Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go Away Infertility!

It was 5 years ago yesterday (January 29th) when my little (or should I say the biggest) miracle came into my arms. This infertility stuff has never been easy, and just when you think you've conquered it, you realize it's a part of you forever.

To illustrate my miracle, I'd have to tell my story. I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure after stopping birth control. I was on birth control for over 6 years, so there's no telling how long I've had this condition. (Birth control hides pretty much all symptoms of POF). No birth control, no period--that's how it started. Then, came the hot flashes in the middle of the day, night sweats at night. I was feeling more depressed (despite a new "amazing" guy entering my life, who is now my husband). I went to my OB/GYN about the lack of periods, and she ran several tests, which all pointed to POF. Estrogen was basically zero and my FSH was 85. Those in the infertility world understand FSH numbers. At the time of my diagnosis, I was clueless about that number, but after an internet search, I learned very quickly how bad that number is for any woman who wants children. My OB/GYN referred me to a RE doc, and the news continued to get worse. Not only did I have POF, but my ovaries were the size of a woman in her late 40's (I was 28 at the time). My one ovary was barely visible on the ultrasound. Then, I got the talk. If you want children, you'll need to look at other options. I kept thinking 'why me?' I already lost my Dad too early (to evil cancer cells) and was finally rebounding from that year from POF without the chance to have my own biological child. Yep, at that moment, my life pretty much SUCKED. I was given the possibility of my own child, which is the usual percentage they give every POF woman: 5-10%. First of all, 5% or heck even 10% is a pretty slim chance. Based on my ultrasound, I felt doomed.

Then, I got a glimpse of hope. I went back to my RE office for a follow up, but I had another doctor. He sat down with me to talk, but his tone was very different from the first RE doc. Yes, I still had POF (and now hypothyroidism), but when he looked at the ultrasound images, he said there appears to be a few eggs in your one ovary. A few eggs...that was the best news I've heard since the diagnosis. Afterall, it only takes one egg, right? He still gave me the 5-10% chance of conceiving on my own, but I left that meeting with something that fueled my quest for a child. For once, I began to hope.

I began my HRT, and I did all the things they tell you to do to conceive. I cut caffeine and alcohol from my diet. I ate healthier. I excercised. I began accupuncture depsite my huge fear of needles. With accupuncture, my hope was getting stronger. My doctor (he was an MD) who performed the accupuncture seemed pretty convinced that I could get pregnant. Why? I really don't know. He stuck needles in me and examined my tongue every visit. How could he possibily be confident? The HRT was helping my mood and eliminating my hot flashes, which was a huge relief.

One month later, I saw my OB/GYN for a routine PAP and breast exam. Wow, my breasts feel sensitive. OB/GYN takes a pregnancy test to make sure I'm not pregnant. Really? What is she thinking? Just as I suspected, it was negative.

Two weeks later, my PAP results. Seriously, this can't be was freaking abnormal! My first abnormal PAP results in my life. I scheduled to see her again for a follow up.

A week later, my HRT-induced period was late! Must be something screwy with my HRT or maybe the stress of the abnormal PAP is causing a late period. Then, it was 7 days late. Ah, what the heck, I'll just take a home pregnancy test for the fun of it. (I am feeling nausea after my run today). Looks negative.

Next day, I still have one more HPT. What do I have to lose? Am I reading this thing right? I check the instructions. I need a second pair of eyes to look at the results window. The results were clear--it was positive! (and yesterday's HPT WAS also positive!)

My OB/GYN and RE doctors were amazed at the news. To this day, they still call my daughter a miracle. I've been told that my story is told in their offices to other women. I hope my story gives other women (not just those with POF but all women facing this rough road of infertility) the spirit of hope.

This infertility pain never seems to go away. Everytime I hear the stories of other women facing the struggles of infertility, tears form in my eyes, for I'm taken back to the place where I was before my daughter. I remember that pain and sadness, and I would never wish it upon my worst enemy. I feel a different kind of pain today, but it ultimately is linked to infertility. How do you tell a now 5-year old that she might not have a brother or sister? 'Why Mommy?' Then, the pain re-visits. Darn you, infertility.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Waiting Game

I don't like this game...the Waiting Game. I heard from my clinic a couple days ago (after I had to initiate an email, saying nicely "What's going on?") Before this, I hadn't heard from my clinic since November 17th. They were slow on getting back to me when we started this journey last April, but they were not this slow.

The nurse said she was hoping to start things shortly with our cycle, but then stated, "we have a few changes going on." I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. Change. We all know that word can have a negative or a positive affect on our lives. I do know a new doctor (who was the director at another fertility center) has joined my clinic. The good news is that he has a great reputation (from my on-line searches) and his former clinic has performed more donor egg cycles with a very slight better success percentage than my clinic. A part of me is saying, 'Let the clinic smooth out these changes with all the time they need, so my next cycle is perfect and results with a pregnancy.' The other part of me is just plain impatient. This is my last cycle (as far as I'm concerned), and I'm not getting any younger.

I can't wait until this game is over. I never even wanted to play this game...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year Is Here!

2011 came in rather uneventful for us. We visited some family members during the early evening hours and then retreated home to watch a movie, in hopes we might make it up until midnight. We made it until midnight for the New Year kiss! :) We were off to bed shortly after--no champagne, no noise-makers, no confetti, no frills for 2011. Not that we don't like to celebrate a New Year, but I know for me, sometimes it feels like more hype brings on higher expectations. I'm not sure what 2011 holds for us and I always wish for a great new year; however, I want to take one-day-at-a-time and cherish my blessings as they are with me TODAY. Today is a great day, not because it's the first day in 2011, but because I have a wonderful family, supportive friends, and a home full of love. Sounds like a great day to start the New Year.