Our Story

 

Sunset in Ocean Shores

 

The Short:

I’m a woman in her 30’s with dreams of being a mommy. Kyle, my husband, and I have been married for over a decade and have been trying, unsuccessfully, to have a baby for most of our married life. We are weighing our options of what to do next. Infertility is a part of us, but it does not define us. Follow along as I share about infertility and living life to the fullest.

The Long:

Kyle and I met when we were ages 9 and 10 {fourth grade} when we began going to the same elementary school. We met, but didn’t fall in love at first sight. In fact, Kyle had cooties and it would be several years before I noticed him.

Over the years, Kyle started falling for me, stealing glances in my direction when I wasn’t looking; however, I never knew of his feelings for me. There was one day when we were in 8th grade that Kyle made some off-handed comment that upset me so greatly that I would come to school every day for a couple of months and beat him up – hit, pinch, and kick him – even hitting him over the head with a big, fat science book {YIKES}!

The summer between 8th and 9th grade, I had a change of heart and decided that I had feelings for Kyle after all. I wrote a letter to him, even sent it through the mail, to let him know of my new-found feelings.  He wrote me back letting me know that he had similar feelings.

January 1st of our Freshman year in high school, Kyle asked me to be his girlfriend. From there, our relationship grew…slowly. Kyle surprised me with a special gift on our first Valentine’s Day together and a few months later we got into some trouble, where we had an entire church searching for us! It’s all good though…now we just get to look back on it and laugh.

As we got older and started to become who we were going to be, things began to change and the summer after we graduated from high school, we broke up for about a year. But love brought us back together. A couple of years after we got back together, we got engaged and then five months and one day later, we tied the knot.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. It was my dream from a very early age and I was a “little mommy” to my younger sister and any other baby I came in contact with. As I got older I was nicknamed the “baby whisperer” by friends and family…I’ve always been told I am a natural. But I’ve always had a gut feeling that I may have issues when it came time to try to conceive my own children. And unfortunately, my gut was correct.

From the start of my first period at age 12, things have never been “normal”. Extreme, debilitating cramps that make me lay on the floor in the fetal position between throwing up to periods that have varied in length.  It has not been an easy ride.

To get a handle on what I should be doing, I began charting my cycles {basal body temperature, etc} early on after reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility and eventually moved my charting to the popular Fertility Friend.  I’ve been a dedicated charter and over the years of infertility, a more lax charter, charting just the very basics and no longer taking my temp.

In 2003, when it was obvious that things weren’t going as planned, I asked my family doctor for a referral to an OB/GYN that specialized in fertility.

This new doctor put me on Clomid, but did not monitor me, which is not recommended.  I did seven un-monitored cycles of Clomid with this clinic. We also did lots of blood work and I had a few ultrasounds to see if there were any obvious cysts {there were none at that time, from what I was told}.

I was also told that there were no reasons to worry about getting pregnant even though we had been TTC for two to three years by this time. I was pretty adamant about doing something, so after crying in her exam room, she FINALLY prescribed an HSG for me, although after all the drama, I chickened out and didn’t get it done.

During this same time period, Kyle got a sperm analysis done. There were some areas of concern, but Kyle didn’t think it was any big deal so he never went to the urologist.

I tried a variety of suggested and recommended items and treatments. I bought and used a fertility monitor and used it for quite a while, but because my cycles were, first, irregular, and then I was on Clomid {which can mess with the results}, it never helped and I eventually sold it.

I also did acupuncture for over a year. It was amazing!  However, insurance only covered 12 visits for the year so I ended up paying over $1200 out of pocket, which didn’t even include all of the herbs that my acupuncturist wanted me to take, which I did, but it was awful and tasted like I was drinking dirt. The overall acupuncture experience was certainly something that I would do on a regular basis if I could afford it though.

While I was doing acupuncture, it was also suggested that I quit drinking coffee. Oh how I love my coffee. But I didn’t drink coffee or caffeine for about two years! I eventually decided that I couldn’t live without it any longer and slowly started reintroducing it. I was still trying to be good with only have it occasionally, but that didn’t last long.

Before we officially started trying to conceive, I had an episode where we weren’t sure what was going on {appendix, something else?}, but it turned out to be an ovarian cyst bursting. However, I wasn’t told about what had happened until years later when my doctor was reviewing my records. {Honestly, I don’t remember what we were told at the time…}

The second time it happened, I fell to the floor in crippling pain and I laid on the kitchen floor for at least an hour while Kyle had no idea what to do for me. While I’ve had crippling pain in other ways over the years, I’ve thankfully, never had another cyst burst.

My periods are short, approximately three days, and my cycles range anywhere between 24 days to 58 days. I’d say the average length of a cycle is about 30-35 days, but my cycles go in cycles. There’s no rhythm or reason and my cramps are completely crippling and debilitating, with cold sweats that make me appear as though I’ve just gotten out of the shower, if I don’t get meds in me before they start. So when I know that my period is around the corner, I start with the pain meds asap!

After years of heartache and lots of disappointment, I decided that I’d had enough. So in 2007, I HAD to do something besides wait around and “see what happens”. We had been doing that for far too long already. I asked my OB/GYN for a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist {RE}.

July 31, 2007, we had the first round of tests for the new clinic completed. I found out my blood type since I never knew. They tested my TSH, Prolactin and looked to see if I was immune to the Rubella virus. I also, finally, had an HSG done some time in there and my tubes were open and clear.

August 21, 2007, Kyle had a blood test and an Acrosome Reaction Test done. His SA’s have always been borderline normal / less-than-average.

September 5, 2007, the day before my 28th birthday, we began our first IUI with Clomid cycle. They checked my ovaries and follicle size. 

September 15th and 17th, they measured my ovaries / follicles again and they drew blood for LH, FSH, and Estradiol. That cycle didn’t work.

October 13th and 15th, they did more measuring of ovaries / follicles for our second IUI cycle with Clomid. That cycle didn’t work. 

November 12th and 14th, for the third and last IUI cycle with Clomid they did more measuring of ovaries / follicles. And once again, the cycle didn’t work.

We were beyond devastated. So much money that we didn’t have, down the drain. I suspect that I have endometriosis, but it’s never been confirmed. Or possibly polycystic ovarian syndrome {PCOS}, but again, unconfirmed. After our last IUI cycle, I was supposed to go back when my period started to have the doctor examine my insides, while on my period, but I never went back because we were flat broke and out of money and I knew we weren’t going to be doing another cycle.

In August of 2010, I was in college and taking a course on health. We had to write a paper on something that related to health but there weren’t really any restrictions. I immediately knew what I was going to write about.

After I wrote the paper and turned it in, I shared it here. I had wanted to find out about Celiac disease and how it relates to or affects fertility.

Shortly after writing that paper, I decided to go gluten-free and have been learning all I can about it since then. I’m praying that one day, the effects of being gluten-free will result in my body healing itself enough to get pregnant naturally.

Currently, Kyle is a full-time student so we are not actively pursuing anything. Once Kyle has graduated {in 2016 for his Bachelors and potentially 2017 for his Masters}, we will then go full force into figuring out how we are going to create our family.

We have talked about all of the different options that are available to us: IVF, adoption, embryo adoption but honestly, we just don’t know which way is going to be best for us.

So until we can actively pursue expanding our family, we discuss our dreams for the future.

And we wait.

And we pray.

~~~~~

The most recent update: Where We’re At Fertility-Wise…The Long-Awaited Update

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In October 2011 I wrote a post about Redbook Magazine’s “The Truth About Trying” Infertility Campaign. You can read that post here. I made a video for the campaign which you can watch here:

The Truth About Trying: Infertility Can Affect You In Your 20’s

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Last Edited April 2016.

To read more about my thoughts on infertility throughout the years, click here:Infertility Posts

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