Do we Really Have to be Patient?
Patience. What is patience? Why must we always be patient? What if I don't want to be patient?
We decided around November of 2009 we were ready to add two little feet to our world and begin our journey to parenthood. If I'm being honest, this should be like a grand slam right? There's like, one way to do this and practice makes perfect and we are totally perfect at this! So what are we waiting for? Let's make this baby!
Wait, what do you mean? It's September of 2010 already? No way! Is this some kind of joke? I can't believe this! What are we doing wrong? Why am I not pregnant? Don't ask, seriously, I will give you details! Yes, I even went as far as standing on my head! No judging! Desperate times call for desperate measures! If you're counting, yes it has only been 10 months but it's also safe to say we've been "trying" since the day we got married if you catch my drift!
My history has been terrible to say the least! Irregular cycles, ovarian cyst and all the rest is history and irrelevant. So I knew something was wrong but gosh wouldn't I already have these answers by now? Wait, no, I should definitely already have these answers by now! OMG what if it's my husband? Seriously, this can't be happening! Breathe! Immediate phone call to my OB/GYN in slight panic mode. Hold up, not slight panic mode, more like total freak out mode!
Me: Hi yes, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for around 10 months and we are still sitting at negative!
Nurse: Ok, that's actually not abnormal. Sometimes it can take several cycles!
Me: Maybe this will help.... My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years and we don't use any type of preventative.
Nurse: Oh. Yes, that actually helps a lot!
Fast forward through several doctors appointments, an endless amount of blood work and my entire world falling apart in an extremely dramatic way. Once again, breathe. We have a diagnosis! A diagnosis? What do you mean a diagnosis? Yes, as in you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome known as PCOS. I mean, what the what? To better understand, patients without PCOS have follicles that are sacs within the ovaries, that contain eggs that have one or more that release during a menstrual cycle, which is called ovulation of course. Therefore, patients with PCOS have eggs in these follicles that do not mature, and are not released from these ovaries. Instead they can form very small cyst on the ovaries which can contribute to infertility. So the journey begins....
I have the BEST OBGYN! He is sincere, understanding and most importantly, treats me as if I am the only patient he has ever diagnosed with PCOS! I understand I'm not, I also understand there are many diagnoses far more critical but this was our world and to me it felt like it was caving in, and I needed to know how to get it back. I read for days because as it states PCOS is hereditary, and I could only trace it back to a third cousin, so other than that I knew absolutely nothing about PCOS. I hated the information I read. It was never positive, and it appeared the only plan was an endless amount of money being spent and a body pumped full of drugs! So I guess I should say I always have a plan! I respect my doctor immensely but I am impatient and well. And maybe it's safe to say slightly controlling of myself! So yes, I knew my ideal plan, but needed to be reassured I was handling this aggressively, but responsibly, because I felt so much time had already been lost. Our decision was a very common concoction used on a lot of PCOS patients: metformin, clomid and HCG. He informed me some of these medications would be very harsh on my body until the adjustment period was over but I was willing to do whatever I needed to make this a success. Lots of nausea, vomiting, and severe mood swings is all I got to say about those 5 months, which of course were unsuccessful. Unsuccessful meaning he told me at the beginning of this process he would keep me in his office under these medications if my ovaries were responding properly but after 5 months of 1, yes 1 mature follicle each month, I was over it and felt like I was spinning my wheels. So shall we move on?
Now it's February 2011 and we are being referred to a Fertility Program and may I add this place is AMAZING! My doctor, even more amazing! His plan was exactly what I had in mind and I was so relieved when he said we could start as soon as my next cycle! Praise the Lord! The plan was to continue on metformin, which by the way is used for diabetic patients, but is also very common to give to PCOS patients due to low insulin levels. Then we added follistim injections for ovary stimulation, HCG which triggers the release of the egg, progesterone capsules to keep my progesterone levels elevated and theeeen.... Intrauterine Insemination/IUI. <------ I'm going to let you do your research on this one if you're interested.
Still February, and the excitement has set in! My cycle is here and the process is beginning as I sit very patiently waiting on my "baseline appointment." This consist of a lot of blood work and an ultrasound to check for any cyst that may effect stimulation. Small cysts we can work with, but larger cysts won't work when your using a potent ovary stimulation like follistim. Follistim can cause the cyst to enlarge and possibly cut off ovary circulation and well, of course losing my ovary would be a huge disaster! Wait for it though..... What do you know? This month we have a cyst! Really cyst? For months we've had cyst-free ovaries and now you give us cyst when this was going to be our month?! Oh well, just another bump in the road but at this point what is one more month really going to matter? Something has GOT to give! Please, I'm totally losing hope and my sweet husband CAN'T possibly deal with this hormonal hot mess much longer! I seriously am the BEST non-pregnant woman you will ever meet! I have more pregnancy symptoms than my pregnant girlfriends and more hot flashes than my extremely young 35 year old mother! You guys know she's totally 35 right?
Well hello March! All I could think was "God, please, just give us something good, give me hope because I have lost all hope". Back again we go for our baseline appointment and PRAISE THE LORD everything was PERFECT. I was overwhelmed with excitement but knew I had to stay grounded. Lots of medication on board and back to the doctor to check for ovary stimulation. Don't worry, my ovaries got prayed over at least 100 times that morning. I was just praying for at least two to three mature follicles because I knew my poor ovaries couldn't handle any more injections. Once again, everything was PERFECT! So perfect that excitement overtook me and I began to cry. I just couldn't believe how well my ovaries responded! I wasn't expecting 12 mature follicles with a possibility of 6-7 more that could mature before insemination time. With these results, this now put us high risk for multiples! Multiples? Oh my goodness! Multiples? Our nurse was definitely taken back by all the mature follicles which freaked me out even more. Our meeting with our doctor was very brief. He informed us he was very pleased with the way my ovaries responded and was looking forward to insemination day. Multiples, I know, scary to think but when you're working with nothing your heart skips a beat at the thought of "multiples".
With this fabulous news we were now prepared for our first, and what we hoped only, insemination. Insemination was a breeze, which I was so grateful because it made the process less awkward. Less awkward because this baby making process is not suppose to take place in a doctor's office, where we are already weirded out that every other couple regardless of race or gender is doing the exact same thing. Hello?? My hubby is straight yummy so please don't do any accidental sperm swap! The night of insemination we began progesterone capsules to ensure my levels would stay elevated! Then we waited a long, super long 12 days before returning! May I add this is the LONGEST 12 days to pass and when your phone finally rings "PRIVATE" you can't even bring yourself to answer it! Seriously, just tell me already!
Sadly, this time was a no go. It was terrible. I mean terrible! I never in my life had experienced so much heartache as I felt that day. I now understand what it feels like to walk in those shoes and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!
I knew it was time to revaluate! I was losing myself, my marriage, and there were days I felt like I was just going through the motions! All I could do was ask God why? Why do I feel as if I'm being punished? Why do you bless so many ungrateful people with the precious gift of life but leave me feeling miserable? Just tell me why? The moment you start questioning God is the moment you need to stop being so self absorbed. He has a plan and He knows that plan! I may not always understand His plan but He does and at the end of the day, that's all that matters. So what did I do? I reevaluated.
See you back soon for a nice juicy ending....