3/6/15

The Pros and Cons of {MY} Infertility

In an effort to stay in a positive space, I decided to look at my present situation through rose-ish colored glasses.


Pros: 

  • This delay of motherhood gives me the time to get a good start on my Professional Counseling hours. 
    • I am finishing  up my LPC certification and am working on my clinical practicum now. 
    • My practicum location is 1 hour from home so a 2 hour commute twice a week is doable right now. 
    • Advancing my career is a priority for me. This happens to be the time that change is inevitable. I postponed a career change last year and that is a decision I second-guess regularly but the opportunities that have come my way since have been very inspiring. 
  • My husband and I have really banded together during this time and have grown so much. 
    • We are stronger, better communicators, and no longer succumb to the fear of the argument that once caused us to sweep lots of things under the rug. 
  • As a psychotherapist I feel very passionate now about advocating for adoption, PCOS awareness, and the therapeutic benefits of counseling specifically in areas related to fertility. Having a personal testament to a struggle definitely opens my eyes to a world that was not on my radar before.

Cons: 

  • At the end of this year I will be the wonderful age of 33, I find my self constantly thinking about how old I will be when my child turns 18 years old depending on the age at which I get pregnant.
  • The pressure to have children is profound. Not only do I think about it often, it is the basis for many of the conversations started by loved ones, friends, and family members. 
  • The baby boom is not over and every few months there is another announcement of pregnancy that reminds me that I'm still am not a mother. 

Seeing that I listed 3 items in each category I guess my glasses aren't as rosy as I would like to believe. But I choose to dwell on the positives.

3/2/15

A PCOS Diagnosis story

Two weeks ago now I went to the doctor for an ultrasound to check out my reproductive system. It was just an exploratory ultrasound to see if there was anything new going on since I was having these new pregnancy symptoms but I was not pregnant. 



The ultrasound showed small cysts along the outside of my ovaries. My doctor explained to me that my ovaries looked slightly polycystic and said that we had a few options. 

1.     Hormonal testing during my next menstruation were I would submit to blood work on the 3rd and 21st day of my next cycle to see if I am actually ovulating and releasing eggs. 
2.     Wait a few more months to see if I may get pregnant on my own. 

I chose option 1 because I suspect that I may not have ovulated this past month. 

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health problems. 


For a normal menstrual cycle, a woman's body releases one or possible more eggs that await fertilization by the male sperm. This is ovulation and usually occurs about 2 weeks after the start of menstruation. 
In women with PCOS, the mature eggs are not released and stay in the ovaries with a small amount of fluid around them. This can cause the ovaries to appear enlarged. Since the eggs are not being released this can contribute to infertility. -Source

Doctors Notes: 


She said that she is still very confident in my ability to get pregnant. With the new diagnosis she believes that the fertility drug "clomid" may be helpful in increasing the likely hood of pregnancy and being able to carry the pregnancy since I've been able to get pregnant 3 times already but have not been able to carry the baby yet. 

Self Disclosure: 

My Self Diagnosed Symptoms
Fatigue
Weight gain
Anxiety
Sugar cravings

          • Why now?

          There is some relief in having a name to call the causes of my infertility. Alternatively, when I look at the typical symptoms (knowing that everyone's bodies are different and everyone may not experience PCOS the same way) I wonder why I am now experiencing these things which I've never experienced before. I've had ultrasounds before my surgery this past summer and no mention of my ovaries looking "polycystic" was ever made. Granted I did have a gigantic fibroid skewing the view. 


          • Weight loss
          My doctor has never mentioned my weight as a factor in all this. I have never had any weight related health issues and my blood pressure and blood sugar levels have all been very healthy at each of my doctor's appointments. After doing some research I know that losing weight can make a big difference in regulating hormones and since they are a large factor in PCOS I definitely see the benefits of implementing a consistent and regular workout regimen. 

          • Hope
          The one thing I must say about my doctor is that she is good at instilling confidence and hope in me that I will be pregnant and pregnant soon. I am holding on to the belief that there will be a little espresso baby in my belly soon. (Have I ever told you guys the story of my mom telling me she was disappointed that my brother and I don't have a darker skin tone? That may be a good story for another blog post.) No joke this conversation actually happened.

          Thanks everyone for going on this journey with me. Stay tuned for more. 

          2/27/15

          The Infertility Secret || Why don't we talk about it?


          When I had my first  miscarriage (of three) I didn't want to talk about. Very few people knew that it happened and I wanted it that way. In some way I felt ashamed that I wasn't pregnant or that I couldn't sustain the pregnancy.



          The moment I found out I was pregnant it seemed that everyone in the online world, blogging work, crafting world, and my personal life was pregnant. I'd been talking about it with a very good friend of mine and we wanted to get pregnant at the same time and raise our kids together as best friends.

          Well she got pregnant and I did not. She has a gorgeous little girl that I absolutely adore, and I'm trying to learn what my recent diagnosis of PCOS really means {More on that Monday}.

          So I've been thinking about the WHY....Why don't we talk about infertility?

          • Shame: I experienced a fair bit of shame and embarrassment that comes from knowing you can't do what comes so easily to others. And you don't want to share your story because you don't want to diminish the happy times others are experiencing with their newborns. And you don't want to be the Debby Downer who's always talking about how they can't get pregnant even though its an all consuming thought.
          • Fear: There is a daily internal fear that I will never be able to have children. That my body will not be able to carry a baby. That fear is intertwined in the shame. I don't want to point out my inadequacies for the world to see. I don't want to talk about it either. It's difficult. It challenges you to be vulnerable and that's hard. And it can be much harder if you don't have a safe place in which to be vulnerable. A safe place to land when you decide to jump off that cliff. 
          •  Anger: Recently a colleague of mine came to me to share her story of infertility. She talked about how angry it made her that she couldn't get pregnant. I definitely has my moments of anger and again that anger drove me to shame. Ashamed that I was angry. That dreadful shame seems to creep its way into so many of the emotions that I've been feeling regarding my infertility experience. 
          These are the top 3 reasons why I kept silent for so long. I had one co-worker who I knew who went through infertility that I began to talk to. It was great talking to her because she'd just successfully delivered twins after having IUI and IVF. Her success gave me hope. 

          I started talking about it on this blog as a way to document what was happening to me for the future and because I wanted to tell my story since I couldn't find much recent information or many blogs online that talked about this type of thing. I knew there had to be other people out there who were going through the same thing, and I knew that if I wanted to connect with them then I would have to put myself out there in hopes of finding someone I could relate to. And I was so right. 

          I've gotten so many private messages from people sharing their experience with infertility and it gives me hope. This was the best decision that i could have ever made to get out of the isolation that infertility can cause.




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