Sunday, November 23, 2008

Accepting a New Reality

I anticipated the phone call for days.. I had hope, a plan, and the labs would just solidify that plan. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, pregnant soon! When the labs weren’t in by 1pm Friday I was down - now I’d have to wait and wonder all weekend. And then, 2 hours later, the phone rang and door slammed shut on previous notions and ideas. I am now forced to chisel a new path out of this mountain that lay before me. I am now forced to accept the reality of PCOS and hopefully overcome the infertility that has come with it.

To be honest, somehow I always knew that I would face this. Despite having fairly regular cycles the majority of my life... In the dark corners of my mind I always expected to have difficulty conceiving. Well before I was planning to have children I lurked infertility blogs and looked up information on tests and procedures. I paid attention and hoped it wasn’t in store for me, though I felt it was.

So on May 26, 2006 as I stood over my bathroom counter, still nursing my sun burnt shoulders from my honeymoon just weeks before, I was shocked in so many ways as to what appeared before me. A stark white background with two blazing pink lines on an almost expired pregnancy test. I glanced at the test, the instructions, the test, and back to the instructions. I threw on my cloths and brushed my hair and hurried out to the store to buy a fresh test... And 2 cans of cat food.

The original test was correct and the six tests that followed confirmed. Despite intercourse timed to what should have been an infertile period in my cycle... We conceived our honeymoon baby. Nine months later, after a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia complete with 4 months of bed rest, we welcomed our beautiful little boy into this world by emergency c-section on January 24, 2007.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember telling myself that I guess all those infertile worries and thoughts were wrong... But I never believed it. I remember my neighbor, who was going through IVF at the time, telling me now that I had one it would be oh so easy to have more. I smiled and nodded... But never believed a word of it. And after Caden was born I couldn’t get the words “secondary infertility” out of my mind, but held on to hope that I was just being crazy again. After all, look how easy it was to conceive our son.

My cycles returned at 5 months post partum and were fairly normal. Now that I think back on it I do think they were a week late at times, but I believe I was ovulating and nothing raised any flags. That all changed after I needed an emergency appendectomy in February of 2008. Since then AF has taken many long vacations only to pop in for an hour or so at a time here and there, just a little spotting, then jetting off yet again. In the past 9 months I’ve had 2 normal cycles. I won’t even get into the mess of what I was told regarding my fertility just moments before surgery.

I went to my doctor in June 2008 and we both assumed it was just taking my body a little longer to regulate after the stress of surgery. My thyroid checked fine, testosterone came back inconclusive. I cycled normally after that so I never went back to be rechecked.
August 2008 came and AF went on hiatus once more. I knew something was wrong and had started to worry that we had just missed the last egg I’d ever get. And with that DH and I bumped TTC #2 up to then. At first it was exciting... I still thought my cycles would regulate. But they didn’t. I started charting and that confirmed I wasn’t actually ovulating.
I headed back to the doctor on November 18, 2008 sure we’d get this figured out. Maybe it would take a little help to jump start my crabby ovaries, but all would be well. We came up with a plan to start provera and clomid in December if I didn’t ovulate on my own by then - in the mean time my doctor wanted to run a few labs for PCOS just to rule it out. Despite the long history of bad lab results I’ve faced over the last several years.... I had hope and believed that these would just rule things out.

I was actually looking forward to looking like an over eager patient who demanded things were wrong when they weren’t. Thats never been the case so it was a welcome change. Every time I go into the doctor thinking something’s wrong, I’ve been right...
“I think I have meningitis”... huh... Indeed I did!
“I think I have preelcampsia”.... Mrs. G - your 24 hr urine collection came back and indeed you are spilling a significant amount of protein...
“I think I have appendicitis.. Though it doesn’t really hurt“..... “well Mrs. G, it does seem that way but you’re not presenting as a typical appendicitis case so we’ll just run this lab.......... Uh.... You need to go to the hospital.......... Now”.
“I think I’m infertile”.... Well Mrs. G... You are!!!

And now we find ourselves conveniently back to the beginning of this entry. Despite the length, I think I’ve summed things up pretty well.

We are still waiting on a few lab results but those that did come in Friday afternoon said it all. My fasting insulin was borderline high, enough to indicate insulin resistance, and my LH:FSH ratio was way off (levels were 19:4). The rest of the labs and tests aren’t necessary for a diagnosis at this point, but will help to paint an overall picture.

Tuesday I am going in for an ultrasound to check my ovaries - my doctor won’t be in to read it but I wanted to get this done and over with. Then on December 3rd I have an appt with my doctor to go over everything in detail and gather up prescriptions. I’ll be starting Provera at that point to bring on AF in a timely fashion and to “give me a clean slate” and we’ll be starting out with Metformin.

With all being said this is a reality that hasn’t been easy to accept, though I feel like I’m doing quite well as of now.... But its only been a few days. I’ve researched and called and clicked and ordered books. Secondary infertility hurts... A lot... But that is never to be mistaken that I am not forever grateful for the gift of my amazing little boy. I’ve always felt so extremely blessed and lucky to have him in my life... And over the past few days I can’t help but look at him and be so thankful that one day on our honeymoon we decided “Lets just see what happens”. We didn’t think it would, but I am forever grateful and truly blessed that it did. Caden is my world - He is everything to me. And not a day has gone by since 5.26.06 that I haven’t been truly thankful for the gift that I have been given in him.



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