Serious Issues

So that F-it dance I wrote about last week didn’t last long.

My thermometer might have broken, but I have other ways  stashed up my TTC sleeve with which to detect the Big O. With not one, but TWO, hoards of Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK) hidden in BOTH bathrooms, I started testing shortly after my F-it post. Insert maniacal laugh that devolves into to pathetic sob here.

Enter serious issue #1 

Cycle Day 12 – OPK Negative

Cycle Day 13 – OPK Positive

Cycle Day 14 – OPK Positive

Cycle Day 15 – OPK Positive

Cycle Day 16 – OPK Positive

Cycle Day 17 – OPK Positive

5 days of positives! WHY!?

Until last month, I had NEVER gotten a positive OPK for more than two days. Not in the almost two years that I’ve been testing, at least. But last month I stopped testing after the third positive because conventional wisdom, which I’ve now learned isn’t wisdom at all, says that getting one positive is all you need and that you should ovulate within 36-hours and I should stop being neurotic. Yet how are you to know if you’re struggling to ovulate if you don’t continue to test until you get a negative? The weirdest thing, is that this month when I’ve retested each afternoon I’ve gotten a negative. Has this happened to any of you?

A close friend who’s now pregnant via her second IUI was diagnosed with PCOS and said that she got these types of results regularly. Having had two strange months in a row, I’m beginning to think me and my previously active ovaries might have a problem. Great.

Doesn't this look like a positive?
Doesn’t this look like a positive?

Enter serious issue #2

On Saturday night, hubby and I spent time with a close friend who is still pregnant with a baby that is due the month my miscarried baby would have been due. As a result I feel particularly attached to this unborn child and have been praying for him, particularly because she is 41 and miraculously conceived after two doctors told her they would not even attempt IVF because of Diminished Ovarian Reserve. I was chatting away with her in the kitchen, last I’d heard everything was fine during their first few tests, when she confided in me that this is not the case. Out of respect for them as they’ve told few people, I won’t get into specifics. Let’s just say their baby will most likely have many social, emotional, and intellectual challenges. I learned that in similar cases 90% of mothers terminate. Yet they want this baby so badly, despite his flaws, that they opted out of an amnio (which would confirm the initial diagnosis) because of miscarriage risk. Throughout all this, weepy emotional me had tears streaming down my face. I cannot begin to understand the difficult decisions and obstacles that lay before her and her family. She is brave and strong and resilient. I’m not sure what I would do in a similar situation, but it certainly made me think. It also might have made me break into hives all over my entire body.

As of Saturday night I have been covered in hives on my wrists, entire inner thighs, and knees. I pet a cat at their house and I am severely allergic to them, so at first I thought that was it. But, my acupuncturist also changed my herbal formula last Thursday to one that would help me recover from my lady parts infection (it did) and help my body detox from the few nights of drinking. My mother and husband want to point fingers at the tea of course, but I’m not sure my body would wait to react to it until three days later. Nonetheless, I’ve been tea free from 48-hours.

Whether it was the cat or the tea or the news, I’ve been MISERABLE. At first it didn’t itch, but then for the last two days any time I walk it has felt like ants are literally in my pants. To make matters worse, I’ve avoided antihistamines as they can interfere with ovulation and implantation (clearly I’m the worst F-it dancer in history). Since ovulation seems to be a problem already and the cream my allergy doctor gave me is only half-way cutting it, I’ve (almost) thrown the prospect of getting pregnant out the window this month and am seconds away from sucking on some benadryl like it’s candy. If anything, I’ll be able to work out without dying of itchiness. And that’s something.

Please forgive my NASTY rash pictures, but I’m wondering if any of you have had something like this?

Leg rash
Leg rash
Wrist/arm rash
Wrist/arm rash
Hip rash
Hip rash

At this moment I feel like some anovulatory, skin inflamed freak. It’s lovely. I tried to say F-it, I really did, but people, I want a baby! And confession: I even called my RE about potentially scheduling my first IUI for next month (to add to the fun, I’m still waiting for a return call). If I’m not ovulating on my own, I’m convinced stims can help me do so. I’m typically one that likes to get to the bottom of problems before treating them, but when it comes to mysterious rashes and out of the blue ovulatory dysfunction finding answers may be like herding cats, aka almost impossible. I also feel bad that I’m close to giving up on Chinese Medicine’s miraculous powers, since it did help me get pregnant the last time, but right now I’m panicking. All I want is a life preserver, whether it be through Eastern OR Western medicine, to help me stay afloat in these tumultuous seas of trying to conceive.

Ever feel like  you’re totally out of control and close to drowning? I know I sound like a Class A Drama Queen, but this rash is driving me CRAZY.

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25 comments

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  1. gardengirl29

    I’ve had something similar on my wrist and forearm, but I never figured out what caused it, and the few times I’ve had it, it’s gone away within a week or so. And your rash doesn’t look nasty at all. (If it were oozing pus, that might be another story!) It just kind of covers a large area. How annoying that you can’t figure out what it is!

    Your friend is so amazing and strong. I admire her decision very much.

    I think it’s great that you’re trying IUI soon! I’m sending lots of love, good vibes, and prayers to the universe your way. You and your hubby deserve to have all your wishes come true. Love you!

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  2. gardengirl29

    And I’m sorry it’s so rough. This stupid journey really sucks- and that’s an understatement. You’ve been through so much and have been so strong. I hope you get your rainbow soon.

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  3. YeahScience!

    Just following your lovely comment back to your lovely blog! Sucks to hear you’re in kind of a funk right now — looking at those rashy pics instantly made me all itchy! — and I’m not sure what the best solution is. Another blogger, No Good Eggs, has also been dealing with hives and tested negative for every single allergy. So now her doctor is telling her it’s anxiety and she needs to be on Zoloft or whatever. I hate when doctors just say “it’s all in your head”, but I do vote for not obsessing over those OPKs and trying to relax. 🙂

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    • Steph Mignon

      I will check out No Good Eggs asap to commiserate! And I’ve been given the “all in your head” spiel before regarding my endo years ago. After my lap I felt like calling the doc and saying, “all in your head biatch!” Hahaha. Could the stress of ovulation really be giving me hives? OMG. Stranger things HAVE happened.

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  4. YeahScience!

    I know, my friend was told that her digestive issues were all in her head… turned out to be Crohn’s! Like, majorly serious. Sigh… anyway, I should clarify that I didn’t mean to tell you to “just relax” — as in, “just relax and everything will solve itself” (we all know how useless that approach is to fertility, at least). Mostly wanted to reassure you that hives and rashes almost always let up after a few days or a week at most, so the end is surely in sight!

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    • Steph Mignon

      I knew what you meant, but thanks for clarifying anyway! Isn’t it amazing that such a benign phrase has turned into the equivalent of saying “f-you” in the infertility community?

      Like

  5. cassiedash

    I’ve had the same issues with positive OPKs for days on end. I have PCOS, just like your friend, but the good news is that I did ovulate with those positives, and once I even conceived during one of those cycles. It’s hard to know exactly what day you ovulate if you get a positive every day for a week, but I’d say having some sexy time every other day or so should cover you. 🙂

    Hope the rash gets better soon! It sounds miserable. xo

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    • Steph Mignon

      The rash is finally going away after I sucked it up and took an antihistamine. THANK GOD.

      Very interesting to hear that you conceived during one of your extended LH surge. Of course that gives me far more hope than it actually should! Haha.

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  6. lamentingthelentil

    Steph! What a mess you are this week! 😉

    I can’t commiserate regarding the weird OPKs or the rash, but I can commiserate with breaking down and switching from eastern to western medicine. It’s a difficult decision, but I am so glad that I pulled out the “big guns” when I did. It has made me feel more relaxed and in control than I have during this whole process. And you might not end up feeling that way. But I just like when I’m making progress. And progress to me means that I have a plan. If one thing doesn’t work, I know exactly what I’m going to do next and exactly how likely it is that that particular thing is going to work for me. An added benefit is that you don’t have to mess with OPKs and temping anymore. Someone else is monitoring you, which means that you don’t have to monitor yourself. And that brought me, at least, more from minute to minute anxiety.

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    • Steph Mignon

      Lentil! Thank you for the very thoughtful comment. I would be happy to do away with charting and OPKs for awhile. And like you said, it might feel nice to know that we’re actually doing something that can yield very real results. I go in today to see what’s going on with my ovaries. Have they released an egg or haven’t they? We shall see, but at least the rash is almost gone!

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      • nickeecoco

        Not suddenly, but some people’s symptoms are more difficult to diagnose. Or if, say, you were on BCPs for a while they could have masked the symptoms completely. I had no idea I had it until after TTC for almost two years.

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      • Steph Mignon

        After a lap, several blood tests, ultrasounds, a history of regular cycles etc. I’ve never gotten a diagnosis of PCOS. BUT I read somewhere that some miscarriages can make your ovaries cystic slowing recovery. Which is just totally awesome. Or maybe I have had PCOS all along and only know it’s rearing its ugly head. After all, this is my 2nd month of several positives in a row. Sigh.

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      • nickeecoco

        Hang in there. It could be your hormones rebalancing after your m/c (about which I am so, so sorry. I suffered a loss around the same time as you.) This whole thing…it just really, really sucks.

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  7. Fertility Doll

    Take a deep breath. With the Chinese medicine, I’d follow your gut. I lapsed for a few weeks because I felt that I wasn’t feeling any of the benefits. Only now I’ve decided to take it back on.

    I’d go get your ovaries and hormones checked for peace of mind. It’s just a scan and a blood test or two. That way you’ll stop worrying and thinking the worst. Maybe it’s just one funky cycle.

    Ooh just read that you were going in to have your ovaries checked. How did that go? x

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Looks like I ovulated. They think, at least.

      Although I plan to stick with CM (I go every week and drink herbs daily) because it has so dramatically reduced my PMS and horrendous endo pain, I do plan to try a cycle of IUI next month.

      So far, other than surgery, I’ve relied solely on natural means in my TTC journey. I saw some progress (one bfp), but I’m getting impatient again. Maybe the combo of eastern/western will do the trick. Sigh.

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      • Fertility Doll

        Hurrah! That’s brilliant news.

        Use that BFP to build your faith, your body is doing it but maybe it just needs a little more time.

        For me a BFP would be a huge motivator to push on.

        And on the CM – I found it helped with EWCM and one type of pill called Unlocking Formula (by Health Concerns) helped with improving my flow. However my temps lowered even more and that worried me abit. Now I’m just using Fertile Garden by the same company.

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