I’ll give you a warning: this blog is not a happy one and it’s long, but it has been on my heart. This whole blogging thing used to be my outlet specifically for this subject. I started blogging back in 2009 because of this. So here it goes.
Almost five years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS – it was a sudden onset and took me by surprise. At the time, we weren’t ready to grow our family. I spent several months using progesterone supplements every 60 days for 10-day stretches to induce the start of a new cycle. My body had simply quit. It didn’t make sense. Honestly, it still doesn’t. Fast forward to February 2009, I transferred myself to a new doctor after being extremely dissatisfied with the one who diagnosed me with PCOS. Her hands-off, “Sorry, but I can’t help you. You need to go to a fertility specialist” approach was simply not my cup of tea. I wanted a chance. Just a chance to try with minor assistance… I didn’t want to be passed off like an unwanted stray dog. I wasn’t ready for a fertility specialist. After two failed and unmonitored rounds of Clomid with her, I left. (By the way, if your doctor hands you Clomid like it’s candy and doesn’t even bother to check your ovaries via ultrasound to make sure you’re not hyper-stimulating, RUN.)
After making the switch in February 2009, I became pregnant with Zoey by August that year. It didn’t take an expensive fertility specialist, even though fertility medicine was involved – it simply took a doctor who cared enough to try everything she possibly could to help me before it got beyond her control. Those of you who have followed my blogging since those dark days in 2009, you know where that journey took us. Clomid, Metformin, Prometrium, HCG trigger shots, ultrasounds. To this day, it’s worth the 45-minute drive to continue under that same doctor’s care; I thoroughly believe she played a HUGE hand in saving Zoey’s life.
I didn’t really think I’d be back in this place in life.
Since having Zoey, my body has seemed to function pretty normally. Cycles are still erratic, but hey, it has been working. However, it has come to my attention that while it’s “working”, it’s still very much broken. I had high hopes for natural conception this time. But in all reality, I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s not possible for me. That sounds negative, I know, but it’s a truth I’m having to accept right now. Sure, I “ovulate”, but egg quality? Likelihood of pregnancy based on what I produce naturally? Not so good. My first round of Pregnitude seemed to do really well. I was excited, even blogged about it. My second round? Well, let’s just say, I didn’t ovulate until CD 21… it was also the first cycle I’ve gotten a P4 to check on things because even though my chart says I ovulate, my temps take a while to go up like they should. The results of the P4? An 8. Those of you who know about P4s know what that means. It’s not favorable for pregnancy. My doctor was gracious enough to give me progesterone supplements just in case and they helped get me from an 8 to a 22 within three days… but in the end, there was an end. No beginning of new life. We simply were not successful again.
I’ll be real honest here, because I’ve just realized something and it hurts. We’ve technically been “trying” for 9 months. We’ve also been not preventing for over a year. Before I was technically ready to try, we kind of stopped preventing. I was still terrified of pregnancy, but so over the whole “prevention” thing and decided that if God wanted us to have a baby, then He’d give us one and would give me peace about it. I didn’t find that peace until it was time to really start “trying”, but we still didn’t really prevent.
I’m a little suspicious that there may have been an early (and I mean early) miscarriage last summer during the whole “we’re not trying, but not preventing” phase. I’m not entirely sure because we weren’t tracking anything… but I’ll never forget how immensely heavy that one “george” was… the clotting, tissue, overall amount of blood loss… I was freezing cold from it. I always feel like my uterus is being clawed out when I have “george”, it’s just a part of life for me. But this one was different. I’ll never know the truth and I feel pretty okay with that. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Now here I am. Nine months into this whole thing. The length of a pregnancy. Nothing to show for it. I don’t mean to depress you all, but it’s where I am. It’s been a year of nothing, nine months of tracking nothing. This whole thing is familiar territory, I’ve been here before. But with Zoey it didn’t take this long. We’ve officially been working on growing our family longer than we did the first time.
Moving forward, we’re going to attempt something different. Clomid was not my friend when TTC Zoey. Sure, my ovaries responded well, but my body did not. The side effects were horrible. Who wants to actually try to make a baby when you’re feeling depressed, experiencing hot flashes, in pain from swollen ovaries, breaking out more than usual… the list goes on. Clomid is evil. Femara? Well, apparently Femara is similar, but without as many side effects. A lot of fellow PCOSers rave about Femara and how it’s so much better than Clomid. I’m willing to give it a try. It’s something new, unknown and scary. But I’m willing to try. It looks like we’ll be returning to the old follicle ultrasounds as well. Not my favorite, but it’s a really interesting thing to experience and see. I’m curious to see how I respond to Femara. With Clomid, I did okay; each month I responded better and better, so I guess we’ll see.
What really gets me through all this is having fellow PCOSers to talk to. I don’t know what I would do without my girl groups. I also have a good friend who has been trying for a baby for four years and has had three miscarriages with no baby to show for it, yet she still has hope unlike any I have ever seen. It’s inspiring. Humbling. It reminds me that even though I have infertility to deal with, I also have Zoey, who is a HUGE blessing, even if she ends up being our one and only.
It’s on my heart to grow our family, even though the road won’t be easy. But the greatest things in life are worth fighting for, right? Worth the wait. And who knows, maybe this road for me will inspire someone else journeying down their own dark road. I just need to stay on my feet, keep my head held high, and remember that I serve a mighty God who always provides for me in His perfect timing, not mine. There is a reason we’re not pregnant yet and I’m going to try my best to remind myself that it’s okay. I need to focus on what I have, not what I don’t. In the meantime, I’ll keep moving forward until the “don’t” becomes a “do”.