Monday, August 24, 2015

Infertility: Seeking Answers

During my D and C and laparoscopy the doctor discovered some mild endometriosis and adhesions.  She took care of the issues she found and I was sent home to recover. She also noted that my left fallopian tube appears to be blocked. At my six week follow up she suggested I get another opinion (this would be our 3rd) from another doctor out of Allentown.  We were on the fence about paying for another visit (if not covered by insurance we would have to pay $675), after all, we had two opinions already.  I'm happy to say that we did take her advice and visit the doctor she recommended.  

Doctor R has been running tests and working hard to gather all possible information before giving us a diagnosis/probability.  We stand by our initial initial thoughts of not going as far as IVF.  Since visiting our newest doctor he has diagnosed PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome).  He has prescribed Metformin for the PCOS, birth control, as well as other medications to help with the endometriosis.  Once I take the medications for 6 weeks he wants to re-check my fallopian tube.   

About a week ago I woke up at 3 AM with terrible pain in my lower abdomen.  I tried convincing myself I could get comfortable and return to sleep, but I couldn't even hardly move.  Poor Kevin was woken up to rush me to the ER where they determined a cyst had most likely ruptured.  However, I still had another remaining. 

Yesterday was our follow-up with Doctor R about the cyst.  He feels that I probably have endometriosis in my right ovary. The medicine he had previously prescribed should give a better indication after all of the re-tests have been performed.  

Doctor R had also sent Kevin to be re-checked for the male factor infertility.  While we knew there were issues we were unaware of several that he uncovered.  Kevin has an infection which can be transmitted to me causing miscarriage, pre-term labor, brain and spine defects.  We will be on antibiotics simultaneously and then he will be re-checked.  It was also found that his body is producing sperm anti-bodies.  Basically, all forces are against us.

Doctor R has been waiting to gather ALL information, and wait for all medications to take hold before making any recommendations of future treatment options.  He did mention during yesterday's visit that he doesn't feel we are candidates for IUI any longer given all factors.  

While yesterday's visit was highly informative there was little information that was truly "shocking". We knew about my issues (mainly) and we knew about the male factor problems.  Despite what I already knew I have found the last 24 hours extremely difficult.  I always have ups and downs and I will use my support system to help me through.  

I cannot express enough how vital it is to have a strong support system while enduring this struggle.  My husband lets me vent and eventually brings me back to reality (i.e. I can't stay mad at friends who are pregnant).  I have several girlfriends who let me call, text, meet for coffee and just listen.  They offer support whenever they are able and they don't tell me to "relax".  While things are difficult to understand and comprehend I am grateful daily for their support.


This blog exists as a way to let some of my emotions surface, as well as possibly help those in a similar  struggle. I am always open to questions/comments.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

One Year Later

It has already been a year since we had three rounds of IUI (January, February, March 2014).  2014 was a difficult year and I had been greatly looking forward to 2015 as a fresh start.  Turns out 2015 has other plans.

I haven't been feeling well for about six months but January was an especially hard month.  The doctor finally listened to my complaints and decided to run some tests.  Before even seeing my test results she had decided a D & C was necessary. During the D&C she will take a biopsy in order to verify that there aren't any cancerous cells present. After reviewing my ultrasound she said "your ultrasound isn't great, but the main issue is the cyst on your ovary."  I have a 4.5 cm (1.77 inch) cyst on my right side which should be accounting for majority of my symptoms.  She will perform another ultrasound in 2 months to monitor the cyst.  If the cyst isn't gone in two months then she will do a laparoscopy at the time of the D & C.

We celebrated my great aunt's 90th birthday on Saturday.  My cousin brought her 6 month old grandson.  I have always been the one first in line to hold and play with any baby.  Saturday was no exception, but I know that my personality has changed.  While looking at those adorably chubby cheeks I began to wonder how someone so small can bring me such joy and such pain at the same time.  Of course my lifelong love of children also sparked another (new) round of "when will you have children?!" and "here hold the baby, maybe it will rub off on you".

I know that when people speak they aren't meaning to tear into my heart but regardless of their intentions it is exactly what they do.  For awhile I would smile and brush off the answer.  Lately I just quickly answer "We can't." which typically stops the conversation fast.  The look on people's faces is a mix of many emotions (shock, sadness, confusion). I know my answer can come off as abrupt, harsh or even mildly rude but truth be told my heart can't handle the questions and this is my way of self preservation.

I'm sure in my lifetime I have asked inappropriate questions but I do know that this experience has taught me to ask less and be more sensitive to what others are going through.  Stop asking strangers, family, friends, church members, etc.  their plans for family making.  Majority of our family and/or church doesn't know our struggle, and they don't need to.  Just remember-think before you ask; your innocent question might cause someone a sleepless night.

Impatiently waiting,