Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cats and Dogs as surrogate children, in the mean time...

For those of you who are pet owners and animal lovers, I think you know what I mean in my title. Pets can begin to feel like children, and at least for me, raising a puppy and a kitten during the last year, has helped stave off the yearnings for a human baby. With my puppy Ralph, I would spend the night sleeping next to his crate, when I first brought him home, so that he wouldn't be scared. When Ralph broke his leg, I stayed on the couch to make sure he was okay on his tranquilizers. Every morning and every night and throughout the day, I constantly have to attend to Ralph. It is good training or a good introduction, in having another being be dependent on you.

Then there is also, the extreme pleasure in cuddling with my kitten Isa or having Ralph fall asleep on my lap, while I am knitting or watching TV. Until I have the pleasure of having a human baby, my animal babies will have to do.

Good Day at the Dietitian's Office

Today I went to see a Dietitian who apparently was told that I have PCOS conclusively by my doctor at Seattle Reproductive Medicine. That was a surprise to me. I didn't realize this was a conclusive diagnosis.

Most of the information the dietitian told me was knowledge I already had. However, I still think working with her over the next six months is really going to help me lose the twenty pounds. I am going to be inputing my food that I eat into a computer program, and she is going to be giving me feedback each week. She suggested food that will help with migraines and arthritis as well as PCOS. Quinoa was top on the list. She also strongly encouraged me to go to Trader Joes. Cheaper organic food is sold there. I was also told I ought to swap out popcorn and instead eat hummus. I am allowed to have 45-60 grams of carbs at each meal.

I don't know how much diet interests people.

I think being able to do something to make myself healthier is making me feel better about the whole infertility issue. I feel less helpless than I did yesterday.

My journey to the bamboo lotus forest...

Lotus flowers and bamboo are symbols for fertility. I am going to incorporate these symbols into my next tattoo, along with the "Hope" symbols.

Should I try alternative medicine and take herbs and allow people to poke me with small needles (aka: acupuncture). According to some recent study, alternative medicine is not a good idea if you are going to late try fertility treatments. However, this could be a highly biased study. I haven't checked into it enough yet, to have a good opinion on the topic.

I do think having a positive attitude is important. That seems to be the theme in everything I read.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting on the Treadmill, literally and figuratively

Over the past 6 months, I have been on Clomid. As you can guess, it hasn't worked. We tried to add IUI on the last two months, but each time I went in for an ultrasound, no follicles were present. My infertility issues began when I was twenty, and I kept ending up in ER's for abdominal pain and rupturing ovarian cysts. I finally had a laparoscopy, and a large cyst was removed off my left fallopian tube.

Then I tried to get pregnant when I was 27. I tried metformin, and it made me horribly sick all the time. I will spare you all the details for the purpose of this story. That is when the arthritis and weird neurological symptoms happened, and I had to take a break from trying to get pregnant.

Now I am 29, almost 30 in four days. I had originally told myself that I had to get pregnant before my 30th birthday. Now, that is unlikely, unless I am pregnant right now. And, for that to have happened I would have had to magically timed sex just right for when I may have ovulated. Not feeling too hopeful about that.

Since Clomid failed and we went up to 150 mg, my doctor at Seattle Reproductive Medicine said Letrozole is the next drug for me. However, I am taking 6 months to lose twenty pounds. Tomorrow, I meet with the dietitian recommended to me by my Reproductive doc. So, I was serious when I meant I am getting on the Infertility Treadmill, literally and figuratively.

I gained 30 pounds over the last 6 months. It's sad when your stomach looks like you are pregnant, and you aren't actually pregnant. In Clomid's defense, Prednisone played a role in that weight gain.

So, probably some of you who have been trying to get pregnant with more advanced procedures than I have tried, are thinking "Why is she complaining now? She's at the beginning." Well, I am complaining because I have enough health issues, and trying to get pregnant only makes certain health issues more difficult to deal with. Painful migraines made worse by progesterone and Clomid. My joints flare up more when my hormones are in flux. Pain free days are celebrated, but don't happen that often.

When I was twenty and told that getting pregnant was probably not going to be easy, I thought okay, I will be fine. I'll just adopt if I can't get pregnant. I can handle this. It's all good. I think in the back of mind, I never accepted that infertility was my reality. Now that it is staring me in the face, I am in limbo. Part of me is hopeful. And, the other part of me is starting to grieve the loss of being able to have a kid on my own. My husband and I decided a long time ago, no IVF. So, if IUI doesn't work, we will go to adoption as the next step.

I think my next step is to try to be numb, avoid all new mothers and babies, and try to concentrate on the things I love: my husband, my dog Ralph, my cats Mable and Isa, knitting, cooking, and playing games with friends. Oh, and lose twenty pounds in the next six months. See ya later chocolate chip cookies and awesome yummy cheese!

I will let you guys know how that goes.