Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back Story Part 2

Salutations bloggers, Michelle here again. We left off yesterday when I was going to get my first round of blood tests done. Let's just say it's a good thing I'm not that scared of needles, because I'm a pro at this blood giving now. I had every hormone tested you could think of including, FSH, progesterone, etc. I mean enough to fill a whole paper. I also had the awful pleasant experience of doing the 3 hours fasting glucose tolerance test. I went early in the morning because I knew I would be getting hungry and they specifically told me not to eat anything. I had to do the orange drink test. I know what you're thinking, don't you just do that when you're pregnant? Well apparently not. It tells if you have an insulin resistance or something like that. It was a long time ago so the reasons of doing these tests are fading, but NOT the memories! I felt like I was on survivor or big brother when they do those challenges where you have to chug the drink without throwing up, haha. I am probably being dramatic, but it was traumatizing for a couple reasons. I must say at first, the drink was very nice going down. It was cold (which is a plus because some places offer it room temp.), it tasted like a HI-C orange/gatoradey OVER SUGARED drink. I felt like I was on an immediate sugary high and my stomach started getting queazy. She told me I had ten minutes to drink it (hence why I felt like I was on a game show) and I had to do it in front of her. So I took big gulps, but not chugging (I didn't know what was appropriate?). I finished it and had to sit in the waiting room for a half hour. Then I had to give a urine and blood sample. I had to wait an hour and rinse lather repeat. At this point, I started getting realllllllllly hot and had to talk myself out of throwing it up. If I did that, I would have to start all over another day and I knew that was NOT an option. I was shaking and was LAYING DOWN outside on the pavement- luckily nobody else came in, there were window washers that looked at me strange. I sat in the car a couple times with heavy AC and laid the chair back. I gave another sample and then she told me I had one hour left and I could leave then come back. So I did that, I went home laid down in bed and returned successfully without getting sick! I felt totally drained from the day and had massive bruises on my inside elbow (where they take the blood) that even on the last draw she went in the top of my hand because it was so painful. 
My glucose test came back good, but my blood work indicated an issue. They were leaning towards PCOS (polycysitic ovarian syndrome) but wanted me to get an ultrasound on my ovaries to confirm. So off I went. I will spare people from most of all these gory details about these internal ultrasounds and when they have to be done and HOW. My results came back for that and sure enough there were little cysts on both of my ovaries. They are not harmful, but do cause an imbalance of hormones which can lead to infertility/irregular periods/ovulation issues. I don't typically fit the stereo type for someone that had it but all signs pointed to yes. So that's what we went with. They put me on metformin until my husband came home and then we would try that plus clomid. Metformin is a medication that is typically used for people with type 2 diabetes. They prescribe it for PCOS also to induce ovulation and normalize menstrual cycles. Let me tell you though, they wanted me to "work up" to 3 pills a day.... It had horrible side effects. Made me nauseous all the time and I could NOT get passed 1 pill. We're talking like over 2 months I could not do it. A couple times I took 2 and it was awful. It made me lose a lot of weight (which is good for pcos people that need that- I however did not). I kept on going because I wanted the results they said it could produce. When James got home they were going to try me for 2 months on clomid then also requested James to get checked out in the man department. Clomid or Clomiphene is used to induce ovulation (egg production) in women who do not produce ova (eggs) but wish to become pregnant (infertility). It's a "super ovulator" if you do ovulate on your own. I've heard great things about this, but you can only take it for like 6 months consecutively before you have to stop. It causes cysts on your ovaries and if they get too big you can not take it. Since I already had a bunch of cysts they always had to do an internal ultrasound check to be sure I was able to take clomid. I was always good to go. They put me on a low dose of clomid and I ovulated way earlier than normal so that was good. Long story short we had more waiting 4 months long wait for James' appointment just to say he was good to go. But had no luck getting pregnant.

Fast forward to January 2012. My doctor then wanted to make sure my tubes weren't blocked so I was scheduled for an HSG (Hysterosalpingography). Its a high tech x-ray to see your tubes (that was the cool part) then they inject a dye in there to see if it goes through both fallopian tubes.... again that was cool, the AWFUL part was the BALLOON catheter type thing to hold the apparatus in place.... when he inflated that balloon, I thought I was going to die. The INTENSE pain I felt was indescribable, luckily it probably lasted 3 minutes, but mannnnnnn. He was able to interpret the results right away because he was a doctor and said everything looked great no problems. At this point, I was stumped and so was my doctor. I also noticed that my cycles were becoming pretty predictable and regular. I also had stopped taking my metformin because it was just awful so it appeared my cycle was getting normal on its own. I told my doctor that and she wanted me to go in for the same blood tests to see if it indicated anything different. Luckily she spared me the glucose test again. My levels appeared better, but not completely normal. She told me she'd be willing to do two more rounds of clomid then she would have to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist, because I had unexplained infertility. 

We felt pretty discouraged because we didn't want something to be wrong, but at least then we could pin point the reason we weren't having much luck. So now we're at February and we did clomid. Seemed to have similar results with a good cycle, but again no such luck. We had one more chance for multiple reasons. James was leaving at the end of March for another two month training and then when he got back we'd have a couple weeks before we'd be moving. We had decided that if it didn't work this last time, that we would just pay for IVF because we just felt we didn't want to start all over with new doctors etc.  Well March cycle came around and nothing really had changed, still on a small dose of clomid and hoping for the best. I guess the universes aligned and granted us our wish. We got pregnant!! 
I know what I went through is NOTHING compared to what some people go through, but I wanted to tell my story because there are people going through this journey and it is hard no matter what stage you're at. I've already had people ask me for help/give them advice that are going through something similar. I really feel for people that have to go beyond what I had to. It definitely took a toll on me/us, but I guess that's just the way it was supposed to happen. 

Stay tuned next week for updates on my progress! HINT: It's going pretty well :)  Pin It


Chris said...

Wow, that is a whole lot of stuff to go through! Kinda figured you might be trying, but obviously didn't know any of that. Glad for the happy ending!!

Jen said...

I know how hard all this was experiencing it with you via phone. I remember the glucose test quite well. I was trying to talk you into staying calm and not throwing up. So excited for your little bundle of joy coming! Can't wait to see you guys.

Heart Grown Doodles said...


Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for you. We went through it all and I can tell you it does takes a toll on you and your spouse. It is such an emotional journey. I do believe everything happens for a reason. If I were to ever have gotten pregnant we would not have Corbin. I would not change that for anything. We have unexplained infertility and it is hard not knowing what is wrong. I always thought it would be easier to deal with if we knew what was wrong. I hope your pregnancy continues to go well.
Linsey Daniel

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