Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Update on our trying to conceive adventure...

So, no baby yet, last I knew. On the upside, I finally have answers.

We did cycle day 3 blood work in April. Basically, on day three of your cycle, blood is drawn to determine whether or not your body has appropriate levels of certain hormones, such as estrogen. My blood work was normal, perfect, in fact.

We also did an HSG. The goal of this test is to find out if a fallopian tube is blocked. Again, normal. Both tubes were clear.

Seeing as how both tests came back normal I was told I should wait it out another few months. I could start taking a medicine that would support/cause ovulation. I decided against it for a number of reasons.

I know my body. I have noticed specific symptoms for a while now. I felt that all these symptoms should be addressed as a whole. I didn't know what exactly I needed, but, somehow, I knew there must be something else. Picture a puzzle. You know you're missing some pieces. You just don't know what they look like. That is how I felt.

So, I decided to get some advice, a second opinion. I met with a homebirth midwife. I knew she would not be able to help me directly, but I knew she would know who could. She recommended a hospital-based midwife and a Chinese medicine specialist.

So I did my research, braced myself for the expenses, and began scheduling appointments.

Must speed it up because it's bedtime! Now the crunchy mama drinks yucky cups of Chinese herbs twice a day! Did I ever mention that I am simply not a tea person. Every tea is beyond yucky to me, even chocolate and ginger, which I love! But, there you have it. I gagged the first few days, but I am used to it now.

I did a few sessions of acupuncture, but I am currently taking a break. I don't understand exactly how it would help and it is pricy. So I am focusing on the herbs and on traditional medicine.

I met with the hospital-based midwife. After asking me a few questions, she was fairly certain that my progesterone level post-ovulation is low. Basically, after you ovulate, your progesterone level rises. You can do a blood test four to six days post-ovulation. Ideally, you're about 18. If your level is lower you start a progesterone supplement.

Guess what? Yours truly is at SIX. We have tested the past two cycles. 7.2 last cycle and 6.4 this cycle.

Now, here is where I get incredibly frustrated. I shared a detailed list of symptoms with my old care provider. I specifically asked if having a short, light period means anything. She could have run the progesterone blood work last November.

Currently, I am allowing myself some time to feel the frustration so I can move on. I am grateful for this new midwife. I am grateful that I have answers and that there is something I can do. I am trying not to think about the possibility that, perhaps, I have conceived a number of times and the baby didn't implant because my progesterone level was low and the endometrium (uterine lining) was too thin.

I am ok with waiting. I really am. I have been thinking about another baby for 2.5 years now, in fact. But I do feel the need to get answers and keep moving, rather than doing nothing. Also, now it's not just about me. Ari really wants a sibling. She daydreams of having a sibling often. She sees families with two kids, talks about how she wants to be a big sister, take care of the baby, etc., etc.

At any rate, why am I sharing this? I am a very private person. But I opted to share my story because maybe it will help someone out there. Whether you are trying to conceive, you are ill, or whatever it is, go with your gut. If you don't feel that your provider is thorough, don't let the sense of loyalty stop you. Get a second opinion. I love how sweet, friendly and available my former provider is. But, clearly, that isn't enough. This is simply not her specialty. She is great at other things.

Oh, one more thing… Get yourself a support network. If you have a friend who is going through the same thing, great. If you don't, find forums/message boards. You will get emotional support and you will learn a lot. You will be better able to advocate for yourself if you know what questions to ask your provider.

Here is to hoping that Ari's sibling-to-be joins our family soon!

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