Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Trying To Conceive: How it all started...

In December 2013, Lee and I decided we were ready to start our own family. We planned a two week trip to Europe (read more about that here) and decided that we would have one last trip just for the two of us, and when we got home, we would start trying to get pregnant. We left for Europe on December 21, 2013. I honestly had my fingers crossed that we would conceive in Europe and I would come home pregnant, but it didn't happen for us that month, or the next month, or even the next 3 months. During that time we didn't put too much pressure on ourselves, and we weren't counting my cycle days or anything. We figured we would just see what happens.

By the end of May, we still hadn't conceived, so we decided to start using a home ovulation predictor kit (OPK for short). May, June, and July all went by, and we still weren't pregnant. August was a stressful month, and I was late... Normally being late would make me super excited, but I had zero pregnancy symptoms, and had even gotten a negative pregnancy test, I assumed the worst. After a long weekend trip, I called my doctor and let her know that this was day 40 of my cycle and that I still had no period, and several negative pregnancy tests. She said she would prescribe me a medication to make me start my period, but of course on our drive home from our weekend away, I ended up starting, so I didn't pick up the medication. My next 3 cycles were in the 38-42 day range, so after my period in October, Lee and I decided to see the doctor.

We met with my OBGYN and talked to her about our frustrations. She said that since my cycles were so long, there's a good chance that I'm either not ovulating on my own, or that I'm not ovulating at the optimal time during my cycle. To fix this issue, she prescribed me 50mg of Clomid. Clomid is a medication that can be taken to help a woman's body  prepare for ovulation. The doctor said she would also like to do some blood work to check my hormone levels, and the blood work and Clomid are both best when done on day 3 of my cycle. Luckily, the day we met with the Dr. was day 2! So the next day I went in for some blood work, and also started taking the Clomid which I continued once a day for the next 5 days. The plan was to take Clomid on days 3-7 of my cycle, and do an ultrasound on day 7 to see if the Clomid actually made me ovulate. We did this, and it turns out the Clomid did not work. I did not ovulate, and in addition to that, I had a cyst on one of my ovaries. As if 10 months of periods weren't disappointing enough, here was another let down. The doctor said we could try again on my next cycle, but in the mean time she recommended Lee complete a sperm analysis.

 Lee went that next week to the fertility clinic in town and completed a sperm analysis, and we got his results less than two weeks later. The results showed that his numbers were a little off, so the OBGYN recommended that he do another analysis to double check. The second analysis came back a little off again, and our OBGYN referred us to a fertility specialist. I was feeling so sad and frustrated after all of these let downs, but was excited about meeting with the fertility doctor and making a plan.

We met with our fertility doctor for the first time in early December. He recommended we have several tests done before we proceed with a treatment plan. We spent the month of December doing additional blood work to make sure we are not carriers for several genetic disorders, an ultrasound to take another look at my cyst, and an HSG test, which tests to make sure that my Fallopian tubes are not blocked. After our results from all of these were in, we met with our doctor again to go over the results. This time, we got great news! My Fallopian tubes are not blocked, my cyst was gone, and neither Lee nor I are carriers for the genetic disorders that we were tested for. Our game plan going forward was for me to call the doctor on the first day of my next period. Then I would take Clomid on days 3-7 of my next cycle, but this time we doubled the dose to 100 mg. Next I would need to monitor my ovulation using a home OPK, and once I got a positive test, call them that same day. The day of the positive OPK I went in for an ultrasound to see if the medicine is going to help me ovulate. If yes, then we will move forward with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) the next day. If the ultrasound says I am not ovulating, we will do more blood work to see if we can figure out when or if I will ovulate. For now, we are wishing, hoping, praying for a successful January, and patiently awaiting cycle day 1.