Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week - 2011

We have our bazillionith ultrasound this afternoon, and it got me to thinking about everything that got us both here.

It's been almost 27 months since A and I agreed to start trying.  With my age, I didn't want to just "relax and let it happen".  I was going to be 35, and I wanted to be pregnant NOW.

So I bought those ovulation kits the day I threw out the birth control pills.  And things began.

After not ovulating for 6 weeks, I mentioned to the nurse practitioner who was looking at my diabetes about the lack of anything, and she asked me some pointed questions:  Were my cycles ever normal? Did I notice any odd hair growth?  Did I have difficulty maintain my weight, even with exercise?

Next thing I know, blood is being drawn and I am told to wait for results because it sounded like PCOS.

The Internet provided me all the details I needed, and when the call with the results came in I wasn't too shocked.

Two weeks later, A and I met with an OB/GYN who showed me the lab results.  The odd spike in the wrong hormones.  And who began us on an odd journey.

It'd be 6 more months before my diabetes was finally in control enough to start trying with Clomid.  Another 7 months of attempts, including a chemical pregnancy and 2 failed IUIs, before I said no more.  We were moving, I needed to clear my head and be in a place to focus on getting us settled and then trying again.

This blog was never meant to be an infertility blog.  It was a place to write about things, mainly for my cousin's amusement, so she could be kept in the loop with my life.  It was part way through that 7 months of trying that I began running ads for BlogHer, and in looking up my account there realized I had been tagged as an infertility blogger.

And in a way it made me accept more about what was happening with me.

I don't doubt that we've been blessed.  When we walked out of the first RE appointment last July, we immediately went on diets and started exercising.  I lost a lot of weight fast, and the next thing we knew the hormones in my system had done their thing.  I ovulated.  Without progesterone.

And when that next cycle came, I saw it was going to happen again.  Another full ovulation.

And two weeks later a home pregnancy test with two lines.

I sit here, almost 35 weeks pregnant, and wonder what would have been different if my first OB/GYN, back when I was a teenager, had noticed my questions about odd cycles, seen that I was overweight, and asked if my family had a history of diabetes.  The dark hairs that grew on my chin and needed to be plucked were an indication that something with my hormones were off, and it was not something that a teenager would have thought twice about.

But as someone who has always wanted children of their own, I can say that if the doctor had told me then that I might be headed in the wrong direction to make that happen, I would have listened up.

It wasn't until after my diagnosis at 35, and the searches on the Internet, that I learned how common something like this is.  How so many women are faced with problems getting pregnant and have children.  My family has always been a fertile bunch, and even my friends all have managed families with multiple children, often as a complete surprise.

At work, when called by someone who needed information about infertility coverage, I noticed my attitude changed completely.  Where before I couldn't be bothered to try to understand about the drug coverage and procedures and what they were for, now I found myself taking the time to answer the questions, and even mentioning how my insurance was handling things for me.

The sense of relief from those women that someone who knew and understood their pain and frustration was so apparent on the phone.  Even my co-workers would listen to me and take notes, and take that information to help others as well.

I am going to be a mommy soon.  And I will always be his mommy.  But I am also an infertile.  I will always be an infertile.  We know that if we decide to try for another child that it may take time, and it is something we are taking into account with timing.

This also means that once life is "normal" for the three of us, I will be back on my diet.  Low carbs, low fat, lots of veggies.  My trips to the treadmill will begin again as soon as the doctors say I can.  I will do everything I can to be ready for the next time, and pray that it isn't as heartbreaking as those first 16 months of trying were.

I have never been one to be "political" about things, but I guess it took the right subject to make me want to make a bigger difference.  There are too many people out there who deserve to have a family of their own, and they don't get the coverage or support they need because no one understands the problem.  Being told to just take it easy and not think about it is the equivalent of being told by someone to leave them alone because they don't have the time to listen to what you have to say.  It feels like slamming your head up against a brick wall over and over again as you try to get people to understand that it won't "just happen" and no matter how many times you are told that won't make it so.

So, this week especially, if you have a chance, read an article or two about PCOS or just general infertility.  I'm not going to link here because all you need is WebMD or Google to start the search.  You'll be surprised about the number of people who have problems, about the number of forums people have started for support of one another, and maybe even will find that someone you know has been having these issues and not told anyone. 

And you may just find yourself taking the time to listen when someone does tell you they are having problems conceiving before you try to offer up your own advice to someone who will cringe inside as they nod at you about being right about it "happening when it's supposed to".  Because, for them, it may never happen.

1 comment:

  1. Many women are taking birth control diet pills which have lots of disadvantage to the health. So these types of the awareness programs must be started so that they can get the useful information about the reason behind the infertility.