Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Visit to the ARS

Sunday I took another test.  Why do I put myself through such trama?  Of course I got a BFN!  Later that evening, I was preparing for my appointment on Monday with the specialist and entering my BBT in my chart at Fertility Friend.  I got another glimmer of hope.  From my chart, it stated that I was only 11 DPO and it was still too early for me to test.  I had several signs that indicated pregnancy.  I gained some hope back, but then lost the hope on Monday morning.  I didn't even have to get out of bed, I knew the feelings - the cramps, the headache, the wetness.  AF roared her ugly head!  So, CD36 turned into CD1, just like last cycle.  At least that has become consistent.  DH, DD and I attended the appointment with the Advanced Reproductive Specialist (ARS).  I was a little worried about taking DD to the appointment because I didn't want to upset other women who might be at the appointment.  I didn't want to seem like I was rubbing her in anyone's face.  I was quickly reassured about her being there by the office staff.  They were all talking about her - how smart, creative, talkative, etc she is.  It really helped to put me at ease.  We first met with a nurse (Janna) in one of the rooms.  She took my BP which was good.  She weighed me (which I had lost a few pounds - yeah).  She went over my paperwork, making sure she understood our situation.  She went over my medication and talked to DH about his health and medication.  She told me that I should stop taking the Valerian Root and Melatonin because herbal supplements can contain hormones and this could affect my fertility.  She gave me a hand-out to read while we were waiting for the ARS.  We didn't wait long before we were told to go into his office.  He first started out asking us what questions we may have.  I talked to him about taking Calcium with Vitamin D supplements.  He said that he would recommend me to not take those, since I take a prenatal vitamin.  He said too much could cause problems with fertility, birth defects, and be toxic to my body.  He said that he felt I was not ovulating or at least not ovulating regularly.  He talked to us about what he recommended in our situation.  He said that since we live close by, it would be best for me to come by on CD3 to have an u/s to check my uterus and tubes.  At that appointment I would also be given a physical exam and have b/w drawn.  At the end of that appointment he said I would get a calendar with written instructions on what was going to happen next.  He said he did not want me to start taking Prometrium on CD14 like I have been because this could be hindering my ovulation.  He said that if my body was about to ovulate, it could stop it and push it back further.  He doesn't want me taking it until I have ovulated.  He also said that we will use Clomid to help with ovulating and that he would not increase the dose.  He likes to keep the dose as low as possible, but would add other drugs if need be to help me ovulate.  He gave us hope that we would be pregnant in 3-4 cycles.  Obviously, he can not promise that and did share the statistics (which aren't that great), but said that since we were able to conceive before and have a healthy child it's like "money in the bank".  He said another thing they will check is my CM.  This is done by a postcoital test.  This test will also help them figure out if DH should go ahead with the sperm analysis.  He was so nice to DD and was talking to the nurses / office staff about her.  They all reassured us that DD was welcome at the appointments and he even said that DD would become great friends with the girls (meaning his nurses and office staff). 

I am excited about this plan.  I think that he is covering all the basis and is willing to change this as we go, according to how my body is responding.  DH and I are very comfortable with the plan and agree with it.  It is also scary, but I am trying not to let myself think about the what ifs or anything negative. 

DH kind of mentioned to my mom that we are seeing a fertility specialist.  We talked about it before he mentioned it to her.  He asked why I haven't told her.  I told him that I just didn't like talking about it.  It's nothing against my mom.  I tell her lots of things, but I just have such a hard time talking about this struggle.  Hence the reason I need this blog.  I know that I need to talk about this struggle.  I can't keep it all in, but it is so hard for me to do that.  I don't know if it is admitting it, or if I am afraid of the reaction, or showing too much emotion, or being too vulnerable.  I'm not sure.  Maybe it is a combination of all of that.  I don't want people feeling sorry for me or pitying me.  I would, however, love to have someone (or many) walk alongside me (us) as we struggle with this.  I know in order for that to happen I need to open up about this, but it's hard.  I pray about it and have opened up a bit.  I sent a prayer request to our church prayer team and asked to be prayed for at the Global Day of Prayer.   

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Leap of Faith

Today is CD35 and I will probably do another test.  Yes, that means I tested on the 17th (CD29 as the ob/gyn requested) and I got a BFN and have not had a visit from AF.  Last cycle, AF didn't come until CD36, though.  However, CD36 is the day we have our fertility appointment.  After I received the BFN on May 17th, I told myself I was done with taking tests for a while.  I was tired of seeing BFNs with every test.  It was such a slap in the face, such a heart break, such a let down.  I felt like my heart couldn't see another BFN.  I couldn't put myself through that again.  It's always such a loss.  A loss for something that never existed.  I have to go through the grieving process with every BFN - denial (somethings wrong with the test, it can't be negative), anger (why God? why me?), bargaining (please God, please), depression (crying in my bed for that morning or sometimes most of the day) and finally acceptance (as much as 1 can accept not being pregnant yet again).  Somedays I feel like my infertility gets the best of me, like it is going to be the death of me.  Other days I feel like I have really given the burden to Jesus and laid it at His feet.  Those are the days that I can be with friends who have 2+ kids and / or are pregnant (again).  Those are days that I can look at babies and just realize what a blessing they are.  Don't get me wrong, I always feel that babies /children are a blessing from God, but when I am having a day when my infertility is going to be the end of me, I become very angry, jealous, hurt, vulnerable, etc.  I don't want to see a pregnant woman, a mom with children (especially more than 1) or any babies for that matter.  Those are glimpses of what I can't have and it's hard to swallow. 

Why put myself through another test later on today?  Well because DH thinks I am pregnant, just like he has several times before (but of course I haven't been).  But also because I have not been obsessed with taking tests.  Typically, I take a test every other day until AF starts (starting on CD29).  Yeah, I go through a lot of tests each month.  I get them from the $1 Store and they are supposed to be good ones.  I have not wanted to do that (test every other day).  I have actually been pretty calm and not anxious about it.  I have had a headache on and off for about a week.  The last 3 days, I have not been able to get rid of the headache.  I have also been feeling very nauseous and having lots of food aversions.  I remember feeling this way when I was pregnant with DD.  Maybe it's hopeful thinking, but I think it's worth a shot.  I would hate to go to the fertility appointment on Monday and find out I am pregnant.  I don't even know if our insurance covers this appointment and haven't called to find out because well I don't want to know.  Because if it doesn't, I don't care.  We will go into debt, we will do whatever it takes to have more children, or at least I will (and I am pretty sure DH is on board with that). 

Another thing that has helped me started feeling more positive is my faith in God.  I remember when I was a little girl, I wanted nothing more than to be a mother.  A mother with a lot of children.  Playing with my dolls was my favorite thing to do.  I really feel that early on God promised that I would be a mother to many children. I hope that means many children of our own and not in some in-direct way.  I have always felt that I was born to be a mother (not that I am perfect, by any means).  This is not to negate the fact that I am a mother to a beautliful little girl.  I love her more than life.  I love her more than anything and I am so blessed to have her.  Thank You God for allowing me to be her mother.  I don't know what I did to deserve her, but thank You!  I also feel that she was made to be a big sister.  She would make the most amazing sister to lots of brothers and sisters.  I feel that God has made her that way for a purpose. 

I took a big step.  Just the other night I sent a prayer request into my church prayer team asking for prayers in regards to our struggle with infertility.  This was a huge step for me because I have not known how to ask for this.  God gave me the strength to just do it and reach out.  To ask for prayer.  When I checked my email last night I received an email from one of the pastors at our church saying that he would be praying for us and support us in anyway he could.  Tears came to my eyes when I read the email.  I thanked God for this email and for this support.  It was as if a little of the burden (or maybe shame) had been lifted.  In fact I am crying now because it is so emotional and so private.  As much as I hate this burden, I am so happy to have another person supporting us and praying for us during this very difficult time.  The only people I have shared this burden / struggle / shame with (besides DH and praying to God) is you all and now to our church prayer team. I guess I took a leap of faith.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Not the One

Last cycle was not the cycle for us.  I test on April 12th, 14th and 17th and received a BFN every time.  AF came and CD36 became CD1.  It is getting harder and harder for me to be around my group of friends.  Almost all of them have 2 children and actually 1 just told me that she is pregnant with her 3rd.  While I am so happy for her, I just can't help but be upset that it's not me.  I feel unwelcomed or like a don't fit in with them.  Maybe I feel like I don't deserve to be friends with them.  At first I tried to put it off on them, but have actually come to the awareness / realization that it is me.  I have not shared this struggle / battle with any of them.  They are aware that I have PCOS and LPD, but not that we are and have been TTC since the end of August / beginning of September 2009.  When asked if we will have more kids (which is not very often by them), I always tell them we aren't sure or not yet.  I just hate to feel vulnerable and be pitied or felt sorry for.  I just don't feel I can open that part up to them.  I have shared other struggles with them and didn't get the support I needed / wanted / hoped for from them, so I can't share this with them. 

I started my 2nd round of Clomid on April 23rd (which was CD5) and took it until the 27th (CD9).  I started Prometrium on May 2nd (CD14).  I have also been charting my temperatures since April 24th.  This has just added to the confusion.  My temp started around 97.05 then dropped to 96.5, then rose back up to the highest being 97.6.  I have not had any other signs of ovulation - mucus or cramps, so I am thinking I have not ovulated this cycle or at least not yet.  I am not really sure how to read the chart (for my temps), even though I have read up on it.  I am currently on CD20 and have given up hope for this cycle.

We attended a friends' baby shower.  It was actually for their 2nd child.  While I am so happy for them, I can't help be a little pissed.  This friend didn't even know if they wanted kids and now she gets blessed with 2!  I know it is harsh for me to say that or even feel that way.  She is a really good friend.  Probably close to the best or most supportive friend I have, but it is still hard to swallow.  I haven't even been able to bring myself to share this struggle of TTC with her, either.  It's almost like a Jekyl / Hyde thing. I am so happy for them, yet so jealous, angry, pissed, etc that it is not me.

My friends have scheduled a few playdates / get togethers that I have just skipped because I just can't be around them.  It is so difficult.  They don't understand what I am going through.  I know I haven't told them.  I haven't shared it with them and they are not mind readers, but still I just feel like I don't belong with them and can't be around them.  I have started withdrawing from a lot of public situations because it is so upsetting to see someone pregnant or with multiple children.  I have tried to be OK with it and put my trust in God, but somedays it seems that it is thrown in my face.  I have thought of talking to someone at our church about our secondary infertility and seeking counseling for it.  But I just don't know how to start the conversation.  The other night I just lied in bed next to DH crying.  He doesn't know what to say and doesn't understand fully.  He wants another child, but says if we can't have one of our own we will adopt.  I know that I would love any child that we adopted and have always wanted to adopt, but didn't think I would be "forced to it".  I guess I struggle with, why me?  What did I do to deserve to not be able to have any more biological children?  Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful to have DD.  She is such a joy.  She is what makes me go on.  She is the light of my life.  I enjoy her so much.

This struggle is obviously very personal and I have looked to the Bible for answers and have been praying to God for answers.  If His answer is no, I pray that He gives me the courage and strength to cope with that.  I do know that deep down His plan is what is best for me.  I do trust in that.

So I will humor myself and test in 9 days like my ob/gyn told me too.  The good news / light at the end of the tunnel for now is that I called the specialist and they were able to schedule us for May 24th.  I was happy and confident with this date because at that point we should know for sure whether this 2nd round of Clomid has worked.  I was hoping it wouldn't come to seeking the help of a specialist (not that I feel above it, just wanted it to come the easy way).  Of course, I was also hoping that it wouldn't come down to us having to start Clomid and we have for 2 rounds now.  I guess I just need to learn to deal with it better.