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Monday, 26 November 2012

Only the Best Parents?

Lately I've been seeing a lot of signs that say "Only the best parents are promoted to grandparents." This sign PISSES ME OFF! My parents are AMAZING parents. It isn't their fault at all that they can't be grandparents. I'm trying but it just isn't happening.

I know I shouldn't take it to heart but every time I read this sign it makes me want to burst into tears. My parents will be amazing grandparents. I pray the day I make them grandparents comes soon, but even when it does, I will NOT be buying that sign.

Okay, I'll step off my soap box now. Thanks for letting me vent.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

IUI & Adoption

Hello again. So I'm feeling a little down as I type this so please be understanding as you read it:

My parents flew in back in June. I LOVED having them here and I miss them so much. We weren't able to do a cycle of IUI before they flew in so we waited until they left.

Here are some pics from their visit:
 Beautiful Garmisch, Germany! We took a major European road trip with my parents. Left England and took the ferry over to France. Drove to Ramstein Air Base in Germany and stayed the night. Got up the next morning and drove to Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch. It was so beautiful and completely worth the drive.
 2 weeks later, my grandparents flew in and we did a UK road trip. First we drove up to Scotland and I took them to the castle that once belonged to our relatives, The Douglas Clan.
 After Scotland we went to Wales and did a beautiful train ride through Wales. My grandfather and dad are both big lovers of everything trains so they really enjoyed the trip.
 My grandfather was so excited it was difficult to get him to sit down. LOL!
 My grandmother, grandfather and dad in the taxi on the way to the airport to go to ROME baby!!!

 My mom LOVED the floppy hat she got in Rome.
 All of us, minus my dad who was taking the picture, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome.
 My hubby, mom and dad at the cafe inside the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, England.

After they left, IUI Round 1 went well. The daily injections weren't horrible. J helped give them to me at first which I was a little nervous about. I made sure I didn't piss him off any while we were doing them just to make sure he didn't give me any payback. LOL! Just kidding. He wouldn't really do that. I didn't have my usual doctor for this round of IUI. I wasn't at all happy about it either because this "new" doctor was the typical British doctor with absolutely no bedside manner. He was very stiff, not at all friendly and acted as if I was supposed to know what was happening at all times. Earth to Doctor Dick! This is my FIRST round of IUI EVER! I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing which is why I have you, the doctor, to tell me what I need to be doing. I hated going to all of my sonogram appointments just because this guy was a jerk. But aside from the rudeness of Doctor Dick, we had one large follicle develop. I started out on 50IU, nothing happened, it was increased to 75IU, nothing happened and then increased again to 100IU which is when this big, beautiful follicle popped up. As soon as it showed up, I was booked for the IUI procedure and told to take a different injection at midnight before the procedure. The day of the procedure was great. John got the day off of work, we went in at 8am for his part and then came back at 11:30am for the actual procedure. Doctor Dick actually wasn't a dick this time. It was great! The procedure itself was relatively painless.... A little awkward but still painless. After lying around for about 20 minutes after the procedure I was given the go ahead to get dressed and leave and told to take a pregnancy test 2 weeks later and report back.

As the 2 weeks crept by, I started feeling more and more pregnant. My boobs hurt like crazy. One night J accidentally bumped into one with his elbow and it made me start crying. I felt like I could smell everything and I even got a little nauseous in the mornings. Day 13 Post IUI arrived and John and I had a fabulous day at the movies just hanging out. Driving home, we were holding hands and talking about baby names and discussing having my mom fly over in the summer to help us get ready for the baby and I was so excited at the thought of having my mom here for the birth of her first grandchild. Once we got home, I needed to pee really bad so I ran upstairs, tinkled, wiped and broke down in tears. IUI Round 1 had failed. I cried for hours. The next day, I only got out of bed to use the restroom and to eat lunch. Around 4pm, J came upstairs and told me it was time to get up and shower. I didn't want to move. Even though I had never been pregnant, it still felt like I had been! I can only imagine that this must be how a woman feels after a miscarriage. I was mourning but in the end, life must go on so I pulled myself together, got out of bed and showered. I knew going in for the procedure that there was a slim chance of it working but the way my body was acting, it was screaming "pregnant!"

The next day I called my doctors office, told them I wanted to proceed with round 2. They booked my appointment for the following day and I went in. This time I had my real doctor. I was barely holding it together from thinking about how the last round had failed when she said something that cut into me like a dagger. "You still have follicles developing in your ovaries from the last cycle, so unfortunately, we have to abandon this cycle." And just like that IUI Round 2 was over before it even began. She told me to call when I got my next cycle and we could start again. I ran out of the clinic as fast as I could, praying no one would see the tears welling up in my eyes. Once I reached my car I lost it all over again.

Many things happened that month:
~We found out that a very dear friend of mine is expecting. My husband had found out before me but didn't say anything because he was afraid I would have a melt down. I was handling it well.... that is until he brought up our failed IUI. I really hate crying in front of him. :(
~I got in a fender-bender and got whiplash from it. This is the damage that was done to the car:

~We attended the Air Force Ball for the first time ever and unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it but that's a different story for another day. Here's a pic from the ball:

~Something else happened that month but I'm having a brain fart at the moment and can't remember.... I just know I'm forgetting something though.

Anywho, about 36 days later, my cycle finally came. We booked our appointment. This time I had a different doctor. A female. She was nice, young, and gave me the feeling she wasn't real sure she knew what she was doing but we went with it. I started my 100IU injections (I did them all myself this time) and then at the very next appointment there was a giant 22mm follicle. It was by far the largest one I have ever had. Problem is, it was only CD6 and the lining of my womb wasn't quite thick enough. So this time, instead of taking the injection at midnight like I did last time to induce ovulation, they wanted me to do ovulation tracking at home and wait for my body to ovulate naturally that way the lining had a little more time to thicken up. I was told I would more than likely ovulate within the next few days. Luckily, I still had some test sticks at home left over from our battle with Clomid. So, I began testing at night and in the morning as told. The first night, something went wrong with the test so I didn't have an answer but thought, whatever I'll just make sure the one in the morning works...

 CD8-PM.... Ummmm. That looks pretty darn close compared to how all of the others looked.
 But just to be sure, I tested again the next morning. The top one is from CD7-PM and the bottom is CD9-AM. Hmmmm.... Now I'm confused because it got lighter again.
But to be sure, I called my doctor, told her what was happening. They told me it was time and to come in the next day for the IUI procedure. I had a lot of emotions running through me and I just wasn't positive that those tests were positive. So I called them back again. Felt guilty for it but by golly I'm not spending over $3000 to go in for a procedure and not be positive that I'm about to ovulate. So when I called again, the nurse got snooty with me and said "Well do you just want to abandon the cycle then?" WTF?!?!?! I've already PAID for the cycle. Hell no I'm not going to abandon it and lose $3000. Are you freaking kidding me? So then she said, "Well I just don't know what you expect us to do then." I EXPECT you to let me talk to my doctor before I go off on your rude ass. So, once I spoke to my doctor and explained to her how I felt, she then said, "Okay, well, since it won't hurt and if it will make you feel more comfortable, why don't you go ahead and take the Gonasi as soon as you get home." (Gonasi is the medication that induces ovulation.) There we go! Finally a good solution to the problem. So that's what I did.

Next day, we went in at 8am for J's portion, came back at 1pm for my part armed with the new fertility bracelet my mom sent me:

We walk into the "theatre" as they call it, J geared up in his blue scrubs and me styling in my beautiful hospital gown only to find that it was ANOTHER doctor doing the procedure. I would have been pissed but she was very nice and answered all of our questions and concerns. However, this time the procedure was a little painful. Not unbearable, but it felt like extremely BAD BAD BAD cramps. We went on with life and this time I didn't have any of the feelings of being pregnant like I had with the last round except the closer we got to Post IUI Day 14, the more nauseous I was getting at night. However, not one tiny ounce of me believed I was pregnant. Sadly, I was right. Post IUI Day 14 arrived and with it so did my period. IUI Round 3 failed. (Even though we didn't have a procedure with Round 2, the doctors are still considering it a round. Don't ask me why. Personally, I think its stupid.) I wasn't as upset this time. I guess because I expected it. I cried some that day but not nearly as hard as I had after IUI Round 1.

I think the worst part about all of this is that I don't really feel like I have anyone to talk to about this. I don't want to be a burden and talk to the few friends I have left about it because then I just worry that they are going to get tired of hearing me talk about it too. I've lost several friends because of this. They feel that I'm overly negative and its all I ever talk about. I guess I'm just not good company to keep. I guess as long as I have J and my family, who really needs friends, right? :( Sorry, I'm probably just saying that because I feel lonely a lot of the time. J works like crazy and all I do is go to work, come home and work on homework. My social life is gone and with the amount of homework I have, there is no way of fixing that right now.

But anyway, back to everything else....

Later that day, J and I did a lot of talking and we decided that we are DONE with IUI. I personally never wanted to do IUI in the first place because I saw how low the success rates were. But my doctor had talked J into it and so I went along with it. I wish now that I would have held my ground and not given in. Now it is too late in the year to have a summer baby which means once we move on to IVF, if it works, my mom will not be present for the birth of our child. It hurts a lot. I wanted so badly to be able to not only have my mom come over next summer, but to announce to my entire family at Christmas that I was pregnant.

Sadly, IVF is on hold right now too. My doctor wants to have a meeting with J and I before we begin. Because she wanted this meeting, it means we couldn't start IVF this cycle. And since we are going home for Christmas and the IVF process takes over a month here, we won't be able to do IVF next cycle either. All of this combined means I'm turning another year older with an empty womb and a hole in my heart. It also means I won't be getting the only thing I want for Christmas.

But with all of that aside, J and I are keeping our options open. We have IVF on the plate but there is still the option of adoption. (I'm a poet and didn't know it.) Yesterday, J and I drove 3 hours south to another base for an adoption seminar with the co-founder of Adopt Abroad. We learned a lot of really good information and confirmed that we absolutely cannot afford to adopt internationally. International adoptions cost between $22-$80 THOUSAND. So armed with all of this new information, J and I have decided that we are going to continue with the 3 rounds of IVF allotted to us. If it doesn't work, we will adopt when we get back to the states via the Foster to Adopt program in whatever state we move to. If IVF does work, we will adopt a sibling or siblings for our child(ren) when we get back to the states.So basically, we are adopting either way. I'm not giving up now, but once we are done with IVF, I'm not going to put my body and mind through any more of it. It has just been way too much.

But no matter what, I am determined to be a mommy to someone by 2016. Whether that be a child that is related to me by blood, or a child who just needs a good home and lots of love, I'm leaving it up to God. I'm sure there will be many more tears but for right now, I just want to live in the moment and love my husband and family with every ounce of me.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Update & Shower Photos

Wow, I didn't realize that I haven't posted anything since February. Guess it's time. :) My last post was about my friend's baby shower and it being my solace. It almost made me forget about not being able to get pregnant. In my last post, I also touched ever so briefly on the fact that my husband was gone... Well, he was deployed at the time. Luckily, he made it home safe and sound. We instantly made an appointment to go see our fertility specialist. Got in, saw her, she praised me for my weight loss but told me to continue (which has been very difficult getting back into a routine now that my husband is home to mess that routine up) and told us to schedule our appointment for our Nurse Consultation. At the NC the nurse goes over what drugs I will be taking, how to take them and when. This is also when we sign about a million release forms. It literally felt like we were buying a house. So many forms!!!! Once it was all done, I realized something... I was on CD5 and the meds were supposed to start on CD2. Bummer... Looks like we will be waiting until next month to start IUI... Wait... My parents are flying in next month and our vacations are already booked and paid for... Well, now it looks like I'll have to wait until the end of July to start IUI. I've already been waiting 3 and a half years... What's a couple more months? Sucky part is I was really hoping we could do IUI in May and find out we are pregnant so that I could tell my parents in person. That won't be happening now! Oh well. Surprisingly, I'm taking all of this a lot better than I thought I would. It's still tough and I still really want to get this show on the road so I can become a mommy. I can't wait to hold my OWN little one in my arms. But anywho, back to reality.... The nurse went ahead and had all the prescriptions filled so that I would have the medications ready for when I do start the cycle that we are going with. Took about a week to get them in since they were being couriered to me but here is what it all looks like...
2 different types of injections, a pill that I have to take orally, a pill I have to take vaginally and a cream that has to be squirted where the sun don't shine, plus the prenatal vitamins (not pictured) that I have to take. Sounds and looks like fun doesn't it? I hope there are women out there who get pregnant at the drop of the time that can see this... Look at what I'm having to put myself through just to achieve a pregnancy. Please, never complain about your gift of being fertile. It really is a gift.

Anyway, enough with the heavy... Here are a few pics of the baby shower I hosted recently:

This is the candy bar... The boxes were for the people who attended the shower. They grabbed a box and filled it with as much candy as they wanted. :) We raided the stores during Easter when all of the baby blue candies came out. There were about 8 different kinds of candy, chocolate covered marshmallows and chocolate covered strawberries. MMMM mmmmm MMMM!

This was the small balloon chandelier made by my friend, "S".

Here's how the top of the room looked.

Another picture of the candy bar.

The cake. :) "S" made the boobs and the bump and then together we laid the fondant and made the letters for Baby Cameron's name. :)

The cake table. We were worried there wouldn't be enough cake so "S" made some cupcakes to go with it. 

The finger foods.

This is the diaper bike I made. :)

The Onsie Decoration Station. In the basket were all of the onsies, the fabric paint in front of it, safety pins and little cards for the person to fill out so the Momma to be knew who it came from. There were also fabric squares and scissors in case someone wanted to make a design out of it. We also supplied fabric markers.

One of the onsies made by a guest. (front)

(the back)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Finding Solace

About 2 weeks ago, my friend invited me over to her little get-together she was throwing to announce the sex of her baby..... When she first told me she was pregnant, I had already been expecting it. I just had this feeling that someone close to me was pregnant and all signs were pointing to her. When she told me, I was so excited for her but behind that excitement was a gut-renching pain that made me want to burst into tears immediately. Luckily, I was able to hold those tears in until I made it home. The second I got inside the house and locked the door I collapsed onto the floor sobbing almost as hard as the day I had my breakdown back in March 2011. I don't think it was just the "I can't get pregnant" running through my head that made me cry so hard. I think it was a mixture of things. John was out of the country at the time so we weren't even able to try at that point, combined with the "I can't get pregnant," combined with me having just flown back to an empty house in a foreign country. It was a lot.

I am happy for her and her husband. M looked so excited when they told me. He was sitting in the backseat with a smile from ear to ear. It's a smile that I know John will have on his face when we finally get a positive pregnancy test. I will admit, it was a little hard to be around her at first but the bigger her bump gets, the more excited I become for her. The night of her sex announcement party, I got really excited. I gave my prediction and turns out I was right! It's a boy! Being that we all live overseas she has 2 options for a baby shower... She can have one here or she can fly back home. I asked her if she was flying home for one and she said no and I instantly stepped up to the plate and volunteered to throw her one. I would have never known that night that volunteering to throw the shower for her would be my solace. Looking at invitations and party decorations over the past 24 hours has been so relaxing and comforting. I'm enjoying every minute of it. Only bad part about this is... I've already planned everything and the shower isn't until mid May. :-/  Oh well, I guess this gives me plenty of time to get everything purchased so it can be shipped and arrive on time.

I'm just glad I have something to smile about right now. :-)

Thursday, 9 February 2012


So April is fast approaching and I'm feeling extremely discouraged. I feel like I have been working my ass off and the ass just isn't falling off! Tuesday I was slightly excited because I had lost another 3 pounds. Today I get on the scale and I have gained 2 pounds! WTF!!! By the time I got to my appointment with my nutritionist this afternoon I was already in a low mood and then I got on her scale and had only lost 3 ounces from the previous week. :'( I burst into tears. Yeah, I have lost 15 pounds but it's just not enough. The doctor won't even touch me until my BMI is below 30 and according to the scale this afternoon I still have 18 pounds to go before I can get my BMI to 29.8.

I am completely discusted by food right now but I can't not eat because that isn't going to help me out either. I feel a million emotions at once. I feel frustrated, disappointed, pissed off, flat out angry/ outraged, sad and just overall depressed. Coming home from the base, I couldn't stop crying. In fact, I'm still crying as I type this, so please forgive me for any type-o's. I just don't know what else to do. As if I don't struggle with enough in my life between living overseas and being infertile, now I have to lose this weight that my body just doens't want to let go of. It feels like all odds are against me and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Everyone keeps telling me to focus on the weight I've already lost but what is the point in that? It isn't going to magically make the additional 18 pounds go away. I'm trying really hard to stay positive but how can I when it's just one trip-up after another? I feel like I'm constantly taking 2 steps forward and then getting knocked 3 steps back.  Maybe some day things will change and I can have a different outlook on everything but right now I just feel like sobbing.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The New House

So I posted last night that I would do a different post in regards to the new house.

Before, we were in a 4 bedroom house (it sounds like a lot for 2 people but the house was small for 4 bedrooms. In fact, one of the bedrooms was smaller than the traditional sized walk-in closet in the US).

When we moved, we lost a bedroom but we gained upgrades. : ) This house is beautiful inside. It has so much more room. We are paying about $150 more per month for it but it is well worth it in our book.

Here are the pictures:

This is the front of the house.

Our dining room & back yard. Our house backs up to a public park and the house sits next door to a sheep farm. It's really beautiful.

The entry hall. On the far left side is the front door. The door on the left is the laundry room and on the right is the powder room. There is a door way to the far right that leads into the kitchen.

This is the guest bathroom upstairs.

This is the master bathroom. Very small but it works for us.

I love this kitchen but I would love it slightly more if it had a gas stove instead of electric. : )

Our living room looking from the front of the house to the back.

Dining room.

Office/Guestroom # 1 (One day this will become the nursery.)

Other side of the office/guest room #1

The British don't have closets in their house. Yes, I like to believe them to be insane for not having closets. So, this room functions as our guest room # 2 and our walk-in closet.

Other side.

I haven't taken any pictures of our master bedroom yet. I'm not real sure why... I just haven't.

Anyway, so that's all I have for today. Guess I better go prepare for another week of work, school and working out.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

So Much Happening

Wow, so much has happened since my last post.

Back in June my beautiful nephew was born! I'm so excited about this. I have 5 nieces (and I love every single one of them) and now the first boy in the family!

Our landlord decided he didn't like having Americans living in his house so he told our leasing agency to give us vacate notice. We found a new (and better) place to live so I guess it was a blessing. This is our new house...
I'll post more about it in a different post. : )

My oldest niece came to visit us as we were packing for the move. I felt bad that we put her to work but at the same time we did pay for her passport and for her to fly to England (she's 16 I might add) so at the same time I don't feel that guilty. :) It was nice having a little help with the packing too. Best of all, it was just nice to have someone around. So now we have a guest living with us, and not only did we have to pack for a move AND move... But we also had make her trip worth it and go sight seeing. Sounds like a lot going on right? Yeah, it was. There is a bunch of other craziness going on at this time as well but I'm not going to get into that right now.

Luckily, my niece's trip wasn't a total bust. We did get to take her to a few places in the month that she was here. Here are a few pics from her trip...

It's not a great picture, but still. This is us at Stonehenge.
The Edinburgh Castle at sunset in Edinburgh, Scotland. This happened to be at the Edinburgh Tattoo Festival. First time I heard about it, I thought it would be something more like a bunch of people with tattoos running around. Actually, the tattoo festival is where Military marching and performing bands get together to perform. It was AWESOME! I highly recommend seeing it if you are ever in Scotland during the month of August.

We took my niece to London as well. We were hoping to get to take her to Paris but the move put a damper on that. Oh, I forgot to mention that this was the first time I had ever met my niece. I was so worried about what she would think about me but I can happily report that we got along great! I even cried when she left to go back home. Even though she was born 11 years before I married my husband, I still love her as if I've been in her life since the second she was conceived.

At our last appointment with Dr. S, she told me that I would no longer be allowed to take Clomid. It isn't working and it can do some major damage to your liver if you take it for too long so now we are moving on. She wants to try IUI (since we found out my tubes are both open) and if it doesn't work after 3 rounds then she wants to move on to IVF. Problem is, I have to lose 22+ pounds first and get my BMI below 30. John left to go TDY shortly after my neice left. The day that John left I weighed 248 lbs and my BMI was 33.6. I now go to a nutritionist on a weekly basis (she is my motivator and stays on top of me) and currently weigh 235 lbs and my BMI is now 31.8. My "must meet" goal is to get down to 220 lbs (BMI 29.8) before the 3rd week of April. However, I would like to lose an extra 10 lbs on top of that just so I will have some fluctuation room on the day we go back in for our next appt with Dr. S. So, technically I've lost 13 pounds and still have another 15 to go but ulitmately, I would like to lose another 25 and I've only got 2 months left to do it in. Before, I was only working out 2-3 times per week and occasionally I would sqeeze in a half-ass fourth but this week I started working out everyday. I did miss one day because I got really super busy and it was 10pm before I knew it but I think I'm doing pretty well overall. 13 pounds is a major thing for me because having difficulty losing weight is one of the symptoms of PCOS. I've been the same weight and same jeans size since I was in 8th grade (11 years).

Lately, I've been feeling really down and alone. There are some other things going on in my life complicating things but I really just feel flat out alone here. I don't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything. Most weekends I spend perched on the couch with the dog and a movie. I get invited to go places but I usually turn it down. I just don't want to do anything. I feel a little anxious. (I might add that anxiety and depression are also symptoms of PCOS.) In fact, I did some research and found all of the reported symptoms of PCOS. There are 17... I have been told by a doctor that I have 11 of them. :( They are as follows (I put a "x" next to the ones I have).

x (1) Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight. Many women with PCOS gain weight around their abdomen, taking on an apple shape rather than a pear shape. Such weight gain is linked with imbalances of glucose and insulin in the body.

Other women may not necessarily gain weight but find that, no matter how hard they try, they cannot lose any weight. Not every woman with PCOS will have problems with excess weight. In fact, up to half of women with PCOS are lean. Even lean women with PCOS may struggle with high insulin levels or insulin resistance, however.

x (2) Absent or Irregular Periods (Amenorrhea or Oligomenorrhea). Nine or few menstrual cycles per year may be a sign of PCOS. Bleeding may be heavier than normal. These conditions are caused because the ovaries are not producing hormones that keep the menstrual cycle regular. Irregular or absent menses indicate that a woman is probably not ovulating.

x (3) Infertility. The high levels of excess insulin seen with PCOS can stimulate the ovaries to produce large amounts of the male hormone (androgens), which can possibly prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thus causing infertility. Because women with PCOS don't have regular menstrual cycles, many are unable to become pregnant. With help, however, many PCOS sufferers conceive.

(4) Repeat miscarriages. The cause for this is not known. These miscarriages may be linked to high insulin levels, delayed ovulation, or other problems such as the quality of the egg or how the egg attaches to the uterus.

x (5) Excess Hair Growth (Hirsutism). This symptom causes excess hair, which can be difficult for many women. For most PCOS sufferers, hair in the mustache and beard areas becomes heavier and darker. Masculine-looking hair on the arms and leg is also possible, as well as hair on abdomen, chest or back, together with more growing in the pubic area. High levels of male hormones cause this condition.

x  (6) Thinning Hair. Just as heavier hair growth is possible, so is the type of hair thinning that many men experience. This is caused in women by higher levels of androgens.

x (7) Acne. Pimples and oily skin can also bother women with PCOS. The acne is usually found around the face (especially along the jaw line), chest and back.

x  (8) Ovarian Cysts. The elevation in insulin levels contributes to the formation of cysts in the ovaries in part due to the hormonal imbalances and also because the ovaries are highly sensitive to the influence of insulin. These multiple, immature ovarian cysts, after which the condition was named, are associated with irregular menstruation and trouble conceiving.

Polycystic ovaries are defined as 12 or more follicles in at least one ovary as seen by ultrasound. Follicles are small, fluid-filled sacs containing eggs. In PCOS, the follicles bunch together to form cysts. Note that not every woman with PCOS has polycystic ovaries.

x (9) Fatigue. We hear from many women with PCOS who are tired all the time! Fatigue is a common symptom that may be related to PCOS in that insulin resistance can be one cause of reduced energy levels. Furthermore, many women with PCOS also have low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), a very common endocrine condition, which itself causes fatigue.

x (10) Other Skin Problems. Skin tags - thick lumps of skin sometimes as large as raisins - can form as a result of PCOS. They are usually found in the armpits, at the bra line or neck and can easily be removed by a dermatologist.

(11) Darkening and thickening of the skin can also occur around the neck, groin, underarms or skin folds. This condition, called Acanthosis Nigricans, is a sign of Insulin Resistance, the underlying cause of PCOS. Other women with PCOS note an increase in dandruff.

x (12) Mood Swings. Many women with PCOS may find themselves more anxious or depressed by their appearance or their inability to become pregnant. Mood swings can also be caused by hormone problems. Managing your PCOS symptoms may help to relieve depression.

(13) High cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia) and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Increased LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, is known as a marker for risk of heart attack and stroke. Women with PCOS must pay special attention to their cholesterol levels and also their blood pressure, as both of these markers of heart disease are more prevalent in this community.

(14) Sleep Apnea. Women with PCOS have a high risk for sleep apnea. This may be due to the increased BMI (Body Mass Index) in about half of women with PCOS. Another possible reason for the increased prevalence of sleep apnea in people with PCOS is the effects of testosterone on blood vessels.

x (15) Pelvic pain

(16) Anxiety

(17) Depression

So, I have also been researching IUI and IVF while John was away. I have gone on a few forums and found that there are a ton of women who have done like 7+ rounds of IUI with no success and then turned around and gotten pregnant on the first try with IVF. The success rate for IVF is much higher than IUI as well. It's making me think that perhaps John and I should just tell Dr. S to skip IUI and go straight for IVF. I'm going to have to convince my husband of this first though. He likes the idea that IUI is a 3rd of the cost of IVF but I don't know that I have the strength after all of this to go through a bunch of unsuccessful rounds of IUI. I'm already discouraged as it is, I don't want a bunch of failures looming overhead as well. It's hard enough that EVERYONE around me is getting pregnant. No joke, we currently have 7 pregnant women at the place I work at right now. Sad part is we aren't even a very big place. It's very upsetting for me. I know it shouldn't be because there is nothing I can do about it right now but I can't help but feel down.

I bawled my eyes out on my anniversary back in December. 2 reasons: 1- John wasn't there for our 5 year wedding anniversary (naturally upsetting) and 2- we hit our 3 year make since we started TTC. :( I know I'm going to be a great mom and I have SO many people telling me how great of a mom I'm going to be. The hard part right now is just believing that I'm ever going to be a mom.

I don't want to end this on a negative note so instead I'll end it by saying: It might feel like I'm never going to be a mom at this moment but by God I'm going to fight like hell to make sure that doesn't become a reality. 13 pounds down, 15 more to go. I can do this!