Saturday, January 14, 2012

And we’re off....

…sort of. I went in Thursday morning for my first round of tests. First  there was an ultrasound to check on whatever follicles might be hanging out. Basically my doctor wants to find out what my body is doing on its own this first round. After the ultrasound I had blood work done. Here is what they are checking on/looking for: levels of estradiol, FSH, anti-mullerian hormone (this hormone is produced by the ovarian follicles and, from what I understand, a woman with lower AMH produces a lower number of oocytes), and prolactin. They also are required to confirm that I don’t have any infectious diseases since I am planning on becoming pregnant: Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Syphilis, and Varicella-Zoster (which I just read is a form of herpes and commonly causes chickenpox in kids and shingles in adults). They are also looking at my TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. During my last year or so of taking growth hormone shots I was diagnosed as having hypothyroidism (basically my thyroid was lagging behind; under producing) and was put on pills to balance everything out for that last year. I was interested to find out if all was still well in that area. I heard back from the nurse that afternoon and was told that everything looked good – I am in the “normal” range (yay). The infectious diseases lab work take a little bit longer to get the results back and the nurse told me that no call is good news. I’m obviously not waiting around for a phone call as I know I’m good to go in that department. As a side note, out of the three doctors I’ve been to this is the only organization that requires patients to be screened for infectious diseases. It makes sense as any disease like that would be passed on to my baby should I become pregnant. And probably anyone who has an infectious disease knows they have it…so for anyone to intentionally keep that information from the doctors and proceed with treatment in order to get pregnant, KNOWING that they are going to infect their baby, is pretty jacked up.
Anyway, while I was there I got Steven’s results for his semen analysis. So his numbers are not looking good, in fact they are lower than they were in July. Now, I believe that several factors are contributing to this issue. I know he’s not secretly smoking. I’m not smelling any hint of cigarette smoke on him. If he is smoking then he sure as hell is doing a fantastic job of getting rid of the smell. So I know that’s not it. When I first went in for my initial meeting with my doctor she informed me that it typically takes about three months for sperm reproduction to get going again after a man quits smoking. So it’s possible that his body is still in recovery mode. Also, I was reading online that drastic weight loss can contribute to poor sperm production/count. Over the past year and a half Steven has dropped over one hundred pounds, which is pretty drastic. He drinks caffeine (I do, too, but I’m just saying.) And lastly, Steven has major MAJOR knee problems and requires strong pain meds. So there is a good chance that they are affecting his numbers. In fact, yesterday his doctor told him that the type of pain meds he is on are the ones that will least hurt his liver and reproductive organs. “Least affect”…so that means that they are probably affecting him. Okay, we don’t know this for sure obviously. I’m just saying that there are several things that could be working together to cause this problem. Oh, plus he had been taking Clomid close to when he had his numbers checked last time so that may have been helping his numbers then. We have an appointment with a urologist Monday to get him checked out. I know that he’s concerned that there might be something wrong, but I’m just not going there at this point. He is a healthy person and has made several positive changes over the past year and a half so it’s pretty disheartening for him to find out that his numbers are lower than in July. But at the same time, I hope and pray that there is nothing wrong. We’ll begin the investigation on that Monday afternoon.

As for me, I go back to the doctor Monday morning for a Saline Infused Sonogram (SIS), which is where saline will be injected into my uterus to extend it so that they can check things out more clearly. This will allow them to check out my uterus and also to make sure my fallopian tubes are clear and open. Several years ago I had something similar done to check my tubes and it was not the most fun thing ever. I’ve been reassured that this will be less painful, but the way I look at it (and that first tube check) is that this is just part of the process. Plus, should I be blessed with a pregnancy I’ll be facing much more painful “stuff” with a delivery. I say this now, but watch, the SIS will kill me Monday morning and I’ll be like, “Holy crap, Y’all! That was horrible and I couldn’t walk afterwards!”
Now for how I’m feeling. I’m not going to lie. I was really upset when I got Steven’s results. I know I KNOW that those results don’t mean that we are done, shutting down the show, etc, but it was still upsetting to learn that there is one more hurdle to jump in this process. I also know that I could be and might be facing much more difficult news later during this process, but in the moment it just wasn’t processed well. I held it together in the doctor’s office, but when I got back to my car I just broke down and had a mini pity party. Luckily it had been snowing all morning and I had privacy – my own little snow globe of a car – and could just cry without worrying about people seeing me. Several times I thought “Why?” and I’m not going to feel bad for asking that question. I’m just not. Yes, our situation could be much worse, but this is what we’re facing and it’s all relative. So I had my pity party, posted a could-be vague status on Facebook to vent, and then started to pull myself together…partially because I needed to start the process of looking forward and also because I didn’t want to have to dig my car out of the snow that was still piling up. Have to be practical, right? So anyway, I know that things could be worse. You can sit there and say, “Oh, well that’s nothing. Here’s what WE had to go through.” But for my own emotional and psychological state, I’m going to let myself feel any emotions that come my way during this process. This is an incredibly emotional process, and to be honest, I really don’t let myself think too far below the surface most of the time. I take a “Here’s what we’re going to do…” attitude and just go with it. I don’t sit and think about this not working because there’s no reason to think that way yet. But sometimes I hit a snag and I feel like it’s best to let myself go with those snags and work through however I’m feeling. That’s just me though. On top of that it’s like, okay, I’m bringing all my baggage to the table (that whole not being able to ovulate thing) and now we have to deal with this on top of it? Not fair! (Again, I KNOW THAT THINGS COULD BE WORSE.)
So that’s where we’re at now. I’m still trying to do better with caffeine and my diet (I will not allow myself to regret that delicious half of a chocolate pistachio cannoli I ate at lunch) . But y’all, it just plain sucks! And exercising? I need to get into gear and just GO TO THE GYM. It only got to freakin’ 16 degrees today. There’s no stinkin’ way I’m walking more than I have to outside, so I need to just bite the bullet and go to the gym. There’s always tomorrow…


mollyjotx said...

You can do it! Praying for you. And, you don't have to ever feel bad for being sad. It is a super stressful and huge thing you are doing. Not being able to have kids is heartbreaking and TTC is hard work! I hope that saline thing goes okay. Ouch!

Lindsay said...

Hey, thank you! Your friendship and presence is much appreciated, my dear friend. <3

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