Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fertility... or not...

Ok, this is a little weird for me. I've decided to write about this... and not post it. I'll be saving these posts in draft, and when I feel the time is right, I'll post them... aka... now =). I don't want to forget how this new journey has progressed for us, but we also aren't ready to talk about it with the world wide web yet. That's mostly 'cause our families read my blog, and we are hoping, rather crazily, that our first attempt at treatment will be successful, and that infinitesimally small chance at a surprise seems worth keeping our mouths shut.

We've decided to tell our families after this cycle, regardless of the results, so after they know we're in treatment, you'll know. And if you're a friend who knows about all this before I've posted it, please don't let that out in the comments section. I want people to see the complexity of infertility treatment through my eyes as I'm experiencing it, and I think skipping ahead takes away from that.

You may have guessed that we started trying again after Seth turned a year old. That was early in February of this year. My periods had been relatively normal, ie. monthly, for most of the time that I was nursing him, so I was hopeful. After I stopped nursing him, things got nuttier with my cycle. It would be really short or really long, 20 days or 40+ days. My heart started sinking, but I wasn't ready to admit defeat.

Finally, my frustration led me to admit that, once again, my body is a broken thing, incapable of producing life without help from modern medicine. Once again, God has not chosen to heal me, and I'm left to deal with that. It hasn't been nearly as hard as the last time around, but I'm not going to say that it doesn't bother me. It does. I would dearly love to have a baby the fun way, the way most people do it, no needles, no bloodwork, no ultrasound monitoring. But at this point, I'll just be thrilled if God gives us another baby.

We scheduled an appointment a couple of months ago with a local fertility clinic here. I've gotten good recommendations from friends who've used them. They're small, about a 15 minute drive from me, and remind me a lot of the ART program. I'm very thankful that this option is available to us.

We had an initial consult with a doctor there, and I was relieved to discover that he wasn't going to try to convince us to reinvent the wheel. He thought the best bet would be to do the injectables, just like we'd done with Seth, same dosage, same meds, etc. We get to skip the first several months of testing and watching different kinds of medicines fail that we did last time. I'm incredibly thankful for that. He did some initial bloodwork to make sure that nothing had changed, wrote me a prescription, and asked me to sign up for the injectable training class.

But... I wasn't ready yet to get started. I'd found out about this new way of monitoring your saliva to tell if you're ovulating, and I wanted to give that a try first. So we did, for a couple of months. And what it showed me is that I'm probably very screwed up. I took the injectable class. And I hoped that it wasn't true. It looked like I'd ovulated one month, and then my period came too early for that to probably be the case. More dashed hope.

We felt very torn about starting the treatments after we bought the house, but we thought we might do a cycle in September. We know that the next few months are going to be filled with moving stress. As we agonized with the decision, and while I hoped against hope for something to change, I got my period again. On day 17. Way, way early. I wasn't even supposed to start taking progesterone to induce a period until day 20. Now we had to decide... and fast.

So we did. We didn't feel like God was telling us not to, so we decided to give it a go. I called the pharmacy and had them overnight the meds. I called the doctor's office and had my baseline ultrasound. And then we went to the beach for Labor Day with David's parents. =) I hid my medicine inside a soft lunch cooler in the fridge. I gave myself shots in the stomach every night, hiding in the bathroom. We thought about telling the parents, since I would have to hide what I was doing. But we just weren't ready. I didn't want this weekend to be about infertility. I just wanted it to be simply about enjoying the sun and sand and Seth.

I had another ultrasound today. It's day 7 of my cycle. I got up this morning very nervous. At this point, I know from experience that we should be able to tell how things are progressing by now. What if they weren't progressing?

The nurse checked my right ovary first. No eggs were growing there. I remembered the cold fear in the pit of my stomach that I used to feel when I'd see an ovary with no growth. Fortunately, I knew enough to know that it didn't have to mean the end. My left ovary has two eggs growing. At the average rate of growth, one or both of them should mature around day 14 of my cycle. I'll know soon if they want us to increase the dosage of my meds or do anything differently.


The Mom said...

Dont know if you have sen the site; it is very helpful re natural signs of feriity.

Ellen said...

I have done this sort of thing before. Unfortunately, it doesn't help with my particular kind of ovulatory dysfunction. I wish it did. =)