Monday, April 6, 2009

So, what's wrong with me

(I strictly mean in the TTC sense, of course.)

(We don't have the time to get into everything that's wrong with me.)

Let's talk diagnosis, shall we?

When we first started TTC, I charted my daily basal body temperature and fertility signs. After several months passed and we weren't pregnant, I noticed a troubling pattern in my charts that seemed to indicate that I wasn't ovulating every month. Most OB/GYNs won't discuss infertility testing or treatment until 12 months of unsuccessful TTC (being that we were 25 and otherwise healthy), and my own doc subscribed to those guidelines. A friend and coworker of mine suggested that I talk to her OB/GYN, who had delivered both her sons, as she found him to be more proactive in general than others she had seen.

I went to see him, charts in hand, and was immediately glad I did. He looked them over and declared that some of them suggested annovulation. "We'll put you on Clomid, and in a couple of months, I'll see you back here pregnant," he smiled warmly and confidently. I was thrilled and relieved! In the meantime, he ran bloodwork on me to detect hormone levels, sent me to flush out the tubes via an HSG, and tested DH as well (perfect results each time). But still, BFN after BFN. He raised my dose of Clomid... another BFN. I met with him in the office again, this time he was somber, and almost seemed apologetic. "Well, I can either keep you on Clomid and start monitoring you with ultrasounds and bloodwork during the cycle, or I can refer you to an RE." He seemed to lean that way, so I gratefully (but fearfully) accepted the referral.

By the time we sat across from the RE, we had been TTC for one year. Like my OB/GYN, the RE was optimistic that we could conceive. "I give you a ninety percent chance," he stated. Step right up, place your bets on baby! Odds are 9 to 1! The RE was friendly, took the time to talk to us, and had a wonderful staff. We were in good hands as we began another round of tests. This time, more invasive: the Clomid Challenge Test and the post-coital test. Lots of needle pokes and ultrasounds and embarrassing procedures we don't need to go into (no pun intended, ha ha ha). As before, all the results came back perfect. A relief on one level, it was also frustrating not to get any answers. As the BFNs kept rolling in, the RE looked me in the eye and said the words I dreaded hearing: "I am going to send you back to your OB/GYN for a surgical procedure. We need to do a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis."

Being a total wuss in the face of pain, I was devastated. But when the surgery finally rolled around, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I even got souvenir photos of my internal girlie parts! (My friend and TTC buddy Mary told me that I have beautiful ovaries, I will never forget that. Am I lucky to have awesome support or what?) When he was poking around in there, the OB/GYN found mild endo, and he lasered off the areas that he could. However, both he and the RE agreed that the location and degree of my endo was NOT a factor in why I could not conceive. Considering that the occasional annovulation was corrected by the Clomid and everything else looked perfect, I received the label of unexplained infertility. "Nature is inefficient," my RE explained. I resisted the urge to kick him. He is a nice man, after all.

Then in February it was time to step up the treatments. We agreed at the start to do five IUIs (three with Clomid and two with injectibles) before having "the talk" about what to do next. It feels wrong to gloss over this part, as it was the most trying time of my life to date, but maybe it will be a subject for another day. Suffice it to say, on that fifth and final IUI, we got our coveted BFP. And at exactly 40 weeks pregnant, I delivered our healthy, gorgeous, wonderful, perfect, fantastic, beautiful son.

Thinking about what is causing this -- because it's too hard not to know -- my feeling is that the main culprit is the endo. I've read a lot about it, and its effect on fertility just isn't well understood by doctors. I personally think it is making things "hostile" and screwing with implantation. Only God knows... maybe the doc is right, and Nature is being inefficient.

Maybe she needs a new organizer.

Anyone want to chip in to get her a Blackberry?


  1. Oh I'll definitely go in on that blackberry. Especially as nature seems to forget to let me ovulate each month until somewhere around day 40.

    Unexplained is frustrating. Especially when you are the sort of person who like answers.

  2. I hope the old, tired, annoying adage is true for you and that your body was whipped into shape from your last pregnancy. People are always trying to tell me that I won't have any trouble this time, even though our primary issue was male factor. Not sure how pregnancy is supposed to fix that.

    Good luck this time (I followed a link from Mrs. Lemon Cake). I'll be joining you in that journey for #2 in a few months.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounded like a lot of work and very frustrating (all worth it for yuor gorgeous tot, ofcourse), but I'm sure living it was even harder than how it sounds on 'paper'.

    I have my fingers firmly crossed for you that you will get answers and that sibling for the Bean soon.

    PS Is there a relationship between endo and the chemical pregnancy? Would that add weight to your theory that it is the endo that is causing the problems?

  4. Red: That's a good question... I haven't researched the relationship between endo and chemical pregnancies. I just know that in a vague sense, endo can inhibit implantation, which would certainly be in line with having a chemical.


A penny for your thoughts...