I began this blog when I was 23 years old and my husband, Jesse was only 21. That was in December of 2007 when we decided that we wanted to bring a baby into our family. We had no idea all that decision entailed. Back then I had a false assumption that I was super-fertile and would get pregnant even while on birth control. Well, I was off of birth control for over a year, went through all of the fertility testing, and then was diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".

This past year has been one of the most difficult I have ever been through. I ran the emotional gauntlet on this issue, ranging from intense sadness and heartache to anger towards God to total peace about what He is doing. God began to show me how He was using my infertility as a ministry. It is my hope to share my testimony with others so that they may either be encouraged as they face their own infertility or educated as they learn what infertility entails. More than that, though, I hope that the things I share point others to God regardless of what they are going through.

When I first began this blog, the entries were kept private. But I have decided to open everything up in order to let people see the raw truth of the struggle. I strive to find the fine line between sharing the truth and sharing too much information. However, it is my desire to share my heart, regardless. And I have learned that there is never "too much information" in the world of infertility.

After being diagnosed with unexplained infertility on November 17, 2008, I was put on a round of 50mg of Clomid to strengthen the quality and quantity of my eggs. I suppose it was how God chose to work because I became pregnant that very cycle.

In order to be sensitive to those who are still going through infertility, I have opened up a new blog about my pregnancy. I am maintaining this one, though, hoping that it serves as a testimony to anyone who may be going through infertility at the time they come across my site. If you want to follow my life's journey, check out my other blogs. And if you would like, please don't hesitate to email me:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New News is Good News

So, I feel much better about everything now that we have gone to our appointment. I suppose that the tug-o-war is over. Sorry if that comes across as a flaky battle, pouring out my struggle one minute and declaring it over with the next, but really it's been going on all week. Today's appointment kinda brought some things around added to the fact that Jesse and I aren't mad at each other anymore, and I'm not worried about all of those issues because we'll just face them if we ever come to them.

So here's how things went:

I had my ultrasound today. For the sake of informing those who don't know the process, I want to explain what all I had to do. If you don't want to hear about it, look away now.

Ok. So, I was instructed to go to the bathroom, emptying my bladder, an hour before my appointment. Then I had to drink 24-32 oz of luke-warm water in a total of 15 minutes. This was difficult for me because I'm not a big fan of H2O to begin with. And, normally, anything I drink I slowly sip on all day. A 20 oz soda will last me 6+ hours. So, this was a lot of fluid to drink in such a short amount of time. Then I was not allowed to go to the bathroom until my ultrasound was over, meaning I had to hold it for another 30-45 minutes.

When they called me back to the office, I just had to lay on the table like normal and pull my pants down just below my hips. They squirted the gel on my belly and told me it would be warm. Warm?! I expected cold. The truth was it was almost burning! Not super painful. Just WAY warmer than I expected.

Then they put the thing on and pushed around to see, just like what you know about ultrasounds. It was cool because I had a flatscreen looking tv on the wall in front of me which allowed me to see everything the technician was seeing. She pointed out everything along the way, describing what she was seeing. I have never done anything remotely close to this, so I enjoyed it.

When she was done with that, she allowed me to go to the bathroom and then I had to strip from the waist down and cover myself with the paper blanket again. Then she used this probe thing to do a vaginal ultrasound. There were moments of discomfort since not everything was easy to see. But overall, not too bad. And this showed all of the same things just from different angles. Finally, I was allowed to get dressed and told to go back to the waiting room to wait to talk to Dr. York.

If you looked away before, you can look back now. :-)

After a REALLY long wait, we finally were called back to the dr's office again and then Dr. York came in. She said that my ultrasound looked pretty good and that my previous blood tests and Jesse's semen analysis all looked good. When she realized this was the first time we'd heard of Jesse's results, she stopped to explain them more thoroughly.

For a good sperm count, they look for a number over 20 million. Jesse had 126 million! This is actually twice what the average sperm count is here in the Western world, according to Wikipedia. Then they look at the morphology, making sure that everything is shaped right. They look for anything up 14%. This seemed low, but they said that's really normal. Jesse's was 15%. So still good. Finally, they look at the motility of the sperm, making sure that it moves around right. A number anywhere over 50-60% is good. Jesse's was 75% good. Therefore, the way I see it, if only 15% of his 126 million sperm are good, he still has over the minimum 20 million that is considered okay. And every single one of those would be good while the minimum person would have only 14% good. That's all great! Just knowing this solved a LOT of our questions!

From there, she said that my blood tests were all normal and showed me all of the numbers behind it. I can't remember them. One was .55 and one was 16, but it didn't matter how high or low they were. It only mattered that they were in the right range, which both of mine were.

She said my ultrasound looked overall really good. She said my uterus and ovaries are normal shape and have good folicles. She said they can tell that I last ovulated from my left ovary and everything looks good there. She said there's one eensy teeny tiny little thing that causes a little bit of concern. Right now, it's such a minimal thing that she REALLY didn't want to worry about it too much. In fact, it took her a long time to even find the right picture to show me what it was. She explained that I have a really little cyst-looking thing, filled with blood, in my right ovary. Right now it's less than a centimeter big. She even pulled out a measuring tape to show me just how tiny that really is. She said that it could be left over from the last time I ovulated or it could be a little sign of endometriosis. The only way to detect endometriosis, though, is through surgery. And she said that surgery is usually not done on endometriosis unless a cyst is over 6 centimeters big. So she said there was no way she wanted to do surgery on me just to see if one tiny little thing might be a glimpse of endometriosis. She said, instead, that she would like to have me do another ultrasound in 6 weeks to check on it's progress. If it is gone then everything is great and most likely it was just left over from my last cycle. If it is the same size, then we can look a little more deeply and see what it might be. And if it's bigger, then we definitely need to determine what it might be and what to do with it. That all depends on how much bigger it grows, too, though.

Other than that, she said that if I start my period again, she wants me to call their office and set up one final blood test. It's FSH, a follicle stimulating hormone, from my brain telling my body to ovulate. This would be done on the 3rd day of my next cycle. If I don't start my period again, then by cycle day 35 (even though I've never had a cycle longer than 27 days) they will do a pregnancy test for me.

If I do start my period again and test my FSH and it comes back normal, then the final diagnosis is simply "unexplained infertility" since all of our test results are great. From there, Dr. York would most likely start me on Clomid, a drug to induce ovulation. I already do ovulate, but I guess this is supposed to make my ovulation stronger. She said that because we are really young and have a lot of good eggs, she'd probably have me go through 3-6 cycles (or months) of Clomid. By then, if I'm still not pregnant, she'd probably refer me over to Dr. Austin, the reproductive endocrinologist, since that's about all she can do with us. She said he would probably keep me on Clomid and do an intrauterine insemination.

Having said all of that, though, she said that she is REALLY optimistic that this might be the month for us. She can't really tell that from any particular thing (even from the ultrasound because it's too soon). But she said that she has a feeling about it and sees it all of the time with people that come to her about infertility. I hope she's right, but the chances are slim because Jesse and I had to abstain the 2 days before his semen analysis. I did ovulate on Saturday (the same day of his test) and we were able to have sex then (after his test) but that means that not only was it not the best sperm quality but also that there was no intercourse the previous days during my most fertile time. Knowing that sperm live for up to a week, possibly, I suppose there could be a chance of conception from the Wednesday before I ovulated. However, if I get pregnant this month, it's really only because of God, since my chances are pretty low. But since my last cycle, the women of my church have prayed over me and I do feel that God has been speaking to me to anticipate what He is about to do. Therefore, it very well could be a fulfillment of God's promise, an answer to our prayer.

Either way, I still feel better about everything, feeling that we have a bit of direction about the steps in which we are about to take. I'm glad that Dr. York feels so optimistic about our case and I'm still excited to see what God is about to do.

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