Figuring out what tests are needed when trying to conceive- Fertility Friday

Fertility Friday: Realizing I may need to call in the Big Guns after all

Today marks the end of TTC Cycle #7 and the beginning of TTC Cycle #8. Woof, I don’t like the sound of that at all 🙁

Again, I’m not surprised but still feel a bit disappointed. This month we gave our usual Baby Dance scheduling a bit of a breather so that we I could just relax through the month and not focus on timing so much; especially after last month’s disappointment left me feeling down, confused, and really just sad. I said I need an on-demand-sex detox ha 😀 and I honestly am glad we did! I still took all my supplements, temped/charted, and used OPKs but more or less kept that up just for the data of it, not so much for the timing aspect. {And because I thought maybe I could be one of those magical stories you hear about when the woman stops concentrating and actively trying then it happens that cycle! Ha, yea right!}

So today I have been trying to turn any discouragement I’m feeling about another month going by not pregnant into motivation for researching what to do for next cycle, Cycle #8!

My ob/gyn ended up giving me a prescription for Clomid to use if I decided I wanted to go that route, she left the ball in my court, so I asked some ‘infertility experts’ that I am friends with online for their input. Is Clomid something they would recommend me trying out at this stage? I am so grateful for their responses and information! The answer was a resounding N O ! Specifically, not to do Clomid until I have explored more testing for me and for my husband.

When I went to the doctor I really wasn’t sure what tests specifically to ask for, because I thought maybe they would vary based on what issue the couple is having in trying to conceive. So far the only test that I have had done was a blood draw on CD 21- ovulation was on CD 15 that cycle- to confirm that ovulation was actually happening by testing my progesterone level. I was told that my level was within a normal range but I didn’t have a clue what that meant or what to do with that information.

So spurred on by the information I was asked about as well as given by my online fertility community, I dove in to find my actual blood work results and to start a spread sheet of what other tests I need to have done!

I also found a handy cheat-sheet spreadsheet all about fertility related tests to reference in the process!

My Progesterone level on CD 21 was 13.9 ng/mL. Normal is typically >10 on a natural cycle, or >15 if on a medicated cycle {like on Clomid} but obviously your physician may look for a different amount for you depending on what you’re doing and what issue you’re dealing with. One past Clomid user said her doctor looked for a 20-25 ng/mL when she was taking it so obviously it is different for each clinic and patient. My ob/gyn was mainly just looking to check if I was in fact ovulating, which my BBT chart and progesterone level tell us that I am.

The consensus among my more experienced friends is that I need two more tests done myself: One is more blood work and the other is called a HSG. The blood work should check if there are any hormonal issues involved and offer information on my egg reserve/supply. That would test my thyroid/TSH, FSH, and AMH. 

From what I understand the HSG, or hysterosalpingogram {there may be an extra letter or two in there ha, I apologize in advance if it’s misspelled!}, checks if my Fallopian tubes are clear. All the drugs in the world won’t help if the egg can’t get from my ovaries into the uterus to implant! 

Also, just as important, is for my husband to have a semen analysis done as well. My husband had mentioned that in the past but because my cycles were so inconsistent at the time, I knew I needed to concentrate on figuring my cycles out before worrying about testing him at all cause it would really be a moot point.

I was also told by multiple friends that I may find that going to a fertility specialist is the best route to get the most guidance and support along the way; even though I don’t have a real reason why I would need to at this point, I should plan ahead because that is probably the route I’m going to need to go.

I have called fertility clinics and doctors the ‘Big Guns’ throughout this process, and I really just didn’t even think we would need to get to that point! {Though I didn’t think I would be hitting 8 months actively charting and TTC without being pregnant so obviously I need to work on not assuming anything anymore!} The supplements and vitamins I started on a few months ago have taken my cycle from all over the place to semi-stable with a 12/13 day luteal phase {instead of 8/9!!}, along with helping me drastically reduce the amount of miserable PMS symptoms I experience each month. I feel like it has done a really GREAT job and I will stay on this regimen as needed.

However, I think there may be a limit to how much I can do with just vitamins and supplements alone- at least without guidance about which ones to add on/take out, and what other natural options like acupuncture to incorporate in my routine. Since most fertility clinics want you to have gone a full year of TTC at my age, I am stuck in a bit of a rock and a hard place. Between all-natural but no guidance and waiting to move on to The Big Guns for help.

So I have decided to put the Clomid on an indefinite hold until I get answers to the tests I mentioned- which may or may not be able to be done with my ob/gyn.

{The issue with Clomid especially is that there is a set limit to how many months you can take it, so it would be irresponsible of me to waste one or two of those six cycles when we really aren’t sure what the issue is specifically. Maybe there is a male factor at play or maybe there is a blockage and both of those would not be helped by me taking Clomid alone!}

In the meantime I hope to get some more answers and try to be patient with myself and the process. Maybe I just need more time on my supplement regimen…

Unless someone has a crystal ball they want to let me borrow to tell me I’m on the right page!??

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love and light always 🙂

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Figuring out what tests are needed when trying to conceive- Fertility Friday

Wedding Wednesday: All about our lakeside brunch wedding with Bloody Mary & Mimosa bar, flaming donuts, navy & white tent, and boat getaway!

Coming Up Next- New Weekly Series, Wedding Wednesday About Our Lakeside Brunch Celebration!

I can’t believe our one year wedding anniversary is almost here! It feels like we were Just Married yesterday!

'Just Married' flag boat getaway!

In order to celebrate properly, I am going to start a new weekly series called Wedding Wednesday on the wedding- and all the events leading up to it!

Wedding Wednesday! All about our lakeside brunch wedding with Bloody Mary & Mimosa bar, flaming donuts, navy & white tent, and boat getaway!

I’ll explore the wedding details in depth with our favorite parts,

Bloody Mary bar before brunch time wedding ceremony!
Make-your-own Bloody Mary bar before the wedding ceremony began
Newspaper wedding program at brunch wedding with flaming donuts dessert!
Newspaper wedding program and flaming donuts for dessert
Coaster for navy and white lakeside brunch wedding! "Don't take my drink, I'm dancing!"
‘Don’t take my drink, I’m dancing!’ coaster to save your cocktail while you’re on the dance floor!

Talk all about the proposal on the water where my parents were married 37 years before- and then the second surprise proposal that I never saw coming!

Proposal where my parents were married 37 years before!

Our lakeside rehearsal dinner shrimp boil complete with bistro lights, oyster bar, and boat tour through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes,

Lakeside shrimp boil rehearsal dinner with oyster bar, bistro lights, and pies for dessert!

Lakeside shrimp boil rehearsal dinner with oyster bar, bistro lights, and pies for dessert!

My 1950’s housewife bridal shower,

1950's Housewife Bridal Shower!

1950's Housewife Bridal Shower!

And why a brunch wedding needs to become the cool new thing.

A navy & white Southern brunch lakeside wedding under a Sperry Tent!

I am so excited to share these special events with you!!

So stay tuned to next week’s first Wedding Wednesday where we begin with the proposal!

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Wedding Wednesday: All about our lakeside brunch wedding with Bloody Mary & Mimosa bar, flaming donuts, navy & white tent, and boat getaway!

A Recap of Summer 2016

Fall is Here! A Recap of Summer 2016

I can’t believe it but fall is finally upon us! Yesterday was the first day of Autumn. Most people think of fall as the time for boots & sweaters, pumpkin-spice everything, falling leaves, and chilly weather. But in Florida it’s not always the case ha. Fall really is more of just a slightly cooler summer, slowly fading into Halloween, then Thanksgiving and around that time we may get lucky with some boots or sweater weather 🙂 The chilly weather for us is still a ways away but we don’t complain- beach/pool/lake days in fall are some of the prettiest!

As Summer comes to an official close, let’s look back at some of the highlights!

Our summer began with my family’s annual family reunion in Anna Maria Island where the water is teal and the sunsets are breathtaking!

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Tootling around the island in our golf cart!

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Sunbathing beauties

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Beach naps are the best!
Beach naps are the best!
Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Dinner in St Armand’s Circle

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida
Cousin love <3

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
The whole crew!

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Our fam

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Brother in laws
Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall
Prom pose!

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Annual Family Reunion in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

Anna Maria Island- A look back at Summer 2016 on the First Day of Fall

It was a week of family, friends, and way-too-much-fun!

The weekend after we returned from the beach, John and I jetted off to Vancouver for a family trip and cruise through Alaska!

Our family-friendly summer cruise to Alaska beginning in Vancouver, Canada!

From exploring Vancouver,

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To cruising through Alaska and whale-watching,

Our East & West CRUISE THROUGH ALASKA Part 4, Vancouver & boarding the ship! oureastandwest.com

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To hiking glaciers,

Our family-friendly summer cruise to Alaska! Port 3, Skagway: a scenic helicopter ride to a glacier hike, a haunted walking tour of brothels, and more gorgeous views of Alaska's wonder!

And amazing views,

Alaska Cruise- Glacier Bay

Alaska Cruise- Whittier/Anchorage

You can view the entire weekly Wanderlust Wednesday series here! Alaska is just magnificent.

July Fourth was spent visiting friends in Tampa for a weekend of acting like college students again… though being over 30 means recovery is a 5 day hangover 🙁 Oh, I miss the days of our youth!

We organized our garage… again. I’m not quite sure why we seem to have to do every 6 months and I am NOT happy about it ha!

Sorting through the garage- A Recap of Summer 2016

August brought a trip to Kansas City for a Girl’s Weekend with my best friends!

We shopped in West Bottoms,

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Threw a floral baby shower brunch,

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Grilled homemade pizzas,

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Kansas City Girl's Trip
Watermelon & Feta Salad

and spent the day at a spa!

Kansas City Girl's Trip

Kansas City Girl's Trip

It was the perfect girl’s getaway in Kansas City!

After some stressful office moves/big work decisions/long hours, it was time for some R&R at the beach for a weekend in Longboat Key with my parents!

Longboat Key; First Day of Fall/Look back at Summer 2016
Paradise

Longboat Key; First Day of Fall/Look back at Summer 2016

September came and Labor Day Weekend was spent at the Florida State/Ole Miss game right here in Orlando! We had a full house of friends staying with us, with a golf tournament for the guys while the girls brunched and went on the boat tour in Winter Park on Sunday, followed by a full day of tailgating all together before the game Monday night.

Winter Park Boat Tour; First Day of Fall/Look back at Summer 2016
Winter Park Boat Tour
FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
We had too much fun! #betterthanahotpocket
FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
We found a bar right before the rain started!

 

FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
A new Christmas themed bar just opened up in Orlando we had to check out!
FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
SANTAAA, I know him!

We had too much fun at Frosty’s!

FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
J bringing the tunes to the tailgate

FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend

Garnet & Gold Men!

FSU-Ole Miss Game Weekend
Go Noles!!

Summer, you were b u s y – full of LOTS of travel, excitement, and time with friends!

This fall has a lot to live up to but it will certainly bring us a lot to celebrate:

  • My birthday is right around the corner- 32 in just 2 weeks, oh my! :0
  • Our twin nieces birthday is right after mine and they are getting into tween territory {AHHH!}
  • We see Garth Brooks in concert, which I am still in shock that he is actually on tour again!
  • My cousin Natalie and her family come to visit from Colorado and we get to celebrate the little boy in her baby bump joining the fam in January!
  • John and I will celebrate our first wedding anniversary!!!

And that’s just what we know about so far!

So bring it on fall, we are ready for you! 😀

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A Recap of Summer 2016