Monday, October 28, 2013

Prayer Brigade

It looks like all of your thoughts and prayers have worked! I had my ultrasound this morning and my body is responding really well to the Letrozole. I have FOUR follicles, 3 of which are maturing and 2 of those are good size. I am so hopeful but also just extremely happy the new medication worked!

I went in to this appointment prepped for bad news and ready to schedule my Laproscopy. This great news means no surgery until at least January. 

I experienced little side effects with the Letrozole, mostly just weight gain. So this weekend I started back at the gym & invested in a trainer for my Mountain Bike.

This will allow me to get better on the bike and not have to deal with it being dark by the time I get home from work (the local park trail closes at sunset).  This also means I can keep riding *when* I get pregnant. Yes I am staying positive!! 

I also woke up at 5:45 this morning, to go to the gym. Really hoping this sticks, but it is only 9:30 am and I am already 3 cups of coffee into the day. Who knows, maybe I'll become a morning person. Ok, you're right I couldn't even type that without laughing. But I am motivated, especially now. 

Thank you for all the prayers and keep them coming!  Seriously, everyone has been so amazing. I am praying for all those that confided in me that they are experiencing similar situations. 

Love & Prayers, Joanna

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Even with the best of plans....

I am a planner.  Everything has to be at the right exact moment in my life. I have to expect it. I have to save for it. Everything has a time and place. I have to plan for every possible outcome of all variables.

At least I used to be that way.  I used to think there is a time for everything.  An exact right, planned, time for everything.  Oh what a fool I was!  

I have had this conversation 100 times….Each and every time I freeze just as the words start to come out of my mouth.  I am about the burst, whether into uncontrollable tears or a fite rage, I am not sure.  I need to come clean, for me, my sanity, my well being.  It is time to come clean about what this post was really about.  Before I get started I have something to ask of you though:

  1. As therapeutic as this is to write out, it is also very hard to have people know.  Even if you are not sure what to say, please say something.  Even if it is just leaving a comment on this blog post saying "Praying for you", "Baby Dust", “Thank you for sharing your story”, "I love you both"...anything is better than silence.
  2. I am "coming out" because this issue is not talked about enough.  It needs to be talked about, so more research can be done and couples facing this issue don't feel so alone in their journey.
  3. I am sorry to those that would expect us to tell you in person, I tried, I just could not handle it.  

Alrighty, let's do this. *Warning this is about to get tremendously personal.*

I have always, always hated this question.  “When do you plan to have kids?”  I know most do not intend it to be mean or hateful, but no matter what someone’s situation, it is painful and uncomfortable to answer. 

I completely realize that no one is perfect and I know I myself have asked close friends this questions before. Truthfully, I am not sure why I ever thought it was ok to ask, when I have always hated being asked.

Since July 2012 we have been trying to conceive (TTC).  

After 12 unsuccessful months of TTC, in July of 2013 I was referred to a Reproductive Endroconolgist (RE).

Throughout many test and way too many times being pricked and prodded, we have discovered that

  • I do in-fact have internal scars from an Ovarian cyst that grew to 7xs normal size years ago and then twisted and burst.

  • 16 years of painful periods were caused by Endometriosis.  

  • It was also discovered that my erratic monthly cycles are because I do not ovulate on my own.  

Couldn't just have one issue could I?

After two cycles of Clomid (a drug to help me ovulate) and tests to make sure it was working, with no pregnancy, my RE decided to preform a HSG test.  
"An Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray procedure performed using dye to identify any structural abnormalities in your uterus or fallopian tubes."


The HSG showed that my right Ovary is completely blocked. I had already taken my Clomid for the month so we were to continue on timed intercourse and call him on my 1st day of my next period for our next plan of action.

That appointment was last Friday and I am so thankful I had a fully booked weekend to distract me.

At this point in the journey we had two options. Continue with the Clomid for three months, at a double dose (to hopefully produce more than one egg) or have a Laproscopy. The Laproscopy would tell Dr.L if it was really Endo blocking my Right ovary or something else. It would also give him the chance to “fix” the blockage and discover any other issues we may not have seen during the HSG or my 6/2012 Ultrasound (which didn't show any evidence of Endo). We decided to try the Clomid for three more months and then if we are still not pregnant and I have been ovulating, we will move on to the Laproscopy.

Clomid has an array of side-effects, most commonly hot flashes & slight weight gain. I have been doing really well keeping the weight down and losing it right after each cycle. The depression didn't even click until my very first support group meeting when someone mentioned it. I had chalked it up to the process getting to me. I have always been very resilient but there is only so much one can take. I was thankful to learn the depression was a direct result of the Clomid.

Dr. L is going to move me to Letrozole. It requires a lot more oversight by the doctor but is known to have less of the emotional side effects and several woman from my support group say it had much better results for them and less side effects. One woman even said she has no side-effects on it!

So that is where we are right now. I am so very thankful to have Corey by my side every step of the way. He has been there for every breakdown, livid rage, cry, throwing of clothes out of my closet... He has continued to be the optimist and support me in everything. I cannot imagine fighting this struggle with anyone else. He truly is my rock.

Next cycle I will start the Letrozole. Until then I am enjoying my coffee, sushi and Mountain Bike riding; trying to look at the future & stay positive. I just know I cannot continue this journey without the rest of my support group.
For those of you that I have missed your Baby Showers, Children's Birthday parties or just not been the best friend or relative, I am sorry. I hope you now understand why, now.

**update: Thank you, thank you for the outpouring of love and support!  It means a lot to have so many people telling me their own stories, offering prayers and just sending love/support.  It really makes a world of difference.  Thank you!