Verses to Remember

From birth I have relied on you; You brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

Psalm 71:6

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Q's than A's...

Hello, friends! I am alive! I apologize that my poor blog has been neglected for so very long, and that I have left you, my bloggy friends, without an explanation of what is going on in my life, and, yes, in my uterus.

While it is not a great reason, my excuse is that I never really was able to get the answers I was looking for, either. I kept waiting for a clear answer, an explanation, and a plan. . . and while the first two never really materialized, I at least do have a plan now. And I will try to offer an explanation, as best I can. I apologize in advance for the rambling post, but that is how my thoughts have been coming lately. I figure a rambling explanation is better than none at all!

**Warning: Due to the sensitive nature of this post, I am going to be using words such as "uterus," "ovaries" and even "period." If these words make you uncomfortable please feel free to substitute them with the words of your choosing. Consider it a Fertility Mad Libs, if you will.**

Let's start with the basics: I am not pregnant.

I might have been pregnant, but am no longer. (This is the theory I believe makes the most sense and explains most of the symptoms/test results. Wouldn't I know for sure if I lost the baby, you ask? Not necessarily. When it happens early on (under 10 weeks), sometimes the body simply reabsorbs the baby, which would explain why my pregnancy symptoms did not disappear instantly, but rather slowly went away. The ultrasound tech thinks this is the most likely explanation.)

My body might have just been super confused and thought I was pregnant. (Hmm did you know your body can think things? Well, probably my uterus was the ringleader if this is what happened... I should have known. I mean, really, all women know that their uterus can have a mind of it's own! And not just in regards to pregnancy. Every 28 days or so I believe my uterus throws a little hissy fit to let the rest of my body know it is NOT happy with what is going on, and this often results in me being banished to the sofa with a heating pad. So, really, I should not be surprised. You just can't trust your uterus as far as you can throw it...)

This is the theory my doc thinks is most likely, because according to her, it is impossible for someone to be pregnant and not test positive. Well then I guess my brother and my 2 cousins don't really exist, because their moms did not test positive, so it must have been impossible that they were pregnant, even though they all had healthy babies... Couldn't she have just said it would be very unlikely? I mean, come on.

My doc did say that 1)I could have been pregnant and the timing of the tests was just off enough to not catch the rise in the hormones that indicate it (meaning I wasn't pregnant very long, which could be explained by a chemical pregnancy or an early miscarriage) or that 2) there is a very slight chance that the hcg produced by my body is a different strain of hcg that does not show up in standard testing. She said if that was the case then I could qualify for being written up in the New England Medical Journal... well in my mind that is the ONLY explanation that really explains why all the women in my family have tested negative when they were indeed pregnant!

Whew. Thanks for letting me get that out of my system! Now, for the plan.

Even though no one knows for sure if I ovulated during that last cycle, my doctor did say that we needed to get my body and hormones back into a normal cycle. The best way to do that is to take a couple of different hormones at specific times, which will hopefully result in basically restarting my hormonal clock. Like Ctrl Alt Delete for my ovaries. Sorta. :)

She first prescribed me Provera, which is a type of progesterone. This is a hormone that is typically made by a woman's body each month after ovulation, and then when these levels drop it signals that it's time for your period to start. When you take synthetic progesterone, it tricks your body into thinking you just ovulated, and when you stop taking it after 10 days, your body (hopefully) is tricked into welcoming your friendly aunt flo.

That's where I am now, done with the 10 days of Provera and waiting to start. (Can I just say, I am not really loving the side effects of this one- I feel like I've been PMSy for almost 2 weeks... the cramps, the bloating and the moodiness... sorry Hubs!)

She also prescribed me Clomid, which is a medication used to stimulate the ovaries. Stimulating your ovaries can cause a few different things to happen, the most common of which is that it "helps" your body to ovulate regularly. It also tends to help your ovaries to create better eggs so that when you do ovulate that egg has a better chance of becoming a baby. :) And yes, it can cause you to ovulate more than one egg, meaning instead of one bundle of joy you have a small chance (10% or less) of having two bundles... and a tiny chance of even more bundles. This used to be more common, however in recent years the drug has been improved to the point that it's now less than a 1% chance of having triplets.

My husband keeps saying that maybe we do want to have twins, because then we only have to go through this trying to conceive stuff one time, and I'd only have to be pregnant one time, and the best part as far as he is concerned, I'd only have to deal with the newborn-staying-up-all-night, not-getting-any-sleep-stage once. Hmmm. Forgive me if I'm not convinced! As for me, I don't really enjoy the thought of never sleeping for our babies' first few months. I'd like to enjoy that time, not be struggling to stay awake!

(Please do not be concerned that I won't be happy if we do get twins--of course, if it happens, I will be thrilled, but the thought of trying for twins is not something I think we are really ready for!)

My husband did offer one condition to this twin idea though (as if we have any choice in the matter!). He really only wants twins if it is two boys or one boy and one girl. He thinks twin girls might be the worst possible outcome ever-- silly man! What he doesn't realize is that yes, it may be more drama, but it also gives you the highest potential for adorable matching outfits!

Anyway. . .

Back to the plan. I take the Provera for 10 days, wait until I get my period and then take the Clomid starting on day 5 of my cycle. I take it for 5 days, and hopefully if all goes well it will cause me to ovulate. And then pretty much we keep up this cycle until I get pregnant. My doctor seems to be very optimistic that this will happen soon, if not the very first month. I am trying to be a bit more realistic and not get my hopes up too much, but the facts of the matter are that many people do get pregnant on their first round of Clomid, and for 90% of all the people who ever get pregnant on it, it happens within the first four months. I'm praying we are in that group! Of course I'd love LOVE for it to happen the first month, but I don't want to be crushed if it doesn't.

I am also hoping to not have to take the Provera every month, and that this little "cocktail" of hormones the first month will be enough to jump start my system back into regularity (no, not that kind of regularity!), meaning I will get my period on a regular monthly basis and not need help in that department. In that case all I will have to take is the Clomid to assist regular ovulating.

So that's where I am at.

I am sad that we are seemingly back where we started without any real knowledge of what happened, but I am anxious to get "trying" again. I am doing my best to trust God that he has a plan for me and that my next pregnancy will be healthy. It is sometimes hard not to worry, not to think about all the "what if"s, but I truly do believe that God has our best at heart and he will not give us more than we can handle. I know that we will have a family of our own. I just pray that it's sooner and not later.

Thank you so much for wanting to know what is going on in our lives. The last few months have been rough, and certainly were not resolved in the way that I'd hoped for or expected. It has been hard to recognize the fact that this whole trying to conceive thing may require more time and assistance than we'd hoped for initially. But I'm not discouraged, and I'm still hopeful that it will happen for us soon.

As for those of you out there who have been dealing with this issue for months or even years, I have all the sympathy for you that I possibly can. It is a very difficult thing to realize you have this problem, and that the solution for it is mostly out of your hands. All the infertility forums and blogs wish *babydust* to all trying for a little one, but I can do one better. I will be praying that the God of the universe, who created your body and knows your baby even before he/she is conceived, will be with you during this time, give you peace when it does not make sense to have peace, and heal you so that you can bring a healthy child into your family. I would love to hear your stories, and be able to walk this journey with you.

And something to leave you with, what I see as a small gift, a little reminder to us that God is still on his throne and still has the power to make things happen; in the midst of this confusing and unsure time, we have found out that someone very close to us is newly pregnant, as well as that another dear friend just gave birth to a healthy baby boy. While I am still longing for a baby of our own, I know God will also give me joy just by being involved in the lives of these friends, and their little ones.

God bless!