My awesome hubby and I were married in May 2007. These 3 1/2 years have been the BEST of my life. Loving him and being loved by him is pure joy. I remember one of my dear friends writing a little note on the card she gave us for our wedding - "may you always be newlyweds." I think we've taken that to heart. :) We're not perfect and we do have disagreements from time to time, but they are rare. And, wonderful man that he is, he always knows how to make me smile - so they don't last long!
We are both faithful and practicing Catholics. (I'll write more later about how we met!) We're both big sports fans (I'm from Pittsburgh and have since converted him into a Penguins and Steelers fan. The Pirates just finished their 18th losing season - yes, in a row - so that's a harder sell. I can't say I follow baseball as much anyway, much to the dismay of my 4 younger sisters.) We both love working out, and eating well. I LOVE to cook and bake. Awesome hubby says he needs to work out due to the good food I make him. They say the way to a man's heart.... :)
We have been TTC since we were married. I figured by now we'd have several little ones running around. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given my surgeries before we were married (see this post), but here we are, years later, still waiting. After the third month of trying, off I went to the doctor, who told me that they couldn't do anything until we'd been trying a year. (This was a Catholic practice, and while we'd had a simple NFP classes before getting married, there was no discussion about how we were following it, what signs we might be watching for... etc.) And honestly, our only thought regarding it was "NFP? Ha! We want a dozen!" AF has always been quite regular for me, so I figured everything must be fine, right? Wrong...
OK - I was concerned, but wouldn't be able to convince anyone to help us until we'd waited a year.
About 8 months into our marriage, one of the priests DH & I know suggested we take a formal NFP class, which we did, using the Billings method. Fast forward a few more months (after making to to a year of TTC) and we went back to the same OBGYN to see about finding out what was wrong.
After 3 frustrating months, I was finally able to get an HSG done. The first month I tried to have it done, I was on CD3 and when I went in for the test, the conversation went like this:
Them: "Have you have unprotected sex?"
Me: "Huh? What does that mean? I'm married! Of course I have!"
Them: "We can't do the test. You could be pregnant."
Me: "I'm on CD3, I haven't ovulated yet!!"
Them: "You could be pregnant."
Me: "No, I cannot."
And back and forth it went. Grrrr. They actually managed to convince me that I could be pregnant, so I didn't have the test done. Then, due to travel and the timing of my cycle, it was another 2 months before I was actually able to get the HSG done.
Sept 2008: HSG Results - tubes open!
Fast forward a few more months... late fall of 2008. A close friend of mine, who had also been TTC conceive since getting married, went to see Dr. S in PA, and had surgery. She had some endo removed, both tubes were blocked and then freed, and was hopeful that she would be able to conceive. (Side note: she did, several months later!) She adored Dr. S and highly recommended that DH & I schedule an appointment with him.
Jan 2009 - first meeting with Dr. S, hormone profile scheduled, and surgery discussed. Dr. S, finding out my history of Crohn's and the 2 surgeries related to it (the second surgery to remove adhesions), thought that there was a strong chance I had more adhesions that could be causing IF.
Spring 2009 - Hormone panel shows low progesterone, low estrogen. Begin hormone therapy.
May 2009 - Laparoscopy by Dr. S -shows a good deal of adhesions from prior surgeries. He was able to free my right tube and ovary from the adhesions, clear out some along the back of my uterus (tilted back since my colon is no longer there to prop it up!), but was unable to reach the left tube & ovary. Dr. S recommends a laparotomy to work more extensively on getting rid of the adhesions.
I was hesitant. When I went in for my second surgery for the Crohn's, the intern checking me in said to me "we have a little joke in the ER. Surgery begets surgery." So... this is what has been ringing in my head since then. Not funny at all… After my DH and I discussed it, we decided to wait and see if the hormone therapy would help, as well as this initial surgery. Miracles, happen, right?
End of 2009 - Friend after friend gets pregnant. Everywhere we turned. We even went away for a weekend to a B&B (our first vacation alone since our honeymoon), and got a call while there from my BIL that he & his wife were expecting. The next day, while at breakfast, the other young couple staying at the B&B informed us that they were expecting. Seriously?? I wanted a nice weekend away with my awesome husband, a chance to forget about IF and WHAM! Two weeks later, on New Year’s Day, another friend announced her pregnancy. It was the beginning of what would be a very difficult year for me in terms of my faith. I've seen others write about the "dark night of the soul." I definitely had such moments.
Spring 2010 - I continued hormone therapy, and completed another hormone panel, as I'd begun bleeding mid-cycle right after ovulation. Since this has never happened before in my cycle, I was a little freaked out. After completing the hormone panel, Dr. S finds that my ovulation doesn't seem strong enough. I begin Femara.
Late fall 2010 - DH & I meet a lovely young couple, who are unfortunately experiencing secondary IF. They become fast friends. The young women recommends that I check out a few blogs written by other Catholic women suffering from IF... and ...
Here I am!
I'm continuing Femara on CD3.
Prometrium & Estradiol on P+3 - P+12.
CM is usually pretty good; overall, where it needs to be.
I am scheduling another surgery - this time robotic! It may turn into a laparotomy if Dr S. cannot remove all the adhesions he wants. I told him this is his last chance! I decided that I don't want to be looking back several years down the road, saying "what if I had had that surgery?"
Other news - DH & I have decided to adopt! We are currently exploring agencies. Since most agencies seem to have the rule that a couple not be involved in fertility treatments, we're going to make the agency decision (we've already decided on domestic adoption) and start filling out paperwork while we wait for my surgery to be scheduled. We definitely feel called to adopt and have been talking about it for a few months now. We'll see what happens!
Whew... that was a long post! :) If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.