June 1, 2009
a crappy 6 month milestone....
We weren't sure that we were going to go "here" with our blog...but it seems like it's something that will help make what we're going through have a purpose.
Matt and I have officially hit a 6 month mark of dealing with infertility. That's definitely not a sentence that I have ever imagined I would be writing. You don't exactly dream as a little girl that you'll face such struggles when trying to start your family.
We're hopeful that by sharing all of our struggles it will help others in our same situation... you would be SHOCKED by all of the people around you that are dealing with infertility, yet you have no idea.
Let me back up a bit and explain how we got to this point. We officially "started trying" last November. It was a crazy day for us. We just decided that we were ready to "see what happens". Never did it cross my mind that things would get so difficult from there. In late December I still had not gotten my period and so we took a pregnancy test...obviously the result was negative. By mid January I still had not gotten my period so we contacted my dr's office and made an appointment with an amazing midwife that we hope to use when we do conceive. She asked lots of questions and did some blood work.
Our suspicions were confirmed a few weeks later when we went back to her office to discuss the results in February. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS affects an estimated seven percent of all women. It is the most common hormonal disorder among women. Many of the symptoms include:
Weight gain and trouble losing weight
Extra hair on the face and body
Thinning hair on the scalp
Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
Fertility problems, many women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility)
Nearly all of these symptoms began to affect me within the first 3-4 months of getting off of birth control, which had helped mask the symptoms. Which is actually why I was put on birth control in high school because of some of the above symptoms, yet I wasn't diagnosed until this year.
By April we were ready to begin taking a commonly used fertility drug, Clomid. After dealing with it's lovely side effects like hot flashes, uncontrollable mood swings, and increased hunger, we were thinking positively. Blood work later in the month showed that the 50mg dose that I took did virtually nothing. This was devastating for us. We had heard SO many friends tell us that their first month on Clomid produced not only eggs, but an eventual conception also. I began to worry. I don't worry about the timing of when we will get pregnant,I know there is a time for everything, but instead this made me begin to worry IF it will happen at all for us.
My dr (she's actually our midwife, but dr is easier to use and type :) then put me on Metformin which is actually a medicine that is used for diabetes. Because PCOS affects insulin levels, which can stop a woman from ovulating, she wanted to try this in conjunction with a fertility medicine. This drug also had it's own lovely side effects. Stomach pains, diarrhea, and fatigue. After a month of being on this medicine most of the side effects have dramatically lessened, thank goodness!
In May I started my second round of Clomid, this time on 100mg. My dr also said that she wanted to see me for an internal ultrasound halfway through my cycle so that she could look directly at my ovaries to see if any follicles (which release the eggs) were growing. We recently had the ultrasound, and left with not so great news. The ultrasound technician said that there were no follicles ready for ovulation, and that I would not be ovulating this cycle. We were beyond disappointed.
I can definitely say that this whole experience is teaching me patience, something that I desperately need to work on, and is also strengthening our faith in God and His plan for us.
I wish I could say that this ends positively, but frankly, we don't know where this journey will take us. We go back to the dr's office next week to discuss our next steps.
We have definitely been through a roller coaster of emotions during these 6 months. We have felt ecstatic in December when we thought we were pregnant, hopeless at times, anxious, sad, hopeful, anger, confusion, and the occasional day of great strength. So welcome aboard the wild ride with us that we're embarking on... called infertility.
(In the next few days I'll be posting some of my writing about this from the last 6 months that explains more.)