Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In pursuit of knowledge...

During my past couple of days off, I decided to go bumming around at the library and book stores looking for any information about thin, non insulin resistant PCOS. My search left me pretty disappointed.

The majority of the books out there are geared towards woman that are overweight and that have insulin resistance. I can't tell you how many times I read this quote, "70% of women will begin to ovulate if they just lose weight." I don't think I will be able to lose any weight. I'm already at a BMI of 20.5.

I was really hoping to find some information out there regarding fertility success stories of women who present like I do...thin, no physical symptoms, and no insulin resistance. I think that that's what I need right now--the success stories. I've been reading over and over again about all of the failed IUIs and IVFs that I begin to wonder if there is really hope for me. But it feels like there really aren't too many women out there in my position. Which I guess is why Doc B thinks I'm going to be tricky.

Speaking of which, there is nothing more frustrating waiting for your period to show up so you can start a new treatment. I have never cared more in my life about getting my period. I feel like I've turned back the clock to when I was 13 anxiously awaiting for that milestone that officially makes you a "woman." I know I should try and keep busy and finish everything around the house, but I get sucked into the internet and trying to find out more about PCOS.

That's pretty much all for now...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Talk about getting kicked when you're down...

Oy. What a crummy weekend. One of The Bear's friends is going through a really hard time. My heart goes out to him. The Bear's guy friends are a different breed...they call each other all the time, they get mad if someone doesn't invite them to do something or if they forget each other's birthdays. They might as well have ovaries. They are a very sweet and loyal bunch, though. Truly great guys.

Anyways, the guys had been out all evening and wound up at a corner bar right around the corner from our house. I thought I could use a night cap and decided to crash. The minute I walk in, my husband announces that one of my good friends (who is married to one of his good friends) is pregnant. And it happened on her first cycle off birth control. Ouch.

I feel awful. I want to be so happy for them and their new little one. I want to sit and talk with her about how she is feeling and how excited she is. But I don't think I will be able to do that without totally losing my shit. I haven't told her that The Bear and I have been trying for six months and how I've been having problems. That I wake up every morning and pee on a stick to see if I'm ovulating and that if I maybe ovulate then I have a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant. That if I don't get my stupid period, I'll have to induce it with medication and will have to start Clomid and that maybe it will work. And if all of THAT works there is always the increased chance of miscarriage that comes along with PCOS.

How do you balance that? How do you balance being happy for your friends but so sad for yourself?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How much does it cost to make a baby?

I finally picked up some of meds last week. The Pharmacist asked me the usual questions:

DRUG DEALER: Did you ever take these medications before?

ME: No. Wait, yes, I took the Provera.

DRUG DEALER: Ok then, most women generally have good results with Clomid. Any questions?

ME: Any side effects?

DRUG DEALER: Maybe some GI upset. Just take it with a meal if that happens.

ME: Really? I'm a little concerned that I'm going to turn into the incredible hulk when I get mad and throw chairs into the wall and my head will spin around and pea soup will spew out of my mouth...Oh! And I heard you can have wicked hot flashes.

DRUG DEALER: I don't think so...although you never know with hormone changes.

He wished me good luck and half smiled at me as he slid the package across the counter. I braced myself for the big total. I was pleasantly surprised when the grand total came to a whopping $8.48! Later that afternoon, I high-fived The Bear and told him that maybe we can make a baby for under ten bucks.

Then the bills started rolling in from Doctor A's office. They were definitely more than ten dollars. The Bear's insurance covered some of it, but let's just say that we are out more than a couple hundred bucks for some labs and an uncomfortable ultrasound. We haven't even received Doctor B's bill yet. We're going to start tightening up the purse strings around this joint so that we don't start racking up debt through this whole process.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long journey. What are the odds of ovulating on a minuscule dose (50 mg) of Clomid and slipping one past the goalie on the first try? My guess is not great. Everyone keeps telling me to remain positive, but it's really hard. It will be even harder if I remain optimistic and then fail.

The beauty of working with 50 some women is that there are individuals who are or who have gone through similar things. They were also kind enough to tell me that Clomid will most likely make me crazy. I'm going to go to night shift for awhile in case I really have a hard time with the meds. I figure an emotional breakdown at 2 AM will be witnessed by less individuals than one at 2 PM.

This sucks.

***For the record: I do not view Pharmacists as actual drug dealers. I think they are a very well educated bunch of people. I've also known this particular pharmacist for a couple of years and he's seen me fill a variety of different prescriptions through the years. I do find it mildly amusing that he now knows that my ovaries need a jump start.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Gameplan

I was finally able to meet with my new OB/GYN. I have mixed feelings, but I don't think that they are about her. I think I'm reacting to what she told me as she scrunched her face and squinted one eye:

OB/GYN: Hmmmm, you're going to be tricky.

Technically, I did want a doctor that was going to be straight with me, someone that wasn't going to sugar coat it. Someone that was equally kind and honest. And she exceeded my expectations. Did I leave with a warm fuzzy feeling? Not so much. But again, I have a feeling that it's because she didn't clap her hands and tell me she would have me knocked up by Christmas. Instead, she told me that if we don't have any results after 4-6 months of treatment, that she would send me on my merry way to the infertility clinic downstairs.

The Gameplan (She actually drew a chart! I loved that!) is to start Clomid when/if I get my next period. If I don't get my period, they will induce it with the lovely Provera. While on Clomid, I'm supposed to be using an ovulation predictor kit to see if I ovulate. If I do, The Bear and I are supposed to get busy. I think my husband loves this doctor for the simple reason that she wrote "Sex!" on The Gameplan.

I had a sneaking suspicion that she was going to prescribe Clomid. Let's face it, I've been all over Google ever since I knew something was wrong with my cycles. I've read tons of stuff about Clomid and trigger injections and IUI that my eyes are bleeding. I try to stay away from reading about success rates and percentages only because those have a tendency to make me blue.

I'm nervous. What I think I'm particularly nervous about is success rates. What if it doesn't work? What do we do next? It's been very difficult coming to terms with all of this information. It's all so new to me and just not what I had expected.

Slowly I have been telling more and more people around me. Like I said before, everyone at work knows. On Friday at Girls Night Out, I did speak about it a little bit with a couple of friends. Everyone keeps telling me to think positive, to pray, to keep my spirits up, that they are there for me. But what if it doesn't happen?

Monday, October 12, 2009

How did I get here?

When I was a teenager, I really didn't like children. I never really even thought of having a family. I was not one of those women that felt her heart flip flop every time they saw a baby. I was mostly awkward and scared around my nephews. Truth be told, I thought a lot about getting married and finding that special someone to spend my life with, but not about having a family.

In 2006, I actually lost my pills during a move about six months prior to my wedding and I thought, what the heck, I'll wait until the fall before I get a new prescription during my annual pilgrimage to the college health center. I had been on oral contraceptives for a VERY long time. When I was a teenager, though, my cycles had been quite regular. I had heard a lot about Nuvaring and thought I would give it a whirrl. I loved the idea of not having to take something daily. Lazy me. During the months that I had come off of my birth control, I had regular cycles approximately 28 days each. This was consistent with my cycles before birth control--back in the dark ages.

The Bear and I were married in 2007 and I was still in school with student loans piling up. I would be graduating in a year and I wasn't sure what was going to happen with the job situation, so we put off on starting a family.

Fast forward to April 2009 when I decide that I'm about as ready as I'm going to be to start having kids. Job is good, house is good, dog is good. Why not make life even better with a little wee one? My first cycle is 28 days. The next cycle is 33. No big deal, right? Then I go a whopping 44 days without a period and about 50 million negative pregnancy tests. I start googling everything infertility related. My head practically explodes with the possibilities.

I went for my annual appointment in September and explained everything to my general practitioner. She is incredibly supportive and doesn't even flinch when I begin to cry in my paper gown. She seemed quite concerned with my long cycles and ordered blood work. I cried out of relief. I think I was so concerned that she was going to give me the whole song and dance about how I had not been trying for one year yet. She sends me downstairs for lab work.

A couple of days later, the results are in: LH:FSH is 3:1 indicative of polycystic ovaries! I am to meet with her first to discuss these results and then we'll do more testing. I am a little peeved because I am impatient and want results now.

I let my mom know my diagnosis. This is our conversation:

ME: I have polycystic ovaries.

MOM: You don't have a beard?!

ME: Thanks. But please tell me if I do start growing one.

MOM: But you're not overweight!?

I think that is something that is very interesting about PCOS. There appears to be a bunch of different subsets of this disease. I continue to google everything under the sun regarding PCOS. I become very scared that I will be insulin resistant, develop diabetes, and subsequently lose my foot. I make a mental note to figure out how to make our house more handicap accessible.

The following week I have an ultrasound of my ovaries. AWKWARD! At one point the u/s tech says to me, "Ohhh, your ovaries are pretty far apart. There's going to be a LOT OF PRESSURE." Nice. I go back the following weekend for lab work to determine if I'm insulin resistant or not.

After developing a fantastic hematoma from the phlebotomist from hell, I eventually find out that I am not insulin resistant at this point in time. I immediately allow all carbs back into my life. I get put on a 10 day cycle of Provera to "re-set" my cycle. My general practitioner at this point gave me two options: I could have spironolactone to suppress my androgens and thus decrease my "symptoms" OR I could have birth control pills. Since neither of those options sounds good (You can't take spironolactone while trying to get pregnant/being pregnant and the birth control pills will prevent pregnancy) I asked the medical assistant if I should consider an OB/GYN or Reproductive Endocrinologist. She emphatically tells me that that is a good idea and they will give me a referral if need be.

I am all set to go balls to the wall and see a RE at a local fertility clinic. Guess what? My insurance company doesn't cover ANYTHING related to IF. Awesome. So next week I have an appointment with an OB/GYN that does have experience with IF and PCOS and comes highly recommended by some co-workers.

The best news? I'm on cycle day 68. AWESOME.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcome! Bienvenue! Hola!

Hello! Welcome to my bloooooog. I can't believe I have one of these now. I'll never forget when a couple of years ago, my sweet husband called me from work and said, "Honey, what's a blog?" I almost died because I was laughing so hard. He's so precious.

Anyways, I'm in my late 20s and was recently diagnosed with PCOS while trying to conceive. My fantabulous hubby is 30 and we've been married for about 2 1/2 years. We have an amazing dog and come from really wonderful families and have such great friends that we've surrounded ourselves with. We wanted to wait to start a family until after we were settled with our jobs, our house and a major home renovation. After I threw out my birth control, I was all set to jump on the baby making train. Then surprise--I was diagnosed with PCOS! I'll write more about that later...

I realize that there is no shortage of infertility blogs or blogs with PCOS or blogs chronicling every minuscule detail of trying to conceive woes...but I felt compelled to write about what I've been experiencing in order to just put my feelings out there, for lack of better words. This PCOS diagnosis is pretty brand-spankin' new to me. Who knows? Maybe I can connect with women in the same boat. Maybe I can come to terms with a lot of the emotions I am experiencing if I find out that I'm truly not alone. Also, if I can inspire one tiny glimmer of hope in another individual, then this blog will have exceeded all of my expectations.

Maybe one day what I've written here will serve as a way for me to update family & friends with what's going on. For right now, though, I have only told select individuals in my family and group of friends. I have talked with many, MANY co-workers and they have been nothing but supportive and kind. I don't know why, but for some reason it's very easy for me to open up to that particular group of women.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be a short waiting period until I jump on the train to baby-ville. Until then, I'll keep posting!