I’ve been contemplating creating a blog for the past couple months now & finally built up enough courage to go for it. My hope is to give some insight to those also struggling to conceive or even to those who haven’t struggled with infertility – so they can understand what we are going through. My husband, Matt, and I have been on our “journey to three” since October 2012 (when we got married). One of the things I’ve struggled with in our journey is finding real people to connect with, talk with, and reach out to who are going through the same struggle of infertility.
And so…here goes nothing. Please forgive me as my first post will be a long one so I can explain all that we have gone through so far. A timeline if you will, of our journey thus far since trying to conceive:
January 2013: I had abnormal results come back from my pap & had to have my uterus scraped to test the cells for cancer.
March 2013: I had a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) done to cut away my abnormal cervical tissue. It was a quick, and fairly painless procedure that was done in my OB’s office within 20 minutes. I had minimal pain following the procedure – however, I did notice some heavy “period-like” cramping. I was back at work the next day.
From March 2013-July 2013 I was not getting my period on a normal cycle. I kept in contact with my OB’s office & we did several blood pregnancy tests to rule that out. During this time, we were actively trying to conceive because the general rule for infertility diagnosis is actively trying for 12+ months & not getting pregnant. It’s really hard to get any fertility assistance unless you try for a year first.
July 2013: Had a checkup since my LEEP and everything came back normal! Hip hip hooray! It was then that I had told my OB that I kept having pain on my left side, near my ovary. She felt around & said everything felt normal. I left that day thinking nothing of it since it seemed I could trust her.
September 2013: I had an appointment with my OB for another pap (after you have a LEEP, you have to go every 3 months, then every 6 months, etc). I was very excited for this appointment because at that point it had been almost a year for us since trying to I was anxious to talk about the next step to help our fertility. I got a call 2-3 days before my scheduled appointment from the OB’s office canceling & they couldn’t get me back in until NOVEMBER. I had it with this OB’s office!
October 2013: I made an appointment with a new OB in my network, but at a different clinic. When I had told her that I hadn’t had my period since July and was having pain, she immediately set me up to have blood work done & an ultrasound.
My blood work results showed that my thyroid wasn’t performing like it should so I was put on Levothyroxine Sodium tablets daily. I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Read more about hypothyroidism here.
And now, the not so good news, my ultrasound showed (what my OB thought to be) two tennis ball sized cysts on my left ovary. I had two choices — I could wait 4 to 6 weeks & do another ultrasound to see if they disappeared on their own or I could have surgery to have them removed and examined. I chose the latter & scheduled surgery for November 13, 2013.
November 2013: My mom came to stay with me when I had my surgery so she took me to the hospital because Matt worked until 6am (he’s an officer) & met us at the hospital. While waiting for Matt, I had to sign consent forms to allow my OB to completely remove my left ovary if the cysts seemed cancerous. That alone was scary in itself. We were already having problems getting pregnant and now you might take away my left ovary? While I understand it had to be done if necessary, it was still hard to swallow.
I came out of surgery a few hours later & Matt had told me that him & my mom had met with my OB following my surgery. What my OB thought were cysts, turned out to be my left fallopian that was dead. My OB thinks that it must have gotten infected & died. For those of you that need a refresher, the fallopian tubes are the passage way for the egg from the ovary to the uterus. Kind of important when trying to conceive. My OB let us know that it would still be possible for us to get pregnant (naturally) although it would probably take a little longer than normal.
I was off of work about 2 1/2 weeks for recovery and my mom stayed with us during the first week to help. It was very difficult (and painful) for me to try to get up on my own and try to move around. I had three incisions on my stomach that were trying to heal. I had received numerous bouquets of flowers from my family & friends. It was amazing to feel that support from them. Another great help were our friends Michael & Steph that watched our new puppy for us.
December 2013: My period starting again and has been normal ever since! I had told my OB that I wanted to give it a couple natural cycles trying to conceive before starting fertility medication.
February 2014: With no luck conceiving, Matt & I had an appointment with my OB to discuss trying Clomid. Clomid works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones that support the growth & release of a mature egg. It’s taken on either cycle days 3-7 or 5-9, once daily. Some of the side effects are cramping, hot flashes, bloating, headaches, cysts etc. The side effects that I get from Clomid are HORRIBLE headaches & hot flashes. We were to try Clomid for 3-4 months and if that didn’t work, we would have to see a fertility specialist.
It’s important to note, that once we started trying for a baby, I bought the Clearblue Digital Monitor to help pinpoint ovulation and the best days to have sex. I NEVER GOT A POSITIVE OVULATION TEST from October 2012-January 2014. I was not ovulating on my own.
We started our first cycle of Clomid in February 2014 and I finally got a positive ovulation test 🙂 I WAS SO EXCITED & THRILLED.
While on Clomid, you always have to go back to the doctor 3-4 days after your last positive ovulation test for a blood test to test your levels to see if you actually ovulated. All of my levels were accurate with ovulation.
First month of Clomid (taken on cycle days 3-7)– Negative pregnancy test. Starting again in March on Clomid.
March 2014: Second cycle of Clomid. Taken on cycle days 3-7. Blood test confirmed I ovulated. Negative pregnancy test. Start April cycle…
April 2014: Third cycle of Clomid. Taken on cycle days 3-7. Never got a positive ovulation test…
May 2014: Called my OB office to get more Clomid prescribed because my refills were up. The nurse informed me that my OB would want to see me before she would prescribe more. At this point, Matt & I decided to take the next step and go to a fertility specialist…
Anxious & nervous for our consultation at Advanced Fertility Centers of Chicago, I was so excited to be taking a step in the right direction to help us on “our journey to three”