Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And here we go

Ok maybe the Joker isn't the best illustration when it comes to trying to conceive, but I can't say this phrase without it sounding like Heath Ledger and this image going through my head.

Our treatment plan is finally officially under way. It took 10 weeks from our initial appointment to get here and I am ready to go. Here's what it will hopefully take to get us on our way to parenthood.
  • 14 tablets of .5mg of dexamethasone
  • 5 tablets of 50mg of clomid
  • 1 shot of Pregnyl (HcG)
  • 2 Ultrasounds
Yesterday I had my baseline ultrasound to take a look at my uterus and ovaries so that we can compare them after my course of Clomid. If there had been any previous doubt that I am PCOS that ultrasound pretty much removed it. My ovaries are poly cystic and big; enlarged due to the immature follicles of cycles past. The nurse practitioner doing the scan counted them up but she stops counting at 20 on each ovary because "by then it gets the point across"; I still had more to go. It's nice to know I'm not making things up and that we could see I really don't ovulate but it made me feel bad for my poor ovaries. Apparently they're not as lazy as I thought, they try really hard to get an egg out but just don't have enough juice to make it to the finish line. So let's hope this Poweraid cocktail gives them the extra juice they need to power through to the end.
As I sit here at the beginning of my treatment I find myself excited with a positive outlook on our chances. I'm looking forward to the possibility of a little turkey for us to be thankful for this November. I want it so bad I can taste it and that scares me. It scares me to think of the possibility that it might not happen. I'm trying not to focus on those fears though, instead I'm praying that I'll make it through the side effects and that it will work. I'm praying for our little gobbler.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Am I infertile enough?

Recently a woman on a local message board I visit posted about RESOLVE's annual Walk of Hope coming to our area in a month. I want to sign up and participate. Currently I haven't.

Today, on another message board, a woman posted this article from the Huffington Post about the need to start talking about infertility. Part of me wants to post the article to my Facebook. I haven't.

I'm getting to the point that I want to come out about our struggles. I don't want to lurk in the shadows perpetuating the silence of infertility, yet I can't bring myself to say anything.

Today I realized why. I don't feel like I'm infertile enough to claim the label of infertility. Even writing it I know that it's ridiculous; infertility isn't a competition.

I think part of this stems from the fact that doctors see me as an enigma. My physical exams don't match up with what the blood work shows is going on inside. I have PCOS but I don't look like it. We're young, we're healthy, there's nothing to suggest that we would have difficulty conceiving a child. The only problem that we can find is that I don't ovulate.

We're not doing IUI, IVF, donors, or surgery to correct any physical problems. Currently all it looks like I need is some medical help to get my sleepy ovaries to do what they were designed to. I don't want to trivialize the greater lengths, efforts, and time that other couples are facing that we aren't. I don't want to look like I'm crying wolf and offend other couples with greater obstacles than my own.

So, is that enough to stand among the ranks of other couples struggling to have a family and claim the label of Infertility?

According to RESOLVE's website the answer is Yes. 30% of female infertility problems are due to ovulation disorders and PCOS is the leading cause of infertility.

So I guess I need to get over any denial I have, start stepping out of the shadows, and find a way to publicly embrace my infertility.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So long January

January is over and with it so is Dr. Love's OB rotation at our county hospital. I'm glad it's over with as it was wearing us both down. The schedule, the other staff, the patients, all of it was wearing us down.

There seems to be some cosmic cruelty in being thrust into a OB rotation when you're in the thick of fertility testing and treatment. He would wake up early to get there by 5:30am to treat what could have been the casting call for MTV's 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom seasons 3-5. 16 year olds with their 20-something year old baby daddies, and their 14 year old sisters who were also pregnant. 29 year old grandmothers. 24 year olds having their 6th child. Mothers to be who had been on drugs, etc. etc. These are just some of the stories he's told me and I know he doesn't tell me all the cases he runs into. He even had a dream where a school bus full of pregnant girls pulled up to the hospital for him to treat.

These patients cause us to ask THE question that all couples struggling with fertility ask. Why? Why does it come so easy for them when they're not ready to care for a child and it is so hard for us when we have done everything right and are emotionally and financially able to give a child a good home? Why them not us?
What's the point or the purpose?

I don't know that we'll ever have the answer but I hope one day we can stop asking the question.