Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sharing the Journey

It's been quite some time since I posted anything about our trying to add a little one to our family.  Really, there just hasn't been much to share, other than my mounting impatience and raging baby fever lol.  And I think I've shared that enough.

I'd love to say that something big has changed--but it hasn't.  We're still trying, I'm still trying to fight impatience off with a stick, and am still way too prone to playing peek-a-boo with random kiddos in restaurants.  And bookstores.  And the grocery store.  And basically anywhere I go lol.

It's been about six months since we really started trying, and about ten months since I went off my RA meds.  I'm now flared pretty badly--I haven't knitted in a WHOLE WEEK--and am back on 10 mg of prednisone a day.  Prednisone is one of the very few RA drugs that is considered safe during pregnancy, so I finally gave in and got back on it while we're trying.  My rheumatologist wasn't all that happy at my July appointment when I still wasn't pregnant.  We decided it was time to go to my OBGyn and make sure that everything was working properly.

Well, it wasn't.
Apparently, even though I've had a regular period every month since February, I have not been ovulating.
At all.

Honestly, I was relieved to find that out.  I mean, I still wasn't pregnant after 5 months of trying and I was starting to worry that something might be wrong.  And as anyone who has ever had to deal with wondering about something medical knows--it's always better to know for sure what's going on.

At my OB's recommendation, I made an appointment with Dr. W--the reproductive endocrinologist that she works closely with.  Once again, I find myself so thankful for my amazing doctors--not only are they incredible in and of themselves, but they send my to the best of the best when I need to go elsewhere.
Dr. W ran the blood work and did ultrasounds and all sorts of tests.  He even took time out of one of his days at the office down here to go over to the hospital and perform my HSG (a test to check if your tubes are open).  The results of all of this were: a) my blood work looked good, b) my uterine lining looked fantastic, c) my follicles also looked fantastic and d) my tubes are open.

Which of course left me wondering, what the hell?  If everything looks good to go, why am I not ovulating???

Dr. W and I sat down and talked about all the meds that I've been taking for my RA.  When I told him that I had been on methotrexate for about 4 years before going off everything, he had an "aha!" look on his face.  Apparently, apart from being a bitch of a drug all by itself, taking methotrexate long-term can also seriously mess with fertility.  It can actually cause damage to your follicles, and thus hurt your egg count and quality.  I didn't really have a choice about going on methotrexate, but still--that would have been nice to know.

Luckily for me, all the tests we had run showed that the latter hadn't happened--my follicles and eggs were healthy and plentiful.  However, Dr. W concluded that the methotrexate probably did mess with my hormone levels and production enough to stop ovulation.

The solution?
Or rather, the generic--clomiphene citrate.  It's a fertility drug used to trigger ovulation--in other words, it will hopefully make me lay eggs like a chicken!  So far, everything is looking promising, and we think the drug is working...which means we finally have an actual shot at getting pregnant!  So exciting!!!

Of course, there's no timeline guarantee, or guarantee period.  One of the most annoying and frustrating things in this whole process has been people telling me to be patient.  A close second is the whole God's timing/plan comment.  A close third is that it--pregnancy--will happen when we stop trying/least expect it.

If you know me, you know I have big issues with comments about God's plan and God's timing.
I do agree that timing is a incredibly important factor in life; however, it seems to me those comments are mostly made in an unthinking attempt to help people feel better about life not happening on their schedule or about things not happening in the manner they want.
As for the other comments, I guess it's just that most people don't really understand our situation--even if I've already explained it to them.  In response to "be patient":  we have a deadline for getting to try--it's this coming January.  At that point, the amount of joint damage and disease progression will reach a point where I will have to get back on my meds.  This brings me to the "when we stop trying/least expect it":  if/when the point comes when I have to get back on my meds, I CANNOT get pregnant...and if I do I will have to abort.  The drugs I take are catastrophic for babies.  So, if we're not pregnant by January, I'm getting an IUD put in.  Because of all of this, telling me to be patient or telling me that after we've stopped trying is when we'll get pregnant is very, very aggravating, even though I know those saying it mean well.

Venting done, I am trying to be patient and at peace about the whole thing.  If we're going to get pregnant, it will happen sometime in the next few months.  At this point, there's nothing more I can do than what I'm already doing.  If we're not pregnant by January, we're done--we can't afford IVF.  I'll be crushed for awhile, I'm sure, but then I'll buy us some plane tickets to go see my friend in Japan, hit Hawaii on the way back, and be doing much better by the time I get home.  That said, in that scenario, maybe in another several years we can look into adoption--if my health is stable enough.  And if not, then I can spoil the hell out of all my nieces and nephews from friends and family!

Anyway, that's the update on our particular journey to being parents.  I'm very optimistic about our chances--especially since the Clomid seems to be working so well.  That said, any good thoughts, prayers, or vibes y'all want to send our way would be much appreciated!


  1. Hi Kristen, not sure where I saw your name but liked the sound of your blog so signed up to yours hope you don't mind.. I'm up in northern B.C. Canada.. and you way down in Texas whoohoo..and are you the gal who knits or is it another one of the new gals I invited to my blog not sure..hope all is well with you.. I see you and hubby trying for a baby, good luck and be patient as you are probably sick of hearing those two words...:)Sue

  2. Ahhh Kristen you are on Laura's blog Organizing Junkie, she is a good friend of mine, but has since left our town for Alberta... thats probably where I saw your name.. g'nite Sue

  3. Thanks for stopping by Sue! And yes, I knit :-). I actually have a project post I need to actually write lol. Thanks for the good luck wishes, and yes, I'm trying to be patient lol. I love Laura's blog too! Hope you're having a great day!


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