Lots of things have happened since my last post. I really should be better about writing here, since keeping diary was one of the “stress relievers” that was listed on ways to cope with infertility. But between being busy and not wanting to cope with some of the sadness that comes with posting here, I always manage to find an excuse not to make time to jot down my thoughts.
We are getting ready to start on our sixteenth month of trying to conceive. Each month it gets a little hard to stay positive and believe that it’s going to happen, regardless of how much I try to convince myself otherwise. I know that there is a lot that science can do to help me with this goal, and that we are only scratching the tip of the iceberg in this regard, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I question at least once a week why it has to be so damn hard. It just doesn’t seem fair.
I suppose I should stop myself before I fall into a pity party of one.
We saw the endocrinologist again a couple of weeks again for a reporting on my blood work. My inflammatory markers are still quite high, but we still aren’t sure why. But he definitely thinks that they are part of our difficulties, and wanted to treat them. We basically had two options: Prednisone and Plaquenil. Prednisone is a steroid that is commonly used, and often utilized for women trying to get pregnant, but does carry a side effect of a small chance of the development of a cleft palate if taken during the first trimester. Plaquenil is an antimalarial drug that, for whatever reason, helps with the treatment of inflammation. It has been around since the 50s, and a lot is known about it.
After a lot of conversation, the doctor basically left the decision up to me. Something that I wasn’t really thrilled about. When I expressed to him that I’m not a doctor, and I wasn’t 100% comfortable having to make the decision, he indicated that he felt we should follow my Rheumatologist’s suggestion of the Plaquenil. He did indicate that it’s not a common drug used while conceiving, and is class C or D, there hasn’t really been in indication that it is harmful in pregnancy and he’d treated a fair number of women over the past decade that had successful pregnancies while on it. He did indicate that he wanted my Rheumatologist to dose it, since he wasn’t sure what dose she’d want me on, but was also going to send her a memo that he felt it was a good treatment option.
The same week I started taking 400mg of Plaquenil a day. While I’m excited about getting my inflammation under control, the downside to this drug is that it can take 8-12 weeks to start to see results, and can take up to six months to be effective.
We also go the results of the Clomid Challenge test back, and I responded to it appropriately, so there is no concern about my egg supply yet. Since we hadn’t started an inflammation treatment yet, we opted not to do an IUI last cycle since it had a high chance of not being a viable pregnancy if I got pregnant. And since Robert was sick when I ovulated, and we missed the actual TIME of ovulation (even though we had gone through the night previously), I had pretty low expectations of having a positive pregnancy test. I was right. My period started right on time – and we are moving right along to my next cycle.
Everyone agreed that it was best to go back to the letrozole for this cycle, and I started this cycle’s medication last night (which likely mean a killer migraine tomorrow, if the past dictates anything!). We are going to go ahead and move forward with an IUI cycle this month, and assuming I’m not pregnant, for the next two months as well. At which point, if I’m still not pregnant, we will reconvene with the doctor and discuss if we want to alter my treatment plan. Assuming that the insurance covers it, we are going to do two IUIs per cycle. So we will be back to (most likely) three eggs, a trigger shot, and an obscene amount of sperm being given the best chance to succeed.
So that’s that.
Speaking of medication, I am currently taking 16 pills a day in my efforts to conceive. I had to breakdown and buy a pill organizer to help me keep track of everything. Three of those medications have a side effect of upset stomach – and I’m in the bathroom no fewer than four times a day as a result. It’s pretty miserable. But hey! I’ve lost ten pounds…because anything I eat comes right back out. On the plus side, my last round of bloodwork with my Hematologist showed that my while blood cell count was back down to normal levels; which is great news since they had been high for over a year.
In other news…
We also bought a house. We closed on February 21st – and I really enjoy the house. But the truth is that we bought a house for a family that we don’t have yet, and that reality doesn’t escape me. We did all the right things, accepted a longer commute so we could be in a good school district. Budgeted for childcare in the future. Took steps to get our debt in line and paid off. And I can’t help questioning how I’m going to feel if I never get pregnant. Here I am, with this big house, in the right places, and no baby.
In case you can’t tell, I’m not in a really great headspace right now. I’m feeling pretty defeated and it’s pretty hard to see a light at the end of this ever-growing tunnel. The truth is that neither of us are getting any younger. Things aren’t going to get easier. And what started as an uphill battle now feels like I’m trying to fly to the moon on a paper plane.
I don’t know why I feel so down. The doctors feel good about things. Robert has forgone his ever present logic to express positivity (probably because I need it). But I can’t seem to get out of this slump…and there are pregnant people everywhere, which only makes me feel worse. We are getting close to coming out of the rainy season here in Seattle, so maybe a little sunshine is what I need. It’s supposed to be nice over the weekend, so maybe we will take the dog for a walk and explore our new neighborhood a little more. Just anything to take my mind away from reality for a while.