infertility

Okay. I didn’t sleep. I’ve been awake since 3:30 a.m. 

Here’s the conclusions I’ve come to over the course of this long and sleepless night:

  • I still have options available to me. I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish the thing I want but everyone keeps saying there are still options. So, there are still options.
  • First things first I have to get that thing out of my uterus and figure out exactly what it is. 
  • Second thing, I need to lose some weight. Everything I’ve read says PCOS is a lot easier to manage if you’re in a healthy BMI. I am not. I hate the whole concept of BMI and I don’t think I’m particularly unhealthy, but this is a thing I can do and work towards so I’m going to do it. 
  • I really honestly have no idea how this PCOS business is actually affecting my fertility. I don’t miss periods, I ovulate on time every month. I understand that there are cysts all over my ovaries and there’s some bullshit in my uterus. I get that. I saw it with my own eyes, but like, if the parts are there and my ovaries are still spitting out eggs there is still a chance I can get pregnant. There is no harm in continuing to try while we figure the other shit out. 
  • I don’t have a formal diagnosis of endometriosis. I need to figure out exactly how we either confirm or rule it out. I want to know exactly what is going on in my body. 
  • Today I’m going to call the RE that I was referred to. I already looked him up, he’s one of the best in Vegas and my insurance covers him. (Well, it will cover the consultation and diagnostic stuff.) They do financing for IVF and have clinical trials that I may be eligible for that are super discounted. 
  • There is still a chance that the right tube isn’t actually blocked but just spasmed during the HSG test. The doctor yesterday didn’t say she saw anything in particular that was causing the occlusion. The left tube is clear and although that ovary is cystic, it’s still releasing eggs. 
  • Plenty of people get told they will never be able to get or stay pregnant and then do. I am going to force myself to focus on those stories. 
  • I am still sad and mostly defeated but the only thing I can do at this point is keep moving forward. I don’t know what else to do. Stopping seems stupid after all the time and energy I’ve put into this bullshit. Until they tell me that my reproductive system literally just fell out and that I no longer posses the necessary parts to give birth: I’m going to keep trying. 
  • In the meantime, I’m going to look into foster to adopt again. It’s going to be hard in a whole new way but since apparently the “easy route” has now officially been taken off the table we may as well explore several “hard routes” at once. 

How’re you guys? I’m basically running on determination and green smoothies at the moment so pardon the babbling. 

magicmurderbag8 asked:

I have PCOS. I want to get pregnant in the next four years, but I'm terrified I can't. I went over a year without BC and nothing happened. I'm scared I'm infertile. I don't like the idea of fertility pills- is there anything I can do naturally?

I’m sorry to hear that.  There are very few things more frustrating than trying to become pregnant when it’s just not happening.  It just feels so…out of your control.  So what can you do change that? 

First, let’s discuss PCOS.  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a collection of symptoms, not a specific disease.  We don’t understand enough about what’s going on in order to call it a disease, so we just collect the symptoms that often go together and call a lot of different things PCOS.  In order to have PCOS, you must have two of the following three symptoms:

  • Little to no period (usually 2-3 a year)
  • Symptoms of high hormone levels: excess facial and body hair and acne
  • Cysts on your ovaries

So what is going on with PCOS?  What do we understand about it?

  • People with PCOS often also have irregularities in the way that they digest and use sugar, which is similar to diabetes.   Because of this a lot of people have success with diabetes medications like metformin.
  • For some reason people with PCOS have difficulty coordinating the cycle of hormones.  Because of this, their ovaries might grow an egg, but they never get the hormonal signal to release the egg, and because of that the egg never floats down to the fallopian tube to be fertilized.  When the hormone cycle can’t get coordinated, people end up without periods.  Their uterine lining grows and grows and never gets flushed out.  This puts people with PCOS at higher risk for endometrial cancer.

What are typical PCOS treatment methods?

  • If you are not interested in getting pregnant, any type of hormonal birth control is used to protect the endometrium (the uterine lining).  That could be birth control pills, ring, or patch, the Mirena or Skyla IUDs, Nexplanon, or Depo.
  • If you are interested in getting pregnant, the first thing to do is make life style changes.  Many people with PCOS (though definitely not all) have a high BMI and are technically “overweight.”  Now, this is a difficult situation because you all know I have absolutely no patience for people who try to regulate other’s bodies, especially when it comes to weight.  However, if you have PCOS and are “overweight” you can often have relief of symptoms and a significant increase in fertility by loosing even just 10% of your body weight.  That is particularly difficult to do when you have PCOS, but working with a healthcare practitioner who is sensitive to the difficulties can be quite helpful.
  • Use a “low-glycemic” diet.   To do so: limit carb intake to 16 grams of carbs per meal, and 7 grams per snack.   This reduces insulin insensitivity, decreases unnecessary hormones, and increases ovulation.

Medications that can help with fertility:

  • Metformin – this medication regulates how your  body absorbs and digests sugar, which in turn helps to regulate the irregular levels of hormones that prevent ovulation.
  • Clomid – Stimulates ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary)

Herbs for PCOS: 

  • Chasteberry - regulates hormones.  Specifically for PCOS, chasteberry increases the amount of LH (the hormone that triggers ovulation) and decreases FSH, which sets the whole cycle in motion.  Take ¼ - ¾ teaspoon of tincture 1-3x a day. Read more.
  • Evening Primrose Oil: Balances estrogen and progesterone and stimulates cervical mucus production.  Take 1,500-3,000mg a day.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Can help to strengthen uterine lining for people with PCOS to support and protect a pregnancy once the egg is fertilized.  Drink a cup of tea 1-3x a day.
  • Kudzu: lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, manages blood sugar metabolism, and acts as an estrogen. 
  • Red clover: increases circulation which increases cervical mucus and decreases vaginal dryness.  High in calcium and magnesium which decreases menstrual cramps.  Very beneficial in promoting fertility.  Drink 1-3 cups of tea a day.  Read more.
  • Milk thistle: helps to clean, protect, and invigorate the liver, decrease levels of unnecessary hormones. Read more.

Before using these herbs, check with your healthcare provider and/or a Naturopathic Doctor/homeopath/Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.  

The following herbs should only be used with a practitioner’s careful guidance:

  • Gymnena - Can help regulating sugar intake in people with diabetes or an insulin insensitivity.  Do not take at the same time as other insulin medications without close guidance.
  • Cinnamon - increases control of blood sugar and cholesterol.

Most importantly, talk with a healthcare practitioner who will listen to you and help you start working on a plan together.  There could very well be other causes to your infertility (your partner’s fertility, a structural problem in your uterus, etc) that you don’t know about and will need to be managed before you start any fertility work.  It is extremely important to have someone who will work with you as you start looking into various herbs so that you can do so safely.  Don’t forget that we use these herbs because they WORK, and many of them have side effects.

Exactly one year ago today I got the most wonderful news, that I was pregnant. On our very last round of fertility medication, Clomid, I took a pregnancy test expecting another disappointment but instead I saw the word pregnant on it and could hardly believe my eyes. We were pregnant! A year later I have a beautiful and healthy little boy in front of me and am so thankful for him. After 2 years of trying for a baby, 3 miscarriages, 5 rounds of clomid, this was our pregnancy test that would lead us to being the happiest we’d ever been. ♡

Results are in......

The nurse just called. I was surprised when she told me the results. I cried a bit.

Because…

I’m pregnant! Hcg is 189 (for reference, Harry’s first hcg was 228, so they’re comparable).

With my miscarriages my 1st hcg counts were always very low). My beta is Sunday morning. I’m not out of the woods until I’m around 7wks due to my history, but the nurse was really happy with my number.

Infertility and me.

Every now and then parenting websites will publish an article titled something like “What Not to Say to People Dealing with Infertility.” I always read them and nod my head, because in the 6 years that was my life, I heard every variation on the theme.

And even though I know better than to read the comments on articles about things that are still quite emotional for me, I always do, and inevitably there will be one from some well-meaning person who has not personally had to deal with the pain of infertility and who really doesn’t understand what it feels like.

A few days ago, I decided to leave a comment explaining how infertility affected my daily life in ways that people who haven’t been there just don’t understand. It got a really positive response, so I thought I would share it here.

Read More

A year ago today we went to the hospital worried we were losing our baby and instead we got to hear the most amazing sound, our little ones heartbeat and see the little tiny speck that was our baby. Looking back at this picture in comparison to today’s photo of him it’s so hard to believe this can be accomplished in only a year. The human body is truly a marvel and miraculous thing. I am so blessed that the blob on an ultrasound transformed into this beautiful, healthy little boy in front of me today. He is a living, breathing miracle ♡

My choices

When I was a teenager, I didn’t want to get pregnant so I went on the pill and used a barrier method with spermicide every single time. This was my choice.

When I married my high school sweetheart, we tried to get pregnant, but experienced miscarriage and infertility. We went though invasive and expensive fertility treatments. Trying to have a biological child was important to us. This was my choice.

When we wanted to have a second baby, we again experienced miscarriage and infertility. Adoption was not an option to us because of a health issue that excluded us. We went back to the fertility clinic. This was still my choice.

While waiting for a vasectomy and trusting infertility, I became pregnant at a point in time in my life when I was unable to continue with the pregnancy, so I had an abortion. This was also my choice.

I’ve been a birth control using teenager, suffered from infertility, lost desperately wanted pregnancies, done fertility treatments, parented two children, and had an abortion. At each point, I made the decision that was right for me at the time.

Is it so hard to believe that people can run the reproductive spectrum over a lifetime, and in doing so -make choices that reflect our needs at that time? These were all my choices, and they did not conflict with each other at all. My highest held value was the freedom to exercise my will over the direction I wanted my reproductive life to take, and all these choices reflect that.