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Carlyn’s Journey-SURPRISES! Got to Love Them! VI

Submitted by on April 2, 2010 – 6:00 AM2 Comments
Carlyn’s Journey-SURPRISES! Got to Love Them! VI

It’s funny. I was sitting here thinking about my readers and pondering over what I was going to write about, when I suddenly wondered if I had any fellas reading this blog. Chances are, I ran them off last week talking about my “business,” but just incase there are a few brave male readers out there who came back for more, let me tell you that this one will probably send you running for the hills. Please know that scaring you away is not my goal. I’ll be the first to say that I strongly believe men should understand what women go through during the stress of trying to conceive, but if your man is anything like my man, then he checks out when you start talking about extreme women stuff. With that knowledge in mind, we solute you brave men who are still around (if there are any), and commend you for your commitment. Oh…and I personally apologize for what you’re about to read.

Surprises! I normally love them. Who doesn’t? When I usually think about them though, I think about parties, gifts, or good news, but these were not the kind of surprises I received when Rob and I began testing. The surprises I got weren’t so great, and unfortunately, I learned that life in the infertility world would be full of them. Don’t get me wrong. There have been some good surprises, but there have definitely been some bad ones too. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. (You’ve probably already learned that about me through these crazy blogs.) It’s funny how you go into something so sure you have an inkling of what’s going on, and then, WHAM! You’re hit with something that leaves you wondering what the heck just happened. I hope by reading about our experiences during infertility testing, it will help lessen the shock of those “surprises” in your life if you should ever find yourself traveling down the road of infertility.

I was holding my breath! It was the time that I’d been looking forward to, but also dreading simultaneously. It was testing time, and it was bitter sweet. There was a 50% chance that what they’d find would be curable. On the flip side, there was a 50% chance that they’d tell me that I couldn’t have children, and would never be able to. In our initial meeting, Dr. NoShow told me all about the tests that I’d be undergoing. (I’m putting a great informational link here for those of you who are interested to see what all they test. These tests are not only for you, but they’re for your spouse as well. http://www.questdiagnostics.com/kbase/topic/special/aa39523/sec1.htm) On top of the testing, I was going to have a minor surgery, and this freaked me out just a little. The surgery was called a Laparoscopy, and it checked for cysts, endometriosis, and fibroids. I was happy that at least I was going to be put to sleep, and after the ultrasound that I’d soon have, I would appreciate the anesthesia even more. Can I just pause here to say this? I have seen countless movies and T.V. shows where women have had ultrasounds, so I was totally prepared for the test. I was good with it. In my mind, they were just going to look at my uterus and check out my ovaries and eggs to make sure they were the correct size…no biggie. I was even thinking it was going to be kind of cool to put that gel on my belly and see my insides. NO SWEAT, right? So, on the day that I went in to have the ultrasound, I was excited, UNTIL… they pulled out those darn stirrups! A long rod covered in a plastic and “belly” gel soon followed.

“Wait a minute! I thought the belly gel went on the belly!” No girls. Not this time. This was a Pelvic Ultrasound or also known as a Transvaginal Ultrasound . . .(I found out the hard way what that is…Click here to read what this ultrasound entails: http://www.answers.com/topic/transvaginal-ultrasound )

Of course it was! How silly of me. It couldn’t have possibly been what I expected, now could it? That would have been too easy. I was told I would feel a little pressure and to relax. (yeah right!) That’s when I started wishing that local anesthesia was included with this too.

After the initial disappointment of no “belly” gel on the actual belly, it was time to take a look at my ovaries. “Hmmmm,” the nurse practitioner said.

“Hmmmm?” I asked.

“This is interesting.” She looked at the screen. “Do you see those little black dots?”

I had to squint my eyes and tilt my head a little bit. “Yes, I see them,” I replied. “They look like little chocolate chips.”

“Uh huh,” she said. “Those are your eggs, and they are supposed to look like grapes.”

I guessed that wasn’t good, and it wasn’t. My eggs were not a size that would support fertilization, or ovulation for that matter. (AHA! I was right about that! Take that Dr. Nonchalant!) After my blood work came back, the findings were confirmed. My progesterone level, which tells whether I ovulate or not, was at a 0.5. A normal woman’s level should be between an 8 and a 10.

“So, could that be the problem?”  I asked.

“Yes, it most definitely is the problem,” she stated. “Now, we have to wait for the results of the other tests to see if that’s the only problem.” By this time, I had really gotten used to my two nurse practitioners. We’ll call them Lucy and Ethel. They had done my tests, answered my many questions, and calmed my many fears. It was weird, but whenever I went in, I never saw Dr. NoShow. If I called to ask her a question, Lucy or Ethel would tell me that they would ask Dr. NoShow, and then one of them would call me back. I put it in the back of my mind, and focused on waiting on all the results. It took a couple of months to get the results from all of the many tests. To our relief, we were told that the only problem they could find was that I had low progesterone. This was the culprit causing my small ovaries, my lack of ovulation, and unsuccessful fertilization which was ultimately causing my inability to get pregnant. So, what did they tell me to do to fix this problem?  CLOMID! “Great! Been there done that! What does that mean now?” I wondered.  Lucy and I reviewed my history of Clomid usage with Dr. Nonchalant, and we discovered that I was taking the lowest dose. My dose was increased from 25mg to 125 mg. Do you remember our talk in blog 2 about Clomid? Well, remember that and multiply it by 1,000. Yes! Fun times ahead!

Next week, I am going to blog about what happens after Clomid, and how my sweet husband survived CLOMIDZILLA!


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2 Comments »

  • Dr. Annie says:

    I am now a senior, but I went through a struggle with fertility problems when I was in my mid twenties. Yes, I also used Clomid, but did not have any luck with that. I did many things; including planning my sexual life by the calendar, feeling like I was doing gymnastics in the bedroom, and taking Valium because maybe I was just not relaxed enough. I too had the first surgery in my entire life, a laparoscopy and found that I had one occluded tube and one that was partially blocked. The doctor was able to open that tube, but still no luck with getting pregnant. We later found out that my spouse also had some problems, but surgery and drugs did not change the outcome. At that time, almost 40 years ago, insurance did not pay for any costs related to invitro methods. I eventually adopted two infants four years apart. They are the love of my life, very different in some ways from me, sometimes very challenging, but still a true blessing from God. There is so much that can be done today to help with fertility and most of it is covered by insurance. I wish you well and go for your desires!

  • Carlyn says:

    Thanks for your story Dr. Annie and your encouraging words. We are going for it!!!

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