Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The cat's out of the bag, and Grandma-to-be is in the loop!

I wanted to dedicate a post to telling my mom about my plans.  A little background first: when I told her I was pregnant all those years ago, she said, "I hate your guts," and hung up on me.  She now denies doing so, but that's not the kind of thing you can hear wrong. . .or forget.  I was 21 years old; not as mature as I should have been, but not exactly qualifying for a spot on Teen Mom either.  I was the exact age she was when she got pregnant with me.  In fact, we both conceived around the same time respectively.  She later told me that she was worried about the relationship my ex and I had.  She didn't want my child to grow up with parents who were in an unhealthy relationship, always breaking up and getting back together.  She knew how much that affected me, and she didn't want it to happen to another generation.  She eventually came around-sort of.  She answered my questions about how to combat morning sickness, what to talk to the doctor about, etc.  When I started to miscarry, I called my dad first for support, but then realized that I had no idea what to do, or what to expect.  I didn't want to go to the hospital; truthfully, I was hoping that the ex would show up to support me, but he decided to turn his phone off (insert insults and hand gestures here).  When I started to feel what I later learned were short contractions, I called my mom, who was in the hospital being treated for pancreatitis at the time.  She talked me through everything on the phone, then told me what to do afterwards.  When I went to the doctor's office the next day, she reminded me to ask for a Rho-gam shot.  When I had a memorial service for the baby, she was there.  Granted, she and my dad sat on either side of me and didn't speak to each other, but they were there nonetheless, and it meant the world to me.

You can see why I had decided to keep her in the dark during my TTC journey.  I realized that she would be supportive in the end, but I know that it is imperative to be surrounded by people who are going to be behind you 100% during this process.  Her feelings would be indifferent at best.  So, I told my dad, other family members, and a few friends, all of whom have been amazing.  When the PCOS card was put on the table as a possibility, the midwife said that my mother could provide me with helpful information.  Her fertility/pregnancy issues were likely caused by PCOS as well, and any information she could give me could help the clinicians come up with a treatment plan to prevent me from having the same issues.  So, I tried probing her gently, phrasing the questions in such a way that they wouldn't alarm her.  This is hard to do, especially when I was trying to ask specifically about her fertility.

I decided it was time to tell her the day I had the ultrasound.  I knew I had symptoms already, so when I got a good look at my ovaries, I knew right away what was probably going on.  When I talked to my mother that afternoon, I was very upset.  She said she didn't understand why, since I could be treated with birth control pills like she was.  I told her that that wouldn't be a possibility and asked her to sit down.  Beating around the bush was only going to prolong it, so I simply said, "I purchased donor sperm earlier this year with the intention of becoming pregnant early next year."  She dropped her head to the desk she was sitting at; many "Oh God"s were said.  She asked for a drink, which she rarely does.  I made her a screwdriver.  She made a face and said it was strong, then thought about it, and decided maybe that was a good thing.  :) I let her know that other family members knew about it and were supportive.  I told her the same thing I told my dad: she could be involved as much or as little as she wanted to; it was her decision.  I let her know that I had been thinking about it and planning for quite some time.  I made sure to tell her that I didn't need any financial support.  I asked her if she had any questions.  She said she didn't want to talk about it, so I let it go, went into the garage, and cried.  This was not how I wanted this conversation to go.  We were at my grandparents' house cooking dinner, so I put a happy face on until we were cleaning up later on.  Mom asked me why I had been crying, and I blurted out, "I might be barren and you don't care!"  I know that I am probably not "barren" (what a disgusting word that is!), and that this was a bit reactive of me, but I was upset.  She took a deep breath, and reminded me that she was able to get pregnant with twins at age 35 with half an ovary and scarring from the surgeries.  I giggled and told her that it was a bit more complicated since I wasn't getting the sperm for free.  She went back to the "Oh God"s and stared longingly at her now-empty glass. 

A couple of days later, she did mention that some of her old colleagues might know of some REs I could consult with.  I think that this is her way of supporting me as best as she can.  On Christmas Eve, she was going bananas over my 6 month old neice (cousin's daughter, but I call her my neice).  I asked her why she was so ecstatic over her sister's grandchild, but so uncomfortable with the thought of her own.  She smiled and said it would help if the child called her Auntie instead of Grandma.  I suppose that's a good start for now.  The cat's out of the bag, and hopefully that will be a good thing.  One of the ladies on the SMC forum said some reassuring things to me.  She said that once she sees the baby's sweet face and realizes all the love I have for him/her, she will come around.  Come to think of it, my aunt was the same way with my cousin's baby.  She wasn't sure at first, but eventually, it was apparent the idea of a new baby was growing on her.  While my cousin was in labor, she never left her side.  She adores that little girl, and even dresses her in my cousin's baby clothes!  So, maybe all will be well in the end...we shall see!                    


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ultrasound results.

Well, I went in for the ultrasound on Tuesday.  Those hours on the phone paid off and I was able to get in on my one day off.  Right when I saw my ovaries on the ultrasound, I knew what was going on.  No need for the radiologist to tell me.  It was hard to visualize the right ovary, which is the one the clinician was concerned about, but the left one was covered in cysts plain as day.  It looked like many of the PCOS ovaries I have seen online.  Like a blackberry about to pop.  I was very upset for the rest of the day, and I ended up telling my mom about my plans later that evening (this needs to be devoted to another post entirely).  BTW, thanks to the great group of ladies on the SMC forum; your words of encouragement are honestly what got me through that day :). 

I called the clinic and asked for the radiology report, which they told me could not be released to me, only the ordering clinician.  WTF????!!!!???   They're my medical records!  I think I can honestly say that I will never be going to that clinic again.  With the trouble they gave me with scheduling and now this, I've had enough. I was only at that location because of their appointment availability in the first place. 

So, I called the midwife I saw last Friday, and she said that that aside from the ovaries, the ultrasound was unremarkable, i.e., normal.  The ovaries are covered in "several small follicles."  She tried to steer me off the thinking-I-have-PCOS track, but with the absence of AF, I know that something along those lines is going on.  I told her as much, and her response is to wait and see if the progesterone works to bring on a period in the next week or so.  If not, she will run more tests then.  I remember being told in the past that some of my hormone levels were, "borderline, but normal;" whatever that means.  I'm trying to track down old medical records so I have as much info as possible for the RE that I now intend to see in Feb, when I will have insurance that will cover the consult and tests.

What frustrates me is that everyone keeps telling me to, "wait and see what happens."  I keep hearing that, and I want to be investigating what is going on.  Even though I keep telling the "professionals" that I am using donor sperm, and they claim to understand what I am going through, it seems like they are still treating me like a married/partnered woman who can try to conceive naturally.  I can't wait and see when I am paying for the sperm!  Diagnostics are very important to me at this point to reduce the chances of repeated failed IUIs, or even miscarriages.

At this point, I have modified my plan a bit.  I took the last Provera tab today, so we'll see what happens there.  Assuming I get my period, I will start the aforementioned "full-on charting" using multiple methods to really get a handle on when/if I am ovulating.  I will probably make an OB/GYN appointment to have the necessary blood work done to confirm/rule out PCOS.  That way I can have a few weeks of medication and monitoring by the time I get to the RE.  I want to at least get the second opinion before moving forward in any direction.  Assuming I don't need ultrasound monitoring, I will probably go back to the midwife for my IUIs because of the costs.  I can still have the pre-natal care, birth, and post-partum care in an alternative environment like I wanted, but I think I need to be a bit more aggressive to help ensure my success in this process.

So, that's that for now.  I'm going to go nibble on some carrot sticks and dream about brownies.  :)       

Monday, December 17, 2012

Problem-Free Provera (?!?) and Panicking...

The title says it all.  Remember the friend who told me to watch out for turning absolutely insane on Provera?  It hasn't happened yet.  Three more days to go, and all I have felt is a little tired, and some crampiness.  Nothing that can't be attributed to PMS.  Of course, the paranoid side of my personality is constantly wondering if it is even working, but we shall see. 

I did call one of the local CRM offices today to see about scheduling an appointment with an RE.  Although the website does talk about helping single women get pregnant, the huge packet of info (of course) is designed for couples.  Half of it is about my "partner's" health and social information.  I'm half wondering if I should fill out the donor's info, just to be a smart-ass.  :)

Although I haven't told my mother about my intentions to become a choice mom yet, I did call her today to ask about her history.  My mother did suffer from recurrent miscarriages, and I knew that she had some ovarian cysts that required surgery.  I found out today that she had her left ovary removed completely, and half of the right ovary.  Then she had to have adhesion reduction.  Oh my...now all of a sudden, the "mass" the midwife found on my ovary on Friday is starting to freak me out.  My chances of becoming pregnant as a single woman aren't very high under normal circumstance, but factoring in these new developments makes the chances less and less.  I'm 28 years old; this should not be happening to me! 

I have been on the phone for forever trying to make an ultrasound appointment.  I have the order in hand, but they needed it faxed, because they refused to make the appointment unless they could see it. Called the midwife; she faxed it.  Then they called me back saying they had to call her back because need diagnostic codes.  Look them up for Christ's sake.  I have limited availability to get this done soon because of my work schedule, and I need to be able to have some answers already!

I am trying to stay calm, but it's not very easy.  I'm so tired of everyone telling me to wait and be patient.  I don't want to wait anymore.  At least if I turn into a total bitch towards everyone, I have the Provera to blame.       

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I have been an insubordinate patient.

Well, I haven't posted in awhile.  As you can probably tell, I have been a bit stressed out by my body lately, and I have been doing everything I can to distract myself.  I started taking pilates reformer classes.  Let me just say, I remember learning every muscle in the body during anatomy and physiology, but even the most intense Tae Kwon Do workout hasn't made me FEEL some of them like pilates does.  The goal is not so much to make me lose weight, but to reduce body fat.  Hopefully, that will make me start to have natural regular cycles. 

In other news, I have been a bad patient lately; well, probably an insubordinate patient in the eyes of my midwife.  I finally broke down and called her asking for progesterone.  It's been almost three months with no AF, so I figured it was time.  She said she wouldn't prescribe it until I had been taking the fertility blend supplement for three months.  That puts me to February.  I was not happy.  So, guess what?  I went to another midwife at the OB/GYN clinic yesterday and she gave me the script.  And..I don't feel bad about it.  Quite the opposite.  It's my body, my cycle, and my TTC journey.  My hope is that it will jump-start my cycle and perhaps I won't need it again.  If not, I will probably go and see an RE after my new insurance kicks in in February.  I really wanted to do this naturally, but it's becoming apparent that I might not be able to.  It never hurts to have a second opinion regardless.  I haven't told  my midwife that I saw another provider yet, and I'm not sure how I will handle it.  I'm taking charge of my situation for now and I feel pretty good about it.  So I will cross the bridge when I get there.  Anyways, on that note, I am wondering if anyone who has had to use progesterone could give me some feedback.  Did you have to use it every cycle or was your body able to get "back on track" after one or two cycles using it?  I'd appreciate all the info I can get.  Thanks in advance!