Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our (In)Fertility Journey: Round Two, Part One.

Here we go again...

*Reader beware: These posts will include talk of periods, ovulation, semen, etc...if you're uncomfortable, don't continue. I want to help spread the word about fertility treatments and help to inform others either going through it, thinking about, or anyone who can relate - especially people with CF.

Tim and I always knew we wanted to have more than one child...as many of you know, Tim always jokes that "only children are weird". When Anna was about 9-10 months old, my cycle finally came back. When she turned one, we decided to start trying on our own again, but soon realized we'd have to go the fertility round again when my cycles never regulated. 

In November 2015, I went to see our amazing fertility doctor to discuss the steps we'd need to take to try for another baby. I thought we'd have to go through more testing, blood work, etc. since it had been two years since I had gotten pregnant. Much to my surprise, he was pretty much ready to start me on meds right then and there! Tim and I weren't sure when we wanted to start fertility treatments exactly (he wanted to time things, I wanted to start asap), so I told the doctor we weren't ready just yet, but that I just wanted to know the direction we'd head when we were ready. He was understood and explained that we'd pick up right where we left off. We'd use the same oral hormone and ovulation injection, and go with an IUI which is what we did to get pregnant with Anna. All he wanted me to do was get the A-OK from the high risk OB team who took care of me during my first pregnancy. 

Tim and I decided that we'd try on our own for a little bit longer and pursue fertility in the spring/summer. I made my appointment with the high risk OB in March and she was so excited to see me back. She was very pleased with my health and was so excited to have me as a patient again. The only thing she needed me to do was have an echo on my heart to rule out pulmonary hypertension (which could be there because of my CF). She felt that with my health as good as it was, I'd be fine, but it was more of a formality. I had my echo done over spring break, in April, and the OB said it was "the most normal echo report I have seen in a while". She sent the results to the fertility clinic and said she'd see me "soon for an OB visit". If only it were that easy...

We decided to start fertility up in May since it was the end of the school year and I'd be able to have my appointments over the summer...plus, if it worked out, we'd be set for a spring baby -- aka: maternity leave at the end of the school year + longer time with baby over the summer. Again, if only it were that easy...

We went in at the start of my cycle in May. For those of you who don't know, I only have one Fallopian tube. That means when I ovulate on the side without the tube, the chances of me getting pregnant are extremely slim, even with IUI. So, the follicle has to be on the correct side, which is the left side, for me to have a good chance of getting pregnant with an IUI. In May, I started taking the oral drug, Fermara, to help stimulate my follicles to grow. Of course this month, my body decided to produce its biggest follicle on the wrong side. Lovely. So we were told to still do the trigger shot and have timed intercourse. This, to me, is a waste of time and money. There's a reason we're at a fertility clinic, but whatever. It's basically their way of us at least trying something. Needless to say, it didn't work.

In June, we did the same thing, used Fermara. This time I produced a very large follicle on the WRONG side again! The doctor told us it wouldn't hurt to try an IUI this time around. We knew the chances weren't great, but figured why not? So we went in for the IUI the morning we scheduled to leave for vacation. Two weeks later....no good. I wasn't surprised, but still disappointed. I felt like maybe we had a bit more of a chance. 

In July, we did the Fermara again. And I ovulated on the wrong side AGAIN! So if you're keeping track, that's three months in a row that I ovulated on the same side. It's a myth that you ovulate on opposite sides every month! After my ultrasound, when I saw the follicle on the wrong side, I wanted to cry. I was getting so frustrated. This was the last month we'd go through treatments before school started and it was a bust, again! Then the clinic called me and wanted to schedule a meeting with the doctor to discuss other options. This freaked me out a bit. I knew the only option left was IVF and I wasn't ready to throw in the towel on IUIs yet. We hadn't even had the right circumstances yet. I was quite nervous to meet with the fertility doctor, but I knew it had to be something important for him to arrange a meeting mid-cycle.

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