If you are just joining me, you can take a look at the first part of our story, my PCOS Diagnosis here.
Since I am visual learner & lover of detailed lists, I am going to break this down as a timeline. Fertility explanations can get confusing quickly, so I will do my best to be clear about the treatment process. As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments or through email email@example.com
This post is long, I hope you have a snack.
September – We see a fertility specialist who suggests we try the ovulatory stimulant, Clomid. The only way this is offered to us is in package form, accompanied by ultrasounds (as frequent as every other day) & a trigger shot. It is not covered by insurance and costs upwards of $500 per round when all is said & done. I will refer to these as “rounds of Clomid” for any future reference.
November – Steve & I work on getting the money together for the our first round of Clomid & simultaneously pray that we will magically win the lottery. We forget to buy lottery tickets.
December – Our first round of Clomid fails & coincides with our trip to NYC for Christmas. Joy to the World. I am a raging lunatic walking through Times Square, so we fit right in.
December into January – In the true spirit of being a ‘Stubborn Irish Woman’ I decide I would like to do another round of Clomid right away. In early January we have our ultrasound appointment & the doctor tells us we won’t ovulate until after the weekend. He suggests we wait on the trigger shot and come back Monday for a follow up. My Nana passes away that evening & her funeral is scheduled for Monday. I spend the weekend writing her euology & trying to sleep. Monday morning we head to our ultrasound appointment, bright and early. There the doctor tells us he miscalculated & I have already ovulated. This means we most likely missed our chance for this round, as well as wasted money on an unused trigger shot. We go straight from the doctor’s office to my Nana’s funeral. To this day it is one of my most difficult memories.
February – We decide to take a break from Clomid & instead begin taking Metformin, hoping it will help regulate my cycles & aid weight loss. I gain almost 20 pounds since June when we married due to hormone issues related to PCOS, and pizza. Metformin works wonders with lots of women, so I am hopeful. I am on this medicine for 8 months without a cycle or much weight loss, before I decide to stop taking it.
October – I google every single possible natural alternative and How to Get Pregnant. I add Maca root to my smoothies, I take Myo-Inositol supplements, I do yoga. We eat more kale, if that’s even possible & I exercise. I try a high protein diet, cut caffeine, cut alcohol, I pray rosaries. I write my first post about infertility and put it on the internet. Then I legitimately worry that I am secretly pregnant and everyone will think I am a whiney attention-seeking baby if so. I am certifiable.
November/December – We move apartments & welcome Josie into our life because a dog is a good prep for a baby, says America. We keep her, mainly because she is cute & likes to snuggle. She gets her own instagram & board on Pinterest, because apparently I have that kind of time.
January – Steve & I draw a “Get Pregnant 2016” diagram and hang it on our bedroom wall. It is cheerful & filled with plans and goals & stares at me every time I go to sleep. We start Whole 30 because we are masochists & we quit 17 days in, because I am a ragey carboholic who can’t stand the sight of another egg. We lose both cars to Winter Storm Jonas & wonder why we bought a puppy the size of a small country. It is generally a shit month.
February – April – I continue with my full-on holistic Voodoo Mama Juju approach and schedule an HSG test for mid-June.
May – We switch doctors & move to the Gianna Center in New Brunswick. Steve & I drive two hours to our first appointment and leave with a new plan. We feel hopeful and listened to & we’re given a timeline. The doctor informs us that most women with PCOS who respond to this medication are pregnant within 6 months. We celebrate by eating Jimmy Johns & discussing baby names.
June – We return to our old specialist to have the HSG test performed. They inject blue dye into my fallopian tubes to check for blockages, and it’s as fun as it sounds. I am told that one tube is blocked and the doctor apologizes & looks uncomfortable as I try not to cry on a steel table under fluorescent lights. The nurse is motherly and gentle and helps me leave quickly. During the follow-up with our specialist he says not to despair, HSG results are sometimes inaccurate. I am also told to prepare for it to take even longer to get pregnant.
July – I start my first round of Femara & find out that I do not ovulate this time around. We try 6 more rounds without success, not knowing if I ever actually ovulate. I symptom-spot every month & go through the gamut of pre-pregnancy symptoms. Every month I think I am probably pregnant. Every month is more devastating when I am not.
October – After our busy work schedules die down, we take a vacation to Florida. It is perfect & warm & sunny in my hometown, just how I remember it. Probably because we aren’t visiting during the literal hell of summer. When we return we switch to a vegan diet & I continue following the BBG program from Kayla Itsines, while still on Femara.
December – Our final round of Femara fails, ironically coming full circle, at Christmastime. Physically, mentally & emotionally at a breaking point we decide to take a step back from medications.
What Comes Next
Whew. Still with me? I’ll save the last part, the part regarding where we are now & what comes next, for another time.
Until then you can follow me on instagram @therealkatiewaldow for more photos of important stuff like lattes & puppies & what I’m wearing today, lolz.
[to be continued]