Hmmm. Where to begin? Well, this morning when I was going through my usual routine of reading message boards in an attempt to avoid starting my work day, I happened across a blog and thought, "I guess you don't have to be Jane Austin to write a blog, I should do one!"
No one really knows we are TTC. That is, we haven't actually told anyone. The reason for this is quite simple, when we started TTC we weren't really trying. The conversation went something like this:
Me: So, will you think you could handle getting me knocked up or should I look for another husband?
DH: You sure you really want kids? They take up a lot of -
Me: (interrupting) Yes.
DH: Well, ok.
Me: I don't want to tell anyone or get all crazy with tests and predictor kits and all that crap. I just want to do it and be like, surprise! We're having a baby!
DH: I just don't want trying to have a kid to take over our lives. Let's just let it happen.
And that was it. That was the big conversation. It seemed like it was going to be all easy and we would just get knocked up and then everyone would be like, "I didn't even know you were trying!" and we would just be all, "Yeah, cause we weren't really! I just went off the pill!" And everyone would be happy and we'd have babies to play with our fur babies and that. would. be. that.
Except that it didn't just happen. And I was super glad we didn't tell anyone. Could you imagine? Month after month for almost five years, people asking you if you were pregnant yet? I already felt like more and more of a failure with each month that passed. Could you imagine if I had to basically hear other people call me a failure too? Cause that is exactly what it would have sounded like to me. Someone would have said, "Well, maybe you're pregnant!" when I said I felt sick and I would have heard "You suck at your natural job of making a tiny human!" Or if someone asked, "Are you pregnant yet?" with all the best intentions in the world and I would have heard, "You suck at your natural job of making a tiny human!"
It can take up to a year for a normal healthy couple to get pregnant. So I was still ok at the one year mark of trying but not really TTC. Plus, I had endometriosis. Bad. I've had it since I first got my period. I even had to go to the emergency room once when I first got my period because the pain from my period was so bad. I'd already had laporoscopies and been told by my doctor's that my right ovary was massive due to all the cysts on it. So, I already knew that TTC was already going to involve the third T (Trouble, trying to conceive). So one year wasn't so bad. I wasn't paying that much attention to it yet. Plus, I was only 30. I was still cool with it. Even at the year and a half and close to two year mark, I was still pretty chill that we hadn't gotten pregnant and still quite happy that we hadn't told anyone.
It was right around that time, around the two year mark, that I bought a BBT. I had read about charting and thought, "Well maybe I am not ovulating." At that same time we changed GPs and I really liked my new doctor and felt comfortable with him. We had previously been with a network in which we never, ever saw the same doctor. It was the type of place where you waited for an hour past your appointment time to be brought back to the little room, to wait another 30-40 minutes to talk to a doctor who couldn't remember your name without looking at your chart repeatedly and who spent the majority of your appointment reading your history and trying to catch up before prescribing you with a cookie cutter treatment after diagnosing you with whatever cold or virus was going around regardless of what your symptoms actually were. My new doctor had been an OB/GYN before being a Family Practice doctor and it turned out that he had been my husband's doctor when he was little (my husband, not the doctor). So, I told this new Doc my history and showed him my lap pics and videos and he oooo'd and awwwww'd about how much endo I had and how big my ovary was and agreed that I should start charting and then come back and see him in two months and we would discuss my charts and where to go from there.
But see, the DH and I had agreed that we wouldn't let TTC take over our lives, right? So I was determined to chart but also determined not to get all crazy with it. The first and second month I was pretty diligent about it but I could see pretty quickly that it didn't look like a normal BBT chart. It looked like the rocky freaking mountains. Dr. Google told me that because I wasn't taking my temp at the same time every day, I wasn't getting an accurate reading. Oh, come on! DR. GOOGLE! I DON'T HAVE KIDS YET AND YOU WANT ME UP EARLY ON THE WEEKENDS? Shit the bed. So, scratch those two months. I had to start again. (In hind sight I should have just gone to the dr. then to get the show on the road, but ya know 20/20 and all that)
Anyhoo, life intervened and I had to help my sister-in-law with her company and ended up actually running it, so while we didn't stop TTC, I wasn't as diligent about my temp taking as I should have been. But I was diligent enough for one thing to be pretty clear: it didn't look like I was ovulating. What. The. Eff. I could feel pain on my right or left side every month, so how was I not ovulating? We were getting close to the three year mark and it was painfully clear that something was wrong. I was broken. I had already known it but the charting thing was putting it right in my face, like a big sign that read: You suck at making tiny humans. Apparently, I sucked at even releasing tiny human eggs!
I was kind of putting off going back to the doctor, partially because I was still disillusionally hoping that I would just get pregnant and partially because I just didn't want to hear that something was wrong with me. But in March 2013 I woke up to an incredible pain in my foot. I could barely walk. It felt like someone had tied a piece of thread around one of my toes and the pain radiated from there. So, I had to go to the doctor. Of course, while there we discussed my painful periods and inability to conceive but lack of desire to take any drastic measures, when the doctor said: what if it's just something we could easily fix?
The doctor did an enormous amount of blood work, both for my foot and my (what he was now referring to as) infertility. The doctor called with the results the next day. He said, "Well, your tests indicate that you have an excess of male hormones. Specifically androgens. Have you heard of PCOS?" I had not. He went on to inform me that while I didn't have all the symptoms of PCOS, I had the cysts and excess of androgens as well as hair growth. I was also VERY heavy for quite a while, whether that was related or not, I am not sure. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome/DS00423) So basically, my body is not producing mature eggs.
Devastated is not even the right word to describe how I felt. I don't even remember the rest of what the doctor said. It was confirmed. I am broken. I suck at making tiny humans. I fail at being a woman. I sat my DH down and told him and I think that because of the way I was crying, he thought I was going to tell him that one of my blood tests indicated that I was dying. When I told him that I was infertile it obviously didn't click with him what a BIG FREAKING DEAL it was because he said, something along the lines of, well babe, you had to know something was wrong or you would have gotten pregnant by now! Men. Although honestly, anything he said at that moment would have been the wrong thing to say because nothing he could say could actually fix me and all I wanted to hear was that I wasn't broken.
I went back to the doctor and he decided it would be silly to go see an OB/GYN and just have them refer me to a fertility doctor so he just gave me the referral to California IVF to see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). I still did not want to go all crazy and be artificially inseminated or do IVF, I just wanted to be fixed. I just wanted a normal shot at getting knocked up. Just give me a pill that makes me ovulate and send me on my way, was all I was thinking. (All the women who have been through IF that are reading this right now are laughing at my naivete, I don't blame you! Looking back at myself, I chuckle too)
Now anyone that has gone to or knows someone that has gone to a RE knows, it's never just as easy as getting a pill. There are plenty of women out there who go to their normal gynecologists and get clomid and take it for a few days each month, end of story. But that is incredibly dangerous. These medications can cause a myriad of problems, including infertility if you aren't monitored by a doctor while you are on them. Did I know this? No. Did I think I was just going to have someone look at my coo-kah and give me some meds? Sure! Why not? SMDH!
But I was going! I was going to do something about my being bad at making tiny humans and that gave me hope. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and at the moment I made the appointment it was like a miracle had already happened and I was off in baby world in my mind. I. was. disillusional. In my mind I was predicting due dates.