Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why - I know we would make great parents

I guess since no one knows I even have this space I will attempt to begin my own diary of thoughts and feelings. If someone does stumble on to this space then you may or may not know that my husband and I have been trying for quite awhile to start a family.

We have been going through a few different rounds of infertility treatment...I guess I should start from the beginning so I have a good record for myself and I guess for anyone else who begins to walk along side me through this blog.

At the beginning of this year my husband and I decided we were going to begin (oh I should caution if any men are reading this I will get a bit graphic) trying to have children. Before we married we discussed how many we wanted, he wants one because he was an only child, I want two because I think you need to learn to share. Plus I was given two hands which I think should have two little hands holding on to it...One day I may share my story as to why only two lets just say it happened at a theme park...

Anyway I couldn't seem to get a natural period. I had taken birth control for about two years right around the time Andrew and I got engaged. Additionally I had taken it some years earlier to regulate my period when I was younger, but before starting it again I was off of it for a good five years or so. All that to say I was really not on birth control for that long - and let me put a service announcement here as well I have never been told by any medical professional that being on birth control has in any way affected my ability to get pregnant. I only bring it up for my records.

So Andrew and I began to search out OBGYNs in our area. We are lucky to live in a great city with awesome medical options and I am blessed to have a company that gives its employees great insurance. So we chose an OBGYN with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. We met with the Doctor went through all of my history did a lot of pocking, proding, and blood work and waited for the results. The doctor called and said well I have good news and bad news. I said give me the good news first, she said you are a very healthy person and so confused I said what is the bad news she said well because you are healthy we can't figure out what would be standing in the way of you and your husband getting pregnant. She then said don't worry I have a plan and here it is:

You will begin on 7 days of pills of a drug called Provera - this drug was used (and I stress the was) for woman during menopause it is a progesterone drug. They stopped using it because of the side effects and simply it was found to not be good. For someone like me who is fairly young (oh I started this process at 28/29) they will use the drug for no more then 6 rounds to help induce or jump start your body to start having a period. She then said on the 3rd day of your menstral cyle you will begin a drug called Clomid which you will take from days 3 to day 7. From that I then began taking ovulation kit predictors on day 10 through day 18. On day 19 I went in for blood work. The goal of course was to see a positive result (or that I was ovulating) somewhere between days 10 and 18. Unfortunatley for me I did not see any positive results and on day 19 my blood work confirmed that I did not ovulate. I then waited another 20 days and did not receive a natural period and we started the entire process over again. However, this time we increased the Clomid from 50mg. to 100 mg. (oh Clomid is a ovulation drug which is supposed to help induce ovulation or egg production - there is a lot of success for women on Clomid) - Unfortunatley again this round did not work. At this time my OBGYN said she needed to refer to me to Infertility Specialists.

She gave me two doctors she recommends. She said the doctor connected with Northwestern is the best and one of the best in the field. However, she warned that it took between 6-8 months to even have an opportunity to see him. So I thought you know what lets go for the best and see what happens. Oh in the mean time my OBGYN said we would just keep trying what we are doing until I get in.

God is awesome. I called the Infertility doctor's office on a Wednesday and about an hour later they called me back to let me know they had a cancelation. I had an appointment with one of the best infertility doctors Friday morning. Again, I went through a lot of pocking, proding, and blood work. They did an internal vaginal ultrasound also. That is where they discovered (and my blood worked confirmed) that I have a condition called PCOS. In fact, although I do not show many of the outward sysmptoms like obesity, funny thick hair in weird places and acne the doctor said it was one of the more severe cases. It is a "string of pearls" or a line of lots of tiny cists that sit on the ovaries and almost choke them which does not allow them to create eggs.

Knowing the diagnosis was good. We started another round of provera and upped the does of Clomid to 150mg. Additionally I had to go in for a HSE x-ray (okay I am going to have to check if that is the correct accronym). The x-ray is to determine if there is any blockage in the follopian tubes. Pretty much they go in and like an internal vaginal screen and then stick this cathered like thing up and shoot in some dye to see if it runs through correctly. Andrew and I were really nervous for this procedure because if there was something wrong with the tubes then there is not a whole lot you can do and we were going to have to make some major decisions. Again, thanfully my tubes were clear and everything in that area was fine. Meaning once I got pregnant they don't believe anything would happen based on the PCOS.

Again Andrew and I received bad news after numerous trips to the doctor for internal ultrasounds which continually showed no progress. It is really hard to go in get proded then wait hoping that they are going to tell you everything looks good and guess what we can move forward with you being able to become parents :) Over and over again we were told sorry things just don't look good. Then the worst was when I thought I saw the ultrasound as the technician was performing it and I thought I saw something (okay I have no training but you get a bit desperate) I came out and told Andrew (who by the way has been awesome and has tried to be at every appointment possible) that I think we are going to get good news this time. And we didn't.

Moving on to the next step. Now they needed to also test Andrew, but in the mean time they told me I need to start giving myself shots of a drug called Flosstim (I may have spelled that wrong). I was to give myself three shots and then a week after the first shot we were to come in and go through another ultrasound. Andrew did get tested and we did get his results. His numbers were okay and he had slow and deformed swimmers, which meant we would have to do an IUI or Invitro (natural was just not in the cards :))

We went in the week after beginning the shots and we got for the first time some positive news. There was actual growth in my ovaries which would lead to the development of eggs and then hopefully to doing the IUI procedure. Andrew and I were really excited and headed back for Thanksgiving!!! I did more shots over the Thanksgiving time and we went back into the doctors office on Friday after Thanksgiving thinking we were going to get awesome news and schedule the IUI!!!!

Unfortunately, again the ultrasound came back bad. It showed that all the progress that had been made actually shrunk and we could not do the procedure. I was heart broken. I really truly thought for sure this was going to be our Christmas miracle. I cried. It hurt. But I knew we had to keep going it wasn't over yet.

Andrew and I did some retail therapy (always a good thing) on Michigan Ave and talked about how it hurt and how we are going to keep going.

I received a call from the doctor who said that we were going to need to catch the next cycle. So we waited again. And again I did not get a natural period. So I have taken another round of provera and am waiting for my period. It is my understanding that once I get my period I will begin the shots again and we shall see....


Anonymous said...

I haven't finished reading this, but know you would make great parents! As to how many kids to have, don't decide now. Some wanted a lot & stopped at 2. I know of 3 families(white suburban types)who planned fewer but had 7!
God makes those decisions, often with our technology. I had a lonely childhood & am such a people person, so I wanted either no kids or 3 or more. But my husband thought 2 were enough & that's what happened.(The last 2 generations[that I knew] before me each had 2 daughters & were disfunctional. I wanted to break that 'curse.' I sort of did. We had 2 sons & we are Christians!)
The point is, don't worry about how many. Concentrate on having the first one!
Long fasts can cleanse the body & are good for getting rid of benign cysts/growths. MDs are not into that, but there must be alternative practitioners that can help do a supervised fast. I have experience in short ones, but supervision is needed for long ones.
Luv to you all!
Anonymous, but you know me.
[Since I called my relatives disfunctional, it's better to be anonymous!]

Kate said...

Bren, you are being so brave to put all of this out there in the universe- most people can't even bring themselves to write things down in private. I wish you the best and know that you'll be an awesome mother someday!! xx Kate

April said...

Was I reading my own infertility journey!?!?! We have had VERY similar journeys. As I told Andrew a while back, I'm available to you if you'd like to process. I'd be honored to walk with you. Our journey's been nearly 3 years and I've been to many places you have.

Also, if you're interested, my blog is