Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ovulation Tests (oh joy) My Struggle with PCOS

Trying to conceive is not new for Nathan and I. We have been 'trying' since October of 2012. Back then, it was a relief every month we didn't get pregnant. (Play with fire, you're gonna get burnt?? Not us. I think I must work for the fire department or something)  

In June of 2013 we got 'serious' about trying. 'Serious' meant, we sorta started to get bummed out when nothing happened. (Still, kinda excited when it didn't though) I still wasn't tracking anything or going to the Dr. We were just more 'in to it' I guess you could say! (I have no idea why I am using ' '. But for some reason I can't stop!)

In October of 2013, I meant business. We'd been married for a year (clearly a long time), I had just had another birthday (which until earlier today I thought was my 26th, it was actually my 27th. I am 27.) I went for my yearly appt (every women's favorite day of the year). Told my Dr we had been trying for a year with no luck. He told me I was young, had been on BC for a long time and we just needed to 'do it like rabbits' (direct quote). So, we took his advice, but also sought out other advice. I started taking ovulation tests. The first month, I ovulated. Whoo hoo! But, we didn't get pregnant. (This was a whole debacle in its self. I was late for the first time in my life. Got excited. Had morning sickness like crazy. Tested negative. Still had morning sickness like crazy, still never for a period (for the first time ever). Went to the Dr. He said he thought I was pregnant. Got excited. Told a few people. Then 3 weeks later, started my period. Went to the Dr. Said I probably had a first trimester miscarriage. Went back to the dr a few weeks later and he said I was probably never pregnant. Crazy right?) I have taken ovulation tests every month since and have never detected an ovulation. 

I went back to said Dr and told him what was going on. I asked to be prescribed Clomid. He told me we were young and 'probably didn't want kids right now anyways' (another direct quote). Well, Mr. Do it Like Rabbits, that is false! We DO want kids right now. 

I changed Dr's. Told them new dr what was going on and she prescribed me Clomid and sent me on my way. Took the clomid and no ovulation. Tried to make a follow up appt and her calendar was too full. (Really?) 

So, changed Dr's again. That is where I am today. She prescribed me Clomid to start next cycle, but said to keep testing ovulation this month because 'you never know, it could happen'. Well, not happening. We've gotten a negative test every day this cycle. There are 11 more days until my cycle starts again, so we will keep testing. 

Until then, it has really gotten me thinking about these stupid ovulation tests. If it is a negative, there is a blank circle. If there is a positive, there is a smiley face. Blank circle? Really? I could come up with something better than that. Maybe try and make people laugh. 

Got infertility? 
Try Again 
Game Over
Better luck next time
No sex 4U

I mean, let's get a little creative here people. I have been staring at these tests every day for the last 6 months. They are SOO boring! Let's add some spice to our lives. 

For the last month so, my husband has gotten in on this. (Only because the cup I use to test with freaks him out. He started asking questions and came away with much more than he bargained for. Life with me is a constant adventure). It had kind of turned into a game for us. We make bets, take wagers, sit...and wait. Longest 3 minutes of my day, every day! But those 3 minutes are spent with my husband, staring at a stick that will hopefully tell us our future! (Oh and don't forget, 20 sticks cost $40. They really know how to stick it to you with this infertility. Just kick us while were already down!) 

So, for everyone out there who stares at the same blank circle I do every day, think of your own slogan. What would your test say if you could create one! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Your husband has your back! My Struggle with PCOS.

Conversation with my husband today:

"We will probably never have kids and I will just keep driving the Edge and you can get an Explorer" - Me 

"No, you are going to keep blogging and then we are going to get pregnant and then you are going to blog about that, then we'll have kids and you'll blog about that, then we'll be old and you'll blog about that too. That's how it's going to work!" - Nathan 

My husband hates that I blog (he's private) but it's also something he loves about me. I'm so very lucky to have him every day, but really on days where I have negative thoughts! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

PCOS isn't me! My Struggle with PCOS!

My Mom's heart is broken for me. It hurts for her baby. It hurts that I have to go through this. It hurts that she can't take it away. It hurts that something that came so easy to her is coming so hard for me. 

For whatever reason, my heart doesn't hurt. My heart isn't broken. Yes, this sucks. It really sucks. Life is supposed to go as planned (at least in my head anyways). First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage (or infertility).

I think I just keep remembering that before love, before marriage, before a baby, I was Amanda. I am Amanda. Infertility and PCOS are not me. They are parts of me, but they don't dictate my life. 

I am Amanda 
I am a daughter
I am a sister
I am a friend
I was a Granddaughter
I am an employee
I am a cousin
I am lazy
I am a reader 
I am organized
I am messy
I am stubborn
I am dramatic
I am funny
I am loyal
I am slightly overweight (we're not using the obese word. It pisses me off)
I have glasses
I have dimples
I wear sweats (in public)
I sit down in the shower
I sleep with my glasses is my hand
I could sleep for days if allowed
I hate the outdoors
I don't really like music
I have PCOS
I am infertile 

The list could go on and on but the main point is that this is all just a part of my life.  But not one of those things alone defines me (besides being dramatic).

My heart is not broken because I have so many other parts of my life that fill me right now. I have a wonderful husband, an amazing Mom, I am blessed beyond belief with my friends. My job fulfills me and so much more. My family is second to none. My life's adventure (and let's be honest, every day with me is an adventure) keep me on my toes every day. I married into an amazing family. 

Yes, I want to have children. I was 3 kids. 2 girls and a boy (shh..don't tell though! I promised Nathan if we named the first boy Sullivan, we could name the second boy Smith! He just doesn't know we won't have a 2nd boy) I want to drive a Ford Explorer (3rd row seating means 3 kids). I want to bake (buy) cupcakes for school. I want to forget my kids lunch at home like I do my own every day. I want to be locked out of my house with my kids and sit on the front step waiting for Nathan to bring me keys. I want to run out of gas and have the chance to explain to them how Daddy pays for AAA because Mommy can't remember to put gas in her car. I want all of those things and so much more. But just like today, those things alone will not define me. Mommy will just be another thing to add to the list of ways to describe me. 

My heart is not broken. Please don't let yours be either. You are enough just the way you are! K

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What's your treatment plan? My struggle with PCOS

I think the thing that I have learned the most since being diagnosed with PCOS, and really since we have had problems with conceiving, is that every one has an opinion and everyone has something that worked for them. 

 I welcome all information given to me, that's just the person that I am. But it can be overwhelming. I think it is important to take a step back and figure out what is right for you, your family and your health. 

My treatment plan is a little different since I have the side diagnosis'. My health comes first and foremost. So, changing my diet was the #1 most important thing. 

With the insulin resistance, I have gone to a sugar free, carb free, dairy free diet. ( sucks). The biggest thing for me has been giving up Mt Dew, as I drank it like a fish, but also, cutting out processed food. My husband and I ate out ALL the time. Not the good eat out either. Like 9pm McDoanlds full meals. (Yuck!). 

I was put on 1500mg of Metformin (highest dosage) and told to change my diet. I made the changes on Sunday and as of Tuesday I have been dropped down to 500 mg! I currently have to get my blood checked weekly, until they are able to get everything stable, then it will go to every 6-8 weeks. 

I was also started on 75 mg of Synthroid for my hypothyroidism, but I was upped to 88mg after my last blood test. I was told my tests from today looked good so it might be that 88 mg is my dosage. 

That takes care of the side diagnosis'. Now, on to the infertility. Here is where I truly think that you have to pick what is best for you. Yes, Nathan and I have been trying for a very long time. I will tell you that most of that time, we had the attitude "if it happens, good, if it doesn't happen, even better". I some how knew that I would have problems with infertility and I was on the depo-shot for 4.5 years. We went off BC right away, knowing it may take us a while. 

At this point in the process, we are not willing to dive in head first. We want to be finically smart about this, and also be 100% prepared for what could come next. At this time we have decided to start with just the clomid. Next cycle, I will be taking 100 mg of clomid and watching for ovulation. We plan to do that for 3 months and then if no luck in those 3 months we will move on to the clomid + trigger shot for 1 month. If no luck, then clomid + trigger shot + IUI for 2 months. At the 6 month mark with no luck we are going to reconvene and figure out our next step. 

Like I said, this is completely your decision. This is just our plan of action. 

Some natural things I am using include daily vitamins. I am taking:

Cinnamon- help regulate blood sugar and lessen sugar cravings

Chrominum picoliate- helps regulate blood sugar and lessens cravings for carbs

Vitamin B Conplex- for the depression and anxiety that can come along with this disease

Omega 3 - help with swelling and pain of the ovaries 

Folic Acid - to prevent miscarriage if I do get pregnant

Iron supplement - I've just always had low iron. 

So there you have it. That is my treat man plan. It will probably evolve over time, but for now, this is my plan of attack! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What now? My struggle with PCOS we are. We've gotten the diagnosis, we've read all the blogs. What now? 

Well, I think we all have some decisions to face, thoughts to come to term with and realities to face. Here is my list and what we will call a progress report!

Also, please know that I will refer to myself a lot. Please know that my husband stands next to me, in front of me, or behind me in whatever I am doing with my fight with PCOS. Yes, it is our fight. It is our fight to have children, it is our fight to get me healthy. My husband is a fiercely private person and I try to respect him with me "tell-all" attitude. So, whenever I am referring to 'I' it is really 'we', it's just coming from my perspective. 

1. Why me? (Well, as some would say, why not me??) I feel I have seen that paradigm shift. I don't feel I've been signaled out. I'm just a person with this diagnosis, no rhyme or reason to why. 

2. I can't afford to be infertile (yeah...still working on that one. I am imaging a much deeper pocket book than I believe we have. We'll find a way I suppose. We always do)

3. How do I tell people? Is it awkward? Is it taboo? (Welp, I think you see where I am on that! To me, my life is an open book! I need support)

4. Do I really have to change my diet? (Well...yes. I do anyways. I am a lazy, mt dew drinking, fast food restraunt eating fat cow (with a side of drama). I needed something to kick my ass into gear. It's hard as hell, it sucks, it's annoying, but did I really want to carry a child in this un-healthiness to begin with?) 

5. I hate everyone that posts about babies and being pregnant! (No, this isn't me. Yes it stings a little. Yes I have a little resentment. But, I could never hate someone for such a joyous time in their life! Let me watch your children! I won't need paid, just leave me your child! :). I completely understand why some people feel this way though. It sucks. The one thing that will throw me over the edge? Tell me one more time to 'just relax'. Thank you for your great advice. I have what's called a disease. I am sure people with cancer try to 'just relax' to cure their disease! (End rant).) 

6. Mother lovin 6. The one question I hate  myself for even thinking. If I cannot have children, will I be enough for my husband? (Ehhh...ouch. That thought hurts. But guess what? It hurts him too. If you are anything like me, you simply asked 'Nathan, if I can't have kids, will I be enough for you? (Little piece of advice, have some finesse. Your husband deserves it!). Welp, of course I will be enough for my husband (I mean, I'm already a handful and I believe he has described life as 'taking care of a child'). But in all seriousness, we come first. Our marriage comes first. We will fight to remember that!) 

So there you have it. That's what is floating through my head. I think most of it is completely natural. If you were blessed with a side of drama, like me, reel it in. Don't let your mind go there. Understand that those thoughts can cross our minds, but they don't need to take up residency there. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finding Hope in a dark world. My struggle with PCOS

I lie awake another night researching and researching. I read blog after blog and am just filled with disappointment. Is this really what my life is going to be like??

Last Monday, I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). It came with a side diagnosis of hyperinsulemnia (pre-diabetes) and a re-diagnosis of hypothyroidism. I guess you could say my life was turned upside down. 

My husband (Nathan) and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for the last 17 months with no luck. About 6 months ago I got pretty serious about it, and still no luck. This month, I was given answers. I walked out of the Dr's office scared to death but so very relieved that I finally knew why we were unable to conceive. Then my internet research started and all the relief I had was soon washed away. 

I have had to remind myself that this journey through infertility and my road to being a healthy person will not be easy. But, I have hope. I have a wonderful support system around me and if I can be the light in somebodies now dark tunnel, then letting the world know my struggles will be all worth it. 

I hope that some women who was just told by her DR the same daunting news I was will stumble upon my blog and together we can fight this battle having hope for a better tomorrow.