Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Beginning: Introduction & Other Details

The main purpose of this blog is for me to have an outlet to write down details of our life that I don't want to forget. Specifically, details about our dealings with infertility. I'll write about other things, too, but mostly, this blog will be about our infertility treatments, etc.

To catch you up...Jordan (my husband) and I have been married for 7.5 years (5/19/07 to be exact). We talked about having children before we were married and agreed that we wanted to wait a few years before we had children. I was 21 and Jordan was 26 when we got married, so we both had some "growing up" to do first. We are both from Baton Rouge, LA and moved to Ruston, LA in November of 2008. We lived in 2 "rent houses" before we decided to make Ruston our official home when we built/bought a house in August 2013. We had lived in Ruston for almost a year when we decided that we wanted to start trying for a baby. I read about all the normal particulars about how to know when you're ovulating, etc. and it all made sense. I had always had regular cycles, so I didn't think that there was any real reason to worry about getting pregnant.

The first year of trying came & went (2010), and I was annoyed that I hadn't gotten pregnant yet. Everyone else that I knew was getting pregnant, so why wasn't I?? Surely we were doing something wrong and just didn't know it. I went to my OBGYN and told her that we had been trying for a year, but no pregnancy. She recommended that we do bloodwork and start Clomid (50mg). The bloodwork showed that I had low progesterone, but she said that Clomid should help with that. The first month that I was on Clomid, I responded well to the medicine, had sex at the time that they told me to, and still, no pregnancy (2011).

When I went back to the doctor for Clomid month 2 (on cycle day 2 or 3), she said that she had to do an ultra-sound. The ultra-sound looked fine, so she increased my Clomid from 50mg to 100mg. Took Clomid as directed, sex on the right days, bloodwork showed that I responded to the medicine correctly...still no pregnancy. This went on for several more months...honestly, I lost count...maybe 9 months of Clomid?? (This is why I'm blogging about this now, so I don't forget what I do remember.)

SIDE NOTE: At some point, we did a semen analysis, and everything was fine. Perfect count, perfect motility, etc. After a few months of being on Clomid, my doctor started to see signs of PCOS. I also started taking Metformin to combat the PCOS. I was never "officially" diagnosed with PCOS, just more like "borderline" PCOS.

One of the last times I went to my doctor during that string of Clomid months, I had to see one of the other doctors in the group. She asked if I'd considered doing an IUI. Since I didn't know what that was, I said, "no?". She explained what it was, so I said sure! The next month, we did our first IUI.

IUI #1 (July 2012)
I took Clomid, and was given a tube to collect the sperm. I was instructed to put the tube in my bra, and drive it to the lab (about a 40 minute drive). The nurse explained how time sensitive this was, etc. I did as instructed, got to the lab, and they had no idea who I was/why I was there. i frantically call my doctor's office, and they tell me, "oh, sorry...not that lab, this other lab at another location." I'm angry. I asked if there was any point in continuing, and they said no, it will be fine. I run back to my car, drive to the other lab where they did the sperm wash. Get the sperm wash back, put the tube back in my bra, because my doctor is at ANOTHER location, so I have to go there for her to do the actual procedure. Now, I'm really frustrated. I know that this is a very time sensitive thing and you are sending me all over Monroe?? I get to the office where my doctor is for the day, and I go to the front of the line and tell the receptionist why I'm there. She talks to my doctor, and they send me right on back. Procedure is done, I pay, and go home to rest. I tell myself to calm down. Right. (Side Note: Jordan was going to come with me, and I don't remember exactly why he didn't - some work emergency.)

This cycle is longer than the others, so I get excited. I go for bloodwork. The nurse calls back, and very happily tells me, "nope! you aren't pregnant!". If she would have told me this in person, I might have punched her in the face. IUI #1 = failed.

After this (August 2012), we did an HSG test, which came back fine. I watched the dye spill out of my fallopian tubes with my own eyes - no blockage. This was good news, but still no answer as to why I haven't gotten pregnant yet.

After the craziness of IUI #1, I talked to a few people who had also had trouble getting pregnant and they recommended that I see a fertility specialist, Dr. Vandermolen, in Shreveport (an hour away). I didn't really want to do that. I didn't want to admit that I needed to go to a fertility specialist. I was told that it takes forEVER to get an appointment with him, so I might as well call to get on the list for an appointment in the next 6-9 months. I called to make the appointment, and the receptionist tells me, "this never happens...he had a cancellation for tomorrow at 1:30 pm". I took the appointment, then emailed my boss to request the next afternoon off. Thankfully, my boss is incredibly understanding and he said that would be fine.

I went to the consultation and Dr. Vandermolen told me that he reviewed my chart from my OBGYN, and that if I wanted to, I could go straight to IVF if money was no object. Well, money is an object, so I opted to do more IUIs. This is where I don't remember ALL of the details.

IUI #2 (January 2013)
I took Clomid along with another injectable medicine. I went to Shreveport several times for bloodwork & ultra-sounds. All of my results were perfect. Dr. Vandermolen even said that I was a "perfect egg maker". We went for the procedure at the exact time we were told. Sperm count was fabulous, I don't remember the exact number, but it was very high. The procedure was done, and we went home to rest. I felt really good about this one. The experience as a whole with Dr. Vandermolen's staff was exponentially better than my OBGYN's office. (I know, this is not what OBGYN's do. But if they are even going to try, they should have done better.) IUI #2 = failed. I was really upset, but I put myself together and went back for IUI #3.

IUI #3 (February 2013)
I took Clomid, the injectable medicine, plus a trigger shot. Again, went to Shreveport several times for bloodwork & ultra-sounds. My results were better than the month before, and I was REALLY hopeful. We went to Dr. V's office and he said that I needed one more dose of meds before the trigger shot. We did the extra dose of meds, and everything looked great. We did the trigger shot (which completely freaked Jordan out, ha!) and went to Dr. V's office the next morning, as instructed. The procedure was done, and we went home to rest. IUI #3 = failed.

At this point, I was not ok. We had been doing some sort of treatment for over a year and nothing was giving the result that I wanted. I had an emotional breakdown, and we decided to take a break. I know, I only did 2 months with Dr. V, but emotionally, I could not handle another month. If you're familiar with the drugs that I was taking, you know that they make you feel like you are pregnant. Feeling like you are pregnant but not actually being pregnant is horrible to say the least. Plus, this is all very expensive and none of it is covered by insurance. On top of that, I had gained some weight during all of this - like 30-40 lbs. I was miserable.

I changed my focus to our house. We were building and I threw myself into picking out tile, paint colors, etc. It was a great distraction for me. We moved in the house and got settled, but now I no longer had something to distract me from my empty womb.

SIDE NOTE: I also started seeing a different OBGYN and I love her. Her staff is so kind and so supportive.

I decided that whether I was pregnant or not, I needed to get healthy...especially if I wanted my body to cooperate the way that it should. In October of 2013, I started focusing on my physical health and losing weight. In February 2014, Jordan and I totally changed the way that we eat by starting the Whole 30 eating plan (super strict paleo). After the 30-day plan, we continued to eat this way. During 2014, I lost 56 lbs and Jordan lost a little over 60 lbs. We really stuck to it until about October...we started incorporating old habits. Thankfully, neither of us gained any weight back, but we didn't lose anymore either. We are starting the Whole 30 eating plan again now to "re-set" for 2015 and my upcoming fertility treatments.

It's been 2 years since I saw Dr. V. This Thursday, January 8, we go back to Dr. V for a consultation to come up with the next game plan. When I scheduled this appointment several weeks ago, I felt sick. The anxiety of the roller-coaster is trying to creep in. I know that it's going to be a lot. I'm afraid of the costs financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I don't want to gain weight fact, I want/need to lose more. I don't want to waste money on "unexplained infertility" - I loathe that term. I don't want to feel like a crazy, emotional, hormonal nut-case. But I do want to bring life into the world, and we are willing to do whatever we can in order to do so.

When my body isn't doing what I want it to do & the "control-freak" side of me is starting to lose it, I want to focus on what I know for sure, what is certain, which is Jesus. I do believe that God is good, and that He gives good gifts to His children. I do believe that He loves me and wants the best for me. I do believe that I can trust Him completely. I believe that He will work all things together for my good.

So, there you have it. Sorry it was so long. Please pray with us, and pray that I remember to keep up with this blog! Don't worry, I'm working on making it "cute", haha!

XOXO - Lindsay

1 comment: