The story of this blog (I've had a couple of previous blogs with their own stories) started long before the blog itself was even conceived.
Nearly 8 years ago, on November 22, 2003, The Hubs and I went on a trip to Newcastle, England to see Fleetwood Mac in concert. It was a special concert because it was my 25th birthday and our 1st anniversary (on November 23rd). The concert was my gift. The Hubs had gotten us front row, center stage tickets! Have I mentioned recently that Fleetwood Mac are my all-time favourite band?
Anyway, on our 1st anniversary, November 23, 2003, The Hubs and I discussed things and decided we wanted to start trying for a family. Or, at least, that we would quit preventing. Secretly, I thought we'd be parents by our 2nd wedding anniversary.
But, our second wedding anniversary came around - no babies. We didn't worry too much. After all, we'd only stopped preventing a year before and we were still young. We had plenty of time.
Then our third anniversary rolled around and we still had no babies. But, still, we didn't panic. This was in November 2005 and we were gearing up to move to the USA from England in January 2006. We were engrossed with our immigration plans and felt that it was really no big deal. Surely it was just that we had been under a lot of stress over the last year due to planning our life-changing move. We'd really try once we had moved to the US and, by our fourth anniversary, we'd be parents.
Anniversary number four came around in November 2006 and there were still no additions to our family. We were beginning to get a little concerned, but knew that it had been a long, stressful year. We had immigrated to the US, my dad had been very sick for several months (in ICU for 10 weeks), we had both looked for jobs for months before being successful. Basically, nothing had been easy and it would not have been a good year for us to have a baby. 2007 would definitely be our year.
In March 2007, I finally had to take action regarding having my gallbladder removed. It had been giving me really severe problems for 3 years at that point and I finally gave in and saw my doctor about it. I was sent to a surgeon for consult and a surgery date was scheduled to have it removed. During the surgery, it was discovered that I had a large cyst (greater than 2 litres of fluid removed from it) on my right ovary. Following this procedure, we just knew it would be no time at all before we were pregnant! I mean, surely the cyst had been the only problem preventing us conceiving, right? However, in the months following my surgery, I had continuous bleeding. Not just every now and then, but continuous, period-like bleeding for about 6 months. I consulted with the surgeon who had performed my surgery and was assured there were no complications from the surgery. I consulted my OB/GYN and was told this was normal following a surgery such as the one I had had and there was no need to worry. So I didn't. Anniversary number five arrived but babies were absent from the affair.
In 2008, my bleeding still had not stopped. This had gone on for more than a year and The Hubs and I were really getting concerned, so I made an appointment with a new OB/GYN. During my visit with her, she diagnosed me with PCOS and insulin resistance. She started me on 1500mg Metformin and, believe it or not, the constant bleeding stopped! We were optimistic. We had told her about the problems we'd been having trying to conceive and she explained that the Metformin should be all that was needed to make me ovulate. So we set about doing everything correctly. I took my temperature every morning. I took Metformin everyday. We babydanced like fiends! But I noticed that, not only was I no longer continuously bleeding, but I had not had a period at all since starting Metformin. As our sixth anniversary arrived, we also decided we wanted to start fertility treatment sooner rather than later, so I contacted my OB/GYN. She stated that she wanted me to keep taking the Metformin for another month and see if this brought on my period. Around this time, Wistfulgirl was born. She'd always been around in the shadows offstage, but in October 2008, she meekly peeked around the curtains. But she was shy, so, while she did make a few tentative posts in 2008 and early 2009, she decided to hide her head for a little while longer.
When another month had passed and I had still had no period, I called my OB/GYN again and begged for Provera and Clomid. So, in April 2009, she prescribed Provera and Clomid. We began the first of four Clomid cycles that month. I continued temping and what I discovered was that I did ovulate on Clomid, but we still didn't manage to get pregnant. So, we did another round of Clomid in May 2009. And another in June 2009. And another in July 2009. All BFN's. Nada. Nothing. No pregnancies. Not even a hint of a sniff of a positive on any of the 48 HPT's I took during those four months. At this point, The Hubs - who had been out of work since the previous November - still had had no luck finding a job, so we decided to take a break on fertility treatment. We were still trying some natural approaches, but we put seeing our doctor on hold. It was in August of that year that Wistfulgirl burst full-force onto the scene and this blog began it's journey to where it is today. Wistfulgirl was pointed in the direction of the ALI community and a much-needed source of support was discovered. In early November of that year, we were approached by a mother known to us who was expecting a baby (she already had two children) and was asked to adopt the child. However, after getting our hopes up, that adoption fell through. Anniversary number seven was celebrated with heavy hearts and our dreams of becoming parents seemed farther away than ever.
In February 2010, The Hubs found a new job! We immediately called my OB/GYN to get a referral to an RE. Our referral was made and we had our first appointment with Dr. O on April 5, 2010. Those first few appointments with Dr. O were a plethora of discovery. The first bit of news we received was that, in reviewing my medical history, we discovered some interesting information that arose during my gallbladder and right ovarian cyst removals but had never been brought to our attention. In removing the ovarian cyst, it had been necessary for the surgeon to also remove my right fallopian tube including the bit with the fimbria (which sweeps the sperm into the tube) and part of my right ovary. While we understood that it would have been impossible to save these as they were partially embedded in the cyst, we felt that we really should have been given the information and we felt betrayed by my surgeon (who had also taken care of my dad during his illness in 2006). The next bad news we received was that Dr. O suspected I had Type II Diabetes (not just insulin resistance) and hypothyroidism. He also had me tested for sleep apnea and the sleep study was positive for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Finally, an endometrial biopsy revealed that I had complex endometrial hyperplasia without atypical cells. A D&C was performed and I was prescribed Megace to be taken for six months. We celebrated eight years of marriage with me in the midst of this treatment and no babies in sight.
January 2011 brought another endometrial biopsy with an all-clear on the hyperplasia! We thought we would definitely get to move to the next round of treatment, but, alas, it was not to be. Dr. O wanted me to work on losing at least 30lbs before we could consider any further treatment. I was then put on Provera beginning in February to bring about a period every month. After three months of Provera, it had been decidedly proven to us that Provera was not a good choice for my mental health on an ongoing basis, so I contacted Dr. O to ask for a different prescription. Dr. O wanted me to give Provera one more month. After that month passed with no improvement on my depression and anxiety brought on by the medication, I once again called Dr. O and my medication was changed to Aygestin. Two months passed with me taking Aygestin with only a very, very light period and bleeding in-between. I put this down to stress - my dad had a stroke in late June and I was very worried about him. He was in the hospital through to mid-July. I took Aygestin again in August, but, to the best of my recollection, had no period at all. This was not the highest thing on my priority list that month, though, because my dad passed away on August 16. I'm honestly surprised my body remembered to do the basic functions like breathing during that time. I was devestated (I still am). I think there was no way August was going to produce anything like a normal cycle for me. And why should it? Nothing else about the month was normal and my dad was gone.
In September I realized that I had not had a proper cycle since changing to Aygestin. I called Dr. O and he asked me to come in for a visit. An ultrasound was performed at this visit and, while my endometrial lining looked okay from the u/s, there was a suspicious looking cyst on my right ovary. Dr. O asked me to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound and another endometrial biopsy. For that u/s, the cyst had grown by 2cm in 2 weeks! Dr. O ordered bloodwork, a CA-125, a test to check for high levels of cancer antigens. The results came back from the endometrial biopsy - all clear! The results from the bloodwork seemed to indicate no cancer, however, Dr. O (being the highly cautious individual he is) scheduled me for a visit with a cancer specialist. That visit went well and it was determined that, while we needed to monitor the ovarian cyst for growth, it was unlikely to cause me problems and did not appear cancerous. The monitoring is to ensure that, should it get larger and begin to cause me problems, we can arrange to have it removed. Dr. O seemed satisfied with this, but ordered a contiuation of Aygestin and a further visit in October to monitor my weight, blood pressure and other vitals.
In the midst of all the other things happening during this year, The Hubs and I talked things over and, following my dad's death, decided we were ready to pursue adoption through foster care. While we are not stopping treatment (or preparation for treatment), we've decided we really want to move forward with a more feasible plan to parenthood. As we approach our ninth wedding anniversary, we are preparing to attend adoption orientation next Tuesday (one week, one day before our ninth anniversary). This year, I pray we're filled with more hope than the previous years have brought us and that, by our tenth anniversary, we will have finally attained the elusive....I pray we'll be parents!
And there, my humble readers, you have it! My blog story to the present. Stay tuned to this space for more conceptual adventures in the life of a Wistfulgirl!