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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black Ice

Going to the doctor's tomorrow. I assume they'll do a blood test to see if I'm pregnant or not. I have no idea. I think I'm not because I've had to deal with a lot of cramping over the past few days. Hoping against hope for good news though. I read that cramping can be an early sign of pregnancy. I have been too scared to take a home pregnancy test. Before I have been eager to use them, but nothing is more disappointing then reading that "Not Pregnant" in the display window. I may use one tomorrow before I go to the doctor. Not sure yet.

It has been a winter wonderland in Sevier County over the past few days. I was annoyed on Sunday when I saw the rain, but by midday it had turned into snow and I was ecstatic. It piled up quick. Neither Alex nor I went to work on Monday. We decided to go today, but to leave a bit later than usual. I wish I had not left the house. It was hell getting down our road. I know most of the main roads are fairly clear, but our road was still well iced over. I started sliding as I went down one of the small inclines. My car is NOT made winter weather and I certainly do not have the nerves for it.

Up until a few years ago, I had never driven in bad winter weather at all. Then one day, out of nowhere, we had that day of black ice. I lived in Maryville in the country and was heading to Pigeon Forge early in the morning for a work thing. I went down my country back roads to the main highway before I even heard them start talking on the radio about the ice. I remember thinking, "That's weird. My drive has been fine. Oh, well. Must be elsewhere." I made it all the way down that highway and turned onto Lamar Alexander Parkway, again with no troubles. However, as I went to stop behind the line of cars at the next light...I didn't stop. I just started sliding. Terror went through me. As my car finally came to a stop, short of hitting the car in front of me, I looked to my left in time to see a truck in the next lane slide up onto the sidewalk to keep from hitting the car in front of them because they couldn't stop either. That's when I realized from my home to Lamar Alexander I had just been lucky. I attempted to go on. Cars were creeping alone, but still sliding, including my own. As I turned onto 321 and passed the hospital, I saw a car sticking up, practically vertical from going over an embankment. At that point, I wanted off the road. There was a huge empty parking lot ahead on the right. I wanted to get over, but I was behind a huge dump truck that was starting to slide right. Then I started sliding right, as well. He corrected himself (somehow) and I used my right momentum to get over to turn lane. I pulled into the parking lot of a funeral home. Once I got my car parked, I just burst into tears and started shaking uncontrollably. I was literally just bawling. I could barely breathe. I had been so scared, but you don't have time or the ability to express the fear when your and other peoples' lives are at stake, ya know? So once I was safe, I just melted into all that fear that I had been feeling. Even now, as I write this, I am shaking. It was extremely traumatic to me.

So that has caused me to have issues during winter weather driving, especially with our road always being covered in ice. I generally start hyperventilating and shaking. Getting to work today was no different. Half way there, I was in tears on the Spur because there were still some icy patches here and there. I even parked in a different place than usual, a lot where I would have to walk a ways to work, because I was scared the parking garage ramp would be icy and I wouldn't be able to get up it. Like I said, my car is not made for winter weather. It's super light and it doesn't take much to slide around.

I am too scared to go back down the road to my house. Plus, I have that doctor's appointment in the morning. I don't want to have to go on the road in the early morning hours when the ice will be worse than usual. So I'm going to meet Alex somewhere and ride home with him. Then I can leave with him in the morning and we'll go back for my car. I won't have to drive on any of the bad roads, at least until I come home. Maybe I can kill enough time in Knoxville that it will be melted by the time I go home. I can hope.

IUI Complete

It has been a very long while since I have written and I apologize...I'm not sure to whom I'm apologizing since as far as I can tell no one actually reads this, but it makes me feel better to pretend that someone might care. Maybe my blog is like a soap opera and some poor soul has been desperately wondering what shenanigans have been going on in Sevier Life lately.

Naturally, this blog has turned into more of the story of my journey through the world of infertility than anything else. So I will start there.

I got a positive on my ovulation predictor on November 29th. Alex called the doctor's office to schedule our appointment for IUI (intrauterine insemination). He kept getting put through to voice mail and I was flipping out as it was getting close to their closing time. I was scared we wouldn't get the appointment and I would be SOL this time around. Finally, Mary, the head nurse, called us back and set up the appointment for 8:00am.

When we arrived the next day, we noticed a sign that said (paraphrasing here), "Payment expected before service." I'm not even sure how that works, but we also found out from the receptionist that they were only accepting cash or checks, no cards. Neither of us carries cash or checks. Insert part two of me flipping out. They don't tell us this ahead of time and they've always taken cards before, but this time when I'm there for such an important procedure, I have to pay for said procedure before they do it and with currency I don't have. I was livid. Luckily, they took Alex's credit card info and agreed to charge it the next day. Apparently, not taking cards was not a new rule, just an inconvenience caused by the storm outside.

When we were called back, Mary ushered us to one of the exam rooms and I was given my usual instructions: strip from the waist down. So I did as I was told, clambered up onto the too-tall table, covered myself with the paper blanket, and waited. I had done some reading before I came in. I checked out what a good sperm count for an IUI would be. I read that a count of 1 million was necessary to preform the procedure, but that 20 million was average. Anything over 50 million did not seem to increase the odds of conceiving any. Mary came back in holing a vial of Alex's little guys all washed and chilling in pink liquid (which I'm hoping will increase the odds of a girl, or at least a flamboyant little boy). I asked what kind of count we had to work with and was delightfully surprised to hear we had 41 million. Excellent! Just a few million shy of overdoing. 
Now, I also read that procedure would be quick and painless...unless the person performing it was having trouble getting into your cervix. Heaven forbid I do anything the easy way. I lay there not feeling well and willing my cervix to open. Finally, success! Pain was minimal at least. They told me to stay on the table for 10 minutes. So I chilled there discussing the chances with Alex. Afterward I was told to come back in a week for some blood work to check my progesterone level.

A week later, I returned and the really nice hematologist chick took a vial of my blood and told me the results would be ready the next morning. When I called, I was given good news. They want to see a progesterone level of 15 or higher. Mine was 23.6. Yay! From what I read online, that is a pretty great number. It doesn't mean I'm pregnant, but it means that if fertilization took place, the embryo will have a wonderfully cushy place to implant in.

So now, I am in the waiting game again. If my cycle stays the same as it has been the past few, right at 35 days, I have seven days until I will even have a chance of knowing if I'm pregnant or not. I hate the waiting and not knowing. It is the worst. I so want to be able to celebrate a Christmas miracle, but I'm scared of getting my hopes up, too. Some women go through IUI 3 or 4 times and never get pregnant. Some have to move on IVF. We will never be able to afford that. This has to work we're just SOL. I am trying to stay cautiously optimistic though. Guess we'll see.