Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Infertility Update March 2016

Hi friends! Here is an update with what has been going on over the past 5 weeks or so. Over the past few months, we have been learning to chart my cycles using a Natural Family Planning method, and this past month we have added in some medication to help. To briefly summarize, we continued charting using the Creighton Model, while taking Vitamin B and Mucinex prior and during ovulation, and taking progesterone (hormone) after ovulation. The Vitamin B and Mucinex are both mucus enhancers, which should help me to identify ovulation. We think my progesterone level is low, so by taking this pill, it should help increase mine to a normal level.

We were really feeling positive about this plan, and were super excited to get started. Unfortunately, this month was more irregular than the past few months, which made tracking more difficult. The general concept with using the Creighton Model is that by tracking mucus or lack thereof and charting it daily, we can begin to see a pattern, and be able to recognize when I am ovulating. After meeting with our doctor the last time, we figured out that I typically have two peaks per month (which basically means if you look at my chart, you would think I ovulated twice in one month because of my charting pattern), but with blood work, we were able to learn which peak is true ovulation. Once I was able to recognize signs of ovulation, I was to start taking progesterone. This was my first month trying this hormone, and overall, it was no problem. I took it in the evenings before bed because it can cause dizziness, stomach discomfort, etc. I really didn't notice any of those symptoms. In fact, the only symptom I noticed was that I had a nice, deep sleep each night I took his hormone. That being said, I did found it more difficult to wake up and get going in the mornings, but overall I enjoyed the good sleep. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm really not a morning person, so progesterone certainly didn't reduce productivity before work, because I'm rarely productive before work anyways, haha!

Before taking the progesterone this month, I had a hard time identifying whether or not I had actually ovulated because my cycle did not follow the same pattern this month that it had previously. There was one night where depending how I read my chart, I may or may not have been ready to start the progesterone. I really wasn't sure, so I sent a text to my NFP trainer. She ended up calling me at 11pm on a Saturday night and talked me through my chart! She is truly so dedicated to this cause! She looked at my chart and suggested I wait a few days to take the progesterone, so that's what we did. By looking at my completed chart at the end of the month, my doctor said that she was correct. We felt extra thankful for her guidance and encouragement this month.

Although we were finally able to pick out when I ovulated, unfortunately, we did not get pregnant. I was pretty bummed, and had two solid days of crying and moping around a small little pity party. Lucky for me, my friends and family never allow me to stay down long, so after a few days of feeling sorry for myself, my hubby reminded me that what's done is done, and we have to keep truckin' along. One of the few good things about infertility is that once we get our bad news, we are right into a new cycle, and with each new cycle comes another chance to get pregnant and new hope.

After finding out that we did not conceive this month, we scheduled an appointment with our doctor. He looked at my chart and said that he thought the medicine I took was helpful, and he thinks we're looking at having a pretty normal cycle now. (Although my charting was more difficult this month, I was still able to identify ovulation and had a normal timing between ovulation and my period, so this is overall a "normal" cycle.) He typically diagnoses infertility after 6 months of a couple trying to get pregnant while charting a normal cycle. So since we've only had one "normal" cycle with the 3 medications, he thinks we should try this new concoction and timing of medication for another 5 months.

After 5 months of this plan, if we have not conceived, he can either refer us to a more specialized NFP doctor in St. Louis, or we can go back to our Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) who did our IUIs. We know if we go back to our RE, his suggestion will be In-Vitro Fertilization, which is something we had planned to do last summer, but we put that idea on hold to try NFP. At this point, we still aren't opposed to that option, but we really don't even want to think that far out yet. For now, we want to focus on our current plan with our current doctor, and hope that after a few cycles of Vitamin B, Mucinex, and Progesterone, our miracle will come.

I will keep you all updated over these next couple of months. If you are prayerful, please continue to pray for guidance and peace, as we are really trying to be patient and trust that this is all part of God's great plan for us. If you are not prayerful, but want to be, please reach out to me! I would love to share with you what God has done in our lives these past couple of years. Thank you for reading! 
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