Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our First RE Visit

The week leading up to our first RE visit, I was a mess. I was so nervous. I knew in general what to expect, as I had read a lot of other women's experiences. But I just couldn't believe it was us, walking into a fertility center. When we got there, we had a wait for only a short time before being brought in by a nurse. She took my blood pressure, weight and height, and explained what we'd be doing at that visit.

First, we met with a resident, who went over our entire patient intake packet. It was about 20 pages long and was really extensive. She reviewed our labs and did a family history on both sides. Once we were done, it was time for me to change and get ready to meet our doctor and do our exam and ultrasound. Our doctor is such a warm, kind person and you can notice this immediately when you meet him. We did an ultrasound to check my ovaries, uterine lining, and follicles. Everything looked great! We also did some vaginal cultures (similar to a pap). Once all that was done, I got dressed and we went to talk with the doctor in his office.

We got to ask plenty of questions, developed a treatment plan and had a couple more tests ordered. Just a few more blood tests, all standard prenatal things. And I needed to do an HSG. Once our testing was completed, we were cleared to get started with our clomid & IUIs!  Our doctor was very positive about our chances and decided to start me on 50mg of clomid CD 3-7. After reviewing my charts, he decided I didn't need any extra monitoring, since my cycles were very regular. He was really happy I had been charting so long. It's so nice to have doctors that see the value in charting! So to start my first treatment cycle, all I had to do was take my clomid and do my OPKs as usual. Once I got a positive OPK, I needed to give them a call to schedule my IUI for the next day. Really simple actually! Since we have no infertility coverage on our insurance, we qualified for a special cash price for our cycles. But first, we needed to do that HSG...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The beginning...

Hello out there! While dealing with all the difficult feelings one goes through during infertility, I found so much help in other online blogs. It was such a comfort to me to simply read other couple's journeys as they met disappointment after disappointment, but finally in the end they are blessed with their little one. I even found a blog from someone from my very own RE's office! This really helped me to get some insight into what I would be going through. Knowing that other people were successful before you certainly boosts your hopes!

First a little about us. We're high school sweet hearts, have been together for over 10 years and married for 3 of them. We are both in our mid twenties. We love animals, growing our own food, and spending lots of time outside. We have always wanted to have children, but never thought it would be so difficult to have them!

For now, we will be keeping this blog anonymous. We have only shared our infertility struggles with our immediate family and just aren't ready to go public quite yet. I know everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to sharing, and we really feel it will help keep the pressure off if we keep things more private. Thanks so much for understanding!

I'll give a quick summary of how we ended up here. After our wedding, we did not use any birth control other than natural family planning and charting. I always found charting to be interesting, so I had picked up the habit of always charting my cycles. I figured this would also be helpful once we tried for a baby. Once we decided to try, I expected we'd get pregnant rather quickly. I had always had perfect cycles, beautiful charts, positive opks followed by a big temperature spike.. but I didn't get pregnant right away. I read a lot of statistics. About how most couples get pregnant within 3 months, the majority of those who don't will get pregnant by the 6 month mark, and the rest of the stragglers follow suit in the last 6 months, except for those that don't. When we hit 6 months, I really in my heart knew something was wrong. I can't explain it, but I knew there was.

We still had to wait to visit the doctor. You need to be trying for a full 12 months before most doctors are willing to do an infertility work up. Once we were at 12 months, I made an appointment with my gynecologist, who is a wonderful doctor. Both myself and my husband went to the appointment. I brought all my charts as well, which my doctor was really happy to see. Based on my charts and my CD 3 labs, everything looked good. But she was concerned. She ordered a 7 dpo progesterone check and a semen analysis for my husband. The results of both came back on the same day and my doctor gave me a call. There was a problem. The progesterone test came back great! But the semen analysis didn't. The results were actually not terribly bad. The count was within normal limits, but on the lower end. Still, that's not a problem on it's own. But then the motility (how many are swimming quickly), was less than half of where they wanted it to be. And the morphology was low.

My doctor recommended two things: a urology exam for my husband and getting started with a reproductive endocrinologist , also called an RE. We did the urology exam first, which gave us the reason for the problem. At some point, my husband had an injury. The urologist explained that an injury can sometimes cause the testicles to function at a lower level than they normally would. But the good news was there was nothing else wrong! No tumors, no blockages, nothing serious.

Our next step was the RE. There are quite a few doctors at the center we were planning to use, and I had no idea who to pick. I couldn't find a single bad word about any of them online, only wonderful things and happy patients. I let fate decide and told them I just wanted who had the next available appointment. As soon as we met our RE, I knew we had the right one and we were ready to get started!

If you've stumbled across our blog and are dealing with infertility yourself, please don't hesitate to leave a comment with a question or to share your story. I'd love to hear from you!