Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Infertility Journey

Dealing with infertility is truly a journey. It's a journey that we pray will end with a baby, but I also think it is a journey to bring us closer to God and closer to each other. Unfortunately so many couples end up further apart because of infertility. I have found that this journey of ours is bringing us closer to God, causing us to be on our knees in prayer more, and strengthening our marriage. Our marriage hasn't been without it's trials in the past 5 years, but that's part of marriage. We've managed to grow stronger through medical school, illness, residency, severe family illness, and now infertility. I don't know why God chose us to have this problem. I don't know why he chooses anything to happen. I do know we live in a  fallen and sinful world and God promises to never leave or forsake us. I cling tight to his promises on the hard days. Not all days on the infertility journey are hard ones though. We have had so many good days too. I often times find myself thanking God for this. If we hadn't of had infertility we wouldn't have been foster parents now and wouldn't have known the children that we have or the families that we now call friends. However, I can't say that I always feel thankful for this. I try to remind myself that God's plan is bigger than mine, but sometimes that is hard to do.

Every families journey with infertility is different. Here is what our journey has looked like so far. We decided in the fall of 2008 that we were ready to stop preventing having a baby. We didn't expect to get pregnant right away but month's went by and soon we were approaching the 1 year mark to when we stopped birth control. I knew that something wasn't right before this 1 year mark, but I never really wanted to admit it. I was hoping it was just the stress of intern year and when my schedule slowed down things would get better, but that wasn't the case. We got our referral to a RE: reproductive endocrinologist (i.e.: infertility specialist) in the fall of 2009 and saw him for the first time in Jan of 2010. Let the fun begin :) We found out that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) at that appointment. Our RE said that with some medication I should be able to ovulate and conceive so we started the medication called Clomid. We started out at the standard starting dose of 50mg per day for 5 days each month. This didn't work so we increased it 2 weeks later to 100, then 2 weeks later to 150, and so on until we got to 250mg, the max dose. This medication made me feel horrible. Hot flashes, dizziness, headaches, moodiness, but I stuck it out because we wanted a baby. The 250mg seemed to be the magic number and I finally ovulated. We waited the 2 weeks and were heart broken when we weren't pregnant. However, we pressed on. Tried the 250 again, and again, it worked, however again, 2 weeks later we were heart broken. After the third time we took the 250mg it stopped working. My RE added metformin, a medication for diabetics that helps with PCOS because it helps with hormone sensitivity. This added to our 250mg helped me to ovulate again and again but without becoming pregnant. By this time it's fall of 2010 and I'm tired. I'm tired of the doctors visits, ultrasounds every few weeks, tired of felling terrible and being moody. Jonathan and I thought it best to take a break for a little while. We discussed our decision with our RE, who also thought that a break may be good for us. This is also soon after we decided to do foster care. We had started the foster care journey in August of 2010 and stopped taking fertility medications in October of 2010. This allowed us to put our full focus on becoming licensed, albeit some of mine was still on residency :) We decided to wait to restart our medications until summer of 2011, so about a 9 month break. During this 9 months I actually ovulated on my own a few times but we still couldn't conceive. I went back to my RE in June of 2011 and we restarted my clomid. This time I only had to get up to 200mg for it to be effective, but the side effects were the same and still no baby. My RE decided that I needed to have a histerosalpingogram (where they look at your uterus and fallopian tubes with dye) to see if there were any anatomic reasons we weren't conceiving. I had this test in August and we found out that my right side seems to be occluded. That doesn't fully explain why we haven't been able to get pregnant since most of the time my left side is where I ovulated. We tried another month of the 200mg and ovulated but didn't get pregnant so we tried it again this past month. However, this time, once again, it didn't work and I didn't ovulate. My RE decided it was time to check my thyroid again because thyroid problems can make infertility worse, and we found out that I have hypothyroidism. This has led me to start taking medication for my thyroid, which hopefully is helping, and my RE also started another medication on top of the clomid to get me to ovulate. I go back in about a week for another ultrasound to see if these new medications have done there job. We continue to pray for God's direction in this journey and we would appreciate prayers from you as well.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you guys! I hope the next appointment shows great news and your thyroid is under control. Sending you hugs and love!