I am writing this blog in hopes that it helps someone else out there that is struggling with infertility or secondary infertility. Also, it might be good for my general well-being. ;)
Well...where to start? At the beginning I guess...
DH (dear husband) and I got married in Las Vegas (classy!) towards the end of 1999. He was stationed overseas and I had just completed a tour in the military. I had been on the pill for a year before we were married, but I stopped in hopes of becoming pregnant. That was over 10 years ago...
While I was in the military the doctors tried to figure out why I was experiencing a lack of menstrual cycles. This was back in a previous life (relationship) and I honestly had pushed it out of my mind, but the doctors told me that I had cysts on my ovaries and I would never be able to get pregnant. At the time it wasn't a big deal, the relationship I was in ended and DH and I started dating. I told him from the beginning that I might not be able to have children, he was ok with it.
Since we have been married we have never been on any type of birth control to prevent pregnancy. There have been times in the last 10 years that I had to go and see an OB to be put on drugs to start a menstrual cycle, the reason for this was because I wasn't having one. I had rejoined the military and we were both stationed in Italy. I had extensive testing done while we were stationed in Italy, the doagnosis was that we should see a fertility specialist when we got stationed back in the United States. Then...a couple of months before our 5 year anniversary I found out I was pregnant. It was a complete shock to us both. The pregnancy was pretty normal (except I gained massive amounts of weight and my due date was off by 3 weeks <--that's another story...LOL). My DD (dear daughter) Chloe was born in the summer of 2005. She is a great child and we love her more than anything...so we were not "technically" infertile anymore, right? Nope.
After Chloe was born we never got around to using any birth control. Neither one of us was opposed to having another child right away, but it never happened. When Chloe turned 2 I started to get the itch again. The itch got worse when family members asked when we were having another child. At the beginning I felt guilty...guilty for wanting another child...guilty for not being happy with what I already have...but it is so much more than that. So hard to explain so someone who has never experienced this kind of pain.
So the TTC#2 (trying to conceive) journey started. I was still having an issue with getting AF regularly, so I saw an OB to get on drugs again. I figured I would try this TTC stuff by myself and didn't voice my concerns to the doctor (mistake!) After about 6 months I gave up. Another couple of months went by and I wasnted to start trying again. I saw the OB again and voiced my concerns this time. I thought maybe I wasn't ovulating. He wanted me to chart my temperature for 3 months and then go back to see him. I did, and I wasn't ovulating, big surprise. He put me on 50mg of Clomid (a drug that helps about 75% of women to ovulate) but I didn't ovulate. Next was 100mg, still no ovulation. Finally he put me on 150mg, I ovulated AND I got pregnant. I was elated. I bought DD a "I'm going to be a big sister" t-shirt! We told family and friends (why not? many people tell early and go on to have healthy babies), but less than a week later I experienced my first m/c (miscarriage). I went and saw the OB, he did some tests and confirmed it. He told us to wait 2 months to try again, then he put me on a lower dosage of Clomid, I never ovulated. I was pretty upset for all the time wasted, so I asked to be referred to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist).
My first appointment with the RE shed some light on my situation. He told me that just by looking at my previous cycles he could tell that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), this syndrome is a condition where many small cysts for on the ovaries and these prevent pregnancy. He prescribed BCP (birth control pills) to shrink the cysts and Metformin to balance my blood sugar (women with PCOS frequently experience insulin resistance, and Metformin lessens the chance of miscarriage). The downside to Metformin is that I can't have any alcohol. Well, I can have up to 2 drinks, but for me that is a tease! The RE told me that I am a good candidate for an IUI (intrauterine insemination) and that I would start my first IUI cycle after the month on BCP.
The beginning of February I went in for an HSG. The RE puts dye into the uterus with hopes of seeing the dye run through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. My HSG was inconclusive, one tube had dye go through it to the ovary, but the other didn't. So if I end up ovulating only from the tube that could be blocked the RE will perform a tubal recanalization to unblock the tube. At the end of February I went in for an u/s (ultrasound) to check to make sure that the cysts had shrank, they had, so then I started on 100mg of Clomid on cd3-7 (cycle day). That particular dose of Clomid never worked before, but the RE doesn't start anyone out on 150mg. Everything was going ok until the cd12 u/s. There were no follicles that measured over 10mm. They had me go in 3 days later (today) for a repeat u/s and the same results were found. After the cd12 u/s I knew not to get my hopes up, but it was still heartbreaking. Now I am on Prometrium again (for the 15th or so time) to start AF. Once that starts I will go in for a u/s, and then start Clomid again. Still at 100mg, but for 10 days instead of 5. The hopes are that my ovaries will be stimulated a bit more and produce bigger follicles. FX (fingers crossed).
If you have made it this far, thank you.