My Infertility TimelineMonday, April 22, 2013
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so there will definitely be some infertility-related posts on the blog this week! I figured this would be a good place to start, since I have some newer readers who aren't familiar with my journey to become a mother.
I'd like to preface this by saying that even though the title is My Infertility Timeline, Tom is obviously affected as well. The only reason I put "my" is because my body is the one that doesn't work right. I just want to make sure that nobody thinks I'm trying to downplay how this affects him, because it's definitely been really difficult for him as well.
And, as with a lot of my infertility-related posts, there might be some overshares. If you don't want to hear about my sex life, this is not the post for you.
-I get my first Depo-Provera injection
The previous month, Tom and I had lost our virginity to one another and were moving in together in August, so I wanted to make sure that I always had birth control covered (I didn't want kids until after we were married). I had previously taken birth control pills to help regulate my ridiculously heinous periods, but I would sometimes forget to take them. That's not a huge deal when you're not having sex, but it makes it very unreliable when you are. A Depo injection lasted for three months, and I didn't have to worry about it every day, so it seemed like the perfect solution. I was told that it could take up to a year to get my period back after going off of it, but I was okay with that, especially after a co-worker told me that her friend got pregnant two weeks after going off (I was so much more naive back then, eh?). I had done some research before getting it, and it said that prolonged use (like 2+ years) could lead to infertility, so I figured less than a year's worth of shots wasn't going to do anything negative.
That obviously turned out well.
-I get my second (and final) Depo-Provera injection
-We have a (kind of) pregnancy scare
I know, it sounds crazy since I was on Depo. In my defense, the shot was wearing off, and I was suddenly nauseous all the time (and had some headaches, which I hardly ever get). I took a test, and when it was negative, I was really sad. I actually cried. I couldn't believe how upset I was. Our first great-nephew (yes, you read that right) had just been born like the week before, so I don't know if that had something to do with it. We had planned on starting to try on our wedding night four months later, so I opted to not get a third shot so that the hormones could start working their way out.
|me and Avery on the day he was born|
-We decide to start trying to conceive
I don't remember what prompted this discussion, but somehow, we started talking about how badly we both wanted to be parents, and decided that we didn't want to wait until May to start trying.
-I had a period
It was weird, because it lasted four days, and then came back for three days a week later, but I was bleeding again, and I took it as a good sign. Unfortunately, I didn't see it for a long time after that.
-I got a positive pregnancy test
Three times, actually. I figured that we were lucky enough to catch my first ovulation, since my period had been MIA for months. We were completely ecstatic, and couldn't help but tell everyone.
-We find out that I was having a hysterical pregnancy
At the doctor, urine tests were negative. Blood work was negative for pregnancy as well as diabetes and a thyroid problem, which the doctor had suspected might be causing all my symptoms. I was diagnosed as having a hysterical pregnancy, and it was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. I was sad, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, confused -- there were just so many feelings and thoughts swirling around, and it affected me in a really negative way. The doctor prescribed provera, which gave me two short periods in November and one in December before it stopped working. She also tells me if I continue to have trouble conceiving, we could try clomid.
-We hit the one year mark, and I still don't have a period that occurs on its own
I remained hopeful that it will come soon, and became even more active on The Bump message boards than I had been over the past year.
-I reflect on what life is like a year after getting a positive pregnancy test
-I begin taking vitex to try to bring about a period
After the depo, and then the provera, I was awfully wary of putting more synthetic hormones in my body (which is also why I haven't tried clomid yet), and decided to explore natural options. I also started getting on The Bump less and less; so many girls were getting their BFPs, and it was getting too depressing for me.
-I get a period!
-I get a four day period, followed by another four day period two weeks later. I begin thinking that my body might actually be regulating!
-No period. I'm devestated, but decide to give myself another month (without vitex) to see if it returns.
-I have my worst period ever
And for me, that's saying something. As a teen, my periods were crazy heavy, and ridiculously long (my longest was 27 days, and I averaged 15). My mom wanted me on birth control to help, but my dad and stepmom felt differently, and it didn't get dealt with until I was 18 and in college. This one wasn't quite as long (almost two weeks though!), but it was SO SO SO heavy. Like, at times bleeding through a tampon and two overnight pads in two hours heavy. And then I was sick on top of it. It was absolutely miserable, and I even had cramps for the first time in a decade (as awful as my periods had been as a teen, I was lucky enough to only get cramps twice, though both times they were so bad I couldn't walk).
-I have a nice, normal period
-I don't get a period, and wonder if I might actually be pregnant
I had a lot of symptoms, and thought I saw a super faint line on one of the tests I took (and had dark pink lines appear after the time limit. It was my fault for looking after ten minutes though -- MAJOR NO-NO!). But tests were negative and my sore boobs went away, though I still get nauseous (but that's normal for me over the past year or so, I've noticed).
-We decide to take a TTC break
So that brings us up to now. I'm giving myself another couple of weeks or so to see if I get a period back before trying the vitex again, but I decided last week that I want to take a break from the stress of TTC, and Tom's fine with that. Truth be told, we're not in a good place financially, and that's stressful enough without the added stress of TTC. If it happens while we're not trying, that would be awesome, but I'm not going to obsess over possible ovulation dates and basal body temperatures, and the state of my cervical fluid (which I check pretty much every time I wipe, even though mine has proven to be crazy unreliable). I want more than anyting to be a mother, but I just need to take some time to regroup.
It has been a long, tiring, grief-filled, confusing, rollercoaster of a journey, and it's obviously far from over, but I'm definitely not done with it yet. I hope that if any of you are dealing with infertility, that you'll be able to share your story with others this week to help raise awareness (though if you can't bring yourself to discuss your struggles with others yet, I completely understand and respect that -- it's not exactly an easy thing to talk about).