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Monday, February 18, 2013

My Story... how I got here..

Where to start..

So much has happened in my life in the past year and a half, everything seemed to be happening all at the same time. First I planed my entire wedding by myself with the help of my mother in law (she's pretty awesome). My fiance and I were long distance so planning the wedding was extra complicated and rested on my shoulders. I lived in Ottawa and he lived a couple hours away by car. We were engaged for 106 days, this is the way we wanted it. We didn't want to wait a year to get married, we wanted a small but meaningful wedding with close friends and family only. We got married on January 21st 2012. My husbands father married us in his church. I was extremely sick on our wedding day (really sore scratchy and swollen throat, achy body, headache, exhausted,  hot-cold flashes you name it). Did I mention I had almost completely lost my voice!!! Worst thing to happen on a wedding day I tell you. I tried reading my vows and I sounded like a mouse in the microphone. I kept having to clear my throat and it hurt so much to try and talk. Really embarrassing! Being the bride you really need your voice, I had everyone come up to me with questions about this and that (since I planned everything, everyone had to come to me for last minute things). This was really nerve raking and so I was forced to talk talk talk before walking down the aisle witch made it alot worst.

Oh did I mention I was on clomid during my wedding too!! :O I know eh probably not the smartest thing.. I think I was 4 days post my last clomid pill. (not to mention when I take clomid I get all possible symptoms attached to it). Looking back now I wish we would have chosen to wait till the month after. Back then I was sooo naive, thinking clomid was the cure pill, that we would magically conceive on our wedding night. I remember the night before my wedding, in the hotel room with my bridesmaid and maid of honor, I was sitting on the bed crouched over in so much pain, my ovaries felt like they were on fire and about to explode. A little side note here, I have PCOS and both my ovaries are highly enlarged and have dozens of cyst in them if not more. So imagine what they look like when on clomid.. OUCH! I hadn't told anyone I was on clomid because no one really knew about my infertility and we were trying to keep it on the down low, try out the clomid and go from there. The fact that I was already extremely sick (prob from stress and such) clomid really didn't help at all. I thought I'd be all emotional and always in tears because of the clomid (makes me so emotional) but for some reason, days leading up to the wedding day and on that day I was so composed and not emotional. Maybe because I had put so much hard work into the wedding and everything leading up to it that I was drained, tired and wanted to get it over with. I just wanted to marry my best friend and have the day go by (I was so sick, standing up made me dizzy).

After the wedding, we did not have a honeymoon. My husband had been chosen to participate in a really serious program to become a prison guard. He had wanted this job for years and had been called to do the training months and months ago but at the time he wasn't at the right place in his life and kept turning them down. Finally this time around he jumped right on that opportunity  because if he did well, he would get a secure job, a good pension and excellent benefits attached to it and that became really important to us. He had already started the online part of the program. This took up all of his time and energy. They are so strict, he could not fail any of his test of else he was out of the running. He studied like crazy and read and re-read his online information. I tried to involve him in the wedding planning as much as possible but he had no time to spare and I didn't want to make him feel guilty so I just took charge everything wedding. He was okay with this because he didn't really have a choice. He wanted this job so bad that he could not afford to fail (fail himself or us, because this was going to be a new beginning for us.) He rushed and got all the online part done a day and a half before the wedding. Then he had to start Part 2 of the course 2 days after our wedding. UGH! Part 2 was the 'in class' part and this was 45 minutes away from home. The program offered him a room to stay in on campus I guess you can call it for the length of the training. Originaly he was going to make the drive daily but when he received his information binder he realized it would be too hard on him to make the drive daily as there were so many ways to get 'strikes'. On your 3rd strike your kicked out. A strike can be as simple as being late to a class. So he took the room. I had moved into his parents place 3 days before the wedding in order to be closer to my husband. I also started a new job at a call center, it was the only job I could get quick because their always hiring and I needed money to keep coming in. A week after the wedding I had quit my job back in Ottawa because I was moving to be with my husband. Oddly enough I ended up moving there and he moved 45 minutes away heh. That in class/ physical part of his training was 7-8 weeks. During this time I worked to keep busy and grew even closer to his family since I lived there without him. I have to admit this was a nice time. It was nice to get away and also to get to know them even better. 4 weeks or so into his in class training, they announced to his class that they everyone who makes it past all the tests and stuff would be sent away! (by away I mean sent to another province). We had to hand in our top 2 choices out of 4 and they would send him where he was needed. This stressed us out. We had no idea they would be sent out. Turns out we were sent to Alberta. So we ended up moving from Ontario to Alberta Canada. HUGE scary change for us but this was exciting all at the same time. Newly married starting our life together away from everyone we knew and everything that made us who we were.

Here we are, 11 months later!!! We moved out here the last couple days of March 2012. It was a 4 day road trip down. Changing provinces meant alot of money changing all our cards over, the car, insurances and so on. That was my least favorite thing. All we have out here is each other. It's a good thing we are best friends haha. We really do complete each other and remind each other daily about how happy we are and lucky to have found each other. haha. Guess you could say we are in our newlywed stage haha. (but really, we're just that typa lovy dovy couple haha)

Changing provinces also meant changing family doctors, getting a new gyno, new specialist and so on. In Ontario, my gyno had prescribed me 6 repetitions of clomid 50mg. I was never monitored while on clomid either. Not sure why she even prescribed me that many repetitions in the first place.. don't gyno's usually monitor you threw clomid and up your dosage if it's not working?! Well now I was out here, with no doctors or gyno but 4 reps left to use up. (I did one cycle of clomid 2 months before the weeding with neg results and did 2nd round wedding week with neg results). We moved out here end of March.. April we used to settle in, get all new furniture and get used to our surrounding and I was actively looking for a new job sending resumes everywhere! By May, we decided to try our 3rd cycle of clomid. Kept our fingers crossed and thought to ourselves.. ''3rd times a charm no?''. Well that cycle ended in a BFN! (big fat negative!) I had really bad clomid side effects on this round too. Ovaries feeling on fire, I could tell exactly where they were in my body, they were so swollen, I had trouble sitting upright because it put too much pressure on my ovaries it was really not fun, also had trouble sleeping at night, they felt like they were pulsating and about to explode. Good thing I wasn't working at this time. I went threw this cycle un-monitored.. so I have no idea if I actually did ovulate and I had no information to tell me what went right and what went wrong. This is the part I hate about no longer having a gyno ughh!! After seeing my BFN I really wanted answers and I was tired of doing this on my own with NO results..

So.. with 3 clomid cycles under my belt, I decided to talk to my new family doctor. We live in a very small town and I was limited in the doctors I could choose from. My doctor is a young male and I always feel like he's so powerless. I have all these questions for him and all this information to give so I can get feedback and he just sits there with a blank look on his face. I think I overwhelm him, he is probably not used to dealing with woman issues and not problems he can just slam a band-aid (prescribe meds) for. Personally I find him a very incompetent doctor. A young doctor with alot still to learn and instead of telling me he will look into it to get more concrete and valuable information to relay to me, he just looks at me and actually says ''I really don't know what to say to you''. You should have seen my face haha.. I must have had fume coming out of my ears! Worst thing a doctor can tell you! He didn't even seem willing to try and help  me and I mean my questions were pretty simple. I have hypothyroidism (my thyroid is slower then average), I keep asking my doctor what to do about this because I'm always tired, I lack energy and motivation, I feel lazy, depressed, just generally I felt like shit all the time and I wanted to get out of this rut. My weight also ALWAYS yo-yo's. I'm so sick of working my butt off at the gym with no results and trying to eat healthy with no changes on the scale. I knew my thyroid was slow because in Ontario I had gotten a few blood tests done but my doctor at the time never wanted to put me on meds for hypothyroidism because she said once your on it, usually its for life and she wanted me to get my blood work done every 6 or so months to keep an eye on it and go from there. (she kept saying i'm borderline so she rather not put me on meds yet). Well now I was tired of waiting around for answers and to get better. So I told my doctor to fix me, to help me help myself. I kept asking how what can I do to get better if you can't help me. He always had such a confused look on his face. His only answers were that my blood results made no sense to him. With the thyroid, they check our T3 and T4 levels and well apparently my results confused him. I always seem to leave his office furious with no answers and feeling worst then before I went in. I did alot of research about Pcos and hypothyroidism and how they can be linked and this increases the hypothyroidism and that the numbers docs see from my blood test is irrelevent because with pcos and my other health issues it makes thyroid worst.. I'm sorry, I'm really bad at explaining this part because I don't know the terms and this is from hear say. (so don't quote me on that). 2 weeks later I made a new apt with my family doc and went to see him and said I'm not leaving your office this time till I get answers. He ended up prescribing me the lowest dose possible for synthroid. FINALLY something.. it was a start. I was to see him in a month so he could ask me if there is any change in the way I was feeling. To be honest the dosage was so low I doubt it really did a dent.. I told him I still feel the way I did before (because I did) and he said to give it longer to take effect. He never seems to come up with good answers but this did not surprise me. He then prescribed me 100 tablets. So this means in 3 weeks or less I need to go see him for a refill.. and hopefully he makes me take a blood test first so we can see if my T3 and T4 levels have changed.

Oh yes.. also in May, I asked my doctor to refer me to a gyno. He did not seem to take me serious when I told him I had pcos and I need to be fallowed by a gyno. (I get weird pains randomly in my ovaries, possibly cyst detaching.. but I'd like to be fallowed by a professional who knows what their doing). Doc said it would take anywhere from a month to 3 months to get an initial appointment with a gyno. I was to wait for a call from the gyno office with my appointment date. (I waited a whole month before getting a call, I wasn't too happy) To my surprise, when I got the call (in June) my appointment was for September 13 2013.. this meant in 15 months from that day. Yes, you read well, FIFTEEN MONTHS AWAY for my initial consultation appointment!! RIDICULOUS EH!!!! At first I told the lady oh okay in 3 months, I can wait 3 months.. then she laughed and corrected me, she was like no Mrs White, not 2012 but 2013!!! I was in shock I was so pissed off beyond words.. Lets just say my temperature rose couple degrees and so did my voice. I told the lady i HAD to see a gyno before then, that this was very important, explained about my infertility and needing to be fallowed because of pcos. She didn't care. Convo ended there. I ended up cooling off then i called them back and asked what I could do, who I can call to move up the apt. I ended up putting my name on the cancellation list. (this list is ridiculously long!). I called the receptionist at my family doctors office almost in tears saying help me!! So finally they said they would send my requisition to the Woman's fertility and endocrine clinic in Edmonton.. (this is a 2 hour drive one way with no traffic from my house) At this point I didn't care, I would drive 5 hours if it meant help! Well I ended up waiting another month with NO calls again. I felt so powerless here, like there was absolutely nothing I could do and no one was willing to help me. I felt so incredibly alone. I researched and researched symptoms I was feeling while on clomid and hoped they were all normal ones. I looked up blogs about pcos and clomid, I read pcos & your infertility books, I started going to the gym and training hard to loose weird and gain more  muscles, I tried out a no-sugar diet, that was so tuff but I did it, I wanted to try and be in a better health place when I did finally get my appointment.

The month of June I charted my cycle to see where I was at with no clomid and to see if I would ovulate the month after using clomid. My OPK's (Ovulation predictor kit) looks like I may have ovulated on day 23 of my cycle but the line was bright but definitely not brighter then the control line so I think I might not have ovulated at all. They can be so tricky to read sometimes.

In November, we tried our 4th clomid cycle. The OPK's showed that I definitely ovulated 15 days into my cycle. The test line got alot darker then the control line. We were so hopeful this time around. It's stupid to say but we actually felt pregnant this cycle. The test line stayed really dark on the opk for two days! We did everything right.. had sex timed perfectly and raised my butt in the air for 45 minutes after each time! (desperate times means desperate measures lol). When I kept getting a BFN test we were devastated. At this point we were REALLY loosing hope. We started getting grumpy, sex became a chore and not sexy and fun anymore. Clomid put me threw so much pain that sex was never appealing. It hurt to have intercourse but we had to still have it timed. He knew I wasn't into it, so he wasn't able to get into it and it was a vicious circle. Lets just say that our infertility really started taking a toll on our relationship. Living out here on my own I didn't have friends to talk to about what we were going threw and truthfully I didn't know how to talk to them about it and I guess I didn't want to hear what anyone had to say. I was so tired of hearing 'it will happen when it happens', 'keep trying', 'maybe its not the right time', and blah blah so on. I didn't want any positive encouragement because I felt hopeless and useless as a wife at this point. My husband wants kids more then anything and he will be such an amazing father. I want to give our family's grandkids and many of them and I feel so useless!!!! How can something so easy for some be so difficult and EXPENSIVE for others!!! :(

In December, we decided to try clomid for the 5th time, still at 50mg. (since we didn't have a choice). We figured 2 clomid cycles back to back might up our chances. It seems I ovulated 15 days into my cycle again. This made us so hopeful because with clomid it seemed that I was becoming regular at ovulating around the same cycle days. Once again, we timed everything perfectly. This time around we did it with alot less stress. Since our little breakdown last month, we sat down and really talked about how each of us were feeling threw the infertility, how it made us feel, how we made each other feel and we really talked it threw. We gave each other pointers and gave each other advice on what to say and what not to say when we're feeling a certain way. I had to tell him that I feel like shit, I'm always in pain and I was tired of all his overly positive thinking. I made him put himself in my shoes and this he did. Once we both put everything out on the table we both felt so much better and we said we would start new.. with a new mentality and do this more as a team always being considerate of the other. Wow did this take weight off my shoulder and this cycle of clomid went really well for us. We still got a BFN in the end. This made us so sad. Once again we were so hopefull!! We read about so many stories of people getting pregnant on the second month of back to back clomid. I have to admit I felt pregnant here too. I don't know if it's because I had read up so much about everything that my mind was playing trick on me.. but I felt pregnant. My breast were so incredibly sore. I tested 2 days before Christmas day. BFN. We kept imagining scenarios of how to tell our families we were pregnant and how perfect it would be around Christmas time. Our dreams shut down once again and I just felt stupid for thinking that it might have been our time.

In December, I made another family doctors appointment to ask him where we were with trying to find me a gyno or a fertility clinic. He looked so confused. When I told him my appointment date he couldn't believe it either and then went into his speech about how this is Alberta and how it's growing really fast but with not enough people to fill all the jobs needed for a growing population blah blah blah. I told him I didn't care, that something had to be done, that I was sure there was someone he could call (connections, an I o u, anything). He laughed a little at how desperate I was but he did pull out his cell phone and made a few calls. My main thing was I wanted to up my clomid dosage. 3 times had failed and I wanted to up the dose but he kept saying only a gyno can prescribe me that and I argued him how can they if my apt is in over a year! Finally he called a gyno who was on call to ask if a gyno could prescribe it over the phone (what an idiot!) turns out the gyno was busy in the operating room and couldn't take his call anyways. He kept trying to fight me, he was saying how I don't have a problem since I have my period every month, he was like well that means your ovulating each month. I looked at him like he was retarded and told him I take progesterone pill day 1-10 of each month to give me a period or else I could go months, even a year withought a natural period. He looked at me in shock and said okay leave this in my hands I'll do something for you. Man do I ever hate him as a doctor grrr just thinking of him I get mad!

Anyways, I don't know who he called or what strings he pulled but not even a week later I got a call from a gyno office (next town over so it's close by yay!) for an appointment on march 25th!!! YAY! That meant 3 months away! Man was I ever happy!! Then 2 days later, I get a call from the Women's Fertility and Endocrine Clinic for an appointment for February 21st!! OMG you should have seen my face hahaha!! I thought I was dreaming.!! This meant 2 months away!! This was amazing news to us!!

Now today is February 18th, appointment is 3 days away and I'm so incredibly nervous!!! (I did keep the gyno apt as well and I will tell fertility clinic about that apt and see if they want me to be monitored by them as well or what to do about that since the gyno office is WAY closer to my house). I have to admit the past 2 weeks I've been taking Melatonin every night to help me fall asleep. I'm a nervous wreck!! I have no idea what to expect and I absolutely HATE being naked infront of doctors. I feel observed and judged. It's ridiculous I know since they see how many naked bodies a day.. my fertility doctor will be a male. Apparently he is well recommended and was rated a 5 stars on 'Rate my Doctor.com' haha. He sounds like the magic doctor who cures you and makes you pregnant in no time! Keeping fingers crossed for our case :)

Oh also this month, (January) I charted my ovulation to see if I would ovulate this month with no clomid.. and I did not ovulate, not even close :( . Just glad I have my charts to bring in with me to show the doc.

I forgot to mention my husband got his sperm checked couple weeks ago and its perfect.. actually it's more then perfect! Haha yay super sperms hahaha.. For his seminal fluid volume he scored 3.5 when the average is >1.9 mL. WOW EH! This made us laugh and it explained alot haha. For his total sperm count he had 99.4 and the average is >39.9 M. (no word of a lie!!) Wowser eh! Go hubby go!  For the Concentration seminal fluid he got 28.4 and average is >19.9 M/mL. Only thing he has to watch for now is the seminal morphology, he scored 0.20 and the average/normal is 0.30-1.00. Doc did say there was an easy quick fix solution for this. Hubby has to air out his balls. (LoL). He has to wear tight boxers with a pouch for his sac. Weird I know, didn't even know those existed. We looked online to try and find where sells them and hubby said they were like 40$ a pair! That's just nuts. So we are trying to find other ways to cool them off. Morphology means sperm that are handicapped.. so either they have no tail, their not full grown and just morphed I guess.. so in other words useless sperm.. Doc said tho that because he had such a high volume of semen and such a high number of sperm count that the morphology shouldn't be an issue but that of course to give ourselves every possible change of getting pregnant it is an issue we will have to solve but it's very doable and this took so much pressure off.. to know I was the only problem and we only had to fix one of us lol.

I do feel like a really horrible wife tho, like I should be able to give my husband a large family like he deserves. I really hope to get pregnant soon and get answers in 3 days.

So there you have it.. my story. I am sure I will have alot more to share after my appointment. I have many other health issues that will play parts into reasons why it's harder to get pregnant but I'll mention those when I get more information after my initial fertility clinic appointment.

If you actually read all of this post, I thank you for finding interest in me. If you have any suggestions, advice or comments for me, please feel free to share. If you'd like to contact me threw email so it's more private you can contact me at: nadine.white.me@gmail.com


With Love,
The Impatient, Nervous and Scared Infertile Mrs.White