What Do Your Tears Look Like?

This artist looked at 100 samples of tears- of joy, of grief, of change….

Under a microscope. Who knows if the patterns are consistent for emotions of different people, but I thought that I would share because they are beautiful either way.


Best Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

One of my favourite gluten-containing desserts is the cinnamon roll. For years, I would secretly cry inside, every time we walked past Cinnabon or a bakery with oooey gooey cinnamony goodness displayed. That is, until I found this recipe:


Which I can honestly say, changed my life for better (I mean yummy awesomeness!), but also for worse (hello fat pants!).

Give them a try. They are amazing.

(A lucky sticky dust shout out to my friend Friederike. Hope these buns bring you luck!)

Reason Número Dos- Prolactin?

Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary in pregnant women. My levels were six times the normal levels for women in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle.

The endocrinologist, whom I will refer to as Dr. Glasses from now on, asked me if I was epileptic or had a family history of it. (No.) She then asked if I was sure I hadn’t been pregnant in the spring. She asked me this on three separate occasions during our visit, the last time, shaking her head in frustration. She asked how I was sure, and if I had a pregnancy test done. I didn’t really think much of it until I got in the car, when I had my “Aha!” moment.

Many moons ago, I had mentioned to DW how that first insem we did at home felt so different, and that I wonder if we might have had implantation but my uterine lining shed too early (I have a luteal phase defect- super short- like normally 8-10 days). The reason I suspected this is because every BFN TWW, I have felt the same, except for that first insemination at home. That time, I had horribly sensitive breasts (I never get this at all- even during the days before my period, and not during any other TWW).

When I took these two pieces of info and cross referenced with my bloodwork history, I see that during our first IUI (at home), I didn’t get AF until 19 days post IUI (19DPIUI). Even on progesterone suppositories, I only made it to 12DPIUI before breakthrough bleeding occurred. I think because it was our first time, I didn’t think it was weird for it to be so long.

Either way, I was very sad to think that perhaps we might have had a chemical pregnancy.

My prolactin had only been elevated the month after that, and has been somewhat within the normal range since then.

Reason Numero Uno- Cortisol?

This post is being published so much later than I had intended for it to. I apologize for that. I needed some time to process the outcome of my visit this week with the endo, as well as fulfill the other responsibilities in my life.

One of the biggest mysteries is my cortisol level. Tested twice, it was the reason that the RE clinic “dumped me” like a deadbeat boyfriend. My first level was in the high 500’s, which is just past the range of normal, but my second level, was well into the 1000’s. The endo finds it very curious, and had no real suspicions that she would share with me. So instead, we are doing two tests: 24 urine cortisol test and the dexamethasone suppression test.

The first test requires me to pee exclusively into this:


for 24 hours. I brought one into work the next day, and even had it labeled, just in case my colleagues would mistaken it for a gas can. Actually, the nice lady at the bloodwork lab stuck a pretty white Avery label onto it for me and said, “Don’t forget to autograph it dear”. Just in case 2L of my urine becomes worth something some day, I plan on checking Ebay regularly.

Despite bringing it into work, I got too shy to use it there. Instead, I waited until the weekend, where I could act all prison-like, peeing into my “Orange is the New Black” pee jug in the comfort of my own home. Good thing I did, because I insisted on peeing directly into the opening of the jug, and I have terrible aim.

Spillage incurred. My Darling Wife, who knows me so well (my nickname around here is “Spilly-pants”), started lining the bathroom floor with large bath towels.

That my friends, is true love.

That my friends, is also only test number one.

The second test occurs over the course of tonight and tomorrow morning. The dexamethasone is a steroid that I have to take that is supposed to tell my cortisol-producing centers to “fall asleep”. Actually, it’s more like sedating them like Dexter, and seeing which one of the fuckers doesn’t respond to tranquilizers. The next morning, which, for me will unfortunately be a work day, I have to go into the blood lab, drop off my autographed pee jug, and insist that I have blood drawn ASAP to test my body’s response to the steroid. DW was hinting earlier that the steroids have some “beneficial side effects”. [Research it on your own. Careful where you are when you google it.]

So for tonight, I have to set my alarm to wake me a bit earlier, and I will sleep peacefully knowing my wife is okay with the 2L jug of my pee beside the raw chicken breasts in our fridge, and will still love me even if I end up with an enlarged clitoris.




Why I Am Not Pregnant By Now

So today was the long-awaited endocrinologist appointment. I walked into a deserted office, where a simple engraved stainless steel sign sat on the reception desk, clearly and simply stating that “Dr. [So and So] is in the office. Please have a seat and she will be with you”. So I had a seat.

I was a bit early for my appointment, and being in Canada, where you become accustomed to waiting over an hour for doctors who are “running behind”, I started unpacking my laptop, lesson plans for tomorrow, a highlighter…. I was getting set up to be productive while I waited.

Soon however, right at noon and not a minute later, my doctor popped her head into the waiting room, introduced herself, and welcomed me in. I scrambled to stuff all of my stuff back into the already-too-small-for-what-I-was-packing MEC laptop bag, and embarrassingly apologized for making her office my office.

The next 45 mins were awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t having fun talking about reasons why I wasn’t pregnant or why I have such weird hormone levels, but she took the time to go through each abnormal result and we talked it through like colleagues. She also demonstrated compassion when she mentioned time being of the essence and took into account our unique circumstances (my buns, DW’s oven). I also learned a lot that I didn’t already know (which is rare because DW and I are both kind of smarty pants that found each other.

This leads me to three posts that I will name “Reason Número Uno, Reason Número Dos, and Reason Número Tres” in a series that I have decided to name “Why I am Not Pregnant By Now”.

Each will explain the investigative work we are doing to uncover the source of the abnormal results. All will be short and hopefully include pictures.