If you told me ten years ago, "Robyn, you are going to have difficulty getting pregnant", I would have laughed. Now it's February 2010, I'm 36 years old, and we are going on two and a half years trying to get pregnant and the reality is sometimes hard to bear.
What really makes it hard is that almost every friend in my life has either had a baby or is pregnant. I was the first one out of all my friends to start trying. It was August 2007, three months after stopping the pill, and I said to the hubby "let's give it a go!' In September 2007, I had a "chemical pregnancy". When I told a couple of my girlfriends what happened, they were in shock. They had no idea we were trying. Then one after another over the course of these past two and a half years they were all getting pregnant. As for me, the endless Doctor visits started. I think I have had more ultrasounds than the average pregnant woman. Oh, and the blood tests, the HSGs, the changing of the diet, acupuncture, and the list goes on, I have done it all. Funny enough, I have also experienced many of those same pregnancy symptoms, the headaches, backaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, cravings, etc. Unfortunately, it's not because I have ever been pregnant, rather it's from having ovarian cysts.
The first cyst showed up in October 2007. Nothing abnormal, it was just a normal cyst and when I went back to the Doctor in November 2007, it was gone. In March of '08, the cyst came back, but this time it was a hemorrhagic cyst. After monitoring it for a few months, it went away in September. Then in February of 2009, the cyst came back, but this time I had two. You can imagine how devastated I was and what made it worse is that the Doctor was suggesting they were endometriomas.
At this point I should tell you that my Mother battled cancer for eight years until her death in February 2004 at the age of 64. First it was ovarian cancer, then sarcoma, then lymphoma that finally took her life. So, telling me that I have two endometriomas with my history doesn't exactly make you sleep well at night. On top of that, I was also told that I might have a mild case of endometriosis. Now, I would love to tell you how I might have developed endometriosis, but that story is a bit graphic. What I can tell you is that it was a LEEP procedure with a major post-surgery complication. Thanks Dr. Bell in UT!
A couple of months before the two cysts showed up, I started doing acupuncture regularly. I went every week, changed my diet so I ate four, small meals a day instead of three big ones. When that seemed to not work, I tried a vegetarian diet for about a month, and then it was going full vegan for another month. Finally, in May of '09 I stopped acupuncture altogether, because it just wasn't working for me, not to mention I could barely afford it!
Then it was on to the fertility Doctor. You're probably wondering why I wasn't seeing a fertility specialist sooner? Well, it's because you don't want to believe that you are one of those cases where you have a fertility problem, but I finally had to face up to it. The mild endometriosis and two endometrioma cysts were confirmed. I took all the necessary blood tests to check my FSH levels, Inhibin B, and the list goes on. Everything seemed to come back normal or borderline, which was good. So, now we need to decide how we are moving forward. Is it IUI (artificial insemination) with pills, or IUI with shots, or IVF? Probably IUI with pills, because if that doesn't work at least we still have other options. In the meantime, I'm just trying to relax, stay positive and philosophical, and know that my time will come and I will become a Mother and it will be the most joyous day of my life, labor pains and all!
(On a side note, I want to say something about the pill. If you have been on the pill for several years and you want to try and get pregnant, don't wait three months just go for it! Your hormones surge after you stop the pill, which is the best time to get pregnant. Unless it's for medical reasons that you need to be on the pill, I would say STOP taking them! No, I'm not a medical expert or Doctor and any Doctor reading this will say that I'm being "irresponsible", but to be on the pill for "sexual freedom" when we only ovulate for a whole 12-24 hours is ridiculous. There are many other forms of "birth control" where you don't have to have artificial hormones surging throughout your body and screwing it up)