Trying to conceive part 5

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Written March 26, 2017

Fertility treatments began recently.

I am already exhausted.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family.

Our first appointment was just a consultation, we met with our Fertility Specialist and discussed our options. There are three options that we could go with, here they are;

Option 1: continue on the medication I’ve been previously taking, along with a new additional medication to help stimulate an egg. I would visit the clinic every few days for ultrasounds to monitor ovulation and once an egg is stimulated from the medication, I would take a hormone shot at home and continue to get ultrasounds regularly to see if anything happens to the egg.

Option 2: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization (americanpregnancy.org).

Option 3: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. (americanpregnancy.org).

 

Our first visit at the Fertility clinic was on February 13th. Up to now March 26, 2017 we have been to the clinic four times. Here are the appointments broken down a bit.

1st visit: Consultation:

We discussed the three options and decided to start off with the first option. We added another fertility medication to the one I was already taking, ultrasounds and eventually a fertility shot, if things were progressing. We did discuss that even though I had been on fertility medication to make me ovulate, I was actually not ovulating at all. So I had been thinking I was making progress for a year and a half while in reality nothing was happening at all.

We also discussed that because I have been TTC for close to two years we would skip option 2, (IUI), entirely if option 1 did not work. It would be better for us to work on Step 1 for 3-4 months and then go right to option 3, IVF.

2nd visit: Ultrasound

This ultrasound was to check on my eggs. Until this visit I had no idea if I even had eggs, but I was pleased to learn that I have an extreme amount of eggs, probably because I’ve never ovulated before.

After this visit I was told to continue taking Femara (Letrozole) the medication that I had been on since July 2015, but a much lower dose and to add Decadron (Dexa) once my eggs were stimulated.

Alex and I were so new to this process that we didn’t know what questions to ask and what to expect, so we called the clinic and were told to come in for another ultrasound and then a sit down with a nurse.

3rd visit: Ultrasound and Meeting with the nurse:

At this ultrasound they rechecked my ovaries and we chatted with a nurse who answered all of our questions, gave me a form that spelled out every step I needed to take and when I need to take them. I felt really good and positive about everything!

4th visit: ultrasound, Meeting with the nurse:

Today was our fourth appointment. I had taken the medications and was waiting to do the shot after a good ultrasound today. I sat on the exam table ready to be super uncomfortable but praying for a nice large stimulated egg that was ready to ovulate. My ultrasound tech was great, she was very vocal and pointed out what was on the screen and then she was quiet and I knew that there wasn’t an egg. She finished up and I got dressed. So close to tears I held Al’s hand and I prayed that there was an egg, how could there not be? How could I be on so much medication and still not have an egg that is really supposed to develop naturally?

The nurse came in and said that there was no sign of a stimulated egg. That I needed to come back in three days for anther ultrasound. Guys, I held it together, I said “ok”, scheduled an appointment and got in the car. Alex and I ran some errands (including getting a chocolate shake from Cold Stone) and we went home. I put on pajama’s and slept for hours. The cramping and uncomfortableness from the ultrasound along with the frustration I was feeling really  got to me. I felt very discouraged.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family. In my story I have had a lot of negative news. Other than hearing that I actually do have eggs, my process has been daunting, I have been given bad news at every appointment for two years. I am tired, drained, mentally exhausted and sad. Saying this to my husband prompted his knight in shining armor skills and he held me while saying that this doesn’t mean it’s over. This just means in three days we re-strategize, we look at what we have, what we can do and then put our whole selves into our new plan.

So next week I will go back to the doctor, I will still be tired and drained, but I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive, and the next time I go to the doctor I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive and the next time and the next time and the next time. I will continue to pray, I will continue to hope and I know one day, somehow I will be a mother.

 

 

Trying to conceive part 4: My husband’s thoughts on baby making

Adult living, PCOS blog

Well friends, here it is, thoughts from my husband on our TTC process. Let me start this off by saying, this man is wonderful and while he may not have written this in the timely manner that I continuously nagged him to, he is an incredible man who puts up with my crazy and that is not an easy task! Enjoy Alex’s side of making babies!

 

On Fatherhood and our Fertility Journey

Jill’s always been far more ready to be parent than I have. Case in point is the delay it took for me to write this post compared to the prolific pace that she kept up by herself. I’ve been delaying this process as far back as I can recall. I’ve not always been the best partner on this journey and it’s a credit to Jill that she’s stuck with me throughout the whole ordeal.

Becoming fully bought in on the idea of becoming a father and starting a family was not a sudden thing for me, there was no inflection point or moment of clarity. I just thought about it one day and felt differently. I’m not sure if this the normal course of events for most men. I don’t have many friends that are my age and are dad’s and even if I did, I’m not sure it’d ever really be discussed in normal discussion (Guys don’t talk to each to each other about emotional stuff? Inconceivable!)

During our period of disagreement, my thoughts on the subject could best be summed up thusly, “I am such an asshole for postponing this, but I can’t bring myself to commit to this yet either.” There was nothing unique about my objections, I was uncertain about where we were going to live long-term, I felt very uneasy about our financial situation and at the end of the day, felt we could barely take care of ourselves, much less another human. My self doubt centered on the fact that deep down, Jill’s condition probably trumped my concerns and I resented my self-perception of not carrying equal weight in regards to this process. So I dug in, insisted that I was not ready and that we needed to progress further down our own paths before I could start this journey.

I’m particularly proud of the fact that Jill and I were able to both recognize that since we were at loggerheads over this issue, we’d be better served with a third party mediating. Finding compromise was not easy, but we were able to get there and are better off for having sought out help. The moral of this part of the story: Therapy works, don’t be afraid of it.

What I’ve ultimately found during this journey is that, as with most things, the fear and anxiety that occurs before a particular event is far worse than actually going through it. We have come a long way since we first discussed having children. We’re both at good places in our careers, own a home and generally take care of our business in a mature, adult fashion. We’re now more concerned with what our children will call my mother (we like “MeeMaw Jardo” A LOT, she… does not) or if they should play varsity sports before they’re upperclassmen (I don’t see a problem, Jill has strange ideas about this though…) and how we’ll announce we’re pregnant (not telling!)

This process has become, dare I say, fun? I’m genuinely optimistic about our prospects of getting pregnant and looking forward to all that comes with it. I’m excited for the next step and look forward to fetching Jill all kinds of strange food combinations at odd hours, reading all the pregnancy literature possible to keep her off my back (I think I’ve already told her I did this… don’t say anything.) and eventually waking up one day and thinking, “Let’s do it again.”

Trying to conceive part 1

PCOS blog

Let’s get this part out of the way… I am NOT pregnant and that is not for lack of trying!

My husband and I have been working on getting pregnant since July 2015 (that is 18 months, people)!

After months and months of getting our hopes up and being disappointed, I decided that I needed an outlet for my feelings. I also thought that putting my experience out into the world wide web could maybe help someone on their pregnancy journey.

So I am going to make this into a series of blogs where I can start from the beginning and reflect through the entire process.

Getting my 1st period…(yeah, that beginning!)

I had the sex talk with my mom and sister, diagrams were used, textbooks were brought out and awkward silences had been sat through. So  I knew what a period was and what puberty was and that one fateful day it was going to happen to me.

I remember getting my first period. I was 13 and at a homeschool get together class and was not feeling well. I went to the bathroom and there it was, blood. I wasn’t scared or upset in any way, I stuck some toilet paper in my underwear and went back to class. When I got home, my mom and sister were nowhere to be found. I took it upon myself to apply my first pad…a GIANT overnight pad. That is when I started freaking out! I have to wear this huge thing every month? I have to have this bulky monstrosity stuck to my underwear and still be a functioning person? To me it was the worst thing that has ever happened!

Eventually my mom came home and I had another awkward talk about tampons and pads. Being a young girl is just so fun! The next month I expected to get my period but it didn’t come. Months passed and it never came back. At a routine doctor visit I asked about the infrequency of my cycle and was told that it is totally normal for a young girl to be irregular, eventually my body would start to have a typical 28 day cycle. So I was not worried at all about not having it, in fact when all my friends would complain about their time of the month I was could breathe a sigh of relief because I didn’t have to go through it.

Two years passed and still no second period. One day while watching TLC, a 1 hour special came on about this couple Jon & Kate Gosselin. Since then they have become very famous, but at that time I had never heard their story. The special explained that Kate had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which caused her to have irregular periods and therefore required her to need fertility treatment to conceive. Immediately I went to the doctor and brought up PCOS and I began the diagnosis process.

I am not a physician and I do claim to be an expert in PCOS, this is all my experience and every person is different and experiences different things. My doctor talked me through possible symptoms and when something I was experiencing came up we discussed it further. My doctor was great, she took time with me and referred me to an Endocrinologist who eventually put me on two medications; metformin, a diabetic medication that helped control my sugar levels and birth control to help me get a regular period. She also referred me to an electrolysis to help with the wonderful symptom of excess facial hair growth…thanks PCOS!

I know this is weird but I owe my diagnosis to Jon and Kate plus 8, I wouldn’t have known about PCOS without watching their special. PCOS has caused a lot of frustration, anxiety and tears, but it is something I will always have and being more informed will only help me live successfully with it.

 

Until next time…