So sorry for the long break from blogging, but there has been something going on in my life leaving me in a very difficult place. Its something that has caused my husband and I a great deal of pain and frustration for the past sixteen months... we are struggling with infertility. I have held this back from my blog because I really wanted my blog to be a happy space with pretty pictures and positive messages about a young married couple. The true reason I started my blog was to keep my family and friends updated about a pregnancy, however now that it seems like my dreams are a little farther off I am going to use this space to vent, and rant about being infertile as well as list all the treatment and appointments.
I was really hesative to turn my blog this way. I didn't want it to become just another infertility blog with an angry woman, but as I was reading those blogs I noticed that most of these women are in their late 20's and 30's. No one in their early twenties talks openly about infertility. I am so lucky that in my life I currently have 3 good friends who are struggling almost with the same thing and they are all young too (not lucky they are going through this, lucky to not be by myself). So if this blog can be comforting to one young couple who is trying and not getting anywhere then I would be so happy. If not then it will just be a place for me to put all of my thoughts out there! And if nothing else this blog will be informative to everyone about all the new terms and treatments!
Lets start at the beginning. I went off the pill 2.5 months before my wedding, just to be safe they recommend this time before trying to conceive.
-November 2008 Pat and I tie the knot, and start trying on our honeymoon. I had gone to a conference about NFP (Natural Family Planning), the preferred method of birth control for the Catholic Church and intend to use that method since Pat and I practice our faith and embrace most of its principles of the church. I started using the Sympto-Thermal Method. This means taking your basal body temperature every morning and charting it also checking your cervical mucous and the softness of your cervix. That's right I brought my little pink thermometer on my honeymoon!
Everything was going ok we continued to try and my temperature seemed normal.A few bumps and dissapointments around this time... Normal meaning there was a spike in the middle of the month and my temperature stayed somewhat high after ovulation. Well this all changed in March, I had no ovulation spike in temperature, and Same for April and each month my cycle was getting longer and longer, not to mention in about three months time I had gained over twenty pounds.
April 2009- My cycle last 59 days and no ovulation spike, dr. puts me on Provera, a medicine to start your period.
June 2009- Start a new cycle in contact with the doctor about the possibility of having PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome), the number one cause of infertility in the U.S. Basically it really messes up all of your hormones, causes high insulin, acne, weight gain, and lack of ovulation. June, July, and August's cycles last 79 days long... I had bought a long term OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit ) and It was positive for 23 days in a row, that's when you know your hormones are really out of whack! I did a bunch of blood work ups and it turns out I did have PCOS and unusually high testosterone... In the mean time Horrible waiting. Also I am riding my bike between 10-15 miles a day and eating under 1200 calories but not loosing a single pound! A significant side effect of PCOS. SOOOO frustrating! Around the middle of August I was started again on Provera to start my period and went in to have a consult with the dr.
August 2008- I started taking Clomid, A commonly use fertility drug that makes your body ovulate. While taking clomid on day 21 of your cycle you test your blood to get a progesterone level. From this level they can tell whether or not you've ovulated. My progesterone was 8, normal for an ovulation adult is in the 20's. But, I started my period without medicine on day 28!!
September 2009-2nd round of clomid, Still no temperature spike. Progesterone level-9. Started by myself on day 25!
-October 2009 My cycle was really messed up, they had increased the clomid to 100mg but I was spotting so heavily that they didn't take a progesterone test, oh well. I started by myself again on day 28!
-November 2009 & December 2009 (my cycle goes from middle to middle). We continued to take the clomid at 100mg, but the doctors had suggested because we still were not pregnant and Pat had a low motility count that (sperm don't move as well as they should) that we start IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) and HCG injections. So on day 14 of my cycle went to the dr's office for an ultra sound to see if i had any mature follicels (follicles are where an egg is released from and in order to perform the IUI the doctor wants to see one follicle that measures 18). I had three two follicle over the size of 18! So that night I got my first shot from Pat, who was strangely smiley about stabbing me with a needle! And on day 16 I had a large temperature spike and I was inseminated. This process may sound strange but basically Pat has to take his specimen to the dr's office early in the morning they spin it on a centrifuge to separate the sperm from the rest of the seminal fluid, 45 min later I am there. The doctor inserts a catheter through my cervix into the uterus and injects the sperm... very painful! When they go through my cervix they always have to use a little pincher thing to open it, OUCH! We were sooo hopeful it was going to work, all timing seemed perfect... Day 28 AF (aunt flo as she is commonly referred to in infertile circles) shows up. A lot of disappointment.
December 2009- We take the month off from Clomid because i will be away from Pat for the fertile days, the dr was hoping since I had been on Clomid so long I would ovulate and start AF by myself, no such luck day 35 I started provera.
January 2010- Clomid 100 mg, and on day 8 I had an HSG (hysterosalpingogram), an X-ray test where they place a catheter trough the cervix and insert die into your fallopian tubes. They then take X-rays to see if your tubes are blocked... good news no blockages but I was diagnosed with a slightly bi-cornuate uterus meaning my uterus is heart shaped and not like the normal triangle. Because it is so slight It "probably" won affect my ability to conceive but more that likely will put me at a higher rate for c-section delivery if I ever get there! On day 12 we go in for the ultrasound... follicles not big enough, we go back for another ultrasound 2 days later and I have 3 large follicle. IUI scheduled for 2 days later, however that same day I took an OPK and it was positive,did hcg injection that night, so I called the dr and we did the IUI the next morning. Waiting Waiting Waiting... AF day 29, crushed.
February/March- Last month on Clomid 100mg, you can only take it six months at a time to prevent ovarian scaring. I had three huge follicles, and a large temperature spike in conjunction with IUI and HCG injection so now we are again waiting waiting waiting!
Now that you are caught up with my history if you have any questions about any of this or other fertility questions I have become pretty knowledgeable, I would be happy to answer. After reading this blog I don't expect every one to understand, or to empathize, and I'm not asking for your pitty or for you to feel bad for me. Just for your prayers and thoughts! Pat and I have had a really hard time with all of this and I am only 23 so I cannot imagine what It is like going through this later in life when options are much more limited, We are so blessed that we found each other so early in life and are both so focused on a family. What a wonderful and loving God we have!!!
Now that I have officially "come out" I will have lots of posting to, because as you will see this really can take over your life!