Saturday, June 9, 2012

A New Start

I haven’t really felt much like sitting down to gather my thoughts on what’s been going on with us fertility-wise in quite a while. Up until the past couple of weeks it’s kind of been up and down and all over the place for me. I’m not sure how many people will even read this, but I’ve decided to get back on with it and write for myself also. It feels helpful to get my thoughts out and write it all down. And who knows, maybe one day soon I’ll be able to reflect back on our journey in a positive light.
So here’s what’s going on. The last time I posted we basically didn’t have any idea of what was causing Steven to have a low sperm count. He had been tested, examined, poked and prodded as thoroughly as was possible and there was still no explanation. His urologist wasn’t offering the option of putting him on meds to try to boost his numbers (which he had been one for a short time last year). According to their ratings he was at the low end of normal. The very low end. To me that was very frustrating – why not at least see if some medicine would work to help us out a little bit. But no, that wasn’t an option with this guy.  He felt that Steven was too young and I guess he was worred about long-term effects. Which to us didn't make a whole lot of sense because it's not like Steven would have to be on anything for the rest of his life or anything . But then again we are wanting something pretty badly. And also we aren't doctors and stuff. After reviewing both of our most recent results my doctor handed down the ruling that our only option would be IVF. Now. Here’s the thing. When we first started seeing fertility doctors years ago we always said that if we ended up having to do IVF we definitely would. Of course we would! We want a baby! We’ll do whatever it takes! But see, when it came down to it, even seeing it coming for a few months, the ruling hit me like a ton of bricks. It wiped me out. Having to make that decision, when it came down to it, was massive for me. It was the most heavy decision I have ever faced in my life so far. I have faith in modern medicine…it’s not the medical aspect of it that scares me. It’s the fact that it is so expensive and there is no guarantee that it will work. It is more invasive. It is draining physically, mentally, and emotionally. I ended up going to visit my parents that same day and I swiftly morphed into an emotional mess. I mean, I wasn’t traumatized, but whenever even thinking about THINKING about making the IVF decision crossed my mind I would start to cry. What if it didn’t work? What if it did work? The money. If it doesn’t work it’s like lighting $15K on fire and watching it burn. It’s like paying for a new car up front and not knowing if it’s going to run. But what if it did work? It’s not like we have oodles of money lying around, so it wasn’t like we could just turn around and start another round of IVF if the first one didn’t work. So we’d have to wait for some time to try again. But what if it did work? I started thinking that maybe we should start the adoption process. My thought was that even though adoption is costly and can take quite a long time, at least in the end we’d have a baby or child in our home, you know? Steven wanted us to try a round of IVF and then if it didn’t work we would start the adoption process.  I was stuck on the issue of time. As with starting another round of IVFI, I knew we would be able to financially start the adoption process immediately. Time going down the drain. Keep in mind that I was in an extremely emotional state at that point and so everything was doom and gloom. I still have anxiety over the decision and what it involves, but I'm feeling considerably better. I don't cry when I think of THINKING of the decision now, so that's good. Basically we were stuck in a horrible place where neither or us would budge from what we thought we should do. This might seem really overly dramatic to some people, but when you are faced with such a heavy decision that has no guaranteed outcome it can be as bad as I'm describing. BUT WHAT IF IT WORKED?
Around this time Steven started working in Wisconsin, filling in as a GM for the sites there.  I’m going to skip a bunch of stuff and just say that I became friendly with one of the girls who worked at the hotel we're staying at. I’m a talker. I’m my mom’s daughter. I’ll talk to strangers. I’ll talk to the wall. So she and I ended up talking about what's going on with me and it turns out that she too had to see a fertility specialist for help getting pregnant. While our situations aren't exactly the same, they were similar enough to make me wonder if I shouldn’t make an appointment to at least meet with her doctor for a second opinion. Y’all, it was the best decision we have made. This guy is awesome. He took the time to thoroughly detail what my body and Steven’s body SHOULD be doing and what our options were. I mean, he drew diagrams. Might not seem like a big deal, but to me the fact that he took the time to so thoughtfully talk us through what’s going on, what can be done, what our options were, etc, meant the world to both of us. We didn’t feel like customers, instead it felt like he WANTED to help us. Like he cared. One thing he threw out there as a possible explanation was that I might have PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which is where there is an imbalance of hormones, possible cysts involved, lots of other stuff that could be causing my infertility. I haven’t researched it enough to speak more on it so I’ll leave it at that. I knew right away that I didn’t have that. I've never had any other symptoms and plus I’ve been to several doctors and have had so many u/s done that someone would have noticed something if there were any cysts. Or they would have made the connection based on other could-be symptoms and looked into it further. After reviewing my records he determined that I in fact do not have PCOS. Which kind of sucked because then at least we could have worked on “fixing me” to some degree.  So anyway, that leads me to what’s going on right now.  Today…
So I started taking a drug called Letrozole last Thursday afternoon. From what I understand, Letrozole is similar to Clomid, but stronger and it doesn’t affect the uterine lining as negatively as Clomid does. It is in 2.5mg pill form so no getting stuck. Another bonus – a big bonus – is that insurance covers it. Talking way cheap. So I’ve been on Letrozole since last Thursday afternoon after I went in for my estrodial testing and baseline u/s. The findings on the u/s were that I had a cyst  on my left ovary and a lone follicle (<10mm) on the right. Doctor decided to put me on 5mm of Letrozole daily. The cyst was small enough in size that he wasn’t concerned about it. Our hope was that the drug would make my follicle grow and/or produce more follicles by the following Friday morning (yesterday). My experience so far on Letrozole has not been very eventful. The possible side effects listed on the prescription bottle are drowsiness and dizziness, but I haven't experienced anything at all. No nausea or anything either. The only thing I have experienced was random cramping in my ovaries. Nothing bad, just slight and random.  The nurse I spoke to who gave me my instructions for the week told me keep up with my normal activities and just to stay as stress-free as possible. I have to say that staying relaxed and stress-free is sometimes easier said than done. I remind myself to stay calm often and also remind myself that what will be will be. More than anything this first cycle is a trial run anyway just to see what my body is doing on its own and at this first level of medicine. I was  mainly just anxious to see if there was any growth or change whatsoever….


Molly B said...

I'm reading these in order. I check in on this pretty frequently and was about to suggest you post something. I'm glad you did. Ok... on to your bi*chass overies!

Post a Comment