‘Twas the Perfect Christmas Gift…

When there was no conception in Cycle #7, I started suspecting that for me also, the progesterone supplements postpone menstruation for a couple of days on the cycles where we do not conceive. I tested up until 14dpo and had stark white HPTs, so I decided to stop taking the progesterone as to not postpone menstruation any further. The bleeding started at 16dpo. I had gotten the results back from my blood work and everything was normal, although there still is no result for the lupus coagulans test.

The Wellman Conception tablets I ordered online for my husband came in and I went to a local pharmacy to get myself Omnibiontal Pronatal. I also got evening primrose oil (EPO) in capsules that I wanted to take in my next follicular phase. I read that they can help sort out your cycle and just thought I would give it a go with a small dose. And I ordered Pre-Seed as well. All set for Cycle #8 which started on December 1. With any luck, this should be the best Christmas present ever!

And so it was. I took my prenatals and added 500mg of EPO daily until a positive OPK showed up at cd9. My nipples were getting really sore throughout that day as well, so I knew we had to take action. We used Pre-Seed for three consecutive days. Just like last cycle I ovulated early, on cd11, and I wonder if this is because of postponed menstruation where the main follicle would already start maturing a few days before the bleeding starts since there was no conception anyway, but I cannot find any information about this. I did not want to focus too much on symptoms because now I know how tricky and misleading they can be, but 1dpo was marked by having really sore breasts. Once again, I was convinced I was pregnant and started testing at 7dpo. Utter madness, yes. I know what you are thinking.

I swear I saw something, but it was too dodgy. I blamed my stupid internet cheapies for giving me bad evaporation lines and got quite upset with this cycle. My breasts were getting sore again after subsiding for a few days and then on 11dpo I had a really big crying spell in the evening. It only got worse, so we left the youth band concert we were attending immediately after it finished instead of catching up with friends. I could not for the life of me explain why I could not stop crying that evening and I knew that my husband was worried this journey had taken its final toll on me and that I had completely lost it. He took the emotional mess I was to bed and went to the bathroom to get ready to sleep himself, when suddenly I heard him say: ‘There’s a line on this test!’

I went to check the test I accidentally had left out that morning and there was a clearly visible pink line. Of course that test was dried, so I knew it was more than likely a false positive, but it made me take another one that evening. And there it was, a first BFP on 11dpo. They steadily got darker for days. We were over the moon. On Christmas Eve, 13dpo, we used a Clearblue Digital with conception indicator and it came up with 1-2 weeks pregnant (3-4 weeks from LMP). This Christmas was the best and we felt very good about this pregnancy! On 16dpo I had my first mild, dull cramps. I knew this was different from my other early losses. By this time I had already started spotting with them and I never had the cramps at this stage either.

I decided to take another digital test on 19dpo. It still said 1-2. My IC looked fainter. Panic struck! I cried my eyes out all morning. It did not look good. A second morning urine test revealed a line just a fraction darker then the 18dpo test and some lovely ladies from the twoweekwait.com forum were able to talk some sense into me. It was not over, maybe my first morning urine was very diluted. I was going to wait the next few days out and see if I started spotting, because that has always been the symptom that meant the end of a pregnancy for me. But there was no spotting, no bleeding. There were even more painful breasts, I was still cramping mildly and being very tired. Perfect early pregnancy symptoms. My trips to the loo were horrifying each time and I sighed with relief when I did not see anything on my panty liner. New Year’s Eve was perfect. I felt pregnant, I felt really strong about it and took comfort in a new year, a new fresh start, a new beginning where things would go our way.

I decided to test again on 22dpo. That was yesterday. I had a feeling it was going to be great! I just wanted to see that digital go up to 2-3. But it failed to do so. 1-2 and a much fainter IC. I could not take it anymore and my husband took me to the ER. I was scared of an ectopic. We spent hours waiting and then I had a young doctor give me a vaginal ultrasound which lasted really long and it was rather uncomfortable. She moved the stick around everywhere, even went for an abdominal one and then finally said she could not get a good look at my uterus. She asked if my doctors ever told me I had a tilted uterus. I was dumbfounded! As far as I know, nothing is wrong with the position of my uterus. It has never been mentioned and I have had about six ultrasounds since first trying to conceive. There has always been a clear look and things were very visible. The fact that she could not see anything made me worry even more. I asked about my ovaries and she said things there all looked normal. She added that the ultrasound machine was a small one, so maybe that was the problem?

They took blood for a beta and to check my progesterone levels. I have to go back tomorrow for a second one. They kept my original appointment on January 14 with a gynaecologist that specialises in RPL for what is supposed to be my intake for pregnancy, but I think I will have to call them to change the reason for the appointment. Yesterday shortly after the ER visit, I was still hopeful, but this morning I do not feel good about my betas anymore, even though we do not know the results yet. I think I know where this is headed and I just hope that if things turn out for the worst, I do not have to deal with an ectopic pregnancy.

Mind-tricks by the Body?

Cycle #6 turned out to be a normal ovulatory cycle. It already started quite differently from other cycles in that my flow was full and the brightest red of red. And I had actual menstruation cramps. No dodgy half cramps, almost too dull to be noticed, but painful ones. I felt relieved. It felt normal. Then on CD4 I found a huge clot on the toilet paper. It was over half a golf ball size. I could not believe my eyes. Apart from passing the sac, placenta and tissue during my first miscarriage, I never had experienced anything like this before. I panicked at first, but in hindsight, maybe it was a good thing. Maybe it was the final clearing of my uterus. Autumn cleaning? Or wishful thinking?

For the very first time since my first miscarriage, while testing for ovulation, I had a blazing positive on CD13. Two days in a row. I was so happy I started shimmying in front of the bathroom mirror and yelling out to have a party. I had never had positive ovulation tests with my early losses, I figured my surge was too short and I missed it, even when I was testing two times a day. So evidently, we were very busy the next few days. For a whole while I thought I had ovulated on CD15, but Fertility Friend would not put a crosshair on my chart until CD20, where it marked CD17 as the day of my ovulation. Looking back at it, I still think I ovulated on CD15 rather than CD17. But in the end, it did not really matter, because I had negative HPTs the whole Two Week Wait. The odd thing though is that I was so convinced that I was pregnant. I even had the same pains I remember from my first pregnancy on Fertility Friend’s 11DPO. I was convinced it was implantation pain. Especially because a few hours after, I was spotting brown. Only a few drops. And same thing 12DPO. I felt good about it, but still no positive test. But I was still convinced, and I was calm and relaxed, because I knew it was going to pop up soon enough. But instead, Aunt Flow showed her ugly face. Enter Cycle #7.

I had been tricked. I wonder if I just made up all those symptoms now. If anything that cycle, I was very much disappointed in myself. Or was it just the progesterone supplements finally showing me what they can do to your cycle if you have not conceived. On 14DPO I started spotting again, heavier this time. The day after I had a very light flow, so light I was debating whether to classify it as spotting or menses. But this time around, Cycle #7, I was going to take action. I showed up at my gynaecologist’s private practice on CD2 and he wanted to have a look with an ultrasound. I was still not sure if I was menstruating when we were talking, so when I got ready for the ultrasound and noticed full flow on my pad, I felt really embarrassed. He still wanted to go ahead to make sure nothing was wrong, because after the pain on 11DPO, I started worrying it might have been a cyst. Everything looked perfect, he said. No cysts, no abnormalities. He even showed me two big follicles in my left ovary that were likely to be released soon. I remember I thought they looked really big and ready to burst. (Which is absurd because I have no clue how big mature follicles look like on an ultrasound, of course.) He gave me paperwork for a semen analysis for my husband and blood work for me around 10DPO.

I was taking by surprise with this cycle’s early ovulation though. I had one positive ovulation test on CD10 and probably ovulated on CD11. Maybe the follicles really were big because ovulation would be there soon. Two days ago, my husband’s SA results came back. The count was good, but the motility and morphology were below average. My gynaecologist told me not to worry and said things are doable. I got upset with that term, what does that even mean? My husband took it really bad, he was greatly disappointed with himself and felt very guilty towards me. And so I in turn felt guilty for him feeling bad. We had never thought something might be off on his side. But does it really matter when we were able to conceive so many times and so easily? I have a feeling this one time SA does not really reflect the long-term quality. No one conceives with any of the low motility and abnormal morphology semen anyway. It is still a survival of the fittest in the race to the egg. And I am hoping we caught it this time. And that we caught it good. And that in about 38 weeks, we will be holding our strong and healthy baby.