Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Heart is Broken For You

Wow!  What a day!  I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've been great.  Just not a lot to say.  It just kind of comes and goes I guess.  

But today, not just 1 but 2 of my infertility buddies got told "no" after their 2 week wait.  Ugh.  I just hurt for them.  I almost feel like it is me.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But I just had my hopes so high for both of them.  One of them just began her journey and another who has been on her journey for a while. 

Please pray for them!  (All 2 of you who read.  ha!  But still....any prayers can't hurt.)  

Amy from Chapters posted a video on her blog.  Please go watch it and leave her some words of encouragement!  She is SO brave to be so open. 

This song always helped me when I heard "no".  Sometimes there are just no words.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Infertility Resume Continued-2007

My referral was sent from my OB to the HRE (horrid reproductive endocrinologist) on February 5, 2007.  My first appointment with the HRE was on February 15, 2007.  At the time I did not realize how great that was.  It took months for me to get into my WRE (wonderful reproductive endocrinologist).  Well worth the wait....but that is another post.

Looking back at the notes from my HRE just reiterated to me why we chose to go to another clinic.  I'm pretty sure I've already said this, but I think typing out these next two years is going to be tough.  I have a lot of regrets.  I really wish I had educated myself more.  Now that I read back through the doctors notes, I read the numbers and wonder why I ever had my hopes up.  I didn't know those weren't good follicle sizes.  I didn't know that it is not medically possible for me to get pregnant with that endo lining.  

Anyway, at least I know now.  It took me a while to accept my infertility.  It took this experience to learn that all doctors are not all knowing and can and will get your hopes up when there is no reason for them to be.  I learned that in future experiences I need to educate myself more and ask more questions.  I learned to follow my gut, and even though it may seem like everything is pointing towards one direction it may not be the right one. 

Back to my first appointment.  It was very anti-climatic.  The HRE asked a lot of questions, but did not give much information.  In his notes, it says "has some, but not all, features of PCOS."  He didn't tell me that that day.  Well, and thanks to fertility treatments and trying on my own I now have all symptoms of PCOS.  Ugh.  Being on BC keep most of my symptoms dormant before we started TTC. And this was fairly close to the beginning of our journey. 

I keep thinking back to "what if I had known what I know now,"  "What if we had just saved all of that money and done IVF a long time ago," "what if I had just really accepted that something was wrong?"  (To my defense, every doctor I talked to [OB and all 3 HRE's] did not think I should have any problem getting pregnant.  No one understood why I wasn't responding better to the meds.)  

What if I had taken Metformin from the beginning?  What if I had done Weight Watchers and lost weight before trying any treatments?

I guess I will never know. 

I blame myself for not being more educated.  I blame my HRE for not really getting to the bottom of my problems.

Okay, back to my first appointment again...The Plan:
progesterone, TSH, prolactin sent today (Day 26)
SA on husband
HSG after next period (ouch)
Day 3 lab with next period
Return after above to discuss treatment plan

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?  I thought so.

2-16-07--started my period on CD 27 (not too bad for me)
2-19-07--had day 3 blood work (HRE's nurses absolutely stink at drawing blood.  So, maybe I have horrible veins, but they really stink!  I had more horrible bruises from blood draws.  I was stuck 3 and 4 times most visits.  For the record, at my WRE-never been stuck more than once, so it isn't all my veins fault.  ha)
2-19-07-called to get blood work results and of course it was not normal.  It showed that my body was not producing enough of the right hormones and too much of the wrong hormones.  Scheduled my HSG for the next week.
2-27-07--HSG.  (Ouch)  Results were normal.  Uterine Cavity:  Normal
Left Fallopian Tube:  Free Spill, normal ampulla
Right Fallopian Tube:  Free Spill, normal ampulla
Normal HSG

I am thankful it was normal.  I hope it still is.  But, it was just another question as to why the meds weren't working and why I wasn't pregnant yet.

3-1-07--I called and made an appointment to review the results with my doctor.  (they never called me.  I called them and was not told to.  you will see this is a trend.)

3-8-07--follow up appointment.  This is where we learned the results from all of the tests.  Husband's SA-great!  (One less thing we have to worry about-but another question...why am I not pregnant yet?)
My blood work was not good.  Of course.  
Plan:  With next period start clomid 200 mgs day 3-7 and dexamethasone days 3-12.
Then Midcycle scan.

Not sure when I started the meds-it's not in the note.  I called on 3-21-07 to see when to come in for MSUS (Mid cycle ultrasound).  
3-31-07--MCUS and lab work-My results from the MCUS were not on the notes.  My lab work was okay, but not good.  It was ordered to have Ovidrel on 3-31-07.  (I had the craziest of the 3 HRE's for this appointment.  He came into the room without even looking at my chart.  He didn't know my name.  He started talking about insemination and I honestly didn't even know what that was.  It hadn't even been discussed with us.  Talk about stressing a girl out!  The nurse had to point out to him that our plan was timed intercourse.  Ugh to crazy doctors!)

4-2-07--I called to find out the next step.  No one told me at my appointment on 3-31-07.  Turns out I was supposed to be on progesterone and no one told me.  Great.  They called in the prescription.

4-17-07--cycle day 1.  In other words--BFN.

4-20-07--Day 3 ultrasound.  "Ultrasound today shows multiple cysts on left ovary.  Findings reviewed with patient.  Questions answered.  Not sure why patient was not better despite good pre-ovulatory follicle size.  Would recommend repeating clomid next cycle and recheck patient 1 week post ovulation.  
Plan:  No stimulation this cycle.  (I was SO disappointed!!)
Take BC for one month  (Another disappointment!)
In 3 weeks repeat scan
Next cycle:  clomid 200 mg+dex+progesterone

4-30-07--my hair started falling out in chunks!  It was scary!  I called and no one could explain to me why.  The HRE called me himself and couldn't explain why.  He said it might be the PCOS.  "PCOS?"  He hadn't even told me he thought I had PCOS.  I was devastated.  This problem I had had a name.  Ugh.  I googled it and that was not the best idea.  That is never the best idea!
(I found out later that the hormone change, especially the progesterone, makes my hair fall out.  No, it doesn't happen in everyone....just lucky me!  And yes, it all grew back.  And yes, it happened with every fertility treatment.  My hair is still coming back from my last treatment.  It is getting really thick because I haven't had a treatment in so long!  Ha!  After it came back the first time I pretty much quit freaking out about it because I know it will come back.)

5-11-07--Went back for ultrasound to check cyst size.  It was 2/3 gone.  Recommended not to do treatment again this month.  Ugh.

5-29-07--I called to schedule follow-up appointment.  No one called me back.

6-4-07--I called to try to schedule a follow-up appointment.  Told me to wait for period.  (Would have been nice if someone would have taken the time to explain things to me!)

6-14-07--called with cycle day 1

6-15-07-- went in for day 3 ultrasound.  Right cyst still present, but decided to proceed with treatment?  (I still have that cyst)  Same as last time 200 mg clomid, dex, progesterone.  Labs drawn of course.

6-26-07--I remember this appointment so well.  Had the really crazy HRE.  He couldn't tell if he was seeing the cyst from before or a follicle.  One measured 20mm one measured 17mm.  I had to go back the next day and pay the same amount for another ultrasound.  Ugh.  

6-27-07--left ovary-22.2 mm, 18.3 mm
right ovary-15.3 mm
Endo lining-6.54 (ugh)

More lab work-shows I need HCG (ovidrel)

6-28-07--I called and was told to start progesterone on Saturday.  Once again, what if I hadn't called??

7-19-07--BFN again.  Decided to take a break.

My follicles had been great for both cycles.  At the time I didn't know my lining was the problem.  I didn't know that mattered.  I should have had clueless stamped on my forehead!  
I'll work on this some more tomorrow.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Slapped in The Face...

That pretty much sums up how I felt today.  Ugh.  The reality of will I ever be a mother would not leave my mind today.  I am so mad at myself.

I really did try.  I really did try not to make today about me.  I HAVE to make myself stay off Facebook and ban myself from reading blogs around holidays like this that I know are going to be hard.  I told myself that I wasn't going to after how hard it made Easter, but I did it anyway.  Ugh.  

I went to church with my mom.  That was harder than I remembered from last year or the year before, or the year get the point.  But my mom smiled the whole time.  Made it worth it.

Then we went out to lunch where the waiter proceeds to tell me Happy Mother's Day.  Okay, It was my mom, my husband and I.  Don't you think if I had children that they would be with me on MOTHER'S day??  Then he comes back around with special Mother's Day chocolates and says how many mothers do we have at this table??  Really??  Do you have to rub it in.  Poor guy.  I know he just doesn't know.  I managed to keep my mouth shut, but he definitely got a look.

Then off to the movies.  It was a great movie, but of course someone in the movie gets pregnant and does not want to be.  Ugh.  I know, it is just a movie, but I was a little over sensitive today!  LOL!  

Then on to grocery shopping.  Remind me to never do that on a "over sensitive emotion day."  Oh my, I noticed every kiddo in that store.  There was a dad who very obviously didn't usually do the grocery shopping with a list and 2 children in tow.  It was obviously a Mother's Day gift to his wife.  I couldn't help but smile and want to cry at the same time.  

Not to mention that my husband could do nothing right today.  Poor guy wasn't feeling well, and I was feeling too sorry for myself to feel sorry for him.  I am usually pretty even keeled when it comes to my emotions, and he just doesn't know what to do with me on days like today.  We fought over the stupidest stuff all day.  Ugh.

I tried.  Very unsuccessfully, but I tried.  My mom did thank me for my efforts.  LOL!  She told me she had a great Mother's Day, but I know she was worried about me.  Even though I never told her how much Mother's Day hurts, I know she could tell.  Even though I never got upset in front of her today.  I know she knows.  She is my mom.  

Tomorrow is a new day, and at least it doesn't have a crazy name placed on it like "Mother's Day!"  LOL!   Tomorrow will be a better day!  

Lord, please help all of my friends who desire so desperately to be a mom have faith in you.  Please help them to rely on you.  Lord, please use me.  Please make this pain have a purpose.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week (Last Week)

So, National Infertility Awareness Week was actually last week, but read my last week, so better late than never.  I read this survey on Lauren's blog.  Thanks for letting me steal it Lauren!

A. Age when you started TTC (trying to conceive): 25

B. Baby Dancing or Sex: I'm not really sure what this means.  But since I am on birth control, my guess would be that we are not baby dancing?  LOL!

C. Children wanted: Before starting TTC, we always talked about having 2 or maybe 3 children.  Now, we would be unbelievably stoked to have 1!
D. Dogs/Cats/Fill in Children: We have 1 6.5 year-old dog who is our baby!

E.  Essential Oils/Vitamins/Snake Oils: I take a prenatal vitamin every day.  I started this when I got off BC the very first time and then continued when I was pregnant.  I stopped taking them when I miscarried, and I could tell!  I was so tired!  My hair and my nails were not as healthy.  So I still take them even when there is no chance I could get pregnant.  I always probably will.

F. Fertility Meds I’ve taken: Clomid, Femara, Bravelle, Follistim, Ovidrel, a progesterone patch, and Progesterone suppositories......I think that is all?

G. Gain: Too much!!  If I lose 10 more pounds I will weigh the same thing I did when I got married.......but I was over weight then, so I would like to continue to lose.

H. HSG (Hystosalpingogram):  Horrid.  Only way to describe it.  I know it was necessary, and I would do it again if I needed to, but it was Horrid!  I am allergic to shellfish, so I had to take 2 benedryl before having the dye pushed through my tubes.  My doctor was oh....4 hours late, and I DO NOT handle benedryl well.  It usually takes me a full 24 hours to sleep it off.  Crazy, I know.  I never would have made a good druggy. Anyway, I already felt horrible from trying to fight off sleep for 4 hours, and then it was so painful!  My HRE said everything looked normal, but I bled a lot for quite a long time.  I had to call in sick the next day because I was still benedryl drunk and in pain.  My boss said she is glad she knows me well, or she would have thought for sure that I was still drunk from the night before when I called in that morning!  LOL!

I.  Infertile Pet Peeves: "When people would tell me to just stop trying and it would happen or when people would tell me they just didn't stress about it and they immediately got pregnant."  I couldn't have said it better, Lauren!  And, I would like to add when people ask you if you are pregnant!  Oh my!  What are some people thinking???  You don't ask someone that!  And when people ask the innocent "When are you going to have kids" question.  Ugh.  I used to dred that.  I now have a rehearsed speech.  Ha. 

J. Job title: Licensed Social Worker, Social Services Consultant
K. Kid’s names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: Well, since you asked I will share all 6!  Ha!  And for the record, even if they get used before we can use them, we are using them anyway.  #1 girl name:  Mary Blanche.  (Mary-my maternal grandmother's name/Blanche-hubby's paternal grrnamother's name)  #2 girl name:  Lynlee Elizabeth.  (Lyn-long time family name on my maternal side, including my niece/Lee-my father-in-law's middle name/Elizabeth-my husband's side of the fam, 2 cousins and an aunt) #3 girl name:  Johanna Charlotte.  (Johanna-my husband's aunt even though it is spelled different/Charlotte-my MIL's name)  #1 boy name:  Joseph Daniel.  (All husband's side)  #2 boy name:  Steven Charles.  (Steven-my maternal grandfather's middle name/Charles-hubby's maternal grandfather's name)  #3 boy name:  John Robert.  (John-hubby's paternal great grandfather's name/Robert-my dad's name)  Whew.  We have had a long time to think about this!  Ha!

L. Length of time TTC: 5 years 6 months

M.  Miscarriages: February 1, 2006

N. Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs: I've had 2 OB's only because my 1st one moved.  I LOVED him!  2 RE's because the first one was horrible!

O. Ovarian quality: This has not really been brought up.  My general problem is getting me to ovulate without deplinishing my uterine lining.  My RE did tell me that I have plenty of eggs, "we just have to make then come out!"  Ha! 

P. POAS or wait for AF (pee on a stick or wait for menstrual cycle): I bought no less than a million pregnancy tests the first 2 or 3 years.  I haven't bought 1 the past 2 years and just wait for AF.  I decided it was wasting money that I could use for treatment. 

Q. Quote from an obnoxious fertile: "I can't believe I got pregnant.  I don't even want this kid."  "We really weren't trying.  I think I'm the most fertile person ever!"  "I don't want to spoil my kid, so I think I will start spanking them as soon as they come out."  (This person wasn't kidding).  Did you see my job title above?  I could go on for days.

S. Sperm: My husband's sperm are great.  We still laugh because our first RE asked my husband if he had ever thought about being a sperm donor!  LOL!

T. Time you tried naturally: 1 month, pregnant for 9 weeks, tried on our own for 3 more months before we started having problems.  We have tried on our own for a few months here and there with no success.  Now we have been advised NOT to try on our own.

U. Uterus quality: It's good except for my lining thinning due to fertility meds.

V. Vagina: I have NO shame any more.  More doctors and nurses have seen it in the last 5 years than I ever would have imagined in my life!

W. What baby stuff do you already have?: too much

X.  X-tra X-tra Hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy TTC journey? My mom and mother in law are the only ones we call about everything.  A few close friends know some. 
Y. Yearly Exam (do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?): I do, and it is probably time.  Need to make that appointment! 
Z.  Zits: If my PCOS is messing up, worse than when I was a teenager.
I hope this wasn't TMI and it helped you learn a little more about our TTC journey!