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Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 I'm "Unexplained"

It's been a while since I have updated on my fertility progress. We have had a lot going on this year... and time just flies right by.
Here's what been going on in 2012. I've been going to my new Dr. and he has been doing a lot of tests. Recently he did an Ovarian Assessment Report (OAR). It is a test that measures your egg supply, egg quality, FSH and your chance of a successful egg retrieval. He also tested my thyriod. My results came back good, I was pretty average for my age group. My thyroid came back w a higher than usual score for being under active and I am now being treated for that.  (I feel like a walking pharmacy!!!)
Another common issue with infertility is blocked tubes. I have had mine checked a few times in the past but he wanted to check again to eliminate that as a problem. If anyone has had this done before it is seriously the worst!!!
The results came back great, they could not find any blockage or damage so they both seem to be working fine. This is supposed to be good news but I was a little disappointed, had they been clogged then maybe that could have solved everything... If only it were that easy!
The next month they switched  me over to a different fertility drug called Femara.  My ovaries are no longer responding to the high doses of Clomid so we are giving this a shot. I have been taking the Femara every month since February.
My Dr didn't want to leave John out so he ordered some more testing for him as well and his results came back normal. (Go John!!)
So if everything is comng back w great news, and I am "supposedly" healthy and normal, then why can I not get pregnant???
 
This is the same question we discussed in our latest sit-down w my Dr. and I was told that unfortunately I fall into the category as "Unexplained Infertility". He said this can be very difficult and my chances are more slim because they can not find the cause or reason so treating it can be a challenge.
In february after getting my tubes checked we decided it was a good time to try another IUI (this is the 5th time) so I took the Femara, had a positive ovulation and went in the next day for the procedure. It did not work and of course I was dissappointed.
In March, devastated and broke we decided to continue with the fertility drugs and increased the dosage, I had another positive on my ovulation test so  this time we just tried on our own (with no complaints from John of course). And again we were unsuccessful.
Sigh....this April we talked about it and decided we want to give the IUI another shot and if this doesn't work then we are going to have to quit for a while and save what we can for In-Vitro.  I took the Femara again and started on the usual testing routine from day 11-20 waiting for a positive result so we could go in for the procedure. This month for reasons unknown I never ovulated. What the??  After having a negative test on day 20 I went in for some MORE testing. I was supposed to go in and get blood work done by the nurse to see what my progesterone and estrogen levels were. Luckily when I got there I asked if I could meet with my Dr to discuss a few things. I was in there for a good hour going over my history, tests results and blah blah. That day instead of doing blood work he did a ultra sound.  He was looking to see if there was a possibility that I did ovulate and it was just missed.
With the Ultra Sound he was not able find any indication that I released any eggs (ovulated) but what he did see that my right ovary was 3 times the normal Tsize and most likely covered in cysts and endometriosis.  The left one was apparently taking a break..The only way to know for sure is to get a labrioscopy. I am all too familiar w that procedure, I have had it 3 times and my last one was only a year ago. Every time the procedure is done, it removes the endometriosis and cysts but it also leaves scar tissue on my ovaries, which can prevent them from working properly. So what's next?
He has recommended us to get more aggressive this next month or two.
I am going to continue on the Femara, it is supposed to have a good success rate. We are going to try injections, Bravelle is the first one we are trying and I have to give them to myself 3 times (yikes!!) Also we may possibly need HCG trigger shot depending on ovulation.
So this is the plan for the moment.. I am really needing this to work. If this is not successful then we have no other option than In-Vitro, which is better than nothing but it is just very expensive.
Wish me luck over the next few months, I am going to remain positive and try not to stress. I have too much to be thankful for to feel sorry for myself. It's been nearly 3 years since we starting trying to conceive and every day I think about how lucky we really are that we have Karsyn.  She really is my little miracle (and Drama Princess). I love her and I am one lucky mom! Thanks for reading up on me and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I love you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Decisions, Decisions??

Happy Holidays to all my wonderful friends and family. As 2011 is coming to an end I've been thinking a lot about this past year. It hasn't been easy, we've had some pretty tough things to deal with but mostly I am feeling very blessed. I think about how lucky we are that we have a beautiful healthy 4 year old, and we get the chance to enjoy her and watch her grow. We are a very close little family and we enjoy spending time together. I am grateful for our extended families and our group of friends. We love to get together and we have had so many great memories this year. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2012, thinking positive!!

Dealing with infertility is not an easy thing for anybody. I know I am not alone in this and I have good weeks and bad weeks. I try to stay positive and remind myself of what I do have. But I would be lieing if I said it wasn't hard at times. This holiday season has been especially tough for me emotionally. Next week will be 2 years from our miscarriage and I have always thought that we would be pregnant by now. All of my siblings have or will be welcoming a new baby in their home for Christmas this year and I can't help but feel left out. I am very happy and excited for the new additions, they deserve a baby just as much as I do. But its so hard to accept that it doesn't "just happen" for everyone and we have to work so hard. But I want my family to know that we are OK, I am happy, healthy and hopeful. I am pretty open (obviously.. I blog about it) So please don't shut me out because it is sensitive or uncomfortable. Our situation is what it is, but that doesn't mean that I am not truly happy for you and I am ok to talk about it.

We still have some options and I'm not losing hope. It may take longer than we want but that doesn't mean it is not going to happen. (Winning the lottery would really be helpful at this point.)
Unfortunately we have had some horrible issues with our Health Insurance that has prevented us from going forward in any treatments. SO we have had a few months off, and since I do not physically ovulate on my own so it is not very likely that we will get pregnant on our own. Hopefully soon we can get everything worked out and start back up with the Doctors. In-Vitro is probably our next best option at this point. I have been giving it some serious thought. Its very costly and the success rate per session is not great.

I've thinking a lot about our situation, Just because I am not able to get pregnant doesn't mean our family can't grow. John and I have talked a lot about this and we are considering adoption. My family has been very lucky to be able to see and experience how amazing the adoption process can be. My brother and his wife, (who are physically unable to concieve), adopted their first son Daxton in March of 2009. He has been such a great blessing in our lives, he is such a beautiful little guy. I can't imagine him not being apart of our family. Casey and Tana could not be better parents and you can see and feel the love for him every time they are around. Daxton is going to be a big brother soon. They have been chosen to adopt another baby boy due this Christmas, I am happy for them and can't wait to welcome the new baby to our family..
I have not signed with an adoption agency yet, but i have been doing my research. (I am an excessive googler according to John) Its hard for me to express my feelings about adoption as I can't even imagine how brave and selfless these birth moms are. I know it can not be an easy decision to make. What I am asking of my friends and family is to help get the word out there for us. If you know of anyone who is considering adoption, think of us. If they have any questions about me or my family I am happy to share just about everything :)
I am in the process of creating a blog about us to share with potential birth moms.
Does anyone have any advise/tips about the adoption process. I love to hear from you all and I really appreciate it when you take the time to read my blog, I know I tend to ramble on and on so Thank You Thank You!
I love to share my experiences with others and I like to give my thoughts and advice (sometimes when it's not even welcome). Most times I like to think I have an answer for everything, probably because I google it ;) So if anyone is just starting at trying to get pregnant or have been trying for a while feel free to call, text, email me anytime and I would love to help you and support you in your journey!

On a good note, John still thinks practice makes perfect... And maybe he will prove it right one day!

Much love, Cami the InfertileMertile
i

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What to do now?

Its been a few months since I've blogged and shared what's going on with us. If you read my last post you know that in July we had an unsuccessful attempt with artificial insemination. I wasn't sure what we were going to do next so I made an appointment with my fertility Dr. I was going to wait a few months and try the insemination again but he recommended to give it another shot. We did the procedure back to back with Karsyn and had success the 2nd time so we went for it. While having high hopes my Dr did suggest that we get John tested again, in case it didn't work. Johns test came back and everything was fine. I was happy to hear that his sperm was healthy but it also made me a little sad. It's hard to explain but had something came back on John's result it would have made me feel a little relieved that it wasn't just my fault. That I wasn't the only broken one. Of course we are fortunate that he is healthy and that is one less thing to worry about.
Well unfortunately once again it was a failed attempted. What else can I say other than it sucks!!! I'm feeling very frustrated and hopeless.

I sat down with my Dr last week to go over any possible options. He said that although he is willing to continue treating me, he doesn't feel that its for the best. He said he feels that the next step for us should be In-Vitro Fertilization. Of course this is something I knew was coming, But I wasn't prepared to hear it. My Dr said that he can not find a reason to why we are not getting pregnant. We have done everything right and there just is no answer. He said that because of the severity of my endometriosis and cysts that he would have to pretty much start over. We would have to do another labrioscopy (this would be my 4th) and start over on the fertility drugs and treatments. My body at this point is not responding as well to the treatments and because of the high dose of clomid for such a long time my overies are being over stimulated.

So our next option is In-Vitro Fertiilization. If you are not familiar with In-Vitro it is a where they remove an egg from your ovary, it is then fertilized with the sperm in a lab and the embyro is placed back in your uterus. This procedure is very costly (usually 10-15k) and only a 35% success rate of having a live birth. John and I are just not in a position financially to go this route. We have already spent thousands over the last two years and can not afford it right now.

I've decided to take a much needed break, at least until we can figure out what we are going to do. I'm sad and I'm exhausted. My body and my mind need sometime to get back to normal. I need to stop stressing about it!! I think I have handled the situation Ive been handed pretty well. It's been very hard and emotionally draining but I am not giving up. I am still hoping that a miracle will happen and we will get pregnant on our own but until then I am going to take a breath!
To help me keep my mind off of getting pregnant we've added a sweet little addition to our family. Karsyn thinks we bought a puppy for her but she has been such great therapy for me. Karsyn just adores her and she's been doing so great. I told John the other day that sooner or later I am going to realize that she is not a baby, but for right now she is and she makes me happy.
Thanks again to all my family and friends for the love and support. We love you all and I know your thoughts and prayers are with us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Window is closing

I wish I had some exciting news to write today, but I guess this is the reason for my blog right???
I went to my usual monthly Dr appointment last month(July) and he checked me with the ultrasound and found again only one egg. I told him we would like to try artificial insemination again but was hesitant because the chances are not very great with only one egg. He said if I waited a couple more days to give the HCG shot there may be a possibility for two eggs. He was going out of town the next week so I asked him what he recommended for us. I asked him if it would be best to hold off this month since I am training for my relay and he was going on vacation. Dr Johnson said " I don't think you can wait, I am afraid your window of opportunity is closing". I am not entirely sure what he meant by that. He did say because I have been on such a high dose of clomid for so long my ovaries are not doing what they should. So he recommended that we should not hold off any longer and go ahead with the IUI. Sunday was the best day to get the shot in hopes for at least two eggs. The office is closed on Sundays and the HCG shot cannot be mixed until the time it is given. I would have tried to do it myself but my wonderful friend Stephanie offered to give it me. It was pretty funny and awkward going to her house, figuring out how to mix it and then her stabbing me in the bare butt. The next morning was July 24th and a holiday so the Dr office was closed. Dr J. being the great man that he is, met me there anyway. I came along with my "sample" courtesy of John and he did the procedure. Then left that same day on vacation with his family. I don't think there are many Dr's out there that would do that for their patients. He really is an amazing guy and I know he cares and hopes for us. All I could do was hope for the best and try not to stress. It's been a long couple weeks and I hate the waiting game. Its so hard not to think about it all the time but I had a lot going on to keep my mind off. Planning my 4 year olds "Justin Bieber Birthday Bash" was so fun and I enjoyed sharing that time with her.I kept me pretty busy but then unfortunately I started my period yesterday. I would be lying if I said I wasn't having a hard time with it. I tried not to get my hopes up but I was still thinking positive, I thought for sure this month was it. So now what do I do? I am not sure what other options are out there for me. We can try it again a few more times maybe and if money were no option we could do In-Vitro Fertilization. But things are tight and I am just not sure what else to do. I feel like my clock is ticking and I am exhausted!!!!
So I'm asking you guys for advice? Is there anyone else who has had similar problems? What have you tried? What has worked for you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still trying and trying and trying




So here's an update on what we have been doing to try to get pregnant. If you read my last blog post you know that we had an unfortunate miscarriage. After the miscarriage in December , we had to take a couple months off of trying to let my body heal. So beginning March 2010 we were right back in the fertility battle. Because we got pregnant pretty easily the last time my Dr started me on the minimum dose of clomid and had us try that for 2 months. That of course did not help so we increased the amount and added a few extra fun things to do. I was increased to 15 clomids per month, that was 3 a day for 5 days and then after that I was to take an estrogen pill up until the time of ovulation. My Dr also recommended that I continue to take a daily prenatal to help my body prepare for pregnancy. We stayed on a very strict baby making schedule which can be very stressful and not romantice in the least. It really can take a toll on a marriage. John and I have been very good and remembering what it is that we are working for and try to not make it feel like a job. Every month I go in to the Dr and get checked for eggs and if there is a really good one or two he gives me the HCG shot in my butt and we hope and pray for the next few weeks.(and make love of course) In October of 2010 still unsuccessful Dr Johnson once again increased my dosage, So I am now taking 20 clomids, estrogen and pre-natal's but he also added in Mucinex. Sounds odd to take Mucinex, but he said it will help with the lining in my uterus and at this point I am really down to try anything. I added a picture to show how much I have to take every month!! We attempted to do artificial Insemination in October and it didn't work. It's pretty disappointing when you think to yourself OK this is it, and then that dreadful period hits you. Because I am on so much medication and my body is pumped full of extra hormones my body plays weird tricks on me. I obviously have a hard time controlling my emotions, I can jump from being depressed to excited or very angry . I've had to work extra hard not to gain weight but I also have to be careful that I do not lose any either. Sometimes I feel I have to work extra hard in my personal relationships because of my constant change in emotions. My periods will sometimes be 5 or 6 days late and I can't help but think that it finally worked. So the Artificial Insemination did not take, and financially we could not afford to try it again for a few months. I kept taking my bucket of pills and just hoped for the best.
In January 2011 I scheduled my usual appointment for the ovulation check and was going to discuss possibly trying the Artificial procedure again. I was still on the high dosage of clomid and this month I did not have any eggs. My Dr could not explain the reason for that and he decided he wanted to do another labrioscopy (scope procedure). He said that I have been doing everything right and should be pregnant by now. Since there was no chance of getting pregnant this month, he scheduled me the next week. I wasn't surprised when I heard the news after I woke up from recovery that I was in pretty bad shape. Dr. J's fears were confirmed and my endometriosis had completely grown back. I had several large cysts on both ovaries and endometriosis covering a very large area. He removed the cysts and endometriosis with a laser and put a protective covering around my ovaries to help with healing. I recovered well from the procedure, and i know it's a good thing that I was "cleaned out". This was a major setback but it was necessary to do or else getting pregnant would be almost impossible.
So now it's July, and I have been trying every month since February. As many of you know it can get very costly to continue treatments month after month. It has been pretty hard on us financially, we are only covered under John's insurance and they do not pay much for infertility. We need to start being more aggressive; I am getting really frustrated and stressed which is not working in my favor. The more stressed your body is the harder it is to conceive. I am looking into some other options and remedies and hopefully I can post exciting news soon. So wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some things are not meant to be............



Some things are not meant to be............
Here's the beginning of where I am today as we try to have another baby. In the summer of 2009 Karsyn was just about to turn 2, And we were thinking about starting to try for another. I figured since it took so long and it was so much work for her, that we better get started so they are not too far apart in age. So in June I went to see my Dr and told him we were ready to try. He gave me some conception vitamins and told me to give these a shot. So we took it easy for the first two months, I wasn't ready to jump right back in all the fertility treatments. In October I went back in and did an ultrasound, there was one good egg so he gave me the usual HCG shot to force me to ovulate and sent me on my way. 2 weeks later I started to notice a little change in my body, and I hadn't started my period yet. I just knew that I was pregnant, I was a little hesitant to actually get myself to take a test because I did not want to get my hopes up. But sure enough I took the test and it was positive. A lot was running through my mind when I found out, I obviously wasn't expecting for it to just happen so easy. I was soo excited though and couldn't wait to share the news. I went to my first Dr appt at about 6 weeks and everything was great, I still couldn't quite believe that it was actually true. We were told the baby would be due the first week of July which was perfect since Karsyn would be turning 3 that August. On Thanksgiving that year we thought it would be the perfect time to tell the family about are exciting news. So we sent Karsyn to dinner with a big sister shirt on. It took everyone a little bit to catch on but finally they noticed and everyone was so excited for us!
Everything so far was going along perfectly, I was so happy and I felt great. When I was about 10 1/2 weeks I woke up in the morning a notice I had a small amount of spotting. It wasn't very much and I know it can be very normal to spot a little during the first trimester so I tried not to let it bother me. I made through the day feeling totally fine, When I got home that evening I had started to spot a little bit more so for piece of mind I went to an Insta Care. I saw the Dr and she confirmed that spotting can be very normal especially when it's very light. They do not have ultrasounds there so she checked my cervix. She said that it felt normal, if I were to be losing a baby the cervix would be open. She said she didn't feel like I needed to be concerned but she did want to do blood work and she would call me the next day with the results. I got the call the next day while I was at work, still at this point I felt totally fine and was no longer bleeding. The nurse called and said that my blood work came back and the Dr was a little concerned. She said the level of a certain hormone was lower than usual for as far along as I was. Again she reassured me that everything could be fine but I should try to see my OB as soon as possible. At this point I broke down, I knew in my heart that something wasn't right. So I called my Dr's office and got an emergency appointment with the on call Dr.
As you all know I have visited my Dr's office literally a hundred times but this visit still feels like it was yesterday. John met me there and they took me in to the ultrasound room to look and see what was going on. He put the ultra sound on my stomach and we saw our little baby. It appeared to be normal, so he said he would do a vaginal ultra sound to get a better look. When he put the probe in and turned on the machine the entire room was quiet. We could see our baby but the screen below it where it shows the frequency of the heartbeat was completely blank and there was no sound of a heartbeat. I knew right then that our baby was gone. That was one of the hardest days of my life so far. It especially broke my heart to see John cry, as a pregnant mom I think you can forget that there is someone else just as emotionally attached as you are. I had a pretty rough night, It was hard to get myself to sleep knowing that I was about to lose this baby forever. We told our close friends and family and then the next morning went back to the Dr to see my OB. He decided that since I had to see the on call Dr. that he would do another examination. I felt like it was double jab to have to go through that, and once again see the lifeless baby still in me. He confirmed what I already knew and scheduled me that day for a D&C. Physically the D&C was fine, it was really hard for me to look at my 2 year old and try to explain to her what mommy was going through. She was really sweet and I don't think she fully understood, she just knew that mommy had a baby in her tummy and its now in heaven. I never did get an explanation to why I miscarried so that's been pretty hard, there are so many things that can cause it to happen. Still today it seems so surreal to me, it's as if that baby was never meant to be. If I can take one positive thing from that experience is that it opened a great window for me. After Karsyn was born I struggled managing work and wanting to go back to school to get my cosmetology license. But when we lost the baby I decided that now's the time to and go back to finish, I knew that if we would have had another baby there was no way I could have completed. As hard as it was I am thankful I went back and graduated.
So here I am now, It's been a year and a half and it hasn't been very easy. I like being able to share my story with you. It gives me a chance to be honest and to get my feelings out. I will be posting again soon and I will share with you what's been going on over the last year and a half.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From Love to Fertility

My Infertility problems started at about the age of 18, when it was discovered that I suffer from severe endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Over the next few years I was on a hormonal/emotional roller coaster. I was on some pretty intense medications. My Dr put my body through a state of menopause for over a year and a half I had to surgeries done all to prepare my body for motherhood. I am still surprised to this day that John stuck around long enough, I went through some pretty hard ups and downs. He was there by my side through everything, he still wanted to spend his life with me and take this journey together. If that is not true love then I don’t know what is. He is an amazing man and my best friend.

I have been seeing a fertility specialist since the beginning and I feel very fortunate to have such a great Dr. I don’t think we would have been able to get pregnant with Karsyn if he hadn’t been so proactive and supportive.

I got married in March of 2006, I was a month shy of turning 21 and John was about to be 26. We had very little time to for the carefree honeymoon stage. A few months before our wedding Dr Johnson asked if he could meet with both John and I to discuss the future. He was very upfront and honest about our situation and pretty much just said the longer you wait to have a baby the less of a chance you will have. We both decided it was something we really wanted and beginning in April of 2006 we started on the fertility treatments. Not even sure where to begin on process of our baby making life. It took about 9 months to get pregnant with our baby girl Karsyn. During those long 9 months I was going to the Dr 3-4 times a month for shots, ultra sounds and blood work. I was taking maximum dose of the fertility drug Clomid (we refer to them as my crazy pills). I also was given this weird estrogen gel that I was supposed to rub on my thighs every night before going to bed. How’s that for romantic! We were on a pretty strict sex schedule, I don’t think John really minded too much. We had several months of a crazy baby-making routine, and countless nights holding my legs up in the air as I tried to fall asleep just to keep everything in there. I was willing to try anything, and think I just about did. I went to the hospital and had my tubes cleaned out, And it was one of the worst experiences thus far… OUCH! We finally decided that what we were doing just wasn’t working. So my Dr decided we were ready to try IUI (Artificial Insemination).The first attempt failed and I felt pretty hopeless. It was starting to sink in that this just may not be an option for our future. I was pretty determined and didn’t want to give up but I was starting to feel pretty discourage and emotionally exhausted. Not to mention the stress it put on us as a newly married couple, this was the time when we were supposed to me carefree and enjoying life.

So I know people love to tell their story of the night they conceived but how many know the exact day and time when it actually happened? I do and unfortunately for John, I love to share our story. So we decided to give IUI another try, I was convinced that this was THE TIME. I followed the normal routine, truck full of pills and then My Dr does an ultra sound and can predict how many eggs I will release and the exact day it should happen. He said that he believed our best shot was to come in that upcoming Sunday. So he gave me my monthly shot in the butt and told John and I to come back Sunday morning. The office is usually closed on Sunday, But my Dr being as amazing as he is came in that day just for us. We pull up to a very vacant parking lot and went through the side doors. The entire Tanner Clinic was closed and all the lights were off. (it was kind of creepy)So we went to my Dr’s Office, up on the third floor and there he was waiting for us along with his son who had to have been maybe 15 at the time. (Weird?) So for those of you who are not familiar with the procedure we had to collect a sample from John and then Dr J inserts it into my uterus with what I like to call “the turkey baster”. Dr. Johnson hands John his cup and sends us to a room to do our thing. Normally couples do something romantic and there is actual love making involved when they get pregnant. Well not us, here we are in this empty Doctors office just staring at each other. It was incredibly awkward and we couldn’t help but think of what was riding on this little cup of sperm. For Johns sake I am going to skip the intimate details (but there were some good laughs). After, we made the very uncomfortable walk down the hall back to Dr J’s office where he and his son were filing paper work. I don’t think John looked him or his son in the eyes once LOL. We proceeded with the second IUI with all our hopes and prayers and 10months later I gave birth to our beautiful 6 lb 3 oz baby girl. I had a great pregnancy and an ok delivery, just a few minor issues. But the moment she was born all that hard work and stress was behind me. She was worth every tear and every penny spent. Our life, our sweet little family of 3 was perfect!