Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This is my story so far

Hi, I'm Jamie. I don't expect that many people will read this, as I'm kind of a niche market. I'm infertile and overweight. This is my story of our infertility journey, which has taken a detour for weight-loss surgery. There will be a lot of diet and exercise talk, as I struggle to change my lifestyle and figure out what works. If none or only one of these issues is of interest to you, you may find the information contained herein to be a little bit TMI. If you come across something that makes you uncomfortable, I encourage you to stop reading. This blog is for me, to let me see my progress in black and white. If I happen to help someone out there going through the same things, that would be wonderful.

I'm 30 years old, turning 31 in a few days. I'm newly wed to my wonderful husband (JP), but we've been together for about 5 years.

Starting at an early age, my sisters and I were all diagnosed with malfunctioning glands, which subsequently affected our development. We were medicated with various things to replace hormones, and slow down development. The overall results were that we're all very short, heavy, and were told early on that we would have trouble conceiving. By the time treatments and doctor's appointments were over (I was about 18), I had stored that last bit of information in the back of my brain.

Fast forward to early 2008. My future husband I were living together, neither of us were getting any younger, and was just about to finish a pack of birth control pills, with no refills available. We decided to forgo the refills, and see what happened. I didn't have high hopes, but I was ready to start the process. I quickly discovered that I don't cycle naturally off of BCPs.

Fast forward to May 2010, when I first talk to my OBGYN about my desire to conceive. She orders a bunch of blood work (pre-diabetic, but otherwise fine), an ultrasound, and refers me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). The ultrasound confirmed her suspicions, and I am diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). I am prescribed Provera to jump-start my cycle. It doesn't work.

Shortly after, we had our first appointment with the RE. Dr. G is wonderful, charismatic, thorough, and assures us that one way or another, he's going to get us pregnant. He prescribes more Provera for me, and an SA (semen analysis) for JP. The 2nd round of Provera again fails to get my cycle going, but the SA came back excellent. After one more try, a healthy dose of PIO (progesterone in oil), fails to yield any result, RE says that we can move on to IUI (intrauterine insemination) anyway.

My IUI history then goes as follows:

7/31/10: Start Femara 2.5 mg twice daily
8/12: IUI,
2 Follicles, 12mm & 17mm
8/26 - HPT & 8/30 Beta =

8/31/10: Back to Femara, 2.5 mg twice daily
9/02: Start Follistim, 50 a night for 8 days
9/13: 8 am: IUI,
2 follies at 19+

11/04 - HSG shows 2 clear tubes! Hooray!
11/9: Femara
2.5 mg twice daily, 5 days
11/11: Follistim, 100 units nightly, 8 days
11/17: US - follie check, 2 @ 16, several around 10-12
11/22: IUI (trigger 11/20, evening)

After the 2nd failed IUI, the RE wanted to talk to me before we proceeded with another. He tells us how everything looked fine on the ultrasounds, the blood test results were good, JP's counts and motility were great. He wanted me to have an HSG (hysterosalpingogram), to make sure that my fallopian tubes are not blocked. It'll be a few weeks before we can get it done, so we can't cycle that month. I start to feel depressed for lost time, and angry that we didn't do this in the first place, and terrified that my tubes will be blocked.

Fortunately, the HSG, although painful, revealed 2 clear tubes. Dr. G tells me that HSG can even clear small blockages that might have been hindering us. "Clearing out the cobwebs", as he so cutely put it. We are to start meds again in a few days. I start to become super optimistic the next cycle, even though the cost of the meds nearly put us in the poor house.

When the BFN (big fat negative) came, I was devastated. My nurse called me with the negative beta results, and we decided that we would skip December, because of the Holidays, but I wanted to talk to the doctor again before we started in January. I asked if Dr. G had ever recommended patients for weight-loss surgery, and she said that yes he did, and would likely be happy to get me any of the paperwork I needed to get it approved by my insurance. I spent the rest of the month and most of January depressed, but doing my research about the different surgeries, and discussing it with my husband. I was never able to find very much info on infertility after weight loss surgery.

My RE, while convinced that he could still get us pregnant without, is fully supportive of my having surgery. He says that I'm plenty young enough to go through the process, recover, and then go on to possibly even get pregnant without help. He refers me to a reputable center nearby, and I go to an informational meeting. I decide on Roux-en-Y (gastric bypass), fill out all the paperwork, and schedule my first appointment.

That, pretty much, brings you up to speed.

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