Thursday, April 26, 2007

Press Rewind

It feels as if lately it's always one step forward...two steps back. I started putting down my thoughts about exercise and losing weight. There's been so much weight in my life for a long time: emotional and physical. Before I can proceed, I think I should go back and explain the events of the last several years. How I got to this point.

I wouldn't say that I was always "cooing" over babies growing up, but I did know that I wanted to have a family. It was always part of the plan. Another part of the plan was to only have one child, two at the very most. I come from what I consider a large family. I grew up with five sisters. Fighting over the only working bathroom, hand me down clothes, not enough money for college let alone music lessons for everyone made me realize that I didn't want to have a lot of kids. I didn't want my kid(s) to feel the way I did when friends I had got things like piano lessons, new designer clothes (jordache jeans anyone?), summer camp, a junior year abroad. Don't get me wrong, my parents put food on the table, a roof over our heads, birthday and holiday presents, but there was always only so much to go around and choices had to be made as to who got what. I just don't think it's right to have so many children that they end up feeling like their needs fall between the cracks. A parent always wants more for their child than what they had, that doesn't mean that your children grow up to be spoiled. It's a parent's job not only to provide for the basic plus needs of their child but to also help their child to grow up into a caring adult. So, children yes, just not a lot of them.

Oh the irony of the gods and goddesses.

You spend a majority of your teenage and college years worrying about unplanned pregnancies and how to avoid them and then when you hit your thirties you realize that you have fertility problems and all that worrying was for nothing!

The ideal life included the following: college degree, good job/nice career, travel, and then hit the big 3-0 and have a baby. Except...the big 3-0 came and went 7 years ago and still no baby.

Here's the time line:

30-stop using birth control, don't get pregnant, see OB/GYN runs blood work-high blood sugar prescribes Glucophage/Metformin (not ready to admit the whole "high blood sugar" thing-stop taking meds, stop seeing OB/GYN

31-depressed about not getting pregnant when "planned"-spend the whole year sulking and still not pregnant

32-start trying again to get pregnant with a more positive attitude, still not pregnant

33-still not pregnant, talk to GP about wanting to get pregnant, GP "mumbles" the words "high blood sugar", "effects ovulation". Prescribes 500mg Metformin to try to regulate blood sugar and jump start ovulation

35-still not pregnant, still taking Metformin. Go to GP's office in January 2005, tell doctor getting discouraged, still not pregnant even after 2+ years of blood sugar regulating drug. [Note: This is just after terrible tsunami hits Thailand and other islands in the Pacific/Indian Ocean area.] Doctor mentions horrible tsunami and tons of orphaned children and recommends I try adoption instead. Black and bitter thoughts as I leave doctor's office regarding "wishes" of patient being ignored. Several months later (late summer of 2005) finally make appointment with OB/GYN (same office as previous one, but different doctor). Explain desire for child, inability to conceive so far. New doctor nice, even if during general exam she makes comment about that fact that I am 35 and therefore already reproductively challenged. (Basically old with old eggs, unlike nubile underage teenagers getting knocked up by stupid careless equally under aged boyfriends.) Doctor orders blood work, ultrasound, and HSG (Hystosalpingogram). Small fibroid in uterine lining. Doctor increases Metformin to 1000mg 2xday. Doesn't seem that concerned about fibroid being a problem.

Still 35-[Sept, Oct, Nov 2005] 3 months of trying Chlomid, still no pregnancies and ultrasounds show follicles that are not really getting big. Largest one during three months is 10mm. OB/GYN refers me to Reproductive Endocrinologist who is connected to her office, but actually has own office in city 1 1/2 hours from my city.

Almost 36-[Dec 2005] Consult with RE at my OB/GYN's office regarding "the plan", next steps to take. RE is concerned with small fibroid in uterine wall. Schedules follow up appointment at her own offices for next month.

36-[Jan 2006] Drive 1 1/2 hours away to RE's office for more ultrasound, initial appointment, formal introduction to the infertility world and what happens next.
[Feb 2006] Have same day lapryscopic surgery at clinic RE works with to remove fibroid. Drive 1 1/2 hours back home a couple hours after surgery. (Well partner drives me home.)
[Mar 2006] RE checks me out. Fibroid removal seems to be a success, but cyst on ovary (yes, have been diagnosed with PCOS-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) so we'll wait till next month to try Artificial Insemination.
[Apr 2006] Get all clear from RE, nurses explain whole infertility drug procedure including numerous trips to get ultrasounds while monitoring follicles for IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination). Big box of drugs show up on doorstep including Follistim, Ganirelix, and HCG (trigger shot). Drugs are taken with some trepidation. IUI is performed by another RE at my clinic/RE's practice. Sperm count is 125,000,000. 2WW later and big fat NEGATIVE on pregnancy test. Call RE's office and give results. Told to call back again on cycle day 1.
[May 2006] Call Cycle Day 1, schedule ultrasound. Cyst, told to rest this month. No infertility drugs, try again next month.
[June/July 2006] These months are a wash-both times that cycle starts I am out of town and not able to make ultrasound appointments or follow-ups for correct timing for IUI.
[Aug/Sept 2006] Cyst, no IUI attempts-just rest-give cysts chance to go away on own.
[Oct 2006]-No cysts. More fertility drugs. IUI#2-2WW-big fat NEGATIVE!
[Nov 2006]-No cysts. More fertility drugs, but different mail order pharmacy because of crap insurance decision to switch preferred providers. Angst over having to be at home for Fed Ex delivery of drugs which MUST (I am told) be signed for in person, not just left on doorstep. Drugs received. (Still Follistim, Ganirelix, and HCG trigger shot.)IUI#3 performed (This time by office nurse rather than male RE like last 2 times.)Sperm count 250,000,000+.-2WW-another BIG FAT NEGATIVE!
[Dec 2006]-Decide to skip IUI attempt this month as both husband and I are disappointed that back to back IUIs were both failures, plus holiday stress makes this time of year all the more fun to be trying for a family. Can you see the irony of conceiving in the late days of December?

37-[Jan 2007]Cycle Day 1-call RE, get ultrasound appointment (at hospital versus local OB/GYN office as U/S tech is out sick that day and appointments are all cancelled.) Hospital ultrasound tech lets me know that I have two cysts. One on left is 24mm, one on right is 40mm. Tech is shocked at size of right cyst and nervously asks if I am in a lot of pain. RE nurse calls later that day. This month is a "no go"-just rest, no drugs for month. Next day (luckily a Saturday) I am bedridden all day because of immense menstrual pain-I'm sure it is right cyst rupturing.
[Feb 2007] Call RE office on cycle day 1 and let nurse know that I am skipping IUI attempts this month. (Basically I was told that if nothing happened with IUI try #4, we would have to "schedule a consultation". I am freaking out that doctor will either tell me I am barren with no hope of conceiving or that I must go right to IVF which is expensive and not covered by our insurance.)
[Mar 2007] Muster up courage to call RE's office on cycle day one and schedule initial ultrasound. Right side cyst gone, but left side cyst still there. No infertility drugs or IUI procedures for this month. Just rest and give cyst chance to go away on own.
[Apr 2007] Cycle Day 1-out of town on mini-holiday visiting old girlfriend. Call RE office on CD2 and also call local OB/GYN office to schedule an initial ultrasound for CD3. Ultrasound revels no cyst on left side, but 31mm cyst on right side. RE office calls and says "no infertility drugs or IUI attempt this month"...BUT being put on low dose of birth control for this month (starting that night) to try to get rid of cysts so that we can do IUI#4 in May. (Did I happen to mention that May is absolutely the worst possible month out of my work year to try this? May is the most stressful month for my job. Unfortunately I am worried that June will be a bust and possibly July as well because our "big vacation" is scheduled for the last week of June/first week of July and that will either be right at the end of a cycle/time to do an IUI or right at the beginning of one and how will that be monitored/handled if we are out of town?)

That's it in a nutshell. And yes, I am a huge worrywart, so I'm sure all that stress and worrying just does wonders for my cycles and IUI tries. Everyone all on the same page now?

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