Several months ago, Natalie wrote a post about how trying to get pregnant is really all about timing. Now that Jordan and I are two and a half years into the baby-making business, I am in full agreement with her viewpoint. Timing is everything. You begin with the best of intentions, but life quickly can become hectic. Syncing up doctors appointments, business travel, ovulation schedules, blood tests and everyday life events is difficult.
I've decided to outline our infertility journey and clarify where we are at the moment. Friends and acquaintances have been asking around.
Hello, friends and acquaintances.
I didn't mean to be vague about the steps we were choosing to take, but until recently I didn't have anything major to report. Even as I write this, I'm a little nervous to hit publish. If you were to meet me in person and ask me these specific questions, I would tell you. I'm just getting over the nerves of putting it online. You know, airing all of my dirty laundry.
We're about to get real personal and drive into a world of blood tests and fallopian tubes. You can leave now if you like... ;-)
Ok, everyone buckled in? Here we go.
In January 2013, I had already been off of birth control pills for a while. My cycles weren't always 28 days, but they happened monthly and seemed normal to me. If I am being completely honest, I did have a feeling it could take me a while to get pregnant. I just didn't know what "a while" fully meant.
Around nine months of trying, I began to stress out. I had only told a few people we were trying, I felt extremely alone and isolated those early months. I also felt a little lost knowing that due to my age (I had just turned 27) the doctors would say to wait for the one-year mark before beginning any testing. So I waited. I visited my OB/GYN in January 2014. I was able to get in easily and after my annual exam, I was sent home with a sex schedule and instructions to come back in four months if I wasn't pregnant. Due to my cycle, the four months were February-May.
After those four months I made an appointment for June and left with a referral to the infertility specialists at Rush University Medical Center. I don't want to speak badly of them, but I called and called and called and left several messages and never received a call back. As you can imagine that was quite frustrating.
Now at this point our move to Nashville was three months away. I knew that I wouldn't be able to stay with my particular doctor group in Chicago, but I had hoped to get a few testings out-of-the-way. After getting nowhere with Rush, I stopped calling their office. In August, right before we moved, I visited my GP and had a wellness check and blood work. My blood work came back normal, except my Vitamin D levels were a bit low (I blame those midwest winters! Haha).
After arriving in Nashville and settling in, I made an appointment with an OB/GYN in town. (November 2014). I had more blood work to see if my eggs were healthy (they are). My doctor and I discussed the possibility of endometrial scarring (My mother had a laparoscopy in her 20's and had all the signs of endometriosis except that the doctors couldn't quite diagnose it). If we got to the place where IVF was the next step, I'd consider having a laparoscopy but we aren't there yet.
I left that first appointment with homework: a referral for Jordan to have a sperm analysis (he came back perfect!) and for me to have a Hysterosalpingogram, which checks if your Fallopian tubes are blocked. The HSG test has to happen during a certain part of your cycle, so I went a few weeks later in December. The test is rather uncomfortable, but it was over quickly and the doctor explained everything that was happening which helped relax me. He was great.
A few weeks later, the results came back pretty good. My fallopian tubes are not blocked, but one side is more open than the other (it wasn't presented as a concern, just an observation). A follow-up appointment was scheduled for February 2015. I discussed our options with my doctor and left with a prescription for Clomid to stimulate the release of the hormone that causes ovulation.
I took Clomid in March. You take it on day five through nine of your cycle and around day 19-21 (depending on if it is a weekend) you have your blood drawn to see if you ovulated. I have used ovulation predictor kits off and on, but I've never seen a clear indicator that I was ovulating. Those pesky predictor lines!
I called my doctor once my period started and she told me that while I did ovulate (yay!) my levels were low considering I was on Clomid. She bumped up my prescription for the second round. We didn't use Clomid in April because we were in Canada when I would have to go in for the blood work (There's that pesky "timing" issue again).
I've read many cases where doctors prescribe month after month of Clomid. My doctor will only do three unassisted rounds before referring me to a specialist, where we'll do another three rounds with an IUI.
To recap as of right now, Jordan and I are healthy. None of our tests have given reason to be concerned, but clearly something isn't quite right. We are a case of unexplained infertility. At each step, the choices Jordan and I have made came after seeking medical advice and a lot of prayer. I've had to be intentional with the amount of research I allow myself to do online. It can make a girl crazy.
We know our infertility story is not terribly unique but it's ours. We are blessed with close friends and family who graciously walk through this with us. They have been are our cheerleaders. We love you.
Some days I am extremely hopeful and optimistic, while some days I feel defeated. Through all this I rest in the knowledge that God knows and understands the peaks and valleys of life and He is with us. I hope this update explains more about where Jordan and I are, but if you have further questions feel free to email me!
Life is beautiful.