My journey trying to have children has been a roller coaster of little triumphs and trials. Every day is different. Most days I’m positive and am anxiously trying something new to help with my infertility. Other days I feel defeated, like I just want to give up…and some days I do, but that’s ok. Sometimes I feel like I’ve tried everything I can and it just isn’t enough. I come to a dead end. Infertility is more common than most people think. It is difficult to understand and experience. I hope this blog will give insight to those looking for some new ideas in their battle with infertility, as well as a way to keep them going.
This last year has been the most challenging for me. I started going to a new doctor last September, after my previous doctor told me to take some depression medication and that I would be fine. My new doctor, Dr. Michelle Knowles, asked me questions no other doctor had before. Questions such as, what do you eat? How do you feel throughout the day? What do you do for exercise? What supplements do you take? She also offered to test me for things many other doctors hadn’t (my thyroid, blood sugar, a hormone test, as well as a kidney and liver test). You name it; she probably tested me for it.
My test results said there were numerous things ‘off’ in my body. For once I felt like I had something to blame my infertility on. My doctor told me I was in stage two of adrenal fatigue. I was also insulin resistant and estrogen dominant. She also said she thought I had PCOS, which is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. So, she gave me a HUGE list of supplements/prescriptions to take, like $375.00 worth! Some prescriptions were covered by insurance and some were not. She also recommended several books I should read. I was excited to start feeling better and was confident things would start working! I hoped this would be the thing that would finally work and that I would get pregnant.
I started taking like 20 pills, some in the morning and some at night, depending on if they made me sick or not. Metformin was one medication I had to start slowly. At first, it made me feel awful, but after a few weeks it got better. I also started using progesterone cream and changed my diet. I stopped drinking soda and started eating whole wheat and other whole grains. My days were consumed with trying to get pregnant. I even logged my daily woman symptoms (i.e. cervical discharge, breast tenderness, pelvic pain) in an app on my phone. I felt like I was going to the doctor constantly. Where I was in my cycle, determined what pills I took and whether we could have sex or not. Everything had to be on a schedule and planned. It was exhausting keeping track of everything. On a positive note, the side effects were pretty nice! I lost 14 pounds over the holidays…who does that right?
At my follow up appointment my doctor wanted to do a follicle test and we discovered that I was not ovulating…dangit! She came up with a plan. She recommended I stop taking my depression meds just in case I were to get pregnant (I would already have them out of my system). She also recommended I stop eating grain, rice, potatoes, and corn….yikes! This basically meant I would be eating meat, fruit and vegetables for the next few months…ugh. Worst yet, she gave me a prescription for Clomid. I was devastated, I felt like that was a recipe for disaster. I didn’t want to put myself or my family through another round of Clomid…my first experience taking Clomid was miserable. I promised myself when I got pregnant with my daughter, that I would never take anything that would make me crazy. I would only try to get pregnant doing things that made me feel healthier and better!
I felt I had some big decisions to make and I needed to talk to my husband. When I called Mitch, I started to cry. How do you tell your spouse you need the crazy pills again (Clomid)… with no comfort food, all while going off depression meds? After talking to Mitch, I felt driven and more confident. My husband is wonderful! He was so sweet and reassuring. He promised he would help me in any way he could and that we would be ok. He assured me that if I chose to take Clomid he would help me through it. Even though his comments were comforting, I was still worried about my daughter. The first time I took Clomid we didn’t have her. This time I would have my sweet little girl who I needed to be there for.
I went off grain first and gradually stopped taking the depression pills. It all went smoother than I expected. After several weeks of being on my new diet, I decided I could take Clomid on one last time. I was going to do this thing 100 percent or not at all. I asked my family and friends to pray for me, which was scary, but they were all very supportive. Finally, I took the Clomid. I really wanted it to work this time so I gave it my all…no grain, no treats, progesterone cream at night, Metformin twice a day, and all my other supplements…go big or go home right?
I went and had my follicles checked on day 13 of my cycle. I had two that looked good and I was so excited! We had sex on the days we were supposed to… I was sure this was going to work! I felt confident! On day 20 I started feeling sick, I was extremely emotional and nauseous (I secretly hoped this might be an early sign of pregnancy). I went in to the doctors office and had a blood pregnancy test on day 22… it came back negative. I still had hope so…on day 25 I took another pregnancy test… it came back negative too. Of course I didn’t tell anyone. I hid the test so no one would know I took it. On day 27 I thought, “this is when I normally start my period…maybe the other tests were wrong.” I took another test… and again it was negative. Day 31 rolls around and I think, “maybe the medications I’m on are messing things up.” I took another test! At this point in time, my friends and family are wondering if my efforts to get pregnant had worked. But no, this one was negative as well. I finally started my period on day 32… of course I was heartbroken.
I was devastated. I desperately wanted to share good news with my family. Instead, I’d be showing them another negative test. I felt like I had let them down. I was mad at my body. Why didn’t it do what it was made to do? I really felt like I was out of options. I didn’t have the energy or will to keep going.
Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who, instead of feeling downhearted, recommended I get my mind off of it all. When we got pregnant with our daughter, four years ago, we weren’t doing any of the things I had been trying recently. I had gone off of everything! His idea of a good distraction was a new bike. He surprised me with one shortly after our last negative.
I’m starting a new chapter in my life… with my new bike and this website…I’m telling my story. This site will be a place for growth, healing, and support. I hope to tell more of my experiences, as well as share the stories of people I know and look up to.