A Long Journey

I vaguely recall how my journey into infertility started. I remember friends and my sister having babies and Eric and I enjoying our freedom. I turned 31 then 32. At 33 I figured I still had time. After all, we were living life without children to tie us down. At 34 I was still on the fence but by the time 35 rolled around, I worried. Would a child be a part of our future?

I didn’t know why I didn’t have the drive that some women have to bear children. I just didn’t. It wasn’t a priority for me until I began to see what I could possibly be missing. I realize there are people out there with children that would say I was crazy. After all, they might say, “Who would want a germ-filled, expensive, rug rat to look after for the rest of their life?”

I do. I want the rug rat. I want to love and nurture something so precious that
no one else is quite like. It is amazing how each person on this planet is a
unique combination of a man and a woman. I love my husband I would be so proud
to be a mom to his child – our child.

Last January it all started with this little pill. (Let me introduce Prometrium
– and oral synthetic progesterone.)

Looks like a yummy Jelly Bean doesn't it!

Blood work I had done in November and December indicated I had low levels of
progesterone. What was this hormone anyway? Through research and talking to my doctor I learned how essential progesterone is in getting pregnant and maintaining a pregnancy. Without enough Progesterone my body wouldn’t produce a luteal phase long enough for implantation to occur. (The luteal phase is the time after you receive your LH surge – about 14 days into a cycle if you are on a 28 day schedule – and the time you get your next period.) I also wouldn’t have a lush enough lining in my uterus to support implantation.

The news totally sucked. But, I thought, at least I had an answer as to why we
weren’t conceiving.

So I started the pill. The routine was that I would take the pill once I got a positive ovulation test. I purchased some really cheap tests over the internet on Amazon and have used those ever since. (I highly recommend this route unless you have a limitless bank account! Plus, you can even get a package deal that comes with a handful of pregnancy tests.) They are extremely accurate and are the same tests you’ll take in your doctor’s office. The purpose of the test is to detect what’s called luteinizing hormone (or LH) in the urine. A surge in luteinizing hormone means you’re about to ovulate. Get a positive ovulation test and you can count on an egg bursting from a follicle in the ovary anywhere between 12 and 48 hours. Some say as long as 72 but I’m not sure about that.

The time before ovulation and just after is critical. It’s the most likely time to get pregnant. As you can imagine it has been a test of wills since it is now nearly November and I have no bump to speak of. I’m crossing my fingers for this month!

I took the Progesterone in January and by July I was antsy. I wanted answers and I wanted to try the oft looked to drug Clomid. I just knew it helped with ovulation as well as increased the quality of eggs. Since I was ovulating I was shooting for the latter. But my doctor wouldn’t write the prescription for that until I had a simple outpatient procedure called and HSG or Hysterosalpingogram. During the test, dye is shot into the fallopian tubes to see if they are blocked with cysts or the like. I got the all clear in July. Tubes were clean as a whistle. (Interesting, there have been several cases of women getting pregnant after having a HSG test because it “clears out” or “blows out the tubes” of any little pieces of debris that might be in there.) My doctor was happy with the results and told me to go home and get pregnant.

Yeah, not so much. I had the procedure on July 29th and ended up getting my period in August. I called my doctor who then prescribed 50mg of Clomid. I was nervous about taking it – I’ll cover this in another post – but I wanted to give it a shot. We had no luck the first time on it.

Coupled with the vitamins I was taking, I began to feel like a walking pharmacy! Plus, at $80 per month for the Prometrium and $20 per month for the Clomid, this was getting expensive. I also started seeing a specialist who was more aggressive in treating infertility. She recommended Eric and I try intrauterine insemination but I elected to do one more round of Clomid with the progesterone. In the meantime, she tested my progesterone levels again just to see where they were. Again, they came back a tad too low.

I was shocked to say the least. Here I was taking an oral hormone for the last
nine months and the levels were still to low? What next? Her recommendation was
to take a vaginal gel (I started it last month) to supplement the oral pill. Can you say annoying!?

I won’t get into the details about the taking of this medicine known as Crinone
8%.
Let’s just say it’s not a fun process. But I’m trying to be the trooper here. I’m doing whatever I can to get my body to “work”. I say prayers and I eat as best as I can. I drink very little, if any, caffeine and I don’t smoke. I’m sure there are other things I can do as well.

Yes, we’ve had Eric tested and I can honestly say he is just fine. It is me that is broken – at least for the time being. Then again, maybe I’m not broken. Maybe the time for us isn’t here yet. In the meantime I am enjoying the life that I do have. There will plenty of time for germ-filled, expensive, rug rats later.

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