We’ve had a few really busy but exciting weeks. We decided somewhat suddenly to move back to our home state of Utah! That’s been a really exciting decision for us but also induced crazy levels of urgency in selling our house. I’ve gone back and forth to Utah looking for homes and Kent has kept the projects rolling forward here in AZ. We’ve made offers on 3 homes in my hometown and 2 were accepted so we are pushing to get our house listed this next week and hopefully SOLD really quickly.
On the baby front, we had our appointment with the other Fertility Specialist. We made the appointment a long time ago and we are so glad we kept it! His additional perspective and recommendations have been invaluable to us and made a lot more sense then the inconclusive answers we had previously. We walked away with happy tears and so much hope.
He gave us a plan that went beyond “try again and see what happens.”
He debunked some of the obscure items that came up in our first appointments. These little findings with my hematology were not significant and had caused no symptoms but we were sent down a rabbit hole to see if there was anything actually going on. It felt like we needed to get to the bottom of it before we could start TTC and that could take months and still could have been inconclusive or insignificant. The new specialist took it all into consideration and does not feel we need to worry about it. He also clarified a couple things including the PCOS issue. The other doctor said I don’t have PCOS but could develop it if I ever gain weight. The new specialist corrected the statement saying that PCOS is a syndrome and like Gender or Down syndrome you can’t develop it later in life. You have it or you don’t so although I have polysyatic ovaries, I don’t have the syndrome PCOS. It made me think of the idea that a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not necessarily a square. You know. From fourth grade. Goggle says it better:
After clearing up lots of confusion, he gave us options! First, We can do nothing and see what happens. (No thank you.) We can implement a relatively non-invasive treatment plan that has proven results for many. Or we can go straight to IVF, test the embryos, and move forward with a very low chance of failure. (This is all specific to OUR situation of course and is not meant as a blanket statement or for anyone else.)
So we feel really hopeful in having 2 great options. We feel like we’ve done the digging necessary to feel at peace with moving forward.
We’ve decided to go with the non-invasive plan which for us looks like this:
Step One – prepare the environment!
I’m staying on my thyroid meds at the higher dose, Iron 3x per day, Vitamin C for Iron absorption, and prenatal with Folic Acid. I’m adding a baby aspirin daily, CoQ10 for healthy egg development, and Kent and I are both doing a 20 day course of doxycycline (antibiotic) just to clear our systems of any potential infections. This is all just to create the best possible environment for conception and pregnancy. The newly added treatments are things the doctors said everyone should do before TTC; general best practices that create low/no risks or side effects and support your body in preparing for a baby. I added the cranberry to just to help prevent yeast infections while on the antibiotic and Kent is also taking a standard multivitamin.
It looks like a lot of pills for one day but most of this is actually vitamins.
My uterine X-ray (HSG) a few weeks ago showed very normal shape and what the first specialist thinks is a small polyp. The new specialist is more concerned about it than the first and wants to be sure of what it is and will most likely want to remove it. He said although it’s small, and not in a prime spot for implantation, it could still interfere with a pregnancy and potentially be a cause for miscarriage. So in a couple of weeks we will go in for a sonohysterogram (SHG) and determine if there really is a polyp and if we need to surgically remove it. The SHG is similar to the X-ray with dye I already did but uses a sonogram and saline inside inside the uterus which will give a more detailed picture and provide a clearer understanding of what we are dealing with.
Step 3 – start Clomid.
Clomid allows your body to release two eggs instead of one and although I don’t have an issue with ovulating regularly, the doctor gave us the option to start clomid in order to have a better chance of at least one successful pregnancy and of course there is a chance that we could end up with twins. Which we are ok with. Now, I’ll be honest in the past I would have felt more concerned about the possibility of loss. I would have been worried that knowing there were two eggs released would make me feel sad even if we had a successful single pregnancy. I will still be sad about any loss. There is no way around it. But I feel really good about understanding this is all part of life. I’m ready for a baby even if the costs are high and I’m looking at it more as a willingness on my end to sacrifice (mostly emotionally) for my child and less as a baby dying inside of me. I have a peace surrounding the idea that any baby that dies naturally inside of me is ok and safe and it’s all in God’s hands whether I understand it or not. I’ve wanted to believe that for a long time and it finally feels like I do.
So that’s the low down on Clomid.
Step 4 – get pregnant
Depending on whether I have a polyp removal surgery or not we will either start trying next month or the following month after I’ve healed.
Step 5 – Start progesterone supplementation
This starts as soon as we know I’m pregnant. I already have the progesterone in my cupboard waiting. (Progesterone supplementation is again, one of the things the specialist recommends as a general best practice to support any pregnancy)
Step 6 – Early follow up
This too starts as soon as we know I’m pregnant. The doctor said there is shown to be a smaller occorence of miscarriage when early monitoring is included. Although there may be little they can see or do to intervene during the early weeks the peace of mind and sense of security helps to lower a new mom’s stress significantly and allows us to gather a lot more information about what went wrong along the way if there is a miscarriage. This is huge for me. I begged and even lied to get into a regular OBGYN before 8 weeks on my first two pregnancies. I’m glad I did since I was able to hear the heartbeat of Baby #1 at the first appointment (6 weeks) and it’s about the only thing I have to keep from the 10 weeks of pregnancy. I wanted to know that I’d done my best and that someone who knew what to look for had looked. That’s it. the stress of not knowing was hugely overwhelming the second time because I was terrified from the first experience and wating through that for 8 weeks on your own feels like an eternity. My advice is if it’s important to you to check things before the typical 8 weeks, do it! You are the mom from day one and your instincts matter. If you’re regular OB won’t do it then go to to a fertility specialist and tell them you want to check everything just for peace of mind.
And that’s it. We have a plan that we are really happy with and hopeful that it can bring success for us. We may be moving in the meantime, but I’m not really worried about it. We will be living out of state and continue to fly down here to see the fertility specialist until he hands us off to an OBGYN in Utah for the duration of the pregnancy. Until then, I’m really happy with the plan we have and excited to take these next steps. It also occurred to me that I’ve been doing this for a whole trimester. 12 weeks of doctors, blood draws, ultrasounds, and pills. We have learned so much and we are 12 weeks closer to Baby!