Wednesday, 13 April 2011

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

So, this is a warning - this entry will bring a new meaning to TMI.  Turn back now.

Still here?  Alright, don't say you weren't warned.

My purpose of writing this blog is to delve into the issues I'm having with fertility.  Fertility is a scary thing.  It's something that we all assume should work perfectly for us.  How many times have you seen on a magazine "Famous Celebrity denies rumours that she's struggling with infertility".  Saying the word infertility is like swearing in some circles.  Look at all the hype when Nicole Kidman came out and said - yes, I have fertility issues and yes, I used a surrogate!  Good for her.  Fertility and infertility should not be dirty words!  They are facts of life.  Some of us aren't lucky enough to get pregnant just by looking at a guy (of course I have a friend or two who deny that it's lucky to have that happen).

I never thought that fertility would be an issue for me.  When I was a teenager I started having problems with my menstrual cycle - too often, too infrequent, too heavy, etc.  You name it, I had it.  I saw a specialist and the problem was solved by being put on the pill.

Fast Forward 14 years.  I was 31 years old, getting married that summer, and wanting to start a family as soon as possible afterward.  Hell I would have started one before the wedding, but I had spent a lot of money on my pretty wedding dress and wasn't about to let it go to waste as my waist wouldn't fit into it pregnant.

I went off the pill in January 2009, so that, as the doctor recommended, I would have six months without the pill for my body to regulate itself before trying to conceive.  Well the first three or four months after the pill provided normal cycles.  Actually, the cycles were lighter and without cramps for the first time in 14 years.  Then the month of our wedding hit - no period.  I freaked out thinking I was pregnant - turns out stress will do that to you too.  After that it was hit or miss with my period.  Each time I missed one, I took a pregnancy test - each time it was negative.

I started using one of those home fertility monitors.  Each morning you pee on a stick and each morning it determines how fertile you are.  The problem was that I went from low fertility on day 6 to high on day 7 and never reached peak fertility and eventually dropped back to low on the last day of my cycle.  six months of this and tracking my basal body temperature each morning, and I was done.  I went to the doctor in tears.  She did some tests and determined that everything looked pretty good.

Now, as the same time I was under a LOT of stress.  My job sucked and my boss hated me, and I would spend every break I had crying in the bathroom.  My doctor said this probably added to the infertility.

In June 2010, I finished at that job and moved to a new school where the people are great and I love my job. Stress gone.  No longer were we renting a crappy hole to live in while our nice house sat empty.  That stress gone. So what was left.  Money.  Big money problems.  Because of our living and working situations, I was unable to pay a lot of my debt (mostly credit cards that I used to live during university), and collectors were at my door.  So I did the only possible option - I filed for bankruptcy.  I know it wasn't the most responsible option, but honestly, there wasn't much of a choice - I didn't have $50000 to pay them off, and the stress of them calling day and night was too much to handle.  So now the money was taken care of... stress gone....

However, in June 2010, my period decided that it would be fun to stick around for a good long while.  Oh and by stick around I mean, make itself VERY well known each day - for six months.  From June 2010, until January 2011, I had my period every day.  Yes, everyday.  I can honestly, without exaggeration, say that there were two weeks worth of days (not consecutive, just a day here or there) that I wasn't bleeding.  And I don't mean spotting, I mean... bring extra clothes to work, and ruin several pairs of pants because you are basically hemorrhaging blood.

One rather enjoyable day in early January, I was rushing to get to the blood lab before it closed and when I jumped out of the car, I flooded out.  Blood down my legs, to my knees - my jeans soaked through completely.  I pray that you never have to walk around a store buying underwear, pants, and baby wipes, and then try to clean yourself up in a Walmart bathroom.  At least at work I had the privacy of the staff washroom and I kept a washcloth and clothes in a bag for backup.  It is fun however trying to find a way to get out of a class of grade 9 students without anyone suspecting anything.

So in December, I finally saw an obgyn specialist who immediately freaked out about my situation.  She put me on pills to try to stop the bleeding (which didnt' work) and did a biopsy (most painful experience ever).  She did an ultrasound which showed that my endometrial lining was 24 mm thick (it shouldn't more than 10).  In January she called me with the results of the biopsy.  I have something called endometrial hyperplasia with complex atypia.  Basically it means that I have an overgrowth of endometrial cells and they are not typical - which means my uterus is growing pre-cancerous cells.

So, she refers me to an onocologist.  Thus begins the fun of trying to connect with a doctor who doesn't have an office!  After waiting for three weeks and nearly passing out at work due to blood loss, I end up waiting for the onocologist in the ER of one of the hospitals in our nearby city.  Six hours later I see him and he says  I need surgery.

On January 28, 2011, he did a D&C on me.  I was terrified of this procedure, but it didn't hurt at all and I woke up in less pain than I had been in for months!  He put me on pills to try to reverse the overgrowth and told me to call him in 8 weeks.

I just saw him on Saturday for my followup.  He says that from what I have told him, everything sounds like it is working the way he hoped.  I go for a followup ultrasound next week to check on the thickness of the lining, and then in about 10 days I go for another biopsy.  I am terrified of the pain, but I also know that if it comes back clear then I can go back to my obgyn and start fertility treatments - which is the next step on the road to babydom.

I never thought that I would ever deal with this.  There are some days when I just break down and cry.  I have to avoid the aisles in the stores that house baby products or I get upset.  I have nearly given up on the dream and wonder if all of this pain that I"m dealing with now is worth it.  What if I can never have a child, what if the pain was for nothing, what if my dream never comes true?  People say to stay positive, but honestly, they haven't dealt with this, so how can they possibly make a suggestion such as that!  If positivity would get me a baby, I'd be octomom by now.  Positivity isn't going to do it, so such a suggestion really is futile.  I know that people are uncomfortable with the topic and just trying to help, but it's if you're only saying it to make yourself feel better, then it's really not helping.

I just really want a baby - is it too much to ask??


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