In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Infertility Update: Beginning Treatments Again

I’ve been really bad about keeping up with my blog this summer, but I wanted to give a quick infertility update.  My last post about our journey, stated that we were going to be starting more treatments this summer, and a few people have recently inquired about how our treatments are going.  After a much needed break from treatments following our failed IUI in February, we did indeed begin more fertility treatments at the beginning of July. Here’s a quick infertility recap since my last post in March:

While we weren’t seeking treatments this past spring, I did still use OPKS (ovulations predictor kits) each month, simply so I knew if my body was ovulating on its own or not.  Before we can receive the miracle of pregnancy, we needed the miracle of ovulation.  Since that didn’t happen in March, April or May, there wasn’t much to hope for as far as a pregnancy was concerned.  No ovulation….no pregnancy.  The only good thing about not ovulating for those three months was that I didn’t stress out each month waiting to see if I was pregnant.

We had planned on starting treatments in June, but since we were taking our summer vacation in June, we pushed treatments back to July.  Our prayer was that God would provide a miracle for us, and we would get pregnant before our planned treatments in July.  But if He chose not to allow us to get pregnant during that time, we would take that as a sign to go forward with our planned treatments.  For a short time, we thought we may have actually gotten our miracle. 

After three anovulatory cycles, I finally got a positive OPK in June!  I can’t tell you how excited we were!  Our positive OPK came the very first day of our summer vacation.  We thought it was such perfect timing, because we would be able to relax and enjoy one another during that week.  Even though the positive OPK came a little later than we wanted, on day 16 of my cycle, we were still excited to know that my body was actually trying to ovulate on its own.  However, the next day, I tested again….and the OPK was still positive.  If you use OPKs, you know that a positive test indicates ovulation within 24 hours.  The fact that my test was still positive indicated that I had not yet ovulated.  I was little disheartened at that point, because that put my cycle day at 17, making for a late ovulation and an even shorter amount of time for my body to fertilize an egg and implant a pregnancy.  And then I tested again the next day….and wouldn’t you know the test was still positive.  At that point I was sitting in our little cottage in Maine, crying my eyes out.  I felt like I had built my hopes up, only to have them be crushed!  The fact that I had three positive days of testing in a row, indicated that my body was having a hard time releasing an egg, and there was a chance it wouldn’t release an egg at all.  Considering that it was already day 18 of my cycle, and I only had ten days left of my very accurate cycle, I was losing hope in getting pregnant that month. 

I didn’t test for ovulation again after that night.  I was all out of tests, and I didn’t want it to ruin our vacation by focusing on test results.  We know for sure if I did release an egg in June, we spent our vacation fertilizing it;)  When we got back from our vacation, I immediately started taking progesterone.  My body doesn’t make enough on its own, and it is vital in achieving a pregnancy.  We did everything that we knew how to do to achieve a pregnancy in June. My basal body temps were remaining high towards the end of my cycle, and I was four days late….all a good sign of a possible pregnancy.  However, I also knew that the progesterone I was taking can cause both of those things to happen as well….but still, I hung onto hope.  All hope was lost, when my basal body temperature plummeted on the 4th of July and soon after a new cycle started.  I’m not going to lie….June was a very disappointing month for us.  I took it pretty hard.  We really thought we might have had it that month. We really thought God was going to answer our prayers, but we trust that He knows best and that it just wasn’t the right time for us to get pregnant.

And so that brings us to July.  July was our first month back to our reproductive endocrinologist since our failed IUI in February.  Treatments started out with a lovely invasive ultrasound on a Sunday morning.  Yeah, a Sunday morning….what a way to get my day started, right?  Unfortunately, cycle days control everything about fertility treatments, and that particular ultrasound had to be done on CD3, which just happened to be very early on a Sunday morning for me. As far as our treatment plan for July, we decided to only use Famera (an ovulation stimulating drug) and timed intercourse this month as our treatment plan, followed by progesterone supplements to lengthen my luteal phase.  Famera has always brought on an ovulation by CD14 in the past, however, this month I didn’t appear to ovulate until CD16, even though I took Famera.  That was a little disheartening to say the least.

I’m nearing the end of my cycle and I should know soon if we need to continue treatments in August or if we had a successful month of treatments in July.  If July proves to be unsuccessful, we will move onto our treatment plan for August which includes: Famera (CD3-7), an ultrasound to measure follicles followed by trigger shot (CD13), an IUI (CD14), and then progesterone for the remaining of my cycle to lengthen the leuteal phase.  If that fails in August, we are willing to do the exact same treatment plan in September for the very last time. We have come to terms with these three months of treatments being our last attempts of fertility treatments.  I hate the idea of these few months of treatments failing, but if it comes to that, I pray that I have the grace to accept the situation for what it is.  

Matt and I certainly covet your prayers during this time.  It’s been said that when we, as believers, petition the Lord for something, the answer is either “yes”, “no” or “not now”.  I’ve gone to the Lord with my petitions many times over my lifetime, but never has it hurt so bad to not have the answer be “yes”.  Matt and I so very badly want the answer to be “yes”.  We are still praying for that miracle.  Even after being told that there is a good chance that we may never get pregnant, we still believe in miracles.  And yes, even if we get pregnant with the help of doctors….we still believe that to be a miracle that only God can do.  God is the giver of life….not our doctors, but we do believe that God can use our doctors to increase our chances of conceiving a life.  And yes, even if these treatments fail, we will still pray for a miracle.  We are praying that we some day not only get the joy of adoption (something that we are beyond excited about, by the way), but that we also get to experience the joys of creating a life that is a reflection of our two lives becoming one.  We’re not sure if the answer to that prayer is “no”.  The reality is that it may never be God’s plan to allow us to experience that.  He may have a different plan for us that we don’t understand right now.  When looking back on this experience many years in the future, we may have a better understanding of why we were allowed to hurt through our journey with infertility.  However, we also understand that perhaps the answer to our prayer is simply “not now.”  Again, as we are going through this, we certainly don’t understand why God is choosing to not bless us with a pregnancy right now, but we trust that in time we will be able to look back and understand that God’s hand was in all of this….even in the hurt.
To read more about our journey through infertility, click the following links: