She Says…Lesson Learned: Patience & Hope

Today I am turning over a new leaf. Or at least I am making an effort to!

I’ve been talking to my dad a lot lately about my fertility issues and he has been a shoulder to cry on, but more importantly, he is someone who believes in God’s will and is not afraid to tell it like it is.

He called me into his office today (I work in an office with both of my parents, we like to keep it in the family lol) and made me read three different bible verses. One about Hannah, another about anxiety/hope, and, by this time I was very emotional so I regret to say I cannot exactly remember the third one. Anyway, my dad went on to say that I shouldn’t be sad and mope around about not being able to conceive a child after 4 months of trying while there are women out there who know that they will never be able to conceive a child of their own and people out there dying from cancer and so on, especially during Christmas time.

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I am lucky. There are so many people out there that are much worse off than I am. I am fortunate enough to know that there is still a possibility for us. I just need to be patient and not lose hope. I need to focus on the here and now. I need to busy myself with other activities, instead of constantly thinking about my fertility issues.

So I’ve decided that since we’ve lived in our house for over a year and not made much progress with the upgrades/changes we wanted to make, I will start working on that. Also, decluttering our home of the items we no longer need or use.

So, I will now be blogging about my homely changes, along with my usual fertility update.

Speaking of which, FERTILITY UPDATE: Still waiting to start my period so I can schedule my HSG. The waiting game continues.

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She says…More waiting….

I FINALLY got a hold of someone at my gynecologist’s office that could tell me some information about scheduling my HSG. And (drum roll please) all they said was that they sent over my referral to the fertility clinic and I just needed to call and schedule it with them. Seems simple enough. Long story short, after playing a little bit of phone tag, a woman tells me to call back on CD 1 (which is supposed to be in 2 days but who the hell knows, could be 20 days) to make sure I’m not ovulating. I told her “Well, I don’t ovulate so that won’t be a problem” (I find it weird how easily I can joke about this, especially after knowing for less than a week), but I guess they want me to have my period first anyway.

So more waiting. But I guess life is just a waiting game.

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She says…PCOS Misconceptions & Coming to Terms

When the doctors first informed me that I might have PCOS, I of course went immediately home and consorted with Dr. Google. Everything I read about PCOS mentioned being overweight. Well I am 5′ 7.5″ and weigh about 120 lbs so this obviously does not apply to me.

I feel like not enough is mentioned of the fact that there are lean and fit women who also experience PCOS. This article says it all, “A common misconception is that everyone with PCOS is overweight, but this is not always the case. In fact, up to half of women diagnosed with PCOS are of normal weight; some are even underweight. Many women think menopausal symptoms are caused solely by the drop in estrogen, when in fact, these symptoms are the result of a complex, unbalanced condition of these hormones relative to each other.” The cause of this hormonal unbalance is something that most women with PCOS will never know the answers to, unforunately.

Up until recently, I have been perfectly healthy. I’m not allergic to any medications or food, I’ve never had any health problems, never had any surgeries, my blood pressure is always perfect. Now I feel like my body is falling apart and I’m only 25 years old.

After some blood work, my doctor informed me that I am not insulin resistant. Ok so then why is this happening to me if I’m not overweight or diabetic? I just didn’t understand. I felt like they weren’t telling me enough.

Later, I went in for more blood work and they told me that it looks like I don’t ovulate. I asked about my BBT charting and how it showed a spike the week before my blood test. The nurse said we could try again to do blood work around that time in my next cycle, but she really thought the results would be the same. What I don’t understand is how my BBT can indicate that my body has ovulated, but my blood work shows otherwise. Is my body trying to ovulate and failing? When you can’t do something that a woman is basically put on this earth to do it makes you feel so worthless. I’m trying not to dwell on this, I know we have many options ahead of us to try and conceive our little miracle, but some days it just tears me up inside.

I know every single woman who goes through this feels the same way I do. How can so many young girls get pregnant without even trying and there are couple out there who having been trying to for years with no avail. But I know it is God’s will, there is a reason for everyone’s struggles and we will all eventually understand.

I came across a blog this morning written by a pastor’s wife. She was talking about Sarah and Abraham from the Bible, which my dad had also brought up to me when I informed him of my diagnosis. Their story has reinforced that all we need is faith and patience in God’s will for us. Maybe it just isn’t our time.

The doctors office informed me about my need to get an HSG last Thursday and said someone would contact me to help set it up. I called yesterday and left a message with this supposed person around noon and still have no received a call back. I just want answers!!! Don’t keep a possibly infertile lady waiting in the dark.

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He says…I never thought this would happen.

I’m Travis, husband of Kelli and father of our two ‘fur’babies. This is my very first blog post. I can honestly say I never thought this would happen.

Before I get too far on this first post I feel the need to get a few things out there:

  1. I’ve never considered myself much of a writer. So don’t hate on my writing skills grammar police. This is just a blog
  2. I never thought we would be creating/writing a blog
  3. I never thought the aforementioned blog would be so personal and close to the heart
  4. I’m very excited about this blog in documenting our adventure in becoming parents
  5. This would have never happened if we didn’t come across a very inspirational story about the Piccolini family and their struggle with fertility issues

A special thank you goes out to Kate and Benjamin sharing their Babymaking Story on their blog. We read their story after consulting with our doctor, “Google PhD”, and doing research on clomid. If we hadn’t stumbled across it, we probably wouldn’t have even started writing about our story.

I’ve been around young children most of my life, being the oldest grandson on my father’s side, and seemed to always “have a way with kids”. As a kid I’ll never forget looking forward to becoming a father and having a family with the woman I would eventually marry. I don’t know if this is because of the way my parents and family raised me, my relationship with my young cousins, or my religious beliefs. But one thing is for sure I wanted to be father…at some point in my future of course. When I met Kelli I was pretty sure she was “the one”. Sure we had our ups and downs and took a break from each other. Before we got back together though I told her straight up, “Kelli, I’m going to marry you.” Here we are today with our happy little family, the two of us and two ‘fur’babies and looking to add a non-‘fur’baby to the mix.

I knew going into our marriage that Kelli didn’t want to start a family right away and I was ok with that, I knew that it would happen eventually…that leaves plenty of time for practice 😉 Even though we weren’t planning on starting to try for a while, in November 2012 I convinced Kelli that we should “pull the goalie” because I wanted us to know when we could actually try on a monthly basis and get on a normal schedule.

I will never forget the day that Kelli said she thought she was ready. We had been hanging out with my cousin and his wife, Jared and Amanda, that night. Let’s be honest, when Jared and I get together there are a “few” beers involved pretty much every time. Anyway we were all talking about having kids and how they were ready to start trying, which was always a hot topic when the four of us got together. So the night closed and Jared and Amanda went home and we were getting ready to go upstairs for bed. Kelli looks at me and says “I think I’m ready.” “Wwwwwhat?!?! You’re joking, that’s not funny,” I said. She said “No, seriously, I think I’m ready.” “That’s still not funny Kelli!” She was able to, um, convince me otherwise.

So we started doing our research buying supplies to ready ourselves for this wild adventure ahead of us. Believe me you, we have quite the assortment of supplies. Books, books, and more books, pregnancy clothes, a body pillow, tests, a thermometer, among other things I’m sure I’m not listing. So, we started tracking her BBT each day at the same time, but something just wasn’t right. I understand that it takes some time for your body to get on a “normal” cycle after you stop taking birth control but the first month or two, if I remember right were close to “normal”. After that, though, they almost doubled. We thought that something might not be right. So we went to the doctor and the doctor said… no more monkeys jumping on the bed.

Lol, sorry, I had to.

She said Kelli might have something called PCOS. “huh?” But she might be ovulating that very moment. So she advised us to go home, have a glass of wine (or two), do the deed, and come back for a measurement of insulin levels. Well, we did what she said and I was leaving the following week for out-of-town work so I wouldn’t be home when she got the results for the insulin test. Kelli called me soon after she heard the results from the test, she is not insulin resistant and doesn’t ovulate. Which means another round or two or three or four of tests that need to be done before we can put a bun in that oven.

She was devastated and I was heartbroken. It tore me up. I couldn’t do a thing. I was on the road, no way to be there with her, for her. The only thing I could do is try to convince her this was just a bump in the road and that we’ll get past it. Heck, it’s not even our decision anyway, the Big Man upstairs is the one running the show. We’ll have kids when we have kids.

That’s basically where we are today another round of tests coming up. I love Kelli more than anything and would do anything for her. All I want is for her to be happy, because that’s what makes me the happiest.

Our Struggles So Far

After reading a very inspiring blog about another couples journey through struggles with PCOS and infertility, we decided to start our own. So here is our timeline to bring everyone up to date on where we currently are.

Mid July 2013: Kelli starts tracking her BBT at the same time every morning. She has been off birth control for a little less than a year now. At this time, she was having very long periods. On CD 38 (Cycle Day), we saw a low dip followed by a huge spike (ovulation?!?!). Rather than her temperature returning to its normal levels, it stayed high until CD50 when she started to spot. At first we thought this was implantation bleeding, but after a few days her temperature started to decrease and after talking to Kelli’s friend (who also struggled to become pregnant), she told her that she was most likely not pregnant this time around, but to not give up hope! We knew we would have been extremely lucky and fortunate to get pregnant the first month of trying, so on to the next month we went.

August-Mid October 2013: We kept trying, Kelli continued to track her BBT and still no positive pregnancy test. *sigh* At this point we decide that she should call her doctor to talk about her irregular periods and make sure there was nothing wrong down there. Kelli’s mom has a history of cysts and endometrial cancer, which was luckily caught before stage 4. I think most, if not all, women have this fear that after years of trying to not get pregnant by taking birth control pills (or any other means), that when the time comes to start actually trying to conceive, they won’t be able to. Well after talking to Kelli’s doctor, she recommended that she get an ultrasound.

November 2013: Friday the 8th was the day of the ultrasound and doctor appointment. The ultrasound went pretty quickly and the technician really didn’t tell us about anything she saw, which at the time didn’t seem so weird. Then we were off to see the gynecologist. She was out delivering a baby, so we talked to her nurse practitioner. She said the ultrasound showed that Kelli does have cysts, that her uterine lining was very thin, and that she thought she might have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Even though she did not fit the usual profile, Kelli had many of the symptoms. She also said that it looked like Kelli had a few mature follicles meaning ovulation was in our near future and that we should go home this weekend and have some fun. She also said that the following Monday Kelli needed to come in for a fasting blood test to check her insulin levels to make sure that wasn’t a factor. Well after going in to take her blood test that Monday, Kelli started her period aka NO ovulation. We hoped it was just a fluke month because we knew her temp had shown in August that she had ovulated (or so we think…). Two days later we got the results. She said that her insulin levels were fine, but that Kelli definitely had PCOS. She instructed that Kelli come back in on CD 22 and CD 29 to check her hormone levels so they could see if she actually ovulates or not. She also wanted to have Travis get a semen analysis to make sure everything was ok on his end.

December 2013: Monday the 2nd was the day of the first blood test (CD 22) and on Wednesday Kelli called to see if they could tell her any results yet and also to check  on Travis’s results. Good news: Travis’s analysis was good. Bad news: She doesn’t ovulate. She then said that the next step would be what’s called an HSG to make sure there are no blockages in Kelli’s uterus or fallopian tubes, which could possibly be the cause of her lack of ovulation. After an HSG that shows no blockages, she can talk about starting her on Clomid. We don’t really know what will happen if they do find a blockage or anything, so our fingers are crossed!

Soooooo this is where we are now. Waiting for the doctors office to give us a call back to schedule the HSG, hopefully sooner rather than later!