November 2009. We meet with Dr. Rinehart, our RE or reproductive endocrinologist. He is a brilliant man! He has his MD, PH.d, and JD. And yet, he is still so down to earth and talks to us in layman's terms, but does not make us feel small.
He confirms that I do have PCOS. We go over our treatment options and it is decided that I will start Birth Control Pills to get a period, as well as go on Metformin that treats the PCOS, and a Low Glycemic Diet, and then I will start Clomid which stimulates the ovaries to produce follicles. If you have never taken clomid, you have no idea! Clomid puts your body into menopause. It gives you hot flashes, mood swings, hunger pains, sleepless nights, cramping, bloating, and very sore breasts.
We were given a lot of information and all of this is very debilitation. You often feel that your body is failing you. You do not get to have a child the "normal" or "natural" way. Instead, my doctor gets me pregnant. Yep, I said it! Not only do you have to deal with the horrible intense pain of loss from a miscarriage, deal with a new disease which causes a lot of other health issue, you have to deal with not being able to conceive a child on your own, with your husband. My doctor knocks me up! It makes me feel like I am not a true woman, I cannot pro create on my own. It is hard to describe exactly what that feels like. I imagine it is a similar pain and lost feeling that women who have masectomy's must feel. You feel like your womanhood is being taken away from you. You feel like every woman who knows that you are infertile looks at you diferently. I take that back, it is not a feeling, it is a fact.
No matter how nice people try to be, society does not know how to handle this issue. They comment by saying stupid things like; "it was not meant to be" or "you will have another one" or " you are young" or "it happend for a reason". But you get these looks from people and you might think it is just in our heads but it is not. Whether people like to admit it or not, infertility is about sex and people think that couples who deal with infertility are doing something wrong. They are not part of the in crowd. They are failures. We already feel that way, we do not need your help in that!
My poor husband has to deal with me while I am on these drugs. This first round, I am on 100 mg. After taking the medicaiton for five days, you go into the RE's office for an internal ultrasound. Yes, ladies and gents, internal. With the lovely wand. It is painful as your ovaries are stimulated and very sore from the clomid. I remenber the first ultra sound. I had had them before for other tests, but not when I was on clomid. The medicaiton was working, but my follicles were not quite big enough. They need to be around 18 to 20 mm. So, the doctor tells me to come back in a few days.
Three days later, I am back and having another ultrasound. This time my eggs are ready! Yay ovaries! So, you go home and in two days I take an injection of HCG which tells my ovaries to ovulate. My husband was so nervous with that first injection. I felt bad for him. He did not want to hurt me. But, he was very brave and was able to pull through. He did a great job! 36 hours later I go back to the Dr. and have an IUI or artificial insemnation. Remember when I said you feel like failure...this is one of those moments. It is a very strange ordeal. We bring in my husbands sperm, they "wash" it and insert it into a special cathader. The nurse takes you into a small room with the exam table and the ultra sound machine. My husband was not even allowed in the room with me. Then they insert the catheder into my uterus and "ta da" you hope for a baby.
After the procedure, I go home and rest for the day. Then the wonderful 2WW begines They say it is two weeks, but it really is three. This wait is for the HCG shot to be out of my system so we can test for pregnancy. Oh, and you have to give yourself another HCG shot about three days after the IUI as a booster, to increase the chance of pregnancy.
On Christmas Eve, about three days after the IUI, I start to feel different. I felt flutters in my belly. I started to feel really tired. I was very emotional. I was hungry, smells were bothering me. I got into a fight with my 19 year old sister, with whom I am always close with and NEVER fight with due to all of the emotions. The hardest part of this is to not get your hopes up because the medication can make you feel this way. It can make you feel as if you are pregant, when you are not. So, you just ride with it and hope and pray for the best.
I am not a patient person. You would think I was, beign that I am a therapist and work with kids. But with this kind of thing, I am awful. You are not suppose to test for pregancy before the doctor does becuase you can get a false positive due to the HCG in your system from the shots. A week after the IUI, I begin to test. The first test there is a slight positive. My husband, being the patient and realistic man he is, told me to not get my hopes up and wanted me to stop testing. But something powerful comes over you and it becomes an obsession I tested every other day until I went to the doctor. I knew I was pregnant. I could just feel it.
So, on the big test day, I was excited and nervous. I went in in the morning for the blood draw and had to wait until after 3 for the results. That wait is the worst! I was crawling out of my skin waiting for the results. At about 3:20, when I could no longer wait, I called the office and asked for the results. They were postive!!! A wonderful BFP!!! Of course you have to go for a blood draw the next day to make sure your levels are doubling. Success! They were more than doubled the next day. We have won this round, or so we thought!