Ugh, Another Thing to Worry About?

So my mother is flying in to visit and stay with us tomorrow morning for three weeks. The idea is that she’ll help me with preparing some frozen meals, Traditional Chinese Post-Partum nourishing soups, and maybe even be around for when Dumplin’s born. She leaves on his due date though, because she still works, and this is all the time she could take off.

I have a complex and challenging relationship with my mother, but we won’t get into that today.

Today, we’re gonna talk about something that has kept me up all night, stressed.

So my mother has family in Asia, and she likes to travel, so for the three weeks before coming to visit us, she’s been visiting family in Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Lovely tropical places right? Yeah, except that she got diarrhea in each country, one of which was of an amoebic variety, and now has an unidentified respiratory illness, that has her feeling like crap and coughing like crazy. She’s now been home in Vancouver since yesterday, but did I mention that she arrives here tomorrow morning? 

So this is what stresses me out:

unidentified, respiratory infection from ASIA

– transmission of this virus (most respiratory illnesses are viral) is likely airborne and through respiratory secretions (sneezing/running nose on hands)

– she just got this “cold” so she is not likely on the other side of it yet, so she’s still coming here very sick and likely contagious

DW is almost through her first trimester, and on immunosuppressants 

Dumplin’ could arrive any time and will be living in a house where she’s been coughing and touching things 

– Dumplin’s going to be a vulnerable newborn fresh out of the womb

– I can’t ask her not to come visit

Now, I do plan to breastfeed, so if I’m exposed to her cold before he arrives, hopefully I will develop some immunity to it that I can pass on to him. But being an Asian cold, it’s unlikely to be a strain that I’ve ever been exposed to, and who knows how my body will react to exposure to it.

Now my mom will be fine with washing her hands often and being careful to cover her mouth when she coughs, but I just feel really paranoid about her being sick and being in our house for three weeks when we have a baby on the way. 

Many new moms in my online due date clubs have sent out general “etiquette” to friends and family over who may and may not visit their newborns before their first shots, and people who are sick are definitely at the top of their “no visit” list. Like I said, I can’t turn my mother away, so really, what I need is some reassurance that everything will be okay, and maybe some positive stories about how the magical powers of breast milk will prevent Dumplin’ from getting sick.


Investigation into the Case of the Missing AF

Well folks, it has been quite the day!
DW and I both seem to have some kind of mild flu. I never get the flu. And this year, I actually got the flu shot!! Wtf? The last time I can remember having it was sometime in 2005, and it was complete with bedsheet-soaking fever and chills, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It lasted about 3 days, and cost me about 7lbs of my already emaciated frame. Luckily, I am no longer this skinny, and this round has not come close to being that bad. For me, it’s still a mild fever and chills, body aches, and my favourite: the runs. Seriously, I tore into a new package of toilet paper recently, and stocked the bathroom with two extra rolls. Just in case.

Now, feeling like shit would be a whole lot nicer if I knew where the fuck AF has been hiding out. Yes, it has come to this. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, or like your significant other nagging you about why it’s necessary to keep 13 bottles of supplements on the kitchen counter permanently, but I am seriously frustrated.

Let me put this into perspective for you.

This is what the Long Lupron Protocol for IVF is supposed to look like:
Day 21 Precycle: start Lupron and stay on it until near the end of IVF stims
Day 28 Precycle: get period –> this becomes Day 1 of Treatment Cycle
Day 3 Treatment Cycle: start stims (Gonal-F for me), lower Lupron dose
Day 13-15: HCG trigger
Day 15-17: egg retrieval

This is what it looks like so far for me:
Day 21 Precycle: start Lupron (and Provera because not yet ovulated)
Day 28: no period
Day 29: still no period
Day 30: still no period
Day 31: still no period
Day 32: still no period
Day 33: still no period
Day 34: still no period
Day 35: still no period
Day 36 (today): STILL NO PERIOD!!!

Notice how in an ideal cycle, you’re on the high dose Lupron for 7 days before your period, but I‘ve been on Lupron for over 15 days now. Lupron causes weight gain, headaches, and major irritability. So yeah. I’m kind of losing my mind.

Early this morning, I went to the fertility clinic for bloodwork, a full bladder pelvic ultrasound, and a transvaginal ultrasound to figure out what the hell is going on. This appointment went well.

The ultrasounds revealed that:
– my endometrial lining is 8.4mm thick
– I have no cysts (hallelujah! I was so worried about this)
– I have 14 antral follicles (6 on the R, 8 on the L) just chillin’, waiting to be stimmed

Last year, during our baseline for IVF#1, I had 16 antral follicles, so time does seem to be showing an influence here. I was reading a research paper on antral follicle numbers, and apparently they are grouped into three ranges: less than 3 (poor ovarian reserve) , less than 6 (average ovarian reserve), greater than 9 (high ovarian reserve). So with 14, I’m still looking really good.

I still had to wait for the bloodwork results, which would be available this afternoon.

By the early afternoon, I got a call from the head nurse.
Apparently, my blood results were in, and they were abnormal:
Estrogen 360 (way too high, should be less than 250)
Progesterone close to zero
She wanted me to keep on the 10 units of Lupron for another week, and then we would recheck my levels.

I thought this was really weird. It didn’t make sense because I was definitely feeling my classic progesterone signs- sore breasts, back ache, dairy cravings. So before she could hang up, I asked more questions, really nit-picking about the values, which required her to go back to her computer and consult my bloodwork results.

There was a pause. An extended silence.

And then she spoke.

She had planned my next steps based on the WRONG results!! Those results were from my pre-Lupron scan, not today!! My results from today had not yet be logged, so more waiting…

I took the dogs shopping, as Clementine needed a new winter coat. Then I took the dogs to the conservation lands for a hike. The paths were all iced over, and I was glad to have my grippy strap-ons (for my boots). When we got back to the car, I noticed that I had a voicemail from the fertility nurse (no missed call- she sent it straight to voicemail):

My levels for today were actually:
Estrogen 74 (nice and low- they want it to be less than 250 to be cleared to start)
Progesterone 1.71 (nice and low- period should be here soon)
My period looks to be due any day now, with my progesterone being so low, so they want me to just call when my period shows up, and then I guess I go in again for my baseline (I actually hope I don’t have to, since everything looks good today).

I found this online, and really liked how it presents estrogen and progesterone levels throughout a typical cycle:


Also, my BBT temp went down a bit today:


So all signs- blood, temperature, and ultrasound- point to AF coming soon. But I’m checking every chance I get, and soon can’t seem to come soon enough.