Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Faith & Infertility

I am not going to lie. It is so hard to have faith in God's timing when you are struggling with infertility. I have never wanted anything more in my life than to have a child with my husband. We have been trying to conceive since November 2008. It hurts. A lot. Only people who have been down this road can truly understand how difficult this process can be. 
I will start by telling you a little about myself and the beginnings of my struggles with infertility. I was diagnosed when I was 18 with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is basically when you have multiple cysts on your ovaries caused by fluctuating insulin levels. When it is time to ovulate, instead of the egg traveling down the fallopian tubes, it stays in the ovary and becomes a cyst.  At the time, I had 8 cysts on each of my ovaries. I was young, so I was not thinking about having children any time soon so I just let it go. A cyst would burst every so often and I would go to the hospital for pain management. I had no idea that it could effect my fertility. I didn't do any research because at that time, I had it in my head that I was never going to have children anyway so it didn't matter. Fast forward to 2006 when I married my husband, Matt. About 2 months after we got married, I had yet another cyst burst. This time, I wanted to get information on why this was happening because I had decided that I definitely wanted children someday with Matt. That is when I found out everything and back then there wasn't much help except for weight loss. The trouble is, with PCOS it is very difficult to lose weight and keep it off. I just put it in the back of my mind again because I wasn't ready to have children anyway. We moved from California to Nevada in 2008 and in November we decided that it was the right time to start trying for a baby. We were going to just have fun and let it happen when it was meant to happen. Nothing happened. I went to see a new OBGYN in 2010 who had way more answers when it came to my PCOS. She put me on Metformin which is a drug for diabetes but was now being used to treat PCOS. It is supposed to help to regulate your insulin levels to prevent new cysts from forming. It also helped with the thing I needed the most, weight loss. Within the first year I started taking it, I lost 70 lbs. My doctor wanted me to get down to a certain weight before she would consider fertility treatments. Right when I got down to the weight she wanted me to be I lost my amazing insurance and she didn't take my new insurance. I felt so lost and heartbroken. We had finally found someone who would help us and I couldn't see her. I didn't want to see anyone else. By the end of 2011, we were ready to start fertility treatments. We found a new OBGYN and I started the fertility drug Clomid in January 2012. That was a nightmare. My doctor was terrible. I had cysts bursting every month at the beginning of my cycle and she refused to see me. She even upped my dose without seeing me. I only saw her once. The first time she prescribed the Clomid. No blood work or ultrasounds. I completely lost hope. We did 4 cycles with the Clomid before calling it quits. I cried and cried. In November 2012, I thought our luck had changed. I was having pregnancy symptoms and was waiting to test until my period was due. I had a very early miscarriage. That happened again in June 2013 as well. I would have been due February 14, 2014. Matt started a new job and we got new insurance and I was able to go back to my amazing doctor right when I had the miscarriage. If it had been 2 weeks sooner, she would have put me on progesterone and I might still be pregnant.  I don't like to think about that. We decided to have Matt tested to see if there were any issues with his swimmers. He was diagnosed with abnormal sperm morphology which basically means that his sperm are not mutating correctly. You are supposed to have 4% or more healthy sperm and he only had 2%. It was very bad news. My doctor told Matt to take fertility vitamins and if the counts didn't improve, our only option would be In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which is $15-20k per try. It is a very difficult decision because that is a lot of money for a maybe. As of right now, we are both taking fertility vitamins and hoping for the best at our next appointment. If everything improves, we will be able to try intrauterine insemination (IUI) which is considerably less money as well as much less invasive. We continue to pray and have faith that our God will answer us and one day we will have a family.  

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