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My endometrioma and I will be parting ways the day after tomorrow. I finally told my parents about it and feel SO much better. I’m really glad I did. My dad sounded really good this week, so I thought it would be a good time to tell them. My mom was actually kind of excited (yes, really – she said she was excited) that my doctor actually found something that may have been making it more difficult for me to get pregnant. I would say the downside is that she’s a little overly optimistic about the results, and is hoping that I’ll get pregnant naturally after the surgery. I hope so too, but I just don’t know if that’s really the case. I wouldn’t say it’s something I’m expecting to happen. It’s also unclear how much of an issue the endo really is, aside from the endometrioma, and I don’t know how long I’ve had the cyst. It will be good to find out a little more on Thursday. My RE has already said she’s recommending IVF after this, but she also recommended surgery whether we do IVF or not.

I feel ready now. As much as I laughed at my mother for being excited, it really is kind of exciting. It’s the first major step we’ve taken toward getting pregnant, and I feel like it’s actually addressing an issue. I was hesitant to pursue treatment after our experience a few years ago with my ob/gyn, who took more of a ‘let’s try this and see if it works’ approach, and my experience with an RE in another state with my previous husband was terrible. I’m still not looking forward to the recovery, but it feels good to be making progress.

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It’s always amazing to me how feelings about infertility come up at the most unexpected times. Most of the time, I’m ok about being infertile. I always feel strange saying that – and to be honest, I feel like a bit of an outsider in the infertility community because of it. I know I’m lucky, in some ways, that it doesn’t bother me the way it once did. I am guessing that part of it is attitude, but I think the other part is just time. I first started trying to have children with my first husband in 2002 – that’s ten years ago! Even though there was some time in between when I was divorced, and when M and I weren’t sure we wanted to try to have children, I first realized that having children wouldn’t come easily for me ten years ago. That’s a long time to accept a situation, even if it’s a situation you never thought you’d be in.

I don’t want my feelings about infertility to be mistaken, though – I wish I wasn’t infertile, and I realized long ago that I will never view pregnancy or birth the way some of my friends do – the ones who got pregnant easily. It’s more that my level of acceptance – after being infertile for so long – makes it sometimes feel normal. I really do forget (until I am reminded) that people DO get pregnant easily, and that they can actually choose when they want to have a child and how many. I think it’s one of the things that makes it so hard for me to move forward with any kind of treatment – that I sometimes can’t imagine it all working out in the end.

I’ve gotten much better about pregnancy announcements, even though some of them throw me for a loop. What’s come as a surprise lately is people who say things like ‘when you have kids…’ or ‘if you have kids’ or ‘I don’t know if you have kids…’ I think I feel like infertility is stamped on my forehead, and I’m always thrown by those questions. They’re so innocent, especially when they have to do with home remodeling. I always feel strange after these exchanges, but what am I supposed to say? ‘Well, we have to see how the surgery to repair my insides goes first, and then we have to see how my old eggs do with high doses of fertility medication. Then I can talk to you about what kind of flooring is appropriate.’

It just surprises me, still, how much infertility impacts so many aspects of my life – even after all these years.

I decided to go ahead with the surgery. There’s really no other good time to schedule it until the end of the summer, so I’m going to just go ahead and hope for the best. I wish the timing were a little different, and that I could see my ob/gyn and get my cervix checked before the surgery, but I don’t think my insurance would let me do it as early as I would need to, which would pretty much be this week. Delaying my pap test by another week shouldn’t make a difference, really, and if I’m still uncomfortable three weeks after the lap (which I am hoping is not the case), I could really wait one additional week. Or, I could go and just ask my ob/gyn to restrict my exam to my cervix, because really, my RE does plenty of looking at my ovaries, anyway.

I’m still nervous about it, and I hope that getting the surgery is the right thing to do. I keep reminding myself that I do have the endometrioma, which is not going to go away, and if anything, could become larger. Even if we don’t proceed with IVF, I should probably deal with the endometrioma and see how much of an issue the endo really is. I just hope I have an easy recovery. What it really comes down to is that I just don’t want to do it! I want to be like my friends who call me and tell me they’re pregnant – that the biggest decision was whether to try (or try again) to have a baby (or baby #2). I don’t want to have to decide if I should have surgery, and whether I am willing to subject myself to shots every day and uncomfortable procedures for just the chance of getting pregnant. It’s hard not to just wish that things were different.

Thanks for the comments on my last post. Time is running out, and I am still undecided. I know my parents would want to know I’m having surgery, but at the same time, the situation with my dad’s health has just worn them out. I know I probably didn’t paint my mom in the best light, and it’s not at all that she’s a bad person. It’s just that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and her coping skills are at an all time low right now. She couldn’t sleep at night recently because of a situation that’s happening with one of her siblings that has her concerned, which to me, is a bit extreme. If I told her I was having surgery, I feel like it would just push her over the edge. She wouldn’t want me to keep it from her, but I don’t think it will help for her to know, either. So, it’s a dilemma. Right now, I am leaning toward not telling – partially because I am running out of time and have a billion other things going on right now. And, when I hear her voice, I just don’t want to add to the stress she’s experiencing. My dad having cancer has really shaken my whole family and affected the way we relate to each other – good and bad.

In other news, I am starting to freak out about surgery and whether it’s even a good idea. I mean, I know I have the endometrioma, and it’s not a good idea to just leave it, but people do. I keep thinking that I have to go to my ob/gyn in May to check my cervix (from having abnormal cells), and if they’re back, then the whole surgery is pointless, because I’ll have to shift gears and focus on that again. I keep wondering how the heck I’ll be able to tolerate IVF meds, when I am already queasy from the bcp’s I had to start last night in preparation for my lap. I’m wondering if maybe I should just let it go, so I don’t have to have surgery?

My lap is officially two weeks away! I’m starting to freak out a little bit, but I know that part of it is because I haven’t told my parents about it, and I can’t decide if I want to. My family – and especially my mom – has been so stressed because my dad has been dealing with cancer for the last six months. I almost feel like she has PTSD as a result of his hospital stay (he was there for three weeks and had several surgeries), and she’s just not dealing with anything rationally. Even though he’s finished with chemo and is (I think, anyway) in remission, she’s worrying like crazy over every little thing and jumping to the worst case scenario for everything that happens in her head. It doesn’t even have to be about my dad – she got so wound up about a situation that’s happening with her brother that she couldn’t even sleep! Her health isn’t the greatest, either, and I think her health is suffering even more because of all the stress.

My mom knows we’ve been trying to have kids for years, and she knows we saw a doctor in the past who ran some basic tests. She knows we tried a few cycles of Clomid. She isn’t the most comforting person in the world, and tends to say things like:

“I hope you don’t cry every time you get your period”

“Be thankful for what you already have”

“You don’t have any interest in doing IVF, do you???”

“Don’t you think you had cervical dysplasia because you took fertility drugs?”

“I think you should leave well enough alone.”

So, when we went to see an RE, I didn’t tell her. It’s not that she’d have a bad reaction, but between her stress level and the fact that she doesn’t usually make me feel a heck of a lot better about anything, I just didn’t see the point. It has spiraled a little out of control now, though, because now I am going to have surgery, and she doesn’t know that, either. I keep waiting to see if she sounds better (more stable, less fragile) on the phone, but so far, it isn’t happening. I sort of think I can get through it without telling them, but I keep worrying – what if there are complications? I talk to them usually twice a week, and what if I am too uncomfortable three days after the surgery to talk on the phone? It shouldn’t happen, but you never know! I wish not telling them wasn’t bothering me, but it is. I fee like that means I should tell them, but then we’re on the phone, and I think it’s a bad idea.

In the meantime, I am basically willing my period to arrive. I have had cramps for two days, and I am running a race on Sunday. If I get my period today, the race will be fine. If it’s tomorrow, it won’t be AS fine, but it will be ok. I’d rather it arrives before Saturday, though, because CD2 is not always pretty.

Either way, at the end of the next two weeks, I’ll have run a race and will be short at least one endometrioma.

My surgery is scheduled, and it’s about three weeks away. My insurance pays 90%, and I know I’m lucky, but I am still going to have to pay $700. Boo. 😦

After my surgery, I’m hoping not to have too much recovery time, but I’m not making any plans, just in case. I think I have to see the dr. four weeks later for a post-op visit, and somewhere in there I also need to see my Ob/Gyn to make sure none of those pesky abnormal cervical cells have returned. I wish the timing were different, because I’d like to postpone my Ob/Gyn visit, but cervical cancer isn’t something the screw around with. I’m hoping that going four weeks after the lap will be ok. It’s currently scheduled for 2 weeks post-lap, but I don’t want to risk being uncomfortable when my Ob/Gyn does the usual ovary check.

Until then, I’m having fun, exercising, and hopefully running a race. I feel like I should make the most of this time, because I honestly don’t know what’s next. Even though IVF seems to be the next step, I don’t know when it will be. If the lap shows that my insides are a big mess, I don’t know what we’ll do. I guess it will depend on what the doctor thinks our chances are, really! Assuming we do go ahead with IVF, though, I want to make the most of my medication-free time and being able to drink and run all I want.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our situation, and even though I’m still disappointed by possible endo, the endometrioma, and my egg quality, I’m glad to know more about what’s going on. That’s pretty much how I feel about the lap, too – whatever comes of it, I’ll know what’s going on – whether this has possibly prevented me from getting pregnant or not. Even if we don’t ever end up having a baby, we’ll know we tried and have a better idea of why it didn’t work out.

It’s strange, though, having surgery that I could really opt out of, if I wanted to. I mean, I still have the cyst, and that’s an issue no matter what, but it’s not like when I had the abnormal cervical cells (and mine were really bad). That was scary, and I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent cervical cancer. I know that for some people, having a baby feels the same way, but for me, it’s just not the same feeling. I want to stay alive more than I want to have a baby, hands down.

That’s something I remind myself of all the time. While this is hard, what my dad has been doing – dealing with a rare form of lymphoma for the past four months – is scarier. I’m definitely more scared of losing my dad than I am of living childfree. Sometimes, when I think about whether we’ll do IVF and what if it doesn’t work, I think about our lives – right now. And if it doesn’t work, and we never have a baby, our lives will basically be the same as they are right now. We’ll sill be happily married, and we’ll still love each other. We’ll still have our dog, and we’ll make the best of it. It’s not how we want things to go, but we’ll survive.

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