Saturday, May 31, 2008

Now for the Real Reason

Russ and I have had some very long, deep discussions in the past year about what we are going to do after he graduates. The original plan was to find a congregation to work with and move there. Well, things change. We have now decided to stay here. Russ is going to get a secular job and preach on weekends. There are plenty of congregations around here that need preachers every Sunday so he won't have to miss any Sundays if he doesn't want to. Hopefully, he will get a nice paying office job. He has been telling most people that I want to go back to school. This is true, but I am concentrating on other things right now and actually plan to go back to school in a couple years if all goes well. The real reason we are staying here is because I am seeing a doctor about infertility issues. Yes, that's right. We have been trying to get pregnant for three years. I started seeing him in February and have been doing treatments since March. Russ and I decided "family first" is our motto for the next few years. If you want to know more about our infertility journey, read on. If you don't, I don't blame you and you can stop here. Telling this feels like I'm pushing a thousand pounds off of my shoulders. First, I love my clinic! I went to see the nurse practitioner first. For a funny side note, I had actually just picked a clinic off of a list from my insurance provider. I needed my annual and didn't really care that much who did it. It ended up that one of the doctors is an infertility specialist at that clinic....I don't know how I got that lucky! First the NP had me give some blood to run to make sure my hormone levels were all normal. They were! Yea! Then Russ had to do a semen analysis. I edited this part because Russ didn't want me to post his results. They weren't bad. I don't know what his problem is. He says it's because he's a man. So, I called back after the blood work and semen analysis were done and I got to see the doctor for the first time. This guy seems to really know his stuff. I've read two books about infertility and research infertility online constantly and totally agree with the protocol he put me on. Within five minutes of questions, he decided that I don't ovulate (ovulation is super important in conception. Read about that here.) I wasn't sure that I agreed with him at the time, but when I looked back at my temperature charts (You can read about that here), I realized that he's right (duh, he is the doctor!). My charts are completely screwed up! So, he put me on Clomid (or clo-mood as some call it, it makes me crazy) to help me ovulate. To make sure that my body is doing what it is supposed to, I also get to have ultrasounds. These aren't the fun little abdominal ones, either. These are the trans vaginal ultrasounds. I call those appointments "my dates with the coochie-cam!" HA! If I couldn't look at this with humor, I would go insane. Anyway, the radiologist does those. He's great! I love him. He has a great sense of humor and is so easy to talk to. Of course, the first ultrasound was evil. I was horrified about what they wanted to do to me, but now it's a walk in the park. So the radiologist measures my ovaries and follicles whenever my doctor decides that needs to be done. I am a "good responder" to the clomid. I'm on the lowest dose and made four follicles the first cycle, three the second, and four again this cycle. Yea! I'm having big girl cycles where I ovulate and suff. HA! I also got to have a hysterosalpingogram. If you want to know more about that procedure, check this out. My right tube is great. My left, not so much. It didn't show up when we did the HSG. My doc says he thinks it just spasmed and that it is fine. He doesn't know for sure, but for now, I'll take it. He also said that my uterus is anteverted, meaning it's tipped forward. Though, he said that when we did the HSG and hasn't mentioned it since, so maybe he changed his mind. Who knows? WebMD said that an anteverted uterus isn't a cause for infertility, though it might not help matters. I also get to give myself shots every cycle. When my follicles have grown to a mature size (most doctors like to see them at least 18 mm), I have to give myself a trigger shot of choriogonadotropine alfa (HCG, the pregnancy hormone) to force ovulation. Then Russ and I do our thing and the two week wait commences. That is the two weeks following ovulation that I get to stress and pretty much go insane while waiting to see if I'm pregnant. So, I'm on my third medicated cycle. If this one doesn't work, we will move on to artificial insemination (IUI's). This is what farmers do to cows. Joy.


Mercedes said...

I got to have a coochie cam twice. It is an interesting thing especially when I thought I was going in for a normal sonogram. I hope it all works well for you.
I watched a infoshow where it discussed there is research that doing yoga while trying fertilty stuff helps a lot.
I guess it helps relieve the strss you put on yourself, so it helps. Just a thought. I am sure you get tons of unwanted advice, so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. : )

Earl Gearl said...

Thanks for the advice! I actually started yoga about a month ago. I love it!

Chelley N said...

Wow! That was quite the post... It feels better to talk about it, doesn't it? Love you!

Earl Gearl said...

Yes, it does feel better to let it all out! Though, Jeremy called and said that was more than he ever needed to know about his sister. HA! I told him that that was why I included the disclaimer in the middle.