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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's start from the beginning

You may have noticed a new tab at the top of the blog labeled "Our Infertility Journey" (oh, and I added an "about us" tab as well). 10 million years later, I finally got with the program and put together a timeline of our infertility journey thus far, starting back in 2007 when we got married.

The timeline (which I have included below) just includes the basics, but includes links back to the posts that provide a little more detail.  My hope is that if newcomers come along (or not-so-newcomers that just never knew the backstory), they can go there to catch up.

It was admittedly a little depressing to chronicle disappointment after disappointment after disappointment, BUT it also served as a much needed reminder of God's faithfulness: 2.5 years and countless heartbreaks later, we are still alive and have not given up hope!

So there you have it... enjoy!

February 2007 - I started taking birth control pills (Yasmin). I had always had regular cycles and no gynecological issues prior to this point (or while on the pill, for that matter).

August 2007 - Brian and I got married! We talked about waiting 3-5 years before having kids so that we could enjoy a few years of just being married first (be careful what you wish for :).

Summer 2009 - I switched to the generic form of Yasmin (Ocella) and hated it, which is what first planted my desire to go off the pill.

September 2009 - We decided to go off of birth control for a few months to give it plenty of time to get out of my system before we planned to start trying to get pregnant in January. Obviously we assumed we would get pregnant shortly thereafter and celebrate the birth of our first baby late in 2010, just after our 3rd wedding anniversary (HA!).

October 2009 - Per my OBGYN's advice, I started taking prenatal vitamins just so my body would be good and ready once we started trying to get pregnant.

November 2009 - This will come as NO shock to those that know me, but I grew impatient and convinced Brian that we should go ahead and start trying to get pregnant. However, I was a little concerned at this point because I still hadn't started my period on my own. I called my OBGYN and they assured me that this was normal, but told me to call back if I still hadn't started after it had been 3 months.

December 2009 - EXACTLY 12 weeks after my last period on birth control, I finally had a period again. I was confident that my body would immediately resume normalcy and we would be pregnant in no time. (HA!)

January 2010 - Six weeks after my last period, another one came. Six weeks wasn't four weeks, but it was better than 3 months, so I just went with it.

February 2010 - I went to my annual exam with my OBGYN and he told me that if I hadn't gotten pregnant or resumed relatively normal periods by April, to give him a call.

April 2010 - Still no pregnancy, still no period. As you might recall, we were going through a particularly stressful transition during that time, so I just chalked it up to stress. I went ahead and made an appointment with my OBGYN, during which he did some routine bloodwork to check things out.

This bloodwork revealed that my LH levels were about twice my FSH levels, which was a possible indication of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome ("PCOS").

May 2010 - I started tracking my temperature and was put on my first round of Clomid (50 mg). My temperature chart showed that I didn't ovulate.

June 2010 - Then we tried round two of Clomid (100 mg), and my temperature chart suggested that I did ovulate, but we didn't conceive.

July 2010 - Time for the third round of Clomid (150 mg)- no ovulation. This is when Allison and I both announced our infertility struggles to the world via our blogs.

August 2010 - My OBGYN referred us to a fertility specialist in the area. After a consult with him, more bloodwork and an ultrasound confirmed that I do have PCOS.

September 2010 - A hysterosalpingogram revealed no blockages in my fallopian tubes or uterus. My doctor had me start taking Metformin and we tried another round of Clomid (100 mg), which did not cause me to ovulate. The doctor therefore deemed me to be "Clomid-resistant."

October 2010 - The doctor had me try another oral medication similar to Clomid called Femara. It did cause me to ovulate but unfortunately we didn't get pregnant then either, most likely because we think the high dosage caused me to ovulate too early.

November 2010 - We tried a second round of Femara (lower dosage) along with Ovidrel (HCG trigger shot). While I did ovulate again (and at a normal time), we didn't get pregnant. We decided to take off a few months to enjoy the holidays and give ourselves a break.

January 2011 - I ended up with a bladder infection, and the antibiotic that they gave me did not react well to the Metformin, resulting in Vomit Fest 2011. Low Point #1.

February 2011 - We decided to try out a new fertility specialist, but weren't really impressed with him, so we went back to our original specialist to get the ball rolling again.

March 2011 - We tried a third round of Femara, which did not make me ovulate. I had only been taking 1 Metformin pill per day instead of 2 (because it made me sick), so I decided to go back to 2 pills a day and give Femara another try.

May 2011 - We were once again devastated to learn that we were not pregnant. A few days later, however, while still bleeding, I had a positive pregnancy test. Bloodwork confirmed that my HCG levels were high enough to indicate pregnancy, but they fell a few days later, confirming that we most likely had a chemical pregnancy.

June 2011 - We decided to take another break to try and recover from infertility's latest blow. Oh, and in the meantime, a doctor suggested that I might have tuberculosis. Low Point # 2.

July/August 2011 - We gave Femara one final try, but once again, I didn't ovulate.

September 2011 - February 2012 - I decided to give acupuncture a try and let my body have a break from "western" treatment. I also stopped taking Metformin. Although my cycles did shorten quite a bit and the effects were generally positive, I still don't believe I was ovulating on my own. Oh, and in January, I got another bladder infection- hooray!

March 2012 - I talked with my acupuncturist and she agreed that it was time for us to go back to a specialist. We decided to try out a new specialist (#3, if you're counting) that had come highly recommended. He recommended that I have a hysteroscopy done before proceeding with treatment.

April 2012 - The hysteroscopy thankfully showed no abnormalities or polyps on my uterus. We started a new cycle consisting of injections and an IUI.

May 2012 - We learned that IUI #1 was not successful. After weighing our options, we decided to try one more round of injections with an IUI.

June 2012 - We learned that IUI #2 was not successful, either. We decided it was time to give IVF a try.


Erika said...

BOOOOO. This section is entirely too long. I wish it was more like "Nov. 2009- We decide to start trying. Dec 2009- POSITIVE!!! Sept 2010- LOOK AT OUR CUTE BABY!!!!" except for then I would slap you in the face, but...yeah, whatever.

the blogivers said...

I would like to second Erika's comment (except for the slapping in the face part).

Leah said...

Thanks for giving us the big picture.

Brittnie said...

I'm living proof that God is faithful and that a lengthy infertility journey does somehow (in a weird and totally annoying way) have a greater purpose. I KNOW God is going to be faithful to you and reveal HIS purposes soon.

The Bird said...

Wish this journey wasn't so long. Hoping that the next entry is "Summer 2012: IVF, BFP! Baby J on the way Spring 2013"

I'll be watching for any updates you want to share. Thinking of you!

Bren said...

Thank you for chronicling your journey. It is so comforting to be walking this path alongside you. (Of course I wish we could just jump in jumbo jets and fly over it!) I pray that this next step in the path leads you right to your precious baby!

lo @ crazy ever after said...

My husband and I recently learned that we are reproductively challenged (is that what it's called?) I check out alright but his sperm analysis has come way lower than what is ideal for naturally conceiving (5 million). I found your blog originally through your sister, and have been creepily stalking you for several months. But now I am commenting. This is the first time I have shared our struggles via a blog comment. And I am not quite ready to go public about it on my own blog (for various reasons)...but I wanted to comment on this post and reach out to you. We haven't been struggling nearly as long as you, and our issues could (fingers crossed) be a quick fix....but yeah...just wanted to let you know I will keep you in my prayers. I don't want to act like I get everything you're going through. But I get some of it. And what little we have experienced has made me so much more compassionate. I hope you get a BFP soon. And yes. That's the first time I have ever typed that acronym. I am beginning to catch on to all the infertility lingo. Ha!