September 28, 2012 looked like this
Our last family of 2 photo!
September 28, 2013 looked like this because of September 28, 2012.
Dutch's 1st Mule Day
I'm not sure if I've ever talked on the blog about our IUI that resulted in Dutch. I know I had planned on it but sometimes things are just too raw so I don't know if I ever mentioned it. The Fall always makes me think about trying to have a baby and not being successful. But thinking about Fall 2012 and holding that result in my hands today leaves me so thankful. And even though I'm thankful it is still hard to think back on the years that we were trying to have a baby without success.
So here is our story. I hope it is boring to everyone that reads this blog. If so just skip on over but the reality is that some of you will be interested in reading so I hope it helps. If you have any questions email me, I will be glad to help out!
Preface Sidenote: People please don't be afraid to advocate for YOUR body. Yes Dr's are so great and smart and wonderful and I have a whole new appreciation of them after having a baby, but most of the time you have to do the leg work when you KNOW something is wrong. Hopefully this isn't the case for you but for me it was and if I hadn't told the Dr that I was pretty sure I had a progesterone issue I would probably still not be pregnant and he would be saying just give it another month.
Also why do Dr's not automatically check your progesterone level when you tell them you are trying to get pregnant? Without progesterone you can't ovulate. Remember on Friends when Monica had a hostile uterus? With low progesterone your uterus is a hostile environment to grow a baby and it can result in miscarriage. When I did get pregnant I would go for weekly progesterone checks until 12 weeks and was on progesterone cream. Thankfully it helped my hostile uterus.
October 2010 I started my first round of Clomid. While we had not been trying for the 1 year period that Dr's usually wait before trying any type of fertility treatment I knew from MY own research that I had low progesterone and the chances of me ovulating on my own were pretty slim. After asking the Dr to check my progesterone he put me on Clomid.
After that cycle I decided to not use Clomid again. With no luck I bought Taking Charge of Your Fertility in January 2011. I think this should be required reading for everyone. Men and Women. I learned SO much and began charting.
April 2011. I went back to the Dr for my annual and had my progesterone checked again. It was at a 4 which is too low to ovulate.
May 2011. I started my second round of Clomid. My progesterone level did get up to 11 so I did ovulate but no luck.
June 2011. Clomid for 3rd cycle. My progesterone level got up to 25 which was encouraging but no luck.
July 2011. For some reason I thought that this was our month. I was able to pinpoint my exact ovulation date through charting so I was really excited. No baby.
August 2011. After trying for over a year with no success my Dr talked me into doing the HSG dye test to make sure everything was flowing good. I was so scared because I don't do Dr's or hospitals (ha says the girl that went to the Dr every week for a year for blood work) The results of the test were great. I know the test is painful for some but since everything was flowing fine I didn't have pain.
September 2011. Our 4th Clomid cycle without a positive pregnancy test. I was about to start my October Clomid cycle when I woke up with terrible pain in the middle of the night. I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out or throw up. I got out of bed to walk across the house to get some Tylenol but couldn't make it so I had to detour to the couch. Eric woke up and brought me some meds, I fell asleep and felt fine in the morning. It was a Friday so I knew my Dr office closed early that day so first thing I put in a call to the nurse because I wasn't sure what had happened to me in the middle of the night and I wasn't sure if it was safe to continue on with the Clomid. I never have period cramps so I knew something was up.
Well they never called me back and Eric didn't want me to do that round of Clomid. I may have had a little freak out because that was one more month wasted.
That next week I quit my Dr after he didn't seem concerned in the least about my pain from that night. Ugh general women's care. He made no suggestion that it could have been a ruptured cyst or even to check for cysts, something that is associated with Clomid. I asked him to refer me to ART fertility clinic.
Our first ART appointment was for November 1, 2010. The weekend before that we had a home football game so that meant tailgating. Sunday night several of our friends started to get sick. At first we thought food poisoning but it had been 30+ hours since the tailgate so we decided we were all sick with the stomach virus. As a result I had to cancel that appointment. I did freak out then because it would mean another month without getting pregnant, but really it meant like a year because I thought we would have to wait several months for another appointment and to come up with a plan.
But the good news is God knows more than me. We were able to get an appointment just a few weeks later at the office only 45 minutes away, not 2 hours away like the last appointment. I was trying to control every detail so when things didn't go as planned I would panic. I will never forget on November 4th when I got such a peace about the whole thing. I realized that I honestly have NO control over the situation. Yes I did have a part in the whole thing but really it was up to God's plan. After that day I was so much happier. I still would get sad and impatient, but I had a whole new attitude.
So we finally get our fertility clinic appointment. At the appointment I was exhibiting one of my low progesterone symptoms so the nurse decided to do an internal ultrasound on me. Well guess what she found, cysts. She stopped counting there were so many. She told me that the pain I had in the middle of the night was most likely a cyst rupturing. Since there were a few cysts larger than 3 cm we couldn't start on any fertility drugs. Surgery was mentioned but I am a big sissy so I axed that idea and we decided to watch and wait. I still went back and forth to the fertility clinic a couple of times a month for monitoring and to check my progesterone and cysts. After 4 months of monitoring the Dr recommended surgery to remove the cysts and check for endometrosis. I was tired of waiting so I agreed.
April 2012 I had surgery to remove the cysts and a little bit of endometrosis. I was so scared, not of surgery but getting an IV. Luckily I survived and I'm glad I had that IV, since the IV was the part of child birth I was most scared of. Both times the IV was pain free.
After the surgery everyone thought I would get pregnant on my own. A few months passed and nothing. We thought about an IUI but weren't ready. IUI's take up a lot of time with Dr appointments, my Dr was an hour away and when your body is ready you have to go to the Dr RIGHT THEN for your procedure. We had some vacations planned so decided to wait until the end of the summer.
During that time I found things that I could control like my fitness and diet so I put a lot of energy into those things. I started running more and started the class Body Pump. I also started following the low Amylose diet. I lost 12 lbs doing those two things but didn't get pregnant. We decided to do the IUI in August and made the initial appointment. That day I was feeling kind of weird about the appointment. I wanted to try one more time on our own. I told Eric that day during lunch and he said he was feeling the same way. I cancelled that appointment because if the husband and wife have the same feelings about something like that you go with your gut! I didn't get pregnant so we looked at the September calendar and all the dates were perfect for an IUI. We would have an away football game around the time I thought the IUI would happen so that meant Eric could be stress free with work and be able to go to the appointment since he was a pretty important player in the whole thing. ha.
I went back to ART and everything looked perfect to do the IUI. We scheduled it for Friday Sept 28 but then the lady that was going to do the procedure realized she would be off that day so instead of having the IUI done in Montgomery we had to go to Birmingham. I was kind of bummed because after seeing these nurses a couple of times a week for months you get very comfortable with them and being in their office. But if we had to go to Birmingham we would and did. We were already planning on driving through Birmingham that day anyway on the way to my parents house so it was perfect. The only problem is we would have Claire with us.
Luckily the parking deck is cut into a mountain so it was cool and she did just fine staying in the car. We would let her out and walk her between Dr appointments. We got the phone call that everything was ready and looked great and come back inside for the procedure. We put Claire back in the car and walked back to the hospital. Then just like that Nurse Niecy shot me up and said good luck. It was a quick and painless procedure. Spoiler alert, it worked.
Hello, is it me you're looking for?
We were so fortunate to get pregnant after our first IUI. I know many others don't have that same outcome so we were so thankful.
Looking back now I am soooooooo thankful that we went through a long wait of having a baby. I wouldn't have told you that several months ago but that was before I met Dutch. He is the most perfect baby (duh) and fits into our family so well. Those 3 years of learning to give up control may have prepared us for a thing or two when it comes to having a newborn!
ps The fertility clinic we used was ART Fertility Program of Alabama, we used the satellite Montgomery office. My Dr was Dr. Allemand. I didn't see him very often, but really liked him. Most of my appointments were with the CRNP, Sarah. Loved her and the whole staff at ART Montgomery. It was a bittersweet tearful day when I graduated to the regular OB.