Monday, January 31, 2011

Surgery Complete

I am waking up from the surgery when I hear the nurse say," They were in there for quite awhile, how is your pain?" My first groggy thought is "Oh, no they were in there for awhile! That can't be good!"

The goal of this laparoscopy was to get answers and we got answers, but we still have questions.  After the surgery I finally got to see my husband in recovery.  Before I went into surgery I told him to really listen carefully to the doctor when he comes out of the surgery because I would still be in recovery.  Well, he listened so well he took notes on his I-Pad and if you know my husband it is no surprise that he took advantage of being able to use the I-Pad.  When I asked him what the doctor said I could just see it in his eyes that the news was not what we wanted to hear.  He began to tell me that they found endometreosis on my left ovary and behind my uterus, which I was not surprised by, but I knew he was just trying to prepare me for the worst by starting out with the not so bad.  The doctor also found a fibrous cyst on my uterus, which he removed.  What the doctor did not expect to find was that my tubes were closed off (blocked) and appeared to be swollen.  This was a shock and complete surprise because I had an HSG test about a year and half ago that came back clear and showed my tubes open.  Now I have more questions.  This would however explain exactly why we have not been able to get pregnant.

My doctor wants to follow up with me in 2 weeks and our appointment has already been scheduled.  He has already said that he may want to do another HSG test and he will look at all of my information, then we will come up with a game plan.  I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the game plan is looking more and more like IVF.

As I have been recovering from my couch for the past 3 days I have been trying to figure out how I feel about all of this new found information.  Initial thought, it is me, I am the one who is keeping us from getting pregnant.  How much longer is this process going to take and how much more of this process can I take?  I do however feel grateful that we have options.  Women didn't always have the options that are set before me today and I need to be grateful.  This path that I have been put on is not one that I would have chosen for myself, but it is one that has been chosen for me.  Someone has put me on this path for a reason and I can only hold strong to faith that I will learn from this experience and the outcome will be worth the journey.

In two weeks we will have a game plan and hopefully be a step closer to becoming parents.  Until then I will try to stay in the positive and stop reading information online.  I swear they just love to put worse case scenarios out there for you to read, so you will freak out.  I have faith in my doctor and the support of my husband, so whatever decisions that will be made will be the best that we can make.  I said I wanted answers and that is what I got.  I just wish the answers would have been different.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Six Months of Hope

The pressure was off, at least for a little while.  Over the next six months I headed to acupuncture two times a week, made diet changes, started to exercise, and lost 20 pounds.  I felt great!  I was hoping that the weight loss and getting into shape would increase my chances of conception.  Acupuncture was my other key to getting  my body into balance.  I will have to say that Acupuncture makes you feel wonderful and has  insurmountable benefits for your body.  I highly recommend it!

I kept track of my cycle every month and used ovulation predictor kits, so I knew the exact time of ovulation.  Every month I thought this will be the month, and then it was like a punch in the stomach when day 28 would come and I would have to mark cycle day 1 on my calendar the next day.  I was always thinking try to stay positive, but that was becoming more and more difficult as I was faced with disappointment every month.

My husband and I set a January deadline, that if I was not pregnant we would reassess the situation and seek other options.  Well, January came and you guessed it, I was not pregnant.  I had just turned 30 and I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be 30 and not be pregnant.  How could something that seemed to come so easy to many of the women who surrounded me, be so difficult and maybe even impossible for me.  I felt like I was walking around numb, because how could this be happening to me.  This is never how I pictured it and I started having feelings of resentment.  I really starting resenting women who would complain about their pregnancy. Now don't get my wrong I know being pregnant is not always easy, but when you can't get pregnant you just want to tell the complainers to shut up!  If the complainers could just sit in my place for a moment, then maybe they wouldn't complain.  It was time for a different plan.

We headed back to the infertility clinic and made an appointment with a different doctor.  When we met with the new doctor, he was wonderful and charted a path for us.  He was personable, explained things to us, and was just what I needed.  Step 1 in our new plan is to have a Laparoscopy done to see if the doctor can find anything that is preventing me from getting pregnant.  After the surgery we will hopefully have some answers.  I feel like that is all I want right now are some answers.  It is frustrating when something is wrong and you don't know how to fix it.  We will find out if we need to proceed onto IVF, or maybe the doctor will find something and be able to fix it during the surgery.  We just don't know, but I am looking forward to getting some answers.

So this brings us to present time.  My surgery is scheduled for next Friday and I am a little anxious about it, but I know that I am in good hands.  Finally, I feel a little bit of hope.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Journey Begins

We're ready for children!  What an exciting feeling when you and your husband finally make that decision.  Little did we know that it wouldn't come easy or maybe not at all.  During the first year there was always a sense of anticipation about when it would happen.  (Maybe we will be able to share exciting news at Christmas, that would be wonderful!  Maybe It we will have news to share as a birthday gift for my father, then maybe a Mother's Day gift or Father's Day gift.....)  After a year with no news, worry started to creep in.

A visit to the doctor was in order, some tests were run, and we ended up at the infertility clinic.  Diagnosis being unexplained infertility, which equals no answers.  We met with doctor and we had a plan of action.

Step 1 aka Round 1- IUI with Clomid (Not Successful)
My thinking:  Well, that is ok it is only the first try and maybe my system just hasn't adjusted to the medicine yet.

Round 2- Another IUI with Clomid (Not Successful)
My thinking:  Ok, so why isn't this working.  The doctor says our numbers look great, but I am not pregnant.  I think I need to talk to the doctor about a change in plans, but shouldn't she be talking to me about this?

Round 3-IUI with Letrozole and injectables (Not Successful)
My thinking:  I am starting to get frustrated that this is not happening, but maybe my body needs to get used to the new medicine.

Round 4- Same as Round 3 (Not Successful)
My thinking:  I can't believe this is not working!  IVF might be a reality, I am not sure I am ready for that!

Round 5- Never happened, the doctor called it off because my estrogen levels where too high.
My thinking: Now I have $500 worth of medicine in my refrigerator that can't be used this month.  I think I might need a break from all of this.

After four rounds with the last one canceled, we started considering taking a step back and taking a break from the infertility clinic.  It was becoming too much pressure.  People who cared and were just concerned, would ask every round how did things go.  Everyone knew what I was going through and wanted to be supportive, but when I said it didn't work there was a look of pity on their faces.  I was not looking for pity.  There was a reason why I wasn't getting pregnant and it was no one's fault.  That was just the way things were and I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me.

After months of disappointment, weight gain, feeling awful from the infertility drugs, and our schedule being dictated by what time I needed an injection, we decided to take a break and seek alternatives.  We decided to make some lifestyle and diet changes and I would receive acupuncture treatments twice a week for the next six months.  After six months we would see if anything happened and hope for the best.

Why Blog About Infertility?

I am not a writer and will never claim to be, so why am I blogging?  It all started with a conversation with a friend on a topic that we are passionate about because we are involuntarily directly connected to it.  That topic would be infertility.  We were discussing how women do not talk what they are going through during infertility, even though the statistics are staggering on the amount of women experiencing infertility.
  • Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant for at least 12 consecutive months): 2.1 million
  • Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 7.4%
  • Number of women ages 15-44 who have ever used infertility services: 7.3 million

I am not sure why we don't talk about our experiences.  Some guesses would be, feeling embarrassed that we are not easily able to do what so many other women can do, or it is too painful, or we feel that others who do not have this experience really wouldn't understand. Women today have to hear about all of these perfect 40+ women in Hollywood having babies and many having multiples, saying it is such a miracle that I am pregnant!  It is frustrating to someone who is going through infertility to listen to these women, who more than likely went through fertility treatments, lead women to believe that they got pregnant without any help.  Thank you Celine Dion for honestly sharing your story of infertility!  There are others who have also shared there story, but it would just be nice if more of the so called perfect Hollywood women would be honest about their story.  Women need to support each other and lift each other up! 

So why am I blogging about my journey?  I guess there are a few reasons, the most important being that if telling my story could in any way help someone else who is suffering from infertility, than that would be the best result of this blog!  On a personal note, I deal with difficult situations internally and I have always been told when you are dealing with something difficult write about it, so I am.  My journey will start 2 years ago with a couple excited and ready to start a family.