Thursday, April 30, 2015

The longest blog post...EVER.

I honestly meant to update this blog before now...I'd like to say it has been crazy around here, but it really hasn't been *too* bad. My laptop has been broken for a while now, though. I hate getting it out, I have to wait forever for it to turn on, then manually change the time and date. Plus the screen is broken. Hopefully later this year I can pick a new laptop out, but right now we have to worry about bills and other things.

{I apologize for how long this update is, it has my MFM appointment, a cycle update, and a "what does the future hold for us" update, all in one.}

So, onto more important things. My MFM appointment was a bust. I wasn't surprised, I was expecting to be let down again, and of course I was right. When we got into the exam room, we went over our paperwork with the nurse. She asked about a million more questions and then thouroughly went over the ones I had already answered on the paperwork. At one point, she asked about my thyroid and if I had antibodies, and I told her yes, but they were very low. She asked for my endocrinologist's name and I told her, but I also added that he had moved away right after my appointment so I hadn't been to see him again.

She left, and the doctor came in. He seemed nice enough, but as it always does, it started out good and got worse. He checked my breathing and then checked my legs (I assume for blood clots). As he got out his notes, the nurse came in and said "They just faxed that information over. She has elevated ANA levels." He said, "Thank you. That explains a lot". I assumed at first they were talking about someone else, but no, they were talking about me. He told me elevated ANA levels can indicate lupus. But then he said that they were probably elevated for some other reason. Apparently they called my old endocrinologist's office and got my records - I didn't even know they'd checked those.

We went over everything...I was basically told that my MTHFR is a non-issue. Yes, it causes neural tube defects and can cause blood clots, but it "probably wouldn't" cause blood clots, so I shouldn't worry about that. Then he told me to "overload" my body with folic acid so I'd get enough. The COMPLETE opposite of what I should be doing. At that point, I knew we had wasted a trip. I am completely ignoring that suggestion, I'm obviously going to keep taking my l-methylfolate. I almost rolled my eyes at him. He then said "I can almost guarantee you that if you take a bunch of folic acid and a baby aspirin, you'll have a healthy pregnancy next time." I kind of laughed and said "Yeah, well, I did that before my last pregnancy and you know how that turned out".

Then he moved on to discuss my thyroid problems. He said "Well, I bet I know when you found your thyroid problem, and I bet I I know what caused your miscarriages. It wasn't the MTHFR. When did you get diagnosed?" I told him June of 2012, three days before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. "Oh, darn it, I was sure you found it after one of your miscarriages. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause miscarriages. When did you have it checked last?" I told him I'd had it checked 6-7 times or more in the past year and it keeps coming back fine. (It is actually the best it has been ever right now).

So then he told me my thyroid probably DIDN'T cause my miscarriages, and that I just have (and I quote) "bullshit luck". He told me that even though I have several things going on that COULD cause miscarriages (MTHFR, elevated ANA levels, hypothyroidism, elevated prolactin, and low progesterone/ovulation issues), that he really thinks I just have shitty luck. I waited for an opening in the conversation and said "I have a question" probably four times and he kept interrupting me and wouldn't let me talk. Finally he shut up long enough for me to get it out, and at this point I was extremely annoyed at him for interrupting me. I told him I also have low progesterone, but that each doctor has told me that supplementing will do nothing for me, since it is caused by ovulation issues. He agreed. He told me that my low progesterone is caused by a "crappy egg" and that it causes miscarriages that way so supplementing does nothing since it can't "fix" the egg. I kind of asked about how to fix it and he wouldn't answer me, then went into some spew about how he'd love to tell me that I won't miscarry again, but since I've had two, it's likely I'll have more, but there's about a 66% chance I won't. He told me I had bullshit luck a couple of more times and I basically just got up and got ready to go at this point. He then told me to stay on the baby aspirin and overload with folic acid again. *sigh*

Anyway, I picked up some Vitex the other day and I've been taking it for a week now. I also started fish oil two weeks ago, so I'm taking quite a few supplements. I don't know if it was the fish oil or the Vitex, but I have had a lot less anxiety for the past week. The only thing that has been aggravating me is my cycle. I had a positive ovulation test on Monday and Tuesday, and we babydanced Sunday night before it turned positive, but it looked VERY negative on Sunday so we didn't use PreSeed (I don't produce ewcm, if it is close it is still pretty thick). My CM was creamy on Sunday as well. We babydanced again Tuesday morning, my cervix was high, firm, and open (it opened up on Monday). I haven't charted at all this cycle because it is kind of stressful for me, but it turned out to be a big mistake because I took it Wednesday and today to "confirm" ovulation. My post-ovulation temps are always about 97.35 to start out with, and it was 97.46 yesterday and 97.48 today. Pre-o they're 96.8-97.25. In other words, my temperatures are showing I ovulated, which is odd. It doesn't make sense with my fertile signs (my cervix is still high and open today, but still hasn't really been soft at all, although it doesn't always soften). Plus, I almost always get 2 temps at 97.40 or below a bit before they rise about 97.45, and they're already there. It is an odd cycle, I almost wonder if fish oil or Vitex hasn't raised them a bit. I'm going to keep trying for a few more days and keep taking my temperature until I can be positive, though.

As for what we are going to do next, I've really went back and forth. I've been told my several people that I just need to go see an RE. I would have made an appointment a month ago if I hadn't been referred to the MFM. I did request an appointment on the website of my preferred fertility clinic the day before yesterday, but I haven't received an e-mail or a phone call yet. My husband and I finally sat down tonight and made a decision though. Firstly, we are both fairly positive that we are "out" this cycle if I really did ovulate - because we didn't use Pre-Seed the first time, and the second time was the morning of my supposed ovulation day if I go my BBT. There is a chance that my temps are off and my body is more correct, though, although this has never happened before. So we decided that *if* I get a reply from the RE, we will make the appointment and go with it. If we don't, I'll take it as a sign that it isn't the right step for us right now. I've felt a lot less anxious, so I am going to do my best to relax and concentrate on my child, marriage, and my health for now. We will still try, but I'm not going to obsess over it. It may be the key. Maybe Vitex will help. My yearly check-up is I think June 28, so if no BFP by then, I'm talking to my OB about it and unless he offers me Clomid or Femara, I will make the phone call and get in to see an RE. By then it will be six months since the d&c with no luck, and almost a year and a half since we started actively TTC. I'm hoping "relaxing" does the trick. My husband got a kick out of us talking about relaxing though, since we hate that advice. Who knows, though? I do have high stress levels due to my anxiety and my miscarriages.

I will be sure to update with any info sooner rather than later next time to avoid an insanely long post! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It still hurts.

Infertility is such a tough battle.

It is different for anyone, yet in a lot of ways, the same. Women experiencing primary infertility think "Will I *ever* have a baby? I just want ONE baby. Is that too much to ask?" But women experiencing secondary infertility have a different problem. They know that they can get pregnant, they've done it before. They know that they can STAY pregnant (in most cases). But many people think we shouldn't hurt. We already have babies.

The sad part is, that isn't how it works. Hurting because we want another baby may seem selfish to those that can't even have one child, and that is understandable. But it is impossible not to hurt if you want another child.

Seeing your child play with her baby dolls is incredibly painful when she should already have a sibling here on Earth. Seeing her hug them, put them in bed, cover them up, change their is heartbreaking. She loves babies. Seeing her love on real babies hurts even more. I am thankful that she can't talk very well yet. Hearing her say "take baby home" is the worst it has gotten so far, I don't think I will be able to handle her asking for a brother or sister.

I feel like such a failure. Every single person I know who had their first baby within a few months of me having Audrey (besides one or two people) are pregnant again or already have another baby. One person is on her second baby since that one. I see all of these photos of toddlers kissing baby bumps, reading "big brother" or "big sister" books, and it sends a jolt of pain into my heart. Anytime I see a sibling on, say, a TV show do something sweet for a sibling (today it was an old episode of Bones), I burst into tears. I can't help it. Why can't I give her a sibling!?

I know that I am "blessed" (oh, how I hate that word...people use it incorrectly way too often) to have her. I am. I thank God for her every day. But it really does shock me daily at how easy it is for most people to have one, two, three, even more children. For most people, having children isn't an issue at all. They think "time for another baby" and 9-10 months later, there is a baby. I envy that. I really do.

I had some blood drawn two days ago, homocysteine, folate, and b12. My b12 and folate were normal, and my homocysteine was actually low. This is kind of a good thing. However, it is also very frustrating. Even though a lot of research says that I still need lovenox, a lot of doctors go against that research. I've fought so hard to get here, and most likely next week I'll be told no lovenox. This means I get to go into every pregnancy from here on out and play the "let's see what happens" game...again. I don't want to do that. Finding out that I have MTHFR has done absolutely nothing for me yet. So now, I am back where I was before. Sad and frustrated.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Consult update! :)

It has been a rough year.

We quit birth control last January, but weren't actively TTC, just not preventing. We originally wanted to wait until fall of 2014 to TTC (or, rather, my husband did), but I finally convinced him, after begging since A was probably eight months old, to try sooner. We assumed it would take six to nine months like A did. We started truly TTC (in our case this means adding PreSeed) on April 7. It has now been over a year. Hearing the doctor say the words "secondary infertility" at my appointment a few days hurt. I never thought I would be here. I thought, even though I worried, that I would take months to get pregnant, and carry to term. But here we are, a year out from TTC, with two angel babies (plus a possible chemical pregnancy last month, plus a for sure chemical before Audrey that I try not to think about) and a whole lot of heartache.

Today I am 9-10dpo (no way to tell for sure, thank you insomnia!), with a BFN. No surprise there, really. My heart is already breaking from seeing a negative test. At first I feel like a whiny baby because it is only our second month of trying since we lost Hope...but then I remember, it has been a year, and I'm DAMN well done, pardon my language.

While I'm feeling pretty down, I did get some good news this week at my consult. So I'm trying not to let myself fall to deep into the pit of despair. First off, the waiting area was so much different than my old OB waiting area. The receptionists were sweet as pie, which I loved. When I went back, I talked to the nurse, and I really like her too. The doctor was as someone said...not very personable. He isn't perfect by any means - he agreed with my old OB that a progesterone level of 7 isn't bad, and that he doesn't believe in luteal phase defects, either. I wasn't too happy about that, but he did say that since I've had two losses and I'd feel most comfortable on progesterone, that he was fine with prescribing it. Then, he told me that three losses is normally when RPL testing is done, but I stopped him there and told him I'd already had it done. He asked to look at my results, read over my MTHFR, and I told him that my old OB said my MTHFR won't cause miscarriages, won't check my homocysteine levels until I'm pregnant, and refused to treat it even if they are high. He disagreed and said it definitely causes miscarriages (which I obviously know already), and that there is no reason they shouldn't have checked my homocysteine levels then. He even got his phone out and started searching for a page on MTHFR he had just read recently! I was impressed by that. In the end, he said that he wasn't super familiar with MTHFR, but he wanted to test my homocysteine levels, and he felt most comfortable referring me to an MFM to get proper treatment.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. I almost jumped up and hugged the guy! That is honestly all I want - a caring doctor. A doctor who, when not familiar with something, will admit it. A doctor who cares that his patient has lost babies and WANTS to help her, and if that means referring her to someone else for a while, then he does it. I'm just so happy, and I do have some hope now. If my levels are fine, then I'll feel a lot more comfortable about not taking lovenox.

So...obviously, I switched doctors. I go Monday to get my levels checked, and my new nurse called me yesterday to tell me that they called her back with an appointment. I missed her phone call and called back immediately. The receptionist immediately just sent my call back there to her - which NEVER would have happened at my old office. It would have been hours before I got a call back, if not the next day, even though she had just called me. She was also super sweet. I am not going to miss that office at all. This one seems so small and they act like they actually care.

So, my appointment is April 23rd, and my mom comes down around March 7th and stays until the 12th or so. Hopefully that helps keep my mind off the next cycle just a little bit. I definitely got heartbroken this cycle. I would have been due on December 23rd or 24th, and had a little baby bump in the summer, and been able to announce on Mother's was perfect. But as all of us ladies who struggle know, the "perfect timing" thing doesn't work out for us. I honestly wish every day that I was able to plan a pregnancy out. Pick a month, not worry about not being able to get pregnant or miscarrying, and ta-da! Baby!

There is still a tiny chance of being pregnant this cycle, but not much of one. With Audrey, I got a dark, dark line at 12dpo. With Sunny, I got a squinter at 8dpo and a faint, but still good, line at 9dpo. With Hope, I was about 11dpo with my first super faint line. I'd say it wasn't a "good" line until 13dpo.

Hopefully I can update soon with my homocysteine levels and be feeling super positive! :)