Sunday, May 20, 2012

Getting Pregnant

My husband and I have been married a little over three years. We met through a common internet dating site, and it was honestly "love at first site", as cliche as that sounds. We had so much in common that we just clicked instantly. One thing that we were both very sure of is that when the time felt right, we wanted to start a family. We decided to wait until just before our second wedding anniversary to start trying to conceive. I have a medical condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, so we knew that we might face challenges in getting pregnant. After stopping birth control, my regular cycles failed to return, so I sought the help of my ob/gyn almost immediately. She suggested trying a few cycles of Clomid, a common fertility drug that aids in ovulation. We tried four rounds of Clomid with no success, and from there my Dr. referred us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. The RE that we were referred to was a little over an hour away, but I was very confident that he would be able to help fulfill our dream of becoming parents. First, he wanted to run several tests to make sure that both myself and my husband didn't have any more serious conditions affecting our fertility. After checking out ok (other than my PCOS), he too suggested a few more rounds of Clomid, but this time with an injection to trigger ovulation, along with ultrasounds to monitor my egg follicles. We did three monitored, medicated rounds, again with no success. At this point I was starting to feel very frustrated, and I hated being on the medication that screwed with my hormones to the point where I was absolutely miserable. My husband and I decided at that point to take a few months off from western medicine to give acupuncture and herbs a try. Three months of acupuncture seemed to do almost nothing (although I was calmer and more relaxed, so maybe that's something), so we took one cycle off from absolutely everything to go on a vacation while we waited to get back in to see our RE. When we were finally able to get in to have another consultation with our RE, he told me that he thought our best route would be for me to have a surgery called a laparoscopy. He thought that the reason we were not getting pregnant was because of the ruptured appendix and emergency appendectomy that I had when I was 18. The Dr. told us that he would like to go in and see what was really going on, and hopefully he would be able to remove any scar tissue or endometriosis that was present. I was terrified of having what I thought could be an unnecessary surgery, but I was even more scared of having the surgery and being told that there was no hope for us to conceive without IVF, which we just could not afford. I asked if we could possibly do an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) first instead, and he agreed to do one medicated IUI cycle. I just wanted to have the peace of mind that we had tried everything we could before agreeing to have the surgery, and I have a couple of friends who were able to get pregnant through IUI. So, the next cycle, we went ahead and did the IUI, and lo and behold, IT WORKED!! More about that in my next post...

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