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I had my HSG today. This is the second one I’ve had in my life, but the first one I’ve had with my current husband and also the first one I’ve had in about 10 years. It went fine…my left tube was slow to fill, but the person who did the test didn’t think it was completely blocked. It’s strange that everything seems to work less than ideally on my left side…the side with the funky Fallopian tube is also the side with the cyst or endometrioma covering my ovary. So far, thing aren’t exactly perfect but aren’t looking too horrible, either. My bigger concerns have been my uterus, which – fingers crossed, has looked ok so far – and my FSH. I got my CD3 bloodwork last week and am haven’t heard how that looked yet.

For the first time since I started ttc with my current husband 3.5 years ago, I feel like we’re going to have a good picture of what’s going on and what our options are. I don’t expect that things will be crystal clear or black and white, but at least we’re getting more information, which will hopefully help us make some decisions. We’ve been so hesitant to go down this road in the past because, honestly, we just weren’t ready. For whatever reason, it just feels right to me now, and I think it would have been harder for me to deal with if we had started this process before we were were really ready. We tried Clomid with my old ob/gyn, but we were sort of wishy washy about it, and I don’t think we were ready to start the process with any kind of perseverance or determination. Part of that, for me, was that I didn’t feel that my dr. was being thorough enough, and the area we lived in then had limited options for ob/gyn’s and REs. Even if we had access to more specialists, though, I think I would have still felt a little hesitant, and I don’t think M was really ready. I worried about the affect of treatment on our marriage, and I didn’t want M to feel pressured at all. Now, though, I really feel like we are on the same page, and while I sincerely hope we’re able to have a baby at the end of this, I know we’ll be ok if we don’t.

I’m anxious to know what our results are, and what the RE thinks our next step should be, but I feel good – slightly optimistic, and surprisingly calm…for now, anyway!

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We met with the RE today. I really liked her, and I liked the rest of the staff and the facility. We’re in the testing phase, and I have a whole list of things I’m supposed to do in the next week – blood work tomorrow, hsg within the week (need to schedule that), and fill a prescription for antibiotics (in preparation for the hsg). Then, I’m assuming we’ll check back in and see what she says. She was totally not concerned about the LEEP procedure I had in July (as far as it would impact treatment), so that was good news.

She did an ultrasound today (the REs in this practice do their own ultrasounds – yay!), and she saw a large cyst on my left ovary. She thinks it might be an endometrioma, so she wants to look again in a few weeks. She said she could be wrong, but that it looks like a ‘classic endometrioma.’ I was really surprised. While I realize it’s possible I could have had endo all this time and not known it, I wasn’t expecting her to see anything like that. So, we’ll see how things look in the next few weeks. I can’t say I’d be totally surprised, because I have a lot of other symptoms that could point to endo, but it is more surprising that it could have gone undiagnosed for so long. On the plus side, my right ovary looked really good, and she said she could see some follicles, which she said was a good sign, considering my age.  My uterus looks good, too, and since I haven’t had anyone look at my uterus in almost 10 years, that was good to hear!

My bigger concern is how my fsh will be, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that my ovarian reserve is still ok!

It seems like after this week, we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on, and what our options might be. Fingers crossed!!!

A trip home to see my family and a visit with my newly pregnant friend – combined with a long flight back – left me thinking a lot about perspective. I currently have one friend who wasn’t sure  she would ever want children and who got pregnant almost right away after stopping birth control. I have another friend who tried to get pregnant for about seven years and was successful in her first round of IVF.

The easily pregnant friend is a bit stunned by the changes in her body, is concerned about her potential loss of identity, worries about their finances, and seems really focused on the fact that she doesn’t want to have a c-section (there’s no reason to think she will, but she’s adamant that she won’t). My pregnant via IVF friend may share these concerns, but she doesn’t talk about them, and the sense I get from her is that she just feels so lucky to be having a baby. I’m not saying she doesn’t get uncomfortable, but it’s just a difference in their perspective. Even though it’s hard not to be annoyed at my easily pregnant friend, I can almost understand — she wasn’t expecting to get pregnant so easily and seems sort of stunned by the whole thing. Even though I can’t really understand, I can see where from her perspective, this is just an overwhelming experience, and maybe one she wasn’t entirely prepared for.

While I have a hard time understanding some of my easily pregnant friend’s concerns, I can see almost everything from my pregnant via IVF friend’s point of view. Even though I haven’t tried IVF yet, it’s easier for me to imagine being in her shoes. Seeing their experiences from their own unique perspectives simultaneously is such a lesson in perspective.

The other thing that I’ve noticed is the difference in how they handle their pregnancies with me. As you would imagine, the easily pregnant friend thinks nothing of spending an entire visit discussing her pregnancy, and my pregnant via IVF friend is at the other end of the spectrum. I am guessing out of concern for me, she says almost nothing at all.

I started thinking about my own perspective and a little bit about how I was raised. My mom has said to me on many occasions that I should just be happy for what I have (meaning I shouldn’t dwell on this whole infertility thing). For the longest time, that was what I did. I was raised to just make the best of things, and I did. I think that’s one reason I have found it so difficult to pursue treatment and move forward, but it didn’t really register until this weekend. It’s hard to balance being positive and making the best of things with fighting for something you want. I’m realizing it’s not impossible, and that fighting for what I want is not a bad thing. Fighting for what I want doesn’t mean that my life is going to fall apart.

I was telling my mom about some of my easily pregnant friend’s concerns, and she said something about how this just shows why I shouldn’t be jealous. Again, this is my mom’s perspective. She doesn’t and can’t really know what it’s like to be infertile, so she can’t see things from my point of view. She’s trying to focus on the positive, and she can’t help it that seeing my easily pregnant friend worried and concerned doesn’t somehow make me glad that I haven’t been able to get pregnant. It’s all perspective.

My appointment with the new RE is a week and a half away, and I have a super busy week and weekend leading up to it, which is good because I won’t really be thinking too much about it. It’s just a consultation, so I really shouldn’t think too much about it – it’s not like they’re going to just look at me and say that moving forward with some kind of treatment would be a bad idea. My guess is that they’ll propose some kind of plan for testing, and then we’ll either go back to discuss our options or have a plan to just move forward with some kind of treatment if the tests all come back ok. I guess that part depends on how aggressive they are. I’m assuming they’ll propose some kind of IUI/injectable cycle, since I’ve already tried Clomid. And, I think we’ll probably do it. 

I do have some hesitation about the timing, though. I’m hoping to run a 10 mile race in April, and I don’t think I’ll be able to do that if I’m on all kinds of fertility medication. It would be nice to start treatment after that, but I don’t know if it’s realistic to wait that long. On one hand, I feel like I shouldn’t delay treatment, but on the other, I hate giving up something that will make me feel good and strong for fertility treatment – which, if it doesn’t work, will make me feel the opposite of that. And I think this is the dilemma I end up in when it comes to fertility treatment – I want to try it (again), but I hate the idea of giving anything up and sacrificing my quality of life for something that may not work. I know I need to get over it – because I could run the race next year or the year after that – but it’s the idea of putting myself out there and making myself more vulnerable that scares me. Doing that, and then ending up with nothing to show for it – is harder than doing nothing at all. 

We have an appointment with the RE in a few weeks for an initial appointment/consultation. I imagine after that, there will be some testing, and then we’ll hear what they have to say. Depending on what they say, I may or may not start some form of treatment.

I have such mixed feelings – about all of it. On on hand, I want to go on looking at the bright side and accept what we have – a nice life, a good marriage, a cute dog, and just let it go. Accept that we won’t have children and move on. But we tried that already, and we’re back here…again. I wonder – if we knew more childless couples, would it be easier to just move on? If I had a more fulfilling job, would I not feel the need to parent quite as strongly?

My research into adoption has been so discouraging. I felt like it could be the right path for us, and it still could, but it’s just so complicated…and expensive. Our age (almost 38 and 39) and the cost are such obstacles…we just don’t have a lot of time, and unfortunately, we don’t have $25-50,000 that we can use for adoption. It’s like a puzzle, where each time I think I see a solution, it doesn’t quite fit, or brings another problem along with it that makes the puzzle that much harder to fit together. Maybe it’s the right path for us, but maybe it’s not. I just don’t know.

I realized the other day that I first started trying to have a child ten years ago. I tried to get pregnant for three years with my first husband, got divorced (and assumed I wouldn’t be having children at that point), got remarried, and tried again. Now it’s been three and a half years. It’s almost hard to me to imagine that anything would work, after all this time. It’s not because I’ve had so many tests or medicated cycles or IUIs or IVF cycles…it’s just that it’s been so long, I can’t imagine having someone tell me I’m pregnant. I dread being on fertility medication because I just can’t imagine it working. I know, rationally, that it could, but I also know it may not. My guess – unless the RE finds something that makes  any success unlikely (or if my cervix is so damaged that even getting pregnant would be a bad idea*) – is that we’ll at least start some form of treatment, and see how it goes. As much as the idea of adoption resonates with me, the cost is such an obstacle (especially since I have coverage for infertility treatment).

I don’t know which option is right for us, and I have mixed feelings about all of it. At least we’re making progress and moving forward, and even though I don’t know where we’ll end up, eat least we’re trying.

 

*This seems unlikely, because I think my gynecologist would have recommended that I take some kind of precaution, since she’s well aware that I don’t use any form of birth control

I filled out an online appointment request form with the RE’s office on Wednesday and haven’t heard back, so I decided I would call today if I still hadn’t heard anything. At 3:30, after basically stalling and hoping I wouldn’t have to make the move myself all day, I got up the nerve to call….and the new patient coordinator has the day off!

I’m curious how soon I’ll get an appointment, and I don’t want to lose my nerve before then. I almost feel a twinge of excitement and optimism, so I hope I can at least schedule the appointment before that feeling wears off!

After doing tons of research and spending a lot of time thinking, we may have a tentative plan for moving forward. We’re going to make an appointment for a consultation with an RE, but we’re also keeping adoption on the table.

I feel like I’m coming at this from the opposite perspective of most (infertile) people. We would be really happy to adopt, and I think M would actually feel better about moving ahead with adoption, instead of treatment. He worries about my health, the effects of treatment, possible miscarriages, etc. I do, too. I think if it weren’t for the cost and the unknowns of adoption, we’d be applying now. But the cost is such a huge issue, and it’s hard to get past it. I can’t borrow against my retirement (it’s not allowed), and we don’t have time to save the money that we would need. We can save some, but not enough. There’s no one to borrow money from, so we would need to take out a loan – for essentially the whole cost.

We did tons of research on international adoption and narrowed it down to two countries, but it’s so confusing, and every country seems to be really pushing its own domestic adoption programs. I’m glad they are, but it makes it hard to commit to a country, when it’s possible that in the course of waiting (which is in a lot of cases, 2-3 years), the program could close all together. We looked at domestic adoption, too, but the costs and time frame seem even more unpredictable. We aren’t ruling any of it out, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that I could be pursing treatment – which is covered by my insurance – and getting the result we want a lot faster.

So, we decided it would be worth at least a consultation, and probably some tests – and we can see what they say. I feel good that we’ll be moving forward, but hate the idea of having to decide how we should proceed. I dread the idea of taking medications and being poked and prodded, but I dread being without a child more.

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1