Monday, January 31, 2011

Update on the Testing

For those of you who have been wondering about the testing that I'm having done, I figured I'd give a little update, even though we're not totally finished.  If you missed the blog post that explained the tests that are being run and why, it's here.  :)

Remember those 10 vials of blood that I had drawn?  Most of the results have come back (I think we might still be waiting on one or two tests?), and they were almost all "normal."  (And I learned for sure that I have O negative blood...I thought that's what it was, but I wasn't 100% sure.)  There was one test (for Protein S) that came back as "2 points below the 'normal' range."  My doctor isn't sure that a deficiency that slight could cause a clotting issue, but she's going to do a little research on it. 

Last Friday, I went back in to get started on the next round of testing.  More blood was drawn, and I also had an ultrasound.  This is the beginning of the "clomid challenge test."  I'm taking clomid this week (Monday-Friday), then I go back in again at the end of the week for more blood tests and another ultrasound.  Clomid should stimulate the ovaries, so we'll be checking to see how I've reacted to it.  The blood tests are also checking that the hormones are doing what they should be doing.  If the hormones aren't right, this could be an indication of an ovarian reserve issue (meaning that I'm running out of eggs earlier than my age would suggest I should be).  The results of the first blood draw were good...well within the range of "normal." we wait to see what happens at the end of the week.

Oh, I'll also be going in on Friday for a Sonohysterogram (SHG).  In a nutshell, it's a different kind of ultrasound that allows the doctor to see any uterine deformities I might have.  Everything looked fine at Friday's u/s, but this will show everything in more detail.

So that's where we are right now.  Lots of appointments (I haven't done this much driving since we moved to Washington!), lots of pokes and pricks and other fun things.  Hopefully all of this will result in some answers!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snowshoeing...or not!

Shawn and I planned on going snowshoeing today!  We went to church last night, and we left home around 7:30 in search of snow.  We spent some time last night, looking at a guidebook and checking online to find some options for a good trail.  We decided to go back to a trail that we hiked last summer, the Lake 22 Trail.  (It's the trail that we first hiked on the 4th of July.)  According to the guidebook, it's good for snowshoeing from late December to early April or something like that.  It also had the added benefit of being a place that we knew how to find.  :)

So we packed up, loaded the car, and drove to the trailhead.  Look at all the snow!
Yeah....there was no snow at the trailhead.  We took our snowshoes anyways, though, since we know that the trail has an elevation gain of about 1200 feet.  It was definitely possible that we'd hit snow not too far up the trail.

Or not.  Before too long, we were both shedding some layers (like jackets, hats, gloves, earmuffs).  It was pretty foggy and a bit "misty," but that was it.  Satchel loved this hike, though, especially since it was pretty deserted, so he was allowed to go off-leash for most of the hike.

We did eventually find some snow near the top of the trail.  There was never enough to bother putting on the snowshoes, but at least we got to touch snow!  And Satchel enjoyed running around on it a bit.  Here are some pics from the upper part of the trail and the lake.
So...we didn't actually get to do any snowshoeing.  Oh well.  At least we got in a nice hike today!  And now we know that if we actually want to use our snowshoes around here, we need to get a lot closer to (or even on the other side of) the mountain passes. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trying to Update

Some of you who read this blog already know a lot of these details; to some of you, much of this will come as a surprise.  You may remember that it was around this time last year, I found out that I was pregnant, but miscarried very early (around five and a half weeks).  The full details are here, if you want to read about it.  I don't think I've really posted anything else about "trying to conceive" since then.'s the story.

Shawn and I actually started trying to get pregnant in August of 2009.  If you don't want to do the math, that's 17 cycles of trying.  I did get pregnant on cycle #5.  I also got pregnant on cycle #10 (last June).  That pregnancy also ended in a very early miscarriage.  Given the circumstances of both miscarriages, my doctor suggested that my progesterone levels might be low, so I started taking supplements for the last two weeks of each cycle.  Although I really like my doctor, I didn't like that this was the only thing she looked for (and frankly, she tested for it on the wrong date...but that's a long story that I won't go into).  She also told me that she wasn't going to be concerned about doing any other testing until it had been at least a full year of trying after my last miscarriage.

Once we got to January (and I hadn't gotten pregnant again), Shawn and I talked about it and decided that we are frustrated.  We don't want to wait until June (almost 2 years of trying) to see if there's a reason that I'm not pregnant 17 months after beginning to try.  While I know that 32 isn't really old, it certainly isn't 22, especially when we're talking about fertility and reproduction.  So I did some research, and we made an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE)...aka, a fertility specialist. 

We had our appointment with Dr. K last Friday.  She spent about an hour talking with us, which was really nice.  Basically, because I have gotten pregnant twice, she is focusing on why I had early miscarriages both times.  There are many things that can lead to an early miscarriage (clotting disorders, ovarian disorders, hormonal issues, thyroid issues, something with a gigantic name that basically means the body doesn't process folate appropriately, uterine deformities, ovarian reserve issues...I think I'm forgetting one or two), and many of those issues can also make it more difficult to get pregnant in the first place. 

So before we left the building on Friday, I went up to the lab and had 10 vials of blood drawn to do all kinds of tests to check for many of those things listed above.  Once I start my next cycle, I'll do a couple more tests (the clomid challenge test and a sonohysterogram).  Hopefully, within the next few weeks, we'll have something to work with.

After talking with Dr. K, I did feel some relief.  Yes, there were a LOT of options thrown out there about things that might be wrong with me.  But it's very good to know that most of the possibilities are things that can be treated with medication.  There have definitely been times over the last 17 months that I have felt hopeless.  Knowing that we may be on the verge of getting some helpful information is giving me some hope.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Time Last Year...

...we had a brand new puppy at our house!  We brought Satchel home on January 24th, 2010.  Look how sweet and little he was!!

Yes, there were definitely times over the last year when Satchel drove me nuts.  I believe it was after he'd been here four days when I burst into tears when Satchel was trying to attack the trash bag while I was attempting to take it out of the trash can.  He's chewed holes into at least 4 of my shirts, and the bottom edge of our couch will never be the same. 

But really...we couldn't ask for a better dog for us.  A year later, he's about 70 pounds.  He has tons of energy and is always willing and ready to go for a walk or a car ride or a hike or to the dog park or to play.  But he also loves to snuggle and thinks that he's a lap dog. 

We definitely love our little buddy!!  He keeps us busy and makes us laugh.  We've already informed him that he needs to live forever.  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Class

Nope, we're not traveling anywhere (at least, not that I'm aware of).  Today is the first day of the spring semester at Boise State University.  And that also means that today is the first day of my first class of a Master's degree.  Let me give you a little explanation.

Depending on how long you've known me, you may know that my Bachelor's degree is in English Literature.  I earned it in 2000. is scary to me to realize that I graduated from college almost 11 years ago.  Where the heck has the time gone?!  Certainly, I'm not that old.  Right?

You also may know that I did begin working on a Master's degree back in 2005.  I completed more than half of my coursework for a Master of Curriculum and Instruction in English Education (there's a mouthful!) through the University of Colorado at Denver.  However, I wasn't finished when we decided to move to Washington, and the remaining classes that I needed to take weren't available online.  I could've found a similar program at a local university, but only 9 credits would've transferred.  And frankly...I wasn't sure that this was really the Master's degree I wanted to earn.  There really wouldn't be anything "new" that I could do with this degree; it would simply help me to continue to teach English.

So since we've moved here, I've toyed a bit with the idea of taking more classes, but I wasn't sure what type of program I would want to do.  I consider myself very lucky to be teaching online, since I think that online education is going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade.  I feel like I've gotten in on the ground level...or maybe on the first floor.  I started to look around for Master's programs that would be beneficial to me in this job and that would possibly help me to explore different aspects of online education.

With that in mind, I decided on the Master of Educational Technology degree through Boise State University.  One thing that I like about this degree is that three of my required classes will be enough to earn me a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching, which will be a resume-booster on its own.  It's also nice that the entire program will be completed online.  Oh, and for the first time ever, I'm "attending" a school whose football games are occasionally shown on national TV!  (Heck, it's the first time I've attended a school with a football team, period!)  Go Broncos!

So...wish me luck as I begin working on "The Internet for Educators."  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Satchel's latest "trick"

This is a Kong.  Satchel has one of these, and he loves it.  If you're not familiar with these babies, they're made of a hard rubber and make awesome chew toys.  This particular Kong is also hollow in the center, and the idea is to fill that center area with treats.  I'll admit that I spoil our pup, and I typically give Satchel a Kong every day.  I make myself a PB&J for lunch, and then I grab his Kong, put some "Buddy Biscuits" in there, and then add some peanut butter. 

For the longest time, he would just sit there with the Kong, licking and licking until he managed to get out all of the peanut butter and the treats.  Now, however, he's gotten smart.  After he's gotten out most of the peanut butter, he takes the Kong to the top of the steps...and sends it bouncing down the stairs.  He's figured out that this often makes the treats pop out.  Sometimes, he'll find the empty Kong, take it to the top of the stairs, and drop it, just hoping that maybe something will magically pop out.  Or maybe he likes the sound of it...who knows?

I've just finished with my lunch.  I'm guessing there must be a piece of treat stuck in the Kong, because he's currently downstairs.  I can hear him picking up the Kong and dropping it onto the wood floor, over and over again.  It amuses me.  And Satchel, apparently.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just Curious...

Is anyone reading this?  I know that I'm an avid user of Google Reader, and I certainly can't be the only one.  I'm toying with the idea of beginning to blog again, but let's be honest....I'd prefer to know that there would be at least a few people out there reading it if I'm going to do it.  :)

So...if you see this, feel free to post a comment and let me know.  :)