Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Sob Story

I have been continuously debating over the last week since my procedure about whether or not to post about it. I'm nothing if not a big blabber mouth about my whole life. I'm not the private type AT ALL. But for some reason I've felt hesitance about this one. Because I don't want pity? Because I don't yet have answers? Because the implications might just be too overwhelming for to me to talk about??? Is that possible? Well, I guess not, because here I am posting about it. But I'm still not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing. (Don't you love how I have built this up so that now you're all wondering if I have terminal cancer or something??) (I don't.)

Ok, so the back story--I suffered from unexplained infertility when trying to conceive (TTC) my first child. We had every test under the sun done and tried all kinds of medical intervention. There was nothing wrong with either of us, yet nothing seemed to work. Eventually, after 17 LONG months of negative pregnancy tests and one miscarriage, I got pregnant and it stuck. Viola, Daphne. I nursed Daphne for 6 months, and days after I finished, I got pregnant again. This was a total surprised to me since I had no idea I could get pregnant easily. That pregnancy ended up in an ectopic with emergency surgery. They were able to save the tube, but not the pregnancy. Yet 3 weeks later, I got pregnant again and, voila, Beck.

So after one eternally long attempt at TTC and three quick pregnancies, I thought my infertility days were long gone.

But after two kids, back to back (18 months apart), I felt like I needed a break. That break turned into a longer break than originally anticipated because I wasn't ready when I thought I would be, and finally, early this summer, we decided we were ready for another baby. Well, here we are in January--no baby.

So I made a trip to the doc, just to rule out any problems. (I thought I might have endometriosis on my ovaries because of 6-8 days of killer pain when I ovulate that couldn't be explained any other way.) The doctor suggested several options: we could get an HSG (a procedure where they look at you under x-ray and shoot contrast dye through your tubes to make sure they're open) or go straight for a laproscopy, which would diagnose and clean off any endometriosis. He also did some hormone testing to make sure I was ovulating (which I was). After I left his office, I thought I really wasn't prepared to do either thing. Both are expensive. Neither are very fun. And I figured since I had gotten pregnant before, I'm sure I could again. I was probably just being too impatient.

Then I had brunch with a girlfriend who had had a similar situation, ended up having major endo removed, and got pregnant lickity split. After our talk, I decided maybe I should go ahead and get the laproscopy done after all and see if it was endo. I told me doc and we set up the surgery. The doc planned on doing a chromotubation at the same time (like an HSG, to test the tubes).

Now we're up to date.

I had the surgery last week, and the results are in! No endo! (Cheer!) However, both my tubes are blocked. (Boo! Hiss!) How the heck that happened, we don't know. Well, we do know that the right tube was damaged from the ectopic. But ironically, that tube did let just a touch of dye through. It's the good (left) tube that's completely blocked. He couldn't figure out what the blockage was, for some reason. But he did say that while pregnancy had a very slim possibility of occurring after ovulating on the right side, it would probably end ectopic as well.

SO....now the big questions. Are more kids possible? Do I want to spend a fortune on IVF, which is my only option if nothing changes with the tubes? Is there surgery that can fix this? Will it cause more damage? Should I go the homeopathic route and try herbs and fertility massage first? Do I really want to pay out thousands of dollars to try to get pregnant? Should I just pray and wait? OR...Am I done with kids? See? Deep thoughts.

Anyway, there you have it. The story of the barren wasteland that is my womb. In case you wondered.


Sara said...

I'm saying my prayers for you...

M-Cat said...

You'll know the right thing to do. Trust your instints.

Lia said...

That's a lot to take in for you right now and I think it would be a good idea if you could to step back a bit for a while. Give your self some time for it all to sink in and for you to get better.
Then you will instinctively know which path to choose.
I wanted another one, but as I have lost and buried 3,successfully raised 3,it was not an easy decision to make.
We decided not to in the end and while I know it was right (with hindsight now) there will always be that part of me that still wants number four.
However on the whole it was the right path, can't say it was an easy one to travel.

You really do need to give yourself some time to work this out, so try to step back a little for now, talk to your partner about your feelings and between you you will find the answer.

Much love to you

alex dumas said...

I wouldn't exactly call it a barren wasteland. It coughed up two for you.

But you'll know which decision to make.

rae said...

Wowzers. Heavy stuff. I feel ya and I'll be thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

You are, no doubt, aware of our situation. Before we had Brighton, I was trying to get used to the idea that we would only have Mason. All the BFN were disappointing, then depressing. Ie thought about getting snipped so that every time Jen misses a period I wouldn't get excited thinking it's because she's pregnant just to find out it was her body messing with us. On the other hand, you ache to have another.

With IVF I feel it's a game of chance and we happened to get lucky on our first try. For this next round, I am scared that it won't work with frozen embryos. We are going to have unused embryos but we don't want to discard them. We have thought about donating them so we could help out another couple, but I am not sure I could control who would get them - what if we gave our embryo to someone to lied on the application about their spouse's child abuse? If we ended up not doing IVF, we'd always wonder if it would have given us another baby.

In case you just skipped to the end, I understand the dilemma. Maybe you can have some of our unused frozen embryos. Jen and I make some cute, good kids.

Anonymous said...

Well, I just found out my boyfriend can't have children, after a bad breakup about a year ago, he went out and had one-night-stands with many married women and he doesn't regret it, and lastly, he has Huntington's, which means he'll die in about twenty years. What to do? He deserves happiness just as much as the rest of us. And I love him. But living another 50 or so years without him? Raising our adopted children alone? I don't know . . .

Shawn said...

My goodness, you have a lot on your platter---I hope everything goes ok with this---it might to be best to leave this one to the Lord for a while....

kado! said...

wow...and then I read Anonymous..and wow again!

I think maybe you should take a second to relax and consider your choices...it seems like a lot of people I know...when they finally take a second to not stress over trying to get pregnant..that is when surprisingly it happens!? Or at least the time off will let you make a clear choice....I don't have lots of experience in not being able to get pregnant....it seems to happen to me even when I don't want it to...I've had some traumatic pregnancy scares.

Anonymous said...

Some advice that worked for us:

- After getting it on, lie on your back and put a pillow under your butt. Stay in that position for 20 minutes to let the swimmers get to their destination.

- Use egg whites as lubricant.

- Be positive.

- Stop trying so hard (kinda weird since you'd think "it" needs to be hard to do the BD).

- Try different positions.

- Do it every other day.

- Don't eat any color of gumballs except pink (or blue if you want a boy).

To avoid ectopic pregnancies:

- After sex, lie on the side opposite your good ovary, with a pillow under your hip, obviously.

- Avoid anything with red food coloring.

- Talk to your fallopian tubes to calm them and ask them politely to facilitate a normal pregnancy. When done in combination with soft classical music, the tubes tend to respond better.

- Don't smoke, drink, or do illegal drugs (misuse of prescription drugs is ok as long as it's only once a week).

- Keep live, blooming flowers in your bedroom.

Omgirl said...

Andre, maybe I wasn't clear enough in my post, but MY TUBES ARE BLOCKED. None of that stuff you mentioned matters at this point.

Anonymous said...

You were very clear about the blockages. It's hard for a lot of people to understand what infertility is like, yet they give advice anyway, even if it doesn't make sense. The advice I gave was intended to be sarcasm and to, hopefully, give you a laugh. Please don't take much of anything I say seriously. :D

erica said...

Wow. Many hugs and prayers your way. And you know, miracles can happen.

Chelsea said...

(((hugs))) Arianne. I know how hard it is. It's never an easy decision. I hope and pray things work out for you soon.

André made me laugh, we must have the same twisted sense of humor. If I had a had a dollar for every time someone told me to "stop trying so hard and it will happen", I could easily fund our next IVF. I always reply that we haven't been trying at all, we only have easy sex.

Plain Jame said...

So true - too many people try to give advice that ends up being annoying. I have heard those things andre said too.
I have Endometriosis, and it's caused too many issues for me. After my roller coaster I did get my third baby 7 months ago and this year I'll probably elect to have a hysterectomy to end my suffering.

But this isn't about me, it's about you. I know it's hard to follow your instinct sometimes because it may not feel consistent, but if you feel you're meant to have another baby, follow your heart napoleon.
Do what it takes. :)

Karyn said...

I don't know if homeopathy has anything that will unblock tubes... but I'd try it. I've seen miracles with healing with homeopathy. (Not to be confused with vitamins or herbs.)