A little bit of optimism and a whole lot of faith!

My last update was not so great with the lack of growing follicles. I took Femara 7.5 mg as instructed. I once again had mid cycle bleeding which still cannot be explained. Monday I was having some of the worst cramps of my life! These cramps were soooo intense causing me to be nauseated and have the worst headache, but they were not from my uterus. As mentioned in a previous blog, I have been excessively stressed this entire cycle and in an all consuming fog. Thank the Lord above I was able come out of that. It wasn't that I ever lost faith; I just was consumed. My prayers went from my normal thanks and concerns to the normal things PLUS a healthy lining, a healthy egg, a healthy sperm, a healthy embryo, and a healthy pregnancy. Not that this a bad thing, I just went from healthy baby and pregnancy to all the other things like God doesn't know what a healthy baby and pregnancy entail. At any rate, I have came out of that fog and put the entire situation in His hands because that is all I can do. 

I always get sidetracked in these blogs. I went today for another ultrasound. Turns out my old friend is following my doctor for her fellowship. Guys, I seriously cannot say enough good things about her! Of course, my doctor is amazing too! She is always so patient and so kind! Answers questions without fuss even if I have asked them a hundred times. So, back to the appointment! They walk in together and my friend says, "Hi! You look sad." I replied I am a sad person. She says, "I know you have a happy soul." The best thing thing that anyone has said to me since I started this journey other than when I got my pregnancy confirmation in June. 

I explained that I had the unexplained bleeding again (which was not as nearly as heavy this time) and about the ovary cramps I was having. During the ultrasound, my uterine lining was 7.5mm and I had two follicles that are ready to be triggered tomorrow! Happy baby dancing weekend to us!

I believe I previously mentioned that after my breakdown about follicle sizes at the last ultrasound, my husband wanted to take a break after this cycle. We have a major vacation to Rome and Greece planned for nearly half of the month and he doesn't want me to be stressed out the entire time we are gone. I talked to my doctor and told her that he wanted to take a break for the vacation, but I didn't want to back track any progress that we have already made. Her recommendation was that I take birth control for the month. My main complaint was that it would really suck if this didn't take and I bleed during my trip. Infertility plus a beach vacation in red just doesn't seem fair to me. 

This time I have a pregnancy test deadline to call back with. That is new to me! 

Lots of baby dust our way!!
Until next time
XOXO

If someone would have told me…

Today, I had an ultrasound for follicle growth. A resident physician I have previously worked with was starting her fellowship. It was nice to see a familiar face! She seriously is one of the sweetest people I have ever met! Anyways, I think it helped me keep a strong face today. 

As I said, we were checking for follicle growth. I did not have a single follicle over 5. As my doctor finished up, I thought I could beat her to the punch. I said, "Well, I didn't see anything very good. Did you?" I did not beat her to the punch.. I still heard my favorite, "Go ahead and sit up." She did not see anything either. It was a dud. No follicles to trigger. The reasoning was my body could have gotten used to the medication and we need to up the dosage or I could have already ovulated. The feeling in the room was one of I did not ovulate yet. I shared my blood AGAIN to check that trouble some progesterone level. It came back extremely low to confirm I had not ovulated. 

I left the doctor's office and cried. I cried because I did not have a follicle to trigger. I cried because I let myself down. I cried because I let my husband down. I cried because I feel like a failure as a woman. I cried because I was going to work where I see so many girls and women who do not care about being pregnant. I cried because those moms don't care about those babies. I cried because this is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. If someone would have told me one day I would cry because of follicles, I would have laughed at them and the idea. I had no idea what I was getting myself into the day I told my nurse practitioner at my annual exam that my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year. I had no clue about the emotional rollercoaster and the physical rollercoaster I was getting my husband and I front roll seats on. 

I told my husband about the appointment and my crazy emotions. He told me he felt like we should take a break after this. We have a major vacation coming up and he doesn't want my vacation ruined from stressing over all of this the entire time. 

Today, I got snappy with my dearest friend and a coworker who is very in the loop about this. They both told me that I needed to relax and take a break and then I would probably get pregnant. GUYS!! If my body worked correctly, I would already be pregnant when I didn't want to get pregnant. My body doesn't work right on its own. How am I supposed to get pregnant if I don't ovulate??? Don't you see the problem...? No ovulation = no baby. 

I now have a prescription for Femara 7.5 mg for 5 days which I started today. My next ultrasound is scheduled for the end of next week. I am through stressing this time. It either works or it doesn't and all I can do is rely on God in this tough time. I definitely feel like this is a test of my faith and I am certain I have passed. I have never questioned this and today, I realized that all I can do is continue to stay strong and trust that God has a plan. 

Until next time
XOXO

Stressing about stressing about stressing…

You guessed it.. This one is about STRESS. 

Infertility is a huge battle of "what-ifs." What if my medication doesn't produce a dominant egg? What if my uterine lining is too thin? ..I started my medication too soon? ...if I get pregnant again and have another miscarriage? And then the what-if's lead to other questions... How will I feel about another miscarriage? Will I be able to handle another one? HOW am I going to be able to handle another? Do I tell people where I am in this cycle? I don't want to tell other people because I don't want to be a failure again.. But can I grieve it on my own? Will I have a pregnancy that sticks for 40 weeks?

I think you get it by now. The questions are relentless and I literally have to find things to distract myself. Pinterest isn't exactly what I need to be looking at because I loaded it down with all things baby and infertility related when I searched miscarriage and infertility. Sometimes there are some things on there make me smile. Other times they are things that make me cry.

Today, I was trolling Facebook and came across two posts that were related to an old friend's pregnancy and how she was tired. She wanted to address offending people by griping about being tired. Her tired post didn't bother me at all but her "months and months and months" comment did. Trust me, I get it!! When you have your heart set on growing your family and your pregnancy test is negative it breaks your heart EVERY time. But if I put the number of months we have been trying it would look like this:
"months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months and months."
In case you just skipped over all those months, that is 32 months. Almost 3 years. I know that is not nearly as long as some journeys have been and I would never try to belittle someone else's journey, but these posts got a bit under my skin. It kind of hit me the same way a civilian spouse says to me, "I totally understand how you feel during a deployment. My husband was gone for two weeks." "Oh really? You do? Your husband is in a hazard zone with splotchy at best wifi because they can't just pick up the phone and call you?" No, honey, you do NOT have the slightest clue what it is like. To hope that at the very least you get a "read ___ (time)" notification under your iMessage, because you know HE read it because he has a passcode on his phone. But, please, tell me exactly how your husband's two week work trip is exactly like my husband's 4/6 months to 12/18 month deployment.

Obviously, I needed to get that off my chest. I almost went Facebook official to comment on that post. I have not went public with my infertility or miscarriage, because I am not ready for the questions or any of that. My husband, stepson, sister, and work family know about the challenges we are facing. I am stuck right now because I feel like my coworkers are tired of hearing about it (even though they would never admit it & swear they aren't) and it is my understanding that it doesn't affect men until they see the ultrasound picture of the baby or it is born. Obviously, not all men are the same so if you are a man and reading this, don't get all offended. 

The positive of this post and the original reason I wanted to write this:
As I mentioned this blog was about the what-ifs and the stress which comes with it. I was in a really frustrated and confused place when I finished the Provera to induce a period after my miscarriage. Having never taken the medication, I had no clue what to expect and had a bit of confusion with my care when I thought I was going to start Femara a week before I actually did. I was so stressed that I had started the Femara too soon and my egg would release before my uterine lining had time to appropriately thicken up. This past Wednesday, I had an early ultrasound to see what was going on in there. Much to my relief, I had several follicles on each ovary, but nothing dominant yet! That is exactly what I wanted to happen! After I had the ultrasound, I calmed down so much and within a few hours I was EXHAUSTED. I just did not realize how much I was wearing myself down. Stress is exhausting.

I have found that it is best to distract yourself from this to prevent overworking your mind and body. In the past few days, I have started rearranging and minimizing junk in our house. I must say it is looking pretty good. Always make sure to care for yourself to prevent a build-up followed by a breakdown. This past week has been the most trying since our journey began. I was there and didn't know what to do. Honestly, I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I am still very strong in my faith and God's plan. I just pray for this month to be the our month every time I think about it.

Until next time,
XOXO

 

Sam

I AM PREGNANT!! Words I never thought I would be able to say!! I took a pregnancy test on Tuesday morning, had labs drawn to check hcg and progesterone, and an ultrasound. Positive pregnancy test, ultrasound looked good even for not showing anything (thick lining and strong corpus luteum). Lab results came the next day.. definitely pregnant but low progesterone. I was panicked and stressed to the max. I have a google problem and found lots of things saying miscarriage was knocking on my front door. Thursday I went in for my second round of lab work. These were same day results. I got a call around lunch time from a person who turned out to be the doctor. Yup.. lunch + doctor = BAD NEWS. Anyways, she proceeded to tell me that both my hcg and my progesterone had significantly dropped and that I would miscarry.


First pregnancy in my 28 years of life and it results in a miscarriage. Heartbroken would be the understatement of the century. The worst feeling I have had thus far in my life is finding out my first baby was going to die at 5 weeks. Followed VERY closely by knowing he/she was going to die and I was just waiting for it to happen. Remember Dr. H., yeah she probably got the worst of me at the this particular time. She responded to a text on Friday morning to which I responded, "I am just waiting for something inside of me to die if it hasn't already. That's about normal, right?" That was the start of a very rough weekend for me. 

I took this so very hard. I questioned myself so much about how hard I took it. I think the hardest part was knowing I was so broken inside but I had to continue moving forward and no one was hurting as much as I was. I felt like it meant nothing to those around me and I was losing it. I read on a blog that it helps if you name the baby. I eventually decided on Sam. Samuel or Samantha. Baby Sam in Heaven. 

After a third hcg check, I was cleared to start Provera for one week to induce a period. I have not had to take this medication before so it confused the life out of me. I was originally told it would be a light period and then that it would be a full flow period. I had no idea what to expect. Eventually, I started a period and started Femara round 5. The days leading up to taking this medication were very eventful for all those around me. I had lots of anger, frustration, and anxiety. I am terrified that I will miscarry again. I knew I needed strong emotional support and I had it, but none of it seemed to be WHAT I needed. After I took the first dose of Femara, I felt better because once I started it, there was no turning back.

I took my last dose yesterday. I have been stressing everything from the possibility that I started taking medication on day 2 rather than day 3, poor uterine lining whether it be natural or because I will ovulate too soon, and the obvious, miscarriage. I have faith that everything will happen in God's time and plan. I have been praying extra hard that it will be this month. 

Now I am waiting to go in for an ultrasound to check eggs and see what happens from there.

One a positive note, I had the best experience of telling my husband we were pregnant. A man who hides his excitement so well failed this time! The thought of that makes my heart smile! 

The best way to end this sad blog.. that memory!

XOXOXO

Life…

The last time I logged in to blog was September of last year. That is roughly 10 months.. TEN MONTHS. So much has changed since then from physicians to my attitude and most importantly, LIFE. It has been so long that I had to read my last blog to see what exactly happened last.

When we last met, we were in September. Well, since then we have found out that I do not ovulate and my husband has good swimmers. So, we knew where we stood, but not without having to have a second opinion and transfer of care. We are now being seen at a reproductive medicine facility which is amazing. The doctors and nurses there are amazing!

We started our adventure with the reproductive medicine family in March. Dr. B. was very knowledgeable and had no hidden answers (a recurrent problem from my short experience with the previous doctor). I explained our previous situation and how I was diagnosed and told about my PCOS diagnosis. When she explained to me how this diagnosis was made, I 100% understood how the previous doctor made it. Burned bridges shall remain burnt. 

So, we started Femara at it's lowest dose, 2.5 mg. I had an ultrasound to check for egg development. As with everything in the endeavor, I was told that my eggs did not respond to this dose. The same day of the ultrasound, I began Femara at 5 mg for 5 days. The following week, I returned to the doctor's office for two ultrasound on Wednesday and Friday... yeah, that's right-- every other day ultrasounds. My least favorite quote from Dr. B is, "Okay, go ahead and sit up." This usually is followed by something that isn't good news for me. This cycle was going to be a dud because of mid-cycle bleeding. 

Our second cycle of Femara began at the end of April. I once again had mid-cycle bleeding. I wanted to cancel the ultrasound appointment, but was told no. At the appointment, Dr. B. was surprised at how thick my lining was based on the fact that I had been hemorrhaging for several days. I had a GOOD sized egg which was very exciting. Then came my favorite quote, "Okay, go ahead and sit up." Ultimately, the doc did not think my lining was good enough to support a growing embryo. There was no reason to waste my HCG trigger shot, but we should have timed intercourse for a week with unknown ovulation. Of course, I inquire about the obvious... in a perfect world and everything goes well, what is the likelihood I will miscarry? The response was that of a typical I don't want to break your heart any further... "all pregnancies carry a risk of miscarriage." Our timed intercourse was definitely lacking, because I did not want to risk an unhealthy pregnancy. Finally, dear aunt flo came to visit...

Remember that mid-cycle bleeding I mentioned the last two cycles? Yeah, that little hassle got me a saline infused ultrasound to look for a possible polyp on my uterine lining. This procedure was ten times more uncomfortable than the HSG. I seriously was miserable! However, my lining looked perfect causing me relief and the doc frustration-ish. I was excited because I would not have to have removal surgery and she was frustrated because she did not have an answer for me. It is was it is... 

Ready for round 3.. oh wait, this is actually round 4. With this cycle I was informed that if we were unsuccessful, we would switch medications. I take Femara on an artificial day cycle day 3 courtesy of bloodwork approval. Ultrasound results showed an egg that was not quite as dominant as she would have liked. Have no fear though.. A couple days of additional growth and I get shoot up... in my stomach. Hcg shot on Thursday 12 hours before I get to practice baby making.. because that is what you do when you are infertile, PRACTICE... practice for 3 days and on day 5 post injection because I had a weird cramp. Maybe it was ovulation, but probably not since it was too late following the ovulation window. 

With this cycle, I had so much anxiety and fear. This was the first cycle in which every thing went well. Right dose of Femara, dominant egg, hcg injection, and no mid-cycle bleeding. If this didn't work, then we can't make a baby. Enter the two week wait. The first week went by fairly quick. I ALMOST made it to Thursday, but I took a pregnancy test on Wednesday. It was negative. At this point, I am used to negative HPT's. I go to the gym the next morning and Nancy comes to visit my friend. This is what my friend and husband both call me when I get into these negative funks. My friend politely reminds me that it was too soon to test. We worked on Memorial Day together where my other dear friend asks questions all about what was going on with my defective uterus. After enlightening her, we agree I should wait until Friday which would be one week late. Except I am the most impatient person you will ever meet. One morning, I decided to try to run on the treadmill with poor success because I genuinely felt like my breast were going to rip off my chest (NOT NORMAL) and when we were all working, I seriously peed 500 hundred times. Now this little symptom is not unusual because I drink so much water everyday, but I just so happened to not this day. Tuesday morning I woke up after skipping the gym and took a pregnancy test. IT WAS POSITIVE.

 

September

September has arrived. This could be a great month or a horrible month. It’s time for the follow-up appointment. I knew the time would arrive sooner or later, but it is so much easier when you don’t know. August 15 = T-minus 30 days (give or take). Thank you stress for walking right in the front door and making yourself right at home… NOT!

As usual, I discussed my unrelenting anxiety with my good ole friend, Dr. H. What if? Answer. What if? Answer. Can they this? Do they that? What do I do? Answers, answers, and more answers. The answers helped me keep the anxiety at bay until we changed months. I have plenty of distractors or do I? Being around people having babies EVERY DAY, constantly seeing new pregnancy announcements, pregnancy developments, PREGNANT people everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for them, but my heart hurts for me and my husband.

I’ve gotten past the constant talking about it, but I am not sure that is quite as good as one would think. I don’t want to address my concerns out loud because then I will be speaking it into existence. Cannot have that. We don’t talk about “what if we can’t do this on our own.” Not a bridge we are ready to cross yet. I have faith that when the time is right it will happen, but I’m not sure how. And, the controlling part of me does not like all the unanswered questions that I have.

Until I have some answers,

XOXOXO

Life after Google..

Funny note: Right after I posted that my coworkers would probably rather shoot themselves in the head than listen to me talk about my infertility issues anymore, one of my coworkers who had the idea of what was going on but wasn’t sure inquired as to what was going on that department. So I told her the story… Good to know that people do care even if you feel like they don’t.

Back to the story… Lots of drama ensued following me getting second opinions on MY health. But, let’s just leave that where it is– in the past. After all the time that I felt was spent wasted doing nothing, I decided that I needed to have an HSG performed to ensure that my tubes worked because I wasn’t wasting anymore time. ┬áThe was quite the traumatic event. It was a battle to get in because you can only do it a specific date in your cycle. How months was I going to have to wait to get to day 8 of the most random cycles ever? It was like three or four, I don’t remember exactly. I go in on day 8 and am still visiting with Flo. I make that known and repeatedly get told, oh that’s no problem. Okay… Yeah, it was a problem. I had to come back. A couple of days later I come back thinking Flo had went back to her native lands. Post-procedure I discovered that was not the case.. HOW TERRIBLE! I felt sorry for the person who performed the procedure. Flo and a man that wasn’t my husband definitely made for a horrific day. Then, I decided “oh let me go to work and let the other girl go home.” That lasted all of thirty minutes and I went home. I was feeling sick and violated. No thank you let me lay in my bed.

Now, here we are 3 months post hubby’s surgery and are waiting for his follow-up analysis. A month can fly or the month can drag to no end. I expect that it will most likely be the longest month ever. The results of this determine what our next step is. I pray and am staying strong in my faith that it will come back perfect. His doctor said the procedure would reduce the pain and could potentially increase these low values, but you typically only see one or the other. Thankfully, my honey no longer has that constant pain that he had been living with. If I can only have one, I would rather him be comfortable, but both would be fantastic. We haven’t talked about what to do if it doesn’t work. To be honest, I am not sure that there is much that we can do if it doesn’t fix the quality. We aren’t read to accept that we can’t do it naturally, so we will cross that bridge when we get there.

Until next time

XOXO