Life and Fertility Update

I Will Beat Infertility.jpgWell…..its been a while since you’ve heard anything from me and for that I am really sorry. I’ve had some major events, both personal and professional, happen lately that really required some focus. I do owe you guys a major updated so here we go…

As you already know I decided to try Keto a few months ago and I fell in love with the lifestyle. After following this way of eating strictly, I’ve continued to see the weight just melt right off. Now so many people have told me….”Jen that isn’t healthy” or “Jen Keto is going to give you a heart attack from all the fat”. Let me tell you guys that I have never felt better. My migraines are pretty much non-existent, I’m less bloated, I have way more energy then I use to and overall I feel GREAT! I’ve had my fair share of cheat meals which are full of carbs and after each of those meals….I feel bloated, sluggish and just plain gross. So why would I continue to eat those things that make me feel so bad? End of rant! So with sticking to Keto and working out religiously I kept seeing the number on the scale go down until one day when I hit the dreaded plateau. I did everything I could think of to break it and nothing for about a month…..I didn’t lose a single once. So after plenty of research and reaching out to a few friends for help I figured out my problem. I wasn’t consuming enough water and I was working out TOO hard. Yes that is a thing! I found out that killing myself in the gym for 2 hours 5 times a week was keeping me from losing the weight I wanted to because of cortisol. I found out that my body was creating all of this cortisol that refused to let my body lose any weight. So by increasing my water intake from approximately 80 ounces to 120 ounces every day and by doing minor cardio and weight training, I broke that pesky plateau. I lost 8 lbs that week and as of today I’ve lost a total of 85 lbs. Yes you read that right 85 LBS!!! That my friends is an amazing accomplishment that I am extremely proud of. I weight less today than I did on my wedding day! Not only has this really made me feel great about myself but to see how everyone reacts to me now and sees the progress I have made…..its inspirational. I’ve actually inspired a few of my family and friends to start eating healthier. I have no plans of stopping now even though I’ve exceeded my goal weight per the fertility doctors orders. I see another goal that needs to be exceeded!

So this brings me to the fertility update. So since I hit my goal weight, I went back to the doctor and we started the process of our first IUI which consisted of getting authorized with the insurance company and redoing some of our routine blood work which is pretty standard. So in late August, we started taking Letrozole which is like Clomid in that it induces ovulation which many women with PCOS do not do on their own. So I took 2.5mg of Letrozole for 5 days and went back on day 12 of my cycle for bloodwork and ultrasound. The ultrasound tech measured 7 follicles at this appointment. One at 15 mm, One at 12 mm and five at 9 mm. All was good news as I apparently was responding well to the letrozole. So I had to go back in 2 days later for more bloodwork and ultrasound. On this appointment, the 15mm follicle had disappeared. WHAT….HOW…..WHY??? According to the doctor it appeared to have been a cyst which means there was no egg inside but I still had 6 follicles that were all measuring well. One at 13 mm, and 5 at 11mm. They did explain to me that having to many would mean that we may have to cancel and restart but they wanted to first continue monitoring to see if the 13 grew and the others stayed the same or got smaller. One my third visit, which was 2 days later, all of my follicles were smaller. I was really devastated. I wasn’t sure why my body wasn’t cooperating and I thought I was doing something wrong. My doctor then decided to prescribe me Follistim or what is common called a FSH (Folicle-Stimulating Hormone) to help my follicles grow. So my wonderful and supportive hubby said that he would administer the injections because I’m so fearful of needles that I just wouldn’t be able to do it myself. So after 2 days of injections, I went back in for more bloodwork and another ultrasound. Ultrasound revealed a little growth with one follicle at 15 mm, one at 12 mm and 4 at 11mm. My estrogen levels had spiked up in the 800 range after adding the follistim. So I continued with the Follistim for two more days at a reduced dosage. Went back in for more blood work and another ultrasound. No more 15mm follicle and no additional growth on the others. My doctor called me personally instead of the nurse to break the news to me that my estrogen levels spiked again to around 1200 and with no follicle growth and too many follicles, it was no longer safe to continue with this attempt of an IUI. I just knew this was coming so I had braced myself for this impact but it still hurt. You can prepare yourself for just about anything but when you actually hear the bad news it still hits you like a ton of bricks. I had my hopes set to high that I just set myself up for disappointment. In all reality was I really going to get pregnant on the first IUI attempt…..probably not but it would have been pretty awesome if I did. So my doctor proscribed me provera to help me induce a menstrual cycle so that we could try this again. I told myself that this first attempt was my test run. Now my doctor knows how my body is reacting to the medications he has prescribed and can make the adjustments needed for the first “real” attempt.

So that brings us to the last two weeks of my life. Day three of my cycle, I went in for my baseline blood work and ultrasound for the “real” attempt. Everything came back great estrogen levels went back down to a normal range and I got the go head to start the Letrozole again. Doctor increased my dosage to 5 mg for 5 days and I got in on Thursday October 11th for another round of bloodwork and ultrasound. I’m praying that my doctor has figured out the correct cocktail to get my ovaries to produce the best damn follicles they can and that one or two of them mature to the 18mm mark they need to so that we can really give this a try. I hate to ask this of my readers but I could really use some positive vibes and some prayers over the next few days. I have waited so long to become a mom and I feel in my bones that my time is coming very soon. So here is to being positive and hopeful that this is my time.

I will also try to post more updates as they happen to avoid novel length posts like this in the future. Until next time….

xoxo,

Jen

Fertility Update

baby-dust-needed-hereIts been a few weeks since my last post. Life has finally slowed down long enough for me to breath a little easier. Just an update on what’s been happening in my life…we were finally able to get hubby’s swimmers checked. We also  had the chance to schedule our follow up appointment to review our test results and get our game plan from our wonderful doctor at Shady Grove. Here is how the appointment went:

I walked a little slower into the office that morning….anxiety had officially overtaken my body. Hands trembling and sweating all at the same time. Head spinning from all the thoughts running a mile a minute. What if both of us have issues….would conceiving a baby even be an option for us anymore? It took me about 15 minutes to walk into the office which normally takes be about 5. I finally made it to the second floor and just about 5 feet from the office door. Reaching for the knob felt like I was reaching for my ultimate doom. While signing in I looked at the other women waiting to be seen wondering if they had the same cards dealt to them that I did. I sat in the small leather couch right across from the reception desk hoping the wait wouldn’t be forever for my own sanity….I needed to know what were my options…..would it be possible for us to conceive our own baby? Finally about 10 minutes go by and the doctor comes out and walks me back to his office. I took a seat and he starts off with “the small talk”. In side I’m screaming at the top of my lungs…..JUST SHUT UP AND TELL ME MY FATE ALREADY!!!! After we caught up on what’s been happening in my life, he says “ok lets take a look at what we are dealing with”. FINALLY! He first takes a look at all of my test results because lets be real…I had to endure to most testing so its only fair I go first right! So my results were great! My tubes are open and filled nicely, no fibroids or pulps in my uterus, blood results were great…my only issue is my PCOS. That brings us to hubby. His blood work came back great….all levels looked great and his swimmer count was amazing! Low normal for count is from 5 to 10 million and hubby came in at 64 million so we are in great shape there! (Yes he gloated a little and that made him walk a little taller that day). The shape of his little guys were off a little bit but doctor proscribed a prenatal vitamin for him that will take care of that. The best feeling in the world was knowing that he was ok and the only obstacle we have to deal with is my PCOS. After the test results were revealed then came the, “How’s the weight loss coming?” questions. I was honest and told him that I had struggled a bit with this when I first saw him. I had lost 30 lbs. when I first saw him and then I ended up gaining about 10 of those back…the holidays, stress and depression got the best of me. Since then I have lost those 10 lbs. and 23 lbs. on top of that!

So what’s the next step. Well I have been given strict instructions to lose another 30 lbs to decrease my chances of getting gestational diabetes. Despite my weight the doctor told me that I am very healthy and I do carry my weight very well. He also had a great outlook on my additional weight loss…..when I do get pregnant and I am full term I will be approximately the same weight I am now. So I have set a new goal for myself to lose these last 30 lbs by January in hopes to have a fall baby in 2017! I guess I have my new years resolution!

XOXO,

Jen

Debris in my what?? 

Ugh….so most of you saw my last post where I got the call from Shady Grove about the debris in my lady parts. Well today was the day I found out what the hell they meant by “debris”. My appointment was for 11:15 but I got there at 11 because I was scared out of my mind because I (like most people…I hope) google the terms that the doctor or nurses use when speaking to you over the phone. So I searched “debris in cervix/uterus” and I found all types of things it could be…polyps….fibroids….cancer….thick lining. Ugh I just wanted to hear the words…”Everything looks normal”. I walked in and they gave me this form to read and sign. Of course I read the form word for word which made me more nervous because everything has risks and side effects!! I had to give a urine sample to make sure I wasn’t pregnant which is always fun! Then I was taken back to the procedure room. The waiting was pure torture at the point. Then the nurse practitioner and ultrasound tech walked in. I felt this huge wave of emotions rush over me and my mind started to race….all the “what ifs” flooded my mind and I began to cry. The nurse practitioner and tech were amazing and talked me through the entire procedure. They call this ultrasound a mock transfer because when going through IVF this helps to learn the anatomy prior to sending in the embryos. Well in my case this was a discovery mission….gotta find out what’s in there. As soon as the sterile water was inserted into my cervix I closed my eyes and found myself praying to God….”please be normal”. Then the nurse prectitioner said….”Well”. Uummmm are you going to tell me or are you just going to say well??!! Then she said “everything looks normal except you do have a thicker lining”. She went on to say how that’s normal in my case since I don’t have a normal menstrual cycle. At that moment I could feel my body exhale and relax. It’s normal! I’m fine….everything is fine! I did however learn that my cervix has a little bend in it or what they call curved. Excuse me?? I of course had to ask a million questions but learned that it’s a common thing. Phew! So let the cramping commence and moving forward! 

Xoxo,

Jen

Positive Thinking is a MUST

alittlepositivitylogo_new1First off…I’m sorry its been a while since my last post. Life seems to be getting in the way a little more frequently these days. So an update on whats going on in my life. I finally made the decision it was time to take my infertility a little more serious. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 5 years with no success. If you read my “About Me” section you know the back story but for those of you who haven’t read it,  I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a few years ago which is my main reason why I can’t conceive on my own. We started getting treatments in 2010 and into 2011 but we decided to take a break in May of 2011 for a few different reasons. One being our insurance not willing to cover anymore diagnostic testing and treatments because they didn’t feel it was “medically necessary” and secondly from all the hormones, blood draws and weekly sonograms my body finally started to tell me it was time for a break. Mentally I was drained and hubby could see it in my face. With all the clomid rounds and the ovulation testing and well…..the “practicing” we were doing and every month the pregnancy test would be negative was so hard on me emotionally. I finally said….I NEED A BREAK.

 A year went by and I thought I was ready to start the process over again but then my insecurities and self-doubt really go the best of me. I kept thinking to myself, what if we go through this process and nothing works? What if I’m not able to give my husband the children that I know he longs for? What if I go back to the doctor to find out that I’ve done more harm to my body by “putting this off”? Should I have just sucked it up and went back sooner? What if one of the treatments finally work but I have a miscarriage? What if the doctor tells me that there is no hope? All of these thoughts kept racing through my head pretty much every second of everyday. So much that 2 years went by and finally hubby asked me….are you ready yet? I could see in his eyes that he really wanted to have children…he was ready to be a father and it wasn’t fair to him for me to be selfish any longer. I needed to go back and find out what the next step was. I really loved my doctor but when I called to schedule my appointment, I was notified he was leaving the practice. Now what was I going to do. So we decided why not go to the specialists at Shady Grove Fertility. It took me about 3 weeks to build up enough courage to schedule the appointment but I did it! One step down…..my appointment was scheduled for June 29th which was about a month away (at the time of course). It seemed like those 4 weeks flew by…and the appointment was all I could think about. I was both excited and nervous all at the same time.  Then the morning of my appointment finally arrived and I woke up in tears. I had never been so scared of going to the doctor in my entire life…..I felt like I was going to visit the doctor and he was going to either tell me my life wasn’t supposed to be spent being a mother or that he could help me. I was sitting on the bed and I broke down in tears….I looked at hubby and said….”I can’t do this. I can’t go to this doctor just for him to tell me that I will never be pregnant.” He looked at me and said the most loving thing ….”Honey, if you are not ready for this next step I will not push you to do it. Just know that I will always be your rock and if god wants us to have a child he will give both you and I the strength to get through this. We will get our family someday but if the journey doesn’t start today, I’m ok with that.” I fell in love with him all over again. I knew in the back of my mind he yearned for a child just as much as I did and I knew that if I didn’t push myself to take this step I would push it off for another year. I cried almost the entire way to the doctor’s office with hubby holding my hand the whole way there. I finally took a deep breath, opened the car door and made my way into the doctor’s office. Sitting in that waiting room was tough…and seemed like an eternity. Finally the doctor called our names and we walked back to his office and had a seat. I was finally calm…..until he sat down and asked me “What brings you in today?” I lost it! I broke down and cried so hard that I almost start hyperventilating. He looked at me and said, “You have already completed the hard part….you called and made the appointment. It’s all easy stuff now!” So after a few minutes and tissues later, I laid out my entire medical history for him which went a little like this…I have PCOS and I want a baby! He then went on to tell me about PCOS which I knew a little bit about already from my research. He went on to tell me exactly the course of treatment he wanted to take with me in detail which is amazing. To have a doctor really sit down with you and talk you through all of the stages and the course of treatment that they want to take with you is just amazing. He answered all of our questions and really put me at ease. Of course he would like me to continue to lose some more weight and congratulated me on my success so far! (oh and I’m 7 lbs from my goal and my birthday is next week…think I can do it??) The one thing that really put my mind at ease and really turned my head and heart around from the negative thoughts I was having was when he told me this…..”I’m not normally the type of person that will bet on anything….but I’ll beat we can get you pregnant before you know it!” Hearing those words and to see how confident he felt was like music to my ears. Once I left his office, I felt like 100 lbs was lifted from my shoulders. I could finally breath again and look forward to something.

Both hubby and I were sent to our primary care physician to get some blood work done which was about a week ago. Once our test resulted are in and our Shady Grove team review everything, we will finally be on our way to starting our family. I have nothing but positive thoughts about this whole process because negativity is not an option at this point. I have a new goal for myself this year and that is to finally be able to say….I’m pregnant!

xoxo,

Jen