. I assumed this round would have the same results. However, this time ONE day after my last dose sweet Aunt Flow dropped in for a visit. I guess I was tempting fate when I wore white pants (true story).

I called my docotor to get all the tests scheduled. First, I got probed by what I call an "intra-uteran scan." Really it's a wand they insert to get a better view of the ovaries. The tech was excited to tell me that I do not have any new cysts (large/swollen follicles)!!! This is a great news because if you have new cysts you cannot do clomid that round. She expained that if you already have cysts at the beginning of your cycle, the clomid will "feed" the cyst and cause it to burst which can be very painful. And not only did I not have large follicles/cysts (which would be bad), but I had 22 normal-sized small follicles (good)!! So what is a follicle, you may ask. Here's a diagram:

Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all follicles (growing in size). A follicle is like a very small water-balloon inside of which is my egg (a too-small-to-see single cell). A "cyst" is a generic term for a fluid-filled sac. So, on numbers 3 and 4, the follicles have swollen and can also be called cysts. At the beginning of your cycle you want to only have #1's, and right before ovulation you want to have a few #4's. This is all explained in a very easy-to-understand way on a website I found: So having a lot of small follicles is good! I'm crossing my fingers for TWINS!!

I also got my blood drawn to test my hormone levels. The next step is taking clomid from day 5- 10 and also an HSG test (HysteroSalpingoGram, ie open-tube test) between day 6-10. I can't wait to do the HSG test, because it's supposed to be so fun and tickle alot. NOT!! I guess that's what I'll write my next post on . . . if anyone has suggestions for me please leave a comment!

Yours Truly,
Sister K

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Week of the Most Hoping You've Ever Done

Hello ladies, it's another week and hopefully a better day....and then you remember that the girl that you would share the pain of infertility with just announced she's prego WITH TWINS!! Oh the irony! You look back over your conversations with this girl and she is the one that had such a negative outlook on HER highly dysfunctional uterus while you kept positive and tried to turn her spirits around while you privately wished for the same thing. But OF COURSE, a month later she calls bragging that she just saw her "little nuggets" on the ultrasound and don't forget "there's always hope for you." Thanks, I'll just sit here with my gallon of Maple Nut ice cream. My husband knew to leave right then and get out once he saw the crazy look on my face, while you live in the glory that should be mine. But it's ovulation week so maybe the fertility fairy stopped by this month and blessed you with just one little egg =] You've even started looking at maternity clothes "just in case" you'll need them soon. The temptation to buy almost gets you when you see the stroller/car seat traveling system is on sale and that would look great with the nursery  you've already planned out on Pinterest... and then it hits you, that little cramping that is coming at least two weeks too soon and it's probably the fertility fairy tellin you "don't even start trying to talk yourself into thinking you may have a chance at implantation pain." Your period is coming early this month so bring on the water works and gallons of anything you can get your hands on because you're in for another month of hoping, wishing and praying for at least one little egg. Hooray for anyone in ovulation week but don't jump too high, you wouldn't want to jinx yourself =] We'd love to know how you deal with the long wait in between Shark weeks so leave us a comment. Oh and always remember you're not the only one who cries until she laughs about her highly dysfunctional uterus =]


Sister H

Friday, July 13, 2012

Round 1 of Clomid Goes to the Infertility Monster

I waited a few days to write this post hoping my emotions would be under control. I have to say that after a few pounds of chocolate and gallons of ice cream I feel better. I just . . . I knew that I was pregnant! With out a doubt, I KNEW IT!! We followed the doctor's instructions to the T. There was even one night that I got a warm fuzzy feeling that there was an embryo developing in my uterus. I guess it just goes to show how wrong a woman's intuition can be . . . I remember when we lived in Utah and would be 5 or 6 weeks late and my boobs would hurt and I could smell everything! I also knew then that I was pregnant. Three years later I have yet to give birth. I must be an elephant. Aren't their gestation phases like 2 years??  Now there's a thought, would you rather have elephantiasis and be pregnant with twins or be super skinny forever??

So we contuine with our plan of attack. First we bulk up the linning of my uterus with the help of progesteron. Then we force an egg to develope with Clomid. Doctor will monitor the growth of the eggs with regular sonograms which will let us know when to release the men in to the battle field. This attack plan has a 30% success rate on the first round. Please, oh PLEASE let me be one of the luck 30%!!

Yours Truly,
Sister K

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shark Week

It's baccckkk It's shark week and that means I have one less reason to blame my inhalation of chocolate on. That's right ladies! Aunt flow has made her presence known. Oh joy! NOT! You know it's shark week when your new reason for being fat is not because you faking everyone out pretending that you're prego but that you're bloated and your right ovary feels like it ate a jalapeño for breakfast and is planning on making it to a taco truck for lunch. Good bye self denial...hello self pity! This is the time that your doctor dreads because he knows your coming in looking like you ran there through flood and storm blaming every last piece of chocolate you ate on why that cyst has grown and that's why your experiencing shark week once again. Not only is it the chocolates fault for why you can't ovulate but you've started looking into surgery just to get those suckers off YOUR ovary so you could have at least a morsel of hope. But if you could you would definitely  just go in yourself and pop those suckers with a safety pin so you don't have to pay your soul to a doctor who has nine kids of his own. Oh the joys of shark week. This is the week of the month where your husband wonders what happen to his sane wife and starts looking into those institutions he likes to mention around this time of the month to try and scare you back into reality. But who can blame us, we're working with highly disfuntional uteruses!  And lastly the wort part of shark week is actually the day BEFORE aunt flows visit and you're feeling the beginnings of your uterus turning against itself, and most importantly YOU, and starts to cramp. But then you hope that maybe its implantation pain?! NOPE come the next morning shark week officially begins and everyone best stay outcha you're way or else! Welcome to shark week ladies and always remember you're not the only one who cries until shes laughs about her highly dysfunctional uterus =] 


 Sister H