Thursday, December 5, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I had HCG and Progesterone levels run at 3 weeks, 6 days and repeated at 4 weeks, 6 days both with normal results.
The specialist released me to my regular OB/Gyn and I have an appointment with her the first week of November.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I truly feel that learning about the MTHFR mutation, and then treating it has answered quite a few problems. Or as my post says, I found the last puzzle piece. And because of this, God heard my prayers; I did not need to start Clomid! Can I get an amen! Because, I was very scared to start it.
Pray for a sticky baby (I don't know, it's an internet term for a baby that makes it to term).
I recognize that I have a very small readership on this blog but I also felt this was an important post for those following our story. We are planning on sharing this news with family after my 6.5 week ultrasound. And making a bigger announcement after the NT scan around 13 weeks.
I have 12 more weeks before I will feel like I'm in my "safe" zone.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
First and foremost is this just continues to reenforce that my son E is a miracle! The fact that I had this diagnosis since 2006 but did not know until now, did not use any of the treatments and had a baby that survived is just beyond astonishing.
Secondly, that God is good. And he has heard my prayer for answers and he's been providing them to me. It's been puzzle pieces as I mentioned before. But I like puzzles. For the most part I'm very reserved in medical treatment. I look for the most natural approach to my situation. But I also acknowledge that sometimes we need medical intervention; that the medical intervention may be part of God's plan in helping us heal.
This diagnosis also encourages me to keep following the Blood Type A diet. Not because I want to lose weight, it's never been about that. For years I have had chronic stomach issues. Do you know what is on the list of possible conditions caused by MTHFR? IBS. Well, that's bunch of acronyms but hopefully you can follow along. Do you know why MTHFR may be the explanation? Because of this genetic mutation, my body has a hard time removing toxins. And according to the Blood Type diet, certain foods are toxic to certain blood types. I've found a lot of relief following the guidelines in D'Adamo's book. Although I'm having a really hard time giving up olives. Maybe I'm the only one that makes sense of this.
The last thing I realized was that I needed to forgive the OB who delivered my first loss in 2003. On Wednesday I was reminded of where I was 10 years ago; at the hospital delivering the baby I lost. I had many emotions rambling around which I shared previously but I held out on one; bitterness. I was bitter towards that doctor for her terrible bed side manners and the mistreatment of my baby. Her behavior was so terrible it even shocked the nurses, and I received so many apologies from them trying to make up for it. I learned a few years later of what was going on in the L&D floor that may have contributed to her behavior. I just wish she would have left that bad mood at the door. I could go into details, but I don't want to ruin her career. And I think if I put it out there, it would just make the bitterness live on. So, Dr Juicy Fruits (not her real name)...I forgive you.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I tried to describe to someone what my fertility journey has been like. It's been like trying to arrange a puzzle, realizing there are missing pieces and then finding the pieces lost all over the house and putting them back one by one.
Where to start...there are a few things on my mind.
Saddest first. Today is the 10 year anniversary of my first miscarriage. Ten years later, I cried today. Do I cry every year, no. Unfortunately, September 11th is a big reminder of what the date is. 10 years ago on September 11th, I had my 16 week prenatal appointment. It was 2 years after the attack on the twin towers and I felt like there was a curse on the day and was worried about my appointment. B and I sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half before being called back. The doctor got out the doppler and couldn't find a heartbeat, and then she tried the in room u/s machine. She told us our baby's heart had stopped and that it was a couple weeks ago - a missed miscarriage, then told us to go home to gather our things and go to the hospital. I chose to be induced and delivered Jacob on 9-12-03.
This year, on the 10 year anniversary I went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. There were so many emotions tied to this appointment.
Anxiety - over what the treatment options would be. What if they are too invasive? Am I really willing to do them?
Anger - at the medical community who kept telling me I was too young, not trying hard enough, or not trying long enough and blowing me off for so long.
Grief - writing out my medical history brought up those feelings of grief over my losses.
Fear - that the Doctor would tell me that we are a hopeless case.
The good new is the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) was the nicest doctor I have ever met; kind, compassionate. He listened to my concerns, read my history (I wrote it out at home and brought in 4 pages typed), and gave me options. He told me we could be as reserved or aggressive as we want. He does not want to push us into doing anything we didn't want to do, and it was his job to educate us on the options and help us find a good fit for us.
He didn't have a magic answer that explained exactly why I was having a hard time getting pregnant. I wish it was that easy.
He calmed my fears about taking clomid. I had many; I was worried about the side effects that I would feel, and if it would cause issues with my child's fertility. He educated me on the drug, explaining that it's been around since the 1960's and that we have seen children conceived using clomid, now go on to have healthy pregnancies with and without clomid. And he did offer me a second drug option that has less side effects for me, if the clomid makes me feel terrible.
I left the office feeling comfortable with the treatment plan.
The last and most confusing thing is I discovered I have a genetic mutation which may explain my miscarriages. I am Mthfr 1298(A->C) heterozygote. How did I discover this? I requested my file from my previous OB be faxed to the RE. I mentioned specifically that I was looking for some genetic testing I had done in 2006. I remember my old OB telling me that she ran this testing, everything came back normal. But that there was one result that was slightly abnormal but it was nothing to worry about. I asked to see the test result while in the RE's office. I recognized the MTHFR mutation because a couple of girls in my support group have the same thing. I messaged them asking for translation; It causes microclots between the placenta and baby which causes the baby to die (missed m/c) due to lack of nutrients and blood supply. The MTHFR mutation causes a reaction with the folic acid cascade in your body so you're at increased risk for neural tube defects.
I asked the RE about it, and he said that he really has no concern over it. He said I could take additional folic acid to cover the deficiency caused by the mutation.
In some ways this gives me peace, knowing that there was a cause. But because it is something that isn't really researched in the medical community, there's not a lot of support in helping me treat it. Looks like I have my research cut out for me.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Bailey was such a good boy during the 4 1/2 hr car ride
Mini Wegman's exhibit - Kids shopped for 5 items, and then went through checkout. They could also be the cashier and work the belt and the register. The food was so realistic looking. E loved this so much he went through twice.
Left: Bearenstein Bears exhibit
Right: Sesame Street exhibit
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
"Even miracles take a little time." ~ Cinderella
Monday, June 10, 2013
- Join a support group. No really, do it. In 2012 you found one through Babycenter, after the loss of Tristan, and it has helped so much. You were left wishing you would have found one in 2003 after the loss of Jacob. Not only for your emotional help but because you have learned so much about fertility and how to advocate for yourself at the doctors.
- Be an advocate for your health. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let the Doctors tell you that you are too young to be worrying about infertility. Trying for over a year and not being able to get pregnant is considered infertility - whether you're 23 or 32. And it's 6 months of trying if you're over 35.
- Learn what they can test beyond just prolactin and TSH, those are the standard tests. I have a friend whose been through this, and she recommended getting my progesterone checked 7 days past a positive ovulation test. Therein lies my issue - progesterone, I'm not ovulating regularly due to low progesterone. Now that I know what's causing the issue, I know what I can do to increase my fertility.
- Because of your miscarriage, there is now a loss of innocence during pregnancy. When you do get pregnant in 2008 you are going to be a hot mess of worry. And it's ok to worry but your baby is going to be a great kid. He's now 4 years old and absolutely amazing.
- It is ok to announce your pregnancy early. You are a mommy the second that the pregnancy test turns positive. And after trying for 5 years you're going to want to shout it from the roof tops, enjoy. If you were to have miscarriage, it is nice to have the support of those around you.
- Not everyone will stand by your side, you may have friends who pull away. Grief is difficult to go through, and it's just as difficult to see. Many people do not understand the loss of a child and they expect you to "just get over it".
- Dad's grieve differently, but they've lost a child too. For B, that means going on 60 mile bike rides.
- You will learn to be happy for preggos.
- People can say incredibly cruel things.
- There is nothing you could have done to save Jacob or Tristan.
- It was nothing that you did that caused the miscarriages.
- Give yourself time to grieve.
- Some days are easier than others, and some days are really hard.
- Miscarriage can happen again.
- You are not alone
Saturday, June 1, 2013
So why did I take another ovulation test after getting a positive on cycle day 14? Well, I honestly didn't believe that cycle day 14's results were correct. I've been tracking my ovulation for almost a year - except obviously the months that I was pregnant and then the month I miscarried; and in tracking my ovulation I have ovulated either cycle day 17, or if it's a stressful month I ovulated cycle day 23. And after 6 months of trying, after my miscarriage, and using the cheapo ovulation tests I was sick of analyzing lines and decided to use one of the big fancy brands with a smiley face that flashes to let you know you're LH is peaking, and then another smiley for ovulation day. As usual I started testing on cycle day 13 and got a negative and then cycle day 14 I got a positive, but there was no blinky smiley face. I thought it was strange but I'd been using red raspberry leaf tea this month, so I thought maybe I was finally regulating my ovulation or something. I still questioned the results so I ran out and bought the cheapos again. I tested the next day and after staring at the lines I assumed it was a positive. But after my cycle day 21, 7 DPO progesterone draw came back so low and then I didn't get my period on cycle day 28, as I usually do, I started to wonder if the test was wrong.
Honestly, it was worth it to me to get the progesterone draw at cycle day 30, 7 DPO for CD 23, and get a full picture rather than jump immediately into fertility drugs. And if this comes back low again, then I will have to think on it some more.
UPDATE: I got my results back and I am now at 3.3. So I am now in the normal range but still very low. I was told that I want that number to be more like 5, at the very least. So my plan is; between now and August, I am going to attempt natural methods to increase my progesterone. That will include reducing stress, eating whole foods and a combination of herbs including; red raspberry leaf tea and supplement called Pregnancy Prep. If by August I am not pregnant, I will see my OB again for my annual exam and I will discuss with her other options, to see if there is an alternative to Clomid such as just progesterone.
Monday, May 27, 2013
I went in and had my 7 DPO blood work and at 10 DPO I got the call from my OB's assistant; everything looks normal BUT my progesterone was 0.6 which is too low for me to have ovulated this month. She did stress that this doesn't mean that I'm not always ovulating, I have had 3 pregnancies so I have to have ovulated at least that many times. And then she started talking about clomid, ultrasounds, more blood work, sperm analysis for my husband, etc. When I received this call, I was in the car and my head was spinning. After handing up, I felt like my heart was as heavy as a ton of bricks. Clomid was not the path I wanted to be taking. An hour later I had to call my OB's office back because after hanging up the phone I then had a million and one questions. Unfortunately, none of them could be answered with that phone call and I will have to return for another appointment.
After a few days of consideration and research I've come to a couple of conclusions. One: Clomid is a last resort for me. I now know what the issue is, I know what to pray about and what I need to address. Clomid does not fix the progesterone issue, but yes I do realize that it may speed up the process. I have researched other natural ways of getting my progesterone levels back to normal. To include diet, exercise and herbal remedies. The good news with diet is that whole foods are recommended which is already part of my normal eating habits and is much easier to maintain during the summers in Ohio. And exercise is also easier with the nicer weather plus I learned how to ride a bike this spring and we have a 20 week old puppy who needs a good long walk frequently.
My second conclusion is that I'm realizing just how much of a miracle my son E is. For him to be conceived, and to have been a full term, live birth pregnancy is not only amazing. But for me to have gotten pregnant with him after 5 years of trying, not ovulating regularly and not having medical intervention is astounding. Praise God!
In my support group for the women who have lost our May 2013 angels, I posted this verse today: Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." However, I shared lyrics to a song by Josh Wilson called Before the Morning based on that verse; "The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the JOY that's coming!" I felt that this verse held some importance to my current situation but I'm just not sure what exactly that meaning is yet.
Monday, April 29, 2013
4/29/13 I hope part two has a good ending. I am currently in the two week wait, 11 days past ovulation and coming into the month when my angel would have been due (May 16, 2013). After being advised to wait for two years before trying to get pregnant after having our son, then trying for another two years to get pregnant, finally getting pregnant and then miscarrying last October; all I've wanted is to get pregnant again and move on with my life. I want another child, a sibling for E. And every month that has passed since we decided to try again I feel stuck in this cycle, like the movie Groundhogs Day. My period arrives, I have a week of normalcy, and then 10-15 days of ovulation testing, a positive ovulation test and then another two week wait. During that two week wait I start to analyze any and all symptoms, hope that they are signs of pregnancy and then talk myself into taking a home pregnancy test way too early, and then keep testing until my period arrives again. Every.single.month! I'm currently on cycle 5 of trying since my miscarriage. During the follow up for my miscarriage I talked to my OB about my struggles to get pregnant (5 yrs for E, 2 yrs for angel) and we decided I would track my ovulation and if by May 2013 I wasn't pregnant we would discuss further options i.e. medications. I would really prefer not to go on medication. But I also don't want to wait another 2 years or 5 yrs for another child.
So here we are, approaching May 2013 and I'm not pregnant. My appointment is May 2nd, I will be 14 DPO if my period hasn't arrived yet. I'm stuck in my Groundhog Day cycle of analyzing every symptom, and I've already taken ehem, 3 home pregnancy tests - all negative of course.
So why do I feel like if this month isn't it, then I'm hopeless? I'm not sure I could face my angel's due date without having a new pregnancy to look forward to. I did that for 5 years already - the years between my first angel Jacob and when I was pregnant with E. I also had asked a friend to pray for me and during her prayer she prophesied that I would be pregnant within 3 months. I wrote the date down, three months from the day she said that. Three cycles went by since that prayer and nothing has happened. But I still had some time before that date I wrote down, and coincidentally I had a positive ovulation test that day. I felt like it was a sign. I also called to schedule my May appointment with my OB, to talk about what was going on and it was scheduled for the day my period was due, sign #2. And if I don't get a positive pregnancy test this month, I think I'm considering myself crazy and a "pee on a stick addict" who is in need of a serious intervention.
So I have 3 options; I go to my OB's appointment and get a positive pregnancy test then because I'm doing taking them at home, my period arrives and I talk to the OB about going onto medication to help me conceive or my period arrives and I tell the OB I need to go onto birth control because I just don't want to think about being pregnant and I can't face another two week wait for a while.
That is why I am feeling hopeless.